Adquisición 获得: Google descent into robotics

Google is investing in robotics companies by purchasing Boston dynamics.

In December, Google bought Boston Dynamics, which developed a number of robots said to be inspired by animals, for an undisclosed sum. The news broke shortly after Amazon made headlines over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with its own robotic moonshot project, Prime Air drone delivery.

But Google is not the only one thought to have been interested in Titan. Reports swirled as recently as a few weeks ago that Facebook was interested in the private company, founded in 2012, as well.

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Habilidades de hacer oro: Investing strategies

Miami City Buildings at Night

Hedge Fund Strategy – Equity Long-Short

An equity long-short strategy is an investing strategy, used primarily by hedge funds, that involves taking long positions in stocks that are expected to increase in value and short positions in stocks that are expected to decrease in value.

You may know that taking a long position in a stock simply means buying it: If the stock increases in value, you will make money. On the other hand, taking a short position in a stock means borrowing a stock you don’t own (usually from your broker), selling it, then hoping it declines in value, at which time you can buy it back at a lower price than you paid for it and return the borrowed shares.

Hedge funds using equity long-short strategies simply do this on a grander scale. At its most basic level, an equity long-short strategy consists of buying an undervalued stock and shorting an overvalued stock. Ideally, the long position will increase in value, and the short position will decline in value. If this happens, and the positions are of equal size, the hedge fund will benefit. That said, the strategy will work even if the long position declines in value, provided that the long position outperforms the short position. Thus, the goal of any equity long-short strategy is to minimize exposure to the market in general, and profit from a change in the difference, or spread, between two stocks.

That may sound complicated, so let’s look at a hypothetical example. Let’s say a hedge fund takes a $1 million long position in Pfizer and a $1 million short position in Wyeth, both large pharmaceutical companies. With these positions, any event that causes all pharmaceutical stocks to fall will lead to a loss on the Pfizer position and a profit on the Wyeth position. Similarly, an event that causes both stocks to rise will have little effect, since the positions balance each other out. So, the market risk is minimal. Why, then, would a portfolio manager take such a position? Because he or she thinks Pfizer will perform better than Wyeth.

Equity long-short strategies such as the one described, which hold equal dollar amounts of long and short positions, are called market neutral strategies. But not all equity long-short strategies are market neutral. Some hedge fund managers will maintain a long bias, as is the case with so-called “130/30” strategies. With these strategies, hedge funds have 130% exposure to long positions and 30% exposure to short positions. Other structures are also used, such as 120% long and 20% short. (Few hedge funds have a long-term short bias, since the equity markets tend to move up over time.)

Equity long-short managers can also be distinguished by the geographic market in which they invest, the sector in which they invest (financial, health care or technology, for example) or their investment style (value or quantitative, for example). Buying and selling two related stocks—for example, two stocks in the same region or industry—is called a “paired trade” model. It may limit risk to a specific subset of the market instead of the market in general.

Equity long-short strategies have been used by sophisticated investors, such as institutions, for years. They became increasingly popular among individual investors as traditional strategies struggled in the most recent bear market, highlighting the need for investors to consider expanding their portfolios into innovative financial solutions.

Equity long-short strategies are not without risks. These strategies have all the generic hedge fund risks: For example, hedge funds are typically not as liquid as mutual funds, meaning it is more difficult to sell shares; the strategies they use could lead to significant losses; and they can have high fees. Additionally, equity long-short strategies have some unique risks. The main one is that the portfolio manager must correctly predict the relative performance of two stocks, which can be difficult. Another risk results from what is referred to in the industry as “beta mismatch.” While this is more complicated that we can explain in detail here, essentially, it means that

when the stock market declines sharply, long positions could lose more than short positions.

In summary, equity long-short strategies may help increase returns in difficult market environments, but also involve some risk. As a result, investors considering these strategies may want to ensure that their hedge funds follow strict rules to evaluate market risks and find good investment opportunities.

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Hedge Fund Strategy – Capital a Largo Corto

Una estrategia de largo-corto equidad es una estrategia de inversión, utilizado principalmente por los fondos de cobertura, que consiste en tomar posiciones largas en acciones que se espera que aumente en posiciones de valor y cortas en las poblaciones que se espera que disminuya su valor.

Usted puede saber que tomar una posición larga en una acción significa simplemente comprarlo: si los aumentos en las existencias en el valor, que van a ganar dinero. Por otra parte, tomando una posición corta en una acción significa pedir prestado una acción que usted no es dueño (por lo general de su corredor), la venta, entonces la esperanza de que declina en valor, momento en el que pueda volver a comprar a un precio inferior de lo que pagó por ella y regresar las acciones prestadas.

Los fondos de cobertura utilizando la equidad estrategias long-short simplemente hacen esto en una escala mayor . En su nivel más básico, un patrimonio estrategia a largo corto consiste en la compra de una acción infravalorada y cortocircuito una acción sobrevaluada . Lo ideal sería que la posición larga se incrementará en el valor, y la posición corta disminuirá en valor. Si esto sucede , y las posiciones son de igual tamaño, el fondo de cobertura se beneficiará . Dicho esto, la estrategia funcionará incluso si la posición larga disminuye en valor, siempre que la posición larga supera a la posición corta . Por lo tanto , el objetivo de cualquier estrategia a largo corto equidad es reducir al mínimo la exposición al mercado en general, y el beneficio de un cambio en la diferencia , o spread , entre dos poblaciones.

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Esto puede sonar complicado , así que vamos a ver un ejemplo hipotético. Digamos que un fondo de cobertura toma una posición larga $ 1000000 en Pfizer y una posición corta $ 1 millón en Wyeth, tanto las grandes empresas farmacéuticas. Con estas posiciones, cualquier evento que hace que todas las acciones farmacéuticas bajen dará lugar a una pérdida en la posición Pfizer y una ganancia en la posición de Wyeth. Del mismo modo, un evento que causa ambas poblaciones en aumento tendrá poco efecto , ya que las posiciones se equilibran entre sí . Por lo tanto, el riesgo de mercado es mínimo. ¿Por qué , entonces, sería un gestor de cartera tomar una posición? Debido a que él o ella piensa que Pfizer obtendrá mejores resultados que Wyeth.

Equidad estrategias de largo-corto , como el descrito , que mantenga la misma cantidad en dólares de las posiciones largas y cortas , se llaman estrategias neutrales de mercado. Pero no todos los de renta variable estrategias long-short son de mercado neutral. Algunos gestores de fondos de cobertura se mantienen un sesgo mucho tiempo, como es el caso de los llamados ” 130/30 ” estrategias . Con estas estrategias , los hedge funds tienen una exposición del 130% a las posiciones largas y la exposición 30 % a las posiciones cortas . También se utilizan otras estructuras , tales como 120 % de largo y 20 % a corto . ( Fondos de cobertura Pocos tienen un sesgo de corto a largo plazo , ya que los mercados de acciones tienden a subir con el tiempo. )

Equidad gerentes largo-corto también se pueden distinguir por el mercado geográfico en el que invierten , el sector en el que invierten ( , cuidado de la salud financiera o de la tecnología , por ejemplo) o su estilo de inversión (valor o cuantitativa , por ejemplo). Compra y venta de dos acciones -por ejemplo , relacionados con dos poblaciones de la misma región o industria – que se llama un modelo de ” comercio emparejado ” . Puede limitar el riesgo a un subconjunto específico del mercado en lugar de la del mercado en general.

Equidad estrategias long-short han sido utilizados por inversionistas sofisticados , como las instituciones , desde hace años. Se convirtieron en cada vez más popular entre los inversores individuales como las estrategias tradicionales luchaban en el mercado a la baja más reciente, destacando la necesidad de los inversores a considerar la ampliación de su cartera en soluciones financieras innovadoras.

Equidad estrategias a largo cortas no están exentos de riesgos. Estas estrategias tienen todos los riesgos genéricos de fondos de cobertura : Por ejemplo, los fondos de cobertura por lo general no son tan líquidos como fondos de inversión, lo que significa que es más difícil de vender acciones , las estrategias que utilizan podrían dar lugar a pérdidas significativas , y que pueden tener altas tarifas . Adicionalmente , la equidad estrategias long-short tienen algunos riesgos únicos. La principal es que el gestor de la cartera debe predecir correctamente el comportamiento relativo de dos poblaciones , lo que puede ser difícil. Otro riesgo resulta de lo que se conoce en la industria como ” falta de coincidencia beta . ” Si bien esto es más complicado que podemos explicar en detalle aquí, en esencia , significa que.

cuando el mercado de valores disminuye drásticamente , las posiciones largas podrían perder más de las posiciones cortas .

En resumen , la equidad estrategias a largo cortos pueden ayudar a aumentar la rentabilidad en entornos de mercado difíciles, pero también implican cierto riesgo. Como resultado, los inversores que estén considerando estas estrategias pueden querer asegurarse de que sus fondos de cobertura siguen reglas estrictas para evaluar los riesgos de mercado y encontrar buenas oportunidades de inversión .

Los nuevos reyes del Antiguo: David Tepper

2013 Earnings: $3.5 billion
Tepper has set a new standard for hedge fund managers. His track record has long been phenomenal, but since the financial crisis his returns have reached a whole new level. In 2013, the 56-year-old founder of Appaloosa Management outperformed the U.S. stock market and the vast majority of hedge fund managers, with his biggest fund posting net returns of more than 42%. Over the last five years, Tepper’s main hedge fund has generated annualized net returns of nearly 40%—and gross returns of some 50%. In what has almost become an annual tradition, Tepper gave back some cash to his investors at the end of the year. In 2013, Tepper’s Appaloosa celebrated its 20th anniversary by pledging $20 million to various charities. Tepper also gave $67 million to Carnegie Mellon University last year—adding to the $55 million he previously gave the university—and continued to support other causes like basic needs and education.

Appaloosa Management is an American hedge fund founded in 1993 by David Tepper and Jack Walton specializing in distressed debt.Appaloosa Management invests in public equity and fixed income markets around the world.

In 1993 David Tepper and Jack Walton founded Appaloosa Management, an employee owned hedge fund, in Chatham, New Jersey.[4][5] The firm through the 1990s was known as a junk bond investment boutique and through the 2000s a hedge fund.

2002 Conseco & Marconi Corp.

In the fourth quarter of 2002 Appaloosa Management returns were heavily a result of junk-bond and distressed debt bets in Conseco and Marconi Corp. that the market was bottoming out.

2007 Delphi

Assets under management in 2007 were $5.3 billion. The Financial Times reports the company has “attracted interest for its large ownership position in Delphi, the bankrupt car parts supplier, and its clashes on whether management has the shareholders best interests in mind or those of GM and the UAW.”

2008 financial crisis through 2011

Appaloosa survived the financial crisis of 2008 with relatively few investor redemption orders.

From 2009 to 2010 Appaloosa Management’s assets under management grew from $5 billion to $12 billion.

In November 2010 the New York Times reported total assets under management of $14 billion.

In 2010 it was reported that since 1993 Appaloosa Management had returned $12.4 billion to clients—ranking it sixth on a ranking of total returns to clients by managers since inception.

In 2011 the company was awarded the Institutional Hedge Fund Firm of the Year award.

In Sep 2011, a Delaware bankruptcy court found that Appaloosa Management is one of four hedge funds that had played a role in Washington Mutual’s restructuring which might have received confidential information that could have been used to trade improperly in the bank’s debt.

Investment Strategy

Appaloosa Management’s investments focus on undiversified concentrated investment positions.Appaloosa invests in the global public equity and fixed income markets with a focus on “equities and debt of distressed companies, bonds, exchange warrants, optionsfutures, notes, and junk bonds.” According to BusinessWeek, the firm’s client base consists of high net worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, corporations, foreign governments, foundations, universities, and other organizations.” Investors commit to a locked period of three years during which their withdrawals are limited to 25 percent of their total investment.

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Palomino Fund

The Palomino Fund from its inception in 1995 to 1998 had a 25 percent return. After Russia defaulted, the fund lost 49 percent of its value between February to September 1998. The fund returned –26.7% percent in 2008 and 117.3 percent in 2009. The company was ranked by Bloomberg Markets as the top performing fund of any hedge fund manager managing over one billion dollars

source:businessweek

El puente de espacio y más allá: Google’s Mission to the moon

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity, thereby inspiring the formation of new industries and the revitalization of markets that are currently stuck due to existing failures or a commonly held belief that a solution is not possible. The foundation addresses the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. It motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital.

The Google Lunar X Prize offers a total of US$30 million in prizes to the first privately funded teams to land a robot on the Moon that successfully travels more than 500 meters (1,640 ft) and transmits back high definition images and video. The first team to do so will claim the US$20 million Grand Prize; while the second team to accomplish the same tasks will earn a US$5 million Second Place Prize. Teams can also earn additional money by completing additional tasks beyond the baseline requirements required to win the Grand or Second Place Prize, such as traveling ten times the baseline requirements (greater than 5,000 meters (3 mi)), capturing images of the remains of Apollo program hardware or other man-made objects on the Moon, verifying from the lunar surface the recent detection of water ice on the Moon, or surviving a lunar night. Additionally, a US$1 million Diversity Award may be given to teams that make significant strides in promoting ethnic diversity in STEM fields. Finally, Space Florida, one of the “Preferred Partners” for the competition has offered an additional US$2 million bonus to teams who launch their mission from the state of Florida.

Terminamos 2013 con otro gran cuarto de impulso y crecimiento. Ingresos independiente de Google subió un 22% año tras año, a 15,7 mil millones dólares “, dijo Larry Page, CEO de Google.” Hemos hecho un gran progreso en una amplia gama de mejoras en el producto y los objetivos de negocio. También estoy muy entusiasmado con la mejora de vida de las personas aún más con el trabajo continuo duro en nuestras experiencias de usuario.

Dow Jones 16,303.34 0.19%
Nasdaq 4,300.86 -0.42%
Technology -0.41%
GOOG 1,212.69 -0.53%
1,212.69

-6.52 (-0.53%)
Real-time:   3:37PM EST

NASDAQ real-time data – Disclaimer

Currency in USD
Range 1,206.22 – 1,224.19
52 week 761.26 – 1,228.88
Open 1,220.34
Vol / Avg. 1.59M/2.46M
Mkt cap 407.72B
P/E 34.22
Div/yield     –
EPS 35.45
Shares 336.05M
Beta 0.98
Inst. own 72%

Source:

Google

投资于机器人: The future is here investing in robotics

One of the most popular businesses – Bedford’s iRobot – created the floor-cleaning disc Roomba. Another company, Boston Dynamics, built a product called LittleDog that scientists are using to “probe fundamental relationships among motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the environment and rough terrain locomotion,” according to its YouTube page. – See more at: http://www.kahnlitwin.com/blogs/daily-news-blog/robotics-companies-prime-investing-opportunities-for-venture-capital-firms-#sthash.oSd8Mjbt.dpufgineering company that specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation.

These and other companies may be in need of technology consulting services. For example, Liquid Robotics of California recently completed a $22 million round of financing that included minor investments from an oilfield services company and Stanford University, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company is currently valued at $70 million.
– See more at: http://www.kahnlitwin.com/blogs/daily-news-blog/robotics-companies-prime-investing-opportunities-for-venture-capital-firms-#sthash.oSd8Mjbt.dpuf

Google is joining the growing list of companies investing in military technology. On Friday, the Internet giant bought Boston Dynamics, a company known for developing animal-like robots that can outrun even the world’s fastest man.

谷歌加盟公司投资于军事技术的越来越多。上周五,互联网巨头买下波士顿动力公司,该公司称开发动物般的机器人,可以逃脱即使是世界上跑得最快的人。

Source;

Seeking Alpha

 

IRBT-A provider of mobile robots for the consumer market, including the iRobot-LE home robot,
Prev Close: 44.48
Open: 44.30
Bid: 41.06 x 500
Ask: 41.10 x 200
1y Target Est: 41.00
Beta: 1.82
Next Earnings Date: 22-Apr-14IRBT Earnings announcement
Day’s Range: 40.41 – 44.89
52wk Range: 21.13 – 46.99
Volume: 1,106,384
Avg Vol (3m): 993,657
Market Cap: 1.18B
P/E (ttm): 43.72
EPS (ttm): 0.94
Div & Yield: N/A (N/A

Boston Dynamics is an enVenture capital firms in Boston may want to pay attention to the increased number of robotics firms in the state, according to the Boston Business Journal. There are at least 60 known robotics companies in Massachusetts, as reported by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

The company began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where National Academy of Engineering member Marc Raibert and his colleagues first developed robots that ran and maneuvered like animals. They founded the company in 1992, and their ground-breaking work continues to inspire several of the company’s activities.

Today the company creates a variety of innovative robots, including BigDog, a quadruped robot for travel on rough-terrain, PETMAN, an anthropomorphic robot for testing equipment, RISE, a robot that climbs vertical surfaces, SquishBot, a shape-changing chemical robot that moves through tight space, and many others.

Co Founder

El oro y la creencia más allá del petróleo dioses muertos ‘: John D. Rockefeller

John-D-Rockefeller

This is a rare example of how principle,business and investing can work. It is the secret behind Warren Buffet and some of the top Hedge Fund Managers. It is not about the money Warren Buffett quoted in speech to his company before others could speak his words. John D. Rockefeller was one of the best examples of this:

John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American business magnate and philanthropist. He was a co-founder of theStandard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry, and along with other key contemporary industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie, defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he co-founded Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897.

In spite of his father’s absences and frequent family moves, young John was a well-behaved, serious, and studious boy. His contemporaries described him as reserved, earnest, religious, methodical, and discreet. He was an excellent debater and expressed himself precisely. He also had a deep love of music and dreamed of it as a possible career.Early on, he displayed an excellent mind for numbers and detailed accounting.

His father, William Avery Rockefeller, was a “pitch man” — a “doctor” who claimed he could cure cancers and charged up to $25 a treatment. He was gone for months at a time traveling around the West from town to town and would return to wherever the family was living with substantial sums of cash. His mother, Eliza Davison Rockefeller, was very religious and very disciplined. She taught John to work, to save, and to give to charities.

std-oil

By the age of 12, he had saved over $50 from working for neighbors and raising some turkeys for his mother. At the urging of his mother, he loaned a local farmer $50 at 7% interest payable in one year. When the farmer paid him back with interest the next year Rockefeller was impressed and said of it in 1904: “The impression was gaining ground with me that it was a good thing to let the money be my servant and not make myself a slave to the money…”

From 1852 Rockefeller attended Owego Academy in Owego, New York, where the family had moved in 1851. Rockefeller excelled at mental arithmetic and was able to solve difficult arithmetic problems in his head — a talent that would be very useful to him throughout his business career. In other subjects Rockefeller was an average student but the quality of the education was very high.

In 1853, the Rockefellers moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and John attended high school from 1853 to 1855. He was very good at math and was on the debating team. The school encouraged public speaking and even though Rockefeller was only average, it was a skill that would prove to useful to him.

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It was the logic of this competitive structure that determined Rockefeller and Flagler’s course of action.

  1. They built high-quality, larger, better-planned refineries. They built permanent facilities using the best materials available.
  2. They owned their own cooperage (barrel making) plant, their own white-oak timber and drying facilities, and bought their own hoop iron. Consequently, they cut the cost of a barrel from about $3.00 to less than $1.50.
  3. They manufactured their own sulfuric acid (which was used in the purification process) and devised technology to recover it for re-use.
  4. They owned their own drayage service, consisting of at least 20 wagons in 1868.
  5. They owned their own warehouses in New York City and their own boats on the Hudson and East Rivers to transport their oil.
  6. They were the first to ship oil via tank cars (albeit big wooden tubs mounted in pairs on flat cars — later to evolve into the modern form of a tank car). And they owned their own fleet of tank cars.
  7. They built huge holding tanks near their refineries for storing crude and refined oil, with the equipment for drawing off the oil from the tank cars into the holding tanks.
  8. Their huge size made it economical to build the necessary physical plant to handle all the “waste” products from the refining of kerosene. They began manufacturing high quality lubricating oil that quickly replaced lard oil as a lubricant for machinery. Gasoline, which many refiners surreptitiously dumped into the Cuyahoga River at night (the river often caught fire), Rockefeller and Flagler used as fuel. They manufactured benzene (used as a cleaning fluid; a solvent for fat, gums, and resin; and to make varnish), paraffin (insoluble in water, used for making candles, waterproofing paper, preservative coatings, etc.), and petrolatum (used as a basis for ointments and as a protective dressing; as a local application in inflammation of mucous membrane; as an intestinal lubricant, etc. — white petrolatum later marketed under the brand name Vaseline). They shipped naphtha (volatile inflammable liquid used as a solvent in dry cleaning and in wax preparations, varnish and paint making, burning fluid for illumination, and as a fuel for motors) to gas plants and other users.

 

 

Una habilidad para cortar diamantes: Top stock picks part 1

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Kimberly Scott 
Waddell & Reed New Concepts

Ticker: (HAIN)
Category: Health & nutrition

Burgeoning trends at a reasonable price. That’s Kimberly Scott’s philosophy. Her Waddell & Reed New Concepts Fund (UNECX) has averaged 11.5% returns over the past decade, better than 95% of its peers, and these days she favors Hain Celestial. The case starts with the exploding appeal of the kind of natural and organic foods the company sells. It ain’t just Whole Foods (WFMFortune 500) either, she notes; traditional grocers are devoting more shelf space to the category. Plus, Scott says, Hain has been smart about adding innovative brands like the British baby-food maker Ella’s Kitchen, acquired in May, to its existing lineup. (Wal-Mart (WMTFortune 500) began stocking Ella’s squeezable pouches at its 4,000 U.S. stores last month.) Hain’s earnings have been mounting at close to 40% for the past three years, and analysts project another three to five years of 15% EPS increases. What’s more, Scott says, Hain Celestial is the “rare” growth company with a focus on squeezing productivity and profits from its manufacturing operations and supply chain. The upshot: Her “conservative” projections have the stock, currently trading around $85, reaching $135 in the next four years. –S.M.

Don Yacktman 
Yacktman/Yacktman Focused

Ticker: (PEPFortune 500)
Category: Consumer

Slow and steady has always been the recipe for Don Yacktman’s world-beating results. (His $13.5 billion namesake (YACKX) and $11.7 billion Focused Fund (YAFFX)have both returned about 11% a year for a decade, crushing the S&P (SPX) by 3.2 percentage points a year.) His strategy: Buy great companies when they’re out of favor and hold them, more or less forever. With the market regularly hitting new highs, Yacktman and son and co-manager Stephen are craving comfort food. “We’re focused on defense more than offense,” Stephen says, and PepsiCo promises just about the best “risk-adjusted” returns out there. Between dividends and stock buybacks, the company is paying shareholders 4.5% to 5% in cash. Add in anticipated growth from price increases and 2% to 3% unit volume increases and you can expect to earn 9% to 10%, Stephen argues. Given Pepsi’s stranglehold on the snack-food aisle and its forward thinking about healthy alternatives, that return won’t be nibbled away over time. “Think of it like buying an undervalued triple-A bond,” says Don. “It’s not very exciting, but that’s the point: You sleep at night when the wind blows.” –S.M.

source:

money.cnn.com

Dinero del Cielo: Investing in Facebook

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Facebook (FB) just bought WhatsApp, paying $16bn in cash and stock and $3bn in RSUs. WhatsApp has 450m active users, of which 72% are active every day. It has just 32 engineers. And its users share 500m photos a day, which is almost certainly more than Facebook.

This is interesting in all sorts of ways – it illustrates most of the key trends in consumer tech today in one deal. First, it shows the continued determination of Facebook to be the ‘next’ Facebook. It’s striking to compare the aggressive reaction to disruption shown by Google (GOOG), Facebook and other leading web companies today with how some of their predecessors a decade ago stumbled and lost their way.

  • Smartphone apps can access your address book, bypassing the need to rebuild your social graph on a new service
  • They can access your photo library, where uploading photos to different websites is a pain
  • They can use push notifications instead of relying on emails and on people bothering to check multiple websites
  • Crucially, they all get an icon on the home screen.

Facebook is setting its sights on its next five billion users — even if they don’t yet have Internet access.

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Called Internet.org, the social network has joined forces with Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Ericsson and others to bring web access to the five billion people, primarily in developing countries, that don’t own smartphones or have access to affordable connectivity.

“There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”

According to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals report, 2.7 billion people or 39 percent of the world’s population will be on the Internet before the end of 2013.

In a proposal entitled “Is Connectivity a Human Right?” Zuckerberg lays out his plans for the organization and its solutions to equipping the rest of the world with the tools to connect with each other and gain access to the world’s greatest repository of information. The “rough plan” focuses on spreading connectivity through mobile devices with three main “levers.”

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The Internet.org announcement comes just a few months after Google’s announcement of its Project Loon, which aims to bring connectivity to the rest of the world through Internet-equipped balloons. Announced in June, Google has begun testing the balloons in New Zealand and more recently in Northern California. Just this month Bill Gates criticized the project, saying that fighting malaria was more important.

Is internet access a fundamental human right? Facebook and a coalition of six major telecom companies believe it is.

On Tuesday night, they revealed Internet.org — a global partnership that wants to put the web’s vast trove of knowledge at the fingertips of every man, woman, and child around the world.

Today, just over one-third of Earth’s population has access to the internet, which means 4 billion to 5 billion others are unplugged. Facebook thinks we can do better.

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Joined by major communications providers like Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Ericsson, the global initiative will focus on three key challenges in developing countries:

1. Make access affordable. The organization believes this can be accomplished by developing lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones.

2. Use data more efficiently. The goal here is to develop better apps and compression tools to handle data more effectively. Facebook, for example, wants to lower its Android app’s data rate from the current 12 megabytes a day down to just one.

3. Have businesses drive local access. Facebook says this “includes testing new models that align incentives for mobile operators, device manufacturers, developers and other businesses to provide more affordable access than has previously been possible.”

“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to connect,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says in a statement. “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy. Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”

The effort is just the latest example of a major technology firm seeking to shuttle potential growth opportunities under a humanitarian banner. It’s “a reflection of how tech companies are trying to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth by attracting customers beyond saturated markets in the United States and Europe,” says Vindu Goel at the New York Times, “even if they have to help build services and some of the infrastructure in poorer, less digitally sophisticated parts of the world.” (Facebook growth has largely stalled in existing markets at just over 1.1 billion users.)

Sources:

Seeking Alpha

abcnews.go.com

El emperador de Oro: Carlos Slim King of Mexico

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Carlos Slim

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Carlos Slim Helú  is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world, but that position has been regained by Bill Gates. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerateGrupo Carso, SA de CV, have amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance. Presently, Slim is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmexand América Móvil.

Carlos Slim Helú studied Civil Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (known by its Spanish acronym UNAM) School of Engineering, where he also taught Algebra and Linear Programming while studying for his degree, meaning that he was both a student and professor.

In 1965, when he was only 25 years old, he began to build the foundations of Grupo Carso. Inmobiliaria Carso was incorporated in January 1966, three months before marrying Soumaya Domit Gemayel, hence the name Carso, which is a combination of the first three letters of Carlos and the first two letters of Soumaya.

Since the 1980s he has been a noted businessman in various industrial, real estate and commercial fields. In 1982, which was a critical time in the history of Mexico with the debt crisis, nationalization of the banking system and the country’s finances nearly paralyzed, Carlos Slim and his Grupo Carso decided to invest heavily and actively. They made diverse investments and acquisitions during this period, one of which was Cigatam, which turned out to be the first and most important because of its cash flow, providing the Group with sufficient liquidity to capitalize on available opportunities and thereby increase itsacquisitions of big companies, including: Hulera el Centenario, Bimex, Hoteles Calinda (today, OSTAR Grupo Hotelero) and Reynolds Aluminio. Some time later the purchase of Seguros de México was closed, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa was formed by integrating Casa de Bolsa Inversora Bursátil, Seguros de México and Fianzas La Guardiana. By 1985, Grupo Carso acquired control of Artes Gráficas Unidas, Fábricas de Papel Loreto y Peña Pobre, and also a majority stake in Sanborns and its affiliate Dennys. In 1986 Minera FRISCO and Empresas Nacobre were acquired, as well as their affiliates, and control of the Euzkadi tire company, the market leader at the time, was also acquired, as was a majority stake in General Tire some years later.

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1. He’s the first ‘World’s Richest’ man from a developing nation
2009 was good to the super-rich in poorer nations: Brazil and Russia each doubled their billionaire counts; and China’s new total (64 billionaires) ranks second only to the America. Slim, as an owner of more than 220 companies in telecommunications, banking, railways, and restaurants (to name a few), saw his fortune swell by $18.5 billion last year.

2. In Mexico, Slim is “Mr. Monopoly”
The Wall Street Journal once quipped that “it’s hard to spend a day in Mexico and not put money in [Slim’s] pocket.” You can barely make a call without doing so: Slim’s phone company Telmex — snapped up on the cheap in 1990 — controls 80 percent of the landlines; its subsidiary América Móbil handles 70 percent of the cell service.

3. He bailed out The New York Times
In addition to owning 6.9 percent of The New York Times Company, Slim loaned the struggling publisher $250 million last year, essentially saving it from financial ruin. Recently, rumors that Slim might buy a controlling stock in the company caused its shares to jump. Slim, however, denies the stories.

4. He loves baseball
While soccer remains Mexico’s most popular sport, Slim has an avid affinity for baseball — especially the New York Yankees. In 1998, he penned an article for a Mexico City magazine about obscure historical baseball figures. And he once agreed to a USA Today interview under the condition that the journalist pass along Slim’s suggestion for “improving” the newspaper’s box scores to his editor.

5. In the U.S., he’d be a “trillionaire”
Carlos Slim’s net worth is equivalent to about 7 percent of Mexico’s GDP.  For Bill Gates to have the same grip on the U.S. economy, says Brian Winter in Foreign Policy, he would have to be worth “909 billion” and own “Alcoa, Phillip Morris, Sears, Best Buy, TGIFriday’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Marriott, Citibank, and JetBlue.”

6. He’s from a Lebanese family
Julian Slim Haddad, Carlos’s father, immigrated to Mexico from Lebanon in 1902 to escape military conscription. He eventually created highly successful import and real estate businesses worth millions. The family of Carlos’ mother, also from Lebanon, settled in Mexico City at the end of the 19th century.

7. He’s famously frugal 
From a young age, Slim has practiced legedary financial restraint. He still lives in the same modest 6-bedroom home where he’s resided for the past three decades. His cramped bedroom is “the size of a Manhattan hotel room.” And, despite the prevalence of kidnappings in Mexico, Carlos Slim still drives himself to work.

Sources:

Forbes

theweek.com

金の王: New Rulers of Wallstreet

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Peter Thiel

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Peter Thiel has gone from successful entrepreneur to super successful venture investor. The PayPal cofounder was Facebook’s first professional investor, giving Mark Zuckerberg and his hoodied cohorts a $500,000 check in 2004 in return for more than 10% of the company. Thiel still sits on Facebook’s board, but sold most of his stake in the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social networking company following its May 2012 IPO. His various venture firms include Founders Fund, whose stated goal is to invest in companies that can affect dramatic technological change. To that end, Founders Fund has backed rocket builder SpaceX and CIA-backed data-mining software company, Palantir, where he is also a cofounder. Ideological to the point of eccentricity, Thiel believes technology rarely repeats itself: “There’s a sense in which technology is, by definition, non-repetitive. And every moment in technological history only happens once.” As Palantir chairman, Thiel has personally invested $40 million in the Palo Alto, Calif. firm. FORBES estimates that he controls more than 12% of the company. Thiel has long maintained that Palantir could be just as valuable as Facebook. “There’s Google, then Facebook-which is search for people-and then there’s Palantir, which can help institutions search through their massive reams of data,” he told FORBES. He is up $400 million this year because of new revelations regarding his Palantir holdings.

 

Ray Dalio

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After completing his education, Dalio worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and invested in commodity futures.[6] He later worked as the Director of Commodities at Dominick & Dominick LLC.[7] In 1974, he became a futures trader and broker at Shearson Hayden Stone.[6] In 1975, he founded the Westport, Connecticut based investment management firm, Bridgewater Associates which in 2012 became the largest hedge fund in the world with nearly $120 billion in assets under management.[6]

In 2007, Ray Dalio predicted the global financial crisis[8] and in 2008 published an essay, “How the Economic Machine Works; A Template for Understanding What is Happening Now”,[9] which explained his model for the economic crisis. He self-published a 123 page volume called Principles, in 2011, which outlined his logic and personal philosophy for investments and corporate management based on a lifetime of observation, analysis and practical application through his hedge fund.[10][11][12] In 2013 Dalio began sharing his “investment secrets” and economic theories onYou Tube via a 30 minute animated video which he narrates, called How The Economic Machine Works.[13]

John Paulson

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While assets under management at Paulson & Co. are down to $18 billion from $36 billion in early 2011, John Paulson’s hedge funds are performing well in 2013 thanks to bets on stocks like MGM Resorts and Aetna. Through the first six months of the year, the firm’s Credit Opportunities fund rose 11.2% net of fees, its Enhanced fund returned 15.6% and its Recovery fund produced a 25.2% return.  However, because a significant portion of his personal investments in Paulson & Co. funds are gold denominated, Paulson’s return on his own capital was more measured, as gold sank through the first half of the year. In an unusual deal for his firm, the outfit won a bid in August to take piano maker Steinway private for $512 million. Paulson, who will always be remembered for making billions shorting subprime mortgage securities in 2007, now appears to like real estate; one of his funds picked up 875 acres in Las Vegas in 2012.

Age: 58
Source Of Wealth: hedge funds, Self Made
Residence: New York, NY
Citizenship: United States
Marital Status: Married
Children