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More News Links: Verizon’s Netflix Bid, Google’s Siri, and Mobile driving ban

I had so many links today, I decided to do a second round.

  • Verizon ‘Very Serious’ About Making Bid for Netflix, Banker Says – Bloomberg

    Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), the second-largest U.S. phone company, is "very serious" about a bid to acquire online movie provider Netflix Inc. (NFLX), an investment banker said. Verizon may kick off a bidding war for streaming-video pioneer Netflix that could result in a sale by Easter for about $4.6 billion, said Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital, in a television interview yesterday on "Bloomberg West," citing unnamed people within Verizon.

  • Google Buys Clever Sense: An Answer To Siri?

    As is being widely reported Google has bought startup Clever Sense, which earlier this year launched the local-mobile recommendations app Alfred. Alfred is like "Pandora for the real world" and was dedicated to creating a comprehensive "interest graph." Clever Sense assigns or maps physical places to one another based on styles, characteristics and attributes in the same way that Pandora does for music. However this process is all done by "artificial intelligence."

  • Google’s response to Siri is codenamed Majel, could be released by end of year | Android and Me

    Majel is an evolution of Google’s Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing. Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like "send text to…" or "navigate to…", Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions.

  • NTSB Recommends Nationwide Ban On Mobile Device Use While Driving | TechCrunch

    If the National Transportation Safety Board has their way, talking (or texting, or tweeting) on the phone while driving would be a thing of the past. The regulatory body recommended today that use of any handheld device while driving a car should be banned nationwide.

  • Europe’s bank meltdown will hit home here – David Weidner’s Writing on the Wall – MarketWatch

    The markets on Monday reacted poorly to another summit of European leaders aiming to fix the crisis. If confidence isn’t restored, banks will soon hit a cash crunch.What happens next would be a panic. Some banks may not survive.

  • Rein: Is Chanos Finally Getting It Right on China? – CNBC

    While the residential real estate sector is definitely slowing, pent up demand and lack of debt among homeowners will ensure a soft landing. However, the commercial side, which makes up 20 percent of China’s real estate sector, is starting to show signs of a bubble. Blocked by government restrictions on the residential side, developers are rushing into ill-conceived commercial projects.

  • Finance Addict – Is the UK the new Iceland?

    How overweight is the UK banking industry? The Financial Times estimated that the UK banks’ total liabilities were about the same size as the whole of the economy. This alone might give one pause. Yet we are learning or, in some cases, revisiting how the UK’s lighter-touch regulation has encouraged U.S. entities to set up shop and go hog-wild in a move known as regulatory arbitrage.

  • Domain Name Matters: Searchers Pick Brand Over Quality, Study Finds

    The good news: If you have a credible, trusted domain name, you’ve got an advantage, as searchers really do pay attention to the URL in search results before deciding to click. And this is true regardless of the position of the URL on a search result page.The bad news, of course, is that it’s more difficult these days to acquire "credible" domains now that most single or even double word domains are in use or reserved.

  • Let’s keep 12.5 per cent tax rate and quit the euro – European, Business – Independent.ie

    AS FRANCE and Germany prepare for another crack at our 12.5 per cent corporate tax, it is becoming increasingly clear that continued membership of the eurozone will require us to surrender our low company tax. But would such a trade-off be good value for Ireland Inc?

  • Depression and Democracy – NYTimes.com

    It’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression. True, it’s not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that’s cold comfort. Unemployment in both America and Europe remains disastrously high. Leaders and institutions are increasingly discredited. And democratic values are under siege.

  • Noahpinion: A hideous anti-immigrant attack

    Dhammika Dharmapala is a law professor at the University of Illinois. My friend David Agrawal at UMich (one of our strongest job candidates this year) says that Professor Dharmapala is "the reason I’m an economist." So I’m sad and disgusted to report that Professor Dharmapala was slashed in the throat yesterday, in what is pretty clearly a hate crime.

  • Newt’s nastiness comes back to haunt him – The Washington Post

    Kevin Drum of Mother Jones recently dug up a 1978 Gingrich quotation lamenting that "one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty." Thanks to Gingrich, this is no longer a problem, in either party. Embracing Newtonian Nastiness, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called Gingrich "too erratic," "too self-centered" and lacking "the capacity to control himself." Former congressman Guy Molinari (R-N.Y.) called Gingrich "evil" and the prospect of him becoming president "appalling."

  • Professor Gingrich vs. Professor Obama – NYTimes.com

    Newt Gingrich might debate circles around Obama. He might implode spectacularly, making a hot mess of himself while the president keeps his famous cool. But either way, setting up a grand rhetorical showdown seems unlikely to supply a disillusioned country with what it’s looking for from Republicans in 2012. Conservatives may want catharsis, but the rest of the public seems to mainly want reassurance. They already know Barack Obama isn’t the messiah he was once cracked up to be. What they don’t know is whether they can trust anyone else to do better.

  • Record High Anti-Incumbent Sentiment Toward Congress

    About three-quarters of registered voters (76%) say most members of Congress do not deserve re-election, the highest such percentage Gallup has measured in its 19-year history of asking this question. The 20% who say most members deserve to be re-elected is also a record low, by one percentage point.

  • Ron Paul’s Army Eyes an Iowa Caucus Upset | Swampland | TIME.com

    The 76-year-old Paul has always been dismissed as something of a curio within GOP establishment circles and among many voters, but in an unsettled year he has a legitimate chance to crash the party and capture the Iowa caucuses.

  • Heather Stewart: If Latvia is a bailout success story, be very scared of failure | Business | The Observer

    Germany believes the only solution to the euro crisis is painful austerity measures – but if everyone’s slashing and burning, who is buying?

  • Hedgies vs Obama | Felix Salmon

    I think the real reason that Cooperman has started throwing his toys out of the pram right now is Occupy Wall Street – a movement which is more opposed to Obama than aligned with him.

  • New Economic Perspectives: MMT: A Doubly Retrospective Analysis

    Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell, and I used to meet up just about every year to count the number of people in the world who understood what we were talking about. I remember just a few years ago at Vail, Colorado, we finally got beyond the fingers on two hands. Now try googling MMT-millions of hits and what is more surprising is that there are blog sites all over the web devoted to MMT, run by people I’ve never heard of. That is a good thing, of course, even if they do not always get things exactly right.

  • Top 10 Ways to Create a More Focused and Productive Work Environment

    Although the office is supposed to be a place for productive and efficient work, that isn’t always the case. In fact, sometimes your workplace can turn into one of the least effective locations for getting things done. Instead of succumbing to reduced productivity, here are ten ways to help you create a more focused work environment.

About 

Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.