EBay Inc. is an American multinational e-commerce corporation based in San Jose, California that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. EBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in the autumn of 1995, became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble. EBay is a multibillion-dollar business with operations in about 30 countries, as of 2011; the company manages the eBay website, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. The website is free to use for buyers, but sellers are charged fees for listing items after a limited number of free listings, again when those items are sold. In addition to eBay's original auction-style sales, the website has evolved and expanded to include: instant "Buy It Now" shopping. EBay offered online money transfers as part of its services; the AuctionWeb was founded in California on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as part of a larger personal site.
One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."Reportedly, eBay was a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website. The resulting price increase forced him to start charging those who used eBay, was not met with any animosity, it resulted in the hiring of Chris Agarpao as eBay's first additional employee to process mailed checks coming in for fees. Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first new president of the company in early 1996. In November 1996, eBay entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction, to use SmartMarket Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products. Growth was phenomenal.
The company changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. The site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com. In 1997 the company received $6.7 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. Meg Whitman was hired by the board as eBay president and CEO in March 1998. At the time, the company had 30 employees, half a million users and revenues of $4.7 million in the United States. The repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market"; this was revealed in Adam Cohen's book, The Perfect Store, confirmed by eBay. After eBay went public, both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires.
EBay's target share price of $18 was all but ignored as the price went to $53.50 on the first day of trading. The Pez dispenser myth generated enormous amounts of publicity and led to some of eBay's most explosive early growth among toy collectors; however at the time, Beanie Babies were the leader in the toy category and was the most difficult brand to find in retail stores. Beanie Babies became the dominant product on eBay accounting for 10% of all eBay listings in 1997. While still a held company, eBay's growing market share was contributed by two major factors: The growing collectibility of Beanie Babies in the mid-1990s – collectors internationally were trying to complete their collection of Beanie Babies Ty producing the first business-to-consumer Web site - the original Ty Web site contained an online trading post where people could trade their Beanie Babies, however the trading post was overwhelmed with unsortable listings creating a legitimate demand for a more efficient online system to buy and trade Beanie Babies in the secondary marketAs a result, eBay provided a user-friendly interface to search for specific Beanie Babies that collectors were searching for.
On September 21, 1998, eBay went public. In the risk factors section of the annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998, Omidyar notes eBay's dependence on the continued strength of the Beanie Babies market; as the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into any saleable item, business grew quickly. In 2000, eBay had 12 million registered users and a cyberinventory of more than 4.5 million items on sale on any given day. In February 2002 the company purchased iBazar, a similar European auction web site founded in 1998, bought PayPal on October 3, 2002. By early 2008 the company had expanded worldwide, counting hundreds of millions of registered users as well as 15,000 employees and revenues of $7.7 billion. After nearly ten years at eBay, Whitman decided to enter politics. On January 23, 2008, the company announced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008, John Donahoe was selected to become president and CEO. Whitman remained on the board of directors and continued to advise
Geography of Omaha
The geography of Omaha, Nebraska is characterized by its riverfront position alongside the Missouri River. The city's geography, with its proximity to the river was a factor in making Omaha the "Gateway of the West" from which thousands of settlers traveled into the American West during the 19th century. Environmental issues include more than one hundred years of industrial smelting along the riverfront along with the continuous impact of suburban sprawl on the city's west side; the city's climate is temperate. Omaha is located at 41°15′38″N 96°0′47″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 118.9 square miles. 115.7 square miles of it is land and 3.2 square miles of it is water. The total area is 2.67% water. Situated in the Midwestern United States on the shore of the Missouri River in eastern Nebraska, the Port of Omaha helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. Much of Omaha is built in the Missouri River Valley. Other significant bodies of water in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area include Lake Manawa, Papillion Creek, Carter Lake, Platte River and the Glenn Cunningham Lake.
The city's land has been altered by human intervention, with substantial regrading throughout Downtown Omaha and scattered across the city. Minor land reclamation efforts, along with dams further upstream, have brought dozens of acres along the Missouri into usage. Many of the natural variations in topography have been evened out; the highest natural point in the city is Belvedere Point in North Omaha. East Omaha sits on a flood plain west of the Missouri River; the area is the location of an oxbow lake. The lake was once the site of East Omaha Island. In the crux of Carter Drive is an unnamed sulphur spring, located south of there is Hardwood Creek. East Omaha was once the location of Florence Lake. Similar to many other Western U. S. cities, Omaha was developed on a grid plan with the city center at the Missouri River and Dodge Street. This intersection was near the Lone Tree Ferry, Omaha's impetus for founding. An expansive city covering substantial area, Omaha has many distinct neighborhoods. Dozens of small neighborhoods spread across several distinct areas in the city's core areas of Downtown Omaha, Midtown Omaha, South Omaha and North Omaha.
West Omaha, Northwest Omaha, Southwest Omaha and several Sarpy County cities and towns surround the city. Though located at the same latitude as Rome, Omaha, by virtue of its location near the center of North America far from large bodies of water or mountain ranges, has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Average July maximum and minimum temperatures are 87.4 °F and 65.9 °F with moderate humidity and frequent thunderstorms rather violent and capable of spawning severe weather or tornadoes. The maximum temperature recorded in the city is 114 °F, the minimum −32 °F. Average yearly precipitation is 30.2 inches, falling in the warmer months, as winter precipitation is more in the form of lower-moisture-content snowfall, averaging 26.8 inches per season. Omaha has had its share of natural disasters by wind; the city's Carter Lake was formed by a massive flood. The Great Flood of 1881 filled Omaha and Council Bluffs with water for a month, causing two fatalities and millions of dollars in damage.
As many as 1,000 people were displaced by a flood in 1943, which sent the Missouri River, Carter Lake, the old Florence Lake into homes and businesses throughout East Omaha. The flood of April 13, 1952 led to 40,000 people being evacuated from Carter Lake. President Harry S. Truman visited the scene of the flooding in Omaha and declared it a disaster area. Several neighborhoods in Midtown and North Omaha were damaged by the Easter Sunday tornado of 1913, which destroyed many businesses and neighborhoods. More than 200 people died during the event; the Omaha Tornado of 1975 cut through 10 miles of streets and residences, crossing the city's busiest intersection at 72nd and Dodge. Three people were killed and 133 were reported injured. A recent report named northeast Omaha "one of the most dangerous toxic waste sites in the nation" after the United States Environmental Protection Agency showed that more than 2,600 children in the area have lead poisoning. In early 2003, a large section of East Omaha was declared a Superfund site after thousands of yards tested positive for high levels of lead contamination resulting from a nearby lead smelter plant that operated for more than a century.
In 1877 Omaha's Carter Lake was formed by a massive flood which altered the course of the Missouri River. The Great Flood of 1881 filled the Omaha and Council Bluffs with water for a month, causing two fatalities and millions of dollars in damage; as many as 1,000 people were displaced by a flood in 1943, which sent the Missouri River, Carter Lake, the old Florence Lake into peoples' homes and businesses throughout East Omaha. The flood of April 13, 1952 led to 40,000 people being evacuated from Carter Lake. President Harry S. Truman visited the scene of the flooding in Omaha and declared it a disaster area. Several neighborhoods in central Omaha and North Omaha were damaged by the Easter Sunday tornado of 1913, which destroyed many businesses and neighborhoods. More than 200 pe
Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area
The Omaha Metropolitan Area known as the Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Metropolitan Statistical Area, is an urbanized region centered on the city of Omaha, Nebraska. The region extends over a large area on both sides of the Missouri River in Nebraska and Iowa, in the American Midwest; the Omaha Metropolitan Area is the 59th largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 933,316. As defined by the Office of Management and Budget, it consists of eight counties—five in Nebraska and three in Iowa; the region is locally referred to as "Greater Omaha", "the Metro Area", "the Metro", or "Omaha". The core counties of Douglas and Sarpy in Nebraska and Pottawattamie in Iowa contain large urbanized areas; the Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA Combined Statistical Area encompasses the Omaha-Council Bluffs MSA as well as the separate Fremont, NE Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of the entirety of Dodge County, Nebraska. The total population of the CSA was 970,023 based on 2017 estimates.
Standard definitions for United States metropolitan areas were created in 1949. At that time, the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area comprised three counties: Douglas and Sarpy in Nebraska, Pottawattamie in Iowa. No additional counties were added to the metropolitan area until 1983, when Washington County, Nebraska was added. Cass County, Nebraska was added in 1993; the 2003 revision to metropolitan area definitions was accompanied by the creation of micropolitan areas and Combined Statistical Areas. Fremont, in Dodge County, was designated a micropolitan area; the Omaha–Council Bluffs–Fremont combined statistical area has a population of 858,720. Omaha – 408,958 inhabitants Council Bluffs, Iowa - 62,230 inhabitants Bellevue, Nebraska – 50,137 inhabitants La Vista, Nebraska – 15,758 inhabitants Papillion, Nebraska – 18,894 inhabitants Blair, Nebraska – 7,990 inhabitants Glenwood, Iowa – 5,269 inhabitants Plattsmouth, Nebraska – 6,502 inhabitants Ralston, Nebraska – 7,187 inhabitants Chalco, Nebraska – 10,736 inhabitants Offutt Air Force Base – 8,901 inhabitants Population for Iowa metropolitan areas and components, 1950 – 2000 omaha.towncommons.com – wiki website for the Omaha–Council Bluffs metro area
Economy of Omaha, Nebraska
The economy of Omaha, Nebraska has served as a major commercial hub in the Midwestern United States since its founding in 1854. Dubbed the "Motor Mouth City" by The New York Times, Omaha is regarded as the telecommunications capital of the United States; the city's economy includes agriculture, food processing, transportation and education. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway has lived in Omaha all of his life, as have the ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific Railroad and Mutual of Omaha Companies, Kiewit Corporation, all Fortune 500 corporations. According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, in March 2008 the unemployment rate in Omaha was 3.9 percent. Between 2000 and 2005 Omaha's job growth was 0.70 percent. In 2006 the sales tax rate was seven percent, with income tax at 6.68 percent. That same year the median family income was $56,869, with a 1.80 percent housing price gain. In September 2007 the city ranked eighth among the 50 largest cities in the United States in both per-capita billionaires and Fortune 500 companies.
According to USA Today, no other city in the country could claim a ranking as high as Omaha on both lists. The paper identified the richest residents of Omaha as Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, worth $1.5 billion. The city ranks fourteenth among the states for philanthropic giving, according to the Catalogue of Philanthropy. In the years after the founding of Omaha, the city's economy grew in cycles. Early success as a transportation hub drew a variety of economic sectors to the downtown area; the early warehousing area was located next to the Missouri River, drawings good from steamboats coming upriver from Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, as well as points east; the Union Pacific Railroad has been headquartered in Omaha since its inception bringing the meatpacking and regional brewing companies to the city. The American Smelting and Refining Company owned a large plant on the Omaha riverfront from 1881 into the 1990s, when the Environmental Protection Agency forced it to close. Omaha has a long history of labor conflict between management and workers.
As a long-time open shop the city gained the reputation for breaking unions. In 1870 Omaha began its role as a wholesale jobbing center for the United States; the wholesale jobber purchased goods directly from the manufacturer, transported these goods via the railroads, sold them directly to small businesses through traveling salesmen. Omaha jobbers handled a wide variety of wholesale products along the Great Platte River Road and beyond, including groceries, dry goods, fruits and liquor; the city created a market house and a food-oriented warehousing district to meet the needs of this sector of the economy. Omaha earned its nickname, the "Gateway to the West", because of its central location as a transportation hub for the United States in the middle and late 19th century. Emigrants, gold seekers, freighters, Native Americans and land sharks all contributed; the Omaha Claim Club was an early land claim seller, court and enforcement group. Jobbers Canyon grew as a warehousing center as carriage factories, wholesale houses, barbed wire factories, along with Downtown Omaha department stores such as Brandeis and hotels such as Hotel Fontenelle.
The city's breweries, iron works, flour mills, the Union Pacific headquarters caused the city to swell between the 1880s and the 1920s. The "Big Four" local breweries in Omaha were the Storz, Willow Springs and Metz breweries. Warehousing and manufacturing operations out of Omaha from its founding through the 1920s include the Western Bridge and Construction Company. Other important businesses included the Byron Reed Company and the N. P. Dodge Company; the meatpacking industry, built in conjunction with the Omaha Stockyards, started to grow in the 1890s, provided financial strength to the city through the 1970s. A fierce rival of Chicago's Union Stock Yards, the Omaha Stockyards were third in the nation for production by 1890; the "Big Four" meat packers during this time were Armour, Wilson and Swift. There were several breweries established throughout the city during this period. In 1947 they were second only to Chicago in worldwide ratings. Omaha overtook Chicago as the U. S.'s largest livestock market and meat packing industry center in 1955, a title which it held until 1971.
The 116-year-old institution closed in 1999. There were several small-scale meatpacking operations in Omaha during this period. Large plants in Omaha included Armour, Cudahy and Morris, along with several smaller companies. All together they employed over 13,000 men by the 1950s; the Missouri River provided the initial source of revenue for young Omaha, as fur trappers such as Manuel Lisa used the area to build their inland empires with local Native American tribes. As steamboats started pouring in goods manufactured in the Eastern United States, thousands of tons of goods came through the city. However, the problem of transporting materials for the growing Midwestern United States needed to be addressed, which luckily opened the doorways to the city's major growth engine in its earliest years; the second period of growth in Omaha, from 1865 through the 1880s, is attributed to the city's railroad connections, which drew all significant rail traffic from the Pacific Northwest through the area.
By the 1870s, Omaha had seven major rail lines. Major bus lines and airlines have traveled through the city for 100 years
Cuneiform or Sumerian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing, was invented by the Sumerians. It is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus; the name cuneiform itself means "wedge shaped". Emerging in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC to convey the Sumerian language, a language isolate, cuneiform writing began as a system of pictograms, stemming from an earlier system of shaped tokens used for accounting. In the third millennium, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract as the number of characters in use grew smaller; the system consists of a combination of consonantal alphabetic and syllabic signs. The original Sumerian script was adapted for the writing of the Semitic Akkadian and Amorite languages, the language isolates Elamite, Hattic and Urartian, as well as Indo-European languages Hittite and Luwian. Cuneiform writing was replaced by the Phoenician alphabet during the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
By the second century AD, the script had become extinct, its last traces being found in Assyria and Babylonia, all knowledge of how to read it was lost until it began to be deciphered in the 19th century. Geoffrey Sampson stated that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, invented under the influence of the latter", that it is "probable that the general idea of expressing words of a language in writing was brought to Egypt from Sumerian Mesopotamia". There are many instances of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations at the time of the invention of writing, standard reconstructions of the development of writing place the development of the Summerian proto-cuneiform script before the development of Egyptian hierogplyphs, with the suggestion the former influenced the latter. Between half a million and two million cuneiform tablets are estimated to have been excavated in modern times, of which only 30,000–100,000 have been read or published; the British Museum holds the largest collection, followed by the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the Louvre, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, the National Museum of Iraq, the Yale Babylonian Collection and Penn Museum.
Most of these have "lain in these collections for a century without being translated, studied or published", as there are only a few hundred qualified cuneiformists in the world. An ancient Mesopotamian poem gives the first known story of the invention of writing: Because the messager's mouth was heavy and he couldn't repeat, the Lord of Kulaba pattes some clay and put words on it, like a tablet; until there had been no putting words on clay. The cuneiform writing system was in use for more than three millennia, through several stages of development, from the 31st century BC down to the second century AD, it was replaced by alphabetic writing in the course of the Roman era, there are no cuneiform systems in current use. It had to be deciphered as a unknown writing system in 19th-century Assyriology. Successful completion of its deciphering is dated to 1857; the cuneiform script was developed from pictographic proto-writing in the late 4th millennium BC, stemming from the near eastern token system used for accounting.
These tokens were in use from the 9th millennium BC and remained in occasional use late in the 2nd millennium BC. It has been suggested that the token shapes were the original basis for some of the Sumerian pictographs. Mesopotamia's "proto-literate" period spans the 35th to 32nd centuries; the first documents unequivocally written in Sumerian date to the 31st century BC at Jemdet Nasr. Pictographs were either drawn on clay tablets in vertical columns with a sharpened reed stylus or incised in stone; this early style lacked the characteristic wedge shape of the strokes. Certain signs to indicate names of gods, cities, birds, etc. are known as determinatives and were the Sumerian signs of the terms in question, added as a guide for the reader. Proper names continued to be written in purely "logographic" fashion; the earliest known Sumerian king whose name appears on contemporary cuneiform tablets is Enmebaragesi of Kish. Surviving records only gradually become less fragmentary and more complete for the following reigns, but by the end of the pre-Sargonic period, it had become standard practice for each major city-state to date documents by year-names commemorating the exploits of its lugal.
From about 2900 BC, many pictographs began to lose their original function, a given sign could have various meanings depending on context. The sign inventory was reduced from some 1,500 signs to some 600 signs, writing became phonological. Determinative signs were re-introduced to avoid ambiguity. Cuneiform writing proper thus arises from the more primitive system of pictographs at about that time. In the mid-3rd millennium BC, the direction of writing was changed to left-to-right in horizontal rows and a new wedge-tipped stylus was introduced, pushed into the clay, producing wedge-shaped signs. By adjusting the relative position of the tablet to the stylus, the writer could use a single tool to make a variety of impressions. Cuneiform tablets could be fired in kilns to bake them hard, so provide a permanent record, or they could be left moist and recycled, if permanence was not needed. Man
Board of directors
A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit business, nonprofit organization, or a government agency. Such a board's powers and responsibilities are determined by government regulations and the organization's own constitution and bylaws; these authorities may specify the number of members of the board, how they are to be chosen, how they are to meet. In an organization with voting members, the board is accountable to, might be subordinate to, the organization's full membership, which vote for the members of the board. In a stock corporation, non-executive directors are voted for by the shareholders, with the board having ultimate responsibility for the management of the corporation; the board of directors appoints the chief executive officer of the corporation and sets out the overall strategic direction. In corporations with dispersed ownership, the identification and nomination of directors are done by the board itself, leading to a high degree of self-perpetuation.
In a non-stock corporation with no general voting membership, the board is the supreme governing body of the institution, its members are sometimes chosen by the board itself. Other names include board of directors and advisors, board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, or board of visitors, it may be called "the executive board" and is simply referred to as "the board". Typical duties of boards of directors include: governing the organization by establishing broad policies and setting out strategic objectives. For companies with publicly trading stock, these responsibilities are much more rigorous and complex than for those of other types; the board chooses one of its members to be the chairman, who holds whatever title is specified in the by-laws or articles of association. However, in membership organizations, the members elect the president of the organization and the president becomes the board chair, unless the by-laws say otherwise; the directors of an organization are the persons.
Several specific terms categorize directors by the presence or absence of their other relationships to the organization. An inside director is a director, an employee, chief executive, major shareholder, or someone connected to the organization. Inside directors represent the interests of the entity's stakeholders, have special knowledge of its inner workings, its financial or market position, so on. Typical inside directors are: A chief executive officer who may be chairman of the board Other executives of the organization, such as its chief financial officer or executive vice president Large shareholders Representatives of other stakeholders such as labor unions, major lenders, or members of the community in which the organization is locatedAn inside director, employed as a manager or executive of the organization is sometimes referred to as an executive director. Executive directors have a specified area of responsibility in the organization, such as finance, human resources, or production.
An outside director is a member of the board, not otherwise employed by or engaged with the organization, does not represent any of its stakeholders. A typical example is a director, president of a firm in a different industry. Outside directors are not affiliated with it in any other way. Outside directors bring outside experience and perspectives to the board. For example, for a company that only serves a domestic market, the presence of CEOs from global multinational corporations as outside directors can help to provide insights on export and import opportunities and international trade options. One of the arguments for having outside directors is that they can keep a watchful eye on the inside directors and on the way the organization is run. Outside directors are unlikely to tolerate "insider dealing" between insider directors, as outside directors do not benefit from the company or organization. Outside directors are useful in handling disputes between inside directors, or between shareholders and the board.
They are thought to be advantageous because they can be objective and present little risk of conflict of interest. On the other hand, they might lack familiarity with the specific issues connected to the organization's governance and they might not know about the industry or sector in which the organization is operating. Director – a person appointed to serve on the board of an organization, such as an institution or business. Inside director – a director who, in addition to serving on the board, has a meaningful connection to the organization Outside director – a director who, other than serving on the board, has no meaningful connections to the organization Executive director – an insi