Showing posts from November, 2012

European banks want Basel III delayed

European banks want Basel III delayed

European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia) European banks have asked the European Commission to postpone the introduction of tougher global bank capital rules by a year to 2014 after U.S. regulators delayed application of the new requirements.
The new rules, known as Basel III, are the world's regulatory response to the 2007-09 financial crisis and would force banks to triple the amount of basic capital they hold in a bid to avoid future taxpayer bailouts.
The European Banking Federation sent a letter on November 21 to EUInternal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, formally requesting a delay on the grounds that EU banks would be at a competitive disadvantage if they introduced the new rules before their U.S. counterparts.
"We are now very troubled over the possible repercussions that the most recent statement from the US Authorities may have for the internat…

Police Thwarts Biggest Credit Card Scam in Australian History - International Business Times

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Parti Québécois raises taxes 25% on wines, spirits and beer

Smacked by the new Quebec budget, restaurateurs across the province woke  up Wednesday to a 25-per-cent tax increase on all the wines, spirits and beer  they serve ¬— booze they're already paying a premium for through the monopoly  SAQ.
Not only that, the hike applies to the restaurants' old stock, as well: specifically, every unopened bottle that was in their cellars and fridges between 3 and 8 o'clock the morning after the Parti Québécois government tabled its budget.
For restaurants with large wine cellars — sometimes numbering in the hundreds  and even thousands — the paperwork and expense to comply is onerous.
The increase represents an extra 50 cents on every litre of wine or spirit,  for a total of $2.47 per litre, and an extra 17 cents per litre of beer,  bringing that tax to 82 cents.
(In real terms, the hike amounts to 37.5 cents more for a standard 750-ml  bottle of wine, 57 cents for a 1.14-litre bottle of spirit, and 5.8 cents for a  regular bottle of beer.)

Disney, Wal-Mart, Sears used deadly Bangladeshi factory

Ex-Muslin atheists

No God, not even AllahEx-Muslim atheists are becoming more outspoken, but tolerance is still rare

A MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”. His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished.
In a handful of majority-Muslim countries atheists can live safely, if quietly; Turkey is one example, Lebanon another. None makes atheism a specific crime. But none gives atheists legal protection or recognition. Indonesia, for example, demands that people declare themselves as one of six religions; atheism and agnosticism do not count. Egypt’s draft constitution makes room for only three faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Sharia law, which covers onl…

Salesforce generates $788 million in third quarter

Image via CrunchBase
The SaaS provider brought in $788 million in the third quarter and is expected to record its first fiscal year with more than $3 billion in, which generated $788 million in revenues during its fiscal year 2013 third quarter, up 35 percent over the same period last year, expects to break the $3 billion revenue mark by the time the fiscal year ends in January.
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, used words like “awesome” and “fantastic” in an earnings conference call Nov. 20 to describe the results in his usual bombastic way.
“Salesforce has always been a catalyst and an evangelist for changing enterprise software and we have pioneered the shift to cloud, we’ve pioneered the shift to social and we’ve pioneered the shift to mobile,” Benioff said.
The company, which delivers software-as-a-service (SaaS) to business and enterprise customers, reported a net loss of $220.3 million, or $1.55 a share based on generally accepting accounting …

Cheating scandal: Feds say teachers hired stand-in to take their certification tests

credit rating mistakes costing Canadians

Credit rating mistakes are costing unsuspecting consumers thousands of dollars in higher interest rates and preventing some from getting much needed loans, a CBC News investigation has found.
In the past few years, more than 500 complaints have been filed with provincial consumer affairs agencies across Canada about credit reporting agencies, many alleging errors by companies led to their poor credit scores.
"I feel like a guy who is made to pay for the sins of something I didn't do," said Mervin Smith. "It's like being wrongfully accused of something."
Smith is one of many Canadians who told CBC News about how unknown errors on their credit rating reports caused them financial strife. In some cases, even after creditors and collection agencies admitted to a mistake, it took several months to restore a credit rating.
The Brampton, Ont., truck driver, spent months trying to get his credit rating fixed after an error appeared on his credit report.
When apply…

Credit Suisse handed lawsuit

New York Attorney GeneralEric Schneiderman brought a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX) of misleading investors in mortgage-backed securities.
Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, misrepresented the quality of loans underlying residential mortgage-backed securities it sponsored and underwrote in 2006 and 2007, leading to $11.2 billion in losses to investors, according to the lawsuit.
The Zurich-based bank failed to adequately evaluate the loans and ignored defects its limited review did uncover, the lawsuit said It also failed to perform due diligence it promised. The lawsuit was brought under a New York securities fraud statute known as the Martin Act.
Jack Grone, a spokesman for Credit Suisse in the United States, declined to make an immediate comment. The bank announced a management shake-up on Tuesday.
The action is the latest to come out of a working group created by President Barack Obama to go after wrongdoing that led to the 2008 financia…

Black Friday shopping creeps into Thursday

Australian Tax Office seeking Apple Taxes

Image via CrunchBase The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has reportedly sought to collect AU$28.5 million in back taxes from tech giant Apple in a sign that the government is cracking down on foreign tech companies.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported over the weekend that statements lodged with the corporate regulator show that Apple's Australian arm was hit with an AU$28.5 million bill for back taxes in April this year. According to the report, Apple Australia pulled in AU$4.9 billion in revenue in the last year, and its total tax bill to September 24, 2011, was AU$94.7 million.
According to figures released this year, Apple earned non-US profits of US$36.87 billion for the 2012 financial year ending September, and only paid US$713 million in overseas taxes.
Google came under criticism earlier this year, when it was revealed that Google said its Australian division is making a loss. The company only paid AU$74,176 in taxes in the last financial year, despite estimations that Australia…

MP McGuinty drops critic role over 'go back to Alberta' gibe

killing the password

It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you.
Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takes you for one.
No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.
Look around. Leaks and dumps—hackers breaking into computer systems and releasing lists of usernames and passwords on the open web—are now regular occurrences. The way we daisy-chain accounts, with our email address doubling a…

Wozniak concerned about Apple

The co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak was interviewed at TEDxBrussels by TechCrunch, where the technological genius was asked how he felt about the advances Microsoft is making in both the PC and smartphone markets. So how does Wozniak view the new Microsoft? He's worried for Apple, and for good reason.
The Apple guru has previously picked up a Lumia 900, choosing the Windows Phone over Android and stating that the operating system is "intuitive and beautiful". Wozniak also was recorded in revealing he's excited about Microsoft and sees a new company re-entering the PC and mobile markets. This is all leading up to him being concerned for Apple.
Apple has continuously been viewed as the innovative technology giant that surpassed Microsoft in many ways, including public interaction (the Apple stores) and presentation (Steve Jobs and his famous keynotes). The advertisement campaign that Apple launched attacking PC as a boring platform was true in a way - it's how …

Credit reporting errors costing Canadians

spammers are using the popularity of e-mailed advertisements

Kaspersky Lab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Kaspersky Lab (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Be sure to double check that Groupon you received in your e-mail -- spammers are using the popularity of e-mailed advertisements for group discount deals to send more malware.
The rise of malware through fake e-mail advertisements and notifications are on the rise, according to a study released today by security firm Kaspersky Lab.
"They are primarily doing so by sending out malicious e-mails designed to look like official notifications. Kaspersky Lab is seeing more and more malicious spam designed to look like coupon service notifications," the report said.
The firm said it also noted these coupon spam mail in its spring report but has found that the trend is increasing. Instead of attaching viruses as files to these types of e-mails, spammers are now adding malicious links. Ads mimicking Groupon seem to be most prevalent, the firm said.
"Kaspersky Lab experts expected to see the appearance …

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BYOD security problems

BYOD iPhone (Photo credit: IntelFreePress) Although bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, initiatives can bring a multitude of benefits to businesses, security remains a major concern for companies with limited IT resources. Most organizations that allow employees to bring their own devices are experiencing high rates of mobile threats, including lost or stolen devices, malware and compromised company data, according to the findings of a study sponsored by security specialist Webroot.
The study, based on a survey of endpoint and mobile-security decision makers in companies with 10 or more employees in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, found that more than half reported mobile threats, reduced employee productivity and disrupted business activities; 61 percent of survey respondents said they required additional IT resources to manage mobile security, resulting in higher costs.
Further, 63 percent of companies surveyed reported significant increases in demand for help desk support to repair, repl…

RBC blocks senior getting money

English: A self-taken photo of the RBC banking plaza in Vancouver, Canada, as reflected onto a neighbouring building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)English: RBC Building, West Hastings Street, Vancouver. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some bedridden or housebound elderly people have been denied service by Canadian banks, which refuse to cash cheques and do other transactions on their behalf, unless they come to the bank.
“It’s cruel — and there is no need of it,” said Linda Graham, whose 94-year-old mother went without her pension money for seven months, because RBC refused to cash the cheques. “They need to change their policies. They really do.”
In Graham’s case and others, customers say banks are simply refusing to honour power of attorney documents — in place so children or others can do their banking — because they are concerned seniors are being taken advantage of.
Nellie Graham uses a wheelchair, has poor eyesight and can't leave the house. Her 85-year-old husband Reg also has health…

Venezuela causes outrage at U.N. General Assembly

United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The U.N. General Assembly will select 18 new members for its Human Rights Council, and outrage is roaring in some circles over the fact that Venezuela is one of the candidates.
Other countries human rights groups have criticized as unqualified candidates are Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.
The Human Rights Council was created in March 2006 to replace the U.N.'s widely discredited and highly politicized Human Rights Commission. But the council has also been widely criticized for failing to change many of the commission's practices, including putting much more emphasis on Israel than on any other country and electing candidates accused of serious human rights violations.
Among those leaving the 47-member council at the end of this year are China, Cuba and Russia.
In the case of Venezuela, critics say PresidentHugo Chávez accumulated near-absolute power over the past decade thanks…

Cray’s massive Titan system is now the world’s fastest supercomputer

Cray’s massive Titan system is now the world’s fastest supercomputer, knocking off IBM’s Sequoia after only six months in the top position.
The Top500 list of the fastest supercomputers was released Nov. 12 at the SC12 supercomputing show in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Titan—a Cray XK7 system installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee—took the number-one spot with a performance of 17.59 petaflops, or quadrillions of calculations per second. The system boasts 560,640 processors, including 261,632 of Nvidia’s Tesla K20x GPU accelerators, which also were announced at the show Nov. 12. It runs Advanced Micro Device’s Opteron 6274 processors.
According to Nvidia officials, 90 percent of Titan’s performance was delivered by the company’s K20X accelerators. Such GPU accelerators from the likes of Nvidia and AMD—which on Nov. 12 introduced its new FirePro S10000 graphics card—are becoming increasingly important in the supercomputer and high-performance computing (HPC) segments…

HSBC providing Jersey Island accounts

British banking giant HSBC has been accused of providing accounts on the island of Jersey for alleged drug dealers and gun runners.
HM Revenue & Customs, the authority, has obtained details on every British client of HSBC in Jersey after a whistleblower leaked the data, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper claims that the list of more than 4,000 clients includes drug dealers, gun runners, bankers accused of fraud and cyber criminals.
HMRC confirmed Friday that it has received and is studying the data. The tax authority did not comment on specific HSBC clients, but pledged to "crack down" on tax cheats if it finds evidence of wrongdoing.
"Clamping down on those who try to cheat the system through evading taxes and over claiming benefits is a top priority for us and we value the information we receive from the public and business community," said an HMRC spokesman in a statement.
Jersey, a 5-by-9-mile island just off the coast of France belongi…

RBC blocks housebound senior from getting her money

solitary world of online foreign exchange trading

The solitary world of online foreign exchange trading is emerging from the shadows as solo investors turn to specialist social media networks to link up with their peers and seek market-beating strategies.
Individual or retail trading, estimated at 8-10 percent of the $2.5 trillion daily spot FX market, used to conjure an image of a lone trader with little contact with the outside world.
But that is changing. Thanks to specially tailored websites known as social trading networks, users are able to see and even copy the trades of top-ranked rivals, swap ideas and gauge the market mood in online chat with a community of contacts.
"In the world of trading there are a lot of signals but social media gives us the market sentiment and it is ideal for chatting to people across the world for trade ideas," said Patrick Orini, who has been trading FX online since 2004.
Retail forex traders make their deals using personal accounts through brokers such as Alpari, FxPro and IronFX. Incre…

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