Sony emphasizes security as PSN returns
Sony began restoring services to its Playstation Network on Sunday after nearly 3 weeks offline, explaining it was not putting consumer data protection a company commitment.
Sony No. 2 Kazuo Hirai offered his sincere apologies Saturday night, and explained t hat a number of security measures needed to be installed after last month's devastating hacker attack.
While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures, Hirai said.
The executive explained that Sony had put in place upgraded systems including advanced security technology, increased levels of encryption, firewall and early warning system.
The company would start bringing back its gaming network this Sunday, on a country-by-country basis, and expects it to be completed by May 31.
Among the 100 million user accounts, Sony said about 92 million can access the limited PlayStation network service.
We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment.
For weeks Sony has been in the crosshairs on digital vigilantes, forcing the company to shut down several services and issue public apologies and reparations to customers affected.
In April Sony was forced to take down the massive Playstation gaming network after attackers infiltrated and acquired personal data on nearly 80 million customers -- one of the largest security breaches in history.
Then, on May 9, Sony learned SOE, which runs games such as DC Universe Online, had also been attacked, affecting an additional 24 million accounts.
Since the shutdown of the PlayStation Network on April 20, Sony's share price has dropped nearly nine percent to close at 2,241 yen ($28) on Friday.
Policymakers caution on global economy
China's economy is headed in the right direction but the foundations of the recovery are not yet solid, a Chinese central bank official said on Tuesday, adding to a chorus of voices cautioning against expectations of a rapid rebound from the global crisis.
The world economy is struggling to overcome problems stemming from last year's housing and financial market meltdown, with access to credit still tight, companies reluctant to spend and job losses mounting.
The U.S. unemployment rate, at 9.4 percent already its highest in about 25 years, is likely to hit 10 percent in the next couple of months, a White House spokesman said on Monday.
U.S. President Barack Obama will likely discuss his plans to create jobs and stem unemployment when he gives his fourth White House press conference since taking office later on Tuesday.
Around the world, governments and central banks have been cutting interest rates to record lows, buying financial assets and building infrastructure to prop up growth and encourage consumers to spend.
German consumer sentiment is poised to rise to a one-year high in July, according to the GfK market research group, but analysts cautioned of more pain to come.
Consumption is preventing the economic downturn from becoming more acute, said Klaus Schruefer, an economist at SEB Bank. But over the medium-term the outlook is not so good: the financial crisis has yet to reach most people and the companies are still holding back from laying people off.
Su Ning, a vice-governor of the People's Bank of China, said he hoped China would be among the first economies to recover from the crisis.
The overall situation is stabilising and moving in the right direction, Su said at a conference on Tuesday.
But he cautioned that the pick-up was still not firmly anchored and expressed particular concern about the grim international environment for Chinese exporters as the financial crisis continues to take a toll on global growth.
China's annual economic gross domestic product growth for the second quarter would probably accelerate to close to 8 percent from 6.1 percent in the first three months, a government statistician said in a separate report on Tuesday.
Both the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development offered dispiriting assessments of the world economy on Monday, adding to concerns about the economic outlook that has scuppered a rally in equity markets.
Wall Street suffered its worst one-day loss in two months on Monday, with the S&P 500 sliding 3 percent and into negative territory for the year.
Asian markets followed suit on Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei down almost 3 percent, MSCI's measure of stocks elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific down a similar amount and European markets set to open weaker.
MSCI's World Index had soared almost 50 percent from its March low until early this month, raising concerns that markets had been too aggressive pricing in a recovery and prompting investors to book profits ahead of the traditional summer lull. The index is now more than 7 percent off its early June peak.
Prices for oil and industrial metals also gave up ground as investors questioned the strength of the recovery.
I do not think there is anyone who is all that confident about an economic recovery, said Hiroaki Osakabe, fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management in Japan.
Figures on euro zone business activity and U.S. housing data due later on Tuesday will be an important test for nervous markets, while the Federal Reserve's interest rate setting committee begins its two-day meeting.
While no changes are expected in the current short-term interest rate near zero, attention is focused on whether the Fed will expand its purchases of government debt from the $300 billion already pledged to fight the recession.
(Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Bill Tarrant)
BoE's Dale: Need To Expand Range Of Policymakers' Tools To Manage Emerging Imbalances
RTTNews - Tuesday, Spencer Dale, a Bank of England policymaker, said the single most important lesson from the current financial crisis is the need to expand the range of instruments available to policymakers to tackle emerging imbalances.
In a speech at the Annual Conference of the Society of Business Economists in London, Dale who is also the Chief Economist of the central bank said short-term interest rates are a blunt instrument available and are not well suited to the task of managing asset price bubbles and economic imbalances.
Dale acknowledged that recent events must serve as a wake up call for policymakers. He said strengthening the policy framework should lead to greater economic and financial stability. The process of increasing the robustness of the macroeconomic policy framework should be seen as continuous, not a one-off response to the current crisis, he added.
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Heat vs Bulls (Live Coverage of Game One)
The Miami Heat travel to the United Center to play the Chicago Bulls in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bulls are the number one seed, while the Heat were some experts' pick to come out of the East before the season started.
In some ways, this is a dream matchup. The Bulls are led by the MVP of the regular season, Derrick Rose. While the Heat are led by a trio of superstars: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
But the series might very well come down to neither of the four players.
Here's what to expect in Game One.
Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade will cancel each other out. Rose and Wade will probably be on the court at the same time, and both are their respected teams' most important perimeter players. Though Rose is the playmaker, while Wade is a more of a pure scorer, neither team has a lock down perimeter defender. Both players have put up excellent numbers in the three regular season games they played in.
LeBron James will get booed. Many in Chicago feel that James spurned them after Chicago made a real effort to sign him this past summer. Instead, James ended up in Miami, and the Bulls used their salary cap space to sign Carlos Boozer. Though it seemed to work out for Chicago, Bulls' fans will make sure to let James hear it. This might motivate James to have a big game, and that might be a very bad thing for the Bulls.
Chris Bosh will be the most important player on the court. Lost in all the discussion about the star power on the court is the importance of Chris Bosh for the Heat. Bosh has shown some signs of fatigue, and has been inconsistent throughout the regular season and playoffs. The Heat rely heavily on Bosh, as Miami lacks another productive big man. When he comes up big, the Heat look unstoppable. In three games against the Bulls, Bosh has shot just 34 percent from the field. If Bosh avoids foul trouble, and has a productive scoring game, the Heat should expect to win Game One.
Time for Joakim Noah to shine. Noah will not face a tough center assignment in the series, especially if Bosh pays more attention to Carlos Boozer. After three poor offensive showings in the Atlanta series, Noah should take advantage of a thin Heat bench. Joel Anthony will need to raise his defensive game to prevent Noah from having a double-double.
James Jones or Luol Deng? These two small forward have contrasting styles, but both play key roles for their team's success. Jones is a sharpshooter, who gives teams headaches with his three-point shooting, as defensive converge on James and Wade. Deng, on the other hand, is capable of scoring in multiple ways, and James will have a tough defensive assignment is trying to limit Deng from penetrating and shooting from inside 20 feet.
This will be an interesting series, and Game One will probably not be indicative of what will happen the rest of the series as head coaches Tom Thibodeau and Erik Spoelstra know they will need to make adjustments.
Currency Pair Overview Major Currencies Trade Split Throughout The European Session
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Overall, the major pairs traded split during the overnight session, as investors shifted from risk-aversion to tolerance depending on regional macroeconomic strength ahead of the FOMC meeting. As such, the euro, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc advanced compared with the dollar overnight, the cad and aussie posted small declines, while the pound tumbled from the Tuesday session open. The market is expected to retain strong momentum, but also remain volatile, during the U.S. open, as investors prepare for the Existing Home Sales report at 10:00 EDT.
The Euro (Eur/Usd) gained 60 pips throughout the European session, and was able to hold against the dollar even though S&P futures retraced some of the gains made overnight. For now, the euro trades near an area packed with important support points, something that might provide a strong momentum for the European currency.
During the European session, a release showed that the German and Euro-area Manufacturing PMI improved in June, even though the gains were smaller than expected. On the other hand, the Services PMI for the Euro-area and for Germany consolidated near the value reached in May.
The Pound (Gbp/Usd) broke under the low set on Monday during the early Asian session, and since then the pair has traded in the red, even though some of the other major currencies advanced compared to the dollar. Moreover, the pound was unable to break above Monday’s low even though it tested the resistance area a couple of times, on a strong volume. Eventually, the pound break below TheLFB R1 (1.6270), tumbling 100 pips from Tuesday’s open.
The number of mortgage approvals in the U.K. improved much more than expected in May. However, analyzing the report from a longer-term perspective, the number of mortgages approved is still hovering near very low historical levels.
The Aussie (Aud/Usd) continued the move lower during the Asian session, extending the declines seen in the prior day of trading, on Monday. However, during the European session, the aussie managed to break above the intra-day trend-line that sent the pair lower over the last few trading sessions, and even posted some small gains.
The Cad (Usd/Cad) extended the range seen in the late U.S. session during overnight trade. As such, the cad traded a 40-pip side-ways channel since the Tuesday session begun, being unable to pull any important moves. On the daily chart, the pair is trading near the 50-day moving average, a resistance point that held the pair for nearly seven weeks.
The Swissy (Usd/Chf) had a relatively calm Asian session, trading in a 25-pip range slightly above the neutral pivot point (1.0850). However, shortly before the London open, the Swiss franc gained approximately 60 pips, posting the biggest advances among the major currencies compared to the dollar. Swissy’s downtrend came in response to the pair being unable to break above the 1.0900 area in the last four trading sessions.
A report showed this morning the Swiss trade balance released at 2.01B for May, one of the strongest numbers seen over the last few years. To some extent, this may provide strong support for the Swiss franc.
The Yen (Usd/Yen) lost as much as 95 pips during the overnight session and tested TheLFB S3 (95.05) around the London open. Overnight declines came after the pair traded in a 40-pip range, unable to break any important price points. Moreover, on Tuesday, the pair broke below the trend-line that connects the 01.21 and the 05.22 lows, something that may be a crucial point in the future.
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A friendship seemed unlikely to blossom between Beyonce, a world renowned artist known for her killer performances and astounding vocals, and Kim Kardashian, a reality star.
The ladies, however, proved that friendship could be found in the most unlikely of places. The two took to Birmingham, where Jay-Z and Kanye West, were performing for their Watch the Throne UK tour.
Beyonce and Kardashian were photographed cheering on their respective significant others from the VIP section on Friday night, according to MTV News. It had been rumored that Beyonce did not approve of West dating the E! reality starlet, but based on the photographs from the weekend's show, the two seemed to have hit it off well.
Beyonce opted for a concert-appropriate white T-shirt and leather pants, while Kardashian went with a look better suited for a dinner party -- a tight black dress and slicked-back hair.
Fellow concertgoers snapped photos of the duo smiling and dancing as Jay-Z and West performed. The photos of Beyonce and Kardashian quickly spread on Twitter. But not everyone believed the hype.
The lucky girl who tweeted the first photo of the two was slammed by Beyonce fans on twitter for posting what they thought was a photoshopped photo, reported the gossip blog, Necole B-tchie. They said their Queen would never ... Beyhive is definitely HEATED.
What was behind the beef?
The girls have never really seen eye-to-eye, a source told The Sun. It's a shame because Jay-Z and Kanye are so close. Beyonce has always viewed Kim as a reality TV star who's not earned her fortune with a specific talent.
The two reportedly went to dinner together before Jay-Z and West's show at the LG Arena.
Kanye arranged a dinner in the hotel suite for the girls to clear the air, the source told The Sun. He's hoping that now they're pals it will lead to further get-togethers away from the tour. Beyonce has now welcomed Kim into the clan.
On Saturday night, Beyonce attended Jay-Z's performance for Radio 1's Hackney Weekend at the Hackney Marshes. She was not afraid to get down and dirty in the trenches to support her man, who performed with Rihanna, M.I.A. and West during the festival.
Beyonce rocked along to the music, looking adorable in a black hoodie, white shirt, dark pants and Hunter rain boots.
Check out the photos of Beyonce and Kardashian, as well as photos from the 2012 Hackney Weekend in the slideshow.