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Steve Ballmer's Secret $10M Site on Gov't Spending Debuts

Ex-Microsoft CEO has been compiling monster database for 3 years

(Newser) - Ask Steve Ballmer about the project he's been quietly working on since he retired as CEO of Microsoft , and he starts gushing with the "excitement of a child showing off a new toy," per the New York Times . That three-year project is , a "first... More »

What the 7 Fastest-Shrinking US Companies Have in Common

In a word: oil

(Newser) - It's not terribly common for companies to see revenue drop by double-digit percentages, but in coming up with entries for its list of America's fastest-shrinking companies, 24/7 Wall St. found that sometimes the plunges came fast and furious, with revenue for a few companies falling more than one-third... More »

Ryan's New Budget Axes ObamaCare, $5T in Spending

Would balance over 10 years

(Newser) - Paul Ryan is unveiling his latest budget proposal, and this time, he says, it'll balance in 10 years—half the time he claimed for his previous budget, NPR notes, because he's including new revenue from the fiscal cliff deal. As promised, the new plan calls for repealing ObamaCare,... More »

Facebook Beats Estimates in First Earnings

Though company lost $157M overall

(Newser) - Facebook reported its first quarterly earnings since going public today, and though the company lost $157 million, or 8 cents per share, it performed better than analysts were expecting, Bloomberg reports. Facebook's total revenues rose to $1.18 billion on strong advertising sales, meaning that if not for "... More »

So What's in the Debt Deal?

$1T in cuts now with more later—and a 'trigger' to ensure a second deal

(Newser) - No revenues, big budget cuts—what exactly is in the debt-ceiling deal? Ezra Klein sums it up in the Washington Post : $1 trillion in immediate cuts with at least $1.5 trillion more to come; a vote on a balanced budget amendment; and an immediate $900 billion increase to the... More »

Facebook Pulled in $800M in '09

Site making more money than previously believed

(Newser) - Facebook made a lot more money last year than it let on. The company’s actual revenues were close to $800 million, sources tell Reuters , which translates into tens of millions in profits. Facebook had forecast $500 million in revenue, and analysts had assumed the actual number was in that... More »

Ticket-Crazed Virginia Hands Out 6,996 in One Weekend

States across the nation look to motorists as a way to fix budget gaps

(Newser) - In the olden days, cops handed out traffic tickets to keep us safe; in our brave, new, cash-strapped world, states and municipalities are pushing police to hand out as many as possible—for the money they bring in. Just look at Virginia, where last weekend police wrote 6,996 tickets... More »

McDonald's Will Offer Free Wi-Fi

Chain will drop $2.95 charge

(Newser) - McDonald's will stop charging for Wi-Fi starting early next year at most of its locations. The chain currently charges $2.95 to connect to the Internet for 2 hours, but will drop the fee at 11,000 of its 14,000 US restaurants. The chain is likely hoping to lure... More »

New York Times to Cut 100 Newsroom Jobs

Newspaper forced to reduce journalistic staff by 8%

(Newser) - In an effort to continue cutting costs, the New York Times will eliminate 100 jobs from its 1,300-person newsroom. The paper will offer buyouts before instituting layoffs if necessary, executive editor Bill Keller said in an email to his staff. The move comes on the heels of an across-the-board... More »

Court Ruling Scuttles Del. Sports Gambling Plans

Grandfather clause doesn't apply to single-game expansion: judges

(Newser) - A federal court quashed Delaware’s bid to legalize single-game sports betting today, ruling that the gambling expansion violated a 1992 federal law, the News Journal of Wilmington reports. State lawyers had argued Delaware was exempt from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act under a grandfather clause, but a... More »

Funny People Puts Serious Pressure on Sandler

Box office performance for latest flick a mystery

(Newser) - Though it’s called Funny People, Adam Sandler’s latest film is a bit more serious than his fans are used to—and its opening-weekend performance is a mystery, Variety reports. Forecasts range from just over $20 million to more like $35 million, Audiences loved director Judd Apatow’s prior... More »

Don't Celebrate Yet: Earnings Are Up, but Not Sales

Though first-quarter profit beat expectations, a growth story is absent

(Newser) - The fact that 66% of American companies beat their first-quarter earnings expectations is good, writes Henry Blodget in Clusterstock, but not as good as it looks. A closer examination of the data shows that while profits increased, revenues did not, and “you can’t fire your way to prosperity.... More »

New Orleans Builds on Hollywood-Friendly Rep

Films provide critical revenue to city

(Newser) - Movie projects like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button have provided valuable revenue to beleaguered New Orleans, and new studio and soundstage developments aim to ensure the city has all the amenities filmmakers need to complete their projects. The city is getting 600,000 feet of soundstages—needed to shoot... More »

Fading Radio, Recording Outfits Clash Over Royalties

(Newser) - The recording industry and radio-station owners are clashing in Washington over the issue of royalties, Bloomberg reports. Both sides have spent tens of millions on lobbying, and contributed to the campaigns of legislators of both parties. At present, radio stations pay royalties to songwriters and publishers, not artists. “This... More »

'09 Airline Losses Likely Worse Than Post-9/11

Companies to lose $4.7 billion in economic crisis

(Newser) - World airlines will lose $4.7 billion this year, and revenues will plummet $62 billion—worse than after 9/11, a top industry association said. The grim estimate is almost twice what it was in December and reflects “the rapid deterioration of the global economic conditions,” said the International... More »

AT&T Layoffs Just the Beginning of Telecom Pain

Reduced consumer spending will result in cycles of layoffs and decreased capital expenditure

(Newser) - AT&T’s elimination of 12,000 jobs is just the beginning of cutbacks that will radiate throughout the telecom industry, BusinessWeek reports. As pinched consumers cut back on communication spending, job and capital-expenditure reductions will only continue. One surprising statistic shows how consumers are downsizing telecom budgets: The fastest-growing... More »

Crisis Looms for Credit Cards

Soaring defaults could fell normally resilient industry

(Newser) - Credit cards may be the next industry to be pummeled by the financial crisis, Time reports. The charge-off rate—money that lenders don't think they'll collect—is set to hit 10% in 2009. That's double the rate of the last decade and amounts to $96 billion in unpaid debt. Typically... More »

Cowboys NFL's Richest at $1.6B

Average team worth over $1B

(Newser) - The NFL is the richest pro sports league in the world, with the average value of each franchise topping $1 billion, reports Bloomberg. The combined value of the league jumped 7% from last year and has more than tripled since Forbes began ranking the teams 10 years ago. The jump... More »

Invisible Ink, Hidden Numbers Help Fuzzy Accounting

SEC complaint shows CFO used printouts to fool auditors

(Newser) - Sometimes high-stakes fraud doesn’t have to be high-tech. The former chief financial officer at a company now called Voyager Learning allegedly cooked the company's books by entering figures as white text on white background—the equivalent of invisible ink, Adam Jones notes in a Financial Times blog. More »

YouTube Trying Longer Videos

Long-form is attractive to site, still looking for revenue and going after directors

(Newser) - YouTube is testing some long-format videos for its site, anxious to increase the amount of ads they can display per view, CNN Money reports. The site has only a few videos longer than an hour, but is reaching out to independent directors at the Los Angeles Film festival this week. More »

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