Sterling falls against euro and US dollar after Moody's strips Britain of its prized triple-A credit rating
Marissa Mayer has ordered an end to 'remote' work as all staff are told to be in the office as part of a new era of collaboration
Surfing the web from at home might be just what Yahoo's chief Marissa Mayer wants her audience to do - but she has banned employees of the company itself from working "remotely", in an edict sent out last Friday to Yahoo's thousands of staff.
Several hundred staff must now relocate their home offices to Yahoo's nearest office outpost by June - or quit, as the former Google chief gets serious about getting the company's staff back into "meat space" so it can be a contender in the web space.
The memo from human resources chief Jackie Reses - but driven by Mayer - says that "to become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices."
But the mood of Yahoo's 11,500 employees - down from 14,100 at the end of 2011 - can be guessed from the fact that the memo is marked: "PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION - DO NOT FORWARD" and that it has been forwarded to the news site AllThingsD by "a plethora" of staff, according to senior editor Kara Swisher, who broke the story.
The memo points out that even those who only work one or two days in the office will have to submit to the new regime. But it seems that what Mayer has in mind is the provision of more water coolers and coffee machines: "Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings," it says. "Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home."
Mayer was hired in secret and took over in July 2012, and soon afterwards announced that she would be having her first child - which was duly born in October. Mayer however eschewed maternity leave to go straight back to work.
Having won a number of awards - including being ranked in the "Top 50 Best Places to Work" by Business Insider in 2013, and "Top 500 Green Companies" by Newsweek in 2010 - Yahoo may find itself winning another, for "biggest group of suddenly annoyed professionals". Although the memo says that "Being a Yahoo isn't just about your day-to-day job", a number are now wondering if it might be exactly that.
One former Yahoo worker commenting at AllThingsD said that working from home made them far more productive than being in the office: "Why? I didn't have to put up with numbskull self-important programmers constantly yakking to each other LOUDLY from the next set of cubicles about non-work-related stuff, and I wasn't being distracted every 20 minutes by some bored soul coming over to my desk to go for coffee or foosball, or just to talk about the spreading ennui of knowing we were working for a company whose glory days were long over."
The UK press office declined to say whether staff here will be affected: "we do not comment on internal matters," a spokesman said.
It looks like LG has purchased the rights for webOS from HP and LG will be using the previous Palm mobile software in its range of Smart TVs, and LG now apparently owns the webOS source code.
LG will be using webOS in their Smart TVs in the future, and it doesn’t look like the have any plans to use webOS in future smartphones, so we guess that will be the end of webOS for smartphones unless LG change their mind in the future.
Zopo Mobile has this week announced the launch of a new smartphone/tablet phablet devices which is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 processor, and will be launching in India for around Rs 16,000.
The new Zopo Mobile devices will comes supplied running Google’s latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, which Zoppo Mobile say will be upgraded to Android 4.2 in the near future.
Facebook is investigating unofficial memorial pages for Sandy Hook shooting victims after members of Congress expressed concerns that they were becoming "vehicles for harassment and potentially fraud." This morning, Democratic Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT), as well as Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty, asked Facebook to remove a large number of tribute pages that sprung up after the December shooting. These unofficial pages aren't created by families or community members, and their creators have been accused of appropriating a tragedy for their own gain.
With trial over 2010 disaster set to begin in New Orleans on Monday, government said to offer $16bn deal to settle claims
The US Justice Department and BP were engaged Sunday in efforts to forge a last-minute deal to avert a trial over 2010's deadly Deepwater Horizon disaster, set to begin in New Orleans on Monday.
Over the weekend it was reported that the Justice Department and Gulf states were prepared to offer BP a $16bn deal to settle civil claims related to the fatal oil rig fire that cost 11 lives and triggered the largest oil spill in US history.
But such a deal is at the high end of legal forecasts and for BP remains fraught with complications. Geoff Morrell, head of US communications at BP, said: "BP doesn't talk about possible offers or negotiations, but I can tell you we are ready for trial and looking forward to the opportunity to present our case starting Monday."
A settlement is complicated by the demands of the five Gulf region states affected by the spill. Talks between the states, the Justice Department and BP collapsed last week as the states disagreed on the size of any deal and its structure.
The trial is expected to be one of the biggest in decades. It will open with 400 minutes of opening arguments from 11 teams of lawyers. Thousands of pages of pages of exhibits have been filed, and 80 witnesses will be called. Tony Hayward, BP's former chief executive, will appear in a videotaped deposition.
Lawyers for the justice department are seeking to prove BP was "grossly negligent" - a loose legal term that means the company deliberately paid scant regard to normal safety procedures in the operation of the Deepwater rig.
Last year the US argued in a court filing that BP had a "culture of corporate recklessness" and had acted with "gross negligence or willful misconduct". The maximum civil penalty possible under the clean water act rises from $1,100 per barrel spilled through ordinary negligence to $4,300 per barrel if gross negligence is proved. BP's bill could be as low as $5bn or as high as $17.5bn depending on how the court rules.
John Coffee, Adolf A Berle professor of law at Columbia law school, said settlement was still a strong possibility although the case was politically complex. "The bigger cases have a long history of settling on the courthouse steps," he said. "BP have a strong incentive not to go through months of trials where the level of their culpability if the prime issue."
Coffee said that for the states the trial is a "very political issue. Even the government will not want to have appeared to have sold out." That said, Coffee added any trial that centers on "gross negligence" will not be "pleasant experience" for BP. The oil firm then faces a second trial in September to establish the number of barrels of oil spilled that will be used to assess the size of fines.