Monday, 22 November 2010

Airlines fares.

Airlines find new route to profitability: fees for baggage, meals and other services. Casey Wian reports.

unbundling: The separate pricing of goods and services.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Quiz: Signs in English.

Brazilian Billionaire Eike Batista Reportedly Wants An Apple Computer Factory

Brazilian Billionaire Eike Batista Reportedly Wants An Apple Computer Factory.
Nov. 19 2010

Eike Batista, Brazil’s richest man and by Forbes’ count the world’s 8th richest person, is trending on Twitter today. Why? The most likely reason: He told Brazilian business magazine Exame that he wants to build an Apple computer factory in Brazil. Whether that will come to pass is hard to say. Given the enormously valuable oil and gas empire that Batista has built in recent years, he might just have a chance.
But Apple keeps a tight lid on its suppliers. Whether Apple and those suppliers can be convinced to open shop in Brazil is likely at the heart of the issue.

Batista told Exame that he had begun having conversations with two Asian suppliers to Apple. A couple of things are driving these talks: 1) The very high price that Brazilians have to pay for iPads –Batista told Exame that Brazilians pay two and a half times more for iPads (presumably in comparison to what we pay in the U.S.) 2) Batista’s own business interest. He’s got a logistics company called LLX that has a campus north of Rio de Janeiro with space for a factory.
Batista acknowledged to Exame that Apple would have to approve the deal. I don’t know whether Batista has met Steve Jobs or not, but he appears to have absorbed some of the Steve Jobs casual black fashion sense: he’s got a sort of Steve-Jobs-like outfit on (if you don’t count the blazer) in the Exame photo.

Batista is keen on building up Brazil as a country while he builds his own businesses. When asked recently by Forbes to pick the 7 most powerful people in South America, 6 of those he picked were Brazilians, as my colleague Keren Blankfeld points out. Adding Apple factories to his portfolio would certainly raise Batista’s stature –and Brazil’s consumer electronics profile.


Watch the video: 'Brazil's richest man builds port.' here, please.

Luxury Brands Draw Crowds at Vienna Fair

"Luxury, Please," a Viennese fair dedicated to all things costly and luxurious celebrates its fifth anniversary this weekend, showcasing brands such as Rolls Royce, Donna Karan and Ferrari

Vending machines.

CNN's Nadia Bilchik talks about a vending machine in Tokyo that uses face recognition technology.

Movie tip: The kids are all right.

A tip for the weekend: The kids are all right.
Don't miss it! Gripping, moving, funny and intelligent!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The gene for zzzzzzz.

The Gene for Zzzzzzzz

9 November 2010

The genetics of sleep. DNA may determine why some individuals sleep longer than others.

Many of us are zombies without 8 hours of sleep, while envied others seem to get by just fine on much less. Now geneticists have found the first gene in the general population that seems to influence how much sleep we need.

Sleep interests biologists in part because it varies with other factors, such as weight, that make people more prone to diabetes or heart disease. (The larger a person's body mass index, the less they generally sleep.) In search of sleep genes, a group of European researchers studied populations in seven countries, from Estonia to Italy, for a total of 4260 subjects. Each one filled out a simple questionnaire asking about his or her sleep habits and donated a DNA sample. The researchers then scanned the participants' DNA for thousands of genetic markers, looking for ones that were more common in people who slept more than those who slept less.

Sleep duration correlated strongly with a single genetic marker in a gene called ABCC9.
The ABCC9 gene codes for a protein called SUR2 that is part of a potassium channel, a structure that funnels potassium ions into and out of cells.

ABCC9 is the first gene with such a strong association with sleep duration detected in the general population. Allebrandt says that because the SUR2 protein is also involved in heart disease and diabetes, the finding that it impacts sleep should also interest researchers working on those diseases.


Apple Approves Google Voice App for iPhone

Apple approved a Google Internet phone application for use on the iPhone, more than a year after an initial rejection of the app led to scrutiny by federal regulators. Amir Efrati discusses. Also, Katie Boehret discusses the new Nook Color, which offers smart ways to share your books with friends.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Quiz: Replies - Social Expressions in English.

How to avoid a possible currency war.

CNN's Felicia Taylor takes a closer look at the looming currency battle and how some economists want to fix it.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

15 years of Harry Potter.

As the 7th film hits theaters, CNN's Becky Anderson takes a look at the lucrative "Harry Potter" franchise.

Who's buying luxury?

As CNN's Felicia Taylor finds out, high-end goods are now making a comeback.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ultra-Luxury Boats on Display in Florida.

There are yachts, and then there are Yachts. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show showcased more than a thousand of the biggest, most luxurious skiffs of the seas at prices of up to $82 million... or a mere $650,000 a week. WSJ's Judy Reich reports.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Is QE2 a good idea?

CNN's Richard Quest talks to former Bank of England adviser David Blanchflower about the U.S. Fed's actions.

China, Germany and South Africa criticise US stimulus.

5 November 2010.

China, Germany and South Africa criticise US stimulus.

The US central bank hopes that the move could boost the US economy's recovery .
Germany, China, Brazil and South Africa have criticised US plans to pump $600bn (£373bn) into the US economy.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the US policy was "clueless" and would create "extra problems for the world".
The US Federal Reserve could weaken the US dollar and hurt exports to America.
China's Central Bank head Zhou Xiaochuan urged global currency reforms, while South Africa said developing countries would suffer most. He did not elaborate how the system should be changed.
The US policy "undermines the spirit of multilateral co-operation that G20 leaders have fought so hard to maintain during the current crisis," he said.
The heads of state and government of the G20 group of the world's leading nations is due to meet in a week in South Korea, with currencies and trade imbalances high on the agenda.
The US central bank announced on Wednesday that it would spend $600bn to buy government bonds, in the hope that the cash injection can kickstart the country's economy.
However, this weakens the dollar, making imports from around the world more expensive for US consumers.
"If the domestic policy is optimal policy for the United States alone, but at the same time it is not an optimal policy for the world, it may bring a lot of negative impact to the world," said Mr Zhou.
China's Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said the Federal Reserve had the right to take steps without consulting other countries beforehand, but added: "They owe us some explanation."
Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on German television that "with all due respect, US policy is clueless."
"It is not that the Americans have not pumped enough liquidity into the market and now to say let's pump more into the market is not going to solve their problems."
He added that the German government was going to hold bilateral talks with US officials and also discuss the topic at the G20 summit in Seoul next week.
On Thursday, Brazil's finance minister Guido Mantega had warned that the Fed's move would hurt Brazil and other exporters.
The latest move by the Fed has been dubbed QE2 as it follows the central bank's decision to pump $1.75tn into the economy.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cartoon of the day.

Quote of the day.

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."

by Albert Einstein

Exercise can prevent a cold.

2 November 2010.

Exercise 'can prevent a cold', a study shows.

People who exercise regularly are less likely to get a cold, researchers say.
A study of 1,000 people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of catching cold viruses and, failing that, made the infection less severe.
Experts told the British Journal of Sports Medicine that this could be because exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs.
But you may not have to actually do much exercise - those who merely think they are fit enjoy the same lower risk.

Adults can expect to suffer two to five colds per year. This latest research suggests there are lifestyle choices you can make to improve your odds of either avoiding them, or suffering too badly from them.

For their study, US researchers asked the healthy volunteers to keep a record of any coughs and sniffles they experienced over a three-month period during the autumn and winter.
The volunteers were also asked to say how frequently in any given week they would do exercise lasting at least 20 minutes and intensive enough to break a sweat. And they were questioned about lifestyle, diet and recent stressful events, as these can all affect a person's immune system.

Being older, male and married seemed to reduce the frequency of colds, as did eating plenty of fruit.
But the most significant factors that cut colds was how much exercise a person did and how fit they perceived themselves to be.

Feeling fit and being active cut the risk of having a cold by nearly 50%.

People who were physically active on five or more days of the week were unwell with a cold for about five days of the three-month period, compared to nine days for those who did little or no exercise. And even when they were ill, they suffered less with their symptoms.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: "This is yet more evidence for doing exercise. It reflects what we have believed for some time.

"Exercise makes us feel better and now here's more evidence that it is good for us."

Tips for fighting off a cold from members of the public and BBC Breakfast's Dr Rosemary:


Mossberg: New MacBook Airs Feel Like an iPad

Walt Mossberg tests two new MacBook Air laptops and finds they really do offer the different, more iPad-like experience that Apple claims they do. But if you're a heavy-duty user, who needs lots of power and file storage they may be too lightweight.

Pandora wants to be in your car.

Founder Tim Westergren talks about integrating his online radio station into car stereos and how mobile apps have grown his business.

Marijuana legal in California?

Californians head to the polls to decide whether to make pot legal for recreational use. CNN's Ted Rowlands reports.

Telecoms in emerging markets.

Mobile phones not only connect the developing world, they also make it richer.


It is more dominant than ever. But the competition within television is brutal.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Quiz: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

Face2Face Intermediate - Past Simple or Present Perfect?

Face2Face Upper-Intermediate: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

Drunkorexia: Swapping Food for Booze

College Students Are Skipping Meals In Order To Drink More Alcohol. Health Officials Fear The Practice Is Encouraging Eating Disorders.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

Alcohol is the most harmful drug.

Study: Alcohol 'most harmful drug,' followed by crack and heroin

The study uses a new scale to rank the harmfulness of 20 drugs.
Alcohol is the most harmful overall, according to panelists.

London, England (CNN) -- Alcohol ranks "most harmful" among a list of 20 drugs -- beating out crack and heroin -- according to study results released by a British medical journal.

A panel of experts weighed the physical, psychological and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet Sunday.
Using a new scale to evaluate harms to individual users and others, alcohol received a score of 72 on a scale of 1 to 100, the study says. That makes it almost three times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco, according to the article, which is slated to be published on The Lancet's website Monday and in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals, the study says, while alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others.

Panelists also noted that the rankings confirm other studies that say that "aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy."

"Overall, alcohol is the most harmful drug because it's so widely used.

"Crack cocaine is more addictive than alcohol but because alcohol is so widely used there are hundreds of thousands of people who crave alcohol every day, and those people will go to extraordinary lengths to get it."
He said it was important to separate harm to individuals and harm to society.

The Lancet paper written by Prof Nutt, Dr King and Dr Lawrence Phillips, does not examine the harm caused to users by taking more than one drug at a time.
Gavin Partington, spokesman for the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said millions of people enjoyed alcohol "as part of a regular and enjoyable social drink".


Etiquette classes.

CNN's Alina Cho looks at the increased popularity of etiquette classes.

Leisure-time exercise reduces depression risk.

Leisure-time exercise 'reduces depression risk'

The fact that people get more enjoyment from exercising during their leisure time is key .

People who take regular exercise during their free time are less likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety, a study of 40,000 Norwegians has found.
But physical activity which is part of the working day does not have the same effect, it suggests.
Writing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the researchers said it was probably because there was not the same level of social interaction.

The charity Mind said that exercise and interaction aids our mental health.
Higher levels of social interaction during leisure time were found to be part of the reason for the link.
Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London teamed up with academics from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Bergen in Norway to conduct the study.

Participants were asked how often, and to what degree, they undertook physical activity in their leisure time and during the course of their work.
Researchers also measured participants' depression and anxiety using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. People who were not active in their leisure time were almost twice as likely to have symptoms of depression compared to the most active individuals, the study found.

But the intensity of the exercise did not seem to make any difference.

Lead researcher Dr Samuel Harvey, from the Institute of Psychiatry, said: "Our study shows that people who engage in regular leisure-time activity of any intensity are less likely to have symptoms of depression.
"We also found that the context in which activity takes place is vital and that the social benefits associated with exercise, like increased numbers of friends and social support, are more important in understanding how exercise may be linked to improved mental health than any biological markers of fitness.

"This may explain why leisure activity appears to have benefits not seen with physical activity undertaken as part of a working day."
Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said that lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise are known to have a positive impact on mental well-being.
"Exercise gives you a natural high and is a great way to boost your mood. However, another mental health benefit of physical activity is derived from social interaction.

"So going out with a running club, taking part in a team sport or working on a communal allotment is far better for your mental well-being than a physically demanding job.

"Mind has found that after just a short country walk 90% of people had increased self-esteem," Mr Farmer said.


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