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For years, Zynga got to sell virtual goods on its Facebook desktop games untaxed. It was essentially selling cost-less copies of digital images for real money, and the margins were great. Facebook finally forced all developers onto its virtual currency Credits in July 2011 and started taking a 30 percent cut. Zynga might have negotiated a slightly lower tax but it was still a hit to its bottom line.
Back in Zynga’s heyday, most Facebook usage was on the desktop where its games were. But the shift to mobile was quick. It seemed to take Facebook by surprise, and it hit Zynga, too.
Zynga IPO’d 10 months ago at $10 a share. Today it fell another $0.23 to just $2.48 after cutting its revenue projections.
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This is what tablets and smartphones are for. Bring your own tablet and/or smartphone, keep the personal surfing personal. Nobody will ask, nobody will care... your iPad is for watching movies on the plane, reading eBooks, random surfing, etc.
Also, having written a few AUPs myself... the exact restrictions tend to be pretty well documented, and driven by security and compliance requirements that your employer would be in trouble for violating. Read the AUP in full and make sure you understand it, ask questions if needed. Those of us who have to help maintain compliance / security would much rather get a few "silly questions" than have to clean up a mess. When in doubt, use a personal device. There's absolutely no excuse not to have one.
And to the employer... think about VDI+BYOD. Move the security back into the server room, let employees use "whatever". Keeping the personal surfing out is a losing battle, no matter what your compliance requirements are.
What you are asking for is not possible due to the way markets work.
If there is a skill that takes only a few months to learn, doesn't require formal background, and then you can do meaningful projects, that skill is not worth much because just about anybody can learn it.
Pick something that is more than a simple skill (i.e. artistic aptitude, something unique), find a niche, find something that's still widely used but "out of fashion", go local (works better in a relatively "low-tech" locale), find somebody who will take on an apprentice / mentee in some area deeper than a "2-3 month learning curve".
Also, if you're already writing, they way to get better at writing is to keep writing. Start a blog or two, volunteer to write documentation for a non-profit or open source project or similar, use that as a portfolio to find better paying writing work.
Speaking of non-profits - volunteering with one is a great way to network, find somebody who might pay you for the skills you're using as a volunteer, etc.
On the other hand, I'm surprised that the activist investors of the world haven't been trying to force AOL to turn this cash into dividends instead of bad web investments. I guess that would involve said activist investors seeing enough cash flow potential to actually buy AOL stock first.
- Pass a national right-to-work law
- Reduce the power of unions, kill any threat to employers of card-check
- Move healthcare to either a totally open market (individuals buy policies, regulated, priced fairly based on avoidable risk), get the companies out of that business
- Cut corporate marginal tax rates, so companies are actually willing to make a profit in the US
- Work to eliminate regime uncertainty; stop dangling "we're going to overhaul this later" over major and minor US industries
(regime uncertainty will hopefully get better after November)
- Work hard to reduce employer/employment burdens and costs
If our government did not make it so expensive to hire people, companies would hire more people. (Obvious 101, but apparently not to the current leadership)