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IBM Layoffs

IBM LayoffsMore IBM Layoffs Coming?

Even as it is in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems, it is looking increasingly like IBM is set to announce another round of layoffs. Layoffs are expected in the IBM Global Business Services group and the Global Technology Services group, among possible others.

Even as it is in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems, it is looking increasingly like IBM is set to announce another round of layoffs.

The Wall Street Journal reported on March 25 that IBM "is expected to inform a large number of U.S. employees in its global-business services unit that their jobs are being eliminated, with the work of many of them being transferred to IBM employees in India..."

And according to the Alliance@IBM, an organization promoting the unionization of IBM employees, IBM is planning to cut several jobs on March 26 in such locations as Denver and Hartford, Conn., particularly regarding a services contract supporting The Hartford insurance company.

Also, according to a letter to IBM managers obtained by the Alliance@IBM, IBM officials said:

"Starting next week several Hartford delivery teams will be working directly with fellow IBM team members from India to begin the second phase of our Global delivery solution planned for the Hartford account. The teams will be engaged in a multi-week effort to facilitate knowledge transfer to prepare for migration of specific work activities to global delivery counterparts later in 2009. Your continued support and leadership is critical to ensure our overall success and to ensure we continue to deliver high quality cost effective solutions that IBM committed to the Hartford. Please ensure you and your teams actively support this effort."

IBM already has laid off nearly 5,000 workers. Yet the company is reportedly in negotiations to acquire Sun, which itself has announced plans to cut its workforce by up to 6,000 employees.

Meanwhile, in, one anonymous commenter on March 25 said: "I talked to two different Band 10s in IBM Global Business Services yesterday who have both said that tomorrow will be a big day for firing in almost all of the GBS business units. Both of them are expecting that they will be cut because the percentages are going to be higher at the higher levels. Both made reference to this could be called a black Thursday. I know that several employees have been contacted by their manager to have a short meeting that day."

Yet, in response to some of the anti-offshoring backlash, another commenter who identified themselves as "Raju," said:

"I am part of IBM India's 2000 new hires. Hired at approximately 5000 dollars per year salary. This 2000 hires would approximately support 50,000 people in the economy. Many folks will eat a good meal. IBM might be laying off folks in high cost countries but it is doing lot of good in cheaper economies. So, if you count the people affected in a positive way by IBM, I would say IBM is doing a lot of good. And, remember IBM is a global company. It answers to all of humanity, not just to US citizens. God help us all to make this world a better place to live."

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Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie BertinelliWhen bikini met Bertinelli

I had to leave the house this morning before Lester Holt and the froggy-throated Ann Curry could reveal theRage_valerie name of the "former child star" whose bikini-clad bod appeared on the cover of the most recent People magazine, identity obscured by the digital equivalent of a Vaseline smear over the face.

Since NPR didn't break the news during my commute to work, I was forced to wait until I got to my desk where I was happy to see our cousin blog The Dish Rag had posted that it was indeed Jenny Craig celebrity client Valerie Bertinelli, who had shed 50 pounds and felt confident enough to slip into a skimpy two-piece for the cover.

Unfortunately on my way there I was sidetracked by the post about Zac Efron and his advice on curing flatulence by hanging upside down. Now that's an image that sticks with you.

Who needs Jenny Craig? If I just make it a point to re-read that right before lunchtime every day, I'll shed a quick 50 pounds in no time.

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F 22a Raptor Crashes

F 22a Raptor CrashesF-22A Raptor crashes in California.

An F-22A Raptor being flown on a test mission from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., crashed Wednesday morning, March 25, about 35 miles northeast of the California desert base, the Air Force said.

The Air Force was trying to determine what caused the crash of the $142 million stealth fighter. The fate of the pilot, the only person aboard, was not known, said Maj. David Small, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon.

A board of officers is to investigate the accident. It is the second time that an F-22 has crashed. The first one was during the aircraft's test and evaluation period in December 2004, also at Edwards, when the pilot was able to eject safely, the Air Force said.

The F-22A acquisition program is managed by the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Air Force has 134 of the fighters in its inventory.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Air Force leadership have had differences over how many F-22s should be purchased for the future. The Air Force says it is needed to modernize its attack fleet, and that its combination of sensor systems, integrated electronics and weapons makes it capable of tracking and shooting down enemy aircraft before it can be detected. Gates has questioned, however, how effective the F-22 would be for fighting in places like Afghanistan.

The Air Force has flown the F-22 for crowds at the Vectren Dayton Air Show. The plane is assembled at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s plant in Marietta, Ga.

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Jake Desantis

Jake DesantisJake DeSantis, an executive VP in AIG's financial products unit, is getting out. We know this because the NYTimes has his resignation letter, penned to CEO Edward Liddy.

It's a comprehensive rebuke of the AIG-admonishers in Congress and of Liddy himself, who was "not strong enough to withstand the shifting political winds," and committed a "breach of trust" in allegedly asking for the bonus money to be returned only shortly before his Congressional appearance last week, DeSantis says.

Here's excerpt that gives a good insight into how the AIG employees are feeling. Note that DeSantis was not among the group that dealt in the ultimately poisonous credit default swaps:

As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings. We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised. None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.

A common argument against paying retention bonuses to the AIG employees has been, essentially: Where else can they go? Not only is this the ugliest job market in decades, they're also stained with the AIG name. But not so fast. De Santis says this:

Many of the employees have, in the past six months, turned down job offers from more stable employers, based on A.I.G.’s assurances that the contracts would be honored. They are now angry about having been misled by A.I.G.’s promises and are not inclined to return the money as a favor to you.

Liddy both defended the bonus payments to Congress last week and told legislators he had asked for the bonus money to be returned--for the employees to "do the right thing."

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Aasha Davis

Aasha DavisHere are pictures of actress Aasha Davis and sister Lesley Herring. Lesley Herring is missing and Los Angeles investigators need your help.

Aasha Davis (photo above) has appeared in Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, House M.D., E.R., & the Shield, and is best known as Waverly Grady in Friday Night Lights and as Chelsea Lewis on South of Nowhere.LAPD issued the following statement yesterday:

Detectives Seek Help to Find Missing 46-Year-Old Woman

Homicide Detectives will be requesting the public’s help in obtaining any information as to the whereabouts of Hollywood resident Lesley Herring. Her sister originally reported her missing after discovering she had not shown up at her job for several days. The preliminary investigation revealed that her vehicle and all her personal effects were located at her place of residence.

Lesley Herring was last seen on February 8, 2009, by her husband, Lyle Herring. Homicide Detectives believe Lesley is missing under suspicious circumstances. Anyone with information should call Homicide Detectives at (213) 972-2915.

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