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Michael Gracie

There Was No Confidentiality Agreement

Mark Cuban’s lawyers press Mamma CEO, but can’t seem to find an agreement of confidentiality.

Again, even if the CEO of Mamma said there was one, I wouldn’t lend any credence to such a statement considering how screwy the company was to begin with.

End note/words of wisdom from the Alley Insider: “Basically, be careful what you agree to keep confidential because it may end up inhibiting your investment decisions in the future.”

Story of the Day: Mark Cuban’s SEC tangle (UPDATED)

Never has a story hit my feed reader from so many angles, and so often. I can’t even sort through what is simply an update to a previous article, and what is new.

Nevertheless, Mark Cuban has been accused of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Cuban has released a brief statement via his attorneys.

I could certainly be wrong, but at first blush the whole thing stinks. The timing is prescient – right in the middle of backlash against the SEC, and calls for investigations against Congress persons who may have been tangled up in mortgage deceit. The target is ripe for distraction creation – Mr. Cuban is extremely outspoken, a very public face, and can easily afford the disgorgement and fines posed for in the complaint without blinking an eye. It makes for quite the display (as the number of news sources covering the issue attests to) – a highly effective sidebar. Further, few are making hay of the bigger story – Mamma.com was always a problem child, as this WSJ snippet points out. How could the SEC take the word of anyone at a company so embroiled in such far-reaching scandal?

I don’t mind playing by the rules because I consider learning said rules, how they work, and their true intent half the fun. I consider those who don’t lazy.

I don’t think Mark Cuban is the lazy type.

UPDATE: A slightly different SEC angle.

The internet is boring?

I say the nightly news is boring – others tend to agree. I say TV in general is boring, and if stuffing programs on your cellphone is the best the hot shot executives can come up with, that isn’t going to change much either. Even the blogosphere is getting boring (or at least the political end of it has) – just more of the same in a different venue.

But it takes a really rich guy (Mark Cuban) to say the whole internet is boring, and I am inclined to disagree with a billionaire for the first time.

I’d say that is akin to declaring that everything inventable has been invented. Whether technologically or via just plain attitude, someone will always rise to shake things up. Or is that exactly what Mark is trying to incite?

My guess is that someone with an “I don’t give a shit” attitude and a helluva set of coding skills is always right around the corner.

Mark Cuban Catches Commoncause.org “Spam”

According to a post by the Dallas Mavs/HDNet owner, Common Cause has been spamming him plenty since he suggested that the idea of a two-tier internet might have some value.

This scenario doesn’t pass the smell test.

Let me first point out that I do not agree with the two-tier concept, but I do not agree with the DearAOL campaign either. Common Cause is part of the DearAOL group. And Cuban and Common Cause don’t agree with each other.

Timely, isn’t it? A very prominent guy gets spam from an organization that is part of a very prominent fight against a very prominent ISP. This is either a big joe job, or a very prominent ISP is now going to be saying “I told you so.”

***UPDATE***

Brian McWilliams is following up with this, noting that Kintera is managing Common Cause’s lists. Interested to hear how this all plays out.

***UPDATE 2***

I was giving Common Cause the benefit of the doubt here, hoping that the spam Mark Cuban was receiving was from some joe-jobber “acting on behalf” of Common Cause (likely to incite some community anger). As it is turning out, Common Cause, through this email form, may actually be enabling users to spam telecomm/media executives (including Cuban), while quietly building their own email list and opting folks into their newsletter.

Holding vigil against one ISP’s solution to a seemingly never-ending spam problem is one thing. But, utilizing spamming in your “Cause” is entirely another.

***UPDATE 3***

Mark Cuban confirmed via email it’s not a joe job.

Blogger takes action

According to Mark Cuban, Google has finally responded to their splog problem. They added word verification to new blogs and blog posts. This means no more automation.

I have two things to say about this: 1) Thanks Google, and 2) interesting how folks move, even big ones like Google, when some multi-billionaire is screaming bloody murder.

***UPDATE***

I may have screwed this one up, as I have been told Google has had the “captcha” in place for a while. If so, then how did the splog bot hit them?

I’s digs ’till I can’ts digs nomore

A couple of days ago, a close friend asked me where the “drive” comes from (I think I am lazy, but that is besides the point). Meaning, why I have so many projects on the plate, and just keep punching away, throwing continually towards the wall – seeing what sticks. Sometimes people tell me “you should just relax, read a novel, watch a little tele.” I read..rarely novels, but right now I am on Fermat’s Enigma (which, by the way, the previously mentioned friend gave to me). My TV gets turned on now and then, but usually just for background noise, and almost always tuned to Discovery Channel.

I don’t like trying to curry favor with people by kissing their behinds. If you can’t stand on your own, you might as well find a nine to five job, buy the stick and stucco in the burbs, write off any chance of catching a marlin on a flyrod, and call it a life. If you can, then the rest should just fall into place, as the ability to create value will always be in demand. Unfortunately for my anti-butt kissing credo, Mark Cuban is at it again, in The Sport of Business .

Like Paul Graham’s piece yesterday, this one hits home, and is well worth your time. To my friend who sometimes doesn’t “get” me, and all the rest who waste time reading my drivel, read Mark’s piece instead (as I couldn’t have explained it better).

Never Argue With Billionaires

Mark Cuban has an interesting post on shorting stocks, entitled I feel so dirty….Naked Shorts.

While most of Mark’s post targets SEC rules regarding stock loan regulation and its related market impact, I am not going to argue with him about shorting as he is right on target (most of the time). I short stocks as well – in fact I short more stock than I buy. Reason being something similar to what Mark says about bias.
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More on the Blogging Assault

Mark Cuban has a follow-up on bloggers pounding traditional media. In Political Bloggers – the new paparazzi, Mark presents the case for mass media outlets to stay on alert over this new force in reporting.

Mr. Cuban suggests that traditional media outlets are going to see continued and accelerating activity from the blogging community, and that more prime-time reporters’ heads may roll as a result. I couldn’t agree more.

Mark also suggested that the powers that be could head off this onslaught by showing some respect for the blogging community, and maybe even invite them in for a little tea and crumpets. I couldn’t agree more, again.

But it just won’t happen. There is too much money (and arrogance) at play here. I suspect the bloodbath will continue.

Meanwhile, when is my streamed, holographic, scent dispersing, “jump-into-the-set” programming going to start, Mark?

You can read my original, comic post here.