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Dell Confirms and Details Rival Bids From Blackstone and Icahn

samzenpus posted 1 year,29 days | from the dude-you're-buying-dell dept.

Businesses 70

DavidGilbert99 writes "Dell has confirmed it has received 'two alternative acquisition proposals' from billionaire investor Carl Icahn and the world's largest equity firm Blackstone. These bids rival the $24.4 billion offer made by co-founder Michael Dell and equity firm Silver Lake last month, who want to take the company private. Dell also confirmed details of the two offers, with both exceeding Michael Dell's original offer of $13.65 per share, with Blackstone offering $14.25 and Icahn offering $15 per share."

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Dude, you're getting a Dell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43272169)

Seriously, Dell's best days are behind it.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (5, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272261)

That is what everybody said about Apple when Steve Jobs came back.

And the reason why Michele wants to take Dell private is so he can do some radical things to it. So who knows? Give the man the benefit of a doubt, grab some popcorn, and see what happens - assuming Michele get the company.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (0)

larry bagina (561269) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272335)

Michael, not Michele. And he's been the Chairman and CEO since 2007.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272731)

But he was still forced to do things the way Wall Street and the stockholders wanted. Take it private and you have more leeway to do things that might be profitable long term rather than short term.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,28 days | (#43274313)

Yes. In order to imitate Apple he needs to take company private just like Apple did ... oh wait

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,28 days | (#43275545)

Yes. In order to imitate Apple he needs to take company private just like Apple did ... oh wait

That was a different situation. When Jobs returned to Apple, the shareholders understood that the company was in deep doo-doo and radical changes were needed. So Jobs had a lot of leeway.

Dell, OTOH, is doing okay in terms of short term profit (PE is around 8). It probably needs some radical changes for the long term because the market it moving away from Dell's strengths. But there is no shareholder consensus about this. As long as it is a public company, different shareholder factions will be pulling in different directions, and any strategy will be a muddle. As a private company, they can set a clear and decisive strategy and stick to it.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43277015)

Like cheat without someone looking over your shoulder.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (4, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272949)

I don't know what his plans might be, but there's a world of difference between publicly traded and privately held companies. There are a whole slew of constraints on what a public company can do, between regulations and notions of 'fiduciary duty'. Not to mention the obligatory lawsuits every time the stock price dips. I think we can expect to see more and more companies going privately held when large changes need to be made.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43275393)


and in this case, a decade of very aggressive acquisitions, which depreciate stock value (for greater product portfolio and forward profit growth).

I cant help but question the motives of this, given the lack of time to digest the acquisitions of many very good and reputed products.

fact, i have no take in the company, but i feel this one would fleece shareholders.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

packrat0x (798359) | 1 year,28 days | (#43275675)

Unfortunately, these "going private" deals usually end with an IPO 2-3 years later. Same old compay with extra debt! The refinancing will make no difference to Dell, since "providing useful products and services at a profit" is what management should be concentrating on.

1) Use other people's money to buy up company
2) Pay self fees for being the Buyout fixer (Profit $$$)
3) Wait 2-3 years
4) Perform IPO
5) Pay self fees for being the IPO fixer (Profit $$$)
6) Sell new shares (Profit $$$)

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

James Sinton (2834811) | 1 year,28 days | (#43276335)

Um... Directors, officers, and controlling shareholders of a company still owe a fiduciary duty to that company regardless of public or private status. An advantage of taking it private is that Dell will remove the pressure from Wall Street. Assuming that equity of a closely held company is less fungible, the equity investment Dell receives on the buyout will be more stable and locked-into. It won't feel the pressure to distribute dividends. It also might be able to restructure the corporate form for Federal tax purposes. I assume Dell is taxed as a C corporation, which has two-tiers of tax, one at the corporate level and one at the shareholder. Suppose Dell qualifies for pass-through taxation after the smoke clears on the leveraged-buyout. Now, the tax liabilities of the company pass to the shareholders. Michael will be able to capture all those capital losses (or gains.) Finally, the leveraged buyout proposed by Michael allows Dell to convert its capital from equity to debt. The Federal income tax code loves debt. Dell will be able to deduct that interest, which lowers its taxable income and might even pass to Michael.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (0)

alen (225700) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272421)

apple and dell are totally different companies
dell is like a giant QA department. they buy up parts, test them in a product and sell/market the finished product. although these days with everything on the same silicon they just rebrand

apple like samsung do engineering
they code their OS
develop their own CPU's
design their product
work with manufacturers
integrate all the hardware and software into a single product

any time dell has ventured beyond building lego's they have failed. but it's OK. cars were open like this in their early days. computing is going where the car went. from an open product, to a closed vertically integrated product

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272719)

Actually Dell has plenty of financing,servers, and consulting business. They are moving so they sell "IT departments" in a box and hardware is just one piece... Vertically integrated.

This is a last ditch attempt by big holders to fuck it over before it goes private and the board can just ignore such offers outright.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272771)

and the services business is going down the toilet

big companies have their own IT
the little guys buy into da cloud

installing Exchange isn't that hard. most of the problems are due to being cheap, not bad planning

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273501)

Apple develops their own CPUs?
Do you mean the Motorolas, the PowerPCs (a consortium of apple, ibm, and motorola. That's two experienced chip designers and apple.), or do you mean the current Intel CPUs?

Well, that's it for their computers. I actually have no idea what their portable istuff uses, but I'm rather doubtful it's something they developed. Considering their standard method of obtaining 'cutting edge tech' they either bought and exclusive contract with the developer/manufacturer, or they bought the company itself.

Apple designers have always been great, their engineers don't fall into that category.

I know, the apple fanboys are going to go ballistic over this criticism of their god and savior, and honestly, I don't care.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273989)

Their portable istuff uses ARM SoCs designed by Apple (they've bought up P.A. Semi, Intrinsity, and a couple other fabless semi companies in the past few years). ARM (the company) was a joint venture between Acorn and Apple back in the Newton days.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43279399)

"Their portable istuff uses ARM SoCs designed by Apple"

If they're ARM, they weren't designed by Apple, they were designed by ARM.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273893)

any time dell has ventured beyond building lego's they have failed.

No uppercase characters, doesn't know why an apostrophe should or should not be used... dude, are you TRYING to make yourself look like a complete and utter moron? Because you're succeeding VERY well at it.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272671)

And the reason why Michele wants to take Dell private is so he can do some radical things to it. So who knows? Give the man the benefit of a doubt, grab some popcorn, and see what happens

He's already CEO and Chairman. If he can take the company in new profitable directions, then there's no incentive for the other shareholders to sell because they they'd be giving up their shares just before they become more valuable. Their only sensible choice is to get as much money as possible for the shares now, since, if it goes private, they'll never be able to own part of Dell again.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,28 days | (#43274851)

And the reason why Michele wants to take Dell private is so he can do some radical things to it. So who knows? Give the man the benefit of a doubt, grab some popcorn, and see what happens

He's already CEO and Chairman. If he can take the company in new profitable directions, then there's no incentive for the other shareholders to sell because they they'd be giving up their shares just before they become more valuable. Their only sensible choice is to get as much money as possible for the shares now, since, if it goes private, they'll never be able to own part of Dell again.

That wont happen in the next quarter though? Computers make money based on spreadsheets. Not long term strategy. You either raise the price in the next 4 months or be fired. Pick your poison? Apple was only able to pull off the move to intel macs because of sales of its IPODs. Jobs could only make the IPOD by first selling iMacs etc. If something is not increasing in value quarter by quarter you can't invest to make more money. You need short term money RIGHT NOW so the computer programs can raise the price in a few milliseconds and the owners get that slight profit from the volatility.


Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,28 days | (#43276719)

Uhhh...has anybody looked at the actual numbers? Both sales and profits are already back to pre 2008 levels, the company is firing on all cylinders frankly the ONLY thing that hasn't gone up is the stock price which considering how distorted the market is right now [youtube.com] really isn't surprising and I would say should be expected. I just hope they keep Icahn the fuck away from it as that corporate raider has a history of destroying companies but Michael is just being smart, he sees the numbers and sees the stock is undervalued and is going for it, can't say as I blame 'em.

Re:Dude, you're getting a Dell! (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272511)

I have to give the thumbs up to taking Dell private. It's the best hope of survival.

They need less corporate idiots ruining it and more radical thought.

Icahn (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43272315)

Icahnnot believe how much money these folks have.

Re:Icahn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273695)

Icahn easily frak this company (and others).

With only Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43272377)

to rely on going forward, any offer is investment suicide.

Blackstone? Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43272385)

You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like.

It’s just common sense.

That's what they said about Apple, but now.... (3)

realsilly (186931) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272393)

.... Apple is one of the most popular brands ever and that's because it re-invented itself. Dell has a shot at re-branding itself with the right leadership.

I hope they do and are successful once again.

Re:That's what they said about Apple, but now.... (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272745)

Apple is one of the most popular brands ever

So is Walmart. That doesn't mean it's the end-all of great business practice.

Re:That's what they said about Apple, but now.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273273)

Welcome to the real world you twit.

Re:That's what they said about Apple, but now.... (1)

tirefire (724526) | 1 year,28 days | (#43277185)

Apple is one of the most popular brands ever and that's because it re-invented itself. Dell has a shot at re-branding itself with the right leadership.

I think you're right on the money there. Apple re-invented itself; Dell will re-brand itself.

When Apple was in a slump it transformed from a computer company locked in a race to the bottom - fighting beige-box Mac clones with beige boxes of their own - into a design company that produces its own ecosystem of high-margin computers and online services (iTunes store, iOS / OS X app stores). Apple acknowledges this; "Apple Computer" is now just "Apple", officially.

I don't own a Macbook, and I don't want one, but I can totally understand why they're selling like hotcakes: elegant and sturdy design, luxury status, vertical integration of hardware / software / internet services, and now retina displays... the list goes on. Love them or hate them, but Apple's computers stand out.

Dell, on the other hand? They're still making cheap generic beige boxes, except these days they're "piano black". I'm sure that's exactly what their corporate/government customers want, but the question then is, "How do you re-invent yourself when your customers just want blade servers, cheap desktops, and on-site service plans?" Dell already does those things well.

I'm guessing that Dell's idea of "re-inventing itself" will be to buy Alienware again, or to imitate Apple. Hopefully, they'll try something none of us thought of and prove me wrong in the process.

I'll trade a copy of my hosts file for the company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43272411)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

* POOR SHOWING TROLLS, & most especially IF that's the "best you've got" - apparently, it is... lol!

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.


apk on 4chan [4chan.org]




That was amazing. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40948073


My, God! It's beatiful. Keep it up, you glorious bastard. - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41835161


Let us bask in its glory. A true modern The Wasteland. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40948579


put your baby IN ME -- I just read this whole thing. Fuck mod points, WHERE DO I SEND YOU MY MONEY?!!! - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40950023


Oh shit, Time Cube Guy's into computers now... - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40946259


He's done more to discredit the use of HOSTS files than anyone in the "do it right and set up a firewall" crowd ever could. - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40945357


Can I have some of what you're on? - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040317&cid=40947587


this obnoxious fucknuts [apk] has been trolling the internet and spamming his shit delphi sub-fart app utilities for 15 years. - http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40954565


oh come on.. this is hilarious. - http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40955479


I agree I am intrigued by these host files how do I sign up for your newsletter? - http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40961339


Gimme the program that generates this epic message. I'll buy 5 of your product if you do... - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041313&cid=40954251


As mentioned by another AC up there, the troll in question is actually a pretty well-executed mashup of APK's style - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40945357


It's actually a very clever parody of APK - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40944229


Please keep us updated on your AI research, you seem quite good at it. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038597&cid=40944603


$20,000 to anyone providing proof of Alexander Peter Kowalski's death. - http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040921&cid=40958289


Obviously, it must be Alexander Peter Kowalski. He's miffed at all these imposters... - http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3040921&cid=40958429


And here I was thinking I was having a bad experience with a Dr. Bronner's bottle. - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041081&cid=40952247


Damn, apk, who the fuck did you piss off this time? Hahahahaahahahahahahaahaha. Pass the popcorn as the troll apk gets pwned relentlessly. - http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40954673


I think it's the Internet, about to become sentient. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041313&cid=40956187


Does anyone know if OpenGL has been ported to Windows yet? - http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042199&cid=40956781


golfclap - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40900827


The Truth! wants to be Known! - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897389


DNS cube? - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897493


KUDOS valiant AC. - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897777


Polyploid lovechild of APK, MyCleanPC, and Time Cube --> fail counter integer overflow --> maximum win! - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40899171


You made my day, thanks! - http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029589&cid=40896469


Wow. The perfect mix of trolls. Timecube, mycleanpc, gnaa, apk... this is great! - http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3027333&cid=40893381


truer words were never spoken as /. trolls are struck speechless by it, lol! - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=41041795


It's APK himself trying to maintain the illusion that he's still relevant. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40967209


Mod this up. The back and forth multi posting between APK and this "anti-APK" certainly does look like APK talking to himself. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40969175


APK himself would be at the top of a sensible person's ban list. He's been spamming and trolling Slashdot for years. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40967137


You got that right. I think. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3044971&cid=40972239


Michael Kristopeit, is that you? - http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3045075&cid=40972377


ROFL! :) (Now the sick bastard will follow me again) - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3138079&cid=41429251


I miss Dr Bob. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3138079&cid=41432027


Not sure if actually crazy, or just pretending to be crazy. Awesome troll either way. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3138079&cid=41432951


Awesome! Hat off to you, sir! - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3154555&cid=41509273


That isn't a parody of Time-cube, it is an effort to counter-troll a prolific poster named APK, who seems like a troll himself, although is way too easy to troll into wasting massive amounts of time on BS not far from the exaggerations above - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3154555&cid=41514107


I am intrigued and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3164403&cid=41555345


1. You philistine, that is Art . Kudos to you, valiant troll on your glorious FP - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41832599


What? - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41832673


I don't know if it is poorly-thought-out, but it is demented because it is at the same time an APK parody. - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41832905


It is in fact an extremely well thought out and brilliantly executed APK parody, combined with a Time Cube parody, and with a sprinkling of the MyCleanPC spam. - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41841251


er... many people have disproved your points about hosts files with well reasoned, factual arguments. You just chose not to listen and made it into some kind of bizarre crusade. And I'm not the timecube guy, just someone else who finds you intensely obnoxious and likes winding you up to waste your time. - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41843313


performance art - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3224905&cid=41847089


it's apk, theres no reason to care. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3224905&cid=41847097


Seems more like an apk parody. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3224905&cid=41847661


That's great but what about the risk of subluxations? - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3224905&cid=41847101


Oh, come on. Just stand back and look at it. It's almost art, in a Jackson Pollock sort of way. - http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3227697&cid=41868923


Read carefully. This is a satirical post, that combines the last several years of forum trolling, rolled into one FUNNY rant! - http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3227697&cid=41864711


I can has summary? - http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3227697&cid=41861327


I'd have a lot more sympathy if you would log in as APK again instead of AC. - http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3228991&cid=41868133


If [apk] made an account, it would be permanently posting at -1, and he'd only be able to post with it twice a day. - http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3228991&cid=41869409


DAFUQ I just look at? - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3229177&cid=41869085


Trolls trolling trolls... it's like Inception or something. - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3229177&cid=41869353


We all know it's you, apk. Stop pretending to antagonize yourself. - http://bsd.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3229179&cid=41869305


Do you know about the shocking connection between APK and arsenic? No? Well, your innocence is about to be destroyed. - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3472971&cid=42939965


Send bug reports to 903 east division street, syracuse, ny 13208 - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3483339&cid=42972783


Now you've made me all nostalgic for USENET. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486045&cid=42981977


Google APK Hosts File Manager. He's written a fucking application to manage your hosts file. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486045&cid=42984521


In case you are not aware, the post is a satire of a fellow known as APK. The grammar used is modeled after APK's as you can see here [thorschrock.com]. Or, you can just look around a bit and see some of his posts on here about the wonders of host files. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486045&cid=42983119


You are surely of God of Trolls, whomever you are. I have had stupid arguments with and bitten the troll apk many times. - http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486901&cid=42989683


"What kind of meds cure schizophrenic drunk rambling?" -> "Whatever APK isn't taking" - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3501001&cid=43028403 http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3501001&cid=43028425


I'm confused, is apk trolling himself now? - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3501001&cid=43029495


Excellent mashup. A++. Would troll again. - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3503531&cid=43037445


Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3506945&cid=43048291


Best. Troll. Ever. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3506945&cid=43044811


I like monkeys. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3508287&cid=43051505


This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3508287&cid=43052263


lul wut? - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3510265&cid=43057839


I admire this guy's persistence. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43063797


It's a big remix of several different crackpots from Slashdot and elsewhere, plus a liberal sprinkling of famous Slashdot trolls and old memes. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43063881


Tabloid newspapers have speculated for years that APK is a prominent supporter of Monsanto. Too bad we didn't believe them sooner! - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43063893


Here's a hint, check out stories like this one [slashdot.org], where over 200 of the 247 posts are rated zero or -1 because they are either from two stupid trolls arguing endless, or quite likely one troll arguing with himself for attention. The amount of off-topic posts almost outnumber on topic ones by 4 to 1. Posts like the above are popular for trolling APK, since if you say his name three times, he appears, and will almost endlessly feed trolls. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43064383


I love this copypasta so much. It never fails to make me smile. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3512099&cid=43069271


^ Champion Mod parent up. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3513659&cid=43067371


I appreciate the time cube reference, and how you tied it into the story. Well done. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3521721&cid=43094565


The day you are silenced is the day freedom dies on Slashdot. God bless. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3522191&cid=43097221


AHahahahah thanks for that, cut-n-pasted.... Ownage! - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3522219&cid=43097215


Don't hate the player, hate the game. - http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3526293&cid=43110679


If you're familiar with APK, the post itself is a pretty damn funny parody. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115215


">implying it's not apk posting it" --> "I'd seriously doubt he's capable of that level of self-deprecation..." - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115337 http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115363


No, the other posts are linked in a parody of APK [mailto]'s tendency to quote himself, numbnuts. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43116855


The thirteenth link is broken. Please fix it. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115361


Just ban any post with "apk", "host file", or "hosts file", as that would take care of the original apk too. The original has been shitposting Slashdot much longer & more intensively than the parody guy. Or ban all Tor exit nodes, as they both use Tor to circumvent IP bans. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3561925&cid=43216431


Sadly this is closer to on-topic than an actual APK post is. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3561925&cid=43216225


YOU ARE A GOD AMONG MEN. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569149&cid=43236143


I've butted heads with APK myself, and yeah, the guy's got issues - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569173&cid=43236987


Can I be in your quote list? - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569443&cid=43237531


Clearly you are not an Intertubes engineer, otherwise the parent post would be more meaningful to you. Why don't YOU take your meds? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569425&cid=43238177


+2 for style! The bolding, italicizing, and font changes are all spot-on - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569149&cid=43238479


Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3570085&cid=43243509


APK is not really a schizophrenic fired former Windows administrator with multiple personality disorder and TimeCube/Art Bell refugee. He's a fictional character like and put forward by the same person as Goatse Guy, GNAA trolls, Dr. Bob and so forth. His purpose is to test the /. CAPTCA algorithm, which is a useful purpose. If you're perturbed by having to scroll past his screeds just set your minimum point level to 1, as his posts are pretty automatically downmodded right away. - http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3570085&cid=43243145


Anyone else think that sounds like Ron Paul? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569419&cid=43242417


I just saw APK a couple days ago. He surfaced, blew once, and submerged... - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3570111&cid=43245913


You make mikael christ the pet look like an huggable teddy bear - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3570111&cid=43242373


oh man, that incredible interminable list of responses is almost as funny as the original post. This is getting to be truly epic. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247231


"Does anyone know of an Adblock rule for this?" -> "No, but I bet there's a hosts file entry for it..." - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43246997 http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247097


"Can a hosts file block apk's posts, though?" -> "The universe couldn't handle that much irony." - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247135 http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247219


"That's it, I've had enough. ... Bye everyone, most of the last decade or so has been fun, but frankly, I quit." - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247225
--> "So basically what you're saying is that you've added yourself to the HOST file?" - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247481


Sweet baby Moses, this is beautiful work - I wish we could get trolls as good as this on TF. :) - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572629&cid=43247533


you have a point - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247823


I do admire that level of dedication. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247765


[to apk] shut up you stupid cock. Everyone knows you're wrong. - http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43250533


I will hand it to him, he is definitely consistent. I wish I knew how he did this. That thing is scary huge. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572629&cid=43250411


I admire the amount of dedication you've shown - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3573571&cid=43251593


Word is, ESR buttfucks CmdrTaco with his revolver. - http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3573679&cid=43252957


Hey APK, Protip: It's not the truth or value (or lack of) in your post that gets it modded into oblivion, it's the fucking insane length. In addition to TL;DR (which goes without saying for a post of such length), how about irritating readers by requiring them to scroll through 20+ screenfuls just to get to the next post. If you want to publish a short story like this, please do everyone a favor and blog it somewhere, then provide a brief summary and link to your blog. Readers intrigued by your summary will go read your blog, and everyone else will just move along at normal /. speed. - http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3573873&cid=43255013


Happy now - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569419&cid=43237239


Professional. - http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574035&cid=43255143


I like how this post seems to just sum up every Slashdot comment ever without actually saying anything. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574283&cid=43256029


extremely bright - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574035&cid=43255855


You provide many references, which is good. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574035&cid=43257043


Holy shit - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3576121&cid=43260311


this is a perfect example - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578157&cid=43265127


You're my personal hero. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574283&cid=43260747


Obviously very passionate - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574035&cid=43261975


Is that ALL you have to say? C'mon! Tell us what you really think. - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3576225&cid=43262495


Thanks ... You should probably stay - http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3577613&cid=43262993


Art? -- http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569681&cid=43244883


PROOF apk sucks donkey dick. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3577639&cid=43263029


I've been around /. for a while now, but this post is by far the most unique I've seen. Many have tried, but few achieve the greatness of this AC. My hat's off to you. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3576225&cid=43264325


PROOF apk is a liar! - http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578279&cid=43265249


I think it's hilarious. Get over it! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578301&cid=43265657


Obviously APK filled his hosts files with backdoors before distributing them to ensure he doesn't block himself. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578229&cid=43265767


Alexander Peter Kowalski is an obnoxious prick. - http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3406867&cid=42698875


Don't mention that file. Ever. It'll draw APK like a fly to rotting meat. Last thing I want to read is 80 responses worth of his stupid spam about that file! I swear that cocksucker does nothing but search Slashdot for that term and then spams the entire article. - http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3554655&cid=43209619


[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. - http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3406867&cid=42701491


You are my favorite Slashdot poster. - http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3580251&cid=43270359


Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.


Disproof of all apk's statements:


* :)

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

P.S.=> That's what makes me LAUGH harder than ANYTHING ELSE on this forums (full of "FUD" spreading trolls) - When you hit trolls with facts & truths they CANNOT disprove validly on computing tech based grounds, this is the result - Applying unjustifiable downmods to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts & facts/truths they extoll!

Hahaha... lol , man: Happens nearly every single time I post such lists (proving how ineffectual these trolls are), only showing how solid my posts of that nature are...

That's the kind of martial arts [google.com] I practice.

Re:I'll trade a copy of my hosts file for the comp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43272543)

It’s second nature to avoid legal problems like the plague in our society. People know that this natural aversion to attorneys and lawsuits exist, and there are some on the web that would use that fear to their advantage.

If you ever find yourself in a situation that has the potential to turn into a legal problem, here is how my company handles it on the web. My way might not be the best for everyone (I am certainly not a lawyer) but we are 2-0 following this advice to date.

I received an email yesterday from Alexander Peter Kowalski. He was upset that a program he created was identified as a malicious piece of spyware by the Schrock Innovations Maintenance Checkup Home Edition anti-spyware software as well as by Computer Associates.

Here is the email he sent me, edited for length:

          was not written for any malicious purpose -> apkapp2backgrounddaemonprocessengine.exe
        (it was in fact, written so folks with older versions of Apache Webserver
        could lanuch it & not see it onscreen.

        So – answer me this:

        What is it doing there in your tools under “Threat Details”. Above all else, why didn’t you write me, & ask me about it – as I am easily found online, since my program has “resource strings” that are visible showing my name?

        Remove my program from your lists as a malicious tool, as it associates me in a “threat details” list.

        My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Windows NT Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold wares that were finalists @ Microsoft Tech Ed 2000-2002 for EEC Systems.

        It’s rather insulting. Please remove it as a “threat”, it is NOT one, not by a long shot & smears MY GOOD NAME.


        Alexander Peter Kowalski

My first impression of this email was to think, ok so he has a program that is being detected falsely by our software. It’s Sunday and I am at Platte River State Park watching my son and his cousin play. I will have Adam look into it on Monday morning. He sounded pretty upset, so I replied to let him know we were on it. Here’s what I said:

        The MCHE is designed for home use and not enterprise or server use. Your program makes it on our list if at least 2 of 3 independent sources deem it a threat.

        Send me the names of the files in question, and we will double check their detection status.

        Sent from my iPhone.

LESSON ONE: Be very nice in your first email if you want to get what you want. If I trusted every jerk who emailed me about why his spyware application is detected by our software I would go blue in the face. Even though this guy’s email was poorly written and rambled about things that were of no consequence to his question, he was well on the path of getting what he wanted.
After I was home from the park and my son was down for his nap, I got this email from the same man:

        1 site has already responded, & has removed apkapp2backgrounddaemonprocessengine.exe already! Write he to verify if need be, here:

        I am giving you every opportunity to do this in a nice quiet way, & I’d appreciate that, as I feel you may have been misled. Here is why:

        CA (Computer Associates) will be contacted in the a.m. & if it is not removed by they, I am suing for libel. In fact, I feel that they intentionally misprinted my name (missing my first name & listing it under Peter Kowalski only, here:

        http://ca.com/us/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=51276 [ca.com]

        Listing ONLY “Peter Kowalski” not my full name, easily apparent in the program itself, as Alexander Peter Kowalski. Thus, I’d never find it online) & this would be part of the grunds I am suing on if need be for libelling me online since 2004. This is not an idle threat, it is a certainty. I am rather insulted & furious regarding this incident that has long been hidden from myself via what I feel are nefarious means.

        This is libel, no questions asked.

LESSON TWO: Don’t threaten in your email, and definitely don’t use words you don’t understand. The fastest way to destroy any goodwill when you are asking for cooperation is to threaten someone. If for one second Pete thinks I care about the other company that removed his software or the fact that he is calling Computer Associates in the morning he is mistaken. This email from him accomplished nothing and actually put me on guard that this might become a legal situation.
Again, I am not a lawyer, but on a point of reference for something to be libel there has to be an intentional and malicious intent to harm another person in print. Pete feels slighted that Computer Associates listed his problem as malware and then had the audacity not to use his proper name in the threat database.
You can’t have it both ways Pete. Either they wanted to harm you (and therefore would have identified you properly) or they spent 30 seconds reading the documentation in your code and slapped it in the detections. The latter is more likely.
I did not always understand these “get it done” concepts myself completely in the past. If I had, I might be 1-0 instead of 2-0 in my company’s legal battles. I decided to give Pete some advice for his call with Computer Associates the next morning. Here is what I told him:

        Once again, I would warn you not to threaten a lawsuit. Our corporate policy is to let people who threaten go ahead and spend the thousands of dollars in Federal court to sue us. In fact once you threaten to sue you are actually breaking the law if you don’t follow through.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised by his reply:

        My attorney will be met with by myself tomorrow in regards to this & we shall see what is what, in regards to Computer Associates, Spybot, AdAware, or any others involved at this point, including yourself apparently. I was fair about this to you in asking nicely that you remove it. Now, it is time to do what I have to.

        (Trust me, I intend to follow thru on consulting her in this matter since you are now apparently involving yourself in this as well in refusing to remove my wares from your lists)

        No need for reply.

LESSON THREE: Once someone threatens to call their lawyer, take it to court, says “we’ll see you in court,” or anything of the like, CALL THE BLUFF every time.
It costs money to sue someone, it costs money to have a lawyer send a letter, and in this case I would bet my breakfast that his attorney will tell him since there are no monetary damages he has little hope for a financially viable outcome even if he wins in court.
I don’t know where Pete is, but chances are he is not in Nebraska. That means he will have to sue Schrock Innovations in Federal Court which is a very expensive, time consuming, and LENGTHY legal process. How many thousands of dollars is the person threatening you willing to spend on a suit that will result in little to no monetary gain after nearly 5 years in the court system? Again, call the bluff. You will probably never hear from the person’s attorney, and if you do just tel their attorney to call your attorney. They will apologize, hang up and call your attorney instead. It’s pretty simple.
LESSON FOUR: Attorneys work via certified postal mail and constables of the court. That means if there is anything worth your time or attention going on you will get a certified letter from an attorney or you will get served by a constable of the court when a law suit is filed against you.
Attorneys do not do anything too serious through email, over the phone, or through standard first class mail. Typically if they do it is an attempt to request your compliance or intimidate.
So here’s my overall summary of my situation with Pete:
Pete is mad because a piece of software he has written to help some people was classified as a threat by others. Because he is recognized in his field he feels that Computer Associates practiced super double secret reverse psychology by libeling him even though they did not print his real name, or anything negative about him that was intended to harm his reputation.
Pete is mad at me because our software also detects his software as a threat. He has threatened to sue my company now.
LESSON FIVE: When someone threatens to sue you SHUT UP, refuse to communicate except for attorney to attorney communications. This keeps you from saying anything dumb in the heat of the moment and it also makes the other party step back and think. Nine times out of ten, they come back and say, ok ok ok, I’m not REALLY going to sue you. I just wanted your attention.
There are so many ways to solve things in life outside of the legal system, so don’t be to quick to threaten to pull the trigger when you are mad. You might just find the other guy doesn’t think you have any bullets in your gun.

IBTimes - noscript required (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272449)

Warning - site serves ups MULTIPLE video ads that run concurrently. It also seems that they ignore the mute button. Access only with NoScript or other addons enabled.

Re:IBTimes - noscript required (5, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272815)

Replying to myself as I can't edit posts: there's a much better write-up at Ars: http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/03/dells-game-of-thrones-icahn-blackstone-make-rival-bids-for-company/ [arstechnica.com] The key part that's missing in the IB Times: how Icahn plans to finance the takeover. Here it is: "Icahn's group would put up a total of $5 billion in cash and equity in Dell as part of the deal, spend $7.4 billion of Dell's cash-on-hand, collect $1.7 billion by financing against Dell's outstanding accounts receivable, and add $5.2 billion in new debt to the company's ledgers."

In other words, Icahn gets a loan for $5B, spends over $7B of Dell's own cash and takes out two separate loans against Dell's assets for another $8B. In further other words, the only people who would benefit from the deal are current stockholders who think that making an extra 50 cent a share now is a good thing. Everyone else, including employees, will be handed a Dell that will be significantly worse off.

Re:IBTimes - noscript required (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273043)

So Icahn's proposing a leveraged buyout, color me surprised.

(Hey kids, ever hear the term "corporate raider"? Guess who the poster child is.)

Good luck with that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273271)

Blackstone will do the same thing, put up some cash and then massively add dept to the bottom line.

It would be interesting to see who they farm out all the development and design to since they have a track record of doing massive layoffs and outsourcing on all of the purchases/acquisitions they have done in the past.

Hint - when HR goes expect every other department to get slashed as well.


Re:IBTimes - noscript required (2)

rsborg (111459) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273391)

Vulture capitalism at it's finest. Are leveraged buyouts ever a good idea for anyone other than the "management company" that rapes and pillages the public company? Why is it legal to take a loan out on a company using it's own capital reserves as payment?

Re:IBTimes - noscript required (3, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273807)

It's not so much legal as it is a built-in calculation in the offer-sheet. Yes, someone will officially have to tender the full asking price for the company, but the billions that Dell has in cash aren't counted as risk in the loan. Instead, the new owner will immediately use the cash to pay off part of the loan, which of course would have been structured to have the company as collateral. Even if the company isn't collateral, you can't prevent the owner of a company to do whatever they want with the cash in accounting. Yes, it's soulless, but that just goes to show what kind of people engage in LBOs.

Re:IBTimes - noscript required (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43275435)

The short answer is: no, leveraged buyouts are almost never good for the company being purchased.

In fact, while there are doubtlessly examples of such buyouts that did work, I can't think of even one.

The aftermath of an LBO is completely unsurprising: the purchased company, now being saddled with massive (and often high interest rate) debt and/or stripped of financial assests to pay for its own purchase is at a financial disadvantage to rivals.

In order to service the debt, R&D funds are slashed and product development suffers; headcount is reduced and morale and customer service suffer; lower-cost vendors and parts are used and quality suffers. Because of the foregoing, sales suffer and profits plummet causing even more cutbacks and cost reductions in order to service the debt.

The sell-off of portions of the company is inevitable.

The demise of the company, although not inevitable, is not unlikely. Or they'll try to take it public again so that those who orchestrated the LBO can get their money back and get out of town.

nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273541)

Nonsense. There is nothing to indicate "everyone else" will be worse off with Icahn's offer.

Re:nonsense (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,28 days | (#43275587)

Nonsense. There is nothing to indicate "everyone else" will be worse off with Icahn's offer.

Right, nothing but the lessons of history.

Re:IBTimes - noscript required (4, Insightful)

AnonyMouseCowWard (2542464) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273625)

While I hate LBOs as much as the next person (in fairness probably even more), I expect Dell's shareholders to want that extra 50c and to damn the company and its employees. Unless you're both an employee and a shareholder... the plan is to take the shares off of your hand, why would you care what happens to the company afterwards? The Board of Directors is responsible to shareholders, not employees. Rationally, they'd probably vote for Dell to get gutted. Yay, unbridled capitalism.

Re:IBTimes - noscript required (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43275711)

It always sounds good to bash capitalism as if you give a damn about the people/employees. But the fact still remains that a company does NOT exist to employ people. If Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Joe Schmoe owns a company and can do the work required to run the entire operation themselves - 100% of the time, there will be no employees. Employees are only hired when the owner(s) of a company can not physically run the entire business themselves. So, that said, who cares what happens to the employees. From a business perspective, you do what makes you money, not what keeps people employed. To worry about keeping people employed is an exact recipe for going out of business. From a moral perspective, sure if you can save your company and also do it in an ethical way that helps to preserve as many jobs as possible - then by all means take the moral road. But, NEVER, put your company's life behind workers. If you do, there will be no more company and guess what? Then ALL of the people will be out of work. Again, companies exist to sell a widget, perform a service at a fair price for a fair profit. They DO NOT, HAVE NEVER, and NEVER WILL exist to employ people. The fact that people have jobs at companies like Dell or Apple etc.. is simply because the company could not sell it's widget or perform it's services to the level that the market is expecting them to. It is a byproduct of their growth. If Microsoft was still small enough to be run out of Bill's garage - you can bet for damn sure he'd be doing so. I have a company of my own as well. It is small enough that I am able to act as CEO, Manager, Secretary, Web Developer, CFO and Janitor. We expect to grow in the next few years and at that time, I may need to hire an accountant. Perhaps in a few years after that a secretary and so on.... But if we don't grow - no employees will be needed.

Just thought I would put this out there because people seem to always want to stick it to companies like Dell. Making them out to be sooooo evil. Capitalist pigs etc... Capitalism built this nation and this website. It is not capitalism that is evil, it is and always will be the people who are evil.

Who are Icahn's backers? (3, Insightful)

poity (465672) | 1 year,28 days | (#43272701)

No story mentions that. He certainly doesn't have 26.8B dollars. Is it a bluff to get the dividends he wanted?

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273033)

Icahn is a corporate raider. I'd bet that he's financing the offer with a loan...the collateral of which would be the assets of Dell itself. Leveraged buyouts are *evil*.

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43274513)

When I bought my house, I financed it with a loan... the collateral of which was the house. It's called a "mortgage" and it's quit common. Why is that evil?

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (2)

belthize (990217) | 1 year,28 days | (#43275481)

Because you're not planning to set fire to the house and collect the insurance the second the deal goes through. If you did that would be fraud. If you have enough money fraud perversely translates to 'smart'.

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43275589)

Mortgages are evil. They increase housing prices dramatically. If people were forced to save for houses first, houses would be valued much closer to what they're actually worth. When you artificially allow people to trade the majority of their earnings for the next 30 years, you turn houses into a limited resource that everyone can afford and competition ensures that everyone pays more.

Granted, mortgages are great for sellers, but overall, it's just the mortgage industry taking a ton of money and providing nothing of value.

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (4, Interesting)

slew (2918) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273073)

No story mentions that. He certainly doesn't have 26.8B dollars. Is it a bluff to get the dividends he wanted?

Probably, it is a bluff, but Mr Icahn is the king of leveraged buyouts (basically you take a loan out to buy the company with the company you bought as colateral). Kind of like how you buy a house with a loan, except the "house" (well actually the company that holds the house as an asset) really owes the money, not you.

Why would someone invest the money for a leveraged buyout (LBO)? It's because the debt is generally structured in tranches with different terms and interest rates, rather than one big lump. The senior tranches generally yield a low interest rate but are backed by a higher percentage of the collateral so you can attract more risk-adverse money. The junior tranches generally have a high interest rate for those with the stomach (much higher than a typical bank loan, so it is more profitable, but more risky, essentially junk bonds). With a typical LBO structure people can make different types of bets on the same loan segmenting the secondary loan market making it much easier to attract the money from the capital markets than a straight-up monolithic loan of $28.6B with uniform risk profile.

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43275757)

You mean the scenario he demanded wherein Dell was supposed to borrow several billion dollars in order to give the proceeds of the loan to shareholders as dividends? While I've no idea of the whatever laws may govern such a thing, I'd tend to see a BoD approval of the scheme as a huge failing of fiduciary oversight and responsibility.

Re:Who are Icahn's backers? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | 1 year,28 days | (#43276909)

Effectively, they would be paying some stockholders to "go away". Given that smaller holders get their power stripped the worst when a company goes public its something to offer.

Vultures (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43273079)

Witness first hand the attempted destruction of a large American company. These bids aren't serving anyone's interest except a select few. (Despite claiming to be for "shareholder interest")

If any of these parties get hold of Dell, the company will be dead inside a few years. Assets stripped, loaded with debt, pensions and retirement plans raided, thousands laid off. Sound familiar? Yeah, it does. Because you've seen it happen hundreds of times if you read the news.

Something is broken. Why is there so much money to be made by destroying companies, jobs, and livelihood? Why is it legal?

How long before we resort to publishing the personal details, addresses of corporate raiders and mailing them to the millions who have lost their jobs and had their retirements stolen? While vigilante justice isn't a solution, it is a failure mode. And failure is what is happening here.

Re:Vultures (3, Insightful)

schnell (163007) | 1 year,28 days | (#43276149)

These bids aren't serving anyone's interest except a select few. (Despite claiming to be for "shareholder interest") ... Why is there so much money to be made by destroying companies, jobs, and livelihood? Why is it legal?

These bids are absolutely in the shareholder interest, that's who is making the money here (at least in the short term). Nearly all companies exist for the purpose of the people who own them (shareholders), not the people who work there. If you want a company that runs for the benefits of its workers, you're looking for a co-op (where the members are also the owners), but they are relatively few in number and aren't suited to exist in certain industries where you need funding from outside sources to start or build your business.

As to why it's legal... why not? Let's say you run a diner and someone offers you $100K for it and says they will buy it and keep it running. I offer you $150K for the diner but say I'm going to close it down and convert into a bar, firing all the current employees in the process. Why should it be illegal for you to take my higher bid? You might not take my bid because you find it morally distasteful. But it certainly shouldn't be illegal for me to offer that or for you to accept it.

Re:Vultures (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43276865)

No, companies exist to serve the public interest. I know you and others have forgotten, but it's why corporate charters were created. Special privileges in exchange for the idea that more wealth will be created that will benefit all. When corporate raiders shred a company with accounting tricks, the interests of a select few are served and nobody else. The workers, public, and taxpayers are (effectively) left holding the bag.

Your analogy is flawed. These scum don't "convert it to a bar" they convert it to a shell that's been loaded with debt with the very intention that it will fail. Why is it legal to shed debt on to an entity that you clearly intend to default on? What they've done is found a loophole. You can't create a company and load it with debt. That's illegal.. But if you have enough collaborators you can buy a company with it's own money and do the same thing.

You can continue to say "why not" but eventually we'll be left with no companies, no jobs, no economic engines.. But we'll have a lot of very rich people in the "financial industry" because they have no guilt about doing things "morally distasteful".

Re:Vultures (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43279175)

Your analogy is flawed. These scum don't "convert it to a bar" they convert it to a shell that's been loaded with debt with the very intention that it will fail. Why is it legal to shed debt on to an entity that you clearly intend to default on? What they've done is found a loophole. You can't create a company and load it with debt. That's illegal.. But if you have enough collaborators you can buy a company with it's own money and do the same thing.

Well, if it really works like this soon companies won't get loans without giving out controlling amount of stocks, so that the loaners actually become armed against this kind of takeovers. They will simply say "no" to any buy-out offers, unless of course they will walk out with more money, but since the only money in the company is theirs to beginwith that won't happen.

Re:Vultures (1)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,28 days | (#43279389)

"Why should it be illegal for you to take my higher bid? You might not take my bid because you find it morally distasteful. But it certainly shouldn't be illegal for me to offer that or for you to accept it."

It's not the offering or accepting that's the problem, it's the shutting down and laying off the staff that's the problem - the point being that if the only way to make the $150k bid tenable is to destroy the business then something is broken, effectively there should be legislation in place to fix what is broken and ensure that the $150k bid simply isn't tenable.

More specifically, the issue is in what is broken, and as the GP pointed out it's the fact that things like pension pots can be raided to pay off shareholders rather than to give the money back to the people whose employment paid for and into those pension schemes. Effectively the only reason your theoretical $150k bid can be made is because current legislation allows the likes of shareholders greater priority in having their debt paid off than the people to whom much of the money really actually belongs to because they're the ones who put it into the pot to start with.

Politically, the laws surrounding this sort of thing need to be restructured to take into account the public good, rather than the current status quo where they're biased to making the select few rich at the public's expense. To put it into an example, what serves more people better - to allow a small amount of shareholders to make a little bit of extra money at the expense of making hundreds, potentially thousands of people a burden on society either through forcing them onto benefits, or forcing them into crime, whilst also eliminating a company that was a net benefit to society through also paying corporation tax, or for those people to retain their jobs, the company to keep trading and paying corporation tax to society, and those same shareholders still make a decent fortune, just slightly less than they'd have otherwise made?

It should be illegal to make your example offer if the end result is a shifting of wealth from the tax payer and state to a private individual. If an investor or group of investors makes a takeover like Icahn's proposed take over and then kills off the company as a result they should be the last people that get paid, after all the workers have got their pension money back, and all the suppliers have been paid, because ultimately they're the ones who caused the failure. Currently shareholders can fail a company and make a profit from it - this is no different to CEOs who drive a company down the pan but still end up leaving with a golden parachute, failure should not be profitable for those responsible for the failure, and that's the fundamental problem - those who are the cause of the failure aren't the ones suffering from it, quite the opposite.

Re:Vultures (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#43287245)

And this is why tying pensions, healthcare and so forth to employment is bad. It allows greater negotiating power but counters by giving that power to those whose interests are opposed to those of the intended beneficiaries.

Re:Vultures (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#43287711)

If you want a company that runs for the benefits of its workers, you're looking for a co-op (where the members are also the owners), but they are relatively few in number and aren't suited to exist in certain industries where you need funding from outside sources to start or build your business.

“We ought to have much more democratic enterprise ...We ought to have stores, factories and offices in which all the people who have to live with the results of what happens to that enterprise participate in deciding how it works.” ( http://www.democracyatwork.info/ & http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-cure-for-the-economic-crisis?website_name=dawcure)

I honestly don't know whether Dell could be reformed as a Worker's Self-Directed Enterprise, but wouldn't it be great if they could?

take the money and run? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | 1 year,28 days | (#43273781)

So...MD should call Icahn on the offer, take his cut up front and walk. Then either buy the pieces back at a fraction of the price when the company goes toes up or just take the money and start a new company that does it just the way he wants to go, but without all the baggage.

Re:take the money and run? (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,28 days | (#43274901)

MD has billions already.

He doesn't have to work again for a day in his life and still live comfortable anywhere in the world! I think he misses his old job more than the money and wants to work again. There is a key difference between rich people and low people like us. Money is one of them. Work for them is about passions as they have so much money they care about stroking their egos and doing something fun. We low people have to worry about retirement, bills, debts, etc.

Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43274167)

/ needs to reduce the amount of characters in a post, so I don't have to read\scroll that dam Hosts file crap in every thread..

What would Michael Dell do? (-1, Troll)

kurt555gs (309278) | 1 year,28 days | (#43274363)

He is so accustomed to sucking Microsoft cock that he has lost his gag reflex. How could he live without the Microsoft member?

Icahn can suck it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43274679)

Icahn would probably just load Dell up with debt and use it to pay himself a "management fee", and then allow the company to go bankrupt once it can't pay interest on the loans it's taking out to pay him. It's what he does... We should all root against Icahn because he's a parasite on society. His sole purpose is to gain from trashing otherwise successful companies.

Icahn is a corporate raider, not investor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43278069)

If he gets control of Dell, there might not be a Dell left... or at least one worth buying from.

Blackstone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43279199)

Someone call Matt Damon... Or that Jeremy Whatshisface.

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