I’m tickled pink. It’s not often that you get this kind of feedback, and I’m very happy I was able to make a contribution that goes beyond the simple donations to the NGO’s like the Red Cross.
Haiti still needs help, folks!
Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.
AT&T says Apple iPhone 4 pre-orders were 10 times higher than the first day of iPhone 3GS pre-orders last year
The White House and BP tentatively agreed on Wednesday that the oil giant would create a $20 billion fund to pay claims for the worst oil spill in American history. The fund will be independently run by Kenneth Feinberg, the mediator who oversaw the 9/11 victims compensation fund, according to two people familiar with the deliberations.
Wow. That probably means their internal projections showed a 40 to 60 billion dollar liability without this fund. If they’re that easily convinced to spend $20b, given the shenanigans Exxon did to avoid paying anything, they’re in really deep doo-doo.
This is Michael Winslow, the "man of 10,000 sound effects," taking us through the history of the typewriter. Absolutely incredible. Of course, Winslow is perhaps most famous for his role in the Policy Academy movies.
Over the past month, heavy rainfall from different storms across parts of Europe has caused massive amounts of flooding – some water moving slowly across river plains and farmland, some moving swiftly through cities and villages. Dozens have lost their lives, many thousands evacuated their homes, some repeatedly – Poland in particular is suffering its worst flooding in decades. More recently, parts of Spain and France have experienced flash floods that have carried away people and vehicles. Collected here are some images of the flooding in Europe from the past several weeks. (42 photos total)
Farmers help a horse to jump into an amphibious vehicle in flooded Juliszew village in central Poland at Wisla river on May 24, 2010. (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images) #
By some estimates, algorithms now trigger 70 percent of all trades in U.S. equities. The speed and volume of everyday trading have propelled the market into a new and esoteric dimension, and rendered traders in the pits largely obsolete. Average daily share volume on the New York Stock Exchange increased by 181 percent between 2005 and 2009, while the time required to execute a trade on its electronic systems dropped to 650 microseconds.
Such changes have a lot of people worried, including the Securities and Exchange Commission. It released a wide-ranging paper earlier this year seeking suggestions on how to restructure the entire equity market, and created a Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation in part to help monitor new technologies. A market collapse in early May—in which automated-trading systems exacerbated a sell-off that drove the Dow down more than 900 points in less than an hour, before it quickly recovered—gave two worries new public salience: that the proprietors of these algos may not be in full control of their creations, and that the strategies they pursue are, in some cases, fundamentally warping the financial markets.
In an email message to his supporters, obtained by The Daily Beast, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, says he is preparing to post a classified video of an air strike on an Afghan village.
According to reporter Philip Shenon, the incident is "believed to be the most lethal combat strike in Afghanistan — in terms of civilian deaths — since the United States invaded the country."
The trial of a doctor and his wife accused of contributing to the fatal overdoses of 68 patients by overprescribing pain medication went to jurors on Tuesday.
Stephen Schneider and his wife Linda were portrayed by the prosecution in closing arguments as running a "Burger King for pain pill addicts" while the defense argued that the state’s case was overblown.
The case has drawn attention in part because of a debate over the medical treatment of pain in the United States, but also the high number of deaths attributed to the defendants.
"This is a sordid tale of how money and not medicine controlled the defendants’ actions," Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway told jurors in closing arguments.
"The defendants were running a pill mill, not a legitimate medical practice," she added.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has ordered its traders not to enter into oil trades with BP that extend beyond June 2011
BP’s credit rating was downgraded six notches on Tuesday by Fitch Ratings, which cited the high costs BP may face for compensating victims of the company’s Gulf spill. Fitch downgraded BP to BBB from an AA rating.
Looks like BP is going down…
And so I became a fake businessman in China, an often lucrative gig for underworked expatriates here. One friend, an American who works in film, was paid to represent a Canadian company and give a speech espousing a low-carbon future. Another was flown to Shanghai to act as a seasonal-gifts buyer. Recruiting fake businessmen is one way to create the image—particularly, the image of connection—that Chinese companies crave. My Chinese-language tutor, at first aghast about how much we were getting paid, put it this way: “Having foreigners in nice suits gives the company face.”
For the next few days, we sat in the office swatting flies and reading magazines, purportedly high-level employees of a U.S. company that, I later discovered, didn’t really exist. We were so important, in fact, that two of the guys were hired to stay for eight months (to be fair, they actually then received quality-control training).
“Lots happening,” Ken told me. “We need people for a week every month. It’ll be better next time, too. We’ll have new offices.” He paused before adding: “Bring a computer. You can watch movies all day.”
BP, in a move destined to go down as one of the bestest public relations moves ever, has apparently hired a private security company to help to keep pesky reporters from covering the unfolding catastrophe on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. The report comes via New Orleans’ 6WDSU reporter Scott Walker, who last week ran into representatives of a “Talon Security” trying to block him from interviewing cleanup workers on a local beach. Just which of the various companies named “Talon Security” is storming the (public) beaches for BP, however, remains unclear.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time a private security firm made an appearance in a Gulf disaster. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Department of Homeland Security and a number of private firms, fearful of reported widespread violence and chaos, turned to private security contractors like Blackwater and ArmorGroup International to protect their property.