Paypal should concentrate on ecommerce, but offer services that complement the bank, a market that is booming, there is no need to retrench

SAN FRANCISCO – PayPal is planning to cut as much as 3 percent of its workforce as the payments division of eBay Inc looks to streamline its operations under new President David Marcus, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday.
The reductions are expected to total between 300 and 400 and be focused in product development, technology and marketing, the person said on condition of anonymity because the plans are not public. PayPal has almost 13,000 employees.
The job cuts will be PayPal’s first major reductions since the financial crisis in 2008.
Marcus became president of PayPal earlier this year after eBay acquired Zong, the mobile payments start-up he ran.
Since taking over, Marcus has been trying to shift PayPal’s focus more to the consumer. He has also been working to speed up the product development process, which has become bogged down in lengthy procedures in recent years.
“We have told PayPal employees about plans under way to strengthen and simplify how we create and deliver consistently great products and brand experiences to our customers,” a PayPal spokesman said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
He declined to comment on how such plans may affect jobs at the company.
In the last few years, PayPal has spent a lot of money to develop new products and buy up companies, hurting margins, Gil Luria, a managing director with Wedbush Securities told Reuters.
“Now that products such as the mobile wallet are ready to be introduced, looks like they are ready to tighten up and let margins go up from here,” Luria said.
PayPal’s plans for job cuts were reported earlier on Friday by Bloomberg News.

There is no need to compete directly with mobile wallet, as Paypal already dominate ecommerce, it needs to expand it’s reach to function to complement the bank, where new products allow the customer to transfer to any platform, or make payment for a wide range of service providers, it’s global reach is a great advantage, if it gets it’s strategy right. China should be it’s focus if it is able to penetrate the market to complement Alibaba, where growth is fantastic.
– Contributed by Oogle.

Smartphone:Tablets:PC ratio of 10:4:1 where if Intel continues on it’s strategy, it will be a dinasaur going extinct, but PC will not go away, it need to be cheaper, better, faster

SAN FRANCISCO | Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:56pm EDT

(Reuters) – As tablets and smartphones draw more and more users away from PCs, Intel Corp is facing some difficult questions.
Intel, the world’s leading chipmaker, is used to being king of the personal computer market, particularly through its historic “Wintel” alliance with Microsoft Corp, which led to breathtakingly high profit margins and an 80 percent market share.
But in the fast-growing and cut-throat mobile world, Intel is struggling – its market share is less than 1 percent of smartphones, trailing Qualcomm Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, ARM Holdings Plc and others.
That leaves some investors, already concerned about a lackluster global economy, asking if Intel’s invincibility has come to an end, and whether its profit and revenue growth potential may become much more ordinary.
When the company reports third-quarter results on Tuesday, one key figure to watch is gross margin, which analysts forecast at 62 percent. While that is still the envy of smaller chipmakers, it has been declining from a record 67.5 percent in late 2010, a trend analysts expect to continue.
“If we’re moving to mobile, which is a low-margin business, it’s difficult to see where the high-margin business is going to be for Intel,” said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of Destination Wealth Management. “That’s why we own Qualcomm and we don’t own Intel.”
Shares of Intel have fallen about 7 percent over the past year. Qualcomm, a leader in providing “logic chips” or processors for tablets, has gained 12 percent.
It is not all gloom for Intel. Its highly profitable server chip business, now almost a quarter of revenue, is growing quickly as Internet companies like Google Inc and Inc build more “cloud” data centers to offer services to consumers using mobile gadgets.
Shipments of cloud servers are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 31 percent through 2015, much faster than overall server shipments, according to IHS iSuppli.
Pointing to an indirect benefit of mobile computing, Intel estimates that for every 600 new smartphones or 120 new tablets bought by consumers, an additional server is needed.
Still, the 44-year-old founding member of the Silicon Valley technology industry is struggling to find its place in a world moving quickly to mobile gadgets and social networks.
Analysts say emerging markets and business customers will fuel Intel’s growth for the next several years but not at the explosive rates it has often enjoyed in the past.
Intel’s revenue is forecast to be roughly flat this year with 2011 and to grow 4 percent next year, according to Wall Street estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That compares with 24 percent annual growth in the past two years.
Many technology pundits have declared the end of the PC era since Apple Inc’s iPad hit the scene in 2010 and kick-started the market for touchscreen tablets.
Intel was slow to recognize how big a threat tablets would become, with executives describing them as complementary to PCs – a view shared by many others.
Increasingly, people are changing their tune. Global PC shipments are expected by analysts to decline slightly this year, the first annual drop since 2001.
To inject new life into PCs, Intel has been promoting a new category of thin, “Ultrabook” laptops with touch screens enabled by Microsoft Windows. But the Ultrabooks launched so far have been criticized as too expensive, and manufacturers have shipped fewer than expected. Intel declined to comment.
That shortfall was underscored when Intel warned in September of weak demand and cut its own forecast for third-quarter revenue by more than even the most pessimistic analysts expected.
The release of Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processor this year was meant to speed up sales of Ultrabooks. But with premium-features like solid-state drives and touch displays, many models went for $1,000 or more – well above the $600-$700 price tag that analysts say is needed to gain traction with consumers.
Pointing to those high prices, IHS iSuppli recently slashed its forecast for 2012 shipments of Ultrabooks from 22 million units to 10.3 million units, with half of those expected in the next three months, coinciding with the launch of Windows 8.
“The only way it’s going to work is if the PC world can achieve better economies of scale and get those prices down,” said Longbow Research analyst Joanne Feeney.
Determined to protect its profit margins, Intel in the past has suggested it will not reduce chip prices to make Ultrabooks more affordable. Intel’s dominance has long allowed it to charge aggressive prices for its processors – unlike many competitors, Intel both designs and manufacturers its own chips.
But even with that advantage, along with technological improvements and growing economies of scale, Intel may be hard pressed to preserve margins as it moves further into mobile, where processors sell for much less, analysts said.
Gross margins on smartphone processors typically work out to 50 percent, according to D.A. Davidson & Co analyst Aalok Shah.
“We believe the post-PC era has arrived,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard wrote in a recent note to investors. “Moreover, $120 Intel CPUs are being replaced by $25 ARM-based CPUs as PCs are being cannibalized by tablets.”
To be sure, many analysts say PC sales will pick up once the economy improves. Market research firm IDC said PC shipments fell 8.6 percent in the third quarter, but it expects annual growth in a range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent through 2016.
Microsoft also plans to launch a tablet/laptop hybrid using Intel’s processors, aimed at corporate customers looking for a device compatible with business software that does not currently run on the iPad or Android tablets.
If nothing else, Intel’s depressed share price has made investors like Capital Advisors fund manager Channing Smith take a closer look.
“Obviously the stock is extremely cheap and it has a very attractive dividend yield, but there’s a good reason the stock is where it is, and that’s mainly because strategically they’ve really missed out on mobile,” Smith said.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich, Tiffany Wu)

If Intel moves to manufacturing smartphone chips, it will lose it’s pants where it does not dominate this market anymore, it’s long term strategy need to focus on PC and tablets, where Microsoft’s new technologies will allow computers to merge with your homes, and Intel can expand in this area, where if it gets it’s expertise right, it can return to the early days of the PC era. There is still a great demand for ultrabooks, but Intel is too greedy, it has priced itself out of the markets.
Therefore there is a window of opportunity for AMD to develop new chips to fill in the gaps that is left out by Intel, using ARM’s technology and create new technology chips that is priced from low-end to mid-range.
– Contributed by Oogle.

Volume of transactions determine lower fees, as credit card companies has costs that need to be overcomed

Sunday, Oct 14, 2012

Visa, Mastercard and a group of retailers plan to ask a judge this week to approve a landmark settlement of a lawsuit over credit card fees, setting the stage for a battle with Wal-Mart and hundreds of other merchants who say it is a bad deal.
Announced in July, the US$7.2 billion (S$8.8 billion) settlement is intended to resolve seven years of antitrust litigation between merchants and credit-card companies and their banks over so-called “swipe fees” that retailers pay to process credit-card transactions.
Merchants alleged the card companies and banks worked together to inflate rates for these interchange fees, costing billions of dollars each year.
If approved, the settlement would apply to the nearly 8 million merchants that take Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc’s cards.
But in the months since it was filed, a number of major retailers and trade groups have said they would rather have no deal than the one that court-appointed lawyers negotiated on their behalf. On Friday, 10 of the 19 trade groups and stores that led the litigation against the card companies said they would ask US District Judge John Gleeson to reject the settlement.
If approved, the deal would be the largest federal antitrust settlement in US history. In addition to a US$6.05 billion payment and US$1.2 billion in temporary fee reductions, the deal calls on card companies to allow merchants to charge customers extra for using certain cards. It would also release Visa and Mastercard from a wide range of antitrust claims and new lawsuits over interchange fees.
“This is a remarkably and fatally flawed deal,” said Jeff Shinder of law firm Constantine Cannon, who argues that the settlement forces merchants to give up valuable legal rights.
Four of the major trade groups now opposing the deal have replaced their court-appointed counsel with Shinder, a veteran antitrust lawyer who has already represented clients in two other multi-billion dollar antitrust settlements with Visa and Mastercard.
Shinder also represents Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, which was not part of the original lawsuit, but would be bound by the settlement if approved.
Retail and restaurant heavyweights such as Target Corp , Starbucks Corp and Lowe’s Cos Inc, and other national restaurant and retailer groups have also signaled they plan to fight the deal.
That is an unusual show of force against a proposed class-action settlement, legal experts said.
“You don’t usually see a lot of objectors in class actions and you don’t usually see them of this size and significance,”said Jay Tidmarsh, a professor at Notre Dame School of Law.
The settlement also has the support of some big-name retailers, including Kroger Co, the largest US grocery chain operator, and its No. 2 rival, Safeway Inc.
Among questions the settlement’s supporters raise are whether objecting merchants are trying to create a legal stalemate to pressure Congress for credit-card fee legislation.
The “over-the-top criticism” from Shinder and the objectors is “untethered to the law, economics and dynamics of this case,” Richard Arnold, who represents individual stores, including Kroger and Safeway, said in a Sept. 18 letter to Shinder filed with the court. His clients include a group of about 20 large stores that have agreed to settle.
Those stores, mostly supermarket and drug store chains, have maintained individual lawsuits alongside the class action. They struck a separate deal for $550 million from the credit card companies and banks, but would still be subject to the non-monetary portions of the class action settlement – including the rule changes and litigation releases.
Representatives for Kroger and Safeway said the settlement would let them communicate with customers directly for the first time about swipe fees. They said consumer awareness of swipe-fee costs could motivate them to switch to less costly payment methods, such as cash.
“We think it will begin to produce real competition in the payments business and potentially lower costs for all consumers,” Melissa Plaisance, Safeway’s senior vice-president of finance, said of the settlement.
Those who favour the settlement – the individual plaintiffs and a shrinking number of the stores that originally brought the suit – say that without a deal, stores will have to continue to operate in a broken interchange system for years longer.
Attorneys appointed by the court to represent and negotiate on the merchants’ behalf are scheduled to formally submit the settlement by Oct. 19 for preliminary approval.
Even without the high-profile objectors, the legal process for approving the proposed settlement was expected to stretch well into 2013. If the objectors succeed in convincing the lawyers, or Gleeson, to reject the deal in its current form, that process could go on even longer.
What merchants such as Wal-Mart say they really want is transparency into how swipe-fee rates are set by banks and credit card companies, and they do not think this deal delivers, said Mallory Duncan, general counsel for the National Retail Federation, which opposes the settlement.
The legal standard for approving class action settlements is that it be “fair, reasonable and adequate.”
To Shinder, the deal falls short.
“Because of the scope of the (litigation) release, which by its express terms gives defendants more than they could ever win at trial, this settlement is worse than losing,” Shinder said.
He explained that, if merchants lost, they would be back to square one, but at least they could go back to court and try again.
Craig Wildfang, one of the lawyers appointed by the court to represent US merchants affected by the settlement, said merchants got “95 per cent of what they wanted” from the settlement and that objectors were asking for relief that only Congress or bank regulators could provide.
The lawyers who favour of the deal, along with Visa and Mastercard and the individual plaintiff stores, say they are confident the settlement will be approved.
While the stores supporting the deal have portrayed Shinder, his clients and other objectors as malcontents trying to drag out the litigation to get Congress’ attention, scholars say the legal concerns are legitimate – even though those concerns must be weighed carefully against the court’s general reluctance to upset such difficult settlements.
But Gleeson, a well-respected federal district judge, will not have an easy time setting aside the concerns of the nation’s largest retailer, particularly when it has joined forces yet again with Shinder and Constantine Cannon. After all, Wal-Mart was the lead plaintiff on behalf of 5 million merchants in a US$3.05 billion antitrust settlement with Visa and Mastercard over card-acceptance rules in 2003. Constantine Cannon was its law firm in the litigation and Gleeson was the judge who ultimately approved that deal.
“You have a top judge, you have very fine lawyers for the settlement’s proponents, and you’re going to have the same thing on the other side,” said Howard Langer, a managing partner at Langer Grogan & Diver. “The overwhelming number of settlements are approved, but the overwhelming number of settlements aren’t for US$7.2 billion and aren’t before this kind of judge with this quality of objectors.”

How Nokia’s fate can be reversed if it concerntrate on security devices

How Nokia’s fate can be reversed if it concerntrate on security devices

1) Windows Phone OS is a proprietary OS which is an advantage when security devices are concerned, where the market for security devices is twice as big as Apple’s market, where the direction of RIM has proved there is a great demand if you have the right products.
2) The cellular network need to be encrypted, where present smartphone devices can easily be hacked to be used for monitoring by cellular and GPS, and if the program is smart enough it can also locate the nearest device for attack. Methods of attack can be like being locked by a drone aircraft where the drone can easily fire a missile. Others would be to listen to the microphone of your phone or easily transmit sublimal messages to program you.
3) To close the loophole, the GPS can only be utilised for finding directions, where scrambling technology can used to prevent tracking. The machine code of security devices should be kept a secret and the team of developers will only have access to security codes that enable to use software tools for developing applications. As such, these devices are hack proofed and there will be a great demand from VVIP and security personnel worldwide.

Microsoft, are you game enough for the challenge?
– Contributed by Oogle.

Compulsory Financial counselling with only a $1 for $1 help by Governments to solve compulsive gamblers

The New Paper
Sunday, Oct 14, 2012

AMPANG, Kuala Lumpur – His gambling debts were mounting.
The 45-year-old lorry driver from Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, who wanted to be known only as Phuah, had already lost RM30,000 (S$12,000) in July gambling online.
He covered those losses by using RM15,000 of his savings and asking for the rest from friends and family.
But the temptations to gamble proved too much. He went online to gamble again and lost more money. Left with no option and getting increasingly desperate, he walked into the office of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) with a bizarre request, The Star reported.
He had debts of RM5,000 and wanted to sell his kidney for RM50,000. He said he wanted to pay off the debts and use the rest to start a business.
But MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Michael Chong told him it was illegal to do so and that no doctor would do the surgery for him.
Said Mr Chong: “No doctor in Malaysia will perform this surgery for him. If he tries to go overseas to do it, the surgeon might end up taking two kidneys or other organs.”
He said he couldn’t believe that Mr Phuah had the audacity to come up with this request.
At a press conference at Mr Chong’s office, MrPhuah said: “What choice do I have?”
His gambling addiction not only ruined him financially, his family life was also in tatters as his wife and his children, aged 15 and 18, left him.
His friends abandoned him while his boss, fearing that his addiction and debts would jeopardise his business, fired him on Monday.
Mr Chong said this case is symptomatic of the larger malaise affecting gamblers.
For the first nine months of this year, Malaysians have borrowed a whopping RM30 million from illegal moneylenders – mostly used for illegal online gaming activities, Malay Mail reported.
The MCA has handled 444 cases of people owing money to loan sharks this year alone, while there were 480 cases for the whole of last year.
Mr Chong said he has come across four people, including Mr Phuah, who had tried to sell their organs to settle their debts.
He said: “They said they lost most of the money they borrowed on illegal online gaming. The figures are growing and I expect they would easily reach 600 people owing more than RM50 million by year-end.”
He said the government should formulate a law which would also penalise the borrowers.
“These gamblers are loan defaulters and by not paying the loan, they place their family members in danger. Their wives, children and parents are actually the ones who become victims of the loan sharks. These loan defaulters should not call themselves victims.”
There are other methods where legalisation means repeat offenders will have to serve compulsory community service before the government or NGOs step in to offer $1 for $1 help after compulsory financial counselling, this prevents abuse and there will be no way anyone can try to be funny to try to live off the government, they have to work their way out of the problem themselves. In future, technology will solve this problem of gambling addiction.
It will be also impossible for governments to fool around with the UN, funding will be $1 for $1 where governments need to provide the $1 first, before getting $1, and based on UN’s objectives, those priority that also UN’s objectives will get a higher priority, where it is possible to get higher funding if the problems is critical. This way then all loopholes are closed that will bring financial stability and progress for the entire world.  
– Contributed by Oogle. 

Amanda Todd is not the real target, it is me because nobody has my skills, those who screw around with my works will get no jobs and no money and end up dead
Published Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 2:10PM EDT

Last Updated Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 4:08PM EDT
While RCMP investigators are trying to track down the people who may have contributed to British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd’s death, the online bullying police believe pushed her to take her own life shows no sign of letting up.
While more than 400,000 Facebook users had “liked” Todd’s memorial page on the social media website by Saturday afternoon, strangers and even former classmates interrupted the condolences to post vile comments and images.
Posts include one, by a woman who identified herself as Todd’s classmate, who wrote: “I’m so happy she’s dead now.”
Todd, 15, was found dead in her Port Coquitlam home Wednesday, following an apparent suicide after she shared her story about relentless bullying in an online video post.
The RCMP has launched an investigation into teenage girl’s death.
“We want to gather enough evidence to eventually identify an individual that may, in some way, have played a role in her ultimately making this terrible decision,” RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen told CTV News.
The RCMP has said scouring social media will be part of its ongoing investigation, which includes looking at the negative posts turning up online in the days since Todd’s death.
“I am finding now that young women are contacting us and are extremely upset with what they are seeing on social media sites,” Thiessen told CTV News Channel Saturday.
Thiessen said police are trying to combat online bullying but it is “extremely difficult.”
“It’s sad to have these discussions with these young girls that are reaching out,” said Thiessen.
Commenters continued to post on the social media site calling Todd names, suggesting her story was receiving too much attention. An internet meme was even created featuring Amanda’s photo and the words: “kills herself and people act like she’s a victim that did nothing wrong.”
Todd shared her story about being tormented by online bullying in a moving video she posted on YouTube in early September. Since then, the video has been watched more than 1,600,000 times.
Todd explains in her video that the trouble began when she was in Grade 7 when she used to use a webcam to go online with friends to meet new people. After being told she was beautiful she agreed to pose for topless photos on the webcam.
These photos were used over and over by her alleged tormentors.
“I can never get that photo back, it’s out there forever,” she says in the video.
The same images have resurfaced on the Facebook memorial pages dedicated to the teen, with one individual even adding “laugh out loud, end the search.”
RCMP will continue its investigations and will be conducting interviews, scouring social media and reviewing contributing factors into Todd’s death. Police have also set up an email account for the public to email tips on the case.
Theissen said the response so far has been “significant,” and hopes to have a number out later today.
“It has been a wide range of tips, many providing us with inappropriate comments and photos that are being posted. A wide variety of information that all put together will hopefully help us gather the evidence in a very complex investigation,” said Theissen.
Invesitgators have already said bullying could have played a role in the teen’s death.
Potential criminal charges could be laid against the individuals who tormented Todd, said Thiessen, but noted it was too early to speculate what area of the criminal code this would fall under.
Amanda’s mother, Carol, broke her silence Friday in hopes that her daughter’s video is a legacy to others as well as a teaching tool.
“She wanted people to know if you’re being bullied that you have to share it with others and tell someone, otherwise it becomes invisible and nobody knows. She didn’t want anyone to feel the pain that she felt,” Carol told CTV British Columbia.
Carol is setting up an anti-bullying trust fund in the hopes the suffering will finally stop. British Columbians are also being asked to wear pink or blue on Monday in honour of Amanda.
“She had the biggest heart,” said Carol.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark is calling for change, hoping to make cyberbullying a criminal offence. As it stands, no laws specifically addressing cyberbullying exist in Canada.
The Maple Ridge School district said that there have been “significant and appropriate consequences” dealt out to Amanda’s bullies. But the school district has not released what these consequences were.
Coroner Barb McLintock said the investigation will be complex and comprehensive. McLintock added the investigation will look into everything from the school and mental health supports that were offered to Todd, and the effects that social media bullying and blackmail put on Amanda.
My family members have brainwashed everybody telling everybody garbage like I am Jesus so that they can get benefits, but when they found out I already know all their secrets, they get more than 10,000 people to attack me and whatever I say on my websites because they are all very rich from the money they swindled from others, eventually telling others I will give up everything and sacrifice my own life, trying to kill me, but they forgot, I am the second in command and I will overturn everything even if the entire world go against me, you dare to challenge my works and God’s destiny? All will end up with no money, no jobs and dead.
– Contributed by Oogle.