From the moment we first saw the Fallout MMO beginning to take shape, we thought it seemed too good to be true. But we just figured we'd get a half-baked, wasteland-wandering WoW clone out of it – not, you know, nothing. Sadly, the latter's now looking like a distinct possibility, as publisher Interplay's found itself in a bit of a pickle. And by “a bit,” we mean one of those mutant “world's biggest” tourist trap pickles that have their own giftshops in towns whose populations are halved anytime someone takes out the garbage.
Debt collectors go to great lengths pursuing unpaid balances, but they also have to follow a set of rules. A Florida woman is accusing Mark One LLC of breaking those rules by allegedly harassing her through Facebook for a $362 unpaid car loan she still owes, according to an AP report.
According to Melanie Beacham, the Florida woman in question, representatives from Mark One LLC sent her messages on Facebook and also told family members on the social networking site to have Beacham return their calls.
"I was shocked when I found out these collectors used Facebook to contact my family because they knew exactly where I was was," Beacham said. "I'm angry they caused me so much embarrassment with my family."
Beacham's lawyers had some strong words for Mark One LLC's alleged tactics, calling the ordeal "an invasion of privacy on steroids. Normally, it takes a while for collection agencies to contact family members or friends, or co-workers, but on Facebook you have a very powerful harassment tool at your fingertips."
In addition, Beachman claims the collection agency routinely called her 6-10 times per day by phone.
If the allegations are true, did Mark One LLC go too far, or is Facebook fair game for debt collection attempts?
Market research firm Gartner went and gave its first "Chief Forecaster," Richard Gordon, a bit of blog space and the first thing he sounded off about was the effect of the European sovereign debt crisis on IT spending.
"Our assessment is that, in addition to the short-term currency effect on our forecast, it is likely that IT spending in Western Europe will be adversely impacted in the medium-term to long-term because government action to reduce budget deficits and debt will mean public sector spending cuts and tax rises and a period of sluggish economic growth," Gordon wrote.
Gordon was quick to put all this into perspective, pointing out that Western Europe accounts for less than a quarter of all IT spending on the planet, and less than 20 percent in the public sector.
Read all of what he had to say -- and there's quite a bit -- right here.
Motorola makes all manner of electronic gizmos, but they've struggled to be profitable in the mobile space. Motorola has a fair amount of debt, but still has cash reserves as well. Knowing this, when the company splits up next year, the mobile division will become a company posed to take a solid run at the mobile market.
The plan, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, is to give the company created around the mobile division the bulk of the cash. The main company will probably also buy back all the Moto debt, making the new Motorola Mobility ready to compete. Selling phones is competitive these days and Motorola will need all the help they can get if they're to compete against Apple and HTC. If the new company still can't make it, at least we'll know they had the best shot possible.