After the One-Hit Wonder
They hit it big. Really big. But then what?
By JEFF MAY
Pet rocks. Cabbage
Patch Kids. The Rubik’s Cube. The marketplace, like the Billboard
charts, is full of one-hit wonders—products that come out of nowhere,
capture the national imagination, then just as quickly turn into punch
lines and trivia answers.
But what about the entrepreneurs behind these creations? What do they do after the novelty of their novelty products wears off?
We decided to find out. We tracked
down four people who introduced some of the most popular fad items of
the past few decades to find out how they handled their sudden
prosperity—and rapid exit from the limelight. Some were relaxing and
enjoying their spoils. Others were trying to capture lightning in a
bottle one more time.
Here are their stories.
Stuck on Poetry
A sneeze helped make Dave Kapell the spiritual bard of the refrigerator door.
Back in 1993, the Minneapolis native
was an aspiring musician who liked to cut up his diaries and rearrange
the words to create song lyrics. But he was prone to allergies and, with
the pollen count soaring one day, he sneezed and scattered an
almost-finished song. An idea was born: Why not stick magnets on the
bits of paper and affix them to a cookie sheet to keep them in place?
The contraption stayed in Mr. Kapell’s room for a few months until he
threw a house party and needed the cookie sheet for baking. The word
magnets went up on the refrigerator—and throughout the night, Mr.
Kapell’s friends kept stealing back to the kitchen to scramble the
lyrics. The next day, he got a half-dozen orders for the magnet kits.
“Within a month of the party, it was like I was selling drugs out of
my house,” says Mr. Kapell, who is 48. “It went viral before viral was a
Soon he was making more from his Magnetic Poetry kits than from his $8-an-hour job in data entry, which he promptly quit.
Friends in retail said he might not have a lot of time to exploit his
big opportunity. So, he pored over books on start-ups and worked
90-hour weeks to build the brand. By 1995, Mr. Kapell and a partner had
set up a company, U.S. Magnetix, to produce custom magnets in China. To
get prime placement for his kits, he prowled gift-shop conferences and
craft fairs, where he found himself treated like the rock god he once
dreamed of becoming.
“I knew that I had hit an atypical home run,” he says. “At trade shows, everyone would say, ‘Everyone wants to be you.’ “
Kapell wooed big chain bookstores to get prime locations in their
checkout aisles but didn’t ignore mom-and-pop stores. He says his close
relationship with that close-knit segment has kept copycat products off
To encourage repeat customers, Mr. Kapell started brainstorming new
ideas, such as packs with oversize words for kids, foreign-language
versions and ones with themes such as geeks, Christmas and bike lovers.
“I don’t necessarily like the business side of this,” he says. “Dotting
the i’s and crossing the t’s is not what I’m best at. But I like coming
up with new products.”
That urge, however, led to some missteps. In the late 1990s, Mr.
Kapell tried to develop a software version of the poetry kits, as well
as a game. Both led to steep losses. Another venture, Poetry Stones—a
kit that let crafters frame their messages in quick-set cement—was
initially successful but tailed off quickly.
Fad Blasts from the Past
These days, the recession has hurt sales, as
have the tenuous fortunes of his two biggest customers, Borders and
Barnes & Noble. Mr. Kapell says he is looking to broaden
distribution and is considering a Magnetic Poetry app for the iPhone and
iPad. He’s also making changes in his company’s online store to make
direct sales easier.
In general, though, he says he’s content to issue a half-dozen or
more variations on the original kit each year. A zombie-themed kit is
popular, he says, and erotic-word versions are perennial favorites. A
recent golf-lovers’ kit, on the other hand, was a dud.
Mr. Kapell wouldn’t respond to questions about exactly how much he’s
made from the kits. But, he says, even with the current slowdown,
profits from Magnetic Poetry have allowed him to play gigs more than he
ever could as a struggling musician. He frequently plays ukulele with a
local burlesque troupe and drags along a vintage stand-up bass on
camping trips with friends. His house is decked out with a grand piano
and a 70-piece ukulele collection.
And he thinks the business has staying power. “It’s not a pet rock,”
Mr. Kapell says. “It actually has utility. We get letters from people
every day who are fans.”
It’s All In the Wrist
Robert Croak had built a nice business marketing novelty
products, but he wanted something that could lift his company into the
On a trip to a supplier in China in
2007, the Toledo, Ohio, businessman came across a product that seemed to
fit the bill: a thin, brightly colored silicone band shaped like an
animal. It was designed for office workers, but Mr. Croak thought the
concept had much greater potential as a mass-market bracelet for
children. So, he began working on his own variation on the theme—Silly
The 47-year-old Mr. Croak says the product sold in dribs and drabs at
first. But he says he knew he had a hit on his hands when a store
called in late 2007 and ordered 500 packs. “Within 10 days or two weeks,
the phone started ringing off the hook,” he says.
Marketed in theme packs for under $5, the bracelets became a huge
schoolyard fad and eventually sold in the millions. To stoke interest,
Mr. Croak and his team at BCP Imports LLC kept releasing new themes,
from animals to popular cartoon characters to corporate logos.
Early on, however, BCP couldn’t keep up with demand—or answer all the
calls coming in from frantic retailers. An eight-line phone system was
hastily upgraded to 48 lines. The company’s lone server proved
inadequate after a CBS News segment on Silly Bandz led to 11 million
hits on the product website; the company now has three servers.
“It was difficult,” Mr. Croak says. “We had to figure out how to
handle all the growth. But I always tell people, if you hear me
complain, slap me.”
the economy crumbled in 2008, sales of Silly Bandz kept growing. At one
point, the company was so overwhelmed with shipping orders that Mr.
Croak sent out a plea for night-shift workers on Facebook. A few hours
later, a line of applicants snaked around the block. “We had to lock the
door because we had so many people show up,” Mr. Croak says.
The hiccups in logistics allowed copycat manufacturers to get a
foothold. “I don’t think the knockoffs would have really gained any
ground had the retailers not been in dire need of inventory,” Mr. Croak
says, adding that BCP is vigorous in protecting its copyrights.
Although demand is rising for Silly Bandz abroad, the product has
already peaked in the U.S. Mr. Croak says he was planning for a slowdown
a year ago, and so BCP has introduced a range of new items: the Slap
Watch, which has an oversized, brightly colored silicone wristband; Rad
Bandz, thick rubber bracelets imprinted with stylized words such as
“Drama” and “Epic Fail”; and RadRingz, a colorful, two-finger ring—Mr.
Croak calls it “half a brass knuckle”—with removable faceplates.
“The goal is to become a lifestyle brand of fun, innovative new fashion products that kids can buy for under $20,” he says.
Mr. Croak won’t disclose just how much his breakout product brings
in, except to say that the profits are in the “millions per year,” and
he’s probably set for life. What’s more, “Silly Bandz gives me the
capability to dream big and not be stifled by lack of resources.”
He says he realizes he may not ever have a hit like Silly Bandz
again. Yet he still gets a kick when he sees his products in a store,
and wants to keep the momentum going. “To me, it’s about the chase and
conquer,” he says.
Michael Lerner’s journey to entrepreneurial stardom
began with a white-knuckled ride down Storrow Drive in Boston.
Mr. Lerner had agreed to drive his
18-month-old nephew home after a Sunday gathering at his parents’ house
in 1984. Childless himself, he soon realized he had failed to account
for the hell-bent traffic on Storrow, a notoriously busy expressway
along the Charles River. “People were tailgating me and cutting me off,”
he says. “For the first time, I felt like a parent feels when they have
a kid in the car.”
Soon after that nerve-wracking trip, a friend called with a tip for
Mr. Lerner, who was looking to move out of the executive-search business
and into consumer products. Two sisters wanted to sell a safety sign
for car windows; they had seen it in Europe but didn’t know how to
It was kismet. Mr. Lerner struck a licensing deal for what would
become the Baby on Board sign. “I believe things happen for a reason,”
says Mr. Lerner, now 59.
Using his contacts in the retail industry, he started pitching to big
department stores. The first month, his company, Safety 1st, sold
10,000 signs. Within nine months, it was selling 500,000 a month. “It
ramped up real fast,” he says. “Around Boston, I couldn’t go down the
street on a particular day without seeing one.”
By 1985, the first knockoffs started appearing, but Mr. Lerner had
developed strong relationships with his retailers and was able to
protect his shelf space. Sales really didn’t start to dip until the
parodies came, like “Mother-in-law in Trunk” and “Baby, I’m bored.”
“They weren’t funny at the time to me,” Mr. Lerner says. “But they really were a little funny.”
the start of 1986, the fad was fading. Safety 1st had already
introduced other products, including a Tot Spotter decal to help
firefighters quickly locate bedrooms where children might be sleeping.
But Mr. Lerner saw a bigger opportunity in child-safety products for the
At the time, gadgets like outlet covers and drawer locks were
consigned to odd corners of hardware stores and other hard-to-find
spots. Starting in 1987, Mr. Lerner began transforming the sales niche
with more colorful packaging, new designs and lower prices. “We had a
really good, innovative team,” Mr. Lerner says. “We were very nimble.”
Safety 1st also capitalized on the rise of the big-box stores,
developing strong bonds with companies such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Wal-Mart and
Kmart. Between 1989 and 1996, sales grew to $105.8 million from $7.7
million, according to regulatory filings. By 1999, with sales at $158
million, the company began fielding buyout offers—and ultimately agreed
to be acquired by Canadian company Dorel Industries Inc. in June 2000.
It was then that Mr. Lerner got his big payday. During the Baby on
Board boom times, he says, he reinvested the profits from the product to
fund the growth of Safety 1st, so didn’t see any real money until the
sale—$38 million, according to regulatory filings. (He also sold some
shares during Safety 1st’s initial public offering.)
After the sale, Mr. Lerner spent much of the next decade traveling,
spending time with family and playing golf—which led him to his current
venture. He damaged some ligaments in his thumb, and after surgery the
digit would get inflamed after workouts or golf games. Then he started
using a therapeutic band that helped eliminate the inflammation and the
need to routinely ice the thumb.
The band worked so well that he decided to sell his own version of
it, through a Boston-area start-up called True Power. The company, which
has testimonials from several New England Patriots, claims the bands
use negative ions to speed oxygen delivery in the blood, which in turn
hastens recovery from injury and fatigue.
“I know there’s some skepticism about the product with some people,
but it really does work,” Mr. Lerner says, adding, “It’s easy to sell a
product, but it’s more meaningful to sell a product that adds value.”
Big Hair Day
May 2007 was not shaping up as a banner month
for Kelly Fitzpatrick-Bennett. Her career as a mortgage broker was on
the rocks as the California real-estate market imploded, and her first
husband had just filed for divorce. “I was sitting in my room crying,
which is unusual because I’m so optimistic,” she says.
An episode of “The Big Idea with Donny
Deutsch” popped up on the television, and Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett was
captivated. Mr. Deutsch talked about finding something you love to do
and using that to come up with a money-making venture. She watched the
program three nights in a row and read through a list of recommended
books on start-ups.
Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett, now 48, knew one thing she loved: styling
hair. She had run a small salon from 1994 to 2001, and her customers
invariably wanted their hair to appear fuller. A good stylist can bump
up hair to give it more volume, but that wasn’t an everyday option for
most of her clients. At the time, she wondered if a hair insert could
solve the problem, but never followed it up.
Now she pursued the solution with a vengeance, crafting prototypes
out of popsicle sticks, Velcro and whatever else came to hand. She used
her college-age daughter, Katherine, as a half-willing test subject.
“Growing up poor, I was a chick MacGyver,” she says. “If you didn’t have something, you make something.”
enlisted a design engineer to help smooth out flaws in her model, a
crescent-shaped insert that propped up teased-back hair and gave it
extra loft. Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett dubbed it the Bumpit, and a friend
with a plastic-injection-molding business began limited production of
She also set up a website and an office in Fresno, Calif., for her
company, which she called Big Happie Hair. Her title: chief executive
Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett started going to hair-product shows, and the
response was immediate and overwhelming. “Our booth would be mobbed the
entire day,” she says.
Her friend’s manufacturing business could only provide 200 units a
week, not nearly enough to meet demand, so she found another supplier in
San Francisco. With more inventory, the company was ready for more
exposure, but Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett didn’t want to pay for a
professionally produced commercial. So she made a homemade one featuring
her daughter and some of her sorority sisters, who were paid $50 each
plus dinner from Panda Express.
When the ad showed up on MTV, orders came pouring in. Soon
celebrities were touting the Bumpit, including Carrie Underwood,
American Idol participants and Miss USA contestants, Ms.
Big Happie Hair’s 20-person operation found it difficult to keep up
with orders, and Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett realized she needed a partner
with better distribution. In 2009, she struck a deal with Allstar
Products Group, a company that licenses such products as the Snuggie
blanket, promoting them under its “As Seen on TV” brand.
Last year, though, sales started to slip, and parodies started
popping up on TV. Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett says she doesn’t mind the
backlash. “As long as people are talking about it, it’s good,” she says.
“Most late-night shows did spoofs, and we loved it.”
At its peak, the Bumpit sold at a clip of a million units a month.
Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett’s current business plan calls for sales of about
20,000 a month. “I was pretty realistic in knowing it would only have a
year of good life and then it would just sit and stop,” Ms.
With more time on her hands, Ms. Fitzpatrick-Bennett has begun to
look for bargains in rental properties and foreclosed homes. She won’t
say just how much she’s taken in from her signature product, but “she
could retire now,” she says.
Meanwhile, the money has allowed her to buy a large Tudor mansion
with four guest houses, and she drives a new Honda CRV instead of a used
car. (Some of her newfound good times aren’t tied to money, of course:
She remarried in December.)
A follow-up product to the Bumpit hasn’t fared as well as the
original, but “I would love to continue inventing other products,” Ms.
Fitzpatrick-Bennett says. “If I had a dollar for everyone who said no,
I’d be richer than I already am. When someone says no, there’s always
Here is the receipt for the joel osteen order i had ordered in feb. but never received i will try again to see if i can get this rectified but here is the receipt… i think i will also put this post in the www,mysearchforjustice.com I don’t believe that joel osteen or any of his ministry would ever not send a product that i ordered or paid for but it may be important if there are still thefts from the mail ( may i remind you it is a felony…….to steal property form a mail box… or if it is worse yet..that it is still dealing with identity theft… or some other crime by the criminals who have destroyed my life!
Dear mary jean ziska,
Thank you for your order. Please review your order details below.
Believing Gods Best for your life
So I had bought an American express gift card…. to be able to send my mother a special treat for her b-day while she was away… i tried to make it a cake…then turned into a piece of cake… and eventually nothing seemed to be working…. but… she was happy that i was able to Skype her and wish her Happy Birthday…
so since i wasn’t able to use the card… for whatever reason… ( didn’t really make any sense…) I went t on line to t go and get those beach balls that i raved about ages ago.. and you won’t believe this they are out of stock…HA!
Here is the chat that transpired today concerning the order and purchase of the beach balls.. i actually thought the lag time for orders would be much faster…. we will wait and see when they come back… if anyone finds anything like it let me know…or if they are back in stock earlier let me know Thanks luv mary jean ziskaa
since i didn’t get to speak with my mom last night about the movie taken i thought I’d just jot down some thoughts from my own experiences.. and from my mom’s insights in traveling internationally….. if i had been able to share some experiences.. I would have been able to reminisce to my mom about when we went to Egypt… this trip was only us girls and my mom…. and while we were there we got to see some sightseeing…including seeing the pyramids… in fact we went inside the pyramids… i have a few pictures of myself and my sisters in front of the pyramids… and i even have a pyramid in silver on my charm bracelet… while sightseeing.. we had the opportunity to go up inside the pyramids… my mom was a bit tired and at first decided to just rest and let the guide take us(myself and my sisters) up …. we stated on our way.and i guess all her maternal instincts kicked in… and she thought better of leaving three daughters with a strange guide.. and she caught up with us right away… as a friend of mine used to say…..Sheesh….. probably a smart move…
its traveling and visiting other countries that somehow makes people think they are impervious to crime.. but in reality .. it happens in all sorts of areas… and being aware and I’ve found… saying “NO” first… probably saved me from a lot of really sticky situations…. another situation when who knows what cold have happened… was saying no to the guys who wanted Lucy and i to go on this yacht in Monte Carlo…..Maybe it could have been harmless… but after seeing “TAKEN” what if it hadn’t been?
Even when Sondra and i were backpacking and had made it to Athlens… we had met this really cute blond guy who gave us a flyer and i think he even led us to a hostel… where it was horrid conditions.. and we later left..but had a hassle getting our passports back.. and what if it hadn’t been a hostel…. Sheesh.. i think i had some serious guardian angels watching over me for a great majority of my life…. and i am really grateful!
my mom was really diligent about informig us of safety tips… so much so that one year we gave her the book of’ worst case scenarios” and I think the inscription inside we told her she was born to even write a book like this.. she was preparing us for all the information in the book… and additional information…. all of our lives……. HA! got to say… my mom definitely gave me a head start when traveling back and forth from boarding school… when being on any of her trips to India, Africa or going anywhere in the world… and when i went backpacking…. and even when i was in school in France…. the information i learned early on concerning caution… and awareness.. and observing everything really was helpful… and even though it seems a bit redundant at at times if she hadn’t’ repeated information many times.. maybe it wouldn’t have stuck… and who knows what could have happened… so movies like “taken”.. I think are really helpful…and thank god have a positive outcome for a few of the girls in the movie…
So while reading this article… i had some thoughts on how this
could be used in even a small business like the babysitting business… i
had checked into the prospect of having sprint phones used by the
sitters when Sprint had additional phones for a corporate account at a
rate of $10.00 i was hoping they could be used for emergencies.. for
payments and for accessing the sitters …… this was in 2007 and
technology has grown in leaps and bounds.. so much so that the
possibility of having phones as integrable parts of any business could
be to a great advantage…
1. money and payments: the possibility of actually using a swipe
card reader for payment is now pretty common place… in fact the
innovations of using apps and your phone as a wallet has been in
articles in the WSJ for a while… i don’t know if all the security
glitches have been worked out yet.. but what an interesting concept.. to
be able to not only pay the sitter immediately but also to make sure
the moneys for the business are put directly into an account as
2. I really like this option of a remote clearing of information as
credit card info is so valuable that being able to remove it from an
employee’s phone would greatly help with the liability and security
issues for our business…
3. I was wondering as a side note whether the iphone would also be
able to have an app.. that would not only have a GPS locating device
to know when the person was at the location for work or if they were
late… but also would be able to start the credit card process… when
they arrived… and properly logged into the account /app …. then
also be able to designate the location and time of hours worked… be
able to automatically calculate the time worked and then put the
appropriate moneys it the appropriate account and verify with an email
4. the benefits of using an iPhone …. and even Skype or other
video monitoring program would be a safety and added benefit for not
only the sitter, the parents and even the owner of he business…..
I had these ans so many other ideas to increase the benefits of
using a phone especially an iPhone… for business…. in so many
varied businesses….. the applications are endless… and the
technology is improving each and every day…
So You Want to Use Your iPhone for Work? Uh-oh.
How the smartest companies are letting employees use their personal gadgets to do
By ROGER CHENG
For lots of workers, the company BlackBerry just doesn’t cut it anymore.
As people pack increasingly sophisticated smartphones in their
personal life, they’re clamoring to use those gadgets in the workplace
as well. And many of their bosses are loosening up. They’re ditching the
traditional BlackBerry-or-nothing policy and allowing a wider range of
mobile devices, including tablets such as the iPad.
This arrangement can bring benefits for both sides. Businesses don’t
have to buy as many phones for employees. Employees, meanwhile, don’t
have to carry two devices around, and people who didn’t get a company
phone before can have one now.
But there are a lot of potential pitfalls, too. Few smartphones offer
the security features that the BlackBerry is known for. IT departments
also struggle with supporting business programs on newer mobile
operating systems such as Google Inc.’s Android. What’s more, allowing
personal phones raises a tough question: How much control does a company
have over the device? What happens, for instance, when somebody leaves
the company—and their phone is loaded with sensitive business documents?
The companies that have seen the most success
are giving their employees the most freedom—but are also seeking a
higher level of accountability. They’re asking that workers take
responsibility for keeping the device safe by managing passwords and
complex security functions, as well as shouldering part of the cost.
“Companies that are being successful are moving away from dictatorial
approach to a shared-responsibility model,” says Ken Dulaney, an
analyst for research firm Gartner Inc.
Here’s a look at some of the smartest strategies that companies are using to maintain the balance.
Locking and Deleting
Most companies start with a very basic
line of defense: insisting that workers use the password feature found
in every smartphone. The password prevents other users from accessing
any of the phone’s basic functions, forcing most run-of-the-mill thieves
to erase the device to make it usable. That’s critical, because
employees will often store emails and attachments with corporate data or
information about future projects on their phones.
But passwords aren’t foolproof, and a technically savvy crook could
break through the defense. So, what should companies do for an extra
layer of protection?
Kimberly-Clark Corp. has a hard-line solution: If a phone is lost or
stolen, or an employee leaves, the company erases the device remotely.
The company began allowing employees to use their personal
smartphones to access their corporate email accounts in December. Since
the change in policy, roughly 300 employees have connected their
personal smartphones to their work email accounts, according to Ramon
Baez, chief information officer for the company.
“Since these are small devices and are easily misplaced or stolen, it
is vital for a company to have the ability to wipe company-sensitive
information,” says Mr. Baez. The company will wipe a device as soon as
it is reported lost, or if the user reaches the maximum number of
attempts with an incorrect password.
A rundown of outside devices, software and Internet services, and the problems they can cause for the IT department.
Of course, a remote erasing also deletes any
personal information on the phone, such as contact numbers and family
photos. But the threat of losing all that may help make people more
vigilant about keeping track of the phone.
Still, the practice isn’t foolproof, because a phone needs to be
connected to a cellular network to be wiped. Mr. Baez is working on a
“self destruct” option that would automatically erase a phone in case
it’s lost and disconnected for an extended period of time.
And the practice doesn’t work everywhere. In China and South Korea,
employers by law aren’t allowed to erase the personal data on their
workers’ phones, according to Mr. Baez. So, he doesn’t allow employees
in those countries to use personal devices in the workplace.
Walling Off Data
Sometimes it’s not enough to erase data
after a phone is out of a worker’s hands. Companies in a range of
industries—such as medicine or finance—have to do a lot more to protect
sensitive data while employees are still using the devices. Medical
companies, for instance, have to follow rules under the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act that protect customer data. In some
cases, that means having patients’ information on a regular personal
cellphone isn’t permitted.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. uses software from Good Technology
Inc. to carve out a part of an employee’s device strictly for corporate
use. Guru Vasudeva, chief technology officer of Nationwide, calls the
portion a “secure container” within the phone that houses access to
corporate email, address book and calendar. Work emails and attachments
can be viewed in the container, but can’t be moved or downloaded into
the phone itself. If the phone is lost or if the person leaves the
company, Nationwide can wipe that portion of the device, leaving the
personal information intact.
Beyond the typical password found on a
cellphone, the container has its own password, and the data inside are
encrypted, says Mr. Vasudeva.
“We looked for a technical solution with the flexibility to allow
what [the employees] want, but at the same time meet all regulatory and
technical requirements,” says Mr. Vasudeva.
Dealing With Variety
Beyond security, there are lots of
technical headaches with workers using their own devices on the job. For
one, compatibility. With a wide variety of devices using different
operating systems, it takes lots of time and resources to build and test
a different version of the same application for every single one.
For the time being, most companies are trying to avoid those
headaches by keeping things simple. Workers who use their own
smartphones generally can get access only to the company email
network—not any other work software. The more complicated stuff, such as
apps that provide access to company software and databases, is
generally limited to the widely used BlackBerry platform.
Kimberly-Clark is looking to partners
such as AT&T Inc. to help it create a mobile-enterprise-application
platform. This relatively new technology allows a company to create one
app and have it run on all devices. For instance, a company could create
an app that accesses customer-relationship-management software in the
corporate database and have it distributed to all sales personnel,
regardless of their phones. By using the technology, the company “gains
the ability to effectively manage the cost of supporting many different
devices,” Mr. Baez says.
A Virtual Solution
Some companies are working on other ways
to give workers access to more than company email. They’re using a
technique called virtualization to let workers tap into a much wider
range of software. Companies put software, from providers such as Citrix
Systems Inc., on the workers’ portable gadgets. The employees can then
use that software to access their entire desktop on the device—and use
the same programs on the road that they use in the office.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC, for instance, is testing these kinds of
systems for use with tablets such as the iPad. Placing virtualization
software on employees’ personal tablets is less expensive than
outfitting them with company-purchased laptops, says Jay Crotts, the
company’s vice president of IT services.
Virtualization provides an answer to a basic question, he says: “How
can you increase productivity and allow more ubiquitous access?”
New Ways to Pay
Not all of the problems with smartphones are
technical. There’s also the matter of cost. Smartphone bills can be
steep for regular users—and most people want the company to kick in if
they’re using the phone for work too.
Companies that have embraced personal devices have also found ways to
reimburse employees for their phone use. Mr. Dulaney, the Gartner
analyst, says one common solution is to use a telecom expense-management
program, which allocates some expenses to the company and some to the
In some cases, companies pay for the whole data portion of the bill.
Some companies go further and cover the whole thing. The situations
vary, and depend on the type of employee and the type of company
involved. For instance, a factory worker who’s on call might get
compensated for voice but not data, while an executive might get fully
covered for the phone.
Nationwide gives employees who would otherwise have a company
BlackBerry a stipend equal to what their BlackBerry bills would have
been, which ranges from $70 to $100 a month. The worker has to cover the
difference. Employees who would not have gotten a BlackBerry are
responsible for their whole bill, since for them the access to the
corporate data is voluntary and considered a perk.
“We think it’s a fair deal,” says Mr. Vasudeva.
Mr. Cheng is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in New York. He can be reached at
so i just watched “TAKEN” .. and really had wanted to talk about it.. and wanted to talk to my mother about it…but instead i got another spoofing… horrid criminal .. one that actually sounded drunk… which i know couldn’t possibly be my mother.. or my sisters… or any of my friends… and this person wouldn’t discuss the feelings of a mother when letting her daughter go off to boarding school when she was 14 years old.. of traveling internationally when I was 14.. or for that matter going into school in France when i was 17- 18…. the spoofing scummmmmm people on the phone… not really family or friends…
more than likely since the phone line to the one apartment also is still connected to the main phone lines and the criminals have been able to manipulate phone connections.. and send bully emails… through her wireless internet.. thus that is how the bully girls are sendign emails when my mom is usually asleep… i really want them in jail…. and no surprise that they dont want a police person renting and stayng in her home … criminals never do… and so wonder that the person on the phone is unable to answer any questions concerning my life with my mother or my family… a stranger never would be able to answer those questions…
and thank god i called manuria… who actually said she spoke with my mom… and no the world is not falling apart… her business is fine and my sisters condo is fine… and she promised that no one will do anything to my life as well…. no matter what the criminals on the phone threaten … and for the past few days they have been threatening… one of them actually sounded really jealous .. that i had a nice life… now there is a person who is emailing.. so guess we are back to the criminals and the spoof cards of 2007…. the one who lets the phone off the hook and keeps typing… mean emails… the girl/boy criminal with a gregory marion cell phone caller id… though now that i have made this public.. it could possibly just be a copy cat… who gets a hard on by inflicting emotional distress… really classy.. right?
…. but it still only has the one message on the voice mail… go figure…. i have to deal with the mean and evil witch from2007… and all the bully emails? … possibly Ohio state person…. like karen kahel..or one of her counterparts.. or perhaps… still… or since “Ron” moved back..or at least that is the claim it must be one of the “whore to doors”… who enjoy harming me and my family and the relationships of my life.. they get a kick off of causing emotional distress.. probably get sheer pleasure from seeing a girl cry.. and of course they do this because they sue don’t want some one to have the life they have lied and cheated and stolen.. from people like myself… what a waste of energy… they will never have ever had the life i had in the time frame i had it.. and by lying or belittling my famly or my famly life.. it will not change it …. it will not change it at all… it will not change anything
i tried to called to speak to scott renshaw.. but instead spoke to a person who doesn’t under stand the English language very well… and went to Baylor university…. and just told me he was my friend…. when we Skyped… not the Skype kid who put his hand over the camera the last time i tried to just skype on a friendly basis…. but he kept telling me he didn’t understand.(?) … anyway…. i was going to talk to him about the movie..about his daughter traveling at 11 alone…. but that he didn’t watch the movie… then almost at every comment … he said he didn’t understand… wonder if he would have understood if i had said i had won the Florida state lottery…HA! i bet all the criminals would be as sweet as anything…. if money was involved… or maybe just more evil… who knows? but a very frustrating and worthless evening trying to share ideas/thoughts on a really great movie… i mean i understand if someone gets to get someone else upset they think they have” won” like karen kahel when she jumped up and down when she made me cry… it gives a sense of power to a bully… just ask any of the people who are featured on bullicide... the website…dedicated to suicide that were caused by bullies…. or ask charlie sheen… about winning? right? that s the exact word used in a different tense… used by karne kahel when she bullied me to tears…. that she got me upset.. so she believes she won…
The method… this evening…. making someone feel less than valuable ….. ( ie taking the phone of the hook…. making up lies to upset them… ie ( lies about my family… my business.. even the state of the economy…. then to belittle a person… by trying to make them feel like they don’t make sense… or they don’t matter… or what they have to contribute to a conversation is not valuable… even going so far as to say they don’t make sense… wow... this stuff is good…… or getting someone upset… it gives a bully power…. they get a
thrill from it… and a bullyisnot a freind nor a great family member
If it could get a bunch of teenagers to commit suicide… I guess these same tactics are good enough for the uncaring and selfish criminals on the the phone… this evening… using words to demean…( though t it is funny that they get upset at profanity…. so are they children? or just screwed up religious freaks who don’t practice what they preach? or just frauds ….. all round frauds…. who use words to demean..and belittle.. to bully and cause emotional pain and suffering… … or getting someone upset… it gives a bully power…. they get a thrill from it… and a bully is not a friend nor a great family member or someone who should be in anyone’s life…
would be pretty funny to find out i won money…. I’ll bet 200 million dollars would change a lot of people’s attitudes… but hey would still be bullies and fakes and frauds…. guess its good that i get t o see them all in their true colors…now HA!
Funny article from the WSJ this past weekend… even funnier since this past week or two featured James Bond movies on television… maybe we have a spy amongst us? HA!
Lessons Learned From Bond—James Bond
The author of the latest 007 novel shares tricks of the espionage trade, from losing a tail to forging signatures
the greatest pleasures I get as a novelist is researching a field I
wasn’t previously familiar with, then incorporating the resulting
material into my novels.
For “Carte Blanche,” the newest James
Bond novel, I soaked up a number of fascinating factoids about
tradecraft—the subdued term for the techniques of espionage. My
knowledge will have faded in a few years, but in the short term, I’m a
bit of a spymaster. I thought I might share a few of the more useful
tricks of the trade, in case you find yourself tapped (recruited) by a
handler (the spy who supervises field agents) to help out the pros.
Apparently this happens quite frequently. At least according to Hollywood.
• To be a spy, you don’t need to break
into top-secret facilities, climb through air ducts and make your way
through laser beam fields. Yes, agents do some of that acrobatic stuff,
as well as sit in front of really neat high-def monitors, a la Jack
Bauer in “24,” while vacuuming up cellphone calls and emails. But a huge
amount of “product,” as intelligence is called, comes from open
sources, information available to everyone, found in newspapers, on TV,
in unclassified government, corporate and nonprofit reports and from
observations in public. You can be sure that somebody in Russia’s SVR,
one of the KGB’s successor agencies, is jotting down notes about this
article even as you read it.
• Think you’re
being tailed? If you’re on foot in the city, never look behind you; the
agent will quickly hand off to another member of the surveillance team.
Find a commercial street with stores or restaurants whose entrances
have large, angled windows. They provide perfect mirrors to get a
glimpse of a tail. Take several random turns to verify that you’re the
target, but be sure to stop at several stores on your route and make
actual purchases to justify your complicated route and convince your
tail that you are oblivious to him.
What you do when you lead him into a dark alleyway is your own business.
• Are you the tailer rather than the
tailee? If you’re conducting surveillance or following somebody who is
frequently adopting disguises to throw you off, remember three
distinctive things about the target: height, proportion of shoulder
width to size of head and angle of foot (outward or inward pointing).
Even if the target changes clothes, makeup, hats, posture and hair
style, those three characteristics can’t be altered credibly or
• If you need to disguise yourself,
remember that less is more. “Mission: Impossible” rubber masks and
prosthetics only work at considerable distance. For face-to-face
disguises, the most important trick is to use a dental apparatus to give
you bad teeth. The attention of the person you’re trying to fool will
automatically be drawn to your mouth, even if they try to maintain eye
forge a subject’s signature—to, say, sign a document as part of a
misinformation assignment—copy it upside down. If you try to forge
handwriting without inverting it, your own script will affect the
• Dead drops are locations where one
agent leaves an item, like classified documents or cash, for another to
retrieve later. Usually the objects are left in a CD, that is, a
concealment device. Outdoors, your best CDs are objects naturally found
on the ground and of little interest to passersby. They’re called
“sticks and bricks” because that’s often what they are: hollowed out
branches and fake stones. Freeze-dried dead animals are popular too.
Just make sure there’s no one around to wonder why you’re dropping a
dead rat into your attaché case.
• If you think your dead drop has been
compromised and is under surveillance, go on the offensive against the
enemy; try a Trojan Horse operation. Leave a double concealment device,
one with two hidden compartments, at the drop. The CD’s first
compartment, which can be opened, should contain a large sum of money or
secret documents (stolen from the enemy). In the second chamber, which
can’t be opened, put a tracker or listening device. Once the enemy
agents take it back to their safe house, it’s sure to be scanned for
radio or data transmissions; make sure the unit has timing software so
that it will not start sending signals for two or three days.
• A good
way to get a listening device into the home of a target is to adopt an
NOC (non-official cover) as a salesman—of household items, for instance.
Follow the target’s spouse to the grocery store and gently ding his or
her car with your own. Apologize profusely and say that you’d prefer not
to report the accident to your insurance company. Give the spouse much
more money than it would cost to fix the damage (cash is too suspicious;
use a check from an account set up under your NOC). Then further make
nice by giving away one of your samples, like an expensive salt and
pepper set, which will, of course, have a transmitter inside—again,
timed for delayed transmission.
• If you’re concerned that someone is
tapping your mobile or land line, you can always come up with a
prearranged vocabulary of code words to convey messages in the course of
what seems to be an innocent conversation. Or use silent calling, in
which a certain interval of silence between pick-up and hang-up conveys a
message. Five seconds means to do X, 10 seconds is Y, etc.
• Who hasn’t spent sleepless nights
worried about double agents? Moles have existed since the profession of
espionage began. Motivation is the prime criterion in deciding if
someone spying for you is legitimate. Apply the MICE test: Is he working
for you because of the Money, out of Ideology, because he’s being
Coerced or because of his Ego? If he doesn’t score high on any of those
measures, he could be a double.
• If you’re a spy, you have to
communicate, sharing with your handler both operational information and
the product you’ve gathered. Most spies avoid public meetings, and
instead use covert communications (covcom) or clandestine communications
(clancom) to swap information.
Covcom occurs when the message itself
is detectable (though possibly encrypted), but the sender and recipient
are unknown. Classic techniques include using anonymous email accounts
and broadcasting information via radio. Clancom is when the message
itself is hidden. Steganography is the art of hiding information, and
the practice is thousands of years old. In the mid-20th century
microdots were the preferred form of steganography, and spy agencies’
technical services departments vied to outdo their opponents in making
the messages smaller and smaller.
Today spies use computer
steganography, in which the binary codes of photos, videos or music are
modified to contain digital messages. To the naked eye and ear, these
seem to be just any other digital media. But after being downloaded by
the recipient, they can be quickly processed by special software, and
the message extracted.
You might have noticed that I’ve
neglected to offer any insight into one particular aspect of espionage.
In reality, spies rarely assassinate anyone. Accordingly, and for the
sake of personal liability, I thought I’d avoid helpful hints I’ve
learned about targeted killings. If you really need some help in that
department, the best I’ll offer is that drone strikes seem to work
—Mr. Deaver is the author of 27 novels. “Carte Blanche” is due out June 14.
Friday June 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm
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Glee Tour – East Rutherford
Thursday June 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm
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Monday June 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm
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New Kids on the Block with Backstreet Boys
Sunday June 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm
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New Kids on the Block with Backstreet Boys
Monday June 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm
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Very interesting article and company LIGHTBANK article in this last weekend “s weekend journal:
Groupon’s billionare in waiting:
in article ” he ( Eric Lefkofsky ) says his focus is on Groupon and the more than 20 companies he and Mr. Keywell have funded through their $100 million fund called LIGHTBANK. ”
here is a link from their website lightbank.com
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I know i’ve mentioned selfish people before… and mentioned horrid phone calls before.. but i wanted to mention Joel Osteen’s sermon today… about using words to encourage people.. using words to compliment people… and using words to make a person feel better… to change their day possibly change their lives…
So i have had some people who have made a huge impact on my life by the encouragement they have given me at different time in my life and then of course there have been the bully girls and boys who have done nothing but damage my life.. mostly to better their own… i guess… they are just selfish.. just petty and mean spirited .. just rotten to the core.. the people who twist a conversation into the wrong conversation.. a bunch of really horrid girls who try to continually make me into this horrid person…. nonsense and lies by twisting what was said and how it was said… ..
just today… i tried to call my mom on 239-598-1515 to tell about a few movies or television programs i thought she might like to see… and to discuss… or WSJ articles she might like to talk about…. there was a movie that i thought she had seen ages ago and would appreciate that was on the television this morning while i was on the treadmill… it was with sally field called “not without my daughter” really touching how loyal and devoted this mother was to bringing her self and her daughter back to America… amidst such a very harsh time period in history…
The way i grew up in Saudi was very different… especially since we were in an American compound run by the oil company…. and both my parents are American…. though we had friends from all over the world… and got to travel everywhere as well…
anyway… we Skyped and used the phone and then i got to Skype with Scott… which was nice… There was this really horrid show about gypsies and travelers… and their weddings.. and i just had to call and see if my mom had seen it.. the conversation started out alright.. then the conversation got completely twisted… whoever it was on the phone was trying to make me sound like i was this horrible daughter… when in fact we had had a lovely day watching television movies… and even the sunday when she came over and i bought all these groceries and made both chicken and lamb.. and got her a cake… the whole day was fine… was fine until i tried to speak with her when she was on her second nap of the day…. and she wasn’t acting like my mom… and i told her so.. and then she wanted to leave… she even twisted it around to say that i told her to leave.. which i never did….. and this conversation was brought up on the phone. and twisted…all around without a moment to defend y self or to say what actually happened… anyway.. the clever nasty girl on the phone.. then tried to make it sound like i was just mean to my mother.. so i had to remind her the i bought her a cake .. i was the one who took my mom to the Ritz for different holidays.. and bought her presents.. and wrote her all the beautiful cards she has displayed at her house.. and wrote all the beautiful inscriptions into the books i gave her that still remain in her house …
So due to the conversation that wasn’t all that nice…instead of having a phone message of 4 businesses.. i now have a phone message to my mother’s house that had one message… and a girl who cackling about how she/ manipulated my life again probably for the worse right?
when i got to Skype Scott.. and he recognized that i was the original Mary jean Ziska…. its nice to have someone a friend to recognize me.. instead of the imposters who are not only stealing from my mom.. and from my life and from my business…
It was also the same person who is bent on making sure that people thinking the babysitting business is her and only hers… so this brings me to another topic.. about how this evil person who is stealing my mother’s business… and has been…. and has used funds intended to make her business and her life better.. for god only knows what…..for example: ages ago i had someone on the phone make this executive decision to make up new business cards without my mother’s name on them… an without my name on them… but using the information from her business.. and thus being able to use the company liability insurance or what ever it is someone who steals identities… and I’m assuming now that they steal business identities as well…. So will they be able to use her liability insurance? or claim they are the owner or the daughter of the owner?
Gerard”s friend from Boston who live d in Marco island… told me that is what not only Gerard did this type of scam to steal businesses… but a company who was a home watch company had done the same thing… by creating cards and printed information using practically the same name …. here is another question..if these criminals have stolen phone numbers… to businesses… by either spoofing or even gaining access to the voice mail messages.. how long can a legitimate business last when the criminals are involved? stealing and lying and cheating everyone out of a business hard working and honest people have put our live our heart and our soul into?
speaking of twisting conversations… the person on the phone a couple of times also mentioned that no one would ever hire me because of the information i put into this blog… that somehow it is my fault that a bunch of people have stolen from me.. have lied to me.. and have bullied me… have trespassed… and committed all sorts of crimes and have not been held culpable for any of them .. let alone pay damages or had criminal charges brought against them YET….. the worst part of it.they got away with it.. an no one stopped them.. at least not yet…. but karma.. God… or what ever you believe… even joel osteen mentioned speaking nice and kind words will bring nice and kind words back into your life… and great people who encourage and support and love you will never change into mean and horrible people who cut you down or discourage you or lie about you… it just doesn’t work that way….
so i originally wanted to write about people who are honest and encouraging… and loving… and supportive of your hopes and dreams… Gloria Fletcher… always told me that he had complete confidence… whatever the situation.. and whether she actually did have complete confidence or not… she told me she did… whether it was a situation with an old roommate… or a situation in a class or for project.. or even when i was dealing with business or any situation.. she gave me the confidence to believe in myself… to know that i had problem solving skills.. and to use them to my best ability… to create a solution for whatever life might throw my way..
My mother… was another confidence builder and a great dream supporter……. when I started my first business… she was right there helping me to make critical decisions.. to tell me everything will be alright… to encourage me when i didn’t know if i had any talent… and to tell everyone she knew about what i was doing and trying to get to see my portfolio…. HA! My mom was always there to tell me there was a g
reat guy in my future… that i deserved a really special and wonderful guy who treated me well… who loved me… and who could give me and the family we would create a wonderful life together….
My dad was a man who actually really wanted me to be happy… he was really proud of how i was independent and went off to boarding school not acting like i was afraid… but was pretty brave … at 14 looking at boarding school as an adventure…. i remember him at the airport …. giving me a big hug and telling me how proud he was of me… i also remember when i was grown and had started my own business how he became my biggest fan…. a business i stated as a hobby… that practically no one thought i could do.. not because i didn’t have the talent… or the work ethic… or the ambition… but it seemed to be so uncharacteristic of my personality…. but he always thought i could accomplish any project… and when he saw finished projects.. i think he was as amazed as i was at times…HA!
My friend pattie berndt, she was sooo supportive of my starting my own business.. of learning the ins and outs of turning my hobby into a business.. and so supportive of giving me mentors and clients…
.My sister Maura…
My sister Mattie……