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Obama signs Safe Web Act into law, extends FTC power to combat online scam artists

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/04/obama-signs-safe-web-act-online-scammer/

Obama signs Safe Web Act into law, extends FTC power to combat online scam artists

See that guy? The one in the bubble? He’s probably up to no good. Thanks to President Obama, however, he’s going to have a much harder time duping innocent young ladies like the one also shown here. Per The Hill, the POTUS has just signed into law the Safe Web Act, which extends the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to “clamp down on Internet fraud and online scammers based abroad.” In simpler terms, it enables the entity to share data about “cross-border online fraud with foreign law enforcement authorities” through September of 2020. According to an unnamed official within the FTC, the existing edition of this act has allowed it to conduct over 100 investigations into cross-border fraud and scam, but it’s unclear how much crime was stopped and how many people were needlessly annoyed. We kid, we kid.

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Via: The Next Web

Source: The Hill

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

‘If We Published Patents, It Would Be Farcical’

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-patents-2012-11

elon musk

The patent system has been getting a lot of heat lately, especially with the high-profile fight between Apple and Samsung.

Superhero entrepreneur Elon Musk just avoids patents altogether with his high-tech space venture SpaceX

You would think you’d want to protect your intellectual property when you’re building complicated things like spaceships and innovating new technologies daily.

But Musk’s decision actually makes total sense. Why is that? Musk explains in a recent interview with Chris Anderson at Wired:

We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China,” said Musk in the interview. “If we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.”

There are plenty of big holes in patent law — especially international patent law. And in some cases, they’re totally bypassed anyway.

Thus, Musk’s only option is to go with the trade secret route. That should end up working for a company like SpaceX, but as patent fights ramp up, something has to be done.

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Friday, November 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s What 8 Economic Cycle Theories Are Saying About The World Right Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/economic-cycle-theories-2012-10

joseph schumpeter

Economic and market phenomena occur in cycles.

The basic business cycle can be loosely defined a series of economic expansions and contractions.

But how long are these cycles and how can they be applied?

We compiled eight “cycle” theories that tell us varying things about where markets and the economy are going.

Some have been around for decades, others are fairly new.

One is even based on sun spots.

The Kondratiev Cycle

Creator: Nikolai Kondratiev (1892-1938)

Duration: 50-60 years

Theory: Economic growth in capitalist countries comes in long waves and are determined by technological innovations.

What it predicts: Prices, interest rates, foreign trade, coal, pig iron production

Where we are now: The Kondtratiev cycle indicates we’re in a blank period and at least 30 years away from the next economic expansion period.

Source: Andrey V. Korotayev

The Schumpeter Cycle

Creator: Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950)

Duration: 50-60 years

Theory: Shumpeter cycles actually revolve around periodic clusters of innovation”

What it predicts: Global economic paradigms

Where we are now: Schumpeter’s cycle says we’re on the ! downswin g from the most recent innovation cluster.

Source: Andrey V. Korotayev

The Kitchin Cycle

Creator: Joseph Kitchin (1861-1932)

Duration: 40 months

Theory: The market gets ‘flooded’ with commodities as growth accelerates. When demand declines, prices drop and the produced commodities get accumulated in inventories. But there is a delay between this and when entrepreneurs must reduce output.

What it predicts: Demand, prices, output

Where we are now: The Kitchin cycle indicates prices are in an upswing period, according toTimingSolution.com. 

Source: Andrey V. Korotayev

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5940032/how-yelp-scores-make-or-break-restaurants

How Yelp Scores Make or Break RestaurantsSmart diners rely on restaurant reviews to find good food. But a new study investigates for the first time the complex relationships between online ratings and real-world success—and reveals that losing just half a star can leave a restaurant in ruin.

The Guardian reports that a team of economists from the University of California, Berkeley, has investigated how 300 restaurants in San Francisco perform, and cross-referenced the results with star ratings from Yelp.com to understand how reviews affect success.

They found that an extra half-star caused a restaurant’s 7pm bookings to fill up 20 percent more often. Interestingly, they also managed to disentangle those changes in trade from price differences, food quality and service, suggesting that it was the reviews alone that brought in custom. Writing in the Economic Journal, the economists explain:

“The findings of this study demonstrate that – although social media sites and forums may not generate the financial returns for which investors yearn – they play an increasingly important role in how consumers judge the quality of goods and services.”

The research does, however, suggest that some restauranteurs shouldn’t be too happy with Yelp’s calculations. The researchers point out that when Yelp.com computes a star rating for a business, it it rounds off to the nearest half-star. That means that a restaurant with a 3.74 rating shows up as a 3.5-star venue, while an establishment with an almost-identical 3.76 score appears to have a 4-star rating.

Given the financial impact such ratings have, according to the economists, there’s never been more incentive for restaurants to rig reviews. In the meantime, though, the research also suggests that star ratings might not the best predictor of how great your plate of food turns out—so it might be best to take them with a pinch of salt. [The Economic Journal via The Guardian]

Image by Olly/Shutterstock

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Monday, September 3rd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Apple v. Samsung jury finds Apple’s patents valid, awards it nearly $1.05 billion in damages

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/24/apple-v-samsung-decision/

The federal court jury in the patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung has presented its verdict after deliberating for just 21 hours and 37 minutes following the three week trial. This particular case started with Apple’s lawsuit last April and now the jury’s decision is that Samsung did infringe on Apple’s ‘381 bounceback patent with all 21 of its products in question. For the ‘915 patent on pinch-and-zoom, the jury ruled all but three of the devices listed infringed, and more damningly, found that Samsung executives either knew or should have known their products infringed on the listed patents. The jury has also found against Samsung when it comes to Apple’s contours on the back of the iPhone and its home screen GUI. The Galaxy Tab, was found not to have infringed upon Apple’s iPad design patents. The bad news for Samsung continued however, as the jury decided that not only did it willfully infringe on five of the seven Apple patents, but also upheld their validity when it came to utility, design and trade dress.

The amount of the damages against Samsung is in: $1,051,855,000.00 (see below). That’s less than half of the $2.5 billion it was seeking, but still more than enough to put an exclamation point on this victory for the team from Cupertino. The final number is $1,049,343,540, after the judge found an issue with how the jury applied damages for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE and Intercept. The jury also ruled that Apple did not infringe upon Samsung’s patents with the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and has awarded it zero dollars in damage. We’ll have more information for you as it become available.

Update: Both companies have released statements on the matter, with Apple stating via the New York Times the ruling sends a loud and clear message that “stealing isn’t right.” Samsung has its own viewpoint calling this “a loss for the American consumer” that will lead to fewer choices, less innovation and high prices. You can see both in their entirety after the break.

Continue reading Apple v. Samsung jury finds Apple’s patents valid, awards it nearly $1.05 billion in damages

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Apple v. Samsung jury finds Apple’s patents valid, awards it nearly $1.05 billion in damages originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Aug 2012 18:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saturday, August 25th, 2012 news No Comments

Knight Capital’s Clients Are Completely Abandoning Them (KCG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/traders-knight-capitals-clients-have-completely-abandoned-them-2012-8

Volatile Trading Nanex

Knight Capital’s clients have completely flown the coop after a software error in the company’s trading software caused the company to stomach $440 million in losses, according to three different traders consulted by Business Insider.

Wall Street institutions large and small no longer feel comfortable using the market making firm to execute their trades in the wake of the snafu, essentially cutting of its business.

An equities trader explained that Knight was the “last place” he would go to execute a trade. Others expressed befuddlement and the firm’s inability to rectify the trading error for a full 45 minutes.

Wall Streeters’ abandonment of the firm bodes ill for the company’s ability to recoup losses. In May, the company had a daily trading volume of about $21 billion.

Shares of Knight Capital Group fell 63 percent during trading yesterday, and many predict the firm will go under without outside aid.

NOW READ: 10 Technical SNAFUS That Have Wreaked Havoc With The Markets >

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Friday, August 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Boutique Fashion Brokers Make Virtual Trade Show Platform

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5923780/boutique-fashion-brokers-pioneers-the-virtual-trade+show-platform

 

In the age of e-commerce and business meetings held over Skype, the travel and lodging expenses of attending a trade show are increasingly difficult to justify. And If you’re an emerging independent designer or the owner of a fashion boutique anywhere other than LA or NYC, scouting for new items and securing the right connections to get your product seen by the right people can be cost prohibitive.

Kassondra Dyebo, CEO and managing director of Boutique Fashion Brokers, believes there’s a better way.

BFB is a “B2B membership-only community, created for up-and-coming fashion brands and boutiques to discover and do business with one another through their own private virtual showrooms.”

Dyebo first conceived of the idea for BFB while working as a buyer in Montreal and attending trade shows herself. They’re huge, tiring, overwhelming conventions that require much schlepping and stamina. And BFB, which launched in February of this year, is the trade show’s efficient opposite.

With a low-fee membership, boutique buyers are able to browse BFB’s online inventory, which is navigable by all manner of categories and sub-categories, and can be added to a multi-branded line-sheet, from which to request samples. While designers can use the platform to host their own virtual showroom, where they can showcase their collection(s), look-book(s), and press.

Two things that Dyebo believes make BFB a valuable resource are the premium placed on member privacy (buyers have no way of knowing with whom they are in direct competition, and designers only know who browses their wares once an item has been placed on a “Watch” list or a sample has been requested), and the user-friendly features in place to meet all their members’ needs (BFB’s system allows them to keep track of sales, orders, and shipments, as well as all pending and completed transactions).

Dyebo doesn’t believe the day of the old-school trade show is over, only that—at least in some industries—there is an opportunity online to improve the entire experience. “What inspired me,” she says, “was the fact that I couldn’t travel to all the tradeshows and scout out all the talent around the world.” Problem, solved.

Thanks, Kassondra!

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Friday, July 6th, 2012 digital No Comments

The World’s Biggest Consumer Goods Company Shows That Growth In Developed Markets Is Tanking (PG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-developed-market-growth-for-proctor-and-gamble-2012-6

Proctor and Gamble unexpectedly cut guidance this morning, sending shares down in pre-market trade.

In a statement, Procter said “the revisions to the Company’s fourth quarter outlook are primarily driven by slower than anticipated top-line growth from slower than expected market growth rates and market share softness in developed regions and negative impacts from foreign exchange rate changes.”

Translation: high unemployment coupled with slow-to-no GDP growth in developed markets are destroying the top line.

At a Deutsche Bank panel today, Procter plans to show this slide that sums it up pretty nicely.

Procter & Gamble Guidance

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882869/even-after-shutting-down-limewire-cant-catch-a-break

Even After Shutting Down, LimeWire Can't Catch a BreakLimeWire has been kaput as a file-sharing service since October but that hasn’t stopped its legal woes. Now, after settling with the RIAA to the tune of $105 million, the MPAA and a host of indie music labels have filed lawsuits against the company as well. Talk about beating a dead horse.

Six studios—Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, Comedy Partners, Disney, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Brothers—have filed suit, citing the court’s summary judgement in the RIAA case as basis for their claims. In that case, the court concluded that LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement.” Now, the court will have to decide LimeWire’s culpability in the illicit trade of movies and TV shows as well.

In addition, a group of independent record labels are arguing that, because of the same summary judgement, that they too are owed $105 million. There’s no word yet on how much the MPAA is asking for in damages, but if its anything near what it enjoy threatening the common user with, LimeWire’s going to need to find some deeper pockets. [Hollywood Reporter via Techdirt]

Image: Pakhnyushcha / Shutterstock

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

One Of The Most Impressive Cases Of Efficiency Growth We’ve Ever Seen

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-one-of-the-most-impressive-cases-of-efficiency-growth-weve-ever-seen-2012-1

Airlines don’t deserve credit for much — they’re notoriously loss-making, bankruptcy-prone, and customer-aggravating.

But with oil prices elevated for much of the past decade, they have done a great job battling the need for more fuel.

The below chart shows the massive divergence over the past decade between traffic growth (as measured by passenger miles) and jet fuel demand.

Says Barclays

According to Airbus and CERA, although cumulative growth in air traffic has totaled roughly 45% since 2000, fuel consumed by the global fleet of aircraft is up less than 5% over the same period, as airlines have accelerated aircraft parking/retirements of older airplane models and ordered newer more efficient replacements at a record pace. Greater efficiency (i.e. load factors) and fleet renewal are at the heart of an airline’s competitiveness in a world where fuel is now an airline’s largest single operating cost; this became the case mid-last-decade for the first time since the late 1970’s US deregulation.

chart of the day, jet traffic vs. fuel consumption, jan 17 2012

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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