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09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. . .

Recently, there was an uprising of sorts over the ownership rights of a 16 digit string of hexadecimal code. Lawyers sent threatening letters to all the big Internet web sites in an effort to keep the secret number a secret. It didn't work.

The code 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 may not seem like much of a reason to get sued. But in the right hands, the code enables hackers to play copied HD-DVD's that were encrypted to prevent them from being played by hackers.

The thing is: the hackers knew the code string before it was a wholesale commodity on the Internet. Nobody else cared. Nobody else could use it. But then, Lawyers threatening legal action only made a poorly kept secret into headline news. By the end of the day, not only will the code be common knowledge but so will the way to use it.

Nice work, Lawyers. That's the way to protect your client's secret code!

Today, Googling "09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0" returns about 1.34 MILLION references. Those lawyers better get busy if they are intent on sending every offender a 'cease and desist' letter. They'll need to crank out those letters hour after billable hour until nearly every Blog, search site and news site on the internet has been notified. It could take decades! Just imagine the fees!

Note to the Lawyers: Hey guys, sometimes the way to keep a secret is to not talk about it.


Jones is on a service call. He's done fixing the garage door opener and has presented the bill to Donna, the homeowner.

Donna says, "Thanks for fixing the garage door opener but I see you made a mess on the floor. There is a grease stain soaked into the concrete. "

Jones replies," Excuse me, but that grease stain is over there underneath your car. It's at least 10 feet from where I was working. Besides, I didn't use any grease on your garage door opener."

Donna is firm. "Oh no. I am very particular about my garage floor. I keep it spotless. And, I am sure that stain wasn't there before you came. Either you clean it up or I am not going to pay the bill."

Jones protests as politely as he can. "You DO keep a beautiful garage but I'm sure that grease stain was already there before I started working. Perhaps your car dripped a little oil."

"My car most certainly does not DRIP anything! I'm not paying the bill unless you clean up the grease stain you made on the floor! LOOK! There's another one. I want ALL the grease stains on this floor cleaned up or I will be calling my attorney!"

Not much else for Jones to do but get out the lacquer thinner and try to draw all of the oil stains out of Donna's floor so he can get paid and move on to the next job. It's easier just to deal with it that than it is to try to fight it . It's a small price to pay to just get out.

So, Donna gets her garage floor cleaned. She happily pays the bill. It was all just a bluff.

Jones gets his money and is only a little late to his next appointment. He dodged a bullet. Charge one off to LOTTI. Jones makes a note to never do work for Donna again. He can't afford to play LOTTI very often and Donna seems to be a pro at it. . .

In the lingo of the service technician, LOTTI is the "Last One To Touch It".

It doesn't matter that the condensing fan motor has howling like a coyote-in-heat for the past three months. If a tech is called to do work anywhere NEAR that condensing unit, he will undoubtedly be blamed for breaking the motor and be pressured into fixing it for free. He is LOTTI -the last one to touch it.

They say, "Oh no! That condensing unit was absolutely quiet until you came. Now listen to it! What did you do? "

"You called me to fix the TV cable! I didn't have anything to do with your air conditioner!"

They say, "It wasn't like that before! You MUST have caused the problem!"

That's LOTTI.

What's a tech to do? LOTTI-DAA. "Last One To Touch It - Didn't Admit Anything."

H&R BOHICA . . .

New York, Apr 2/PRNewswire/ -- "The world's largest tax service provider, H&R Block, has chosen to replace its free chocolate bars usually offered to customers with free travel -sized tissue packs. . . "

The folks at H&R Block probably need some of those tissues themselves. On April 20, HR Block Inc. agreed to sell its Option One Mortgage Corp. to a private equity firm.

Turns out the tax pros weren't so good at calculating sub-prime mortgage risk. They had to pay someone to take the ailing mortgage lender off their hands.

OOMB Acquisition Corp. agreed to buy Option One for the value of the net assets minus $300 million.

$300 million. Ouch.

Anyone over at H&R Block feel like they need one of those tissues? Not to Worry: losses are deductable.



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