Tuesday, October 18, 2011

RIM unveils software system for BlackBerry, PlayBook

"We’re giving developers the tools they need to build richer applications, and we’re providing direction on how to best develop their smartphone and tablet apps as the BlackBerry and QNX platforms converge into our next generation BBX platform," RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a speech opening the four-day event.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Murdoch’s Sky closer to Australia TV tender win-report

The extension of the tender in July coincided with the mobile phone hacking scandal sweeping over the Australian-born Murdoch’s News Corp. empire in Britain and a row with Australia’s Labor government over alleged political bias in reporting.The Australian newspaper, owned by Murdoch, said the independent panel, made up of Treasury, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Communications department bureaucrats, had recommended the overseas service be taken from the public-funded ABC and awarded to Sky News.The Sky News Australia bid was thought superior by the four-member panel because of the network’s plans to establish special programming for services to China and the Middle East, the paper said.Sky News Australia is a 24-hour cable and satellite news channel, with Murdoch owning a third through his stake in BSkyB, along with Australia’s Seven West Media Ltd. and the private equity-owned Nine Entertainment Co.A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy declined to comment, saying the tender process was still open.Conroy, who will decide on the tender, can now ask for more information from the panel before taking the issue to Prime Minister Julia’s Gillard’s cabinet with his recommendation.Conroy was earlier this year critical of News Corp’s Australian arm, News Ltd, accusing it of biased treatment targeting the minority Labor government. News Ltd, which denied the allegations, controls 70 percent of Australia’s newspaper readership market.($1 = 0.969 Australian Dollars)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

UPDATE 1-Buffett tells congressman he paid $6.9 mln taxes

By Ben BerkowitzOct 12 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett paid $6.9 million in federal income taxes in 2010, the billionaire investor said in a letter to a Kansas congressman that adds fuel to the debate over his proposal for higher taxes on the rich.The figure represent 17.4 percent of his $39.8 million in taxable income, a percentage he has repeatedly said is too low compared to what his own staff pays.Buffett caused an uproar in August when he said the wealthy should be subject to a higher rate of tax. The White House has co-opted his call into a “Buffett Rule” that would raise levies on the richest people.Following Buffett’s suggestion, Republican congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas sent the “Oracle of Omaha” a letter in late September calling on him to release his tax returns.Huelskamp sent Buffett a second letter reiterating the request earlier this month, and promising to release his own returns if Buffett would as well.Buffett, the chief executive of the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway , responded in kind on Tuesday, according to a copy of the letter. Buffett did not release his full return, though, as many have called for him to do.In the letter, Buffett reiterated what he saw as the inequality of his paying a rate in the teens when most people who work for him pay a rate in the 30 percent range.But what he told Huelskamp he also wanted was for other ultra-wealthy Americans to release their own returns — in full, rather than the limited data Buffett himself shared.”If you could get other ultra rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform,” Buffett said. “I stand ready and willing - indeed eager - to participate in this exercise.”Buffett went on to suggest a method to get reticent moguls to release their returns, among them Rupert Murdoch, whom he has repeatedly challenged on the subject.”Having the ‘favored 400’ make their tax returns public - even if only code letters were attached to the various returns - would be a big step in informing legislators and the public of what needs to be done,” Buffett wrote.Huelskamp, in a statement Wednesday, slammed Buffett’s letter as inadequate and again called on him to either release his full returns or voluntarily give more tax money to the federal government.”Mr. Buffett still refuses to release his tax returns. What he does disclose may be accurate, but it is incomplete and it fails to explain how he shelters millions of dollars in income from taxation,” Huelskamp said.