Auto Bailout Predictions

cash Over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about how the UAW was killing Detroit and how the government would ultimately bail them out.  The topic I addressed was UAW retirement money, not the big-three’s solvency, so it was a little different. But what is interesting to me is that back in Oct 2007, there were only 3 comments to my blog on the subject, one of which was my own!  However, since the bailout news struck this year, there have been 9 comments to this blog post.  Commentators so far have all agreed with the post; despite my dramatic writing style.  Since there is such interest in the subject, I did a little research on how that post relates to the latest bailout package for Detroit.

It turns out that my predictions were correct, but not for the right reasons.  The retirement trust fund (called a VEBA – Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) started its establishment early this year.  By August, it was unclear if GM would have the financial capital to fund its portion of the fund.  And by December, of course, the VEBA is part of the reason GM is seeking handouts from Washington.  My prediction of a bailout was right, although the cause was wrong.  I blamed the UAW for mismanagement of funds, whereas it turned out that GM just didn’t have the cash to even get started.  I still stand by my claim that the UAW will mismanage the money.  I’m not the only one who didn’t understand how the UAW would agree to take on a $51B liability with only $30B in funding from GM.  Unless you’re anxious to skim off the top, it doesn’t make sense.

Serious Security Flaw in IE

From Yahoo Tech:

The major press outlets are abuzz this morning with news of a major new security flaw that affects all versions of Internet Explorer from IE5 to the latest beta of IE8….

Virtually all security experts (as well as myself) are counseling users to switch to any other web browser — none of the others are affected, including Firefox, Chrome, and Opera — at least for the time being, though Microsoft has stubbornly said it "cannot recommend people switch due to this one flaw." Microsoft adds that it is working on a fix but has offered no ETA on when that might happen. Meanwhile it offers some suggestions for a temporary patch, including setting your Internet security zone settings to "high" and offering some complicated workarounds. (Some reports state, however, that the fixes do not actually work.)

Google Chrome Released

google Google Chrome shipped today!  If you didn’t try Chrome because it was in beta, you can now download a finished and supported product.

Some people associate Google with never-ending betas.  GMail, for instance, is still in beta.  Remaining in beta was never the intention for Chrome; we always had a simple goal to take Chrome out of beta as soon as it we had data to prove that it contains enough features, stability, and performance that real users would be happy with it as a primary browser.  We hope we’re at that point.

Our goal is to move quickly with new features and fixes for Chrome.  More needs to be done and more is coming.  If you’ve got comments or suggestions, be sure to let us know.

PS:  I do not speak officially for my employer.