People never really understand what takeovers are about. And you can't teach them either. For instance, if you're stupid enough to drink 16 pints of cider, you know that the next day means there'll be World War III taking place just behind your forehead and there's a skinhead inside your stomach kicking seven bells out of your lining with hob-nailed boots. Similarly, while deer, cats, rabbits and other assorted woodland creatures never twig that two large, approaching lights mean instant death, humans get the gist of it after being hit only once - or maybe twice. Companies, especially those that fall to, or agree to, takeovers, usually spend the next couple of weeks blathering on about compatibility, how the extra investment means more 'expansion' and 'unique opportunities' etc. In reality, we all know it's only a matter of time before they are shafted with a vengeance. Therefore, CompuServe shouldn't be too surprised about the unpleasant things that AOL is about to do to it. This week will see AOL undergo some radical restructuring that, speculation holds, means it will axe 500 jobs. The announcement will, surprisingly, make AOL employees cheer for joy because it will be its newly acquired CompuServe employees that will walk the plank. Even more surprising than that is the suspicion that the majority of them will be chopped from the customer service side. Considering that on-line service providers, such as CompuServe and AOL, are usually roasted in public by dissatisfied subscribers, we would have thought that customer services requires more, not less, employees. Obviously AOL has its own solution. For AOL, the restructuring strategy is two-fold - cut jobs and raise prices. Cynics out there will have already grasped the thinking behind this new strategy; who needs more workers when the price hike is going to drive customers away? CompuServe's honeymoon period is definitely over and AOL's increase on flat-rate pricing in the US will probably transfer to the UK as well. The company has 11 million subscribers around the globe that may not be happy paying a few dollars more. When you consider the choice of decent ISPs out there now and the amount of free alternatives to AOL content to be found on the Web, why should you pay more for an on-line service? On-line services suit those people that are too lazy or too stupid to surf the Web. Save your money and strike out without the handholding.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago