The business of New York is business — New York Stock Exchange reopens in wake of superstorm

Financial markets reopened Wednesday morning after the longest weather-related closure in over 100 years.

Lower Manhattan, including Wall Street, is still without power, but the New York Stock Exchange is up and running on a generator and CBS News business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis reported that NYSE personnel tested all of their electronic systems on Tuesday.

Approximately 50 personnel from the NYSE stayed at the exchange overnight and carpools and hotel stays were arranged to ensure that traders could arrive at the exchange by the opening bell on Wednesday. NYSE’s chief operating officer told Jarvis that they have done everything can to make sure that trading would at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the opening bell.

The headline says it all. Regardless of our politics, the economy ain’t especially moving anywhere without means of buying, selling and trading. The NYSE is open for business and that’s a good thing.

American military marches openly in San Diego’s Gay Pride parade

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

About 200 active-duty troops and veterans wearing T-shirts advertising their branch of service marched Saturday in San Diego’s gay pride parade with American flags and rainbow banners, marking what is believed to be the first time a military contingent has participated in such an event in the U.S.

Many of the active-duty troops said they were moved to come out because it is time to end the military’s ban on openly gay troops. The march comes a day after a federal appeals court reinstated “don’t ask, don’t tell” but with a caveat that prevents the government from investigating or penalizing anyone who is openly gay.

National Guard member Nichole Herrera, 31, said she didn’t think twice about marching, even though the policy is back on the books. She said she was “choked up” several times as she walked down a main thoroughfare in San Diego, a major Navy port.

“This is one of the proudest days in my life. It’s time for it (the policy) to be gone,” Herrera said. “I’m a soldier no matter what, regardless of my sexual orientation.”

The crowd roared as the group waving military flags and holding placards identifying their military branch walked past the thousands.

Every branch of service was represented Saturday, including the Coast Guard. Marines and sailors ran out carrying their branch’s flags over their heads. One Marine stopped to pose with two towering bikini-clad blondes in stiletto-heeled boots.

Onlookers stepped into the parade route to salute them.

Bravo! The salute is overdue. Wish my cousin Billy was alive to see the Navy allow him public pride.

Prisoner in Mexico bagged in suitcase jailbreak attempt

A Mexican prisoner hoped to take a trip to freedom by packing himself into his girlfriend’s suitcase.

But guards at the jail in the southeastern town of Chetumal grew suspicious when the woman seemed nervous as she wheeled out the bulging bag after a conjugal visit with the prisoner.

Opening the luggage, guards found Juan Ramirez folded into the fetal position in his underpants and socks, a spokeswoman for local federal police said on Tuesday.

Ramirez and his girlfriend face criminal charges over the bungled escape.


Russia-China oil pipeline opens for business

The first oil pipeline linking the world’s biggest oil producer, Russia, and the world’s biggest consumer of energy, China, has begun operating.

The pipeline, running between Siberia and the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing, will allow a rapid increase in oil exports between the two countries.

Concentrated in western Siberia, Russia’s network of pipelines for oil exports has so far run towards Europe.

Until now, Russian oil has been transported to China by rail. Russia is expected to export 15m tonnes of oil through the new pipeline each year – about 300,000 barrels a day.

The project cost $25bn and was partly financed by Chinese loans.

The core of China’s stimulus programs was infrastructure. Not only energy-based facilities like this pipeline; but, four transcontinental high-speed railways systems. The Great Recessaion served as an opportunity to build commerce for the long haul.

So, what infrastructure was added – not rebuilt – in your neck of the prairie?

The only rail project we had in the hopper was completed, especially helping state and private employees commuting to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, tourists flying into the Sunport and coming to northern New Mexico.

Our new Republican governor will probably shut it down.

US reopens most Gulf of Mexico waters to fishing

Arranging blue crabs for sale in New Orleans
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The US government reopened nearly 30 percent of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico that were closed to fishing following the BP oil spill after tests showed that seafood there is safe to eat.

The area covers 6,879 square miles off the coasts of Florida and Alabama, and is the ninth reopening of waters since the spill, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement on Friday.

At its closest point, the area is about 110 miles southeast of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in April and sank to the sea floor, hemorrhaging crude for more than 100 days.

“Each reopening is a reassuring sign that areas once impacted by oil can again support sustainable fishing activities,” said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco.

“Tourists and consumers should know most Gulf waters are open for fishing and seafood from these waters is safe to eat…”

About seven percent of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, or 16,481 square miles (42,685 kilometers), remain closed to fishing, it added.

Of course, if you think you need more to worry about in terms of food safety — you can always warm yourself with no confidence in any testing whatsoever.

As critical as I have been over who designs the rules and intent governing food safety in the United States the fact remains that we have a pretty small percentage of foodborne disasters. Since I take the time to try to stay current with what’s out in the wilds of consumer shopping – I’m confident in what I buy.

One of the benefits of being a lifetime news junkie.

Burglars love the “openness” of social networks

Facebook users enthusing about an upcoming holiday or a recently purchased high-tech gadget may not just be telling their friends but also potential burglars.

A survey of 2,092 social media users by British-based Legal & General found nearly four in ten, or 38 percent, of people using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter post details about holiday plans and 33 percent details of a weekend away.

“Coupled with the finding that an alarmingly high proportion of users are prepared to be ‘friends’ online with people they don’t really know, this presents a serious risk to the security of people’s home and contents,” said the insurer.

In a report called “The Digital Criminal,” Legal & General said people used social media sites to connect with people who were essentially strangers, which could provide potential thieves with vital, personal information…

As well as information about trips away, people were posting party photos showing the interiors of homes and also chatting about their cool new purchases and presents.

“I call it “Internet shopping for burglars.” It is incredibly easy to use social networking sites to target people, and then scope out more information on their actual home … all from the comfort of the sofa,” said reformed burglar, Michael Fraser.

I remember the first decent color TV I owned being stolen a few days after it was delivered.

Turned out a gang of local burglars paid a finder’s fee to a warehouse worker at the store where I purchased the TV set. He’d provide them the addresses of TV deliveries.

Nokia’s open site, Mosh, is successful – and about to close

To spearhead its push into Internet services, Nokia put users in charge when it opened in 2007 the networking site Mosh, which lets people post anything they want.

Less than two years later the world’s top cellphone maker has decided to put an end to “people power”, killing a site that attracted a wide audience around the globe, unlike most of Nokia’s new fledgling services.

Mosh is a simple website customized for access from any feature phone or smartphone, but it can also be used from a personal computer.

It has been compared by users to the origins of the Internet, where people can access content and share it with others for free.

“We don’t know where it exactly goes and we are not entirely in control,” one of the founders of the site, George Linardos, told Reuters shortly after it was opened…

Like the Internet, Mosh attracted loads of pornographic content, and it also stoked tension between Nokia and record labels, with whom Nokia is in close cooperation for its music offerings.

It was never going to last for ever, I’m surprised that it lasted this long,” says artist Derrick Welsh, who goes by the name “moshing” on the site.

Nokia has been pretty mellow about experimentation. I can’t see too many American tech firms of comparable size being that free and easy. I’ll have to drop by their new sites to see what they’re like – after they’re up and running.