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Showing posts from September, 2014

How Much Caffeine Is in Tea?

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Español: Closeup of leaves of tea plant Camellia sinensis (Photo credit: Wikipedia) How Much Caffeine Is in Tea?
True tea is made from the leaves of an Asian evergreen known as Camellia sinensis. White tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea all come from this plant, and all contain caffeine. Our herb teas are made from other, unrelated plants and do not have any caffeine. One exception is Yerba Maté, an herb tea that does contain caffeine.
Researchers believe that in plants, caffeine works as a natural defense system to deter insects and other herbivores with the compound's bitter taste and stimulating qualities. And, not so surprisingly, it's the vulnerable, growing buds and young leaves of tea plants that manufacture the highest amounts of caffeine.
Many factors influence how much caffeine is present in plucked tea leaves. These include the growing region, plant varietal, plant age, leaf age, length of the growing season, field conditions, soil nutrients, rainfall, and st…

most IPOs in the last year have flopped

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New York Stock Exchange (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If history is any guide, investors who miss out on getting a slice of Alibaba's massive initial public offering may want to think twice about jumping into the stock once it hits the New York Stock Exchange.
A Reuters analysis of the previous 15 largest IPOs of all time shows that beyond a first-day pop, the first year's performance for most of these mega deals was a major flop.
Alibaba Holding Ltd could seize the mantle from Agricultural Bank of China Ltd as the largest IPO in history when it closes the deal on Thursday to raise some $22 billion.
China's largest e-commerce player, which reported net income tripling to nearly $2 billion in its most recent quarter, has already boosted the IPO's pricing range, and it is clear that not everyone who wants in on the deal will be able to get shares before they hit the market.
As a result, like so many past IPOs, it would not be surprising to see a hefty jump in Alibaba's…

regular unleaded, now at $3.38 a gallon

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The national average price of regular unleaded, now at $3.38 a gallon, is down 8 percent from the end of June. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy.com, thinks this year will bring the cheapest autumn gasoline prices since 2010. Last year drivers spent $40 billion at the pump in September, and Kloza thinks that bill will be at least $2 billion lower in 2014. The savings at the pump should help stimulate consumer spending in other parts of the economy.
Gas prices are cheapest in the South and highest in the Northwest. Shale oil being produced in North Dakota and Texas has had an easier time traveling south and east, while fewer trains have headed west, across the Rockies and into Washington and Oregon (though that is starting to change). Still, it’s a big difference. The average gasoline price outside Little Rock, Ark., is $3.05; near Seattle, it’s $3.87.

GasBuddy.comHeat map of gasoline prices
This all starts with the price of oil, which makes up 66 percent of the cost of a gallon …

internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom introduced today to assist his electoral efforts in New Zealand.

The US government whistleblower, Edward Snowden, and the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, were two of the foreign guests that internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom introduced today to assist his electoral efforts in New Zealand.

Mr Snowden appeared at an Auckland public meeting via video link from Russia, while Mr Assange spoke from the Ecuadorean embassy in London as part of the election campaign by Mr Dotcom’s Internet Mana party.
Mr Dotcom has been drawing large, enthusiastic crowds on the campaign trail, even as he fights extradition attempts by the US on racketeering charges over his now-closed file-sharing site Megaupload. He cannot run for office because he is not a New Zealand citizen, but he has poured more than £1m into a small party that is on target to win two or three of the 120 seats in Parliament when the nation goes to the polls on Saturday.
He promised a theatrical finale: an exposé of New Zealand’s spying activities, the truthfulness of Prime Minister John Key and “the …
Talk about awkward. Sears secured a $400 million loan this week from a hedge fund whose sole shareholder is the struggling retailer's chairman, CEO and leading investor. The unusual agreement -- and what it signals about the overall health of Sears (SHLD) -- spooked Wall Street. Shares of the retailer plunged another 9% on Tuesday to the lowest level sine February.

"It's shady because there is clearly a conflict of interest here," said Brian Sozzi, who closely tracks the retail industry as CEO of Belus Capital Advisors.
Devil's in the details: Sears, which lost $1 billion during the first half of the year, revealed the loan in a vaguely-worded regulatory filing late Monday.
Related: Sears more 'irrelevant by the day'
The company said the the short-term loan is being provided by entities tied to ESL Investments, whose sole stockholder and CEO is Sears head Eddie Lampert.
ESL Investments controls 24.8% of Sears's outstanding shares, making it the N…

Adobe Systems Inc's (ADBE.O) forecast disappointing revenue

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Logo of Adobe Systems Incorporated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Photoshop maker Adobe Systems Inc's (ADBE.O) forecast disappointing revenue for this quarter and reported lower quarterly sales at its digital media business, which includes the Creative Cloud software suite.
Adobe shares fell nearly 5 percent in extended trading.
The company said it expected adjusted profit of 26-32 cents per share on revenue of $1.03 billion-$1.08 billion for the quarter ending November. (adobe.ly/1wonw8I)
Analysts on average were expecting an adjusted profit of 31 share on revenue of $1.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"I think the market has come to expect perfection from this company and today was not perfect," Edward Jones technology analyst Josh Olson told Reuters.
Revenue from Adobe's digital media business, which includes the Creative Cloud and document services, fell about 2.4 percent to $621.4 million in the third quarter ended Aug. 29.
Adobe has been switchi…

79 million obese adults in the U.S. should be a marketing dream

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The 79 million obese adults in the U.S. should be a marketing dream for the makers of anti-obesity drugs, and now Contrave, the latest treatment to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration, will try to win over a population in which more than 1 in 3 adults are obese. Yet sales have been weak for the prescription drugs already available, Qsymia and Belviq, both approved in 2012. Why has it been so difficult to pitch pharmaceutical weight loss to an overweight nation?
Much of the resistance to the weight-loss medications stems from the disastrous safety record of diet drugs pulled from the market in the 1990s. And, perhaps more important, a large number of health insurance plans won’t pay for the drugs, which often lead to only modest weight loss. In clinical trials, for example, nondiabetic patients taking Contrave lost only 4.1 percent more weight than those taking placebos.
Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX), the maker of Contrave, sees a U.S. market in which only 2 million o…

Apple customers will have to wait until next month for new iPhones

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English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Apple Inc.. The design of the logo started in 1977 designed by Rob Janoff with the rainbow color theme used until 1999 when Apple stopped using the rainbow color theme and used a few different color themes for the same design. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million first-day pre-orders were logged, double the number for the iPhone 5 two years ago.
The company said demand had outstripped supply of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which feature larger screens and longer battery life. Deliveries of pre-orders will begin on Friday and will continue through October.
Bumper first-day pre-orders point to first-weekend sales of up to 10 million units, analysts estimated.
"Assuming preorders are similar to the 40 percent of first weekend sales for the iPhone 5, this would imply iPhone 6/6Plus first weekend sales could be around 10 million," W…

Microsoft to acquire Minecraft

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Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has agreed to acquire the Stockholm-based developer of the wildly popular Minecraft video game for $2.5 billion, as it tries to lure a new and mostly young audience into its mobile world.
Minecraft - a construction game in which players can build nearly anything imaginable, block by block, in a digital, Lego-like world - has spread like wildfire since its full release by developer Mojang in 2011.
Minecraft is the top paid-for app both on Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iOS and Google Inc's (GOOGL.O) Android systems and helped Mojang, which employs just 40 people, bring in 2.05 billion crowns ($287 million) in revenue in 2013, giving it an 896 million crown ($126 million) operating profit for the year.
Director of website Gamesbrief Nicholas Lovell described Minecraft as a hugely successful product which has "captured the imagination of pretty much everybody under the age of 15", saying the game could help Microsoft broaden its appeal.
While the Mojang te…

The Mayo is getting its own version of Watson

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Mayo Clinic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Clinical trials provide patients with access to new and emerging treatments, but matching patients with trials is one of the more difficult parts of clinical research.
This is a huge task that until now has typically been carried out manually by thousands of people processing records around the world. Now the clinic is to get some help from IBM’s Watson supercomputer, wwhich will use its cognitive computing capability to sift through thousands of pages of information available about Mayo clinical trials in a fraction of the time.
"With shorter times from initiation to completion of trials, our research teams will have the capacity for deeper, more complete investigations," said Nicholas LaRusso, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo and the project lead. "Coupled with increased accuracy, we will be able to develop, refine and improve new and better techniques in medicine at a higher level."
The Mayo is getting its own version of Wats…

former portfolio manager Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors LP hedge fund, sentenced on to nine years in prison

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at billionaire Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors LP hedge fund, was sentenced on Monday to nine years in prison for engaging in what authorities called the most lucrative insider trading scheme in U.S. history.
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York said he had to account for the "enormous" $275 million gain SAC obtained as a result of illegal trades in pharmaceutical stocks. Prosecutors said the trades were based on tips Martoma received about a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug.
"I cannot and will not ignore that the gain is hundreds of millions of dollars more than ever seen in an insider trading prosecution," Gardephe said.
The sentence came despite appeals for leniency by Richard Strassberg, Martoma's lawyer, who cited "fragile family circumstances." Gardephe also ordered Martoma to forfeit $9.3 million, including his Boca Raton, Florida, home.
While Martoma, 40, faced up to 19-1/…

Virtually Human - The Promise and the Peril of Digital Immortality

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Virtually Human - The Promise and the Peril of Digital Immortality By Martine Rothblatt, PH.D. What is your mindclone or mindfile going to be? With Quantum Computing on the edge, mindclones are now in the near future. This should be read by most of the baby boomers; an absolute must! Take a look into the future with Martine Rothblatt and see what is to come as she explores the variables they will begin to use for a mindclone. Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyber consciousness - simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology that will become part of our daily lives. Bina48, the world's most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics. Bina48 is a nascent Mindclone that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts that are derived from multimedia data in a Mindfile created by the real Bina.Thousands of software engineers across the globe ar…

Home Depot Inc (HD.N) is being tight-lipped about its possible credit card breach

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English: Logo for The Home Depot. Category:Brands of the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Home Depot Inc (HD.N) is being tight-lipped about its possible credit card breach, the opposite approach to the one Target Corp (TGT.N) took nearly a year ago.
Almost a week after security blogger Brian Krebs warned that Home Depot could be the victim of a breach extending to more than 2,000 U.S. stores, the home improvement chain has not confirmed or denied that one had occurred. The company said Tuesday that it was working with authorities to investigate the matter.
By contrast, Target made initial disclosures on its breach's scope but later revised them in a series of updates that confused and angered consumers, hitting sales and contributing to Chief Executive Officer Gregg Steinhafel's departure.
In its minimalist communication strategy, Home Depot likely is drawing lessons from Target, avoiding an incremental approach that risks giving the impression that it does not have a complete g…

Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Cisco Systems are among the OEMs that will be rolling out new systems

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Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Cisco Systems are among the OEMs that will be rolling out new systems when Intel officials introduce the latest generation of its mainstream Xeon E5-2600 server chips.

Intel will be officially unveiling the new processors—which officials said will offer significant improvements in performance and power efficiency—at a press event the day before its Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. A broad range of system makers are expected to be on hand at the event in San Francisco to talk about their servers that will leverage the new chips.

At the same time, the OEMs will unveil other enhancements beyond the processor upgrade—in such areas as power and cooling management—designed to make their systems better able to address the changing demands being put on data center infrastructures by such trends as mobile computing, big data and the cloud. In addition, they want to take advantage of the optimization Intel is offering in the Xeon E5-2600 v3 "G…

Tesla announces new factory in Reno

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English: Flag of Reno, Nevada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval looked pretty happy yesterday when he announced that Tesla Motors had chosen Reno as the site for its proposed $5 billion “Gigafactory” battery plant and its 6,500 high-tech manufacturing jobs. As well he might: While the $1.3 billion potential cost of the state’s attraction package could haunt the state, the win is clearly huge.
So what now? Nevadans have a right to gloat for, oh, maybe a day or two (or a week!)—but then get to work fully leveraging the opportunity. To do that, the state should think urgently about how to boot-strap its present good fortune into permanent, self-perpetuating and broader advantage in advanced industries. Here are three strategies:
Pile onto workforce training and education. The first priority for Nevada has to be: Train, train, train and educate, educate, educate. By all reports, the Tesla plant is going to require thousands of “middle skill” assembly workers, operators, …

State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) aims to raise up to $4 billion

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Royal Bank of Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia) State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) aims to raise up to $4 billion from the share flotation of its U.S. bank Citizens Financial Group this month, it was announced on Monday, putting it on track to be the biggest U.S. bank share offering this year.
RBS, which is 81 percent owned by the UK government after being rescued in 2008, has come under pressure from UK regulators to improve its capital base and focus on its domestic business, and the bank had already made clear it planned to sell up to a quarter of Citizens this year through an initial public offer (IPO).
RBS said on Monday it would sell 140 million shares in Citizens at between $23 and $25 each in the New York IPO, and could sell a further 21 million shares in an over-allotment option granted to the underwriters of the offer. (1.usa.gov/1tlcS0t)
Up to 29 percent of the bank will be sold, valuing Citizens at the top end of the price range at $14 billion.
RBS did not set a…