Thursday, February 28, 2013

Basketball Diplomacy Dennis Rodman Style

 Well I guess this is a good thing so we don't come to blows over their nuclear program.

Kim, a diehard basketball fan, told the former Chicago Bulls star he hoped the visit would break the ice between the United States and North Korea, VICE founder Shane Smith said.

Dressed in a blue Mao suit, Kim laughed and slapped his hands on the table before him during the game as he sat nearly knee to knee with Rodman. Rodman, the man who once turned up in a wedding dress to promote his autobiography, wore a dark suit and dark sunglasses, but still had on his nose rings and other piercings. A can of Coca-Cola sat on the table before him in photos shared with AP by VICE.

I think the next thing we need to do is offer an NBA pre-season game in North Korea in exchange for some give-back on nuclear tests. If they give up their nuclear ambition and dismantle their program they can have even more of this kind of thing.

It would be so weird for Rodman to win the Nobel Peace Prize because of starting something like this off. This picture is so funny. Look at all the eyes on the Supreme Leader to see what his reaction is. He is cheering so we can cheer as well!


Bob Woodward Welcome to the Chicago Way

Well I guess even legendary journalists aren't immune to the proverbial bat to the head.

Now, Woodward alleges that he was bullied even ahead of publishing his report. He told Politico Wednesday that one Obama aide "yelled at me for about a half hour" and in an email message delivered a veiled threat.

"It was said very clearly: 'you will regret doing this,'" Woodward told CNN. "I'm not going to say [who], a very senior person. It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you're going to regret doing something you believe in."

What is funny though is that the sequester was all Obama's idea to get lawmakers to actually get to work on some cuts. Now all the Dems want to do is soak the rich even further through closing loopholes or other nonsense and using scare tactics to do it.

I mean if you listen to the White House there will be chaos in the streets come March 1st. In any case this is how the White House does business. Threaten journalists that don't toe the party line and then rush around covering their asses when it comes out. I'm sure if Woodward keeps talking they will eventually drone strike his house.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

JCPenny Beaten in the Face with Shovel

Wow it seems that no one is buying from JCPenny.

Excluding items, the retailer reported a loss of $1.95 a share, compared with a 74-cent profit in the year-earlier period. Analysts had expected a much smaller loss of 18 cents a share, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Revenue decreased to $3.88 billion from $ 5.43 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected the company to report $4.08 billion in revenue.

Same-store sales fell 32 percent during the quarter, compared with a 2-percent drop in the year-earlier period.

What is strange is that other department stores like Macy's seems to be doing fairly well. I guess the idea of every-day-low-prices was a killer for them. It is a case of if you want to buy something cheaper or a little upscale you go with Macy's. If you want to buy something upscale you go with Neiman Marcus. If you want to buy something cheap you go to Wal-Mart/Target. There is no reason to go to JCPenny at all.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do you have $500,000? You Can Now Buy Access to the President

Well it isn't a stay in the Lincoln bedroom but I guess this is as good as any way to talk to the President.

On Friday, New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore wrote of an alleged pay-for-access arrangement through OFA: "Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House."

I think the GOP needs to invest in a few of these golden tickets. That way they at least get a quarterly meeting with him.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sequestration Will Destroy the Government according to CNBC

This is such a scare-tactics slanted article that it isn't even funny.

Most government agencies have funds available after March 1, but the clock would be ticking on how long they can keep operating. One of the biggest problems from the cuts is the number of government workers placed on furloughs or laid off.

So if Congress and President Barack Obama can't reach a deal to avoid sequestration, where would most people feel the immediate pain? How would it affect every day life? 

Then it rattles off a bunch of scary things that will befall our country because we can't come up with $86 billion in spending cuts. For instance wait times are airports will rise by 1 hour because there won't be enough TSA agents to feel up enough travelers. Also air traffic controllers will be furloughed for whatever reason.

Then we have the government closing Social Security offices and the IRS can do less enforcement. In other words less audits. That must be scaring Americans. Also public parks might close because rangers will be furloughed. Maybe a trip to Yellowstone will have to change to a trip to Disneyland instead.

Having the military cut by $50 billion a year is exactly what the Dems have been clamoring for. The part that I don't understand is that these furlough shouldn't be permanent. The FBI for instance will have to be furloughed for 3 weeks according to this article. Its not like they will be shutting down the FBI just making agents take a 3 week vacation for no pay. Hawaii went through furloughs and it didn't seem too crushing for us.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland Wants Marriage for Priests

It seems that the Catholic church will have many changes depending on who they pick for Pope in the coming weeks.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who heads the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the requirement for priestly celibacy is "not of divine origin" and could be reconsidered.
He told BBC Scotland that "the celibacy of the clergy, whether priests should marry — Jesus didn't say that."

He said that "many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy," and while he had never considered marriage himself, "I would be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married."

I never understood the idea of celibacy for Catholic Priests. I'm pretty sure if Jesus had lived longer he would have married someone. It would have been weird for a Jewish man to not have married at any time in his lifetime. Supposedly the Apostles were married as well because Jesus healed Peters mother-in-law of a fever. 

(Matthew 8:14-15)
"And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them."

So it seems that Peter was married according to the New Testament. I have no idea why Catholic Priests couldn't follow Peters example and do what he did. Plus a priests wife and children could help with the congregation in various ways as well. I'm pretty sure that the next Pope will convene a Vatican Council and make some of these changes.

Obama Sends Troops to Niger but Ignores Syria

The White House foreign policy is such a joke. We are supporting the French who have prevented Mali from falling to Islamist rebels but we still ignore Syria and the 70,000 people that have been killed already.

About 40 U.S. military personnel have arrived in Niger, President Barack Obama told Congress on Friday, the last of a deployment of about 100 to help coordinate intelligence sharing with French forces operating in Mali.

The U.S. forces are equipped with "weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security," Obama said, and are there with Niger's consent.

Why can't they send 40 military personnel to Jordan or Turkey to coordinate intelligence sharing with Syrian rebel groups? Maybe he is waiting for the death toll to reach 100,000 before he cares about anything happening in Syria.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Better Watch out for Barrow Wights: Russian Warriors Tomb Uncovered

I hope they went into the tomb with silver weapons at the ready because as you know Barrow Wights are immune to normal weapons.

Hidden in a necropolis situated high in the mountains of the Caucasus in Russia, researchers have discovered the grave of a male warrior laid to rest with gold jewelry, iron chain mail and numerous weapons, including a 36-inch (91 centimeters) iron sword set between his legs.

That is just one amazing find among a wealth of ancient treasures dating back more than 2,000 years that scientists have uncovered there.

Among their finds are two bronze helmets, discovered on the surface of the necropolis. One helmet (found in fragments and restored) has relief carvings of curled sheep horns while the other has ridges, zigzags and other odd shapes.

The archeologists were then killed by undead warriors streaming out of the tomb to cut down the luckless researchers. Valentina Mordvintseva, a researcher at the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology, who barely escaped with her life, was cursed with a wasting sickness by the angry Barrow Wight King. Authorities are contacting a cleric to cast Remove Curse on her but he was out of 3rd level spells for the day.

Here is one of the Barrow Wight Kings treasures taken from the site. I think this Brooch protects one from Magic Missiles but researchers have yet to cast a Legend Lore on the item to be sure:

Titan International CEO Blasts French Workers: Um, Bring the Jobs Back to the US Then

Well it seems that making tires in France might not be such a good idea.

Titan International's Maurice "Morry" Taylor, who goes by "The Grizz" for his bear-like no-nonsense style, told France's left-wing industry minister in a letter published by Paris media that he had no interest in buying a doomed plant.

"The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three," Taylor wrote on February 8 in the letter in English addressed to the minister, Arnaud Montebourg.

Then take tire production out of France and bring it to a southern state that does not have as much union control. All this "Grizz" character needed to do is say "France does not meet our cost criteria so we are shuttering the plant" and announce a new plant that is opening in Tennessee or somewhere similar.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

McCain Takes on Angry Anti-Immigration Town Hall

Well it seems that his constituents are now shouting at their Senator.

"There are 11 million people living here illegally," he said. "We are not going to get enough buses to deport them."

Some audience members shouted out their disapproval.

One man yelled that only guns would discourage illegal immigration. Another man complained that illegal immigrants should never be able to become citizens or vote. A third man said illegal immigrants were illiterate invaders who wanted free government benefits.

McCain urged compassion. "We are a Judeo-Christian nation," he said. McCain's other town hall meeting took place in Green Valley, south of Tucson.

One thing I never understood about the anti-immigrant sentiment on the right is their view that 11 million people can somehow either "self-deport" or we can somehow kick them out of the country. Some of them have been living here for 20 or 30 years and have raised families. I'm pretty sure that in a Judeo-Christian nation you would not want to break up families simply because you want all the "illiterate invaders" thrown out.

Also the idea of shooting illegals like that one guy advocates is just so crazy that it doesn't need to be addressed. The funny part is that the longer illegals are treated as "invaders" the longer they will reflexively vote for the non-Republican. You can't appeal to any voter if you are seen as wanting his grandma thrown out of the country at gunpoint.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Samsung Invades Silicon Valley

It seems that Samsung is going big in the US.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Samsung has been aggressively expanding its presence in Silicon Valley recently by building its own innovation center, by launching a $100 million venture fund for Silicon Valley startups and by building “a massive new semiconductor campus with a distinctive design destined to compete with Apple’s proposed spaceship-like campus for the title of Silicon Valley’s most distinctive architectural landmark.”

I think they just want to be close to any innovation coming out of the Valley so that they don't have to be so reactive to tech changes. It still seems like destructive innovation is what will be happening between Samsung, Apple, and Google for years to come.

Vulcan pulls Ahead in Pluto's Moon Voting

Well it seems Shatner is pushing for Vulcan and the Trekkers have heeded his call.

Once Shatner proposed "Vulcan" to be a Pluto moon name, fans rallied. As of now, "Vulcan" -- a fictional planet in the "Star Trek" universe -- is winning by a landslide. "Cerberus" and "Styx" are battling it out for second place.

Although I think Vulcan would be better suited to a planet that is really close to its sun. Kind of like those hot Jupiters that seem to be popping up in front of nearby stars.

Apple wants to Control Your Home! Well That Might be a Good Thing

Wow Apple is serious about making the TV the centerpiece of a so-called iHouse or a iApartment.

Apple is evolving into an ecosystem, a network that connects to and controls everything from your home to your car to your office. This has the potential to be as impactful as the iPhone and iPad. Today I use iOS apps to control my stereo system (the Sonos) and central air (the Nest). Both work beautifully, and there are more iThings on the way like this incredible door lock.

It seems that the iTV coming out later this year might be the centerpiece of this new way of life:

Most of all, I want my television to be part of that Apple ecosystem: a thin glass hub integrating cable series, movies, endless utility and gaming apps, YouTube videos, music, photos, e-mails, FaceTime, social media feeds, and more. I want the TV to be my alarm clock, turning from 'Sleep' mode to awaken me with sweet music, a weather report and news, through an app like the newly launched Winston (which is already optimized for Airplay).

It would be very cool to have an iTV wake me up with music and then tell me what my stocks are doing and maybe a little news on each company if I want that. Something like "This just in from the JP Morgan is interested in buying out US Bankcorp do you want to hear more?" Then you say Yes and it reads the article to you.

Maybe you could have a toaster App that connects to the iTV that automatically cooks a bagel for you. All you have to do it take it out of the toaster and put cream cheese on it. You find that you are out of cream cheese and the iTV asks if you want to add it to your iOS reminder app. If you want you can link it to Amazon Prime and once your list reaches a certain size you can have it automatically buy the cream cheese along with several other things you want.

Another cool feature I would like to see the iTV do is answer questions you have on what you are watching. Like you see Sheldon wearing a cool T-shirt on Big Bang Theory. You just say "iTV where can I get a shirt like the one Sheldon is currently wearing?" Then it links you to the Hot Topic site in a small popup window and asks if you want to purchase it. You say "yes buy it in Large and send it my apartment" and the order is placed after you confirm it with a code word you type into an iPad. Or maybe it will use voice recognition software to prevent other people from buying things if your iTV is on.

Friday, February 15, 2013

16 Year Old Actress Day Trades on the Side

Hopefully she isn't using all of her acting money to do something like this.

Rachel Fox isn’t an ordinary 16-year-old. She's already graduated from High School and has been a working Hollywood actress for years, appearing in shows like Desperate Housewives as evil Kayla Scavo and in the film Dream House with Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts. When she’s not on set she can often be found on stage, singing and playing guitar in an indie rock band.

That would be a packed schedule for most of us, but Rachel has another activity that’s a real passion. For the last year-and-a-half she’s been actively day-trading stocks with her own money. She says she's been racking up stellar returns, claiming a 30.4% gain in 2012, versus the benchmark S&P 500 which gained 13% for last year.

That is not a bad gain but lets see how she trades in a down market. In any case if she has discipline and uses like 20% of her invested capital to day trade then it shouldn't be a problem. If she is using all of her acting money to chase stocks up and down day to day then she is a fool.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Iran To Upgrade their Centrifuges: World Doesn't Seem to Care

Well it seems that the Iranian bomb program is running full blast even though they have "sanctions" against them.

In first announcing plans to update last month, Iran indicated that It could add more than 3,000 of the new-generation centrifuges to the more than 10,000 older models it has at Natanz turning out low-enriched, fuel-grade uranium. About 700 of the old machines at Fordo, another site, are churning out higher-enriched material that is still below — but just a technical step away — from weapons-grade uranium. Iran says it needs that higher-enriched level to fuel a research reactor.

I'm sure the UN will condemn a nuclear cloud rising over Tel Aviv in the "strongest possible terms."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pentagon Creates Drone Warfare Medal

I guess this is going to be similar to an achievement unlock in Call of Duty.

The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for "extraordinary achievement" related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

I know there should be a way to reward drone pilots who kill insurgents or provide close air support but a medal similar to the bronze star doesn't seem to be the way. Maybe a drone pin or something would have been more appropriate. 

Also the first thing I thought of when I read about this was "I wonder if you get a special cluster whenever you extra-judiciously kill an American Citizen?" Maybe you get a little Obama "O" symbol added to the blue, red and white medal.

Why Was Wrestling Removed from the Olympics? Americans are Good At It

Well the recent decision to get rid of one of the first Olympic sports and one that stretches back to the ancient games is pretty stupid.

As such, both freestyle (somewhat similar to what you see in American high schools and colleges) and Greco Roman, each of which dated back to the 1896 Games in Greece, will soon be history. Wrestling can try to get back in, but the odds are long. 

This is a poor decision and it would be only slightly less poor of a decision if it was modern pentathlon (a five-event competition of fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting) that got the boot instead. 

You can tell why they kept that sport in instead of wrestling. Americans have won only one 9 medals total in modern pentathlon since 1912. (I am counting the team medals as one medal) We have also never won a gold in the competition at all. 

Americans have dominated wrestling since it was introduced in the Olympics. We have won 47 golds alone in freestyle wrestling since it entered the games in 1904. You add to this the fact that Americans can easily dominate women's wrestling as well going forward. There are just too many American medals coming out of wrestling for a biased and corrupt organization like the IOC to tolerate.

I'm sure the IOC figures that anything that makes it harder for the US to win the medal count is okay with them. I am sure they will try to limit the amount of swimming medals while increasing the amount of diving medals in their next move.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

US Energy Independence Might Happen in the Next 5 Years

What is good news for our country will be pretty bad news for people that hate us that happen to live on top of vast oil reserves.

Citigroup's Edward Morse, in a new report, projects a dramatic reshaping of the global energy industry, where the U.S., in a matter of years, becomes an exporter of energy, instead of one of the biggest importers. 

The shift could sharply reduce the price of oil, and therefore limit the revenues of the producing nations of OPEC, as well as Russia and West Africa. Those nations face new challenges: not only are the U.S. and Canada increasing output, but Iraq increasingly is realizing its potential as an oil producer, adding 600,000 barrels a day of production annually for the next several years.

It will be nice to know that whenever I fill up gas it is from oil produced in the US or Canada and not Venezuela. The report also goes on to say that Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, and maybe even Russia might become unstable because of the US going independent of oil.

I mean they lose their biggest source of revenue so they will have to find something else to export or there will be a crisis. You can't pay for all the socialism of Dear Leader Hugo if America no longer buys his top product. This might also hasten the fall of the Mullahs as well. I mean they already have a crisis due to sanctions and shutting down refining capacity. Imagine what $70 oil will do to them if they are losing money on every barrel they pull out of the ground?

Also the report goes into how a natural gas boom will create new opportunities in manufacturing and transportation that was not there before. The idea of retrofitting our truck fleet for natural gas will create quite a few new jobs. I could also see trains running on natural gas based fuel instead of diesel fuel as well. It will be nice to get some of our heavy industry back from Japan and China and create a new generation of industrial jobs.

In any case the report says that energy independence will be paying dividends as early as this year. As more oil pipelines are being built and more oil flows in from Canada we will be importing less oil from everywhere else. West African crude shipments might start to become unnecessary by the end of the year. That is bad for OPEC and Nigeria but it will certainly be nice for the American consumer.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Time to Vote for Plutos Two New Moons

Well even thought the ass-grabs from the International Astronomical Union demoted it to dwarf-planet status they discovered two new moons. Here is a ballot for naming the two moons.

Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011 and 2012 revealed two previously unknown moons of Pluto. So far, we have been calling them "P4" and "P5", but the time has come to give them permanent names. If it were up to you, what would you choose?

By tradition, the names of Pluto's moons come from Greek and Roman mythology, and are related to the ancient tales about Hades and the Underworld. Please pick your favorites on the ballot below. 

Most of the names are kind of dumb but the ones I liked were Cerberus (the three headed dog guardian of the the Underworld) and Styx (the river that led into the Underworld that Charon the Boatman crosses.) I voted for them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Wow there Might be Billions of "Alien-Earths" in Our Galaxy

It would be interesting to know what level of technology (or lack thereof) for the various races that live on these "alien-earths?" Also it would be cool to find out how many of them are sending out radio waves.

Taking this into account, about 6 percent of red dwarfs in the Milky Way galaxy should host Earth-like planets, the astronomers said.

Since about 75 percent of the galaxy's 100 billion stars are red dwarfs, this translates to an estimated 4.5 billion "alien Earths" spread throughout the galaxy. The research team stressed, however, that this is a tentative figure because the distribution of stars varies widely.

The chance of life only being on our planet out of these potential 4.5 billion planets is just ludicrous.

Post Office Cuts Saturday Delivery

I'm willing to bet that this won't be the last time a day of the week will be skipped for mail delivery.

Ending the Saturday delivery of mail is "just one step in a plan to resolve our finances," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in an interview on CNBC. "Going forward we still need legislation to address a number of things."

This plan is supposed to cut $5 billion from the Post Offices expenses. They also plan to make changes to the Postal Workers health care that is supposed to save another $7 billion. I would be willing to bet that Friday delivery or maybe Wednesday delivery will probably be next. I mean each day you cut is $5 billion in savings so you might as well cut a little more.  I can stand not getting advertising flyers and useless catalogs for another day of the week.

GOP Finally Acknowledge the Existence of Minorities

Well at long last the GOP is learning that minorities vote and are worth courting unless they want to become a regional rump party.

Party officials on Wednesday announced the creation of The Future Majority Caucus, a group of Hispanic politicians who will advise the party on its efforts to recruit more state-level minority candidates. The caucus will be co-chaired by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Now they need a GOP Woman's Caucus and they will be all set. Maybe they should get Romneys binders full of women and turn them into a group. 

Budget Deficit Drops Below $1 Trillion for the First Time in Years

Well I guess that is good news.

The Congressional Budget Office analysis said the government will run a $845 billion deficit this year, a modest improvement compared to last year's $1.1 trillion shortfall but still enough red ink to require the government to borrow 24 cents of every dollar it spends.

It seems like the CBO is projecting this deficit getting better as we go along.

The report predicted the deficit would dip to $430 billion by 2015, the lowest since the government posted a $459 billion deficit is former President George W. Bush's last year in office. That would be a relatively low 2.4 percent when measured against the size of the economy.

Maybe with a few targeted cuts or an uptick in the economy we might even get this number positive by 2015. Know Obama and the Dems though they just can't live without running up the nations credit cards.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Corporate Bonds Might Be Headed for Dangerous Waters

It seems that the bond market has changed in the past few years and it might be much more dangerous than ever before.

Mikkelsen estimates that a 2.5 percent yield would lead to what he would consider an orderly move out of the market, but a continued trek higher past 3.0 percent would be the game-changer.

BofA is not alone in its aversion to fixed income - Wells Fargo recently cautioned its clients about fixed income amid dangers from rising rates, and advised shifting 5 percent of their bond positions into stocks.
What this guy is afraid of is that mutual funds and ETF hold trillions in bonds and a "disorderly" run for the door will trigger big redemptions that will take bond prices lower. I can see it happening if interest rates surge as many have said. Many investors will sell their bond ETF holdings and get into stocks. The ETF companies will have to sell their bonds to give these people their cash and it becomes a vicious cycle taking bond prices lower. It might be time to sell my junk bond ETF and get back in after the dust clears.

61% of Facebook Users Take a Multi-Week Break: That is Bad News

Well the media doesn't seem to think that this is a problem but I really think this is a bad deal for Facebook.

A report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus of at least several weeks for a myriad of reasons, whether they were weary from an onslaught of gossip, or for the more pious, the arrival of Lent. 

I am sure that many of those hiatuses are permanent. When I still had a Facebook account I just never understood what people did on it for so long. I know playing Farmville was one of the big drivers back then but Facebook games are dying much to Zynga detriment.

I think people are just getting tired of hearing about other peoples lives in a long stream like that. Most of the stuff that is posted on there is just not very interesting. I mean the important events of peoples lives are still shared by close friends in a different media. So if your sister had a baby you probably would have known about it from a different source than Facebook (probably a text depending on her age.) If the girl you barely knew from Chemistry class 20 years ago had a baby then you probably would have heard about on Facebook.

So this fairly useless stream of information coming from Facebook is just not something people want to keep up with in their daily lives. This is especially true if the person has lots of friends who are actively posting things. This is the so-called Facebook spam that people talk about. It just seems that people are finding better things to do other than following the lives of people they barely know.

 At least with Twitter you have the added bonus of reading about world events as they are happening. Those hashtags actually keep everything together so you can read all about a certain event. I still have Twitter but I never look at the personal feed because it is a waste of time.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Yet Another Nail in Microsofts Coffin: HP Chromebook

Well it seems that Windows 8 might be a bigger mistake then some people believe. It seems that HP is now going to release a Chromebook.

And now, HP (HPQ_). Perhaps this is Meg Whitman's turnaround plan? 

According to this document on HP's Web site, HP is set to launch its first Chromebook on Feb. 17. It's a 14-inch laptop, price yet to be set, but something close to $299 to $349 sounds reasonable.

I think Chromebooks will be what some companies will be refreshing to going forward. I mean most of a mobile business persons job is spent interacting with Web apps so there really isn't any reason for Windows 8 to get in the way. You add to this the fact that it is very hard to have viruses and trojans to infect a Chromebook due to how its processor is built it is perfect for IT departments. A company can buy a bunch of these and give them to their sales staff and they don't have to worry about them.

The price is comparable to an iPad but you get a keyboard and a form factor that is easy to do work on. iPads are good for consuming media and browsing the internet but its hard for some people to make a change to the business plan on Google Docs or bang out an email on a virtual keyboard. You can buy a keyboard peripheral but that is another $50 to $100 added on to the $400 price tag. If a company can save a full $100 per salesman with a Chromebook then those savings can easily add up.

I'm certainly going to buy a Lenovo Chromebook when they come out in order to see how they stack up. 90% of the time I am using something attached to the web on my laptop (Steam, Gmail, Browsing etc.) so it shouldn't be much of a change I should think.