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Federal Prosecutors Launch Probe of Dell

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the continuation-really dept.

94

An anonymous reader writes, "The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has launched an investigation into Dell's finances and has subpoenaed company documents going back to 2002. Dell execs had previously said they didn't think any of this would add up to any material impact, but that seems to be a possibility now." More accurately, this is a continuation of an ongoing "informal" SEC probe. That probe has caused Dell to delay its financial reporting and raised the possibility of needing to restate previous quarters' earnings.

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Ha HA (1, Funny)

slashdotet (992348) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080681)

Ahh Dell can't help but laught at there troubles!

Re:Ha HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16081482)

OMG subpoenies! In pink !!!111!!!! LOL

Re:Ha HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16081634)

Don't you mean their?

Re:Ha HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16081998)

That was far from the only problem with that post...

Close up shop (4, Funny)

shawngarringer (906569) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080691)

Dell should close up shop and return the money to the shareholders!

Re:Close up shop (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080873)

Dell should close up shop and return the money to the shareholders!

Your kidding right? Since when does a "tech" company return profits to the shareholders?

More typical is they carry the earnings internal until bad news happens and take giant write downs to compensate. In the mean time, those invested in them are playing chicken to see who can get top dollar before it colapses. There are exceptions, but not many.

Re:Close up shop (3, Informative)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080949)

it's a referance to michel dell remarks from 1997 to the question a reporter asked him: "what should apple do?" his answer was "apple should close up shop and return the money to the shareholders".

Re:Close up shop (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081716)

Dell was asked what HE would do if HE were CEO of Apple and he said that HE would shut down Apple and return the money to the shareholders. Of course he would. He also said that he would never accept that job---acknowledging that he would not be a good fit for that style of company. Dell has also said that Apple's future looks like SGI's and he hasn't been proven wrong. If Apple hadn't shifted its focus toward digital entertainment it may well have gone out of business.

Michael Dell is all about ROIC. For those that don't know, think of ROIC is the interest rate paid on your savings account. Dell maximizes earnings and minimizes capital investment. Clearly Apple doesn't work that way. Low volumes, high margins, unique aesthetics and boutique sales are relatively capital-intensive. Apple also employs a lot of people for their volumes compared to Dell.

It's funny how fanboys like to change this story and embrace it as a rallying cry. Fact is that Michael Dell has never had interest in Apple's market and always said so. These days, Apple lovers are always measuring their computing penises against Dell. Michael, BTW, retired as the company's CEO.

Re:Close up shop (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082044)

"Dell has also said that Apple's future looks like SGI's and he hasn't been proven wrong."

LOL!

"If Apple hadn't shifted its focus toward digital entertainment it may well have gone out of business"

ROLFLMAO.

"Michael Dell is all about ROIC. For those that don't know, think of ROIC is the interest rate paid on your savings account. Dell maximizes earnings and minimizes capital investment. Clearly Apple doesn't work that way. Low volumes, high margins, unique aesthetics and boutique sales are relatively capital-intensive. Apple also employs a lot of people for their volumes compared to Dell." and... "Fact is that Michael Dell has never had interest in Apple's market and always said so"

OK, you should REALLY check out dell's latest stategies over the last few years. I have two words for you:

Alianware, XPS, ditty, DJ.

but back to the original topic:

Do you want to know what I think?

here it is:

"Dell's future looks like SGI's"

Re:Close up shop (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082187)

"OK, you should REALLY check out dell's latest stategies over the last few years. I have two words for you:
Alianware, XPS, ditty, DJ."

Alienware is a surprise. Dell basically doesn't buy other companies.
XPS is a very old brand. It's simply the top Dimension machine and is successful.
The music players aren't a surprise coming from Dell. They spent no development money on it.

Can you count?

"Do you want to know what I think?
here it is:
"Dell's future looks like SGI's" "

Didn't know that was the original topic, but you'd have a hard time defending that position. Dell is the largest supplier of PC's worldwide and is the polar opposite of a company like SGI. Apple is far closer a comparison with its lavish expenditures, small volumes and corporate hubris. Of course Dell may fail. All companies may fail.

Besides the infammatory and unsubstantiated garbage on your part, the discussion was about Michael Dell, not the company. Michael has been retired as CEO for some time now.

Re:Close up shop (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082625)

"Alienware is a surprise. Dell basically doesn't buy other companies."

yup. it's an anomilly. Do you have an explanation?

"The music players aren't a surprise coming from Dell. They spent no development money on it."

True. but that was folow up to apple's ipod success. they failed dissmally there. it was dell trying to test the waters in a new market, far from anything thier brand is associated with. that initiative crashed and burned.

"Dell is the largest supplier of PC's worldwide"

Not for long, come back two years from now, we'll see. take a look at PC growth rates now, take a look what companies are beating the PC growth rate. this should give you a clue.

  and is the polar opposite of a company like SGI

True. that was a silly comment, without explanation, continue reading.

"Can you count?"

can you?

"Apple is far closer a comparison with its lavish expenditures, small volumes and corporate hubris."

lavish expenditures? you mean R&D?
small volumes? What is your definition of the word "small"? if by small you mean 20Billion per anum, "small" is kind of a funny word to use, wouldn't you say?

SGI died becoase it didn't make up a coherant strategy about which platform to adopt. it had it's proprietry IRIX OS (and linux, and NT) products that did not compeate well with NT and Linux based systems running on stock X86 hardware, their target audience was IT, not the consumer PC market. Moreover SGI's managment killed the SGI brand by changing the company logo and name - and basicly burried the company. I don't see how SGI's history relates to apple on any level - not the same target market, not the same brand awareness, not the same tight strategy and excecution.

Apple strategy looks very well excecuted, both from the technological and the brand and marketing angles. As for Dell? I think you should think: When a company such as dell fails in launching a a line of products that don't relate to it's core strategies and strengths (MP3), then buys a company (alienware) that is, as you confess a "suprise", given thier core strategy - you should think. I smell the begining of the last days of SGI in DELL. I think dell is panicing.

Re:Close up shop (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#16083761)

"Do you have an explanation?"

I don't know, but it occurred after MD stepped down. It occurred during Rollins time and I know MD was against such acquisitions.

"Not for long, come back two years from now, we'll see. take a look at PC growth rates now, take a look what companies are beating the PC growth rate. this should give you a clue."

Doesn't matter, what I said was correct. This was a discussion about the man, not the company, and MD no longer runs Dell.

"can you?"

Yes, I can. There were more than "two words".

"lavish expenditures? you mean R&D?
small volumes? What is your definition of the word "small"? if by small you mean 20Billion per anum, "small" is kind of a funny word to use, wouldn't you say?"

Compared to Dell, yes. Apple is small compared to the large PC manufacturers and spends more on development as a percentage of revenues. That may give the fanboys a chubby but it's a weakness from a business perspective, not a strength.

"I don't see how SGI's history relates to apple on any level - not the same target market, not the same brand awareness, not the same tight strategy and excecution."

Keep in mind that I wasn't the one to make the comment. Also, the comment was made upwards of ten years ago.

SGI was an elitist, arrogant company who thought they would always be on top because of their technical superiority. Ultimately, SGI was put out from below because they never recognized that they would have to evolve as technology became commoditized. Once upon a time, SGI dominated certain creative markets (video production for example) long before Macs and PCs were remotely capable of the same kinds of tasks.

If you look at Apple in the late 90's when Jobs came back in, you see the same kind of company and attitudes that doomed SGI. Personally, I think the comparison was reasonable. The big difference was that Apple succeeeded in transforming itself and its products where SGI didn't. Today, macs are really Intel PC's running a polished NextStep and the rest is consumer electronics. Quite a huge transformation.

Regarding the target market, SGI made workstations that were differentiated by graphics. They marketed to applications that took advantage of their graphical nature---visualization, computation and creativity. Their systems where built on an in-house Unix base and featured a custom graphical desktop that SGI felt was the industry's best. The parallels between SGI then and OS X now are remarkable. Apple would have you believe their GUI is the industry's best and, as a result, they are the choice of creative professionals. The arrogance of Apple's claims sounds suspiciously like SGI.

"Apple strategy looks very well excecuted, both from the technological and the brand and marketing angles."

Perhaps, but I never stated otherwise. I simply responded to the mischaractization of the Michael Dell quote from 9 years ago.

"When a company such as dell fails in launching a a line of products that don't relate to it's core strategies and strengths (MP3),..."

mp3 players are a complimentary product for Dell, not a core strategy as they are for Apple. The failure of that product means nothing to Dell. ...then buys a company (alienware) that is, as you confess a "suprise"..."

I never "confessed" anything. It had nothing to do with me. I simply find it out of character for the company. There's no reason to believe the Alienware aquisition is a problem for Dell either. Dell clearly felt that the brand recognition of Alienware was worth purchasing. PC gamers are as brand-aware as mac users.

"...given thier core strategy - you should think."

I should think what? Do you know what Dell's "core strategy" is? I don't think you do. Dell wants to be the Walmart of computers. It doesn't care what succeeds and what fails. It doesn't care if you want fancy machines or cheap machines. It doesn't care what OS you want to run. All it wants to do is make the most money with the least effort on the most systems it can sell. Dell is agnostic, not evil.

"I smell the begining of the last days of SGI in DELL. I think dell is panicing."

You must be congested as your sense of smell is way off. Dell may not be the sharp competitor it once was when MD was CEO but it is not panicing. Only /. readers think otherwise and that's mostly wishful thinking. For some reason, readers here think that whoever might take Dell's place will somehow be better. HP is no better a company than Dell is and will only replace Dell by outdoing them at their own game. Little does that matter to a mac user anyway.

Considering how much development and testing Dell does in partnership with Intel, one could argue that there's more Dell engineering content in Mac hardware now than Apple themselves provide. That should come as no surprise to anyone in the industry but it should sure stick in the craw of the mac faithful.

Re:Close up shop (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084435)

"I simply responded to the mischaractization of the Michael Dell quote from 9 years ago."

OK, point taken. Anyway, it was FUD, and has been proven to be wrong.

"Today, macs are really Intel PC's running a polished NextStep and the rest is consumer electronics. Quite a huge transformation."

Actually, nine years ago - that was the original reason Apple bought Next (transition to the new OS and the platform change to intel). it just took 8 years longer then Gil Amellio was promissed by steve jobs). As for Consumer Electronics go.. true. I'd even further - Apple isn't in the PC buisness at all: it's in the consumer electronics buisness. The pc buisness is stagnating. Apple's is positioning the mac os as a consumer electronics platform (which they call "the digital hub")

"Dell wants to be the Walmart of computers. It doesn't care what succeeds and what fails... All it wants to do is make the most money with the least effort on the most systems it can sell. Dell is agnostic, not evil."

Never said it was "evil" (I didn't call it "arrogant" either, mind you).

"For some reason, readers here think that whoever might take Dell's place will somehow be better."

They might be thinking that, but this has nothing to do with anything I'm saying. I think both those companies are wilting. Fighting over the comodity PC sales in this day and age is like fighting over Minicomputer sales in the begining of the 80s. it may seem like good buisness now, but that buisness isn't a growth buisness. Dell knows this (hence Mp3 players, alienware, XPS, etc) - but they don't have the R&D knowhow and the right brand recognition to make a viable play in this field. I admit though: they are trying (and they might even succeed, maybe).

"Considering how much development and testing Dell does in partnership with Intel, one could argue that there's more Dell engineering content in Mac hardware now than Apple themselves provide.

I don't know the extent of involvment and testing dell does with Intel, but this argument sounds like bullshit to me (and it's totaly irrelevent to this disscussion).

Re:Close up shop (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084836)

"Anyway, it was FUD, and has been proven to be wrong."

It wasn't FUD nor proven to be wrong. FUD is a technique of misinformation meant to harm a competitor. MD was pressed by a journalist to comment on another business that he didn't consider a competitor and he never predicted Apple's demise. He himself said that he would not be a good candidate for the job.

"Fighting over the comodity PC sales in this day and age is like fighting over Minicomputer sales in the begining of the 80s."

Only if you believe that PCs are destined to disappear from the market (which I'm thinking you do). PCs aren't disappearing. On the contrary, PCs are not being phased out of business and that's where Dell and its large competitors do their volume.

"Dell knows this (hence Mp3 players, alienware, XPS, etc) - but they don't have the R&D knowhow and the right brand recognition to make a viable play in this field."

Dell, by virtue of its immense size, recognizes that it must diversify its markets and it has done so. Dell doesn't have to have R&D to slap its name on consumer electronics products. The world is littered with successful companies that do just that, some (like Sharper Image for example) even do it with premium products. Your examples aren't even that relevant. One has failed and the other two have not.

"I don't know the extent of involvment and testing dell does with Intel, but this argument sounds like bullshit to me (and it's totaly irrelevent to this disscussion)."

Dell was Intel's largest partner and biggest contributor to Intel's development of their own OEM motherboard business; a business Apple now uses for its motherboard designs. Dell contributes heavily to Intel's development of future MB's and chipsets. Yes, the point is irrelevant but all of yours is as well. No, it's not bullshit, though your likening of Dell to SGI is.

The fact was that Apple was staring at a future much like SGI did. It's stock was in the tank, it's computer hardware uncompetitive, it's OS antiquated and its developer base disappearing. Apple reinvented itself and is successful today but that doesn't make it's history any different nor make Michael Dell's comments at the time any less correct. I seriously doubt MD cares whether Apple succeeds or fails. If Apple succeeds, all MD cares about is if he can profit from it. MD sold iPods while he could, he sold HP Laserjets while he could, he expressed interest in sell OS X for PCs. Michael doesn't care what the customer wants to buy, he only wants to sell it to him.

Re:Close up shop (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#16085173)

"It wasn't FUD nor proven to be wrong"

Ah, ok. right. what was it then? he could have just said "I'm not going to answer that question. I don't care" - his answer stated that he sees no future in apple.

"Only if you believe that PCs are destined to disappear from the market (which I'm thinking you do). PCs aren't disappearing"

sales of desktops (which are what I meant) are stagnating, while sales of notebooks and other closed systems (like the imac and mac mini) are rising. I don't know if they are going to dissapear from the market - but I think their sales will eventually become negligable - i'd say wait five years.

"The fact was that Apple was staring at a future much like SGI did"

the fact is that it didn't. and the fact is that apple is growing faster then dell or any of the other PC manufacturers. The fact that it seemed he MIGHT have been right at the time doesn't change the fact that HE WAS WRONG. (this is just brain dead, I don't believe I'm actualy continuing this silly argument).

"Dell doesn't have to have R&D to slap its name on consumer electronics products."

Oh sure! that strategy worked great for them with thier mp3 initiative.

Re:Close up shop (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 8 years ago | (#16086306)

"Ah, ok. right. what was it then? he could have just said "I'm not going to answer that question. I don't care" - his answer stated that he sees no future in apple."

He did not say that. First off, it was an interview of MD and had nothing to do with Apple, yet the journalist decided to ask MD what he'd do if he was taking over Apple as Jobs was. His initial reaction was that he wouldn't take that job. When pressed for an answer, he said he'd liquidate the company.

That should surprise no one who understands MD's business viewpoint. MD did not desire to comment on Apple as he no interest in a capital-intensive, high margin business. I've tried to explain that to you, but I don't think you are interested in understanding. His response was "my opinion doesn't matter because i'm not suited to be CEO of Apple".

"sales of desktops (which are what I meant) are stagnating...i'd say wait five years."

businesses need desktops yet people have been predicting notebooks to replace desktops for over 10 years. it won't happen, but if it does Dell sells those notebooks. Apple does not sell into business; they've tried, failed, and given up. Closed systems, like you mentioned, don't play in business either.

"the fact is that it didn't...(this is just brain dead, I don't believe I'm actualy continuing this silly argument)"

I can't help that you aren't able to think objectively. It's your problem, not mine.

"Oh sure! that strategy worked great for them with thier mp3 initiative."

Look who's complaining about silly arguments! Apple badge-engineers just as Dell does and it's not hard to find successful Dell badge-engineered products. Their monitors are very successful.

Re:Close up shop (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#16087776)

"I can't help that you aren't able to think objectively. It's your problem, not mine"

OK. good day, sir.

Re:Close up shop (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 8 years ago | (#16085788)

"If Apple hadn't shifted its focus toward digital entertainment it may well have gone out of business"

ROLFLMAO.


Someone clearly doesn't remember 1997 very well.

Re:Close up shop (1)

shawngarringer (906569) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082904)

Dell sells crap PCs to idiots who don't know any better. They're like eMachines, or Gateway, or HP, or Compaq, or Levino... or any other brand. Tell me whats different about any of the bargan-basement PC brands?


Apple and Dell are very different companies. Apple pays R&D teams to innovate, where as Dell just copies. Same with all the other beige box PC companies. Apple develops something new, packages it up so its easy to use, secure, stable, and fun. And they sell tons of machines, make a huge profit, and still people think they're doomed.

Wake up, 1999 called, it wants its "Apple is going to fail" story back!

Re:Close up shop (1)

itsmarsh (1000515) | more than 8 years ago | (#16083870)

This is conclusion is incomplete and incompetent. Dell has distinct target markets , and provides the proper IT solutions for each customer. Dell has been highly successful in recognizing their different customer needs, and tailoring their marketing accordingly. Home & Home Office Small Business Medium & Large Business Government, Education & Healthcare To compare the Apple and PC hardware and software is just dumb, not to mention lame. The broadly targeted and customer oriented Dell business model is what gives Dell their massive market share. Apple will not be able to substantially gain market share by their technological R&D alone. In order to grow, Apple needs to improve the flexibility of its product line, and reshape their niche image. The time is nearing an end for Apple to capitalize on the success of the iPod brand. Perhaps an aggressive guerilla marketing campaign to replace business, personal, government, and healthcare PCs could help them improve their image, and mainstream their computers.

Re:Close up shop (1)

shawngarringer (906569) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084172)

Why would Apple want to be mainstream? Isn't enough to be successful and profitable? Last time I checked Apple has several million (it was maybe over 100?) in the bank. They're not losing money. Thats what I'd call a successful business.


Re:Close up shop (1)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 8 years ago | (#16085285)

Umm... Apple has several billion in the bank.

Re:Close up shop (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080930)

Why? aren't they profitable?

I know most companies are having maintenance contracts with Dell, in which Dell is excellent and very fast. Dell isn't focussing on the consumermarket, but is doing quite well with businesses.

Walk into any company (government, educational and private) and you'll find Dells...

Re:Close up shop (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081323)

I agree, if you are a corporate client on a support plan, support is quick and painless. I work in an almost pure Dell hardware environment, I have had new hard drives to my door in less than 3hrs, and when ever any of my laptops has a problem they dispatch both a tech and parts to fix the problem.

And no, none of my laptops have caught fire.. The recalled batteries where replaced within 5 business days, which I believe is fast considering the size of the recall.

Re:Close up shop (1)

chaoticgeek (874438) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081429)

I agree with you. Here at my college they have two Sun Labs just for the Engeneering Department, one half apple half dell lab for the Arts Departments. Then every other lab on campus is Dell. I'd say a good 1000 more dells plus there is the other secondary campus that has one lab of 200 dells. Plus all the teachers computers are dells, and they just have images for every set of hardware plus they update every lab after 3 years and they buy all the computers not just lease them. So they format the computers and sell them back to the students, professers, and community.

The stories I could tell... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080692)

I used to handle OEMs for a large monitor supplier, and Dell was the worst buyer on the entire list. Dell can hollow out a supplier like no other company I've seen before or since.

Goes around...comes around, eh, Michael...?

Re:The stories I could tell... (0, Redundant)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080727)

I dont see what everyones problem is with dell.

Seriously I used to be a Dell hater now I love the guys, they offer great products and support. Now I am sure you guys are puking as you read this but seriously, there business support is off the wall. Mabye for home users there not so great but thats not what Dell cares about.

The only reason why a company may hate Dell is compition. But seriously thats just business.

I just dont see the problem.

Re:The stories I could tell... (1)

DougLorenz (964249) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081329)

I agree... I own three Dell computers at home, I've given two to my mom, one to my mother in law, and I purchase Dell computers exclusively at work. The computers have always been reliable, and whenever I've had a problem the support has been excellent.

It's just a Slashdot thing... Some kids here feel that they are cool if they say bad things about Dell... It's the same with Microsoft.

Re:The stories I could tell... (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081469)

Most Dell hostility comes from people who bought one around 2001, especially if it came with Windows ME. Dell's cheap quality combined with awful "support" cost them a lot of future business.

Re:The stories I could tell... (1)

DougLorenz (964249) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081789)

I purchased at least a half dozen Dell systems in 2001, mostly Optiplex desktops and a couple of Latitude laptops. The Optiplex systems worked great, and at least three of them are still in use, including the one I gave to my mother in law. The Latitudes were used by an advance team for a political campaign and they were badly abused, but Dell's support staff was great. Even when a damaged laptop looked like someone had dropkicked it, Dell fixed the computer quickly and under warranty.

One of those two laptops is still functional, even though the campaign's policy director set part of the case on fire after trying to get work done by candlelight... (I didn't have that one fixed. I figured that no matter how nice Dell's people were, nobody was going to accept that for warranty work...)

The problem is that nobody reports examples of good service, they only rant about the problems that they heard happened to a friend of a friend's sister's neighbor or something...

Re:The stories I could tell... (2, Funny)

johneee (626549) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080867)

You've obviously never dealt with Wal*Mart have you?

Re:The stories I could tell... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081897)

Dell and Wal*Mart are actually not too far off. Neither one is a 'true' monopoly in all the markets they are in... but in certain select markets (Wal*Mart in rural areas, Dell in the U.S.), they are near monopolies, controlling a significant percentage of the market. Dell had 30% of the market in April, compared to HP's 18% and Apple's 3.5% according to this article [com.com] .

When you command nearly a third of the market for PCs, you can make your suppliers do almost anything -- including making them sell components to you below-cost, just so they won't lose your business.

Re:The stories I could tell... (1)

Crunchie Frog (791929) | more than 8 years ago | (#16085511)

When you command nearly a third of the market for PCs, you can make your suppliers do almost anything -- including making them sell components to you below-cost, just so they won't lose your business.

... Why wouldn't these suppliers want to lose business that was causing them a loss?

Re:The stories I could tell... (1)

johneee (626549) | more than 8 years ago | (#16085716)

I can't really speak for Dell, but the usual way of doing it is this:

1: go to manufacturer and negotiate reasonable prices for lots and lots of stuff
2(a): wait until the manufacturer ramps up the workforce/leases on equipment and space to meet your order and has a significant portion of their income tied to your continued patronage
3(b): Tell them that they're going to lose your orders unless they reduce the price of their products and refuse to pay more when costs go up. Since such a huge part of their income comes from you, it'd be impossible for them to lose your business, no matter the cost
3: profit (massively, at the expense of pretty much everyone else)

There's an interesting article here: http://www.harpers.org/BreakingTheChain.html [harpers.org]

Dude, you're gettin' a subpoena! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16080694)

Better shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders before the company gets looted!

obligatory... (5, Funny)

jimfinity (849860) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080730)

dude, you're getting a subpoena

Re:obligatory... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16080834)

Can we please give the jokes a rest? Today is a national day of mourning. I lost some good friends in the towers on that fateful day six years ago, and we just want to take the time to mourn their loss without all the jokes and all that we've been seeing here. Is that too much to ask?

9-11-2000 NEVER FORGET!

We miss you pookie and Ahmad!

9-11-2000 NEVER FORGET!

If you're going to act holier than thou... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16080947)

at least get the year right.

Re:obligatory... (0, Offtopic)

fwarren (579763) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080970)

I know I should not feed the trolls.

1. It is 9-11-2001 not 2000
2. If it is such a serious matter, you should get that much right.
3. If today is a day that requires a somber tone....I would suggest avoiding slashdot, or at least reading it at +3 or +4

Better yet... (1)

iamsolidsnk (862065) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081651)

Dude, your getting a probe!

Dude! (5, Funny)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080732)

.. you're getting a cell?

Jaysyn

Re:Dude! (2, Funny)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081205)

No, they are committed to Intel.

Re:Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16083170)

you're going to hell

I suppose I'm alone in this. (1)

Canthros (5769) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080738)

I think Eliot Spitzer needs a new hobby.

Re:I suppose I'm alone in this. (3, Insightful)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080874)

RTFH

Federal Prosecutors Launch Probe of Dell.

Eliot Spitzer is the New York State Attorney General. He is looking for a new job though...Governor of New York to be specific.

Re:I suppose I'm alone in this. (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081313)

Since he has refused to conduct any investigation of the largest mass-murder in New York history, I guess this helps keep his name in the press.

Re:I suppose I'm alone in this. (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080968)

I think Eliot Spitzer needs a new hobby.

I hope not.

His recent hobbies [wikipedia.org] impress the shit out of me.

Re:I suppose I'm alone in this. (1)

rbochan (827946) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081065)

Not that he has anything to do with this, since he's not a federal prosecutor, but you're saying that he shouldn't be representing his constituents?

You know they're guilty when they say .... (2, Funny)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080740)

From TFA
"We are fully cooperating with the investigations and working to resolve any and all issues raised in connection with those investigations as quickly as possible, and we will take any appropriate remedial or corrective actions to address any problems," said a statement from Chairman Michael Dell.

Not suprising... (5, Interesting)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080751)

Dell had a tendency to dump computers at the end of every quarter to inflate volume. This went on for over 2 years up until a few months ago. I know a few people who made lots of money by buying these machines, sitting on them for a month and then ebaying them once the prices on Dell home went back to normal. The whole time this was happening I never could figure out how Dell was actually making money on these systems when they were dumping them for 25%-30% less than normal price. I figured this 25% - 30% was their margin but it looks like that might not have been true.

If you only knew (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081172)

Channel stuffing is only one of Dell's tricks to make your quarterly numbers.

Re:If you only knew (1)

djrogers (153854) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082940)

Channel stuffing is only one of Dell's tricks to make your quarterly numbers. Dell doesn't utilize 'channel sales' - it's a direct sales only manufacturer and in some instances acts as a channel for other mfr's. It isn't channgel stuffing if theres' no channel - it's just plain old dumping.

Re:If you only knew (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 8 years ago | (#16083731)

No. Dell sells through integrators, VARs, minority owned businesses, some resellers and many other "partners" as well as direct. Many of the largest players in the business sell Dell.

Re:Not suprising... (2, Informative)

CaptainAx (606247) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081241)

Usually with these 25% to 30% off systems, there were rebates that wouldn't be issued for months...

always copying (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080752)

That probe has caused Dell to delay its financial reporting and raised the possibility of needing to restate previous quarters' earnings.

There they go, copying Apple again...

so where is the money going (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080755)

I will be surprised if anything comes of this. If there is missing money it hasnt gone to shareholders, wth the dropping of the pda line, mp3 players and other "extras" it hasnt gone into product development, and we all know it certainly hasnt gone into customer service. Dell had a good thing going for quite a while, I used to recommend NO ONE but them, but for the past few years I tend to recommend ANYONE but them.

Re:so where is the money going (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081165)

I will be surprised if anything comes of this. If there is missing money it hasnt gone to shareholders, wth the dropping of the pda line, mp3 players and other "extras" it hasnt gone into product development, and we all know it certainly hasnt gone into customer service...
"Missing money" doesn't mean that the money was there to begin with. Just that they (if true) have misstated their income in some way. Why would a company do this? Numerous reasons: to prop up the share price... the top brass might have some bonus system that requires certain results... keeping the credit rating up... and the list goes on.

Retirement plan at Dell? (1)

wwood_98 (852037) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080766)

I wonder how confortable Dell employees feel about their retirement plans? There is no shortage of companies who have recently bricked the value of the company plans and left thousands of people high and dry.

I'd be considering ways to move the value of my retirement plan somewhere else.

Re:Retirement plan at Dell? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081750)

Ha! Dell's one of the "new" companies. What is this retirement plan you speak of?

Re:Retirement plan at Dell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16082788)

We have no retirement plans (except 401k), and Dell employees (at least here in engineering) don't tend to stick around more than 3-5 years. It's an educational sweatshop. One of a few places to learn about consumer hw development in the US, but not the kind of place you want to stay in if you value your wallet and personal life. I don't know many people in design that work fewer than 12hrs/day, and we are all constantly being pushed to help our "brothers" in India and China take our jobs over.

I don't know too many people who are thinking about a long term here, unless it's going to management.

I wanta know (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080825)

I wanta know why half the Dells in our office keep reporting that they are pirated when they are original Dell installations. YAY :)

Re:I wanta know (1)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081471)

Maybe cos they've all got sticky labels on with product keys, and people have copied them onto paper and taken them home to use.

Re:I wanta know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16101294)

its spyware...google for 'wgatray spyware'
blame windows :)

Look at Dell's other mistakes and wrongs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16080891)

They're here: http://malfy.org/ [malfy.org]

This could end up benefitting Dell.... (2, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 8 years ago | (#16080939)

...in the long run. With the share buybacks suspended because of the investigations when that suspension is lifted the negatie news might have caused the share prices to have decreased making them cheaper for Dell to buy back and thus increasing the profit they can make when they sell them again years from now.

Re:This could end up benefitting Dell.... (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081415)

Except companies almost never sell stock directly to the public. They might issue options to employees, or even stock to executives, but by and large companies don't finance their operations that way. They generally use bonds to cover their debts.

"An Anonymous Reader"? (3, Funny)

ben there... (946946) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081011)

An anonymous reader writes,

Oh, hey, Mr. Jobs!

I didn't know you read slashdot!

Press Coverage Bias Detector (5, Insightful)

wmduncan (888561) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081084)

This should pose an interesting comparison of how Dell is treated by the press vis a vis Apple.

To be "fair and balanced", the next articles should say that "beleagured" Dell faces delisting
by the Nasdaq and that Michael Dell faces SEC charges.

Re:Press Coverage Bias Detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16081132)

What are you talking about? Half the press are Apple-toting, biased wannabe-techies.

Re:Press Coverage Bias Detector (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082047)

Apple hasn't generally been referred to as "beleaguered" by the main-stream press in a decade. There are still those who try and predict Apple's death (51 times since 1995 - http://www.macobserver.com/appledeathknell/index.s html [macobserver.com] ) but they have always been hilariously wrong.

Apple is having it's own financial reporting issues of late, and these have been widely covered in the media.

Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16081100)

I'm in the market for a large wide screen LCD monitor. Who should I buy from?

Sony makes a lovely 23 incher. They also distribute a wonderfull rootkit.
HP has a nice 24 inch LCD. They also have an ethically challenged Board of Directors.
Dell's 24 inch wide screen LCD gets rave reviews. They seem to have some financial reporting issues.

How can I "vote with my dollars" when there is no one to vote for?

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081239)

BENQ?

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081703)

You don't seriously think those are your only options for 23" LCDs, do you?

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

BethanyBoo (940031) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081738)

This is off topic but every Samsung LCD I've ever used has been amazing. Expensive, but great.

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

CYDVicious (834329) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081786)

Go with Samsung, they have a no-dead-pixel LCD policy last time I checked...(Not sure if it applies to all LCDs or certain models. ~CYD

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081976)

How about a 24" iMac? [apple.com] ... of course that is a bit more than just an LCD monitor...

I do not work for Apple nor do I own one... yet...
these puppies are pretty sweet though, and my Dell Laptop sucks ass

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16082041)

One computer manufacturer that you haven't mentioned: Apple makes a wonderful line of 16:9 aspect ratio LCD screens, in 20, 23, and 30" sizes. They have extra USB ports built in, and have even undergone a recent price drop ($500 on the 30"!). Of course, I'm opening myself up to tons of Apple-hating abuse by mentioning them, I know, but ... go into an Apple store sometime, they really are quite beautiful screens.

(How strangely appopriate that my captcha word is "danger" ... )

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (4, Funny)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082184)

What do you do for the presidential election? Same issue, same resolution.

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

TFloore (27278) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084491)

What do you do for the presidential election? Same issue, same resolution.

Hold your nose, and vote for the third-party fruitcake. Almost by definition, most 3rd-party candidates in the USA are fruitcakes. They have one issue they make some sense on, and most everything else they are well-characterized as a fruitcake. But you aren't voting to get them elected, you are voting to contribute to the "51/34/26% of votes cast go to neither of the major party candidates" (whatever percentage you want, as 1% more than 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 or whichever you think is significant) at which point we might actually get a viable third party in this country.

Same way the mid-term elections go here. Hold your nose and vote for the party that does not occupy the White House. Having either party in charge of both Houses of Congress and the White House is bad for the country.

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (2, Informative)

gatesvp (957062) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082640)

Try BenQ, Samsung and (I believe) NEC.

Plus Apple just came out with a 24" iMac. It costs twice as much, but it comes complete with a computer, all for the same size :)

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#16082824)

Sony is a big company. Their content and entertainment divions may be on my sh*t list right now, but they have always (and still do) make darn good electronics hardware, when it isn't crippled by the other divisions.

Since their TVs support all the correct standards, I'd give them a carrot in this case and support them. I won't touch anything else Sony makes right now, but we bought our TV from them last year.

This is similar to Microsoft - I won't touch their OS or application software, but their game division has made some nice things.

I'm just a consumer, and my power lies solely with my dollar. I do avoid places on principle. At the same time, I know nothing I do will put these companies out of business. The next best thing is to show them that they can make money and be profitable with their open, solid product lines, which might encourage them to make fewer restricted, crappy products.

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084912)

Sony is a big company. Their content and entertainment divions may be on my sh*t list right now, but they have always (and still do) make darn good electronics hardware, when it isn't crippled by the other divisions.


When the electronics division isn't being crippled by the other divisions, it is often being sued by them. Yes, this company is schizoid enough to take itself to court (and lose? win?) and has done so numerous times in the past; it's possible because it's really a congolmerate of several dozen mutually-owned companies, located in various countries (probably for tax and political reasons). The management of these companies rarely agree on anything; the only person a Sony manager would prefer to fight instead of their customers is another Sony manager in a different division.

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084891)

Others have mentioned Samsung, but add iiyama to that list as well. Most of the LCD panels in the world are made by various asian companies, several of which will sell direct. I don't think Dell actually makes any, they just pay to have their badge sprayed on a casing (which is true of the vast majority of their 'products'; they're either designed and produced on contract, or Dell just owns the company that really makes them). Sony is a real hardware company who deserves your scorn. Not sure about HP, but LCD displays seem a bit outside their normal production to me.

Re:Are There Any Honest Companies Left? (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | about 8 years ago | (#16190983)

How can I "vote with my dollars" when there is no one to vote for?
Look on the bright side - at least there's somoeone to vote against. Plenty, in fact. More than enough. Hmm. Scratch that bit about the bright side. Best go and live in a wigwam somewhere.

Informal vs Formal (1)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081489)

Informal is they don't use lube.

I think maybe terrorists laptop of choice is DEll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16081550)

.. you can draw your own conclusions, I saw it on the TV machine last night on CBS.

I think the terrorist laptop of choice is DELL (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081578)

You can draw your own conclusions, I saw it on the TV machine last night on ABC.

Michael Dell "We're in the penalty box"(interview) (1)

orlinius (181137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16081988)

I just read the last Fortune magazine and there is an interesting interview with Dell's Chairman Michael Dell and CEO Kevin Rollins.

My favourite part:
"If you ask, 'Okay, is Dell in the penalty box?' Yeah, Dell's in the penalty box," is how Michael Dell puts it. "Then we'll use this opportunity to fix everything."

Of course this was before this announcement of the investigation into Dell's finances.

You can read part of the interview here:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/04/magazines/fortune/ dell_intv.fortune/index.htm [cnn.com]

The summary of the Fortune article:
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_arc hive/2006/09/18/8386121/index.htm [cnn.com]

Strip naked and get on the probulator (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#16083830)

SEC: "Ah, the probulator's done."

Dell: "That wasn't so bad."

SEC: "Oh, wait, it hasn't started yet."

*ding*

Dell: *Aaaarrrrghhh*

SEC: "Ok, it's about to start!"

*ding*

Dell: *AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Hmmm.... (2, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#16084623)

Sounds like they should be dumping some of those recalled batteries into the file cabinets.

Bad place to work as well. (1)

eggsovereasy (573119) | more than 8 years ago | (#16086510)

Suprise mandatory overtime, have to pick up your kids? Quit and get them or stay and work. I had a friend who was asking for a few days off for her wedding months in advance, finally said she could have half a day off the day of the wedding? She had worked there 2 years and was one of the top performers in the call center. Needless to say, she quit.

tellin alla ya'll this is sabotage (1)

p0ss (998301) | more than 8 years ago | (#16086804)

I am going to purposefully make my dell laptop explode, injuring me in a non vital but "income altering" way. then i am going to claim i knew nothing of the product recall and sue them. I will make millions in compo, other people will start doing the same. and pretty soon, no more dell. then it will be replaced by another stupid and/or evil corperation and the cycle can begin again.. Ah the circle of life. and all because the second hand dell desktop i bought doesn't have room for another HDD. hold a grudge much? mwuhahaha
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