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Free CFA Investment and Portfolio Management Books

MyMoneyBlog.com - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 19:06

The CFA Institute Research Foundation publishes some short finance ebooks on Amazon Kindle that qualify as continuing education credits for Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs), a type of investment professional certification. The Finance Buff points out that several are free to download right now for everyone, while others are $0.99 if you have some No-Rush Shipping credits that expire soon. Download them now while they are free, read later at your own pace.

Here is a list of booklets published by CFA Institute Research Foundation, and below are specific titles that are currently free as of this writing:

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Free CFA Investment and Portfolio Management Books from My Money Blog.

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Categories: Finance

EPA To Rescind Methane Regulations For Oil and Gas

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 19:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will sign and issue new rules this week that will get rid of certain methane gas emission requirements for oil and gas producers, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Unidentified administration officials told the newspaper that the new rules will include getting rid of requirements for producers to have systems and processes to find methane leaks. They will also end EPA oversight of smog and emissions from pipelines and storage sites and lessen monitoring and reporting requirements for certain pollutants, the Journal reported. The new rules have most of the major elements of proposals from 2018 and 2019, according to the newspaper. In 2019, the agency proposed eliminating requirements for oil and gas companies to install technology for monitoring methane emissions from pipelines, wells and facilities. In 2018, it proposed reducing the frequency of monitoring methane emissions of oil and gas wells to every two years and compressor stations that help transport natural gas to just once a year. However, the Journal reported Monday that the administration would forgo the measures that would have reduced the inspection frequency due to difficulty in justifying them legally.

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Disney Removes Fox From TV Studios, Revives Touchstone

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 18:20
Disney is rebranding its TV studios to remove the Fox name from two of them. From The Hollywood Reporter: Nearly a year and a half after acquiring 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 TV Studios, Disney is changing the former to simply 20th Television, while the latter will become Touchstone Television. Additionally, ABC Studios and its subsidiary ABC Signature Studios are folding into one unit that will now be called ABC Signature. The full integration of the Disney Television Studios rebranding is effective immediately, with new logos and motion end cards that viewers will see on screen expected to be completed by year's end. No executive changes or layoffs are expected as part of the changes. The decision to remove "Fox" from two of the studios' names was part of the larger $71.3 billion deal between Disney and 21st Century Fox. Fox was dropped from film divisions 20th Century and Searchlight in January. Dropping the Fox 21 banner in favor of Touchstone revives the former Disney brand that was retired in 2007 as the division was then-rebranded as ABC TV Studios as part of the company's push to drop such lesser-known brands in favor of those leaning into its signature assets. Reviving Touchstone is a way to honor the past.

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California Judge Orders Uber and Lyft To Classify Drivers As Employees

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 17:40
A California judge ruled that Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees in a stunning preliminary injunction issued Monday afternoon. The Verge reports: The injunction is stayed for 10 days, however, giving Uber and Lyft an opportunity to appeal the decision. Uber said it planned to file an immediate emergency appeal to block the ruling from going into effect. [...] Drivers' groups hailed the ruling as forward progress in their fight to upend Uber and Lyft. "Today's ruling affirms what California drivers have long known to be true: workers like me have rights and Uber and Lyft must respect those rights," Mike Robinson, a Lyft driver and member of the Mobile Workers Alliance, a group of Southern California drivers, said in a statement. But Uber maintains this ruling will result in fewer jobs during a global pandemic that is putting strain on the state's economic conditions. "The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we've already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law," an Uber spokesperson said. "When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression." A Lyft spokesperson agreed. "Drivers do not want to be employees, full stop," the spokesperson said. "We'll immediately appeal this ruling and continue to fight for their independence. Ultimately, we believe this issue will be decided by California voters and that they will side with drivers." Earlier today in an op-ed via The New York Times, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said lawmakers should require gig economy companies to create benefits funds, which would "give workers cash that they can use for the benefits they want, like health insurance or paid time off."

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Leaked Documents Reveal What TikTok Shares With Authorities In the US

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 17:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: Documents published in the BlueLeaks trove, which was hacked by someone claiming a connection to Anonymous and published by the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets, show the information that TikTok shared with U.S. law enforcement in dozens of cases. Experts familiar with law enforcement requests say that what TikTok collects and hands over is not significantly more than what companies like Amazon, Facebook, or Google regularly provide, but that's because U.S. tech companies collect and hand over a lot of information. The documents also reveal that two representatives with bytedance.com email addresses registered on the website of the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, a fusion center that covers the Silicon Valley area. And they show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security actively monitored TikTok for signs of unrest during the George Floyd protests. The number of requests for subscriber information that TikTok says it receives from law enforcement is significantly lower than what U.S. tech giants reportedly field, likely because police are more accustomed to using data from U.S. companies and apps in investigations. TikTok enumerates its requests from law enforcement in a biannual transparency report, the most recent of which says that for the last half of 2019, the company received 100 requests covering 107 accounts. It handed over information in 82 percent of cases. Facebook, by contrast, says it received a whopping 51,121 requests over the same period, and handed over at least some data in 88 percent of cases. A 2018 document found in BlueLeaks titled "Law Enforcement Technology Investigations Resource Guide" gives police details on how to obtain records from Musical.ly, which was acquired by ByteDance and merged into TikTok that year. "In the releases shown in BlueLeaks, TikTok handed over multiple IP addresses, information about the devices used to register for accounts, cellphone numbers, and unique IDs tied to platforms including Instagram, Facebook, or Google if the user logged in using a social media account," the report adds. "It is unclear whether these data releases were in response to warrants, subpoenas, or other requests, and the company would not give details, citing user privacy. The accounts for which TikTok handed over data in the BlueLeaks dump range from influencers with tens of thousands of followers to people who primarily post for friends."

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Amazon Ties Video Games Deeper Into Prime Subscription Program

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 16:24
Amazon is making it easier for Prime subscribers to play games, the latest effort to extend the appeal of a loyalty program designed to keep shoppers engaged. From a report: The world's largest e-commerce company on Monday gave its more than 150 million Prime members access to free video-game content, eliminating a step that required them to link their Amazon account with one on Twitch, the company's live-streaming subsidiary. The service, once known as Prime Twitch, is now called Prime Gaming and offers special in-game perks and free downloadable PC games. Prime, which now costs $119 a year in the U.S., began as an unlimited free-shipping program designed to entice customers. Amazon has since tacked on a suite of digital perks, such as video streaming, music and photo storage. Members spend far more on the retail site than non-members, surveys show.

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Google Rival's Study Urges Letting Mobile Users Pick Search Defaults

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:44
Google could lose 20% of the mobile search market that it dominates if more users had the option to choose their default search provider via a preference menu, privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo argues in new research. From a report: This study fleshes out that idea and gives DuckDuckGo ammunition it can give authorities investigating Google for anticompetitive practices in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Google developed the Android operating system, which is used by roughly 80 percent of the global mobile market, and Google's search tools are built into Android in a variety of ways. DuckDuckGo conducted user testing of 12,000 people in the U.S., UK and Australia, where Google market share in mobile search is 95%, 98% and 98% respectively. A preference menu could reduce those market shares by 20%, 22% and 16% respectively, the testing found. Testing also concluded that when given options, users scroll through to see the options before making a choice on a search engine. DuckDuckGo also tested user behavior when Google was placed on the last screen of the preference menu, finding no statistically significant difference in how often users selected it.

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AI Invents New 'Recipes' For Potential COVID-19 Drugs

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:07
sciencehabit writes: As scientists uncover drugs that can treat coronavirus infections, demand will almost certainly outstrip supplies -- as is already happening with the antiviral remdesivir. To prevent shortages, researchers have come up with a new way to design synthetic routes to drugs now being tested in some COVID-19 clinical trials, using artificial intelligence (AI) software. The AI-planned new recipes -- for 11 medicines so far -- could help manufacturers produce medications whose syntheses are tightly held trade secrets. And because the new methods use cheap, readily available starting materials, licensed drug suppliers could quickly ramp up production of any promising therapies. "If you are going to supply a drug to the world, your starting materials have to be cheap and as available as sugar," says Danielle Schultz, a chemist at Merck. The new method, posted as a preprint this week, "is really solid," she says. "I am impressed by the speed at which [the researchers] were able to find new solutions for making existing drugs." Patents give pharmaceutical companies the right to be the sole supplier of a new drug in a given country, usually for 20 years. Once a drug goes off patent, other companies can produce and sell it as a generic. The method to make the drug is often secret to discourage competition even after patents expire. But COVID-19 has changed all that, Schultz says. "We are at a time when it's all hands on deck." Only two medicines -- remdesivir and dexamethasone -- are currently proven to fight COVID-19. That has led to supply shortages for both. On 4 August, attorneys general from 34 U.S. states wrote federal officials, calling remdesivir supplies "dangerously limited," and urging states be given "march-in rights" to violate owner Gilead Sciences' patents. Such rights would allow states to work with third-party manufacturers to make additional supplies of the drug. To prevent future supply crunches, University of Michigan chemist Timothy Cernak and colleagues turned to a commercial drug synthesis AI program called Synthia. The software can help pharmaceutical manufacturers find the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for synthesizing medicines, most of which are fairly complex molecules that can be built in myriad ways -- much as an artist can apply brush strokes in infinite combinations to paint the same landscape. "It's more options than the human mind can comprehend," Cernak says.

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Google Gives Android TV Developers Instant Apps, Speech-to-Text, and Predictive Typing

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:35
An anonymous reader shares a report: Even before the pandemic, the battle to own your living room was reaching a boiling point. Now the big screen is bigger than ever as 2020 accelerates the streaming wars and raises the smart TV platform stakes. Naturally, Google is making every effort to avoid being left behind. Today the company gave Android TV developers new tools, including Google Play Instant, the Play Store in the emulator, PIN code purchases, Gboard TV, auto low latency mode, and leanback library improvements. [...] Google says Android TV now works with seven of the top 10 smart TV OEMs and over 160 TV operators. The company also added that there are now "over 80% more Android TV monthly active devices than a year ago," but didn't divulge raw numbers. Developers have built about 7,000 apps for Google Play on Android TV, to date, up from 5,000 in April 2019.

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Russian Watchdog Says Apple Abused Mobile App Market Dominance

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:47
Russian competition watchdog FAS on Monday said that Apple has abused its dominant position in the mobile apps market through its App Store for iOS devices and will issue an order demanding that the company resolve regulations breaches. From a report: An Apple spokesman said the company plans to appeal against the FAS ruling. The Russian ruling comes against the backdrop of European Commission investigations into Apple and the App Store's rules, including requirements that app developers use its own in-app purchase system. The FAS cited the need to download apps for the Apple's iOS operating system via its App Store. It also said that Apple has unlawfully reserved rights to block any third-parties' apps from the App Store. The investigation by the FAS followed a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, which had said that a new version its Safe Kids application had been declined by Apple's operating system.

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Distribution Release: Finnix 121

DistroWatch.com - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:34
Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian. The latest release migrates from Debian's Stable branch to Debian Testing and adds several new packages. "Today marks the release of Finnix 121, the live CD for system administrators. This release expands upon....
Categories: Linux

Global Coronavirus Cases Hit 20 Million

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:06
Global coronavirus cases pushed past 20 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil and India accounting for more than half of all known infections. From a report: The respiratory disease has infected at least four times the average number of people struck down with severe influenza illnesses annually, according to the World Health Organization. The death toll from COVID-19, meanwhile, at more than 728,000 has outpaced the upper range of annual deaths from the flu. The Reuters tally, which is based on government reports, shows the disease is accelerating. It took almost six months to reach 10 million cases after the first infection was reported in Wuhan, China, in early January. It took just 43 days to double that tally to 20 million. Experts believe the official data likely undercounts both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity. The United States is responsible for around 5 million cases, Brazil 3 million and India 2 million. Russia and South Africa round out the top ten.

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Amazon and Mall Operator Look at Turning Sears, J.C. Penney Stores Into Fulfillment Centers

Slashdot.org - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 12:26
The largest mall owner in the U.S. has been in talks with Amazon.com, the company many retailers denounce as the mall industry's biggest disrupter, to take over space left by ailing department stores. From a report: Simon Property Group has been exploring with Amazon the possibility of turning some of the property owner's anchor department stores into Amazon distribution hubs, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon typically uses these warehouses to store everything from books and sweaters to kitchenware and electronics until delivery to local customers. The talks have focused on converting stores formerly or currently occupied by J.C. Penney and Sears, these people said. The department-store chains have both filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and as part of their plans have been closing dozens of stores across the country. Simon malls have 63 Penney and 11 Sears stores, according to its most recent public filing in May. It wasn't clear how many stores are under consideration for Amazon, and it is possible that the two sides could fail to reach an agreement, people briefed on the matter said. The talks reflect the intersection of two trends that predate the pandemic but have been accelerated by it: the decline of malls and the boom in e-commerce. Malls were struggling for years, as more customers stayed home to shop online. The spread of the coronavirus, which forced malls to temporarily close and limited their crowds even after reopening, has worsened the situation. Amazon, meanwhile, was able to navigate new logistical challenges during Covid-19 and recently reported its greatest quarter ever. For Amazon, a deal with Simon would be consistent with its efforts to add more distribution hubs near residential areas to speed up the crucial last mile of delivery.

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