Best Domain Name for Your Online Business

6 Vital Rules for Choosing the Best Domain Name for Your Online Business

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Choosing and registering the best domain name is the most important step in web development. This is because the domain name you choose will affect how well you build your brand and the number of new and repeat visitors you get. Simply put, your domain name is more like the address to your business.

Domain names are so important because they are the first pieces your visitors will see. The right domain name will inspire confidence while the wrong one can raise alarm. Although it is still a topic of discussion, the domain name and domain extensions may be a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. It will also affect the number of shares you get on social media.

Rules of Choosing a Domain 

Looking at the importance of the domain name, it is important to understand how to choose the best domain for your website. To start off, there are a couple of rules you need to implement in your domain choosing style.

1. Include top keywords 

The first thing you need to do when searching for a domain name is to brainstorm at least five top keywords. Having a few sets of phrases or terms in your mind to help find the domain you need is important. With these keywords in mind, you can use them to search for available domain names or use them to add unique prefixes or suffixes to get unique domain ideas.

The keywords you select should be related to your type of business. For example, if you are in the mortgage business, you can search for such keywords as equity, finance, mortgage and house. You can then play around with these keywords until you find a perfect match.

2. Create a unique domain 

The last thing you want is for your website to be confused with that of your main competitor. To avoid losing business to your competition, you need to come up with a unique domain name that cannot be confused with other popular sites.

The best way to create unique domain names is to avoid domains that are simply plural or misspelled or hyphenated versions of already established domains. Your visitors should be able to identify with your domain name without confusion.

3. Only go for the available Dot-com domains 

If you are really serious about building a successful online business, you have to only use the available dot-com domains and not play around with existing ones to come up with a unique domain. Most Internet users still make the assumption that a link ends with .com. The dot-com domains are hence the best to use.

Certain domain names are expired and available for resale. Before choosing such domain names, make sure you know how to buy expired domains. Not all of them are worth investing in. Some may have had a bad reputation.

4. Make it easy to type 

If it is not easy to type your domain name, chances are your consumers will misspell your domain name and end up on foreign websites. Unmemorable words will cost you traffic and so will domain names with strange characters. In addition to that, whenever possible, avoid letters: q, z, x, c, and p. Most people claim these letters are not easy to type.

5. It has to be memorable 

Once your visitors find your website, you want them to be able to find their way back to it later in time. This will only be possible if your domain name is memorable. When choosing a domain, you have to remember word-of-mouth. It doesn’t matter if you = have a wonderful website if nobody can remember its address.

One of the ways of making your domain name memorable is to use keywords in it. If your company is popular, you can consider using your company name as your domain name. Keeping the domain name short will further help make it memorable.

6. Avoid hyphens and numbers

Hyphens and numbers are difficult to type and often make the domain name harder to remember. If you want more social media shares and regular visitors, steer clear of hyphens and numbers. Hyphens and numbers will further affect your Google ranking. Some characters may also be a mistake for others.

Using these rules will help pick the best domain name for your website. However, there are a few tips you should consider using to find the best domain names.

  • Keep it simpleRegardless of how unique you wish to be, you have to keep your domain as simple as possible. Avoid anything that may make them unmemorable or hard to spell. You should also keep the domain as short as possible.
  • Avoid trouble Copyright infringement is the first trouble you should avoid. Just because a popular company has not registered a domain in its name does not mean you can use their name in your domain name. Always make sure you are not infringing on any copyright before registering a domain.Another important thing you should do is avoid domain names that sound more like those of another company. The last thing you want is for your traffic to be channeled to the website of your competitor.

    Still on avoiding trouble, refrain from changing your domain name abruptly. Doing so will lose you the already established traffic.

  • Be unique, brand-able and creativeLast but not least, build a distinct online brand that stands out from the crowd. Most of the single word domains have already been taken. You might need to combine names to create a unique brand name.

Conclusion 

The first impression you create to your consumers is in the domain name. Getting the best domain name is, hence, the first step to creating a successful and long-standing online business. Utilize all the resources available to you to find or create a unique domain name that will boost your brand for years to come.

There are numerous tools you can use online to refine your domain name. It is also possible to hire a team of professionals to help you find the best domains for your new business. Do not be afraid to use these resources.

Risk Areas And Their Security Solutions

3 At-Risk Areas And Their Security Solutions

As the internet becomes more important in our day-to-day lives, the threats associated with it become more various and sinister. Cybersecurity has never been as important as it is now. This was the takeaway message from a speech by US admiral James Syring to a Senate subcommittee on digital security and while his concerns lay more in the area of hacks on missile programs by belligerent foreign governments, digital security is something that needs to be taken very seriously in the civilian world as well. Here are three areas where the need is most pressing.

Q1 Security Venture Funding At A Glance

> Across Q1, security firms raised USD753.5m in venture funding.

> This figure was spread across 55 deals.

> Largest deal went to Chinese mobile security Mobi Magic, which raised USD100m in February.

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1. Online Payments And Commerce

There are now very few people in the industrialised world who haven’t had some experience of e-commerce, but online fraud is a real and present threat, and for all the advances made, solutions need to keep innovating to meet threats. One of the largest rounds of Q1 for a security firm went to Tel Aviv-based Riskified, which provides end-to-end fraud detection tools. Riskified’s algorithms are designed to detect potential fraudulent activity and provide countermeasures where necessary. Behavioural analytics tools, which analyse customer in-site activity and search for suspicious or non-human behaviour, are only likely to get more important as the power of commercial artificial intelligence develops. London-based Cybertonica, which uses online biometrics, machine learning and data (such as how a user moves physically around a web page) is another firm working in the space to watch.

Offloading some of the security burden to the user side of things could also be helpful. Even here, the future is unclear. Passwords are an annoying solution to a pressing problem, but even they may be in danger of redundancy in the not too distant future. Computers capable of brute force code-breaking are getting cheaper, and finding their way more easily into nefarious hands. Better solutions are needed. Biometrics is the most promising avenue, with face-recognition payment authentication – otherwise known as selfie payments – attracting particular buzz. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba led the way here and Amazon and Mastercard are trialling similar solutions. There are now even third-party firms offering plugin selfie authentication solutions, although the technology will probably need to engender a greater degree of public familiarity before such firms can monetise effectively.

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2. Devices And IoT Security

While the prospect of smart homes and eventually smart cities may give the impression of the height of digital utopia, without robust security solutions, a world of networked, smart devices could quickly fall apart, or even become dangerous to its users. Consider for example the prospect of hacked webcams or baby monitors, giving strangers access to the most intimate aspects of people’s lives. Of particular interest in stopping this nightmare scenario unfolding is California’s Forescout, which picked up USD76m in a unicorn-making Series G funding in January. Forescout, instead of providing endpoint security, gives clients a transparent overview of all the devices in a connected system, and allows them to manage security threats as and when they emerge.

The danger gets even more menacing when the devices are scaled up. Connected cars have numerous benefits and in many ways could be the future of driving, but they also pose potentially disastrous risks if hacked. If that sounds alarmist, think again – last year, under controlled conditions, hackers managed to switch off the engine of a connected Jeep whilst it was travelling on a highway. More than 1.5m vehicles were recalled as a result. However, solutions are emerging. Harman, for instance, which supplies in-car entertainment platforms to the likes of BMW and Porsche is working on a five-layered security solution which protects the car from the hardware to the whole-vehicle level, and which includes military grade anti-hacking technology. The connected car market will be worth nearly USD50bn by 2020, according to Markets And Markets, so it is the interests of everyone that these solutions get into place.

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3. Corporate Data

Corporate data presents an extremely valuable trove for hackers and as continued leaks, be it Sony Pictures, Ashley Madison and Mossack Fonseca, have continually shown, no system is immune from attacks. Corporations need to be incredibly vigilant against cybercrime, or the losses will be catastrophic. Happily, this is where much of the security sector is focused, and you don’t need to look far to see innovative firms pulling in significant sums of funding to protect corporate data.

However, in general, corporate security teams face less a problem with a lack of technological solutions on the market, as they do with corporate complacence. Mossack Fonseca’s calamitous data leak was in part due to the fact that many of its files were stored on out-of-date versions of WordPress, which was known to have a number of well-known security vulnerabilities. Many of the other security precautions were out-of-date or faulty. The Mossack Fonseca leak, for all its other global implications, is a potent reminder that technology can only go so far – there needs to be an astute human on the other end.

2016 Efma Distribution Summit

Global banks join Efma, Microsoft and Avanade to recognise innovation and award fintech solution providers at the 2016 Efma Distribution Summit
Major fintech initiative also receives endorsement from BNP Paribas, Group BPCE, Deutsche Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, ImaginBank and Santander.

Paris, Thursday 14 April 2016

Today at the 2016 Efma Distribution Summit in London, Efma, Avanade and Microsoft have launched a new Fintech Portal (www.efma.com/fintech) endorsed by BNP Paribas, Group BPCE, Deutsche Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, ImaginBank and Santander. This portal connects fintech organisations with retail banks and insurance companies, enabling them to showcase best-in-class solutions to financial institutions around the world.

The awards were judged by a selection committee comprising 48 highly regarded banking and insurance executives from some of the world’s largest financial organisations. The committee received 204 entries and selected four of the best fintech solutions within the following categories: Business Banking; Distribution and Marketing; Insurance; and PFM-Payment. In addition, they also recognised two technology solutions for the best overall fintech solution. Winners were awarded at today’s Awards Ceremony at the Grand Tower hotel.

This year’s Efma Fintech winners included:

         Best Business Banking Solution: Maestrano with Maestrano Enterprise, Australia

Maestrano Enterprise is a business platform that helps SMEs run their business better in the cloud, while improving the banking experience.

         Best Distribution and Marketing Solution: Essentia Analytics with Essentia Insights, UK

Essentia makes software that helps humans make better investment decisions.

         Best Insurance Solution: Minalea with Smart Assistant for Insurance Vendor, France

Smart Assistant for Insurance Vendor helps insurers improve their commercial performance and customer relationship quality by focusing on innovation, technology, data and deep insurance knowledge.

         Best PFM-Payment Solution: North Side with VerbalAccess, Canada

VerbalAccess enables plain-English access to financial services and large document databases through mobile and web channels, cutting costs for financial institutions and making it easier for consumers to use financial services and discover new products and services.

         Special Jury Award: PayKey, Israel

PayKey’s goal is to bridge the gap between social and banking. PayKey is the simplest and fastest mobile-centric way of making personal and commercial payments.

         Efma Special Award: SaleMove with SaleMove Engagement Platform, US

SaleMove’s vision is to meet or exceed the in-person customer experience online.

“This year’s Fintech Awards reflect the innovation that is providing retail banks and insurance companies with the opportunity to drive down customer costs and create more engaging customer and employee experiences,” said Violetta Senda, Avanade Europe’s senior director for Digital Strategy and Digital Banking. “Today’s awards celebrate the vision and imagination that is required to make technology innovation possible. Working with Efma and Microsoft to help bridge the gap for these two communities and nurture stronger connections between the fintech community, retail banks and insurance companies has been very exciting and wonderful to celebrate today.”

“The financial technology sector is booming, and Microsoft is proud to be working with Efma and Avanade on this initiative to connect the rapidly expanding fintech community with Efma members globally,” said Patrice Amann, EMEA financial services director at Microsoft.

“We believe this platform and community will provide a foundation for Efma members to identify, network, and collaborate with fintech solution partners to support them in driving their innovation agenda.”

“The impact of fintech can be felt across the entire retail financial services industry and, if handled correctly, presents a huge opportunity to banks the world over,” said Vincent Bastid, Efma’s CEO. “It’s for this reason that we are joining forces with highly regarded organisations from across the sector to present the Fintech Portal and associated awards. By recognising the best players in fintech, and helping them join forces with banks, we are aiding much-needed collaborations that will help to create a better future for everyone.”

Efma is now accepting 2017 applications, so fintechs are encouraged to keep submitting (www.efma.com/submityourfintech) their applications to the portal.

Advertisers Don’t Need To Fear Ad Blockers

Advertisers Don’t Need To Fear Ad Blockers

Looks like all those fears about advertising being devastated by ad blockers are overblown, with UK digital ad spending growing at its fastest rate for seven years. Some 78% of this growth is due to increasing spending on mobile, which now makes up 30.5% of digital advertising. This increase shows just how small the impact of ad blocking is on the advertising industry despite scary figures from studies like PageFair that claim it’s costing advertising USD21.8bn a year.

Advertising At A Glance

> Digital ad spending in the UK increase 16.4% from 2014 to 2015 reaching GBP8.6bn (USD12.2bn).

> 78% of growth due to increase in spending on mobile.

> Spending on video is up 50.7%.

> Spending on native and content grew 49.9%.

> Social media spending up 45%.

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Ad Blocking Limits

So why is spending on mobile still soaring despite the well-publicised launch of mobile ad blockers? Part of this is down to the limitations of mobile ad blockers as most only block ads in mobile browsers. This leaves ads within apps untouched. That’s good news for advertisers as its in-app ads that are better for advertisers. These ads are typically better optimised for the user, while too many mobile browser ads are still poorly formatted enough that they damage the user experience.  Apps within ads are also likely to be more targeted as the user is logged into that app. This is particularly true of social networks such as Facebook where the advertisers can target ads using all the precise demographic data that the network collects on its users. It’s for these reason social networks are the one place brands can’t neglect when advertising.

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Attitudes

Part of the appeal of ad blocking is that people find the ways in which brands can follow them online understandably creepy. A casual search for a TV means users may then see ads for TVs for months afterwards. The IAB/PwC shows many of these reports are overblown, with more than half of 18 to 24 year olds willing to share personal details to get a cheaper or free product. It shows even among young people, who are the most likely to use ad blocking, most are still quite prepared to hand over their personal information to brands. It goes to show just how important it is for brands to make sure to offer deals in exchange for the person handing over personal information. This also helps brands reduce their reliance on others, such as Google and Facebook.

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New Devices And Methods

There’s also connected TVs which over the long run offer great opportunities for advertisers to finally bring targeting to the massive market of television advertising. Although fully integrating this with TV coverage is some way off, the shift to automated target ads in TV would be in line with the rest of advertising.

“There’s a shift in sales from networks to real-time-bidding exchanges, a shift from direct to programmatic direct, and one from open to private marketplaces,” says Dan Bunyan of PwC. “We predict programmatic will account for 80-90% of display ad sales by 2019.”

Adoption of connected TVs is increasingly rapid with growth up 21% in a year. That’s higher than smartphones and tablets, at 18% and 16% respectively. Manufacturers also exert tight control over connected TVs meaning it’s unlikely they would permit ad blockers to run on these devices.

Facebook builds its dream virtual reality video camera

Facebook builds its dream virtual reality video camera, and gives the design away for free

The Surround 360's cameras are fixed to an aluminum chassis with the outer housing crafted from ...

The Surround 360’s cameras are fixed to an aluminum chassis with the outer housing crafted from powder-coated steel. View gallery (6 images)

One observant media executive noted that Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no cars, AirBnb, the largest accomodation provider, owns no real estate and Facebook, the most popular media owner, creates no content. The social media giant looks unlikely to change course as it forges ahead with its grand vision for virtual reality, but it does want to have a hand in the tools that bring it to us. Announced today, Facebook’s Surround 360 is a 17-lens 3D-360-degree video capture system that looks like a spaceship and produces VR content on the fly, but its most impressive feature? The design and software will be entirely open-source.

That Facebook is betting big on immersive video and VR isn’t exactly a secret. Users of the platform may have spotted 360-degree clips already appearing on their News Feeds, and perhaps even strapped on a VR headset to have a look around for themselves. So when you consider its US$2 billion acquisition of Oculus, Facebook is clearly working toward a future where our social networking is facilitated through augmented and virtual realities.

From the platforms that deliver the experience to the hardware that creates it, Facebook is looking to shape the emergence of immersive video from one end to the other. The Surround 360 system is kind of like Tesla’s Roadster, an outrageously expensive pony aimed at piquing the interest of an influential few and then inspiring a wave of commoners to follow suit.

That Facebook is betting big on immersive video and virtual reality isn’t exactly a secret. Mark Zuckerberg takes to the stage at Mobile World Congress in Spain earlier this year

Fourteen cameras face outwards in a neatly arranged circular array, with one fish eye camera pointing upwards and two down below. The 17 camera sensors shoot at 30 and 60 frames per second and work with a global shutter, meaning that every pixel is captured at the same moment. This synchronization makes it easier for the footage to be smoothly stitched together.

This process is also handled aboard the Surround 360 through Facebook’s computational imaging algorithm, which it claims builds on existing optical flow algorithms but is more mathematically complex and provides superior results. The resulting video is output at 4K, 6K and 8K per eye, which can be viewed on VR headsets like Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

The Surround 360’s cameras are fixed to an aluminum chassis with the outer housing crafted from powder-coated steel. The company says that these materials provide enough stability to avoid pesky camera shake and protect the insides from damage.

It may be a relatively nascent type of tech, but 360-degree cameras are already starting to emerge at all kinds of price points. You have shooters like Kodak’s Pixpro SP360-4K and Ricoh’s Theta S, costing no more than $500. GoPro also has a consumer-friendly 360-degree camera array on the way called Omni, which we assume will be cheaper than its $15,000 Odyssey setup consisting of 16 GoPro Hero4 Blacks.

Like the Odyssey, and other high-grade spherical shooters like Nokia’s $60,000 Ozo, the Surround 360 was designed with professional VR content creators in mind. Facebook won’t be selling the device, nor does it seem to harbor ambitions to branch out into camera manufacturing, but the Surround 360 could prove significant in a way that doesn’t immediately impact the company’s bottom line.

By giving anyone and everyone access to a 3D-360-degree video camera design that it claims to be production-ready and state-of-the-art, Facebook is playing the long game. It hopes by making the design and stitching code open source on Github this US summer, imaginative minds will clamber over one another to build their own and start adding to the VR content pool. Provided of course they have $30,000 for the necessary parts to spare.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Hands On: Amazon Kindle Oasis

The lighter and thinner Kindle Oasis has a dramatic new shape and comes with a leather charging cover.
Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis is here (No, it has nothing to do with the band).

The Kindle Oasis costs $289.99, which makes it the priciest ebook reader currently on the market. But here’s why: It’s 30 percent thinner, over 20 percent lighter, comes with a leather charging cover that contains an extra battery, and has a dramatic new shape.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

I held the Oasis in my hands, read a few words, and felt its new feather-light design. Weighing an impressive 4.6 ounces and measuring just 3.4mm (0.13-inch) at its thinnest point, the Oasis is the lightest and slimmest Kindle so far. Instead of a uniform, flat surface like previous readers, the Oasis looks like a wedge, with a slightly raised bump at one end that shifts the Kindle’s center of gravity to your palm. It stayed balanced in my grip, like the spine of a book, making it perfect for one-handed reading. And it doesn’t matter if you’re lefty or a righty—a built-in accelerometer recognizes which hand you use to hold the reader, and automatically flips the screen to accommodate. Two small, vertical, built-in buttons located on the bezel handle page turns.

As for the screen, the Oasis uses a similar display as last year’s Kindle Paperwhite$119.99 at Amazon. It’s a 1,448-by-1,072-pixel, 300ppi E Ink Carta screen, with a 60 percent bump in brightness. A new diffractive pattern within the screen reduces glare and improves reading in different lighting scenarios. It was difficult to tell exactly how different the new screen is from previous Kindles, but text looked perfectly legible under indoor office lighting.

Font fiends will be happy to hear a new typeface called Ember comes with the Oasis. Like Bookerly, the font that debuted alongside last year’s Paperwhite, Ember could be released for other Kindle products and apps via a software update, but Amazon hasn’t confirmed whether or not that will happen.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Besides the slimmer shape and the ergonomic grip, the biggest difference between the Oasis and past Kindles is its dual-battery design that incorporates a leather cover with a built-in lithium-ion cell. Once you magnetically connect the cover to the Oasis, it starts recharging automatically and adds up to nine weeks of battery life to the reader, according to Amazon. Without the cover, the Oasis will last about two weeks before it needs a charge. The cover itself, made of high-quality leather in black, merlot, or walnut, comes with every Oasis—one of the reasons the price is so high this time around. The other big reason is the special metal alloy Amazon used to make this the thinnest Kindle yet.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Don’t worry, though. The Oasis and its near-$300 premium won’t change the pricing for the rest of the Kindle lineup. At $80, the basic Amazon Kindle$79.99 at Amazon is still the most affordable reader out there, with access to Amazon’s wide selection of ebooks. The Kindle Paperwhite, our favorite ebook reader, still goes for $120, and the Amazon Kindle Voyage$199.99 at Amazon, which seems kind of redundant now that the Paperwhite has the same display, costs $200. The $290 Oasis is simply a more expensive, luxurious addition to Amazon’s lineup.

Given its high-end trappings, I’m somewhat surprised that the Oasis isn’t waterproof like the Kobo Aura H2O$180.02 at Amazon or the Nook GlowLight Plus$129.49 at Amazon. It also doesn’t seem to make for a significantly different reading experience from the Paperwhite, based on the limited time I spent with it.

That said, the ebook market is slowing down, and the Oasis can be seen as an attempt to renew some of the interest that has faded over time. I just wonder if Amazon should have gone in the opposite direction, with an ultra-low-cost ebook reader rather than a top-of-the-line model. After all, its inexpensiveFire tablet$49.99 at Amazon seems to be selling just fine. We’ll have to wait to check out a review unit before we can really make a call.

Today’s CO2 may become tomorrow’s concrete

Today’s CO2 may become tomorrow’s concrete

J.R. DeShazo (left) and Gaurav Sant show off a sample of the new building material they ...

J.R. DeShazo (left) and Gaurav Sant show off a sample of the new building material they have created to replace conventional concrete (Credit: Roberto Gudino/UCLA).

As carbon emissions continue to rise and cause the planet to warm up, we need to find ways to reduce them. Capturing carbon at the source of its emission is one of the solutions, but there is still the problem of storing all the carbon sucked out of the atmosphere. If that captured carbon could be put to good use, then perhaps we could have the perfect capturing system in place. This is the line of thinking that researchers at University of California (UCLA) are currently pursuing, and they have some big plans for all that carbon: turning it into concrete.

The conversion of carbon into concrete would be a double whammy since concrete production itself is very planet-unfriendly and accounts for 5 percent of all carbon emissions. But an even larger source of CO2 emissions is flue gas, the combustion exhaust gas from power plants, the scientists’ main target.

The carbon would be captured and become the raw material for what they call Co2ncrete, using 3D printers in its fabrication. The researchers describe the multi-stage, complex process, which they are still developing, as upcycling.

They started with the idea that capturing CO2 emitted during the calcination of limestone is a feasible method to produce sustainable concrete. Then they set out to investigate how Ca(OH)2 (calcium hydroxide) carbonation would react when exposed to both liquid and supercritical CO2 (the point where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist). They tested several parameters, including time, temperature and pressure.

For their experiments, the researchers used carbon dioxide with a purity of more than 99 percet. The carbon was extracted from a pressurized reservoir maintained at 20 MPa (megapascal) using a siphon, which was employed in all of the carbonation experiments.

At this stage the material has been produced at lab scale and 3D printed into tiny cones. “We have proof of concept that we can do this,” UCLA’s J.R. DeShazo says. “But we need to begin the process of increasing the volume of material and then think about how to pilot it commercially.”

The researchers would like to see its technology being used by coal-fired power plants in the US as well plants in China and India, which are also global leaders in emissions. They want to create a closed-loop process that prevents carbon from going into the atmosphere while at the same add a great amount of commercial value to the clean-up operation.

“We can demonstrate a process where we take lime and combine it with carbon dioxide to produce a cement-like material,” Gaurav Sant, science collaborator to the project, adds. “The big challenge we foresee with this is we’re not just trying to develop a building material. We’re trying to develop a process solution, an integrated technology which goes right from CO2 to a finished product.”

Once they further develop the technology, the researchers will be faced with the equally massive challenge of convincing industry leaders that the technology is good for the planet as well as their bottom line.

“This technology could change the economic incentives associated with these power plants in their operations and turn the smokestack flue gas into a resource countries can use, to build up their cities, extend their road systems,” says DeShazo.

The video below features the researchers talking about the science and economics involved in making Co2ncrete.

Source: UCLA

Credit Card Processing

Apply for Credit Card Processing today.

Accepting Credit Cards is Now for Anyone. On Any Device. Anywhere.

Cards, eChecks and Debit.

The Payment Industry is in need of a serious change.  For too long it has cost organizations far too much money and time to do something as simple as receiving money on their website or application.  It’s the Internet age, but for some reason organizations have to pay 2.9% of all of their revenue, wait weeks for bank approval, and hire a developer just to do what amounts to moving bits from one bank database to another.

The next generation payment & eCommerce checkout system that enables any organization to receive money on their Website, Social Network, or Web Application without transaction costs. We are a multi-payment gateway that accepts credit cards (Visa/MasterCard/Amex/Discover), eCheck (ACH/Dwolla), and eCash (Bitcoins) with 0% transaction fees. Thousands of merchants are using our their online payments, shopping cart, donation management, subscriptions, eCommerce integrations, recurring payments, checkout experience and more. Plus, unlike other payment networks, our checkout system is delightful to work with and built for the Internet age.payment processing

Multiple Payment Options

In person you can accept cash, credit, and check for your organization. But online you have been limited to just credit cards… and that gets expensive. But now, for the first time in history you can easily accept multiple online payment methods. And this has big implications for your bottom line and your customers’ payment flexibility. Because legacy checkout systems are 1 dimensional, organizations are cornered into absorbing unavoidable credit card fees.

Credit Cards: Enables you to accept all major credit cards including Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, and includes international payments.

eCheck: Allows you to add eCheck (check21 and Dwolla) to your checkout experience as a payment option. eCheck uses the banking network to transfer money directly between bank accounts, skipping out on the middle-man who scoops up big percentages.

eCash: Allows you to add Bitcoin to your checkout experience as a payment option. Bitcoin is the internet’s cash and is the first completely free 0% option to both accept and make payments with. Bitcoin is the first digital currency in line for our eCash payment option.

Are you a high risk business in the United States, Canada or banking in Europe, Asia, we can help?

eComTechnology is a registered ISO/MSP for BMO Harris Bank, N.A., Chicago, IL., and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA.

robert@ecomtechnology.com Inquire about an application today. pageban

The Daily Mail is exploring a bid for Yahoo

The Daily Mail is exploring a bid for Yahoo

Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo, participates in a panel discussion at the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco, California November 3, 2015. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage Thomson ReutersMarissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo, during a panel discussion at the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco.

The Daily Mail and General Trust PLC, the parent company of the British tabloid the Daily Mail, is investigating a possible bid for Yahoo, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The company is reportedly in talks with multiple private-equity companies about possibly backing the bid.

Yahoo set the deadline to place bids for its core business on next Monday, according to previous reports.

The Daily Mail’s bid could take two different routes, according to The Journal:

In one scenario, a private-equity partner would aim to acquire the entirety of Yahoo’s core web business, with the Mail taking over the news and media properties.

In the other scenario, the private-equity firm would acquire Yahoo’s core web business and merge its media and news properties with the Mail’s online operations. The merged units would form a new company that would be run by the Mail and give a larger equity stake to the Mail’s parent company than under the first scenario.

The Daily Mail is far from the only company in the running.

Verizon is expected to place a bid for Yahoo this week, while Google is also considering making an offer, according to a report by Bloomberg. The Bloomberg report said Verizon would be willing to make an offer for Yahoo’s core internet business and its stake in Yahoo Japan. Verizon values Yahoo’s core business at less than $8 billion, it said.

Aside from Google, the magazine publisher Time and the private-equity funds Bain and TPG remain interested in making a bid, according to the Bloomberg report.

The company is struggling after a three-year turnaround effort led by CEO Marissa Mayer failed to gain much traction. The company put its core internet business up for sale after pressure from activist investors to make “significant changes” to the company. According to a Re/code report, Yahoo is telling potential buyers it expects to see its revenue drop another 15% this year.

Will the Treasury Rally Turn to a Rout?

Will the Treasury Rally Turn to a Rout?

 

Posted: 07 Apr 2016 01:17 PM PDT

Wes Goodman of Bloomberg reports, Jamie Dimon Warns Treasury Rally May Turn to Rout as Rates Rise:

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said he’s concerned demand for Treasuries will decline and the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster than people expect.

The market won’t be able to rely on the biggest buyers of U.S. debt: the Fed, foreign nations and commercial banks, Dimon wrote in his annual letter to shareholders Wednesday. Increasing consumer and business confidence could boost demand for credit and reduce investor appetite for the haven of Treasuries, he said.

“These three buyers of U.S. Treasuries will not be there in the future,” Dimon wrote. “If this scenario were to happen with interest rates on 10-year Treasuries on the rise, the result is unlikely to be as smooth as we all might hope for.” JPMorgan is one of the 22 primary dealers that underwrite the U.S. debt and trade with the Fed.

The benchmark Treasury 10-year note yield fell six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 1.70 percent as of 12:56 p.m. New York time, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The 1.625 percent security due in February 2026 rose 17/32, or $5.31 per $1,000 face amount, to 99 11/32. Two-year note yields dropped three basis points to 0.70 percent.

Bear Case

Dimon’s bear case matches the consensus among economists surveyed by Bloomberg, who see yields rising through the course of 2016. The 10-year yield will climb to 1.92 percent by June 30 and 2.25 percent by Dec. 31, based on a Bloomberg survey of economists with the most recent forecasts given the heaviest weighting.

The Federal Open Market Committee reached a broad agreement to go slowly in raising U.S. interest rates due to increasing global risks, even as some policy makers indicated that an increase in the Fed funds rate target range at the April 26-27 meeting “might well be warranted” if economic data came in as expected, according to minutes of Fed’s March meeting published on Wednesday.

The minutes highlighted “that the positive momentum within the U.S. economy is being held back by developments abroad,” said Matthew Cairns, a strategist at Rabobank International in London. “Once the FOMC is satisfied these risks have abated, they will hike, sending Treasury yields back toward what we once considered ‘normal’ levels.”

Yield Forecast

Treasury two-year note yields, which are among the most sensitive to Fed policy, will climb to 1.40 percent in the next 12 months, according to Rabobank forecasts. That level hasn’t been seen since June 2009.

Treasuries returned 3.2 percent in the first three months of 2016, the biggest quarterly gain in almost four years, based on Bloomberg World Bond Indexes. The market rallied as a decline in stocks and oil sent investors to the safest securities.

Japan’s investors pared their holdings of foreign bonds at the fastest pace in almost 10 months as they adjusted positions before the start of the fiscal year. They sold a net 1.6 trillion yen ($14.8 billion) in overseas debt during the week ended April 1, the most since June, according to Ministry of Finance data released Thursday.

Remember Paul Singer’s “bigger short” and the Maestro’s dire warning on bonds? Now we have the CEO of the most powerful bank in the world telling us to get ready for a possible bond market rout as foreign demand for Treasuries dries up and the Fed might hike rates faster than the market expects.

At this writing on Thursday, it doesn’t seem like the bond market is worried about Jamie Dimon’s dire warning (click on image):
As you can see, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond keeps dropping and it might retest the 1.57% low it made on February 11th.

So if foreign buyers aren’t snapping up U.S.bonds, who’s buying them at these levels? Lisa Abromowicz of Bloomberg reports on hedge funds’ crush on Treasuries:

Hedge funds are increasingly tying the fortunes of U.S. bonds to the rest of the world, which suggests that Treasury yields will stay low — or go even lower — in the near term.

These investors probably increased their Treasury holdings to record amounts over the past year, according to Federal Reserve data cited by reporters Liz Capo McCormick and Alexandra Scaggs in a Bloomberg News article on Monday. This is significant because these funds generally trade securities more frequently than sovereign wealth funds or central banks, which may make the debt more volatile day to day.

This isn’t a completely surprising development: Hedge funds have more than doubled their assets under management since 2008 and now manage a record $2.9 trillion of assets, according to Hedge Fund Research. They need to find places to invest that money at a time of slowing growth and unfathomably low bond yields in Japan and Europe.
Hedge funds apparently saw a bargain in U.S. debt over the past year as commodity-dependent nations and China liquidated their holdings of the notes to support their markets and economies. In all likelihood, the funds mitigated the technical effects of such significant selling.

The shift does, however, underscore the degree to which the world’s biggest debt market has been transformed in the past few years. Treasuries have gone from being basic staples for big buy-and-hold investors to opportunistic wagers for algorithms and relative-value traders.

And if you pit U.S. government bonds against other developed-market sovereign debt, Treasuries look great by comparison
. Take a look at 10-year U.S. bonds: They yield 1.9 percent, almost 2 percentage points more than rates on similar-maturity Japanese debt and 1.7 percentage points more than similar German notes. Of course, bond buyers also must take into account currency fluctuations and the cost of hedges to eliminate this risk when thinking about relative value between these different types of debt. Sill, it’s hard to see how U.S. Treasury yields can surge if hedge-fund investors are looking for bargains around the world.
About 70 percent of Japan’s government bonds now carry negative yields, according to Bloomberg News reporters Kevin Buckland, Shigeki Nozawa and Yumi Ikeda. Even yields on some European corporate debt have fallen below zero as the region’s central bank embarks on a plan to buy higher-rated company bonds.

There is a risk that greater ownership of Treasuries by hedge funds will make the U.S. bond market more volatile. These funds tend to use leverage to amplify returns, and a wrong-way bet can lead to more pronounced price jumps.

But there’s also the possibility that the Fed data, which puts hedge funds under the rather all-encompassing and rather misleading category of “household and non-profit organizations,” isn’t totally reliable as a gauge of fast-money investments in Treasuries.

“Our sense is that the Treasury monthly flow data are not necessarily calibrated to pick up that direct, real-money investment from overseas,” said Jim Vogel, an interest rate strategist at FTN Financial. In other words, the rapid increase in Treasury holdings being attributed to hedge funds may also include foreign investors racing to the U.S. to escape ever-lower bond yields in their home countries. As long as yields stay so incredibly low around the world, it’s hard to see what would prompt these Treasury owners to sell in a wholesale fashion without other buyers stepping in.

That means while hedge funds could introduce more day-to-day unpredictability into in the Treasury market, over the long term they are unlikely to roil the low yields that are sweeping the globe.

I think there’s a lot of fear mongering when it comes to large hedge funds buying bonds. Moreover, I don’t buy for a second that foreign central banks and sovereign wealth funds aren’t going to be there to buy Treasuries. The new negative normal ensures they will and if there’s another global crisis, they will all be scrambling to buy good old U.S. bonds (classic flight to safety).

As far as the Fed, it sent the signal that an April rate hike is unlikely, and with the Eurozone stuck in deflation, I doubt it will raise rates in 2016. More worrisome, the Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index is at its weakest level since 2009, diverging from the non-farm payrolls data (click on image):
With corporate profits declining for the first time since the Great Recession, it’s hard to see U.S. job gains continue unabated in this environment and maybe that’s the primary factor driving U.S. bond yields lower.

In fact, Albert Edwards, the notoriously bearish analyst at the French bank Societe Generale, released a note on Thursday highlighting that his “failsafe recession indicator” had stopped flashing amber and had turned to red:

“Newly released U.S. whole economy profits data show a gut wrenching slump. Whole economy profits never normally fall this deeply without a recession unfolding. And with the U.S. corporate sector up to its eyes in debt,” he said in the note (click on image).
Corporate profits in the U.S. are key for Edwards as a driver of the economic cycle. He looks at U.S. whole economy profits before tax and focuses on domestic non-financial companies. He says these are currently leading the business investment cycle and, ultimately, the overall economy into recession.

“Whole economy profits data give a wider and cleaner estimate of the underlying profits environment than the heavily doctored pro-forma quoted company profits data,” he said in the note.

Federal Reserve tightening may not be a necessary condition to catalyze a recession, according to Edwards, who believes that the deep profits downturn is sufficient in itself to push the U.S. economy overboard. He adds that the economy will “surely be swept away by a tidal wave of corporate default” and U.S. corporate debt should be avoided, even more so than the “ridiculously overvalued equity market.”

Clearly the bond market isn’t worried about the Fed or inflation. In my opinion, it’s a lot more worried about the global deflation tsunami, another financial crisis and a full-blown profits recession. This is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond closer to 1% than 2% at the end of the year (those perennially bond bearish Wall Street economists will be proven wrong once again).

Below, Gam Group Chief Economist Larry Hatheway and Western Asset Management Deputy CIO Michael Buchanan discuss JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s warning that the Fed may move too fast. Hatheway and Buchanan speak on “Bloomberg ‹GO›.”

And CNBC’s Rick Santelli discusses bond prices and yields as well the dollar/yen trade. Just remember what I told you last Friday, as the USD weakens relative to other currencies, especially the yen, it loosens U.S. financial conditions but tightens them in countries trapped in deflation that rely a lot more on exports than the U.S. does.

If this trend continues, something will snap and U.S. bond yields will hit record lows.