Search This Blog


Search Tool

Aug 15, 2012

Judge urges Apple and Samsung to settle ahead of verdict | From Reuters Technology Report - August 15, 2012 -

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge asked that the chief executives of Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd speak to each other at least once on the phone before a jury begins deliberating next week in the high-stakes patent trial between the two tech giants.
"It's time for peace," U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said on Wednesday in a San Jose, California, federal court, just miles from Apple's headquarters.
Apple and Samsung are going toe-to-toe in a patents dispute mirroring a struggle for industry supremacy between the two rivals that control more than half of worldwide smartphone sales.
Apple accuses Samsung of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, and is asking for a sales ban in addition to monetary damages. South Korea's Samsung, which is trying to expand in the United States, says Apple infringed several patents, including some for its key wireless technology.
The U.S. trial is now in its third week. Before the jury was brought into the courtroom on Wednesday, Koh told attorneys for the companies that they had succeeded in raising awareness about the importance of their intellectual property rights.
Top executives from both companies had participated in mediation with a U.S. magistrate judge before trial, but Koh asked them to explore settlement once again.
The nine-member jury is scheduled to begin deliberations next week.
"I see risks here for both sides," Koh said.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.
(Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

America's secret muni defaults: Counterparties - Reuters

We certainly shouldn't need to be reminded to take the word of the rating agencies with another grain of salt. But if you're looking to the rating agencies for a comprehensive look at municipal bond defaults, beware of selection bias:

The key to this chart from "The Untold Story of Municipal Bond Defaults", a new New York Fed post by Jason Appelson, Eric Parsons and Andrew Haughwout, is that the Moody's figure only includes the bonds it actually rated. S&P's numbers were similarly limited; the authors found 2,366 defaults from 1986 to 2011, while the agency reported just 47 during that time. 
So how did the ratings agencies vastly under-report the number of muni defaults in the last 3 decades? The authors explain that there are two types of muni bonds: general obligation bonds, in which default is rare and which are backed by the city or state issuing them; and revenue bonds, which are backed by the income stream generated by things like highways or fancy new sports stadiums. Revenue bonds are essentially as risky as what's being built, and they've accounted for around 60 to 70 percent of new issuance in the last 16 years. 
Despite some worrisome reports on muni bonds -- Moody's downgraded 290 issuers last quarter, the highest quarterly total since 2000 -- there's reason to believe that most muni bond defaults won't come from a downturn in the economy. The study's authors couldn't tie their broader landscape of muni defaults to economic downturns: 
The absence of a clear pattern leads us to believe that municipal bond defaults may be more of a product of idiosyncratic factors associated with individual sectors or issues than the result of broad macroeconomic developments. 
Though the authors don't report the dollar amount of the muni defaults they've found, the implication from their report is that your local city and state investments may be far more risky than the ratings agencies' data indicates. The "idiosyncratic factors" the authors cite could include things like buying high-risk MBS SIVs from brokers who themselves don't understand what they're selling, being sold ill-conceived derivatives to finance county sewers or building New Jersey mega-malls with indoor ski slopes.  
Even beefed-up SEC supervision over muni issuers may not stop us from building things called "Xanadu". -- Ryan McCarthy
And on to today's links: 
Urban Panning
China's megapolises: impressive on paper, awful places to live - Foreign Policy

Survival Skills
Probablity and game theory in The Hunger Games - Wired

New York Fed chief on the "glaring vulnerability" of money market funds - Bloomberg

Must Read
The new American exceptionalism: paying far less taxes than almost any other industrialized nation - Eduardo Porter 

More than 44% of Paulson's U.S. stock holdings are tied to gold - Bloomberg
Chart: Bonds are beating both stocks and gold over the last two years - The Big Picture
Romney's hedge fund bundlers include the Robertsons, Dan Loeb, Cliff Asness - Absolute Returns 

"Outsourcing is essentially the same as importing a good from a foreign country" - Robert Barro
John Thain, Phil Gramm and the rest of Romney's economic bench - Fortune

Romney bravely says nothing about whether he'd tax carried interest - Fortune
Romney: I'm a businessman, not a business, man - Matt Yglesias  

Wired to publish Jonah Lehrer, despite quote fabrication scandal - BuzzFeed

Financial and Forex Info | The Australian Capita Circle: Manus processing hits snag

Manus processing hits snag
AS Labor's bill to restore offshore processing is set to pass the Senate today, Papua New Guinea says it won't take any asylum-seekers until Australia's financial commitments are finalised.

After the House of Representatives voted to reinstate offshore processing on Nauru and PNG's Manus Island yesterday, it's now up to the Senate, with a vote expected later today. But despite legislative hurdles set to be cleared, Julia Gillard could face another problem with PNG's high commissioner to Australia Charles Lepani saying the PM has acted prematurely by announcing Manus Island would host a processing centre, warning his nation did not want to be seen as "a little brother of Australia" (Oz).

People-smugglers in Indonesia have already put up their prices in response to the Gillard government's new suite of border protection policies ( Age).

The government has known for weeks that an asylum-seeker boat carrying 67 passengers has been missing since June, but kept the news secret (SMH). Just 287 failed asylum-seekers have been returned to their country of origin since the Pacific Solution was dismantled (Daily Tele).
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy this morning said he believed the Houston measures would stop the boats, but stressed that, despite the new regime, Labor would still return the budget to surplus this financial year. "It will be a significant cost to the budget but we are going to fit it within our commitment to achieve a budget surplus this year," Senator Conroy told the Nine Network of the plan to reopen processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

The government had a rare win in the High Court yesterday with a challenge to the government's tobacco plain packaging laws dismissed ( Read more...

Peter Brent
Peter Brent
What happened in the summer of 92?
On Sunday on ABC’s Insiders program, this paper’s George Megalogenis gave the Gillard government reason to be a bit hopeful. George went back…
More Peter Brent

NYT Global Update | Top News: Syria Conflict Spills into Lebanon with Rash of Kidnappings

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
August 15, 2012
Compiled 20:45 GMT

Global Update


Syria Conflict Spills into Lebanon with Rash of Kidnappings

The kidnapping of more than 20 Syrians in Lebanon, in revenge for a rebel abduction in Damascus, spread fear in Beirut that such kidnappings were just the beginning.

Enlisting From Afar for the Love of Israel

A growing cadre of what are known as lone soldiers are leaving their countries to become infantrymen, intelligence officers, paratroopers and pilots in the Israeli military.

Ex-Officers Attack Obama Over Leaks on Bin Laden Raid

Former special operations and C.I.A. officers accused President Obama of leaking information for political advantage, an attack Mr. Obama's aides compared to the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

Video: From Izhmash, With Love

American hunters and gun enthusiasts are snapping up tens of thousands of the civilian versions of AK-style weapons.

Op-Ed Contributor

Another Pandora's Box?

Russia's message is clear: Pouring oil on the flames of internal conflicts will only bring more death and destruction.

Syrians Try to Balance Desires of Life With the Demands of a Growing War

Along with the many funerals of the war in Syria, there are guilt-ridden weddings, and births, with new arrivals sometimes taking on the names of the departed.

Immigration Reform in Australia Passes With Backing of Opposition

Australia's lower house of Parliament on Wednesday passed sweeping immigration reform aimed at deterring asylum seekers by reopening remote offshore detention centers.

Australian Court Strikes Down Tobacco Challenge

Images of ulcers, cancerous lungs and gangrenous limbs will cover three-quarters of the front of all cigarette packages sold in Australia, and brand logos will be banned, under a landmark decision by the High Court.

In Peugeot's Troubles, a Test of Contradictory Campaign Promises for Hollande

Vows to spur economic growth and shrink a budget deficit clash as an iconic company prepares to lay off 8,000 workers and shut a major factory.

Standard Chartered's Shares Rally on Settlement

Shareholders reacted positively on Wednesday after the British bank reached a settlement with New York State regulators involving charges that the bank had laundered hundreds of billions of dollars in money for Iran and then lied about the activity.

British Bank in $340 Million Settlement for Laundering

New York's top banking regulator had accused Standard Chartered of laundering $250 billion for Iranian clients and lying about it to authorities.

Germany Reopens Facebook Privacy Inquiry

Data protection officials said the social networking giant was illegally compiling a huge database of members' photos without the members' consent.

Judge Urges Apple and Samsung to Settle Ahead of Verdict

A federal judge asked that the chief executives of Apple and Samsung speak to each other at least once on the phone before a jury begins deliberating next week in a patent trial between the two tech giants.
Bits Blog

Hulu Faces Privacy Test in Court

The online video streaming site faces a privacy test, under a quarter-century-old law meant to protect the privacy of video rentals.

Home Team Comes Through in London

Britain won 65 medals at the London Games, continuing a resurgence that began after its poor performance in 1996, when it placed 36th in the medal table in Atlanta and won one gold.

The Good, the Bad and the Unforgettable

The 2012 Olympic Games had moments to remember and some to regret.

James and U.S. Replenish Gold in Treasure Chest

The United States outlasted Spain, 107-100, for its second straight gold medal, with 30 points from Kevin Durant and late heroics from LeBron James in an unexpectedly close game.

Nine Straight Days of 110 or More: That's Hot, Even for Phoenix

Temperatures in Phoenix have reached at least 100 degrees for 31 consecutive days, stretching even the most elastic tolerance levels of residents there used to scorching summers.

Illegal Immigrants Line Up by Thousands for Deportation Deferals

The initiative allows deportations to be deferred for up to two years for as many as 1.7 million people and grants work permits to illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

Mine Plan Puts Two Kentucky Fixtures on Collision Course

A plan to develop a coal mine around a Girl Scout camp has exposed shifting alliances between environmental and business interests.
Op-Ed Contributor

What Syria's Rebels Need

America hasn't done nearly enough to aid Syria's rebels. With just a few key arms shipments, we could ensure the downfall of one of our chief adversaries.

On Democracy in Spain

Though the indignados' weekly meetings can be unwieldy and inconclusive, the movement is an unsung success of participatory democracy.
Op-Ed Contributor

The Global (Not Euro-Zone) Crisis

It will take international action to resolve the euro's problems and prevent Europe's collapse.

NYT Politics August 15, 2012: Utility's Role in Convention Tests Obama

The New York Times

August 15, 2012


Utility's Role in Convention Tests Obama

Efforts to free the Democratic convention from business and lobbyist support have prompted charges of hypocrisy from Republicans and grumbling among some Democrats.
The Caucus

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Is Upheld

A judge rejected a suit challenging the law's constitutionality, clearing the way for it to be applied in this year's election.

More Politics

The Caucus

On Medicare, Obama Plays Offense

The president, aides said, will use the last day of a three-day bus tour of Iowa to take on Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul D. Ryan, over the health care program for older Americans.
Representative Paul D. Ryan, at a campaign stop Tuesday in Colorado, says Medicare is

Obama-Ryan Battle Intensifies Over Medicare Savings

The partisan brawl over the program continued on Tuesday and threatened to become the focus of the presidential race.

Ex-Officers Attack Obama Over Leaks on Bin Laden Raid

Former special operations and C.I.A. officers accused President Obama of leaking information for political advantage, an attack Mr. Obama's aides compared to the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

Ryan Meets Casino Mogul and Major G.O.P. Donor

Representative Paul D. Ryan traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Sheldon Adelson in what Mitt Romney's camp called a "finance event."
President Obama visited a farm in Haverhill, Iowa, on Tuesday that is part of a cooperative of landowners who use wind power.

Obama Returns to Iowa in Bid to Reignite the Fervor

President Obama is on a three-day trip in the state that birthed his bid for the White House, this time using the broad reach of his office.

The Caucus

At Ryan-Adelson Gathering, Budget Talk Trumps Israel

Details start to emerge of what went on during Paul D. Ryan's private meeting with Sheldon Adelson and other donors in Las Vegas.

Veterinarian Surprises Florida's Stearns in Republican Primary

A huge cash advantage and a shift to the ideological right were not enough to protect Representative Cliff Stearns of Florida from anti-incumbent sentiment. He lost his bid for a 13th term to a political newcomer, Ted Yoho.

Ann Romney Refuses to Release More Tax Returns

"There's nothing we're hiding," Ann Romney tells NBC.

Senate Democrats' Strategy for Ryan Includes the Deficit

The Democrats' war on Representative Paul D. Ryan has moved into the Upper Chamber, and it is extending beyond the battle over Medicare.

For Romney, a New Running Mate May Mean a New, Less Elliptical, Workout, Too

Even Mitt Romney's exercise routine is open to tinkering at the hands of his younger (and fitter) running mate.

The Economist | Selected New Articles: Hushing, flushing and rioting

Schumpeter: Hush money
Standard Chartered chooses to keep mum and pay a sum over its dealings with Iran
read more »
Eastern approaches: Pussy rhetoric
The court statements made by members of "Pussy Riot" are part of a fine tradition of Russian courtroom speeches
read more »

Babbage: Flushed with pride
Better toilet technology could save 1.5m lives a year
read more »

Prospero: Taught by the enemy
One legacy of the Bourne films is a dwindling bunch of special agents on the run from the organisations they belong to
read more »
Johnson: Nerdy grammar
Which is the most preposterous preposition?
read more »
Daily chart: Location, location, location
Our interactive overview of global house prices and rents
read more »
Online debate: Jewish fundamentalism
Is Israel headed in the wrong direction?
read more »

Business in Vancouver | BIV Today's Business News - August 15, 2012 - : BCSC cease-trades Barkerville Gold Mines



CRTC orders Telus to explain its foreign ownership

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ordered Telus (TSX:T) to open up its books and explain just how it calculates the foreign ownership composition on its stock.

Mining and Energy


BCSC cease-trades Barkerville Gold Mines

The BC Securities Commission (BCSC) has cease traded Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. for its failure to file a completed technical report supporting the company’s disclosure of a massive gold resource at its Cow Mountain deposit.

Low moly prices drive Endako mine shutdown

Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (TSX: TCM) is shutting down the mining portion of the company’s molybdenum Endako mine and cutting back staff for “a short period of time” as it grapples with low molybdenum prices.

Real Estate and Development


Melbourne, Vienna beat Vancouver for livability: report

Melbourne and Vienna have beaten out Vancouver in a new report ranking the world’s most livable cities in 2012.

Economy and Finance


Scrap business-damaging carbon tax: CTF

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is urging the provincial government to scrap the carbon tax, which it says is hurting B.C. businesses.

Hospitality and Tourism


Dragons' Den's Treliving among those inducted into Restaurant Hall of Fame

Boston Pizza International partners Jim Treliving and George Melville will be among the restaurateurs inducted into the 2012 BC Restaurant Hall of Fame in October.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories: Gallup: No early bounce for Romney after VP pick

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


Romney sees no immediate bounce in the polls after naming Ryan as his running mate
Read full story
Gallup: No early bounce for Romney after VP pick

Biden revives 'Etch-A-Sketch' remark Vice president's comment comes after strong GOP criticism of his attacks

Over-the-top rhetoric takes over campaign After talk of "substantive" battle for the presidency, campaign discourse descends into nasty rhetorical back and forth

Report: Obama more active on social media Study shows how campaigns use online messaging to communicate directly with voters

Ryan, Romney talk chainsaws, shopping, in People In an interview in People Magazine, the GOP presidential ticket-mates and their wives talk about their favorite movies, their biggest splurges, and the possibility of a "noodling date"