I'm not going to play poker, ever, with Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, because the man knows how to play a hand. Late yesterday, when nobody was watching, but just in time to make the evening news cycle, he released the full transcript of t...
Apple's TV hobby just a bit bigger: Apple has added 5 new content providers to its sort-of settop box, notably Time Warner's HBO Go and Disney's WatchESPN. Also available as of today: Satellite TV service Sky News; anime subscription service Crunchyroll and concert subscription service Qello.
Apple TV owners who have access to HBO and/or ESPN have already been able to stream video from those companies' apps to their sets, via Airplay. But direct access via a dedicated app should be a plus.
Of course, as with all things related to TV and the Internet, there is a bit of fine print that will trip up some pay TV subscribers. For now, the HBO Go app won't be available to DirecTV or Charter subscribers, and the ESPN app won't be available to Dish or DirecTV subs. Chalk that up to the fact that "TV Everywhere" still isn't, because of legal/biz dev/technical issues that take way too long to sort out.
The new apps mean there are now 14 outside developers/services providing video for Apple TV, which is a big improvement over a few years ago, when the box was primarily a Netflix + iTunes provider. But it's a far cry from the open platform that rival Roku offers.
And there's still no sense that Apple is in a hurry to change that.
The House Judiciary Committee approved a measure late Tuesday that would make it a federal crime for illegal immigrants to be in the United States. The Republican-backed proposal also would permit state and local governments to draft their own immigration ... Continue reading ->
Trying to tamp down concerns about government over-reach, President Barack Obama on Wednesday defended U.S. internet and phone surveillance programs as narrowly targeted efforts that have saved lives and thwarted at least 50 terror threats
Call them app-trepreneurs, the millions of would-be founders who've developed the more than 900,000 apps currently on sale in Apple's iPhone app store. 26 of these mobile designers came together Tuesday night in San Francisco's financial district to pit their financially-charged applications against each other for $100,000 in prize money for the first ever FinCapDev competition.
The nation's crude oil supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday.
Please join the Reliable Source weekly online live discussion today at noon. America, Kanye and Kim's baby is born, but we still don't have a name. Ladies, Rupert Murdoch is back on the market, but the other shoe still has not dropped. Josh Duggar moves to D.C. for conservative politics. James Cameron goes vegan, urges you to do the same. Activist Mark Krikorian loses his volunteer job. Forget about Miss Utah -- did any of the Miss USA contestants have a brilliant interview? Newt Gingrich gets a surprise for his 70th birthday. Remember to count the silverware after Vladimir Putin comes to dinner. You cannot beat George H.W. Bush's birthday socks. Multi-hyphenate J-Lo adds TV exec to her resume. Senate kids keep getting in trouble. Generation X finally launches a '90s hipster bookstore owner to federal power. Nancy Pelosi sings with Mary Wilson of the Supremes. Another eligible congressman is off the market. And R.I.P., Michael Hastings.
Calavo Growers recently reported a big second quarter earnings miss despite strong top-line growth thanks to a significant decline in the gross profit margin. This prompted analysts to revise their estimates lower going forward, sending the stock to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). With shares trading at a lofty 20x forward earnings, investors should consider waiting for earnings momentum to turn around before establishing a position here. Calavo Growers, Inc. distributes avocados, prepared avocado products, and other perishable food products to food distributors, produce wholesalers, supermarkets, and restaurants. The company obtains avocados primarily from California, Mexico, and Chile. It was founded in 1924 and has a market cap of $401 million. Second Quarter Results Calavo Growers reported its fiscal 2013 second quarter results on June 5. Earnings per share came in at 19 cents, significantly below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents. It was the company's second straight earnings miss. Net sales rose 20% year-over-year to $166.4 million as Calavo packed and sold 40% more fresh avocado units. However, the company offered discounts in many cases, which led to a significant decline in the gross profit margin. For instance, gross profit declined from 10.6% in the second quarter last year to just 6.9% of net sales in the same quarter this year. Estimates Fall Following the Q2 miss, analysts revised their estimates significantly lower for both 2013 and 2014. This sent the stock to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). The 2013 Zacks Consensus Estimate is now $1.24, down from $1.50 just 30 days ago. The 2014 consensus is down from $1.68 to $1.51 over the same period. You can see this negative earnings momentum in the company's 'Price & Consensus' chart: Another bearish signal for Calavo Growers is the Zacks Industry Rank. The 'Agriculture Operations' industry ranks in the bottom 5% of all industries at 253 of out 265. Premium Valuation Despite the negative earnings momentum, shares of Calavo Growers still trade at a premium valuation. The 12-month forward P/E ratio is 20, above its 10-year median of 16 and well above the industry median of 10. Its price to tangible book ratio of 4.7 is also well above its peers and its historical median. The Bottom Line Given declining earnings estimates and premium valuation, investors should consider waiting for the earnings momentum of this avocado company to turn around before establishing a position. Todd Bunton is the Growth & Income Stock Strategist for Zacks Investment Research and Editor of the Income Plus Investor service.
Brazil has been on a roller coaster ride for the past three years, most of it downhill.
I've long advised my kids that whatever completes the question, "Wouldn't it be great (or fun) if..." will be trouble, that it will not in fact be great or fun. I should add to my advise that any sentence containing the thread, "I'm not..., but..." will turn out just as poorly. Tennis star Serena Williams is learning that right now as she gets justifiable backlash for her comments about a rape case involving members of the Steubenville (Ohio) High School football team.
Online travel review site TripAdvisor today added another acquisition to its portfolio, buying airport info app GateGuru. The app is used by travelers on the day of their flight, providing real-time info such as wait times, gate changes and flight delays. Earlier this year, TripAdvisor bought Jetsetter, Gilt Groupe's travel-sale site.
Four in 10 indigenous Canadian children live in poverty, more than twice the national rate, finds a study that urges an increase in social services.
Sometimes you can have a good company that finds its stock a bit ahead of itself, which is what I think we are seeing here in Barnes Group, today's Bear of the Day.
Today's a day for enterprise-focused to be coming out of stealth. The latest is called ThousandEyes and its aim is to address a peculiar problem that emerges in the era of cloud computing.
As so many enterprise applications have migrated off-premise and into the cloud, companies that use them are a little bit at the mercy of their SAAS providers when those applications go down. If Salesforce.com has a performance issue, you're sort of stuck watching its performance dashboard and waiting until the issue is resolved. The situation is essentially out of the enterprises' control.
Backed by a $5.5 millon investment from Sequoia Capital, ThousandEyes aims to make it easier to solve those problems. CEO Mohit Lad told me that performance management products that enterprises have available to them today are generally blind to everything outside the corporate firewall.
Thousand Eyes has technology that provides some visibility into the many layers involved with delivering an application and all its connecting tissue, making it easier to track down the source of the problem.
If that doesn't get the job done there's a capability to provide deep path analysis to show in pretty surgical detail the path running between you and the cloud provider. There's also a tool that will let you share information about the service problems with other members of your team around the world so you can easily compare notes and get the problem solved faster.
It already has a pretty impressive roster of customers: Cloud services provider Equinix, cloud-based productivity app Evernote, travel site Priceline, ServiceNow, Twitter, Zendesk and Zynga
A Milan court has convicted the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of tax evasion.
One of the three falcon chicks nesting at Kitchener TV station was reunited with her family after being attacked by a squirrel
Brad Pitt wanted to build a better blockbuster.
With Prince William and the former Kate Middleton expecting their first child in mid-July - and much of the world interested in the birth of a future monarch - officials at Clarence House have released some of the couple's plans, although many details are still being kept private. Kate has made several public appearances recently but is expected to keep a low profile in the final weeks of her pregnancy. Here is the latest news about the infant who will, upon entering the world, be third in line for the British throne.
Both Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush would lose to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if the presidential election were held today as Florida independent and Hispanic voters give the Democrat the edge
Manchester United will start the defence of their Premier League crown at Swansea City before hosting Jose Mourinho's Chelsea on the second weekend of the 2013-14 season.
Pardon the morning Shakespeare. But I think a small dose of Romeo and Juliet might be helpful in wading through recent commentary on the "Hastert Rule"--the expectation that House majority party leaders will use their leverage over the floor agenda to block measures opposed by a majority of the majority party. The "rule" is in the news of course because the fate of bipartisan immigration reform rests in part on whether Speaker Boehner would be willing to allow passage of reform with Democratic votes, rolling a GOP majority.
Some thoughts on two dimensions of recent Hastert rule coverage:
First, many reporters delight in pointing out that the Hastert rule is not a formal rule, such as this morning's tweet from Greg Sargent: "Someone needs to tell the @nytimes that there isn't really any such thing as the 'Hastert Rule.'" In some ways, the distinction is politically important. By naming the Hastert rule a "practice" (rather than a codified rule), rolling the majority party on the House floor (thereby "breaking" the rule) shouldn't be seen as such a politically costly move for Speaker Boehner. If the speaker is charged with protecting the interests of the chamber, then we should expect the speaker to allow a chamber--rather than a party majority--to work its will on the big issues of the day. Reifying the practice as a rule potentially empowers opponents of immigration reform.
That said, I'm not sure that the distinction between formal rule and informal practice or precedent matters in this context. Even if we reach back to the early 20th century, we hear echoes of the Hastert rule in legislative parlance. As Speaker Nicholas Longworth (R-Ohio) said back in 1925,
"I believe it to be the duty of the Speaker...standing squarely on the platform of his party, to assist in so far as he properly can the enactment of legislation in accordance with the declared principles and policies of his party and by the same token to resist the enactment of legislation in violation thereof."
The key word here is duty. Similarly, Cox and McCubbins' model in Setting the Agenda assumes that majority party leaders "act according to a minimal fiduciary standard...they do not use their official powers to push legislation that would pass on the floor against the wishes of most in their party" (p9). Again, the concept is a norm, not a rule. Leaders are expected to behave as such (and as fiduciaries, are trusted to do so), given the risk of losing their leadership positions if they violate the norm. In other words, these accounts suggest that compliance with a Hastert "norm" is rational, and thus sustainable. As Jon Bernstein put it yesterday, "That doesn't need to be incorporated into any formal rule; it's just how it is."
That said, recent violations of the Hastert rule/norm haven't led a majority of the conference to replace Boehner. (This isn't surprising, given that sixty percent of House GOP voted at least once with Democrats on the three 113th Congress Hastert rule violations.) In short, I don't think it matters whether we consider the Hastert practice a formal rule or behavioral norm: the Speaker will observe it to the greatest extent that he can, except when maintenance of the party's reputation compels him (through the Rules Committee) to allow a bipartisan bill or conference report to come to the floor. Again, in purely rational terms, a norm is likely to be sustained so long as the costs of compliance (however defined) don't exceed the benefits.
Second, just a word about the efforts of conservatives (inside and outside of the GOP conference) to codify the Hastert rule. Some report that the effort would codify the Hastert rule as a formal rule of the House. That's not quite right: conservatives are seeking to codify the rule within GOP party conference rules. Does the distinction between chamber and party rules matter? Certainly the lower visibility of conference rules (and their lack of force on the House floor) might make it easier to violate or waive them. (GOP conference rules allow a supermajority to waive party rules, and it's not clear how a party rule would bind the Speaker's compliance.) Unfortunately, there is relatively little research on the politics of creating or maintaining party caucus or conference rules (at least outside of the 1970s House Democrats' rules on selecting committee chairs). And the one piece I can think of this morning--a very nice Matt Green article in Legislative Studies Quarterly in 2002--suggested the limits of the Democrats' famed experimentation with a binding caucus in the early 20th century. (Binding caucus rules proved no match for internal party divisions on highly salient issues ...)
That said, no one seems to expect the conservatives' efforts to succeed. And given that the Hastert rule/norm is only as strong as rank and file GOP 's trust that their leaders will observe it, it probably doesn't matter whether the practice is codified or remains informal. As Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) reacted to the codification campaign, "I don't think many people are apt to sign on to something like this, and at the end of the day, you trust your leaders or you don't."
A few items that caught our attention on Wednesday:
IRS is about to pay $70 million in bonuses despite administration directive. That's according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who said his office has learned that the IRS is executing an agreement with the employees' union on Wednesday to pay the bonuses. A directive from the White House budget office tells agencies to not pay discretionary monetary awards under the sequester "unless legally required," according to an Associated Press article.
The Duchess of Cambridge is expected to give birth at St Mary's Hospital in London - the same place where Princess Diana had Prince William and Prince Harry.
Cliff Lee tried to make it clear Tuesday night that his faith in the Phillies is still strong and he wants to win in Philadelphia, and isn't seeking a change of scenery.
The Globe and Mail's Jacqueline Nelson looks at what to expect from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz
Annual competition to determine the world's best hairstylists includes five competitors from our nation's capital
Rockmelt, the startup that aims to reinvent the Web browser with a social focus, launched an Android application on Wednesday morning. Unlike the company's existing iPad and iPhone apps, Rockmelt's new Android app has been reconfigured to fit the many screen sizes that Android devices come in. Rockmelt also made updates to the navigation user interface, vertical and horizontal viewing modes, and added place-saving "elevator buttons" for easier browsing. The new Rockmelt apps host more than 1.1 million users to date.