Archive for July 8th, 2009

Wall Street’s Newest Product Is Tale of Denial: David Reilly at Bloomberg

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Bloomberg:

July 8 (Bloomberg) — Most people wonder how the financial crisis will end. For some, the story of how it began is just as important.

Control of that tale will help determine how we respond to the past two years of market mayhem. At stake is the financial industry’s business model and billions of dollars in annual profits.

No wonder Wall Street executives are spinning the causes of the crisis, downplaying their roles in inflating the housing and credit bubbles while presenting themselves as integral to any solution.

Steven Malanga: Are the Good Times Really Back On Wall Street?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

RCM:

Your 401(k) balance might be stuck somewhere south of the border and the stock market might still be off 40 percent from the post-bubble high, but in recent days the headlines have been about big profits and bonuses making a quick comeback on Wall Street and in European financial capitals.

Based on financials from two quarters, analysts estimate that Goldman Sachs, fresh from repaying its government bailout money, will dole out $20 billion in salary and bonuses this year, an average of $700,000 per employee, while Morgan Stanley’s compensation will range between $11 billion and $14 billion–in the neighborhood of $300,000 per employee. Executive recruiters quoted in news stories are claiming ‘it’s like 2007 all over again’ as firms dangle big upfront pay packages to lure top talent into the fold, or to keep it from going elsewhere.

Judge sides with YouTube on several copyright issues — CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

As it defends itself against allegations of copyright infringement made by multiple copyright owners, Google’s YouTube won some minor legal victories on Tuesday, legal documents show.

No, the decisions had nothing to do with the main event, which is the suit filed in March 2007 against YouTube by Viacom, parent company of MTV and Paramount Pictures. But Google’s attorneys did manage to convince a federal judge to dismiss a number of the claims for statutory damages asked for by group of copyright holders that included a European soccer league and music publishers.

CNET Security: Shortened URLs spike in e-mail spam

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

In yet another piece of anecdotal evidence of the increasing threat from shortened URLs, e-mail security provider MessageLabs said on Tuesday it saw a dramatic spike in the number of spam e-mails that include truncated Web addresses.

Shortened URLs, which allow spammers to hide the real Web address from Web surfers and are commonly used on social media sites like Twitter where message character length is restricted, began a sharp rise last week and now appear in more than 2 percent of all spam caught in the company’s spam trap, according to MessageLabs.

Google plans Chrome-based Web operating system: CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

That Google operating system rumor is coming true–and it’s based on Google’s browser, Chrome.

The company announced Google Chrome OS on its blog Tuesday night, saying lower-end PCs called Netbooks from unnamed manufacturers will include it in the second half of 2010. Linux will run under the covers of the open-source project, but the applications will run on the Web itself.

In other words, Google’s cloud-computing ambitions just got a lot bigger.

“Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small Netbooks to full-size desktop systems,” Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director, said in the blog post.

The move has widespread implications.

Google to Microsoft: It’s on — CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

There was already little doubt that Google was aiming at Microsoft’s empire, but the announcement of a Chrome OS takes the competition to a new level.

For those who missed it, Google said late Tuesday that it plans to enter the operating system game in the second half of next year with a Linux-based OS that can run on both traditional PC chips and the ARM-based chips popular in cell phones. The idea behind Chrome OS is to create an extremely lightweight operating system that boots directly to the browser, in which all applications run.

In a blog, Google lists the advantages of such an approach.

An epitaph for the Web standard, XHTML 2 — CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

XHTML 2, a technology intended to build a more powerful Web from the ground up, met a quiet end last week, spotlighting the difficulties of standardization in a fast-moving Internet. Introduced in 2002, XHTML 2 was a centerpiece of standards work at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

But incompatibility with the existing Web and a direction at odds with Web developers’ desires doomed it to a slow demise. On Thursday, after a long reconciliation with browser makers who’d struck off in a different direction, theW3C announced that it will wind down development of XHTML 2 this year.

CNET Business Tech: No thanks, Google–we’ve got Ubuntu

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

Google’s revelation that it will create its own operating system will bring just one reaction from operating system enthusiasts worldwide.

“Not another Linux distribution,” they’ll cry.

They’ll say this because if there is one problem that the Linux and open-source community has suffered repeatedly over the past two decades, it’s been fragmentation.

It was bad enough that the Unix operating system fragmented repeatedly through the 1980s and 1990s. Systems administrators (like myself, earlier this decade) were forced to learn several different platforms: Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, FreeBSD…the list was always growing longer.

Nielsen: Kids’ online time leaps dramatically

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

Kids from two to 11 years of age are spending 63 percent more time online than they did five years ago, says a report released Monday from Nielsen Online. Children in that age range were online an average of 11 hours in May 2009 versus just 7 hours in May 2004.

Over the past five years, the total number of kids surfing the Net has shot up 18 percent to 16 million, says the report, while the overall Internet population has risen only 10 percent. The younger set now represents 9.5 percent of the online community.

Business Tech news: IT spending to drop 6 percent in ’09, Gartner says

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

Hit by the economic downturn and fluctuating exchange rates, worldwide IT spending is expected to drop 6 percent this year, according to a new Gartner report.

Spending will likely settle in at $3.2 trillion for 2009, compared with $3.4 trillion in 2008. Last year, IT spending had actually surged by 6.2 percent over 2007.

Due to the ongoing recession, the projected 6 percent spending decline is greater than Gartner’s original forecast of a 3.8 percent drop, which the firm made in March.

Is violence required to make a good game great? — CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Greg Zeschuk, the creative officer at BioWare, a prominent video game developer, said that the marriage of violence and story in video games isn’t necessarily required to make a great game. For the most part, making good nonviolent games just hasn’t been tried.

“We talk a certain amount internally about whether you need to have combat as part of the experience,” Zeschuk told the site. “Folks that are used to playing games over the last ten years, they want to have those battle moments, and the fighting. But there are different audiences that would maybe just enjoy the story.”

With Chrome, Google reignites the OS wars: CNET Technology news

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET news.

N.C. town sweetens pot for an Apple move: CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

In addition to the state’s promise of an estimated tax break of $46 million over the next 10 years, Maiden and Catawba County are promising Apple a further $20.7 million if the company brings the data center to the town, according to an Associated Press report. The additional tax breaks would also run over the 10 years of the Apple contract.

Scott Millar, president of the Catawba County Economic Development Corp., said the county expects to collect $9.3 million in taxes over the 10 years, according to the AP.

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue signed a bill approving the tax break in early June. The state said the Apple server farm would have about 50 full-time employees, and one of the regulations that Apple would have to follow is that the average wage in the facility exceed the wage standard in the county where it’s located.

Control4 adds energy monitoring to home network: CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

Home-area network company Control4 wants you to control your energy consumption and home entertainment from the same box.

The Salt Lake City-based company on Wednesday said that it has raised $17.3 million to fund its expansion into energy monitoring and displays. The company plans to introduce its “energy controller,” a thermostat that can connect to smart meters, early next year.

One of the investors is the venture arm of Best Buy, which indicated earlier this week that it is looking at offering products for managing climate-control systems in stores.

Control4 is best known for its products for managing a home theater or music from a console or remote control. Devices are networked via Zigbee or Wi-Fi connections.

VMware CEO said Intel chip design too complex: CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

At the TiEcon 2009 conference that ran from May 15-16, Maritz gave a brief oral history of the Intel x86 chip architecture noting its shortcomings and the challenges presented by ARM, the chip design which powers most of the world’s cell phones and future Netbooks running on Google’s Chrome operating system.

The video was made available by TechPulse360.

“Consumer devices came along and there was one problem with the x86 instruction set. All of that complexity in there accumulated over the years meant it’s a power hog. It loves electricity,” he said in the video, referring to Intel’s x86 architecture, which virtually all PCs use today.

Find your favorite clips with these video search engines: CNET

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

CNET:

If you’re having trouble finding the right video online, video search engines are a great place to start your search. From professional content from major networks to user-generated clips, they will help you find just about anything you’re looking for.

You won’t find Google, Yahoo, or Bing in this roundup. The following list of services are designed specifically for those who want to find video. Since the aforementioned search engines will find anything on the Web, they don’t fit into that category.

54% Don’t Trust Russians To Honor New Arms Control Agreement: Rasmussen

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Rasmussen:

A highlight of President Obama’s trip to Moscow this week was an agreement between the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles, but just 22% of U.S. voters trust the Russians to honor that agreement.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of voters do not think the Russians will honor the agreement to cut their nuclear weapons arsenal. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure what the Russians will do.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party don’t trust the Russians to honor the agreement. Democrats are more conflicted: 30% believe the Russians will honor the agreement, 40% don’t, and 30% are not sure.

Seventy percent (70%) of conservatives do not trust the Russians, while liberals are evenly divided on the question.

Rasmussen: 44% Say Government Tries to Do Too Much, 31% Not Enough

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Rasmussen:

Forty-four percent (44%) of American adults say, generally speaking, the government tries to do too much, but 31% believe it doesn’t try to do enough.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 18% of Americans think the government attempts to do about the right amount of what the public wants.

Adults over the age of 40 are more skeptical of government action than those who are younger. African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to say the government does not try to do enough.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans and the plurality (47%) of adults not affiliated with either major political party say government tries to do too much, a view shared by just 19% of Democrats. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats disagree and say it doesn’t try to do enough.

Rasmussen: Consumer & Investor Indexes Drop to Lowest Levels in Months

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Rasmussen:

The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, dropped three points on Wednesday to 67.0, its lowest level in over two months. The index is down six points over the past week and down nine points over the past month. Today is the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted since last week’s report showing higher than expected job losses in June.

Nationally, 24% of consumers say the economic conditions in the United States are getting better, down five points from the end of last week. Fifty-two percent (52%) of adults say the economy is getting worse.

Tony Blankley: Sarah Agonistes

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Blankley:

Professional politicians and political journalists don’t waste energy on political corpses. They reserve their energy — positive or negative — for viable politicians.

Thus, an intriguing part of the Sarah Palin phenomenon is the intensity of response to her every word and move — from both Republican Party and Democratic Party professionals and from the conventional media. (more…)