Other News & Stories

Coffee With Apple CEO Up For Auction

Charitybuzz is auctioning an hour with tech giant’s chief executive for charity. Already standing at $180,000, proceeds are going to the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. This makes Cook the latest participant in an ongoing series of “time auctions” to bring benefits from celebrities.

With Cook’s time seen as so precious and interaction with him so potentially valuable, bids on the auction have ramped up rapidly. Though the bidders do not have to give real names, they seem already to include executives from rival companies.

apple-inc-tim-cookCook’s auction has the chance to rival or even beat the current record on Charitybuzz, where someone paid $255,000 to shadow former president Bill Clinton for a day. It will be hard, however, to match the $3.46m paid by a group of investors in 2012 for lunch with the financier Warren Buffett, who has been auctioning the chance to lunch with him since 2000.

Who will win this auction and what exactly does he have to gain from the coffee? Find out more from The Guardian’s Charles Arthur.

April 26, 2013 at 8:03 amiTech Services

Service Sector Saves UK Economy

UK service sectorBritain’s vast services sector propelled the economy back into growth in the first quarter of the year, making up for falls in both manufacturing and construction output.

The country’s official economic data on Thursday showed an economy carried aloft by its shopkeepers, waiters, truck drivers and car mechanics.

“There is little sign of rebalancing,” said Amit Kara, an economist at UBS. “The manufacturing sector has shrunk in three out of the last four quarters, whereas the services sector has expanded in three out of the last four quarters.”

Britain’s economy has been flat over the past few years. Its manufacturing and construction sectors have fallen into deep double-dip recessions, while the services sector has grown slowly but steadily since the crisis. Construction output is still about 20 per cent below the economy’s pre-crisis peak and manufacturing output is still about 10 per cent below.

Find out more about this story from the Financial Times.

April 26, 2013 at 7:32 amBrain Serve

Google Predicts Markets

google predictsSearches of financial terms on Google can be used to predict the direction of the stock market. People do more searches on terms such as “stocks”, “portfolio” and “economics” when they are worried about the state of the markets. Rises in search volumes for such terms are generally followed by stock market declines. By contrast, a fall in financial searches often points to greater optimism among investors, leading to a rising market. With the power of hindsight, trading on the basis of Google search volumes would have led to significant investment gains.

Google releases data each week showing the volume of searches for specific keywords, providing the raw material for the analysis. The increasing availability of large data sets has given rise to data attempts to forecast financial markets. There is little evidence yet of such efforts yielding profits, though.

What other contemporary technology can predict markets? Find out more from London’s Richard Waters from the Financial Times.

April 26, 2013 at 7:16 amThe Marketing Section