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

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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

未来的国王:Top little known Hedge Funds

bridgewater-associates

Bridgewater manages approximately $150 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations. Approximately 1,400 people work at Bridgewater, which is based in Westport, Connecticut.

Founded in 1975 out of a two-bedroom apartment, Bridgewater remains an independent, employee-run organization. Throughout its 39-year history, Bridgewater has been recognized as a top-performing manager and an industry innovator, winning over 40 industry awards in the past five years alone. In both 2010 and 2011, Bridgewater ranked as the largest and best-performing hedge fund manager in the world and in both 2012 and 2013 Bridgewater was recognized for having earned its clients more than any other hedge fund in the history of the industry. Its clients and employees routinely give Bridgewater top satisfaction ratings in annual surveys.

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Management Firm, Location: Blue Harbour Group, U.S.

Strategy: Activist

Assets (in billions): $1.3

YTD Total Return: +19.8%

2012 Return: +16.2%

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/30-most-successful-hedge-funds-of-2013-2014-1?op=1#ixzz2uaE3WWpw

Blue Harbour Group, L.P., a Registered Investment Advisor, is an investment manager focused on investing in undervalued U.S. public companies. Our mandate is to serve as a trusted lead investor, working in a collaborative and supportive manner with companies to identify initiatives to unlock and create shareholder value. We are long term investors with a multi-year investment horizon.

 

Clifton S. Robbins is the Chief Executive Officer and Portfolio Manager of Blue Harbour Group, L.P. and has been an investor for over twenty-five years. Prior to founding Blue Harbour Group in 2004, Mr. Robbins had been a Managing Member of General Atlantic Partners, LLC. Prior to joining General Atlantic Partners in 2000, Mr. Robbins had been a General Partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. which he joined in 1987. Mr. Robbins began his career in Mergers & Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley & Co. in 1980.

 

Mr. Robbins is complemented by a team of senior professionals responsible for generating investment ideas, developing relationships with management teams, performing research and due diligence on prospective investments, and monitoring portfolio investments. The team consists of professionals with experience ranging from six to fifteen years in the areas of corporate finance, private and public market investing.

blue_harbor

INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Blue Harbour’s approach to investing in the public markets is similar in many respects to private equity investors. In this regard, Blue Harbour’s investment approach seeks to add value by working collaboratively with company management to design and to implement strategic initiatives that unlock and create shareholder value. We focus on U.S. public companies that could create significant value by implementing strategic or financial change. Much like private equity investors, a critical component of our strategy is to support superior management teams who are committed to creating value for shareholders. Importantly, unlike private equity investors, Blue Harbour’s mandate to invest in publicly traded securities affords us the advantages of not paying control premiums nor are we subject to the illiquidity and leverage of private equity models.

  • We source investment opportunities primarily through publicly traded markets but can also buy equity stakes directly from the issuer if appropriate
  • We acquire a significant minority stake and become a lead shareholder
  • We acquire our positions at the public market price instead of by auctions
  • We collaborate with company management on critical strategic and financial issues

 HT Capital Management – Hong Kong

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AP Images

Founded: 1997

AUM: $673.2 million

Manager: Ophelia Tong

  • Tong co-founded HT Capital with her husband Karl Hurst.

Strategies: Long Equity

  • HT’s two funds combined to return 6.08% last year.

 

Source:

http://www.htcapital.hk/

http://www.bwater.com/

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

Tierras baldías de titanes muertos: Top stock picks part 2

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Steven Pollack 
John Hancock Disciplined Value Mid Cap

Ticker: (EXPE)
Category: Travel

Steven Pollack has three criteria when selecting a stock. The valuation should be enticing; it should be a quality business with attractive free cash flow and return on capital; and there should be a reason to buy the stock now, such as positive momentum or a catalyst to push the stock price higher. Expedia, the online travel firm, “fits all three,” says Pollack, whoseJohn Hancock Disciplined Value Mid Cap Fund (JVMAX) has a 28.8% average annual return over five years, vs. 27.3% for the S&P’s Midcap 400 index. Expedia trades at 16 times projected 2014 earnings, well below archrival Priceline’s P/E ratio of 22. Expedia reported $740 million in free cash flow during the first nine months of 2013, and revenues are growing at a 15% annual clip. Beyond that, Pollack likes the fact that Expedia andPriceline (PCLNFortune 500) are becoming an oligopoly, which will discourage new competition. Pollack also sees potential catalysts. Expedia holds controlling stakes in Trivago and eLong, popular travel sites in Europe and China, respectively. “Both Trivago and eLong have significant growth opportunities,” Pollack says, “and both could potentially be spun out.” –J.B.

Sarah Ketterer 
Causeway International Value

Ticker: (TKPPY)
Category: France

Sarah Ketterer, manager of the $4.5 billion Causeway International Value Fund(CIVVX), is a fan of energy stocks these days, in part because they’ve lagged. Ketterer, whose fund has averaged 21.2% annual returns over the past five years, vs. 16.3% for its category, blames exaggerated concerns about China for the anemic stock performance: “China is slowing down, but its demand for energy is still very high.” Her favorite stock today is Technip, which lays deepwater oil and gas pipelines. The stock trades at a mere 13 times expected 2014 earnings, which analysts project to gush 27%; Technip also offers a 2.1% dividend yield. The stock has slumped 15% since October, and Ketterer blames guilt by association, as two Technip rivals suffered big earnings disappointments. Deepwater pipe-laying is Technip’s core business, but Ketterer thinks another specialty will provide long-term windfalls. Given the shale gas boom in the U.S., she expects the country will eventually ship liquefied natural gas to Europe. Technip builds plants that convert natural gas to LNG and LNG back to gas. “They’re the best at it in the world,” says Ketterer. –J.B.

Edwin Lugo 
Franklin International Small Cap Growth

Category: Ireland

Green REIT, Ireland’s first-ever real estate investment trust, is a good story. It’s also a brand-new stock with no history, so it helps that the storyteller is a premier manager: Edwin Lugo, whose $1.5 billion Franklin International Small Cap Growth Fund (FINAX)has returned 25.7% a year over the past five years (see chart above), putting it in the top 2% of its foreign stock-fund category. Green REIT is essentially a vulture fund for Irish real estate. Commercial property prices fell 65% during the financial crisis. As a result, the Irish government and various banks ended up holding €76 billion in foreclosed properties and loans. To speed the recovery, Ireland passed a law permitting REITs; in July, Green became the first to launch there. “Banks are not in the business of managing property,” says Lugo, so they’re willing to sell “at a huge discount.” The timing looks excellent. Irish commercial property prices rose in October for the first time since 2007, just as Green made its first purchases at big discounts to U.S. properties. “It’s rare you get a chance to buy real estate at the bottom,” says Lugo, who notes that “the Irish economy is already turning around.” –J.B.

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Jim Moffett 
Scout International

Ticker: (VLKAF)
Category: Germany

Jim Moffett gravitates to out-of-favor stocks, an approach that has delivered an annualized 9.3% for a decade (UMBWX), outperforming the foreign stock index by 1.6 percentage points a year. Lately Moffett’s thinking has driven him to the auto industry. He’s especially optimistic about Volkswagen because the German automaker has been “lagging the pack” while laying the groundwork for a resurgence. The automaker’s recent stall, he says, is partly a reflection of Europe’s woeful economy and partly a result of being “out of sync” with the industry. In particular, he says, VW has lacked broadly appealing high-end offerings in the U.S. Now, though, the European economy is showing hints of improvement, and VW plans to roll out new products next year. Meanwhile, he says, the company is reducing costs with its modularized manufacturing strategy, which he expects to show results in the next year. The upshot, Moffett says: The market will eventually perceive the improvement, and VW’s stock, currently trading at nine times 2013 expected earnings, will catch up to BMW and Daimler, which have P/Es of 10.5 and 11.5, respectively. –S.M.

Brian McMahon 
Thornburg Investment Income Builder

Ticker: (CHL)
Category: China

Long viewed as frumpy, dividend stocks enjoyed a vogue in recent years. The category has waxed and waned, but one thing has remained constant: Brian McMahon’s outperformance. His $16 billion fund (TIBAX) has turned in annualized 10% returns for 10 years, more than two percentage points above results for the S&P 500 and his “world allocation” peers. China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom, follows his template. The stock’s dividend yields 4.3%, and it has grown at 6% annually for the past five years. But there’s more upside. McMahon says investors have punished the stock (which trades as an ADR in the U.S.) because the Chinese government has forced the company to adopt — and invest heavily in — the country’s homegrown 4G technology before it was widely used by the telecom industry. The good news, he says: The technology looks promising and is about to launch. “Soon they’ll have the most spectrum, the most base stations, and the first shot at this great new technology.” The result? He expects the stock, trading at 3.5 times Ebitda, to leap to 4.5 by 2015. That could propel the share price by 40% or more. –S.M.

David Herro 
Oakmark International

Ticker: (CS)
Category: Switzerland

Even as investors fled Europe during its sovereign debt crisis, David Herro placed one of the most audacious contrarian bets in recent history, going all-in on beleaguered French, Spanish, and Italian financials. The result: nearly 40% returns over the past 12 months. (The fund’s (OAKIX) extended record is also superb: 11.3% annualized returns over the past 15 years, vs. 5.0% for MSCI’s EAFE index.) With Europe seemingly off the ledge, Herro now reserves his strongest conviction for Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, which, he says, is at an “inflection point.” Low interest rates and a strong Swiss currency have pushed it to the bottom of its earnings cycle, and the bank has been building reserves to comply with higher post-crisis capital requirements. But those impediments, Herro says, have run their course. The result will be double-digit earnings increases, he says: “Over the coming years it should be able to generate $8 billion in annual operating profits” — four times the current level. To Herro, that makes the company’s forward P/E of 8.8 and price-to-book ratio of 1 look unjustly low. –S.M.

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

Alten Könige: The old kings of Investing

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Philip Fisher

 

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Philip Fisher is the father of investing in growth stocks. He started his own investment firm, Fisher & Company, in 1931, and managed it until his retirement in 1999 at the age of 91. Fisher achieved excellent returns for himself and his clients during his 70 year career.

Fisher focused on investing for the long term. He famously bought Motorola stock in 1955, and held it until his death in 2004. He created a fifteen point list of characteristics to look for in a common stock and were focused on two categories: management’s characteristics and the characteristics of the business. Important qualities for management included integrity, conservative accounting, accessibility and good long-term outlook, openness to change, excellent financial controls, and good personnel policies. Important business characteristics would include a growth orientation, high profit margins, high return on capital, a commitment to research and development, superior sales organization, leading industry position and proprietary products or services.

Benjamin Graham

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Benjamin Graham is most widely know for being a teacher and mentor to Warren Buffett. It is important to note, however, that he attained this role because of his work “father of value investing”. He made a lot of money for himself and his clients without taking huge risks in the stock market. He was able to do this because he solely used financial analysis to successfully invest in stocks. He was also instrumental in many elements of the Securities Act of 1933, which required public companies to disclose independently audited financial statements. Graham also stressed having a margin of safety in one’s investments – which meant buying well below a conservative valuation of a business.

George Soros

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George Soros is most commonly known as the man who “broke the Bank of England”. In September 1992, he risked $10 billion on a single trade when he shorted the British Pound. He was right, and in a single day made over $1 billion. It is estimated that the total trade netted almost $2 billion. He is also famous for running his Quantum Fund, which generated an average annual return of more than 30% while he was the lead manager.

Soros focuses on identifying broad macro-economic trends into highly leveraged plays in bonds and commodities. Soros is the odd-man out in the Top 10 Greatest Investors, has he doesn’t have a clearly defined strategy, more of a speculative strategy that came from his gut.