Fired AOL India employee talks

AOL cut more than 900 jobs around the world today — 20 percent of its staff — and  India took a pretty tough cut from the axe: 400 jobs, according to several sources, and 300 contractors, according to another source. The nice thing for Reuters is that we have a big  bureau in Bangalore, not too far from AOL, and plenty of our people know other people there and were able to get important details about the job cuts.

I coordinated some of the coverage from here since I’m hanging out in the bureau, and was happy when I heard that my colleague Nivedita Bhattacharjee got time to talk with one of the employees who was laid off today. Here is some of what he told her. We agreed to his request for anonymity because he wants to get work again and does not want to disqualify himself from jobs because he spoke to the press.

The entire team had a meeting, and they briefed us about how issues will be handled… we work in AOL. It’s something that we are always prepared (for). We were expecting an announcement soon.

They had some U.S.-centric plans, so they didn’t need us.

I’m leaving on good terms. It’s quite a good severance package… In many ways people are satisfied — we are getting four months’ salary as compensation and, depending on each case, there will be other benefits added to it.

Every fired employee (gets) four months of severance, which is pretty good, but with this action, nobody really has much faith in management, and (we) have been scarred by the experience of easily being let go … after being told for months prior that we were a valuable asset. …

CES: Portraits in purple prose (Part four: leftovers)

The Consumer Electronics Show rages on in Las Vegas. So does the purple press release prose. Here are a few more examples that I scraped together. I’ll keep a lookout for a fresh batch on Friday.

Here are part three, part two and part one.

Rediscover radio. (What is “radio?”)

08:00 05Jan11 – PURE Launches New Internet-Connected Radios and Ground-Breaking Digital iPod Dock at CES 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV, Jan 05 (MARKET WIRE) –  PURE (South Hall #36249), the global leader in digital and internet-connected radios, today announces that the company is taking audio entertainment one step further with the launch of three new product solutions — Contour, ONE Flow and i-20.

CES: Please turn off your phones and your Wi-Fi

English literature teachers, please tell me if I’m wrong to call this ironic.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is all about technology, and pack journalists and tech experts all over the world say that wireless will be the next big boom. So why are various companies at this year’s CES begging and in some cases instructing people not to use their wireless devices or their Wi-Fi connections?

Here’s an email that my colleague Alexei Oreskovic received.


We have all heard of or experienced Wi-Fi challenges at high-profile events.

Please help our sponsors demonstrate their products. We ask you to turn off your phone before you enter Showstoppers tonight. If you can’t do that, please turn off Wi-Fi access on your smartphone and other mobile devices, including all mobile hotspot devices and anything else that acts as a mobile access point.

CES: Portraits in purple prose (Part three: Revenge of the purple)

Here is Thursday’s first delivery of hot, overwrought, steaming, challenging, game-changing, erotically charged press release prose from the Consumer Electronics Show, the place where adverbs, adjectives and hyperbole go after they die. Click the links to see parts one and two from Wednesday.

We breed renowned turnkeys

01:00 05Jan11 -Option to CES Exhibitors: “Mobilize Your Products With The World’s Smallest 3G Module”

The second-generation GTM601/GTM609 modules will power a new breed of consumer and business devices that are ultra-thin, super-fast and globally ready. The modules provide makers of smartphones, tablets, handheld industrial terminals, mobile healthcare devices, digital signage, interactive kiosks, security systems, vehicle infotainment systems and other connected devices with a cost-effective, turnkey solution for adding voice and mobile broadband to their products. The GTM601/GTM609 modules include Option’s renowned technical expertise and customer support services. These capabilities enable device vendors – particularly those with no cellular experience – to bring wireless solutions to market quickly and cost-effectively without the cost, risk and lead time of adding the staff, equipment and other resources necessary to develop wireless solutions.

CES: Portraits in purple prose (part two, now with 30% more purple)

Here’s another crop of special announcements emanating from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As with the first installment of “CES: Portraits in purple prose,” we bring you a selection of products and services that will revolutionize your paradigm, provide you with a turnkey solution and even pick the kids up from school and cast your vote for you on Election Day.

How to take over the entire world, vanquish capitalism and stop paying your bills with one software program—DO IT TONIGHT!

Peep Wireless Technology, A Delaware Corporation, is revealing its PeepApp iPhone software at CES in Las Vegas starting today. The software App turns every phone into a client/server viral transmitter/receiver. Those “seed phones”, in turn, capture every device with bluetooth, WiFi or other spectrum points (ie: Game Boxes, Pads, Cafes, Bluetooth cars, PC`s, Internet TV`s, numbering over 450 million locations) and cause the Peep Mesh to grow and grow around the world in a repercussive peer-to-peer manner. The app will also be released on other phone platforms in the future.

CES: Portraits in purple prose (part one)

I was going to call this blog entry about this year’s Consumer Electronics Show press releases, “language crimes.” But that’s overheated. I’ll call it “overexcited claims” instead. It’s a sample of the sometimes purple, overwrought prose that press agents produce to show off clients’ products. At shows like CES, where 125,000 people overwhelm Las Vegas to gawk at consumer electronics for several days, there’s a lot of effort to get attention from harried, cranky journalists.

Odd results occur when you pair dramatic words with products that, no matter how much you might love them, don’t lend themselves to such… Byronic descriptions. Often accompanying them are typical buzzwords of the technology public relations corps, which after 15 years still leave me wondering if perhaps I haven’t mastered my native language.

Here are a few (I’ll file more later today and on Thursday):

Redefining the visual experience

Sigma Designs, a leading provider of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for delivering entertainment and control throughout the home, today announced that it will showcase at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, new products and award-winning solutions that bring the first studio-quality entertainment experience to the living room. For the first time, Sigma will demonstrate its new powerhouse SMP8910 and thin-client optimized SMP8670 Secure Media Processors…

CES: One strip club, one Howard Stern producer and 125,000 friends

In my second day of searching for the most interesting and interestingly written press releases about the Consumer Electronics Show, I came across what appears to be an invitation for 125,000 people:

LAS VEGAS–(Business Wire)– Gary Dell`Abate, best-selling author and long-time producer of The Howard Stern Show will host a party January 8th at Rick`s Cabaret Las Vegas, to which he has invited all fellow attendees of the world-famous Consumer Electronics Show. The club is part of the Rick`s Cabaret International, Inc. (NASDAQ:RICK) group of upscale gentlemen`s clubs.

The party will take place at the club at 3355 Procyron Street at Desert Inn Boulevard, just off the Las Vegas Strip, starting at 10 p.m. Dell`Abate will be in town to attend the CES, which he hosted last year. Dell`Abate will be assisted in his hosting duties by beautiful, raven-haired adult star Daisy Duxe, who has appeared in over 150 popular adult films. She is appearing as part of an adult-star extravaganza at the club, where blonde centerfold model and adult star Prinzzess appears on Friday night January 7th.

CES: Achieve new positions

If you’re going to Las Vegas, you might as well go to bed in public. And what better way to do that than on a mattress whose ability to achieve new positions is unrivaled? Leonard Cohen would be jealous.

Yes, it’s true.  There will be a mattress on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center starting January 6 for the 2011 CES show.

Actually, it will be in the Vivon Life booth (South Hall, lower level #22057).  It may be the first sleep mattress ever to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show and we think it will get people to turn their heads and take notice.

CES: Riding in cars with sources

Here’s a note that my editor received from the press agent for Line2, which bills itself as “one of the most famous and best selling apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (Android is being announced just before CES).” Among other things, Line2 “is a second line on your iPhone or Android phone that allows you to place and receive calls and SMS for free over Wi-Fi.  When Wi-Fi is unavailable, Line2 will connect over a 3G/4G data connection or the cellular network.  Never miss a call because you are out of range or Wi-Fi or cellular coverage.”

You have received the following last week but we just wanted to post it again for your convenience

1.    A Car And Driver To Take You To Important CES Appointments

2.    A Six Month Free Trial Subscription of Line2

3.    A 25% Discount on Six Months of Service For All Of Your Readers

4.    A Chance To Say Hello To Peter Sisson, CEO of Toktumi, Parent Company of Line2, On Wednesday Night at Pepcom

CES: You will take this meeting. You will take this meeting.

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as most people call it, produces approximately 1 million press releases for every person who attends the annual Las Vegas technology trade show. (Think: “There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.”)

Here are excerpts from my favorite one so far:

CARDIFF, Calif.,  Jan. 4, 2011  /PRNewswire/ –  Mind Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets: JEDM), announced today that the Company’s management team will be attending the  Consumer Electronics Show (CES)  Conference in  Las VegasJanuary 6-9, 2011.

“We have been contacted by several media outlets for an interview and explanation of our software products,” said Mind Technologies CEO and President,  Brent Fouch. “This particular conference is rich with opportunities for us to build relationships and expose our company to thousands of people at the same time. This is an excellent way for us to kick off our aggressive marketing program we have lined up for 2011,” concluded Fouch.