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    Criminals are exploiting a vulnerability in about 87,000 e-commerce websites that puts information including customers' stored credit-card data at risk. The online shopping websites were susceptible to a chain of weaknesses on the platform Magento, which runs on about one-third of online shops, as of Friday morning, according to the Tel Aviv, Israel-based security company Check Point Software Technologies. Cybercriminals who exploit the security holes could "take...

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    When the batteries are fully charged, the couple can even sell some juice back, sometimes making $30 a month.“ The sun is out,” said Josh Fried, 67, one day last week.“ I’ ve been selling all day.” The batteries that fuel our cars, laptops and lives have rarely, even in an always-on age, been wired to America’ s biggest energy users: our homes. ’”said Haresh Kamath, a program manager for...

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    Nigeria recalled its ambassador to South Africa on Saturday in the latest sign of African countries' discontent at Pretoria's handling of attacks on immigrants. Acting High Commissioner Martin Cobham and Deputy High Commissioner Uche Ajulu-Okeke had been asked to return to Nigeria for consultations, a statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

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    In late 2013, Cisco (CSCO) chief executive John Chambers used a portentous phrase while telling analysts that sales in emerging markets were spiraling downward, forcing the networking equipment company to cut its three- to five-year revenue growth target:“ We’ re the canary in the coal mine.” It was meant to be a candid assessment of the instability in global markets.

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    Japanese consumer electronics firm Sony Corp (SNE) has raised its operating profit estimate for fiscal 2015 to 300 billion yen, or four times its previous estimate, the Nikkei reported on Saturday. Expectations for higher sales of display sensors used in mobile phones and the Playstation gaming console were the reason Sony (SNE) raised its forecast, the Nikkei reported without citing sources.

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    Japanese consumer electronics firm Sony Corp (SNE) has raised its operating profit estimate for fiscal 2015 to 300 billion yen, or four times its previous estimate, the Nikkei reported on Saturday. Expectations for higher sales of display sensors used in mobile phones and the Playstation gaming console were the reason Sony (SNE) raised its forecast, the Nikkei reported without citing sources.

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    For HBO (TWX) chief executive Richard Plepler, the decision to launch a streaming service was approached with the care of a politician mulling whether to launch a campaign.More than a year ago, the former congressional aide saw the great rise of online video but needed to understand the risks to HBO’s traditional business delivering its shows only to cable subscribers. So he called a friend, pollster Doug Schoen, to study whether launching a streaming service was worth it and how he could reach out to new online customers.What he found was that HBO (TWX) was missing out on nearly 10 million households that might want to watch the premium channel but did not subscribe to cable. They were mostly younger consumers — people who have never subscribed to cable. ­Plepler hoped to target them for the new online service.“We waited for the time and place of our choosing to launch our streaming service,” Plepler said at an event Friday hosted by The Washington Post and George Washington University. Plepler was one of several chief executives talking at the “Executive Sessions” event, including Siemens USA’s Eric Spiegel, KPMG’s John Veihmeyer, Johnson Publishing’s Desiree Rogers and MGM Resorts’s James Murren.This month, HBO (TWX) launched its streaming service, called HBO Now, with Apple and Cablevision (CVC) as partners.Plepler said that so far, HBO Now subscriptions have exceeded expectations. He said the service is a “millennial missile” for its appeal to younger consumers.HBO Now is years behind Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and Amazon, companies pouring billions of dollars into original programs rivaling HBO’s shows.Plepler bristled at the idea that HBO (TWX) has been late to the subscription streaming business. And he disagreed that the new streaming service will hurt the more traditional part of his business that still depends on the cable bundle. HBO’s fees to cable companies to carry the premium channel’s programming bring $5 billion annually in revenue.“This is a multilateral approach to creating new ways for different consumers to watch us,” he said. “This is not a zero-sum game.”Indeed, Plepler said he doubts the end of traditional TV in the next five years. Instead, he said consumers will like new bundles and will watch some shows only on big TV sets.He said he isn’t a fan of some experiments by streaming competitors to release at once all of a television show’s episodes for a season.He said the ability to build up suspense over weeks helped increase interest in the HBO (TWX) documentary miniseries “The Jinx,” for example.Cablevision (CVC) has been the only cable partner to offer HBO Now. Broadband Internet customers of Cablevision (CVC) can add HBO’s stand-alone service as an extra to their package. Plepler said more cable providers will participate soon.He said he has also been talking to new potential digital partners, including SnapChat. Executives of the photo-sharing and texting app recently visited Plepler’s office to show him their Discover feature, which allows media partners CNN (TWX), Food Network (SSP) and National Geographic to spread their content through the SnapChat platform.At the “Executive Sessions” event Friday, chief executives from a wide spectrum of industries — including publishing and manufacturing — offered advice to other business leaders and student members ­of the audience. “We want people who show up, who work hard, who are adaptable, who can think critically, and who are going to be willing to change themselves and build new capabilities over time,” said Spiegel from Siemens USA, “because we don’t know what they’re going to be doing in five years and they don’t know what they’re going to be doing in five years.Veihmeyer, ­KPMG-US chairman, said chief executives worry about their products and services staying relevant. “I think CEOs are paid to be paranoid,” he said. “If you’re not paranoid, you probably shouldn’t be CEO.”The executives also discussed diversity and hiring practices.“Education and money are the only ways we are going to see parity in the community I represent,” said Rogers, chief executive of Johnson Publishing — Ebony and Jet magazines are in their portfolio — and former White House social secretary in the Obama administration.Both she and Murren, chief executive and chairman of MGM Resorts (MGM), talked about hiring practices and how diversity of thought influences corporate innovation. “It’s an incredible situation to say you can’t find talented men and women equally,” Murren said.Lois Romano and Karen Tumulty contributed to this report.




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    For HBO (TWX) chief executive Richard Plepler, the decision for his company to launch a streaming service was approached with the care of a politician mulling whether to launch a campaign.More than a year ago, the former Congressional aide saw the great rise of online video but needed to understand the risks to HBO’s traditional business delivering its shows only to cable subscribers. So he called up a friend, pollster Doug Schoen, to study whether launching a streaming service was worth it and how he could reach out to new online customers.What he found was that HBO (TWX) was missing out on nearly 10 million households that might want to watch the premium channel but did not subscribe to cable. They were mostly younger consumers, people who’ve never subscribed to cable. And Plepler hoped to target them for the new online service.“We waited for the time and place of our choosing to launch our streaming service,” Plepler said at an event Friday hosted by the Washington Post and George Washington University.This month HBO (TWX) launched its own streaming service, called HBO Now, with Apple and Cablevision (CVC) as partners.Plepler said so far, HBO Now subscriptions have exceeded expectations. And he said the service is a “millennial missile” for its appeal to younger consumers.HBO Now is years behind Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and Amazon — companies now pouring billions of dollars into original programs rivaling HBO’s shows.But Plepler bristled at the idea that HBO (TWX) has been late to the subscription streaming business. And he disagreed that the new streaming service will hurt the more traditional part of his business that still depends on the cable bundle. HBO’s fees to cable companies to carry the premium channel’s programming bring $5 billion in revenues annually to the company.“This is a multilateral approach to creating new ways for different consumers to watch us. This is not a zero sum game,” he said. Indeed, Plepler said he doubts the end of traditional TV in the next five years. Instead, he said consumers will like new bundles and will watch some shows only on big TV sets.And he said he isn’t a fan of some experiments by streaming competitors to release at once all of a television show’s episodes for a season.He said the ability to build up suspense over weeks helped increase interest in the HBO (TWX) documentary miniseries “The Jinx,” for example.Cablevision (CVC) has been the only cable partner to offer HBO Now. Broadband Internet customers of the Cablevision (CVC) can add HBO’s standalone service as an extra to their package. And Plepler said more cable providers will participate soon. He said he’s also been talking to new potential digital partners, including SnapChat. Executives of the photo-sharing and texting app recently visited Plepler’s office to show him their Discover feature, which allows media partners CNN (TWX), Food Network (SSP) and National Geographic to spread their content through the SnapChat platform.Plepler was one of several chief executives talking at the “Executive Sessions” event including Siemens USA’s Eric Spiegel, KPMG’s John Veihmeyer, Johnson Publishing’s Desiree Rogers, and MGM Restorts’ James Murren.Chief executives from a wide spectrum of industries— from publishing to manufacturing — offered advice to other business leaders and student members of the audience. Veihmeyer, KPMG-US chairman, said that chief executives worry about their products and services staying relevant. “I think CEOs are paid to be paranoid. If you’re not paranoid, you probably shouldn’t be CEO,” he said. The executives also discussed diveristy and hiring practices. “Education and money are the only ways we are going to see parity in the community I represent,” said Desiree Rogers, chief executive of Johnson Publishing Company — EBONY and JET magazines are in their portfolio — and former White House social secretary in the Obama administration. Both she and MGM Resorts (MGM) chief executive and chairman Jim Murren talked about hiring practices and how diversity of thought influences corporate innovation. “It’s an incredible situation to say you can’t find talented men and women equally,” said Murren. Washington Post Live Editor Lois Romano and National Political Writer Karen Tumulty contributed to this report.




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    Software developers who tried on an Apple Watch for the first time on Friday predicted a rush of new apps over the next few months, particularly in areas including health and messaging. Developers, who had been limited to using software simulators of the watch, discovered new possibilities.

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    Stingray Digital Group, a business-to-business music provider and media company, said on Friday it plans to go public through a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. A source familiar with the company's plans, who asked not to be named as the details of the offering are not yet public, said Stingray plans to raise C$120 million via the IPO that is expected to close sometime in early June.

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    British defense contractor BAE Systems (BAESF) on Friday, April 24, announced a strategic review of its parts of its U.S. business serving the U.S. government, bringing in external advisers and effectively putting them on the block. The businesses concerned are the U.S.-based manpower and services businesses of BAE Systems (BAESF)' U.S. intelligence and security division.

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    Microsoft (MSFT) shares were up 9% Friday as analysts responded to the company's better than expected third-quarter earnings and predicted growth in its cloud business. Microsoft (MSFT) beat third-quarter earnings and sales expectations Thursday with sales of $21.73 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $21.1 billion. It also beat on profit, with earnings of 61 cents per share, above the FactSet consensus of 51 cents a share.

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    Shares of Alibaba (BABA) were gaining 3% to $84.71 Friday after the Chinese e-commerce company announced it will work with China Telecom (CHA) to bring mobile phones with online shopping apps to people in rural areas of China. The phones will be called "Tianyi Taobao Shopping Handsets," according to Alibaba-owned news site Alizila.

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    When it comes to a state’s biggest import, Wisconsin is in a class all by itself. For most of America’s states, their biggest import is energy — crude oil, gasoline and natural gas. But for Wisconsin, it’s sweaters and pullovers.The map below from Fixr.com, a cost-estimating website, shows each state’s largest import by dollar value in 2014, based on data from the U.S. Census and the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database. Orange indicates that the state’s major import is fuel, dark blue indicates food, light blue shows electronics, and red shows machinery and transportation equipment.For most states, the biggest import is crude oil. The northeastern states do not have refining capacity, so their largest import is gasoline. For some Plains states the biggest import is food — seeds to support agriculture in North Dakota, beef to make hamburgers in South Dakota and cattle to support Nebraska’s livestock industry.Many states import components to support a local electronics industry, including Idaho (the home of Micron Technologies), North Carolina (the home of Lenovo), and Virginia (a home of printer manufacturers). For reasons unknown, Washington D.C.’s biggest import is medicine.More stories from Know More, Wonkblog's social media site: How to seem smart in meetings without really tryingA great big map of American movie settingsWhat emoji use says about your country and your language




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    Shares of ARRIS Group (ARRS) were falling 5.3% to $35.33 on heavy trading volume Friday, giving back some gains after the telecommunications equipment company announced it will acquire English set-top box maker Pace plc (PCMXF). About 4 million shares of ARRIS were traded by 1:15 p.m. Friday, above the company's average trading volume of about 1.9 million shares a day.

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    In his first quarter letter to Greenlight Capital investors, David Einhorn writes that it has been "challenging" to find worthy companies for long-term investment. According to data gathered by iBillionaire, Einhorn has 41 holdings in his public equity portfolio as per his latest regulatory filing, corresponding to the end of the fourth quarter.

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    Washington-area business leaders and government officials have been working to turn the nation’s capital into one of the premier destinations for innovative entrepreneurs. With news last week that two of the region’s top tech hubs are merging, creating a more connected and collaborative environment for D.C. area start-ups, that effort seems to be accelerating.Not far north, something similar — albeit on a slightly smaller scale and with far less fanfare — appears to be taking place in Baltimore.“Over the past four or five years, the city has seen this constant stream of momentum behind start-ups and innovation,” said Jennifer Meyer, who runs one of the premier business incubators in Baltimore. “There’s this sense of community among entrepreneurs that we didn’t see before.”Meyer’s incubator, called Betamore, is spearheading the city’s effort to sustain that momentum and cultivate that innovation-minded community. Started a little more than two years ago with about 8,000 square feet of space in the Federal Hill neighborhood, the operation was first set up as a for-profit venture, with a pay-for-deskspace model for young tech firms, coupled with highly technical education offerings, like coding and software classes.Over the past year, the structure and mission of the organization has evolved, starting with a move to a nonprofit model and continuing late last year with the group absorbing the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, a membership organization that had run into financial troubles. This week, the Betamore team offered a glimpse into where their retooled organization is heading and how they plan to turn Baltimore into a thriving start-up hub.First, the organization is rolling out a new business model by selling memberships to entrepreneurs throughout the Baltimore region (taking a page out of the tech council’s book), including those with companies that are not housed in the Federal Hill space. Members will receive access to events and discounts on classes held at Betamore, along with access to mentor networks and other resources. The group has also built a new Web portal where its members can interact, collaborate, plan events and share news.While the move clearly provides new streams of revenue for the group — which for the first time has started a waiting list for its incubator because the space has reached capacity — Meyer says it’s also about bringing more of the region’s tech community together and fostering collaboration and partnerships, even if there’s not enough physical space for everyone to work side-by-side.“We have basically taken the foundation we had in place at Betamore and paired that with some of the member programs that worked well at the Greater Baltimore Technology Council,” Meyer said.In addition, Betamore is expanding its educational platform to include business courses (with classes in subjects such as marketing, sales and financing) as well as classes for entrepreneurs in arts and design fields. The programs will now feature 12-month curriculum that entrepreneurs can move through with the help of an assigned mentor.Some of those mentors will come from a new advisory board the group has formed, with a roster including venture capitalists, business executives and entrepreneurs from across the state, all of whom will be available to work one-on-one with member companies.“It all comes back to breaking down the silos and bringing the community together, be it entrepreneurs, investors, mentors — everybody,” Greg Cangialosi, one of the founders of Betamore (he now sits on its board), said in an interview. He noted that Maryland has dozens of business incubators and technology hubs, but it lacks a single organization to link them together.In that sense, it’s difficult not to draw striking comparisons between Betamore’s efforts in Baltimore and what 1776 has been trying to do in Washington. Both incubators opened in the same month (January 2013), and while the latter has taken steps to cultivate a more global tech network, both 1776 and Betamore have led an effort to create a dense, connected and collaborative start-up community in their respective back yards.Right from the start, 1776 has employed a similar membership model to the one now being adopted by Betamore, which founders Donna Harris and Evan Burfield have said allows them to bring in more entrepreneurs from across the region and cultivate a larger network of potential business partners, counselors and investors for their member start-ups.And much like Betamore, 1776 has put plenty of emphasis on education, offering an array of technical and entrepreneurship training courses in partnership with a group called General Assembly.One area where 1776 has separated itself from Betamore has been the group’s rate of regional expansion. With partnerships already inked with incubators in Montgomery County, Md., 1776 recently gobbled up Disruption Corp. in Crystal City, giving it control of one of the largest start-up incubators in Northern Virginia.In a blog post announcing the merger, Harris explained that the move was part of her team’s mission to “bring together all the tremendous assets this region has to offer.” She later added that 1776 has always focused on “creating new opportunities for regional innovation and unfettered access to the networks that exist across regional borders.”It’s that type of regional network that Meyer and Cangialosi are trying to stitch together in Baltimore — one they believe will help the city build a reputation as a start-up town.“When you have people with different experiences and different networks start to engage with these early-stage companies, that’s when those beautiful collisions and synergies start happening,” Meyer said. With Betamore, she added that she hopes to create “a place where you can find out what’s going on in Baltimore in terms of technology and innovation, giving entrepreneurs an easy way to plug into the community and more quickly build their companies.”Follow J.D. Harrison and On Small Business on Twitter.