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About oDesk – A Staffing Marketplace and Management Platform

The On-Demand Global Workforce

oDesk enables buyers of services to hire, manage, and pay technology service providers from around the world. Buyers choose oDesk for top global talent, comprehensive management tools, and a flexible hourly payment model. Service Providers choose oDesk for challenging jobs and guaranteed payment. Every day, thousands of buyers and providers work together through oDesk — a unique company at the forefront of reinventing work.

The oDesk Mission

  • Build the world’s best network of technology service providers through screening, testing, and feedback
  • Offer the platform that lets buyers successfully hire, manage, and pay service providers from around the world

The Buyer Challenge

We’ve worked with thousands of buyers of services seeking to tap the global labor market, and we have found that they face three key challenges:

  • How to choose the right service provider, with so many self-proclaimed experts around the world?
  • How to manage and pay a remote team, around barriers such as timezone and culture?
  • How to avoid getting locked into long-term commitments, since business demands vary week-to-week?

The Provider Challenge

We have built a network of freelance programmers and outsourcing firms from around the world. We have learned that, despite growing local opportunities, most top programmers want to offer their skills to an international customer base. But providers face several key challenges:

  • How to find qualified buyers, with interesting work opportunities?
  • How to work effectively with a remote manager, using distributed development tools?
  • How to ensure that payment is received on time and in full?

The oDesk Solution

oDesk is as simple as Hire-Manage-Pay.

Hire: the oDesk Marketplace lets buyers search, interview and hire providers from across the globe. Providers can also apply to job openings posted by buyers.

Manage: the oDesk Workplace lets buyers assign tasks, track progress, manage source code, and collaborate. Providers login to work each day at the oDesk Workplace.

Pay: oDesk’s payment system charges buyers each week for hours worked, and generates detailed timelogs to give literal visibility into the underlying work activity of providers.

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November 14, 2008 Posted by | Finance | , , , | 1 Comment

About Eforcity

They sell cheaply made items and mine where dead on arrival. After 6 emails 3 phone calls they still say they have not received the defective items back even thaw post office says it was delivered on July 30th! The law states any online purchase can be sent back for a FULL refund and looks like I will have to use the law to get my refund. I will never do business with them again and I recommend others to stay away. If I do not get my refund shortly I will file complaints with the BBB, Governor Office of Consumer Affairs, Attorney Generals office and the Federal Trade commission. Do some checking which I should have done and you will see they do not have a good rating.

I was pleased to get everything I had asked for and it all works great – at a great savings. I was a bit surprised that my charger, PS3 controller dock and dock for my blackjack all came in a large bag rather than a box, but the goods are all working properly and I’m happy – I saved money, and I guess inferior packing supplies helps pass the savings on to me – I will order again today since we need another PS3 dock!

Do not buy from a company that does not have a working telephone number as a means of contact!! I ordered a case from Eforcity.com to fit a new phone that was also arriving in the mail. I received the phone first and did not like it so I sent the phone back to the company and ordered a different model phone. While I was waiting for my case to arrive (which had been almost two weeks) so I could send it back, I went ahead and ordered the new case for the new phone. I used delivery confirmation to prevent companies from scamming me. After confirming that my package was received by DC, I waited to see a refund post to my account. 2 weeks went by and absolutely nothing. I emailed them asking where my refund was and they told me that they had NO RECORD THAT I EVER SENT ANYTHING BACK!! Are you kidding me? They ask me to provide a tracking number which I had perfectly in my hand. So now I am just waiting to see what lie they will try and tell this time and trust me I will post a follow-up review. This company is sneaky so don’t trust them! No number, no sale!

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Computer, Finance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Economic crisis can’t be solved overnight: Bush

On the eve of the crucial G-20 summit on the current financial crisis, US President George Bush acknowledged on Thursday that the global economic meltdown can’t be solved overnight and called for decisive action from governments around the world.

“This crisis did not develop overnight, and it will not be solved overnight. But our actions are having an impact,” Bush said while addressing the prestigious Manhattan Institute in New York on ‘Financial Markets and the World Economy’.

Bush, who is the host of the G-20 summit in Washington over the weekend, said in addition to addressing the current economic crisis it is also essential for the world leaders to make broader reforms to strengthen the global economy over the long term.

Arguing that nations must make their financial markets more transparent, like improving accounting rules for securities, the US president also emphasised on the need to ensure that markets, firms and financial products are properly regulated.

“By bringing greater stability to this large and important sector, we would reduce the risk to our overall financial system,” he said, and called for enhancing the integrity of the financial markets.

For example, authorities in every nation should take a fresh look at the rules governing market manipulation and fraud, and ensure that investors are properly protected, he said.

Observing that all these steps require decisive actions from the governments of the world, Bush said: “At the same time, we must recognise that government intervention is not a cure-all.”

Fed cuts rates by 0.5 percentage points

For example, some blame the crisis on insufficient regulation of the American mortgage market. But many European countries had much more extensive regulations and still experienced problems almost identical to our own, he said.

History has shown that the greater threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market – but too much, Bush said, adding: “Our aim should not be more government – it should be smarter government.”

Making a case for free market in the wake of growing criticism against it, Bush said: “While reforms in the financial sector are essential, the long-term solution to today’s problems is sustained economic growth. And the surest path to that growth is free markets and free people.”

The crisis, Bush argued, is not a failure of the free market system. The answer was not to try to reinvent that system but to fix its problems, he said.
“It is to fix the problems we face, make the reforms we need, and move forward with the free market principles that have delivered prosperity and hope to people around the world,” Bush said.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News, Politics | , | 1 Comment

ODesk can makes job searching easier

oDesk is a company with a global job marketplace and a series of tools targeted at businesses that intend to hire and manage remote workers. Based in Menlo Park, CA, oDesk was founded by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. The name is a short version of “no desk” which encapsulated the founders’ vision of enabling anyone to work anywhere, anytime.

Established in 2003, oDesk relies upon proprietary tools to allow buyers real-time visibility into the ongoing activities of remote worker activities to facilitate collaboration and supervision. oDesk’s system also includes payment, Intellectual property protection and other statutory requirements. For remote workers, the tools were designed to eliminate timekeeping and bookkeeping tasks, as well as ensure that these remote employees get paid for hourly work, even when working for a company in another country.

The marketplace has been adopted by programmers and other freelancers around the world. As of October 16, 2007, over 25,000 service providers had joined the site.

Job cuts and major changes in corporate strategies have left millions of Americans without jobs, and the technology sector is one of several industries suffering the consequences of the recent economic turmoil. However, the talented pool of technology professionals making their way out of the workforce – at least temporarily – can pick up work easily with the help of online job sites such as oDesk.

According to AP The San Jose Business Journal reports that oDesk currently features over 125,000 freelance technical professionals from around the world. Companies can hire skilled talent on an outsourcing basis from countries in the Far East, South America and even Australia. oDesk serves as a global job marketplace where freelancers can pick up work on a contract basis and keep track of their projects on a web-based interface. The key difference between oDesk and the average online job board is that skilled workers can obtain certification for their particular niche so that job providers can track them down with ease.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , , , | 3 Comments

QVC plans layoffs, shifting some functions to Hampton Roads

QVC, largely known for its home shopping channel, has announced layoffs at its Pennsylvania offices with plans to move some functions to Hampton Roads.

Over the next 14 months, the company will phase out its distribution center in West Chester, Pa., and will shift the majority of its home product lines to distribution centers in Suffolk and Rocky Mount, N.C.

Other product lines from the Pennsylvania operation will be shifted to other distribution centers, the release says.

The company also plans to move call center functions to centers in Chesapeake and others in Texas and Florida, the release says. The company also plans to expand its initiative that allows phone representatives to work some shifts at home.

The company said that a total of 900 jobs would be eliminated during the next 14 months, but 200 other jobs would be created at a distribution center in South Carolina. The job cuts account for about 5.8 percent of the company’s workforce, the release says.

About 160 people were laid off yesterday as part of a process of “simplifying management and support structure and streamlining key processes,” company officials said in the release.

The company said the initiatives are part of a plan to “support its long-term growth strategy while also addressing current business conditions.”

The cuts should reduce the company’s forecasted 2009 operating costs by $30 to $40 million, the release says.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Help wanted at the Obama White House

An epidemic of layoffs is plaguing the country, but the Help Wanted sign is out in Washington: President-elect Obama’s new administration needs to fill 7,996 positions according to the Plum Book, the quadrennial list of jobs filled by presidential appointment.

The Plum Book also lists the pay schedules for each presidential appointment. According to the book, a member of Obama’s cabinet can make as much as $191,300.

But there are numerous positions whose salaries are not listed in the Plum Book, such as the president’s chief of staff and press secretary, where the pay is at the administration’s discretion, and can be much higher.

No administration official or presidential appointee can make more the president, who currently earns $400,000 a year.

The “Plum Book” — the name comes from the color of its cover — is published every four years immediately following the presidential election. The book was first released in 1952, when — after 22 years of a Democratically-controlled White House — Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration needed to identify what government jobs they could fill. The Plum Book was again produced in 1960 for the Kennedy administration, and has been published every four years since.

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

DHL Cuts 9,500 Jobs in U.S., and an Ohio Town Takes the Brunt

When the owner of the big shipping company DHL U.S. Express announced on Monday that it planned to cut 9,500 jobs in the United States, the news hit this town the hardest.

Wilmington is home to a sprawling distribution hub, and more than 7,000 jobs will disappear, devastating the local economy.

“This is a catastrophic event for the entire region,” said David L. Raizk, the mayor of Wilmington, a city of about 12,000 just 40 miles north of Cincinnati. He said that 20 percent of the region’s businesses depended on the hub and would most likely close.

The move was a sharp reversal for Deutsche Post, the German company that owns DHL, which had said that it was planning to maintain its American operations by turning over its domestic air-cargo service to its rival United Parcel Service.

The express package business has been suffering under the sharp economic downturn: express shipments in the United States carried by the top three companies fell in the third quarter for the first time since the 2001 recession.

The company, which cut 5,400 jobs this year at DHL, will discontinue its domestic-only air and ground services in January to focus entirely on its more lucrative international offerings. DHL said it would close its U.S. Express ground hubs and reduce the number of stations to 103, from 412. It said it would retain 3,000 to 4,000 employees to serve its international express customers.

The deepest cuts will be in Wilmington, where DHL built the hub in 2005 on a former Air Force base with the help of a $400 million state and local incentive package. DHL operates the hub in conjunction with Astar Air Cargo and ABX Air, both of which will most likely cease operations there when DHL leaves.

Clinton County, where Wilmington is the county seat, is facing a $2 million gap in a $14.5 million budget because of the loss of tax revenue. “We’re going to be taking 2009 needs and trying to fund them with 2005-level revenues,” said Randy Riley, the county commission president.

Hubs in Allentown, Pa., and Riverside, Calif., are also scheduled to close, as well as 18 regional sorting centers. The move is expected to reduce operating costs to less than $1 billion, from $5.4 billion. DHL U.S. Express expects to lose $1.5 billion this year, excluding one-time expenses.

Deutsche Post had ambitions of competing with FedEx and U.P.S. after acquiring Airborne in 2003 and combining it with DHL. But it was unable to rise above third place in the North American overnight delivery business.

Completing the cutbacks depends on successful negotiations of the outsourcing plan with U.P.S., said Jonathan Baker, a DHL spokesman.

“It has been an extremely tough year for the express business in the United States and for the shipping industry as a whole,” he said. “More must be done now to protect our interests, and we’re going to focus on what we do better than anyone else, and that’s international shipping.”

DHL’s plans may pre-empt a Justice Department antitrust investigation into the deal with U.P.S. Senators Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, asked for an investigation in September. But Mr. Brown said in a conference call on Monday that the inquiry may be moot.

He wants quick action on federal aid to retrain workers and provide other help for the thousands who lose their jobs and said he would press DHL to help Wilmington financially.

The city wants to purchase the airport and attract new businesses but needs help. “DHL really owes something back to the community, to say the least,” Mr. Brown said. “I’m hopeful that it will be a good citizen and turn over the air park with some subsidies.”

Wilmington has been bracing for sweeping job cuts since DHL announced its proposed deal with U.P.S. in May. The more drastic decision to end all domestic air and ground shipping was a desperate move that some still hope to reverse.

Joe Teuchert, a 16-year Astar cargo pilot and spokesman for Save the Jobs, an organization of community advocates, called the deal with U.P.S. anticompetitive and said it should be blocked by regulators.

Mr. Teuchert estimated that as many as 1,500 jobs could be saved in Wilmington if the deal did not go through. If the deal is completed, he will be out of a job along with thousands more, a prospect he has been fighting since spring.

“I handle emergencies all the time,” he said. “I’ve never had an emergency situation like this.”

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Circuit City may shut stores to avoid bankruptcy

Struggling electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. is considering a plan to shut at least 150 stores and cut thousands of jobs to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Circuit City has hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which oversaw Kmart’s Chapter 11 reorganization, as its bankruptcy counsel. The company also has retained FTI Consulting Inc. to develop a turnaround plan and investment bank Rothschild Inc. to guide talks with banks and secure emergency financing, the Journal reported.
Chart of CC
“While we would appreciate [Circuit City] for its attempt to stay solvent, we remain highly pessimistic on holiday sales and on consumer spending in 2009,” said Standard & Poor’s analyst Michael Souers.
A filing from Circuit City would make it the largest retailer to enter bankruptcy protection in several years, the paper reported. Retailers that have filed for bankruptcy protection this year include Linens ‘n Things, Mervyn’s and Sharper Image.
“We’re not going to speculate on rumors and comment beyond our original statement,” said Circuit City spokesman Jim Babb in a response to emailed questions.
The company’s management team, board of directors, and its strategic financial advisers are conducting a “comprehensive review” of all aspects of its business to determine the best methods of accelerating its turnaround and delivering substantially improved operating and financial performance, the company said in a written statement.
Shares of Circuit City fell 2.6% to 38 cents a share in afternoon trading, erasing earlier gains and wiping out 91% of their value this year.
The declining credit market has yielded the company little luck in securing debtor-in-possession financing, which helps a business in bankruptcy proceedings pay its day-to-day operating expenses, according to the Journal. By shutting the stores, 59-year-old Circuit City could liquidate about $350 million in inventory, which it could use to pay off certain real-estate costs and pressure existing landlords to renegotiate some leases, the paper added.
As of Aug. 31, Circuit City had 714 stores in the United States and 772 stores and dealer outlets in Canada, employing about 45,000 people. It had sales of $11.74 billion in the year ended Feb. 29.
In September, Circuit City withdrew its previous fiscal 2009 outlook and said that it was suspending future store openings beginning next fiscal year to review all aspects of the business ahead of the holiday season, its biggest selling period.
Faced with a slowing U.S. economy, a weakened brand position, along with stiff competition from rivals such as Best Buy Co. Circuit City has lost market share and customer traffic. Cash and short-term investments declined 78% to $92.5 million, while the company incurred short-term debt of $215 million.
The retailer’s liquidity position and how its financial performance may be affecting its vendors were repeated topics on management’s conference call with analysts in September.
Circuit City, which began to explore a sale of the company earlier this year, said in September that all options were still on the table. It also said that it may focus internally on improving its performance to keep operating independently.

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysts see McDonald’s Dollar Menu changes ahead

McDonald’s Corp will likely raise the price of its flagship Dollar Menu item, the Double Cheeseburger, and replace it with a new double hamburger with one slice of cheese, analysts said.
“The double cheeseburger will likely rise from 99 cents to $1.19, while a new product, called ‘McDouble,’ will be a double hamburger with one slice of cheese,” J.P. Morgan analyst John Ivankoe said in a client note on Friday.

McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger has two beef patties and two slices of cheese. The new McDouble would be different in that it would have only one slice of cheese.

McDonald’s executives said on the company’s October 22 earnings conference call that they were testing products and that a decision about Dollar Menu changes would be made “soon.”

One recommendation the company is weighing is to add the McDouble to the Dollar Menu and to move the Double Cheeseburger from the value menu to the main menu.

Greg Watson, McDonald’s U.S. marketing vice president for McDonald’s U.S.A., said on Friday the company was still weighing potential changes to the Dollar Menu, which has been credited with luring customers to the No. 1 restaurant chain amid a sharp U.S. economic downturn.

“The recommendation to adjust the price of the Double Cheeseburger allows us to continue to provide the same great tasting burger our customers know and love, still at a great value,” Watson said. “No final decisions have been made. These are just recommendations at this time.”

The value menu changes would likely boost prices without denting consumer perception that McDonald’s prices are affordable, he said.

The J.P. Morgan analyst said the introduction of the McDouble as well as the Double Cheeseburger price increase could improve margins at company-owned restaurants and boost franchisee cash flows.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Steve West said in a recent note that he expects the Double Cheeseburger price hike to be steeper. He expected its price to go to $1.29, the same price as McDonald’s chicken snack wraps.

McDonald’s is slated to report October sales on Monday, November 10.

November 9, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , , | Leave a comment

Wal-Mart will cut prices every week until Christmas

Wal-Mart Stores Inc will be introducing new rounds of price cuts every week until Christmas as the world’s largest retailer reaches out and appeals to cash-strapped shoppers looking to stretch their holiday budgets.

As part of what it is calling “Operation Main Street,” Wal-Mart will be slashing prices on thousands of items that it says are “vital” to the holiday season, like food and toys.

The move will build on price cuts the discount retailer implemented in October when it offered 10 popular toys for $10 each.

“It’s very much along those same lines, only it takes the intensity up massively,” Stephen Quinn, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer, told Reuters, referring to the new price cuts.

Wal-Mart’s sales have been outperforming many of its competitors this year as U.S. shoppers — pressured by high food and fuel prices, declining home values, extremely tight credit, and a weak jobs market — flock to its stores in search of bargains.

At its analyst meeting last week, Chief Executive Officer Lee Scott stressed that “Christmas will come on Dec 25” despite the economy and said that Wal-Mart will have the best prices in the market for the holiday season.

Quinn said Wal-Mart has surveyed moms to find out how they are planning to shop over the next eight weeks — from getting their homes set for the holidays, to buying food for Thanksgiving dinner, to purchasing gifts.

Wal-Mart will offer price cuts on merchandise that coordinates with those shopping patterns.

“Clearly, this economy has made things tougher for moms and those who are planning budgets for families,” he said. “They’ve never planned more than they are planning now. They feel like they have to manage the budget.”

Shoppers can sign up on Wal-Mart’s Website, http://www.walmart.com/mobileinfo, to receive alerts on their mobile phones outlining the weekly price reductions.

“These mobile messages are going to be very relevant to the exact time period you’re in,” Quinn said.

Quinn said Wal-Mart has worked with its suppliers to ensure it has adequate supply of the products it will be promoting. The retailer will be touting its low prices in ads on TV, its Website, on the radio and in newspaper circulars.

“We’ve got more marketing support than we’ve ever had to make sure people are really are aware of all the values that we have to offer,” Quinn sa

November 9, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | 1 Comment