24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — September 19, 2012: Markets Get Lift from Housing News (MON, WM, BRCM, ACHN, CLNE, AZO, CRBL, GIS, ADBE, BBBY, JEF, RAD, QCOR, AET, PHM, GRPN)

24/7 Wall St.

The three major U.S. stock indexes opened mixed this morning, taking until mid-morning to rise above the flat line and stay above it for the rest of the day. The initial response to Bank of Japan’s added $125 billion in asset purchase rallied Asian markets, but reality eventually settled in, at least in Europe, where the BoJ’s move was pretty much ignored. Data on existing home sales put some life into the market (more coverage here), but a sharp spike in crude oil inventories hammered the energy sector (more coverage here).

The U.S. dollar index fell today, now down 0.24% at 79.057. The GSCI commodity index is down 1.3% at 670.13, with commodities prices higher today on the weaker greenback. WTI crude oil closed down 3.5% today, at $91.98 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 3.5% at $108.07 a barrel. Natural gas is up 0.1% today to $2.775…

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Adobe Reports Inline, But Forecast is Weak

24/7 Wall St.

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) reported fiscal 2012 third quarter earnings after markets closed today. The software company reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.58 on revenue of $1.08 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.55 on revenue of $1.01 billion. Second-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.58 and $1.1 billion in revenue.

Adobe guided fourth fiscal quarter revenue at $1.075 billion to $1.125 billion and adjusted EPS at $0.53 to $0.58. The company’s guidance assumes the addition of 125,000 new subscribers to its Creative Cloud service.

The company’s guidance fell well short of the consensus estimates. Thomson Reuters had a consensus estimate for EPS of $0.67 on revenue of $1.21 billion.

The company’s president/CEO said:

Customers globally are adopting our new Creative Cloud subscription offering more quickly than we projected. We are…

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How “Personal” Should Writers Get On Social Media?

Kristen Lamb's Blog

The world around us is changing so quickly that most of us struggle to keep up. New paradigms call for new rules and new social norms. What do we keep from the old? What do we add to the new? The common denominator to all this social media technology is the human heart beating in its center, and we are wise to remember this.

Yet, we do run into dilemmas. How much personal information should we reveal? How professional should we be? A lot of experts seem to have conflicting advice, so I am here to clear all of that up…

They are wrong and I am right :D.

Unless these experts are telling you the same things I am, then they are also right and amazingly brilliant and insightful. Odds are they are probably freakishly good-looking, too.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Advice.

I know that writers are encountering…

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YouTube still the king of online video (charts)

Gigaom

As far as online video goes, Google (s goog) is still the one to watch. The company, which owes its video popularity almost entirely to its independent subsidiary YouTube, maintained its lead as the U.S. video property with both the most unique monthly viewers as well as the most engaged viewers, according to data released today by comScore.

Youtube’s viewers on average watched 443 minutes of content, nearly eight times the engagement of video sites for runner up Yahoo. There were no big surprises but a few changes: Grab Media, Inc. entered into the top 10 video sites in viewership, bumping off Turner Digital. Facebook (s fb) dropped both in unique viewers and in minutes viewed, matching No. 10 Amazon with 16 minutes per viewer.

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Why your in-flight Wi-Fi is slow and expensive: It’s all about the pipe

Gigaom

It has been five years since American Airlines first launched Wi-Fi on its domestic flights in the U.S. and, frankly, since that time, Wi-Fi on airplanes is still stuck on the runway. It’s expensive, slow and based on GoGo data, less than 10 percent of flyers even attempt to use the service, even if someone else is paying for it.

But there’s a new promise on the horizon, with a leaked memo showing that JetBlue plans to offer Wi-Fi on planes in 2013 from a new provider, a service that could offer up to 12 Mbps per passenger on a flight thanks to a new type of satellite. But this scenario is unlikely, and understanding why explains why Wi-Fi on planes costs so much and is relatively slow. It also offers lessons on the limits of wireless.

So as entitled as we might feel to the same Wi-Fi experience in…

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Square rivals bank on live customer support to compete

Gigaom

After Square’s early success in mobile payments, rivals latched on to the question of its security. But after Square put most of those concerns to rest, in part by tightening up its approach to security, competitors have changed tactics to focus on Square’s customer support.

In recent months, big names such as PayPal (s ebay) , VeriFone (s pay), NCR (s ncr), Groupon (s grpn) and smaller competitors such as PayAnywhere have rolled out “Square killers” that all feature a notable service: live phone support. They are all hammering away at what they feel is a key difference between Square and their services.

Square, mobile paymentsSquare’s customer support is built in the Silicon Valley style — favored by companies like Google (s goog) or LinkedIn (s lnkd) — of using online help tools instead of having dedicated workers sitting by a phone. There is no listed phone number for Square support; users are…

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For a price, Gnip brings you access to all public tweets ever sent

Gigaom

As Twitter continues to make its push to serve businesses and promote the value of Twitter as an enterprise tool, an increasing number of data analytics companies are working to collect, organize, and monetize the vast amount of data coming from the company’s stream every minute.

Gnip, one of the few companies with full access to Twitter’s firehose of data, which has changed in terms of pricing and availability to different companies over time, is announcing the distinction of being the first company to provide access to all tweets ever sent, including the first sent by Jack Dorsey in 2006 (back when it was called Twttr and you sent tweets via SMS). Several other businesses already provide analysis of Twitter’s firehose of data, including companies like Topsy, which makes some of that data public, but the development from Gnip speaks to the growing demand from private companies…

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U.S. Should Get Tough with China — Pew Research

24/7 Wall St.

Recent data from Pew Research shows that most Americans want the United States to get tough with China on economic issues such as the trade deficit, job losses and the amount of U.S. debt held by China. The research separately surveyed experts in government policy, and the results indicated that the experts are far less concerned about China’s power than the general public, and that the news media falls somewhere between the two.

From Pew’s report:

In contrast to the general public, American foreign affairs experts are far less concerned about China’s rising power. With the exception of retired military officers, only about three-in-ten among the experts surveyed consider China’s emergence as a world power to be a major threat. Fewer than four-in-ten experts consider the U.S. trade deficit with China to be a very serious problem, compared with about six-in-ten of the broader public; and even fewer experts express…

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August Existing Home Sales Jump

24/7 Wall St.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported this morning that existing home sales rose by 7.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million units in August, compared with 4.47 million units in July. Analysts had been expecting a rise to 4.6 million units.

Total housing inventory stood at 2.47 million existing homes at the end of August, up 2.9% from 2.4 million in July. The total represents a 6.1-month supply at the pace of sales. Last July the inventory stood at a 8.2-month supply.

Distressed sales accounted for 22% of August sales, a 31% decrease from August 2011 and down 24% month-over-month. Foreclosed properties sold for a discount of 19% in August, and short sales were discounted 13%.

The nationwide median price for an existing home sale was $187,400, up 9.5% from August 2011, but just $100 higher than July 2012. Still, the monthly increase year-over-year was the…

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Today’s Market Winners and Losers

24/7 Wall St.

The stock market is mixed Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.14%, the Nasdaq down 0.14% and the S&P 500 up 0.05%. Today’s winner is a popular company trying to capitalize on increasing use of mobile technology, while today’s loser is a pharmaceutical company whose drug won’t be covered by a major insurer.

This is Wednesday’s biggest winner and loser.

Biggest Winner

Shares of Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) are up  8.74% to $5.10 on trading volume of 9.4 million shares. The daily-deals company on Wednesday announced it had introduced a mobile payment service for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad and iPod Touch. The 52-week high is $31.14.

Biggest Loser

Shares of Questor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) are down 35.61% to $32.52 on trading volume of 10.8 million shares. Citron Research announced that Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) is dropping nearly all of its coverage…

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Crude Oil Piles Up Huge Inventory Build

24/7 Wall St.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories rose by 8.5 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 367.6 million barrels, above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

The Dow-Jones estimate called for a weekly crude inventory rise of 500,000 barrels. Crude prices, which were already trading lower today, have continued falling slightly following the EIA report. The higher crude inventory build and the larger-than-expected drop in gasoline inventories did not cancel one another out. The huge build in crude inventory is simply too large to overcome.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels last week and remain in the lower half of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged 8.9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks — a drop of 0.9%…

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Investor Confidence in U.S. Markets Holds Steady

24/7 Wall St.

According to the Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ) 6th Annual Main Street Investor Survey, about two-thirds of individual investors have at least some confidence in U.S. capital markets. That represents an increase of four percentage points from 2011.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • Investor confidence in investing in U.S. publicly traded companies held steady at 71% this year.
  • Since 2008, investor confidence in audited financial information has held steady at around 70%.
  • About 70% of investors believe that the American economy will either stay the same or improve over the next year.
  • Only 25% of investors expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year, but 64% expect it to stay the same.
  • Confidence in capital markets outside the United States fell to a low of 35% from 43% in 2011.

Methodology: A telephone survey of 1,003 investors was conducted July 17 to 23, 2012, by The Glover…

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Groupon rolls out its own Square competitor

Gigaom

Are you tired of big companies lining up to take on Square? Well, the list officially got longer today with Groupon’s (s grpn) launch of Groupon Payments.

This shouldn’t be a surprise —  we previously reported that Groupon was testing out the service. But it adds yet another competitor to a very crowded market. Groupon is launching with an iPhone and iPod (s aapl) touch reader that works with the Groupon Merchants mobile application, allowing businesses to take credit card payments.

Here’s how the payment structure will work with Groupon Payments according to AllThingsD:

  • Swiped transactions — MasterCard, Visa and Discover (1.8 percent plus 15 cents) and American Express (3 percent plus 15 cents)
  • Keyed-in transactions — MasterCard, Visa and Discover (2.3 percent plus 15 cents) and American Express (3.5 percent plus 15 cents)
  • Non-Groupon merchants will be charged 2.2 percent plus 15 cents for MasterCard, Visa and Discover.

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Blackstone $2 Billion Acquisition Ties in Solar and Home Automation

24/7 Wall St.

The Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) is going big into home automation, and we would note that there is a solar angle here as well. The private equity giant is paying a sum of $2 billion to acquire Vivint from its existing shareholders. Those existing shareholders were listed as affiliates of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and also Peterson Partners, Jupiter Partners and other minority shareholders. The price tag is said to be in excess of $2 billion.

Vivint is listed as the largest home automation services company in North America and is also listed as the second largest residential security services provider.

As a part of the transaction, Blackstone will acquire Vivint Solar, Inc. and 2GIG Technologies, Inc. from its respective shareholders. Vivint Solar is a provider of solar solutions that leverages the power purchase agreement model to offer affordable solar power to residential customers. 2GIG Technologies…

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Fewer Americans Prepared for Retirement

24/7 Wall St.

A recent study from MIT revealed that nearly half of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets. Whether or not that’s due to poor planning or some unexpected spending, it’s still a shockingly high number.

According to the latest survey on retirement preparedness from Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), less than 70% of Americans say they are making preparations for retirement, the lowest percentage in the three years the firm has been conducting the survey.

The survey looked at 30 U.S. metropolitan areas to find out where Americans are most prepared for retirement. The top three cities are Hartford-New Haven, San Diego, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The three cities where residents are least prepared for retirement are Washington D.C., Charlotte, and Indianapolis.

An Ameriprise executive noted:

“While the majority of Americans we surveyed express positive feelings about retirement, we’re still seeing a significant lack of confidence – in fact…

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Stripe begins global payment quest with Canada expansion

Gigaom

Stripe has been a revelation for thousands of developers in its first year because of the way it allows them to accept online payments by tapping a simple API. But Stripe’s benefits have been limited to the US — until now.

Stripe is answering its most frequently asked question — when will you expand beyond the US — with the launch of service in Canada Wednesday. The move follows a limited beta in Canada in the summer with companies including Tarsnap, MetaLab, and Shopify. Now developers north of the border will be able to take advantage of Stripe’s flat pricing, instant setup and the ability to accept all major credit cards.

StripeExpanding to Canada may not sound that challenging but it’s a big step for Stripe. Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder said Canada presented unique problems because it’s controlled by legacy payment processors and also lacks needed infrastructure and facilities. The company had to…

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New T-Mobile CEO faces big problems, but he could shake up the mobile market

Gigaom

Three months after T-Mobile USA’s CEO Philipp Humm quit to move to Vodafone(s vod), the carrier finds itself welcoming its new chief. Deutsche Telekom has named former Global Crossing CEO John Legere to take over its US mobile arm.

Legere, 54, will officially change offices on Sept. 22, when interim CEO Jim Alling will return to his old job as T-Mobile’s COO. From his resume, Alling Legere seems like an odd choice. Global Crossing, which was acquired by Level 3 Communications(s lvlt) last year, was a submarine cable operator providing the fiber connections that link continents, not a consumer-facing wireless business. Legere had a stint at Dell Computer(s dell), but the last time he worked at a retail carrier was in 1998 at AT&T, and even there he wasn’t working in the cellular or consumer side of the house. He managed AT&T’s Asian wireline business operations and headed up…

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Gundlach Talks Down Apple, Risk, and Treasuries

24/7 Wall St.

Bond Guru Jeffrey Gundlach has been closely watched due to his historic returns for bond investors. CNBC hosted him today to ge his opinions on bonds, quantitative easing, risk assets, and others. His comments did not exactly force any urge to go chase asset buying at the moment.

The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) fan boys will probably not appreciate what Gundlach said of Apple. He called it over-believed in and over-bought because there is such a micro-focus each day on whether Apple is up or down. What is interesting is that Gundluch also said he doesn’t like risk-based assets at current prices and he does not see value in Treasuries.

At issue is the problem with Ben Bernanke’s quantitative easing and the great expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet. He sees no end in sight for quantitative easing measures, but he also said that the newest round was perhaps…

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Square rivals bank on live customer support to compete

Gigaom

After Square’s early success in mobile payments, rivals latched on to the question of its security. But after Square put most of those concerns to rest, in part by tightening up its approach to security, competitors have changed tactics to focus on Square’s customer support.

In recent months, big names such as PayPal (s ebay) , VeriFone (s pay), NCR (s ncr), Groupon (s grpn) and smaller competitors such as PayAnywhere have rolled out “Square killers” that all feature a notable service: live phone support. They are all hammering away at what they feel is a key difference between Square and their services.

Square, mobile paymentsSquare’s customer support is built in the Silicon Valley style — favored by companies like Google (s goog) or LinkedIn (s lnkd) — of using online help tools instead of having dedicated workers sitting by a phone. There is no listed phone number for Square support; users are…

View original post 666 more words

Square rivals bank on live customer support to compete

Gigaom

After Square’s early success in mobile payments, rivals latched on to the question of its security. But after Square put most of those concerns to rest, in part by tightening up its approach to security, competitors have changed tactics to focus on Square’s customer support.

In recent months, big names such as PayPal (s ebay) , VeriFone (s pay), NCR (s ncr), Groupon (s grpn) and smaller competitors such as PayAnywhere have rolled out “Square killers” that all feature a notable service: live phone support. They are all hammering away at what they feel is a key difference between Square and their services.

Square, mobile paymentsSquare’s customer support is built in the Silicon Valley style — favored by companies like Google (s goog) or LinkedIn (s lnkd) — of using online help tools instead of having dedicated workers sitting by a phone. There is no listed phone number for Square support; users are…

View original post 666 more words

iOS 6 hands-on review: The new Mail app

Gigaom

Mail is probably the app I use the most on my iOS devices(s AAPL). It’s where I triage my email and send responses that require immediate attention. I can’t check any personal email on my work computer, so my iPhone is called upon to do some heavy lifting. Up until iOS 6, I’d considered it merely adequate for my needs. Now, it’s moved into not-half-bad territory.

Below is a rundown of my experiences with the new features of the app, which will be available to everyone with iOS 6, which is scheduled to roll out later on Wednesday.

The VIP mailbox

The VIP mailbox is the new feature of Mail that I use the most. It’s a way to flag a contacts as VIPs and have their emails show up in the special VIP section in Mail as well as Notification Center. This is handy when I have my iPhone…

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S&P Piles on Alpha Natural Resources

24/7 Wall St.

Yesterday’s announcement of mine closures and production cutbacks at Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: ANR) pushed the coal miner’s shares down about 3%. Fallout from that announcement is weighing on the shares again today.

Standard & Poor’s has put the company ratings, including its corporate credit rating of ‘BB-’ on credit watch with negative implications. The ratings firm will review Alpha’s ratings and may reaffirm or lower the ratings following the review.

An S&P credit analyst noted:

“We placed the ratings on CreditWatch following Alpha’s announcement that it plans further production curtailments in 2013, given weaker pricing and demand for both thermal and metallurgical coal,” said credit analyst Megan Johnston. “Alpha now plans 2013 tonnage production around the low-80 million range, down from our previous expectation of 90 million tons. We previously expected 2013 EBITDA of between $750 million and $850 million.”

S&P said it will resolve the rating “within the next several…

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Copyright Trolls 2.0: image sites embrace Righthaven tactics

Gigaom

A photo company sued sports site Bleacher Report (s twx) this week for using photos of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and a celebrity actress. It turns out the case is just the tip of a much larger campaign in which image owners are using a controversial legal tactic known as “copyright trolling” to pressure websites to pay up.

The term “copyright troll” is familiar to many thanks to Righthaven, an infamous band of lawyers who extracted large sums from bloggers who reproduced news clippings without permission. Federal judges became disgusted with Righthaven’s scorched earth approach and finally knee-capped it late last year.

Righthaven may be gone but its business model is still alive and well. Under this model, lawyers scour the web for copyright infringement and then take a cut from defendants who pay a settlement to avoid being sued. Unlike Righthaven, however, the new breed of copyright…

View original post 626 more words

Copyright Trolls 2.0: image sites embrace Righthaven tactics

Gigaom

A photo company sued sports site Bleacher Report (s twx) this week for using photos of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and a celebrity actress. It turns out the case is just the tip of a much larger campaign in which image owners are using a controversial legal tactic known as “copyright trolling” to pressure websites to pay up.

The term “copyright troll” is familiar to many thanks to Righthaven, an infamous band of lawyers who extracted large sums from bloggers who reproduced news clippings without permission. Federal judges became disgusted with Righthaven’s scorched earth approach and finally knee-capped it late last year.

Righthaven may be gone but its business model is still alive and well. Under this model, lawyers scour the web for copyright infringement and then take a cut from defendants who pay a settlement to avoid being sued. Unlike Righthaven, however, the new breed of copyright…

View original post 626 more words

Apple starts to roll out iOS 6 software update

Gigaom

Arriving just a few minutes before schedule, Apple’s latest mobile OS, iOS 6, is ready for download. You can find the update in the “Software Update” section of your iOS device or you can get the update via iTunes. The software is compatible with the following models: iPhone 3GS and later; fourth-generation iPod Touch and later; iPad 2 and the new, third-generation iPad.

Apple has made a lot of changes since iOS 5 was released last October. You’ll find new Mail features, a better Siri, Facebook (s fb) integration throughout the OS, improved Notifications, Passbook, Shared PhotoStreams, a new-and-improved App Store and more.

So far, most are praising the iPhone 5 and the software. There is, however, one real complaint from initial reviewers: the Maps app. Once you download the software you can see for yourself whether moving away from Google(s GOOG) Maps on the iPhone was a smart…

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Building data startups team up around real-time energy data

Gigaom

Two startups with tools that can unleash the hidden data within buildings have teamed up around real time energy data. Lucid Design Group, which installs energy dashboards and wireless sensor systems for buildings, has integrated its customers’ real time energy data into Honest Building‘s site that aggregates data about the energy use and green characteristics of buildings.

Essentially, the bulk of Lucid Design Group’s building customers (2,000 of ’em) — like Brown University, Turner Construction and the city of Bloomington, Indiana — will be displaying their real time energy data on Honest Building’s site. For example, in the screenshot below, you can see the energy use of DPR Construction’s office building in San Diego by 15 minute intervals, broken down by appliance, and compared to national and local averages.

Honest Buildings has created a site that pulls in data about energy use and green characteristics of buildings from…

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ASU Wrestling Announces 1st Annual ‘Run With Robles’ Fundraising Event

The fundraising event will take place at Tempe Marketplace on November 3.

Sept. 18, 2012

TEMPE – The Arizona State University wrestling program has announced its first annual Run With Robles fundraising event, set to take place Saturday, Nov. 3 in Tempe, Ariz.

The event is named in honor of former NCAA champion and current Nike athlete Anthony Robles and all proceeds will go to Robles’ 501c3 foundation and will in turn be donated to the Sun Devil Club towards the continued support and sustainment of the ASU wrestling program.  Robles will be attending the event, as will numerous other ASU legends. Continue reading

Former ASU All-American Wrestler Simpson Returns as Asst.

Simpson will return for his second stint in a coaching role for the Sun Devil program.

Sept. 17, 2012

                                             (Source: ASU Athletics <http://bit.ly/Rms1Kx>)

TEMPE, ARIZ. – A mainstay in the Arizona State University wrestling program, former Sun Devil wrestler Aaron Simpson will return to the bench this season as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach Shawn Charles has announced today.

Simpson returns to the program for his second stint in a coaching role.  Prior to this, Simpson spent nine years as an assistant coach after his wrestling career at ASU until 2007. During that time, he played a vital role in helping several Sun Devils complete successful ASU careers, including All-Americans C.B. Dollaway (184), Ryan Bader (197) and heavyweight Cain Velasquez. Continue reading

Genomic Sequencing Firm Acquired by Chinese Company

24/7 Wall St.

The United States has seen its share of tension and protests over Chinese efforts to make acquisitions in North America, but usually this is over oil and gas assets. So what is there to say about a genomics sequencing company being acquired by the Chinese? Complete Genomics Inc. (NASDAQ: GNOM) is being acquired by BGI-Shenzhen in a move that will combine whole human genomic sequencing with a Chinese gene sequencing company based in Shenzhen, China.

Complete Genomics issued a press release showing that the company has now entered into a definitive merger agreement with BGI-Shenzhen where all outstanding shares of Complete’s common stock will be acquired for $3.15 per share. The deal is an all-cash buyout and represents approximately a 54% premium to the $2.04 closing price per of Complete’s stock back on June 4, 2012 from when it announced that it was going to evaluate strategic alternatives…

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Genomic Sequencing Firm Acquired by Chinese Company

24/7 Wall St.

The United States has seen its share of tension and protests over Chinese efforts to make acquisitions in North America, but usually this is over oil and gas assets. So what is there to say about a genomics sequencing company being acquired by the Chinese? Complete Genomics Inc. (NASDAQ: GNOM) is being acquired by BGI-Shenzhen in a move that will combine whole human genomic sequencing with a Chinese gene sequencing company based in Shenzhen, China.

Complete Genomics issued a press release showing that the company has now entered into a definitive merger agreement with BGI-Shenzhen where all outstanding shares of Complete’s common stock will be acquired for $3.15 per share. The deal is an all-cash buyout and represents approximately a 54% premium to the $2.04 closing price per of Complete’s stock back on June 4, 2012 from when it announced that it was going to evaluate strategic alternatives…

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U.S. Unemployment Pointed Toward New Low — Gallup

24/7 Wall St.

The most recent Gallup unemployment survey reported that the unadjusted U.S. unemployment rate in mid-September fell from 8.1% in August to 7.9%. The polling firm’s seasonally adjusted rate remained flat at 8.1%.

If the mid-month rate holds, it would mark the lowest reading since Gallup began collecting this data in January 2010. In September 2011, the unadjusted unemployment rate was 8.6%.

The percentage of Americans working part-time but continuing to seek full-time employment fell from 9% in August to 8.6% in September. That’s down from 9.7% at this time last year and the lowest level since November 2010, when the number was 8.4%.

The number of underemployed Americans also fell, from 17.1% in August to 16.6% in mid-September. That is significantly lower than the 18.3% reading in September 2011 and the lowest level since January 2010.

Gallup suggests that the uptick in employment is due to the seasonal impact of…

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S&P 500 Chart Looking for Support

24/7 Wall St.

The markets are trying to hold on to some footing after big post-QE3 gains from last week. Today we are analyzing the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEMKT: SPY) as it is the most liquid of all ETFs. With Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) leading banks lower with its shares down over 2% and with Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) leading metals lower after poor Empire Manufacturing data, today’s charts are going to need a much better review than the buying-binge we saw last week.

For Monday’s chart analysis, Phil Erlanger said, “We are seeing a slow start to the week in trading. Key levels to watch today: Resistance of 147.98 and support on SPY at 146.63. If we break above the Pivot line (pink) at 147.37 we can tag a run at the resistance. The previous session (Friday) two hour low (brown line) at 146.76…

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Today’s Market Winners and Losers

24/7 Wall St.

The stock market is down Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.08%, the Nasdaq down 0.27% and the S&P 500 down 0.21%. Today’s winners were both getting bought out. One of today’s losers is a pharmaceutical company which reported mixed results on a drug trial, while another loser had its shares downgraded by a big bank.

These are Monday’s market winners and losers.

Biggest Winners

Shares of IRIS International Inc. (NASDAQ: IRIS) are up 44.93% to $19.45 on trading volume of 1.4 million shares. Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) said it would buy the medical firm for $355 million, or $19.50 a share. Before Monday, the 52-week high was $13.92.

Shares of Complete Genomics Inc. (NASDAQ: GNOM) are up 14.61% to $3.06 on trading volume of 3.9 million shares. Chinese firm BGI-Shenzhen is buying the company for $117.6 million, or $3.15 a share. The 52-week…

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Amazon gives devs a maps API alternative to Google

Gigaom

UPDATED: While Amazon (s amzn) has built its Kindle Fire tablets using a reskinned version of Android (s goog), it has kept its distance from Google’s services. And now it’s further helping its developers do the same.

Amazon has announced a new maps API for its mobile app SDK, giving developers an alternative to using Google Maps for mapping in their apps. With the maps API, developers will be able to integrate interactive maps that switch between map and satellite view and show a user’s present location. They will also be able to insert custom overlays of local data and points of interest. Amazon has also created a simple migration path for developers who are already using Google Maps in their app.

It’s unclear what Amazon is relying on for its new maps API. The company in July acquired 3D mapping startup UpNext. But it’s unlikely that’s what’s powering…

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Oil Aiming at $100 a Barrel

24/7 Wall St.

The price for U.S.-traded WTI crude is inching its way back to $100 a barrel today as traders respond to the civil unrest in North Africa and the Middle East following last week’s killing of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The American deaths resulted from the posting on the Internet of an anti-Islam video that led to demonstrations in Benghazi and other parts of the Muslim world.

In addition to the anti-U.S. demonstrations, last week’s FOMC announcement is causing the dollar to lose strength, which typically raises the price of crude. The dollar is nearly flat today, but it fell sharply at the end of last week. WTI crude for October delivery is trading at $99.40 a barrel on the Nymex exchange this morning, and the December price has touched $100 a barrel earlier this morning.

Gasoline prices are also higher. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, the national…

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More on Ford After the Mulally Regime (F, GM)

24/7 Wall St.

If there is one chief executive who deserves significant accolades in the U.S. auto sector, it is Alan Mulally of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). Now the public is going to have to get used to the notion of a Ford not being run by Mr. Mulally in the not-so-distant future.

Reports have been out that the board is now considering its replacements for the great CEO. The good news for Ford investors is that this may not take place until late in 2013. The bad news is that if you look at the body language that Mulally has telegraphed, and if you look at the comments from the company, a Mulally departure in the relatively near future seems all but certain. Reports last week showed that Ford might even consider keeping Mulally on as a nonexecutive chairman.

Mulally is set to give the opening keynote speech at…

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Sun Devil Wrestling to Host Golf Fundraiser

The Arizona State University Wrestling team will host its third annual “Wrestling With the Devil” golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.

Sept. 10, 2012

EVENT INFORMATION

TEMPE — The Arizona State University Wrestling team will host its third annual “Wrestling With the Devil” golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.

The event is designed to provide members of the community a chance to come out and interact with members of the Sun Devil wrestling program from the past and the present as well as honor some of the greats. Continue reading

Sun Devil Women’s XC to Compete at Artichoke Invite on Saturday

Events are slated to begin at 7 a.m. at Scottsdale Community College.

Sept. 6, 2012

TEMPE – The 2012 cross country season continues to roll this weekend as the Arizona State University squad sends its women to Scottsdale Community College to compete in the Artichoke Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The women are coming off a second-place finish at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz., last weekend and will be running the majority of their “pack” runners in Scottsdale this weekend. Continue reading

Sun Devil Wrestling Names Lee Pritts as Assistant Coach

Pritts is regarded as one of the top recruiters in the nation and brings 14 years of coaching experience to the program.

Sept. 4, 2012

TEMPE — The Arizona State University wrestling program has named fourteen-year coaching veteran Lee Pritts as its newest assistant coach, ASU head coach Shawn Charles announced today.

Considered one of the top recruiters in the country, Pritts joins the Sun Devils after spending the past two seasons in Raleigh with the North Carolina State program.  He will coach alongside Charles and fellow assistant coach Brian Stith for the upcoming 2012-13 season. Continue reading

Funeral Services Announced for Former ASU Wrestler Urbano

The services will take place in Tucson on Sunday, September 9.

Sept. 3, 2012

TEMPE – Funeral services have been announced for former Arizona State NCAA wrestling champion Eddie Urbano.

The services will be held at the Del Angel Funeral Home on Sunday, Sept. 9 in Tucson, Ariz., located at 7 East University Blvd., 85705. Viewing services are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with a prayer to follow at 2 p.m. A memorial fund has been set up through Wells Fargo for those wishing to donate towards the funeral services. The information is as follows:

Eddie Urbano Memorial Fund
Wells Fargo Bank
#1459188015 Continue reading

ASU’s Houlihan Wins Cross Country Opener in Flagstaff

Sophomore paces Sun Devil women to runner-up finish, men take third at George Kyte Classic. 

Sept. 1, 2012 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Shelby Houlihan took home the first cross country victory of her collegiate career and the Arizona State University women took second while the men were third at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Saturday.

Houlihan looked to be on cruise control on the 5,000-meter course at Buffalo Park as she became just the second Sun Devil in women’s history to win the individual title after Jenna Wrieden did it in 2005.  Houlihan’s final time of 16:52.4 obliterated the Sun Devil record at the event by just under a minute and was among the faster times ever recorded at the course. Continue reading

Allstate’s ‘America’s Best Drivers Report’ Ranks Chandler, Gilbert

Where do American Cities Rank in Eighth Annual ‘Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™’?

  • Sioux Falls holds top spot for fifth time in report’s history; Phoenix, Indianapolis, Tucson, and Lincoln top safe driving cities in their population groups

The car insurance giant, AllState Corp., released their annual ranking of “America’s Best Drivers.” Chandler ranks No. 7, while Gilbert ranks No. 20. Chandler ranked No. 4 in 2011 and received the overall highest ranking for the East Valley.

The Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today released its eighth annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™. The report, based on Allstate claims data, ranks America’s 200* largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers. Continue reading

Avocado and goat cheese toast with lime and mint

I love avocado, I love toast and I therefore obviously love avocado toast. When I saw this recipe I knew it would be good, and it didn’t disappoint. A great, simple lunch that reminded me of home (because yes, the rumor is true, we eat avocado with pretty much every meal in California).

Avocado and goat cheese toast with lime and mint

Ingredients:

2 thick slices of your favourite bread (I used gluten-free)
1 avocado
Juice of 1/4 lime
2 teaspoons chopped mint, plus a bit extra for presentation
1/4 c goat cheese
Olive oil
Salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Toast your bread. While it’s in the toaster, halve, pit and peel your avocado and scoop out with a spoon. Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in the lime juice and mint. Crumble your cheese and fold it into the avocado mixture, leaving some bits chunky.

Spread the…

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Local Artist Supports Anti-Bullying Group

By Brian Wright
Gumption Contributor

Corey Courtier, a local artist, is showcasing his work in downtown Phoenix next Friday night (Sept. 7 from 6 – 9 p.m. @ 600 N. 4th St. Phoenix, Ariz., 85004). He is doing a special, live and interactive art piece, which will be auctioned off for charity. The charity is called “I Will Not Bully.”
Press release from the artist:  Join us at the upscale Skyline Lofts Gallery in downtown Phoenix for a FREE live public interactive painting with Artist Corey Couturier to help fund bullying-prevention tools and awareness to Arizona’s children. The local Artist is inviting the public to include their handprint in the ensemble and will auction off the final masterpiece donating the funds to I Will Not Bully, Inc. Come ready to mingle with Mr. Couturier, see his original artwork, participate in the public painting, pickup bullying -prevention information, enjoy free food, music and prizes. The event is open to the public.
Below is a screenshot from Mr. Courtier’s homepage: <http://coreycouturier.com/>. Also visit www.iwillnotbully.org for more information.

ASU X-Country Opens in Flagstaff

The Sun Devil men will look to defend their team title at the George Kyte Classic.

Aug. 29, 2012

For the PDF file, click here: 2012 George Kyle Classic – ASU Meet NotesGet Acrobat Reader

TEMPE — The Arizona State University cross country programs will open up the 2012 campaign this weekend at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz. The meet is the first of 11 scheduled competitions on the Sun Devil slate this season. The competition will consist of two races, with the women’s 5,000-meter race getting underway at 1:30 p.m. to be followed by the men’s 8,000-meter run at Buffalo Park.

MEET HISTORY: George Kyte

Historically, the Sun Devils have had two individual winners and two team victories at the George Kyte Invitational recording at the 2005 and 2011 events. The first individual victory was recorded in the women’s 5,000-meter run by Jenna Wrieden as she covered the course in 17:56.8. The team victory was recorded by the men that same year as the Sun Devils scored 35 points for the win. Darius Terry won the men’s race last season and led the team to a victoryas they scored an impressive cumulative total of 26 points. Continue reading

ASU Women’s X-Country Going the Distance

Second-year head coach Ryan Cole and defending Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year Shelby Houlihan lead the Sun Devils into a new season.

Aug. 28, 2012

By Chenea’ Schacher

TEMPE – As school comes back into session this Fall semester, Arizona State University’s women’s cross country season is getting back underway.  With the Sun Devils returning 10 runners and adding seven strong newcomers, the team is looking to improve on last year’s NCAA Championship showing.

Four of the Sun Devils returning to the roster had an NCAA appearance last year. Sophomores Shelby Houlihan and Macy Bricks along with red-shirt seniors Natasa Vulicand Hailey Hanna will look to take the newcomers back to the championship this season.

“We are pretty fortunate right now that all of the girls are back on the team, healthy and excited to get into the season,” head coach Ryan Cole said. “We just need to manage their emotions, time and energy so that they stay healthy and excited as we move through out the season. I think we are going to have a pretty good fall.” Continue reading

ASU Men’s X-Country Eyes Championships in ’12

A strong core of upperclassmen and several exceptional youngsters will lead the way this season.

Aug. 27, 2012

TEMPE – With the Fall semester about us, the 2012 NCAA cross country season is ready to get underway.  For the Arizona State University men’s team, that means a shot at redemption after some missed opportunities last season left the team painstakingly shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

This year’s team returns the an exceptional balance of seasoned veterans and talented youngsters that could provide the perfect combination to make the Sun Devils a contender for the Pac-12 Championship in October and to be competitive at the national level as well.

“We built some nice momentum during the (2012) track season and seeing the emergence of Nick Happe on the track and the way Darius Terry running was outside,” head coach Louie Quintana said. “That momentum has carried over into the summer and we are exciting about the foundation coming into the fall.”

Quintana says that he is relying on the mantra of keeping things simple in practice and getting better every day.

“Our minimum expectation is to qualify for the NCAA Championships as we have been painstakingly close two years in a row and that’s not a great spot to be in,” Quintana said. “The conference is pretty wide open this year and no team is a ton better than the next so naturally we think that if we can improve a lot at the conference level, we will have a chance to win the whole thing.”

Here a look at your upcoming Sun Devil men’s cross country season:

SENIORS

Perhaps the greatest strength on this year’s cross country team will be the senior leadership.  The team returns Nick HappeDarius Terry and Doug Smith to the roster and all have been consistent point-scorers through their careers at Arizona State.

In 2011, Terry started the season strong with a victory at the season-opening George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz., and had a strong run at the Griak Invitational as well.  Injuries began to take their toll on the junior though and after a rough outing at the Pac-12 Championships, Terry was forced to sit out the team’s appearance at the NCAA West Regional Championships. 

This year though, Terry looks to be back to form and has been the top runner through the summer for the squad. The 2011 1,500-meter All-American redshirted the track season but set personal records at the distance as an unattached athlete.

Nick Happe saw a steady emergence as one of the top runners in the program, finishing as the team’s lead runner through most of the races in 2011 and earning NCAA  All-West Region honors in the process.  Happe carried that momentum to the track, running under four minutes in the mile indoors and qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the process.

“I expect Nick and Darius to race together and provide low scores for us,” Quintana said. “We feel confident that if we keep them healthy, we will be successful.”

Doug Smith is another gritty veteran who is bouncing back from an abdominal sprain but is someone that Quintana feels can add some depth to the bottom part of the team’s scoring line-up.

The team also brought in Zach Zarda as a graduate student after spending his undergraduate career at Kansas University.  Zarda was an NCAA West Preliminary qualifier on the track at 5,000 meters and is someone that Quintana feels can make an immediate impact on the team.

“He’s been running 100 miles a week over the summer and is riding some momentum into the fall,” Quintana says. “I think he could be a great surprise for us.”

JUNIORS

The strength of the ASU juniors might come from the emergence as a team leader of Steven Schnieders over the course of the summer.  A Pac-12 point-scorer in two consecutive years, Schnieders has upped his mileage to over 100 miles of training per week and is someone that Quintana is confident can provide great depth to the program.

Though not a junior, sophomore Garrett Baker-Slama is in his third year with the program and is right up there with Schnieders in terms of mileage and assuming a leaders role on this year’s team.  A raw talent, Baker-Slama came to the Sun Devils with just one year of competitive running experience after spending the majority of his prep career as a soccer player.

“These are two walk-ons that were under-heralded and under-recruited,” Quitana said.  “They’ve gained the respect of their peers and teammates and are going to provide great depth for us.”

The Sun Devils also brought in junior college transfer Garrett Seawell out of American River College in California.  There, Seawell was the state junior college cross country champion and broke the course record in the process.

“Garrett is someone who has the ability to compete on the big-time stage,” Quintana said. “Coming out of junior college, he was undertrained and we have been trying to grow his mileage some but he is a guy with great experience.”

The team will also look for contributions out of Matt Estlund, someone that Quintana has said always seems to come our strong in September before petering out as the season goes on.  Quintana says Estlund’s training has been focused on flipping that as the team wants him to be running well in October.

SOPHOMORES

As mentioned, Garrett Baker-Slama will be the leader amongst the sophomores this season. Accomplished on the track, Baker-Slama is also one of the team’s top student-athletes and has maintained a 4.00 GPA thus far at Arizona State.

“Our team has a 3.49 GPA and that’s the top GPA on campus,” Quintana said. “We have to use our best asset if we are going to compete well each week and that’s our brain.”

Andy Cannata will also provide depth as a sophomore to the program.

FRESHMEN

The bulk of this year’s team will come out of the freshmen ranks.  Redshirt frosh Daniel Wong will see his first action this year after a strong spring that saw him take third at the U.S. Junior Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Ryan Herson had another strong unattached year last season and will look to carry that momentum to his redshirt freshman season.

“Ryan has run as fast as any unattached freshman I have ever had,” Quintana said. “Both he and Daniel are running 100 miles a week this summer and are in a training zone with the older guys.”

Herson and Wong were high-level recruits coming out of high school and Quintana looks for them to help bridge that gap between the veterans and the youngsters on this years team.

The team welcomes C.J. Albertson this year as a true freshman that could make an immediate impact on the team.   He was arguably one of the top cross country runners in the nation at the prep ranks early last fall before an injury slowed his season.  Despite that, Albertson went on to make it to the finals at the Footlocker Championships and comes by way of Buchanan High School, home of ASU great Kyle Alcorn.

“If he stays healthy, he’s probably one of the top freshmen in the country,” Quintana said. “He has an even keel about his demeanor that will help him in distance running and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s running with the front two or three guys by the end of the season.”

The team also welcomes redshirt freshman transfer Jeff Bickert by way of Cal Poly SLO.  Quintana described Bickert as being very fit and someone that could have an immediate impact on the team after a strong summer of training.

Arizona State will open the season on Saturday at the George Kyle Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz.  Complete meet notes will be available on Wednesday, August 29.

Former ASU Wrestler Eddie Urbano Passes Away

Urbano was ASU’s second NCAA Champion and a two-time All-American during his time as a Sun Devil.

Aug. 26, 2012

TEMPE – The Arizona State University wrestling program is sad to announce the death of historic wrestler Eddie Urbano, who passed away this weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

Urbano was a two-time All-American at Arizona State at 150 pounds in 1984 (3rd) and 1985, when he became just ASU’s second NCAA Champion in school history and the first since Curley Culp in 1967.

Urbano was the first NCAA Champion for legendary ASU coach Bobby Douglas, and set the groundwork for the team’s first and only NCAA Championship in 1988.  Urbano was a two-time Pac-12 Champion at 150 pounds as well.

“The Sun Devil Nation and wrestling community at large is greatly saddened by the sudden death of Eddie Urbano,” ASU head coach Shawn Charles said.  “Eddie was an outstanding wrestler, a great coach and an awesome friend.  He will be greatly missed.”

Urbano started a stream of talented wrestlers making their way to ASU from Tucson as he posted a career record of 105-17-1 with the Sun Devils.  Those 105 victories rank Urbano 17th on ASU’s all-time wins list despite only competing for three years as a Sun Devil.  He finished his career with 52 dual victories, good for 11th in ASU’s all-time record books.

As a senior, he helped ASU win the Pac-10 team title and was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.  Urbano was inducted into the Arizona State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.  Urbano also earned a junior college national title during his time competing at Pima Community College in Tucson.

Urbano will be remembered for his passion and commitment to Arizona State wrestling, and as former collegiate and roommate Mike Davies points out, an award-winning smile.

“The first thing you would notice about him was that, it was ear to ear…a genuinely happy smile,” Davies remembers. “He was so full of life and fun to be around.  This is a really sad day for ASU Wrestling.”

Davies recalls Urbano as a guy that went out of his way to help others out and to be a mentor.  Davies credits Urbano for pushing him and making him a better wrestler in their year they spent rooming together, as well as for introducing him to real Mexican food. 

“I was from Cleveland, so my idea of Mexican food was Taco Bell,” Davies said. “The first week we lived together, Eddie had his grandmother (a Mexican native) bring up some homemade food and I have been hooked ever since.”

Fellow teammate and eventual Olympian Gary Bohay was another who remembers Urbano by his iconic smile and uplifting personality and passion to the sport.

“Wrestling was his life and he just worked so hard to be successful,” Bohay said.  “He was a huge competitor and a wrestling junkie.  His NCAA championship really catapaulted ASU to national prominence.”

RIP Eddie Urbano 🙏 You will definitely be missed and remembered asfunny, intelligent and kind; but most im instagr.am/p/Ox5C-arxVm/

— WildFlower (@_JayMoreno) August 26, 2012

A Tucson native, Urbano became one of the first native Arizonans to win an NCAA Championship (Culp came out of Yuma, Ariz.).  Urbano was a state champion in high school at perennial powerhouse Sunnyside High School and is part of an elite history at that program that has served as a pipeline for numerous Sun Devil talents through the years.

RIP Eddie Urbano. @asuwrestling As a kid, I’d follow him everywhere Did not want to be like Mike, wanted 2 be Eddie!

— Danny Felix (@Toxicpaint9) August 26, 2012

“When you talk about ASU wrestling and wrestling in Arizona, you have to mention Eddie Urbano,” Davies said. “We lost one of our greats and one of our leaders.”

After his time at Arizona State, he became the 1988 Olympic Trials runner-up at 68 kg.  Following that, he went on to couch across the state and the city of Tucson, helping numerous individuals go on to achieve their collegiate wrestling dreams.

“Eddie was special type of guy.  He was a great athlete and a real kind-hearted individual. I have nothing but a tremendous amount of grief for what’s happened.” said Douglas in a phone interview. “It’s hard for me to verbalize about Eddie.  He will be missed more now than what people could imagine.  He did a lot of good and he’s a great example to a lot of minority and poor kids and kids that came from tough backgrounds.”

Arizona State will provide details for memorial services as soon as they become available.

Arizona has lost another tremendous athlete prayers and condolences go out to the family of Coach Eddie Urbano. Sad day for wrestling. #pray

— Anthony Birchak (@abirchakMMA) August 25, 2012

Yes, it is sad. Eddie Urbano is an @asuwrestling legend and will be missed. He had 1 of the greatest inside trips I’ve ever seen. @franco52

— Aaron Simpson (@aaronsimpson) August 26, 2012

Sun Devil Athletics Olympic Recap

Former Arizona State student-athletes nabbed two gold medals and one bronze in London.

August 2012

TEMPE, ARIZ. – Sunday brought a close to the 2012 London Olympics and the Sun Devils made their university and respective countries proud with numerous impressive performances throughout the two weeks of non-stop action.

With 17 current or former student-athletes in competition, Arizona State had the 13th-highest total of Olympians of any Division I school in the country.  With three medals earned over the course of the competition, the Sun Devils had the 21st-largest haul of any Division I institution as well.

Thanks to James Harden (men’s basketball/USA) and Amy LePeilbet (women’s soccer/USA), ASU brought home two gold medals for the first time since 2000 and brought the all-time total of gold medals to 25.

A brief recap of all the London action from a Sun Devil viewpoint can be found below: Continue reading

Obama, Romney Share Similarities On Health Care Statutes

By Derek Evans, Apprentice
The Gilbert Gumption

     Everyone knows that President Barack Obama is a Democrat and his opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s a Republican. These two men have different political ideologies, but they aren’t as divergent as you might imagine. This might surprise some, but when it comes to healthcare they have similar healthcare – which is likely to be an important issue come November.

Both support legislation that some have dubbed “universal healthcare.” In 2010, Mr. Obama singed the Affordable Care Act into law. [Read more about the law at U.S. Department of Health & Human Services‘s website – http://1.usa.gov/NeNrvG]. The GOP, who are at least publicly against the notion of universal healthcare, decided to vilify the new law by nicknaming it “Obamacare.”

The nickname stuck and, with the president himself embracing the term. In 2006, Mr. Romney signed into law a piece of healthcare legislation similarly referred to as “Romneycare.” [To see the entire document, visit the State of Massachusetts’s website – http://1.usa.gov/MREaqz].

While there are similarities between these two pieces of legislation. Both laws, however, have some prominent differences. According to an eye doctor  in Colorado, Ben’s blog [http://bit.ly/P6O2ku] “Romneycare” was only 70 pages, while Obamacare was more than 2,000 pages.

Romney vetoed portions of the bill, which is known as a line-item veto. Several states allow their governor to utilize a line-item veto. The president, however cannot.

Congress passed The Line Item Veto Act of 1996, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional in Clinton v. New York City, (1998), because they considered it to be a violation of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. The Constitution vests Congress with the power to craft legislation; the president can sign, or refuse to sign, only the entire packaged bill. [Source/Read more: http://anse.rs/NpdjRY]

In the late 1990’s, former President Bill Clinton tried to use a line-item veto. The Supreme Court ruled federal legislators could not use a line-item veto. According to Ben’s blog [http://bit.ly/P6O2ku] “Romneycare” didn’t raise taxes, while “Obamacare” does. The website appears to display a bias towards Romney and his signature legislature, which means his assertions should be checked against a more reliable source.

Romney has made an effort to distance himself from the term “Romneycare” and its implication that the two laws are similar. While there are differences, the principal idea behind both statutes share many similarities.

     For those interested in federal politics, this mere similarity may be insignificant, but the effet it may have on the election could prove interesting.