Showing posts from October, 2012

black iPad mini appears to be sold out

Image via CrunchBase
First, the white edition of Apple’s much-hyped, much-debated iPad Minitabletsold out during the preorder period, and now it appears the black version of the iPad Mini has also sold out, with shipment dates for both models now pushed two weeks back from the initial Nov. 2 shipment dates. Apple’s white products typically generate higher demand, but the sell-out of both editions suggests that despite a higher-than-expected $329 starting price, consumers really want to get their hands on an iPad Mini.
Some critics scoffed at the starting point, which is at least $100 more than the start price for much of the rest of the 7-inch tablet market. Rivals like Google’s Nexus 7 tablet ($199) and Amazon’s Kindle Fire ($159), while perhaps lacking the design finesse and build quality of the iPad Mini, have tapped into a market where low prices seem to be as much a factor as a smaller form. However, a recent IHS report said the iPad Mini could help the 7-inch tablet market doubl…

CNBC Exec’s 2 Toddlers Murdered Following $43 Trillion Bankster Lawsuit Report Airing

One day after CNBC aired a report of lawsuit, in which banksters and U.S. racketeering partners are being accused of laundering over $43 trillion, CNBC’s senior vice president Kevin Krim’s children were stabbed to death.
CNN reports,Lucia Krim, 6 years old, who was killed Thursday night with her 2-year-old brother Leo, right, in photos posted on their mother’s LiveJournal blog.
(Marina) Krim had left the two children with the nanny, known as “Josie,” to take her third child, 3-year-old Nessie, to a swim lesson at a nearby YMCA, Kelly said. She had expected to meet the nanny at a dance class for the 6-year-old around 5:30 p.m.
When the nanny and children didn’t show up, Krim went up to the apartment, where she found the lights were off, police said. Krim then returned to the lobby and asked a doorman whether he had seen her two other children leave with the nanny; he had not.
“There comes a time when she goes looking for her children and enters the bathroom and finds her 6-yea…

debt collectors will have federal regulators

For the first time, debt collectors have a federal regulator. Starting on Jan. 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will supervise companies that collect at least $10 million a year in consumer debts. In the past, debt collectors faced some supervision at the state level and consumers could complain to the Federal Trade Commission. But there was no federal agency actively policing the beat.
The CFPB says its examiners will try to ensure that debt collectors provide proper disclosure and accurate information, that they have good complaint- and dispute-resolution processes, and that they “communicate civilly and honestly” with consumers. The authority will cover the three main types of debt collectors: companies that buy up debts for pennies on the dollar and then get to keep whatever they collect for themselves; companies that get a fee to collect debts on behalf of other companies; and lawyers who pursue debt collection through litigation.
This new regulation is part of the au…

RBC subpoenaed

English: The Montreal head office of the Royal Bank of Canada is the Place Ville-Marie's largest tenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Royal Bank of Canada has joined the growing list of major global banks under pressure from American prosecutors in a probe into alleged manipulation of one of the world’s key interest rates.
RBC was one of nine banks more recently served a subpoena by state prosecutors from New York and Connecticut related to their possible role in rigging Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate.
Gillian McArdle, a spokesperson for RBC, indicated that the bank believes its submissions were complete. “We have determined that our Libor submissions reflected our cost of funds,” she said.New York Attorney-GeneralEric Schneiderman and Connecticut Attorney-General George Jepsen are investigating the banks to determine whether any conspired to manipulate the benchmark rate that is used to set more than $300-trillion of securities and loans. Over the course of the summer sub…

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AngloGold Ashanti said it will sack 12,000

AngloGold Ashanti said it will sack 12,000 South African wildcat strikers who ignored a deadline to return to work on Wednesday, the latest company to resort to mass firings after weeks of crippling labor unrest.
Several mining firms have told strikers to return to work or lose their jobs in a last-ditch move to resolve the widening strikes that have poisoned labor relations and marred the image of Africa's top economy.
AngloGold, the world's third-largest bullion producer, had given strikers until noon (1000 GMT) on Wednesday to return. About 12,000 employees at its West Wits operation failed to return, spokesman Alan Fine said.
"The deadline has now passed and that means the process of issuing dismissals would begin now," he told Reuters.
About 24,000 AngloGold employees at the West Wits and Vaal River complexes - the majority of its workforce - had gone on strike. Fine said that workers at the Vaal River complex were back at work.
A total of about 100,000 workers …

Nigeria loses billions in oil and gas

English: Nuhu Ribadu (Nigerian Politician in December 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Nigeria lost out on tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues over the last decade from cut price deals struck between multinational oil companies and government officials, a confidential report seen by Reuters says.
A team headed by the former head of the anti-corruption agency Nuhu Ribadu produced the 146-page study on an oil ministry request. It covers the year 2002 to the present.
Nigeria is Africa's largest crude oil exporter, shipping more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd), and is also home to the world's ninth biggest gas reserves and one of its largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminals.
The report provides new details on Nigeria's long history of corruption in the oil sector, which has enriched its elite and provided the oil majors with hefty profits while two thirds of people live in poverty.
Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke told Reuters on Tuesday she h…

Nuclear plant closing due to natural gas

English: The Kewaunee Nuclear Generating Station from Wisconsin Highway 42. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Dominion Resources Inc plans to shut its Kewaunee plant in Wisconsin next year, the first U.S. nuclear plant to fall victim to the steep drop in power prices as rising natural gas production makes some plants uncompetitive.
After claiming hundreds of coal-fired plants, the boom in U.S. shale gas output is now starting to grind down the nuclear industry, with smaller older plants like the 566-megawatt (MW) Kewaunee plant first to be affected.
The surge in U.S. shale gas has upended the domestic power market, and this year combined with flagging demand due to the struggling economy to send prices to near 10-year lows. For the nuclear industry, it means the Dominion plant -- which had been up for sale since April 2011 -- will be the first U.S. reactor to shut since the late 1990s.
The closing, which did not catch many in the industry by surprise, highlights the struggle of the U.S. "

PayPal partnering with MoneyGram

PayPal announced Monday that it is partnering with MoneyGram, a money transfer company, to give PayPal users the option to deposit and withdraw funds from their accounts from many of MoneyGram’s 284,000 global locations.
The goal of the partnership, according to PayPal, is to provide consumers and retailers with a quick way to turn “cash to commerce.” Starting in early 2013, anyone with an e-mail or phone number will be able to transfer and receive cash at a MoneyGram location. Consumers can deposit cash into their account and use it to make a payment, effectively taking the place of a prepaid card, while retailers can use the service to quickly gain access to cash from their transactions if necessary.
“This latest initiative with MoneyGram is another example of how we’re enabling our digital wallet to work across multiple platforms and devices, online and offline, in order to offer consumers more control, flexibility and functionality when interacting with their money,” Dan Schatt, P…


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Sobeys confirms some recalled salmon had sea lice

Group sues California over fracking

Environmental groups sued the state of California on Tuesday in an effort to stop hydraulic fracturing as regulators attempt to devise new rules for the controversial oil and gas extraction practice.
The lawsuit accuses the regulator, the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, with failing to evaluate the risks, even though fracking was used for 600 wells in the state last year.
Fracking, or pumping chemical-laced water and sand into a well to open cracks that release oil and gas, has generated a fierce debate in the United States, leading to bans in one state and several municipalities. Yet the industry insists the practice is safe so long as wells are properly built.
A non-profit environmental law firm, Earthjustice, filed the lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Environmental Working Group and the Sierra Club.

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cloud adoption ahead of schedule

Image via CrunchBase Consumer adoption of cloud storage services is exceeding expectations, according to an Oct. 15 report from IHS iSuppli. By the end of June, the research firm found personal subscriptions to such services to have exceeded 375 million users—a figure that put the market already 75 percent of the way toward IHS' full-year estimate of 500 million users.
Because of the relative newness of cloud technologies, no adoption figures exist for 2011, according to IHS, though best guesses are around 150 million. IHS expects subscriptions to climb to 625 million by 2013 and then to double over the next four years, reaching 1.3 billion subscribers by 2017.
“The cloud is a game-changer in an age of near-ubiquitous mobile broadband, offering benefits to consumers and cloud service providers alike,” Jagdish Rebello, director for consumer and communications at IHS, said in an Oct. 15 statement.
"For consumers, cloud services are intended to manage and store user-generated da…

TD Bank data missing

A TD Bank spokeswoman says about 1,000 Canadians with U.S. accounts could be affected after some data tapes containing personal information were misplaced. Maria Saros Leung says letters will be sent to those customers by next Friday. But she says in an email that the bank is not classifying the incident as a breach since there's no evidence of criminal activity. TD Bank has confirmed that unencrypted backup data tapes were misplaced during transport in March and said it has started notifying about 260,000 customers from Maine to Florida. The U.S.-based bank says in a statement it has no evidence the data on the tapes is being used for any inappropriate purpose and is calling it an "isolated incident." It says an internal investigation has been launched and the incident reported to law enforcement. The missing tapes contained personal information including account information and Social Security numbers, TD spokeswoman Rebecca Acevedo told The Associated Press on Frida…

investors bailing on stock market all year

Home of Henry W. Poor (of Standard & Poor's, 1903 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Investors have been bailing out of the stock market all year, but the exodus picked up considerable speed last week.
U.S. stock mutual funds bled nearly $10.6 billion during the week ended Oct. 3, the most since the week in August 2011 when Standard and Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating following the debt ceiling brawl in Washington, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.
That brings the total 2012 outflow from U.S. mutual funds to more than $100 billion. By comparison, those funds lost around $57 billion during the first nine months of 2010, and $80 billion during the first nine months of 2011.
As investors were pulling money out, the S&P 500 still managed to rise a modest 1.2%. The tepid gains came amid mounting evidence of a growth slowdown in China and questions about whether Spain will request a bailout.
"Investors have recently adopted a "wait-and-flee&…

flaws in national databank

CMHC logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Flaws in a national databank that helps determine the value of houses across Canada have helped fuel inflation in home prices, putting mortgagelenders and borrowers at greater risk, key players in the housing sector have warned.
Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail detailing confidential statements from banks, appraisers and mortgage insurers show rising worry over the use of a database operated by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The documents suggest the data are flawed and help push home prices up.
Introduced in 1996 as a way for the CMHC, banks and other lenders to quickly and inexpensively determine how much money can be lent against a residential property, the database known as Emili is relied upon too heavily by lenders, the documents suggest.Emili is an automated system that uses figures such as recent sales of nearby homes to gauge values, without sending an actual appraiser to the address. However, the potential marg…

Whistleblower forced investigation of TransCanada pipeline

PC shipments down

Shipments of personal computers are on pace to fall this year for the first time since the dot-com bust of 2001, according to a new forecast from IHS iSuppli.
That would be a stunning turn of events for a industry that at the beginning of the year seemed poised for a surge. Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) hyped its new Ultrabook laptop design as the catalyst the moribund PC market needed and predicted that ultrabooks would represent 40% of all laptop sales by the end of the year. MIcrosoft's (MSFT, Fortune 500) upcoming Windows 8 fueled hope among industry players that PC tablets would take off in a big way.
But 2012 didn't go as planned.
Ultrabook sales have disappointed. IHS iSuppli slashed its forecast for the thin laptops in half last week, and NPD DisplaySearch recently forecast that Ultrabooks will make up just a quarter of the total mobile PC market by 2015 -- far short of Intel's forecast.
Windows 8, which goes on sale Oct. 26, may spark some holiday buying, but perhaps…

US Government sues Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Advisors (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The U.S. government sued Wells Fargo over claims that the bank made reckless home mortgage loans for a decade.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan'sSouthern District of New York, the government accused Wells Fargo (BWF) of "reckless underwriting" and fraudulently approving thousands of home loans that caused large-scale losses for the government.
The Federal Housing Administration paid out millions of dollars in insurance claims on defaulted loans that were falsely certified by Wells Fargo, according to the complaint.
U.S. AttorneyPreet Bharara said Wells Fargo's "intentional concealment" of bad loan information on some 6,320 risky loans caused the federal government to pay out $190 million on claims for defaulted home mortgages. The loans were made between 2002 and 2010.

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GM hiring software developers

Now hiring in Detroit: Scads of software developers and programmers. General Motors is moving past layoffs and the Motor City's rusty, low-tech image. It's setting out on its own to develop software and invent the most advanced gizmos for your car. The nation's biggest automaker plans to hire up to 10,000 computer professionals in the next three-to-five years as it tries to lead the auto industry with cutting-edge technology. It's a bold and expensive move, counter to the industry's history of buying software and other electronic applications from outside companies. Experts say it's also the start of a trend as manufacturers realize that software is among the few things that will set them apart from competitors. "The companies that build the software themselves in general are going to have an advantage," says David Kirkpatrick, author of a book about Facebook and CEO of Techonomy Media Inc., a New York firm that specializes in setting up technology c…

cyber attacks traced to China

American companies should avoid doing business with China's two leading technology firms because they pose a national security threat to the United States, the House Intelligence Committee is warning in a report.
The panel says U.S. regulators should block mergers and acquisitions in this country by Huawei Technologies Ltd. and ZTE Corp, among the world's leading suppliers of telecommunications gear and mobile phones.
Reflecting U.S. concern over cyber-attacks traced to China, the report also recommends that U.S. government computer systems not include any components from the two firms because that could pose an espionage risk.
"China has the means, opportunity, and motive to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes," the report says.
Related articlesUS Panel: China Tech Giants Pose Security Threat

Foxconn denies strike

Foxconn, the Taiwanese made-to-order electronics giant that assembles Apple Inc's products, denied reports that a plant in China was crippled by a strike, saying on Saturday that its production is on schedule at an important time for Apple.
The report of a strike issued by China Labor Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, came weeks after Apple kicked off its largest-ever global rollout for the new iPhone 5 smartphone. Apple is already struggling with tight availability of the phones in stores, analysts say.
The labor group said 3,000 to 4,000 workers went on strike at Foxconn's Zhengzhou complex in central China on Friday, angered by over-exacting quality controls as well as demands they work through the week-long National Day holiday, which began on Monday.

Japans nuclear reactors

English: Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Gefahrensymbol für Radioaktivität. Image:Radioactive.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Economics Minister Seiji Maehara said on Friday nuclear reactors can be restarted if a new regulator deems them safe, throwing into confusion how the dozens of units idle since the Fukushima disaster could be used in future energy plans.
Maehara, whose ministry had led debate in the cabinet on energy policy, said a new law empowered the regulator to endorse bringing reactors back on line. He said the idle reactors could be a key source of power generation for now, a notion certain to anger Japan's growing ranks of opponents of nuclear power.
"If safety is approved, such reactors would be considered as an important power source," Maehara, who also oversees national strategy, told a news conference.
"We should rely on nuclear as an energy option for the time being."
But procedures for going ahead with restarts remain unclear.