Monday, October 31, 2011

American States won't see internet tax

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 Street credit-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."
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Twenty-six nations are expected to lodge a formal protest

Flag of the International Civil Aviation Organ...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's Democrats, 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 the ICAO council would not be legally binding, but could be a step toward a formal dispute procedure, in which the president of ICAO would mediate.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

investigation into the Duqu malicious software

Image representing Symantec as depicted in Cru...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 such as power plants, oil refineries and pipelines.

The equipment seized from Web Werks, a privately held company in Mumbai with about 200 employees, might hold valuable data to help investigators determine who built Duqu and how it can be used. But putting the pieces together is a long and difficult process, experts said.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Wordpress websites and blogs

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cenovus sells marine terminal near Kitimat BC to Shell

Oil drop iconImage 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 energy giant ConocoPhillips, which ties Cenovus production to two of the U.S. firm's refineries.
All Cenovus oilsands developments use steam to liquefy the sticky bitumen deep underground so it can be more easily drawn to the surface.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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

In 1998 Reed Hastings founded Netflix, the lar...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 million three months earlier. Around 21.5 million customers had streaming subscriptions, and just under 14 million had DVD subscriptions, with most customers mixing the two.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Oracle said Monday that it will acquire RightNow

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 representing Oracle Corporation as depic...Image via CrunchBase
Image 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 Oracle will acquire and roll out more cloud capabilities in the next year or two.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Advanced Micro Devices is working with a software startup, BlueStacks

Image representing AMD as depicted in CrunchBaseImage 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 Hegde, corporate vice president of AMD’s Fusion Experience Program.
“Bluestacks is a visionary
software company that is, seamlessly, making the emerging Android mobile apps market
part of the broader computing ecosystem and enhancing such experiences on our
award-winning APU platforms,” Hegde said in a statement. “AMD is committed to
support such game changing innovators through investment and other activity as
we work together to usher in new experiences that allow consumers to enjoy the
full capabilities of the brilliant graphics and computing performance enabled by
AMD.”
BlueStacks President and
CEO Rosen Sharma said AMD’s investment will go a long way in enabling his
company to expand its reach in the industry.
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Europe launched the first satellites in its Galileo global navigation system

List of R-7 launches (2010–2014)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 thirty which will
make up the full Galileo network by 2020. Fourteen have already been
commissioned.
After lift-off, the rocket could be seen by onlookers for a few seconds,
before it disappeared into thick cloud hanging in the tropical skies of French
Guiana, which lies near the equator to the north of Brazil.
The rumbling of the Soyuz ST-B engines remained distinctly audible for five
minutes after the launch.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Merchant Account Guidelines at eComTechnology

Credit cardsImage via WikipediaMerchant Account Guidelines at eComTechnology
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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.
Apply today at eComTechnologyyour merchant account broker.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

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

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 Suntech, Yingli and JA Solar have in the past
secured generous loans via the China Development Bank (CDB).
In late 2010, the U.S.-based United Steelworkers union (USW) had already
blamed China's aid to its solar industry for creating a supply glut that drove
down panel prices 40 percent in 2009 and pushed American competitors out of the
market.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BlackBerry BBX’s user interface or release date

Image representing Research In Motion as depic...Image via CrunchBase
Image 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 company introduced the developer beta of its
Blackberry PlayBook OS 2.0. That beta offers developers the ability to port Android applications onto the tablets, a strategic move
that carries some risks for RIM: While it could increase the popularity of the
platform, by vastly expanding the ecosystem of available applications, it also
risks alienating those developers who poured so much time and effort into
developing BlackBerry applications.
RIM offered precious few details about
BlackBerry BBX’s user interface or release date. This stands in sharp contrast
to some other recent conferences, such as Microsoft’s BUILD, which accompanied a
detailed drill-down into an upcoming platform (in Microsoft’s case, Windows 8)
with the unveiling of hardware loaded with same.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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 for Wireless Service. CTIA members must agree to the consumer code. All four of the major U.S. carriers are members and have already agreed to implement the notifications.

The way this would work is that as consumers approach their plan limits, they’d receive a message from their carrier letting them know that they were about start incurring extra wireless charges. The same kind of notification would take place when wireless customers used their phones outside the U.S. and would get charged for international roaming.

Monday, October 17, 2011

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

Anchor-handling tugboats battle the blazing re...Image via WikipediaBP has accepted a $4 billion payment from partner Anadarko Petroleum toward the
Gulf of Mexico oil 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 partner in the Macondo well, Anadarko is on the hook for 25
percent of the costs of cleaning up the spill, compensating those affected, and
paying government fines.
It could only avoid this responsibility if it proved BP had been grossly
negligent -- something which could, potentially, have added around $18 billion
to the total amount of fines BP faced.
Fines for leaking oil into U.S. waters are leveled at a level of $1,100 per
barrel, or $4,300 if gross negligence is proven. The government has said the
Macondo well leaked almost 5 million barrels into the sea.
BP has said the total bill for the oil spill, including government fines, for
which it has taken charges of $3.5 billion and research grants of $500 million,
will be $42 billion.
This suggests Anadarko could have faced a total bill of up to $9.5
billion.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Calling themselves "agvocates," these tech-savvy farmers

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
October is a busy month for Kansas farmer 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 teacher in Chicago."

Calling themselves "agvocates," these tech-savvy farmers and their supporters are hoping their efforts counter images of animal abuse, environmental damage and health problems that have become associated with industrial agricultural practices.

"There are lots of perceptions about what I do. I would like to have a voice in that perception," said 31-year-old Mike Haley, who keeps his Twitter followers up to date as he plants soft red winter wheat on his Ohio farm.

The fight for hearts and minds in agriculture on the Web is also being taken up by agribusiness in a big way.

A new organization backed by some of the most powerful corporate names in agriculture hopes to swing public opinion with a mix of social media and conventional marketing methods.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), which boasts Monsanto, the world's largest seed technology company, and DuPont, one of the world's biggest chemical and seed producers, as members, has a multi-year agenda.

The aim is to address consumer attitudes and opinions about food production by farmers, ranchers and their suppliers.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

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 of eight nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of nearly 9 gigawatts (GW) in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

"The weather is an even bigger driver now because Germany is relying so much more on its renewables than it used to," Stephens-Row said.

Renewable energy accounted for 20.8 percent of all German power production in the first half of 2011. Solar capacity is forecast to grow strongly, adding another 5 gigawatts (GW) to the market next year, according to figures from German transmission grids.

Prices in the German power market, also Europe's largest, act as a benchmark for many other European electricity markets, which means volatile trading patterns are reflected in neighboring markets the Czech Republic, France, Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries.

Stephens-Row said weather which brings drought, sunshine and high temperatures also comes with low wind -- combining factors which restrict hydro storage and boost energy demand with weak wind power output.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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

The natural resource of wind powers these 5MW ...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 enough electricity for 350,000 homes.

Deepwater, majority owned by New York investment firm DE Shaw and minority owned by onshore wind developer First Wind, gained ground against other developers after Rhode Island picked the company, based in the state capitol city of Providence, as its preferred developer.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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

logoImage 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 scrapping a reactor altogether, warning that, if the wave that struck his village on March 11 had been slightly higher, the Tokai Daini reactor could have posed far graver danger than the Fukushima plant, as 1 million people live within a 30-km radius and it is much closer to Tokyo.

A Tokaimura official said Wednesday that Murakami made his plea at a meeting the day before with nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono.

"Shouldn't the plant be decommissioned?" he was quoted as telling the meeting.

The 33-year old reactor still has seven years before its operating license expires and Tokyo Electric Power Co had been counting on the 1,100-megawatt facility to help it make up for the 4,700 megawatts of lost power from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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

BRIDGWATER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  A general v...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 Secretary Chris Huhne, who presented the findings in a written statement to the UK Parliament on Thursday, said the report will help the nuclear industry remain committed to improving existing and future power stations.

The report also said there was no need to change the government's strategy for choosing new sites for nuclear power plants.

Britain has identified eight sites around England and Wales as possible building sites for new nuclear plants, with the first expected to be built by EDF Energy at Hinkley Point on the coast of southwest England.

"Nuclear energy is important for our energy security now and we want it to be part of the mix in the future," he said.

Huhne commissioned Weightman in March to assess the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster for Britain's nuclear industry and presented his final findings on Tuesday.

The government is promoting plans to build a new generation of nuclear power plants in Britain by 2025 to help meet low-carbon energy targets.

"The report makes clear that the UK has one of the best nuclear safety regimes in the world, and that nuclear power can go on powering homes and businesses across the UK, as well as supporting jobs," Huhne said.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

President Obama wants tighter information security measures

TDK USB flash driveImage 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 download private data to
removable hard drives, require agencies to track what government employees are
doing when accessing sensitive information, and define how information should be
encrypted and secured.

The national security team at the White House formed a committee and spent
the past seven months reviewing and defining guidelines that would reduce the
risk of a future breach. The newly signed executive order would coordinate
implementing broad security measures across all agencies of the federal
government, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence
Agency and the Department of Defense.

"The strategic imperative of our efforts has been to ensure that we provide
adequate protections to our classified information while at the same time
sharing the information with all who reasonably need it to do their jobs,"
according to a White House fact sheet on the executive order.

The order included the creation of a senior steering committee that will
oversee the safeguarding and sharing of information. While chaired by senior
representatives of the Office of Management and Budget and the National Security
Staff, the technical safeguards will be created by the secretary of defense and
the director of the National Security Agency.
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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Netflix and AMC Networks Inc

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...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 could not come to terms
on pricing.
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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sprint Nextel Corp said it needs to raise more money

Image representing Sprint Nextel as depicted i...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... even before iPhone costs," Hudson Square analyst Todd
Rethemeier said, adding that this makes Sprint -- already a risky investment
prospect -- an even more dangerous bet.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Sprint agreed to pay Apple
$20 billion over four years as part of their agreement.

Hesse conceded that selling the iPhone would be expensive, but promised it
would be "quite accretive" to Sprint's profits over time.
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Friday, October 07, 2011

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

Research from Techaisle's SMB Managed 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 more than 30 percent of SMBs do not know who to go to for managed services solutions.
Those using such services subscribe to an average of three managed services
solutions. On the positive side, channels are being more proactive, 54 percent
of SMB channels are initiating discussions with their SMB customers. However,
only 30 percent of channels are pure-play managed services providers. While a
majority of them are offering storage services, 34 percent, very few of them
have their own infrastructure and rely upon their vendor partners or other
datacenters.
“These channels are the most squeezed for
revenues and hence a percentage of them are rapidly planning to add cloud or
mobility to their suite of offerings,” the report noted. “Techaisle believes
that while SMB cloud, mobility and managed services are all fast growing
technology areas, the channels that begin to offer all three will have the most
synergies and biggest gains.”
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