Robert Knudsen

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What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.<p>What is the Islamic State?<p>Where did it come from, and what …

How to rip a DVD or Blu-ray movie

If you have a sizable collection of DVDs and Blu-ray discs gathering dust, you might want to consider digitizing those bad boys so you can watch them …

Cheap gas, holiday sales could fuel retailer shares

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors hope the lower gasoline cost is putting more money in consumers’ wallets for spending on apparel and other retail goods. The next two weeks will indicate whether that’s happening.<p>The fuel nozzle from a flex fuel pump is shown in this illustration photograph taken at a …

Wealthiest Americans say the poor have it easy

The nation's wealthiest think that the poor have it pretty easy.<p>A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 54% of those with the greatest financial security believe that "poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return."<p>Only 36% of the …

Income Inequality

BILL GROSS: 'The Good Times Are Over'

In his latest investment outlook published on Tuesday, Janus Capital's Bill Gross warns investors to beware the Ides of March, "or the Ides of any month in 2015 for that matter."<p>"When the year is done, there will be minus signs in front of returns for many asset classes. <b>The good times are over."</b><p>In …

World's wealthy made out like bandits In 2014

For many in the middle and lower classes in America, it still feels like the country's economic wheels are spinning in the mud. But how about the nation's wealthiest? For them, 2014 was another fine year.<p>According to Bloomberg and the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, the net worth of the the planet's …

Demographics

Goldman Sachs Expects The Stock Market To Follow A Very Specific Path In 2015

Goldman Sachs has a really specific view on the stock market in 2015.<p>In addition to having a year-end price target of 2,100 for the S&P 500, Goldman sees the benchmark stock index rising to 2,150 at midyear before declining as the Fed begins to raise interest rates in September.<p>Additionally, the …

Falling oil prices have cost Fortune 500 energy companies billions of dollars

It has been a pretty rough six-month stretch for the energy industry. Crude oil prices have fallen about 55% since the middle of last summer, …

Analysts fear China financial crisis as deflation looms

China’s inflation rate picked up slightly in December but remained sharply below the official target, signalling persistent weakness in the world’s second largest economy as a US investment bank warned that a credit crunch in China is “highly probable” this year.<p>Annual consumer inflation edged up …

Economics

Republicans, court ship oil pipeline decision back to Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans and Nebraska's Supreme Court have shipped the Keystone XL oil pipeline project right back to a reluctant …

U.S. Dept. of State

The Surprising Ways Bankrupt Cities Make Money

When American cities are deep in debt, they get creative to crawl out of the red.<p>In November, the Detroit Institute of Art came up with a way for the Motor City to keep its beloved collection—which was otherwise going to be auctioned off, piece-meal, in the fallout of the city’s 2013 bankruptcy. …

President Obama wants more Americans to get high-speed Internet

While Google, AT&T, and Comcast look to expand blazing-fast gigabit Internet access across the U.S., the president has some plans of his own toward that end.<p>President Obama on Wednesday will announce a set of initiatives for bringing affordable high-speed Internet to more people in the country. …

Oil drops to $48 as Gulf official says Opec will keep pumping

No end seen in oil price slump as Brent crude hits $48 per barrel level as Opec digs in for price war<p>Brent crude fell briefly below $49 per barrel Friday after better US jobs numbers strengthened the dollar and a Gulf official signalled that Opec will stick to its strategy of watching prices tumble.<p>…

How the 'Internet of Things' will impact consumers, businesses, and governments in 2016 and beyond

For more than two years, BI Intelligence has closely tracked the growth of the IoT. Specifically, we've analyzed how the IoT ecosystem enables entities (i.e. consumers, businesses, and governments) to connect to, and control, their IoT devices in 16 environments, including manufacturing, the …

Internet of Things

ECB's Visco warns of deflation risk, urges action on bond buying | Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - The risk of deflation in the euro zone should not be underestimated and the best way for the European Central Bank (ECB) to deal with the problem is buying government bonds, Italy’s central bank chief was quoted on Sunday as saying.<p>Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco attends a …

Economics

For the Internet of things, the cost of cheap will be steep

In 2014, the Internet of things (IoT) moved beyond a buzzword; it became a security risk.<p>Gartner forecasts there will be almost five billion connected devices by the end of this year and 25 billion in 2020. However, the deployment of cost-efficient sensors and devices that has allowed the IoT to …

Oil-driven Asian bond rally could boomerang | Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Plunging oil prices have sparked a big rally in Asian government bond markets as lower fuel costs cut inflation expectations, but the rally could be built on shallow foundations as monetary policymakers remain out of step with tumbling bond yields.<p>A man fills up his car at a …

Economy

Amazon has three rules for hiring the best people

<i>This post originally appeared at First Round Review.</i><p>“Good intentions don’t work.”<p>This is one of the most important things Anurag Gupta has learned from working at Amazon, where he is currently General Manager of Amazon Redshift and Amazon Aurora. It’s a counter-intuitive notion—after all, we all …

Management

Market's ups-and-downs spell end of low volatility era | Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the last month, the U.S. stock market is down just 0.8 percent, but it’s been a bumpy ride: Since Dec. 9, the S&P 500 has had a 4 percent selloff, a 6 percent rally, and a 4 percent drop that ended Thursday with a two-day gain of 3 percent. Equities were hit hard again …

Stock Markets

This very scary chart reveals the risky business of China’s bull market

China’s out-of-the-blue stock market run-up may finally be screeching to a halt. The Shanghai Composite Index’s nosedive in the last half-hour of trading this week wiped out a 3.4% gain from earlier in the session, as fears of a worsening economic picture surfaced.<p>It was a rare, sobering moment for …

Stock Markets

This Tiny Metal Coil Has The Power To Change Mobile Payments And Become Bigger Than Apple Pay

But if you run an alternating current through it, the coil will produce a magnetic field. And if you create the right kind of magnetic field, the coil can communicate with a standard credit card reader.<p>That's how LoopPay works.<p>LoopPay is a mobile payments startup that lets you load your credit …

Apple Pay

Wall St. retreats after two-day advance; jobs data mixed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday following a two-day rally as December’s jobs report gave a mixed view of the economy, with financial shares leading the way lower.<p>Barclays specialist trader Mike Pistillo (L) talks with floor official Nicholas Brigandi, on the floor of the New York …

Stock Markets

How key investments could fare if deflation fears worsen

If deflation takes hold, with a sustained decline in prices for goods and services, the rules of the investing game change.<p>A slow-paced deflation similar to Japan's since the late 1990s might not trigger sudden market crashes, but could change the relative appeal of investments.<p>The same could be …

Investing

Cheap gas: Who wins, who loses?

Just how low can gas prices go?<p>Unleaded gasoline with ethanol has dipped under $1.90 a gallon in the Des Moines area — and prices could drop another 5 to 15 cents a gallon before spring, said Patrick DeHaan, a senior analyst at GasBuddy.com.<p>OPEC is pressing production in an attempt to regain market …

Des Moines

Deflation fears rock markets again but consumers see windfall—for now

For the fourth time in 12 years, the world is facing a deflation scare. And as with any good horror movie, no one is sure what lurks in the shadows.<p>Since summer, slowing growth in China and severe weakness in Europe and Japan have deepened fears that the global economy could tip into deflation — a …

Economics