The Podiyan

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Suraj Randiv gets one-match suspension!!!

Suraj Randiv has been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket for one match following the no-ball controversy that denied Virender Sehwag a century during Monday's match between India and Sri Lanka. In an extraordinary and unprecedented decision, he has also been docked his match fees for the game, as has Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was reported to have encouraged Randiv to bowl the no-ball. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been advised to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.


The decision, taken by a six-man committee set up by Sri Lanka Cricket, capped a day on which the issue - which involved a transgression not of any law but of the spirit of fair play - escalated beyond proportion. Upping the ante were statements issued by the ICC - which said it would wait for SLC to act - and the Indian board, which called for strict action. In Dambulla, on the eve of a crucial match against New Zealand, Sangakkara's routine press conference was consumed almost entirely by questions relating to the issue.


In a statement announcing the punishment, the SLC said the incident went against the spirit of the game. "Sri Lanka Cricket is extremely proud of its team and their achievements over the years. It is of paramount importance to maintain the discipline of the Gentlemen's game, especially with Sri Lanka Cricket being winners of the 'ICC Spirit of the Game' award for two consecutive years," it said.


With Sehwag on 99 and India one run away from victory, Randiv bowled a big no-ball that denied the batsman a chance to get his century. Sehwag's initial reaction was to shrug it off in typical manner but he later said Randiv had done it deliberately. Sehwag also speculated that Randiv was acting on orders from senior players in the side.


Sangakkara denied playing any role in the incident and said he hoped it was not deliberate. Though Randiv later apologised to Sehwag, SLC instructed the team management to probe the incident. Following the enquiry, Dilshan's role in the incident has come to light.


-CricInfo

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Apple Global Supply Manager Accused of Accepting $1 Million in Kickbacks!!!

A mid-level Apple manager faces twenty-three counts of a federal grand jury indictment alleging that the 37-year-old Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager, is guilty of wire fraud, money laundering, and kickbacks related to his position at the company. Andrew Ang, of Singapore, faces the same charges as well.

And if that's not bad enough, Apple itself has filed a separate civil suit against Devine, alleging that the Sunnyvale, CA-based (former) employee accepted more than $1 million in bribes and kickbacks from countries including China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.

According to the indictment, Devine allegedly used his position at Apple to acquire various bits of confidential information about the company. He would turn around and sell this information to more than a half-dozen Apple suppliers—including the aforementioned Ang—and both would receive payments for their efforts. Using the confidential knowledge, said suppliers would be able to better position themselves to bid for and receive Apple contracts.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the companies in the indictment remained unnamed, but they're said to be involved in supplying materials for Apple's iPods and iPhones.
"Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling in a statement. "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

The somewhat-complicated scheme, reads the indictment, involved a number of U.S. and foreign bank accounts, as well as the falsified company "CPK Engineering," to process the payments. Devine allegedly attempted to conceal the money transfers using code words as to not clue his employer into what was actually transpiring, and would even go so far as to open the foreign bank accounts in his wife's name.

The Internal Revenue Service reports that Devine is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals, awaiting a 1:30 p.m. court appearance this coming Monday in the U.S. Northern District Court in San Jose.

-Pcmag

Google Pondering Paypal-based Purchases for Android Applications???


If you want to pick up a new app on an Android-based smartphone, you have one option with which to pay for your new purchase: Google Checkout. At least, for now—sources indicate that Google is chatting with eBay's PayPal business to bring the latter as a secondary option for smartphone-based payments.

While that doesn't necessarily help the speed of the transaction—Google Checkout is, after all, is still a fairly convenient method for purchasing applications—it does help Google attract users who, for whatever reason, have simply opted not to use Google's single payment service for their purchases.

Integrating Paypal would open up Android phones to the service's 87 million active accounts, which would surely go a long way toward increasing the propensity of a user to pick up a new application on a whim—especially if the Paypal service is integrated into the mobile operating system in a similar style to how purchases work on Apple's App Store.

"As an Android user, I'd certainly be more inclined to buy apps from the Android Market if PayPal was a payment option," writes Intomobile's Marc Flores. "Make it a one-click feature and perhaps I'll even go nuts loading my EVO 4G with new applications."

Neither Paypal nor Google are discussing the alleged talks, which may or may not lead to a finalized deal between the two companies, reports Bloomberg.

According to the research firm Gartner, Google's Android operating system is now the most popular piece of smartphone software in the United States. Sales of Android-based devices rank third of any smartphone in the world in 2010 thus far, nestled behind RIM and Symbian's respective sales of 11.2 million and 22.3 million units. Apple's iPhone sales rank fourth at 8.7 million, or a market share of 14.2 percent to Android's 17.2 percent.

It's quite a turnaround from this same time period one year ago, when Apple commanded 13 percent of the market to Android's 1.8, and Symbian carried the majority market share at 51 percent. Microsoft's Windows mobile phones continue to lag with only 3 million units sold in 2010, a market share of a paltry 5 percent (itself, a decrease from 2009's 9.3 percent)
-pcmag

Friday, August 13, 2010

Speak Commands with Google's Voice Actions for Android Application!!!

Google on Thursday introduced the next generation of interaction with its Android operating system: voice-driven actions.


Google executives outlined 12 new "Voice Actions for Android," including phone calls, reminder e-mails, direction search, and music search. (Searching for generic links, a traditional function of Android, is number 13.) The app is called "Voice Search," requires Android 2.2, and is available in the Android Market now, Google executives said.

A second improvement, dubbed "Chrome to Phone," allows users to click on a new "mobile phone" icon to send links, YouTube videos, even directions, to the phone.
So far, the features are exclusive to Android phones and U.S. English, although the capabilities will be moved to other languages and other operating systems (including the iPhone) in the future, executives said. "It's probably, on Android, the easiest," said Hugo Barra, director of product management for Google.

Voice actions can be triggered by clicking the "microphone" icon on the screen. Saying "call John Smith at home" will trigger the contacts list and voice dialer, "find art museums in Amsterdam" would launch a Google Maps application, and "listen to Ace of Base" will search for music from the artist on Pandora, Last.fm, or another music application. A "note to self" command, meanwhile, will send an automated e-mail to a default e-mail address. If Android is confused about which application to use, or a location, it will present a list of choices.

Within the phone, the microprocessor can power just hundreds or thousands of MIPS, a measure of processing power. But connecting the phone to the cloud allows the phone to basically put a supercomputer in your pocket, Barra said.

Voice actions allow the user to essentially command the phone's actions, where previous iterations have focused on looking for links. Google has no plans to add sponsored search listing, and the company will use your location if you provide it. Barra said that there is a roadmap to increasing the capabilities of the voice actions, including the possibility for adding a scripting language.
"There's a place where you want to type, and there's a time and place where you want to use voice," said Dave Burke, an engineering manager at Google and the author of the "Chrome to Phone" function. About 25 percent of the data Google processes via Android is search data, Barra said.

"Chrome to Phone" is as described: within Chrome, clicking the "phone" icon sends a search result, a YouTube link, or directions directly to an Android 2.2 phone. The Chrome to Phone capability is a Chrome extension, and is available on the App Market, Burke said.
For now, the transfer is one-way; data can not be sent from the phone to the PC, Barra said. The phone-to-PC capability may be added in the future, Barra said.
-pcmag

India Threatens to Drop BlackBerry Services???

India jumped into the BlackBerry controversy Thursday by demanding that Research in Motion allow Indian law enforcement access to Blackberry Enterprise Service and Blackberry Messenger Service data by Aug. 31.

If RIM refuses, the country will "take steps to block these two services from the network," India's Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

India wants its law enforcement agencies to have access to the information traveling via BES and BBM for surveillance purposes. The country already has access to BlackBerry voice, text, and Internet services, the ministry said.

"Although RIM cannot disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government, RIM assures its customers that it genuinely tries to be as cooperative as possible with governments in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements, while also preserving the lawful needs of citizens and corporations," RIM said in a statement.

RIM said it has "drawn a firm line" and insisted that any carriers that provide BlackBerry services adhere to four basic principles: the carriers' capabilities be limited to the strict context of lawful access and national security requirements; the carriers' capabilities must be technology and vendor neutral; no changes will be made to the security architecture for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customer since; and RIM maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.

India is just the latest country to threaten to shut down BlackBerry services. Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates said it would block BlackBerry services by Oct. 11 over similar concerns. Saudi Arabia followed suit several days later, promising to shut down service by Aug. 6, but officials relented this week, and said they would allow BlackBerry services to remain while talks continued.

At issue is the encrypted network over which BlackBerry data travels. After the announcement from the UAE, RIM said it offers one BlackBerry enterprise solution to all its customers, and does not favor one country's government over another.

"The BlackBerry enterprise solution was designed to preclude RIM, or any third party, from reading encrypted information under any circumstances since RIM does not store or have access to the encrypted data," RIM said at the time. "RIM cannot accommodate any request for a copy of a customer's encryption key, since at no time does RIM, or any wireless network operator or any third party, ever possess a copy of the key. This means that customers of the BlackBerry enterprise solution can maintain confidence in the integrity of the security architecture without fear of compromise."

New In Twitter - 'Tweet' Button!!!

Twitter on Thursday unveiled its "tweet" button, which will let users share links on Twitter directly from the Web site they are visiting.
About one-quarter of all tweets include a link, but sharing those links can sometimes be complex, Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner wrote in a blog post.

"Copying and pasting, link shortening, and bouncing between browser tabs just to share a link in a Tweet is too much work," Penner wrote.

To simplify the process, Web site owners can now add a few lines of code to their pages for quick tweeting. When a user clicks on the "tweet" button, a pop-up box will appear. The Web site URL will already be shortened, so all a user has to do is add a message and click "tweet." It will be sent to a user's Twitter feed automatically, and that user can continue browsing.
Twitter has also incorporated its follow suggestion feature into the tweet button. After a user sends off a tweet, Twitter will suggest a few people it thinks you might want to follow. Select those people or just click out of the box.

Twitter said the tweet button can be added to sites of all sizes – from recreational bloggers to major media organizations. More than 30 sites will start using the tweet button on Thursday, including CNN.com, Hulu, Gawker Media, The Onion, and USA Today.


"It only takes a few lines of code," Penner wrote. "The tweet Button will help publishers grow traffic and increase their Twitter following."

For those wondering how this offering differs from the "retweet" buttons that already populate many Web sites, that was a feature produced by third-party company TweetMeme. Going forward, Penner said Twitter will be working with Tweetmeme and incorporating its "retweet" button into the tweet button.

"What does this mean? Firstly we will be assisting Twitter with the technical challenges involved with the button and secondly we will be working even more closely in the future on delivering real-time curation of the Twitter Firehose," TweetMeme founder and CEO Nick Halstead wrote in a blog post.


The partnership will result in the launch of new TweetMeme products, Halstead said, the first of which he unveiled Thursday. DataSift will give developers "the ability to leverage cloud computing to build very precise streams of data from the millions and millions of tweets sent every day," he wrote.


For more information, follow DataSift on Twitter.


For those who want to add Twitter's tweet button to their sites, meanwhile, can find additional information on twitter.com/tweetbutton.


-Pcmag


Monday, August 9, 2010

Apple the wanted Technology!!

Apple provides a complete ecosystem for developers. All the components including hardware, the operating systems, and the developer tools are designed by one company, and they’re all designed to work together seamlessly — creating an easier, more intuitive experience so developers can focus on making great applications.


Apple Platforms & Technologies

iOS, Mac OS X, and Safari provide three amazing opportunities for developers to turn their concepts into reality. Built on the same core foundation, iOS and Mac OS X offer dynamic environments that will change what you thought was possible in software applications. With Safari, you can render today’s and tomorrow’s web applications the way they are meant to be seen.



iOS

iOS is the world’s most advanced mobile platform, redefining what can be done with a mobile phone. For developers, the iOS SDK and Xcode tools make it possible to create revolutionary applications that will set the bar for the next generation of mobile applications.



Mac OS X

Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system, built upon a proven UNIX foundation. Using the Cocoa frameworks, amazing audio & video capabilities, and a host of incredible features, you’ll see just how easy it is to create gorgeous, feature-rich Mac OS X applications.

Summer Jobs Worldwide 2010

Summer Jobs Worldwide 2010: Make the Most of the Summer Break (Paperback)


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Full description for Summer Jobs Worldwide 2010

Now in its 41st edition the best-selling Summer Jobs Worldwide 2010, is a comprehensive guide to all summer jobs abroad and in the UK. Perfect for anyone considering working this summer, this book is jam-packed with ideas to inspire you and help you decide where to go and what to do. 



This guide covers all types of paid and unpaid work, comparing wages and includes descriptions of working as tour guides, fruit pickers, sports instructors, volunteers and many more sociable and interesting jobs. In addition to covering Britain, Europe, Australasia and the USA, this global book includes some stimulating jobs for the more adventurous in countries such as Egypt, Ecuador, Peru, and many more. 


Summer Jobs Worldwide 2010 combines both fun ideas and practical information ensuring that you have an exciting but safe summer. If you want to have memorable experience, make some great new friends and earn some good money while you are at it, then this book will help you make it happen!

Publisher: Crimson Publishing

Format: Paperback 416 pages
Categories: Reference Works Directories Advice On Careers & Achieving Success Living & Working Abroad Tips & Advice
Published: 23 October 2009
ISBN 13: 9781854585363 ISBN 10: 1854585363Sales rank: 284,638

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Next Generation Surgical Robots: No Need a Doctor!!!

 As physician-guided robots routinely operate on patients at most major hospitals, the next generation robot could eliminate a surprising element from that scenario -- the doctor.


Feasibility studies conducted by Duke University bioengineers have demonstrated that a robot -- without any human assistance -- can locate a man-made, or phantom, lesion in simulated human organs, guide a device to the lesion and take multiple samples during a single session. The researchers believe that as the technology is further developed, autonomous robots could some day perform many more simple surgical tasks.
"Earlier this year we demonstrated that a robot directed by artificial intelligence can on its own locate simulated calcifications and cysts in simulated breast tissue with high repeatability and accuracy," said Kaicheng Liang, a former student in the laboratory of Stephen Smith, director of the Duke University Ultrasound Transducer Group at the Pratt School of Engineering and senior member of the research team. "Now we have shown that the robot can sample up to eight different spots in simulated human prostate tissue."


The results of the Duke research appear in the current issue of the journal Ultrasonic Imaging. An earlier study reported in the January issue of the journal Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology described the Duke team's results on simulated breast tissue. In both experiments, whole turkey breasts were used. Raw turkey breasts are commonly used in medical research because the tissue closely resembles that of humans in texture and density, and appear similar when scanned by ultrasound.


The Duke team combined a "souped-up" version of an existing robot arm with an ultrasound system of its own design. The ultrasound serves as the robot's "eyes" by collecting data from its scan and locating its target. The robot is "controlled" not by a physician, but by an artificial intelligence program that takes the real-time 3-D information, processes it and gives the robot specific commands to perform. The robot arm has a mechanical "hand" that can manipulate the same biopsy plunger device that physicians use to reach a lesion and take samples.
In the latest series of experiments, the robot guided the plunger to eight different locations on the simulated prostate tissue in 93 percent of its attempts. This is important because multiple samples can also determine the extent of any lesion, Smith said.


Smith believes that routine medical procedures, such as biopsies in other tissues in the body, will be performed in the future with minimal human guidance, and at greater convenience and less cost to patients.


An important challenge to be overcome is the speed of data acquisition and processing, though the researchers are confident that faster processors and better algorithms will address that issue. To be clinically useful, all of the robot's actions would need to be in real time, the researchers said.

"One of the beauties of this system is that all of the hardware components are already on the market," Smith said. "We believe that this is the first step in showing that with some modifications, systems like this can be built without having to develop a new technology from scratch."
Advances in ultrasound technology have made these latest experiments possible, the researchers said, by generating detailed, 3-D, moving images in real-time. The Duke team has a long track record of modifying traditional 2-D ultrasound -- like that used to image babies in utero -- into the more advanced 3-D scans. The Duke lab invented the technique in 1991.


"We're now testing the robot on a human mannequin seated at the examining table whose breast is constrained in a stiff bra cup," Smith said. "The breast is composed of turkey breast tissue with an embedded grape to simulate a lesion. Our next step is to move to an excised human breast."
The research in Smith's lab is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Other members of the team were Edward Light and A.J. Roberts from Duke, and Daniel von Allmen from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

F.I.R HEAT THERAPY



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Source-Ray is a leading Developer, Manufacturer and Supplier of Innovative Diagnostic Medical Imaging Equipment for Healthcare Professionals. Source-Ray also supplies integrated diagnostic x-ray sources to Original Equipment Manufacturers for Medical, Analytical and Industrial markets.

 Source-Ray's diagnostic portable imaging equipment product line is focused on the growing demand for Digital Portable Imaging Solutions for General Radiography in the Medical Imaging and Diagnostic Outreach Markets.

 Today's diagnostic service providers are required to produce the highest quality radiographic portable x-ray images possible. Digital Portable Imaging Systems provide DICOM 3 connectivity capabilities that display, transmit, archive and retrieve images in an efficient, cost effective manner.

 Source-Ray's diverse line of conventional film based portable x-ray systems and Direct Capture Digital portable imaging equipment; address a broad range of clinical and technological innovation, for general purpose radiography.

 Our staff has over 25 years experience in the design, manufacture and service of X-ray sources and sub-systems. Source-Ray has the experience and resources to handle all of your X-Ray requirements.

Steps large banks can take to avoid being shrunk!


Global legislative and regulatory pressure continues to grow to prevent banks from becoming too big to fail. One of the potential outcomes is that banks may be forced to split retail banking (safe, low-margin business) from investment banking (high-risk, high-profit business) to create two (at least) legal entities.
If banks want to avoid a return to the restrictive days of Glass-Steagall (or a modern counterpart), they are going to have to become much more rigorous and transparent in their reporting, risk analysis and financial controls. In other words, making the transition from "too big to fail" to "too smart to fail" means seriously rethinking traditional banking operations.


STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR BANK'S 'TOO BIG TO FAIL' RISKS.
Improperly managed, a few key measures can create a big target on a bank's back. For example, if a bank can't prove liquidity levels, financial status or exposure to certain financial instruments and/or geographies, it risks being labeled as the kind of irresponsible institution that members of Congress say has necessitated the coming raft of regulatory change.


Banks that can't demonstrate the kinds of measures described above will lose market cap and long-term competitive advantage. For example, at the moment, the fear across both Europe and the U.S. is banks' exposure to financial institutions in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain -- if a bank can't prove a solid position or even fully understand its exposure to these markets, using technologies that support transparency and control, it is in danger of being forced to float off business units, which will greatly devalue the component parts.


Banks need to implement a comprehensive regulatory risk audit, taking worst-case scenarios into account for processes including regular liquidity reporting, complex/controversial financial instrument exposure assessments, and geographic risk reporting. If this review shows that a bank can't "see" information around liquidity and risk because that information is buried in the complexities of financial instrument creation, or because siloed parts of the business keep information locked away, it's a clarion call for greater transparency. The business can't make smart decisions about regulatory reporting processes without a clear and consistent view of risks across the global organization.


STEP 2: BRING IN TECH SUPPORT


Once a bank has identified the processes and protocols that keep information about risk hidden from key decision makers, it's time to consider which technology systems and solutions will support a transition to greater transparency. Ironically, compliance systems shouldn't be at the top of the list. Too often, these solutions sit at the narrow end of the funnel of information. By the time information gets to the mouth of the funnel, it's too late in the reporting process to measure the data's accuracy or its relevance to the organization's risk and reporting strategies.
Rather, banks need to consider compliance in the context of the many business processes that take information from one point to another throughout the organization. Rules-based business process management systems that require equal ownership between business and IT managers can create an operating environment that lends itself to greater transparency.


STEP 3: BENCHMARK AGAINST THE BEST


Banks that have successfully positioned themselves for the new regulations share three characteristics:
A customer-centric back office. Although customer service interfaces are typically the remit of the front office, companies that understand the relationship between data maintained in the back office and customers served in the front office have a more holistic view across the entire business.

Risk-aware culture. Not necessarily risk-averse, these banks have a culture of risk awareness that supports prudent decisions.

Agile IT infrastructure. Banks whose systems leverage the best in "enterprise 2.0" technologies, such as SaaS architecture and cloud computing, typically find it easiest to adopt systems that best support risk reporting, control and transparency.
American military general Omar Bradley once said, "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." Be brave, banks -- the long-term rewards of smart reporting investments will be worth the short-term fear of breaking the budget.


Court: David Sherriff, Microgen

Financial IT Jobs Growing; C Developers In a good Demand


Career site eFinancial Careers reported yesterday that there were 24% more postings for financial IT jobs in July 2010 than in July 2009. 


This is part of a trend — further numbers the site editors gave me show that although new financial IT jobs were down by 12% in January and by 13% in February compared to last year, they ticked up in March by 3%, and then skyrocketed to a 37% increase in April, a 27% rise in May and 38% growth in June. This is cheery news for any out-of-work bank IT executives out there and for those who care about them.

Even more interesting is what the job listings show about which skills are in demand in the world of bank technology. eFinancial Careers shared the numbers of financial job listings mentioning specific IT skills (below) as of yesterday (the numbers change every day).

Most coveted are programmers who know C, C++ and C#. This reflects the fact that, generally speaking, programs written in C are still faster than those in any other language. But Java developers are also being hired, and database administrators and those with risk management expertise have strong prospects.

Hottest Bank Technology Skills

1. C, C++, C# — 123
2. Java/J2EE — 75
3. DBA/Database Administrator — 71
4. SQL — 58
5. Unix — 50
6. Linux — 48
7. Risk Management — 44
8. Project Manager — 41
9. Perl — 37
10. Oracle — 35


Court: Penny Crosman

HSBC Sees at Least $110 Million Impact!!!

HSBC's North American chief executive expects the new U.S. financial reform law to cost it at least $110 million in annual revenue.


HSBC's North American chief executive expects the new U.S. financial reform law to cost it at least $110 million in annual revenue.
The company expects its biggest hit from the Dodd-Frank law to come from restrictions on fees HSBC receives for processing debit card transactions, and from what its North American CEO called "changes to FDIC levies." The law increased the fees that U.S. banks will pay the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.


The sweeping law establishes a consumer protection agency, which could eventually deepen the cuts to HSBC's U.S. revenues, North American CEO Niall Booker told reporters on a conference call Monday.
"We don't know what the impact of the new consumer protection agency will be, and exactly what tone and what action it will take, so that makes dealing with the cards business and to some extent the personal financial services business ... (and) trying to figure out what that would look like a bit more difficult," Booker said.
HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, reported half-year profits of $11.1 billion Monday.
Other elements of the law may hit the bank too, Booker said. The $110 million estimate "doesn't factor in any changes that we might have to make to the global banking and markets platform - albeit those will be small - or the impact of any further activity by the consumer protection agency," he said.
The law's restrictions on proprietary trading "will have minimal" impact on HSBC, because its U.S. arm does not do much private equity or propriety trading business, Booker said.


(Reporting by Maria Aspan; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
Court: Reuters. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Mercedes-Benz Cars

2011 Mercedes-Benz Cars

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

MSRP$56,200 - $64,800
The 2011 E-Class is a 2- or 4-door, up to 7-passenger sports coupe, luxury sports coupe, convertible, luxury





2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

MSRP$102,600 - $198,750
The 2011 SL-Class is a 2-door, 2-passenger luxury convertible, or convertible sports car, available in 3 trims





2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS-Class
MSRP$183,000
The 2011 SLS-Class is a 2-door, 2-passenger luxury sports car, available in one trim only, the AMG.

Mercedes - The World Famous Name!


Word Origin & History

Mercedes 


fem. proper name, from Sp., abbrev. of Maria de las Mercedes  "Mary of the Mercies," from pl. of merced  "mercy, grace," from L. mercedem  (nom. merces).

Encyclopedia

Mercedes

city, east-central San Luis provincia (province), west-central Argentina. It is located on the Quinto River in a semiarid transition area between the Pampa (east) and the San Luis Mountains (northwest).

It was founded in 1856 as Fuerte Constitucional, and the surrounding lands were distributed to veteran army officers who guarded the frontier. 


In 1861 the settlement was renamed Villa Mercedes in honour of the Virgen de la Merced (Spanish: "Virgin of Mercy"), its patroness.

From 1863 to 1865, the city was constantly attacked by Indians and mountain rebels; they were finally repelled and the rebel leader, Puebla, was killed. Water for irrigation from the Quinto River has enabled the area to become an important grain (corn [maize], sorghum, and rye) and cattle-producing region. Incorporated as a city in 1896, Mercedes has a large grain mill and refrigerator plants to process beef for export. Pop. (2001) 51,967.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

7 myths about Swiss bank accounts!!!


1. Swiss bank accounts are only for millionaires

This is not true. The majority of our clients are not major manufacturers or movie stars, but everyday people (business people, computer engineers, civil servants, etc.). Swiss banks are no longer only for stars.

You can open a Swiss bank account with a deposit of only 5,000 Swiss francs. We even offer accounts with no minimum balance.


2. Money invested in Switzerland yields no interest

Nothing could be more untrue. You can invest your money worldwide from your account in Switzerland through investment funds, bonds, the stock market, the purchase of metal values, raw materials, derivatives and many other types of investments. Swiss bankers are among the best finance managers in the world, so it comes as no surprise that they manage over 35% of offshore holdings.



3. It's impossible to open an account in Switzerland by correspondence

This is not true. Most of the accounts that we offer can be opened by correspondence as long as you comply with our opening procedures and provide us with the necessary documents. What is more, your banking relations can be conducted by correspondence, using the telephone, Internet banking, bank transfer and credit cards. That said, we encourage our customers to meet with their banker at least once in order to get acquainted and see where their money is held.



4. Swiss bank accounts are very expensive to maintain

This is not true. Most of the accounts we open don't charge a cent in annual fees. Even if you would like additional services such as retained correspondence or numbered banking relations, the annual fees are very reasonable.



5. It is difficult to close a Swiss bank account

On the contrary. You can close your account in Switzerland whenever you wish and without any restriction. You will pay no financial penalty. If need be, you will just have to realize your investments. Contrary to many onshore banking practices, your money is not held hostage by Swiss banks.



6. Swiss bank accounts attract only criminals and dictators

Not true! The vast majority of Swiss bank account holders are honest people who want to keep their savings in a country renowned for its stability. Swiss banks are extremely cautious regarding politicians who wish to open an account and they systematically refuse to accept any money that is of dubious origin or poorly founded.



7. Numbered accounts are anonymous

There are no anonymous accounts in Switzerland. A numbered account is an account that is identified solely by a number, rather than a name, in order to preserve the strictest confidentiality possible during teller transactions or bank transfers. Only the bank manager and a few select people know the identity of numbered account holders.

Profits double at HSBC as bank!!!

 Global banking giant HSBC yesterday said "disenchantment" with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group had helped it recruit customers north of the border as it reported a doubling in first-half profits to $11 billion (£7bn).

The bank said it had witnessed a 44% increase in the number of small businesses switching to it in Scotland.


Total revenue north of the border also rose by 23% against a 7% fall in its wider European business, with HSBC saying it had filled a gap left by other banks.



It had particular success in Aberdeen, Alan Keir, chairman of HSBC’s Scottish advisory board said, with the city’s "micro- economy" helping it escape much of the recession.

Keir told The Herald: "In Scotland it is going extremely well indeed. I think there are significant opportunities for us there."



Elsewhere, HSBC executive director Stuart Gulliver said gross new lending to what the bank classes as SMEs – those with turnover of greater than £25 milion – was up by £1.4bn, or 38%, in the first six months of the year against the same period of 2009.

But he acknowledged: "Net lending is more or less flat. About the same number of people repaid us as took new lending."


Despite this, HSBC’s profit for the period easily beat analysts’ expectations of around $9bn, with pre-tax earnings coming in at $9.6bn – an increase of 30%.


The key driver was a fall in loan impairment charges and other provisions to $7.5bn, some $6.4bn less than the charge reported this time last year.


Chief executive Michael Geoghegan said: "I hope we are through the worst for loan impairment charges."


The company was profitable in every region apart from North America, where pre-tax earnings narrowed by $2bn to $80m as bad debts eased.


Asia, meanwhile, accounted for $5.9bn, or 58%, of the bank’s overall profit.



Geoghegan, who relocated to Hong Kong in January, said: "Asia remains the bedrock of our profitability."


HSBC last month boosted its presence in the region by purchasing a retail and corporate banking business in India from RBS.


While Asia continues to be strong, Geoghegan said the global outlook was "uncertain".


"Whether the West can sustain growth will remain unclear for some time," he explained. "We remain bullish on emerging markets. Led by Asia, they will continue to drive world growth."

He added: "Until the US feels confident about its economy the rest of the world will have to have its doubts."


HSBC’s investment bank, meanwhile, made a profit of $5.6bn, its second-best half ever, but down 13% from a year ago.


Gulliver, chief executive of the division, said that $2.5bn in employee expenses booked by the arm was inflated by a $350m payroll tax to pay bonuses earlier this year.


He added that investment banking pay was down to 21% of revenues from 24% a year ago even though HSBC had hired 400 new investment bankers this year.


Elsewhere, HSBC’s Tier 1 capital ratio was 11.5% at the end of June, well above its target range.


The bank will review its aim of a return on capital of 15% to 19% once regulators decide how much of a cushion banks should carry.


While Geoghegan warned that HSBC’s extra capital would depress returns, he said it could still achieve the lower end of its targets over the medium term.


He added that an agreement on banking reform by the G20 nations would help the market.


"A level playing field is beneficial for all global markets," he said.


"That’s why all G20 countries must participate according to the same rules."


HSBC’s results sent shares in the company soaring 34p, or 5.3%, to 680p.


The other banks followed.


RBS closed up 2.14p, or 4.3%, at 52.1p, above the break-even level for the Government’s 83% stake.


Lloyds finished at 72.44p, up 3.18p or 4.6%.


Barclays closed up 11.15p, or 3.4%, at 343.95p.

Monday, August 2, 2010

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