Google Gave Surprise Cash Holiday Bonuses Plus 10% Salary Increase To Their Employees

Google Gives all its employees surprise $1,000 cash holiday bonuses and 10% salary increase.

The said company-wide salary increase will take effect next year 2011. Also, Google will be giving each employee an additional increase equivalent to 1X the employee’s target bonus for the year and they will be eligible for additional “merit increases” based on their individual performance.

In addition, Google will shoulder the taxes on the holiday cash bonus so that the employees can take home the whole of it.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt explained in an internal email (see below), comes in response to feedback that Googlers value the salary part of their compensation far more highly than bonuses or stock compensation.

Employee retention has been a problem in Google. The company is doing its best to keep their employees happy and it also proves that the company’s financial performance continues to be very strong.

CONFIDENTIAL: INTERNAL ONLY
GOOGLERS ONLY (FULL TIME AND PART TIME EMPLOYEES)

I’m pleased to share some very, very good news with Googlers worldwide. But first let me say, on behalf of everyone on the management team, that we believe we have the best employees in the world. Period. The brightest, most capable group of this size ever assembled. It’s why I’m excited to come to work every day–and I’m sure you feel the same way. We want to make sure that you feel rewarded for your hard work, and we want to continue to attract the best people to Google.

So that is why we’ve decided…to give all of you a 10% raise, effective January 1st. This salary increase is global and across the board–everyone gets a raise, no matter their level, to recognize the contribution that each and every one of you makes to Google.

There’s more. We’ve heard from your feedback on Googlegeist and other surveys that salary is more important to you than any other component of pay (i.e., bonus and equity). To address that, we’re moving a portion of your bonus into your base salary, so now it’s income you can count on, every time you get your paycheck. That’s also effective January 1st. You’ll be receiving an email shortly with further details about these changes to your compensation. And one last thing…today we’re announcing that everyone will get a holiday cash bonus, too.

Googlers, you are what makes this company great, and our goal here is to recognize you for your contribution, in a way that’s meaningful to you. Thank you for all that you do, and for making Google a place where magic happens.

Eric

Applebees Veterans Day 2010 Free Meals Promotion For Veterans

Applebees Veterans Day 2010 Free Meals Promotion For Veterans – There’s a saying that the best things in life are free. This holds true for today’s celebration of Veterans Day 2010 to honor the service of military veterans who did their best to serve the country as Applebees, the national restaurant chain known for its casual dining, is giving free meals to all U.S. veterans and active duty service members.

Yes, you’ve heard it right! It’s free! Applebees explicitly said in their website: “We’re thanking all veterans and active duty members with a free entree at Applebee’s on November 11.” To be eligible in this free meal promotion, all you have to do is to show a proof that you are a member of the military service. You can wear your uniform, bring the Veterans Organization Card such as American Legion and VFW, U.S. Uniform Services Identification Cards, and Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).

Some of the menu included in the free meal promotion of Applebees are Bacon Cheeseburger, Oriental Chicken Salad, Double Crunch Shrimp, Fiesta Lime Chicken, and many more. Take note however that beverages and gratuity are not included and that the free meal promotion is only available during business hours at participating Applebee’s only. For all veterans and military service members, this is your chance to get full for free. Thanks to all the hard work and dedication you’ve committed in defending the country.

Alcoholic Energy Drinks Banned In Washington State

Alcoholic Energy Drinks Banned In Washington State – On Wednesday, the Washington state Liquor Control Board banned the sale of alcoholic energy drinks after a group of university students were sickened from consuming a drink nicknamed “blackout in a can.”

The ban will take effect on 18 November. It followed the October hospitalization of nine underage Central Washington University students who said they got sick after drinking “Four Loko”, a caffeinated malt liquor. Other students also mixed the canned drinks with other alcohol, such as vodka.

Rob McKenna, Washington state Attorney General, has called for federal food regulators to ban the beverages. He said, they have such high levels of stimulants that people have no idea how drunk they really are.
However, Four Loko’s manufacturer, Phusion Projects of Chicago, Illinois, claimed the drink is just as safe as any other alcoholic beverage, when used responsibly. The company said it was extremely disappointed by the ban. It was based on misguided information and does not address the issue at hand.

In a written statement released by Phusion, it says: “If the true concern was to preserve the public health, safety and general welfare, this ban would also address caffeinated liquor products, which contain three to four times as much alcohol as our products. Instead, under this ban, these products will remain legal and accessible to the same subset of the population that chose not to consume our products responsibly, sold in stores where existing alcohol laws can continue to be ignored, and abused alongside the same types of alcohols and other illicit substances that contributed to the incident at Central Washington University earlier this year.”

James Gaudino, a university president, was convinced by the findings to ban alcoholic energy drinks from his campus.

According to the chairman of the school’s physical education department said that the drinks are a binge-drinkers dream because the caffeine and other stimulants allow a drinker to ingest larger volumes of alcohol without passing out.

Last month, Professor Ken Briggs explained that the body’s defenses, such as being able to feel the effects of tiredness, loss of coordination and even passing out or vomiting, against consuming doses of alcohol can kill you. Regardless, once the blood alcohol levels reach a certain level you can drop like a box of rocks.

Cruise Ship Stranded Off the Coast of Mexico After Fire


Cruise Ship Stranded Off the Coast of Mexico After Fire – In a statement released by Carnival Cruise Lines, a cruise ship with almost 3,300 passengers on board was stranded off the coast of Mexico on Tuesday after it lost power following an engine room fire.

The fire occurred at 6 a.m. on Monday in the aft engine room of the Carnival Splendor. Fortunately, the blaze was extinguished and no passengers or crew were reported injured. However, engineers were not able to restore the power to the ship. On Monday, the ship was operating on auxiliary generators.

Based on the updates, currently, several key hotel systems including air conditioning, hot food service, flushing toilets and telephones are not available. The ship’s crew is actively working to restore partial services.

The voyage, which is a seven-day cruise along the Mexican Rivera that departed on Sunday from Long Beach, California, was terminated. Tugboats were en route to the ship, which is located off the Mexican coast about 150 miles south of San Diego, California and would tow the vessel to Ensenada, Mexico.

The company said that guest will receive a full refund and reimbursement for transportation costs. In addition, they will also receive a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount they paid for this voyage.

According to the cruise line and the Coast Guard, the 952-foot Panamanian-flagged ship is carrying 3,299 guests and 1,167 crew members.

California City May Oder Happy Meals To Go Permanently


California City May Oder Happy Meals To Go Permanently – After a vote by the city’s leaders Tuesday, Happy Meals could become a thing of the past in San Francisco. It’s board of supervisors is expected to formally approve a ban on most of McDonald’s Happy Meals in current form during a meeting on Tuesday.

In some areas in the northern California city, people felt that McDonald’s offers toys to entice kids to buy meals that don’t meet nutritional criteria. Because of this, a move was proposed to turn Happy Meals into healthy meals.

The proposed ordinance is part of a “food justice movement” and is designed to address how about 50 of the city’s restaurants use giveaway toys in order to sell fast food whose nutritional content is being challenged by the city.

Under the proposal, if the chains want to keep offering Captain America figurines or toys tied with latest films, McDonald’s and other restaurants would have until December 2011 to improve their meals’ nutrition with fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the food and beverage would have to contain fewer than 600 calories, and less than 35 percent of total calories would come from fat.

In addition, the meal would also have to contain 0.5 cups of fruit and 0.75 cups of vegetables and offer less than 640 mg of sodium and less than 0.5 mg of trans fat. Breakfast, on the other hand, would have the option of offering 0.5 cups of fruit or vegetables.

Authorities hope their measure would encourage similar standards across the country. The San Francisco proposal was modeled after a similar law for unincorporated Santa Clara County, California. This ordinance would be a tremendous victory in fighting childhood obesity.

However, McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said the company was extremely disappointed with the decision. They believe that it is the right and responsibility of the parents and not the governments.

Barack Obama Supports India For Seat at UN Top Table


Barack Obama Supports India For Seat at UN Top Table – US President Barack Obama has supported India’s ambition for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. After a three-day visit in India, President Obama highly praised India’s development.

His comments will delight India, which has been buttonholing for a seat at the UN’s top table for years. However, according to analysts, it does not mean India will get a seat on the Security Council immediately. The unspecified reforms the US president mentioned could take years.

Obama also said the Washington-Delhi relationship would be one of this century’s defining partnership.

The US president was applauded as he told dignitaries: “As two leaders, the United States and India can partner for global security, especially as India serves on the Security Council over the next two years. Indeed the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nation that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate.”

He added: “And that is why I can say today, in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.”

President Barack Obama is going to visit Indonesia, South Korea and Japan on a 10-day Asian tour designed to boost US exports.

FDA Egg Recall List: Concerns on Salmonella Outbreak

There are current concerns about the eggs in the market being contaminated with Salmonella. Just to be safe, the eggs are to be recalled. The egg recall should include at least 228 million eggs that were produced in Galt, Iowa. Producers of this eggs are by the Wright County Egg and were distributed nationwide.

A massive recall is going on and also just so that consumers are aware, these egg recall affected were those sold under the following brand names – Albertson, Boomsma’s, Lucerne, Mountain Dairy, Hillandale, Sunshine, Trafficanda, Shoreland, Lund, Farm Fresh, Kemps and Dutch Farms.

Plant numbers affected are by the following batches: P-1026, P-1413, and P-1946. The dates (recorded in the “Julian format”) range from 136 to 225, according to a statement by the Egg Safety Center (e.g. P-1413 220 should not be eaten). The recall works with a refund so if you suspect that your eggs are with this batch, you can return and have it refunded on the respective stores where you bought it.

19 American Iconic Products That They Don’t Produce Anymore


1. Rawlings baseballs
Last production was on 1969. It is the official supplier of baseballs to Major League Baseball. The St. Louis shop was founded in 1887 by George and Alfred Rawlings. In 1969 the brothers moved the baseball-manufacturing plant from Puerto Rico to Haiti and then later to Costa Rica.

2. Etch a Sketch
Last production was on 2000. It is an iconic American toy since the ’60s. It was used to be produced in a smalltown of Bryan, Ohio. On December 2000, toymaker Ohio Art decided to move production to Shenzhen, China.

3. Converse shoes
Last production was on 2001. Marquis M. Converse opened Converse Rubber Show Company in Massachusetts in 1908. Chuck Taylors, which was named after All American high school basketball player Chuck Taylor, began selling in 1918 as the show eventually produced an industry record of over 550 million pairs by 1997. But in 2001 sales were on the decline and the U.S. factory closed and now these shoes are made in Indonesia.

4. Stainless steel rebar
Last production was approximately around 2001. Many forms of this basic steel product aren’t domestically available. Multiple waivers to the Buy America Act have allowed purchase of rebar internationally.

5. Dress shirts* (Manufacturers that prduce in large quantities and supplies major brands)
Last production was on October 2002. According to NYT. C.F. Hathaway’s Maine factory had been producing shirts since 1837.

6. Mattel Toys
Last production date was on 2002. Mattel is the largest toy company in the world which closed their last American factory in 2002. They headquartered in California, produces 65 percent of their products in China as of August 2007.

7. Minivans
Last production was around 2003. A waiver to the Buy America Act permitted an American producer of wheel-chair accessible minivans to purchase Canadian chassis for use in government contracts, because no chassis were available from the United States. The waiver specified: “General Motors and Chrysler minivan chassis, including those used on the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana, Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, Chrysler Town & Country, and Dodge Grand Caravan, are no longer manufactured in the United States.”

8. Vending machines
Last production around 2003.

9. Levi Strauss jeans
Last production was on December 2003. Levi Strauss & Co. shut down all its American operations and outsourced production to Latin America and Asia. The company’s denim products have been an iconic American product for 150 years.

10. Radio Flyer’s Red Wagon
Last production date was on March 2004. Radio Flyer decided that Chicago plant was too expensive, it began producing most products, including the red wagon, in China.

11. Televisions
Last production date was on October 2004.
Five Rivers Electronic Innovations was the last American owned TV color maker in the US. The Tennessee company used LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology to produce televisions for Philips Electronics. But after Philips decided to stop selling TVs with LCoS, Five Rivers eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Oct. 2004. As part of its reorganization plan, the company stopped manufacturing TVs. According to Business Week, there are ZERO televisions made in America.

12. Cell phones
Last production date was around 2007.
according to Manufacturing & Technology publisher Richard McCormick, none was made in America out of the 1.2 billion cell phones sold worldwide in 2008.

13. Railroads (parts including manganese turnout castings, U69 guard bars, LV braces and weld kits)
Last production around 2008. Manganese turnout castings are used to widen railroad tracks, and they were used to build our once-great railroad system. U69 guard bars, LV braces and Weld Kits, along with 22 mm Industrial steel chain are basic items that were certifiably not available in the US.

14. Dell computers
Last production date was January 2010.
Dell closed its North Carolina PC factory, its last large U.S. plant. Analysts said Dell would be outsourcing work to Asian manufacturers in an attempt to catch up with the rest of the industry, said analyst Ashok Kumar.

15. Canned sardines
Last production date was on April 2010.
Stinson Seafood plant, the last sardine cannery in Maine and the U.S., shut down in April. The first U.S. sardine cannery opened in Maine in 1875, but since the demand for the small, oily fish declined, more canneries closed shop.

16. Pontiac cars
Last production was on May 2010. The brand was formally killed on Halloween, as GM contracts Pontiac dealerships expired.

The 84-year-old GM brand was famous for muscle cars.

17. Forks, spoons, and knives
Last production date was on June 2010
The last flatware factory in the US closed last summer. Sherrill Manufacturing bought Oneida Ltd. in 2005, but shut down its fork & knife operations due to the tough economy. CEO Greg Owens says his company may resume production “when the general economic climate improves and as Sherrill Manufacturing is able to put itself back on its feet and recapitalize and regroup.”

18. Incandescent light bulb
Last production date was on September 2010. The incandescent light bulb (invented by Thomas Edison) has been phased out. In 2007, Congress passed a measure that will ban incandescents by 2014, prompting GE to close its domestic factory.

19. Pontiac
GM is canceling the 84-year-old brand after winding down production over the past few years. It is restructuring and rebranding to compete with foreign companies.

Singapore is “The Best Country” to Do Business


Singapore is “The Best Country” to Do Business – The World Bank has already named the best countries around the world where to run a good business. Its annual report still declared Singapore as the best country in the world to run a business.

Singapore is simply the most efficient place from which to import and export. The country is also the leader in protecting investors and minority shareholders.

The World Bank’s Doing Business rates 183 countries globally.The annual Doing Business report studies was published since 2004. It has nine main criteria in total. The other seven factors evaluated are paying taxes, trading across borders, registering property, dealing with construction permits, closing a business, enforcing contracts and protecting investors.

However, it does not study wider conditions including a country’s infrastructure, workforce skills, or security.

According to the judging criteria such as how easy it is to begin a business or get credit, the UK, on the other hand, came in fourth place, while Chad came last. However, Georgia has seen the biggest improvement over the past five years.

Of all the 183 countries surveyed, the World Bank said 117 implemented new business-friendly regulation between June 2009 and May 2010, this is the 12 months covered fro the 2011 report.

Below is the list of the best countries in which to run a business:
1. Singapore
2. Hong Kong
3. New Zealand
4. United Kingdom
5. United States
6. Denmark
7. Canada
8. Norway
9. Republic of Ireland
10. Australia

Nissan Recalls More than 2 Million Vehicles


Nissan Recalls More than 2 Million Vehicles – The Japanese carmaker Nissan is retrieving 2.1 million vehicles worldwide due an ignition problem.

The recall includes almost 84,000 Micra and Infiniti models that were built at Nissan’s Sunderland factory between January 2004 and March 2006. Furthermore, the global recall involves nine models which includes the Cube, March and Tiida.

Meanwhile, Nissan said that there had been no reports of accidents caused by the fault, which can lead the engine to stall while running. Car owners have been informed to take their vehicle to a dealer for checks. In addition, the company would be contacting the owners of affected vehicles for the work to be carried out. The repair would only take around 20 minutes and will be at no cost to the customer.

The majority affected are in Japan itself and North America. In Europe, 354,170 vehicles are being recalled. In Japan alone, the company will recall a total of 834,759 vehicles with another 762,000 units being recalled in the US and Canada. An additional of 194,409 is also being recalled in China and Taiwan.

Nissan will exchange for free defective parts on certain models because the fault may cause the engine to stall while running.