Friday, June 26, 2015

WinRAR compression

WinRAR compression utility tool at eComTechnology

WinRaR is your 100% answer to all of your file compression needs. Whether you want to unpack (unzip), or create your own archived and compressed files, WinRar is the only program you'll need. Very intuitive and easy to use makes this free program for compressed files the one to have.
Multi-user licenses and languages Government and educational institutions discounts available Purchase WinRAR at eComTechnology today.
WinRAR offers you a very intuitive graphic interface for packing and unpacking all the different compressed files used on the Internet today.  With WinRAR you can not only create your own compressed files but also encrypt them. The special wizard mode guides you along the way through a simple question and answer session.
RAR files are one of the most popular compressed file forms on the Internet today. There will be many times throughout your computer experience when you'll need a compression utility to either unpack or more widely said (unzip) files that you download. With WinRAR, it makes that job super easy, likewise if you need to compress some files.
With WinRAR, you get complete support for your RAR and ZIP archives along with the ability to unpack CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, 7z, and Z archives. This gives you the most extensive tool to unpack just about any archive you so desire. Super easy to use with help documentation available if you need it.
… is ideal for multimedia files. WinRAR automatically recognizes and selects the best compression method. The special compression algorithm compresses multimedia files, executables and object libraries particularly well…. is also ideal, if you are sending data through the web. Its 128 bit password encryption and its authenticity signature technology will give you peace of mind you are looking for.

WinRAR 4.2, 32 bit, 64 bit.

Buy WinRAR today at eComTechnology
WinRAR compression at eComTechnology
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wireless links formed partly by lasers may offer a faster

Wireless links formed partly by lasers may offer a faster, cheaper way to improve mobile Internet. Laser-radio technology by AOptix is a new wireless technology that provides a solution to some of the problems that fiber optic cables present. Originally designed for the Pentagon to steer laser beams to keep data moving between drones, ground stations, and fighter jets, this technology offers the same benefits of high quality, fast Internet connection that is found with fiber optic cables. However, Laser-radio is a more cost-effective solution compared to fiber optic and offers solutions to problems that fiber-optic presents.
So how does it work? Laser-radio uses a combination of laser and radio waves to bring the Internet anywhere – the first technology of its kind to do so. The use of laser links and radio links compensate for the weaknesses in both; lasers don't work in foggy weather, while radio waves are affected by rain. Unlike fiber optic, this combination adds redundancy and ensures that transmission works in any weather condition.
As many wireless carriers are scrambling to install fiber to replace copper cables that still link up approximately half of all cellular towers – a process that has been slow and expensive, this is an attractive solution.

Before the end of 2015, Anova Technologies, a networking company that specializes in the financial industry, will use AOptix technology in New Jersey to shave nanoseconds off the time it takes data to travel between the computers of Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange. AOptix currently has deployments in seven countries across four continents, and is a leading provider of Mobile Backhaul and Low-Latency Private Network connectivity.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Payment processing solutions

Dear Business Owner,
I’m a business consultant that specializes in payment processing. My ONLY job is to find the right merchant processor for different types of merchants in different circumstances.
For example, I have several small business clients that have yearly credit card processing of less than $300,000 a year. These companies switched to a fantastic merchant processor that only charges a small monthly fee of $50 and $0.09 per transaction. This merchant process has been saving my clients an average of $3,500 a YEAR in processing fees!
My services are COMPLETELY 100% FREE to your business. I get paid by the Merchant Processors that you might choose to work with.
I would love to have a conversation with you and go over the following points:

  1.   Do you work with a merchant Processor yet?
  2. If so, who are you currently using?
  3. If you are using your average bank’s merchant processor, I can almost GUARANTEE, that I will save you money.
  4. The average Bank’s processing fees are 3 times higher than other options on the market.
  5. How much are you paying per transaction?
  6. If you are paying more than $0.09 plus the standard “Interchange Fee” then you are paying WAY too much.
  7. If you don’t know how much you are paying, don’t feel bad, that is what I am here for! Just call me and I will show you how to figure it out.
  8. What “Credit Cards” does your business currently accept?
  9. Are you accepting Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Discover?
  10. How much money do you collect per month/year though credit cards?
  11. Are you paying for your POS?
  12. I can put you in touch with merchant processors that will give you a free Mobile POS and a Mobile Card Reader as well that works with your cell phone.
Please let me know what time works for you and we can go over your business’s Credit Card Processing requirements.
Sincerely,
Robert Richardson
Payment Processing Solution of internet merchants

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

pdvWireless Officially Launches DispatchPlus in Houston

pdvWireless Officially Launches DispatchPlus in Houston

Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia Next

WOODLAND PARK, N.J., June 22, 2015 – Pacific DataVision, Inc. d/b/a pdvWireless (NASDAQ:PDVW) announced today that its state-of-the-art, two-way radio solution, DispatchPlus, is now commercially available in the Houston market from authorized dealers.

DispatchPlus is a next-generation push-to-talk solution utilizing state-of-the-art digital two-way radio technology. The solution is integrated with pdvWireless’ proprietary cloud-based mobile resource management solutions including workforce tracking, status mapping and the Company’s patented intelligent call prioritization. DispatchPlus enables communications to be sent simultaneously to one or many recipients, whether the recipient is on pdvWireless’ two-way service, a cellphone or at any email address.

“We are excited to be bringing DispatchPlus to the Houston market and are pleased to report that testing of the network has exceeded our expectations in terms of performance and coverage. Further, for one low monthly price, our service includes not only wide-area push-to-talk but also our cloud-based business solutions. We believe this combination gives us a significant competitive advantage when compared to other commercial two-way radio solutions available in the marketplace,” said John C. Pescatore, Chief Executive Officer of pdvWireless. “By combining high quality, unlimited access to push-to-talk with DispatchPlus’ features and ease of use, customers can achieve substantial benefits and cost-savings, such as increased operational efficiencies and improved productivity.”

Houston is the first market where pdvWireless is commercially offering its DispatchPlus service and, as previously announced, it expects to have three additional markets with sites in service by June 30, 2015. Those markets are expected to be Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Providing commercial service in Houston is an important milestone in achieving the Company’s goal of becoming the nation’s leading private wireless carrier dedicated to serving dispatch-centric businesses and critical infrastructure companies.

Businesses in Houston interested in DispatchPlus can call 888-828-0738 or email sales@pdvwireless.com for more information and the location of a local authorized DispatchPlus dealer.
 
# # #

About Pacific DataVision d/b/a pdvWireless
Pacific DataVision d/b/a pdvWireless (NASDAQ: PDVW) is a recognized leader in mobile workforce communications and location based solutions that increase the productivity of field-based workers and the efficiency of their dispatch and call center operations. pdvWireless will also be launching the largest private push-to-talk network in major markets throughout the United States. Its patented and industry-validated technology improves team communication and field documentation across a wide array of industries including transportation, distribution, construction, hospitality, waste management and field service. pdvWireless’ Chairman, Brian McAuley and Vice Chairman, Morgan O’Brien, were co-founders of Nextel Communications and have over 60 years of experience in two-way radio operations and FCC regulatory matters.
During the past year the Company’s accomplishments include:
  • Raising approximately $300 million from sales of its common stock to enable the company to pursue its business plan.
  • Acquiring spectrum licenses in the 900 MHz band throughout the United States.
  • Beginning the process of building out its dispatch network.
  • Together with the Enterprise Wireless Alliance, filing a Joint Petition for Rulemaking with the FCC proposing a realignment of a portion of the 900MHz spectrum from narrowband to broadband.
  • Becoming a public reporting company and listing its common stock for trading on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “PDVW.”
pdvWireless is headquartered in Woodland Park New Jersey. Visit www.pdvwireless.com for more information.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

craft beer industry may be a hotbed of innovation

The craft beer industry may be a hotbed of innovation, but one beer continues to reign supreme above them all in an annual poll among homebrewers.
For the seventh year in row, Russian River Brewing Co.'s Pliny The Elder has taken the top spot in Zymurgy magazine's vote of best commercial beers. Pliny the Elder is a Double IPA with alcohol by volume of 8 percent.
"I say it every year, but we really are honored and humbled. There are so many great beers out there," Vinnie Cilurzo, co-founder and brewmaster of Russian River, told the American Homebrewer's Association, which publishers the magazine.
Zymurgy asked AHA members to vote for up to 20 of their favorite beers among any commercial beer available for sale in the Unites States. More than 19,000 votes were received for almost 6,000 different beers and from 1,763 breweries in the online poll.
While Russian River continued to rule in the top spot, Michigan-based Bell's Brewery was the only brewery to place two beers in the top 10: Two Hearted Ale at No. 2 and Hopslam Ale at No. 7.
Though much of the top 10 stayed the same as in 2014, Three Floyds Brewing Co.'s Zombie Dust (No. 8) and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.'s Wookey Jack (No. 10) were new entrants to the top 10 this year. 
The top-ranked beers are:
  1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  2. Bell's Two Hearted Ale
  3. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  4. Stone Enjoy By IPA
  5. Founders Breakfast Stout
  6. The Alchemist Heady Topper
  7. Bell's Hopslam Ale
  8. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
  9. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
  10. Firestone Walker Wookey Jack

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Last year, Singapore passed a law amending its Companies Act

Last year, Singapore passed a law amending its Companies Act, the changes of which are being implemented in two phases. The first phase comes into effect next month, on July 1st. Many of the changes relax or liberalise existing rules, with several of the changes affecting a large number of our clients.
This post covers the legal updates most likely to affect businesses in Singapore so that our readers can prepare for changes to the Companies Act.

Audit exemption criteria

What’s changing?
Fewer private companies will now require audits, and having a corporate shareholder no longer creates an automatic obligation to produce audited accounts.
What does the new law say?
If, for the past two financial years, the company (and any group of which it is a part) meets two of the prescribed criteria, no audit is required. Those criteria are: i) turnover of less than S$10,000,000 ii) total assets of less than S$10,000,000 and iii) 50 or fewer employees.
Whom does it affect?
In addition to subsidiaries of small groups who no longer require audits simply for having a corporate shareholder, companies with revenue of more than S$5,000,000 and less than S$10,000,000 will be lifted out of audit requirements.

No par value shares

What’s changing?
Singaporean companies now have no minimum value for shares. While previously companies needed to set a “par value”, meaning a threshold below which value a company could not issue or sell new shares, companies are now permitted to issue shares at any value they choose.
What does the new law say?
Singaporean companies with share capital can now issue shares for no consideration (payment). The shareholders receiving these shares therefore obtain limited liability without risking any capital. The caveat here is that the company’s articles of association must allow for no par value shares.
Whom does it affect?
Any Singaporean company whose articles of association allow for shares with no par value can take advantage of this. This means that new companies can be incorporated from July 1st with $0 of share capital, while existing companies will need to amend their articles of association to permit this.

Group financial years

What’s changing?
Parent and subsidiary companies no longer require the same financial year.
What does the new law say?
Nobody, including the company secretary, needs to be present at a company’s registered address during business hours as long as they remain contactable by phone, email or another form of instant communication.
Whom does it affect?
Any group of companies which, for whatever reason, consider it desirable to stagger financial years or maintain different accounting periods for other reasons.

Colocation requirement for company secretaries

What’s changing?
Private companies’ company secretaries no longer have to be present at the company’s registered address. This makes it easier for companies to outsource their company secretarial services while maintaining their business address as the registered address.
What does the new law say?
No physical presence is required at a company’s registered address as long as there is a way for a visitor to the office to contact a company representative by an instantaneous communication method.

Other changes to the law

ACRA, the Singaporean government body responsible for company registration and administration, has an online summary of the Companies Act changes. There is also a more detailed summary of key changes, which includes information on changes to the financial assistance regime and information shared by nominated directors in addition to some of the changes listed above.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Citigroup (C.N) could move European retail banking operation to Dublin

Citigroup (C.N) is planning to shift the head office of its European retail banking operation to Dublin from London to benefit from lower costs and capital requirements.
This week the bank wrote to clients to say the UK-based business, Citibank International Limited, which operates a small number of branches across some 20 European countries, would be taken over by Dublin-based Citibank Europe Plc.
"From a strategic perspective for Citi, moving to a single pan-European bank is expected to reduce operational and regulatory complexity, capital requirements and cost," the company told clients.
Analysts said UK rules that require banks to hold a higher level of cash in reserve than other European countries do was likely to be a factor behind the move but that they did not expect to see a stream of other banks moving their headquarters from the UK.
A spokeswoman for the bank said the change in the retail bank's legal domicile and principal regulatory base would not involve job cuts and that the leadership of the European retail operation would continue to be based in London.
"The primary reason (for the move) is simplification, mirroring Citi’s strategy of creating a simpler, safer, stronger institution," she said.
Citigroup has been scaling back its retail operations in recent years and remains a small player in Europe.
Citibank International Ltd employed 4,600 people at the end of last year, filings show. Citibank Europe Plc employed 4,300 and currently focuses on providing transaction services to financial services and corporate clients.
The spokeswoman denied that the decision to rebase in Dublin was influenced by the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union following the referendum on EU membership which is due to be held in the next two years.
Also, although Ireland has become a magnet for international financial institutions thanks to its low tax rate, the spokeswoman said the restructuring was not tax driven.
REGULATORY CAPITAL
Since the financial crisis regulators have increased the amount of cash and government bonds banks must keep in reserve in case of financial storms.
Higher capital requirements mean less money to lend out or invest and consequently lower returns for a bank.
European Union countries apply the same international rules on capital requirements. However, on top of the basic reserve requirements, regulators require some banks to hold additional capital as a buffer. The amount depends on the regulator's perception of the bank's systemic or business risks.
The UK's banking industry is much larger in terms of its assets as a percentage of national GDP than that of other countries in Europe, which means bank failures could cause bigger economic ripples than elsewhere.
This has led the UK regulator to require banks to set aside more money than other European countries demand, analysts said.
"The UK regulator has typically been at the conservative end in terms of capital requirements," said Gary Greenwood, banks analyst at Shore Capital.
In future, Citigroup will have to set aside the same percentage of its UK assets as it currently does. However, it may no longer be required to set aside a similar percentage of total European assets if the Irish regulator takes a more lenient approach to its UK counterpart.
The Citigroup spokeswoman declined to say how much any reduction in capital requirements might save the bank.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trans-Pacific Partnership

OTTAWA -- It's the biggest free trade deal Canadians never heard of.
A new poll suggests three in four Canadians have no idea that Canada is one of 12 countries immersed in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The poll was conducted by Environics Research Group for Trade Justice Network, an umbrella group dedicated to challenging the secretive process by which international trade deals are generally negotiated.
Fully 75 per cent of respondents said they had never heard of the TPP before being asked about it by the pollster.
The telephone poll of 1,002 Canadians was conducted June 3-12 and is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, 19 times in 20.
The 12 countries involved in negotiations include the United States, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Chile, Vietnam and Singapore; they represent a market of almost 800 million people and a combined gross domestic product of more than $25 trillion.
The federal government maintains the TPP would enhance trade in the Asia-Pacific region, providing greater economic opportunity for Canadians.
Trade Justice Network spokesman Martin O'Hanlon called it "deeply disturbing" that so few Canadians are aware of the partnership talks.
The network maintains the secret negotiations are being conducted with the guidance of multinational corporations and with no input from labour leaders, environmentalists or even MPs.
"It's frightening that this can happen in a democracy," O'Hanlon said.
Maude Barlow, head of the Council of Canadians, a group that opposes the TPP, said more Canadians need to know about the deal because it affects "our ability to set our own laws, and protect health care, family farms and the environment."
She blamed the government for not informing the public. "Unfortunately, negotiations are being held in secret and there is no public debate."
Max Moncaster, a spokesman for Trade Minister Ed Fast, said the government has consulted widely with the provinces and territories throughout the negotiations.
"Our government was the one that introduced an unprecedented process for putting international treaties before the House of Commons," Moncaster said in a statement.
A former senior adviser to Fast said all trade deals are negotiated behind closed doors.
"Of any big negotiation, whether it's a union negotiation or a labour negotiation, I have yet to see one aired on CPAC or C-Span," said Adam Taylor, an Ottawa trade consultant.
"Critics of the secrecy, specifically, because of their own anti-trade views, they pinpoint that as the criticism."
But New Democrat trade critic Don Davies said that line of argument doesn't cut it because U.S. lawmakers are allowed to view the draft text of the TPP as long as they abide by a strict confidentiality agreement.
Davies said he's been repeatedly rebuffed by the government when he's made similar requests in Canada, including a personal appeal to Fast himself.
"Your average American lawmaker can see the text of the TPP and I, as official Opposition trade critic, can't," said Davies.
"The Conservatives have just taken secrecy to an extreme degree."
Taylor said trade deals are rarely top of mind for average Canadians, and generally only grab the attention of business groups or other parties with a direct interest.
His firm, ENsight, conducted its own online poll of 1,200 Canadians in early June, and found that 40 per cent of respondents did not know which of four major trade agreements was most important to Canada.
The North American Free Trade Agreement was ranked highest at 26 per cent, while the TPP was favoured by 12 per cent of respondents.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Banks settle lawsuits re manipulated currency market

The total amount paid by banks to settle a civil lawsuit related to allegations that traders manipulated the currency market has reached almost $2 billion following a recent round of settlement agreements, the Wall Street Journal reported.
HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L), Barclays Plc (BARC.L), BNP Paribas SA (BNPP.PA) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) have recently signed agreements to settle the case, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
HSBC has agreed to pay $285 million and Barclays $375 million, the Journal said.
 
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) settled its portion of currency rigging lawsuit in April.
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) settled for $99.5 million in January and Switzerland's UBS Group AG (UBSG.VX) settled for $135 million in March.
Other defendants include Citigroup Inc (C.N), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX), Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS.L).
Investors including the city of Philadelphia, hedge funds and public pension funds accused the 12 banks of having conspired since January 2003 in chat rooms, instant messages and emails to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates.
According to the lawsuit, the banks held an 84 percent global market share in currency trading, and were counterparties in 98 percent of U.S. spot volume.
HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs could not be immediately reached for comment.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jane Fonda electrified a crowd at Jericho Beach

Oscar-winning actor Jane Fonda electrified a crowd at Jericho Beach with a hard-hitting 12-minute speech condemning oil executives and calling for far greater emphasis on renewable energy.
The star of such films as On Golden Pond and Klute said that she came to speak in Vancouver because she believes that the world is at an "existential crossroads" because of climate change.
"I’m 77 and I thought I was getting too tired to go to the barricades, but that’s a bunch of B.S.," Fonda said to cheers from people attending the Toast the Coast Before the Coast is Toast celebration.
"This issue is too important and it’s a very simple issue," she continued. "People versus oil. Life versus oil."
She explained that down one road, Shell Oil will drill in the Arctic, which is the world's largest untapped oil reserve, simply to make a profit. And she expressed exasperation over the U.S. government giving permission to the oil giant to do this.
“What it means is that a very tiny group of people get richer and richer," Fonda said. "And the vast majority get hotter and sicker. Richer and richer. Hotter and sicker. Richer and richer. Hotter and sicker.”
She then pointed to another road in which the future could be honoured, bringing about clean jobs, democracy, and better lives for children, grandchildren, and precious animals.
"Down that road, people take a stand a stand against Shell Oil, Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, and all the other corporations masquerading as citizens," Fonda declared.
Jane Fonda opens her speech by praising a young climate-change activist named Tiger.
Moments later, she said there's been "enough profit, enough plundering through extractivism".
That's when Fonda teed off on oil executives.
"These men who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a minute, they don’t know what enough means," she claimed. "They assume that our natural resources are limitless and that they have a right to plunder them, even if it means leaving our communities riddled with cancer and birth defects and asthma. Even when it means killing off entire species. Even when it means killing us. This is not just irresponsible. This is abuse of power and abuse of human rights."
She said it doesn't require a PhD to understand what's happening. And she insisted that certain oil reserves must remain in the ground if the world will remain within two degrees Celsius of average warming since the industrial revolution began.
"It will never happen if we drill in the Arctic and expand the Alberta tarsands," Fonda stated. "The principal reserve that has to stay in the ground is the Arctic."
CHARLIE SMITH
Not only is the Arctic home to caribou, whales, polar bears, walruses, fish, whales, and four million people, but Fonda also said that it's the world's "air conditioner".
"That ice bounces the sun's heat back into space," she maintained. "The Arctic helps protect us. We need to protect the Arctic. If Arctic oil is pumped and burned, the ice will melt faster and as that ice melts, the climate heat is turned up. The glaciers melt. The seas rise, wiping out entire island nations and coastal communities. If that ice melts, the entire world is in much graver danger."
She pointed to a different path, citing how more jobs are created for every dollar invested in renewable energy than for the same amount put into extractive industries.
She cited several European countries and U.S. cities where there's been an increase in renewable energy use.
"And they’re clean jobs. And they’re jobs with dignity," Fonda said. "Now the oil companies and the politicians they buy off and the right-wing media would have us believe that the alternatives aren’t real, that they’re not ready, that it’s pie in the sky for some future time. All you have to look at is Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Germany."
Jane Fonda spoke of another world in which the future is honoured.
Fonda opened her speech by letting the audience know that she was first arrested in 1970 while marching with First Nations in Tacoma and for protesting the impact of clear-cutting on spawning salmon.
"I have fished for salmon in the Campbell River," Fonda said. "So I, in my own way, am aware of the unbelievable beauty of this pristine coast. And I stand here with you and with the unbelievably brave First Nations people who are trying to stop Big Oil from destroying the coastline."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

EU regulators' investigations into the low tax arrangements of Apple

EU regulators' investigations into the low tax arrangements of Apple (AAPL.O), Starbucks (SBUX.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) in some member states are at an advanced stage and decisions could be announced in the coming months, a senior European Commission official said on Thursday.
The investigations centre on Luxembourg's tax rulings for online retailer Amazon and carmaker Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI), as well as coffee chain Starbucks' deal with the Netherlands and iPhone maker Apple's Irish arrangements, and whether the companies are paying a fair share of tax.
"The cases are advancing very well. I expect decisions to be taken in the not so distant future," Gert-Jan Koopman, deputy director general at the Commission, told a conference.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last month she would not be able to meet a second quarter deadline as targeted and would not set another deadline for her decision.
The global financial crisis and cash-strapped governments have spurred a crackdown on tax avoidance and prompted complaints that deals which help companies cut their tax bills to a minimal level may give them an unfair advantage in breach of EU rules.
The European Commission is also investigating Belgium's tax arrangements for multinationals and on Thursday it opened a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon's e-book business.

Friday, June 12, 2015

World's first cryptobond

The CEO of Overstock.com, an online shopping site and a pioneer of commercial bitcoin transactions, has purchased the world’s first cryptobond for $500,000.
The company already has plans to work with qualified institutional buyers to sell a total of $25 million worth of digital bonds to trade on a crytograhpically-protected distributed ledger, using the technology that underpins bitcoin transactions.
Commenting on his decision to be the world’s first buyer, Patrick Byrne said: “I intend to demonstrate my belief not just in Overstock, but in the TØ.com platform that we built and, indeed, in the cryptorevolution itself.”
He added that he had a burning desire to own the “first ever cryptosecurity ever issued”.
Cryptotechnology can do for the capital market what the internet has done for consumers,” Byrne stated.
Twenty-five TIGRcub crypto bonds will be issued each as a $1 million digital token, available only to fully qualified, institutional buyers.
The new bonds will be the first issued using an institutional-ready platform and with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing
Trading on the Overstock platform will be completed within 1 day rather than a customary 3 day used on Wall Street and according to Byrne, issuing the bonds on the platform proves that cryptotechnology can allow “transparent and secure access to capital by emerging companies”.
 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Warner Music Group Corp has agreed to pay former interns more than $4.2

Warner Music Canada
Warner Music Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Warner Music Group Corp has agreed to pay hundreds of former interns more than $4.2 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of underpaying them.
The settlement, disclosed in papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, is the latest in a series struck by media and entertainment companies over claims they paid interns little or nothing for their work.
Warner Music in a statement said it was pleased to settle.
"We continue to stand by our internship program as an invaluable educational experience for students looking to obtain hands-on, real-world training," it said.
The settlement requires court approval, and covers interns who were paid nothing or less than minimum wage, in periods dating as far back as June 2007 for those working in New York.
Warner Music, owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, reserved the right to terminate the settlement if the number of claimants exceeds 1,135, according to court papers.
Lawyers for the interns may seek up to 18.6 percent of the settlement amount as attorney fees, or $787,500. They did not respond to a request for comment.
Many lawsuits over intern pay were filed after a major June 2013 decision in which U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan said Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) should have paid two interns who worked on the 2010 movie "Black Swan."
Other companies to settle with interns include Comcast Corp's CMSCA.O NBCUniversal, for $6.4 million; Condé Nast, for $5.85 million, and Viacom Inc (VIAB.O), for $7.21 million.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fast Fashion

English: Zara in Oxford
English: Zara in Oxford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Athina Benedicta Chaniago posted: "Updated on June 8 , 2015 In the world of fast fashion, quality is no longer an issue, because you need clothes to last just until the next trend comes along. Zara's secret to success: fashionably fast Zara has cracked the formula to fashion retail succes"
 

New post on Healy Consultants Blog

 
 

From Zero to Zara: The Secret of Fast Fashion

by Athina Benedicta Chaniago
Updated on June 8 , 2015
In the world of fast fashion, quality is no longer an issue, because you need clothes to last just until the next trend comes along.
Meet Amancio Ortega: the fast mover on Forbes billionaires list. Ortega, 79, is the 2nd richest man in the world after Bill Gates. His net worth of $71.5 billion has surpassed Warren Buffett in early 2013. He is the founding chairman of Inditex SA, best known for its retail store giant, Zara.

Zara's secret to success: fashionably fast

Zara has cracked the formula to fashion retail success: fast fashion.
According to a study by Cambridge University, people bought around 30% more clothes in 2006 than they did in 2002. Women bought around four times more clothes than they did in 1980, and they also dispose more clothes each year.
That style is so last month
Fashion trends change as quickly as tech trends, courtesy of real time online coverage of street style and fashion weeks. Fashion labels use to produce two main collections per year, and what used to be six month long fashion trend cycle has been slashed down to as short as three weeks.
As clothing brands compete for larger market share, they introduce more affordable clothing line at relatively cheaper prices and more collections produced in a year to respond to the changing consumer behavior. This leads to a new fashion retail revolution - fast fashion.

What is fast fashion?

The term fast fashion is largely associated with disposable clothing as retailers produce mass designer products at relatively affordable prices.
Fast fashion is basically producing affordable clothes based on catwalk designs and sell it as fast as possible in order to respond to the latest fashion trends.
This means fast manufacturing, fast shipment, and fast customer purchase. This model was developed around late 1990s, and Zara has been at the top of this revolution along with other large retailers such as H&M and Topshop.

Zara's fast fashion philosophy: process innovation dominates the global economy

You don't have to come up with a new product to be the biggest global fashion retailer. You just need to invent a new process.
How to be a successful fashion retailer for dummies
1.    Produce wearable clothes that people will buy
2.    Sell them
3.    Repeat from step one.
Sounds easy, right?
Not so much. Again, fashion trends change quickly, and it is hard to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Advertising and world-class designers cost a lot of money, and these are the two essential factors if you want to stand out from your competitors.
Good artists copy, great artists steal
"Only those with no memory insist on their originality." - Coco Chanel
Rather than relying on designers, Zara subtly copies their designs and modifies them based on Zara's network of global customer feedbacks. Zara's headquarter collects feedbacks from shoppers from all around the world and sends these comments to manufacturers to be incorporated into the next line of production.
Zara's approach to customer feedbacks is very admirable. They monitor shoppers' reactions based on what they buy and what they do not buy, as well as what shoppers are saying to their sales clerks such as "I love this red pants" or "I hate zippers at the back".
Store managers report these feedbacks to the HQ where it will be communicated to their in house designers. They will come up with new designs based on these feedbacks and quickly ship them to stores all over the world.

The speeding bullet: Zara's supply chain secret

Zara invested massively in their IT infrastructure that when I was studying, Zara's IT infrastructure and supply chain case studies came up several times as reading materials.
Zara has cracked the formula needed to differentiate itself from competitors by performing their supply chain activities differently that it gives them competitive advantages over their competitors. Instead of the conventional 5-7 months supply chain response, they slashed it down to 2 months.
Instead of procuring fabrics after design and development, Zara turned this process the other way around. Designs are based on available fabrics and materials, which eliminates the time consuming process of fabric formation.
Smaller and more frequent shipments are also keys to keep inventories fresh and unique. A shipment might only contain around four or five shirts or pants in each style for each store, but store managers can request more if there is demand.
Clothes hit the stores less than 3 weeks after being designed, while most apparel production time can vary from 30 to 60 days. Garments are shipped to retail stores and the inventories change so quickly that shoppers are tempted with a "buy now or never" choice each time they come in to the store.
If shoppers in Tokyo, New York, and Singapore respond well to maroon skinny jeans, Zara will deliver more maroon skinny jeans, or a variation of skinny jeans, or maroon colored clothing to stores within weeks. Inventories move so quickly that the company's higher labor costs can be offset by fast turnaround with way less inventory in the warehouse.
So successful is the philosophy of fast fashion. Instead of waiting to buy that gorgeous blouse next month, a customer who tried it on will most likely purchase it now, because it might be gone next week or even tomorrow. Masoud Golsorkhi, the editor of Tank magazine in London, on how Inditex changed consumer behavior:
“When you went to Gucci or Chanel in October, you knew the chances were good that clothes would still be there in February. With Zara, you know that if you don’t buy it, right then and there, within 11 days the entire stock will change. You buy it now or never. And because the prices are so low, you buy it now.”
Why Zara doesn't do advertising
Have you ever came across a flashy Zara advertisement on magazines, newspapers, online newspapers, anywhere?
No?
Thought so. Compared to other major fashion retailers, Zara only spent around 0.3 percent of sales on advertising, and these are typically new store opening announcements in local newspapers or magazines. Even their designers are completely anonymous, and they hardly own a marketing department.
Their advertising focus is on real estate, the company invests mainly in their store locations.
"The high street is really divided according to brand value," says Masoud Golsorkhi, "Prada wants to be next to Gucci, Gucci wants to be next to Prada. The retail strategy for luxury brands is to try to keep as far away from the likes of Zara. Zara's strategy is to get as close to them as possible."

The fast fashion revolution

In the competitive environment of fashion retail, Zara treats customer feedbacks and demands as a center focus of their product development and supply chain as the heart of the fast fashion revolution movement. Golsorkhi on fast fashion:
“Now, pretty much half of the high-end fashion companies” — Prada and Louis Vuitton, for example — “make four to six collections instead of two each year. That’s absolutely because of Zara.”

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Britain's regulators to clean up behavior in the financial markets

Britain's regulators will unveil plans on Wednesday that aim to clean up behavior in the financial markets, where banks have been fined billions of pounds for trying to rig currencies and interest rate benchmarks.
The Bank of England, Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority will publish recommendations from their Fair and Effective Markets Review into conduct and operation of currency, bond and commodity markets.
"It is going to say some quite significant things about what the scope of regulation should be for asset classes that historically have not been heavily regulated," Martin Wheatley, FCA Chief Executive and co-chair of the review, told Reuters.
The review will focus on how to raise standards of behavior among traders at banks, recommend tougher sanctions and give markets more detailed guidance on what are acceptable trading practices.
Finance industry officials expect the review to take on board some of their ideas, such as cracking down on traders known as "rolling bad apples," making it harder for a rogue trader to get a job unchallenged at another bank.
Some expect a new independent body to help with providing guidelines on market practices and enforce a new global code of conduct that central bankers are already working on.
Wheatley said, for example, there was a need to determine more clearly when legitimate hedging in markets becomes abusive "front-running," where banks use information to trade on their own account ahead of customers.
Guidance is also expected on when it is acceptable to pull out of a trade at the last minute in the currency markets, a practice known as "last look."
Given the global nature of forex, commodity and bond markets, Wheatley said international backing would be needed to make the review's recommendations effective in practice.
An industry official said British regulators could slap extra capital charges on banks that failed to apply the recommendations.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and British finance minister George Osborne, who ordered the review last year, are expected to touch on its findings in speeches on Wednesday evening at the Mansion House in the City of London financial district.
Economists are also waiting to hear if Carney will comment on the strength of sterling, which has risen 4 percent over the past year, and do not foresee a repeat of last year's warning that interest rates could rise sooner than expected.

"The underlying impression at the moment is that the Bank is very much in wait-and-see mode," Marc Ostwald, a bond strategist at ADM Investor Services, said.