Digital single-servings: Why Yo, a crude app that took only eight hours to make, hit it big; Come on, Silicon Valley, you can do better than this

Digital single-servings: Why Yo, a crude app that took only eight hours to make, hit it big

BY MATT MCFARLAND June 23 at 9:17 AM

There are 1.2 million apps in Apple’s App Store. Most of them you’ve never heard of. Most of them will quietly fade away, lost in a competitive marketplace. For app developers, it’s a daunting task to create something that stands out and gets downloaded by thousands. This makes what’s happened with Yo in the last week so curious.

Yo is a messaging app in which users can hit a button and send each other a “yo,” which arrives on their smartphone as a push notification. The app took only eight hours to build. It was launched on April Fool’s Day. Yo’s logo is as vanilla as possible, simply a shade of purple. Its security was weak enough that a group of college kids hacked it. That led its co-founder to write a post, headline: “We were lucky enough to get hacked.” Read more of this post

In Japan, Hundreds of Shareholder Meetings on Same Day; This year, more than one in three companies will hold their meetings on Friday. Experts say the practice underscores Japanese companies’ dismissive attitude toward shareholders

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

In Japan, Hundreds of Shareholder Meetings on Same Day

By HIROKO TABUCHI

JUNE 23, 2014 1:06 PM 1 Comments

Investors who own shares in Japanese corporations might want to clear their calendars next Friday.

At 10 a.m. on June 27, annual shareholders’ meetings kick off at more than 900 major Japanese companies across the country. That’s more than one in three companies traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Read more of this post

Tech-savvy investors want digital solutions, but firms lag behind

Tech-savvy investors want digital solutions, but firms lag behind

2:45pm EDT

By Michael Leibel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Executives at top U.S. wealth managers say they need more technology to maintain their market-leading positions as younger investors seek to manage their money in a digital world, but research shows firms are not keeping up with client demands.

Many managers are more comfortable meeting face-to-face with clients. But a preference for video chat through services such as Skype is becoming more prevalent, especially with under-40 investors. Read more of this post

Merger Fever Can Be a Menace for Shareholders; Deals often stroke the ego of chief executives. But they can also destroy much value

Merger Fever Can Be a Menace for Shareholders

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JUNE 21, 2014

By JEFF SOMMER

Shareholders beware: M.&A. mania is back.

The numbers suggest that chief executives have a bad case of the seven-year itch: After eyeing other companies hungrily for so long, they have begun trying to buy them. Read more of this post

Apps bring speed reading into the digital age

Apps bring speed reading into the digital age

1:54pm EDT

By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) – Speed reading has been around for more than half a century, but new apps are bringing the technique into the digital age, helping users breeze through books faster.

ReadMe!, a new app for iPhones, lets readers control the pace of their reading from 50 to 1,000 words per minute.

“It’s about being able to read a book like ‘Harry Potter’ in an hour and a half and still have the full comprehension of it,” said Pierre DiAvisoo, who created the app and is based in Boras, Sweden. Read more of this post

Nestle takes step toward customizable vitamins

Nestle takes step toward customizable vitamins

11:15am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) – Nestle said on Monday it was working on a new research project that could one day lead to the development of made-to-measure vitamin combinations tailored to an individual’s needs.

Nestle, the world’s largest food group, said its Institute of Health Sciences was working with Waters Corp to develop tests that would efficiently measure the amount of vitamins in body fluids such as blood or urine.

Such tests would then be used to build a picture of a person’s nutrient status and to offer supplements tailored to certain needs.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the company could eventually offer such supplements through a device similar to its Nespresso coffee machine, though that could take years to develop.

Aside from the popular Nespresso, Nestle has smaller dispensing systems — Special T is for individual cups of tea, while BabyNes is for baby formula.

Nestle has recently been putting more focus on its health sciences business, which is growing faster and has higher margins than its traditional food businesses.

 

Who Can’t Raise Capital?: The Scylla and Charybdis of Capital Formation

Who Can’t Raise Capital?: The Scylla and Charybdis of Capital Formation

James D. Cox 

Duke University School of Law
May 28, 2014
Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper

Abstract: 
There has long been complaints that the heavy regulatory hand of Blue Sky Law administrators prevents capital formation by small issuers. Using data recently collected by the SEC, the article reasons that the problems capital starved small issuers encounter is not the state regulator. The problems are elsewhere. The paper explores whether intermediation may ultimately enable more startups to raise needed funds. For this to occur, however, the paper explores the formidable obstacles the broker must overcome in meeting demanding suitability requirements.

IBM at the Crossroads: Employees Talk; In this first of a three-part series we talk to analysts and current and former IBM employees about the company’s future as a chipmaker

IBM at the Crossroads: Employees Talk

Rick Merritt

6/23/2014 08:40 AM EDT
In the Shadow of Layoffs

In this first of a three-part series we talk to analysts and current and former IBM employees about the company’s future as a chipmaker.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — IBM should sell its semiconductor plants and get out of the chip-making business, say a handful of analysts and current and former IBM employees, pointing to GlobalFoundries as the best potential buyer.

A senior executive in charge of the IBM group told us chip operations remain strategic and — at least for the moment — intact. He would not, however, comment directly onreports in February that the company is exploring a sale of one or both of its fabs. Read more of this post

Son of former Philippines leader arrested in graft scandal

Son of former Philippines leader arrested in graft scandal

Monday, June 23, 2014 – 13:58

AFP

MANILA – Philippine police detained Monday the senator son of former president Joseph Estrada, the second high-profile official arrested within days over a massive corruption scandal.

Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, 51, gave himself up to police after the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court said it found probable cause to proceed with the charges and issued an arrest warrant. Read more of this post

Alibaba is case study in US-China legal gulf

Alibaba is case study in US-China legal gulf

Monday, Jun 23, 2014

Reuters

NEW YORK- Alibaba’s coming US initial public offering will probably value the Chinese e-commerce firm at more than $100 billion. But will shareholders actually own the business? That’s the timely concern raised by a US congressional commission. Lack of clarity in PRC law is mainly to blame.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which monitors bilateral relations on behalf of Congress, on June 18 published a paper highlighting the legal risks of so-called variable interest entities. Many Chinese companies use these contracts to give offshore investors control over – and economic benefits from – mainland businesses they cannot own directly. Read more of this post

Apple, Google, Samsung vie to bring health apps to wearables

Apple, Google, Samsung vie to bring health apps to wearables

1:14am EDT

By Christina Farr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – For decades, medical technology firms have searched for ways to let diabetics check blood sugar easily, with scant success. Now, the world’s largest mobile technology firms are getting in on the act.

Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and Google Inc, searching for applications that could turn nascent wearable technology like smartwatches and bracelets from curiosities into must-have items, have all set their sites on monitoring blood sugar, several people familiar with the plans say. Read more of this post

The Hidden Cost of Trading Stocks; ‘Best Execution’ and Rebates for Brokers

The Hidden Cost of Trading Stocks

‘Best Execution’ and Rebates for Brokers

By THE EDITORIAL BOARDJUNE 22, 2014

There’s no escaping the conclusion that the stock market is not a level playing field where all investors, large and small, have an equal shot at a fair deal.

A recent groundbreaking study found that undetected insider trading occurs in a stunning one-fourth of public-company deals. Experts have long debatedthe pros and cons of high-frequency trading, another pervasive practice, but there is no doubt that it gives superfast traders the jump on others in trading stocks. And the very idea of trading on a public exchange, where stock prices and trading volumes are visible to all, is being eclipsed byprivate trading of public stocks in off-exchange venues, called dark pools, usually operated by banks. Read more of this post

Quirky to Create a Smart-Home Products Company

Quirky to Create a Smart-Home Products Company

By STEVE LOHRJUNE 22, 2014

The repurposed red brick warehouse in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood is a bustling hub of modern industrial activity. Skilled young workers are hunched over pristine machine tools and 3-D printers that churn out prototype products.

This is the home of Quirky, a start-up that now fields 4,000 new product ideas a week, picks three winners and then takes over all aspects of production, from making blueprints to marketing the goods through big-box retailers like Home Depot and retail websites, including Amazon.

Most of Quirky’s top-selling products have been inventive, stand-alone devices — like a power strip that pivots so a plug never blocks an adjacent socket, and a plastic stem that inserts into a lemon or lime and becomes a push-button citrus spritzer. Read more of this post

Vice Has Many Media Giants Salivating, but Its Terms Will Be Rich

Vice Has Many Media Giants Salivating, but Its Terms Will Be Rich

By JONATHAN MAHLER and RAVI SOMAIYAJUNE 22, 2014

A black S.U.V. recently rolled through the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and stopped in front of the converted warehouse that is the global headquarters of Vice Media. Out of the vehicle stepped the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Mr. Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns a small stake in Vice, and he was visiting Brooklyn to meet with Vice’s chief executive, Shane Smith. Among the topics at hand was a rumor that Vice was negotiating to collaborate with, and perhaps sell a large stake to, one of Fox’s competitors,Time Warner. Read more of this post

Workday CFO: Put Employees First

June 20, 2014, 3:56 PM ET

Workday CFO: Put Employees First

NOELLE KNOX

Editor, CFO Journal

Mark Peek is the chief financial officer of Workday Inc., a provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resource departments. Previously, he was CFO of VMware Inc. and the chief accounting officer of Amazon.com Inc.AMZN -0.86% He spoke with CFO Journal Editor Noelle Knox about putting innovation above profits. Read more of this post

The Gluten-Free Craze: Is It Healthy? Experts Question Benefits of Gluten-Free For All but a Small Minority

The Gluten-Free Craze: Is It Healthy?

Experts Question Benefits of Gluten-Free For All but a Small Minority

JULIE JARGON

June 22, 2014 10:37 p.m. ET

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Consumers are inundated with competing claims about how – and what — they should eat.  Even a once tiny trend like the gluten-free diet has turned into a blockbuster. But is a diet without gluten really healthy? Read more of this post

Beijing’s Overhauls Get Short Shrift; Long-Term Plans to Revamp Economy Take Back Seat to Immediate Needs; Premier Pushes Spending

Beijing’s Overhauls Get Short Shrift

Long-Term Plans to Revamp Economy Take Back Seat to Immediate Needs; Premier Pushes Spending

MARK MAGNIER

June 22, 2014 9:13 p.m. ET

Construction workers labored at the site of a new bridge over the Yellow River in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province, in May. Li An/Xinhua/Zuma Press

BEIJING—Long-term economic overhauls that China’s leadership promised are taking a back seat to short-term needs as Beijing wrestles with a slowing economy and a foot-dragging bureaucracy. Read more of this post

ASEAN’s 5 Biggest E-Commerce Sites

ASEAN’s 5 Biggest E-Commerce Sites

TANIA ISA TECH  JUN. 23, 2014, 12:31 PM

It’s being dubbed the next big shopportunity and it’s taking place right here in Southeast Asia.

A combination of increased spending power among the region’s growing middle class (Nielsen estimates that the fastest emerging middle classes will hail from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore), an increasingly digitally-enabled populace and the long term growth of e-commerce that is being projected for the region (Frost & Sullivan estimates e-commerce transactions to grow by 24% across Asia-Pacific between 2011 and 2016), means that chances are you’re already spending more of your time and money shopping for savings online. Read more of this post

Johor’s Forest City land reclamation project alarms Singapore

Johor’s Forest City project alarms Singapore

Monday, June 23, 2014 – 10:15

The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA – The Singapore government has confirmed that it is perturbed over Johor’s Forest City project involving massive land reclamation that could affect the island state.

“Given Johor’s close proximity to Singapore, we are naturally concerned about any possible transboundary impact on Singapore from property development projects that involve reclamation work in the Straits of Johor,” a Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in a statement. Read more of this post

5 Signs You’re Going To Make It Big One Day; You need to have an innate fascination with whatever it is you’re working toward. You need to want to be consumed by it. You’ve got to understand the problems and be excited about finding solutions

Ariella Coombs

Content Strategist | Blogger | Managing Editor for CAREEREALISM.com | 2+ Years Content Management | @AriellaCoombs

5 Signs You’re Going To Make It Big One Day

June 19, 2014

We’ve all got dreams of making it ‘big’ one day, but how many of us actually follow through with those dreams? We make excuses for our lack of success, saying things like, “Life got in the way,” or “I can’t handle anymore rejection.”

But not you! You’re on the fast-track to fame and success. Or are you? Read more of this post

A Little Girl Wrote Google A Letter Asking To Give Her Dad A Day Off, And Google Responded

A Little Girl Wrote Google A Letter Asking To Give Her Dad A Day Off, And Google Responded

KARYNE LEVY TECH  JUN. 23, 2014, 9:12 AM

Here’s some advice on how to get some time off from work: Have your daughter send a really cute letter to your employer, asking them to give you a day off.

Bonus points if the letter is written in crayon.

One little girl decided to give her dad a hand. She wrote his employer, which happens to be Google, a letter, asking that they cut him some slack with the work schedule. Read more of this post

Poll suggests more bank fundraisings in the pipeline

June 23, 2014 12:01 am

Poll suggests more bank fundraisings in the pipeline

By Sam Fleming

Bankers from dozens of European lenders questioned in an anonymous poll say their firm may need to raise further capital as it seeks to bolster its balance sheet and comply with regulatory demands.

Some 65 banks across the region either expect to raise capital or may need to do so, according to a survey by EY, the accountants. That is out of a total of 294 bankers questioned in interviews conducted during March and April.

Of the number, some 22 bankers were definitive in saying their company had plans to raise more capital. Read more of this post

UK Mittelstand to outpace European rivals

June 23, 2014 12:02 am

UK Mittelstand to outpace European rivals

By Brian Groom, Business and Employment EditorAuthor alerts

Britain’s neglected medium-sized companies expect to grow faster than their mainland European rivals during the coming year, but they are being held back by the UK tax system, business leaders say.

UK mid-market companies are narrowing the performance gap with Germany’s admired Mittelstand, according to research by GE Capital, the finance provider. Read more of this post

India’s Snapdeal seeks to follow Alibaba playbook

June 22, 2014 7:56 am

India’s Snapdeal seeks to follow Alibaba playbook

By Avantika Chilkoti in New Delhi

Mysterious signs reading “Mission 500” dangle from the ceiling in every room at Snapdeal’s headquarters in New Delhi, describing a quarterly target set by senior management as the online marketplace strives to step up its recent rapid growth.

Kunal Bahl, co-founder, will not be drawn on the specifics of that goal, but says that one predecessor some time ago, “Mission 100”, involved a push to raise monthly sales from Rs250m ($4.2m) to Rs1bn in three months. Read more of this post

Shareholder activism catches fire in Japan

June 22, 2014 4:28 am

Shareholder activism catches fire in Japan

By Ben McLannahan in TokyoAuthor alerts

Shareholder activism is catching on in Japan.

A record 14 shareholder proposals for higher returns will be made at annual general meetings this month, according to IR Japan, a research firm.

Five are from a single investor – The Children’s Investment Fund of London – which will be coming back at Japan Tobacco on Tuesday with a similar set of resolutions to the ones rejected for the past two years. (Since then, though it denies any causation, JT has raised payouts.) The rest are from individuals and domestic institutions. Read more of this post

Banks speed up shift to forex automation in foreign exchange and rates trading as they move to slash costs and reduce the risk of further price manipulation scandals

June 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Banks speed up shift to forex automation

By Daniel Schäfer and Martin Arnold in LondonAuthor alerts

Banks including Barclays and UBS are accelerating a shift towards automation in foreign exchange and rates trading as they move to slash costs and reduce the risk of further price manipulation scandals.

Senior bankers are aiming to minimise human intervention because traditional trading over the phone has come under an intense regulatory spotlight. Authorities around the globe are investigating alleged manipulation of benchmarks such as currency fixes and interbank lending rates. Read more of this post

Central banks are planning to cut their exposure to longer-term debt to protect themselves from losses when the Federal Reserve ends its bond-buying this autumn, increasing the risk of instability in global markets

June 23, 2014 12:01 am

Central banks set to cut debt holdings

By Claire Jones in Frankfurt

Central banks are planning to cut their exposure to longer-term debt to protect themselves from losses when the Federal Reserve ends its bond-buying this autumn, increasing the risk of instability in global markets.

The majority of respondents in a survey of reserve managers who control assets worth $6.7tn, or more than half of central banks’ total reserves, said they were likely to adjust their portfolios in preparation of tighter monetary policy.

As the UK and US embark down the path back to more normal interest rates, big changes in asset holdings by other central banks around the world would heighten the risks of market disruption. Read more of this post

The 32-year-old Ashish Thakkar dislikes Africa’s youngest billionaire label

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW
June 22, 2014 3:05 pm
Ashish Thakkar: Bob Diamond’s African partner
By Javier BlasAuthor alerts

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Disruptive: Ashish Thakkar wants to shake up African banking but disagrees with criticism of his partner, Bob Diamond
When he was 15 years old, Ashish Thakkar told his parents that he wanted to leave his school in Uganda to build a business. His family gave him a $5,000 loan, but he recalls receiving a stern warning from his father too: “If it doesn’t work out within a year then you go back to school, but you’ll be a year behind your friends.” Read more of this post

Corporate governance: the resurgent activist

Corporate governance: the resurgent activist

A rising level of shareholder resolutions at annual meetings has provoked a reaction from the business lobby, write Stephen Foley and Jennifer Bissel

The US Chamber of Commerce calls it “minoritarianism, the tyranny of a minority”. Dan Gallagher of the Securities and Exchange Commission says annual meetings have been “hijacked” by “corporate gadflies”. Leo Strine, the chief justice of Delaware, where most big US companies are registered, says shareholder democracy has wrought a “constant ‘model UN’ where managers are repeatedly distracted by referendums on a variety of topics proposed by investors with trifling stakes”. Read more of this post

Anglo-Saxon economies should envy Germany’s rental culture; There might, however, be another explanation for the resilience of the German economy: its approach to housing

June 22, 2014 7:29 pm

Anglo-Saxon economies should envy Germany’s rental culture

By Mark Schieritz

Housing bubbles triggered the biggest financial crisis in living memory, writes Mark Schieritz

There is no shortage of explanations for the resilience of the German economy: its companies are strong; its political and social institutions stable; and the skills of its engineers legendary. There might, however, be another explanation: its approach to housing. The country’s property market differs widely from those in the rest of the world – and particularly from those of most Anglo-Saxon countries. Read more of this post

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