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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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Credit unions plan for more members

Category : Business, World News

The UK’s network of credit unions is set to expand after 31 groups signed up to a major investment project.

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Global eTelecom, Inc. to Be Featured on 21st Century Business Television May 8 and May 11, 2013

Category : Stocks

FT. WALTON BEACH, FL–(Marketwired – May 7, 2013) – Multi-Media Productions (USA), Inc. is pleased to announce that Global eTelecom, Inc. (GETI) will be airing on 21st Century Business on CNBC (as paid programming) on May 8, 2013 and on the Fox Business Network (as paid programming) on May 11, 2013. Click for CNBC Airing Schedule. Click for Fox Business Airing Schedule.

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Alpha Network Alliance Ventures Invites Members to Download New Social Networking Apps for

Category : World News

Alpha Network Alliance Ventures Inc. Has Recently Announced Its Formal Invitation for Members to Join Their New Filipino Social Networking Site and Download the New Android and iPhone Mobile Apps With

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Jurors deliberate in Jodi Arias murder trial amid media spectacle attracting fans … – Fox News

Category : Stocks

San Francisco Chronicle
Jurors deliberate in Jodi Arias murder trial amid media spectacle attracting fans
Fox News
PHOENIX – It has become a real-life soap opera for people around the world and dozens of fanatics who camp out on a Phoenix sidewalk early in the morning to get into the show. One seat even sold for $200. A cable network has set up a stage nearby for
Jurors deliberate Arias fate amid spectacleHilton Head Island Packet

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Mobile networks see bright future for electronic wallet

Category : Business

Britain’s big three mobile networks have united on a project to make debit cards of our smartphones. And they’re even planning to outsmart Google

There is a scene in the 2002 film Minority Report where Tom Cruise walks into a clothes store and a computer scans his eyes. “Hello Mr Yakamoto, welcome back to the Gap,” chirrups a sales assistant in hologram form. “How’d those assorted tank tops work out for you?”

Brands from Nokia to Bulgari collaborated in the Steven Spielberg film to paint a picture of what a shopping trip might look like in 2054. But we may not have to wait that long – science fiction could become reality later this year.

In the real world, though, individual shoppers will be identified not by iris scans, but by the portable devices in our pockets. The UK’s three largest mobile phone networks, EE, Vodafone and O2, have joined forces to turn smartphones into virtual wallets that know who we are, where we are and what we buy.

“Imagine: you are walking past Topshop and an alert pops up on your phone offering you a discount in store today,” says David Sear. The new chief executive of Weve, the company set up by the networks to manage the mobile wallet project, is giving his first interview.

You’d then walk into the store, pick out a purchase, scan the barcode, and pay by tapping your phone on an Oyster-card-style reader, rather than at the till.

“It is a bit of joy,” claims Sear. Bargain lovers would agree; others might find it intrusive. To those standing in line to pay, it could seem downright rude.

The idea is not a new one, but despite the efforts of companies ranging from Google to Barclays it has yet to gain traction with consumers. Google Wallet, launched in the US in 2011, has not made it to these shores. But Weve says 15 million mobile phone customers have already opted in to its service.

At the moment, those users receive nothing more than text messages alerting them to offers. But within months, Weve says it will have opened its database, allowing companies that buy advertising slots on web pages access to data ranging from users’ physical location to the websites they visit on their phones.

Before the end of the year, Sear hopes to have created an app capable of holding dozens of virtual loyalty cards, and to have recruited its first brand. Payment mechanisms will follow.

“My background is in disruption,” says Sear, who has made his career with payments firms that challenged the big banks. An early venture used data to help retailers spot cheques that would bounce. At online transactions firm WorldPay he helped shoppers in one country buy goods in their own currency from sellers abroad.

“I succeeded with the cheque business because we enabled people to do things at the point of sale which they couldn’t do before,” says Sear. “I have 17 loyalty cards sitting in my sock drawer because I can’t be bothered to carry them all around. I think there’s a real opportunity to create one place where you might hold competing loyalty mechanisms.”

But why should an unwieldy coalition of mobile phone firms, more used to competing than collaborating, succeed where a digital native like Google has so far come unstuck?

“People in the loyalty industry know what Google wants: their data. One of the large US supermarket chief executives said the thing he didn’t want to do was give Google his data. Whatever we do, it has to be a coalition of the willing.”

Weve claims it will share details of every purchase with the relevant loyalty card issuer. The system will also ask mobile phone customers to opt in, rather than acting like Facebook and Google and assuming users will accept advertising in exchange for a free service.

For the networks behind Weve, this is one of the advantages of having paying customers. Facebook has to presume we want advertising because it has few other sources of revenue, but mobile phone companies can afford to be a little less pushy.

“We want consumers to have bought into the value of the service,” says Sear.

He is particularly critical of Facebook Home, a new app from the social network that takes over a smartphone’s home screen to display ads alongside news and photographs from friends. “I personally do not want to see ads popping up on my phone when the screen is locked. In Facebook’s case I don’t think they are really asking for permission; it’s just part of the deal you sign up to on that system.”

Weve will not be a consumer brand. The networks will sign up customers themselves, using a dashboard of information-sharing options. Details shared could range from the first part of a postcode to age, gender, location, web browsing history and likes or dislikes. Some will be compulsory, some optional, and the requirements will vary by network. Google has a similar dashboard, but few users are aware of its existence.

“The consumer is more powerful in this stage of our digital revolution than I think they have ever been, and they will decide whether or not something is appropriate,” says Sear.

Security is another factor. When Weve is ready to link a customer’s debit card to their phone so that they can make payments, those details will be held on the Sim card. Should the phone be lost or stolen, the data can be remotely deleted by the operator.

Memory wiping was a favourite theme of Philip K Dick, on whose writing Minority Report was based. The film was made not long after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, and Spielberg remarked at the time: “People are willing to give away a lot of their freedoms in order to feel safe. But the question is, where do you draw the line? How much freedom are you willing to give up?”

This applies increasingly to the trade-off between free services and private information. Those signing up for Weve’s service will at least be offered the choice.

Frost & Sullivan Highlights Benefits of Using Cardless Revenue Security Solutions to Protect Hybrid Networks in New White Paper

Category : Stocks, World News

Verimatrix Sponsored White Paper Explores Why a Unified Security Platform Best Positions Operators to Offer Multi-Screen, Multi-Network Services

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Vitesse Service Aware Switch Engines Simplify Service Delivery in Mobile and Cloud Access Networks

Category : World News

MEF CE 2.0 Ready Serval-2 With ViSAA Enables 10G Scalability for Bandwidth Intensive Network Applications

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How housebuilding helped the economy recover: Britain in the 1930s

Category : Business

New development created a third of the increase in GDP between 1932 and 1934. Could we repeat the experience today?

In the early 1930s Britain recovered impressively from a double-dip recession which ended in 1932. In every year from 1933 to 1936, before rearmament could have made any difference, growth exceeded 4% per year. Growth was not driven by fiscal stimulus; indeed it blossomed at a time of fiscal consolidation. So what was the magic formula?

The main ingredient was the “cheap-money policy“. From the middle of 1932, short-term interest rates were reduced close to zero and monetary policy was expansionary enough to stop prices falling and sustain mild inflation in pursuit of a target, set by the chancellor, Neville Chamberlain, to return prices to the 1929 level. The approach was similar in many respects to “Abenomics” in today’s Japan.

How did the cheap-money policy stimulate the real economy? A very important channel was through development of new housing. The number of houses built by the private sector rose from 133,000 in 1931-32 to 293,000 in 1934-35 and 279,000 in 1935-36. Many of these dwellings are the famous 1930s semi-detacheds which proliferated around London and more generally across southern England.

These figures are way ahead of any other year since the second world war. The building of these houses directly contributed an additional £55m to economic activity by 1934, and multiplier effects from increased employment probably raised the total impact to £80m – or a third of the increase in GDP between 1932 and 1934.

House building reacted to the reduction in interest rates and also to the recognition by developers that construction costs had bottomed out; both of these stimuli resulted from the cheap money policy.

House building was responsive in the 1930s for two reasons. First, the supply of mortgage finance grew rapidly and became more affordable in an economy in which there had been no financial crisis that curtailed lending. Building society mortgage debt rose from £316m with 720,000 borrowers in 1930 to £636m with 1,392,000 borrowers in 1937 when about 18% of non-agricultural working-class households were buying or owned their own homes.

In these years, deposits fell in some cases to 5% and repayment terms were extended from around 20 to 25 or even 30 years, reducing weekly outgoings by 15%.

Second, houses were affordable to an increasing number of potential buyers: 85% of new houses sold for less than £750 (£45,000 in today’s money). Terraced houses in the London area could be bought for £395 in the mid-1930s when average earnings were about £165 per year. Houses were cheap because the supply of land for housing was very elastic, which in turn meant that there was no incentive for developers to sit on large land banks. Underpinning the availability of land for house-building was an almost complete absence of land-use planning restrictions which applied to only about 75,000 acres in 1932; the draconian provisions of the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act were still to come.

Could we repeat the 1930s experience today? It would be very difficult since both mortgage availability and planning rules are very different. Nevertheless, given that we build far fewer houses than are needed to cope with the number of extra households each year, it is desirable to increase the supply of new houses.

A 1930s-style house building boom would not only be a great boost to economic recovery but would also address real social need. The directions for reforms which could re-create 1930s conditions are clear enough but, sadly, politically too difficult.

Nicholas Crafts is professor of economics at the University of Warwick

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Dish makes $25.5bn bid for Sprint

Category : Business, World News

US satellite television company Dish Network makes a $25.5bn bid for mobile phone firm Sprint Nextel, which has already received an offer from Softbank.

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Rail cable theft delays ‘in decline’

Category : Business, World News

Train delays caused by metal and cable theft halved in the last year, Network Rail figures show.

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