Thursday, January 29, 2015

President Obama's call for the FCC to adopt fresh legislation

In the face of President Obama's call for the FCC to adopt fresh legislation to protect net neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has reminded the leader politely that the agency works for Congress, not the White House.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has found itself at the heart of a discussion on what is deemed net neutrality -- the principle of treating all Internet traffic the same way.
The US communications regulator is currently thrashing out a new set of net neutrality rules, but the current proposal would allow for telecommunications and broadband providers to charge content providers, such as Netflix, for priority Internet fast-lanes. If content providers refused to pay additional rates, theoretically, this could result in throttled speeds for US subscribers -- or ISPs which produce their own content could slow down rivals in a bid to promote their own services.
The proposal drew mass protest and a high volume of comments by the public, which resulted in the US watchdog delaying a change in regulations for now.
This week , President Obama came out in support of net neutrality, as he believes Internet services should be reclassified as a utility and something Americans have a right to. Therefore, Obama does not support any plans which would result in throttling, blocking or paid priority lanes of traffic.
Obama's statement read:
"The time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services."
 

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The Obama Administration has admitted that a cyberattacker was able to gain access to the US government's systems.
The US president added that the FCC should tighten net neutrality rules to include mobile broadband.
In support of Obama's speech, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said "the Internet must remain an open platform for free expression, innovation, and economic growth [and] we both oppose Internet fast lanes."
On Monday, Wheeler told executives from major Internet companies -- including Google and Yahoo -- that the agency is considering an approach which combines both Obama's proposals and also addresses concerns registered by ISPs -- but the route may not follow the US president's wishes.
As reported by The Washington Post, sources in attendance said Wheeler looked "visibly frustrated" as he told the executives:
"What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn't affect your business. What I've got to figure out is how to split the baby."
However, Wheeler felt it was necessary during the meeting to pointedly remind executives that the FCC was not beholden to the White House, and repeatedly said "I am an independent agency."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Netflix of magazines is not exactly moving forward

Millions of people are more than willing to pay for steady access to streaming content. Netflix counts 50 million subscribers to its online video library, and Spotify has 12.5 million listeners ponying up a monthly fee for a massive buffet of music. For magazines, however, the idea of paying a flat fee for unlimited access hasn't caught on.
The idea of banding together into a Netflix of magazines isn't untested, just unpopular. Several major magazine publishers joined forces in 2011 to launch Next Issue Media, a company that charges $15 per month for access to about 140 magazines, or $10 for a more limited selection. Even under the most optimistic assessment, the project has so far only been a decent proof of concept. “No one has heard of us,” acknowledges Morgan Guenther, the company’s chief executive officer. He puts the number of subscribers at "well into the hundreds of thousands."
But maybe 2015 will be different. Next Issue just raised $50 million from private equity firm KKR and is preparing for its first big marketing push. "It's the last great white space in streaming media,” says Guenther. “Everyone else has made the jump.” And starting today, there will be a second player vying for the virtual magazine market. Magzter, a startup that offers a newsstand of digital apps, is launching a competing service on Jan. 19 that offers access to 2,000 magazines—including Maxim, ESPN the Magazine, and Fast Company—although not to any of the 25 most popular magazines at U.S. newsstands.
Magzter, which will cost $10 per month, thinks it can gain traction where Next Issue hasn't by offering a larger selection of more obscure titles and by selling subscriptions internationally. Girish Ramdas, CEO of the company, says he's been trying to persuade publishers to participate in a Netflix-like service for several years. Most magazine executives have been wary about undercutting their ability to draw subscribers to their own apps, even though there are only three titles, Game InformerShape, and Star, with more than 200,000 app-based subscribers. 
Things changed last year, Ramdas says, because of the success of subscription services in other areas. “The economics of selling your own single copies are always better,” he says. “But the user adoption for that is much lower.” Of the 5,000 magazine publishers using Magzter's app as a way to sell standalone issues, only 2,000 have agreed to take part in the all-access subscription service. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it lost $712 million in the fourth quarter

English: "Fly Delta Air Lines" marker
English: "Fly Delta Air Lines" marker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it lost $712 million in the fourth quarter largely due to fuel hedge settlements, although the carrier topped analysts' estimates and offered positive outlook for the start of 2015.
The Atlanta-based carrier lost 86 cents per diluted share, including a $1.2 billion charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges, which Delta had announced. Delta also said its refinery produced $105 million in profit.
The airline earned $649 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, excluding special items, compared with the average analyst estimate of 77 cents per diluted share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Wall Street estimates excluded special charges.
Passenger revenue grew 4.6 percent to about $8.24 billion versus the fourth quarter of 2013, with unit revenue up 0.8 percent.
Although Delta had to pay a hefty premium because its hedges had not bet on oil prices falling, the cascading cost of fuel has been a boon to airlines, including Delta. The carrier said Tuesday it expects to pay between $2.45 to $2.50 per gallon for jet fuel in the first quarter, down from an average $2.62 in the past three months.
Delta has said a 1 cent change in its fuel price is worth $40 million for the carrier.
"It's painting a very positive outlook for the industry for 2015," said CRT Capital Group analyst Michael Derchin.
Delta also forecast an operating margin of 11 percent to 13 percent for the first quarter, with cost per available seat mile expected to be flat or rise up to 2 percent year over year, excluding fuel expenses and profit sharing.
Derchin is looking for the carrier to give an outlook on its system capacity for the current quarter, which it estimated to rise about 5 percent year over year, or about 3 percent, excluding the impact of 2014 winter storms.
Delta executives will discuss the results and answer questions during a conference call Tuesday scheduled for 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).

Shares rose about 0.4 percent to $47.40 in premarket trading.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co plan to cut thousands of jobs

Baker Hughes
Baker Hughes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Oilfield service providers Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co plan to cut thousands of jobs as drilling activity slows further due to a steep fall in crude oil prices.
Global oil prices have tumbled almost 60 percent since June, hitting five-year lows as growing production and tepid global demand has caused a supply glut and prompted oil producers to scale back spending.
"We expect our headcount adjustments to be in line with our primary competitors," Halliburton's Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Miller said on a post-earnings call on Tuesday, without giving a specific number.
The company, which employees more than 80,000 people, said it cut 1,000 jobs in its operations in the eastern hemisphere in the fourth quarter.
Baker Hughes, which is being acquired by Halliburton in a near-$35 billion deal, said earlier in the day it would lay off 7,000 employees.
Shares of Halliburton and Baker Hughes were down about 2 percent in morning trading, reversing earlier gains after the companies posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results due to resilient demand.
The job cuts, which come days after industry leaderSchlumberger NV said it would cut 9,000 jobs, underscore the abrupt slowdown in drilling activity seen in the past two months.
The U.S. land rig count has fallen by 250 rigs, or about 15 percent, over the last 60 days, Halliburton Chief Executive Dave Lesar said on the call.
Halliburton and Baker Hughes derive about half of their revenue from North America, a region they expect to fare worse than the rest of the world in the oil slump.
Baker Hughes said most of the workforce reduction would take place in the first quarter, when it expects to book a one-time severance charge of $160 million to $185 million.
The company, which had 61,100 employees as of Sept. 30, said it was also considering closing facilities.
Halliburton, said it took a $129 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 to "temper the impact of anticipated activity declines".
Lesar said Halliburton was committed to closing its deal with Baker Hughes, adding that the transaction was "more compelling" now than when it was announced in November.
In response to Schlumberger's assertion that the company could gain market share as Halliburton and Baker Hughes integrate their operations, Lesar said the company would not "get distracted".

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Online specialty foods at eComBizcenter

bizcentereComBizCenter online shopping with 16,540 online specialty foods products from CanAmShop!

CanAmShop.com is not the biggest competitor in online shopping world however it really does have one of the most extensive product selections around in the grocery/gourmet specialty foods website category. Other sites offer their products but CanAmShop’s pricing is extremely competitive and hard to beat. Shipping is not free and sales don’t exist, the best you might see is a $5.00 courtesy coupon saying thanks for shopping here.
Some of CanAmShop’s categories are Allergy Free, Baking Pans, Tools, Bags, Totes, Baking Essentials, Breakfast Foods, Condiments, Drinks, Eco-Home, For Baby, Pets, dog treats, Fruits, Vegetables, Gift, Ideas, Grains, Beans, Sides, Health, Beauty, Meal Ideas, Paper, Disposable, Snacks, Soups, Bouillon, Teas, Vitamins, Supplements, organic, natural products.
CanAmShop for online shopping for organic, natural, green products spanning 775 brands in over 125 product categories totaling 16,450 products for shipping in the US and Canada or worldwide. No order is too small!
All orders for U.S. and Canada are filled from our distribution center on west coast in Seattle, Washington U.S.A.
CanAmShop.com website is easy to navigate and simple in design. A simple search can bring you dozens of results for different versions of the same products and a few related items. Using the advanced search feature, you can go as specific as the publisher, subject, binding type or ISBN number. Browsing the site is just as easy. Simply choose the department you want to shop in and then slim down options until the items you want to purchase come up.
Search and browsing results can be organized by price, best-selling, customer reviews and more. These features make it easy to navigate through the thousands of product listings on the site without getting lost on the way.
Once on the product pages, you can read reviews, product specs, summary, professional reviews, any sales related to the product, and see similar products. On many items, additional pictures and pages from inside the product are available for your review. You can then choose to add the item to your wish list.
When it comes to purchasing, CanAmShop.com makes it easy to evaluate a product and shipping costs along with the condition of the item they are selling. Once items are in the cart, they are easy to delete or save for a latter purchase.
After using the site for a while, you will soon start to see personalized recommendations and product suggestions based on items you previously bought and browsed.
CanAmShop.com has really no shipping options available and all priced by weight (dimensional pricing could affect the price). Standard shipping usually takes around a week. Expedited shipments usually arrive within 3 days and one or two day items sold directly from CanAmShop are available on request and almost always arrive within the timeframe seen of the shipping page. International shipping is available on most items for an additional fee. Tracking is available on all items.
CanAmShop.com does not gift wrap your purchases.
The company will accept most credit cards. You can also pay via a direct bank transfer or an e-check and through PayPal.
The secure checkout process makes it easy to pay with a gift card or using a promo code as well.
Payments can be made over the phone or money order.
CanAmShop.com offers excellent customer support and offers phone and email support.
The site’s return policy varies depending on your purchase. In all cases, any defective, undelivered or improperly described products fall under CanAmShop.com A-to-Z Guarantee and can be returned within 30 days.
Items that were purchased and returned for a reason that is not the fault of the seller may be subject to a restocking fee and may have shipping costs deducted from the return.
You can also find CanAmShop products at fine sites eCombizBizCenter, ShopBC and eComBizCenter.shophead2

Friday, January 23, 2015

JPMorgan Chase & Co are pressuring managers across the bank to cut costs,

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Dallas)
JPMorgan Chase Tower (Dallas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Senior executives at JPMorgan Chase Co (JPM.N) are pressuring managers across the bank to cut costs, after disappointing revenue growth has hurt profits, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
The bank might implement specific expense goals for businesses, the source told Reuters, adding, "Everyone is having to give at the office on this." JPMorgan said it expects to disclose more about its cost-cutting efforts on Feb. 24, when it hosts its investor day.
On Wednesday, JPMorgan posted a 3 percent decline in revenue, but only a 1 percent decline in non-interest expense, resulting in its overall income dropping by 7 percent. Those results were disappointing enough to investors to pull the company's shares down 3.45 percent.
Even excluding $1.1 billion of legal expenses the bank recorded in the quarter, it spent 61 percent of its revenue on expenses, a ratio known as its "efficiency ratio." For all of 2014 expenses were 60 percent of revenue, compared with 59 percent in 2013.
Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said in a conference call with analysts to discuss the results that the company expects expenses to be only 55 percent of revenue over the medium term.
JPMorgan's trouble with expenses raises questions about its size, at a time when regulators are creating harsher rules for the biggest U.S. banks, and some analysts are wondering whether big banks should be broken up.
"The last three years JPMorgan's efficiency has stalled out," said analyst Mike Mayo of CLSA. "Investors might be OK with JPMorgan's size it if can show the benefits. If they can't, then let's talk about shrinkage and breakup."
JPMorgan executives said on Wednesday that they just need more time. The bank has met its targets for cost savings in absolute dollar terms, but those have not been enough to stay ahead of falling revenues. CFO Lake said the company would see its cost-cutting efforts pay off in 2016 and 2017 and she promised to give details on Feb. 24.
Big banks benefit from their size because different businesses can share some expenses, such as human resources. But being large can result in inefficiencies and higher capital requirements under U.S. rules.
Bank executives have said that JPMorgan has not generated the revenue growth they expected after low interest rates have cut into the profit they can earn on loans and other assets. The bank's return on tangible common equity, a measure of how much profit it can wring from shareholder funds, was 13 percent in 2014, short of the bank's target of around 15 percent.
Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has lamented to colleagues that some of its recent spending on complying with new rules was inefficient as the bank had to hire outside firms to do the work quickly, said another person who is familiar with the matter. With time, the bank expects to find more efficient ways to maintain the new control systems.
An analyst on a conference call on Wednesday asked about breaking up JPMorgan, an idea mentioned in a recent report by Goldman Sachs analysts.

Dimon responded that having a wide array of businesses helps cushion the bank against difficulties in any particular sector.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Billions in bills for Europe's banks!

Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays may have to pay some of the biggest bills from an estimated $52 billion in fines and other litigation costs facing Europe's banks in the next two years, Morgan Stanley analysts said.
U.S. and European banks have paid $230 billion in litigation costs since 2009 and could pay out another $70 billion by the end of 2016, mostly from the 20 largest European banks, they said in a research note on Tuesday.
European banks have paid out about $104 billion so far and the $52 billion they still have to pay, much of it related to foreign exchange trading and U.S. mortgage mis-selling, could restrain how much they pay in dividends, the analysts said.
The fines and compensation in the last five years are related to practices that include alleged manipulation of benchmark interest rates and mis-selling of mortgages in the United States and insurance in Britain.
Regulators fined six banks $4.3 billion in November after traders tried to manipulate foreign exchange markets.
"FX settlements underscore (the) need to prove culture and business models are transformed before returns and payouts can rise," analyst Huw van Steenis said in a note.
RBS, majority owned by the UK government, will have to pay another $10.6 billion on top of the $12.6 billion already paid or provisioned for, Morgan Stanley estimated.
The analysts predicted Barclays could have to pay another $8.3 billion, HSBC $7.7 billion, Lloyds $6.1 billion and Germany's Deutsche Bank $5.1 billion.
They estimated that future litigation costs for European banks would include $7.5 billion related to alleged foreign exchange rigging, $6.5 billion from interest rate benchmarks Libor and Euribor and $9.4 billion related to U.S. mortgages.

U.S. banks are more advanced in their litigation payouts, the analysts said. Five major U.S. banks have paid out $128 billion and are forecast to incur another $18 billion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yellowstone National Park

Throughout decades of admiration by millions at Yellowstone National Park, researchers now say that tourists may be a contributing factor to the visible rainbow-effect of the famed hot springs.
Researchers have formed a model that depicts the colors of the famous hot springs dating back to the 1800s when the area was seldom visited. As Yellowstone grew in popularity and tourists began flocking to the park, certain behaviors changed the makeup of the natural springs.
Starting in the 1940s, colors began to change according to Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
"An accumulation of coins, trash and rocks over the intervening decades has partially obscured the underwater vent," researchers wrote.
The Morning Glory Pool at Yellowstone National Park draws visitors in every year to wonder at the colorful sight. (Photo/Joseph Shaw, Montana State University) © Provided by AccuWeather The Morning Glory Pool at Yellowstone National Park draws visitors in every year to wonder at the colorful sight. (Photo/Joseph Shaw, Montana State University)
The addition of outside material lowered the springs' temperature, which altered the natural color.
For decades, tourists have tossed coins into the springs as a luck-fulfilling act. Combined with trash and other debris, such objects have turned spring appearances more colorful.
As tourist traffic increased, researchers linked the fall in pool temperatures to the rise of visitors.
Yellowstone visitation numbers dramatically increased in the late 1940s to near 1 million annual visitors. From then, the influx steadily inclined, surpassing the 3-million mark in 1992.
For the renowned Morning Glory Pool, one of the park's most celebrated hot springs, researchers found that colors have shifted from a deep, uniform blue in the 1800s to a current blend of orange and yellow infusing in the water.
Researchers were able to use light technology to fashion a model that simulated temperature and color changes in pools to reproduce the optical characteristics of the hot springs. Temperatures were notable higher before the 1940s when visitor numbers were lower.

new information-sharing agreement between Canada and the United States

American Logo for American-Canadians
American Logo for American-Canadians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A B.C. MP is warning people about a new information-sharing agreement between Canada and the United States that could put travellers who regularly spend a lot of time in the U.S. at risk of significant consequences.
The Entry Exit Initiative allows officials to track how many days Canadians have spent in the U.S. Prior to the agreement, the country could only track entry dates, not exit dates.
"We were specially wanting to alert people that this could potentially be a problem for them if they were being careless about their travel," said Gail Hunnisett, constituency assistant for Alex Atamanenko, MP for B.C. Southern Interior.
'Anyone who travels to the U.S. regularly should keep a log and make sure they're accurate if they're asked to substantiate their time across the border.'— Gail Hunnisett, constituency assistant for Alex Atamanenko, MP for B.C. Southern Interior
Hunnisett said she's been fielding a lot of calls since Atamanenko's office put out the information.
She said a common misconception is that Canadians regularly travelling to the U.S. for long stays can spend up to 182 days, or six months, in the U.S without being considered a resident for tax purposes.
Hunnisett said that for people travelling to the U.S. for long stays year after year, it's actually 120 days, or four months, averaged using a special formula over a period of three years.
"The total number of days spent in the current travel year is added to 1/3 the total number of days spent in the previous year, and 1/6 the number of days spent in the year prior to that," according to Atamanenko's website.
The total number of days includes all trips to the U.S. in a single year, said Hunnisett.
Hunnisett said Canadians spending more than 120 days in the U.S for three years or more in a row can extend their stay limit to 182 days and avoid being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes by filling out a Closer Connection Exception Statement form detailing their close ties to Canada annually.
Canadians who overstay their welcome in the U.S. are at risk of:
  • Being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes and having to pay taxes on worldwide income.
  • Losing their Canadian residency for tax purposes and their health care.
  • Being deemed illegally resident in the U.S. and being banned from the country for three to 10 years.
"Anyone who travels to the U.S. regularly should keep a log and make sure they're accurate if they're asked to substantiate their time across the border," said Hunnisett.
She said the rules of length of stay haven't changed, only the information that can be shared between borders.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CanAmShop

shophead2
CanAmShop.com is not the biggest competitor in online shopping world however it really does have one of the most extensive product selections around in the grocery/gourmet specialty foods website category. Other sites offer their products but CanAmShop’s pricing is extremely competitive and hard to beat. Shipping is not free and sales don’t exist, the best you might see is a $5.00 courtesy coupon saying thanks for shopping here.
Some of CanAmShop’s categories are Allergy Free, Baking Pans, Tools, Bags, Totes, Baking Essentials, Breakfast Foods, Condiments, Drinks, Eco-Home, For Baby, Pets, dog treats, Fruits, Vegetables, Gift, Ideas, Grains, Beans, Sides, Health, Beauty, Meal Ideas, Paper, Disposable, Snacks, Soups, Bouillon, Teas, Vitamins, Supplements, organic, natural products.
CanAmShop for online shopping for organic, natural, green products spanning 775 brands in over 125 product categories totaling 16,450 products for shipping in the US and Canada or worldwide. No order is too small!
All orders for U.S. and Canada are filled from our distribution center on west coast in Seattle, Washington U.S.A.
CanAmShop.com website is easy to navigate and simple in design. A simple search can bring you dozens of results for different versions of the same products and a few related items. Using the advanced search feature, you can go as specific as the publisher, subject, binding type or ISBN number. Browsing the site is just as easy. Simply choose the department you want to shop in and then slim down options until the items you want to purchase come up.
Search and browsing results can be organized by price, best-selling, customer reviews and more. These features make it easy to navigate through the thousands of product listings on the site without getting lost on the way.
Once on the product pages, you can read reviews, product specs, summary, professional reviews, any sales related to the product, and see similar products. On many items, additional pictures and pages from inside the product are available for your review. You can then choose to add the item to your wish list.
When it comes to purchasing, CanAmShop.com makes it easy to evaluate a product and shipping costs along with the condition of the item they are selling. Once items are in the cart, they are easy to delete or save for a latter purchase.
After using the site for a while, you will soon start to see personalized recommendations and product suggestions based on items you previously bought and browsed.
CanAmShop.com has really no shipping options available and all priced by weight (dimensional pricing could affect the price). Standard shipping usually takes around a week. Expedited shipments usually arrive within 3 days and one or two day items sold directly from CanAmShop are available on request and almost always arrive within the timeframe seen of the shipping page. International shipping is available on most items for an additional fee. Tracking is available on all items.
CanAmShop.com does not gift wrap your purchases.
The company will accept most credit cards. You can also pay via a direct bank transfer or an e-check and through PayPal.
The secure checkout process makes it easy to pay with a gift card or using a promo code as well.
Payments can be made over the phone or money order.
CanAmShop.com offers excellent customer support and offers phone and email support.
The site’s return policy varies depending on your purchase. In all cases, any defective, undelivered or improperly described products fall under CanAmShop.com A-to-Z Guarantee and can be returned within 30 days.
Items that were purchased and returned for a reason that is not the fault of the seller may be subject to a restocking fee and may have shipping costs deducted from the return.
You can also find CanAmShop products at fine sites eCombiz, BizCenter, ShopBC and eComBizCenter.canshoplogo