Archive for December, 2009

Facebook: Fighting Addiction

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To Deal With Obsession, Some Defriend Facebook

….“We decided we spent way too much time obsessing over Facebook and it would be better if we took a break from it,” Halley said.

By mutual agreement, the two friends now allow themselves to log on to Facebook on the first Saturday of every month — and only on that day.

Read Story – NY Times


Website Makeover Tips

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Website Makeovers Revisited

We checked back in with six struggling Web sites that implemented redesign advice from our experts. See what’s working — and what still needs improvement.

Source – CNN Money

HOT JOBS! What’s next?

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Next hot job? Keeping tabs on financial firms

Report: Accountants, compliance officers to benefit from complex new rules

WASHINGTON – People who knew how to make a quick buck held some of the fastest-growing jobs two years ago. Now, the growth industry is in helping financial firms figure out how to follow the rules.

FULL STORY – MSNBC


Google to Buy Yelp?

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Google Is in Talks to Buy Yelp

SAN FRANCISCO — In a sign that Google is interested in broadening its reach among local businesses, the search giant is in acquisition talks with Yelp the review site for local businesses, according to three people with knowledge of the deal.

Source – NY Times

Apple 3D Hyper Displays Coming?

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Apple’s patent applications always provide an interesting peek into what Apple researchers have been working on. In one of the more interesting patent applications we’ve discovered, Apple appears to be researching 3D displays in which the user will be able to look around an object.

In order to view a 3D object from various angles on your screen at present, you are required to use the mouse or keyboard to manipulate the object. This might simply involve clicking and dragging to pan or rotate an object. While functional, Apple considers this to be unintuitive and potentially frustrating to new users.

apl_hype

Source – Mac Rumors

SEC & The Investment Protection Act

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What the S.E.C. Gains From the Financial Bill

The House passed an extensive financial regulation bill last week that would significantly increase federal oversight of financial companies and the markets. Unlike the previous push for deregulation and curbs on private litigation, this legislation expands the government’s role in controlling markets for new securities and limiting the types of systemic risks that set off the financial meltdown in 2008.

NY Times – Investing


New Investment Firm Inspired by Breakup

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Jeffrey Gundlach to launch new investment firm

The star bond fund manager fired by L.A. money manager TCW Group this month will partner with Oaktree Capital Management, a group of former TCW executives. By Tom Petruno

Ousted by Los Angles financial giant TCW Group, star bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach on Monday turned to a firm whose executives had their own bitter breakup with TCW nearly 15 years ago.

LA Times – Investing

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla preparing IPO-sources

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wired By Poornima Gupta

WIRED

* IPO timing capitalizes on environmental enthusiasm

* Filing is near but exact date not clear (Adds background on Tesla, green IPOs, car industry)

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 20 (Reuters) – U.S. electric sports car maker Tesla Motors plans to go public soon, two sources familiar with the matter said, amid growing interest in green technology and battery-powered vehicles.

An IPO filing from the six-year-old start-up, best known for its $109,000 all-electric Roadster, is expected any day, said one of the sources. The person did not give a specific time frame, although IPOs typically take several months.

Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes declined to comment on what he called “rumor or speculation.”

Tesla would mark the first public offering from a U.S. automaker since Henry Ford’s Ford Motor Co (F.N) debuted its shares in 1956. The IPO represents a landmark in the resurgence of electric car technology that most carmakers had dismissed as impractical until recently.

The company’s chairman Elon Musk said early last year that an IPO was a possibility in either late 2008 or 2009.

But the financial market turmoil following the collapse of Lehman Bros. in the latter half of 2008 virtually shut down the IPO market. The appetite for IPOs has picked up since mid-September this year with a robust pace of new filings.

Tesla’s IPO would follow the successful debut of lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems (AONE.O), whose shares rallied 50 percent on their first day of trading on Sept 25.

Analysts have said that the success of A123, the first green technology IPO this year, would encourage more venture capital-backed green companies to go public.

Tesla will compete with established automakers like Ford, General Motors and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), all of which are racing to launch electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Tesla, by contrast, is a small player with a high-end market and limited production.

A combination of factors has driven the recent interest in developing electric, or partially electric vehicles, including the Obama administration’s push to have one million rechargeable vehicles on US roads by 2015 and low-cost Department of Energy loans for manufacturers.

VENTURE FUNDS BACK GREEN CARS

The carmaker is developing a second, lower-cost model, an electric sedan known as the Model S, which will have a base price of $49,900.

Tesla said in September it delivered 700 Roadsters since February 2008. The Roadster, which is built on a Lotus frame, can go from zero to sixty miles an hour in less than four seconds, making it faster than a Porsche 911 or a Ferrari Spider.

The electric car start-up was offered $465 million in low-cost loans by the U.S. Department of Energy to help build the new Model S. Tesla said it will build the new car in California.

Tesla’s investors include Google Inc (GOOG.O) founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Other investors include Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE); Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments (AABAR.AD), which owns a stake in Daimler; and venture capital funds Valor Equity Partners, Technology Partners, The Westly Group and Compass Venture Partners.

Tesla said it had achieved overall corporate profitability in July with about $1 million of earnings on revenue of $20 million.

But like established automakers, survival in the hyper-competitive U.S. automotive market has not been easy for Tesla. The company had to face cost overruns and production delays for the Roadster. (Reporting by Poornima Gupta; Editing by Derek Caney)

S Is For Stunner: Tesla Reveals New Model S

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wired

By Chuck Squatriglia – March 26, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Tesla Motors just pulled the sheet off the much-anticipated Model S, a gorgeous electric car that company CEO Elon Musk says will carry seven people and deliver up to 300 miles on a charge.

Musk likened the sedan to the BMW 5-series and Mercedes Benz CLS sedans, and said it will usher in an era of stylish, practical and relatively affordable electric cars when it starts rolling off a Southern California assembly line by the third quarter of 2011.

“This is a historic car,” Musk said moments before pulling a black sheet off a silver model at Space-X, his aerospace venture in Los Angeles. “We’re trying to accelerate the EV revolution and help get us off oil.”

The Model S is a landmark for both Tesla and EVs. Tesla’s two-seat
Roadster sports car has shown electric cars can be sexy, but it has enjoyed limited appeal. A sedan could prove the Silicon Valley firm is more than a niche player, help push EVs into the mainstream and give
Tesla a strong position in the emerging electric car market.

But bringing the car to market by 2011 won’t be easy, and Tesla has no time to lose. General Motors, Ford and Nissan are among the major automakers promising to have EVs on the road by then, and Tesla’s facing competition from a growing number of startups, including Fisker Automotive.

The Model S was designed entirely by Tesla, and Musk made some big promises for the technology, saying the car would deliver a range of up to 300 miles from a battery that can be recharged in as little as 45
minutes — provided you spring for the top-of-the-line battery pack. The standard pack is good for 160 miles, Musk said.

“In the EV community, Tesla is tops,” said Paul Scott, a founder and board member of Plug In America. “But it’s seen as a company making toys for the rich. Now they’re going into the market where Lexus and
Infiniti play. This will spread the word about electric vehicles to a much wider audience.”

The Model S will have a list price of $57,400, but the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs and plug-in hybrids will bring that down to $49,000 $49,900.

Photos: Jim Merithew / Wired.com

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