Monday, September 28, 2009

(BN) Northeast U.S. May Experience Coldest Winter in a Decade, Forecaster Says

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

U.S. Northeast May Have Coldest Winter in a Decade

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Northeast may have the coldest winter in a decade because of a weak El Nino, a warming current in the Pacific Ocean, according to Matt Rogers, a forecaster at Commodity Weather Group.

"Weak El Ninos are notorious for cold and snowy weather on the Eastern seaboard," Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Washington. "About 70 percent to 75 percent of the time a weak El Nino will deliver the goods in terms of above-normal heating demand and cold weather. It's pretty good odds."

Warming in the Pacific often means fewer Atlantic hurricanes and higher temperatures in the U.S. Northeast during January, February and March, according to the National Weather Service. El Nino occurs every two to five years, on average, and lasts about 12 months, according to the service.

Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their net-long positions, or bets prices will rise, in New York heating oil futures in the week ended Sep. 22, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data Sept. 25.

"It could be one of the coldest winters, or the coldest, winter of the decade," Rogers said.

U.S. inventories of distillate fuels, which include heating oil, are at their highest since January 1983, the U.S. Energy Department said Sept. 23. Stockpiles of 170.8 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 18 are 28 percent above the five-year average.

Heating oil for October delivery rose 1.38 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $1.6909 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Zeranski in New York at tzeranski@bloomberg.net Erik Schatzker in New York at eschatzker@bloomberg.net

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple Gets OK to Keep Palm Unplugged From iTunes | Wired.com

I wanted to share this article from Wired.com with you:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/apple-gets-ok-to-keep-palm-unplugged-from-itunes/

Apple Gets OK to Keep Palm Unplugged From iTunes
Palm Pre owners, get ready to kiss your iTunes music goodbye. The most recent turn in the Apple vs. Palm debate makes it even less likely that the Palm will again be able to sync with iTunes. On Wednesday, Palm received a letter from the USB Implementers Forum, a group overseeing standards for USB connections, in reply [...]


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Michael Porter on Healthcare

What do you think?

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?play=1&video=1262670524












Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The $150 Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget | Wired.com

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http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/the-150-space-camera-mit-students-beat-nasa-on-beer-money-budget/

The $150 Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget
The $150 Space Camera. Bespoke is old hat. Off-the-shelf is in. Even Google runs the world's biggest and scariest server farms on computers home-made from commodity parts. DIY is cheaper and often better, as Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh found out when they decided to send a camera into space. The two students (from MIT, of course) [...]


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Why Apple TV Must Evolve to Avoid Extinction | Wired.com

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http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/apple-tv-price-cut/

Why Apple TV Must Evolve to Avoid Extinction
Without making an announcement, Apple slashed the price of its larger-capacity Apple TV set-top box on Monday and discontinued a lesser model. Even with the price cut, the product is unlikely to survive if it does not adapt to consumer demands in the entertainment market, analysts agree. The price reduction brings the 160-GB Apple TV from [...]


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Marketing Movie

http://responsiblemarketing.com/blog/2009/09/04/responsible-marketing-movies-kinda-sorta

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Check out this product on Wired.com

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Kenyattalovett@gmail.com has sent you an article from Macworld.com

This story, which was originally posted at macworld.com, has been recommended to you by Kenyattalovett@gmail.com.

Google plans update to Android Market

null

The complete story can be found here:
http://www.macworld.com/article/142643/article.html

We hope you will find this story interesting and informative. Macworld, an IDG publication, provides independent, unbiased, reviews, news, and information about technology.

(BN) Princeton, Harvard Raise Undergrad Tuition as Economy Burns: Chart of Day

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

Princeton, Harvard Raise Prices as Economy Burns: Chart of Day

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Life on top means not having to lower your prices.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how the cost of a year as an undergraduate at Harvard and Princeton has risen through boom and bust. Tuition and fees at Harvard jumped 67.8 percent over the decade; at Princeton, they increased 43.4 percent.

That hasn't dented demand. Freshman applications at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, rose by 60.9 percent over the last 10 years. At Princeton in New Jersey, which started accepting the Common Application standardized form for admission in 2005 (Harvard did so in 1994), demand rose by 47.7 percent.

The two Ivy League schools haven't been entirely immune from the recession. Harvard this year reported that its endowment fell an estimated 30 percent; Princeton's, 25 percent.

"They say trees can't grow to the sky, but apparently there's no stopping college tuitions," said Jay Diamond, a managing director at Annaly Capital Management, a New York real estate investment trust with total assets of $86 billion, and member of Princeton class of 1986. "It would appear that an undergraduate degree at a place like Princeton is actually a Giffen good. As a prospective college tuition-paying parent -- my kids are in 10th and eighth grades and kindergarten -- I wish that colleges competed on price, but that is certainly wishful thinking."

A Giffen good, first observed by British economist Robert Giffen (1837-1910), is something for which demand rises even as its price goes up.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Mysak in New York at jmysakjr@bloomberg.net .

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Nashville Jazz Festival

If you are in town, check it out today and tomorrow.

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(BN) China 2009 Vehicle Sales May Rise 28% on Stimulus, Probably Passing U.S.

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

China 2009 Vehicle Sales May Rise 28% on Stimulus, Pass U.S.

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- China's vehicle sales may rise 28 percent this
year, according to the nation's top planning agency, likely enough
for the country to surpass the U.S. as the world's largest auto
market.

Full-year sales may reach as high as 12 million vehicles, Chen Bin,
chief director of the industry coordination department at the National
Development and Reform Commission, said today at a conference in
Tianjin. U.S. sales will likely be around 10.5 million, according to
both General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

China has boosted auto sales this year through tax cuts and subsidies
as a part of a wider 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus that has
shielded the country from the worst of the global recession. U.S.
sales have slumped 28 percent, pushing the old GM and Chrysler LLC
into bankruptcy.

"Government incentives have really helped China's auto sales this
year," said Li Chunbo, a Beijing-based analyst with Citic Securities
Co. "There's also still a lot of demand for vehicles in rural
areas."

Li added that full-year sales could reach as high as 12.5 million
vehicles. GM, the largest overseas automaker in China, last week
increased its target to as much as 12 million after doubling its own
August sales from a year earlier.

Nationwide sales topped 8 million in the first eight months, NDRC's
Chen said. U.S. sales slumped to 7.1 million as drivers pared spending
amid rising job concerns. Chinese sales of cars, sport-utility
vehicles and other passenger vehicles jumped 71 percent in July to
832,596.

Second-half sales "will be somewhat better than the first half,"
said Li. He expects stimulus measures to be extended into next year
"because the government has made it clear that the auto industry is
still important for the country."

'Cash for Clunkers'

In the U.S., the government's "cash for clunkers" rebates helped
cause a 1 percent increase in auto sales last month, the first gain
since 2007. Detroit-based GM expects industrywide sales to total 10.5
million this year. Ford's forecast is 10.5 million to 11 million.
Last year's total was 13.2 million, compared with 9.4 million in
China.

The "clunkers" program, which ran from July 27 through Aug. 24,
offered buyers of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles as much as $4,500
for trade-ins of older models.

Automakers and investors are focusing on China as it withstands the
global slump. GM last month agreed to set up a commercial-vehicle
venture with China FAW Group Corp., its third manufacturing deal in
the country. The automaker now runs all operations outside North
America from Shanghai.

Billionaire Warren Buffett has also bought a stake in BYD Co., a
Chinese maker of cars and rechargeable batteries. MidAmerican Energy
Holdings Co., a unit of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., wants to
boost its stake further, Wang Chuanfu, BYD's chairman, said on Aug.
31.

For Related News and Information: Top transportation stories: TOP TRN
China auto news: TNI CHINA AUT

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Robert Glasper, I'm digging it.

Check it out, and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

(BN) EBay Will Sell Skype Stake to Silver Lake-Led Group for About $2 Billion

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

EBay to Sell Skype Stake to Group Led by Silver Lake

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- EBay Inc. agreed to sell 65 percent of its Skype Internet-calling unit to an investor group led by Silver Lake for about $2 billion to focus on reviving sales at its main e-commerce site.

The buyers will pay $1.9 billion in cash and will also give EBay a $125 million note, the company said in a statement today. EBay, which had planned an initial public offering for Skype, will retain 35 percent of the business. The sale, this year's biggest private-equity deal, values Skype at $2.75 billion.

The sale lessens Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe's dependence on a unit that he has said doesn't fit with the rest of EBay's operations. His predecessor bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005 and wrote down its value a year later. Private investors will probably push Skype beyond the consumer market, said Vanessa Alvarez, a Frost & Sullivan Inc. analyst in Boston.

"They've really been making an initiative to move into the business space," Alvarez said. "That's the next step for this market."

The other investors in the group are Andreessen Horowitz, a venture-capital firm headed by Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen; Index Ventures, a firm that invested in Skype before EBay bought it; and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which invested $300 million. The others didn't disclose how much they paid.

EBay, based in San Jose, California, fell 46 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $21.68 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has gained 55 percent this year.

Better Than IPO

Selling a stake in Skype is a better option than holding an IPO because it lets both companies focus on their main businesses, Donahoe said today in an interview.

Skype lets people make calls from their computers to land lines and mobile phones, as well as other computers. It makes money when users call regular phones, set up voice mail and use text-messaging services.

The service was founded in 2002 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, creators of the Kazaa file-sharing software. EBay bought the company three years later because then-CEO Meg Whitman hoped that buyers and sellers on the auction site would use the service to talk to each other about expensive items.

The founders still own a piece of software used by the calling service and have accused EBay of breaching a licensing deal. Skype told a London court in April that it may have to suspend the service if it can't resolve the fight.

'No Synergies'

Even as Skype grew, EBay didn't integrate the service into its e-commerce site. The company wrote down Skype's value to $1.2 billion in 2006.

"It has no synergies with the business," said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. "Investors hated it from the minute it happened."

EBay announced plans in April an IPO of Skype, scheduled for the first half of 2010. Donahoe said Skype's value in an IPO may be more than $2 billion. Investors might have valued Skype at $2.5 billion at most in an IPO, Lindsay said.

"Now it's like a bird in hand," said Lindsay, who projects EBay's shares will perform in line with the market and doesn't own any.

EBay may use the proceeds for stock buybacks and small acquisitions, Lindsay said. The company is focused on improving its Internet-retail operations to stem customer defections to Amazon.com Inc. EBay bought South Korea's Gmarket Inc. for $1.2 billion this year to expand its online-auctioneering business.

Skype's Growth

Skype's revenue grew 25 percent to $170 million in the second quarter. EBay predicts Skype's sales will top $1 billion in 2011. The service added 37.3 million users in the three-month period, for a total of 480.5 million. In March, Skype started a service for business users, seeking growth beyond consumers.

The investor group's expertise in technology and corporate development will accelerate Skype's growth, Egon Durban, Silver Lake's managing director, said in a separate release.

Silver Lake, based in Menlo Park, California, focuses on investments in technology companies. The firm, started in 1999, raised a $9.4 billion fund in 2007.

The firm's investments include SunGard Data Systems Inc., Avago Technologies Ltd. and Avaya Inc. Semiconductor maker Avago, which Silver Lake bought with New York-based KKR & Co. LP in 2005, raised $745 million in an IPO last month.

Today's deal is the biggest private-equity transaction in 2009, ahead of KKR's $1.8 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV's South Korean beer unit, according to Bloomberg data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Galante in San Francisco at jgalante3@bloomberg.net Katie Hoffmann in New York at khoffmann4@bloomberg.net

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