Dell bets on a small laptop

(The “9″ presumably refers to the screen size, which is just shy of nine inches diagonal.) Unlike HP, which aims its mini-note at the education market, Dell is pushing its Mini 9 to sophisticated mainstream consumers. Though Dell has offered systems with Linux for more than a year, some customers have complained that the systems were often expensive and difficult to find.

The latest big trend in the PC business is small, cheap laptops that double as portable Internet terminals. The once-booming U.S. Instead, they come with shrunken dimensions (screens are nine inches or less), light weight (they’re typically about two pounds), and starting prices under $500.

Of course, the companies are very much aware of the financial implications. (Apple has taken another tack so far; rather than offer compact, cheap laptops, it’s charging a premium for the slim MacBook Air.)

The Inspiron Mini 9 will have a starting price of $349 for a Linux version, and will be available in the U.S., Japan, and some European countries. market is now maturing, and pressure on margins is as intense as ever.

Though the stylish little machines are a dream come true for road warriors who have longed for more portable workstations, they will also present a vexing challenge for the PC industry. Investors dinged Dell stock last week after slim margins in the consumer business helped drive disappointing earnings numbers. A version with Windows XP will sell for $400, and the company promises a Linux version in “a few weeks” starting at $350. With the Mini 9, we’ll see if the company manages to squeeze decent profits out of small packages.

The subject has come up repeatedly in my recent chats with executives from HP , Dell , Intel and elsewhere. If lightweight laptops are in the bargain bin now, how’s a company to make a profit?

Hewlett-Packard has one. Image: Dell

8.9? glossy LED display, (1024×600)

built-in WiFi

Box.net online storage

optional webcam

optional Bluetooth

Linux or Windows XP. And Intel Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith notes that analysts have been peppering him with questions about the new Atom processor for low-cost mobile devices, mostly concerned with how it will impact revenues and average selling prices. The laptops use Intel’s Atom processor, have between 4 and 16 gigabytes of flash storage, and come with 2 gigabytes of free online storage from Box.net, which users will be able to expand to 25GB.

It will also test Dell’s efficiency. Generally the companies respond to the profit question by saying they must first provide what customers demand, and better margins will come later.

When the Linux version is ready, it will offer the highest-profile test yet of Dell’s recent embrace of the open-source community. These machines typically don’t have much storage space for digital files or much visual horsepower for tasks like videoconferencing. And now, Dell has one, too.

But the company making the boldest move in the mini-note arena might just be Dell, with the release Thursday of its Inspiron Mini 9. HP vice president Dan Forlenza told me his team worked hard on the design of the HP mini-note to keep costs low – the basic version comes with Linux instead of Microsoft Windows, and with 4 gigabytes of flash memory instead of a hard drive. Asus, the Taiwanese electronics maker, has one

UNC Tolerated Cheating, Says Insider Mary Willingham

Read the whole story at News Observer

But many of those athletes stayed eligible to play sports, she said, because the academic support system provided improper help and tolerated plagiarism. When she raised questions or made an objection to what she saw as cheating, she said, she saw no one take her concerns seriously.

As a reading specialist at UNC-Chapel Hill, Mary Willingham met athletes who told her they had never read a book and didn’t know what a paragraph was. She said she saw diagnostic tests that showed they were unable to do college-level work.

PokerStars Says Spanish Casino Back Online Soon

Hollreiser also rejected rumors that the casino games were quashed because they were luring players away from Stars’ core poker vertical. Just one month later, Stars’ parent company Amaya Gaming humble-bragged that the site had already captured a “double-digit” share of Spain’s regulated online casino business. Stars subsequently announced plans to roll out the casino options to all countries served by its .com site, with other verticals such as sports betting to follow in due course. Over the holidays, players who logged on to the PokerStars.es site found the blackjack and roulette options suddenly unavailable.

Well, bollocks to that, says Stars, saying it plans to be blackjacking and rouletting in Spain “in a matter of weeks.” Stars spokesman Eric Hollreiser took pains to point out that the glitch hadn’t affected the integrity of the games played. Some observers believed the wholesale removal of the casino vertical was a bit extreme for what amounted to an admittedly ‘minor’ software tweak, prompting rumors that Stars might be abandoning its commitment to diversifying beyond poker.

Stars launched its Spanish online casino in October. Hollreiser says the casino roll-out has been completed on schedule.

pokerstars-spainOnline poker giant PokerStars has sought to reassure its Spanish players that the site’s online casino offering will be back taking their money in short order.

Stars sent emails to its Spanish players saying the temporary absence of its casino games was necessary to fix a “minor technical issue” involving its inability to make blackjack hand and roulette spin histories available to players, a requirement of Spanish online casino regulations. Hollreiser told eGaming Review that the casino options were having a “negligible impact” on poker performance and that cross-sell had been “better than expected.”

January 7, 2015

Colts Favored By Four Over Saints

The top-seeded Colts beat the New York Jets 30-17 Sunday in the AFC championship.. “To get five turnovers at home and having to go to overtime to win it, I don’t think they were playing that well.”

Rood said that was because the Colts have been consistent all year, while Saints bettors who lost Sunday because New Orleans didn’t cover the spread didn’t want to take the team again so soon.

Oddsmaker Sean Van Patten of Las Vegas Sports Consultants said the firm gave that line after watching New Orleans struggle to beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game Sunday night. Las Vegas Sports Consultants provides betting lines for roughly 90 percent of sports books in Nevada.

Sports books gave Indianapolis 8-1 odds to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season, compared with 18-1 for New Orleans.

New Orleans outlasted Minnesota 31-28 in overtime, even though the Vikings gained 218 more yards and had nearly twice as many first downs as the Saints.

LAS VEGAS — Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts opened as a four-point favorite to beat New Orleans in the Super Bowl.

“The big factor here is that Indy has been there,” Van Patten said. Manning and the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2007 over the Chicago Bears.

Jay Rood, race and sports book director for casino operator MGM Mirage, said bettors began favoring Indianapolis soon after New Orleans won and the odds were posted.

“I think the Saints are very fortunate to be in there,” said Jay Kornegay, executive director of the race and sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton. “The experience factor is such a huge thing when it comes to the Super Bowl.”

Indianapolis was a 4 1/2-point favorite in the Glantz-Culver line, with the over-under at 55 1/2 points.

“They don’t usually come right back on the team that just burned them on a bet,” Rood said.

Patten said oddsmakers like that Indianapolis has succeeded against two top NFL defenses in consecutive games

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Number of tourists to Macau increases amid slide in gambling revenue: Shanghaiist

gambling-macau.jpg

Macau received 31.5 million visitors in total last year, an increase of 7.5 percent over the year of 2013, according to the Macau Government Tourist Office. Tourists from mainland China still remain the strongest source, with a total of 21 million mainlanders visiting Macau in 2014–a 14.1 percent jump from the previous year. This contrasts with a nine percent drop in Macau’s gambling revenue this year and a 2.6 percent drop last year as a result of China’s intensified crackdown on gambling-related graft since the middle of 2013.

Best-known as the ‘heaven for gambling’ in Asia, Macau has gained more confidence in its non-gambling related facilities and tourist attractions through this visitor growth. According to Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Tourist Office, the trend reflects the fact that tourists do not necessarily come to Macau to gamble but also to enjoy food, shopping and other tourist activities.

South China Morning Post reports:

Last year, international visitor numbers in Macau fell 1.1 per cent. Tourist spending on gambling stayed the same in the first nine months of last year, Fernandes said, but she expected “there could be a drop in the fourth quarter”.

There was, however, an increase of about 5 per cent in non-gambling expenditure, including spending on retail and dining.

As part of the non-gambling attractions, four new walking routes with heritage themes have been designed and new lighting shows will be held in various neighbourhoods to attract tourists away from the city centre.

As well, several thousand more hotel rooms will be available this year with more to follow.

Compared to Macau, Hong Kong was outperformed in both economic growth and tourism mainly due to its loss of prospective economic advantages and unpleasant relations with the mainland society in past years. According to a report from the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, Macau came in as the best in economic performance among 300 major cities worldwide in the year of 2014 whilst Hong Kong only ranked the 242nd. In tourism, Hong Kong was also predicted to face a mere four percent visitor annual growth rate before 2020, and more and more mainlanders will choose to travel to Japan, France, South Korea and Britain over Hong Kong.

By Zhizhu Zhang

[Image via Want China Times]

Impact of Internet Gambling

So many of us are attracted to gambling online. Some of us are addicted to the habit, without even knowing that. The thrill in betting money and that excitement in the uncertainty of winning or losing it is addictive. With so many gambling sites online and their alluring offers, a lot of time and money is spent on this addictive activity. This article talks about the impact that online gambling has, on the society at large.

Gambling that makes use of the Internet is known as Internet gambling. Its rising popularity is stealing a lot of productive time of those addicted to it. Youngsters, unaware of the long-term effects of this addiction, end up losing a lot of energy and money on it, and may develop health disorders. Increase in the number of online casinos, rise in the popularity of games like online poker and bingo, and a steady increase in the number of children and teenagers getting addicted to it, does not paint a very good picture of the future of Internet use. It’s high time we realize the impact online gambling can have on us, and take steps towards curbing its popularity.

Excessive exposure to online gambling websites leads to addiction. Gambling is betting money and running the risk of losing it. This can lead to heavy financial losses, and even bankruptcy. Recurrent losses can lead to frustration. Repeated failures can breed feelings of inferiority, and in extreme cases, one may even lose interest in living.

In the recent years, there has been a tremendous rise in the number of children and youngsters taking part in Internet gambling. These websites target youngsters, as it is easier to lure them with free gifts and discounts. Surveys have revealed that children and youngsters are the most affected and the easiest prey to offers.

Mostly, no government authority regulates online gambling. Lack of central regulation gives rise to the spread of illegal practices and an unfair use of resources. Unregulated gambling practices may result in unwarranted expenditure of money and sheer waste of time.

Moreover, unregulated gambling provides network hackers with opportunities to gain easy access to the confidential information of web users. Internet gambling involves online fund transfers requiring the exchange of credit card details over the Internet. Hackers can easily access such user details and breach information security.

Pathological gambling disorder has symptoms similar to addiction. It describes a state wherein gambling-related behavior of a person hampers his/her personal and social life. Those with this disorder are always preoccupied with the thoughts of gambling. They feel the need to gamble with big amounts of money. They tend to risk huge amounts and are unable to resist the temptation to do so.

The biggest disadvantage of Internet gambling is the waste of valuable time and money of the individual involved. Valuable resources that can rather be invested in constructive activities, are wasted in baits and bets.