Posts

Showing posts from June 22, 2013

Insight: New Masters of the Universe? Banks see future in IT hires

Image
The investment banking industry is heading into a digital revolution that could redraw not only its business model but also the traditional image of its staff. Stuck with dwindling profits in an era of poor returns and heavy regulation, the likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and HSBC are battling to hire the best software programmers, systems engineers and data analysts, to help them get ahead via new technology and cost-cutting.   With IT expertise now a must for the boardroom, banks' conservative workplaces are likely to undergo cultural change as they welcome ambitious, differently-minded people. "Traditionally, banks have been a lot more narrow in their (hiring) focus. Now collectively they have realized the need to be more creative," said Jeffrey Wallis, managing partner at SunGard Consulting Services, specializing in financial firms. Adopting new technology is an evident strategy for industries in economic distress and investment banks have already spent

France, Spain take action against Google on privacy

Image
France and Spain led a Europe-wide push on Thursday to get U.S. Internet giant Google to change its policies on collecting user data. News that the U.S. National Security Agency under the Prism surveillance program secretly gathered user data from nine U.S. companies, including Google, to track people's movements and contacts makes the timing especially sensitive for Google. France's data protection watchdog (CNIL) said Google had broken French law and gave it three months to change its privacy policies or risk a fine of up to 150,000 euros ($200,000).   Spain's Data Protection Agency (AEPD) told Google it would be fined between 40,000 euros and 300,000 euros for each of the five violations of the law, that it had failed to be clear about what it did with data, may be processing a "disproportionate" amount and holding onto it for an "undetermined or unjustified" period of time. The CNIL, which has been leading Europe's inquiry since Google lau

Twitter lawyer appointed to senior White House technology role

Image
The Obama administration has appointed Twitter lawyer Nicole Wong to a new senior advisory position to focus on internet and privacy policy, a White House official said on Thursday. _0"> Wong will work with federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, and will join the White House as Obama focuses more attention and resources on fighting hackers. Her appointment comes as the Obama administration grapples with issues that arose from the U.S. government's surveillance of internet and phone communications in its anti-terrorism effort.   Rick Weiss, a spokesman for the White House Office of Science and Technology, said Wong is joining as deputy U.S. chief technology officer and will work with Park on Internet, privacy and technology issues. "She has tremendous expertise in these domains and an unrivaled reputation for fairness, and we look forward to having her on our team," Weiss said. Congress and the White House have been arguing about how best to address cyb

Poodle Cat: Doesn't Bark or Growl

Image
Poodle Cat Poodle Cat , A Poodle Cat, the answer for the person who can’t decide between a cat and a dog? Is the Poodle Cat a mixture of cat and dog so you’re family doesn’t have to pick just one, a cat or a dog? No, but it sure looks that way. According to the Inquisitr on June 22, the Poodle Cat is a feline that has finally been given a breed of its own.The cat breed started in 1987 from one cat who was born with a dominant gene. The breed of the Poodle Cat is called, Selkirk Rex. It is a cat that has the curly hair like a poodle. Some of these cats in this breed have short hair and others have long hair. According to Yahoo Shine , the story starts back in 1987 when a feral cat in Montana gave birth to a litter of five kittens, but one was the black sheep of the bunch because of her looks. It was a female kitten who had thick curly hair, which is something that breeders had never seen before. Because she was so distinct from the rest, she caught the eye of Persia

Facebook rolls out video for Instagram

Image
Facebook Inc introduced video for its popular photo sharing application Instagram in an attempt to go to head-to-head with rival Twitter. The world's No. 1 social network said on Thursday its more than 130 million Instagram users can now record and post 15 second videos on the platform.   The move takes aim at Twitter's Vine video platform that allows users to record and share six-second videos. "There's definitely a one-upmanship going on," said Brian Blau, research director, at Gartner. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom were on hand to unveil the offering at Facebook's Menlo Park, California headquarters. Among the features of Instagram video, which works with Apple's iOS and Google Android operating system, are a video stabilization technology and spate of custom design filters. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in April 2012 as a way to keep its users hooked on new features weeks before the s

Sprint raises Clearwire bid, wins key investor support

Image
Sprint Nextel Corp raised its buyout offer for Clearwire Corp to $5 per share on Thursday and announced support from a key group of dissident shareholders, likely ending a bitter battle with rival suitor Dish Network Corp. Sprint, currently Clearwire's majority shareholder, has been fighting publicly with Dish over Clearwire since January as both companies want Clearwire's vast trove of valuable wireless airwaves to help them compete in wireless services.   Clearwire put its support behind the latest offer, representing the second major blow in a matter of days against Dish Chairman and founder Charlie Ergen, who wants to expand his satellite TV company into the wireless market. Earlier this week Ergen had to back out, at least for now, from a battle with Japan's SoftBank Corp to buy Sprint itself. Dish declined comment on the new Clearwire offer. Several analysts said they now expect Sprint to prevail. "We believe Clearwire shareholders will approve the $5 off

Oracle's software sales disappoint, stock plummets

Image
Oracle Corp missed expectations for software sales and subscriptions for the second straight quarter, sending its shares plunging as investors worried CEO Larry Ellison may have trouble getting the technology giant back on track. On Thursday, Oracle executives forecast that new software sales and subscriptions will rise 0 percent to 8 percent this quarter and blamed weakness in the past quarter on disappointing sales in Asia and Latin America. Oracle, which is trying to fend off Salesforce.com and other increasingly aggressive rivals focused on providing software over the cloud or Internet, plans to move its stock listing to the New York Stock Exchange in July from the Nasdaq , a major win for the older bourse. Executives said the move was in shareholders' best interests, without elaborating. Oracle also said it would double its quarterly dividend to 12 cents a share. "Organic growth is slowing and the company has a lot of pressures it has to deal with. They're late

Apple warns of "chilling effect" as antitrust trial ends

Image
Apple Inc, on trial for allegedly colluding to raise the price of e-books, said on Thursday an adverse ruling would have a "chilling effect" on how businesses investigate new markets. If Apple was found guilty, it would "send shudders through the business community" by condemning the ordinary negotiations that companies undertake to enter new markets, the company's lawyer, Orin Snyder, said on the last day of the trial.   "We submit a ruling against Apple on this record sets a dangerous precedent," Snyder said. The U.S. Justice Department accuses Apple of conspiring with U.S. publishers beginning in late 2009 to increase the price of e-books in an effort to undercut the pricing established by then-dominant Amazon.com Inc. The publishers have settled with the government. Throughout closing arguments Thursday, Apple found itself fighting back against tough questioning by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. At one point on Thursday, Cote asked if it w

PREVIEW-NBA-Miami, San Antonio prepare for ultimate test

Image
One of the most turbulent championships in National Basketball Association (NBA) history will reach its climax on Thursday when the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs meet in the decisive seventh game of the Finals. Basketball fans in the United States have been whipped into a frenzy of excitement by what has already been a classic series full of wild fluctuations and escalating drama. The teams have raised their games to new heights, producing an extraordinary standard of play and athleticism which peaked with Miami's exhilarating overtime win on Tuesday that tied the series at 3-3. With everything on the line for Game Seven, the stakes could not be higher with millions of people around the world expected to tune in for Thursday's grand finale. "They're the best two words in team sports, 'Game Seven,'" said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.   "Our guys aren't looking for games that are less meaningful. We're looking for games that are more mea

LeBron dismisses critics in search of second title

Image
LeBron James, one win away from a second consecutive NBA title, is refusing to let relentless critics shift him from his goal of earning a place as one of the game's greatest. Despite a remarkable 12 months that has included a maiden NBA title with the Miami Heat, leading the U.S. to a second straight Olympic gold medal and winning a fourth league Most Valuable Player award, James still has his critics. Two costly turnovers late in regulation of Tuesday's Game Six of the NBA Finals versus the San Antonio Spurs would surely have been grist to the mill for critics who often question if James has the necessary fortitude in the biggest moments. Instead, James drained crucial baskets on either side of regulation as Miami rallied for an unlikely 103-100 overtime win that evened the best-of-seven NBA Finals at 3-3 with the decider set for Thursday in Miami.   Miami's All-Star forward finished the game with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Veteran NBA writer Steve Asch

Silverstone podium still a step too far for Button

Image
Jenson Button could not wait to get out of his mishandling McLaren after a miserable afternoon in Canada and now, less than two weeks later, he is impatient to step back in. British fans preparing for their annual home Grand Prix pilgrimage to Silverstone next week should not get their hopes up, however. Button, the 2009 world champion with Brawn GP, has never stood on the Formula One podium at his home circuit and does not expect to end the jinx this time either in what has been a shocking season for McLaren. The 33-year-old - winner of last season's Brazilian season-ender - has not finished higher than fifth in seven races but even so he is still excited to be back on home soil.   "I love racing, I love competing and I love jumping in an F1 car," he told British reporters on a midweek visit to Silverstone. "It was more the bouncing around at the last race," he added of his comments in Montreal about wanting to be out of the car. "It was painful, r

Gatlin says win over Bolt prelude to bigger things

Image
Olympic bronze medalist Justin Gatlin is not willing to call his surprising 100 meters victory over world record holder Usain Bolt a fluke. _0"> The American sprinter prefers to think of last month's triumph as the opening act of journey that will bring him and Bolt together again on a much larger stage later this year, he said on Wednesday.   "I would not consider it a fluke," the 2004 Olympic 100m gold medalist and London Games third-place finisher told a news conference ahead of Thursday's start of the U.S. championships in Des Moines, Iowa. "I would consider it a prelude to something better and greater. I want to have faster, greater competitions against him." The 31-year-old burst past Bolt in their Diamond League race in Rome last month and hung on for his first ever 100 meters victory over the Jamaican. Some have called the rare loss a blip in Bolt's preparations for August's world championships in Moscow, a race soon to be forg

Bruins' playoff run offers comfort to wounded city

Image
For all appearances it was business as usual on a sparkling Wednesday afternoon in Boston where the hometown Bruins prepared to host the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Across town, Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox were getting ready to host the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. On Boylston Street, tourists and locals - many sporting Bruins jerseys and Red Sox ball caps - were wrapping up their day before spending the evening watching their team of choice. It was just a little over two months ago on the same bustling street that two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including a young Bruins fan, leaving a city dazed and a nation stunned.   Although the scars remain, life is slowly returning to normal in Boston, the day-to-day hustle and bustle replacing fear and despair as a city reclaimed the streets left bloodied and empty following the killer blast. Certainly, there have been plenty of unexpected achievement

Serena Williams apologizes for rape case remark

Image
Serena Williams has apologized for comments she made in a forthcoming interview in which she appeared to assign blame to the 16-year-old victim in the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case for being drunk. _0"> The comments were reported in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine and stirred up U.S. media attention on Wednesday. "What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened," the women's world number one said in a statement on her website. "For someone to be raped, and at only 16, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved - that of the rape victim and of the accused. I am currently reaching out to the girl's family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. "What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful. I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.   "I have fought all of my career for women's equality, w

Yankees impressed with first look at LA's Puig

Image
The New York Yankees had a first-hand look at Cuban rookie sensation Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday and came away mightily impressed. "He hits the ball hard, I can tell you that. He's got a very good arm and he's aggressive," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after New York's 6-4 victory over the Dodgers in the afternoon portion of a day-night doubleheader.   "He's a good-looking young player." The 22-year-old Puig, who burst on the scene since being called up by the Dodgers in the beginning of the month, had two hits, including a single to center that he stretched into a double, and nearly threw out Thomas Neal at first on a single to right. Puig, who made his Major League Baseball debut on June 3, went 2-for-5 but saw his average dip seven points from his blistering .479 entering the game. An impressive combination of size, power and speed who signed with the Dodgers for seven years and $42 million, the native of Cienfueg

Hurdler Pearson to return from injury next week

Image
World and Olympic champion Sally Pearson will compete in her first 100 meters hurdles event since winning gold at last year's London Games when she races in the Czech Republic next week, Athletics Australia said on Thursday. _0"> The 26-year-old will compete in Ostrava next Thursday before taking part in the hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham on June 30, it said on its website (www.athletics.com.au). Pearson suffered a grade-one hamstring tear in a 4x100m relay at the Asian Grand Prix Athletic Championship in Sri Lanka last month after missing the domestic season with the same injury. The Queenslander will defend her world championship title in Moscow in August.   Compatriot and 2009 world discus champion Dani Samuels will join Pearson in Birmingham for her first competition since March when she suffered a foot injury. Samuels said she had learned from her failure to make the final eight in London. "The expectation around the Olympic Games is som

Shuffle leaves Blackhawks coach with winning hand

Coach Joel Quenneville shuffled his deck and came up with a winning hand as the Chicago Blackhawks' aces found their target in a wild 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday to level the Stanley Cup Final at two games each. After a 2-0 defensive showcase in Game Three, the two teams turned on the offensive style in Game Four, combining for 11 goals, just one shy of the previous three contests combined. Despite the offensive explosion and end-to-end action overtime was still needed for the third time in four games before Brent Seabrook unleashed a rocket from just inside the blueline that sailed past netminder Tuukka Rask and silenced the soldout crowd at the TD Garden. The pulsating best-of-seven series now shifts to Chicago for Game Five on Saturday. "I like shooting in that spot but to be honest, I was just trying to get it past the center man, their forward coming out and trying to block it," Seabrook told reporters. "(Patrick) Kane made a great play pu

Davis power surge continues, homers twice in win over Tigers

Image
Chris Davis continued his power surge by blasting a pair of home runs as the Baltimore Orioles bashed Detroit 13-3 on Wednesday. _0"> Davis launched a two-run blast in the fourth inning and another in the ninth to give him 26 homers on the season, the most in Major League Baseball. He finished with five RBIs as Baltimore punished the Tigers' pitching and also got three runs driven in from Adam Jones. The victory helped the Orioles (42-31) pull within 1 1/2 games of the American League East lead after first-placed Boston lost to Tampa Bay 6-2. Detroit (39-31) lead the AL Central by 3.5 games   In New York, Cuban rookie sensation Yasiel Puig blasted a home run to cap the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-0 win over the Yankees and help them earn a split in their doubleheader. After losing 6-4 in the opener between the teams, Los Angeles got six shutout innings from starter Chris Capuano and banged out 12 hits in the rematch. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and Hanley Ramirez

Toews on target and Blackhawks back on track

Image
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is what coaches like to call a "complete" ice hockey player. Defensively responsible, hard working, a leader and a playmaker, Toews has been all these things but mostly he is a goal scorer.   On Wednesday he did what the Blackhawks expect him to do and scored a second period goal against the Boston Bruins in a 6-5 overtime win that leveled the Stanley Cup Final at 2-2. Toews' was not the most important goal of the night but it could have been the most significant if it signals the long-awaited end to a dismal postseason scoring slump that was growing more-and-more worrying with each goal-less game. When Chicago won their last Stanley Cup in 2010, Toews finished with seven goals and 29 points in 22 games and earned the Conn Smythe trophy as the postseason's most valuable player. These playoffs, Toews, who tied for the team lead in goals scored during the regular season with 23, had counted just one goal, against the Detr

Murray out to crash Big Three's Wimbledon party

Image
There will be an unfamiliar whiff of British success in the air at Wimbledon this year when Andy Murray, and thousands of patriotic fans, will try to stop the party-pooping antics of champions Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal. Tennis's so called 'Big Three' have lorded over Wimbledon ever since Federer won the first of his record-equaling seven titles in 2003, slamming the door shut on any pretender who threatened to gatecrash their invitation-only, VIP party. Eleven months ago, however, Murray demonstrated that peering in from the outside year after year was no longer an option as he smashed the gilded cage the trio had built around themselves by winning an Olympic gold on the hallowed turf.   Murray's euphoric triumph at the All England Club, albeit at the London Games, offered a glimmer of hope that an end might finally be in sight for Britain's interminable wait for a home-grown men's champion at Wimbledon. That hope intensified tenfold whe

Williams has mental edge over rest at Wimbledon

Image
Serena Williams heads to Wimbledon to defend her title with seeds of doubt and defeatism already sown in the minds of her opponents. The psychological scars of playing the younger Williams sister run deep in the women's game and, now that the American has dusted off the red clay from her shoes, predictions of an upset on southwest London's luscious lawns are few and far between.   Having bludgeoned her way to a 16th grand slam and second title at Roland Garros, Williams can now tighten her grip still further on the sport she has come to dominate by claiming a fourth major in five attempts. It is little wonder then that Williams's rivals for the Wimbledon title can realistically be counted on one hand. Her opponent in the final at Roland Garros, Maria Sharapova, and Belarussian world number two Victoria Azarenka are the leading candidates to throw a spanner in the works. Confidence, however, is hardly overflowing. Sharapova was circumspect to say the least on enterin

Froome backed by balanced Team Sky on Tour de France

Image
Chris Froome will be backed by a balanced Team Sky as the Briton challenges for a maiden Tour de France title, the British outfit said on Thursday. _0"> Froome, the overwhelming favorite to succeed team mate and compatriot Bradley Wiggins as Tour winner, will rely on Australian Richie Porte, who has proven this season that he could even be an overall contender should anything happen to his team leader.   Wiggins was ruled out of selection for health reasons last month. "Richie's results this year have been fantastic," Team Sky coach Tim Kerrison told reporters earlier this week. "He's a very very good stage racer and a strong GC (general classification) contender." Froome, who is expected to have the upper hand in the time trials in the race which stars in Corsica on June 29, should be able to rely on a few big engines to set the tempo in the mountains. His allies include team pursuit Olympic champions Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas of Br

Messi summoned by judge in tax fraud case

Image
Argentina forward Lionel Messi and his father Jorge were ordered on Thursday to appear before a Barcelona court in September after Spanish prosecutors accused the pair of tax fraud. Earlier in the day, Spanish media reported that an examining magistrate had brought official charges against the Messis but a writ showed the two had been summoned to give evidence. The magistrate has accepted a complaint from the Catalonia tax crime prosecutor, who has accused Barcelona's World Player of the Year and his father of defrauding the Spanish tax office of more than 4 million euros ($5.4 million).   "The judge has accepted the complaint presented by the prosecutor against Lionel Messi and Jorge Horacio Messi for three alleged crimes against the tax authorities," a statement from the Barcelona court said. "The acceptance of the case is the next step after a complaint is presented. The court can start to investigate and reach a conclusion as to whether a crime has been co