Apple revises fourth quarter revenue expectations higher

Business | admin
The company has announced that it expects its Q4 revenue to be near the high end of its original estimate.

Verizon accused of violating FCC rules by blocking Nexus 7 from its 4G LTE network

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Surprise, surprise: Verizon is being accused of ignoring the Federal Communications Commission's rules on what it can do with its spectrum.

New report suggests iPad 5 and Retina iPad mini could get fingerprint scanners

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Apple is widely expected to unveil two brand new iPad tablets next month, and they may pack a surprise.

The government is about to put JP Morgan through the wringer like you've never seen before

Business | admin
'Washington was growing tired of JP Morgan'

Yahoo paid $750 million for Tumblr's 'intangible' assets

Business | admin
'The business was bleeding cash before Yahoo stepped in'

Marissa Mayer finally got rid of Yahoo's horrible logo

Business | admin
'What's the new one look like?'

Goldman: the sequester is hitting private jobs harder than federal jobs

Business | admin
What happened?

Why a new breed of young professionals is now flocking to downtown Detroit

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Detroit's just went bankrupt. Its schools are dismal. And its crime rate, while declining, is still scary. We recently made a case for why you should ignore all that and instead focus on the things Detroit has going for it. But we wanted to dig deeper. So we called up some folks who recently moved to downtown Detroit and asked them to explain their decision, which until recently many might have said was crazy. They ended up all offering  the same basic rationale: they wanted to live in what is by many measures the cheapest big city in the country. Here, for example, are the values some of our interviewees paid for their homes. 5,500 sq. ft. — $148,000, Indian Village neighborhood 4,000 sq. ft. — $65,000, Indian Village ~3,000 sq. ft. — $94,000, Woodbridge neighborhood The last figure belongs to lawyers Tifani and Brian Sadek, who moved from Chicago to the Woodbridge neighborhood just north of downtown 10 months ago. Mortgage insurance and taxes are quarter of what we paid in Chicago,” Brian said. “And we still have access to world class museums, major sports, downtown events. For Jeremy Brown and his wife, moving to Detroit came down to a dream — literally. One day in November 2011, she had a random dream about Detroit.” he said. “I’d never even thought about it, never been to Detroit. I did a day of research and was like, ‘Yeah, that sounds good to me.’ I put Detroit weather in my phone, checked that everyday. Everyone told us we were crazy. But they desired similar things as the Sadeks, and the decision was made. "We wanted to be in an urban environment, but at the same time have two dogs and two cats," he said. "We wanted to find way to have space without being forced into the suburbs — it would take several years before we'd be able to buy something — maybe never. Instead, the couple, who work in real estate, just closed on the 4,000 sq. ft. home. Almost everyone we spoke with credited Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert investments (who is arguably more famous for owning the Cleveland Cavaliers) with driving Detroit’s commercial revival. We’ve written about his initiative before — as have most others — but to hear folks on the ground discuss it gives it new meaning. "He doesn't just buy buildings, he fills them with companies and workers - over 10,000 workers and 71 companies to date," Tifani said in a follow-up email. "He financially supports cultural events that not only entertain those of us who live in the city but that also bring people from outside of Detroit. He encourages his employees to spend time in the city. He makes downtown "cool" and welcoming to Detroiters and visitors alike. Life in downtown Detroit is not perfect, and the problems are unique and sometimes harrowing. Brown says there is a major market for scrap metal, and thieves are aggressive about stripping as much as they can. People are trying to make ends meet by getting $5 or $10 of scrap, and they’re causing $5,000 in damage,” he said. “It’s happening all over the place. That's really hurt.” Jeff Winkler, a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, says he and his family have gone months at a time without functioning streetlights, and occasionally have had to pay extra to get their streets plowed.  There’s also the class division issue, which everyone we spoke with said they were fully aware of. "One of the big problems with Detroit is an us-versus-them mentality,” said Ryan Southen, a 27-year-old photographer who moved to the city last year. “The city has had it for decades. There’s always going to be a little bit of friction, and one thing the city needs to do to move forward is not neglect people who who have been here for new development." But to a person, everyone is committed to their decision — not only to sticking around, but raising a family too. "My son just turned 5, and it’s exposed to him more in 5 years than me in my first 20 years,” Winkler said. “He’s been in downtown Detroit more in his first years here than I have in my whole life. I grew up in small town where there wasn't much diversity — to him, he doesn’t know any better. The goal is to get him involved and do things for charity, get him involved with people who aren’t as fortunate. It’s an opportunity for him to learn a lot."SEE ALSO: Why Houston Is The Best City In America Join the conversation about this story »    

Fukushima Nuke Plant Has Been Leaking Contaminated Water Into The Ocean For Two Years

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The problem stems from the fact that ground water is leaking into the basement of the damaged reactors, and becoming contaminated

Sushi Chef Creates Edible QR Codes To End 'Fish Fraud' In California Restaurants

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Beneath the deep purple cuts of healthy tuna and the smell of fresh wasabi, there lies a sushi underbelly in America that will make your stomach turn.

Microsoft Plans Dramatic Re-Organization (MSFT)

Tech | admin
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is working on a plan to re-organize the company's management structure, All Things D's Kara Swisher reports. The restructuring is supposed to turn Microsoft into a "devices and services company," a phrase Ballmer first mentioned in a shareholder letter last fall. Swisher's sources tell her that the big winners of the Microsoft re-org will be Tony Bates, the Skype boss, Satya Nadella, president of the Servers and Tools division, and Don Mattrick, who runs the Interactive Entertainment division, best known for producing the Xbox. Why is Microsoft doing this? Check out the company's stock price for the last decade plus: Here is Ballmer's shareholder letter from last fall: TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS, CUSTOMERS, PARTNERS AND EMPLOYEES: Last year was a big year — we delivered strong results, launched fantastic new products and services, and positioned Microsoft for an incredible future. For fiscal year 2012, revenue grew to a record $73.7 billion. We also maintained strong cost discipline resulting in cash flow from operations of $31.6 billion, an increase of 17 percent from the prior year. In addition, we returned $10.7 billion to shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends. We delivered these results while preparing a pipeline of new and updated products that will launch in the year ahead. To best understand what we are about to deliver and what we're building toward, it's important to recognize a fundamental shift underway in our business and the areas of technology that we believe will drive the greatest opportunity in the future. Our Business: Devices and Services Last year in this letter I said that over time, the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses. The work we have accomplished in the past year and the roadmap in front of us brings this to life. Devices With End-User Services We will continue to work with a vast ecosystem of partners to deliver a broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones. We do this because our customers want great choices and we believe there is no way one size suits over 1.3 billion Windows users around the world. There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface. In all our work with partners and on our own devices, we will focus relentlessly on delivering delightful, seamless experiences across hardware, software and services. This means as we, with our partners, develop new Windows devices we'll build in services people want. Further, as we develop and update our consumer services, we'll do so in ways that take full advantage of hardware advances, that complement one another and that unify all the devices people use daily. So right out of the box, a customer will get a stunning device that is connected to unique communications, productivity and entertainment services from Microsoft as well as access to great services and applications from our partners and developers around the world. A great example of this shift is Windows 8. Windows 8 will come to market Oct. 26, 2012, with beautiful hardware that will light up with our consumer cloud services. Windows 8 unites the light, thin and fun aspects of a tablet with the power of a PC. It's beautiful, it's functional, and it's perfect for both personal and professional use. Xbox Music, Video, Games and SmartGlass apps make it possible to select a movie from a PC, start playing it on the TV, and finish watching it on a phone. SkyDrive, our cloud storage solution, effortlessly connects content across a user's devices. Bing's powerful search technologies in Windows 8 will help customers get more done. Skype has a beautiful new Windows 8 app and connects directly into the new Office. Office, too, is taking a major leap forward. The new Office was designed from the ground up for Windows 8 and takes full advantage of new mobile form factors with touch and pen capabilities. It unlocks new experiences for reading, note taking, meetings and communications and brings social directly into productivity and collaboration scenarios. The combination of a Windows 8 tablet with OneNote and SkyDrive has truly revolutionized how to take notes, annotate documents and share information. The ultimate experience with the new Office for both consumers and businesses will come when it is paired with a Windows 8 device and delivered as a cloud subscription service with Office 365. Services for the Enterprise Fantastic devices and services for end users will drive our enterprise businesses forward given the increasing influence employees have in the technology they use at work — a trend commonly referred to as the Consumerization of IT. It's one more reason Microsoft is committed to delivering devices and services that people love and businesses need. Today, businesses face a number of important opportunities and challenges. Enterprise IT departments are tasked with deploying technology that drives the business strategy forward. They decide what solutions will make employees more productive, collaborative and satisfied. They work to unlock business insights from a world of data. At the same time they must manage and secure corporate information that employees access across a growing number of personal and corporate devices. To address these opportunities, businesses turn to Microsoft. They count on our world-class business applications like Microsoft Dynamics, Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and our business intelligence solutions. They rely on our technology to manage employee corporate identity and to protect their corporate data. And, increasingly, businesses of all sizes are looking to Microsoft to realize the benefits of the cloud. Helping businesses move to the cloud is one of our largest opportunities. All the online services people use today — both from Microsoft and other companies — run on servers in datacenters around the globe. The volume of Internet services used will continue to grow as people connect to the Internet from more devices for more purposes — fueling incredible opportunity in our server business. Unique to Microsoft, we continue to design and deliver world-class cloud solutions that allow our customers to move to the cloud on their terms. For example, a company can choose to deploy Office or Microsoft Dynamics on premises, as a cloud service or a combination of both. With Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure and System Center infrastructure, businesses can deploy applications in their own datacenter, a partner's datacenter or in Microsoft's datacenter with common security, management and administration across all environments, with ultimate flexibility and scale. Our business customers tell us these capabilities are critical to harnessing the power of the cloud so they can reach new levels of efficiency and tap new areas of growth. Our Future: Big Opportunity There's a remarkable amount of opportunity ahead for Microsoft in both the next year and the next decade. As we enter this new era, there are several distinct areas of technology that we are focused on driving forward — all of which start to show up in the devices and services launching this year. Leading the industry in these areas over the long term will translate to sustained growth well into the future. These focus areas include: Developing new form factors that have increasingly natural ways to use them including touch, gestures and speech. Making technology more intuitive and able to act on our behalf instead of at our command with machine learning. Building and running cloud services in ways that unleash incredible new experiences and opportunities for businesses and individuals. Firmly establishing one platform, Windows, across the PC, tablet, phone, server and cloud to drive a thriving ecosystem of developers, unify the cross-device user experience, and increase agility when bringing new advancements to market. Delivering new scenarios with life-changing improvements in how people learn, work, play and interact with one another. We are uniquely positioned to lead in these areas given the breadth of our devices and services portfolio, as well as our large, global partner and customer base and the growing Windows ecosystem. It truly is a new era at Microsoft — an era of incredible opportunity for us, for the 8 million developers building apps for our devices, for the more than 640,000 partners worldwide and, most important, for the people and businesses using our products to reach their full potential. We see an unprecedented amount of opportunity for both this year and the long term. Although we still have a lot of hard work ahead, our products are generating excitement. And when I pause to reflect on how far we've come over the past few years and how much further we'll go in the next one, I couldn't be more excited and optimistic. As always, thank you for your support.   Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »    

Apps Are Replacing Humans In Retail Stores

Tech | admin
(Reuters) - Shoppers walking into a clothing store in New York City's SoHo neighborhood should not be surprised if a smartphone app, rather than a salesperson, greets them at the door. Some retailers in the United States are starting to communicate with shoppers via a smartphone app called Swirl that uses in-store sensors to track their location in the shop to send them personalized offers and recommendations. It's just one of the ways that brick-and-mortar shops are using apps to appeal to younger, more tech-savvy consumers. "Retailers want to give consumers something that's value-added and does what an expert salesperson might do -- for example, tell them ‘Here's some great new products,' or ‘Here's a special offer because we know you've been looking at handbags'" said Hilmi Ozguc, CEO of Boston-based Swirl Networks, creators of the Swirl iPhone app. Retailers in New York City and Boston are among the first to adopt the technology, which uses bluetooth sensors placed on store walls and shelves to communicate with the Swirl app.   Although Swirl's use of sensors to detect shoppers in stores is among the first of its kind, several other apps provide deals or tips when entering a shop. Shopkick, available in the United States for iPhone and Android, tells consumers about offers and points when they walk into select stores, and allows them to redeem points for rewards such as gift cards. The Swirl app can also help shoppers across the United States find products and deals available at major retailers nearby. Several other apps, including Clutch, released for Android last week and also available for iPhone, and a new app called Sudo, also on both platforms, help consumers find deals nearby. A new iPhone app called Shopcaster is designed for shoppers looking for products at independent retailers across North America. Users can browse goods available in a particular neighborhood before heading out shopping, or order items directly through the app. "For (our users) shopping is a sport in many cases," said Judy Sims, the CEO of Toronto-based company Shopcaster, adding that the appeal for consumers is often the story behind the product and where they bought it. Ozguc said for major retailers the main driver behind the in-store apps is to provide stores with web-like analytics and marketing tools. "They want the benefits of e-commerce but in their brick-and-mortar stores," he said, adding that Swirl helps retailers track when the shopper came back and where they spent their time. The app also learns the consumer's style preferences over time and uses the information to customize offers in the app. "We know form years and years of advertising that the more relevant and contextual the offer, the better the response rate," Ozguc said. (Editing by Patricia Reaney and Andrew Hay) Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »    

Here Are Some Of The Big Changes Coming To Your iPhone And iPad Software (AAPL)

Tech | admin
Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has a giant report this morning that highlights several key design changes coming to iOS 7, Apple's next version of its operating system for iPhones and iPads. Gurman's sources confirm recent reports that iOS will have a "flatter" look to it and tweak the way several key apps like Calendar, Notes, and Game Center look. Jony Ive, Apple's lead hardware designer, has been in charge of software design since Apple's former iOS boss Scott Forstall left the company last fall. All these new cosmetic changes in the software come from him.  Apple will show off the new version of iOS at its big developers conference on June 10, but it likely won't be available to the public until this fall. Here's a quick breakdown of what we've learned about iOS 7: The lock screen will look a bit different. It won't have the shiny, glossy look to it anymore and the passcode buttons will be round and black with white numbers. Notifications in the lock screen could have additional gesture controls. The drop-down Notifications Center will have a solid black background with white text. There's a chance Apple will add more widgets to the Notifications Center for live updates from other apps. It may also add a control panel for basic functions like WiFi and Bluetooth. App icons will have a flatter look to them, but still maintain their rounded corners. The background wallpaper will support panoramic photos and will move as with you as you swipe through your screens of apps. Major apps like Calendar, Notes, Game Center, Weather, and more will have a new design. Ive has cleared iOS of all skeuomorphic design elements, meaning apps will no longer mimic real-life objects. For example, Notes won't look like a yellow notepad and Game Center is losing the green felt gaming table look. Photos will integrate with Yahoo's Flickr, so all your photos can be backed up online. Flickr recently announced users get 1 TB of free storage, so you won't have to worry about running out of space. Get even more details on iOS 7 from 9to5Mac > Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.Join the conversation about this story »    

Android Bounces Back From U.S. Market Share Declines

Tech | admin
Android gained in the U.S. market in March after three months of consecutive declines, increasing its market share slightly to 52%, according to comScore.  That's still down nearly 2 percentage points from Android's market share peak in November and is only up 1 percentage point from a year ago.  Rival Apple continues to pick up market share on the back of a strong iPhone 5 release. At the end of March, Apple accounted for 39% of U.S. smartphone users, up from 31% a year ago. comScore measures market share by installed base, not shipments. It looks at U.S. smartphone subscribers over the age of 13.  Given the healthy growth of the overall smartphone market, however, Android still has 17 million more net users in the U.S. than a year ago. Apple picked up 21 million net users in the same period. Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system has yet to gain traction. Its market share fell slightly to 3% last month, which means it actually shed 200,000 net users in March. Since its introduction in late October, Windows Phone has only added 400,000 net American users. Nokia is expected to release the Lumia 928 this week in the U.S. market, which may help Windows Phone a bit, but we don't see evidence of a turnaround yet.   Meanwhile, the overall U.S. market continues to see robust penetration growth. Smartphone penetration is now 58 percent, a 13 percentage point increase over a year prior, and an acceleration of growth. However, we don't believe the acceleration is sustainable. Eventually, penetration growth will slow.  It is important to remember that with the rapid emergence of China, the U.S. is no longer as central to the global smartphone market as it previously was. Click here to view a larger version of this chart. Here's a look at U.S. smartphone penetration growth: Click here for a larger version of this chart. Please follow BI Intelligence on Twitter.Join the conversation about this story »    

Family spokesman: George McGovern dead at age 90

Politics | admin
George McGovern once joked that he had wanted to run for president in the worst way — and that he had done so

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