WAC Tournament: Idaho Men vs Hawaii photo gallery

The Idaho men’s basketball squad lost in heart-breaking fashion today in a first-round match-up against the Hawaii Warriors.  Photos courtesy of Ilya Pinchuk

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Article source: http://vandalnation.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/wac-tournament-idaho-men-vs-hawaii-photo-gallery/

NRL set to trial captain’s or coach’s video challenge system

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Des Hasler and Paul Gallen

For and against: Des Hasler and Paul Gallen.
Source: The Daily Telegraph

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A COUPLE of weeks before Christmas last year, a group of former players, coaches and referees boss Bill Harrigan secretly met at NRL headquarters to scrutinise a six-page dossier.


Ricky Stuart, Mal Meninga, John Lang, Daniel Anderson, Ivan Cleary, Brian Smith, Andrew Ryan and Trent Barrett had been appointed to a committee with NRL operations director Nathan McGuirk to discuss and dissect a long list of recommendations from the 16 coaches for various rule changes.

There was one particular innovation they all liked and agreed to support the introduction of a captain’s or coach’s challenge to help eliminate refereeing blunders, copying other major sports including cricket, tennis and American football.

It even had the strong support of Harrigan, who said he was prepared to look at any technology to help his whistleblowers ultimately get their calls right.

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Tim Sheens






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While the technicalities are still being debated for trials in televised Toyota Cup matches later this year, it is envisaged:

EACH team will get two challenges – one in each half during 80 minutes and another in golden point;

COACHES will hit a buzzer in the coach’s box to alert the video referee of a challenge or a captain will challenge the two referees on the field of play;

THE referee blows time out for a maximum 60 seconds to allow a review of the disputed incident on instant replay from the video box through TV broadcasters.

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McGuirk last night told The Daily Telegraph how the challenge system first raised by four-time premier coach Tim Sheens was extremely well received.

“We had a brainstorming session and we had six pages of ideas that had come from all the NRL coaches,” McGuirk said.

“The committee looked at them all and discussed the pros and cons of each one briefly.

“With the challenge system it was pretty universal in that everyone thought it had merit and was worthy of further investigation and trials.”

Determined to prove it was not a kneejerk reaction to almost weekly refereeing controversies last year, those at the meeting vowed not to rush it through.

Opinion: Too much at stake for clubs not to adopt challenge system

“We’ll look at it over the next 12 months and discuss the mechanics to best suit rugby league,” McGuirk said. “We’ve got to do a lot more work on it to make sure we get it right but I don’t see why it couldn’t start next year.

“Do we just introduce it around tryscoring situations, do we expand it into general play as well?

“We’ve got to look at what impact it would have on the flow of the game but the overall idea has a lot of merit.”Whatever happens, NRL officials want to ensure it has no effect on the flow of football. It’s why stoppages will be limited to a minute.

“Fans don’t want games getting bogged down with instant replays,” McGuirk said.

NRL boss David Gallop supports the concept and will take it to the independent commission later in the year.

“It would certainly add an exciting element to the game,” Gallop said.

“Our referees do an outstanding job but any opportunity to introduce further safeguards into decision making is worth looking at.

“It would allow our coaches and teams to be part of the process on crucial decisions and it would add a further dimension to the game.”

But not everyone is in favour.

Even after being on the receiving end of a terrible call at Leichhardt Oval last Sunday, Sharks skipper Paul Gallen has his doubts.

“We don’t want the game to become too much like American football,” Gallen said. “Rugby league has been a great game for 100 years. We’ve already got a video referee and that’s enough for my liking.

“It was a terrible mistake that cost us against the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval but 99.9 per cent of times it wouldn’t happen.

“I’d prefer to leave it as it is.”

Premier coach Des Hasler likes the idea. “It’s innovative and as long as it’s trialled properly and they take into consideration all the feedback, it could work ” Hasler said.

“Look at the game last Sunday. A coach would love to challenge that players were offside charging down Todd Carney.

“Let’s trial it and see how it goes.”

Follow @Telegraph_Sport on Twitter and like Telegraph Sport on Facebook

 

Article source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-set-to-trial-captains-or-coachs-video-challenge-system/story-e6frfgbo-1226294108321

New iPad: Is Your Content Ready for the HD Tablet Revolution?

David Clarke is CEO and Co-Founder of BGT Partners, a 2011 and 2010 Ad Age Best Place to Work in the U.S. BGT creates interactive marketing and technology solutions for global corporations that strengthen brands, develop more engaging relationships and transform businesses.

It’s time to take tablet design seriously and evaluate how your brand’s web presence caters to tablet consumers. As usual, Apple is the primary driver behind tablet growth, and the new iPad is yet again redefining the tablet experience and pushing the boundaries of how we use the web.

But what does it mean for your web presence? Below are three ways for your brand to excel in the tablet revolution so you don’t get left behind.


1. Prepare Your Site to Go “Beyond HD”


Just as the demand for high-definition technology forced broadcasters to convert their shows, the new iPad may force brands to make their websites retina display-friendly. With the new iPad, your site is not going to look the same as it did before. The original and second-generation iPads both have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768, but the new iPad’s resolution of 2048 x 1536 is double that in both directions.

The retina display’s pixel density is so high that your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. And with a 44% better color saturation than before, coupled with A5X quad-core graphics, images on your site will pop off the screen and be crisper and sharper at any size. Existing apps will be updated automatically, and they will look better, but as Tim Cook stated during the unveiling, “If a developer takes a little bit of time, they can do little things that are mind-blowing.”

What does this mean for your brand?

To really take advantage of the retina display, brands need to put more emphasis on high-quality imagery, colors and overall attention to design details. Let’s face it — a poor design will make you look even worse in HD, while high-resolution imagery and a broader range of colors will ensure your site stands out. 


2. Prepare for Voice- and Gesture-Controlled Interfaces


New iPad

Do you remember the movie Minority Report? It featured Tom Cruise swinging his hands and using his voice to control a computer screen. This was fiction 10 years ago, but voice- and gesture-controlled interactions are rapidly moving from fantasy to reality. Gesture-controlled video game systems like Nintendo’s Wii and the Xbox Kinect have been hugely successful, and LG recently came out with a voice- and gesture-controlled TV. That’s not to mention the splash that Siri made in the mobile world. 

Although the new iPad doesn’t include Siri, it does include a voice dictation feature. However, voice- and gesture-enabled websites are bound to be a key part of the future web experience. In fact, Apple recently filed for a patent called the “Three-Dimensional Imaging and Display System,” hinting that the company is exploring gesture-controlled interactions.

What does this mean for your brand?

Well for now, Siri only works with a few of the iPhone’s built-in apps (email, search, calendar, etc.), but just imagine what will happen when Apple opens Siri up to third-party developers. Brands will be able to create Siri-friendly apps (for mobile and tablet) to allow customers to use their voices to carry out mundane tasks, such as paying your electric bill or transferring money from one account to another. To prepare yourself, focus on your key customers and their most important tasks and consider how your current apps can be improved through voice-controlled interactions.


3. The New iPad Is a Tipping Point for Tablets


New iPad Resolution

With the explosive growth of tablets and mobile, people are accessing the web on an increasing array of devices, and your consumers are now expecting your site to work equally well on their desktop, smartphone and tablet. But how do you accommodate for this when there are hundreds of different devices and screen resolutions? Creating separate sites for each device on the market can be expensive and difficult to manage, as the landscape is constantly changing.

What does this mean for your brand?

A smart approach to this challenge is implementing responsive web design, which utilizes one set of code to display content effectively across all devices. Gone are the days of creating entirely separate websites in parallel desktop and mobile versions. Now you can construct an extremely flexible website to handle multiple environments.

A responsive design responds to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. As the user switches from a laptop to iPad, the website will automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. Essentially, your site will scale to whatever device your customer is using.


In Summary


Before you do anything, start with a thorough audit of how your current website performs on the new iPad. Look at imagery, colors, fonts and overall opportunities to improve the visual experience. Next, start the planning process to integrate voice and gesture-controlled interactions into your site — this is the future of tablets. Finally, convert your site design to one that’s responsive so it can be viewed optimally on every device in the market, starting with a tablet.

Follow these steps and your brand will not only be “beyond HD,” but will also excel in the tablet revolution.


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The new 9.7-inch iPad has 2048 x 1536-pixel retina display, 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. It is available March 16 in black and white, powered by A5X chip (with quad-core graphics) and supports 4G LTE networks. It’s 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.4 pounds.

Wi-Fi only iPads cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB, while 4G versions cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Pre-orders start today, and the devices will be in stores March 16 in these 10 countries: U.S., UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Credit: Apple.com


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“Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear. You’re actually touching your photos, reading a book, playing the piano. Nothing comes between you and what you love. To make that hands-on experience even better, we made the fundamental elements of iPad better — the display, the camera, the wireless connection. All of which makes the new, third-generation iPad capable of so much more than you ever imagined.”

Credit: Apple.com


http://www.doddsdesign.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4d1c2_new-ipad-3.jpg

“Four times more pixels than iPad 2. Razor-sharp text. Richer colors. The Retina display transforms the entire iPad experience. So everything looks and feels incredibly lifelike and perfectly detailed.”

Credit: Apple.com


http://www.doddsdesign.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/4d1c2_new-ipad-5.jpg

Apple is working on two LTE versions of the iPad with ATT and Verizon in the U.S., as well as Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada. Both LTE U.S. models will be 3G ready, too.

Credit: Apple.com


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“The new iPad features Apple’s 5-megapixel iSight camera. Designed with advanced optics, it lets you shoot gorgeous photos and 1080p HD video.”

Credit: Apple.com


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The new iPad features all of these built-in apps.

Credit: Apple.com


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Apple has put iPhoto on the iPad.

Credit: Apple.com


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iPhoto on the iPad features smart browsing, multi-touch editing, professional quality effects, brushes, photo beaming and photo journals.

Credit: Apple.com


http://www.doddsdesign.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/d68e2_new-ipad-7.jpg

“With brushes, touch-ups are exactly that — you use your finger to paint adjustments onto an image. Swipe over an area to make it lighter or darker. Zoom in to brush away blemishes with the powerful Repair tool. Select the Sharpen brush to bring out the fine details. Or use the Soften brush to smooth hard lines and edges. (It works wonders on wrinkles, too.)”

Credit: Apple.com


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“iPhoto completely changes the way you edit photos. You don’t need to be a professional or watch hours of web tutorials to know how it works. Simply touch the part of an image you want to change, then drag up, down, left, or right to turn any piece into a masterpiece.”

Credit: Apple.com


http://www.doddsdesign.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/e0273_new-ipad-10.jpg

“Choose from dozens of beautifully designed photo effects to give your pictures that little extra something. Something dramatic, something soft and dreamy, something from another era, or something just plain quirky. Use the swatch book to change the look and feel of each photo. Then pinch, zoom, or slide to adjust an effect. And just like that, you’ve applied hours of professional edits in the blink of an eye.”

Credit: Apple.com


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For complete specifications for the new iPad, click here.

Credit: Apple.com


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For complete specifications for the new iPad, click here.

Credit: Apple.com

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The new 9.7-inch iPad has 2048 x 1536-pixel retina display, 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. It is available March 16 in black and white, powered by A5X chip (with quad-core graphics) and supports 4G LTE networks. It’s 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.4 pounds.

Wi-Fi only iPads cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB, while 4G versions cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Pre-orders start today, and the devices will be in stores March 16 in these 10 countries: U.S., UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Credit: Apple.com


“Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear. You’re actually touching your photos, reading a book, playing the piano. Nothing comes between you and what you love. To make that hands-on experience even better, we made the fundamental elements of iPad better — the display, the camera, the wireless connection. All of which makes the new, third-generation iPad capable of so much more than you ever imagined.”

Credit: Apple.com


“Four times more pixels than iPad 2. Razor-sharp text. Richer colors. The Retina display transforms the entire iPad experience. So everything looks and feels incredibly lifelike and perfectly detailed.”

Credit: Apple.com


Apple is working on two LTE versions of the iPad with ATT and Verizon in the U.S., as well as Rogers, Telus and Bell in Canada. Both LTE U.S. models will be 3G ready, too.

Credit: Apple.com


“The new iPad features Apple’s 5-megapixel iSight camera. Designed with advanced optics, it lets you shoot gorgeous photos and 1080p HD video.”

Credit: Apple.com


The new iPad features all of these built-in apps.

Credit: Apple.com


Apple has put iPhoto on the iPad.

Credit: Apple.com


iPhoto on the iPad features smart browsing, multi-touch editing, professional quality effects, brushes, photo beaming and photo journals.

Credit: Apple.com


“With brushes, touch-ups are exactly that — you use your finger to paint adjustments onto an image. Swipe over an area to make it lighter or darker. Zoom in to brush away blemishes with the powerful Repair tool. Select the Sharpen brush to bring out the fine details. Or use the Soften brush to smooth hard lines and edges. (It works wonders on wrinkles, too.)”

Credit: Apple.com


“iPhoto completely changes the way you edit photos. You don’t need to be a professional or watch hours of web tutorials to know how it works. Simply touch the part of an image you want to change, then drag up, down, left, or right to turn any piece into a masterpiece.”

Credit: Apple.com


“Choose from dozens of beautifully designed photo effects to give your pictures that little extra something. Something dramatic, something soft and dreamy, something from another era, or something just plain quirky. Use the swatch book to change the look and feel of each photo. Then pinch, zoom, or slide to adjust an effect. And just like that, you’ve applied hours of professional edits in the blink of an eye.”

Credit: Apple.com


For complete specifications for the new iPad, click here.

Credit: Apple.com


For complete specifications for the new iPad, click here.

Credit: Apple.com


Article source: http://mashable.com/2012/03/08/web-design-new-ipad/

Manly resigned to losing Stewart




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Manly Sea Eagles officials are resigned to losing star fullback Brett Stewart.

Manly Sea Eagles opened formal negotiations with Brett Stewart‘s management on Monday, but the parties quickly struck an impasse over the player’s asking price.

Stewart is understood to be seeking a four-year deal worth $2.4 million – a package well in excess of Manly’s current budget.

The Sea Eagles are in a salary cap flap for 2012 due to heavily back-ended contracts and the urgent need to upgrade dynamic halves Keiran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans.

Club insiders say the premiers must shave $500,000 off their star-studded squad to comply with the NRL‘s propesed $5 million cap for 2013, and Stewart’s departure would single-handedly achieve that.

Manly coach Geoff Toovey and chief executive David Perry would prefer to keep the crowd favourite at Brookvale for life, but it appears inevitable that Stewart is headed elsewhere in 2013.

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Do you want to update your Fantasy NRL squad by signing Brett Stewart?


St George Illawarra Dragons are the raging favourites to lure the West Wollongong junior.

Dragons chief executive Peter Doust declined on Thursday night to comment about a bid for Stewart, but the joint venture has been a leading player in the fullback market after Wests Tigers custodian Tim Moltzen left them short by reneging on a three-year deal late last season.

The Adjudicator NRL




Perry also declined to comment on negotiations with Stewart, whose manager, George Mimis, first sent Manly a contract proposal in mid-February.

“The first dialogue I had with Manly was on Monday,” Mimis said.

“At the meeting, the coach (Toovey) expressed the strongest possible desire to retain Brett and we’re waiting on a response to our terms.

“Brett’s desire is to stay, but if that can’t happen we’ll open negotiations with other clubs.”

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, pushing hard to reunite Foran with ex-Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler in 2013, could also be an option for Stewart.


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The Bulldogs, however, first need to address the immediate future of Kris Keating, the pivot having fielded approaches from Brisbane Broncos and the Warriors players to switch clubs immediately.

A source close to Keating confirmed on Thursday night that the City Origin representative had received separate phone calls from Warriors and Broncos players after being omitted from the Bulldogs’ starting side in the first two rounds.

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg was unaware of the approaches when contacted on Thursday, when he declined to comment.

The Bulldogs, however, are unlikely to release Keating without significant compensation having resisted identical advances for Ben Roberts 12 months ago.

Hasler this week signed Tigers utility Mitch Brown, and he may yet use Keating should first-choice halves Josh Reynolds or Trent Hodkinson suffer injury.

Article source: http://www.foxsports.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/manly-resigned-to-losing-brett-stewart-for-2013-nrl-premiership-st-george-illawarra-dragons-favourites-to-sign-snake/story-fn2mcuj6-1226294505419

Final deployment of "Big E" marks end of era – The Virginian

NORFOLK

In the coming days, the flight deck and hangar bay of the aircraft carrier Enterprise will grow crowded with the hardware of military might: helicopters, reconnaissance planes, fighter jets and bombs.

Thursday, three days before the ship heads out on deployment to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf, the 3.5 acre hangar bay – a cavernous space one level below the flight deck – resembled a commercial warehouse. At one end, giant pallets of burlap bags competed for space with shrink-wrapped boxes of fresh eggs, cases of oranges and watermelons, and stacks of file cabinets.

Sailors crossed the brow carrying bulging seabags, crisply pressed dress uniforms, even bicycles and golf clubs. Tempering the typical buzz of a ship about to deploy was the realization this will be the last time the Enterprise comes to life this way. The 51-year-old ship – the world’s first nuclear-powered carrier – will leave the Navy’s fleet weeks after it returns home this fall.

Capt. Bill Hamilton, the ship’s commanding officer, said the 4,400 sailors deploying on Sunday know they’re making history, but they’re focused on the job at hand.

“This is not going to be a port-to-port soiree,” Hamilton said in an interview on the flight deck. “It’s going to be very much a working deployment. This is the final deployment, and we get all sentimental and things, but we’re going over there to do the nation’s business.”

For the five ships that make up the Enterprise strike group, that business could include everything from airstrikes in Afghanistan to patrolling for pirates off the Horn of Africa to rescuing mariners in distress and providing humanitarian aid.

Add in civil unrest in Syria and tension over Iran, and there’s no telling what’s in store.

That’s why Hamilton has emphasized the importance of flexibility to his crew. Many of the sailors were aboard for the ship’s six-month deployment last year, Hamilton said, so they know the vagaries of serving aboard the Navy’s oldest active warship.

He compares the ship to a 50-year-old human body: it takes a little more time to get up and moving in the morning, and a little more attention to stay healthy.

That’s why the Enterprise’s propulsion plants – fueled by eight nuclear reactors – started coming online Tuesday night. The ship is gradually converting to its self-made power, instead of relying on steam and electricity from shore.

“When you have a 50-year-old ship, you want to leave yourself some time,” he said. “The good news is I have some awfully, awfully good people.”

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For more details, return to PilotOnline.com later and read tomorrow’s Virginian-Pilot.    

 

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Article source: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/03/final-deployment-big-e-marks-end-era

‘John Carter’: A cowboy is thrown into a swashbuckling sci-fi world

The title character of Disney’s John Carter is a surly Civil War-vet, prospecting for gold in the Arizona Territory of 1868 – a place he calls “the backside of hell.”

Wait until he wakes up on the backside of Mars if he really wants to find hell: A desert planet where warring species – green four-armed giants called Tharks, the battling humanlike citizens of Helium and Zodanga, the Therns, the White Apes, the toothy Cro-Magnon critters called Warhoons – seem intent on destroying one another and the orb they call home.

A lavish, but lumbering, green-screen adaptation of the first installment in Edgar Rice Burroughs “Barsoom” series (The Princess of Mars, published 100 years ago), John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch as the Eastwoodian cowboy thrown into an alien world. When he first awakens on Barsoom (what the natives call Mars), the long-haired hero takes a few tentative “What the . . . ?” steps and discovers he can leap vast stretches of the rocky terrain. Yes, it’s the gravity of the situation.

Director Andrew Stanton, director of the Pixar hits Finding Nemo and Wall-E (and working in live-action for the first time), has found an aptly named leading man. John Carter is about as kitsch as you can get, although Kitsch manages to keep his scowl in place as a planeload of British thespians, decked out in armor and plumage, offer mock-Shakespearean pronouncements of animus and portent. For the record, the Brits (and Irish) involved in this epically cheesy fantasy include Mark Strong (a power-mad priest named Matai Shang), Dominic West (the Prince of Zodanga), Ciarán Hinds (as Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium), and James Purefoy (worried captain of a flying gunship).

More interesting for Carter, whom the Tharks call “Virginia” (a running joke, derived from the fact he hails from the Southern state), is the Princess of Helium, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), the bronzed and tattooed royal leading her people in a desperate quest for peace among the disparate parties of Barsoom. It isn’t long before Carter and Thoris are side by side, swashing buckles against bad guys, and exchanging deep looks of desire.

John Carter, presented in both 3-D and 2-D versions, is a sword-and-sandals spectacle infused with retro sci-fi beasts and blarney. It would have made a great Technicolor treat in the 1950s, say, with stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen and a strapping Steve Reeves as the intergalactic Confederate army hero. And that’s kind of the aesthetic that Stanton is going for: over-the-top pulp. But there’s something generic about the digitally rendered Martians (whatever their stripe and skin tone), and there’s a corniness to the dialogue that keeps the audience from any kind of emotional attachment to the Tharks and Zodangans and their ilk.


Contact Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or srea@phillynews.com. Read his blog, “On Movies Online,” at www.philly.com/onmovies.

 

Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/movies/141949163.html

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is indeed about salmon fishing in the Yemen – or the cockamamie and rather costly notion of building a dam and stocking a waterway in the Arabian peninsula with upstream-swimming fishies imported from the U.K.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is, of course, also a romantic comedy, one in which the “he” (Ewan McGregor) and the “she” (Emily Blunt) start off at odds over this dubious exercise in “Anglo-Yemeni cooperation” and end up sharing a tent by a river in southern Arabia, and sharing a crazy dream.

Directed by Lasse Hallström, a man with a lot of eccentric character studies under his belt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is based on a Paul Torday book of the same name, a Brit-lit best seller done in the modern-day version of an epistolary novel – lots of text messages, IMs and e-mails. The film keeps some of this, mainly in the cutesy-poo electronic exchanges between Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas), a tightly-wound government press secretary; her boss, the prime minister; and one of his bumbling cabinet underlings.

As for McGregor and Blunt, he’s Alfred Jones, a fisheries department bureaucrat in a not-terribly-happy marriage. His passion is fishing (he’s famous in some circles for inventing the “Wiley Jones fly”), and he’s fussy, tweedy, suburban, and dull. Blunt is Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, a hard-driving marketing exec whose firm has been hired by Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked) to facilitate the salmon project – something that will cost the Arab billionaire upwards of 50 million British pounds. (That’s more sticker shock than you’ll experience at the fish counter of a Whole Foods!)

McGregor and Blunt bumble and parry in their early scenes – he crashes headlong into a door, she scoffs and smirks and walks authoritatively on high heels. Harriet is in a relationship, too, with a seemingly ideal boyfriend (Tom Mison) who gets shipped off to Afghanistan, serving with the troops. When he goes MIA, Alfred is at Harriet’s London flat to console her; he’s dead-set against the Yemeni salmon idea but forced to go along with the fact-finding and planning stages of the enterprise, which involves meetings with Harriet over lunch and coffee.

Inevitably, the inevitable happens. But he’s married (Rachael Stirling has the unenviable task of being the workaholic, no-fun wife), and she’s in love with her paratrooper beau. Can Alfred and Harriet come together? Will the salmon take to the non-indigenous waters? Will McGregor get to bellow, “Open the sluices!”

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen answers all of these questions, but not many more. It is what it is, and if you find McGregor and Blunt appealing, the movie will have you feeling similarly about it. And if all this sounds like too much whimsy to bear, be forwarned. There is whimsy everywhere.


Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or srea@phillynews.com. Read his blog, “On Movies Online,” at www.philly.com/onmovies

 

Article source: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20120309__Salmon_Fising_in_the_Yemen__full_of_whimsy.html

Earth Farms Organics Launches Re-Designed Website

Website Design and Internet Marketing Company, Web Full Circle, is pleased to announce the launch of Earth Farm Organics re-designed website earthfarms.com. Web Full Circle provided the Company with an enhanced website that is reflected with a modern design and extensive information about the Company and how you can reduce your ecological footprint.

Locally owned and operated, Earth Farms Organics specializes in organic recycling and producing high quality soil amendments. The Company redirects organic waste from all over the Charlotte area and turns it into nutrient-rich, soil-enhancing compost. Earth Farms Organics is currently diverting 100,000 tons of waste from landfills each year and is rapidly expanding. In addition, they offer custom waste diversion programs, business recycling programs, and compost products to help shrink your environmental impact.

The re-designed site offers a clean and innovative design that matches the eco-friendly and contemporary vibe Earth Farms Organics exudes as a brand. Site visitors can find substantial information on the Company through their “About” page that includes “FAQ’s”, “What we are up to”, and “Testimonials” sections. All of these pages further allow visitors to learn about Earth Farms Organics and what they are doing to create sustainability in the Charlotte community. If a site visitor is looking to buy compost to invigorate their own lawn or garden, the new site features a “Products” page that outlines different compost products Earth Farms offers and where to buy each product. The extremely helpful “How to Use Compost” section is also showcased on the site that offers project guides for several different uses of compost. Finally, site visitors can view the Earth Farms Organics products in use in the new photo gallery, or use the handy “Compost Calculator” to figure out how much compost they will need to formulate a plan for composting.

“Web Full Circle supports the Earth Farms Organics mission to create a more eco-friendly and sustainable environment,” said Josh Astete, President of Web Full Circle. “We are happy to aid Earth Farms Organics with this advanced website so they are able to further spread their message and encourage others to participate in ‘green’ practices.”

For more information about Web Full Circle, please visit http://www.webfullcircle.com or call (980) 322-0518.

About Web Full Circle

Web Full Circle is Website Design and Internet Marketing Company that specializes in developing websites that generate leads for companies. Our team of Internet consultants and SEO experts develop solutions that are customized around companies’ online marketing goals. Web Full Circle is located at 207 Regency Executive Park Dr., Suite #150, Charlotte, NC 28217.

About Earth Farms Organics

Earth Farms Organics was created in 2006 on 100 acres of land in Dallas, N.C. and founded to provide a “green” answer to an unsustainable practice. The Earth Farms Organics process promotes air-flow and allows for our organic matter to decompose without creating methane. Their composting also recycles organic material into a product that can be used to promote healthy plants. For more information about Earth Farms Organics please visit: earthfarms.com

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9261796.htm

PRWeb.com

Article source: http://www.dailymarkets.com/stock/2012/03/08/earth-farms-organics-launches-re-designed-website/

Household Worth in U.S. Rises for First Time in Three Quarters

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Household Worth in U.S. Rises for First Time in Three Quarters

Household Worth in U.S. Rises for First Time in Three Quarters

Household Worth in U.S. Rises for First Time in Three Quarters

Chip Chipman/Bloomberg

Buildings in San Francisco.

Buildings in San Francisco. Photographer: Chip Chipman/Bloomberg


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Household Worth in U.S. Rises

Household Worth in U.S. Rises

Household Worth in U.S. Rises

Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Rows of houses stand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rows of houses stand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Household wealth in the U.S. climbed
from October through December for the first time in three
quarters as an increase in stock prices outstripped a decline in
home values.

Net worth for households and non-profit groups increased by
$1.19 trillion in the fourth quarter, or 2.1 percent from the
previous three months, to $58.5 trillion, the Federal Reserve
said today in its flow of funds report from Washington. Housing
wealth decreased by the most in more than a year.

The Standard Poor’s 500 Index (SPX), which rose 11 percent in
the final three months of 2011, is again climbing this year as
the improving job market builds confidence in the expansion. At
the same time, the gain in wealth last quarter was less than
half the previous period’s slump, indicating households may
continue to repair balance sheets hurt by the recession.

“Consumers are generally repairing their balance sheets,”
said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney
Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia. “The performance of the
stock market has been a crutch for households. Consumer spending
is constrained by the need to pay down debt.”

Since reaching a five-year low of $50.5 trillion in the
first quarter of 2009, net worth has improved by $8 trillion.
That still leaves it $8.4 trillion below the record high of
$66.8 trillion reached in the quarter ended June 2007, six
months before the recession began.

Real-Estate Wealth

The value of household real estate fell by $367.4 billion
in the last three months of 2011, the first decrease in three
quarters.

Owners’ equity as a share of total household real-estate
holdings dropped to 38.4 percent last quarter from 38.9 percent.

The SP/Case-Shiller national index of home prices
decreased 4 percent in the fourth quarter from the same time in
2010, according to figures released Feb. 28. The gauge fell 3.8
percent from the prior three months before seasonal adjustment,
and fell 1.7 percent after taking those changes into account.

The value of financial assets, including stocks and pension
fund holdings, held by American households increased by $1.46
trillion in the fourth quarter, according to today’s flow of
funds data.

The SP 500 has risen 7.6 percent this year through
yesterday amid better-than-estimated economic data and
expectations Europe would tame its debt crisis.

Household Debt

Household debt rose at a 0.3 percent annual rate last
quarter, the first increase in more than three years, today’s
report showed. Mortgage borrowing decreased at a 1.5 percent
pace, the 11th consecutive drop. Other forms of consumer credit,
including auto and student loans, climbed at a 6.9 percent pace,
the biggest gain in at least seven years.

The labor market may help to repair household finances.
Payrolls rose by 210,000 in February and the jobless rate held
at 8.3 percent, according to the median forecast of economists
surveyed by Bloomberg News before a Labor Department report
tomorrow.

Company balance sheets are faring better than households,
today’s report showed. Businesses had a record $2.23 trillion in
cash and other liquid assets at the end of the fourth quarter,
up from $2.12 trillion in the prior three months.

Total non-financial debt climbed at a 4.9 percent annual
pace last quarter, led by a 13 percent increase by the federal
government and a 4.6 percent gain among businesses. State and
local government borrowing dropped at a 1 percent pace.

To contact the report on this story:
Shobhana Chandra in Washington at
schandra1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Christopher Wellisz at
cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-08/household-worth-in-u-s-rises-for-first-time-in-three-quarters.html

Mozilla and Yahoo over-promise on mobile

Mozilla unveiled a plan last week to build a better mobile platform, attempting to leverage its expertise in Web browsers to compete with Android’s and iOS’ giant 77% market share. The program, dubbed “Boot to Gecko” and announced at the big Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, promises developers a new way to deploy applications to mobile using their existing Web-development skills. In essence, Mozilla is looking to make mobile app development more accessible to existing Web developers. Similarly, Yahoo announced its Web-standards based application platform called “Yahoo Cocktails.”

Both organizations are building mobile application development and deployment platforms based on recent advancements in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS – technologies that development teams and CIOs can use without either Mozilla’s or Yahoo’s input. While the hype around these platforms may sound compelling, both platforms have a very long way to go to solve real-world mobile application challenges. For example: How do we build a mobile app that integrates with our ERP, creates a good customer impression, is available on multiple devices, does not paint us into a technological corner, and does not break the bank?

The truth is, the decisions technology leaders have to make now are much more dynamic than they were just five years ago.  Back then, we were all discussing the impending convergence of platforms. Our difficult decisions were about what browser version to support or whether we should build our web applications using Flash.

Today, we have not realized the promise of convergence and are actually witnessing the opposite. The reality is a divergence of platforms and devices, along with the giants of the tech industry clamoring for us to use their development tools and deployment platforms.

The largest issue with creating mobile applications is that the ecosystem these applications have to live within is not simple, but rather very complex. There are no good choices for enterprises needing to build across devices. Ironically, the world was a simpler place for developers when Microsoft owned 98% of the market.  There are many variables in choosing an application framework, including:

  • What are the features of the application that need native device support?
  • What programming skills do we currently have in-house?
  • How many different devices will we need to support now? How many tomorrow?
  • How consistent will the app need to be with our mobile web experience or with our other digital touch-points?
  • Where do we place bets on the future?
  • How complex is the application we are trying to build?
  • How often will we need to update the app?
  • How integrated will the app need to be with our existing IT infrastructure?
  • How important is it to be able to innovate on the user experience?

The potential of Yahoo’s and Mozilla’s efforts are exciting– as well as those of Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and the open source communities.  But there is still a long way to go before we that promise turns into actual working enterprise software. For now, at least, we are all stuck with incomplete ”new” technologies like HTML5 or developing in yesterday’s HTML, or building multiple versions of the same app in different technologies.  Perhaps one day, as an industry, we’ll finally fulfill that ideal of platform convergence while being able to respond to consumer divergence.

Anthony Franco is president and co-founder of Denver-based user experience agency EffectiveUI and a self-described, “usability fanatic.”

VB Mobile SummitVentureBeat is holding its second annual Mobile Summit this April 2-3 in Sausalito, Calif. The invitation-only event will debate the five key business and technology challenges facing the mobile industry today, and participants — 180 mobile executives, investors, and policymakers — will develop concrete, actionable solutions that will shape the future of the mobile industry. You can find out more at our Mobile Summit site.

Article source: http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/08/mozilla-and-yahoo-overpromise-on-mobile/

Are We Putting Ourselves Out of Business With All These “How To” Blog Posts?

I was talking with my business partner, Diane Kinney, today about all the people in this industry that have told me that business has come to a screeching halt recently and others telling me they are merging businesses with friends. Diane pointed out that with all the “how to” blog posts many people think that they can follow the directions/tips on the blog posts and do their own SEO / Social Media / WordPress / Web design work themselves.

I think this is a very interesting perspective. We all write blog posts for rankings, traffic, industry respect and often, hopefully, new business. It is what this industry does, but we need to think about what impact our posts have on small-medium sized businesses. Are we giving them information that will help them make informed decisions or just enough information for them to hurt themselves?

There are many businesses hiring in-house employees to do their SEO and Social Media because they feel they can take the info they find on the Web and give it to their employee and the job will get done. They believe they can educate an employee and save money in the long run. Therefore, many smaller SEO/Social Media/Web design companies, and consultants, are getting less work. This is not good.

I use to write about what businesses needed to know and understand, but didn’t give away what I did because the process was too complex to even start to explain in a blog post. Those type of blog posts were not respected in our industry at the time; people wanted the point-by-point “how to” information. Those that gave it all away were respected and considered knowledgeable and many bloggers wanted that respect…everyone started giving away the bank.

I know it is very possible to educate without making readers feel they can do what we do. My goal has always been to write enough that the reader understands I know my stuff, but not give them enough information to attempt it on their own. This was for their safety more than my own.

This is Our Fault

What readers (outside of our industry) and many businesses do not understand is that although blogs are giving good tips those tips might only equal 2.3% of the information needed to succeed in any marketing effort; there is still 97+% of information we haven’t provided that must be understood to make things work effectively. They also don’t understand that often are posts are aimed at others in our industry that have extensive knowledge on the subject already and can add these tips to their arsenal.

It is not the reader’s fault that they think they can take the information and do it themselves. It is our fault for not pointing out that there is a heck of a lot more that people need to know to do well.

What I Feel Needs to Change

We all need to make it clear that we know what we are doing, we are experts in this field and if you want to attempt to do all of your online marketing yourself to remember that you get what you pay for. We need to change the angle of our posts a bit before we put many of our friends out of business.

I think many of us need to start explaining what businesses need to understand instead of giving what might be perceived as point-by-point instructions. Or, point out that the post is aimed at those that have the knowledge to successfully identify the tips that will work and which won’t. Some readers believe if they follow all the tips and instructions they will have success and they don’t need to hire anyone to help them.

There is a false belief that what we do is easy and can be quickly learned by reading what the experts write.

I know that with personalized search many felt that they had done their SEO just as well as any SEO company could. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen utter astonishment when I showed business owners that they were, in fact, not #1 for whatever amount of phrases.

I have seen businesses small to large believing they are succeeding in social media because they have 20,000 followers, yet they follow more people than follow them. I have seen people start “social media” companies because they have a Facebook account with 3,000+ friends or likes. Who says a follower count equals success?

Both Diane and I consistently (weekly) have people asking for help with WordPress, plugins and Web design because they thought they could do it themselves. Creating a good WordPress site is not easy and cannot be learned after reading the Web for an hour. They might think their site is good, but they don’t have the knowledge to truly evaluate anything.

People offer top 10 plugin posts all the time, but no one explains that there are so many plugin compatibility issues that cause problems all the time. Without experience you don’t know what your options are, where problems begin, what problems to avoid, which themes work with which plugins and what hell you are creating for yourself.

If you offer tips you need to offer true facts as well.

We MUST Stress Quality Knowledgeable Services

Close to Extinction

Close to Extinction

Many of us have read and studied our industry for years. We have lived it, tested, failed and succeeded. We know so much information. We need to find a way to point this out in our writings because readers need to understand that people can’t do what we do after reading 3 or 4 articles on a subject.

We need to establish ourselves as experts and we need to make sure we do not drive this industry to near extinction by giving away the knowledge we have all worked so hard to attain.

There has to be a differentiation between the experienced and those just learning. We need to build each other up as well so people can trust those that do have the experience. We need to support each other in this effort.

Let me also say that I am all for educational articles/posts that can help people learn this industry, but we have to make it clear who these articles are aimed at and basing a company’s future on substandard work is not recommended. Substandard work typically comes from ignorance and we don’t want to contribute to that ignorance.

Article source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/are-we-putting-ourselves-out-of-business-with-all-these-how-to-blog-posts/41110/

Start managing your website simply with a Content Management System

By: Heris Yunora

One main advantage of using CMS is one are going to be ready to manage the contents of one’s websites while not having to subsume sophisticated technical tasks. Imagine that you just are a really gifted author however you cannot show your writings on-line simply because you do not have any plan the way to write WebPages that accommodates HTML tags.

With CMS, an author solely must kind her works in an editor as if she does it with a word processor. Then the CMS itself that may show her works on-line. It’s an excellent time saver for a webmaster to form and maintain her web site. The installation method is additionally terribly straightforward since several internet hosting services have offered special options like Fantastico where a user will install a CMS with simply some clicks of mouse. The method is completed automatically or spontaneously.

Basically, an online content management system consists of 2 main components, a front and a back-end. The back-end could be a section where you’ll do several administrative tasks like inserting and editing articles, giving privileges to some individuals, managing the planning and feel of your website, and so on. The forepart or front end refers to what guests see. It’s the face of your web site.

In selecting a CMS, you ought to grasp what’s the most purpose of using it. There are CMSs that are supposed to make portals. Different systems are mainly used to make photo gallery, forum, personal or maybe company websites. Then you would like to understand what reasonably options they need. As an example, Drupal, an open supply CMS, provides a feature where you’ll gather recent contents from different sites by adding the sites’ feeds. You’ll even filter any things so you simply show the things that contain a selected keyword.

Usually, a CMS additionally offers extra modules that may enable you to use extra options while not having to place your efforts in programming. Simply download the module you would like and install it in your hosting server.

Don’t forget additionally to understand your own needs and abilities in modifying or changing a CMS. For example, Mambo ought to be adequate for you who don’t desire to subsume some PHP coding or ciphering. Mambo has already provided several modules or elements to accomplish specific tasks. It additionally offers ready-to-use templates you’ll opt for. On the opposite hand Typo3 is that the right alternative for folks that want a really strong and versatile system.

It is necessary to understand that there are such big amounts of industrial and free content management system out there. Vignette and FatWire are the instance of 2 industrial systems whereas PostNuke, Drupal and Mambo. An unengaged to use.

And, in fact there is different stuff you ought to contemplate for locating the proper CMS. Thus please do an honest and thorough analysis before deciding that system to use. Selecting the proper Content Management System from the start is incredibly vital. Ensure it’d best suit your wants.

Sencha Touch 2: Expanded HTML5 Platform

Sencha has shipped its Touch 2 HTML5 mobile application development framework this week. Targeting developers looking to build multi-platform HTML5 apps, the platform will produce applications that look and feel native on Android, Apple iOS, and Blackberry devices.

Touch 2 offers features designed to tap into native device APIs and web data sources. The product’s technology proposition hinges around its ability to build both consumer apps with rich layouts like newspapers, or business apps that use Sencha’s MVC architecture.

“Sencha Touch 2 provides a strong set of mobile web UI components that look and feel like their native counterparts. We get the best HTML5 user experience across multiple versions of the leading mobile platforms’ web browsers, and faster development time,” said Brett Cortese, president CEO of Universal Mind.

“With this release, Sencha’s engineers aimed to make standards-based web apps rival native apps on all the top devices and browsers. Sencha Touch 2 includes an updated and easier to use API, enhanced MVC, and richer documentation. To harness local hardware and system services, Sencha Touch 2 provides access to a wider set of native device APIs, allowing HTML5 developers to take advantage of hardware features. To broaden the reach of apps created with Sencha Touch 2, a free native packager is now included, enabling app distribution to the Apple App Store and the Android Market,” said the company.

Since its launch last year, more than 500,000 developers have downloaded Sencha Touch — its layout and animation engines make extensive use of CSS3, delivering smooth transitions and lightning-fast orientation changes.

Users have lauded Touch 2′s well-designed class system, its performance, and its API documentation. The company says that the platform builds on the lessons learned with Ext JS 4 to deliver a class system that delivers power above and beyond vanilla JavaScript.

Article source: http://drdobbs.com/web-development/232602239

Apple’s new iPad will transform web design

Apple's new iPad will transform web design
The new iPad’s Retina display has the potential to offer a fantastic web-browsing experience.

R/GA web strategist Brad Frost last week suggested the new iPad’s Retina display would wreak havoc on the web. In an article on his blog, Frost stated that despite the web already struggling with bloated downloads, designers would feel compelled to boost image resolutions, in order to combat a likely slew of crisp, Retina display-optimised apps. “The user on the bus can be on slow Wi-Fi or 3G and might just need to get the damn assets downloaded. They shouldn’t be punished with downloading a massive Retina-ready image,” said Frost. “We need a way to properly address this.”

Designers we spoke to echoed Frost’s concerns, but also hinted that Apple’s lead (which others are sure to quickly follow) also presented opportunities for change.

“Web developers will start thinking about Retina resolutions for sites now, but won’t know what to do about it for a while,” thinks ZURB partner Jonathan Smiley. He tells us that creating a site for the new iPad’s Retina display requires an understanding of the appropriate media queries, pixel ratios, knowledge of your options, and backend tools to help deliver the right content. “Throw on top of that mobile optimisation, even if the new iPad supports 4G, and it’s a pretty tricky picture.”

Icon artist and designer Jon Hicks says that the new iPad would undoubtedly have an effect on the industry: “Not only on vector artwork adoption, but also in the tools to create such content. Expect to see devs concentrating on making graphic apps produce good optimised SVG, in the same way animation tools have built up around CSS animations.” Hicks adds that with high density displays, “all the problems of restrictions of creating artwork that works with anti-aliasing and pixel grids no longer exist – it’s like working for print again”.

Double the workload

During the transitionary phase, however, Smiley reckons that while there’s awesome opportunity, “some people will have to lead the charge and show everyone how this can all work,” and notes that “it’s no easier for web developers to cater for this than app developers who need two sets of assets – and there are still plenty of iPhone apps that don’t work on Retina screens two years after the iPhone 4 appeared”.

Designer Sarah Parmenter mirrored Smiley in thinking designers might “have to start creating multiple sets of artwork, for web projects, as standard,” but also reckoned “we’re at a stage where the compatibility of CSS3 is excellent, on WebKit especially,” and so was hopeful designers can increasingly be creative with what can be achieved ‘natively’ in the browser. She also noted that services such as Pictos Server can assist with scalability of things such as icons. “I’m sure we’ll see more solutions in the coming months. And I think an interesting discussion to be had is whether web designers start adopting the @2x approach as standard or whether it gets classed as an additional service on-top of what we already do,” she added.

For Frost, any decisions designers come to must carefully balance performance and the improvements offered by advanced displays. He told .net that when the iPhone 4 arrived, there was a “massive scramble at our office to update icons and graphics to accommodate the Retina display. For these brands, image is really important and it was shocking to see just how badly fuzzed out a lot of imagery became.” Additionally, though, Frost noted that “tablets are still mobile devices, affected by slow connections and relatively underpowered processors.” 

The goal, according to Frost, is to keep things as lightweight and resolution-independent as possible. “Avoid images by using CSS gradients, rounded corners, box-shadows, and so on, and use HTML special characters and icon web fonts to reduce the dependency on images,” he recommended. “But use these techniques with consideration, because not every browser supports them. Progressively enhance a core experience to introduce these techniques and test it hard on real devices and in real situations.” He outlines further tips in Optimizing Web Experiences for High Resolution Screens, but told us the overriding rule is to “make contextually-considerate experiences”, and this “requires a lot of thought and care”.

What are your plans for working with high-density displays such as that on the new iPad? Let us know in the comments.

Article source: http://www.netmagazine.com/news/apples-new-ipad-will-transform-web-design-121830

ManageWP Powers Over 100000 WordPress Sites Within Three Months of Launch

NORFOLK, Va., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
The world demands a better way to manage multiple WordPress sites, and ManageWP — which just surpassed 100,000 managed websites — is the first service deemed worthy by the WordPress community to satisfy that demand.

Nearly 55% of all websites in the world that utilize content management systems are powered by WordPress, and many of these passionate WordPress users manage multiple WordPress sites. Unfortunately, the complexity and time requirements involved in managing multiple WordPress sites also continues to grow. Thankfully, a solution to these problems has arrived, and the WordPress community has shown its full support.

ManageWP is designed for WordPress users, by WordPress users, and has been completely built upon WordPress itself. It has shown the world that there is a new and innovative way to manage multiple WordPress sites with ease — and without all of the issues that WordPress multisite presents — all while saving users an incredible amount of time, money, and effort.

Within three months of its launch, ManageWP surpassed 100,000 managed WordPress sites. The service continues to earn the respect of the WordPress community: bloggers, marketers, journalists, media entities, web developers, web hosts, and large corporations — and all others who needs to manage a virtually unlimited number of WordPress sites — have shown their support.

ManageWP provides critical functionality and time-saving features for WordPress users:

Enhanced security features that go far beyond industry standards– Customizable scheduling of automated backups– Up-time monitoring tools that ensure that users are informed about their site status– SEO keyword ranking and management tools– Effortless deployment tools that make rapid deployments a breeze– One-click WordPress site login– Bulk management and publication of content

Sign up for a free, 15-day trial of ManageWP at

https://managewp.com/wp-signup.php

About ManageWP:

ManageWP empowers WordPress users to quickly, efficiently, and affordably manage multiple WordPress sites. By providing world-class tools along with a dedicated focus on security, ManageWP enables its users to manage, monitor, backup, secure, publish, and deploy self-hosted WordPress sites of any number and within any hosting environment without hassle.

Media Contact:

James Mowery757-337-4223james@managewp.com

SOURCE ManageWP

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Comtex

Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/managewp-powers-over-100000-wordpress-sites-within-three-months-of-launch-2012-03-08

Mass Relevance Launches Companion(TM) — Customizable Co-Viewing Product for …

AUSTIN, TX–(Marketwire – March 7, 2012) – Mass Relevance, the technology leader in social curation and integration, today introduced Companion, a flexible, HTML5 responsive UI second-screen product for brands and media. Through Companion, producers and marketers can now enhance any show or event with relevant, real-time social content and visualizations — delivered as a fully branded HTML5 web experience. Companion experiences are fully interactive, visually appealing on any device, and can be monetized via brand sponsorship to provide a new source of revenue.

The power of Companion is on full display with Mass Relevance’s SXSW Social Viewer, an innovative guide to SXSW 2012 that is immediately available at www.bit.ly/sxswnow. Leveraging the new capabilities, Social Viewer offers attendees a new destination that captures the most relevant SXSW conversations in one place along with a real-time summary and visualization of what is happening that moment and that day — regardless of what device is being used. The second screen experience for this year’s SXSW also delivers innovative features like a photo wall and a #beer stream to surface any ‘beer’ and/or party related tweets.

“Attendees of events, shows, or conferences seek out a real-time social co-viewing experience that is available from their phone, tablet or PC,” said Mass Relevance CEO and Founder Sam Decker. ”Brands and media who want to own and monetize a co-viewing experience also need to create an experience that delivers relevant content and interactivity. This new product is an extension of our platform and integration modules to deliver an exciting, engaging second screen experience that viewers — and sponsors — crave.”

The Rise of the Second Screen Imperative 
In October 2011, Nielsen stated that 40% of smartphone and tablet owners in the United States self-reported that they used their devices daily while watching TV. Moreover, a January 2011 study by Yahoo! reported 25% of those who are using a mobile device say they are browsing content related to the program that they are watching. However, marketers, producers and promoters face real challenges in delivering second screen experiences today. One major problem is that many times consumers are not getting social content that is relevant to their television experience. Most web site experiences are not optimized for mobile, and the social experience on them is limited to one stream from the official account or comments application from one network.

Mass Relevance’s Companion replaces social widgets and proprietary closed-ended chats and forums to provide a rich, interactive second screen experience that encourages participation, amplification and social following. Through Mass Relevance’s partnership with Twitter, brands and marketers can now access every tweet and monetize social content through sponsorship of high-impact Companion experiences.

Companion Capabilities
Companion leverages Mass Relevance’s partnership with Twitter and is built on the Mass Relevance platform that has powered successful integrated social content strategies for media, entertainment and consumer brands such as Cisco, Dick Clark Productions, E! Online, E!, MTV, NBC Sports and Pepsi. Key features include:

  • Aggregation: Producers and brands can aggregate all posts relevant to their show, event or topic — in real time and at scale.
  • Stream: filtered social content streams made up of Facebook and Twitter (more sources can be added on client request). The show or event producer can use the Mass Relevance platform to filter the set of content relevant for the event. This content is also interactive, allowing users to follow, retweet, reply, comment, etc.
  • “Lenses,” which allow the end user to filter the stream of content for specific relevance to them. This includes ability to filter by keywords from the social posts/tweets, but also for media and brands to create pre-set relevant filters for easy user access. For example, an event producer may create streams to show the conversations by track or topic, or pictures around the event, or where parties are located.
  • The ability to provide real-time and interactive infographics below the stream of content. Brands and media can select two to nine modules that can be filtered data or content presented in visual format. For example, a geomap of where people are tweeting from, or real-time trending topics chart, a leaderboard of most active or influential participants, a photo wall, a poll, a leaderboard of check-ins and more.
  • An automated stream or hand moderate featured tweet or Facebook post to be highlighted in the experience. For example, brands or media can use this to highlight announcements from the producer, such as what’s next on the agenda or invitation to an interactive poll powered by Mass Relevance.

The experience can be fully customized to fit the look and feel of the event, show or brand. Companion doesn’t require downloads or proprietary technology, and content displayed within a Companion experience can be fed into the website and venue. 

The entire experience, as well as interactive infographics, can be sponsored, as a function of the unique partnership between Twitter and Mass Relevance, which allows content publishers to work directly with Mass Relevance to publish and display syndicated Twitter content, as well as directly monetize the content through sponsorships or direct response.

For more information, pricing and availability, please visit: http://www.massrelevance.com/.

About Mass Relevance
Based in Austin, Texas, Mass Relevance enables entertainment, media, retail, and manufacturing brands to drive real-time engagement through social curation. The company provides a flexible, robust platform to facilitate audience and consumer interactions in a relevant, moderated way that is proven to deliver measurable results. Brands using Mass Relevance include RIM, NBC Sports, Xbox 360, Samsung, Cisco, National Instruments, and Golden Globe Awards, and the company recently partnered with Twitter on President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall. 

The company is privately held with venture capital funding. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.massrelevance.com

Article source: http://www.retail-digital.com/press_releases/e-commerce/mass-relevance-launches-companiontm----customizable-co-viewing-product-for-tv-broadcasts-live-shows

Mass Relevance Launches Companion(TM) — Customizable Co-Viewing Product for …

AUSTIN, TX–(Marketwire – March 7, 2012) – Mass Relevance, the technology leader in social curation and integration, today introduced Companion, a flexible, HTML5 responsive UI second-screen product for brands and media. Through Companion, producers and marketers can now enhance any show or event with relevant, real-time social content and visualizations — delivered as a fully branded HTML5 web experience. Companion experiences are fully interactive, visually appealing on any device, and can be monetized via brand sponsorship to provide a new source of revenue.

The power of Companion is on full display with Mass Relevance’s SXSW Social Viewer, an innovative guide to SXSW 2012 that is immediately available at www.bit.ly/sxswnow. Leveraging the new capabilities, Social Viewer offers attendees a new destination that captures the most relevant SXSW conversations in one place along with a real-time summary and visualization of what is happening that moment and that day — regardless of what device is being used. The second screen experience for this year’s SXSW also delivers innovative features like a photo wall and a #beer stream to surface any ‘beer’ and/or party related tweets.

“Attendees of events, shows, or conferences seek out a real-time social co-viewing experience that is available from their phone, tablet or PC,” said Mass Relevance CEO and Founder Sam Decker. ”Brands and media who want to own and monetize a co-viewing experience also need to create an experience that delivers relevant content and interactivity. This new product is an extension of our platform and integration modules to deliver an exciting, engaging second screen experience that viewers — and sponsors — crave.”

The Rise of the Second Screen Imperative 
In October 2011, Nielsen stated that 40% of smartphone and tablet owners in the United States self-reported that they used their devices daily while watching TV. Moreover, a January 2011 study by Yahoo! reported 25% of those who are using a mobile device say they are browsing content related to the program that they are watching. However, marketers, producers and promoters face real challenges in delivering second screen experiences today. One major problem is that many times consumers are not getting social content that is relevant to their television experience. Most web site experiences are not optimized for mobile, and the social experience on them is limited to one stream from the official account or comments application from one network.

Mass Relevance’s Companion replaces social widgets and proprietary closed-ended chats and forums to provide a rich, interactive second screen experience that encourages participation, amplification and social following. Through Mass Relevance’s partnership with Twitter, brands and marketers can now access every tweet and monetize social content through sponsorship of high-impact Companion experiences.

Companion Capabilities
Companion leverages Mass Relevance’s partnership with Twitter and is built on the Mass Relevance platform that has powered successful integrated social content strategies for media, entertainment and consumer brands such as Cisco, Dick Clark Productions, E! Online, E!, MTV, NBC Sports and Pepsi. Key features include:

  • Aggregation: Producers and brands can aggregate all posts relevant to their show, event or topic — in real time and at scale.
  • Stream: filtered social content streams made up of Facebook and Twitter (more sources can be added on client request). The show or event producer can use the Mass Relevance platform to filter the set of content relevant for the event. This content is also interactive, allowing users to follow, retweet, reply, comment, etc.
  • “Lenses,” which allow the end user to filter the stream of content for specific relevance to them. This includes ability to filter by keywords from the social posts/tweets, but also for media and brands to create pre-set relevant filters for easy user access. For example, an event producer may create streams to show the conversations by track or topic, or pictures around the event, or where parties are located.
  • The ability to provide real-time and interactive infographics below the stream of content. Brands and media can select two to nine modules that can be filtered data or content presented in visual format. For example, a geomap of where people are tweeting from, or real-time trending topics chart, a leaderboard of most active or influential participants, a photo wall, a poll, a leaderboard of check-ins and more.
  • An automated stream or hand moderate featured tweet or Facebook post to be highlighted in the experience. For example, brands or media can use this to highlight announcements from the producer, such as what’s next on the agenda or invitation to an interactive poll powered by Mass Relevance.

The experience can be fully customized to fit the look and feel of the event, show or brand. Companion doesn’t require downloads or proprietary technology, and content displayed within a Companion experience can be fed into the website and venue. 

The entire experience, as well as interactive infographics, can be sponsored, as a function of the unique partnership between Twitter and Mass Relevance, which allows content publishers to work directly with Mass Relevance to publish and display syndicated Twitter content, as well as directly monetize the content through sponsorships or direct response.

For more information, pricing and availability, please visit: http://www.massrelevance.com/.

About Mass Relevance
Based in Austin, Texas, Mass Relevance enables entertainment, media, retail, and manufacturing brands to drive real-time engagement through social curation. The company provides a flexible, robust platform to facilitate audience and consumer interactions in a relevant, moderated way that is proven to deliver measurable results. Brands using Mass Relevance include RIM, NBC Sports, Xbox 360, Samsung, Cisco, National Instruments, and Golden Globe Awards, and the company recently partnered with Twitter on President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall. 

The company is privately held with venture capital funding. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.massrelevance.com

Article source: http://www.execdigital.com/press_releases/moviesmusic-videos/mass-relevance-launches-companiontm----customizable-co-viewing-product-for-tv-broadcasts-live-shows

4 Ways To Make Your Ecommerce Site More Visually Appealing

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These days, every thriving retail business needs an ecommerce platform. While consumers flock to major online outlets like Amazon and eBay to get their share of products, smaller stores can benefit from the draw an online storefront can give them. That’s because more people are shopping online ever before — and that number is only getting bigger. In fact, online sales are expected to reach to a staggering $317 billion by 2016 in the U.S.

Ecommerce is definitely the future of sales, but there’s one thing that could send your ecommerce storefront to an early demise: an ugly layout. It’s plain and simple — no one wants to shop at an unattractive, dated, or unintuitive online storefront. Just as a front window display encourages customers to come into your store and take a peek at your wares, the way that your ecommerce landing and merchandise pages look either will entice users to click the check-out button or drive them to other websites.

“I believe that a lot of business owners, inspired by some successful online companies adopted the ‘if you build it, they will come’ approach,” says Adii Pienaar, co-founder of WordPress-based layout service WooThemes. “They didn’t fully appreciate the subtleties of good design, and the positive impact it could have on the performance of their stores.”

Mashable spoke with Pienaar and Greg Beldam, lead mobile designer at Shopify.com, about how to make your ecommerce website look as slick as possible. Do you have an ecommerce pet peeve or a design tip to offer? Let us know in the comments.


1. Pretty Products, Pretty Layout


First and foremost, the easiest way to make a beautiful layout is by using beautiful materials. Your ecommerce storefront should be focused on designing a layout that serves your most powerful resource: your merchandise.

“Users are interested in your products, so show them off with the best possible photography,” Beldam says. “Interesting shots of your products on white or being used in context will make your customers desire the item”

Layouts built around stylish and enticing photos, such as the above design of Fab.com, do best when they’re also relatively minimalist. Beldam adds that it’s best to use simple features that both complement and balance the product — there’s no reason to implement a design whose features compete with the items you’re trying to sell. But, just because simple is better doesn’t mean that there isn’t some leeway to infuse your company or brand’s unique charms into your design — just make sure that it all fits with your end goals.

“From start (visitor browsing your goods online) to end (completing the purchase), one should aim to influence and improve the user’s experience with a variety of visual cues and quirk,” Pienaar says.


2. Think of Scale and Flow


A large aspect of ecommerce layouts is about creating intriguing design that breaks away from traditional forms, while still looking great. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s wise to create an outsized purchase button on the merchandise page or put a price tag on every single photo. The key to designing a proper ecommerce platform is to prioritize.

“Start by creating a hierarchy of what information is most important on the page, and don’t be afraid of white space and varied sizing to create contrast,” Beldam advises. “Make call-to-action buttons stand out by being bright and colorful — they’re what you want your users to click the most.”

Beldam’s advice can be seen clearly in C Wonder‘s bracelet page: With all of the clear white space, it’s easy to see the details of each bracelet clearly and completely. The bracelets are all in relatively uniform size, but that naturally shows off the difference between each product — the shape of the chunky bracelet as compared to the one next to it, and so on — so a user can get a better idea of the relative size of the jewelry. And, when a user rolls over the title of the bracelet (which is a link to that item’s merchandise page), the text changes to a complementary color. In short, the scale of the layout encourages the user to click through and possibly make a purchase.

“As with any website, you should concentrate on ease of navigation, legibility, accessibility and above all, the optimization of the flow of a user landing on your homepage, and then making their way to your target zones, whether that’s a checkout or a contact form,” Pienaar explains.

Keep scale and flow in mind, and your layout can actually improve the desire to make a purchase.


3. Don’t Overdo Dynamic Code


These days, everyone seems to be talking about HTML5 and CSS3 as the future of web layouts and design, and JavaScript is nearly ubiquitous on the Internet. Think about incorporating dynamic content into your ecommerce layout, but be sure to use it wisely.

“HTML5 and JavaScript allow some really interesting animations and effects that can enhance your layout, but when overused, [they] can detract from the overall experience,” Beldam says.

Pienaar agrees: “It’s no good having a store written in bleeding edge HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery if the majority of your audience will be browsing in IE6 with JavaScript disabled.”

One subtle way to include dynamic content is through product photos, such as the JavaScript code incorporated in Rent the Runway‘s merchandise pages. It’s subtle, but when you roll over a picture, there is a clear zoom of the current photo you’ve selected. That way, you can focus in on the print, fit or details of a particular product before making a purchase. No JavaScript? No problem. All of RTR’s photos have a seamless fallback to a standard .jpg image if JavaScript isn’t detected. This design element not only makes the website look much more high-end and desirable, but it is also egalitarian: No user will miss the eye candy, no matter what browser they’re on.


4. Don’t Forget Mobile


Believe it or not, mobile ecommerce, or mcommerce, is actually one of the most growing activities online. Mcommerce is actually expected to increase 99-fold — from $770 million to $77 billion — by 2015. There’s no better way to prepare for the upcoming surge in mobile purchasing than by nipping it in the bud and thinking about how your current ecommerce site will look on someone’s smartphone.

“Pay attention to mobile,” Beldam says. “Is their experience equal to or better than that of a desktop user? Are they blocked from viewing and buying your products? Do you offer a mobile website or mobile-optimized experience?”

Take a look at the mobile offerings from The Foundary. While the background and design elements remained the same, all of the items and merchandise pages are optimized for mobile. Not only are the pictures clear and vibrant, but the way everything is structured is both intuitive and organized. No zooming or fussing is necessary. Seamless mobile experiences like this one are the next step in online shopping, and getting ahead of the game with a special mobile platform (or a highly streamlined traditional website that is mobile-tested) is a wise investment of both your time and money.


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Article source: http://mashable.com/2012/03/08/ecommerce-visual-tips/

Greece Readies Record Debt Swap With 60% Commitments

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Private Investors With 60% of Greek Bonds to Join Debt Swap

Private Investors With 60% of Greek Bonds to Join Debt Swap

Private Investors With 60% of Greek Bonds to Join Debt Swap

Petros Giannakouris/AP

The Acropolis in Athens.

The Acropolis in Athens. Photographer: Petros Giannakouris/AP

UBS's Yu Discusses Greek Debt Swap

March 8 (Bloomberg) — Geoffrey Yu, a currency analyst at UBS AG, discusses participation in the Greek debt swap, the outlook for the euro and European Central Bank monetary policy.
He speaks with Caroline Hyde and Linda Yueh on Bloomberg Television’s “First Look.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Greylock's Humes on Greek Debt Swap

March 7 (Bloomberg) — Hans Humes, president of Greylock Capital Management, talks about prospects for investor participation in Greece’s debt swap and Greylock’s interest in Irish debt.
Humes speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Millstein Sees `Tough Slog' for Greek Recovery

March 8 (Bloomberg) — Jim Millstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Millstein Co. and former chief restructuring officer at the U.S. Treasury, talks about the outlook for Greece’s debt swap and bond markets.
Millstein also discusses the U.S. Treasury Department’s sale of $6 billion in shares of American International Group Inc. He speaks with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” (Source: Bloomberg)

BGC's Cooper on Greek Debt Swap, U.K. Economy

March 7 (Bloomberg) — Louise Cooper, an analyst at BGC Partners, talks about participation by private investors in Greece’s debt swap and the outlook for interest rates and the economy in the U.K.
She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness With Margaret Brennan.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Greece Expected to Trigger Collective Action Clause

March 7 (Bloomberg) — Patrick Armstrong, managing partner at Armstrong Investment Managers, talks about the debt swap deal between Greece and private investors.
He speaks with Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move.” (Source: Bloomberg)

SocGen, Generali, UniCredit Join Greek Debt Swap

March 7 (Bloomberg) — Societe Generale SA, France’s second-biggest bank, Assicurazioni Generali SpA and UniCredit SpA joined firms saying they would participate in Greece’s debt swap. Olivia Sterns reports on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move” with Mark Barton. (Source: Bloomberg)


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Greece on Verge of Debt Swap With At Least 60% Committed

Greece on Verge of Debt Swap With At Least 60% Committed

Greece on Verge of Debt Swap With At Least 60% Committed

Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

Pedestrians pass in front of a sign in a shop reads ”One euro, prices’ haircut” in Athens on March 8, 2012.

Pedestrians pass in front of a sign in a shop reads ”One euro, prices’ haircut” in Athens on March 8, 2012. Photographer: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP


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Investors With 58% of Greek Bonds Agree to Swap

Investors With 58% of Greek Bonds Agree to Swap

Investors With 58% of Greek Bonds Agree to Swap

Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Flags at a store in Athens on March 7, 2012.

Flags at a store in Athens on March 7, 2012. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg


Enlarge image
Private Investors With 58% of Greek Bonds Agree to Debt Swap

Private Investors With 58% of Greek Bonds Agree to Debt Swap

Private Investors With 58% of Greek Bonds Agree to Debt Swap

Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Health workers demonstrate against the government’s austerity measures in central Athens on Feb. 23, 2012.

Health workers demonstrate against the government’s austerity measures in central Athens on Feb. 23, 2012. Photographer: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Greece moved closer to sealing the
biggest sovereign restructuring in history as investors
indicated they’ll participate in the nation’s debt swap.

Holders of about 60 percent of the Greek bonds eligible for
the deal, including Greece’s largest banks, most of the
country’s pension funds and more than 30 European banks and
insurers including BNP Paribas (BNP) SA and Commerzbank AG (CBK), have
agreed to the offer so far. That brings the total to about 124
billion euros ($163 billion), based on data compiled by
Bloomberg from company reports and government statements.

The euro and stocks gained on speculation Greece was on the
verge of reaching its participation target by the deadline of 10
p.m. in Athens today. The goal of the exchange is to reduce the
206 billion euros of privately held Greek debt by 53.5 percent
and turn the tide against the debt crisis that has roiled Europe
for more than two years.

“A historic process will be completed tonight,” Greek
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told Parliament in Athens
today. “If all goes well, tomorrow we can announce that we are
relieving Greeks of 105 billion euros of debt.”

While Greece would prefer a voluntary deal, the government
has said it will use collective action clauses to force holders
of Greek-law bonds into the swap if the so-called private sector
involvement falls short and it gets sufficient approval from
investors to change the bonds’ terms.

No Big Surprise

The swap “will go through” and markets won’t be jarred
should a majority fall short of the targeted amount, Peter Bofinger, an economic adviser to the German government, said in
an interview from Berlin today with Bloomberg Television.

“The markets are aware of the risk that a majority for
voluntary restructuring is not available,” Bofinger said. “So
I think the surprise won’t be too big if tonight when they
realize the collective action clauses will have to be applied.”

Under the rules of the exchange, investors holding at least
50 percent of the eligible bonds must vote on the swap, and 66
percent of those must agree to amend the bonds to enable the
government to impose the collective action clauses, said
Christoph Rieger, Commerzbank’s head of fixed-income strategy.

“Adding up the commitments to participate in the Greek
PSI, it is now clear that the CAC hurdles will very likely be
cleared,” Reiger said.

The 17-nation euro rose for a second day against the
dollar, gaining 0.65 percent to $1.3235 as of 4:06 p.m. in
Berlin. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) gained 0.9 percent.

‘Breathing Space’

“The fact is the markets had a very long time to be
prepared for this,” Janet Henry, chief European economist at
HSBC Holdings Plc, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.
“There’s a lot more optimism in markets relative to where we
were at the end of last year.” She cited the “breathing
space” provided by the European Central Bank’s liquidity offer
for banks.

In Frankfurt, ECB President Mario Draghi said it would be
“completely inappropriate” to comment on the Greek debt swap
since “the operation is unfolding.”

The Greek government has said it wants participation above
90 percent and is seeking a minimum level of 75 percent,
including with use of the collective action clauses. Greece
expects holders to accept the offer and is ready to force them
if necessary, Venizelos said in an interview earlier this week.

Participation Rate

Hans Humes, president of Greylock Capital Management,
expects holders of more than 80 percent of Greece’s government
bonds to accede to the swap, he said in a Bloomberg Television
interview yesterday. Humes is a member of a committee of private
bondholders that negotiated the deal with the government.

Niek Hoek, chief executive officer of Amsterdam-based Delta
Lloyd NV, said today the insurer plans to take part in the swap
deal on condition that the CAC clause applies to all parties.

“We have indicated we will participate if everyone else
does,” he told reporters on a call. “Our base case expectation
is the clause will be declared applicable and that the debt will
be restructured in that fashion.”

Greece’s six largest banks, cumulatively the biggest
private holders of the country’s debt, plan to accept the offer,
the Finance Ministry said March 6. Greek pension funds with
about 17 billion euros of bonds will also join, Finance Minister
Evangelos Venizelos said on Real FM Radio yesterday.

Banks, Insurers

More than thirty banks and insurers that were on the
private creditor-investor committee for Greece plan to accept
the swap, according to an e-mailed statement from the Institute
of International Finance yesterday. Those investors hold an
aggregate 84 billion euros of bonds, said the Washington-based
IIF, which represents more than 450 financial firms globally.

Some investors are probably still evaluating Greece’s
offer, Charles Dallara, the IIF’s managing director, told
reporters in Rio de Janeiro today. Investors should believe the
Greek government when it says this is the final offer, he said.
He reiterated that he expects a high level of participation,
without giving a specific number.

Investors who participate will get new bonds with a face
value of less than half the previous securities, longer
maturities and reduced interest rates, leading to a net present
value loss of more than 70 percent. The new bonds do come with
warrants that will provide extra income in years when Greek
economic growth exceeds certain thresholds.

Non-Greek Law

The amount of the country’s bonds issued under other than
Greek law totals 29 billion euros, or 14 percent of the amount
eligible for the swap, Frankfurt-based KfW said, citing the swap
invitation memorandum. Those bonds are governed by different
rules and wouldn’t be subject to the collective action clauses
that were retroactively added to the Greek-law securities.

“I do fully expect to be part of the collective action
clause,” Patrick Armstrong, managing partner at Armstrong
Investment Managers in London, said yesterday in a Bloomberg
Television interview. He said he wouldn’t voluntarily join in
the swap because of the “minuscule” chance his bond maturing
March 20 will be redeemed at face value.

Compelling holdouts to take part will likely trigger
insurance contracts on the debt known as credit default swaps.

“I can’t see any scenario where people are forced to
participate against their will and they aren’t triggered,”
Armstrong said.

Participating Members

The members of the IIF creditor-investor committee who
agreed to participate are Ageas, Allianz SE, Alpha Bank SA, Axa
SA (CS)
, La Banque Postale, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Bank
of Cyprus, BNP Paribas, CNP Assurances SA, Commerzbank AG (CBK),
Credit Agricole SA, Credit Foncier, DekaBank Deutsche
Girozentrale, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Dexia SA, Emporiki Bank of
Greece SA, EFG Eurobank, Generali, Greylock, Groupama SA, HSBC
Holdings Plc, ING Bank,
Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), KBC Groep NV,
Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, Marfin Popular Bank Plc, Metlife
Inc., National Bank of Greece SA (ETE), Piraeus Bank SA, Royal Bank of
Scotland Group Plc, Societe Generale SA and UniCredit SpA.

In Germany, Munich Re, DZ Bank AG and KfW Group also said
they will take part in the exchange. FMS Wertmanagement, the bad
bank created to prevent the collapse of German property lender
Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, and Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, the
restructuring unit of state-owned lender WestLB AG, are both
planning to take part in the exchange, according to people
familiar with the matter. The two bad banks together hold as
much as 9.8 billion euros in Greek debt.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at
fabiobv@bloomberg.net;
Maria Petrakis at
mpetrakis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-07/investors-with-39-of-greek-debt-agree-to-join-in-swap-iif-says.html