Thursday, September 29, 2011

STUDY: This Is The Worst Place To Live In Western Europe

Breaking Out of Long-Term Unemployment

"Long-term unemployment can wreak havoc on a person's sense of self-worth and well-being. Worse, big resume gaps or current unemployment may also mark a job seeker as "damaged goods" and make a long job search even longer.

"I wouldn't say the bias [against hiring the unemployed] is pervasive, but too many hiring managers don't realize that the world has changed and that people have had a hard time finding jobs through no fault of their own," says Cheryl Ferguson, president of Recruiter's Studio and recruiter for Decision Toolbox.
Throw in the towel? Don't even think about it, career experts say. They suggest these practical steps to help even the most discouraged unemployed job seeker get motivated and beat the odds."

Breaking Out of Long-Term Unemployment

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Reveals The Kindle Fire: A $199 Dagger Aimed Right At The Heart Of Tablet Market

Update: Jeff Bezos just introduced the Amazon Fire, a full color tablet which will radically disrupt the tablet market.
It's priced at $199, and it works with all of Amazon's media services. Any tablet not named iPad, should be worried, even though the Fire is just seven inches large.
(We're about to go play with one, so we'll have a full report on the acual device. The demo looked impressive.)
In addition to the Fire, Amazon lowered the price of the regular Kindle and introduced a Kindle Touch. Read below for our live notes from the event.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If You're Outraged By Greece Now, Wait Till You Read Michael Lewis' New Book

Financial journalist and award-winning author Michael Lewis is out with a new book called "Boomerang."
And based solely on its RAVE book review in The New York Times, it sounds awesome and relevant.
The new book traces the origins of the European sovereign debt crisis, giving "the reader a guided tour through some of the disparate places hard hit by the fiscal tsunami of 2008..."
The prime example of course is Greece. Lewis writes about how Greece rang up massive debt, according to a review by The New York Times:
Greece, Mr. Lewis writes, ran up astonishing debts — from high-paying government jobs and generous pensions, as well as waste, bribery and theft — that came to “about $1.2 trillion, or more than a quarter-million dollars for every working Greek.” In just the last 12 years, he says, “the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms” with the average government job now paying almost three times the average private sector job. Those who work in jobs classified as “arduous” can retire and start collecting pensions, he adds, “as early as 55 for men and 50 for women”; more than 600 Greek professions have somehow managed “to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on.”

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Why Apple Employees Avoid Getting In The Elevator With Steve Jobs

With all of the supernatural success swirling around legendary Apple CEO Steve Jobs as he steps down from the position, it’s easy to forget that he’s human. Michael Dhuey, 53, had two opportunities to experience the real Jobs through working with him.
“I had a good experience with Steve, but I also know people who did not,” laughs Dhuey during a phone interview from Cupertino, CA.
Dhuey is currently a tech lead and one of the founders of the Cisco Systems video teleconferencing department. He knows Jobs professionally after working with him on two significant projects in Apple history: The Macintosh II in 1987 (Dhuey was an electrical and computer engineer at Apple then, and co-invented the computer) and the original iPod in 2001 (Dhuey was one of two engineers who developed the hardware).
“He was very clear about what he didn’t like,” says Dhuey. “He was not filtered with his input. If he was in a meeting that was boring him, he would be blunt. He’d say, ‘I don’t need to see this, let’s move on.’ And we would. He didn’t suffer a fool.”
Dhuey recalls that people would dread getting into an elevator with Jobs. If you got on at the 4th floor, you’d better have captivated him by the time you got off on the 1st. Jobs remembered you when you had a great story to tell. He also remembered when you didn’t.

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THE QATAR LIFE: Inside The Richest Country On Earth

It might be time to move out to the Gulf.
The tiny, oil-rich Middle East nation of Qatar recently topped previous leader Luxembourg for the world's highest per capita Gross Domestic Product, according to Arabian Business.
Using data from the IMF, they found that Qatar's GDP per capita stands at $88,221, and should rise to $111,963 by 2016.

Read more:

Meet The Trader Who Screamed "The Collapse Is Coming" And "Goldman Sachs Rules The World" On BBC

The rumors are flying about Alessio Rastani since his BBC interview yesterday morning.
Some people are shocked about what he said ("The collapse is coming... and Goldman Sachs rules the world"), while others think he was being refreshingly honest. And then there are those who think he's a complete phoney.
They've suggested that he's a member of The Yes Men, a prank group that enjoys doing interviews posing as business leaders or bankers. Both Rastani and the group have denied that he has any affiliation.
We'll let you decide, but by our estimation, he looks like a real trader. Here's his Youtube channel, where he promotes his Facebook fan page and his website,
He describes himself as an, "experienced stock market trader and mentor. Keynote speaker on share trading and spreadbetting. Husband and all round nice guy."
Importantly, we were not able to find out whether or not he's ever been backed by any professional firm, or any account of his past trading record.
UPDATE: The Telegraph  published an interview with Rastani where he admits that he's a casual trader and that The BBC contacted him because he's an "investment speaker." Public speaking is his true passion and he owns a business called Santoro Projects where he does just that.

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UPRISING! Microsofties Trash Ballmer After Disastrous All-Hands Meeting

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer failed to fire up the troops at the company's huge internal staff meeting on Friday, according to gossipy commenters on the Mini Microsoft blog.
Employees were apparently walking out in "droves," and felt a general apathy for Ballmer.
Mini-Microsoft acts as an unofficial message board for the company. It is authored by an anonymous employee who wants to see Microsoft slim down. Each post is filled with comments from former or current employees.

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The Circular Logic That Dooms Euro TARP From The Start

The Eurozone bailout, now being referred to as Euro TARP, is doomed to fail.  While nothing has been officially announced the markets are rallying broadly on the back of a news article published by CNBC on Monday. The details are lacking as to the actual structure but speculation is already running rampant across the financial markets as to what it might look like.  
What is presumed is that Euro TARP will follow the proposal originally proffered by Tim Geithner on his European trip recently. That proposal had been widely dismissed by the G20 as they couldn't come to terms on any type of structure. The current idea outlined by CNBC will bypass the G20 entirely and allow the European Investment Bank (EIB), a bank owned by the member states of the European Union, to take money from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and capitalize a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that it will create.  
The SPV will then issue bonds to investors and use the proceeds to purchase sovereign debt of distressed European states, which will hopefully alleviate the pressure on the distressed states (PIIGS) and the European banks that already own their sovereign debt.     
If alarm bells aren't already going off they will be in just moment as you get the gist of the rest of this disastrous plan. 

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GERMANY: US Plans To Intervene In Europe Are "Stupid" Read more:

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has hit out against plans to boost the EFSF bailout fund, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph.
Schauble said:
"I don't understand how anyone in the European Commission can have such a stupid idea. The result would be to endanger the AAA sovereign debt ratings of other member states. It makes no sense."
Worse still, Schauble hit out against American intervention, days after Barack Obama criticized the European leaders' handling of the debt crisis.
"It's always much easier to give advice to others than to decide for yourself. I am well prepared to give advice to the US government."

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E.U. (AKA Germany) Lets World Know: “Greece Is On Its Own”

Well, markets, don’t say Germany – oh, um, I mean the European Union – didn’t warn you.
Greece is set to default and there's not much more the E.U. is looking to do to change that fact.
That’s right.
German Prime Minister Angela Merkel has, essentially, blown the EU’s financial and political load and let the geo-political and financial world (ahem – markets?) know that Greece will soon be on its own to figure out and solve the economic mess it finds itself in now.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

VMware Fusion 4 hands-on: Lion, Windows 7, Windows 8, and more

"Virtualization has long been important for Mac users, especially those who have to manage multiple platforms for their work. With Apple’s small share of the desktop market, virtual machines are a necessity for Mac users who can’t get by without access to Windows applications.

While virtual machine products from the likes of VMware, Parallels, and VirtualBox provide convenient ways to run Windows and other operating systems on your Mac, Apple’s recent upgrade to OS X Lion has the software makers scrambling to ship updates. VMware and Parallels have both released new versions that let Windows applications integrate with Lion-specific features such as Launchpad and Mission Control, and take advantage of Apple’s decision to let users run additional instances of Lion in virtual machines.

Ars has an extensive review comparing VMware Fusion 4 and Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac in the works."

VMware Fusion 4 hands-on: Lion, Windows 7, Windows 8, and more

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mac trojan poses as PDF to open botnet backdoor

"Malware continues to be a minimal threat to most Mac users, but that doesn't mean attackers aren't constantly trying to come up with new ways to steal information or turn users' machines into botnet drones. The latter appears to be the case with a new Mac trojan posing as a PDF file, discovered by security researchers at F-Secure."

Mac trojan poses as PDF to open botnet backdoor

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Spreading Rapidly In Europe

BEHIND THE SCENES AT GLENN BECK'S NEW SHOW: 'We're Going To Be The Next HBO, The Next Netflix!'

Hydration stations sweep colleges to promote tap water –

"illing stations are no longer just for gas. In an eco-friendly push, hundreds of U.S. colleges are installing water fountains known as hydration stations so students can refill water bottles rather than buy new ones. Some campuses are even banning the sale of bottled water." Hydration stations sweep colleges to promote tap water –

EBay targets mobile users, hoping to seem hip –

"These days, most of the things people purchase on the site aren't sold through auctions; they have fixed prices. And, the majority of items for sale are new — not musty antiques or old collectibles.
Richelle Parham, eBay's chief marketing officer, says plenty of people see eBay as an auction-focused marketplace, despite the reality.
"We need to change that perception," she says.

The company wants to be seen as an e-commerce innovator, rather than a staid auction site. To promote that image, eBay is embarking on a major ad campaign aimed at consumers who shop on smartphones. At the same time, eBay hopes it will change consumers' misperceptions about the company."
EBay targets mobile users, hoping to seem hip –

Apple iPad: Learning Tool for Kindergarten? Maine, Tennessee and South Carolina Try Them - ABC News

Apple iPad: Learning Tool for Kindergarten? Maine, Tennessee and South Carolina Try Them - ABC News

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Thoughts: The Gold Scold!

" I shared a 25-year weekly bubble comparison chart that plotted "bubble benchmarks" Japan (80's), NASDAQ (Y2K), China ('07), and crude ('08) against the current state of gold. I did it for one reason: to offer the "other side" of the parabolic frolic. Scroll to see below.

Over the years in the 'Ville, we've gotten a fair amount of flack at various junctures. We shared "the other side" of housing in 2006 (while preparing for "a prolonged period of socioeconomic malaise entirely more depressing than a recession"), offered that financial institutions were "technically insolvent" in 2007, and braved the short side in crude in 2008 (while transitioning my long-term bucket to 100% cash).

While some of you may not remember those stances, lemme assure you they were wildly unpopular at the time. "

Random Thoughts: The Gold Scold!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DealBook: The Survivor Who Saw the Future for Cantor Fitzgerald

Published: September 3, 2011
"TEN years and a lifetime ago, Howard W. Lutnick was a prince of Wall Street. Forty years old, and already the head of a powerful financial house, he could peer down on rivals from his office on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center.
Then — you know the rest.
American Airlines Flight 11 struck Tower One. Three out of every four people who worked in New York City for Mr. Lutnick at the brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald died that September morning, 658 in all. Among the dead was his younger brother, Gary.
That Howard Lutnick survived was, he concedes, blind luck. Some people died because they happened to be at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Mr. Lutnick lived because he happened to be taking his son, Kyle, to his first day of kindergarten."