Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surface tablet buzz starts, but Windows 8 excitement muted

SEATTLE (Reuters) - U.S. shoppers woke up with mild Surface fever on Friday, lining up in moderate numbers to buy Microsoft's groundbreaking tablet computer designed to challenge Apple's iPad.

The global debut of the Windows 8 operating system was greeted with pockets of enthusiasm, but not the mania reserved for some previous Apple Inc launches.

Microsoft is positioning the slick new computing device, which runs a limited version of Windows and Office with a thin, click-on keyboard cover, as a perfect combination of PC and tablet that is good for work as well as entertainment.

"I like the flexibility of having the keyboard and the touch capability," said Mike Gipe, 50, who works in sales for bank Barclays, and was planning to buy a Surface tablet at Microsoft's pop-up store in Times Square in New York.

"It's the combination of having the consumer stuff and the work stuff," he said, looking forward to using Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on the new device. Learn More...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gasoline Prices Set to Rise Through Election Day

Retail gasoline prices, already at the highest levels on average since July 2008, are likely to continue to climb this month as refinery and pipeline problems overshadow weakness in U.S. consumer demand.

On Wednesday night, a fire broke out at Exxon's (XOM) Baytown, Texas refinery, a 584,000 barrel per day facility that is the largest operating refinery in the U.S.

Exxon said there may be "some impacts to production" from the fire, but the plant will resume normal operations. A partial shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, the nation's largest oil product pipeline, also contributed to supplies fears, as it impacted the portion of the line carrying gasoline from Atlanta to Nashville.

"It will only take another refinery issue and a bit more of geopolitical noise to have the first U.S. election at a US average gasoline price of $4 a gallon," says energy analyst Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. Learn More...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

July in US was hottest ever in history books

WASHINGTON (AP) — This probably comes as no surprise: Federal scientists say July was the hottest month ever recorded in the Lower 48 states, breaking a record set during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

And even less a surprise: The U.S. this year keeps setting records for weather extremes, based on the precise calculations that include drought, heavy rainfall, unusual temperatures, and storms.

The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees. That breaks the old record from July 1936 by 0.2 degree, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Records go back to 1895.

"It's a pretty significant increase over the last record," said climate scientist Jake Crouch of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In the past, skeptics of global warming have pointed to the Dust Bowl to argue that recent heat isn't unprecedented. But Crouch said this shows that the current year "is out and beyond those Dust Bowl years. We're rivaling and beating them consistently from month to month." Learn more...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Facebook shares sink to new low after 2Q results

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's stock hit a new low Friday after it reported lukewarm second-quarter results and didn't give an outlook for the coming months.

The stock fell $2.88, or nearly 11 percent, to $23.97 in afternoon trading Friday, after earlier trading as low as $22.28.

Facebook Inc.'s initial public offering of stock priced at $38, and its low had been $25.52, hit on June 6. The stock is now about 37 percent below its IPO price.

Facebook issued its first financial report as a public company after the market closed Thursday. The company reported slightly stronger-than-expected revenue and a gain in user numbers, but investors weren't impressed.

Although revenue grew 32 percent in the second quarter, growth has slowed from earlier this year and from previous years. That's a concern for a newly public company. Investors are willing to value new companies highly, even if they are not making a profit, because they expect booming revenue.

Baird's Colin Sebastian also pointed out that the company is spending more on technology and hiring, driving up expenses.

But he's not overly concerned. He backed his "Outperform" rating for Facebook, saying advertising revenue was better than expected and the company is improving its ability to make money from users who access Facebook from apps on their phones and tablet computers. Learn more...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Best Ways To Lose Weight Fast

Limiting fats

Nutritionists recommend limit the intake of fats. The minimum number of fats is 25 grams per day. Of course, this dose is too low, and the abuse of such a diet can harm the body. But sit on for 3-4 weeks it is quite possible.

Do not forget about the proteins

Proteins are the basic food for our muscles, so they definitely need to include in your daily diet. Eat at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight.

Eat without salt

Getting rid of excess fluid in the body is a proven method of rapid weight loss.

Limiting carbohydrates

One extreme way to lose weight - severely limit daily intake of carbohydrates. In this case, your body will begin to lose fluid, which regards a significant weight loss.

Drink more

Take, for at least 10 glasses of pure non-carbonated water throughout the day.

Move more

If a person leads a sedentary life, then it is better to conduct exercises in two stages: first, gradually accustom your body to increasing the intensity of stress (criterion here is the absence of shortness of breath), and then perform the full range completely.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Space Shuttle Enterprise Set To Open To Public

NEW YORK (AP) — The last time some New Yorkers saw the space shuttle Enterprise, it was zipping around the city, riding piggyback on top of a modified jumbo jet past the Statue of Liberty and other local landmarks.

Others got to lay eyes on it as it sailed up the Hudson River on a barge.

Today, following its April and June sojourns, the piece of NASA history is on the move no more.

The Enterprise, a 150,000-pound mammoth of a flying machine, goes on public display Thursday at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum's new Space Shuttle Pavilion. Encased in the center of an accommodating inflatable dome, the shuttle will be available for visitors to admire up close from just feet away.

At 57 feet wide and 137 feet long — with a 78 foot wingspan to boot — the Enterprise is an imposing figure with quite a presence in its new home.

The space shuttle, which was completed in 1976, was NASA's first. Though it never actually flew a mission into outer space, it performed critical tests around the Earth's atmosphere and is widely credited with paving the way for five future shuttles. Learn More...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Apple pulls out of environmental ratings registry

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's withdrawal from an environmental ratings registry has prompted at least one city — San Francisco — to stop buying its computers.

The decision does not apply to iPads or iPhones. But Francis Tsang, spokesman for Mayor Edwin Lee's office, says the city's rules require that laptops, computers and monitors comply with the registry's requirements.

Late last month, Apple Inc. told the nonprofit EPEAT, short for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, to remove its products from its registry. It also plans to stop submitting its products to EPEAT for environmental ratings.

EPEAT is an industry standard that seeks to make it easier for customers to buy environmentally friendly electronics. Manufacturers still participating include Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony. Learn More...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Internet blackout looms for thousands: What you need to know

Thousands of computer users may lose Internet access on Monday, when the deadline for a temporary fix to a malicious software scam shut down by the FBI last year expires.

What is it?

Millions of computers were infected with the so-called "Internet Doomsday" virus used in the hacking scam, which redirected Internet searches through DNS servers used by the scammers, who allegedly netted $14 million in bogus advertising revenue. After U.S. and Estonian authorities busted the malware ring last November, a federal judge ordered that the FBI use temporary servers while the malware victims' PCs were repaired. The temporary servers will shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, meaning anyone using a computer still infected with the virus will likely lose Internet access.

"Connectivity will be lost to the Internet PERIOD," Symantec, the online security firm, said in a blog post. "If your computer is still using DNS entries that are pointing to the FBI servers on July 9, you will lose TOTAL access to the Internet. No connecting to the office from home, no updating Facebook, nothing until the DNS settings are fixed." Learn more...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sea rise faster on East Coast than rest of globe

WASHINGTON (AP) — From Cape Hatteras, N.C., to just north of Boston, sea levels are rising much faster than they are around the globe, putting one of the world's most costly coasts in danger of flooding, government researchers report.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists call the 600-mile swath a "hot spot" for climbing sea levels caused by global warming. Along the region, the Atlantic Ocean is rising at an annual rate three times to four times faster than the global average since 1990, according to the study published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

It's not just a faster rate, but at a faster pace, like a car on a highway "jamming on the accelerator," said the study's lead author, Asbury Sallenger Jr., an oceanographer at the agency. He looked at sea levels starting in 1950, and noticed a change beginning in 1990.

Since then, sea levels have gone up globally about 2 inches. But in Norfolk, Va., where officials are scrambling to fight more frequent flooding, sea level has jumped a total of 4.8 inches, the research showed. For Philadelphia, levels went up 3.7 inches, and in New York City, it was 2.8 inches. Learn more...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Global shares head lower as world slowdown fears grow

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares joined a global sell-off in riskier assets on Monday after disappointing May economic data from the United States and China overwhelmed any positive impact from hopes the world's central banks would ease policy further.

The euro slid 0.3 percent to $1.2400, moving closer to the $1.2288 it hit on Friday, its lowest level since July 2010, while Brent crude oil fell below $97 a barrel to a 16-month low.

Safe haven U.S. and German government bond yields held near Friday's record lows.,

"Investors are just fleeing risk assets," said ATI Asset Management chief investment officer Simon Burge.

The latest sell-off followed disappointing U.S. jobs growth figures on Friday and weak Chinese manufacturing data, which stoked fears that the problems in the euro zone are causing a worldwide slowdown in business activity. Learn More...