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Pentagon wants proposals for next-generation cloud computing system… on DVD — RT US News

Remember DVDs? The US Department of Defense is keeping the nostalgia alive, and is calling on...

The Benefits of Cloud Computing For Small Businesses

by Jonathan Piggins
Cloud Computing is one of the newest developments in Information Technology that is really helping those with a small business. Cloud computing is an umbrella term that groups a wide range...

Will Enterprises Benefit From Cloud Computing?

by Kevin Gibbons
It is perhaps easiest to think of cloud computing as the IT equivalent of the national grid, which supplies electricity on demand in a scalable manner to businesses and individuals from a centralised, shared platform. This is a simplistic overview of cloud computing, but in essence the purpose of the cloud is to...

Back to Project Maven? Google hires head of major defense task force as chief...

The US tech giant risks attracting new controversy by recruiting Andrew Moore, three months after the...

NSA moves top secret data to cloud developed by Amazon — RT US News

The US National Security Agency is “systematically moving” all its data to a cloud-computing service, the...

Amazon launches ‘Secret Region’ cloud service for US intel agencies — RT US News

Published time: 20 Nov, 2017 23:33 Edited time: 21 Nov, 2017 00:05 Amazon announced it has...

The “Cloudy” Skies Corporations Want to Sell You

It’s the nature of the shallow, consumer-driven, dream-drunken culture our society tries to impose on us that we popularly adopt terms without knowing what...

Cloud Technology Meets Web Hosting

Cloud computing is not a new concept , in fact many major technology companies like Amazon and Google have been using it, and offering...

Differences between Dedicated and Private Cloud Hosting

by Jonathon Linnell
Cloud computing is growing in popularity among companies, but businesses may not be aware of the differences between cloud hosting and dedicated hosting. Understanding the differences can lead to...

Clearing Up Foggy Thinking On The Cloud

by Dan Cash
Those who know know that the cloud is going to be the next industry shake-up which redefines how we think about how we use computer technology. First it was the Apple Mac and desktop PC...

37 Percent of People Don’t Have a Clue About What’s Going on

But who's more naive -- the ignorant, or the educated who can't deal with the idea that there are ignorant people in the world.

March 20, 2013  |  

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Six percent of Americans believe in unicorns. Thirty-six percent believe in UFOs. A whopping 24 percent believe dinosaurs and man hung out together. Eighteen percent still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. Nearly 30 percent believe cloud computing involves…  actual clouds. A shockingly sad 18 percent, to this very day, believe the president is a Muslim. Aren’t they cute? And Floridian?

Do you believe in angels? Forty-five percent of Americans do. In fact, roughly 48 percent – Republicans and Democrats alike – believe in some form of creationism. A hilariously large percent of terrified right-wingers are convinced Obama is soon going to take away all their guns, so when the Newtown shooting happened and 20 young children were massacred due to America’s fetish for, obsession with and addiction to firearms, violence and fear, they bought  more bullets. Because obviously.

In sum and all averaged out, it’s safe to say about 37 percent of Americans are just are not very bright. Or rather, quite shockingly dumb. Perhaps beyond reach. Perhaps beyond hope or redemption. Perhaps beyond caring about anything they have to say in the public sphere ever again. Sorry, Kansas.

Did you frown at that last paragraph? Was it a terribly elitist and unkind thing to say? Sort of. Probably. But I’m not sure it matters, because none of those people are reading this column right now, or any column for that matter, because reading anything even remotely complex or analytical is something only 42 percent of the population enjoy doing on a regular basis, which is why most TV shows, all reality shows, many major media blogs and all of Fox News is scripted for a 5th-grade education/attention span. OMG LOL kittens! 19 babies having a worse day than you. WTF is up with  Justin Timberlake’s hair?!?

It is this bizarre, circular, catch-22 kind of question, asked almost exclusively by intellectual liberals because intellectual conservatives don’t actually exist, given how higher education leads to more developed critical thinking (you already know the vast majority of university professors and scientists identify as Democrat/progressive, right?) which leads straight to a more nimble, open-minded perspective. In short: The smarter you are, the less rigid/more liberal you become.

Until you get old. Or rich. And scared. And you forget. And you clamp down, seize up, fossilize. And the GOP grabs you like a mold.

Oh right! The question: How to reach the not-very-bright hordes, when they simply refuse to be reached by logic, fact, or modern mode? How to communicate obvious and vital truths (conservation, global warming,  public health, sexuality, basic nutrition, religion as parable/myth, the general awfulness of Mumford & Sons) the lack of understanding of which keep the country straggling and embarrassing, the laughingstock of the civilized world?

And who are these people, exactly? And are they all really in Kentucky and Florida and Mississippi? Are they all in the Tea Party? Is failing education to blame? A dumbed-down media? Reality TV? In the wealthiest and most egomaniacal superpower in the world, why is the chasm so wide?

There is no easy answer, but there is a great deal of irony. It is a wicked conundrum that you and I can debate the definition of elitism, whether or not it’s fair to criticize those who believe that, say, gay marriage means kids will be indoctrinated into homosexuality, or that evolution is still a theory, or that Jesus literally flew up out of a cave and into the sky, when the discussion itself is, by nature, elitist, exclusionary, requiring fluid, abstract thinking the very people we’re discussing simply do not possess, and therefore cannot participate in.

Europe to face Google over privacy rules

Europe intends to take coercive action against the US-based internet giant Google over its failure to follow orders to comply with the European Union privacy laws.

France's CNIL data protection agency said on Monday that European data organizations have planned to set up a working group to “coordinate their coercive actions which should be implemented before the summer.”

CNIL further added that European data agencies are set to hold talks next week to approve the action plan. The France-based organization will lead the effort.

In October 2012, European Union-led investigations warned that Google’s new privacy policy fails to provide users with sufficient control over their data, urging the company to modify it within months or face legal actions.

“At the end of a four-month delay accorded to Google to comply with the European data protection directive and to implement effectively (our) recommendations, no answer has been given,” said CNIL.

Google unveiled the new privacy policy in March, authorizing the firm to trace users to develop targeted advertising by combining data from all of its services despite sharp criticism from the US and European consumer advocacy groups.

The Internet giant contends the move simplifies and unifies its policies through its various services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android mobile systems, social networks and Internet search.

However, critics argue that the policy gives Google, which is the operator of the world's largest search engine, unprecedented ability to monitor its users.

Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation that hosts many internet-related services including, Internet search, cloud computing and advertising technologies.

Most of the company's profits are generated by the advertising revenue coming from its on-line advertising system known as AdWords.


Obama Declares Global Cyberwar

Cyber Warfare: US Military Hackers and Internet Spies

Throughout his tenure, Obama governed lawlessly for the monied interests that own him. He’s waged no-holds-barred war on humanity.

Strategy includes homeland tyranny, fear-mongering, saber rattling, hot wars, proxy ones, drone ones, domestic political ones, geopolitical ones, financial ones, anti-populist ones, sanctions, subversion, sabotage, targeted assassinations, mass murder, cyberwar, and more.

In May 2009, Obama prioritized cybersecurity. He called cyber-threats “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation.”

“America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity.”

He ordered a top-to-bottom review. A Cyberspace Policy Review report followed. He waged cyberwar on Iran. He did so cooperatively with Israel.

In spring 2010, Iranian intelligence discovered Stuxnet malware contamination. The computer virus infected its Bushehr nuclear facility. At the time, operations were halted indefinitely.

Israel was blamed. Washington was involved. Had the facility gone online infected, Iran’s entire electrical power grid could have been shut down.

A more destructive virus called Flame malware is known. Internet security experts say it’s 20 times more harmful than Stuxnet. Iran’s military-industrial complex is targeted. So is its nuclear program. Maximum disruption is planned.

Obama supports draconian cybersecurity bills. Passage threatens constitutional freedoms.

Targeted assassinations eliminate America’s enemies. Lawless domestic spying is policy. So is warrantless wiretapping. Americans are as vulnerable as others.

Obama’s waging war on humanity. He’s doing it multiple ways. Last October, he signed an executive order. It expanded military authority. It authorized cyberattacks. It redefined defense. Doing so lawlessly legitimizes aggression.

In November, Presidential Policy Directive 20 followed. It’s secret. It set guidelines for confronting cyberspace threats.

Last fall, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of a “cyber Pearl Harbor.” It could “cause physical destruction and loss of life,” he said. It could “paralyze and shock the nation and create a new profound sense of vulnerability.”

US officials never lack for hyperbole. Fear-mongering is longstanding policy. So are Big Lies, false flags, and other pretexts for wars, other military actions, and disruptive ones.

Cyberwar capability adds to America’s arsenal. Preemption adds another dirty tactic.

In early February, US media reports headlined stepped-up cyberwar. Preemption is prioritized. Nation states, organizations, and individuals are fair game.

US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) has full operational control. It’s a cyber hit squad. It’s part of the US Strategic Command.

It’s based at Fort Meade, MD. General Keith Alexander serves as National Security Agency (NSA) director and US Cyber Command head.

The New York Times cited a secret legal review. It affords Obama sweeping preemptive cyberattack powers.

It permits him “to order a preemptive strike if the United States detects (allegedly) credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad.”

His word alone is policy. Corroborating evidence isn’t needed. Efforts to protect classified and proprietary information are increasing.

The Washington Post said wireless and technology giants are battling over a plan to create super Wi-Fi networks.

The Wall Street Journal said Google, Microsoft and Amazon are competing to control cloud computing business.

The Christian Science Monitor said preemptive cyberwar entered America’s arsenal. It “nugded up along side other” approved tactics and techniques.

New policies govern how intelligence agencies work. They’ve been unrestrained before. They’ll have greater powers now.

The New York Times said they’ll be able to “carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code – even if there is no declared war.”

Rules of engagement are classified. Effectively there are none. Cyber-warriors are freewheeling. They’re unrestrained.

They’ll operate anywhere globally. China is a target of choice. It’s America’s main economic and geopolitical competitor.

An unnamed US official said new cyberwar strategy is “far more aggressive than anything” used or recommended before. The gloves are off. Anything goes.

Major disruptions can occur without firing a shot. Military and/or civilian power grids can be crippled. So can financial systems and communications networks.

Another unnamed US official said cyberweapons are so powerful that “they should be unleashed only by” presidential order. Exceptions would be tactical strikes.

Examples include disabling command and control as well as ground radar ahead of conventional strikes. At the same time, most cyberoperations are presidential prerogatives.

Expect Obama to take full advantage. Extrajudicial operations are prioritized. Rule of law principles are spurned. Operational procedures have been in development for over two years.

They’re headlined now. They coming out when cyberattacks more often target US companies and critical infrastructure. An unnamed US power station was crippled for weeks.

The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal reported cyberattacks. Obama prioritizes preemption. Doing so has no legal standing. Self-defense alone is justified. Acting on suspicions without evidence is aggression.

New rules serve Washington. Lawyers get marching orders. They’re well paid to subvert accepted legal standards. Doing so doesn’t change them.

What constitutes “reasonable and proportionate force” resides in the eye of the aggressor. New guidelines exclude the Pentagon from defending US companies or individuals without presidential authority.

Doing so is Homeland Security’s prerogative. The FBI has investigatory authority. Cybersecurity legislation remains stalled in Congress. Expect stepped up efforts for passage.

Doing so will more greatly comprise freedom. Full-blown tyranny approaches. It’s a hair’s breadth away. Whistleblowers are targeted. Dissent is endangered.

There’s no place to hide. Big Brother’s expanding exponentially. Cyber-preemption adds greater police state power.

On February 3, a Washington Post editorial headlined “Cyberwar, out of the shadows,” saying:

US Cyber Command is expanding exponentially. Doing so “is indicative of how conflict is moving toward center stage for the military, a domain similar to land, sea, air and outer space.”

It’s heading America toward unchallenged dominance.

In May 2000, the Pentagon’s Joint Vision 2020 called for “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary.

Doing so includes nuclear weapons use preemptively. Non-nuclear countries and adversaries are fair game.

Cyber Command includes:

(1) “Combat mission forces” cooperatively with military units.

(2) “Protection forces” to defend Pentagon networks.

(3) “National mission forces” to head off threats to critical infrastructure. They’ll operate outside America. They’ll function anywhere if authorized. They’ll strike US adversaries preemptively.

Targeting cuts both ways. Incoming attacks can precede or follow US ones. Secrecy is prioritized but compromised. Spies have clever ways of doing it.

Rules of engagement aren’t clear. Public information is limited. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Policy need generous doses.

“If conflict in cyberspace is underway,” said the Post, “then it is important to sustain support for the resources and decisions to fight it, and that will require more candor.”

Expect little forthcoming from the most secretive administration in US history. Obama’s first term prioritized homeland repression and lawless aggression. Imagine what he has in mind for term two.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at 

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

World on a string: DNA to be used for data storage

RIA Novosti / S. Solovjev

RIA Novosti / S. Solovjev

From cave paintings to cloud computing, man has sought out increasingly complex ways to store data. Now researchers have found that nature’s own hard drive – DNA - can be synthesized to back up a world of knowledge in the information age.

On Wednesday researchers from the UK-based European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) published findings in the journal, Nature, describing how they had stored all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a digital photo of their lab, a PDF of the 1953 study that described the structure of DNA, and a 26-second sound clip from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, in manufactured DNA.

"We already know that DNA is a robust way to store information because we can extract it from bones of woolly mammoths, which date back tens of thousands of years, and make sense of it," says study co-author Nick Goldman of the EBI.

“It’s also incredibly small, dense and does not need any power for storage, so shipping and keeping it is easy,” he continued.

DNA is in fact such an effective means of storage that the researchers estimate that at least 100 million hours of high-definition video would fit in a cup of it.

“A gram of DNA would hold the same information as a bit over a million compact discs,” Goldman said. “Your storage options are: one thing a bit smaller than your little finger, or a million CDs.”

DNA is a long, coiled molecular "ladder" comprising four nucleobases –  adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine – which are usually abbreviated as A, C, G and T. The various sequences of these four nucleobases are what encodes information in all known living organisms.

With the aid of a simple cipher, the scientists converted the ones and zeroes used in computing code into the four-letter alphabet of DNA code.

The EBI team is not the first to encode DNA. In 2012 a Harvard University research team published a paper in Science magazine, outlining their own method of DNA storage.

Goldman says their study stands apart because of the intrinsic measures that offset potential mistranslations.

Currently, technology only allows for the manufacture of DNA in short strings, and reading it is prone to error, as the same DNA letters are repeated over and over. But the researchers settled on a code structure that skillfully avoided both pitfalls.

“We knew we needed to make a code using only short strings of DNA, and to do it in such a way that creating a run of the same letter would be impossible. So we figured, let’s break up the code into lots of overlapping fragments going in both directions, with indexing information showing where each fragment belongs in the overall code, and make a coding scheme that doesn't allow repeats. That way, you would have to have the same error on four different fragments for it to fail – and that would be very rare," co-author Ewan Birney, Associate Director of EMBL-EBI, told Science Daily.

The code was then sent to Agilent, a US biotech company which produces synthetic DNA using a device similar to an inkjet printer.

"We downloaded the files from the web and used them to synthesize hundreds of thousands of pieces of DNA. The result looks like a tiny piece of dust," Emily Leproust of Aglient said.

Agilent then mailed the sample back to the EBI, where the researchers soaked the DNA in a solution to reconstitute it and used standard sequencing machines to decipher the code. All the files were recovered and read with 100 percent accuracy.

DNA could be useful for keeping huge amounts of information that must be kept for a long time but not retrieved very often, the researchers said. In order to store it, it would simply need to be freeze-dried and stored in a cold, dry and dark place, for anywhere between 600 to 5,000 years.

DNA storage does not come cheap, however. While Agilent Technologies worked pro bono for the sake of science, they say the commercial rate for DNA synthesis runs between $10,000 and $30,000.

But the researchers argued in Nature that “current trends in technological advances are reducing DNA synthesis costs at a pace that should make our scheme cost-effective for sub-50-year archiving within a decade.”

In the meantime, national archives and libraries will likely be the first beneficiaries, though it will eventually be possible for consumers to store information they want to have around in perpetuity, like wedding photos or videos for future grandchildren, Goldman said in an email to AP.

The researchers said they had no intention of ever putting the synthetic DNA into a living being, and it could never accidently become part of anything organic because its coding scheme would not be compatible.

"We have absolutely no intention of messing with life," said Goldman.

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Mass Surveillance: CIA To Access All UK Government Data

big brother is watching
All British government data will soon be available to the CIA, the NSA and other American intelligence agencies thanks to the extension of a controversial spy law. The European Union has warned that security will be compromised as U.S. intelligence agencies now have the legal right to examine all data stored on U.S. owned Cloud services.

Techtivist Report: UK Warned – CIA Will Access All Government Data

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Britain’s ambitious plans to store all government data on the so-called G-Cloud have led to warningsfrom the European Union that security will be compromised now that U.S. intelligence agencies have the legal right to survey all data held on U.S. owned Cloud services.

At least four U.S. companies are involved in the U.K. government’s G-Cloud project which Whitehall hopes will slash costs and “deliver fundamental changes in the way the public sector procures and operates.”

Eventually, it is hoped the G-Cloud will hold the bulk of State data in addition to that of schools, charities, the BBC and police, even the Bank of England.

While the recent amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) have received scant attention in the British Press, there are a few Members of Parliament so concerned that they want Britain to think about ending all intelligence cooperation with the U.S.

“The Americans have got to remember who their allies are and who their enemies are,” Conservative MP David Davis told The Independent, warning of “a whole cascade of constitutional and privacy concerns for ordinary British people”.

Cloud storage is increasingly popular in the U.K. where around 35 per cent of businesses and an unknown number of private users employ some form of remote storage from U.S. based companies like Apple, Amazon and Google. The government wants to see even greater use of Cloud storage across all sectors in what it describes as a robust “public cloud first policy.”

The FISA amendments now give the CIA and NSA the right to access all this data not just in Britain or Europe, but anywhere in the world. U.S. citizens are excused this intrusion by the Fourth Amendment, but everybody else is included.

In the case of Britain, by putting all government data online – including health and criminal records – every facet of peoples’ lives will be open to scrutiny by intelligence analysts across the Atlantic.

Many warn that this will also lead to activists, journalists, politicians, Muslims and others being specifically targeted without the need to justify national security.

“In other words, it is lawful in the U.S. to conduct purely political surveillance on foreigners’ data accessible in U.S. Clouds,” warns the report for the European Parliament, Fighting Cyber Crime and Protecting Privacy in the Cloud by the Centre for the Study of Conflicts, Liberty and Security.

While most of the attention has been focused on Cloud storage and the effect FISA will have on Europe, the actual wording of the amendment speaks of “remote computing services” which could literally mean anything stored on a computer other than your own.

As it is, every financial transaction passes through U.S. intelligence channels. With the new extension, no stone need remain unturned. Every time you comment on a book, join a club, or do absolutely anything that passes through a computer owned by a U.S. company, you are open to scrutiny.

The Cloud, however, comes with other concerns. There is debate as to who legally owns what if it is stored or edited in the Cloud, and you can’t even bequest your online music collection to a loved one when you die.

NSA aside, hackers can easier access data en-route to the Cloud than they can on a local area network, and the Cloud administrators might one day be compromised. The companies themselves may go bust or be taken over. They might suffer some catastrophic event or decide to amended their terms and conditions.

The European Union is being urged to add a warning to all U.S. based Cloud services, with clear wording that anything stored in the Cloud will be under direct scrutiny by Federal authorities. The report also wants to see E.U. citizens given the same rights as Americans in U.S. courts.

“A lot of people wouldn’t realize where data is stored, and hence wouldn’t expect to be subject to U.S. law,” cautions another Member of Britain’s Parliament, Julian Huppert of the Liberal Democrats.

He wants to know if the government has received any guarantee from Washington that sensitive data will not be scrutinized as foreign intelligence fodder.

“If the U.S. will not give a clear assurance about government data,” he says. “Then we will have to stop using the Cloud, as we cannot allow that to happen.”

Apple, Big Hedge Fund Stars & The Sell Side/Vaudeville Act To Burn Your Hard...

I see many pundits on CNBC commenting on Apple. I believe they are ALL wrong! To begin with, nearly all of them are coming up with revaluations after the fact - which is simply too late and lacks credibility. Second, Apple has someserious steps to take if it is to get back into the mobile computing race. David Einhorn's recommendation to return cash to shareholders (on the CNBC front page today) is not one of them. He's approaching this from a trader's perspective, and not from the perspective of a strategic long term investor. To date, Apple has outperformed nearly all hedge funds in the reinvestment of its cash. If Apple does the right thing, the  ability to replicate this performance by only 50% will whip the pants off of nearly every hedge fund, Einhorn's included. In addition, Apple is about to go through a depression style bout of margin compression that it will need cash to battle. I explained this to a group of entrepeneurs last year. Basically, Apple's $137B+ in cash is a call option on future opportunities and a put option on future mishaps. Einhorn is asking management to sell that call/put option straddle now, and forgo the ability to capitalize on future opportunities while running naked against margin compression at the same time that Apple's competition has surpassed it in technical ability (product/service wise) while Apple has shown ineptitude in competing in the cloud (see the maps fiasco), the next battle ground for the end user. This option sale will be had for the one time premium of a cash distribution. Wise, eh?

Does this mentality smack of the short term-ism indicative of a trader to you, or is it the mentality of the long term, innovative vision of Steve Jobs that got Apple where it is now? See the video below where I delve into this in detail...

Since I was practically the only one (at least that I know of) to accurately and timely call the turn on Apple BEFORE THE FACT, I would love to take this time to point out what it is that's wrong with Apple and what it would take for it to regain its shine. Just to illustrate this point, let's reminisce, shall we...

Let's contrast this to what I have espoused over a similar time frame...

Now, what do we have in sell sidevaudville today? CNBC reports Apple Heading Toward $200?: McLean.WTF???? What happen to $1,000????

Yes, I'm going after the sell side again. And I'll keep doing it. I'm a monster to the charlatan crew... A monster, I tell you...

Apple needs to start spending money, needs to spend wisely, needs to spend it in droves, and it needs to do ALL of this, NOW!!!! That is what Apple REALLY needs to do to compete with Google and enrich shareholders. Now, those shareholders with short term-ism will consider this Apple management burning cash in a desperate attempt to save the ship. These limited horizon guys will jump ship and drive the share price down. It is then that Apple will be a strong buy if, and only if, management succeeds in making leeway... Much in the same way that Google did in its acquisition spree that gave it some of its most valuable properties and multi-billion dollar franchises that literally run the web in their respective categories - to wit:

  • YouTube
  • Android
  • Google Voice
  • AdMob

For anyone who thinks this acquisition spree is a foolish endeavor, ask those who listened to the "short Google, long Apple" advice of the pros...


Just as much (if not most, not withstanding the "Muppet Factor") of the Sell Side of Wall Street Doesn't Truly Understand Apple, many of them equally clueless regarding Google as well… Google has used it's call option of billions of dollars of cash and its cash producing cash cow business model of ad serving to literally buy value at discounted prices. Of course, those with short term vision can't see the value - just as fails to see a forest due to all of that tree bark in the way!!!

Google Final Report Sep 29 Page 53 copyGoogle Final Report Sep 29 Page 53 copyGoogle Final Report Sep 29 Page 54Google Final Report Sep 29 Page 54As a reminder, I warned in plenty of time to both avoid loss and profit on the short and long side for each company involved in these mobile computing wars. As a matter of fact, three years ago, I laid out in detail the entire mobile computing war map - along with the prospects of the major competitors - Google, Apple, Research in Motion and Microsoft/Nokia, reference "" series. How accurate were these predictions, predilections, and analyses?

Now, for all of you senstive types who may consider this bragging or boasting, it is far from such. As a matter of distinct fact, the contents of this entire post should have been glaringly obvious to anyone years ago who actively used and followed the products and services of the companies herein, and had even a rudimentary understanding of business valuation. You know, it's amazing how far an awareness of cognitive biases (Deconstructing The Most Accurate Apple Analysis Ever Made - Share Price, Market Share, Strategy and All) and a mastery of second grade math () can get you on Wall Street.

The Sell Side analytical community and the (sheeple) investors which they serve is another matter though. Subscribers can download the data that shows the blatant game being played between Apple and the Sell Side here: File Icon Apple Earnings Guidance Analysis. Those who need to subscribe can do so here.

Below, I drilled down on the date and used a percentage difference view to illustrate the improvement in P/E stemming from the earnings beats.

Again, a master of the basics, the fundamentals, common sense and 2nd grade math can actually bring you tomorrows news yesterday! For those interested in the research behind these many calls, as well as many others,Subscribe to BoomBustBlog today!

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Frontrunning: February 6

  • Tunisian opposition politician shot dead, protests erupt (Reuters)
  • China says extremely concerned after latest North Korea threats (Reuters)
  • Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs (AP)
  • Debt Rise Colors Budget Talks (WSJ)
  • Obama proposes short-term budget fix, Republicans swiftly object (Reuters)
  • S&P Analyst Joked of Bringing Down the House Before Crash (BBG)
  • Dell’s Bigger Challenge Ahead in Turnaround After Buyout (BBG)
  • Some of the Mark Carney Gloss Is Coming Off (WSJ)
  • Japan Official Says BOJ Tools Sufficient as Shake-Up Looms (BBG)
  • S&P Lawsuit Undermined by SEC Rules That Impede Competition (BBG)
  • Heavy Clashes Erupt in Syrian Capital (WSJ)
  • Carmakers Use Aluminum Over Steel in Boost for Rio (BBG)
  • Beijing vows to raise minimum wages (FT)
  • China Port Operators Step Up Overseas Investment (WSJ)

Overnight Media Digest


* A slowly improving U.S. economy and recently enacted tax increases will help bring down the federal deficit for the next few years, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, but it will take another $2 trillion in belt-tightening over the next decade to begin to move the federal debt closer to historic levels.

* The U.S. government wants Standard & Poor's Ratings Services to pay more than $5 billion - roughly what its parent company has earned in the past seven years - for giving its seal of approval to bundles of subprime mortgages that eventually crumbled, costing investors billions and helping sink the economy.

* Nasdaq OMX Group's missteps during last year's debut of Facebook Inc shares cost Wall Street an estimated $500 million. In the end, U.S. securities regulators may end up fining the exchange group 1 percent of that.

* Pinterest is in talks to raise a new round of financing that would value the online scrapbooking site at $2 billion to $2.5 billion.

* Regulators leading the world-wide probe into rate-rigging allegations are expected to announce Wednesday a settlement of around 400 million pounds ($626.72 million) with Royal Bank of Scotland, according to people close to the investigation.

* John Malone's international cable business Liberty Global Inc has agreed to acquire U.K. cable-television and Internet provider Virgin Media Inc for $16 billion, in a deal that may create a stronger rival to market leader British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

* Walt Disney Co's net income weakened in the latest quarter, even as revenue grew, reflecting slimmer profits at the movie studio, where home-video titles were less lucrative than those released in the final months of 2011.

* Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Panera Bread Co have posted solid results even as traditional fast-food chains like McDonald's Corp and Yum Brands Inc are struggling with waning consumer confidence.


John Malone's Liberty Global Inc struck a deal to buy British cable group Virgin Media for $23.3 billion in a cash and stock deal, a move that would put the U.S. billionaire up against old rival Rupert Murdoch.

Michael Dell struck a deal to take Dell Inc private for $24.4 billion in the biggest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis, partnering with the Silver Lake private equity firm and Microsoft Corp to try to turn around the struggling computer company without Wall Street scrutiny.

Business secretary Vince Cable is expected to revive a radical plan to return state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to private sector hands by distributing free shares to the public.

BP Plc is facing demands of more than $34 billion in damages from states and local government in the United States over its 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The claims could significantly increase its potential bill for the Gulf of Mexico spill.

Swiss bank UBS said it was cutting bonus payments to its staff in a move to appease regulators and investors and recoup a large part of its $1.5 billion Libor fine.

Boeing said it sought permission from U.S. aviation authorities to start test flights of its 787 Dreamliner jet as part of its effort to identify the cause of battery failures that forced the plane to be grounded.

European aerospace and defence company EADS plans to bring an American on its board for the first time as the company plans to boost its credentials in the lucrative US market. The Airbus parent has nominated Ralph Crosby, a former executive at Northrop Grumman, to join its board.

Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs' asset-management division and the man who coined the acronym 'BRIC', will retire from the bank later this year.


* Court documents offer a look at the inner workings of Standard and Poor's, which the U.S. government says inflated credit ratings with dire consequences for the entire economy.

* Dell Inc, seeking to revive itself after years of decline, said on Tuesday it had agreed to go private in a deal led by its founder and the investment firm Silver Lake.

* U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to quickly pass a new package of limited spending cuts and tax increases to head off substantial across-the-board reductions to domestic and military spending set to begin on March 1, but his appeal for more revenue was dismissed by Republicans.

* Liberty Global Inc, the international cable company owned by American billionaire John Malone, agreed on Tuesday to buy the British cable company Virgin Media Inc for about $16 billion.

* Law firm Debevoise & Plimpton's move to get out of the estate-planning business comes as the legal industry continues to emphasize more profitable practices.

* Twitter confirmed on Tuesday that it was acquiring Bluefin Labs, a company that analyzes online chatter about TV shows and companies and sells its findings.

* Jim O'Neill, the economist who a decade ago coined the term "BRICs" - the acronym for the emerging growth economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China - plans to retire from Goldman Sachs Group Inc later this year, the firm announced on Tuesday.



* The Canadian government is prepared to knock holes in the hefty tariff walls shielding dairy producers from foreign competition and admit more European cheese into the country in return for greater access to EU markets for Canada's beef and pork.

* The Conservative government is preparing to commit long-term cash for infrastructure in its 2013 budget in an effort to squeeze more projects - including partnerships with the private sector - out of limited public funds.

Reports in the business section:

* Suncor Energy Inc has taken a writedown of nearly C$1.5 billion on its Voyageur project, a massive oil sands plant that is now at serious risk of cancellation.

* Kathleen Taylor spent years preparing for the top job at Four Seasons Hotels Ltd, but the company said on Tuesday that she will be replaced only three years after she finally sat down in the corner office.


* Prime Minister Stephen Harper would seek a constitutional amendment to give the House of Commons primacy over any future elected Senate, said Harper's point-person on reform in the Senate.


* Car loans drove Canadians to record debt in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the pace of consumer borrowing began to pick up after a brief lull, according to a survey released on Tuesday.



-- Top Chinese steel maker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co said it had so far bought back 424 million shares in response to a regulatory call last year for listed companies to buy back their own shares to support the stock market.


-- Chinese health authorities have launched a campaign to address abusive practices in the country's growing assisted reproductive technology industry.

-- Beijing weather authorities have launched a "fireworks index" to inform residents celebrating the upcoming Spring Festival holiday whether conditions are appropriate for setting off fireworks.


-- Ten people who illegally detained citizens trying to take complaints to the central government have been jailed. The defendants allegedly intercepted people coming to Beijing to complain about land seizures. The practice is believed to be common in China, the report said.

-- Clothing retailer H&M has been fined by the Shanghai city market watchdog for selling substandard shoes.


-- China will announce the names of the 10 most polluted cities in the country every month, said Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of environmental protection.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



Allergan (AGN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Carlyle Group (CG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Dell (DELL) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
Express (EXPR) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Gannett (GCI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Marsh & McLennan (MMC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman


Arch Coal (ACI) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Ashford Hospitality (AHT) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
C.H. Robinson (CHRW) downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Centene (CNC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Charter (CHTR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Expedia (EXPE) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Hologic (HOLX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Intercontinental Hotels (IHG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Marcus (MCS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
McClatchy (MNI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Minerals Technologies (MTX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Pebblebrook Hotel (PEB) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
SandRidge Permian Trust (PER) downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Silgan Holdings (SLGN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Sirius XM (SIRI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie (SOHU) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
Trimble Navigation (TRMB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Validus (VR) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Vascular Solutions (VASC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Benchmark Co.


Advanced Energy (AEIS) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Finish Line (FINL) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird
First Solar (FSLR) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Foot Locker (FL) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird
Global Eagle (ENT) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
MEMC Electronic (WFR) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
SunPower (SPWR) initiated with a Buy, added to Top Picks Live at Citigroup
Suntech (STP) initiated with a Sell at Citigroup
Tesaro (TSRO) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Thor Industries (THO) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Trina Solar (TSL) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Yingli Green (YGE) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup


Liberty Global (LBTYA) to acquire Virgin Media (VMED) for $23.3B
Silver Wheaton (SLW) acquired some gold production from two Vale (VALE) mines for $1.9B
Biogen (BIIB) to acquire full rights and control of Tysabri from Elan (ELN)
Disney (DIS) said confident about FY13, ability to create long-term growth
Ford (F) announced 900 dealers to be certified to sell plug-in EVs by spring
Home Depot (HD) to hire 80,000 associates for spring season
Chipotle (CMG): Confident in continued ability to drive sales growth in 2013
Sees 2013 comparable restaurant sales flat to low single digits
3M Company (MMM) authorized $7.5B share repurchase program
Moody's affirmed MetLife's (MET) ratings, long-term ratings' outlook to negative
Fitch: Yum! Brands (YUM) ratings not immediately impacted by China weakness
Equity Residential (EQR) sees Q1 FFO 62c-66c, consensus 66c
Zynga (ZNGA) sees FY13 EBITDA margin 0%-10%
Said no full year 2013 year guidance, cites platform transition
Netflix (NFLX), Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit Entertainment announced multi-year deal


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Elan (ELN), W.R. Grace (GRA), KKR Financial (KFN), Horace Mann (HMN), Genworth (GNW), Jive Software (JIVE), Take-Two (TTWO), Hanesbrands (HBI), Panera Bread (PNRA), Hain Celestial (HAIN), Zynga (ZNGA)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
AU Optronics (AUO), C.H. Robinson (CHRW), Stanley Furniture (STLY), Chipotle (CMG), Expedia (EXPE)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Myriad Genetics (MYGN), Aflac (AFL), Fiserv (FISV), CME Group (CME), Thoratec (THOR)


U.S. stock exchanges, banks, trading firms and mutual funds want the SEC to study the effect of pricing some small stocks in nickels and dimes, rather than in pennies, the Wall Street Journal reports
Microsoft’s (MSFT) contribution to the Dell (DELL) buyout is a $2B gamble that the software firm can boost up one of its major customers without upsetting all the others, the Wall Street Journal reports
The Federal Reserve said that one of its internal websites had been briefly breached by hackers, though no critical functions of the U.S. central bank were affected by the intrusion, Reuters reports
Softbank (SFTBF) will issue $3.2B in corporate bonds, the biggest ever by a non-financial Japanese firm to retail investors, to convert part of the $17.7B in short-term loans used to purchase Sprint Nextel (S) to longer term debt, sources say, Reuters reports
With Michael Dell’s (DELL) deal to take his company private, he now faces the larger challenge of turning a business falling behind in personal computers into a provider of high-margin cloud-computing tools and services, Bloomberg reports
Automakers from Ford (F) to Audi (VLKAY) and Jaguar Land Rover (TTM) are using record amounts of aluminum to replace heavier steel, providing relief to producers of the metal facing excess supplies and depressed prices, Bloomberg reports


Boise Cascade (BCC) 11.765M share IPO priced at $21.00
Celldex (CLDX) 12M share Secondary priced at $7.50
MagnaChip (MX) 5M share Secondary priced at $14.50
NCI Building Systems (NCS) files to sell 54.14M shares of common stock for holders
Rose Rock Midstream (RRMS) files to sell 2M common units for holders
Silver Bull (SVBL) proposes public offering of units
TICC Capital (TICC) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
WNS Holdings (WNS) files to sell 12.6M ADSs for Warburg Pincus

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