Links 2012-10-23


Apple sets a crowded table for holiday shoppers — Apple News, Tips and Reviews

“After Tuesday’s iPad event, Apple now has the strongest assortment of iOS mobile products it has ever put in front of consumers, who are more excited than ever about mobile computing. It’s a complex lineup, but it could force competitors to scramble for scraps.”

Phil Schiller Trash Talks Android Tablets At iPad Mini Event | TechCrunch

“Wow, have you ever seen that much trash-talking an Apple event? After introducing the iPad Mini, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, did a side-by-side comparison of the new iPad versus the leading Android tablet, Google’s Nexus 7. “Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad, and they’ve failed miserably,” Schiller said. “These are not great experiences.”

It was kind of remarkable to see Apple taking what some would call the “low road,” and actually comparing their product to that of the competition in such unkind terms. It’s the first time that Apple has really taken the trash-talking to this level – at least in recent years.”

It’s Making The Shift: 14% Of Facebook’s Q3 Ad Revenue Came From Mobile | TechCrunch

iPad Mini vs Nexus 7

“Paying $329 instead of $500 to be able to say you have an iPad will be huge for many people, and the can of worms Apple’s opened up might just be the hardest outbreak to contain in the tablet space yet.”

Facebook mobile revenue grows faster than expected | Reuters

“Facebook Inc grew mobile advertising revenue several times in the third quarter, a faster-than expected pace that helped reassure investors that the world’s No. 1 social network is beginning to figure out how to earn money off smartphone and tablet users.”

Marissa Mayer Leads First Investor Call As Yahoo CEO With Emphasis On Hiring & Culture, Call For More Mobile Focus | TechCrunch

““My goals are simple: To execute faster, hire top talent, and make Yahoo the absolute best place to work,” she said.

Though flashy Mayer-led initiatives such as buying new iPhones for all employees and company-wide free lunch have gotten a lot of press, she was quick to point out that attracting and retaining top talent is not all about spending money. “True cultural change can’t be bought, so the vast majority of what we’ve done hasn’t cost anything.””

7 reasons to shred your wireless contract and switch to pre-paid | Android and Me

“Pre-paid wireless service has existed in North America for several years, but it wasn’t a real viable option for smartphone owners until recently. There are now tons of affordable unlocked devices to choose from and plenty of options for pre-paid data at 4G HSPA+ speeds. Read on to see why you might want to shred your current wireless contract and think about joining the pre-paid club.”

Best unlocked Android phone for any budget, October 2012 | Android and Me

“Once you get past the initial expenses, your savings could quickly add up. I switched from Verizon to Straight Talk (AT&T), which instantly saved me around $50 per month, or roughly $600 per year. That same $600 is about the cost of most high-end Android phones that are unlocked and sold without a service contract. This means your potential first-year savings could absorb the entire cost of any new Android phone you want.”

Apple Adds A Retina Screen To The 13-inch MacBook Pro, To Cost $1699 And Ships Immediately | TechCrunch



Madrid region pulls debt sale on weak demand – 

“The Madrid region has been pushed further towards requesting a bailout from Spain’s regional government rescue fund after it pulled a planned debt sale amid limp investor demand.

The failure to sell bonds by the Community of Madrid, which has the second-highest credit rating of Spain’s 17 regional governments, came after Moody’s downgraded the debt of five other Spanish regions, including the economic powerhouse of Catalonia.”

Moody’s downgrades five Spanish regions; confirms ratings of other five regions

“Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded by one or two notches the ratings assigned to five Spanish regions — Andalucia, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalunya, and Murcia.

At the same time, Moody’s has today confirmed the ratings of the Basque Country and the Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia at Baa2, one notch above the sovereign bond ratings. In addition, the ratings of the regions of Madrid, Castilla y Leon and Galicia have also been confirmed at Baa3, on par with the sovereign ratings. Finally, the ratings of the region of Valencia and of four government-related entities in Valencia have been confirmed at B1.”

Britain has left the European Union in all but name – Telegraph Blogs

“For those readers who missed it, the UK is preparing to pull out of almost all areas of “Justice and Home Affairs”, the so-called Pillar III of EU jurisdiction. (Pillar I is the single market, and Pillar II is foreign affairs)
This is revolutionary. We are withdrawing from 130 directives, covering everything from the European Arrest Warrant, the European Public Prosecutor, to the European justice department (Eurojust).”

United States of Europe: can it ever be achieved? | Business |

This is a piece from Hans-Werner Sinn who is famous for his nationalistic views on political economy issues in Germany. So take what he says with a grain of salt. For example, he calls Eurobonds something that goes much further than the United States. That’s rubbish. The US issues bonds through a central government in the same way eurobonds would be issued.


United States

Low Rates Pummel Bank Profits –

“An important gauge of lending profitability, known as net interest margin, has dropped to its lowest level in three years. The measure tracks how much banks earn when they borrow from depositors and then lend or invest those funds.”

Ben Bernanke will probably ‘not stand for re-election’ – Telegraph

“Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has reportedly told close friends he will probably not stand for a third term at the central bank even if President Barack Obama wins a second term in office.”

DuPont cuts 1,500 jobs as profits vanish –

“DuPont, the US chemicals group, said it planned to cut 1,500 jobs to improve productivity, as it reported lower than expected third-quarter profit and warned of weak demand for materials used to make solar panels.

Net income fell to $10m, or a penny a share, from $452m, or 48 cents a share, last year.”

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