Disney joins race to buy Twitter

•September 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

ct-report-disney-considers-buying-twitter-2016-001

http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-report-disney-considers-buying-twitter-20160926-story.html

The Walt Disney Co. is rumored to be eyeing Twitter for a possible acquisition, putting the Burbank entertainment giant in the company of tech firms such as Google and Salesforce that have previously been named as potential suitors.

Bloomberg first reported on Monday that Disney is considering a bid, noting that the company both has deep enough pockets to potentially acquire the $20 billion social network, and the incentive to snap up a widely-used distribution channel.

As more and more people abandon costly cable subscriptions and instead choose to consume entertainment on mobile devices via online streaming, firms such as Disney, whose vast media network is rooted in the cable business with channels such as ABC and ESPN, are scrambling to stay relevant.

Buying Twitter could give Disney, the biggest entertainment company in the world, a strong distribution platform for video content.

Earlier this year, Disney made a major investment to enhance its video distribution capabilities. In August, the company said it would pay $1 billion for a 33% stake in BAMTech, a video streaming company created by Major League Baseball. BAMTech has been tapped by Disney to create and distribute a new ESPN-branded, multi-sport subscription streaming service that will be sold directly to consumers.

BAMTech developed Major League Baseball’s popular streaming service and handles similar services for HBO and the National Hockey League, among others.

The acquisition was seen in part by analysts as a way for Disney to better secure its digital future – and address issues at ESPN, which has experienced a slowdown in subscriber growth. ESPN has lost 9 million subscribers since 2013, according to Nielsen data.

———-

“Disney is considering a bid, noting that the company both has deep enough pockets to potentially acquire the $20 billion social network, and the incentive to snap up a widely-used distribution channel.”

what could possibly go wrong?

“firms such as Disney, whose vast media network is rooted in the cable business with channels such as ABC and ESPN, are scrambling to stay relevant.”

will we see the twitter birdie with mickey mouse ears?

401

OPEC reaches deal to cut oil output first time in 8 years

•September 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

57ec0ca0c36188aa4c8b473f

https://www.rt.com/business/360988-opec-deal-limit-oil/

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has reached a deal to limit oil production. Production is to be reduced to a range of 32.5-33.0 mn barrels per day, and the deal is expected to come into force in November.

OPEC made an exceptional decision today. After two and a half years, OPEC reached consensus to manage the market,” Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has said on Wednesday, as cited by Reuters news agency.

We have decided to decrease the production around 700,000 barrels per day,” Zanganeh added.

The cartel estimates its current output at 33.24 million barrels per day.

Reuters reports that OPEC will settle production levels for each member country at the next formal meeting, set to be held in Vienna on November 30. It will be the first reduction in eight years.

One of the sources also told Reuters that after reaching the target production rate, OPEC will turn to non-OPEC producers for output support.

Representatives of the OPEC countries are currently in Algeria attending the International Energy Forum.

The agreement to cut production among the world’s largest oil producers could lead to oil supply coming more in line with the demand for the energy source.

Following the reports of OPEC’s decision, the price for futures for Brent crude oil has gone up by nearly 6 percent, to $48.72 per barrel on the ICE stock exchange in London by 6:28 pm GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil also rose by 5.4 percent, to $47.02.

———-

significant..

We have decided to decrease the production around 700,000 barrels per day,” Zanganeh added.”

who will drop their output the most?

“The agreement to cut production among the world’s largest oil producers could lead to oil supply coming more in line with the demand for the energy source.”

thats how you lift the price per barrel..

401

Duterte wants to “open alliances” with Russia and China

•September 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the military's Camp Tecson to talk to soldiers in San Miguel, Bulacan in northern Philippines September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-politics-duterte-idUSKCN11W17T

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and “open alliances” with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States.

Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers that have been sparring with Washington on the international political stage.

Last week, he last declared he would visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was expecting him in Moscow.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

An arbitration court in The Hague in July invalidated China’s claims to the waterway in a case brought by the Philippines, a ruling Beijing refuses to recognize.

“I am ready to not really break (U.S.) ties but we will open alliances with China and… Medvedev,” Duterte told reporters, adding he would open up the “other side of the ideological barrier”.

He welcomed investment and shrugged off rating agency Standard and Poor’s concerns last week about the Philippine economy on his watch.

“Never mind about the ratings,” he said. “I will open up the Philippines for them to do business, alliances of trade and commerce.”

The peso fell on Monday to its lowest since 2009, and foreign investors have dumped local shares for six straight weeks, worried about Duterte’s anti-U.S. rhetoric and brutal war on drugs, which has alarmed rights groups at home and abroad.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the Philippine government had not contacted the United States about the comments made by Duterte.

U.S. cooperation with the Philippine government remains strong and the United States has not seen anything that would indicate a shift by Manila, Toner said at a daily news briefing.

———-

“Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers that have been sparring with Washington on the international political stage.”

duterte really needs to watch his back..

“I am ready to not really break (U.S.) ties but we will open alliances with China and… Medvedev,” Duterte told reporters, adding he would open up the “other side of the ideological barrier”.

we await his next headline..

401

Congress rebukes Obama and overrides veto of 9/11 legislation

•September 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

460x

http://bigstory.ap.org/c70f6a701f794731bbd05d4b862c56c4?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

In a resounding rebuke, Democrats joined with Republicans Wednesday to hand Barack Obama the first veto override of his presidency, voting overwhelmingly to allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts for its alleged backing of the attackers.

Both the House and Senate voted decisively to reverse Obama’s decision to scuttle the legislation. Democrats in both chambers abandoned the president in large numbers despite warnings from Obama and top national security officials that flaws in the bill could put U.S. interests, troops, and intelligence personnel at risk.

The Senate vote was 97-1, with only Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., backing the president. The House vote a few hours later was 348-77, with 123 Democrats rebuffing the president and voting to override. Obama said during a CNN interview that overriding his veto was a mistake that may set a “dangerous precedent.”

Lawmakers said their priority wasn’t Saudi Arabia, but the 9/11 victims and their families who continue to demand justice 15 years after attackers killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, the Washington, D.C., area, and Pennsylvania. Fifteen of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudis.

“Overriding a presidential veto is something we don’t take lightly, but it was important in this case that the families of the victims of 9/11 be allowed to pursue justice, even if that pursuit causes some diplomatic discomforts,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a chief sponsor of the bill.

Speaking at a forum in Washington, CIA Director John Brennan said he was concerned about how Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, would interpret the bill. He said the Saudis provide significant amounts of information to the U.S. to help foil extremist plots.

“It would be an absolute shame if this legislation, in any way, influenced the Saudi willingness to continue to be among our best counterterrorism partners,” Brennan said.

On CNN, Obama said that a few lawmakers who backed the bill weren’t aware of its potential impact. He didn’t name them. “And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what’s hard,” he said. “It was, you know, basically a political vote.”

But Republicans and Democrats said the White House had been slow to respond to the bill and miscalculated lawmakers’ intent to act on the legislation along with the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks. When Obama and senior national security officials such as Defense Secretary Ash Carter finally weighed in, it was too late.

The Senate passed the bill by voice vote in May. The Obama White House then made the mistake of thinking the bill would stall in the Republican-controlled House. In August, 9/11 families pressured Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., while he was on a campaign swing in New York.

On Sept. 9, two days before the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the House passed the bill by voice vote with little debate.

Despite reversing Obama’s decision, a bipartisan group of 28 senators led by Bob Corker, R-Tenn., suggested that defects in the bill could open a legal Pandora’s box, triggering lawsuits from people in other countries seeking redress for injuries or deaths caused by military actions in which the U.S. may have had a role.

———-

you can watch barry crying about this in the video above..a large rebuff..even his own people voted it down..he couldnt protect his saud mates any longer..but as far as i am concerned its still a red herring..they are looking at the wrong country..

“On CNN, Obama said that a few lawmakers who backed the bill weren’t aware of its potential impact. He didn’t name them. “And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what’s hard,” he said. “It was, you know, basically a political vote.”

well duh..of course its political..but not along partisan lines..they ALL said no!

401

Mario Draghi: Europe has too many banks

•September 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi attends the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 21, 2016. Draghi said on June 21 the ECB is prepared for all eventualities regarding the British EU referendum later this week, but the economic impact of the vote is difficult to predict. / AFP / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi

https://www.ft.com/content/657f198e-cb51-3309-a34b-419c7fcb918a

The eurozone has too many banks, Mario Draghi has said, blaming overcapacity rather than the European Central Bank’s monetary policy for low profits among commercial lenders.

Speaking at a conference of the European Systemic Risk Board on Thursday, Mr Draghi took on critics from the banking sector, who have blamed the ECB’s negative interest rate policy for squeezing their margins, reports Claire Jones in Frankfurt.

The ECB president pointed to a report saying the banking sector had “outgrown capital markets” and said the high number of banks was a big factor on the low levels of profitability in the sector.

The ECB’s deposit rate is currently at minus 0.4 per cent, meaning the central bank imposes a levy of the same amount on a portion of reserves parked by lenders at the central bank.

Overcapacity in certain banking sectors also meant their costs were too high, as an environment of too many lenders makes it difficult for banks to pass on costs to their customers, added Mr Draghi.

The problem with over reliance on banks was that their lending patterns tended to exacerbate the financial system’s tendency towards boom and bust. On the other hand, capital markets “were a useful spare tyre”, said the Italian.

The eurozone’s capital markets, in which firms can issue bonds and equities, are much smaller than those in the US — which the ECB believes impedes the effectiveness of its quantitative easing policy of corporate and government bond buying.

Mr Draghi’s comments come after the ECB revealed that its latest policy measure to boost bank lending by providing cheap loans (TLTRO-II) had attracted a take up of €45bn in its latest round.

———-

he maybe right..but who helped prop a whole heap of them up as zombie banks?

“The ECB president pointed to a report saying the banking sector had “outgrown capital markets” and said the high number of banks was a big factor on the low levels of profitability in the sector.”

some bubble popping will cull the herd i reckon..

401

Microsoft computer scientists and researchers are working to “solve” cancer

•September 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-13-22-58-600x358

https://news.microsoft.com/stories/computingcancer/

At Microsoft’s research labs around the world, computer scientists, programmers, engineers and other experts are trying to crack some of the computer industry’s toughest problems, from system design and security to quantum computing and data visualization.

A subset of those scientists, engineers and programmers have a different goal: They’re trying to use computer science to solve one of the most complex and deadly challenges humans face: Cancer.

And, for the most part, they are doing so with algorithms and computers instead of test tubes and beakers.

“We are trying to change the way research is done on a daily basis in biology,” said Jasmin Fisher, a biologist by training who works in the programming principles and tools group in Microsoft’s Cambridge, U.K., lab.

One team of researchers is using machine learning and natural language processing to help the world’s leading oncologists figure out the most effective, individualized cancer treatment for their patients, by providing an intuitive way to sort through all the research data available.

Another is pairing machine learning with computer vision to give radiologists a more detailed understanding of how their patients’ tumors are progressing.

Yet another group of researchers has created powerful algorithms that help scientists understand how cancers develop and what treatments will work best to fight them.

And another team is working on moonshot efforts that could one day allow scientists to program cells to fight diseases, including cancer.

Although the individual projects vary widely, Microsoft’s overarching philosophy toward solving cancer focuses on two basic approaches, said Jeannette M. Wing, Microsoft’s corporate vice president in charge of the company’s basic research labs.

One approach is rooted in the idea that cancer and other biological processes are information processing systems. Using that approach the tools that are used to model and reason about computational processes – such as programming languages, compilers and model checkers – are used to model and reason about biological processes.

The other approach is more data-driven. It’s based on the idea that researchers can apply techniques such as machine learning to the plethora of biological data that has suddenly become available, and use those sophisticated analysis tools to better understand and treat cancer.

Both approaches share some common ground – including the core philosophy that success depends on both biologists and computer scientists bringing their expertise to the problem.

“The collaboration between biologists and computer scientists is actually key to making this work,” Wing said.

Wing said Microsoft has good reason to make broad, bold investments in using computer science to tackle cancer. For one, it’s in keeping with the company’s core mission.

“If you talk about empowering every person and organization to achieve more, this is step one in that journey,” she said.

Beyond that, she said, Microsoft’s extensive investment in cloud computing is a natural fit for a field that needs plenty of computing power to solve big problems.

Longer term, she said, it makes sense for Microsoft to invest in ways it can provide tools to customers no matter what computing platform they choose – even if, one day, that platform is a living cell.

“If the computers of the future are not going to be made just in silicon but might be made in living matter, it behooves us to make sure we understand what it means to program on those computers,” she said.

Continue here: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/computingcancer/

———-

the “moonshot”.. *yawn

“A subset of those scientists, engineers and programmers have a different goal: They’re trying to use computer science to solve one of the most complex and deadly challenges humans face: Cancer.”

and powerful algorithms..

“Yet another group of researchers has created powerful algorithms that help scientists understand how cancers develop and what treatments will work best to fight them.”

401

World’s first baby born using DNA of three parents

•September 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

http-prod-static9-net-au-_-media-2016-09-28-07-05-2809

http://www.9news.com.au/health/2016/09/28/06/49/world-s-first-baby-born-from-3-parent-technique

The world’s first baby made using the DNA of three parents has been born thanks to a controversial new technique employed by US scientists.

The baby boy was born five months ago in Mexico to Jordanian parents, and is healthy and doing well, said a report in New Scientist magazine.

The boy’s mother carried genes for a disorder known as Leigh Syndrome, a fatal nervous system disorder which she had passed on to her two previous children who both died of the disease.

She had also suffered four miscarriages.

The woman, whose identity was withheld by New Scientist, and her husband sought the help of John Zhang, a doctor from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, to have a baby that would be genetically related to them but would not carry the inherited disease.

The United States has not approved any three-parent method for fertility purposes, so Zhang went to Mexico where he was quoted by New Scientist as saying “there are no rules”.

One method that has been approved in the United Kingdom, called pronuclear transfer, was deemed unacceptable to the couple because it would involve the destruction of two embryos, said the report.

Since the mother carried the genes for the disease in her mitochondria, or DNA that is passed down from the maternal side, Zhang used her nuclear DNA and combined it with mitochondria from an egg donor, in a technique known as spindle nuclear transfer.

“He removed the nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed,” said the report.

“The resulting egg, with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor, was then fertilized with the father’s sperm.”

Zhang and his team are expected to describe their method at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, next month.

———-

thats just great eh?..they had to do it in mexico because american laws dont allow it..

“The United States has not approved any three-parent method for fertility purposes, so Zhang went to Mexico where he was quoted by New Scientist as saying “there are no rules”.

yeah..no rules..

“The resulting egg, with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor, was then fertilized with the father’s sperm.”

the ultimate menage trois..

401

 
%d bloggers like this: