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The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week

Carb-Barb Redux

1. On the Carb Side

Now that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apologized to the widow of diet guru Robert Atkins, you probably thought you had read the last about that brouhaha.

Not quite.

Yes, we were amused by Mayor Bloomberg's version of the Atkins diet -- namely, take a bite of the food served at a Dr. Atkins party, then spit it out into your napkin when no one's watching.

But we were more amused to see this crack example of content-targeted advertising on the Web site. (Thank you, Joan Griffin, for pointing this out.)

After all, what better endorsement of Dr. Atkins' low-carb diet could there be than the New York City mayor's suspicions, rehashed in the story, that the doctor's dietary practices led to his death?

A spokesman says it isn't a contextually placed ad, but was just a random occurrence. Ah, the joy of random events.

2. Don't Say We Didn't Time Warner You

Speaking of copyrighted material published by a unit of the world's largest media conglomerate...

We were somewhat alarmed to hear comments made by Time Warner (TWX) CEO Dick Parsons at a meeting with analysts this Wednesday.

Specifically, we're a little jittery about Parsons' discussion of a joint effort between Time Warner and Microsoft (MSFT) -- the world's largest and most powerful software company, in case you'd forgotten -- that may affect a teeny tiny portion of your life in the future.

And what's that teeny tiny thing this Microsoft/Time Warner collaboration may affect?

You've Been Warnered Before...
...about file sharing

Well, nothing more than How Much Freedom You'll Have to Listen To or Watch Any and All Music or Video That Passes Through Your Computer at Some Point in the Future.

That's what.

It all started when Blaylock & Partners analyst John Tinker asked for an update on one of the upshots of a legal settlement announced last year between Microsoft and Time Warner -- the companies' agreement to cooperate on systems for secure dissemination of entertainment and information.

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