Reports first annual profit in five years.
After five years of no cash flow, Sony has reported an annual profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, buoyed by asset sales at its U.S. headquarters in New York and Tokyo office buildings. The Japanese electronics giant reported a net profit of roughly 94 billion yen, or $948.5 million, in the January-March quarter, compared with a loss of 255 billion yen a year earlier. The weakening of the yen (down more than 20 percent against the U.S. dollar) has worked in Sony’s favor, making Japanese goods cheaper for foreign buyers and boosting profits of exporters. Sony said it hopes to make its television business profitable this year after nine years of losses, adding new ultra-high-definition models to its product lineup.
In attempt to compete with Google’s Android.
Can Asha bring Nokia back from the brink? Nokia has unveiled a $99 touch-screen phone with social apps in an attempt to gain a foothold in the smartphone market. Once the world’s largest cellphone maker, Nokia now holds only a sliver of the market dominated by Apple and Samsung and hopes the low-priced Asha will tempt consumers as they upgrade from basic phones. Nokia said its smartphone will initially run on a second-generation network but will soon be available in 3G and will start shipping worldwide in June. The company said Asha’s design was inspired by its higher-end Lumia smartphone and is targeted at “young, socially inspired” people.
At least eight killed.
At least eight people were killed in Bangladesh Thursday after an 11-story garment factory went up in flames. The fire was fueled by huge piles of acrylic products used to make sweaters. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene of the Tung Hai Sweater Ltd. Factory in the capital of Dhaka, the first few floors of the building were already engulfed in flames. Speaking to reporters, the deputy director of the fire service Mamun Mahmud described the occupants' desperate attempt to flee the building. "We recovered all of them on the stairwell on the ninth floor," he said. The deadly fire comes as the death toll from an eight-story building collapse in Dhaka passed 900 this week.
Paying a living wage comes at a cost, but it can help the bottom line, says Charney, who has built a retail empire without resorting to cheap overseas labor. Daniel Gross talks to the controversial chief executive.
“The era of cheap labor is coming to an end,” says Dov Charney, the founder and chief executive officer of apparel chain American Apparel.For decades, the fabric and garment industries have been engaged in a constant chase for cheaper labor—from the mills of England to New England in the 19th century; to the sweatshops of the Lower East Side of Manhattan a century ago to textile plants in South Carolina in the first half of the 20th century; to the Philippines, South Korea, and China in the second half of the 20th century; and now to places like Bangladesh and Africa.
Everyone favors greater transparency in markets. But surprisingly, sometimes it can backfire.
"Transparency" is one of those policy prescriptions that pretty much everyone can agree with, like "Be nice to people" and "Never run with scissors". Even libertarians generally smile when the government steps in to force businesses to provide more information, though to be sure, when the business is a fast food restaurant, and the information is how much fat we'll pack on if we eat the 10-piece McNuggets we're craving, that smile may take on a certain strained, false quality.
To get out of prison early.
Looks like jail puts some things in perspective. By giving up the right to $40 million he forfeited as well as any right to repeal on 19 convictions, former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling could be out of prison as early as 2017—10 years earlier scheduled. The deal would allow Skilling to return to daily life at age 63 instead of 74. The former CEO was sentenced to the longest sentence of any individual involved in the Enron scandal.
The Citi Bike program creeps into town.
New York City’s much-anticipated, much-delayed, much-debated bike-sharing program is starting to make progress. No bikes are yet available – the authorities have been talking about a Memorial Day launch. But in certain parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn the infrastructure is starting to appear, mostly in the form of docking stations. Including these in front of the Daily Beast’s headquarters on West 18th St.
The designer has teamed with Paperless Post to create invites directly inspired by his fall collection.
Can’t afford anything from Oscar de la Renta’s last collection? Now might be your chance. The designer has teamed up with online-invitation behemoth Paperless Post to create a line of stationery, based on the exact prints from his fall collection. The range of invitations will be available both online (and, of course, on the company's mobile platforms) as well as in real paper stock. The collaboration will launch with 50 original wedding designs and then expand into general invites (including some for kids) later this year.
The good news is that health care costs aren't rocketing away like they used to. The bad news is that drug discovery has slowed down too.
While working on some of my recent posts about the Oregon study, I came across this report from the CDC on changing causes of death over time. If you spend any time thinking about the history of health innovation in America, it's pretty fascinating. The first thing you notice is that how we die hasn't changed all that much since the Great Depression: the leading causes of death today are cancer and heart disease, just as they were in 1935.
Authorities in Belgium, France, and Switzerland say they’ve got the robbers who stole $50 million worth of ice from Brussels Airport. But details are sketchy, reports Christopher Dickey.
Belgian authorities announced Wednesday that in cooperation with the Swiss and French they’d rounded up 31 suspects in the stunning $50 million diamond heist at Brussels Airport last February. But the account they gave of the gem theft had very little clarity or color.According to Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office talking to reporters in Brussels, “In Switzerland, we have found diamonds that we can already say are coming from the heist, and in Belgium large amounts of money have been found.
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After a University of Massachusetts student found significant errors in a study beloved by budget cutters world over by Harvard economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, Stephen Colbert does what he does best -- leaves them in the dust.
Paying a living wage comes at a cost, but it can help the bottom line, says Charney, who... More
Apple has avoided billions in taxes. Congress says it wants to know why. But we know why—and it’s probably not going to change.
Mira Sucharov asks how Rabbi Eric Yoffie's parameters for deciding who gets to speak in synagogues would apply to the sticky question of selective BDS.