The State of Arizona uses its own bid portal to post requests for bids for stuff it wants to buy. One of the things the Department of Corporations has put out is a request for a replacement web portal for its system for accepting customer registrations of corporations and LLCs plus related services like filing of documents related to their establishment or change in status, which is to a large degree a manual, paper-driven process.
The state essentially wants a way to handle the whole enchilada through a web portal, allowing registrants to enter data on-line, supply credit card or deposit information, allow people to get a certificate of good standing, copies of filed documents, etc., all as self-service.
This is something the State of Colorado has had since at least 2007; the system Colorado runs is actually better than the two big states for incorporating, Nevada and Delaware have. You can set up a corporation in Colorado with three things; a web browser, a street address in Colorado and a major credit or debit card with $75. Fill out the form, supply the address where the corporation's registered agent is located, give your card number and in ten minutes, boom! you have a corporation or LLC chartered. Plus, Colorado allows something I've not seen with any other state. A corporation or LLC can be its own registered agent.
Well, anyway, apparently without knowing about Colorado's system, the State of Arizona wants to do something similar to what Colorado already has. And what's interesting is that Arizona will need something to handle the fact that while corporations and LLCs are chartered with the Department, fictitious names and state trademark and state servicemark registrations are made with the Secretary of State. (Colorado's Secretary of State does all three: trademarks/servicemarks, fictitious names and corporation/LLC charters.) So the Department is going to require that the provider of their solution be able to interface with the system run by the Arizona Secretary of State to query their databases to check new corporations against existing trademark or tradename registrations, as well as train Department employees in use of the new system, so it can't simply be a software shipment, it's going to require customization and training, which means a vendor will have to be onsite there.
This means in addition to having contractor employees be protected by Worker's Compensation, the vendor also has to carry liability insurance. The State of Arizona requires a policy with $1,000,000 in the usual protections, but also requires $2,000,000 general liability. From some place else I stumbled upon Hiscox, a business insurer that specifically handles liability for small business, especially technology companies like software developers. They cover things like claims of copyright infringement, patent infringement, damage to customer property, damages due to misconduct by employees and contractors, etc.
Well, Hiscox's website can only provide a quote for insurance up to $1,000,000. I have to call their 800 number to get a quote for $2,000,000. Presuming I can get it.
Sometimes you can only buy so much. When I drove, the mandatory minimum insurance coverage was $15,000/$25,000/$50,000 but I bought the maximum Geico would sell me, which was $300,000/$300,000/$300,000, because the difference in premium was $20 each 6 months. Some people have such bad driving or accident records they either can't get more than state minimum or have to go to high risk to get coverage at all.
So the rate the woman on the phone at Hiscox quotes me for a complete business policy with $1,000,000 in coverage with $2,000,000 in general liability is $750 a year. To cover a contract potentially worth probably $100,000 that isn't bad at all, and if I had to get it I could buy it on a monthly basis. It's a little too big a contract for me to handle as a single-person software company, but at least I know if I find one that's within my capacity the liability insurance isn't as bad as I feared it might be. I was afraid it was going to be more like $2,000 or $3,000. If I could get it that high, that is.
When Texaco bought Getty Oil, Pennzoil had an agreement to buy the company and sued Texaco for tortuous interference in talking Getty into breaking its agreement to be sold to them. A jury in the case of Pennzoil v. Texaco found in favor of Pennzoil and issued what was then, the largest judgment in a liability case: ten billion dollars. Well, Texaco wanted to appeal. Bad comes to worse, Texaco is a huge company, if it lost it could pay, but to appeal, Texaco must file a bond issued by an insurance company for twice the amount of the judgment.
Only problem was that Texaco couldn't find anyone to write the bond. Or any consortium like Lloyds of London. In fact, if Texaco had stripped the complete and total worldwide capacity of the entire insurance industry it still could not get a bond for US$20,000,000,000. Using a precedent involving the NAACP, Texaco was able to go back to the court and post a bond consisting of a billion dollars of its own stock as collateral for the appeal, since it was physically impossible for it to obtain a bond of the size of the original requirement at all.
So I wanted to make sure, it's possible with the small size of my company I couldn't find a commercial insurer willing to write a $2,000,000 bond. But it was simply if I can afford it, and it's not as expensive as I thought it would be.
Yahoo News, "Jury finds no negligence in trial over man's 8-month erection"
WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - A jury on Monday cleared a doctor of negligence in a lawsuit filed by a Delaware truck driver who underwent a penile implant procedure and ended up with an erection that lasted eight months.
"We're stunned," attorney Michael Heyden said as he left the New Castle County courthouse, where his client Daniel Metzgar, 44, of Newark, Delaware, was suing urologist Thomas Desperito of Wilmington, Delaware.
In April 2010, four months after the procedure was performed, Metzgar experienced swelling and went to a hospital, where he underwent testing. Before going to the hospital, Metzgar had been unable to reach Dr. Desperito.
The doctor's lawyer argued that hospital staff who performed tests were unfamiiar with penile implants and were not properly trained to do them.
Metzgar and his attorney during the one-week trial described the frequent discomfort and daily embarrassment he experienced after the procedure - including trouble riding a motorcycle, wearing normal clothes and joining family social events.
"I could hardly dance, with an erection poking my partner," Metzgar told jurors at the start of the trial. "It's not something you want to bring out at parties and show to friends."
Does anyone get the significance and/or Irony of a man that wants to be able to get an erection going to a doctor named "Desperito"? Or of getting what he wanted, but waaay too much?
There is a new 30-second commercial for Cheerios that is causing so much negative and nasty commentary that General Mills had to disable comments for it on YouTube. The video is titled "Just Checking" And I'll inline it below. Let me give you the transcript so you can read it first, then you can watch the video and see why what would appear to be an innocuous commercial triggered so nasty nasty comments.
Little Girl: [places box of Cheerios on table] Mom?
Mother: Yes, Honey?
Little Girl: Dad told me that Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?
Mother: [Reads box] Says here that Cheerios has whole-grain oats that can help remove some cholesterol, that's heart healthy.
Little Girl: [No dialog, smiles, takes box with her, runs off]
Dad: [Wakes up on couch, where filled-in heart shape has been made over his heart with a lot of Cheerios, sits up and spills them. Cut to title card, "Love" in black on yellow similar to Cheerios box, as tune is played in background] Jen!
And now you know why, the little girl is black, or more properly, mixed race, her mother is white, and her dad is black. This was so significant that the Today show had to cover it, because, as I noted above, the video got so many racially-motivated negative comments that General Mills - who has announced they have no intention of pulling this commercial - had to disable comments for the video. Today had Star Jones, who said that "Social Media is the new KKK." Apparently because of the anonymity of the Internet, people feel they can get away with nasty and brutish comments they probably wouldn't make in person. It was also noted that we don't see many interracial couples on television and especially not in commercials. (Interracial couples are only about 1% of the population.)
I thought this cute commercial, which wouldn't have gotten a peep if it either was a black couple with a black child, or a white couple with a white one, just brought out the nasty in some people. Probably more so, because it raises the nastier stereotype which was played for comedy in Blazing Saddles when Clevon Little, who was posing as a Klan member under a sheet is exposed as actually black, enraged the vicious thugs that Hedley Lamarr is recruiting to attack the Town of Rock Ridge, by saying, "Where da white women at?" Because this commercial showed a black man with a white woman (actually, in the commercial the two are never on screen together), it exposes more of those nasty fears that black men are stealing - or more accurately, raping - white women. (My guess is it would still have gotten some nasty comment, but probably not as much, as if it had been like the neighbors in The Jeffersons where it's a black woman with a white man.)
As I stated, I thought it was a cute commercial, and I'm just saddened by this kind of nastiness over something that if it wasn't for a completely irrelevant issue nobody would have cared.
Maybe you disagree with me, or maybe you agree with me, but I felt I wanted to mention it. (If nothing else, it does get General Mills a lot of free airings of their commercial, which is the whole point of running ads. I, for one, would never have seen the commercial if not for the Today show publicizing it.)
In an earlier article from over a year and a half, I mentioned the new computer I bought - I am using it now - the Acer Aspire, and how, it came with speakers, which I use any time I listen to music, You Tube Videos,BBC World Service radio webcast, or if I use Skype, or anything else.
Apparently I did not mention it, I bought a webcam some time ago from Radio Shack, which I paid $20 for, more than I usually would (webcams are usually so cheap you can get them for around $8), but their ad promised zero installation, you just plug it into the USB port and it works. No software to check, no nothing And it does. Plugged it in one day, fired up Skype, and it can see me. I have even used the Webcam for fill-in (when I have to include extra details or add a segment to an otherwise completed video) in post-processing of at least one video I uploaded to YouTube.
Plus, the webcam has two nice features. First is it has a focus on it. I had a device I was trying to read the serial number off of, and its like, you'd think they could make the print smaller so that it wouldn't merely be impossible to read, it would be worse than impossible. And I can't find my magnifying glass, is that digit a 6, a 5, an 8 or a 9? Same for the other number. But then, I thought of the webcam, and because it does have a focus knob, I can turn it around and read the number off the screen, it's 55. The video quality is that good that it can show text that I can't read with my bare eyes. (I had an eye exam back in 2011 when I transferred my driver's license to Maryland, I am fine for close work, I only need glasses for slight correction of nearsightedness, (very distant objects are sometimes fuzzy) my eyesight is good enough to drive without correction. This is nothing new, I've needed corrective lenses for this since the first time I had to get a replacement license maybe 12 years ago when I first got it in Maryland, I discovered then how much of a difference my vision was on far away objects when wearing glasses.)
The second nice thing about the webcam is that it has a built-in microphone, and it's also either far enough from the speakers that it doesn't get feedback or they've figured out how to eliminate it. Which means when I answer a call from Skype, I can either answer it as a video call, or audio only, and I can just talk and listen as a hands-free phone call (unlike calls that come in on my desk telephone, which is wireless but I still have to use a handset.)
I get a weekly circular in e-mail from Staples where they mention the latest selection of their wares. This week's offering includes a selection of HP Printers. HP, which, of course stands for "Higher Prices," or "Highest Price," as their ink prices are always the highest around. They do make good stuff, but, of course, they charge out the wazoo for it. As I mentioned to my friend, Hewlett Packard is the CVS of printer companies; in this case, CVS, of course, refers to the drug store chain, who always charges very high prices relative to everyone else for what they sell, not to the source code control system.
Staples sometimes does have good prices, though. I bought an HP All-In-One combo color inkjet printer, scanner, color photocopier and fax machine, as a Christmas present from my sister to me two years ago (I picked it out and she let me use her credit card to buy it), and it was $99. Across the street at Target the exact same model of the exact same HP All-In-One is $119.
Well, I click on the link in the e-mail from Staples and it goes to their page on HP Printers. Well, I'm a messy cheapskate, so I want to see what they're offering by price, as they do have a combo box on the web site that allows selection by price low to high. Click on the selector, choose that sort order, and Bang! it goes to a page that says they can't find it, the equivalent of a 404 file not found page, with the cute message "We thought duct tape fixes everything."
Staples' own page can't even go to it's own link for a change in sort order for that page. Contrary to Staples ads, clearly, "that's not easy." So where is that easy button when you need it, Staples?
|<< <||> >>|
This is where I make comments on any subject I find of interest. My political comments are in the Politics section, and technical items are in the Computers section. Note, if you want to make a comment, e-mail it to me at email@example.com. I am sorry that I had to disable comments, but after I had deleted the 300th worthless piece of spam comment on this blog and receiving exactly zero valid comments, I decided to stop allowing spammers to excrement all over me and my blog. If you have *anything* at all to say, send it to me in e-mail; if it is even the slightest bit relevant - even if I don't agree with it, I will post it. (As soon as I find a way to stop spammers from posting junk I'll allow direct comments.) Note that if you are a visitor and post a comment, it defaults to "draft" meaning I have to approve it before it is visible, so if you're posting spam, don't bother, nobody will see it.