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Kelly Osbourne quits E!'s 'Fashion Police'

Written By limadu on Minggu, 01 Maret 2015 | 14.44

zendaya rancic osbourne Kelly Osbourne (center) has quit E!'s 'Fashion Police.'

E! announced on Friday that Kelly Osbourne will be departing the network's style and red carpet show to "pursue other opportunities."

"We would like to thank her for her many contributions to the series over the past five years during which time the show became a hit with viewers," the network said in a statement.

The departure comes as "Fashion Police" is facing scrutiny over one of its hosts comments.

On Monday's telecast, co-host Giuliana Rancic made a comment about the dreadlocks of actress-singer Zendaya Coleman, saying the hair probably smelled like "weed" or "patchouli oil." Some felt the comment was racially insensitive.

The backlash from Rancic's comment fell onto Osbourne who took to Twitter to convey her displeasure over the situation.


Giuliana Rancic has since apologized for her comments.

E! said that the show would return as scheduled on Friday, March 30 and that no decisions have yet been made on Osbourne's replacement.

The woman who broke into the BBQ 'boys club'

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CNNMoney (New York) February 27, 2015: 7:32 PM ET

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Warren Buffett knows who next Berkshire CEO is

He also said that he knows who will one day replace him. Of course, Buffett did not share that name with the rest of us.

"The board and I believe we now have the right person to succeed me as CEO -- a successor ready to assume the job the day after I die or step down," he wrote in his latest annual letter to investors.

Buffett added that the next Berkshire CEO would be someone that already works at Berkshire and is "relatively young."

And while Buffett chose to be coy, Berkshire's vice chairman and long-time Buffett friend Charlie Munger seemed to suggest that it's a two-man race to succeed Buffett.

Munger, in his own remarks in Buffett's letter, specifically named Berkshire reinsurance head Ajit Jain and Berkshire Energy CEO Greg Abel as "proven performers who would probably be under-described as 'world-class.'"

Munger added that he doubted either Jain or Abel would ever leave Berkshire or seek to change how the company is run.

This is Buffett's 50th annual shareholder letter since he took control of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) in 1964. So it's only natural that it's time for Buffett to prepare Berkshire investors for life without him.

Throughout the past five decades, Buffett has had a lot to say about the financial markets, economy and society.

Last year, he even gave travel tips, urging people to consider flying to Kansas City, and then drive a rental to Nebraska, since airlines often have "jacked up prices" on flights to Omaha. This year, he even endorsed Airbnb as a way to save on lodging -- though it's hard to imagine Buffett endorsing the young tech company as an investment.

Related: How good is Warren Buffett? Very

But most Buffett fans read the letters for his advice on stocks -- even though Buffett has conceded that the portfolios run by his two investing lieutenants Todd Combs and Ted Weschler have outperformed his own lately.

Buffett is a classic buy and hold investor who has largely shunned pricey technology stocks in favor of blue chips in the financial, industrial and consumer sectors. He has often urged investors to not panic and dump stocks due to fear.

In this year's letter, Buffett stressed that investors should not confuse volatility and risk. He said that stocks "will always be far more volatile" than cash and other investments.

But the bigger risk is not being in the market.

Buffett said that "for the great majority of investors, however, who can -- and should -- invest with a multi-decade horizon ... their focus should remain fixed on attaining significant gains in purchasing power over their investing lifetime."

The proof is in the returns. Berkshire's market value per share has increased by a jaw-dropping 1,826,163% in the past 50 years.

To put that in perspective, the compounded annual gain is 21.6%, compared to 9.9% for the S&P 500.

Another constant Buffett refrain: Don't bet against America. Better times lie ahead.

That optimistic spirit was once again present in this year's letter. Buffett was particularly confident about the chances of continued success for Berkshire.

He said that "the chance of permanent capital loss for patient Berkshire shareholders is as low as can be found among single-company investments" and added that the there is "essentially zero" risk of Berkshire being hit by any major financial problems.

Related: Berkshire is one of Motley Fool's best stocks to buy

Buffett even joked that Berkshire would "always be prepared for the thousand-year flood" and "will be selling life jackets to the unprepared." That's a reference to some of the big investments Berkshire made in financial firms in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis.

But he added that Berkshire is now so big, it will be tough to match the performance of the past 50 years.

Buffett also stressed that the company is much more than an investing and insurance giant -- and he hinted at more deals to come.

Berkshire bought railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe in 2009 and teamed up with private equity firm 3G Capital to purchase Heinz in 2013.

"Berkshire is now a sprawling conglomerate, constantly trying to sprawl further," he wrote, adding that it expected to partner even more with 3G.

Still, some investors have questioned whether Buffett has lost his mojo. Big Berkshire investments IBM (IBM, Tech30), Coca-Cola (KO) and American Express (AXP) have lagged the market lately.

Related: Warren Buffett ditched Big Oil. Dumb move?

However, other Berkshire stocks -- most notably top holding Wells Fargo (WFC) -- have done extremely well.

Buffett refers to Wells, IBM, Coke and AmEx as Berkshire's "Big Four" investments. And he does not seem to be too concerned by the recent problems at the latter three.

He said that all four "possess excellent businesses and are run by managers who are both talented and shareholder-oriented."

And Berkshire's own stock has outperformed the S&P 500 over the past five years. The company is now the fourth most valuable in America, trailing only Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Google (GOOGL, Tech30) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

But Buffett did concede that he made one huge blunder last year. Its investment in British supermarket chain Tesco (TESO) turned out to be a flop due to an accounting problem at the retailer.

Related: Berkshire buys stake in Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox

Berkshire sold some of its Tesco stake in 2013 but didn't unload the rest until after the stock had plunged last year. Buffett took full responsibility for "the leisurely pace in making sales."

"I made a big mistake with this investment by dawdling," he wrote. But even that error didn't wind up hurting Berkshire too badly.

Buffett said that after-tax loss on Tesco was $444 million -- about 1/5 of 1% of Berkshire's net worth.

One of the nice things about being so big is that you don't have to hit a home run every time you step up to the plate.

CNNMoney (New York) February 28, 2015: 10:27 AM ET

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Advice from Warren Buffett that could make you rich

Such consistency has paid off for Buffett: A jaw-dropping return of 1,826,163% over the past half century. That's an average annual gain of 21.6%, compared to 9.9% for the S&P 500.

You probably can't do as well as Buffett -- he's got a lot of advantages you don't -- but his advice can get you a lot of the way to reaching your goals.

1. "America's best days lie ahead"

Remember 2008, the early days of the Great Recession? A lot of people couldn't imagine better days ahead, got scared and sold their stocks. A massive rally of 200% followed for those with the courage to ride out the tough times.

Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger held strong, and took the opportunity to pick up bargains. True, they're billionaires and can better afford to do so. But it's a lesson for all of us.

In 2015, there is no shortage of reasons to worry. But here's what Buffett has to say about it:

"Charlie and I have always considered a "bet" on ever-rising U.S. prosperity to be very close to a sure thing. Though the preachers of pessimism prattle endlessly about America's problems, I've never seen one who wishes to emigrate (though I can think of a few for whom I would happily buy a one-way ticket). Most assuredly, America's best days lie ahead."

2. If you think long, stocks aren't as risky as you think

Sure, stocks can take you on some scary rides. Bad years with losses of 10% or 20% come around often enough. Specific stocks you own might go to zero if you were really speculating.

But Buffett spends some time telling investors not to mistake those ups-and-downs with risk -- provided you build a diversified portfolio of established companies, and are saving for the long term.

Here's Buffett: "It has been far safer to invest in a diversified collection of American businesses than to invest in securities -- Treasuries, for example -- whose values have been tied to American currency. That was also true in the preceding half-century, a period including the Great Depression and two world wars. Investors should heed this history. To one degree or another it is almost certain to be repeated during the next century."

Buffett helpfully outlines the mistakes that will undermine stocks' potential: "Investors, of course, can, by their own behavior, make stock ownership highly risky. And many do. Active trading, attempts to "time" market movements, inadequate diversification, the payment of high and unnecessary fees to managers and advisors, and the use of borrowed money can destroy the decent returns that a life-long owner of equities would otherwise enjoy."

Related: Scared of a market crash? Read this

3. Don't listen to the "experts."

What are the top strategists saying now? Who cares?

"Anything can happen anytime in markets," writes Buffett. "And no advisor, economist, or TV commentator -- and definitely not Charlie nor I -- can tell you when chaos will occur. Market forecasters will fill your ear but will never fill your wallet."

4. Be decisive

Sometimes you know the right thing to do, but it just "feels" better to go slow.

Even Buffett is vulnerable to that behavior, and he says it cost him in 2014 with his investment in Tesco, the British supermarket chain.

"In 2013, I soured somewhat on the company's then-management and sold 114 million shares, realizing a profit of $43 million. My leisurely pace in making sales would prove expensive. Charlie calls this sort of behavior "thumb-sucking."

"During 2014, Tesco's problems worsened by the month. The company's market share fell, its margins contracted and accounting problems surfaced. In the world of business, bad news often surfaces serially: You see a cockroach in your kitchen; as the days go by, you meet his relatives."

Buffett finally got out completely, but ended up with a loss of more than $400 million.

Related: Warren Buffett knows who the next 'Buffett' is

Related: How good is Warren Buffett? Very good

Related: Investors who lose money make these two mistakes

CNNMoney (New York) February 28, 2015: 12:08 PM ET

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'House of Cards' fans that already finished season 3

Written By limadu on Sabtu, 28 Februari 2015 | 14.45

That's 13 episodes. Each episode is about 50 minutes long.

@TanjaBumbar said on twitter (TWTR, Tech30) it was a "Really good season, it was amazing having all 13 episode [sic] available at the same time."

@MurphyOReilly thought it was a great season too. "Fantastic end to an enthralling season," he tweeted.

Sebastian, or @challi1337, said he has "extremely mixed feelings about the ending and a few other scenes."

None gave away any secrets, respectfully. Well, except for this mysterious comment from @TanjaBumbar: "Mrs Underwood you finally made the right decision."

All four Twitter users appear to live in Europe. This makes sense considering Netflix unloaded all the new episodes at 12.pm. PT/3 a.m. ET Friday morning, making it hard for US fans to complete the task. One woman, Olivia Armstrong, however did. Armstrong says she lives in Brooklyn and finished the show in 13 hours and 15 minutes. She even live-blogged her experience. Her latest tweet? "Sleeping forever byeeeee."

It was 8 a.m. in the U.K. when @MurphyOReilly says he started. He didn't go outside ("fresh air is so overrated!") and bought American snacks to keep him in the mood.

He survived on Mike and Ike's, Oreo's and Doritos during his "12 hour 5 mins" binge session.

"House of Cards" is one of Netflix's original shows. The streaming media company has been heavily investing in the production of its own content over the past few years. The shows are also getting praise from critics. Kevin Spacey just won the best actor Golden Globe for his role as Frank Underwood on "House of Cards."

Netflix is also planning to release movies starring Adam Sandler and the sequel for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" later this year.

Netflix has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Related: Nothing stops Frank Underwood...or Netflix

CNNMoney (New York) February 27, 2015: 5:46 PM ET

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Iran hacked an American casino, U.S. says

For the first time, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the Iranian government was behind a damaging cyberattack on the Sands Las Vegas Corporation (LVS) in 2014. He mentioned it while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week.

Sands owns several well-known properties, including The Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and two other resorts in Macao and Singapore.

The attack made headlines, because Las Vegas Sands is a large publicly-traded company. In February 2014, it said unidentified hackers broke into its computer network and stole customer data: credit card data, Social Security numbers and driver's licenses numbers.

las vegas sands casino The U.S. government accuses Iran of hacking the Las Vegas Sands Casino Corporation, which owns The Palazzo and several other resort-hotel-casinos around the world.

At the time, it sounded like just another digital break-in. But the nation's leading intelligence official says it was much worse than that.

On Thursday, Clapper described it as a "destructive cyberattack" on par with North Korea's hack of Sony. In that case, hackers wiped computers, destroyed data and froze the company to a halt.

It's unknown what damage Iranian hackers did to the casino company. Las Vegas Sands declined to comment for this story.

However, the company thinks hackers broke into its casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and "certain company data may have been destroyed," according to documents it filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Of all targets, why Adelson's company? The businessman is a major donor to Republican politicians. He's staunchly pro-Israel, the ultimate foe of the current Iranian regime. And in the past, Adelson has casually suggested that the U.S. drop nuclear bombs on Iran.

If Clapper's assertion is true, this is the latest example of a frightening trend: governments are hacking private companies.

Chinese hacker spies have stolen business plans from U.S. power plants. Russian hackers have broken into American and European oil and gas companies. And most recently, leaked documents show American and British spies hacked a phone SIM card maker in the Netherlands.

Computer security experts widely agree that companies aren't prepared to handle this threat. It comes down to resources. A government is a predator with billions of dollars at its disposal to amass a formidable cyber army. Its prey is a lean, for-profit company with a small security team.

Clapper told senators that hackers in Iran and North Korea pose less of a threat than China and Russia. But they're still a serious foe.

"These destructive attacks demonstrate that Iran and North Korea are motivated and unpredictable cyber actors," Clapper told senators on Thursday.

Related: Anthem probe looking at China as possible source of hack

Related: NSA tied to super-sneaky malware found in companies worldwide

Related: The NSA failed to hack your phone

CNNMoney (New York) February 27, 2015: 5:54 PM ET

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Kelly Osbourne quits E!'s 'Fashion Police'

zendaya rancic osbourne Kelly Osbourne (center) has quit E!'s 'Fashion Police.'

E! announced on Friday that Kelly Osbourne will be departing the network's style and red carpet show to "pursue other opportunities."

"We would like to thank her for her many contributions to the series over the past five years during which time the show became a hit with viewers," the network said in a statement.

The departure comes as "Fashion Police" is facing scrutiny over one of its hosts comments.

On Monday's telecast, co-host Giuliana Rancic made a comment about the dreadlocks of actress-singer Zendaya Coleman, saying the hair probably smelled like "weed" or "patchouli oil." Some felt the comment was racially insensitive.

The backlash from Rancic's comment fell onto Osbourne who took to Twitter to convey her displeasure over the situation.


Giuliana Rancic has since apologized for her comments.

E! said that the show would return as scheduled on Friday, March 30 and that no decisions have yet been made on Osbourne's replacement.

The woman who broke into the BBQ 'boys club'

BuzzFeed's newest traffic driver: debate about the color of a dress

'House of Cards' fans that already finished season 3

CNNMoney (New York) February 27, 2015: 7:32 PM ET

14.45 | 0 komentar | Read More

China under pressure as money floods out of the country

Written By limadu on Jumat, 27 Februari 2015 | 14.44

For years, China has kept its currency from strengthening too much against the dollar. Now, it might need to arrest a slide in the value of the yuan to prevent strain in the country's financial system.

A sharp depreciation could further accelerate capital outflows, affecting domestic property and debt markets. It could also make it harder for Chinese businesses to repay U.S. dollar debt.

The yuan -- or renminbi -- has lost nearly 1% against the dollar in the last two months, after falling 2.5% last year, and investors are losing faith in a rebound.

Worried investors initially pulled money out of China over poor economic growth prospects, leading to currency depreciation. But the two trends are linked, according to RBS economist Tiffany Qiu, who said that "massive currency depreciation again may have caused further capital outflow."

Experts say currency volatility and capital flight are among many risks that China faces as it reforms its financial system and integrates into the global economy.

Giving markets a greater role makes it harder to maintain strict controls on money coming in and out of the country. And promoting the yuan as a global currency means the government needs to get used to more fluctuations in its value.

All eyes will be on the government next week, when it will announce its economic agenda.

Historically, China has kept tight control of the yuan. Favorable exchange rates have helped to boost exports and manufacturing, and drawn accusations from the U.S. that the currency has been kept artificially low.

But Beijing has begun to loosen its grip -- last March, the central bank doubled the permitted trading range for the yuan.

Since then, the currency has largely moved down as concerns about slowing economic growth have spread.

Those worries, and waning property prices, mean investors "may have quickened their asset diversification into foreign assets," wrote Donna Kwok, an economist at UBS, in a research note.

Overseas property investment by Chinese, for example, has skyrocketed in prime cities such as London.

Related: Hong Kong buyers send London real estate soaring

Kwok expects the yuan to lose more value this year, but says it won't suffer a steep plunge. Capital flight will continue, too, though not at a rate that will alarm policymakers just yet. China's huge trade surplus and massive currency reserves provide a healthy cushion.

But if the situation persists, economists expect the central bank to use a variety of tools to keep enough cash flowing through the financial system, including moves that would allow banks to keep less cash in reserve.

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) February 27, 2015: 12:30 AM ET

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Get ready for lawsuits over net neutrality

The agency passed new Internet regulation prevent network owners -- like AT&T (T, Tech30), Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Verizon (VZ, Tech30) -- from discriminating against what kind of traffic runs over their networks.

Comcast warned that a bitter legal fight is coming.

"After today, the only 'certainty'... is that we all face inevitable litigation and years of regulatory uncertainty," said Comcast's executive vice president, David Cohen.

It's similar to the warning AT&T's made earlier this month.

Comcast's legal threat is real, which is why despite the cheers of victory from populist groups on Thursday, the net neutrality fight is far from over.

The FCC rules won't be official until maybe summertime. That's when major telecom companies will challenge the rules in court.

A similar legal fight is why we're in this mess now. The last time the FCC tried to protect "Open Internet" rules, Verizon sued and the agency eventually lost in federal court.

Related: Telecoms say they aren't against net neutrality, they are against how the rules were changed

But Comcast also made a veiled threat to cancel plans to invest in its own broadband network.

"After seeing the Order, we'll have to engage in additional internal scrutiny on what our investment plans with respect to broadband will be going forward," Cohen at Comcast warned.

Telecom industry experts question this logic.

During Thursday's vote, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the telecom industry's bluff over investment, saying that companies will continue to expand despite the new net neutrality rules.

Plus, if Comcast wants to merge with Time Warner Cable, a megadeal that's under review by the FCC, it will need to keep to its promise to invest in its network.

The whole purpose of the proposed merger "is to create the scale that will allow Comcast to make larger investments in R&D, innovation, and infrastructure to enable us to compete more effectively in this incredibly dynamic marketplace," Comcast promised in 2014.

Unless that marketplace suddenly has become uncompetitive, it still needs to invest. As does Time Warner Cable, Carter, Cablevision and the other large broadband Internet providers.

Related: FCC adopts historic Internet rules

Related: What does net neutrality mean for you?

Related: 4 bad things Internet companies can't do anymore -- if the FCC gets its way

CNNMoney (New York) February 26, 2015: 6:54 PM ET

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BuzzFeed's newest traffic driver: debate about the color of a dress

dress Some people say this dress is black and blue; others see white and gold.

If you were online on Thursday night, you know what happened: social media services were overrun with comments about the colors of a woman's dress. Some people saw black and blue; others saw white and gold.

It was a debate tailor-made for BuzzFeed -- and in some ways made by BuzzFeed. By midnight Eastern time, the web site said the dress story was a record-breaker: "it drew more visitors to our site at one time than ever before."

The picture of the dress originated from a Tumblr post by a user named Swiked, who asked Tumblr users for help in figuring out the dress's true colors. Once BuzzFeed spotted the story on Tumblr, there was no stopping it.

Cates Holderness, a community growth manager at BuzzFeed, wrote this post, published at 6:14 p.m.: "What Colors Are This Dress?"

Two hours later, she rhetorically asked on Twitter, "what have I done."

The Twitter hashtag #TheDress was still the No. 1 trending topic in the United States after midnight. By then, BuzzFeed had registered 16 million views for Holderness's story, and it was still growing. The next-biggest BuzzFeed story this week has garnered about 6 million views.

BuzzFeed's traffic levels -- and purposefully silly, over-the-top coverage -- had some of the hallmarks of cable news breaking news coverage.

According to BuzzFeed, the story helped bring more than 670,000 people to the site simultaneously as it peaked during prime time.    

Of that number, 500,000 of the people were visiting on mobile devices, and half of those visitors were reading the post about the dress.

There was a poll, of course, and there were a series of followup posts. Dozens of other news and entertainment web sites weighed in (this one included).

The debate was so fervently viral that BuzzFeed apparently became overwhelmed with traffic for a brief period.

"Great work everyone, we broke BuzzFeed," tweeted BuzzFeedBiz editor Tom Gara.

Gara's tweet came along with a screen grab of an email from BuzzFeed's senior project manager Amy Filmore asking the site's editorial staff to hold off on publishing posts due to a "very high traffic load."

The debate engaged fashionistas, color scientists, and A-list celebrities. "I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow," pop star Taylor Swift wrote on Twitter. "PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK."

Kim Kardashian West tweeted, "What color is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is color blind?"

Holderness tweeted, "I have never been more proud of starting literally millions of arguments."

Strangely, or maybe not, the hotly contested social media debate came just hours after web sites and cable news channels were captivated by escaped llamas running loose in Arizona.

The two stories helped to make February 26, 2015 one of the most viral days in social media history.

"This was the best day of Twitter yet and it was a privilege to share it with you all," tweeted Matt Ford, the national editor for The Atlantic.

CNNMoney (New York) February 27, 2015: 1:01 AM ET

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Revenge porn king wants a clean slate

Written By limadu on Kamis, 26 Februari 2015 | 14.44

revenge porn

Craig Brittain raked in thousands of dollars by posting naked photos of women online. Now, he wants his own revenge: on the websites that wrote about him.

Brittain, the operator of the now defunct site www.isanybodydown.com, submitted a request to Google to remove links containing "unauthorized use of photos of me and other related information" from its search engine. He lists 23 links, including news sites like Forbes, Salon and the Huffington Post. He even includes the FTC.

He filed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request, claiming the sites pulled unauthorized statements, identifying information and photos from his Facebook page and his old site.

For Google (GOOG) to act on a DMCA request, Brittain would be required to be the rights holder or it would need to be a case in which "fair use" laws didn't apply.

"He doesn't have much to stand on," said Mary Anne Franks, associate professor at University of Miami School of Law.

She said that he doesn't own the copyright to most of the material contained in the links. The only caveat would be if Brittain owns rights to any of the photos, but even then, that would mostly likely fall under "fair use." (If it didn't, he would still need to go to each site individually to get the photos taken down.)

Even in Europe, which has a "right to be forgotten" rule, his request is likely to be ignored.

In January, the FTC banned Brittain from posting any more nude photos and required him to destroy the images.

Brittain ran the site from 2011 to 2013, posting 1,000 photos of women, oftentimes with their contact information. The pictures were submitted to him by an ex or solicited by Brittain on Facebook. He allegedly charged women $200 to $500 to remove the pictures.

Related: Reddit's stand against revenge porn

CNNMoney (New York) February 25, 2015: 10:24 PM ET

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