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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Openreach leaves customers unconnected and angry

Category : Business

Frustration over endless waits for Openreach to instal phone lines is made worse by being unable to complain directly

Letters about the unreliability and inscrutability of Openreach, the division of BT which, in theory, provides access to the national phone network, has unleashed a torrent of woe from readers stranded, often for months, without phones. The complaints have a common thread: Openreach is unanswerable to the customers it lets down because grievances must be channelled through their own service provider, some of whom seem equally unable to communicate with the company they rely on to install new lines.

MN of London

has been waiting since November for his Sky telephone and broadband to be installed: “Appointments have been made, and each time the engineer failed to show. In desperation, I cancelled my contract with Sky and placed a new order with BT in February. I’m still waiting and was recently asked by an amused BT operative what life is like without a phone line.”

Primus customer VC of Althorne, Essex,

lost her line in January and is still awaiting reconnection. “We feel powerless before these faceless organisations,” she says. Londoner LN-C has also been waiting since January for a new line. Engineers have either turned up with the wrong parts or qualifications, arrived unannounced and were unable to gain access or did not come at all. “We have wasted more than 40 hours waiting for BT to show up, or telephoning them to complain. BT’s delays are also costing me thousands of pounds in lost productive working hours as we are unable to conduct our business effectively without the internet,” she writes. “One of the telephone lines awaiting installation is for our Dualcom alarm system, which is necessary to comply with our insurance requirements.”

SC of Colwyn Bay, Conwy

ordered a new line through Sky in January and was told she would have to wait seven weeks. Snow meant the engineer was a no-show and she was told the next available appointment was in May: “We have been told that you can’t contact Openreach, you have to go through our provider – Sky – but then all Sky will say is ‘sorry’ this is the first available appointment.”

SC of London

complained to his provider Zen of a slow broadband connection in December. “Zen has been fighting hard to get Openreach to resolve the issue… Openreach has no telephone number or email address for end user complaints and insists we must go through our ISPs. It seems absurd that Openreach has been set up as a monopoly supplier of the communications infrastructure without there being any way for the end user to complain to them directly about their services, or for there to be an external body to which we can seek redress.”

Telecoms regulator Ofcom tells me it doesn’t publish complaints about Openreach as the number is so small. Of course it is. Because of Ofcom rules, Openreach gets to skulk behind the service providers who have to deal with customer complaints on its behalf. However, even Ofcom has realised that Openreach’s performance has “deteriorated” since the summer and it is reviewing the wholesale access market – ie Openreach’s monopoly on installations agreed with Ofcom in 2006 – to enable service providers to access BT’s national network. It is planning to introduce new rules such as payouts for customers who suffer delays.

Meanwhile, Openreach blames last year’s wet weather for a backlog of delays, including SC of Conwy’s five-month wait (her appointment was brought forward a month thanks to press office muscle) and says it has appointed 1,000 new engineers and carried out 1.7m visits in the last quarter. It blames MN’s saga on the fact that both Sky and BT coincidentally committed an “administrative error” when processing the order. His line has now been installed.

VC is the victim of a faulty telephone pole, which requires input from the electricity company and the council to remedy. The council also had to be invoked in LN-C’s case because it had concreted over relevant manhole covers and she now has a working line. SC of London apparently suffered delays because of the technical complexity of the problem which necessitated several visits.

Although customers’ contracts are with their own service provider rather than Openreach, it’s worth complaining to Ofcom if Openreach irks you. While unable to intervene on an individual basis, it will add it to the growing tally. For mediation when you reach deadlock, turn to the telecommunications ombudsman,

Northern Power Systems Expanding Commitment to Wind Turbine Market in Italy

Category : Stocks

Dedicated Mediterranean Region Applications Engineer Added to Team

Go here to read the rest: Northern Power Systems Expanding Commitment to Wind Turbine Market in Italy

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BT creates 1,000 fibre-broadband installation jobs

Category : Business

New intake follows addition of 1,500 engineers in past year and will include 400 apprenticeships for training scheme

BT is to create more than 1,000 engineering jobs to install household fibre broadband connections.

Of the new recruits, 400 will be apprentices on a training scheme that lasts two and a half years, and BT is hoping a further 200 jobs will go to those retiring from the armed forces.

Demand for faster internet speeds has been picking up as construction of the UK’s fibre network gathers pace. In rural areas, the build-out is being funded by the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project, for which BT has so far won all the contracts.

BT has already hired 1,500 engineers in the past year, and after the new recruitment wave, it will have 6,000 people working on its fibre build.

Its apprentice scheme has been oversubscribed at a rate of 40 applicants for every place, with 18,500 vying for the 460 trainee engineer posts filled to date.

The new intake will spend a year working for BT’s Openreach business, installing lines in homes, before going on to learn the full range of engineering tasks. Apprentices will also complete maths, English and technology courses, and will receive diplomas.

David Cameron welcomed the new jobs. The prime minister said that creating a faster broadband network was “vital for driving investment and equipping the UK to compete and thrive in the global

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Red Hawk Casino Awards Mini Cooper Grand Prize

Category : Stocks

San Jose Engineer Wins Big at Grand Finale

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Apple patents were violated by Samsung, jury rules – Washington Post

Category : Stocks
Apple patents were violated by Samsung, jury rules
Washington Post
Apple won a sweeping victory in its landmark patent dispute against Samsung when a Silicon Valley jury ruled Friday that a series of popular smartphone and tablet features — from the rounded rectangle shape to the way screens slide and bounce to the
At Home, Samsung Seen as UnderdogWall Street Journal
Apple-Samsung Jury May Have Leaned on Engineer, Patent HolderBusinessweek
Apple awarded $1 billion in Samsung patent infringement caseLos Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle

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Letters: Olympics engineers deserve their own gold medal

Category : Business

During the coming weeks, millions will be tuning in to see the extraordinary sporting talent at the Olympic Games and crossing their fingers for some medals for Team GB (Olympics 2012, 27 July). But through the eyes of an engineer, seeing the Olympic Park complete and the magnificent venues in all their glory is just as exciting. Civil engineers, working for the Olympic Delivery Authority alongside other built environment professionals, have literally brought the Olympics to life – they have designed and built the venues and facilities, built 30 new bridges, restored 8.35km of waterways and constructed 1.8km of sewer tunnels underneath the site. They also oversaw the demolition of more than 200 buildings, the removal of 52 electricity pylons, the cleaning of more than 2m tonnes of soil and the protection of wildlife and plant species. The Olympics is a true feat of engineering in every sense. If anything could excite and inspire young people to take engineering as a career, it’s a project like this. For me, our engineers definitely deserve gold. We now proudly hand the baton over to the world’s leading athletes.
Richard Coackley
President, Institution of Civil Engineers

• The transport, queueing and security checks were all as expected. What surprised and delighted us was the atmosphere in the stadium as Mexico and South Korea, and Gabon and Switzerland battled through their matches, cheered on by good-natured crowds. Three hours of great football, though unfortunately

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Google (GOOG) has thousands of brilliant engineers, but do they understand consumers? Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle has his doubts after going over Google I/O’s product announcements. The sharing features of the Nexus Q streamer, panned in reviews, don’t…

Category : Stocks, World News

Google (GOOG) has thousands of brilliant engineers, but do they understand consumers? Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle has his doubts after going over Google I/O’s product announcements. The sharing features of the Nexus Q streamer, panned in reviews, don’t “sound like any fun unless you’re an Android engineer.” Google+’s new “party mode” feature “is as painfully dorky as it sounds.” And the adoption of Project Glass requires “not just a leap in technology, but in culture.” (also) 9 comments!

Read this article: Google (GOOG) has thousands of brilliant engineers, but do they understand consumers? Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle has his doubts after going over Google I/O’s product announcements. The sharing features of the Nexus Q streamer, panned in reviews, don’t…

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BP engineer’s arrest may force company to reveal internal estimates on Gulf spill

Category : Business

Company disputes government figures but has fought release of its own data on how much oil leaked into Gulf of Mexico in 2010

The unveiling of the first criminal charges in the Gulf of Mexico disaster could force BP to disclose a closely guarded secret – its internal estimate of how much oil actually gushed out of its stricken well.

It’s quite literally a billion-dollar question. The justice department, which announced the charges on Tuesday, against a former BP engineer, is also suing the oil company for damages in a civil case.

Those fines under the Clean Water Act will be decided by the amount of oil that flowed into the Gulf, up to $4,300 per barrel if the release is the result of gross negligence.

By the government’s account, which estimated the well released more than 4m barrels of oil before it was brought under control, that could mean penalties as high as $17.6bn.

But BP has always disputed the government figures, and those of independent scientists. It has also fought in court to keep its own internal estimates of the flow rate a secret.

Now the affidavit released on Tuesday suggest that BP knew more oil was coming out of the well in the early days after the explosion on 20 April 2010 than it was reporting to the federal government or the public.

The discrepancy could have sweeping legal implications for the oil company in civil and criminal proceedings arising from the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

A day after the explosion, Kurt Mix, the former engineer charged on Tuesday, began modelling the potential flow rate from the BP well, according to the affidavit. He shared his estimates with an unnamed supervisor, suggesting the well was gushing between 64,000 and 138,000 barrels of oil a day.

At the time, however, BP and the coast guard were telling the public there was as little as 1,000 barrels of oil coming out of the well.

BP gradually raised its estimates in the days and weeks before the well was finally brought under control in July 2010.

However, the oil company refused at the time to even discuss how much oil was coming out of the well, claiming that it was a distraction from efforts to control the well.

The federal government adopted a similar position – much to the frustration of environmentalists and scientists.

“The flow rate has never impacted the response,” BP America’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, told the New Orleans Times Picayune in June 2010.

He went on to say the flow rate was “irrelevant”.

The oil company and the federal government initially claimed it was impossible to arrive at an accurate estimate of the spill. However, independent scientists came up with a 70,000 barrel a day flow rate in May 2010 that turned out to remarkably close to the federal government’s final estimate.

However, the affidavit released on Tuesday suggests that the flow rate was crucial to the success of BP’s efforts to stop the well, with a procedure known as Top Kill. At a time when BP executives insisted Top Kill had a 70% chance of success, Mix and other engineers were privately warning that the procedure had little chance of working if the flow rate was more than 15,000 barrels a day. “Too much flow rate – over 15,000 and too large an orifice,” Mix warned in a text to a supervisor.

In public, though, BP officials continued to say Top Kill was going according to plan for another two days.

Those arguments are set to continue in a federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday, where a judge is reviewing the $7.8bn settlement reached with 100,000 individuals for economic and medical claims.

A few hours after Mix’s arrest, the justice department filed papers demanding BP produce its internal estimates of the flow rate, The Times-Picayune reported.

“It appears that BP intends to argue that the United States internal flow rate work should be produced while BP’s should be protected,” the justice department wrote. “That position is neither fair nor grounded in the law.”

First charges filed over BP spill

Category : Business, World News

A former BP engineer is accused in the US of obstruction of justice over the 2010 Gulf oil spill – the first criminal charge in connection with the disaster.

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80% Here

Category : Entertainment

Set against the gorgeous landscape of Armenia, Here chronicles a brief but intense relationship between an American satellite-mapping engineer (Foster) and an expatriate photographer (Azabal) who impulsively decide to travel across the remote…

See original here: 80% Here

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