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Monday
Nov082010

Google to Provide In-Flight Internet for Holiday Air Travel

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google Chrome, Google’s Web browser team, on Monday announced plans to team up with AirTran, Delta and Virgin America Airlines to provide passengers with a new service for holiday travel called Gogo Inflight Internet.

Gogo will allow flight passengers to access free Wi-Fi service while traveling on domestic flights during the holiday travel season.

Travelers flying on AirTran, Delta or Virgin America will be able to utilize the service between November 20, 2010 and January 2, 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

Raul Castro's Shock Therapy for Cuban Economy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HAVANA) -- Cuba approved a dozen new laws in recent weeks that portend dramatic changes in the everyday lives of islanders, as the government orders state-run companies to slash jobs even as it opens the door to private business and employment. For the first time since Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution jobs or income are no longer guaranteed and the stigma of entrepreneurship and employing others is lifting.

Decree law 276 puts an end to the practice of prioritizing employment over performance, orders state companies to "permanently look for new forms of organization and downsize those processes that do not reach expected levels of profitability as well as those that have lost competitiveness…laying off employees as needed."

The self-employed, often a euphemism for small business, can now hire labor, rent store fronts, do business with the state and seek bank credits, among other novelties contained in Labor Ministry Resolution 32, which the Communist party newspaper Granma said was a move to "distance ourselves from those conceptions that condemned self-employment almost to extinction and stigmatized those who decided to join it, legally, in the 1990's."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

Verizon iPhone: What Do We Actually Know?

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Pierce Promotions(NEW YORK) -- The mythical Verizon iPhone. Though no official will confirm that it exists, it's still one of the most buzzed-about topics in the blogosphere.

In late September, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg downplayed the possibility of an iPhone joining his network anytime soon, suggesting the company would wait for an iPhone that could run on its new fourth-generation network. But in recent weeks, the reports of a near-term fantasy phone have returned to center stage.

Citing anonymous sources, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported in early October that Apple would release a Verizon-compatible version of the iPhone in early 2011. About a week later, the tech companies added more fuel to the fire when they announced that Verizon would start selling Apple's iPad. Since then, the rumors have continued to roll out.

Verizon declined to comment for this story and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, so what can we actually believe to be true?

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

Windows Phone 7 Hits the US; AT&T First to Carry Smart Phones

Photo Courtesy - Microsoft/AT&T/Samsung(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft and its partners will begin selling their latest attempt at a smart phone in the U.S. on Monday. 

Windows Phone 7, the software giant's latest mobile operating system, will feature a user interface different from those offered by such competitors as Android and iPhone.  Rather than focusing on applications -- Windows Phone 7 will launch with about 1,000 apps compared to iPhone and Android's marketplace of 100,000 plus apps -- the operating system will be more task-driven.

Windows Phone 7 organizes various tasks into hubs, allowing users to do multiple things in one place rather than having to running several apps.  The hubs will be broken down into: People, Pictures, Music and Videos, Games, Office and Marketplace.

AT&T will be the first to launch a smart phone using the new operating system in the U.S. with the Samsung Focus.  The cellphone provider will follow with the HTC Surround and the LG Quantum in the upcoming weeks.  T-Mobile users will also get a chance to try out Windows Phone 7 when it launches with the HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro in time for the holiday season.

Windows Phones have already been relatively successful in European and Asian markets, where the product was launched three weeks ago.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov072010

Reagan Budget Director: 'Mad Men' at Fed are 'Out of Control'

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. (L) and David Stockman appear on ABC's 'This Week.' Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- At a time of national fiscal crisis, Ronald Reagan picked David Stockman to fix the federal government's budget. This weekend Stockman told ABC News the U.S. is speeding down a path to fiscal ruin and that extending the Bush tax cuts will only hasten the looming catastrophe.

"Both parties, unfortunately, became free lunch parties,” the former director of the Office of Management and Budget said in a debate with Indiana Rep. Mike Pence on ABC’s This Week. “Republicans cutting taxes any time they had a chance, never doing anything about spending; Democrats digging in to defend everything that was there. As a result, we now have this massive deficit."

"We're now becoming the banana republic [of] finance, printing -- the Fed, these mad men who are out of control at the Fed are printing -- new money equal to 100 percent of the debt that we're issuing each month. This will not end well," Stockman said. "It's going to end in a disaster."

Stockman said that extending all the Bush tax cuts would be a bad idea. Pence disagreed.

"I don't think higher taxes is going to get anybody hired. I think raising taxes in the worst economy in 25 years is a profoundly bad idea," Pence said.

"The way we're going to put our fiscal house in order is you have to cut spending now," Pence said. "Everything has to be on the table. ... But you can't balance the budget on 9.6 percent unemployment," he said. "The last thing we should do is allow a tax increase on job creators in this country."

Stockman explained that raising taxes is normally "a bad thing to do," but that the United States "is in such dire shape that we have no choice but to accept the negative trade-off of some harm to the economy to start paying our bills," he said. "Otherwise, we're dependent on the Chinese, we're dependent on OPEC, we're dependent on a bunch of hedge-fund guys to buy our debt and this game is about over." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov072010

Airlines to Test Self-Tagging for Baggage, Could Save Them Money

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- American Airlines and Air Canada are reportedly in talks with the Transportation Security Administration to begin having passengers print their own baggage tags and attach them to their luggage.  The initiative would be tested at Boston's Logan Airport.  USA Today says Delta is in talks to conduct tests at another airport.  Passengers tag their own bags on many airlines in other countries, but in the U.S. it must be done by airline employees.

Officials say it would not compromise security because it would not change the way passengers or bags are screened. 

In addition to saving passengers time, it could save the airlines money.  It takes one step out of the process by which airline employees get you from the entrance of one airport to the exit of another.  That kind of streamlining means fewer airline agents would be needed overall.  USA Today says the airline industry employed 564,000 people in August, down 8.4 percent from August 2005.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov062010

President Obama Announces Trade Deals with India

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MUMBAI, India) -- President Obama announced Saturday business deals between U.S. and Indian companies totaling near $10 billion in U.S. exports, which the White House has said will lead to more than 50,000 American jobs.

“We can do much better,” Obama said, “today I am pleased to announce that we will work with India to fundamentally reform our controls on exports which will allow greater cooperation in a range of high tech sectors and strengthen our non proliferation efforts.”

President Obama said that the “old stereotypes” of Americans viewing India as a land of call-centers, and Indians viewing American companies as a threat ignores today’s reality.

“We don’t simply welcome your rise as a nation and a people. We ardently support it. We want to invest in it,” Obama said at the U.S.-India Business Council Summit in Mumbai, calling increasing trade and investment between the two countries a “win-win” proposition for both.

“There are many Americans whose only experience with trade and globalization has been a shuddered factory or a job that was shipped overseas.”

But the president’s visit – his longest to any one single country of his presidency – aims to remedy just that that perception.

“In 2010 trade between our countries is not just a one way street of American jobs and companies moving to India. It is a dynamic two-way relationship that is creating jobs, growth and higher living standards in both our countries.”

Relating this strategy back to the domestic concerns over the economy largely expressed in the outcome of Tuesday’s election, Obama said that selling exports in India, one of the fastest growing markets in the world is really a “jobs strategy,” for America.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov062010

Managing Your Credit Cards: Pay More Than the Minimum Balance

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- America has a love-hate relationship with credit cards. Many of us use them every day, even as we struggle with the bill payments, the Wall Street Journal's Wendy Bounds said. Bounds suggested a few tips for managing credit cards in order to make the relationship less stressful.

Paying only the minimum can get you into trouble. If you can, pay off the entire balance, or at least more than the minimum monthly balance. By doing that, you can save yourself a lot of money. New government rules mandate that your bill disclose how much paying only the minimum would cost you.

It's important to understand your interest rate, how your billing cycle works and other terms of your credit card agreement. If you don't understand them, call your credit card company and ask for an explanation.

Credit card usage is linked to your credit score, which in turn helps you qualify for loans. If you combine balances, don't close out the old accounts unless the fees are onerous. Longer-held credit cards look better on your credit record. When you open new lines of credit, be careful to space out the applications. Your score can be negatively affected if you make one application after another within a short time frame. It's generally better to keep a few lower balances on several credit cards than to have a large balance on a single card. Try to keep your total balance at no more than 30 percent of your credit card limit.

Try to use cash as often as you can, especially for smaller purchases such as snacks. Studies show that people are more likely to spend more when they use plastic rather than cash. Remember, if you carry a balance, you will be paying interest on those snacks you purchased on your card.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov052010

Employers Add 151,000 Jobs in October

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Employers increased payrolls by adding 151,000 jobs in October, significantly better than the 60,000 that economists were expecting. This marks the first month since May that the nation has seen an overall gain.

While the government sector laid off 8,000 workers, the private sector added 159,000 workers during October. Economists expected the private sector to add 60,000 jobs.

The nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 9.6 percent.

There have been a net of 7.6 million jobs lost since the start of the recession in Dec. 2007.

Striking an optimistic tone about the latest jobs report, President Obama said that Democrats and Republicans cannot spend the next two years “mired in gridlock” over how to get the economy moving forward.

“The most important competition we face in this new century will not be between Democrats and Republicans.  It’s the competition with countries around the world to lead the global economy,” the president said at the White House before departing for his trip to Asia.

Obama called the jobs report “encouraging news” but still “not good enough.”

“The unemployment rate is still unacceptably high and we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “This recession caused a great deal of hardship and it put millions of people out of work.  So in order to repair this damage, in order to create the jobs to meet the large need, we need to accelerate our economic growth so that we are producing jobs at a faster pace.”

The president said he was open to “any idea, any proposal, any way” to get the economy growing so people can find work.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov052010

Toyota Earnings Through the Roof, But Dark Clouds Loom

Courtesy - Toyota(NEW YORK) -- Despite 11 million recalls, mostly in its key U.S. market, and a soaring yen, Toyota's earnings for the quarter ending September 30th are up.  Toyota boasted earnings of 9,678 billion yen, or $1.2 billion. That's a 15 percent increase over last year. 

The company credits 90 billion yen in cost reductions and strong sales in Asia. 

Experts sound a note of caution over the near future as Toyota predicts a much smaller profit for the second half of the year.  The strength of the yen is presenting a big challenge.

The Financial Times quotes Toyota's Chief Financial Officer, Satoshi Ozawa, saying the carmaker might move more production outside Japan if profits in the six months to March declined further than expected.

Friday's comments may add pressure on the government over the yen’s climb toward a 15-year high against the dollar.   Ozawa says the carmaker is losing competitiveness.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio