Tuesday, January 29, 2008
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Monday, January 7, 2008
Citigroup, the world's largest financial services group, is believed to be planning to axe up to 10 per cent of its workforce in a bid to stem rising losses.
The bank is expected to make an announcement about the job cuts — which could see as many as 32,000 people made redundant — when it unveils its full year figures on January 15.
Such a move would represent one of the first emergency measures implemented by Vikram Panditt, who was appointed the bank's chief executive last month.
Wall Street rivals expect Citigroup to write down as much as $18.7 billion in the fourth quarter of the year to cover bad investments the bank made in bonds backed by sub-prime mortgages.
Posted by Southofdub at 10:31 AM
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet may have a serious security vulnerability in its onboard computer networks that could allow passengers to access the plane's control systems, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
The computer network in the Dreamliner's passenger compartment, designed to give passengers in-flight internet access, is connected to the plane's control, navigation and communication systems, an FAA report reveals.
The revelation is causing concern in security circles because the physical connection of the networks makes the plane's control systems vulnerable to hackers. A more secure design would physically separate the two computer networks. Boeing said it's aware of the issue and has designed a solution it will test shortly.
"This is serious," said Mark Loveless, a network security analyst with Autonomic Networks, a company in stealth mode, who presented a conference talk last year on Hacking the Friendly Skies (PowerPoint). "This isn’t a desktop computer. It's controlling the systems that are keeping people from plunging to their deaths. So I hope they are really thinking about how to get this right."
Currently in the final stages of production, the 787 Dreamliner is Boeing's new mid-sized jet, which will seat between 210 and 330 passengers, depending on configuration.
Posted by Southofdub at 12:52 AM
Saturday, January 5, 2008
"Subprime" has been voted word of the year for 2007 by linguists of the American Dialect Society.
Used to describe a risky loan, the word burst out of the banking sector as the home loan crisis in the US turned into a global credit squeeze.
It beat competition from Facebook, water-boarding and Googleganger.
The society says it just charts words or phrases that have become prominent in a particular year, and is not telling people how to speak.
"Subprime" means literally "less than ideal" and is the technical term used to describe loans - especially mortgages - made to borrowers with poor credit histories.
A series of defaults on such loans spread panic through much of the banking sector in 2007 as financial institutions realised they had bought many of these loans from one another without knowing how risky they were.
American Dialect Society spokesman Wayne Glowka said: "When you have investment companies losing billions of dollars over something like bundled subprime loans, then you have to consider whether it's important.
"You probably also want to think about paying off that third mortgage."
Other words nominated for the award included "water-boarding" - a form of interrogation involving simulated drowning, that was much discussed in recent confirmation hearings - and "Facebook", a popular social networking website.
The society gave its "most creative word" award to "Googleganger" - meaning a person thrown up by a Google search on your name, but who is not you.
Among other citations this year:
* Ninja - a poorly documented loan made to a high-risk borrower - someone with No Income, No Job or Assets
* Wrap rage - anger brought on by the inability to open a factory-sealed package
* Tapafication - the tendency of restaurants to serve food in many small portions, like tapas.
Posted by Southofdub at 10:38 PM