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Aug 28, 2011

Smartcompany Nrews & Analysis: Trends from billionaire bargain hunters, Google gives a peak at its infamous algorithm, Online bookmaker collapses, ACCC lashes online energy broker

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Today on SmartCompany we ask why Google has given webmasters a rare peak behind the curtain of its infamous algorithm, look at a stoush between the ACCC and one of Australia’s biggest online energy brokers and examine two liquidations – an online bookmaker who has left clients and investors in the lurch, and Melbourne’s Gordon Ramsay-backed restaurant Maze. Plus in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson calls for an end to the productivity blame game.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

Rich Secrets
Trends from billionaire bargain hunters
With the price of many assets tumbling, wealthy billionaires are wading into markets around the world looking for buying opportunities. BY JAMES THOMSON.
Rich Secrets

Owners hold onto their homes
With the cost of moving continuing to increase, home owners are holding onto their properties for much longer. BY TIM LAWLESS.

Aunty B
How do I set my prices in order to make a profit?
Forget pricing. You have a problem with your value proposition and business model.
Aunty B

Sue Barrett
Science is turning the business world upside down, challenging “norms” and long-held beliefs about what motivates and drives people.
Sue Barrett

Enterprise Leadership
Dennis Roberts
At its core, wealth relies upon the same bedrock that economics was founded – scarcity.
Dennis Roberts

Retail trends
Kevin Moore
The raging debate over online shopping continues, and it's really quite a polarising issue.
Kevin Moore

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
Instead of firing shots at each other, unions, regulators and employers must work together on productivity.
James Thomson

Chinese blog purge under party pressure: Ping Newsletter:

Ping Newsletter

Chinese blog purge under party pressure
CHINA'S most popular microblogging site is cracking down on what it says is the spread of false rumours.
Samsung Galaxy launch delayed
SAMSUNG has agreed to postpone the launch of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet until the last week of September.
SBS introduces language app
MULTICULTURAL broadcaster SBS will launch a radio application that will allow users to listen to programs in 68 languages.
Apple cult really makes me shudder
THE products are great, but the firm has hit a wall.
Facebook Places now everywhere
FACEBOOK'S move to scrap its mobile-only Places functionality this week has some industry experts scratching their heads.
Aliens arrive on Sports TV
SHOW a man a sport and he'll show you a reason to spend several hours in a pub - even when the "sport" is a video game set in the 26th century.
Cook has tough jobs at Apple
HISTORY suggests it will be a rough ride, and some time, before Tim Cook finds out if Steve Jobs was indispensable to Apple.

Click here for all headlines

The Australian Capital Circle:Disaster looms for Labor in Queensland

Capital Circle Newsletter

Disaster looms for Labor in Queensland
Julia Gillard's poll numbers in Queensland have fallen off a cliff as the Craig Thomson scandal continues to plague her government.

Julia Gillard is in Canberra and will meet with Australian Workers Union boss Paul Howes and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union boss Dave Oliver this morning to discuss the challenges facing manufacturing. Cabinet will meet later today.
Tony Abbott is in Melbourne today to deliver a speech on the economic challenges facing Australia at CEDA, the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, around noon.
There is more bad news for the PM today, with the Courier Mail reporting Kevin Rudd would be the only Labor MP left in Queensland if an election was held last week. The poll puts Labor's primary vote at just 23 per cent. While senior Labor figures such as Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese continue to back besieged MP Craig Thomson (report), the scandal appears to be costing the government support. Ms Gillard's meeting today with unions anxious to secure a better deal for the manufacturing sector (report) will be a further test of the PM's skills.
Muscling up: Tony Abbott is looking for a new press secretary, and preferably one with experience working in the media. But Communications director Tony O'Leary and current press secretaries Andrew Hirst and James Boyce aren't going anywhere - the Abbott office has created a new position to cope with the 24 hour media cycle. The expansion of the Abbott press office comes soon after Julia Gillard expanded the ranks of her press office, increasing the number of press secretaries she has on hand from four to five. And if you don't want to work for the Coalition, there is always the Greens - new South Australian Senator Penny Wright is also looking for a media manager.

The Australian Market Briefing: Broker fears over new fee rules

Broker fears over new fee rules
Bill Shorten Jennifer Hewett, National Affairs Correspondent BILL Shorten plans to exempt stockbrokers from a proposed ban on the payment of commissions in financial services.
Little cheer for central banks
Jean-Claude Trichet, European Central Bank president Jon Hilsenrath THE world's central bankers are coming to grips with the realisation the global economy is still in a very dangerous place.
Billabong in the eye of retail storm
Derek O'Neill Richard Gluyas SHOCKING. Dismal. Poor. Another disappointment. The headlines on  analyst reports made grim reading for Billabong's CEO.
Leighton likely to see more changes
Leighton Damon Kitney FURTHER changes are expected at Leighton Holdings following the shock  exit of its chairman and chief executive.
ACCC chief vows to test more cases
John Durie John Durie ROD Sims has vowed to take on more cases to test the law and hold offenders to account.
Merrill gloomy on profit forecasts
Merrill Lynch Richard Gluyas MERRILL Lynch has downgraded 2012 and 2013 earnings forecasts by 2.2 per cent and 2.3 per cent.
Melco bets on casino approval
Melco casino Damon Kitney MELCO Crown is negotiating with local authorities to ensure a casino is included in the project plans.
Manufacturing's grim outlook
BlueScope Steel Sarah-Jane Tasker BUSINESS failures in the sector have risen by more than 60 per cent.
Financial Markets
Wall St to open after storm
Wall St Jacob Bunge US financial exchanges plan to open markets tonight (AEST), after the worst of Tropical Storm Irene swept past New York City.
ACCC chief vows to test more cases
Market braces for global slowdown
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Palmer slapped down on gas safety
Coal-seam gas Jared Owens MINING magnate Clive Palmer has been accused of spouting  rubbish about Australia's coal-seam gas industry
Boom puts people on move
Gold output leaps as prices soar
More Mining & Energy

Syrian unrest raises fears about chemical arsenal

Breaking News: Syrian unrest raises fears about chemical arsenal
August 28, 2011

A sudden collapse of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could mean a breakdown in controls over the country's weapons, U.S. officials and weapons experts say. Syria possesses some of the deadliest chemicals ever to be weaponized, dispersed in thousands of artillery shells and warheads that are easy to transport.

Although many analysts doubt that Assad would deliberately share chemical bombs with terrorists, it is not inconceivable that weapons could vanish amid the chaos of an uprising that destroys Syria's vaunted security services, which safeguard the munitions.

"This is a scenario that's on the radar screen if things go downhill," said a U.S. security official who monitors events in Syria. "A lot of people are watching this closely."

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