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updated: 2020-12-13
2004 July
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2004 July


Dice Report: 47,942 job ads

body shop21,535

2004-07-01 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment compensation insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 320,120 in the week ending June 26, a decrease of 3,311 from the previous week.   There were 394,214 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2% during the week ending June 19, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,728,895, a decrease of 5,686 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.7% and the volume was 3,392,668.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 12.   8,336 individuals filed continued claims under the Federal Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program during the week ending June 12.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending June 12 were in Puerto Rico (4.6%), Alaska (4.2%), Oregon (3.2%), Pennsylvania (3.0%), New Jersey (2.9%), California (2.8%), Arkansas (2.7%), Massachusetts (2.6%), Michigan (2.6%), Washington (2.6%), Connecticut (2.5%), Illinois (2.5%), and Wisconsin (2.5%).   The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 19 were in California (+6,006), New Jersey (+4,341), Michigan (+2,170), Massachusetts (+2,033), and Texas (+1,945), while the largest decreases were in South Carolina (-3,777), Oklahoma (-2,427), Illinois (-2,282), North Carolina (-2,070), and Alabama (-1,224)."

2004-07-01 06:34PDT (09:34EDT) (13:34GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment compensation insurance claims inch higher "First-time claims for state unemployment benefits increased for the third straight week, rising 1K to 351K in the week ended June 26, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The key 4-week moving average of seasonally adjusted new claims increased by 2,500 to 347K, marking the highest level in 10 weeks... The number of workers collecting the state benefits rose by 13K to 2.966M in the week ended June 19. The 4-week average of continuing claims slipped to 2.92M, the lowest in 3 years. The insured unemployment rate rose to 2.4% from 2.3% the previous week."

Carrie Lee _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Hundreds of Thousands March in Hong Kong for Liberty (photos)
"Hundreds of thousands of people in white shirts poured onto the streets of Hong Kong on Thursday to challenge Beijing's refusal to allow them to elect their own leaders and to vent their frustration at Chinese rule.   Old people joined mothers carrying children in chanting 'Return power to the people.   Fight for democracy.' as they streamed for kilometers (miles) from a park to government offices in the heart of the city, waving green and black banners and carrying umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun.   Hundreds were treated for heat exhaustion as temperatures soared to 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit)...   The large turnout could increase Communist Party fears about losing political control in Hong Kong in September.   Pro-democracy politicians are trying to wrest control of Hong Kong's top law-making body from pro-[Red China] politicians but face an uphill battle as only half of the legislature's 60 seats are filled by direct election.   The rest are selected by largely pro-government professional and business groups.   Leaders in Beijing also worry demands for more democracy could spill over to the main-land...   The white T-shirts symbolized hopes that [Red China] would one day offer the city greater democracy and freedoms.   Last year, protesters wore black to symbolize despair over a string of missteps by Tung's government, including a draft anti-subversion law that Beijing demanded the legislature pass."

Somini Sengupta & John F. Burns _NY Times_
Hussein's Trial Offers Both Peril and Promise to Iraq and U.S.A.
"When Saddam Hussein is charged with crimes against humanity in court today, much more will be at stake than his fate."

Carol Pogash _NY Times_
Faced With New Air Standards, California's Earthbound Farmers Are Wary
"Beginning Thursday, all but the smallest of farmers will be forced to comply with what critics say are the most stringent agricultural pollution standards in the nation."

Stephen Labaton _NY Times_
SEC at Odds on Plan to Let Big Investors Pick Directors
"The Securities and Exchange Commission was unable to agree on a deal to permit large share-holders to nominate a limited number of independent directors to corporate boards."

Barnaby J. Feder _NY Times_
Delta to Invest in Radio Tags for Luggage at Airports
"Delta Air Lines plans to use disposable radio tags to track all luggage it handles at domestic airports."
Privacy links

Douglas Heingartner _NY Times_
Could Your Voice Betray You?
"A technology developed for lie-detector tests, which analyzes the subject's voice to help separate truth from falsehood, is finding its way into applications far beyond criminal investigations...   Indeed, beyond its applications in law enforcement, proponents of the voice-based technology see its utility in everything from telemarketing to match-making."
Privacy links

Vicki Kemper _Los Angeles Times_
More Workers Going Without Health Benefits: 2.6M more in 2003: A Positive Change
"An additional 2.6M people ages 18 to 64 were uninsured for more than a year, raising the total to 24.5M, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

_AP_/_Los Angeles Times_
Judge Upholds State's Financial Privacy Law
"Several banking associations had challenged key provisions of California's financial privacy law, saying federal law trumps the state's restrictions on sharing customer information with affiliated businesses.   U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. disagreed with the 3 trade groups -- the American Bankers Assn., the Financial Services Roundtable and the Consumer Bankers Assn. -- and dismissed their law-suit...   The California law requires banks to give consumers the opportunity to bar the sale of information to an affiliate that isn't in the same line of business.   For example, the state law says a bank can't pass on information about a customer to an insurance company owned by the same corporation if that customer objects...   The law was passed after consumer groups threatened to take a stronger measure to voters.   [The law's author, senator Jackie] Speier tried for 4 years to get a financial privacy bill approved, but earlier versions ran into heavy opposition from business groups, which spent millions to kill it."
Privacy links

Dawn Wotapka _Los Angeles Times_
VF's Acquisition of Vans Made Official
"Greensboro, NC-based VF, the nation's largest publicly held apparel company.   Vans will keep its Santa Fe Springs head-quarters and will shed few of its roughly 1,600 employees, many in California...   Last month, it acquired Kipling, a European bag company known for its walking-monkey logo.   Last year, VF added Nautica Enterprises Inc. to a diversified roster that includes North Face Inc., Vanity Fair bras and Lee, Gitano, Wrangler and Chic jeans."

Janet Hook _Los Angeles Times_
White House Has Wary Eye on Fed's Plans
"One small interest rate increase shouldn't hurt much, but more won't help Bush, experts say."

_Los Angeles Times_
Computer Sciences Doubled Pay of CEO
"[Body shop] Computer Sciences Corp. doubled the pay of its top executive to $2.5M, excluding stock options, for its recently ended fiscal year, according to a regulatory filing."

_Los Angeles Times_
Film Workers Seek U.S. Action on Subsidies
"U.S. cinematographers and other film industry workers have asked the Bush administration to take action against Canadian, Australian and other government film-making subsidies that they say have lured away tens of thousands of jobs."

_PR Web_
Supreme Court Ruling on Detainees Affirms Badnarik's Position

"'This is exactly what we've been saying all along.', observed Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for US President.   'In fact, my staff and I made exactly this point to several San Francisco leaders, and members of the American Muslim Task Force on Saturday.'   Badnarik's passion for the Constitution drove him to seek and win the Libertarian Party's nomination, and he expects to be on the ballot in all 50 states...   Despite Supreme Court precedents to the contrary, the government had argued that non-citizens are not protected by the US Constitution.   'Government's only valid function is to protect your property and rights.', Badnarik asserted."

Chris Jacobs _Michigan City Indiana News-Dispatch_
Badnarik believes voters can identify with his presidential agenda

"'My parents taught me to be honest, have integrity and to do the right thing.   They raised my brothers and I to be men of integrity.', Badnarik said...   He said he would like to see the United States move into a free market economy, with government removed for regulating business and trade agreements.   Badnarik said the North American Free Trade Agreement would be removed under his administration."

Rachel Konrad _AP_/_Information Week_
US Chamber of Commerce Chief Pushes Off-Shoring
Miami Herald
San Jose Mercury News
"U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue is promoting over-seas out-sourcing of jobs as a way to boost the economy and even increase employment -- a stance that rankles jobless white-collar workers, particularly in the flagging technology industry."

Frosty Wooldridge _Colorado Daily_
USA Dropping Down to the World's Level
"Grinding poverty exists in Africa, [Red China], India, Bangladesh, Mexico, South America, Indonesia, Russia and many other parts of the world.   It chokes its victims in a vice-like grip of futility.   It features disease, an uneducated populace, corruption and starvation.   It's called the Third World...   One angry writer from Madras, India, a Mr. Singh [wrote,] 'it's time Americans drop their artificially high standard of living to the poverty levels of the rest of the world.'   I wrote back, 'Is it possible that you maintain an artificially low standard of living by sustaining an artificially high overpopulation level of 1.1G people?   Wouldn't India be better off with only 292M like America?   Wouldn't China be better off with 300M instead of 1.3G?   Wouldn't Bangladesh with 129M people in a land-mass the size of Ohio be better off with only a million?   Wouldn't our standard of living rise to the level of a First World country if you had a smaller population?'...   America IS dropping its standard of living for all its citizens as this country suffers an invasion by millions of immigrants annually.   Most people don't realize the world population grows by 80M annually which creates an endless line awaiting entry into the portals of America.   Since 1965 when the Immigration Reform Act opened the flood-gates to 1M [legal] immigrants annually, we have been inundated with over 60M."

James Hambrock _LaPorte County Herald-Argus_
Badnarik says Congress is violating citizens' rights
"The federal government has become too large and too controlling of its citizens and has no real check on its actions, according to the Libertarian Party's candidate for U.S. president...   'The government works for us, not the other way around.'   A major goal for Badnarik, if elected, would be to strengthen the system of checks and balances outlined in the Constitution, he said.   'Everyone seems to know we are supposed to have a system.', he said.   'But right now we don't have that.   Congress passes unconstitutional laws and the president just rubber-stamps them into law and the Supreme Court just seems to be misinterpreting the Constitution.'   If elected, he said he would use his veto power on anything he deemed unconstitutional and if Congress overrode it, he would then tell the nation why he vetoed the bill in hopes that constituents would put pressure on their congress members to stop supporting illegal acts."

Baird _Human Capital Services MAP_
Adecco Sees Continued Demand for BodyShopping in USA
"Adecco Staffing USA noted increased [bodyshopping] throughout June.   Adecco said that US temporary workers are working more hours, indicating increased economic activity.   Adecco noted increased activity in several sectors, including financial services, food and beverage manufacturing, and electronics."

Jo Best _Silicon.com_
RFID will eliminate 4M jobs & cost up to $5G while destroying privacy
Privacy links


2004-07-02 13:37PDT (16:37EDT) (20:37GMT)
Michael Baron _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Jobs data, warnings slow US stocks
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 51 points, or 0.5%, at 10,282.76, while the NASDAQ Composite gave back 9 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 2,006.66.   For the week, the Dow lost about 89 points and the Nasdaq fell 19 points.   The Nasdaq benchmark dropped to 1,996.61 at its low for the session; its last close below 2K came on June 22.   The Dow hadn't closed below 10,300 since June 3.   The S&P 500 index slid 0.3% to 1,125.37, while the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks rose fractionally to 582.72...   Breadth within the Dow closed decidedly negative with losers ahead of winners, 23 to 7...   Volume was relatively light, reaching 1.08G on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.19G on the Nasdaq.   Breadth in the broad market was mixed.   Advancers topped decliners on the Big Board, 21 to 12, but action on the NASDAQ was negative with losers edging winners, 16 to 15."

2004-07-02 14:36PDT (17:36EDT) (21:36GMT)
Russ Britt _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Disney directors give themselves a raise: Chair-man George Mitchell got $500K a year in stock grants
"Non-management directors will get $65K as an annual retainer, a 44% hike from the $45K they were getting, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.   Directors no longer will receive individual meeting fees of $1K, but instead will get an annual retainer of $10K for each committee on which they serve.   Committee chairs will get an additional retainer of $15K, up from the prior $3,500 annual fee.   Stock grants amounting up to $15K will be awarded to each director on a quarterly basis, and options up to 6K shares are available annually as well...   Charles Peck, compensation specialist for the Conference Board in New York, said Disney's compensation is not out of line with that of other firms.   Each Disney director is averaging roughly $135K a year in retainer and stock.   The Conference Board has studied board compensation and determined the range for companies with sales of more than $10G a year is anywhere from $39K to $175K.   Disney's sales were $27G last year.   The basic board compensation of $65K plus $10K for committee service remains low for a company that size, Peck added."

Lisa Bacon _NY Times_
New Law Gives Virginia's Workers a Break, by Accident
"Employees in the private sector can refuse to work on Sunday or their chosen Sabbath, leaving Virginia employers to wonder how they will manage on week-ends."

_Fox News_
Job Growth Slower Than Expected
"All of June's job growth took place in service industries.   The manufacturing sector lost 11K jobs...   Employment in professional and technical services rose by 23K -- led by continued gains in temporary employment firms.   Temp firms [bodyshops] have added 306K new jobs since 2003 April..."

James Wensits _South Bend Tribune_
President Badnarik would eliminate IRS, FDA, EPA and other departments and agencies
Badnarik for President
Ballot Access News: which candidates are on ballot in each state
"Michael Badnarik...expects to be on the ballot in all...50 states...   Badnarik said Libertarians are people who want to be able to make their own decisions and decide their own fates."

Peter Svensson _St. Louis Post Dispatch_/_AP_
Off-Shoring Is New Obstacle to Career Planning
Asbury Park Press
Boston Herald
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Florida Today

Donald M. Atwater & Aisha Jones _Pepperdine University Grazideo school of business & management_
worker shortage propaganda continues

Thomas E. Brewton & Frank L. Madarasz _View from 1776_
Socialist Management vs. Science
"This culminated in the early to mid 1970s just when I was getting my Ph.D.   I and many other new Ph.D.s were at a loss on where to find jobs and how to get them if they could be found.   Most of my contemporaries left science; a whole decade of scientific talent was wasted and lost...   By the early 1980s academics were beginning to recognize there was something wrong: not only were their students not getting science jobs, but the matriculation rate for American students had fallen off greatly."


2004-07-02 17:18PDT (20:18EDT) (2004-07-03 00:18GMT)
Jacob Dagger _Durham Herald-Sun_
Badnarik to Celebrate Independence Day in North Carolina
"Badnarik will be joined at the Durham fund-raiser and the Mebane celebration by Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barbara Howe...   Robert Rosenthal, a Libertarian elected to the Durham County Soil and Water Commission in 2002 [asked], 'If you really don't agree with any of the major-party candidates, why would you vote for them?', Rosenthal said.   'The lesser of 2 evils doesn't really make sense to me.   You should vote for someone you agree with...'"

2004-07-03 02:15PDT (05:15EDT) (09:15GMT)
Clint Swett _Sacramento Bee_
Off-shoring issue heats up California Capitol: Governor might veto bill prohibiting state agencies from off-shoring contracts
"The governor so far has been neutral on the issue of sending jobs to low-wage countries, but parties on both sides say recent actions suggest Schwarzenegger may be leaning toward off-shoring as a way to help trim the state budget...   Carol Liu, D-South Pasadena, author of the bill...   Supporters of the measure say the governor signaled his feeling about off-shoring when his administration announced this week that it had hired a Canadian company, CGI-AMS, to advise the state on ways to reduce its procurement costs.   The goal is to save $96M in the new fiscal year.   But the Toronto-based company has a reputation as an advocate for off-shoring jobs, experts say.   Indeed, its own information technology unit employs more than 650 workers in India, and will expand to 1K by the end of 2004, according to published reports...   One of the bill's chief backers, the California Labor Federation, sees the contract as an ominous sign."

Paul Blustein _Washington Post_/_Indanapolis Star_
Out-sourcing firm urges more off-shoring
NY NewsDay
Philadelphia Inquirer
Detroit News
"A report by Boston Consulting Group is exhorting U.S. companies to speed up off-shoring operations to [Red China] and India, including high-powered functions such as research and development...   Economists who contend that off-shoring benefits the U.S. economy in the long run voiced consternation over the report, which they fear could help revive the political clamor for protectionist measures that erupted last year when the media focused public attention on the loss of high-tech jobs to India."

Joseph Kahn _NY Times_
Red Chinese Government Is Filtering Phone Text Messages to Regulate Criticism
"The government's campaign is meant to ensure that people do not use mobile phone technology to undermine one-party rule."

_NY Times_
The Sluggish Wage Recovery
"There is plenty of reason to worry that the current economic expansion is not raising wages [and quality of work] as much as American families need."


Eileen Alt Powell _Houston Chronicle_
New graduates find there's lots of competition for entry-level jobs
"There actually are more job openings this year -- a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that businesses plan to increase hiring of new college graduates this year after 2 years of cutting back.   But there's a lot of competition for entry-level jobs because many young workers who lost jobs in the last recession are still looking for work."

Mariam Isa _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Legal Flap Over Rights to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
"South African lawyers are suing... for infringement of copyright on 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight', the most popular song to emerge from Africa, the lawyers said on Friday...   The lilting song, initially called 'Mbube', earned an estimated $15M in royalties since it was written by Zulu migrant worker Solomon Linda in 1939...   However, Linda's impoverished family have only received about $15K, the lawyers said...   Linda sold the worldwide copyright for 'Mbube' to a local firm, but under British laws in effect at the time, those rights should have reverted to his heirs 25 years after his death in 1962, copyright lawyer Owen Dean said.   This means Linda's surviving 3 daughters and 10 grand-children were entitled to a share of royalties from the song, which has since been recorded by at least 150 musicians [including the Tokens in the 1950s and the Nylons in the 1980s]...   The Mbube song was adapted by U.S.A. folk singer Pete Seeger, who called it 'Wimoweh' as he misheard its Zulu lyrics.   U.S.A. song-writer George David Weiss re-wrote the song as 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'."

Jim Morris _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Programming doesn't begin to define computer science
"Since 1990, the number of under-graduate degrees awarded in the biological sciences has increased 70%.   During the same period, the number of computer science degrees awarded each year has dropped by 10%.   Today, we are producing about 25K computer science bachelor's degrees annually.   The life sciences produce 6 times as many.   The current approaches to computer science education fail to teach the science of computing.   As a result, they fail to inspire the very best and brightest young minds to enter the field..."
[NCES reported that US citizens earned a total of 32,579 CS degrees in 1990, 63,335 CS degrees in 2003, and 66,130 CS degrees in 2004.   In 1990 US citizens earned 25,209 CS bachelor's degrees, in 2003 US citizens earned 52,586 CS bachelor's degrees, and in 2004 US citizens earned 54,429 CS bachelor's degrees. source: Digest of Education Statistics]


David Johnston _NY Times_
Fears of Attack at Conventions Drive New Plans
"A new effort to identify extremists in the U.S. includes conducting interviews in communities where they might seek refuge."

Merritt McKinney _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Research Progressing on Growing New Teeth
"One set of researchers has succeeded in growing teeth tissue on bio-degradable scaffolding in rats.   Another group has been able to coax stem cells to form tooth structures in mice...   Sharpe said that the next step is to replace the other type of cell that is used to form teeth in embryos and to begin to experiment with human cells.   The other researchers, led by Dr. Pamela C. Yelick at the Forsyth Institute in Boston, also worked on bioengineering teeth, but they started with cells from tooth buds, the early structures from which teeth are formed."

_PR Web_
Badnarik Wonders Whether Bush & Feinstein Know the MEaning of "Infringe"
"'That Feinstein would use parliamentary procedure to slip in yet another attempt to deprive us of one of our most fundamental individual rights is not surprising.   The even scarier issue is that Bush has already promised, in advance, to sign such a bill.   Cleary, when an issue as major as the Assault Weapons Ban is supported by Feinstein, Schumer, Bush and Warner, it is yet another indication that both of the major parties are, in fact, the same...   Should the NRA choose to endorse Bush, after his commitment to sign the Assault Weapon Ban, they will, in fact, be clearly showing their disdain for the Second Amendment and everything the organization claims to represent.   As Bush has already indicated his support to take firearms away from law abiding citizens, to support him now shows clear evidence that the NRA is not a gun rights organization, but merely a fund raising operation for those who blindly follow GOP dictates.'"

Zachary A. Goldfarb _Indianapolis Star_
Libertarian candidate for governor split with Republicans over seat-belt laws
"Kenn Gividen felt at home in the Republican Party for most of his life.   He is a deeply conservative, religious owner of a marketing company in Columbus, IN, who vigorously opposes most forms of taxation...   the state law that lets police ticket drivers for not wearing seat belts is an invasion of individual rights...   His campaign, whose signature issues are ending property taxes and reinstating single-class basketball...   Gividen's conservative background and beliefs represent a shift in the kind of candidates the party has offered, said party Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein.   Candidates often come from the civil libertarian wing of the party -- the side that focuses on social liberties...   He'd like to end property taxes and cut Indiana government by a third.   He wants to focus job recruitment on the distribution industry, exploiting Indiana's geography.   Rather than ending public schools altogether, a common Libertarian position, Gividen would terminate school districts and give each student a $4,500 voucher to attend any school."

Andy McCue _Silicon.com_
Executives conspire to deflect customer back-lash to off-shoring
"The threat of a back-lash against off-shore out-sourcing of IT and call-centre work to countries such as India has tended to focus primarily on the US but recent developments suggest a more organised and growing opposition to moving work over-seas is beginning to emerge here in the UK...   it is the customer back-lash that is now gaining prominence...   Pete Smith, director of IT and telecoms at Inmarsat, said the only lasting back-lash occurs not in protest at jobs being lost but in relation to customer service levels...   This is all backed up by the UK's National Out-Sourcing Association (NOA), which warns against off-shoring decisions being driven by short-term cost-cutting.   Martyn Hart, chairman of the NOA, said: 'There's no denying that cost is the primary driver when it comes to the decision to out-source, no matter what the financial services companies say.   Having a business process done for the fraction of the cost in Mumbai can be tempting for any company trying to maximise their budgets but it should not be done to the detriment of the company, its staff and its share-holders.'"

Michael Hiltzik _Los Angeles Times_
Tech Bubble Memories
"'This is a first attempt to understand what the Internet bubble meant.   Here's what it looked like.', he added, projecting on an overhead screen the familiar Matterhorn-like outline of an Internet stock price trajectory.   In this case, the path was that of Inktomi Corp., the search engine and network technology company he co-founded as a Berkeley computer science professor in 1996 and helped run until its 2003 acquisition by Yahoo Inc...   As Inktomi's market value soared toward its peak of $25G in 1998, it sought desperately to make itself worthy of the number...   When the 1998 Starr Report generated on-line demand of 300K copies a minute without crashing the Net, the principle was proved.   By 2000, Inktomi was earning 60% of its revenue from caching.   A year later, thanks to the telecom crash, that revenue dropped by half and never recovered.   The first lay-off of 250 employees came in 2001 April; 2 further rounds followed that year, and more the next.   The Inktomi acquired by Yahoo employed 140, down nearly 90% from its peak...   he acknowledges salvaging $10M to $100M."

Paul Glen _Computer World_
The Wrong Stuff
"Despite having had a few years when they could be really choosy, hiring managers seem to have lost sight of how to pick great employees.   We've all seen job postings with statements like, 'Must meet all requirements below to be considered.   Otherwise, don't waste our time by applying.'   What follows is invariably a list of required experience that would elude even the most energetic and accomplished centenarian.   Usually the list includes a long string of ill-considered, mutually incompatible skill sets and temperaments...   I imagine some junior HR person fresh out of college sitting in a windowless cubicle sifting through piles of resumes.   'Hmm. Here's one. Oops. Only 24 years of Java. Reject. Next. Steve Jobs; that name sounds familiar. Oh, didn't finish college. Next.'...   people get bored doing the same things over and over again...   A much better rule to follow when hiring would be 'past drive for success implies future drive for success'."


2004-07-06 05:09PDT (08:09EDT) (12:09GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
RFID tags are being put to broader abuse
Privacy links
"Starting this fall, luggage checked at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport will receive a disposable, radio-frequency identification tag...   Wal-Mart [a.k.a. Red China Mart] is pushing the technology into the retail realm with its mandate that 100 top suppliers use the microchip-embedded labels on pallets and containers by January.   Other projected uses include tagging cattle to track mad-cow disease and medicine bottles to prevent drug counterfeiting...   Jack Grasso, spokesman for EPCglobal, a non-profit venture of the Uniform Code Council, which is organizing RFID standards...   The retail tags contain a microchip with an antenna...   Drivers already use it to beep their way through tollbooths, and veterinarians embed chips containing individualized information in dogs and cats...   Delta Air Lines recently announced plans to tag luggage...   The U.S. Defense Department and Target have issued edicts similar to Wal-Mart's, and the United Kingdom's Tesco and Germany's largest retailer, Metro AG, have conducted RFID tests...   The chip communicates with scanners...   But retailers are eyeing the day when they'll tag individual products [as has been done by Gillette in experimental runs]...   RFID-tagged products 'need to be fairly ubiquitous' for automatic check-out to happen, she said.   'If you've got half of your shopping cart with RFID tags and the other half without', it won't work, she [Christine Overby of Forrester Research] said...   consumers carrying tagged items could be 'read' anywhere, so that an Albertson's RFID reader, say, could read the tagged magazine in your bag, the one you bought at Wal-Mart the day before...   A proposed bill in Utah required RFID-tagged products be labeled as such -- ensuring that consumers could at least make an informed choice - but the legislation died in the state Senate in March.   A California bill by Senator Debra Bowen would have ensured that company scanners read tags only at check-out, not after a product had left the store, but an Assembly committee recently killed the bill.   In Massachusetts, Senator Jarrett Barrios plans to introduce legislation next year that addresses consumer advocates' privacy concerns but doesn't hinder businesses' desire for increased efficiency with RFID, said spokesman Colin Durrant...   In the end, companies' success at selling the idea of RFID tagging to consumers may depend upon giving shoppers an opt-out option."
Privacy links

2004-07-06 06:41PDT (09:41EDT) (13:41GMT)
Mitch Kokai _Carolina News 14_
Libertarian presidential candidate Badnarik gets no fanfare (video)
"You'd expect to see more commotion when a presidential candidate passes through Raleigh-Durham International Airport...   But Badnarik believes more voters want new choices.   'We hope to draw votes from both parties.', Badnarik continued.   'Both the Democrats and Republicans are disenchanted with their own parties.   People are tired of spending all of their money on government bureaucracy.'"

2004-07-06 07:01PDT (10:01EDT) (14:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
June lay-off announcements fell to 12-month low: Hiring plans down from May
Washington Times
"Lay-off announcements by U.S. corporations fell about 12% to 64,343 in June, the lowest level since last June, according to global out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.   Lay-off announcements in the second quarter fell 20% to 209,895, the lowest since the third quarter of 2000...   Meanwhile, plans by corporations to hire workers fell 31% in June to 38,377.   Challenger began tracking hiring announcements in May...   Through the first 6 months of the year, the financial services industry had cut the most jobs with 54,332, followed by industrial goods with 49,481."

2004-07-06 07:12PDT (10:12EDT) (14:12GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ISM services index fell in June
Institute for Supply Management press release (with table)
"The non-manufacturing sectors of the U.S. economy grew at a robust pace in June but slower than in May, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday.   The ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 59.9% from 65.2% in May.   The index had been above 60% for 5 straight months and has been above 50% for 14 months.   Readings over 50% indicate expansion...   The new orders index rose to 64.2% from 61.3%.   The employment index rose to 57.4% from 56.3%, a new high in the 7-year-old index.   The prices paid index rose to 76.6% from 74.4%, extending the record high."

2004-07-06 07:14PDT (10:14EDT) (14:14GMT)
H. Josef Hebert _AP_/_Yahoo!_
US Flew Radioactive Materials Out of Iraq Last Month
"The nuclear material was secured from Iraq's former nuclear research facility and airlifted out of the country to an undisclosed Energy Department laboratory for further analysis, the department said in a statement.   Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham described the previously undisclosed operation, which was concluded June 23, as 'a major achievement' in an attempt to 'keep potentially dangerous nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists'.   The haul included a 'huge range' of radioactive items used for medical and industrial purposes, said Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration.   Much of the material 'was in powdered form, which is easily dispersed', said Wilkes."

2004-07-06 13:45PDT (16:45EDT) (20:45GMT)
Carla Mozee _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
"Spider-Man 2" climbs to $180M mark
"The movie, starring Tobey Maguire as the insect-like comic book hero, has broken the previous 6-day gross record set by 'The Matrix Re-Loaded' which took in $146.9M last year, according to Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, a box-office tracking firm based in Los Angeles.   'Spider-Man 2' is distributed by Sony.   Dergarabedian said the movie also broke the record as the biggest Fourth of July week-end opener with $88.3M.   The previous record holder for the holiday was another sequel -- 'Men in Black 2' with $52.1M in 2002."

_NC News Observer_/_AP_
Badnarik stumps in Wilmington, NC
WRAL http://www.wral.com/news/3496441/detail.html
Badnarik for President
Ballot Access News: which candidates are on ballot in each state
"Libertarian Michael Badnarik said if he were president the United States would have a strong military that protects American soil but does not get entangled abroad...   With the Cape Fear River as his back-drop, Badnarik attacked the encroachment of government on the everyday lives of Americans, called for elimination of the Internal Revenue Service and for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq...   Formed in 1971, the Libertarian Party stresses the rights of individuals over the power of government, and a foreign policy of non-interference.   It claims nearly 600 elected officials nationwide, almost entirely in city or county positions, and has been on the presidential ballot in all 50 states for the last 3 elections.   Badnarik said he is on the ballot in 41 states right now and hopes to be on all 50 by November."

Saul Hansell _NY Times_
You've Got Mail (and Court Says Others Can Read It)
"Last week a federal appeals court [erroneously] ruled that federal wire-tap laws do not apply to e-mail messages if they are stored, even for a millisecond, on the computers of Internet providers."

Denise Grady _NY Times_
Fat: The Secret Life of a Potent Cell
"Efforts to decipher the biology of fat cells, the building blocks of flab, have taken on added importance in an increasingly obese world."

Margaret Wertheim _NY Times_
Virtual Camp Trains Soldiers in Arabic, and More
"A video game is being developed at the University of Southern California's School of Engineering as a tool for teaching soldiers to speak Arabic."

Amy Wu _San Francisco Chronicle_
Survey finds 400% jump in off-shore out-sourcing by financial firms, especially to India
"From 2003 to 2004, financial institutions from North America and Europe increased off-shore jobs from an average of 300 to 1,500 each, a stunning 400% jump, according to the survey by Deloitte Research, a unit of the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche...   During the same period, the number of financial institutions that moved functions to other countries with cheaper labor rose 38%...   Based on the survey, Deloitte estimated that some 80% of the world's largest financial institutions -- those with stock market capitalizations greater than $10G -- already have off-shore operations.   Among smaller financial companies, about half operate off-shore while the other half don't do so yet."

_Washington Times_/_UPI_
Longevity of elders key to species survival
"U.S. scientists say fossil evidence portrays elderly people as being key to humans' evolutionary success, the New Scientist reported Tuesday.   Rachel Caspari of the University of Michigan and Sang-Hee Lee of the University of California at Riverside studied dental fossils of early humans and pre-human species dating 3M years.   They judged the age of specimens by examining wear to teeth and classified 'old' as twice the age of sexual maturity -- roughly 30 years.   Lee and Caspari found a 5-fold increase in the number of individuals surviving into old age about 30K years ago.   That coincides with an explosive population growth of modern humans and the spread of archaeological artifacts that suggest the development of more complex social organization."

2004-07-06 (5764 Tamuz 17)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Ever wonder why? part 3
Naples News
Old Whig
Free Republic
Capitalism Magazine
"Our tolerance has led to importing intolerance.   American citizenship is no longer prized as it once was.   Indeed, it is no longer necessary for living permanently in the United States.   In California, illegal immigrants not only go to the state universities, they pay lower tuition than American students who are from other states.   Both legal and illegal immigrants who don't feel like bothering to learn the language used by the American people will have government agencies and private institutions alike provide them with information in their own languages.   The argument that immigrants 'take jobs that other Americans don't want' leaves out the crucial factor of pay.   If legal or illegal immigrants came here and worked as journalists or college professors at half the pay that American journalists or college professors receive, the intelligentsia would probably have no trouble seeing the fallacy in what they are saying."


2004-07-07 04:47PDT (07:47EDT) (11:47GMT)
Mike Maynard _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US chain store same-store sales up 0.9% in latest week
"Chain-store sales for the week ended July 3 climbed 0.9%, rebounding from a drop of 1.2% in comparable-store sales seen in the prior week, according to the figures compiled by the International Council of Shopping Centers and UBS.   On a year-over-year basis, the latest week's comp-store sales increased by 4.4%..."

2004-07-07 05:46PDT (08:48EDT) (12:48GMT)
Bernhard Warner & Jennifer Tan _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
World Software Piracy Losses Climb to $29G
"That value amounted to about 60% of all legal global desktop software sales of $51G, said the Business Software Alliance (BSA)...   In April, law enforcers in Britain, Germany and the United States dismantled a series of pirated software distributors and seized $50M in illegal software...   The BSA's new research firm, IDC, estimates the 2003 global piracy rate was 36%, roughly 2% above the BSA's revised 2002 figure.   The BSA's previously reported global piracy rate in 2002 was 39%.   While the piracy rate may have been inflated, the monetary value of previous tallies was artificially low, because they failed to account for the number of pirated operating systems and PC games in circulation, IDC found.   In dollar terms, the losses were greatest in Western Europe, where an estimated $9.6G of pirated software was installed on machines, followed by Asia and North America.   VietNam and [Red China] were singled out as the piracy capitals, accounting for 92% of all computer software installed.   Ukraine, Indonesia and Russia again ranked in the top 10, the BSA said."

2004-07-07 06:11PDT (09:11EDT) (13:11GMT)
Irwin Kellner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Profits should stay high with firm prices
"Second-quarter corporate profits were great, and it looks like they're in for a repeat performance in the current period...   Year-over-year, big companies have boosted profits by 20% or more since the third quarter of 2003.   The second quarter just ended is widely expected to show a similar increase, making it 4 quarters in a row of 20%-plus gains - a rare event.   To put it another way, the share of the national pie going to profits is the highest since the government began tracking the gross domestic product back in 1947...   Already the smallest share of the economy in 38 years, wages are in danger of not providing enough buying power to purchase the goods and services made by business."

2004-07-07 06:24PDT (09:24EDT) (13:24GMT)
John Oates _The Register_
Big Biz still keen to export jobs
"Software developers in retail and finished goods manufacturers and operational staff in utilities and business service companies are the most likely to see their jobs going over-seas.   Companies in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK were questioned for the survey and 75% of them plan to off-shore services before 2009...   The main motivator for off-shoring is still saving money, 87% of French respondents said it was the main reason to move work abroad.   Language barriers and cultural differences are still a barrier to off-shoring - 85% of German respondents said these issues had a negative impact on off-shoring plans."

2004-07-07 12:11PDT (15:11EDT) (19:11GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Ballmer sets sights on cost controls
"MSFT plans to cut costs by about $1G this year, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer wrote in a memo to employees, cautioning that the software maker must control spending to improve profits and boost its languishing stock price...   57K employees...   Turning to the company's massive cash pile, Ballmer said the company won't use some of its $56G in cash to avoid cutting employee benefits...   A buy-back of $40G would add 9 to 10 cents per share to earnings, according to Sherlund."

2004-07-07 13:43PDT (16:43EDT) (20:43GMT)
Kristen Hays _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Former Enron chair Kenneth Lay charged under sealed indictment
"Two sources said the indictment against Lay, 62, was expected to be unsealed upon or shortly after his surrender to the FBI...   Lay's indictment would cap a wide-ranging investigation that has resulted in criminal charges against 30 individuals and civil charges against 15 individuals and several banks accused of assisting Enron's fraud, the Journal said.   Former Enron President Jeffrey Skilling is the highest Enron official indicted to date."

Edward Wong _NY Times_
New Law in Iraq Gives Premier Martial Powers to Fight Uprising
"The new law allows Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to impose curfews anywhere in Iraq and ban groups he considers seditious."

Felicity Barringer _NY Times_
A Search for Pearls of Wisdom in the Matter of Swine
"North Carolina has become the laboratory for what is technically, economically and politically possible in regulating hog farms and the waste they produce."

Mark Landler _NY Times_
Europe Reluctantly Deciding It Has Less Time for Time Off
"Many Europeans now believe that shorter hours, once seen as a way of spreading work among more people, have done little to ease unemployment [after shortening hours but not lowering total benefit package proportionately]...   Siemens, to extend the work-week at the Bocholt plant to 40 hours from 35.   Weekly pay remains the same.   The new contract also scraps the annual bonuses every employee receives to help pay for vacations and Christmas expenses...   Like millions of his fellow citizens, he is struggling to accept the stark new reality of life in a global economy: Germans are having to work longer hours.   And not just Germans.   The French, who in 2000 trimmed their work-week to 35 hours in hopes of generating more jobs, are now talking about lengthening it again, worried that the shorter hours are hurting the economy.   In Britain, more than a fifth of the labor force, according to a 2002 study, works longer than the European Union's mandated limit of 48 hours a week...   Europeans work an average of 10% fewer hours a year than Americans.   Germans, with the lightest schedule, work about 18% fewer hours...   Since the 1970's, Europeans have been willing to accept somewhat slower growth in wages as a price for fewer work hours and longer vacations.   The French have an average of 25 vacation days a year, while the Germans get 30 days.   The average in Japan is 18 days and in the United States, 12 days...   Since the 1970's, Europeans have been willing to accept somewhat slower growth in wages as a price for fewer work hours and longer vacations.   The French have an average of 25 vacation days a year, while the Germans get 30 days.   The average in Japan is 18 days and in the United States, 12 days."

_AP_/_NY Times_
Digital Video Makes Inroads With Police
"A TiVo-style digital video system makes it easier for officers to record law breakers and avoid frivolous law-suits, while saving them valuable storage space unlike bulky analog tapes [not to mention ease of editing]."
Privacy links

Amanda Lee Myers _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Wild-Fires Threaten Arizona Observatory
"Although fire officials were hopeful they could save a $200M mountain-top observatory, 2 small communities remained at risk as flames from a pair of lightning-sparked wildfires creeped closer...   Officials said the blazes had charred an estimated 20,700 acres combined, with the fire closest to Turkey Flat accounting for 12,200 acres."

Kevin Plumberg _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Mortgages, Chain Store Sales Support Economy
"New applications for mortgages jumped in the week ended July 2 on a sharp decline in mortgage rates, pushing up by 19.5% the Mortgage Bankers Association's market index, a seasonally adjusted measure of mortgage activity, to 687, its highest level in nearly 2 months.   The Washington trade group's purchase index, a gauge of new loan requests for home purchases, rose last week by 15% to 500.9 -- the index's second highest level ever...   Sales nudged up 0.9% in the week ended July 3, up from the 1.2% decrease in the previous week, the International Council of Shopping Centers and UBS said in a joint report.   Compared with the same week a year ago, sales increased 4.4%, slightly up from the 4.2% growth pace of the preceding week...   Bond investors concentrated on an auction of $15G of U.S. government debt scheduled for later on Wednesday."

_AP_/_Los Angeles Times_
Shrimp Import Tariffs Imposed: Red China & VietNam dumped products at prices below production costs
"Tuesday's decision by the Commerce Department could be confirmed or reversed by the agency in a final decision expected in January.   The preliminary ruling was another slap at [Red China] on the issue of trade this election year.   Last month, the department proposed tariffs on wooden bedroom furniture from [Red China] that it said was being dumped into the United States.   VietNam was hit with tariffs on its catfish last year, prompting complaints of U.S. protectionism.   The proposed tariffs on Chinese exporters of frozen and canned warm-water shrimp and prawn range from about 8% to 113%.   VietNam exporters face duties ranging from about 12% to 93%...   [Red China], VietNam, Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and India.   Those countries account for about 75% of total U.S. imports of frozen and canned warm-water shrimp.   [Red China] and VietNam were considered separately because they are not free-market-based economies.   [Red China] exported 169M pounds of shrimp worth $419M to the United States in 2003, while VietNam exported almost 125M pounds worth about $588M, the department said."

_Bloomberg_/_Los Angeles Times_
Law-Suit Seeks to Nullify JPEG Patent
"IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and 20 other computer industry rivals sued Forgent Networks Inc. and Motorola Inc.'s General Instrument Corp. on Tuesday seeking to invalidate a patent for the JPEG standard of digital image processing."

_Bloomberg_/_Los Angeles Times_
MSFT CEO Attempts to Defend Cuts in Compensation to Production Workers While Sitting on $56G Cash
"Steve Ballmer defended his decision to cut employee health care and stock benefits, telling workers the software giant needed to reduce costs."

_Bloomberg_/_Los Angeles Times_
WorldCom Settled Employee Law-Suit
"MCI Inc., former WorldCom Inc. Chief Executive Bernard J. Ebbers and 18 ex-WorldCom executives agreed to pay about $51M to settle a suit by employees who lost billions of dollars when the long-distance telephone company collapsed, lawyers for the employees said."

Marla Dickerson _Los Angeles Times_
Piracy Paradise
"Rampant piracy threatens to silence the latin music industry.   A vast under-ground market in Mexico is forcing labels to cut acts and retailers to close...   An estimated 6 out of every 10 CDs sold are believed to be bootlegs, vaulting Mexico to the No. 3 spot worldwide, behind [Red China] and Russia...   Music retailers are closing their doors, as sales last year plunged to $347M, down 25% from 2002, dropping Mexico out of the world's top 10 music markets for the first time in years.   Recording industry employment has fallen by nearly half since 2000, and the government is losing more than $100M annually in tax revenue."

Mark Hollis _South Florida Sun-Sentinel_
Governor John E. Bush says company-paid trips are inappropriate for state employees
"Governor [John E. Bush] on Tuesday insisted that his administration has little tolerance for ethical lapses and said he considers it inappropriate for public employees to accept over-seas trips funded by companies doing business with the state...   an internal investigation of top administrators at the state Department of Children & Families over their handling of a $21M computer contract and trips paid for by a software company.   DCF Secretary Jerry Regier has placed... Ben Harris, the department's deputy secretary for operations and technology, and Information Technology Director Glenn Palmiere [on paid administrative leave]...   a trip Harris took June 13-18 to Australia that was paid for by InterSystems Inc.   The Massachusetts company asked him to speak to potential clients about how DCF has successfully used one of its software products...   since February, InterSystems has paid $13,889 for Palmiere to travel to Washington, DC, Austin, Los Angeles and Australia to speak about the software, according to the company's chief operating officer, John McCormick.   Palmiere also reported to the state Commission on Ethics that InterSystems paid $1,258 in 2002 March for him to go to a California resort and that an InterSystems' account manager gave him a $387 'hotel stay and massage' as a birthday gift this past March.   Palmiere, 41, repaid the gift late last month."

Small Farmers Back Tariffs on Red China, VietNam
"Yesterday, responding to a petition from a group of small shrimp farmers in 8 states, the U.S. Commerce Department recommended new tariffs be imposed on 6 countries, including [Red China] and VietNam, saying those countries were unfairly under-cutting shrimp sellers here by creating excess supply.   The Southern Shrimp Alliance, which first filed the petition 2003 December 31, claimed the foreign competition had slashed the value of shrimp in this country from $1.25G in 2000 to $560M just 2 years later."

James Steinberg _San Diego Union-Tribune_
County fair is second in state only to Los Angeles
"The San Diego County Fair set an attendance record when it ended its 22-day run at midnight Monday, and by first light yesterday the work of dismantling the rides, exhibits and concessions was well under way.   The official visitor count of 1,250,320 surpassed last year's attendance record of just under 1.2M by 53,678 people.   The biggest fair in California is the Los Angeles County Fair, which last year had 1.3M guests during its 17-day run.   That makes the San Diego fair a close second...   entertainers such as Chubby Checker, Lesley Gore and Herman's Hermits."

Vivek Wadhwa suing Relativity
"Vivek Wadhwa, founder and former chief executive officer of Relativity Technologies, has filed a law-suit against the company seeking at least $295K."


2004-07-08 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment compensation insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 351,137 in the week ending July 3, an increase of 32,751 from the previous week.   There were 483,401 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003...   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending June 19."

2004-07-08 06:12PDT (09:12EDT) (13:12GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment compensation insurance claims fell to lowest level since 2000 October
"[Seasonally adjusted] First-time claims fell 39K to 310K in the week ended July 3, while the key 4-week moving average of seasonally adjusted new claims fell by 10,250 to 336K."

2004-07-08 07:30PDT (10:30EDT) (14:30GMT)
Sylvia Carr _Silicon.com_/_ZD Net_
After Off-Shoring
"For many companies the question is not whether to out-source work to off-shore locations in India or elsewhere, but how to protect their reputations from the negative back-lash to the issue -- regardless of whether [or especially when] that back-lash is warranted.   Sally Costerton, head of corporate communications at PR consultancy Hill & Knowlton, said: 'Having a good reputation is clearly good for a business' bottom line.'   She and other industry experts were speaking at an off-shoring conference yesterday in London sponsored by Indian IT services and BPO provider NIIT...   CEOs rank unethical corporate behavior as one of the top 2 threats to a company's reputation, according to recent poll of 250 CEOs worldwide conducted by Hill & Knowlton.   The other is product and service problems, followed closely by customer criticism...   'Don't do it and hope no one finds out... that can be very expensive.', she warned.   [So, the general strategies are to blunt the reaction to the abuse by giving it a plethora of euphemisms, by being quiet about it and presenting a fait accompli and saying "well, everyone is doing it.", by letting out the information in a slow stream so that reaction is also spread out.]"

2004-07-08 11:03PDT (14:03EDT) (18:03GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Adobe faces patent suit
"Adobe faces a patent infringement suit related to its popular Acrobat products filed by Information Technology Innovation, Adobe said in a regulatory filing on Thursday...   [Adobe] hasn't yet been served with the complaint..."

2004-07-08 11:09PDT (14:09EDT) (18:09GMT)
Rex Nutting & Matt Andrejczak _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Enron's Kenneth Lay indicted on 11 charges: SEC sues to recover $90M in unlawful gains
"Federal prosecutors have charged former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay with 11 criminal counts, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and making false and misleading statements...   Lay, 62, pleaded innocent to the criminal charges in a packed court hearing in Houston after surrendering to the FBI earlier...   The government accused Lay and other top officers of a huge conspiracy to hide from investors the true condition of the company before it plunged into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.   'The indictment charges that Lay, (former CEO Jeffrey) Skilling, (former chief accounting officer Richard) Causey and others oversaw a massive conspiracy to cook the books at Enron and to create the illusion that it was a robust, growing company with limitless potential when, in fact, Enron was an increasingly troubled business kept afloat only by a series of deceptions.', said James Comey, deputy attorney general and head of the Justice Department's corporate fraud task force.   The indictment adds 5 more counts against Causey, including money laundering conspiracy and 4 counts of money laundering.   The 11 counts against Lay include 1 count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, 4 counts of securities fraud, 2 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of bank fraud, and 3 counts of making false statements to a bank."

2004-07-08 14:52PDT (17:52EDT) (21:52GMT)
_Buffalo NY Business First_
John Rigas & his son Timothy are found guilty
"A jury in New York City Thursday issued a guilty verdict against Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas and one of his sons, Timothy, on multiple charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, and bank fraud.   John, 79, served as chairman and chief executive officer of the company he founded more than 50 years ago.   Timothy served as Adelphia's chief financial officer.   They faced a total of 23 counts and were acquitted on 5 counts of wire fraud.   Another Rigas son, Michael, also a former Adelphia executive, was found not guilty of conspiracy and was acquitted of wire fraud charges.   The jury could not reach a verdict on securities and bank fraud charges."

Hillel Italie _AP_/_Yahoo!_
NEA Report Shows Big Drop in Reading in USA
"A report released Thursday by the National Endowment for the Arts says the number of non-reading adults increased by more than 17M between 1992 and 2002.   Only 47% of American adults read 'literature' (poems, plays, narrative fiction) in 2002, a drop of 7 points from a decade earlier.   Those reading any book at all in 2002 fell to 57%, down from 61%...   The likely culprits, according to the report: television, movies and the Internet...   In 1992, 72.6M adults in the United States did not read a book.   By 2002, that figure had increased to 89.9M, the NEA said...   In May, the non-profit Book Industry Study Group reported that the number of books purchased in the United States in 2003 fell by 23M from the year before to 2.22G.   The NEA study, titled 'Reading at Risk', was based on a Census Bureau survey of more than 17K adults...   The numbers were especially poor among adult men, of whom only 38% read literature, and Hispanics overall, for whom the percentage was 26.5.   The decline was especially great among the youngest people surveyed, ages 18 to 24.   Only 43% had read any literature in 2002, down from 53% in 1992."

Arthur H. Rotstein _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Arizona Wild-Fires Threaten Squirrel Species
"With flames from the Nuttall and Gibson fires lapping toward its once-prime spruce-fir habitat near the 10,700-foot summit, the Mount Graham red squirrel's future has been in even greater jeopardy than normal in recent days."

Edward C. Baig _USA Today_
Tired of Internet Explorer's risks? Try one of these browsers
"Firefox from the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, NetCaptor 7.5 from Stilesoft and Opera 7.5 from Norway's Opera Software [and Safari from Apple and OmniWeb from The Omni Group]."

Greg Winter _NY Times_
Wooing of University Sales Staff, a.k.a. Guidance Counselors, Is Raising Profiles and Eye-Brows
"Colleges are so intent on getting the best applicants that some are lavishing perks on guidance counselors."

Gardiner Harris _NY Times_
Pfizer Reports Red China Has Revoked Its Viagra Patent
"[The Red Chinese government revoked Pfizer's patent on Viagra] in a case that the Bush administration said is an important test of [Red China's] commitment to international trade agreements."

Lisa Sorg _San Antonio Current_
Dark Horse Badnarik
"Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee, has a gun for every occasion - including the inauguration ball.   In addition to several rifles, Badnarik owns what he describes as a go-to-work gun and a dress-up gun, the difference between the two .45-caliber, semi-automatic Colt Gold Cup Series 70s being that the everyday weapon is dark blue and the gussied-up version is stainless steel...   'Badnarik is very friendly and approachable.   He's totally unassuming.', posted one party member to a Badnarik discussion list.   'As my dad would say, he's as common as an old shoe.   His transparent realness as a human seems much more important and vital and like the image I'd like to have for the party.'"

Esther Marx _Arizona Republic_
Article on off-shoring was a disservice
"In not disclosing the fact that Boston Consulting is in business to do the very thing its study recommends, The Arizona Republic, the Washington Post and Paul Blustein do a disservice to American workers being thrown away by businesses because of Boston Consulting's recommendations, resulting in a loss of tax revenue and disposable income in this country.   I don't expect this kind of reporting from a major U.S. newspaper..."

Onell R. Soto, Anna Cearley & Janine Zuniga _SAn Diego Union-Tribune_
Newly found tunnel under border began in same building as one found last year
"Authorities discovered another illegal tunnel connecting Tijuana and San Ysidro yesterday, this one originating in the same Mexican house where a sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnel was found last year.   The discovery, about 13:30, came after contractors working for the Border Patrol began digging on a narrow road along the border fence at a spot where it dipped slightly, about 200 yards from the San Ysidro border crossing.   The digging was prompted by the discovery Friday of another makeshift tunnel beneath the road."

2004-07-08 15:35PDT (18:35EDT) (20:35GMT)
Jason Lopez _NewsFactor_
Red China Agrees to End Chip Tariff
Ziff Davis
Silicon Valley/San Jose Mercury News
"[Red China] has resolved a dispute with the World Trade Organization, following U.S. complaints that offering tax breaks to chip manufacturers operating within [Red China] amounted to setting a tariff on imports.   The country's chip market is estimated at $25G annually...   American and other foreign chip importers have paid a 17% tax to [Red China] [costing about $344M].   But companies that manufacture chips within the country [were given rebates that reduced their tax burden to about 3%]...   Companies build facilities in far-off locations usually to cut labor costs or to take advantage of local governmental subsidies."

Mark Schwanhausser _Silicon Valley_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Tech firms cut back on stock options for production workers
"A Mellon Financial survey released Wednesday indicates tech companies nationwide have slashed the number of options they dole out -- and new hires might not get any at all.   While the majority of employees in tech companies still get options as part of their pay package, that might not last...   Stock options give workers the right to buy stock at a predetermined price for up to 10 years.   If the stock's price rises, workers can pocket the difference.   The survey comes amid a fierce political debate over proposed accounting rules for stock options that would require companies to count them as an expense subtracted from corporate profits.   The tech industry has battled against the change...   Tech companies have slashed the number of options they hand out by 15% to 20% in the past year alone."

Linda Rosencrance _Computer World_
Challenger says Job Cuts at Computer Firms Are Increasing
Wall Street Journal
Cincinnati Business Courier
"Planned job cuts announced by computer firms rose a staggering 179% in the second quarter of this year, to 13,465 from 4,828 in the previous quarter, according to Chicago-based out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc...   job cuts in the computer, electronics, telecommunications and e-commerce industries rose 16% in the second quarter of the year, from 29,513 in the first quarter to 34,213 in the quarter ending June 30...   Telecommunications sector job cuts, for example, dropped 12% -- from 20,681 in the first quarter to 18,368 in the second quarter; cuts announced by electronics firms fell 31%, from 3,401 to 2,338; and e-commerce job cuts declined from 603 in the first quarter to 42, Challenger said.   The technology sector accounted for 63,726, or 13.5%, of the 472,735 job cuts announced in all industries during the first 6 months of this year.   That figure is 35% lower than [65% of] the 97,999 tech-related job cuts announced in the first half of 2003."

Teri Simas _UCSD_
NSF promotes science and engineering abroad
"The program is sponsored by the NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering, with additional support from its Division of Shared Cyberinfrastructure, and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)2]."

Thomas J. DiLorenzo _Lew Rockwell_
Grover Cleveland: The last good Democratic
"Cleveland's heroic efforts to reduce tariff rates achieved modest success in his second term, as the average tariff rate was reduced from 48% to 41%.   Unfortunately, it came as a result of the Wilson-Gorman Act of 1894, which also instituted an income tax.   Cleveland allowed the Act to become law without his signature, and an enlightened Supreme Court subsequently ruled the income tax unconstitutional for the time being."


2004-07-08 23:11PDT (2004-07-09 02:11EDT) (2004-07-09 06:11GMT)
Chemical in Smoke Causes Seed Germination
"A team of Australian scientists has become the world's first research team to pin-point the previously unknown chemical, called a butenolide, which induces germination in a range of plant species including celery, parsley and echinacea...   Researchers around the world first became interested in identifying the chemical in smoke that caused seed germination when a team of South African botanists proved 15 years ago that it was bush smoke, not heat and ash, that caused plants to seed."

2004-07-09 11:26PDT (14:26EDT) (18:26GMT)
Rachel Konrad _AP_/_Yahoo!_
After Years of Surplus Scientists, Energy Department Plan Promotes Science Careers
Daily Breeze
Gainesville Sun
Bay Insider/KTVU
San Jose Mercury News
"Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced an initiative Thursday to promote 'science literacy' and boost the number of American students interested in becoming scientists and engineers.   The program will award scholarships at national labs for math and science teachers.   It also will require the 17 labs to host a total of 2K fifth- and eighth-graders for at least one day each year.   The Energy Department and the labs will also sponsor an annual science expo, 'science appreciation days' and career days, where scientists will visit public schools...   It's unclear whether the initiative will stem years of declining enrollment in science programs among American college students [in light of recent decades of high and worsening unemployment in the field], and it's unlikely to change a broader concern: Engineering and science graduates from India, [Red China], Russia and other developing nations dramatically out-number those from U.S. universities."

2004-07-09 11:34PDT (14:34EDT) (18:34GMT)
_Ziff Davis_/_Yahoo!_
Apple's Panther Up-Date Treads New Ground
"Apple Computer Inc. is prepping its next update to Mac OS X 10.3, aka Panther, sources said.   An advance seed of the update, known as Version 10.3.5 or build 7M18, was provided to developers Thursday.   Version 10.3.5 will include updates to networking, graphics, FireWire and Bluetooth, sources said.   The update also will incorporate changes to OpenGL, sound, Mail and Apple's Safari web browser, the company reportedly told testers in a release note.   According to developers, the 10.3.5 update also will boast improvements under the hood; the High Level Toolbox in 10.3.5 will reportedly include bug fixes to the system's HIToolbox and NavigationServices frameworks."

2004-07-09 12:50PDT (15:50EDT) (19:50GMT)
Michael Liedtke _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Sluggish software sales continue to sap industry's strength
"The malaise, amplified this week by a chorus of warnings about lackluster quarterly sales, is raising doubts about whether the software industry will ever regain the vigor of its heyday.   That was about 5 years ago when companies, government agencies and schools eagerly bought expensive software as they upgraded their technology systems to handle the Year 2000 roll-over and adapt to the ubiquity of the Internet."

2004-07-09 13:34PDT (16:34EDT) (20:34GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Nasdaq fell 3% in the week
"U.S. stocks ended higher Friday, but lower on the week as the Nasdaq tumbled 3% on a spate of profit warnings from software companies, sparking concern about a slowdown in economic growth.   A 4% jump in crude oil prices for the week further undermined sentiment.   On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 41.66 points, or 0.4%, at 10,213.22, with 22 out of 30 stocks posting gains.   The benchmark index ended 0.7% lower on the week.   The Nasdaq Composite was up 11.01 points, or 0.6%, at 1,946.33.   The S&P 500 climbed 3.70 points, or 0.3%, to 1,112.81, falling 1.1% on the week.   The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks edged up 0.5% at 564.48."

Steve Kraske _Kansas City Star_
Presidential candidate Badnarik seeks small government
"Small government.   Basically we are constitutional purists.   We believe that the Constitution actually means something, and that the Constitution is supposed to put limitations on the government.   The Constitution doesn't apply to you.   It applies to Congress, the president and the Supreme Court.   The Bill of Rights doesn't give you anything...   You were born with freedom of speech, freedom of religion.   One of the things I would do is eliminate the IRS and allow you to keep all the money that you make...   That big of an increase would allow you to pay off your debts, possibly buy a better car, put your children in a better school.   And you'd still have money left over.   There would be small businesses springing up all over.   I mean, they'd be springing up like dandelions to offer you new goods and services for all that money you had burning a hole in your pocket.   When we ratified the Constitution in 1789, it was over 100 years, 1913, before we created the IRS.   We had over 100 years [with 2 regrettable exceptions] with no income tax.   And the United States government was the most fiscally prosperous country in the world.   We had more money than we knew what to do with.   That's because we were collecting excise taxes on countries that wanted to sell their goods here."

Merritt McKinney _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
UV Light May Give Frequent Tanners a Mood Lift
"The ultraviolet (UV) radiation used in indoor tanning may actually raise their mood and make them feel relaxed, new research suggests...   Dr. Steven R. Feldman of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who led the study...   at least 10% of indoor tanners use tanning beds for more than 20 hours a year...   participants spent part of the time in a normal tanning bed and part of the time in a tanning bed that did not emit any UV radiation...   tanners felt more relaxed and less tense after using a UV tanning bed than they did after using a dummy tanning bed."

Joerg Rehder _Mondaq_
Out-Sourcing & Off-Shoring: Unpatriotic or Not, Legal Considerations Are a Must
"Chancellor Schroeder recently accused German companies of being 'unpatriotic' if they engage in off-shoring...   Off-shoring is out-sourcing's not so distant cousin as it involves the transferring of such tasks to a different country...   the Austrian Ministry of Justice recently announced that it will soon out-source to Romania the task of imprisoning Romanians who are currently serving prison sentences in Austria."

_NY Times_
An Umpire Taking Sides
"A major flaw in America's electoral system is that the top election officers are often publicly rooting for the Democratic or Republican side."

Simon Collins _New Zealand Herald_
Strong-Armed From Space
"Motorists beware - satellite-based systems may soon charge for road use and catch speeding drivers anywhere.   A traffic expert from Northern Ireland, Professor Alan Woodside, will tell a conference on sustainable engineering and science in Auckland today that GPS (global positioning system) tracking could slash traffic congestion and dangerous driving...   Britain's Commission for Integrated Transport had suggested a GPS system that would charge drivers for every trip, priced according to traffic levels, journey times and length...   Mr. Friedlander warned that GPS systems could be evaded even by simple tricks such as putting metallic covers over the receivers."

John Woolfolk _San Jose Mercury News_
Santa Clara county adds jobs, unemployment rate rises, as reporter desperately tries to paint a happy face on the tech job market
"Santa Clara County added 4,300 jobs last month, marking the biggest June gain since 2000 and encouraging analysts that the local economy is slowly but surely coming back.   The county's unemployment rate rose to 6.2% last month from a revised 6.0% in May, but was below the 8.7% in June 2003, according to state Employment Development Department figures released Friday...   But the county has a long way to go to make up for the job losses over the past 3 years.   The county's total jobs in June was 852,500, down by 13,400 from a year ago.   Silicon Valley's critical manufacturing sector added 600 jobs in June, a fifth consecutive monthly increase.   But manufacturing is still down 5,700 jobs from a year ago..."

Angela Doody _Internet News_
IT Jobs Slowly Grow, Wages Still "Settling": Reporter desperately tries to paint a happy face on the tech job market
"'There is a definite increase in [Information Technology] jobs, especially in security as it relates to networks and data-bases [i.e. privacy violation schemes].', says Michael P. Turner, a vice president for ComputerJobs.com.   The Atlanta-based company, which has some 1.3M registered users, has seen a 30% to 40% increase in the number of jobs in those areas in the last 6 months...   In the last 2 months, some 13,500 new jobs were created in the U.S.A. computer industry alone, notes Challenger, whose firm tallies announcements of planned hirings by companies throughout the United States.   In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a slow increase in the number of jobs in computer systems design and programming from April through June.   Preliminary numbers show there were 1,115,500 jobs in that area in June, up from 1,103,500 listed in April, according to Karen Kuhns, an economist in the bureau."

_Builder On-Line_/_Portland Press Herald_
Treasury Secretary Snow says "We're recovering. It's somewhat miraculous that the economy has held together."
"The U.S.A. is rebounding from a series of powerful 'jolts to the economic system' in the past 4 years...   the economy has been hit by an extraordinary sequence of disruptions, starting with the bursting of the high-tech stock market bubble 4 years ago.   That prolonged market slump erased $7T worth of stock value, he said, and was followed by a recession in early 2001, the terrorist attacks of 2001 September 11, corporate accounting scandals and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Roger Fillion _Rocky Mountain News_
Colorado petitioners race to get off-shoring ban on the ballot
Hire American Citizens
similar links
"Proponents of a measure to curb the export of jobs over-seas are racing the clock to get enough signatures to put the issue on the November 2 ballot in Colorado.   A shortage of volunteers to gather names could stymie efforts over the next 3 1/2 weeks.   The proposed ballot initiative would bar Colorado [government] from using off-shore workers to perform state contracts.   It would allow only U.S.A. citizens and permanent legal resident aliens in this country to do the work...   The ballot effort comes after Colorado law-makers this year killed 2 bills to curb out-sourcing, as the practice is called.   Organizers of the measure say they face an obstacle: not enough volunteers to gather the nearly 68K signatures needed...   'We're looking for volunteers.', said Richard Armstrong, president of the National Hire American Citizens Society, a Parker group that claims 6,500 members nationwide."

Frank Wolf
House Approved Comprehensive Study of Effects of Off-Shoring
"The FY 2005 Commerce-Justice-State (CJS) Appropriations bill directs the Commerce Department's Economic and Statistics Administration (ESA) to provide a $2 million grant to the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct the study, said Wolf, chairman of the CJS subcomittee.   NAPA is an independent, non-partisan organization chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency and accountability..."

Richard Monastersky _Chronicle of Higher Education_ vol50 #44 pgA10
Indicators point to an over-supply of scientists and engineers
"Fewer U.S.A. citizens are getting doctorates in those fields.   There is increasing competition from other countries for the foreign graduate students who once flocked to the United States...   In the mid-1980s, the National Science Foundation [NSF] warned that the nation would soon lack enough scientists and engineers to fill the necessary posts in academe -- a forecast that turned out to be wildly inaccurate.   Instead, over the past decade, thousands of frustrated researchers have labored in post-doctoral positions at low wages because they could not find jobs in academe or industry...   record numbers of Americans are earning bachelor's degrees in science and engineering.   And unemployment rates in at least some sectors of science and engineering have topped the charts.   'Despite recurring concerns about potential shortages of STEM [science, technical, engineering, and mathematics] personnel in the U.S.A. work force, particularly in engineering and information technology, we did not find evidence that such shortages have existed at least since 1990, nor that they are on the horizon.', concluded the RAND Corporation in a report this year.   'Projections about shortages are a dangerous business.', says Paula E. Stephan, a professor of economics at Georgia State University who has tracked employment in science...   graduate-student enrollment in science and engineering actually reached a new peak in 2002.   Foreign enrollment set a record and so did first-time enrollment for U.S. citizens.   'Overall, the declines in total graduate S&E enrollment from 1994 through 1998 have reversed with gains in enrollment every year since 1999.', according to the foundation...   An editorial in Science this year argued: 'We've arranged to produce more knowledge workers than we can employ, creating a labor-excess economy that keeps labor costs down and productivity high.   Maybe we keep doing this because in our heart of hearts, we really prefer it this way.'...   In 1986 Erich Bloch, director of the National Science Foundation, warned, 'We are not training enough young scientists and engineers.'   Four years later he wrote, 'At the end of the pipeline, too few new Ph.D.'s are being produced, and an increasing fraction -- over 50% in engineering and mathematics -- are foreign students.'   He also noted that 'the demand for engineers, scientists, and technicians is growing about twice as fast as supply and will exceed supply by 35% in the year 2000'.   But it soon became clear that those predictions were about as accurate as long-term weather forecasts.   As the 1990s progressed, the lack of science jobs forced increasing numbers of graduate students to continue their training after getting doctorates, sometimes moving from one fellowship to another before landing a more secure position.   For example, in 1973 only 27% of the people earning bio-medical Ph.D.'s went into post-doctoral positions.   By 1995 the proportion had jumped to 63%.   In recent years scientists and engineers in certain sectors have found positions scarce, and jobless rates have sometimes exceeded those in the general population.   For the first quarter of 2004, unemployment for computer scientists and systems analysts hit 6.7%, a record high.   Last year the American Chemical Society concluded that 'times are becoming very tough for the chemical profession', with unemployment rates at an all-time high.   With job announcements growing ever scarcer in journals, the proportion of new Ph.D. chemists entering postdoctoral positions jumped by 10% from 2002 to 2003.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics audited its own success in predicting job needs and found major errors in projections for technical fields.   In 1990, for example, the bureau forecast that employment in electrical and electronics engineering would grow by 40% by the year 2000 -- but the number of jobs actually decreased by 16%.   Agricultural and food science had 14% fewer positions by 2000, even though the bureau projected an increase of 21%...   in California...university or departments...pay a portion of the approximately $22K out-of-state tuition and fees charged to international students...   Increasing numbers of U.S. citizens are now entering graduate school in engineering and every field of science.   Enrollment climbed 6.7% from 2000 to 2002 for domestic students...   At UCLA, for example, domestic enrollment in those areas has climbed from 1,771 in 1993 to 2,208 in 2003...   Graduate-school enrollments often spike when jobs disappear.   But the trends have exceeded expectations in certain areas.   The number of American citizens enrolling in physics graduate programs, for example, surged by 45% in the past 5 years.   Roman Czujko, director of the statistical-research center at the American Institute of Physics, says numbers tell only part of the story.   Department chairs, he says, talk of a strong increase in the quality of U.S.A. citizens applying, 'so they found themselves admitting quite a few U.S.A. students'.   Although the NSF's report shows a declining number of physics doctorates awarded to American citizens in recent years, those numbers should soon climb, says Mr. Czujko... 'under-graduates have gone up 25% in 5 years.', he says...   the number of bachelor's degrees in science and engineering has climbed over the past decade, both in total numbers and for U.S.A. citizens...   In fact, over the past decade, a slowly growing percentage of bachelor's-degree holders in science and engineering got jobs in those fields without first earning advanced degrees.   In engineering, especially, higher-level degrees are not required.   According to data collected by the NSF in 2001, 70% of engineers entered science-and-engineering jobs with bachelor's degrees...   Richard Freeman, a professor of economics at Harvard University. '...We have lots and lots of very bright people who could go into science and engineering who don't...   [USA citizens are] not studying science', he says, 'because they look and say, ''Do I want to be a post-doc paid $35K or $40K at age 35, with extreme uncertainty working in somebody else's lab, and maybe getting credit for my work and maybe not getting full credit?   Or would I rather be an M.B.A. and making $150K and hiring Ph.D.s?'''...   With wages stagnant and too few jobs for engineers, adding to the work force will only make those careers less attractive, says one of the authors, George F. McClure, a retired aerospace engineer who studies employment issues for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE].   'The problem is that everybody has focused on the supply side, and very few have focused on the demand side.', he says.   'People in colleges and universities are concerned with maintaining the pipe-line and throughput.'...   The number of [bio-informatics] degree programs blossomed from 21 in 1999 to 74 in 2003.   'There's been a tremendous increase in the number of students in these programs.', [Stephan, the Georgia Tech economist] says.   But, she adds, 'we also track job announcements in bio-informatics, and they've been declining...   I've not seen a convincing case that that is happening [an increase in nano-tech jobs], or that it will happen.'   Yet graduate schools have an incentive to train ever-increasing numbers of students and post-doctoral fellows because they perform the work on research grants that bring money into universities, Ms. Stephan says.   'Academe has a big vested interest here.'   Students and post-docs, especially from foreign countries, make up a corps of 'cheap labor', [Freeman] says.   'It runs the system, and it runs it very efficiently, in terms of the [tax-victim].'   He advocates increasing wages for graduate students and post-docs in order to make careers in science and engineering more attractive to domestic students."

Heather Tomlinson _Manchester Guardian_
Scheme to proces NSH clinical tests in India


David Armstrong _San Francisco Chronicle_
Few new jobs in weak recovery
"State unemployment declined to 6.2% from a revised 6.3% figure in May, according to a survey released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.   However, job growth was slow, in line with national trends.   The state's non-farm employment rose by only 12,300 jobs in June, to just over 14.5M, according to the department's survey of employer pay-rolls.   Job gains in construction, professional and business services, and education and health services were nearly negated by drops in government jobs, manufacturing and information technology...   the data showed there were fewer people employed in 2004 June than in 2003 June in all 3 of the Bay Area's major regions.   In San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties, non-farm jobs increased by 4,300 from May to June, up 0.5%.   But during the past year, non-farm employment actually fell by about 6K jobs, or 0.6%, since 2003 June.   Alameda and Contra Costa counties added 3,300 non-farm jobs from May to June, a rise of 0.5%.   But non-farm employment remained about 2K jobs below where it was in June 2003, down 0.2%.   Santa Clara County added 4,300 jobs from May to June, up 0.5%.   But continued sluggish conditions in the area's crucial high-technology sector kept non-farm employment 13K jobs below 2003 June, down 1.5%.   Statewide, the big winners over the previous year were construction (up a husky 3.6%), professional and business services (up 3%), and educational and health services (up 2.1% year over year).   The losers were information technology (down 1.5% over a year ago), manufacturing (which slipped 0.7%) and government (down 1.8% from 2003 June)."

Matthew L. Wald _NY Times_
Court Sets Back Federal Project on Atom Waste Site's Safety
"The government's 17-year effort to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada suffered a major set-back on Friday."

Stephen Labaton _NY Times_
De Beers Agrees to Guilty Plea to Re-enter the U.S. Market
"De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal price fixing, ending a decade-long case."

Barry Meier _NY Times_
Michael Rigas Is Free for Now After Mistrial Is Declared
"A mistrial was declared on Friday in the case against Michael Rigas, the former Adelphia Communications executive, after jurors said they were dead-locked."

Kurt Eichenwald _NY Times_
Warning to Executives: Honesty Is the Best Policy
"With the indictment of Enron's former chief executive, the government has signaled that there have been far-reaching changes for corporate executives. [But is that true?]"

Josh Flory _Columbia Missouri Daily Tribune_
Badnarik Seeks Place in Presidential Debates
Barnarik for President
"Badnarik was dismissive of Nader's current candidacy, saying he won't be on the ballot in enough states to have a shot at winning.   'Although he is a celebrity and a name that people recognize, he has politically less clout than I do.', he added.   Badnarik said he's hoping to raise $5M to spend on his campaign.   'We plan to have television commercials broadcast during prime time that will make my name familiar to the American voter.', he said.   'And our next goal is to get invited to the presidential debate so that we can potentially change the political discussion in this country.'"

Bill Sing _Los Angeles Times_
California Posts Slower Job Growth in June
"The state's employers added a net 12,300 jobs in June, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.   That fell from a revised gain of 33,200 net jobs in May, and mirrored a disappointing nationwide net job increase of 112K last month, less than half of what was expected.   The job figures are seasonally adjusted.   California's unemployment rate, meanwhile, dropped to 6.2% in June from 6.3% in May and 6.8% in 2003 June...   In part because of the tech bust of 2000, the state's economy suffered a more severe recession and its job growth also had lagged.   But the June figures showed California pay-rolls up 0.9% from a year earlier, on par with the nation's gain in percentage terms, said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co...   In Orange County, for example, only 3.5% of workers went jobless in June, while in San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, 4.1%, 4.7% and 3.4% were out of work, respectively.   Los Angeles remained the Southland's job tortoise, continued to be Los Angeles County, with a 6.7% unemployment rate in June, up from 6.4% in May but down from 7.3% a year earlier...   Employment in the information category fell by 9K, primarily because of a 9,400-job drop in movie and video production, said Suzanne Schroeder, spokes-woman for the Employment Development Department.   But that sector gained 7,400 jobs in May, reflecting the up-and-down nature of Hollywood productions."


2004-07-11 11:47PDT (14:47EDT) (18:47GMT)
Laurence Frost _San Diego Union-Tribune_
EU hints at farm trade compromise with USA
"The European Union softened demands Sunday that Washington scrap export credits for farmers when 5 major trade powers met here for week-end talks ahead of a looming dead-line for a global framework trade deal...   Europe breathed new life into the process with a May offer to end controversial export subsidies to its farmers ñ but only in return for the scrapping of export support to producers in other developed countries, including U.S. export credits."

Gretchen Morgenson _NY Times_
The High-Tech Balloon Is Deflating
"With technology companies cautioning that their businesses softened in the second quarter, the sound of air escaping a balloon is more than detectable...   The semiconductor stock index, known as the SOX, is down 11.2% this year, and spot prices of computer chips are forecasting further declines...   The sales shortfalls at some technology companies will become most evident in the third quarter, Mr. Hickey said, making for some very ugly earnings comparisons from the same period in 2003.   Back then, tax rebates were propelling consumers into the stores and gross domestic product soared 8%, annualized.   Computer note-book sales in the third quarter of 2003, for example, were up 60%."

Ben Berkowitz _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Video-Game Analysts See Block-Buster Months Ahead
"When video game publishers report quarterly results in the weeks ahead, the focus for investors and analysts will be on a coming slate of block-buster games that need to live up to their advance hype for the industry to avoid falling short of the still heady expectations for sales growth, analysts say.   Starting in early August, consumers will see the release of some of the most hyped and most eagerly anticipated games ever..."

Ananda Shorey _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Two Wild-Fires Merge in Arizona
"The biggest fires on the mountain, the lightning-sparked Nuttall and Gibson fires, had joined but were 55% contained, fire-fighters said.   They have charred 29K acres on Mount Graham since they began in late June."

Jordan Robertson _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Food warning labels being required despite lack of scientific consensus
"Californians might soon find a cancer warning label slapped across a host of products that, by some estimates, represent 40% of the food supply ñ despite what some scientists say is a lack of hard data and over protests by the federal Food and Drug Administration.   The warning labels might be required on everything from baby food to popcorn and breakfast cereal.   The FDA has found that these foods contain high amounts of a suspected carcinogen called acrylamide, which causes cancer in rats.   But scientists haven't determined whether it's harmful to humans."


2004-07-11 22:00PDT (2004-07-12 01:00EDT) (05:00GMT)
Vox Day _World Net Daily_
You can't fix a corpse
"America, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, is dead.   By every measure, large and small, the original vision of limited government by, for and of the people has been folded, spindled and mutilated beyond recognition.   When one reads the Constitution, one simply marvels at the distinct difference between its words and our present reality.   Our paper Federal Reserve Notes are not Congress-issued gold and silver coins.   Our direct taxes are not apportioned.   We are entangled in a veritable web of foreign alliances, Congress shamelessly makes laws regarding speech, religion and guns, and the judicial branch has arrogantly assumed for itself unchecked supremacy over the other 2 branches...   Any last vestiges of hope in the Republican Party have been shattered by the current regime, wherein a Republican President, Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican-nominated Supreme Court have demonstrated that they have zero interest in the timeless vision of America's founders.   Supporting them in the hopes that they will revive American liberties is akin to hoping that shock paddles will suffice to revive a month-old corpse.   American freedom is not only dead, it has been rotting for some time...   Like the Tibetan lamas, we must go in search of those in whom the spirit of freedom and liberty burns." 2004-07-12 03:38PDT (06:38EDT) (10:38GMT)
Mark Minton _NC News Observer_
FDIC report is optimistic as banking worsens for consumers
"The typical North Carolina banker is facing summer with more money in the vault, fewer competitors on the street and a steadily rising economy."

2004-07-12 05:47PDT (08:47EDT) (12:47GMT)
Jackie Cohen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Should you dumb down your resume?
"New jobs may be cropping up in greater number, but demand still exceeds supply in the employment market...   'There are more staff jobs available than management jobs' available today, says Arthur Young, chief executive officer of the career-news site Recruiter.com...   'We've seen a 50% rise in resume fraud.', says Chuck Wardell, managing director of the northeast region for the recruitment firm Korn Ferry...   'Employers want someone who has already done what they're looking for.'...   Such outfits [recruiting firms] like to keep track of job seekers over the course of their careers, so a watered-down rÈsumÈ could disqualify someone from a future job that would have been a good fit...   'Today people have 6 to 8 different careers.   People are going out and learning new things; they're doing fun stuff they enjoy instead of trying to get a job doing exactly what they did before.'   Besides, omitting key details may result in hiring mismatches, since criteria vary widely from one company to the next, based on management philosophies, corporate organization, culture and other factors...   Positioning is one thing, but misrepresentation is another, even at the high end of the job market.   Jaffe's firm places top-level executives in jobs paying 6 to 7 figures a year or more, and the advice he always gives candidates before an interview is to be themselves...   'There are fewer jobs in the $60K-and-up range than before, so that's what forces people to dumb down their resumes.', says Jamie Clymer, general manager of EmploymentGuide.com, a site that focuses on jobs the pay hourly..."

2004-07-12 07:14PDT (10:14EDT) (14:14GMT)
Kristen Hays _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Lea Fastow, wife of former Enron CFO, begins 1 year sentence

2004-07-12 13:28PDT (16:28EDT) (20:28GMT)
Luisa Beltran _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Morgan Stanley settled sex discrimination case
Los Angeles Times
"Morgan Stanley agreed Monday to pay $54M to settle a sex discrimination case that alleged the firm denied many women promotions while giving several men higher salaries.   Out of the $54M settlement, $40M will be deposited into a claims fund, while $12M will go to lead plaintiff Allison Schieffelin, a former Morgan Stanley bond trader who was allegedly fired after complaining about how women were treated at the firm.   Another $2M will go to implementation and training of diversity programs."

2004-07-12 13:30PDT (16:30EDT) (20:30GMT)
Chris Kraeuter _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Sales of chip-making tools expected to be strong in 2005
"Semiconductor equipment sales are now expected to rise 63% to $36.2G in 2004 and 24% to $44.8G in 2005, according to trade group Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International...   Last week, technology researcher Gartner boosted its growth projections for global spending on capital equipment to 63.5% from an April projection of 40%."

Jeannine Stein _Los Angeles Times_
Companies making it easier to work out at work
"The National Business Group on Health, a Washington, DC-based non-profit concerned with health care issues of large employers, recently reported that of 84 companies surveyed, 77% have an on-site fitness center, 69% have on-site fitness programs and 38% have web-based tools that offer on-line health appraisals, identify risk factors and track progress in areas such as weight loss.   It's been at least 5 years since businesses were so gung-ho about keeping employees healthy, before the dot-com bust and a tanking economy that found companies downsizing and ordering lay-offs."

Jonathan Peterson _Los Angeles Times_
SEC faces heat from both sides over corporate election reform
SEC on Security Owner Nomination of Directors
"Although the details have been in flux, the basic idea is to give large investor blocs limited power to field dissident nominees for the board, and to do so with a company's official election materials.   Backers say that would give major share-holders powers that are long over due.   Critics contend that it would allow narrow interests to disrupt company management...   Currently, share-holders have few options if they wish to kick out a board member.   They may withhold their votes, a symbolic gesture...   A new vote for the board could be triggered if share-holders collectively holding 1% of a company's shares proposed a challenge and then managed to win support from a majority of share-holders for such a contest.   Separately, another trigger for an election challenge would be pulled if 35% of share-holders withheld their votes in a board election."


2004-07-12 19:55PDT (22:55EDT) (2004-07-13 02:55GMT)
Jo Best _CNET_/_ZD Net_
Japanese school children to be tagged with RFID chips
Spy Chips
"The tags will be read by readers installed in school gates and other key locations to track the kids' movements.   The chips will be put onto kids' schoolbags, name tags or clothing in one Wakayama prefecture school.   Denmark's Legoland introduced a similar scheme last month to stop young children going astray."
privacy links

2004-07-12 21:02PDT (2004-07-13 00:02EDT) (04:02GMT)
Bambi Francisco _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Will Yahoo! be the next network?: On-line media slowly grows original content
"Yahoo had 112.9M unique visitors in May, according to comScore...   Four years ago, advertising was heading for a major crash.   On-line advertising in the first 3 months of 2000 hit a peak growth rate of 182%, before it began to unravel.   By the following year, it had contracted from a record $8.2G in 2000, to $7.2G.   In early 2000, broad-band penetration [loosely defined to include DSL] was below 10%.   Today, 48% of households have broad-band, according to Websiteoptimization.com's June report."

2004-07-13 06:22PDT (09:22EDT) (13:22GMT)
_Reuters_/_ZD Net_
Japan hits MSFT with anti-trust warning
"Japan's Fair Trade Commission said MSFT should scrap a provision in its licensing contracts with [micro-computer] makers that prevents them from filing patent infringement suits if they find MSFT's Windoze software contains features similar to their own technology."

2004-07-13 06:39PDT (09:39EDT) (13:39GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US trade deficit declined as exports increased in May (graph)
BEA report
"The trade gap narrowed by 4.5% in May to $46.0G.   This is the first narrowing in the trade deficit since last November and the largest decline since 2002 October...   The trade gap in April was revised down slightly to $48.1G, still the largest monthly trade gap ever recorded...   Exports rose 2.9% to a record $97.1G.   Imports rose a slight 0.4% to a record $143.1G.   Exports of goods alone rose 4.2% to $68.7G.   Exports of industrial supplies and autos and auto parts set records in May.   Exports of civilian aircraft rose 19.8% to $2.1G.   Imports of goods alone rose 0.5% to $119.5G, led by record imports of non-petroleum products, agricultural products, and autos and auto parts...   The U.S. trade deficit with [Red China] widened to $12.1G in May compared with $9.9G in the same month last year.   The U.S. imported $15G of goods from [Red China], the second highest level on record."

2004-07-13 11:52PDT (14:52EDT) (18:52GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US government posted $19G budget surplus in June
"The U.S. government ran a budget surplus of $19.1G in June, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.   The surplus compares with a larger $21.2G federal surplus in the same month last fiscal year...   Outlays rose 13.6% from a year ago, while receipts rose 11.1%.   In dollar terms, federal outlays totaled $195.2G in June, compared with $171.8G a year ago.   Receipts totaled $214.4G in June, compared $193G a year ago.   In the federal fiscal year to date, the government is running a $326.6G deficit, a larger gap than the $269.7G deficit seen in the first 9 months of fiscal 2003, Treasury said.   The interest paid on Treasury debt securities amounted to $71.3G in June.   Treasury sees a $520.7G deficit for the fiscal year that closes at the end of September, unchanged from the official White House estimate made in February."

Annette Haddad _Los Angeles Times_
Home Prices Continue to Soar in Los Angeles County
"Los Angeles County home prices posted their biggest increase in at least 15 years in June as the median surged 32.3% to a record $414K, according to data released Monday...   the 12th consecutive month that prices rose at least 20% year over year."

Larry O'Dell _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Virginia Law-Makers Un-Do Good Law That Gave Workers Sabbath Off
"With just one dissenting vote, Virginia law-makers [made] an embarrassing legislative mistake that [took away from] all workers the right to take [one week-end day] off as a day of rest...   Earlier this year, Virginia law-makers... revived a colonial-era law giving Virginia workers [a day] off if they request it and subjecting employers to criminal penalties for forcing someone to toil on the Sabbath."

_Seattle Post-Intelligencer_
Boeing needs more job cuts, CEO Stonecipher says
"Harry Stonecipher, chief executive of The Boeing Co., will meet in Chicago with the company's biggest union Friday to explain his position on job security and health care ahead of next year's contract talks.   'We have plans to become more competitive, and to be more competitive means lowering costs.', Stonecipher, 68, said in an interview at the company's Chicago head-quarters.   'Lowering costs means that you have to get out of a lot of these manufacturing jobs, service jobs, all kinds of jobs.'   He will meet with leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, which represents about 16K commercial aircraft workers and 23K laid-off and retired members in the Seattle area, where the company's commercial aircraft are manufactured.   The union's top concern is job security, and the company's continued shifting of jobs to outside suppliers at home and abroad.   Around the Seattle area, the company's pay-roll has fallen by more than 27K jobs since the 9/11 attacks, and the company has increased its use of outside suppliers for manufactured parts."


2004-07-13 22:00PDT (2004-07-14 01:00EDT) (05:00GMT)
Ron Strom _World Net Daily_
Libertarians unite behind Badnarik
Badnarik for President http://www.badnarik.org
"'The Libertarian Party is stronger and more unified this year than it has ever been', Badnarik said, 'partially because the party did not collapse into factions over the presidential nomination.'   A computer programmer and consultant from Austin, Texas, Badnarik says the Libertarians' message of less government intervention ñ in both citizens' lives and in foreign countries ñ will ring true for millions of voters this year...   'Libertarians are very strong on defense, and we would eagerly seek out the people who started the attack, but we are non-interventionist, which means as Americans we want to be left alone to live our lives as Americans.   And Libertarians feel we should leave [people in] other countries alone to live their lives the way they want ñ even if they don't conform to what our standards might be.'"

2004-07-14 02:55PDT (05:55EDT) (09:55GMT)
_AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Wild-fires burn more than 17K acres of southern California brush and forest
"About 17K acres of brush and forest have burned in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.   No homes were destroyed but dozens have been evacuated since the first fire erupted Sunday.   More than 80 homes were emptied Tuesday in the Pine Canyon area of the San Gabriel Mountains as a 4,500-acre fire burned in northern Los Angeles County.   The fire in the Lake Hughes area of the Angeles National Forest was 35% contained after destroying an out-building and a motor-home."

2004-07-14 06:48PDT (09:48EDT) (13:48GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US retail sales fell 1.1% in June, 0.2% excluding gasoline
Census Bureau report
"U.S. retail sales slumped in June, dropping 1.1% on lower auto sales, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.   It was the biggest decline in 16 months.   Retail sales fell in 2 of the 3 months making up in the second quarter.   Excluding a 4.3% drop in auto sales, retail sales fell 0.2% in June, matching April's decline.   Revisions to retail sales in April and May offset each other; April was revised lower by 2-tenths of a percentage point, to a 0.8% drop, while May was revised higher by 0.2 points to a 1.4% gain.   Retail sales were up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis in June.   In May, the year-over-year gain worked out to 9.2%."

2004-07-14 12:08PDT (15:08EDT) (19:08GMT)
John C. Dvorak _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Chip industry lives on decades-old inventions
"The fact is that this sector, in general, is addled with a collective fear of failure and self-doubt unparalleled in the history of business enterprise...   Simply put, the entire semiconductor industry has been living on borrowed time for decades and the players know it, and they are collectively scared to death because of it...   The semiconductor business is actually aging, uninventive and indeed decrepit.   The underlying invention that constitutes the entire industry is the integrated circuit.   Its fundamental design was invented by Intel founder Bob Noyce and Jean Hoerni in 1958 while at Fairchild Semiconductor.   The process is still the main way transistors are produced.   Then in 1963, Frank Wanless, also at Fairchild, developed the now ubiquitous CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) process that eventually allowed the standardization of chip manufacturing...   The semiconductor business has perpetually falling prices and, in fact, is in a perpetual depression by definition...   Speed is a prevalent theme.   This requirement is what makes the business exciting and not for the meek.   A whole style of apparent mean-spirited competitiveness emerged from this dog-eat-dog aspect of the business."

2004-07-14 16:13PDT (19:13EDT) (23:13GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Ill-Begotten Monstrosities Lands IT out-sourcing contracts totaling about $1G

William Safire _NY Times_
The New Groupthink
"As soaring energy prices over the last year have produced bonanzas in the world's oil patches, many people in Houston, which has the largest concentration of energy companies anywhere, are perplexed.   In a departure from past oil booms, this one is having an unusually subdued effect here.   Signs of Houston's sluggish response to high oil prices are evident throughout the city, with disappointing indicators for real estate, job creation, corporate philanthropy and even auto sales...   In the first quarter... down-town office vacancy rates [rose] to 24% from 19.5%, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.   the median home price is $140K, or about the national average, after climbing by a modest 3% last year, according to Richard Murray, a professor of political science at the University of Houston...   Despite prices that have nearly quadrupled over the last 5 years, the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas across the country is just 1,201 compared with a peak of 4,530 in 1981...   More than 80% of Houston's economy was related to energy in the early 1980s, compared with about 50% today, as large companies in areas including medical care, waste management, computer software and transportation emerged from a severe economic down-turn."
Simon Romero _NY Times_
Soaring Oil Prices, but No New Boom in Houston

"The partisan groupthink on Iraq runs contrary to what the Senate Intelligence Committee report says."

Laurel Wellman _San Francisco Chronicle_
Badnarik for President
"A computer consultant who once worked as a system administrator at the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and now lives in Texas, Badnarik -- whose hobbies include skydiving, scuba diving and constitutional law -- has gray-sprinkled dark hair and an intense gaze.   And just over a month ago, he surprised his own party by beating 2 better-known candidates to win the nomination.   His victory seems to have been partly due to his debating performance and the appeal of his back-to-basics message: 'We the people created government.', he said.   'So government works for us, not the other way around.'...   'How long are you going to vote for somebody who's promising to respect you in the morning?', he likes to ask...   'I am winning votes for freedom.   When someone accuses me of stealing votes, that presumes that George Bush or John Kerry own those votes.   Those votes belong to the people, and the people are entitled to cast their vote for whoever they feel is the best person.'...   'Gays are individuals.   They have all the same rights that anybody else does.', he said...   'Any time the government gives you permission, they let you know you have permission because they give you a license or a permit.   If you have a marriage license, what do you have permission to do now that you did not have permission to do before?   Who gave you that permission?   And where did that entity get the power to give you permission in the first place?'"

_Dow Jones_/_Indianapolis Star_
Federal Reserve expect home prices to grow slowly
"House prices are likely to grow at the slowest pace in more than 3 decades as interest rates climb and land prices take a tumble over the next 3 years, researchers at the Federal Reserve have estimated in a new study.   The study asserts that if U.S. disposable income and short-term interest rates climb as much as Wall Street expects them to, existing-house prices would increase a cumulative 2.6% over the next three years.   That would mark the lowest rate since the government began keeping records in 1970.   The number implies high odds that house prices will decline in inflation-adjusted terms.   Prices of existing homes rose by more than 20% cumulatively over the last 3 years, according to the National Association of Realtors..."

Onell R. Soto _San Diego Union-Tribune_
2 men accused of cross-border kidnapping, sex slavery
"Two Vista men have been charged with smuggling 2 women into the country and forcing them work for years as prostitutes for North County field workers...   Guillermo Romero, 43, and Guadalupe Ventura, 27, pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges for which they face up to 10 years in prison.   The 2 men are in the country illegally...   The case was investigated by the Human Trafficking Unit of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.   Prosecutor Christopher Tenorio, in an interview, said smugglers take young girls from their families and bring them to the United States, where they don't know the language and are afraid of law enforcement, and force them into prostitution."

Craig D. Rose _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Duke Energy agreed to pay $207.5M in over-charge cases
"Duke Energy has agreed to a $207.5M settlement to resolve allegations that it over-charged for electricity during the power crisis of 2000-2001.   The agreement, which is subject to ratification by federal and state regulators, includes about $85M in cash payments and about $122M in forgiveness of debts Duke claimed for selling electricity during the crisis."

Bruce V. Bigelow _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Fraud an issue in Peregrine Systems bankruptcy
"An internal report that describes financial fraud and other wrong-doing at San Diego's Peregrine Systems should not have been stricken from the record of the company's bankruptcy reorganization last year, a federal judge ruled."

_AP_/_Los Angeles Times_
California Workers' Comp Insurance Rates Decrease 10%
"The workers' comp insurance rates paid by California employers shot up dramatically in recent years, increasing 200% to 300% for some businesses.   Law-makers responded last Fall and this Spring with legislation that, among other things, imposed new limits on benefits for injured workers and capped charges by pharmacies, doctors and outpatient clinics in workers' compensation cases.   In the wake of the changes, Garamendi urged insurers in May to slash rates nearly 21% for policies renewed or purchased after June 30."

_Los Angeles Times_
UFJ Seeks Merger with Mitsubishi Tokyo
"UFJ Holdings Inc., Japan's fourth-largest banking group, said its board had decided to seek a merger with third-ranked Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc., a combination that would surpass Citigroup Inc. as the world's biggest bank."

_AP_/_Los Angeles Times_
Japan Orders MSFT to Drop Monopolistic Contract Clause
"Japan's anti-monopoly agency demanded that MSFT Corp. drop a clause from contracts with Japanese electronics makers that it suspects allows the U.S. software giant to unlawfully appropriate patented technology."


2004-07-15 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment compensation insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 442,769 in the week ending July 10, an increase of 93,208 from the previous week.   There were 552,621 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003."

2004-07-15 06:14PDT (09:14EDT) (13:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment compensation insurance claims bounced back
"Lay-offs in autos and other manufacturing industries pushed seasonally adjusted U.S. initial jobless claims higher by 40K last week, to a total of 349K, the Labor Department reported Thursday.   Claims had fallen 40K to a revised 309K the prior week.   Initial claims have been at the 349K level for 3 of the past 4 weeks...   The 4-week average of initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 3,250, reaching 339K..."

2004-07-15 05:58PDT (08:58EDT) (12:58GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
PPI down 0.3% in June: Core up 0.2%
BLS report

2004-07-15 06:15PDT (09:15EDT) (13:15GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US industrial output fell in June
"Industrial output fell 0.3% in June to 116.2 on the Fed's index, falling back below the pre-recession peak of 116.4 recorded in 2000 June.   Capacity utilization fell to 77.2% in June from a revised 77.6% in May."

2004-07-15 08:28PDT (11:28EDT) (15:28GMT)
Anthony J. Brown _Reuters_
Niacin May Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease
"The study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry points out that severe niacin deficiency is known to cause dementia.   However, the researchers note that it is unclear if more subtle variations in niacin intake influence the risk of mental deterioration...   A high level of total niacin intake seemed to protect against both Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline.   The association was stronger for niacin intake from foods than for niacin taken in vitamin supplements...   Primary source: _Journal of Neurology, NeuroSurgery & Psychiatry_ 2004 August   [Rich sources of niacin include lean meat, fish, legumes, nuts, dairy products, enriched grains and cereals, and coffee and tea.]"

2004-07-15 09:00PDT (12:00EDT) (16:00GMT)
_Congressional Research Caucus_
Status of the Science & Engineering Work-Force

_Indian Express_
US issued over 50K H-1B visas to Indians
"As many as 50K H-1B visas have been granted so far, out of imposed cap of 65K visas by the American government, the Rajya Sabha was told on Thursday."

Terril Yue Jones & Marla Dickerson _Los Angeles Times_
Chip Factories Envisioned in Mexicali
"American investors and Mexican officials unveiled an ambitious plan Wednesday for an industrial park in Mexico on the California border to entice computer chip companies to build multibillion-dollar factories there instead of exporting production to Asia.   State-of-the-art factories on the 15-square-mile site in Mexicali, about 120 miles east of San Diego, could create as many as 100K high-tech jobs in 10 years, said Daniel Hill, chairman of Silicon Border Development, the private firm that intends to build the industrial park."

_Bloomberg_/_Los Angeles Times_
Bank of India's Q2 Profit Rose 41%

David Colker _Los Angeles Times_
Apple's Profit Tripled on iPod & Related Sales

E. Scott Reckard _Los Angeles Times_
City National's Net Income Rose 13% in Q2
"The Beverly Hills-based parent of City National Bank earned $52.2M, or $1.03 a share, up from $46.1M, or 93 cents, in the second quarter of 2003."

_Reuters_/_Los Angeles Times_
Oil Prices Rose on Supply Concerns
"U.S. oil prices rose to $40.97 a barrel Wednesday, their highest level in 6 weeks, after data showing an unexpected decline in crude stocks helped rekindle concerns about security and supply in the key Mideast oil regions."

_Reuters_/_Los Angeles Times_
Business Groups Seek Delay in Accounting for Options
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Assn. of Manufacturers and Business Roundtable said the Financial Accounting Standards Board should take time to 'field test' various models for estimating options costs...   The plea added to the pressure on the FASB, which is facing a torrent of protest for its proposal that companies' stock-options costs be subtracted from income.   Technology firms, in particular, have argued that expensing of options would slash their [apparent] earnings, penalizing their stock values.   Proponents say options represent real costs to share-holders and should be treated as such."

Nancy Cook Lauer _Tallahassee Democrat_
Coalition wants state governments to reveal off-shoring deals
"The Seattle branch of Communications Workers of America and Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC, public-policy group, released a report Wednesday showing that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of white-collar service jobs in virtually every state are being sent over-seas, a process known as off-shoring.   The most prevalent project: call centers in India and Mexico where workers handle questions about food stamps.   Florida's $12.8M contract with J.P. Morgan Chase is one of those, according to the report.   The report showed that 18 firms specializing in off-shore out-sourcing either have business or are actively soliciting it in 30 states, and the trend is growing."

Stella M. Hopkins _Charlotte Observer_
State work not easy to trace: Study urged to separate off-shoring from out-sourcing
ZD Net
"Researchers with Good Jobs First, a non-profit group studying economic-development issues, said they found $75M in state contracts being performed off-shore -- a tiny bit of the $40G experts say state and local governments spend on IT.   The list included a $2.5M NC financial software contract, but the state told the Observer all work on the project was done in Raleigh.   The list did not include an off-shore SC project the Observer identified last year.   The 39-page report prepared for WashTech, an IT workers union, sought to quantify states' use of the controversial cost-cutting strategy of sending IT work to lower-wage countries, often India.   But researchers said it was 'hopelessly unrealistic' to obtain off-shoring information from states because they work with multiple vendors and sub-contractors [and guest-workers]...   The report said the NC Department of State Treasurer paid an Indian firm $2.5M for software.   The software enabled on-line banking and other financial services for the department, which handles up to $250M a day, serving as a bank for school systems, universities, community colleges and state agencies.   The Treasurer's office bought the software from New York-based i-flex solutions inc., a subsidiary of a Bombay-based firm that developed the software in India and began selling it in 1997."

Karl Schoenberger _San Jose Mercury News_
30 state governments are off-shoring IT jobs
"Government agencies in California and at least 29 other states have contracted with foreign firms for information technology services, sending jobs and tax-payer dollars over-seas, said a report released Wednesday by labor advocacy groups.   The report, commissioned by WashTech, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, did not estimate the total dollar value of state off-shoring or the number of jobs involved, saying only a limited amount of the activity could be documented because of the lack of information.   It called on states to require contractors to disclose where their work is carried out and to create a data-base of contracts for public review...   The methodology was conservative, Mattera said, because it did not count large USA companies such as IBM and Electronic Data Systems [EDS] that out-source domestically and over-seas.   Researchers found 18 companies -- including the major Indian off-shoring firms Tata Infotech [affiliate of TCS], Wipro Technologies and Infosys Technologies -- had captured at least $75M in contracts in 30 states."


2004-07-15 23:43PDT (2004-07-16 02:43EDT) (06:43GMT)
Alan Fram _AP_/_Seattle Post Intelligencer_
US House votes to curb gov't loans for off-shoring firms
Los Angeles Times
"The House is taking an election-year swipe at U.S. companies that have lowered their tax bills by moving off-shore, voting to bar them from receiving some lower-cost federal loans.   The Republican-led chamber voted 270-132 to add the provision to a $19.4G foreign aid bill.   In a long day of voting, the chamber also added provisions to the measure trimming aid to Saudi Arabia and penalizing countries that would hand over Americans to a permanent international court for war crimes.   The foreign aid bill passed easily, 365-41."

2004-06-16 03:50PDT (06:50EDT) (10:50GMT)
Therese Poletti _San Jose Mercury News_/_Yahoo!_/_SiliconValley.com_
94% of Bay Area tech companies are off-shoring
Miami Herald
"A study on off-shoring released Thursday found that 94% of the Bay Area's largest semiconductor and software companies are sending work over-seas.   That compares with 66% of U.S. companies in 8 different industries in 2003."

2004-07-16 06:55PDT (09:55EDT) (13:55GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
CPI rose 0.3% in June: Core inflation increased at 0.1%
"The CPI had increased 0.6% in May, while the core CPI rose 0.2%.   The CPI's now up 3.3% in the past year, higher than a comparable 3.1% pace seen last month.   The core CPI is up 1.9%, the fastest gain since 2003 January."

2004-07-16 13:25PDT (16:25EDT) (20:25GMT)
Boeing to bring back up to 3K workers
"Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) will hire up to 3K workers by the end of 2004, its first reversal of the 42K jobs cut since the 2001 September 11 U.S. hijack attacks, the jet-maker and military contractor said on Friday."

2004-07-16 13:26PDT (16:26EDT) (20:26GMT)
Luisa Beltran _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Martha Stewart was sentenced to 5 months in minimum security prison, 5 months of wearing a location transmitter, 2 years of supervised release, and $30K

2004-07-16 14:13PDT (17:13EDT) (21:13GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Nasdaq closes at 2-month low
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended just off its low for the session, down 23.38 points, or 0.2%, at 10,139.78.   In morning trading, the index hit an intraday high of 10,238.37.   20 of the Dow's 30 stocks ended lower.   The bench-mark index ended 0.7% lower on the week.   The Nasdaq Composite dropped 29.56 points, or 1.5%, to 1,883.15, the first time it has closed below 1,900 points since May 20.   The tech-rich index slumped 3.2% for the week.   Since the start of the earnings season 2 weeks ago, the Nasdaq has shed just over 6%.   The S&P 500 was down 5.30 points, or 0.5%, at 1,101.39, ending 1% lower on the week.   The Russell 2000 small-cap index fell 1.2%, to 555.48."

Carl Hulse _NY Times_
Senate Approves Tobacco Buy-Out and New Curbs
"The Senate passed new federal regulation of tobacco products and advertising as part of a deal to buy out tobacco growers."

Joseph Kahn _NY Times_
Jiang Zemin Is Still a Power in Red China's Life
"Jiang Zemin, who handed the titles of Communist Party chief and president to Hu Jintao in 2002, still holds ultimate power."

Steven Greenhouse & Karen W. Arenson _NY Times_
Labor Board Says Graduate Students at Private Universities Have No Right to Unionize
"The fast-growing movement to unionize graduate students at the nation's private universities suffered a crushing set-back."

Jonathan D. Glater _NY Times_
Jury Finds Ex-Tyco Lawyer Not Guilty of All Charges
"Mark A. Belnick was acquitted on Thursday of charges that he stole millions of dollars in the form of unauthorized bonuses and loans."

_Washington Times_/_UPI_
UMich consumer sentiment index inched higher
"The University of Michigan Friday said its consumer sentiment index edged up to 96 at the mid-July reading from a level of 95.6 in June."

Tom Locke _Denver Business Journal_
Colorado bankruptcy cases hit record
"Colorado business bankruptcies in the second quarter jumped 112% to 225 from a year ago, the highest quarter since the third quarter of 1993.   Meanwhile, Colorado total bankruptcies reached an all-time record for a single quarter, coming in at 7,691."


2004-07-16 21:23PDT (2004-07-17 00:23EDT) (04:23GMT)
Peter Guinta _St. Augustine Record_
Patience, grace in short supply this election season
"[Doesn't like political advertising...]   I'd been a Democrat since 1968...   The 2-party system is old, corrupt and broken.   Bush did have the courage to do the right thing in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the ever-present pack of hounds baying for his hide.   But on other issues, he seems inept or rigidly political.   I joined the Libertarian Party last month, tired of the battling between two ethically challenged main stream political parties.   The Libertarians are very small (only about 200 here), but they claim to be committed to the Constitution, a free-market economy and civil liberties.   That's more attractive than big spending, big business or big welfare.   I differ with them on its non-interventionist philosophy, but every Libertarian Party member I've met has spoken about principles and how not to compromise them.   That is quite refreshing.   The party's growing as people see the traditional 2 parties selling their souls -- and the Constitution -- to win elections.   I've even met the party's presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik of Texas.   I cannot endorse the man, because I don't know him and that's not my job here.   But we could do worse, and most certainly will."

2004-07-17 10:41:17PDT (13:41:17EDT) (17:41:17GMT)
_Pasadena CA Star News_
Badnarik sees Libertarians as adults among government adolescents
Badnarik for President
Ballot Access News: which candidates are on ballot in each state
"Realizing that they have little chance of electing many true believers to Congress, much less the White House, he insists that even 1 or 2 [Libertarians] would make a vast difference.   'It's like a bunch of high schoolers at a party drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.   What happens when an adult shows up?   They have to kick the cans under the couch and straighten up.', he says."

2004-07-17 13:57PDT (16:57EDT) (20:57GMT)
Jackie Cohen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Sales for DVD recorders could hit 60M this year
"Having crossed under the $100 price threshold, DVD recorders are becoming standard components in mid-range micro-computers."

_Reuters_/_NY Times_
Red China's GDP Growth Rate Cools, Stirring Hopes of Soft Landing
"[Red China's] GDP grew at a 9.6% pace in the April through June period, suggesting that Beijing may be achieving a soft landing for the economy."


Eduardo Porter _NY Times_
Hourly Pay in U.S. Not Keeping Pace With Price Rises
"The economy has added jobs almost every month this year, but stagnant wages could hinder prospects for economic growth."

Alex Berenson _NY Times_
As Police Use of Tasers Rises, Questions Over Safety Increase
Increasing abuse of less-lethal weaponry
"At least 50 people have died since 2001 after being shocked by electric guns that have become popular with law enforcement."

Gretchen Morgenson _NY Times_
No Wonder CEO's Love Those Mergers
"Chief executives like it when their companies are acquired, because their severance agreements kick in, making them titanically, stupefyingly rich."

William J. Holstein _NY Times_
How a Technology Gap Helped Red China Win Jobs
"[Red China] is challenging India as a low-cost home for software development.   In the process, says Dale L. Fuller, president and chief executive of Borland Software in Scotts Valley, CA, the technology industry is becoming ever more globalized...   'It is clear today that India has the leadership, in terms of market share, for software development and out-sourcing.   The reason for that is that they had an early jump start.   They began by being more Westernized and having more English speakers.   A lot of guys who came over here from their institutes of technology and got trained here have now gone back.   A lot of the start-ups during the Internet bubble were Indian, and a lot of the resources here in Silicon Valley were the holders of H-1B visas, who also transferred back after the bubble burst...   Both [India and Red China] have what we would classify, over the next 10 to 20 years, as inexhaustible sources of human capital.'"

Lisa Belkin _NY Times_
Office Messes
"Multi-tasking, productivity pressure and high-tech complexity can mean work-place hell..."


2004-07-19 03:01PDT (06:01EDT) (10:01GMT)
_Business Wire_/_Foreclosures.com_
Q2 Foreclosure Activity Rose in Northern California
"on the rise in 9 northern California counties.   'The steepest increase with 26% more filings over the first quarter is in Contra Costa County', said Foreclosures.com president Alexis McGee, 'followed by Alameda County at 22.56%.'   Increased filings in the 7 other northern counties ranged from Stanislaus County with a 10.52% boost to San Francisco and San Mateo counties at almost 19% above first quarter levels.   Combined numbers for Sonoma and Marin counties registered the only Bay area decline with filings at 85.27% of the first quarter pace.   Conversely, in the Southland, foreclosures continued to slow slightly.   Los Angeles County is reporting filings down 3.3%, while Orange and San Bernardino Counties dropped a little over 17%, and filings in Riverside County dropped almost 10%."

2004-07-19 07:58PDT (10:58EDT) (14:58GMT)
Leticia Williams _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
MSFT to buy Lindows name for $20M

2004-07-19 13:50PDT (16:50EDT) (20:50GMT)
Eating Fish Can Cut Risk of Hearth Rhythm Disorder
"Baked or broiled but not fried, fish helped reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues found."

Timothy L. O'Brien _NY Times_
At Riggs Bank, a Tangled Path Led to Scandal
"The controversy that has shaken Riggs Bank has sent tremors through the industry, and regulators admit holes in their ability to prevent abuses of the U.S. financial system."

Kelly Pate Dwyer _Denver Post_
Lay-off veteran aims to get off-shoring ban on November ballot
Hire American Citizens
"Richard Armstrong trained his foreign replacement to do his job at U S West, then was laid off.   Now he's pushing to put before voters an initiative banning out-sourcing of state jobs...   Armstrong runs the National Hire American Citizens Society, a Web-based, home-based, grass-roots effort to stem off-shoring - out-sourcing work to foreign countries - as well as the hiring of foreign workers in the U.S.A.   Armstrong's wife and son among its volunteer army, has fought for anti-off-shoring legislation here, in Georgia and in California...   He says he and his group are 70% of the way toward collecting the roughly 68K signatures needed to get Proposal 139, 'Protection of American Workers', onto this year's ballot.   They have 2 weeks left...   He started this effort in 2000, after twice losing his job to temporary foreign workers.   At Qwest - then U S West - Armstrong trained his replacement."

_Las Vegas Review-Journal_
Open up the debates
Ballot Access News: which candidates are on ballot in each state
"And if you believe those voters and their questions will be 'walk-ins' off the street, unscreened by chaperones of both parties, we have some lovely ranchettes we'd like to sell you near Gila Bend...   It might be more accurate to say voters would like the presidential debates to help inform them, but that the current sanitized format -- designed to minimize the chance either candidate will encounter an unexpected question or otherwise be challenged to abandon his memorized 'talking points' -- have become such a snore that they attract a smaller viewership every election cycle...   those who favor maintaining the current stultifying monopoly are wont to insist.
  In fact, Richard Winger of San Francisco-based Ballot Access News says a 2004 presidential debate including all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to have a theoretical chance to win the presidency would include only 6 men: President Bush; likely Democratic nominee John Kerry; Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian Michael Badnarik; Green Party candidate David Cobb, and Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party...
  the presumed 'fact' that no one else can draw a double-digit return and thus be in a position to seriously affect the election's outcome -- perhaps even throwing a close 3- or 4-way race into the House of Representatives is a self-fulfilling prophesy.   A Catch-22 is created.   The press barely covers the other 4 candidates because they supposedly don't have a chance -- and they don't have much of a chance because the voters never hear from them given they're not allowed in the debates and thus the press doesn't cover them...
  The answer is to stage real debates, open to all presidential candidates who have a theoretical chance of winning.   And if the 2 major party candidates won't come, televise them anyway, with straw dummies in the 2 empty chairs, properly signifying how much they really want the voters to know."

_Daily Record_
Nicotine is good for you
Guardian Observer
"nicotine can help people suffering from mental health problems... can be used to treat schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.   Dr Dan McGehee, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago, said: 'A whole range of psychiatric conditions seem to be helped by nicotine.'...   nicotine 'switches on' parts of the brain causing them to release a chemical called dopamine..."

Melissa Healy _Los Angeles Times_
We're not wired to do so much at once, and stress and mistakes show
"multi-tasking, which many have embraced as the key to success, is instead a formula for shoddy work, mismanaged time, rote solutions, stress and forgetfulness.   Not to mention car crashes, kitchen fires, forgotten children, near misses in the skies and other dangers of inattention...   When it comes to using your brain to conduct several tasks at one time, 'there is no free lunch', says University of Michigan psychologist David E. Meyer.   For all but the most routine tasks - and few mental under-takings are truly routine - it will take more time for the brain to switch among tasks than it would have to complete one and then turn to the other...   'They may be meeting their numbers, but they're not as creative, flexible, humorous or innovative as they might be.'...   When a human is assessing tasks, prioritizing them and assigning mental resources, these frontal lobes are doing most of the work, says Dr. Jordan Grafman, a neuro-psychologist and chief of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health.   The same region of the brain is where we pull off another uniquely human trick that is key to multi-tasking: 'marking' the spot at which a task has been interrupted, so we can return to it later.   The irony, Grafman says, is that the prefrontal cortex is the part of the human brain that is most damaged as a result of prolonged stress, particularly the kind of stress that makes a person feel out-of-control and helpless.   The kind of stress, say, that you might feel when overwhelmed by the demands of multi-tasking.   Such stress, Grafman says, also will cause the death of brain cells in another region - the hippocampus, which is critical to the formation of new memories.   Damage there can hobble a person's ability to learn and retain new facts and skills...   When they were asked to switch between the two tasks, Jiang's student subjects were a bit more accurate.   But they were shifting very slowly between tasks - and the faster they were forced to toggle between the two tasks, the more they slowed down...   In between tasks, the part of the brain that prioritizes tasks and engages in higher-order thinking was taking a momentary rest."

_Butler Group_/_Enterprise Networks and Servers_
Back-Lash Against Off-Shoring Continues
"Even though the benefits of off-shoring extend beyond those of cost, the back-lash against off-shoring continues with reports in the press recently about threats of strikes by UK workers who will be affected as a result.   Furthermore, customer reaction is reported as increasing in importance in business decisions about the use of off-shoring.   Cost always has been, and generally will remain, the main driver in the decision to off-shore operations."

Stacey Peterson _Information Week_
It's the Jobs, Stupid: Priorities of Out-Sourcing and Off-Shoring
more scientific poll
"off-shore out-sourcing -- rose to the top of the list of in terms of importance among respondents to InformationWeek's informal on-line poll..."


2004-07-20 06:54PDT (09:54EDT) (13:54GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US housing starts at 1-year low: June permits fell 8.2%, largest decline in a decade (with graph)
census bureau report
"Ground-breaking on new homes in the United States slowed in June, falling 8.5% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.802M units, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday. It was the lowest number of starts since 2003 May."

2004-07-20 11:15PDT (14:15EDT) (18:15GMT)
Leticia Williams _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
FBI touts record on corporate crime
"Among the Justice Department's convictions are 11 former Enron executives, including the firm's former financial chief and treasurer, said Deputy Attorney General James Comey.   From 2003 June through 2004 May 31, corporate-fraud convictions or guilty pleas increased to 500 from 250, Comey said, adding that the worst may now be over...   Bush commissioned the corporate-fraud task force -- made up of the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service -- in 2002, with the aim of coalescing federal efforts around investigating and prosecuting corporate scandals.   SEC Chairman William Donaldson said the agency has filed more than 1K cases since the task force's inception.   In addition, the SEC has procured $432 million on behalf of Enron's victims, Donaldson said.   Moreover, the SEC has brought 41 mutual fund-related cases in the wake of widespread abusive-trading practices uncovered in the industry and has court orders for about $1G in penalties and fines related to those cases."

2004-07-20 01:44PDT (04:44EDT) (08:44GMT)
John Oates _The Register_
EDS wins $1.1G gig with Bank of India to ease absorption of FleetBoston
Information Week

2004-07-20 04:40PDT (07:40EDT) (11:40GMT)
_PR NewsWire_/_Yahoo!_
ServiceXRG Survey Reveals That Customers Accept Self-Service and Reject Off-Shore Out-Sourcing
"Service Excellence Research Group, LLC, a Massachusetts based industry resource for support and service industry professionals, today announced the immediate availability of the 2004 Enterprise Users' Perceptions Study...   'Customers have embraced self-service but want more effective content...   24% of customers indicated that they will stop doing business with a vendor if they out-source support off-shore, regardless of the quality of support.   It is not clear that they would actually stop doing business with a vendor, but it is clear that this is an emotional issue and one that must be [taken seriously].'..."

2004-07-20 05:15PDT (08:15EDT) (12:15GMT)
_Business Week_/_Yahoo!_
Ratan Tata biography

2004-07-20 06:37PDT (09:37EDT) (13:37GMT)
_North San Diego County Times_
LA County fires moving away from homes
"A blaze that has scorched about 6K acres near Santa Clarita and once threatened more than 1,600 homes was moving further into brushland today and away from homes, authorities said.   The Foothill Fire, which has charred 5,984 acres since it broke out Saturday, was about 45% contained, said a Unified Fire Information Center spokesman."

2004-07-20 06:54PDT (09:54EDT) (13:54GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US housing starts at 1-year low: June permits fell 8.2%, largest decline in a decade
census bureau report
"Ground-breaking on new homes in the United States slowed in June, falling 8.5% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.802M units, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday."

2004-07-20 07:26PDT (10:26EDT) (14:26GMT)
_Reuters_/_Ziff Davis_
After years of heel-dragging ICANN finally deigns to sign on to IPv6
"Vinton Cerf of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said the next-generation protocol, IPv6, had been added to its root server systems, making it possible for every person or device to have an Internet Protocol address."

2004-07-20 07:37PDT (10:37EDT) (14:37GMT)
Genaro C. Armas _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Low-Income Workers Seeing Housing Woes
"In 2003, the median salary in those 2 occupations was over $18K a year, up 3% for janitors and 6% for clerks, the report from the Center for Housing Policy said.   The median monthly rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in 2003 was $791, up 10% from $721.   Generally, housing is considered affordable if a family pays no more than 30% of its income.   The study of 136 of the nation's largest housing markets found that in only 25 markets did both janitors and clerks make enough money to comfortably afford the rent if their families were relying on only one income."

2004-07-20 08:15PDT (11:15EDT) (15:15GMT)
_Voice of America_
US Housing Starts Plunged in June
"The Commerce Department reported Tuesday builders began 1.8M new homes in June, a dip of 8.5% from the previous month...   Building permits for new homes, regarded as an indicator of confidence in future sales, fell by 8.2% to nearly 1.9M.   The drop is the biggest since an 8.7% decline in 1994 February."

2004-07-20 08:25PDT (11:25EDT) (15:25GMT)
Jo Best _ZD Net_
Companies step up privacy violation
"Large companies are now so concerned about the contents of the electronic communications leaving their offices that they're employing staff to read employees' out-going e-mail [messages]."

2004-07-20 09:30PDT (12:30EDT) (16:30GMT)
Dawn Kawamoto _CNET_/_ZD Net_
Out-Sourcing Mega-Deals on the Rise
"Out-sourcing deals that topped more than $1G were on the rise in the second quarter of 2004 and are set to surge even more, according to a study.   5 out-sourcing mega-deals were inked during the quarter, for a total value of $9.2G, compared with 3 deals during the same period last year that reached $6.8G, according to a report released Tuesday by consulting and research firm TPI.   The value of pending deals are on par with last year at this time, but Peter Allen, TPI managing director, believes that signs point to even more growth...   TPI, for example, is directly involved in 9 pending deals.   Allen is aware of a total of 18 to 20 mega-deals in the pipe-line.   That's up from the same time last year, when there were 12 deals waiting in the wings.   Typically, TPI finds that 65% of deals that are pending ultimately close by the end of the year...   During the first half of this year, out-sourcing mega-deals reached a total of $11.2G, compared with $15G for the same period last year.   And current deals in the pipe-line are expected to reach the same level -- approximately $20M -- as those that were pending at the same time last year."

2004-07-20 11:30PDT (14:30EDT) (18:30GMT)
_Federal Reserve_
Monetary Policy Report to the congress
"After averaging about 60K per month in the fourth quarter of 2003, gains in private non-farm pay-roll employment rose to an average of about 200K per month in the first half of 2004.   The job gains were especially large in March, April, and May but ebbed somewhat in June."

2004-07-20 11:30PDT (14:30EDT) (18:30GMT)
Alan Greenspan _Federal Reserve Board_
prepared testimony of Alan Greenspan
"A key element of the expansion that was still lacking in February, however, was evidence that businesses were willing to ramp up hiring to meet the stepped-up pace of sales and production.   Businesses' ability to boost output without adding appreciably to their work-forces likely resulted from a back-log of unexploited capabilities for enhancing productivity with minimal capital investment, which was an apparent out-growth of the capital goods boom of the 1990s.   Indeed, over much of the previous 3 years, managers had seemed to pursue every avenue to avoid new hiring despite rising business sales...   Moreover, the proportion of temporary hires [bodyshopping] relative to total employment continues to rise..."

Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Greenspan says Fed on higher rate path
"There are greater risks to the economy from the current low rate environment than from a transition to higher rates, Greenspan told the Senate Banking Committee in his first of 2 days of testimony to Congress on the Fed's current monetary policy.   The Fed chairman dismissed signs of weakening consumer spending in June as 'short-lived'."

2004-07-20 12:33PDT (15:33EDT) (19:33GMT)
Jason Lopez _CIO Today_/_NewsFactor_
Recruiters Say Bay Area IT Job Scene Getting Better Despite Off-Shoring: Another White-Wash
"Despite new research that suggests the number of IT jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area will continue to erode as off-shoring increases, local recruiters say the IT employment picture is starting to heat up...   The San Francisco Bay Area, with Silicon Valley at its southern end, is the epicenter of the high-tech industry in the U.S.A.   About 9% of all IT jobs in the nation are located there...   For example, 94% of Bay Area software and chip companies out-sourced, while only 66% in the U.S.A. as a whole did so." ---

Jamie Talan _Newsday_
Broccoli, spinach, mental & physical activity fight Alzheimer's syndrome
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
USA Today
Tucson Citizen
"A life-time designed to avoid Alzheimer's disease should include heaping orders of green leafy vegetables, a strong dose of mental and physical activity, a wallop of good social exchange and a watchful eye on weight gain.   Obesity, lack of greens and inactivity can add up to dementia in old age, according to several new studies.   Strategies to lower risk were laid out at an international conference here this week on Alzheimer's...   Women who ate 8 or more servings of green, leafy vegetables a week, compared with those who ate only 1 or 2 servings, had an edge in cognitive tests conducted from 1995 to 2003.   These foods, which included spinach, broccoli and brussels sprouts, are high in folate and anti-oxidants...   High mid-life cholesterol and high blood pressure put their risk of Alzheimer's 6 times higher than normal...   The more active people were physically, mentally and socially, the better protected they were from Alzheimer's.   Those active in all 3 areas had a 60% reduction in risk over the 6-year period."

Andrew Pollack _NY Times_
For Some, Aspirin May Not Help Hearts
"New evidence suggests that for many of the millions of Americans who take aspirin regularly to prevent heart attacks and strokes, the pills do little if any good."

Sandra Blakeslee _NY Times_
This Is Your Brain on Meth (and Ritalin): A 'Forest Fire' of Damage
"People who do not want to wait for old age to shrink their brains now have a quicker alternative - abuse methamphetamine for a decade or so."

_The Street_
Crude Oil Prices Are Flat
"Oil futures for September delivery were up 1 cent at $41.45 a barrel, while gasoline prices were down 2 cents at $1.27 a gallon."

John Ribeiro _IDG_/_InfoWorld_
India presses WTO on trade in services
Bloomberg: EU says WTO proposal needs clarity; India rejects it
Sydney Morning Herald
Radio Netherlands: EU sugar reform may be bitter
"NASSCOM is pressing World Trade Organization (WTO) members in Geneva to assemble an agreement on a framework for agriculture trade, in order to move on to the liberalization of trade in services.   India is a key opponent of subsidies by governments of developed countries to their farm sector, an issue that has come in the way of an agreement in recent rounds of global trade talks.   'If there is no agreement on agriculture, that should not let the talks get bogged down.', said Kiran Karnik, president of NASSCOM in Delhi...   NASSCOM has teamed up in this connection with organizations of services industries in a number of countries including Australia, Japan and the U.S.A.   India's software and services out-sourcing industry is keen on including software services and business process out-sourcing (BPO) services under a WTO agreement, particularly after the outcry by some politicians and labor unions in the Europe and the U.S.A. against their countries' off-shore out-sourcing by U.S. and European companies and governments...   the Global Services Coalition.   Besides NASSCOM, the Coalition includes the Australian Services Roundtable, Canadian Services Coalition, Coalition of Service Industries in the U.S.A., European Services Forum, Japan Services Network and the Hong Kong Coalition of Service Industries...   Progress in global trade talks hinges on agriculture, but nowhere will the effects of failure be felt more broadly than in the services sector, which comprises the bulk of economic output in both developed and developing countries, according to the statement from the Global Services Coalition, which added that services account for 45% of GDP (gross domestic product) on an average in low-income countries, and a much higher proportion in developed countries.   Agriculture, in contrast, represents 25% of GDP in low income countries, and only 2.0% in high income countries.   However, services currently represent only about 20% of total world trade, a reflection of the relatively closed markets for services around the world."

Clinton national security adviser under investigation for smuggling classified documents related to terrorism out of the national archives
UPI/Washington Times
Los Angeles Times

Leslie Miller _AP_/_Yahoo!_
FAA Lowers Barriers for Light-Air-Craft Pilots
"The FAA said generally light sport aircraft are safer than private aircraft because they fly so low and so slow...   Private pilots are required to have 40 hours of training and a medical certificate from the government.   To qualify for a sport pilot's license, a candidate will need 20 hours of training and a valid driver's license.   The new rules cover aircraft that weigh no more than 1,320 lbs. and have a level-flight speed of no more than 120 knots.   Included are gyroplanes, powered parachutes, balloons, certain gliders and some 2-seater planes, depending on the number of occupants, weight and air-speed."

Alex Pham _Los Angeles Times_
Tech Bust Zaps Interest in Computer Careers (graphs)
"enrollment in computer science programs has dropped sharply - down 23% from 2002 to 2003.   After flocking to computer science during the technology boom, students are fleeing it almost as fast, spooked by tales of unemployed programmers watching their jobs migrate to India and Eastern Europe...   Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where computer science enrollments dropped 44% from 1999 to 2003...   At UC Berkeley, the number of students enrolling in computer science and computer engineering dropped 41% in that period.   Enrollments at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta fell 45%.   Nationwide, new enrollments are at 1996 levels...   At UC San Diego, home to the largest engineering school in the University of California system, applications to the program fell 24% from 2002 to 2003.   Jeanne Ferrante, associate dean of the UC San Diego school of engineering, said there was little mystery why.   After hovering under 2% in the late 1990s, the jobless rate for computer scientists and systems analysts grew to 5.4% in the last 3 months of 2003.   It then jumped to 6.7% in the first quarter of this year - out-stripping the overall national unemployment rate of 6.1%...   Enrollment, which tends to lag behind employment by a year or two, took a dive in 2003 - falling to 17,706 new students nationwide from 23,033 the year before."

_Glasgow Daily Record_
Coffee interferes with memory retrieval
"Scientists believe the way caffeine interacts with the brain makes it easier for people to follow a particular train of thought.   But coffee drinkers asked to remember something entirely different found it more difficult to recall the information.   This may be because caffeine makes it harder to get at information locked in your memory and unrelated to your current train of thought.   The study was led by Dr. Steve Womble of the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy."


2004-07-20 21:01PDT (2004-07-21 00:01EDT) (04:01GMT)
John C. Dvorak _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Why MSFT won't change
"MSFT is not a difficult company to understand if you look at its history.   The company began in the mid-1970s by deriving a BASIC language [interpreter] program (based on a DEC BASIC) for use on micro-computers.   Then around 1980 it bought Seattle Computer Products QDOS and fooled IBM into thinking that the operating system was somehow developed by MSFT.   This pattern of derive and acquire has been the key to MSFT's success ever since."

2004-08-21 06:38:25PDT (07:38:25MDT) (05:38:25EDT) (09:38:25GMT)
_My Wise County Virginia_
University Computer Science Enrollment Lull May Result in Subsequent Demand as Economy Rebounds
"As the University of Virginia's College at Wise moves through the academic approval process for a Bachelor of Computer Science major, enrollment in computer science programs nationally has has dropped sharply - down 23% from 2002 to 2003...   The rapid raise of comuter science majors during the Internet sector bubble has dropped-off as students read about jobs being outsourced to India, Eastern Europe, and other remote locations for cheap programming labor...   Gates told students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where computer science enrollments dropped 44% from 1999 to 2003.   At UC Berkeley, the number of students enrolling in computer science and computer engineering dropped 41% in that period.   Enrollments at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta fell 45%, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, July 20."

2004-07-21 06:48PDT (09:48EDT) (13:48GMT)
M. Mary Conroy _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
High Density LipoProteins Protect Women Against Dementia
"For women, maintaining high levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol may be one of the most effective strategies for fending off Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.   Data from the ongoing Women's Health Study indicate that women with the highest HDL levels -- ranging from 60 to 75 -- have half the risk of becoming mentally impaired as those with the lowest levels...   Lead investigator Elizabeth Devore, a graduate student at the Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said women with the highest LDL ('bad') cholesterol levels had a slight increase in risk of Alzheimer's..."

2004-07-21 07:50PDT (10:50EDT) (14:50GMT)
Jackie Cohen & Dan Gallagher _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Soros salary of $750M tops Wall Street
"The biggest pay-checks of 2003 on Wall Street went to hedge fund manager George Soros, who took home $750M in cash, as he and his colleagues saw their average salary nearly double.   Soros tops Institutional Investor's ranking of the 25 highest-paid hedge-fund managers.   Among the top 25 managers on the list, the average salary rose to $207M from $110M...   The No. 2 earner was David Tepper, of Appaloosa Management, who earned $510M.   His funds have enjoyed annual growth of 34.8% since he launched the firm in 1993...   The third biggest earner in 2003 on Institutional Investor's list was James Simons, who runs the Medallion Fund for Renaissance Technologies.   He took home $500M in pay during 2003, at the end of which his fund's value was $5G."

Jeanne Wright _Los Angeles Times_
Driver, meet Big Brother
Spy Chips
Bob Barr's Privacy Watch
Privacy International
Privacy Knowledge Base
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Privacy Journal

Gary Moskowitz _Los Angeles Times_/_News-Press_
Badnarik campaign recently stopped in Pasadena
"'Votes belong to the voters.   If Bush [or Kerry] gets a lower vote total, it's because he didn't earn them.   I, on the other hand, am earning votes for freedom.'...   The Libertarian Party was formed in 1971 and stresses the rights of individuals over governmental authority...   'Voters are tired of the status quo.   They voted for the lesser of 2 evils 4 years ago.   But not again.   People, now more than ever, are looking for a third option.'"

Joseph Menn _Los Angeles Times_
MSFT to Return $32G to Share-Owners While Cutting Employee Health Care and Stock Benefits
Ziff Davis
"The $3-per-share pay-out aims to blunt investor criticism that the world's largest software maker was sitting on a cash hoard of $56G...   MSFT Chairman Bill Gates - the company's largest share-holder - and Chief Executive Steve Ballmer would be the largest individual beneficiaries of the special dividend, which requires share-holder approval.   Gates said he would donate his $3G pay-out to his charitable Gates Foundation...   The company's growth rate has fallen and its stock price has stagnated..."

Richard Simon _Los Angeles Times_
US House votes to block honest accounting of stock options
CNET/Ziff Davis
"Heavily lobbied by Silicon Valley, the House approved legislation Tuesday that would block an accounting rule requiring companies to count on their books the cost of stock options they gave their employees.   The measure passed on a bipartisan vote of 312 to 111, underscoring the strong push to scuttle a regulation the high-tech industry said threatened a popular form of compensation.   A similar measure is sponsored by nearly one-fourth of the Senate.   But the measure is opposed by senators Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) and Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), the chairman and top-ranking Democrat of the Senate Banking Committee...   Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a sponsor of the Senate bill, said she remained hopeful...   both House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) supported the bill...   The bill would delay the rule for a year...   Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) called the measure 'one of the most important pro-economic growth, pro-employee ownership bills we will consider in this Congress'.   California Democrats split 22 for the bill and 11 against.   The 11 were Howard L. Berman of North Hollywood; Lois Capps of Santa Barbara; Barbara Lee of Oakland; Robert T. Matsui of Sacramento; Grace F. Napolitano of Norwalk; Lucille Roybal-Allard of East Los Angeles; Linda T. Sanchez of Lakewood; Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks; Pete Stark of Hayward; Maxine Waters of Los Angeles; and Henry A. Waxman of Los Angeles.   Republicans voted 18 to 2 in favor, with 'no' votes from Mary Bono of Palm Springs and Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach."

McAfee sets up research team in Bangalore

Abby Dinham _Silicon.com_
Some Australian firms turn up noses at off-shoring: Customer interactions are just too important

Alicia Wallace _Broomfield Enterprise_/_Daily Camera_
Foreclosures on the rise
"From January through June, Broomfield County reported 69 foreclosures, nearly 28% higher than 54 at the comparable period in 2003.   The county's recent increase is not as great as 2003, when it was 80% greater than the 30 foreclosures year-to-date in 2002."

_Information Week_
Businesses Ignore Criticism of Off-Shore Out-Sourcing
"client survey conducted by Patni Computer Systems, an Indian IT services company.   Among the scores of diverse companies Patni calls its clients, according to its web site: Ann Taylor Retail, Bendix, Coca Cola, GE, Metropolitan Life, and Gillette, as well as tech vendors AMD, EMC, HP, and Oracle.   The survey Patni conducted of 100 clients reveals that more than half felt that public perceptions of out-sourcing will have no impact of their decisions to outsource jobs."

_Deutsche Welle_
German Off-Shoring
"Using the threat of moving jobs abroad as a bargaining chip to get labor concessions is becoming popular amongst German companies.   But there's more to out-sourcing than the heated political debate it's created...   'In the mid-1990s there was a wave of moving manufacturing jobs out of the country.', Dr Stephan Wimmers from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) told DW-WORLD.   'But now Germany is also losing its advantage for better quality and capital-intensive jobs.'"

Danna Harman _Christian Science Monitor_
Lawyers who heal?
"Holland's transformation has led her to join a small but growing group of lawyers, judges, and educators who practice law holistically - working to empower and heal themselves and their clients and to spread civility and good will.   In the world of holistic law, the minds and bodies of the clients are as important as their pocketbooks; losing sometimes means winning in the long run; and words like blame, right, and wrong have no home...   Renaissance Lawyers Society..."


2004-07-22 03:10PDT (06:10EDT) (10:10GMT)
Bernhard Warner _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Global CD Piracy Topped $4.5G in 2003

2004-07-22 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Declan McCullagh _CNET_
Hail to the Programmer in Chief
"the laissez-faire activists at the Libertarian Party have managed to land their candidates on the ballot in all 50 states for the last 3 presidential races...   their platform of individual rights, peace and liberty...   Badnarik and running mate Richard Campagna, a lawyer...   Badnarik has refused to file tax returns with the IRS...   and has collected numerous tickets for driving without a license because he refuses to be finger-printed for one...   I was a Boy Scout for 12 years, and my parents taught me to be responsible for my actions.   They invested the basic tenets of libertarian philosophy in me then.   Then I took (the Nolan quiz) and decided that I was 100% pure libertarian.   (Are geeks more libertarian than the general public?) Absolutely.   I think that's true because they know logic better than the non-geeks, and they make decisions intellectually more often than emotionally...   I am opposed to any system that does not leave an audit trail.   As a programmer, I am very aware of the many ways that electronic voting machines can be tampered with.   Although I would be happy to use some form of electronic tabulation to speed up the results process, in order to maintain credibility, elections must be based on some sort of tangible paper ballot, some kind of audit trail.   (Does being a geek or a programmer make you a better politician?) No, but having honesty and integrity does."

2004-07-22 05:45PDT (08:45EDT) (12:45GMT)
Knife-Resistant Clothing
"The sweat-shirts, and coats that look like plain water-proofs, are made from the same fibers used in police and military knife-proof and bullet-proof vests, according to the maker, Madre...   The clothing, sold only through the company's web site, http://www.defense.to/, isn't cheap, at 46,095 yen ($419) for the coat and from 40,950 yen for the sweat-shirt.   They come in 12 colors and can be embroidered with initials or other slogans."

2004-07-22 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment compensation insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 391,807 in the week ending July 17, a decrease of 52,393 from the previous week.   There were 429,381 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3% during the week ending July 10, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,903,256, an increase of 173,678 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.9% and the volume was 3,692,996.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending July 3.   6,171 individuals filed continued claims under the Federal Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program during the week ending July 3."

2004-07-22 06:34PDT (09:34EDT) (13:34GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Compensation Insurance Claims Fall to 339K
"[Seasonally adjusted] First-time claims dropped by 11K to 339K in the week ending July 17 from a revised 350K.  The 4-week average of initial claims, meanwhile, fell by 2,500 to 336,250."

2004-07-22 07:00PDT (10:00EDT) (14:00GMT)
Robert O'Harrow _Washington Post_/_Yahoo!_
Advertiser Charged in Massive Data-Base Theft from Another Privacy Violator
"Federal authorities yesterday charged an on-line advertiser in Florida with tapping into the computer system of a large data-base marketer in Arkansas and stealing 'vast amounts of personal information' about Americans in what they described as one of the largest network intrusions in recent memory.   Prosecutors filed a 139-count indictment against Scott Levine, 45, of Boca Raton, in the Eastern District of Arkansas.   Federal prosecutors say Levine exploited network links his company had to Acxiom Corp. in Little Rock and secretly down-loaded millions of names, e-mail and home addresses and other details [which Acxiom probably should not have had, either]...   Yesterday's announcement came one year after authorities in Ohio discovered that a local man there, working for a company doing business with Acxiom, had illegally down-loaded information from the Arkansas company."

Stephen W. Hawking
quoted in NY Times
"I'm sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but if information is preserved there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes."

" David Pogue _NY Times_
Apple's AirPort Wireless Base Station
Apple was the first computer company to offer built-in Wi-Fi wireless antennas (also known as 802.11 - or, as Apple more charmingly calls it, AirPort).   Apple was also the first company to offer built-in Bluetooth, a short-range wireless technology designed to eliminate the cords between computers, printers and other gadgets.   And when a cable can't be eliminated, Apple goes to ridiculous extremes to at least make it good-looking and color-coordinated.   Last week, Apple introduced yet another way to eliminate wires from your life.   It introduced the AirPort Express, a $130 something-or-other for both Windows PCs and Macs.   There's no single pithy term or phrase for this invention; it has more tricks up its sleeve than David Blaine.   Trick No. 1: the AirPort Express is a wireless base station.   That is, if you connect it to a cable modem or DSL box, your wirelessly equipped Mac or Windows PC can get onto the Internet and connect to other machines in the building, at high speed and with no waiting, from anywhere in the house -- or at least within about 150 feet of the base station, even through walls.   (Note for geeks: Like all of Apple's current wireless gear, the AirPort Express uses the 802.11g standard -- which, in English, means that it works with both modern, super-fast 802.11g lap-tops and the older, more common, slower 802.11b equipment.   It also offers both WPA and WEP security, state-of-the-art password-protection systems that prevent desperados hiding in your bushes from getting onto your wireless network without your knowledge.)..."

Joshua Tompkins _NY Times_
When Technology Imitates Art
"With the aid of scanners and software, computer-guided milling machines [have, for the last couple decades, let us] precisely duplicate sculptures and other art objects, blurring the line between what is authentic and what is not."

Stephen S. Roach _NY Times_
More Jobs, Worse Work
"Employment in America is on the rise, but in general, the jobs that have been created are at the lower end of the economic spectrum...   By industry, the leading sources of hiring turn out to be restaurants, temporary hiring agencies and building services.   These 3 categories, which make up only 9.7% of total non-farm pay-rolls, accounted for 25% of the cumulative growth in overall hiring from March to June.   Hiring has also accelerated at clothing stores, courier services, hotels, grocery stores, trucking businesses, hospitals, social work agencies, business support companies and providers of personal and laundry services.   This group, which makes up 12% of the non-farm work force, accounted for 19% of the total growth in business pay-rolls over the past 4 months...   At the same time, there has [allegedly] been increased hiring in several of the higher-end professions: there is more demand for lawyers, architects, engineers, computer scientists and bankers."

Young Children Have Better Memories than Parents
"They found a 5-year-old could beat most adults on a recognition memory test, at least under specific conditions.   And the reason is that adults know too much.   'It's one case where knowledge can actually decrease memory accuracy.', said Vladimir Sloutsky, director of the Center for Cognitive Science at Ohio State University, who led the study...   Writing in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers said the children, with an average age of 5, were accurate 31% of the time in identifying pictures of animals they had seen earlier, while the adults were accurate only 7% of the time."

Leigh de Armas _Orlando Weekly_
Mike Emmons Is Mad As Hell
"For Michael Emmons, the road from well-paid IT worker to anti-out-sourcing activist began on a sweltering June afternoon in 2002 when his Lake Mary employer, Siemens ICN, summoned the entire IT department to a meeting.   In less than 30 minutes, nearly 20 highly skilled, white-collar employees and contractors were asked to pack their belongings and get out.   Many of the workers had been with Siemens for decades.   Emmons was a contractor.   He'd been working with the company developing software applications for 6 years...   Before they left, the Siemens exiles were given a choice: train their Indian replacements and get severance pay, or walk away and get nothing...   According to a study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley titled _The New Wave of Out-Sourcing_, there were between 25K and 30K new out-sourcing-related jobs created in India in 2003 July alone.   In the same month, American employers carried out 2,087 mass lay-offs, resulting in the loss of 226,435 jobs.   Also, the American Electronics Association found that 9 out of 10 new information technology job openings were awarded to out-sourced foreign workers in 2001...   Emmons, still upset with Mica, thinks the bill is full of loop-holes to protect Siemens."


2004-07-22 22:25PDT (2004-07-23 01:25EDT) (05:25GMT)
Herb Greenberg _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Micro-computer replacement cycle?: Buyers say it already happened
"[Mike] Kelly is the CEO of Techtel Corp., an Emeryville, CA, market research firm that specializes in polling information-technology managers and other corporate purchasing managers to determine demand for technology products...   The growth in IT spending has flattened out.   While still positive, it's at nothing more than 'a nice, low sustainable rate -- more like the GDP growth rate, rather than accelerating beyond that.', as some had been expecting.   Desk-top and note-book remains low...   The replacement cycle has gone up-market...   Finally, while demand for software is recovering, buyers are getting pickier."

2004-07-23 14:19PDT (17:19EDT) (21:19GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Nasdaq & Dow hit fresh lows
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 88.11 points, or 0.9%, at 9,962.22, the first time the market bench-mark has closed below 10K since May 24.   On that day, it finished at 9,958.43.   The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 39.97 points, or 2.1%, at 1,849.   The tech-rich index last closed below that level on 2003-10-02.   In the past week, the Dow and the Nasdaq both fell 1.8%.   The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 11 points, or 1%, to 1,086.20.   for the week, the index was down 1.4%.   The Russell 2000 gauge of small-cap stocks dropped 1.3% to 539.22...   New York Stock Exchange decliners outpaced advancers by a more than 2 to 1 margin, and by a 22 to 8 score on the Nasdaq.   Volume was 1.3G on the Big Board and 1.7G on the Nasdaq."

2004-07-23 14:20PDT (17:20EDT) (21:20GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
politics-laden debate shifts to quality of jobs & quality of life (with graph)

_NY Times_
Insurance for Electronic Votes
"With millions of voters set to use electronic voting machines of questionable reliability, the public should insist that protections be put in place right away."

Bob Herbert _NY Times_
Who's Getting the New Jobs?
"A startling new study shows that all of the growth in the employed population in the United States over the past few years can be attributed to recently arrived immigrants.   The study found that from the beginning of 2001 through the first 4 months of 2004, the number of new immigrants who found work in the U.S. was 2.06M, while the number of native-born and longer-term immigrant workers declined by more than 1.3M.   The study, from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, is further confirmation that despite the recovery from the recession of 2001, American families are still struggling with serious issues of joblessness and underemployment."

Nicholas G. Carr _NY Times_
Software Publishing Industry Is Changing
"The software industry's sluggishness is not just a reflection of the vagaries of the economic cycle.   It is a manifestation of a fundamental, if often overlooked, characteristic of the industry's product: software never decays.   Machinery breaks down, parts wear out, supplies get depleted.   But software code remains unchanged by time or use.   In stark contrast to other industrial products, software has no natural repurchase cycle.   For software companies to grow, therefore, they have to give buyers good reasons to throw out perfectly serviceable versions of programs and install new ones in their place.   Until recently, that hasn't been a problem.   The rapid growth in the power of microprocessors, combined with ever-shifting computing standards, forced companies to replace or upgrade their existing programs at a break-neck pace.   As long as software quickly became obsolete, it didn't matter that it didn't wear out...   One recent survey of corporate software buyers showed that nearly 75% want to see less frequent upgrades, and more than 20% plan to stop buying upgrades altogether...   It is no longer unthinkable to say that software's glory days lie in the past, not the future."

Working on speed: On-the-job use up 68%, but does it account for all productivity gains in recent years?
USA Today
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Washington Times
Los Angeles Times
Arizona Republic

David Lazarus _San Francisco Chronicle_
Bankruptcy has its rewards for PG&E execs
"PG&E's top brass gave themselves $83M in bonuses earlier this year for doing such a good job during the utility's bankruptcy proceedings.   This month, they handed out an additional $89M in bonus money for, well, doing such a good job during the utility's bankruptcy proceedings."

David Armstrong _San Francisco Chronicle_
commerce secretary Evans tells tech industry that economy is strong: Yah, sure
"sponsored by TechNet, the political lobbying arm of the high-tech industry...   Evans also asserted the administration has made significant progress on protecting software and other forms of intellectual property abroad, especially in developing countries such as [Red China], where Commerce Department statistics show some 90% of U.S.-made software is pirated..."

Natalie Walston _WCMH TV Columbus OH_
Out-Sourcing May Eliminate Jobs: 300K Jobs To Be Cut Each Year
"While some companies have returned jobs to the United States because of a lack of quality control, many jobs are still disappearing rapidly...   When a local factory was shut down, 544 total jobs were lost, 232 in Ross County.   Thomson Consumer Electronics...   Ohio has lost nearly 200K jobs over the past 4 years and those losses are partially blamed on outsourcing to locations in [Red China] and India...   AP Technoglass Co... In Canton, 1,300 workers from the Timken plant faced the unemployment line..."

_Real Estate News_
Survey Says Relocations Will Rebound in 2004
"Nearly one third of the companies responding to the 37th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey told Atlas that they expect to relocate more employees and spend more money doing it this year than last.   In 2003, only 13% of responding companies said they expected relocation increases, while 15% expected relocation budget increases."

Jeff Rowe _Real Estate News_
Orange county CA Homelessness on the Rise
"A county study to be released Monday will show the number of Orange County homeless has risen by 25% in the past year to 34,998, many of them priced out in the run-up of house prices and rents.   About a fifth of the almost 35K now counted as homeless in the county are people living on the street; the rest are working people who don't earn enough to rent an apartment...   Orange County, where the apartment vacancy rate is 4.7%...   As rents are rising, wages are flattening.   Essie Adibi, chief economist at Chapman University in Orange, says many of the new jobs are in the low-paying service sector...   Although the number of shelter beds has doubled to 3,262 since 1998, it is less than half of what is needed to house the county's estimated 7K street homeless..."

DaimlerChrysler and Union Reach Deal
"DaimlerChrysler reached a cost-saving deal with its German workers Friday in return for job security guarantees after contentious talks marked by a week of protests and brief work stoppages.   The deal involves euro500 million ($612M) in annual labor cost savings in return for securing the jobs of more than 6K German workers through 2012, DaimlerChrysler chief executive Juergen Schrempp and chief worker representative Erich Klemm told reporters...   DaimlerChrysler's management board, the top executives running the company day to day, agreed to accept a 10% cut in compensation, and other senior managers will also make unspecified pay concessions, the company said...   Engineering giant Siemens AG achieved what is widely viewed as a groundbreaking deal by getting workers at phone repair facilities in northern Germany to work 40 hours rather than 35 for no added pay."

_High Plains Journal_
WTO Proposal Criticized
"the draft document's market access provisions were not ambitious enough and the draft unfairly singles out cotton.   The draft would allow as much as 25% of the European Union's and 30% of Japan's tariff lines to be considered sensitive products, he said, which are shielded from aggressive tariff cuts."

Jim Ericson _Line56_
RFID abuse pilot project in hospital
"Siemens pilot at New York's Jacobi Medical Center combines tablet PC/readers with wrist-band chips...   The FDA has already asked pharma manufacturers to look at RFID-tagging products, and economics show the price of tags is less critical for item-tagging drugs than commodity goods, both because of their value and the need to fight counterfeit drugs...   wireless data-base access...   Siemens is involved in several RFID projects, including METRO Group's RFID innovation center, where it is working with SAP, Intel, IBM and other [conspirators]."
Privacy links

Zimbabwe to Ban Rights Groups & Cut Over-Seas Funding To Local Rights Organizations

_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Dow ends week below 10K
"According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 88.11, or 0.9%, at 9,962.22.   It was the first time the Dow closed below 10K since May 24.   Broader stock indicators were also sharply lower.   The Nasdaq composite index dropped 39.97, or 2.1%, to 1,849.09, its lowest closing level in 2004.   The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 10.64, or 1%, at 1,086.22, just 2 points shy of its year-to-date low."

Peter Rowe _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Comic-Con, where Super-Heroes Never Die
"ticket sales indicate that last year's record crowd of 75K will be easily surpassed...   This year, nearly half of the mob's female. And, unlike in 1970, one of them is Sarah Michelle 'Buffy' Gellar."

_San Diego Union-Tribune_
US trade committee to consider safe-guard action on sock imports from Red China
"[Red China] exported 770M pairs of socks with a total value of 1.51G yuan ($182.6M) worldwide from January to April, the state-run news-paper China Daily reported.   According to U.S. industry statistics, [Red China] exported 12M pairs of socks to the United States in 2001.   By 2003, that number had risen to 264M pairs. "


Amy Waldman _NY Times_
Indians Go Home, but Don't Leave U.S.A. Behind
"Drawn by a booming economy, in which out-sourcing is playing a crucial role, and the money to buy the life-style they had in America, Indians are returning to India."

Aaron Russo (producer "Trading Places", "The Rose") _eMediaWire_
Bill O'Reilly chickens out of his Patriot Act on-air debate challenge
"We will no longer tolerate being treated as 2nd class citizens by the media...   We will no longer tolerate being segregated against by the likes of O'Reilly who screams 'fair and balanced' and 'no spin zone' but in actuality is a segregationist who wants to keep the Libertarian Presidential candidate at the back of the political bus to protect Mr. Bush."


Gary Rivlin _NY Times_
The Tech Lobby, Calling Again
"As the political stock of technology may again be on the rise, Silicon Valley tries to find its mojo in Washington...   by the end of the 1990's, when the technology lobbying group called TechNet started playing host to an annual retreat so that Silicon Valley's top names could rub shoulders with members of Congress, most politicians did not need a second invitation, no matter what their home district...   Today, TechNet, like other advocacy groups, has its lobbying gatherings in Washington, not Silicon Valley.   Contingents of technology executives travel to the offices of various Congressional leaders, not the other way around...   In March, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, a private group that sets accounting practices, proposed that companies, beginning in 2005, no longer be allowed to avoid expensing the cost of stock options.   The Securities and Exchange Commission could overrule the accounting board, but the SEC chairman, William H. Donaldson, has already signaled that he supports the change."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Economics of leftist values part 2


2004-07-26 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
_Business Wire_
Puppies fed brain-building nutrient were smarter, more trainable
"puppies nourished with enhanced (high) levels of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were smarter, more trainable than typical-DHA (low-DHA) nourished puppies.   The research, unveiled at a press conference at the 2004 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in Philadelphia, examined the role DHA -- a long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid -- plays in puppies' neural development by focusing on the puppy's ability to learn... puppies acquire about 70% of their adult brain mass by 6 weeks of age and 90% by 12 weeks."

2004-07-26 07:33PDT (10:33EDT) (14:33GMT)
John Foley _Information Week_/_CRN_/_CMP_
MSFT courts off-shore out-sourcers
"MSFT's aggressive strategy of partnering with 'IT' services companies is leading it to form tight connections with a controversial group -- over-seas out-sourcers in India and [Red China].   Of 18 [cross-border bodyshops] companies that MSFT designates as global partners, 5 of them -- HCL Technologies, Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computer Services, Tata Consulting Services, and Wipro Technologies -- are based in India.   MSFT is helping those vendors and 9 others in India and [Red China] develop service offerings, devise marketing strategies, and find customers, many of which turn out to be USA-based companies."

Stephen Gordon _PR Web_
62% of Americans disapprove of public funding of party conventions
Badnarik for President
"Badnarik is now polling at 3%...   68% of those polled support open presidential debates."

Peter Coy _Business Week_
BLS says a few more of recent jobs are high-paying
"_America's Job-Quality Trap_ is the head-line on a recent research report by Morgan Stanley Chief Economist Stephen S. Roach.   _Are the New Jobs Good Jobs or Snow Jobs?_, asks another study, this one by Merrill Lynch & Co...   According to data prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which have not been widely distributed, growth in high-wage jobs has actually been quite healthy.   The figures show that the U.S. economy created more high-paying jobs than low-paying jobs in the year that ended in June...   employment changes by industry... job growth has been stronger in low-paying industries like retail than in high-paying industries like financial services.   But even low-paying sectors boast some high-paying jobs...   In response to a request about a month ago from the White House Office of Management & Budget, BLS supplied the median 2003 weekly wages and salaries for workers in each of the 154 groups.   The median manager in manufacturing makes $1,125 a week, for example, vs. just $649 for the median manager in agriculture...   48% of American workers belong to occupation/industry groups where the median pay is $559 a week or more.   Yet employment growth in those higher-paying groups accounted for well over half of total job growth during the past year.   Average monthly employment in the higher-paying groups was 744K higher in the 12 months ended in 2004 June than in the previous 12-month period.   By contrast, only 408K jobs were added in groups whose median pay was $553 a week or less, even though they account for 52% of total jobs.   (No groups have median pay between $553 and $559 a week.)...   above-average growth occurred in professional occupations in wholesale trade, with median weekly pay of $908, as well as in production occupations in mining, at $665 a week...   Morgan Stanley's Roach and others have pointed out that part-time jobs account for the bulk of all jobs created since February.   Still, the overall share of part-time jobs is no higher than during the late-1990s boom, at around [a whopping] 18%...   Only 3.2% of job-holders were working part-time last month for what they called economic reasons."

Kristyn Maslog-Levis _ZD Net_
Body shopping heavy-weight says out-look bright for tech jobs
"IT&T recruiting heavy-weight Hudson [corporate sibling of Monster] has issued an optimistic prediction on the job front for the rest of the year...   Hudson said the increased investment in business transformation projects, mainly in the financial services sector, has boosted the number of IT job placements across Australia by more than 40% compared to the same January to June period last year...   In the overall IT&T sector, sales roles and business development management rose by 17%, business analyst roles increased by 13%, analyst programmers is up by 8% while IT management and help desk went up by 5%."

Chris McManes _IEEE-USA_/_Yahoo!_
High-Tech Employment Shrank in Q2 Despite Positive Signs on Unemployment Rates
"The number of employed computer professionals dropped from the first to second quarters, according to data compiled by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   At the same time, high-tech unemployment rates also fell.   BLS reported a decline of 131K employed computer software engineers in the second quarter vs. the first quarter (725K vs. 856K).   Employed computer scientists and systems analysts have fallen 51K (621K vs. 672K) during the same period, while computer hardware engineers dropped 3K (83K vs. 86K).   Computer programmers experienced a fall of 16K (575K vs. 591K).   Bucking the trend, the number of employed electrical and electronics engineers (EEs) rose by 24K from the first to second quarters (351K vs. 327K).   The increase, however, is still below the 363K quarterly average in 2003...   The unemployment rate for computer software engineers fell from 3.3% in the first quarter to 2.9% in the second.   For computer scientists and system analysts, the rate went from 6.7% to 4.0%; for computer programmers it fell from 9.5% to 5.7%.   'Sadly, part of the unemployment improvements might be because some technical professionals have become discouraged and are leaving the field.', Steadman said."

Caffeine Interferes with Type 2 Diabetes Control
"The team at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina found a strong correlation between caffeine intake at meal-time and increased glucose and insulin levels among people with type 2 diabetes."

Amy Norton _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Gene Variants May Make Women See Crimson, Vermilion & Burgundy
"In an analysis of the DNA of 236 men from around the globe, researchers found that the gene that allows people to see the color red comes in an unusually high number of variations.   And that may be a boon to women's color perception in particular, study co-author Dr. Brian C. Verrelli told Reuters Health.   That's because the gene, known as OPN1LW, sits on the X sex chromosome.   Women have two X chromosomes, one from each parent, while men have one X and one Y chromosome.   Because women have two different copies of the 'red' gene, the fact that the gene can have so many variations means it may especially aid women's perception of the red-orange spectrum...   Among the 236 samples of DNA they studied, the researchers found 85 variations in the OPN1LW gene.   That's about 3 times the number of variations one would see in any other 'random gene' pulled from the human genome, Verrelli said."

Off-Shoring Fills Coffers in India
"Bangalore-based Wipro out-performed market expectations, with revenues for its off-shore IT services division up 45% to £157M compared to the first quarter last year and operating profits up by 89%, putting operating margin at 27%.   This followed number 2 player Infosys, which unveiled first quarter net profits of £45.6M, with earnings for the year predicted to grow by 34% and head-count to increase by 10K in 2005.   The Indian market leader TCS also announced last week its intention to float, with early valuations put at around £4.7G...   While much of the consumer-led backlash to off-shore out-sourcing has to date focused on the US, the UK has recently started to see more protests against firms moving IT and call centre work to countries such as India...   The research by Howard Rubin, Professor Emeritus at City University of New York, involved the 100 largest New York-based firms.   It found 80% are engaged in IT off-shoring and 36% in BPO, with 90% citing cost savings as the driver.   But the research claimed that cost savings of 44% quoted by the companies are closer to 20% when transition, travel and communication costs are factored in."

Chris O'Brien _San Jose Mercury News_
Ventury funding stagnant: Little change in second quarter
"In the latest sign the economy may be cooling off, venture capital funding remained flat in Silicon Valley and fell nationwide for the first time in 18 months.   Venture capitalists invested about $5.1G into start-ups nationwide last quarter, down 3.3% from the first quarter, according to a survey to be released today by Ernst & Young and Venture One.   Silicon Valley companies raised $1.874G in the second quarter, little changed from the $1.869G raised the previous quarter...   In the first quarter of 2004, 8 of the 10 venture-backed companies that went public were in bio-tech.   But in the most recent quarter, venture capital investment in biopharmaceuticals nationally fell to $810.23M from $1.46G in the first quarter.   In Silicon Valley, the amount of venture funding for biopharmaceuticals dropped to $230.43M in the second quarter from $513.19M the first quarter of 2004."


2004-07-26 17:11PDT (20:11EDT) (2004-07-27 00:11GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Workers are grumbling and leaving: Cite unfair pay, too much work
"6% of workers said they quit their job voluntarily for a new job in the second quarter, up from 5.3% in the first quarter of this year and 3.8% a year ago, according to a survey of 1,019 adults conducted for Lee Hecht Harrison, the human-resources consulting firm.   Those leaving their jobs might have been seeking an alternative to long work-days and unfair pay, top complaints cited by workers in two separate surveys.   52% of African-Americans and 57% of Hispanics said their pay is not equal to what others in similar positions are paid, while 34% of white workers said so, according to a telephone survey of 3,712 workers in a range of industries and job levels conducted for Hudson, a [body shop and sister firm of Monster].   About the same percentage of male workers, 38%, and female workers, 36%, said their pay does not equal others...   'We have found that workers perceptions are directly linked to reality.', [Jeff] Anderson said...   Only 36% of workers overall said that better performance leads to higher pay...   Work-days stretching too long is the top complaint of 1,400 senior financial executives surveyed by Robert Half Management Resources, a [body shop] focused on financial and accounting executives."

2004-07-27 07:14PDT (10:14EDT) (14:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Conference Board consumer confidence reaches 2 year high (with graph)
USA Today
release schedule
Conference Board report

2004-07-27 08:14PDT (11:14EDT) (15:14GMT)
Consumer Confidence Index Reached Highest Point in 2 Years
"The survey released Tuesday put its index at 106.1, up from a June reading that was revised up to 102.8...   July marked the fourth straight month of gains for the index and put it at the highest level since 2002 June...   In the research group's survey of 5K households, those saying jobs are 'plentiful' rose to 19.8% from 18.3%, while those surveyed claiming jobs are 'hard to get' was virtually unchanged at 26.0%, compared to 26.2% in June."

2004-07-27 13:24PDT (16:24EDT) (20:24GMT)
Irwin Kellner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Presidential races come down to basics: It's still the economy
"Right now, the economy is a mixed bag, which might explain why the race for president is so close...   For example, going back to 1920, whenever the economy was in recession in a presidential election year, the incumbent party or individual lost the White House.   Besides 1920, it also happened in 1932, 1960 and 1980.   No such problem today.   Even if the unexpected does occur and the economy falls into another down-turn, chances are it won't be recognized soon enough to hurt the incumbent by Election Day.   What could hurt President Bush however, is the job situation.   Going back more than 7 decades, there's only been one presidential election year besides the present when there was a net loss of jobs in the previous 4 years...   Besides today's four-year job loss, more than one-fifth of the unemployed have been jobless for a half-year or more...   [The unemployment rate] would be even bigger, were it not for the thousands of people who have dropped out of the labor force over the past 3 years, discouraged by a lack of jobs.   If you're not looking for work, you're not counted as unemployed.   Had these folks remained in the labor force, the jobless rate would be 7.5% -- pushing the misery index two points higher."

2004-07-27 14:57PDT (17:57EDT) (21:57GMT)
Rex Crum _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Tech execs among biggest pay gainers
"A new study shows that compensation for the nation's top chief executives grew at a double-digit rate in 2003, with some tech industry bosses seeing their pay packages rise by more than 1,000% over the previous year.   The study by the Corporate Library of Portland, Maine, said that total 2003 compensation packages of heads of S&P 500 companies rose by a median of more than 22%.   By contrast, the increase from 2001 to 2002 was 11%.   Technology executives saw some of the biggest compensation gains, with Oracle's Larry Ellison, Apple Computer's Steve Jobs and Yahoo's Terry Semel each saw their 2003 compensation packages as chief executives rise more than 1,000% over 2002...   Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at the Corporate Library, said... any change in the payment practices 'won't happen unless the boards make a move toward bringing compensation back to reasonable levels'...   The Corporate Library said Yahoo's Semel earned $26M in 2003, largely through the exercise of stock options.   However, many of his options were premium grants that required Yahoo stock to reach a certain level before the options could be exercised.   In 2002, Semel's compensation totaled $1.3M."

Simon Hayes _Australian IT_
Union strikes out at IBM over off-shoring
"A union has accused IBM of talking down the effect on staff numbers of its decision to shift Telstra work to India, saying the company was simply delaying lay-offs by redeploying staff to jobs that eventually would be off-shored...   Initial estimates were that up to 450 positions would be affected."

Simon Hayes _Australian IT_
Australia-India link just beats use-by date
"The Australia-India Information Industries Business Network, first announced in 2000 by former IT Minister Richard Alston, will be launched in Melbourne on Monday.   The grouping, chaired by former Fujitsu boss Neville Roach, was announced in 2000 as part of an agreement signed by Trade Minister Mark Vaile and India's then-IT minister, Pramod Mahajan...   Expected to promote 'mutually beneficial trade, investment and business collaboration', the network is backed by peak IT lobbies in both countries ñ the Australian Information Industry Association and India's National Association of Software and Service Companies."

Ian Fisher _NY Times_
More Steps Toward Liberty in Iraq
"Roughly 1K delegates will hold a national conference in Baghdad in the next week to vote on a 100-seat transitional council." 2004-07-27
"At the Democratic Convention, Reporters Outnumber Delegates 6 to 1" --- David Carr _NY Times_

Benedict Carey _NY Times_
Why Revenge Tastes So Sweet: It's In the Genes
"Dr. Michael McCullough, a psychologist at the University of Miami.   'Revenge can be a very good deterrent to bad behavior, and bring feelings of completeness and fulfillment.'...   Recent research has shown that stable communities depend on people who have 'an intrinsic taste for punishing others who violate a community's norms', said Dr. Joseph Henrich, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta...   Using brain-wave technology, Dr. Eddie Harmon-Jones, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, has found that when people are insulted, they show a burst of activity in the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that is also active when people prepare to satisfy hunger and some cravings...   This kind of pay-back is closer to what sociologists and philosophers call just-deserts retribution.   Dr. John M. Darley, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, said such actions involve a deliberate effort to tailor the retribution to the crime, often taking into consideration as many relevant details about the offender and the offense as possible...   In some cases it may be possible for people to assuage their feelings of outrage by publicly protesting the injustice [rather than actually doing something effective].   In one 2003 study, Dr. Harmon-Jones tracked the brain-wave patterns...   They all got angry, he said, but signing a petition to block the [posited action] seemed to give many some satisfaction.   Yet the nature of appetite-like urges, scientists say, is to err on the side of excess...   People are exquisitely sensitive, if not always conscious, of this subtle give and take...   The problem, psychologists say, is that one man's restrained response is another's body blow.   While acts of vengeance may be carefully measured, their impact is ultimately unpredictable..."

Paul Krugman _NY Times_
Fear of Fraud
"Without independent [or at least multi-partisan] audits of voting-machine results, this election could be a... fiasco..."

Stu Bykofsky _Philadelphia Daily News_
More Presidential Choices Than You Think
"George W. Bush is a dimwit.   John F. Kerry is an elitist flip-flopper.   About 45% of America believes the former, another 45% believes the latter...   But maybe the reason the undecided are still undecided is because they don't like either Kerry or Bush.   In that case - good news!   [There are other candidates.]   Coming at you from the hard right, the American Party offers real-estate broker Diane Beall Templin for president...   Libertarian Party nominee Michael Badnarik...   Native American Leonard Peltier, the candidate of the Peace and Freedom Party...   Charles Jay is the candidate of the Personal Choice Party...   Preacher Gene Amondson is the candidate of the Prohibition Party...   Semi-retired attorney Walt Brown is the candidate of the Socialist Party USA...   The Socialist Workers Party adores Castro and is offering foreign-born, meat packer turned journalist, non-citizen Roger Calero for president.   The Stalinist Workers World Party has former teacher John Parker...   The Socialist Equity Party will run Bill Van Auken...   John Hagelin is again the candidate of the Natural Law Party..."
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_Australian IT_/_AP_
Off-Shoring Back on Agenda
"Tata Consultancy Services [TCS] said that the back-lash in the USA against out-sourcing contracts to Indian companies was abating and that it hopes to conclude new deals after the USA elections in November...   Wipro and Infosys, 2 other key Indian out-sourcing companies, have also said the back-lash among American workers and politicians against sending work to India and other countries was ebbing...   India's revenues from out-sourcing rose 30.5% to $12.5G in the fiscal year that ended in 2004 March, with two-thirds of that revenue coming from the United States.   Tata Consultancy, which expects to raise $1G in an initial public offering later this month, had revenues of $1.6G in the fiscal year that ended 2004 March."

Mike Freeman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Venture investment exceeds $5G for third straight quarter
"The Ernst & Young/Venture One survey reported yesterday venture capital investment in the second quarter rose 11% from a year earlier to $5.1G...   The MoneyTree Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association ñ shows $5.6G invested nationally during the quarter, the highest level in 2 years...   San Diego has fared better so far this year than Southern California overall. Total funding in the region increased 1.7%.   The study defines Southern California as San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Biotechnology companies corralled the bulk of venture capital locally ñ bucking the nationwide trend of a drop-off in bio-tech funding.   Idun Pharmaceuticals and Somaxon Pharmaceuticals led the way with $27M and $23M in funding, respectively, during the second quarter.   Meanwhile, technology and computer chip companies are seeing the wallets of venture capitalists open again nationally and locally.   For example, Continuous Computing of San Diego received $15M during the quarter, and chip maker Tarari netted $13.8M."

_San Diego Union-Tribune_/_AP_
Demand drives US Steel profits higher
"U.S. Steel Corp. second-quarter profits surged on rising demand, higher steel prices and increased sales driven by its acquisition of National Steel last year, the company said Tuesday.   The nation's largest integrated steel-maker reported net income of $211M, or $1.62 per share, for the period ending June 30, compared with losses of $49M, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier.   Revenues for U.S. Steel were up 47% to $3.47G on the quarter.   Excluding a one-time charge of $22M, U.S. Steel earned $1.79 per share, besting expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call, who were looking for profits of $1.53 per share."

Martin Crutsinger _San Diego Union-Tribune_
New home sales edged down slightly in June
"New home sales edged down 0.8% in June after soaring to a record sales pace in May, the government reported Tuesday.   The Commerce Department said the June decline pushed sales of new single-family homes down to an annual rate of 1.33M units, still the second-highest level on record, following the all-time high sales pace of 1.34M set in May."

Matt Hines _CNET_/_Ziff Davis_
Former executive has sued Google for age discrimination
"In the law-suit, filed last week in California Superior Court in Santa Clara County, Brian Reid charges that Google routinely discriminates against employees over the age of 40 in its recruiting, hiring and employment practices.   Reid, who is 54, contends that he was terminated from his position as director of operations because of his age and ongoing health issues related to diabetes...   The former Google employee has not disclosed the amount of damages he is seeking in the suit, but a portion of the claim revolves around money Reid would have been entitled to based on his stock options and the company's proposed $3.3G (£1.8bn) initial public offering."

Walter E. Williams
socialism is evil
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Free Republic


2004-07-28 07:38PDT (10:38EDT) (14:38GMT)
Myra P. Saefong & Lisa Sanders _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum tops $43 per barrel
"September crude climbed as high as $43.05 a barrel in New York, the highest level the exchange has seen in the 21-year history of crude futures trading.   The previous intraday record was $42.45, seen on June 2 of this year.   The contract was last at $42.85, up $1.01."

2004-07-28 08:14PDT (11:14EDT) (15:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US durable orders fell flat
census bureau report
"Orders for new military aircraft pushed orders for U.S. durable goods 0.7% higher in June, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.   Orders fell a revised 0.9% in May and 2.7% in April.   May's orders were originally reported as down 1.8%...   Excluding defense goods, orders fell 0.4%, the third straight decline...   Year-to-date orders were up 12.2% from the first 6 months of 2003."

2004-07-28 14:01PDT (17:01EDT) (21:01GMT)
Matthew Fordahl _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Cisco and Huawei settle intellectual property law-suit
"Huawei will revise its command-line interface, user manuals, help screens and some source code to address Cisco's concerns...   Huawei, founded by a former [Red Chinese] army officer, is trying to jump into the corporate router and switch market that Cisco dominates.   Last year, Huawei and 3Com Corp. announced a joint venture to develop and manufacture enterprise-class networking equipment."

2004-07-28 14:16PDT (17:16EDT) (21:16GMT)
Harry R. Weber _San Diego Union-Tribune_/_AP_
Delta Air-Lines to close India call center
"A spokesperson for Sykes Enterprises Inc. of Tampa, FL, which operates the closing center, did not return a phone call seeking comment...   Out-sourcing is relatively unusual in the airline industry [though off-shoring is not].   Elk Grove Village, IL-based United Air Lines Inc. and Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines have call centers over-seas, but those centers are staffed with company employees.   Arlington, VA-based US Airways Group, Inc. out-sources some customer service inquiries made through the Internet to a U.S.-based company."

Barnaby J. Feder _NY Times_
Symbol Technologies Buys Matrics, Accelerating Its Move Into RFID
"Symbol Technologies tested the patience of its investors by announcing an acquisition that is likely to cut into earnings for the next 2 years at least."

NY and Philadelphia officials lack compelling reasons for denying protestors' access to convention-goers during the Dem and Rep propaganda fests.

_Federal Reserve_
Beige Book
"San Francisco reported the broadest areas of [allegations of] shortage: 'skilled occupations in a number of industries, including construction, manufacturing, financial services, and technology services'.   Overall, however, districts reported only modest wage increases...   With some exceptions, companies in technology and office equipment businesses did not see as much growth in Q2 as they had hoped...   There has been increased activity in accounting and engineering services and some strengthening in demand for information technology services...   Temporary and permanent employment agencies in the region reported increasing demand for workers.   Firms in a broad range of industries are seeking sales and marketing professionals, and there has been growing demand for information technology workers, especially programmers...   one information technology executive said there was a solid, across-the-board pick-up in business technology spending...   High-tech manufacturers reported mixed results...   Wage and salary pressures were modest overall.   However, shortages of qualified job applicants and increased outside competition for existing employees generated notable wage and salary increases for skilled occupations in a number of industries, including construction, manufacturing, financial services, and technology services."

Jill Jusko _eCommerce Times_
WTO Negotiations
"Yet, the WTO -- whose 146 member countries represent more than 90% of world trade -- may be the best place to level the playing field, suggests Frank J. Vargo, vice president of international economic affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Washington, DC.   To illustrate, he points to tariffs placed on industrial goods imported to the United States.   They average less than 2%, he says, while other countries' tariffs may be 20% or higher.   'We want to get rid of those [the latter].'...   Preeg says the WTO's current trade strategy doesn't recognize the primacy of the manufacturing sector in global trade, despite the fact that it accounts for 77% of merchandise trade.   Instead, the WTO recognizes the primacy of agriculture, which accounts for just 10% of trade...   WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi... 'This should be a major concern to the U.S. for 2 reasons: First, the U.S. is now integrated with the world economy as never before.   A quarter of U.S. GDP is tied to international trade, up from 10% in 1970.', Panitchpakdi stated."

Katherine Yung _Dallas Morning News_/_Monterey Herald_
Work force is paying the price of off-shoring
Pennsylvania Times Leader
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"expectations about safe careers, the best opportunities and steadily rising incomes are being shaken as never before.   For the first time, a growing number of middle-tier service jobs -- software engineers, financial analysts and the like -- are moving off-shore or paying a lot less than they once did...   The destruction of old industries and the creation of new ones is a pattern often repeated in U.S. history.   [The difference, today, is that it is the leading-edge professions being destroyed.]...   'This thing is going to take pieces out of all parts of the U.S. wage pyramid rather than just the low end.', said Martin Kenney, senior project director of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy...   The technology research firm Forrester Research has forecast that nearly 10M U.S. jobs will move off-shore between 2003 and 2015.   [Berkeley University researchers put the figure at 16M.]...   During the last year, David Foote, president and chief research officer of Foote Partners LLC, which tracks information technology compensation, has noticed that offshoring has resulted in lower pay for some positions.   'We have a situation where we have a lot of skills here... but because companies were off-shoring, it was lowering salaries in this country.', he says."

Craig D. Rose _San Diego Union-Tribune_
SDG&E retires sue over pension
"Five former top San Diego Gas & Electric Co. executives and the widows of 2 others have filed a $12M law-suit against the utility's parent company [Sempra], saying it violated their pension agreement."

David Washburn _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Titan Corp. is being sued again

Declan McCullagh _CNET_/_San Francisco Chronicle_
US District judge rules RIAA can ID file distributors
"U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan ruled Monday that Cablevision, which provides broad-band Internet access in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, can be required to divulge the identities of its subscribers sued over copyright violations."

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
Struggle over numbers of H-1B visas continues
"The political [defense] against off-shoring isn't letting up.   Bills that could restrict off-shore IT work have been introduced in 37 states, and efforts to increase the federal H-1B visa cap aren't making headway.   Phil Bond, undersecretary for technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce, last week said H-1B supporters must make a strong case for an increase, particularly in light of the record levels of unemployment engineers are facing.   'The need is going to have to be real.', Bond said at last week's ITAA/Nasdaq conference."

_Frontiers of Freedom OpinionEditorials_
The Lesser Evil vs. The Greatest Good
Lady Liberty
"It's that lack of acceptable candidates over the course of many years now that's had most of us shrugging our shoulders and resignedly casting a ballot for the lesser evil, and which has finally come to mean that some no longer go to the polls at all...   I simply could not stand up in public and say, 'Hey, this would be a great guy to vote for!', because I quite frankly have never believed it myself...   I've never had the privilege of casting a ballot for the one politician in Washington for whom I do have respect, representative Ron Paul of Texas...   If there's a lesser evil here, I'm hard pressed to find it.   Everything that I've discussed, criticized, or complimented in my past weekly columns has come from a single perspective: that of Liberty as originally defined and presented in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.   The news articles I've highlighted have, without an exception, been those with positive or negative impacts on our liberties as affirmed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.   Since national officeholders in this country take an oath that involves swearing to uphold the Constitution, you'd think I could find a presidential candidate actually willing to do so.   This year, I finally did...   This candidate -- the single man out of the many running for national office in 2004 who actually cares about true liberty and American freedom as it was intended by the Founding Fathers -- is this year's Libertarian presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik..."

_Privacy International_
6th Annual Big Brother Awards
"Margaret Hodge has received numerous nominations because of her patronage of the controversial tracking provisions in the Children Bill and for her determination to develop a wide spectrum of intrusive data-bases and information systems.   Her success in reaching the shortlist reflects the judges concern stemming from their decision in 2002 to give the Department for Education & Skills the "Most Heinous Government Organisation" award for its invasive activities.   Katherine Courtney, Director, Identity Cards Programme, Home Office, and Stephen Harrison, Head, Identity Card Policy Unit, Home Office...   British Gas: For its unfounded and cowardly claim that the Data Protection Act was the reason why an elderly couple died after British Gas had disconnected their gas supply.   The hypothermia and absence of any duty of care apparently were secondary factors...   Lloyds TSB: For unnecessary and possibly unlawful threats to freeze the accounts of customers who fail to attend a branch and produce identity documents...   FollowUS: This is one of a growing number of companies specialising in mobile phone tracking...   The USA Big Brother Awards: Multi-state Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX) program is a prototype data-base system run by the State of Florida and Seisint, a private company...   Northwest Airlines, TSA & NASA: development of 'non-invasive neuro-logic sensors' as well as passenger screening technology..."

_The Australian_
NKorea gas experiment claims
"The BBC today broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a North Korean scientist who said he experimented with lethal gas on political prisoners...   A 2003 report by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said between 150K and 200K political prisoners are confined to camps in North Korea, subjected to starvation diets, inhumane conditions and torture.   Amnesty International also has long expressed concerns about human rights violations in North Korea, including the use of torture and the death penalty, arbitrary detention and imprisonment and inhumane prison conditions."


2004-07-29 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment compensation insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 314,797 in the week ending July 24, a decrease of 79,319 from the previous week.   There were 348,382 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3% during the week ending July 17, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,950,924, an increase of 58,979 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.8% and the volume was 3,541,796.   Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending July 10.   6,217 individuals filed continued claims under the Federal Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program during the week ending July 10..."

2004-07-29 07:55PDT (10:55EDT) (14:55GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Unemployment compensation insurance claims relatively stable
"[Seasonally adjusted] U.S. initial jobless claims rose by 4K to 345K in the week ended July 24, the Labor Department said Thursday.   The 4-week average of new claims, which smoothes out distortions in the weekly figures caused by weather and other one-time factors, fell by 1K to a level of 336,250.   It's the lowest in 3 weeks...   Meanwhile, the number of Americans continuing to receive state unemployment benefits rose by 174K, hitting 2.96M in the week ended July 17, the highest reading in 8 weeks.   The insured unemployment rate, measuring the percentage of claims among those eligible for benefits, rose back to 2.3% from a cycle low of 2.2% a week earlier...   In a separate report, the Labor Department said employment costs increased 0.9% in the second quarter, down from a 1.1% gain seen in the first quarter.   Wage and salary costs increased 0.6%, while benefit costs climbed 1.8%.   In another report, the Conference Board said its index of news-paper help-wanted advertising slipped to 38 in June from 39 in May.   The index was at 38 a year ago."

2004-07-29 08:38PDT (11:38EDT) (15:38GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US employment costs up 0.9% in Q2: Benefit costs up 7.2% in past year, most in 14 years
San Diego Union-Tribune
BLS report
"Benefit costs increased 1.8% in the quarter, down from 2.4% in the first quarter.   Wages and salaries increased 0.6%, matching the first quarter's gain."

David Cay Johnston _NY Times_
I.R.S. Says Americans' Income Shrank for 2 Consecutive Years: Biggest Decline for the Wealthiest (graphs)
San Francisco Chronicle
"The overall income Americans reported to the government shrank for 2 consecutive years after the Internet stock market bubble burst in 2000, the first time that has effectively happened since the modern tax system was introduced during World War II, newly disclosed information from the Internal Revenue Service shows.   The total adjusted gross income on tax returns fell 5.1%, to just over $6T in 2002, the most recent year for which data is available, from $6.35T in 2000.   Because of population growth, average incomes declined even more, by 5.7%.   Adjusted for inflation, the income of all Americans fell 9.2% from 2000 to 2002, according to the new I.R.S. data."

Kristi Heim _San Jose Mercury News_
MSFT feels heat over out-sourcing
"Two years after MSFT executives began urging managers to out-source software development work to India, a Washington state technology union says the company has sent increasingly high-level jobs over-seas, including some related to Longhorn, the next version of Windows.   The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers says it obtained internal documents from a MSFT worker that show dozens of MSFT projects now being handled by companies in India, such as Satyam, Infosys and Wipro.   Through such outside companies, MSFT has hired 1,000 contractors for work ranging from software design to Web development, WashTech says."

Scott LaFee _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Francis Crick, Nobel winner for discovery of DNA structure, dies at 88
San Francisco Chronicle
Silicon Valley.com
"Francis Crick, who was 88, died last night at Thornton Hospital in San Diego after a long battle with colon cancer..."

Craig D. Rose _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Sempra, holding company of local utility monopoly SDG&E, settles charges of 2000-2001 market manipulation for only $7.2M: Then county sues over unnatural gas prices
"In its electricity case settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Sempra continued to deny wrong-doing.   But FERC had earlier identified Sempra as one of a number of companies that engaged in now-infamous Enron trading schemes or inappropriate partnerships.   Those schemes included moving energy in and out of the state to inflate prices, filing false reports to the power grid manager, and reselling electricity that was promised to be held in reserve for emergencies."

George Raine _San Francisco Chronicle_
Bay Area consumers pay 29% more for milk than USA average
"the largest grocery chains in the region continue charging the most, getting about $2 more than mom-and-pop shops for a gallon of milk...   In a report released Wednesday, Consumers Union surveyed milk prices in 83 food stores in San Francisco and in Alameda, Marin and San Mateo counties from June 14 through June 18.   It found the average price for a gallon of milk was $4.71, or 29% higher than the $3.66 average price reported by the US Department of Agriculture in a survey of 29 major U.S. cities outside California."

Kate Lorenz _CareerBuilder_
"Today's work culture of heavy work-loads, longer days at the office, less time spent at home and fewer vacation days taken is causing rampant job burn-out.   In fact, 68% of workers report feeling burned out at the office, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey."

John & Ken Cover Illegal Immigration
Tombstone Tumbleweed

2004-07-29 21:01PDT (00:01EDT) (04:01GMT)
Jackie Cohen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Securities firms created 10K positions in June...
"bolstering a recovery that to date has recouped nearly half of the jobs lost during the economic down-turn.   The workers in greatest demand include compliance officers, credit derivatives specialists and supervisory analysts, along with administrative, technology, operations and accounting staff...   The U.S. Labor Department pegs the number of positions in the industry at 790K, right at the halfway mark between the last peak and the more recent nadir.   Employment peaked in 2001 March with 840,900 positions at securities firms, and bottomed out in 2003 May with 757K.   Staffing levels tend to lag the market's performance by at least 6 months...   Testerman sees continued opportunities for independent contractors and out-sourcers [i.e. an increase in bodyshopping].   Such third-party firms have been absorbing some of the 60K-odd people who've been laid off by securities firms...   Investment banking continues to be the job of choice among Wharton graduates, according to Degnan: 'So far from the class of 2004, we've placed 142 students in investment banking -- and this data isn't complete because we're still placing people from that class.   For the class of 2003, we had 112 students go into investment banking; in 2002, there were 120 students and in 2001 there were 175 students.'...   Changing jobs?   Got a vacancy to fill?   Have a work-place story to tell?   Send all of your employment news to jcohen@marketwatch.com."


2004-07-30 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Virginia H. Mannering _BEA_
"The major contributors to the increase in real GDP in the second quarter were exports, residential fixed investment, equipment and software, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), government spending, and private inventory investment.   Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.   The deceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter primarily reflected a sharp deceleration in PCE and a deceleration in private inventory investment that were partly offset by accelerations in exports and in residential fixed investment.   Final sales of computers contributed 0.04 percentage point to the second-quarter change in real GDP; the contribution to the first-quarter change was 0.00 percentage point.   Motor vehicle output subtracted 1.01 percentage points from the second-quarter change in real GDP after contributing 0.30 percentage point to the first-quarter change.   The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 3.5% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.4% in the first.   Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.4% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5% in the first.   Real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.0% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 4.1% in the first.   Durable goods purchases decreased 2.5%, in contrast to an increase of 2.2%.   Non-durable goods decreased 0.1%, in contrast to an increase of 6.7%.   Services expenditures increased 2.3%, compared with an increase of 3.3%...   Equipment and software increased 10.0%, compared with an increase of 8.0%...   Real exports of goods and services increased 13.2% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 7.3% in the first.   Real imports of goods and services increased 9.3%, compared with an increase of 10.6%.   Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 2.7% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 7.1% in the first...   For 2002, the largest contributors to the downward revision were fixed investment in equipment and software, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for services, and PCE for non-durable goods; the contributions of these components were partly offset by an upward revision to state and local consumption expenditures and gross investment..."

2004-07-30 06:28PDT (09:28EDT) (13:28GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
GDP grew 3% in Q2: Consumer spending slowed to 1% growth
"The U.S. economy slowed [its expansion] in the second quarter of the year, growing at a 3% real annual rate, after growing 4.5% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department estimated Friday."

2004-07-30 07:02PDT (10:02EDT) 14:02GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Has 2001 recession been revised away?
BEA report on revisions
"Revised gross domestic product data released by the Commerce Department on Friday at least muddies the waters about the economic down-turn...   With the revised data, there no longer exist 2 consecutive quarters of [falling GDP] in 2001...   [Other definitions of recession rely] on other indicators of economic health, especially employment, which fell sharply in 2001 and still has not reclaimed its pre-recession level.   Under the new data, the economy slipped in the first quarter of 2001 by a 0.5% annualized rate and then expanded by a 1.2% rate in the second quarter before falling 1.4% in the third quarter."

2004-07-30 07:16PDT (10:16EDT) (14:16GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment index up in July
"The consumer sentiment index rose to 96.7 from 95.6 in June and 96 in early July.   It's the highest showing since January's 103.8...   The expectations index rose to 91.2 from 88.5 in June and 90.4 in early July.   It's the highest since January's 100.1.   The current conditions index fell to 105.2 from 106.7 in June but rose from 104.6 in early July."

2004-07-30 07:32PDT (10:32EDT) (14:32GMT)
India, Brazil & Thailand Protest US Anti-Dumping Tariff on Shrimp
"The U.S. shrimp industry accused the 4 countries of selling pond-raised shrimp in the United States at below market prices.   Foreign competitors deny this, saying they are more efficient than the Americans, who get shrimp from the sea."

2004-07-30 08:59PDT (11:59EDT) (15:59GMT)
Myra P. Saefong & Greg Morcroft _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum above $43 per barrel
"Against this back-drop, crude for September delivery climbed 65 cents to trade at $43.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   It traded as high as $43.60 earlier.   Crude futures in New York have never traded at these levels.   The last record was set July 28, when intraday prices reached $43.05...   September heating oil was up 1.78 cents at $1.164 a gallon.   September unleaded gasoline stood at $1.3035 a gallon, up 2.45 cents."

2004-07-30 10:38PDT (13:38EDT) (17:38GMT)
White House Projects $445G Annual Deficit

2004-07-30 12:28PDT (15:28EDT) (19:28GMT)
African Nations Happy with WTO Agreement
"African nations were congratulating themselves Friday after reaching an agreement with the United States that they believe will give their cotton farmers a boost in the international market... The agreement would establish a special subcommittee to look at issues related to cotton as part of the WTO's agriculture negotiations. It also instructs WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi to work with other international agencies, like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to 'direct effectively existing programs and any additional resources toward development of the economies where cotton has vital importance'. Most importantly, the agriculture agreement as a whole - if approved - would see an end to export subsidies globally and major cuts in domestic subsidies paid by rich nations."

2004-07-30 14:02PDT (17:02EDT) (21:02GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Dow up 4 days in a row
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 10.47 points, or 0.1%, at 10,139.71.   The blue chip gauge rose 1.8% on the week and was down 2.8% on the month.   The Nasdaq Composite Index ended the day better by 6.30 points, or 0.3%, at 1,887.36.   The Nasdaq climbed 2% on the week but was down 7.8% for July.   The S&P 500 edged up 1.29 points, or 0.1%, to 1,101.72 Friday, ending the week with a 1.4% gain.   For the month, the S&P fell 3.4%...   September crude futures closed up $1.05 at $43.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising as high as $43.85 in earlier action."

Lynette Clemetson _NY Times_
Homeland Security Given Data on Arab-Americans
"Some organizations say that the Census Bureau's tabulation of population statistics on Arab-Americans is a dangerous breach of public trust."

James Dao _NY Times_
Soldier Who Seized Car in Iraq Is Convicted of Armed Robbery
"A decorated Army sergeant who commandeered a sport utility vehicle from a civilian in northern Iraq last year was found guilty of armed robbery on Thursday."

Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
Geneva Talks Move Toward Farm Pact
"Five crucial players, including the United States and the European Union, reached an informal agreement on agriculture that has put global trade talks back on track...   Supachai Panitchpakdi, the director general of the World Trade Organization...   the United States in particular had made significant compromises on Wednesday night...   the European Union's offer of eliminating its export subsidies was matched by an American proposal that was described as a cut in trade-distorting domestic subsidies in the first year of a new trade accord...   Australia, Brazil and India were the other three countries meeting with the United States and the European Union in a group known as the Five Interested Parties...   With an agreement on agriculture close, new questions were raised about efforts to lower trade barriers to industrial goods, especially in the poorer, developing countries.   Wealthy countries argued that since they were overhauling their agricultural programs, the developing world should further open their markets to industrial goods...   several African officials held a news briefing on Wednesday singling out the United States as a barrier to a trade accord because of its cotton subsidies."

Acne Bacteria Genome Mapped
"German researchers have completely sequenced the genome of the organism Propionibacterium acnes, which is implicated in acne and other diseases."

Kelly Pate Dwyer _Denver Post_
Battle over plan to curb off-shoring looms in Colorado
"Local companies and business groups are mounting a defensive plan should an anti-offshoring initiative - needing 68K signatures by Monday - land on the November ballot.   But the businesses, led by Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, or CACI...   Ballot proposal 139, Protection of American Workers, says that only U.S. citizens and 'permanent resident legal aliens shall be employed in performance of services' under state contracts and work sub-contracted under those contracts...   That means temporary foreign workers, without U.S. citizenship or green cards, are precluded from working for the state, not entire companies, says Richard Armstrong, co-author of the initiative and founder of the Parker-based National Hire American Citizens Society.   One opponent, Don Childears, president of the Colorado Bankers Association..."

Libertarian vs. Green Party
"Today, David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate and Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party presidential candidate will be guests on Jeff Crouere's of Ringside radio program (WTIX 690 AM)...   This will be the first time candidates from two leading alternative American political parties have faced off."


2004-07-30 23:53PDT (2004-07-31 02:53EDT) (06:53GMT)
William Spain _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Shrimp tariff dispute
"A relatively obscure but long-simmering trade spat surfaced with a vengeance this week when the government proposed tariffs as high as 68% on some imported shrimp [actually, the tariffs were proposed a few weeks back; they've just ground through another step of the bureaucracy].   In a move sought to appease domestic trawlers, Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand joined [Red China] and VietNam on the U.S. Commerce Department's list of countries accused of dumping cut-rate crustaceans on the market, thus hurting the American market.   The tariffs, proposed Thursday and ranging from 4% to 68%, were attacked as an unnecessary 'food tax' by the American Seafood Distributors Association...   U.S. shrimpers, though, wondered whether the government went far enough...   Gordon said that an explosion in shrimp imports -- up 70% since 2000 -- has been accompanied by a slump in wholesale prices of 40% or more.   That makes it barely worthwhile for U.S. shrimpers to take their boats out...   Nearly 90% of the shrimp consumed in the United States are farmed in Asia or South America..."

2004-07-31 12:39PDT (15:39EDT) (19:39GMT)
WTO said to agree on trade pact
"Meeting in Geneva, trade officials from 20 developing countries reached agreement on cutting government aid for industrial goods, agriculture and services that include telecommunications and banking, the Associated Press reported.   Ratification of a frame-work by the 147-member WTO was expected, advancing a round of negotiations that began in Doha, Qatar, in 2001...   In the U.S.A., the agreement could mean about a $4G annual reduction in annual federal agriculture subsidies."

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
If We Need Immigrant PhDs, Why Are American PhDs Poor & Unemployed?
"there's a very good reason for the waning presence of Americans in science and engineering: the dismal career prospects facing them in a field increasingly inundated by foreign students.   According to a National Research Council study: [National Research Council, Building a Workforce for the Information Economy, National Academies Press, 2001.]   A Ph.D. in science causes a net loss in life-time earnings for an American Income foregone during a 5-year doctoral program exceeds the additional income received over the course of a native-born graduate's working life-time.   The National Science Foundation explicitly acknowledges the problem, saying that for American students 'the effective premium for acquiring a Ph.D may actually be negative'.   Yet, paradoxically, NSF makes matters worse by advocating special programs to increase the number of foreign doctoral students.   The perception of a high-tech labor 'shortage' is firmly entrenched and drives much immigration policy.   But if such a shortage were real, unemployment in science and engineering fields would be declining.   And exactly the opposite is happening [Table 2]: Unemployment among college-educated science and engineering personnel is at a 20-year high (3.9% in 2002, the latest year of data).   Unemployment among computer programmers is also at a 20-year high (6.5%).   It has risen 4-fold since 2000 These unemployment rates understate the problem.   They do not count people with science and engineering degrees who've left the field involuntarily for other jobs.   NSF data indicate about three-quarters of science degree holders eventually end up in non-science occupations...   There's nothing magic or mysterious about this. Employers have simply gotten the government to sand-bag labor -- in this case, educated labor."

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