Asia turns on the taps for tech funding

June 24, 2014 2:52 am

Asia turns on the taps for tech funding

By Josh Noble in Hong Kong

When the bosses of US video messaging app Tango were on the lookout for a strategic partner, they turned in the direction of Hangzhou, China – home of ecommerce company Alibaba.

Within weeks, Tango’s founders met with Alibaba’s executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, before selling a quarter of the company for $215m.

Deals like this, where Asian capital goes into a young tech company from another part of the globe, are becoming increasingly common. The region is emerging as a key source of funding for the sector, putting Hong Kong and Singapore firmly on the map for tech startups seeking cash. Read more of this post

Business needs to make the case for capitalism; ‘Profit’ is popularly understood as being taken from consumers

June 23, 2014 6:48 pm

Business needs to make the case for capitalism

By John McTernan

‘Profit’ is popularly understood as being taken from consumers, writes John McTernan

British businesses urgently need to become actively involved in politics. There are serious short and long-term political threats to them and their profitability. This should worry them but it should worry the country even more.

The short-term threats are easily described and understood.

If Scotland were to leave the UK it would badly damage a range of companies, particularly in the banking and financial services sector. But the social, economic and trade links between Scotland and the rest of the UK would mean the crisis caused by independence would spread quickly and widely. The silence of almost all businesses on the September referendum is a scandal. The few interventions made to date were driven by stringent financial reporting requirements rather than a desire to play a public role. But corporations are actors and they should not be afraid to speak. Read more of this post

If Finland is the best Europe can do we should be worried; The country’s plummeting productivity is down to bad luck and bad policies

June 23, 2014 7:11 pm

If Finland is the best Europe can do we should be worried

By Risto Penttila

The country’s plummeting productivity is down to bad luck and bad policies, writes Risto Penttila

Either the World Economic Forum is wrong or Europe is in deep trouble. The latest competitiveness rankings from the Swiss think-tank list Finland as the most competitive country in the EU. At first, the country’s business leaders thought someone was pulling their leg. But the news was real. If Finland is the best the EU can offer, we should all be very concerned. Read more of this post

Robots will not eat the jobs but will unleash our creativity; Tech revolution has put the means of production within everyone’s grasp, says Marc Andreessen

June 23, 2014 5:25 pm

Robots will not eat the jobs but will unleash our creativity

By Marc Andreessen

Tech revolution has put the means of production within everyone’s grasp, says Marc Andreessen

Agrowing number of people seem to fear that robots will eat all the jobs. Their worry boils down to this: computers can increasingly replace human labour thus displacing jobs and creating unemployment. Your job, and every job, will go to a machine.

It is textbook Luddism, relying on a “lump of labour” fallacy – the idea that there is a fixed amount of work to be done in the world by humans. The counterargument comes from economists such as Milton Friedman, who believe that human wants and needs are infinite, which means there is always more to do. Read more of this post

Beijing accuses banks and developers over property market

June 23, 2014 8:30 am

Beijing accuses banks and developers over property market

By FT Reporters

China has signalled it will resist calls for aggressive measures to prop up its flagging property market, even as house prices continue to drop.

People’s Daily, the Communist party’s main mouthpiece, said in a commentary on Monday that the property market was in a “normal adjustment period” and accused domestic developers, speculators and foreign banks of exaggerating the slowdown in order to put pressure on authorities to adopt heavy-handed stimulus policies. Read more of this post

China Ting Group (3398), a garment maker, said two borrowers defaulted on entrusted loans it made through Ningbo Bank Corp. and Bank of Communications

China Ting Says Borrowers Default on Entrusted Loans

By Bloomberg News – Jun 23, 2014

China Ting Group Holdings Ltd. (3398), a garment maker, said two borrowers defaulted on entrusted loans it made through Ningbo Bank Corp. and Bank of Communications Ltd. The stock fell.

Zhongdou Group Holdings Ltd. and Hangzhou Zhongdou Shopping Centre Co. failed to make interest payments on schedule on loans worth 160 million yuan ($26 million), China Ting said in a Hong Kong exchange filing yesterday.

Entrusted loans, advances between companies arranged through banks, are part of China’s shadow banking system that regulators are seeking to rein in. Some of the entrusted funds, which totaled 8.2 trillion yuan as of the end of 2013, were being directed to industries that face lending curbs from the government, according to the People’s Bank of China. Read more of this post

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive in China takes autocratic turn; President’s signature campaign appears to have spilled into something potentially destabilising

June 23, 2014 12:52 pm

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive in China takes autocratic turn

By Jamil Anderlini in BeijingAuthor alerts

President’s signature campaign appears to have spilled into something potentially destabilising

Ever since Mao Zedong launched the devastating 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that wiped out China’s intelligentsia and much of its traditional culture, scholars and China watchers have wondered what the lingering effects of that period would be.

A little over a year into his first term as president, China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, is providing the beginning of an answer. Read more of this post

At Acute Care Hospitals, Recovery Is Rare, but Comfort Is Not

At Acute Care Hospitals, Recovery Is Rare, but Comfort Is Not

By GINA KOLATAJUNE 23, 2014

NEW BRITAIN, CONN. — Propped up in a hospital bed, a 75-year-old man withamyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, must make an agonizing decision. Should he keep struggling until the illness inevitably kills him, dependent on a ventilator, unable to walk or eat or move? Or should he choose a day and a time to have the ventilator disconnected, and die?

The man, who asked not to be identified to protect his privacy, was a patient at the Hospital for Special Care here, one of 400 long-term acute care hospitals in the United States. These are no ordinary hospitals: Critically ill patients, sometimes unresponsive or in comas, may live here for months, even years, sustained by respirators and feeding tubes. Some, especially those recovering from accidents, eventually will leave. Others will be here for the rest of their lives. Read more of this post

Lofty Salaries in the Ivory Towers; Are university presidents overpaid, or does the compensation appropriately reflect their wide range of management, recruitment and fund-raising duties?

JUNE 23, 2014

Lofty Salaries in the Ivory Towers

INTRODUCTION

Despite continued talk in academia of austerity – resulting in program cuts, loss of tenure-track jobs and increasing reliance on part-time adjuncts – the salaries of university presidents have reached record levels. Recently, at the University of Alberta, 56 Canadian academicsapplied for the $400,000-a-year job of the departing president in groups of four to highlight the pay disparity.

Are university presidents overpaid, or does the compensation appropriately reflect their wide range of management, recruitment and fund-raising duties? Read more of this post

Long love is built on understanding the nuances of human nature, including human frailty; “In love’s service only wounded soldiers can serve.”

Rhapsody in Realism

JUNE 23, 2014

A few years ago, I came across an article on a blog that appealed tremendously. It was on a subject that obviously I have a lot to learn about. But it was actually the tone and underlying worldview that was so instructive, not just the substance.

The article was called “15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years” by Lydia Netzer. The first piece of advice was “Go to bed mad.” Normally couples are told to resolve each dispute before they call it a night. But Netzer writes that sometimes you need to just go to bed. It won’t do any good to stay up late when you’re tired and petulant: “In the morning, eat some pancakes. Everything will seem better, I swear.”

Another piece of advice is to brag about your spouse in public and let them overhear you bragging. Read more of this post

Microsoft Makes Bet Quantum Computing Is Next Breakthrough

Microsoft Makes Bet Quantum Computing Is Next Breakthrough

By JOHN MARKOFFJUNE 23, 2014

Michael Freedman, Sankar Das Sarma and Chetan Nayak proposed a computing model in 2005 that can be used to construct qubits, the foundation of quantum computing.CreditEmily Berl for The New York Times

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Modern computers are not unlike the looms of the industrial revolution: They follow programmed instructions to weave intricate patterns. With a loom, you see the result in a cloth or carpet. With a computer, you see it on an electronic display.

Now a group of physicists and computer scientists who are funded by Microsoft are trying to take the analogy of interwoven threads to what some believe will be the next great leap in computing, so-called quantum computing. Read more of this post

Tech moguls raise cash to fight Washington’s ‘big money problem’; “Until we fix the root problem – the big money problem – we’re going to keep dealing with attack after attack on a free, open and innovative Internet”

Updated: Tuesday June 24, 2014 MYT 10:11:41 AM

Tech moguls raise cash to fight Washington’s ‘big money problem’

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined a Super Political Action Committee (PAC) called Mayday which will raise big money in order to fight the problem of big money in American politics characterised by powerful lobbies buying influence through funding political campaigns by candidates – AFP Photo.

SAN FRANCISCO: A group of influential Internet moguls aim to fix what they refer to as the “big money problem” in Washington politics by, well, raising cash.

Forming a Super Political Action Committee (PAC) called Mayday, the executives hope to raise US$12mil by the mid-term elections in November in hopes of supporting candidates who are committed to changing how elections are financed. Read more of this post

Realizing the American Apparel Chief Isn’t Wearing Any Clothes; Dov Charney’s dismissal raises all sorts of thorny corporate-governance questions for investors and boards about iconic – and notorious – leaders, esp in creative fields

Realizing the American Apparel Chief Isn’t Wearing Any Clothes

By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

image001-15

JUNE 23, 2014 9:06 PM Comment

Ann Johansson for The New York TimesDov Charney at American Apparel’s Los Angeles headquarters in 2011. He was removed as chief executive last week by the company’s board.

American Apparel Founder Fights to Get His Job Back

Dov Charney is completely naked. He is dancing in what looks like an office or studio, talking on his cellphone while he jams to “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads. Two women are there with him, possibly employees. Read more of this post

How to invest like Jim Slater – and beat the market by a factor of 20

How to invest like Jim Slater – and beat the market by a factor of 20

The veteran investor’s stock-picking formula outperformed spectacularly when he invented it 50 years ago. Here are four stocks that pass his tests today

Jim Slater: ‘I was convinced that the stock market winners of the past would have some common characteristics’ Photo: PA

By Richard Evans

12:09PM BST 23 Jun 2014

“It is only necessary to be 6 inches taller than the other people in a room to see above everyone’s heads.”

This is Jim Slater’s recipe for investing success – that if you concentrate on learning about a particular aspect of investment, you can quickly become more knowledgable about it than “the other people in the room”.

You will then make better choices – and bigger profits.

Read more of this post

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