Posts

Showing posts from October, 2011

American States won't see internet tax

Image
America's state governments won't see many revenue gains any time soon if they triumph in battles to tax sales by out-of-state Internet retailers, a leading Wall Streetcredit-ratings group said on Monday.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that state governments were increasingly targeting Internet sales outside their borders but still faced legal hurdles and were unlikely to see much top-line benefit soon.

"At this time, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services does not think that the amount of revenue states are foregoing by not collecting tax on Internet sales is significant enough to influence state or local ratings," S&P analyst David Hitchcock said in a report. "Nevertheless, Internet commerce is growing faster than overall retail sales, and if trends continue the loss of tax revenue could become significant."
Related articlesNew Mississippi Internet taxes to be introduced by Republicans? A losing proposition. (mississippipe…

Twenty-six nations are expected to lodge a formal protest

Image
Image via WikipediaTwenty-six nations are expected to lodge a formal protest on Wednesday against a European Union law to make airlines pay for carbon emissions -- adding to transatlantic tension on an issue that has triggered a tit-for-tat bill in the Congress.
Under EU legislation, from January 1 all flights to or from Europe will have to buy carbon permits to help offset their emissions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) -- the 27 member bloc's prime tool for trying to curb the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Last week, in the U.S. Congress, where environmental issues have become a flashpoint between Republicans and President Barack Obama'sDemocrats, the lower house passed a bill making it illegal for airlines to comply with the EU's law.

On Wednesday this week, a council meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada is also expected to take up the airlines' cause.

EU lawyers have said any decision by …

investigation into the Duqu malicious software

Image
Image via CrunchBaseIndian authorities seized computer equipment from a data center in Mumbai as part of an investigation into the Duqu malicious software that some security experts warned could be the next big cyber threat.
Two workers at a web-hosting company called Web Werks told Reuters that officials from India's Department of Information Technology last week took several hard drives and other components from a server that security firm Symantec Corp told them was communicating with computers infected with Duqu.

News of Duqu first surfaced last week when Symantec said it had found a mysterious computer virus that contained code similar to Stuxnet, a piece of malware believed to have wreaked havoc on Iran's nuclear program.

Government and private investigators around the world are racing to unlock the secret of Duqu, with early analysis suggesting that it was developed by sophisticated hackers to help lay the groundwork for attacks on critical infrastructure suc…

Wordpress websites and blogs

Image
eComTechnology - Ecommerce Wordpress Websites

Wordpress Website Special now on.
A new Wordpress website (5 pages) or blog for $450.00 everything you need included in one price. That's it one site, hosted for one year and for one price of $450.
DNS changes or URL registration also included, 48 hour time period.
email: Robert at Sales
Blogsite - being part website and part blog gives it the ability to drive itself through the search engines.
The Complete Approach to Websites is now the Blogsite:
Your site built and maintained on a daily basis at eComTechnology.

Cenovus sells marine terminal near Kitimat BC to Shell

Image
Image via WikipediaCenovus is a relatively new name in the oilpatch, having split off from natural gas producer Encana Corp. (ECA-T21.930.854.03%) in late 2009.
Last week, the company announced it sold a marine terminal near Kitimat, B.C., to Shell Canada Ltd., which has been looking to export liquefied natural gas off of the province's northern coast. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Calgary-based company has said it aims to produce about 500,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of the decade. The steep increase will be largely driven by a six-fold jump in oilsands production by the end of 2021.
Cenovus is on the lookout for joint-ventures, farm-outs, swaps or other transactions to further speed up development of its holdings. It has hired RBC Capital Markets and Barclays Capital to help it lure a partner.
Cenovus is no stranger to such arrangements; its Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake oilsands projects are part of a 50-50 joint venture with Houston-based en…

Where do we go from here - occupy wall street

"Where Do We Go From Here?" Posted Oct. 23, 2011, 9:32 p.m. EST by On the one month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Ed David went to Liberty Plaza to find out where the movement will go next. Director ED DAVID Producer DANA SALVATORE Cinematography ED DAVID & ANDREW MCMULLEN Editors LILY HENDERSON & ED DAVID Assistant Producer JILLIAN MASON

Netflix has more problems

Image
Image via WikipediaFor Netflix, the hits keep on coming -- the bad kind.
The latest thwack: Netflix lost 800,000 U.S. subscribers in the quarter that just ended, which was littered with PR nightmares including a price hike and the Qwikster debacle. It was the first time in years that Netflix's U.S. customer base shrank instead of growing.
Netflix spoke bluntly about the recent problems in its third-quarter earnings letter, released late Monday.
"The last few months...have been difficult for shareholders, employees, and most unfortunately, many members of Netflix," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a letter to shareholders. "We've hurt our hard-earned reputation, and stalled our domestic growth."
Netflix said it was focusing on the future, promising customers that "we are done with pricing changes." But it doesn't think the subscriber hemorrhaging is at an end.
Netflix had 23.8 million total U.S. subscribers as of Sept. 30, down from 24.6 mill…

Oracle said Monday that it will acquire RightNow

Image
Oracle said Monday that it will acquire RightNow, which is a customer service-as-a-service company, for $1.5 billion, or $43 a share.
RightNow focuses on customer service via call centers and self-service options via the Web and social networks. That customer service focus is aimed at the heart of Salesforce.com.
Image via CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, said in a statement that Oracle is "is moving aggressively to offer customers a full range of Cloud Solutions including sales force automation, human resources, talent management, social networking, databases and Java as part of the Oracle Public Cloud."
That quote is basically shorthand for "Oracle is going cloud shopping."
At Oracle OpenWorld, the company outlined plans to get into cloud computing, big data, and other efforts such as NoSQL databases. Oracle said its NoSQL database was generally available today.
Gartner analysts argued last week that Orac…

Advanced Micro Devices is working with a software startup, BlueStacks

Image
Image via CrunchBaseAdvanced Micro Devices is working with a software startup, BlueStacks, whose solution enables users of
Windows-based devices to run Android applications.
AMD announced Oct. 20 that
it is making an investment in the company. No amount was disclosed.
AMD and BlueStacks are
working together to optimize BlueStacks’ solution, BlueStacks App Player for
Windows, for AMD’s Fusion APUs (accelerated processing
units)
, were first introduced in January and offer a chip with the CPU and
high-level graphics integrated onto the same piece of silicon.
By optimizing the solution
for AMD’s technology, people using notebooks or other devices powered by AMD
APUs and running Windows would be able to access Android apps and run them on
the systems. There are more than 200,000 apps in the Android Market.
AMD is looking to make similar investments in companies that, like BlueStacks, are looking to enhance the user experience on notebooks, tablets and similar devices, according to Manju Hegd…

Europe launched the first satellites in its Galileo global navigation system

Image
Image via WikipediaEurope launched the first satellites in its Galileo global navigation system on
Friday, a first step toward creating a network the European Union hopes will
eventually rival the U.S.-run GPS system and establish Europe as a space
power.
Disappointment at technical problems that delayed the launch by a day gave
way to tears of joy among the assembled officials and technicians as the Galileo
satellites blasted-off aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from Europe's spaceport in
Kourou, French Guiana, at 7.30 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m. EDT).
The two satellites successfully separated from the rocket 3 hours and 49
minutes later at an altitude of over 23,000 km.
"It's an extraordinary event which shows how Europe can achieve important
results even in a period of crisis," said a jubilant EU Industry Commissioner
Antonio Tajani.
Soon after the launch, Tajani announced plans to sign contracts for the
construction of up to eight new satellites out of the total of thi…

Merchant Account Guidelines at eComTechnology

Image
Image via WikipediaMerchant Account Guidelines at eComTechnology
Accepting credit cards is an easy way to collect payments online and increase the sales of the company. It's a convenient way to accept payments and one that you can get without a major hassle.
Pricing merchant accounts starts with the discount rate. Everybody always asks for this rate when comparing merchant accounts. For internet based transactions, the discount rate will typically be about 2.1 to 2.5%. PayPal is a merchant account provider that charges a flat rate of about 3%. Even though this may seem to be easier to reconcile, it will ultimately cost most merchants more money simply because 80% or more of your transactions should go through at that lower qualified rate.
A non-qualified or mid-qualified rate will usually add on an additional .5% to 1.5% for these transactions that are "downgraded" because they are either a rewards card which cost more to process or a government or business credit card.
A…

German group SolarWorld said it may take steps against alleged price dumping

Image
German group SolarWorld said it may take steps against alleged price dumping by
Chinese rivals in Europe after its U.S. unit filed a complaint, the latest move
in the solar trade war.
"We are currently reviewing several options for how to throw this forward
over here," SolarWorld Chief Executive Frank Asbeck told Reuters on
Thursday.
SolarWorld Industries Americas said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint on
behalf of seven U.S. solar panel makers, asking for duties on Chinese solar
products.
The U.S. solar companies said Chinese producers can aggressively undercut
U.S. prices because they receive cash grants and other subsidies in China.
"The EU has to wake up now to make sure we are having fair competition over
here, too," Asbeck said.
Western sector players have criticized Chinese solar companies for years,
alleging they receive lavish credit lines to offer modules at cheaper prices,
while European players struggle to refinance.
Chinese solar companies such as S…

BlackBerry BBX’s user interface or release date

Image
Image via CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase Research In Motion didn’t whip back the curtain entirely from the QNX-based operating system it expects will put its
BlackBerry smartphones on a more competitive footing with the likes of Apple’s
iPhone and Google Android, but RIM did offer
some details of that BBX platform at its BlackBerry DevCon Americas conference
in San Francisco.
BBX will power both BlackBerry smartphones
and tablets, and support the company’s cloud services. Although the operating
system represents a refresh for RIM, having been built from the ground up, the
company is taking pains to link it with previous work: BBX will apparently
“support applications developed using any of the tools available today for the
BlackBerry PlayBook,” according to an Oct. 18 statement released by the company,
“including native SDK, Adobe AIR/Flash and WebWorks/HTML5, as well as the
BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps.”
A variation of QNX already powers RIM’s
PlayBook tablet, for which the comp…

Bill Shock

The agreement that CTIA and Consumer’s Union put together with the FCC to alert customers when they’re about to run up a huge bill will help protect against what the groups call “Bill Shock.” Bill Shock is when something happens that causes you to exceed the limits on calling minutes, text messages or data use and as a result, rack up huge bills for the overage.

Not only are some of these overages huge and in many cases they’re completely unexpected and can cause hardship for consumers. In reports to the FCC, consumers have told about situations in which their children have exceeded the limits without their knowledge. In another instance, a woman travelling on a Caribbean cruise left her phone turned on, and that resulted in huge data charges as her Android phone polled repeatedly for new e-mails and received text messages.

The CTIA is making new rules in the organization’s “Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines,” which will become part of the CTIA’s Consumer Code…

BP has accepted a $4 billion payment from partner Anadarko Petroleum

Image
Image via WikipediaBP has accepted a $4 billion payment from partner Anadarko Petroleum toward the
Gulf of Mexicooil spill clean-up, far
less than it might have won in court, but a deal that could reduce the overall
cost of the disaster for the British group.
While BP has given up around $5 billion in potentially recoverable costs, the
deal also removes a vocal and
potentially damaging opponent from the field, thereby potentially reduced the
final bill for the United States' biggest every offshore oil spill by tens of
billions of dollars.
The London-based oil company's shares jumped on the news, to trade up 4.8
percent at 1110 GMT, outperforming a 1.2 percent rise in the STOXX Europe 600
Oil and Gas index.
"This is good progress," said one dealer.
BP said on Monday that as part of the deal, Anadarko will no longer pursue
its allegations of gross negligence against BP and that the deal excludes
possible government fines the parties may have to pay.
As a 25 percent par…

Calling themselves "agvocates," these tech-savvy farmers

Image
Image via CrunchBase
October is a busy month for Kansasfarmer Darin Grimm. With 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans to harvest, the third-generation family farmer is running a combine nearly dawn to dusk.

But he still makes time to tweet.

Whether it's touting the benefits of a new fertilizer, sharing photos of a newborn calf, debating genetically modified crops or discussing modern-day hog farming, a growing legion of farmers and ranchers like Grimm are increasingly turning to Facebook, Twitter, and personal web blogs to try to connect with consumers, educators and others about agriculture.

"We all eat," said 37-year-old Grimm, who helps run the 18-month-old AgChat Foundation, teaching other farmers how to use online social media to tell their stories to a sometimes skeptical public.

"Food is important to everybody but very few people produce that food," he said. "We farmers need to connect with consumers ... whether it's a mom in New York or a …

blame the weather for utility bills

Greater reliance on solar, wind and hydro power means that utilities can now blame extreme weather for high electricity and gas bills, a meteorologist at global forecaster WSI told Reuters.

Drought, freezing weather and heavy clouds can all hit household budgets as they restrict output from renewable energy plants.

"It gives the utility companies an easy excuse now, they don't have to blame speculators, it's the weather," said Mark Stephens-Row in an interview on the sidelines of WSI's winter weather outlook presentation, while Britain's energy regulator Ofgem pushed ahead with plans to force suppliers to make energy bills more transparent.

As European governments pursue legally binding targets to cut carbon emissions, renewable energy accounts for a bigger slice of energy production.

In Europe's biggest economy, Germany, power producers are already relying on renewable energy more than ever after the government imposed the immediate closure …

Deepwater Wind is racing to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm

Image
Image via WikipediaDeepwater Wind is racing to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Rhode Island and hopes to parlay that into a string of East Coast farms that could partially replace embattled nuclear power plants.

The privately held U.S. wind power developer plans to begin construction of the $205 million, 30-megawatt Block Island project in 2013 or 2014, ahead of a farm proposed by Cape Wind which had been expected to be the nation's first offshore facility, according to Deepwater's CEO.

"Believe it or not, the first offshore wind farm will probably happen in little Rhode Island," CEO William Moore told Reuters in an interview.

The energy generated by the 30-megawatt Block Island project will be enough to power about 10,000 homes in Rhode Island. The company is planning other projects off the Atlantic Coast as well, with three 1,000-meagawatt projects currently in the works.

The company says a 1,000-megawatt offshore wind project will produce…

A Japanese mayor has called on the government to decommission the nuclear reactor

Image
Image via WikipediaA Japanese mayor has called on the government to decommission the nuclear reactor in his village, 110 km northeast of Tokyo, the first local leader to urge scrapping a reactor as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda tries to rehabilitate the tarnished nuclear sector to help meet the nation's power needs.

The reactor at Tokaimura, where Japan's commercial nuclear power industry was born in the late 1950s, has been shut since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck northeast Japan on March 11. It entered routine maintenance in May and is not due to restart until August 2012.

Only 10 of Japan's 54 commercial reactors remain operating seven months after the March disaster triggered a crisis at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, as safety fears have left local authorities wary of restarting reactors once they go offline for routine maintenance.

But Tokaimura Mayor Tatsuya Murakami was the first local official to call for scrapp…

Britain's nuclear power plants are safe enough to continue operating

Image
Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBritain's nuclear power plants are safe enough to continue operating and the government's strategy for building new nuclear plants is adequate, the country's Chief Nuclear Inspector said in his final post-Fukushima report on Tuesday.

"I remain confident that our UK nuclear facilities have no fundamental safety weaknesses (but) no matter how high our standards, the quest for improvement must never stop," said Mike Weightman, the head of Britain's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), who also led a U.N. team of nuclear experts on a fact-finding mission to Japan's Fukushima in May.

Britain's nuclear operators and regulators should review 38 areas where lessons can be learned from Japan's nuclear reactor meltdown and radioactive release in March, including reliance on off-site infrastructure, emergency response arrangements and flooding risks.

Energy SecretaryChris Huhne, who presented the findings in a writte…

President Obama wants tighter information security measures

Image
Image by Le ciel azuré via FlickrPresident Obama wants tighter information security measures to prevent
another WikiLeaks-style breach.

Obama signed an executive order outlining data security measures and rules
for government agencies to follow to prevent further data leaks by insiders, the
White House said Oct. 7. The executive order defines basic security measures to
protect data as well as mandates the creation of committees to oversee the
effort.

Last November, anti-secrecy Website WikiLeaks started posting hundreds of
thousands of United States diplomatic cables online, severely embarrassing the
United States government. Shortly after the leak, the government ordered
agencies to restrict the use of "removable media" such as CDs and USB flash
drives on classified systems.

"We are only as strong as our weakest link and this is a shared risk with
shared responsibility," the White House said.

The orders reinforce the rule that employees can't downloa…

Netflix and AMC Networks Inc

Image
Image via CrunchBaseNetflix and AMC Networks Inc have signed a new licensing agreement that gives the popular streaming video service
exclusive rights in the United
States
and Canada to the hit show "The Walking Dead."
Additionally, Netflix said on Friday the deal is for
nonexclusive rights in the U.S. to some programs from AMC and its other
channels, including IFC and the Sundance Channel.
Netflix already streams popular AMC shows "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" through its
deals with Lions Gate
Entertainment
and Sony Pictures.
The agreement comes as Netflix tries to add content to its offerings to keep
drawing in customers. While it has been striking partnerships with Discovery
Communications
and Dreamworks Animation of
late, the company is under pressure from Hollywood studios and other programmers
eager to fetch as much money as they can from Netflix.
Negotiations with Liberty Media's Starz, for
example, were recently called off because the two sides…

Sprint Nextel Corp said it needs to raise more money

Image
Image via CrunchBaseSprint Nextel Corp said it needs to raise more money and signaled it will burn
through its cash reserves, raising concerns about the wireless provider's
financial stability and business strategy.

Shares fell 20 percent to close at $2.41 on Friday, while its credit default
swaps rose, reflecting greater concerns about a default risk. Shares of Sprint
affiliate Clearwire Corp tumbled 32 percent to $1.39.

The news that Sprint could spend more cash than it brings in to upgrade its
network provoked angry questions at an investor meeting with Chief Executive Dan
Hesse.

Analysts complained that Hesse gave few clear answers and instead raised many
fresh questions. In particular, they were worried that Sprint said its cash
shortfall did not yet factor in the undisclosed sum of money the carrier has to
pay Apple Inc for the right to sell the popular iPhone.

"They're going to be spending more money than they're bringing in for the
next couple of years... e…

SMBs do not know who to go to for managed services solutions.

Image
Research from Techaisle's SMBManaged Services report indicates that small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) in the
U.S. will be spending $7 billion on managed services in 2011 and will continue
to grow in double digits for the next several years, an increment of more than a
billion dollars each year. The data is based on a survey of 2000 SMBs and 600
channel partners in the US.
As a percent of support and maintenance (known as break-fix), U.S.-based SMB managed services' spend will increase from
27 percent in 2011 to 40 percent in 2015. More than one in five small businesses
(companies with 1-99 employees) use some type of managed services with greatest
use observed among businesses with 50-99 employees. Another percent of small
businesses plan to use managed services suggesting robust opportunities for MSPs
(Managed Services Providers). Of the US medium businesses (100-999 employees),
65 percent are using one or more managed services.
Techaisle's survey also revealed that m…