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Microsoft’s Aggressive Platform Push


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Microsoft recently announced a number of changes to its Windows 8.x and Windows Phone platforms that underscore it is doubling down on Windows.

Breaking Friday was the news that Microsoft will lower the per-device cost to OEMs to ship Windows 8.x on less expensive devices. Bloomberg’s Dina Bass wrote that for devices that sell to consumers for $250 or less, Microsoft will charge $15 for use of Windows 8.1, a 70 percent decline on previous rates.

This allows OEMs to enjoy far stronger margins on low-cost Windows devices, making the Windows world more attractive to the ever margin-strapped device manufacturer world. Also, this brings the cost of Windows on cheap tablets more in line with the cost of Windows Phone on smartphones, an important change given the coming unification between the two core Windows platforms. Microsoft is still coy on the matter, but its executives have essentially laid the plan bare publicly.

This morning at Mobile World Congress Microsoft announced a sheaf of new product changes to both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone, including improvements to the core desktop experience of Windows proper, and aggressive moves to extend the capability of OEMs to build Windows Phone handsets.

In addition to a ready-to-go template, and work to allow Android handsets to run Windows Phone more simply, Microsoft listed off a grip of new OEMs that are on board to work on Windows Phone itself; if the platform is to live and die by partners, as it has thus far (both flavors of Windows), making the lives of those partners easier is simple calculus.

The announced Windows 8.x changes — detail remains light, expect more at Build in a few months — and the Windows Phone platform improvements continue the company’s bet on both Windows, and its ability to grow a platform of its own. This means Microsoft is wagering that it doesn’t need to retrench to lean on Android, for example, an idea that some externally have floated.

What you need to keep in mind is that work Microsoft does now to improve Windows Phone is work proper to its strategy to unify that platform, and experience with Windows RT. So, the work that the company is doing to better support keyboard and mouse users is almost separate; that work is in a different use-case silo.

Lowering the cost for Windows on low-cost devices could help the company foster a new cadre of devices that will eventually run whatever the Second Windows is; so the new OEM group supporting Windows Phone implies future hardware support for what comes next. That’s important.

All the above — and I’ll have more for you in the coming days — indicates so far as your humble servant can divine from lumpy tea sediment that Microsoft hasn’t changed its course in betting that a unified Windows experience across device classes with a firm shared application development environment is a strategy worth following.

Can Windows Phone take on Android or iOS in the short-term? No, at least not in terms of developer buy-in. But a unified Windows ecosystem that helps developers build once and deploy diversely to a growing set of devices could be something different altogether, in the medium and long-term.

Microsoft is not out of the arboreal subset, but it is wagering on building something big of its own, instead of depending on others. In the platforms wars, there likely isn’t another option. It remains a question of execution.

IMAGE BY FLICKR USER DELL INC. UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN CROPPED)

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/23/microsofts-aggressive-platform-push/

Online is the New Real World: Your Digital Reputation Precedes You


With the social web and proliferation of apps, smart phones and always on internet access, we are becoming a society of accidental narcissists. I don’t believe we set out to become self-obsessed and to be honest, it’s not all that bad. Today’s digital lifestyle made self-expression not only possible but also acceptable. Selfies! What once would have been frowned upon as anti-social and narcissistic is now a form of everyday self-expression. It’s the new emoticon in many ways.

Sharing our lives is easy and it’s rewarding as friends, family and followers react with Likes, shares, comments, et al. With each update we receive positive reinforcement and are heartened to share more. We now are at the center of our own universe and with each day that passes, we share more of our lives and encouragement pushes our behavior toward extroversion. The words privacy and publicity now take on entirely new meanings as we place on display the very thing our ancestors cherished as privileged. With each update, post, selfie, we share a bit of ourselves that in their own way contribute to a semblance of our digital persona.

This though, works for and against us…

The virtual world is more real than we realize.

Online, just like in the real world, actions and words speak loudly. Unlike real life though, your digital footprints are there for anyone to find on Google, social networks, and in communities. These disparate pieces are then assembled by employers, schools, friends, lovers, enemies, and anyone and everyone who wish to learn something more about you. Whether pure, sinister or simply inquisitive, whatever the reason, today these pieces construct a semblance of you and whomever sifts through your online legacy is left to their own surmise. This is too important to leave to chance. This is your life.

Online is the new real world.

In his new book, Repped, Andy Beal reminds us of something we should think about but rarely do. We should be more methodical about what we share and why. But online engagement is teaching us to think in the moment instead of anticipating how those moments collect and assemble into something we didn’t initially foresee. As Andy defines, repped is the result of conscious contributions that are intentionally additive.

He’s on to something here. And, if we each think deeply about it, we are indeed the masters of our own digital fate by choosing what we share and how we reward those whom guide us online. At the same time, we are also the beast of our own burden by sharing whimsically. By investing in positive reputation updates, whether for you or someone else, ratings rise. Relationships flourish. Trust builds. Thus, we enhance and shape an individual’s online profile to a more deserving standing. Again, it’s intentional.

If we do nothing and continue to post along our merry way, we become the victim of chance and circumstance. What others see and assume, the impressions that form, the opinions that arise, and the decisions they make as a result, are defined for us if we do not first define and reinforce what we want them to be.

Think about it this way. When you look in the mirror, you see a reflection of who you are right now. What if you could transform that reflection each day into someone you hoped to see staring back at you. With repped, we become architects of our desired reflection. If heedful, this digital reflection will ultimately work for us rather than against us. It’s more than how we see ourselves of course. It’s the broad strokes we paint in addition to the fine detail that we dab to paint a portrait that helps us now and in the future.

What separates reality from aspiration are your actions and words. You earn what you deserve.

It is what we share and how we build relationships that communicate who we are, not only to those whom we know, but also those whom we wish to know as well as those who are seeking to know more about us. It takes work yes. But then again so does anything that matters in life. Where everything begins though is what’s important. Most jump into online engagement without taking what is quite honestly the most important first step…connecting the threads of who you are, your aspirations, and who it is you want others to see.

Take a moment to answer this question…Why do you use social networks?

Is it to communicate your life to friends and followers?

Is it a form of self-expression?

Do you cast your actions to the proverbial audience to enchant or entertain them?

Take heart in what it is that moves you and those who follow you. Consider what it is they see as opposed to what you do online. You’ll find a great divide between what you say and the intentions behind them and what someone else hears or sees and takes away from each moment. Such is true in life of course, but here nothing really vanishes. Again, everything either works for or against you.

What is it that you value and how could that change with a bit of self-reflection?

I refer to today’s value system in social engagement as the 5 Vs. With each update, we seem look for something in return and each represent a shifting balance between what we treasure and what we think we treasure. The purpose of this exercise though is to contemplate the meaning of worth and in turn put stock in what it is we value and what it is that others will value…in the short and long term.

The 5Vs

1) Vision (I learn something, I’m inspired);
2) Validation (I’m accepted or justified);
3) Vindication (I’m right, cleared);
4) Vulnerability (I’m open); and
5) Vanity (Not egotism, but accidental narcissism. I’m important),

To earn or bestow increments of repped require intent and diligence. Nothing though begins without describing what it is you want people to know and see and how that tracks toward your personal and professional goals. The 5Vs require careful balance. Sometimes its best if you audit your online behavior to see which of the 5Vs were out of balance in the past. Doing so helps align your future engagement.

Some teenagers are aware of the “drama” that arises when their posts or pictures are taken out of context. In fact, they’re smart about covering their tracks. In some ways this is a divergent strategy from repped, but its example teaches us a lesson about the importance of building online reputations over time.

Rather than intentionally construct a desired presence, they simply remove traces of their communication after initial sharing. Some “whitewall” their networks by deleting everything after immediate engagement. Others “super log off” by deactivating their accounts when they’re not online. This behavior is what inspired the rise of an ephemeral web, one that automatically vanishes after a fixed amount of time. There’s a reason Snapchat and other apps and networks like it are wildly popular.

Snapchat and the ephemeral web represent an interesting evolution in social media in that it helps people “share without care” or better manage their digital footprint. The ephemeral nature of “now you see it, now you don’t” lets users be themselves, or sometimes encourages deviant behavior, without worry of future leverage against them. This comes at a time when colleges and employers, and everyone for that matter, are reviewing social networks as qualifying criteria for consideration. With ephemerality, the challenge for you and me though is the very thing that makes it so special and that’s the temporary nature of the moment.

Among accidental narcissists however, attention, popularity, and reactions are also catalysts for open sharing. As a result, Snapchat is experimenting with a hybrid of ephemeral messaging that adds a touch of permanence, such as its Stories product. There’s a sense of narrative that tells a story the way a user defines. But they still vanish in the end.

The ephemeral web is just one of two factions of the social web evolving today. The other movement underway is that of the anonymous web thanks in part to apps cum social networks Whisper and Secret.

When I first heard of Whisper, my initial reaction was wow, that’s interesting and potentially addictive. When I then heard about Secret, I felt similarly but then added the words dangerous and finite to the list. Whisper and Secret are representatives of the anonymous social web, which is a branch of the overall private social movement. Similar to its sister movement around the ephemeral web, these apps are promoting a behavior of sharing without establishing a link between identify and legacy.

Secret is interesting in that it connects friends and friends of friends. This makes the content relevant while sparking curiosity and conversations behind the scenes, online and the real world. Because it’s someone you know or could know, it adds a layer of intrigue to the mix. By including social validation engagement such as likes and comments, users are conditioned to continually share provocative thoughts, observations, and also secrets. It’s a promising mix that will keep secret public for the foreseeable future. However, I see it as more as disruptive novelty than I do as a long term stand alone app. It’s the anonymous movement that will outlast many early players. But that’s not the point. It’s how behavior changes in how we engage and share and the levers of identity we pull to align, or chose not to, our brand with the updates we we find interesting.

The people who define the social web are fickle and suffer from extreme cases of shiny object syndrome. But, anonymity can be healthy. Productive conversations can emerge beyond the juvenile antics of immature or mean people.

As founder of 4chan moot once said in a piece standing up for anonymity, “It’s incredible what people can make when they’re able to fail publicly without fear, since not only will those failures not be attributed to them, but they’ll be washed away by a waterfall of new content.” It was his follow-on comment that struck me however, making sense of the rise of social anonymity…

Anonymous or pseudonymous posting can relieve us of the burdens of social media, and the resulting narcissistic behavior.”

The psychological conditioning of users though is shaped by how communities inside and outside of the communities react. And Whisper’s approach is among the most promising for a long-term play. As I shared with USAToday, with Gawker vial traffic czar Neetzan Zimmerman joining Whisper, the anonymous network will morph into a hybrid gossip, confessional, and allegation media network. And with Zimmerman’s first piece making the rounds that claims actress Gwyneth Paltrow is cheating on her husband, Whisper is officially on its way to competing for media and consumer attention while paving the way for anonymous social networking and sharing.

By crowdsourcing interesting revelations and curating or editing them a la TMZ, BuzzFeed and Upworthy, we may see these networks around for the foreseeable future.

We now live three lives online; one that disappears, one that is secret, and one that sculpts our legacy.

This reminds me of a poignant observation once shared by novelist and philosopher Gabriel García Márquez, “Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.” With the likes of Facebook, SnapChat and Secret, the thoughts shared by Gabriel García Márquez is now a digital prophecy come to life.

Now’s the time to consider how you want to be appreciated. Now’s the time to consider the value of online engagement and come to terms with what you want to invest into and take out of your digital life and the digital lives of others.

An investment in your online persona will help you earn digital significance. Equally, investing in those who are important to you will also help you bestow significance unto others. The value you assign to engagement affects what you place and take out of this so-called digital life.

The value we take away must only be surpassed by what we invest. This is the foundation for your digital legacy and that of others.

This post is the unabridged foreword for Andy Beale’s Repped…published with approval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top photo: Shutterstock

David Hume, C.S. Lewis, and How We Define ‘Miracle’


It was morning in a small town in England, and a young girl was playing on a railroad track as a train approached from around a bend. The girl could not see the train nor could the train conductor see the girl, and had nature taken its course the train would have continued on for a fatal crash. But something happened. Because the driver had eaten a particularly large lunch and ostensibly had previous heart problems, his blood pressure spiked, which caused him to faint, and, because trains require the conductor to hold continuous pressure on the accelerator, when he passed out, the train came to a halt not after the bend nor long before, but just meters before it reached the playing girl. She was spared.

R.F. Holland uses this supposedly real event as an example in his article “The Miraculous,” for a 1965 edition of American Philosophical Quarterly. The question he poses is whether or not this event can be termed a miracle. I’m sure the little girl and her family deemed it so. So too did the train conductor and every passenger who became aware of why the train had stopped. Yet what constitutes a “miracle” — if there is such thing — is still hopelessly ambiguous, and based more on perspective than any sort of empirical reasoning.

Someone who believes in a god would surely point to this instance as evidence of supernatural intervention. “Open your eyes,” they might say, “a little girl has been spared by the divine grace of God.” C.S. Lewis defined a miracle as, “an interference with Nature by supernatural power.” What the miracle-believer is essentially saying is that there has been some violation of Natural Law and that had the world proceeded as normal — had the driver kept his hand on that accelerator as he had been doing for the entire trip — then the little girl would have been killed. However, that of course did not happen, and thus the only explanation was that Nature was disrupted by an external force — by the divine.

But take the perspective of Scottish philosopher David Hume in his 18th-century critique of miracles, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. He says that in order to classify an event as a miracle, not only must Nature be violated, but there must also be divine will behind it. Divine will though is impossible to sufficiently prove. The epistemological question behind miracles is problematic because miracles, like most events, are based on testimony. Even if we knew what counted as a miracle, could we ever know whether one has taken place?

Nonbelievers sometimes note that miracles have ceased to occur once corroborated historical records, not to mention photographs, became widely used. Fish and bread could be multiplied. People could be raised from the dead. Cripples and lepers could be healed. But once written historical records became more common and widespread, miracles seemed to all but disappear. There has never been a man dead for three days come back to life under the scrutiny of video cameras and unbiased, levelheaded witnesses. Rather, miracles are always relayed through someone, and there have been far too many studies showing that humans have selective memories, memories that sensationalize, memories that do not mirror reality — and, that’s not to mention, people often have motives to lie about miracles.

Hume writes, “When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened.” That’s to say, in the case of Jesus’ resurrection, is it more likely that a man came back to life, or is it more likely that The Church is deceiving its followers? In the case of the girl on the tracks, one could similarly ask, Is it more likely that a man had a well-timed blood pressure spike or that a divine deity emerged from the heavens to save her life? One predisposed not to believe in the supernatural would be thankful to this man’s bad heart, not to any sort of God.

Yet, to some, miracles happen every day — from the banal (a parking spot opens up just as you’re approaching) to the significant (childbirth). While Einstein was not a Christian (although many Christians have posthumously appropriated him into their ranks), he still believed that miracles, and by extension, life is all about perspective. “There are only two ways to live your life,” he said. “One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Even the humorous Lemony Snicket (the pen name of Daniel Handler), took on a slightly more sincere tone regarding miracles, “Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see.”

But put really anything through enough trials, and something extraordinary will happen. About 2.1 billion years ago, scientists estimate that cells with a nucleus began to appear, and it wasn’t until only about 200,000 years ago that anatomically modern humans began to walk the Earth. Give anything the time and the right circumstances, and even a process like human evolution can occur. If you ran an experiment where you continually drove a train around that bend, then you would have to imagine that after millions of tries, at one point, the driver would pass out and let go of the accelerator. Whether or not it was a miracle or a coincidence that it happened while a little girl was playing on the tracks — well that depends on how you see the world.

The most recent discourse on miracles, led by R.F. Holland is that miracles do not have to be violations of Nature, which means a supernaturally significant coincidence counts as a miracle. Now this is particularly complex because Holland is arguing that even though we might understand why an event happened (the conductor fainted from high blood pressure), it does not mean that the divine could not have nonetheless orchestrated it to happen. Such a worldview lends itself nicely to belief in miracles. Anything that is wondrous (let’s not forget that “miracle” comes from the Latin “miraculum,” derived from “mirari,” meaning “to wonder”) can therefore be a miracle. Saint Augustine had a similar argument: a miracle is not contrary to Nature, only contrary to our understanding of Nature. Sometimes, our understanding of Nature is stretched to the extreme.

In 1962, a train traveling from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik careened off its rails, plunging into the water below. Seventeen passengers died, but the then-33-year-old Frano Selak was able to swim to land, suffering only from hypothermia and a broken arm. One year later, he flew on an airplane for the first time in his life, but the emergency exit flew open mid-flight and nineteen people were thrown to their death. Selak, however, landed safely on a haystack. Three years later, in 1966, a bus Selak was riding skidded into a lake, killing four passengers, but Selak suffered only minor cuts and bruises. Four years later, in 1970, his car caught on fire, and he escaped the vehicle moments before its fuel tank violently exploded. In 1973, a broken fuel pump leaked oil onto his car’s engine, causing flames to blow through the air vents. He lost most of his hair, but suffered no significant burns or injuries. Over two decades later, in 1995, he was hit by a bus in Zagreb, sustaining only minor injuries. Selak’s seventh and final accident occurred a year later in 1996 when he was driving in the mountains. He turned a corner only to see that a United Nations truck was coming straight at him. His car, a tiny Skoda, careened over the metal railing, tumbling down the 300-foot cliff. But he had leapt clear at the last second, able to watch his car explode as it hit the ground. In 2003, at 74-year-olds, Selak won the Croatian lottery, totaling roughly $1 million.

Some say Selak is the luckiest man alive. Others say he is the most cursed. Definitions are malleable things, and whether the fact that Selak is alive is a miracle or simply an incredibly rare string of coincidences is the type of question that exposes our deepest beliefs. Does believing in miracles dilute the beauty of human existence? Does not believing in miracles show an arrogant inability to accept the divine? Are we a part of Einstein’s first group or the second? Is everything a miracle or is nothing a miracle? How we define miracle has wide sweeping implications to how we define our lives.

When first interviewed by The Telegraph about his eventful life, Selak took a pessimistic approach, “I never thought I was lucky to survive all my brushes with death. I thought I was unlucky to be in them in the first place.” Yet, after meeting his wife, Katarina, Selak said, “When she arrived I knew then that I really did have a charmed, blessed life.”

Selak eventually gave away all of his lottery winnings, selling a luxury island home he had purchased. He endeavored to live a frugal life and bought only two things: a hip replacement and enough money to build a small shrine to the Virgin Mary, so he could daily give thanks for his luck.

Written by

writer. editor. historian. nyc/paris.

What is strategy?


Mike Arauz in on management

 

This post was originally published on medium.com – > https://medium.com/on-management/79d9a039f5dc

 

In the world of business and marketing, “strategy” is frequently used, yet rarely useful. For all of our strategy statements, strategic roadmaps, corporate strategies, launch strategies, innovation strategies, and on and on and on, the ideas that we label as strategy fail to affect meaningful change. The problem is not that strategy as a concept fails us, but rather that we don’t really understand what strategy is.

As a student of strategy, I’m trying to figure out what strategy means to me, and how I practice it in my work. My hope is that by being able to explain it (or at least understand it clearly myself), I will be better able to develop strategies for others that are clear, insightful, and effective. I want to become a master at creating strategies that inspire action.

Here’s where I’m starting…

Cover of "The Art of War (History and War...

Cover of The Art of War (History and Warfare)

Strategy is the practice of figuring out the best way to get from here to there.

Imagine that you are standing on one side of a body of water and you want to get to the other side. If the body of water is a puddle on the sidewalk you’d probably choose to hop over it. If it’s a small lake, you may choose to hop in a canoe and paddle your way across, or maybe if it’s a warm summer day, and you’re 16-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps then you might choose to swim across. If you are standing on the California shore of the Pacific Ocean, and thinking about how to get to Japan, you might consider some sort of mechanized assistance.

In all of these examples, there are several key aspects that are fundamental to all forms of strategy. There’s 1) an understanding of where you are now, 2) a clear sense of where you want to end up, 3) an assessment of what stands in between, 4) a decision about how to approach the challenge, and 5) a specific course of action to undertake.


The core elements of any sound strategy

Developing a good strategy, one that really propels you forward and, as Sun Tzu, master of the Art of War would admire, enables you to win without even fighting, isn’t easy. There are a lot of questions to answer. And in an age where our problems are increasingly digital in nature, the questions become dauntingly complex very quickly. Creating successful strategies requires rigor, homework, effort, hard thinking, assessment, and analysis. It’s hard work.

It’s easy to understand why we let each other get away with substituting a cheap imitation for the real thing.

In his excellent book Good Strategy Bad Strategy(I highly recommend!), Richard Rumelt identifies these common strategy FAILs.

  • Fluff: Fluff is a form of gibberish masquerading as strategic concepts and arguments.
  • Failure to face the challenge: When you cannnot define the challenge, you cannot evaluate a strategy or improve it.
  • Mistaking goals for strategy: Many bad strategies are just statements of desire rather than plans for overcoming obstacles.
  • Bad strategic objectives: Strategic objectives are “bad” when they fail to address critical issues or when they are impracticable.

Sound familiar?

If your strategy doesn’t address these aspects of the challenge at hand in some way – 1) where you are now, 2) where you want to end up, 3) what stands in between, 4) a chosen approach, and 5) a specific course of action – then you don’t really have a strategy.

I’m on a mission to conquer bad strategy wherever I see it. Who’s with me?

(This is a re-post from: http://undercurrent.com/blog/what-is-strategy)

 

 

 

Hilary Duff & MIke Comrie Take Luca To The Park

Hilary Duff’s Shorts Are So Short They Could Pass For Underwear !!! (PHOTOS)


SOURCE HUFFINGTON POST!

There are shorts, and there are short shorts, otherwise known as Daisy Dukes, hot pants or booty shorts. And the shorts Hilary Duff wore to Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, well, those shorts could pass for underwear.

Photographers snapped photos of the former Disney star as she and her husband, Mike Comrie, took their 17-month-old son, Luca, to the park’s playground. The 25-year-old kept the sun off her face with a wide-brim hat, but it seems that even she might have had second thoughts about wearing shorts quite so tiny, as the paparazzi caught the “Lizzie McGuire” star pulling them down a few times throughout the day.

Hilary Duff & MIke Comrie Take Luca To The Park

Hilary Duff & MIke Comrie Take Luca To The Park

Hilary Duff & MIke Comrie Take Luca To The Park

Hilary Duff & MIke Comrie Take Luca To The Park

Cougar Style Soiree Hosted By "Cougar Town" Star Carolyn Hennesy

‘Pippi Longstocking’ Star Tami Erin’s Sex Tape Reportedly Being Shopped Around !!! (REPORT)


The following excerpt is from the Huffington Post!

“Pippi Longstocking” actress Tami Erin allegedly appeared in a sex tape and now that XXX video is being shopped around, TMZ is reporting.

The “hardcore” flick was reportedly shot recently, according to TMZ. It is unclear who is selling the footage and whether anyone has purchased it yet.

A representative for Erin could not be immediately reached for comment.

Cougar Style Soiree Hosted By "Cougar Town" Star Carolyn Hennesy

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Tara Reid Shows Off Bikini Body In Ibiza !!!! (PHOTO)


The following excerpt is from the Huffington Post!

It’s always Taradise when you’re Tara Reid. That’s right, the 37-year-old “Sharknado” actress is back at the bikini-in-an-exotic-location game again, this time posing in a rainbow-colored two-piece on what appears to be a boat in Ibiza.

Let’s hope that Reid didn’t see any whale sharks while sailing the Spanish waters. Judging from her incoherent explanation of marine life recently, she may not know exactly what to do if she did. “So I look up ‘sharks’ on the Internet and I see ‘whale sharks,’ so I’m like, that must mean that a whale and a shark have sex. And then I think, ‘Well, how do a whale and a shark have sex?’” Reid said two weeks ago on a Discovery Channel talk show.

She continued: “No, there is a thing called whale sharks, and then I realized whales are mammals and sharks are animals, so they have nothing to do with each other.”

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Egypt Protests: Islamists Call For ‘Friday Of Anger’ (LIVE UPDATES) !!!!! (REPORT) (PHOTOS)


The following excerpt is from the Huffington Post!

CAIRO — Heavy gunfire rang out Friday throughout Cairo as tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with vigilante residents in the fiercest street battles to engulf the capital since the country’s Arab Spring uprising. At least 37 people were killed in the fighting nationwide, including police officers.

Carrying pistols and assault rifles, residents battled with protesters taking part in what the Brotherhood called the “Day of Rage,” ignited by anger at security forces for clearing two sit-in demonstrations Wednesday in clashes that killed more than 600 people.

As military helicopters circled overhead, residents furious with the Brotherhood protesters pelted them with rocks and glass bottles. The two sides also fired on one another, sparking running street battles.

Unlike in past clashes between protesters and police, Friday’s clashes took an even darker turn when residents and possibly police in civilian clothing engaged in the violence. Police in uniform were nowhere to be seen as residents fired at one another on a bridge that crosses over Zamalek in Cairo, an upscale island neighborhood where many foreigners and ambassadors reside.

The Brotherhood-led marches in Cairo headed toward Ramses Square, near the country’s main train station. The area is also near Tahrir Square, where the army put up barbed wires and tanks as a buffer between the protesters and a small anti-Brotherhood encampment in the square.

At least 12 people were killed in Ramses Square after protesters clashed with residents in the area, security officials said. Associated Press photographers saw many of the dead inside the nearby Al-Fath mosque, which had turned into a field hospital. Some appeared to have been shot in the head and chest during an attack on a police station.

Across the country, at least 29 civilians were killed in the clashes and eight police officers also were killed, security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The violence erupted shortly after midday weekly prayers when tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters answered the group’s call to protest across Egypt in defiance of a military-imposed state of emergency following the country’s bloodshed earlier this week.

Armed civilians manned impromptu checkpoints throughout the capital, banning Brotherhood marches from approaching and frisking anyone wanting to pass through. In one checkpoint, residents barred ambulances and cars carrying wounded from Ramses from passing to reach the hospital.

Security personnel stand guard at the U.S. embassy, where protesters gather to condemn a film being produced in the U.S. that insulted Prophet Mohammad, in Cairo

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PHOTO SOURCE CNN

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange

Billionaire Carl Icahn says Apple shares could trade at $700 !!!! (REPORT)


The following excerpt is from REUTERS!

(Reuters) – Hedge fund billionaire Carl Icahn took a “large” position in Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) shares and told Reuters on Tuesday that he believes Apple should trade at $700 a share.

In a telephone interview, Icahn said he believes “Apple has the ability to do a $150 billion buyback now by borrowing funds at 3 percent.

“If Apple does this now and earnings increase at only 10 percent, the stock – even keeping the same multiple currently – should trade at $700 a share.”

Apple shares were at $489.57 on Tuesday.

Apple has “huge borrowing power, little relative debt and trades at a low multiple,” Icahn said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Icahn stunned markets after he sent a tweet, saying: “We currently have a large position in APPLE. We believe the company to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come.”

He also tweeted: “Had a nice conversation with Tim Cook today. Discussed my opinion that a larger buyback should be done now. We plan to speak again shortly.

(Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Andrew Hay and Ken Wills)

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange

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PETA is gonna be all over Stephen Colbert!!!! (LOL)


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