Friday, August 26, 2011

780元TouchPad 網上未售已掃清




【經濟日報專訊】繼早前熱炒的蘋果iPhone 4及iPad 2後,沉寂一時的平板電腦炒賣潮再現。HP(惠普)原定昨晨在網上以每部780元開售16GB已停產的TouchPad,吸引大批炒家一早登入掃貨,但大多未能成功。有人成功購得10部,立即以每部1,800元放售,每部賺約1,000元;有網民質疑是HP代理商職員,私自轉售圖利,聲言已向廉署投訴。

HP就影響致歉 料無職員囤貨

HP發言人承認,今次低估需求,故網站未能承受龐大負荷,對受影響顧客致歉;又表示在了解事件後,相信沒有職員囤積圖利,但有需要會配合廉署的調查;廉署回應指出,不會就個別事件評論。

事緣HP前晚發表聲明,鑑於美國公布TouchPad停產及價格調整,HP香港亦作售價調整,原定昨晨9時正開始接受網上訂購,只限16GB版本,每部780元,較原價3,180元足足平76%,優惠期至今晚9時。今次大幅劈價比山寨機更平,大批炒家及網民昨晨8時許,在開售前已嘗試登入指定網站,但一直未能成功,事件引起很多人不滿,紛紛在HP的facebook專頁留言聲討,質疑銷售安排。其後在11時45分,HP代理商宣布所有TouchPad全數售罄,此舉觸動了網民神經,在facebook成立「強烈要求HP香港交代touchpad銷售情況」群組。有網民上載圖片,指HP代理商於開售前3分鐘宣布已售罄。

有網民稱擁10部 每部1800

HP發言人解釋,圖片顯示的「08:57」為網站建立時間,今天會發聲明向網民解釋事件,並會研究推出其他優惠,挽回消費者信心。

最令網民不滿是,在無法登入訂購網站的同時,有網民昨晨10時左右發帖,聲言手上有10部16GB TouchPad出售,每部1,800元,並註明「不接受議價,冇單,全新未開,價高者得」。

有網民質疑該網民是代理商職員,以不誠實手法轉手圖利,有網民聲言已向ICAC投訴。未幾,該帖子已刪除,記者曾以買家身份欲接觸該網民了解,但至昨晚截稿前未獲回覆。

TouchPad在開售不足3小時售罄,有網民在網上求貨,16GB徵求價介乎850至3,200元,更有人開出4,190元放售,成功易手可賺3,410元。

TouchPad被炒高1倍,但旺角先達廣場未見有人放售或購買,店主劉志剛表示,商戶均抱持觀望態度而未有入貨,而他在6月中購入30部水貨測試市場反應,至今仍餘下8部,打算寄回美國退款,相信TouchPad即使劈價亦難引起炒風。

Market Rebounds On Short Covering; Buyers Still Hesitates

Market rebounds strongly despite wild oscillation. It has been observed that market is testing bottom in the previous week when market makers reduce selling. In this week, market makers further reduce short positions which are opened since the downgrade of US debt rating. Market makers use the downgrade news to create a selling frenzy which is followed by day traders and individual investors on speculation. When market makers begin to cover short positions, market rallies because day traders and individual investors are following closely and the majority of market participants are holding tightly the core positions in the portfolio.

Market makers again take profit on a falling market. Although the short positions are covered, market makers may still make opportunity from another market drop as in the last two cases, a slow decline and a quick drop. It would be difficult to forecast the strategy of market makers' next move.

As market is highly manipulative, short term movement is very difficult to predict. Market makers are leading other market participants to speculate market movement because of the timely liquidation of equity stocks at the peak in Spring/Summer and shorting of stock equities before US debt downgrade. Day traders and individual investors learn to follow closely and the herding behaviour affects market movement significantly. On the other hand, as market drops to this level, the tremendous amount of sideline cash are attracted to enter the equity stock market.

When market makers see increasing buying from investors waiting on the sideline and reluctance of day traders and individual investors to sell at the beaten down level, the short positions are covered to take profit. The short covering creates strong rally without any good economic news.

Market provides opportunities but market behaviour is highly speculative. On one hand, market participants confidence are extremely low and market makers have been driving down market for profit. On the other hand, there are tremendous amount of sideline cash which are desperately looking for return. Investors are chasing after assets other than equity stocks and real estate which are the main cause of the financial meltdown. Gold and treasuries are at historic record level on surging demand.

If market makers cannot find opportunities to drive market further down, other market participants may slowly recover confidence based on improving corporate earnings and attractive valuation and dividend. In addition, investors are upset seeing the low interest return on a large pile of cash and increasing inflation threat. Most market participants are waiting for opportunity in a turbulent market. If market makers see opportunity to drive market up, it may create a strong rally based on herding behaviour of day traders and individual investors.



Be More Like Buffett: Buy Fear
As oft-quoted as Buffett is, few people have the guts to actually do what he says. Whenever people have the chance to be greedy when others are fearful, another Buffett bon mot, they tend to be too terrified to do anything.

Now is a Buffett moment. Fear is widespread. Many good stocks can be bought for decent prices, and Buffett has been active. Contrast that with stories of people dumping stocks because they are scared.

But it is precisely because of volatility that long-term investors should summon their inner Buffett and buy quality stocks, or add to positions in blue-chip stocks, especially those that pay hefty dividends.


Sell Today and Go Away: Macke
According to the Kansas City Fed, the hosts of the event since 1978, the Jackson Hole confab was intended to be a meeting at which "central bankers, policy experts and academics come together to focus on a topic that is not necessarily of immediate concern." In other words an economic dork-fest.

The bulls are reliant on hope that Uncle Ben pulls a QE3 out of his hat. Bulls want Bernanke to "come up with a surprise" is how Nesto puts it. The bears are of the belief that Bernanke will do no such thing, and even if he does come up with a QE-variant, it won't work. The ursine crowd isn't really betting huge on the reaction to the news but you can bet any Bernanke-rally based on the Jackson Hole meeting will be sold.


Super Undervaluation Is Here: Don Hays
The chief investment strategist at Hays Advisory of Brentwood, TN not only thinks the worst is over and volatility has peaked, but that we're also not in a recession.

"You can't go by your emotions" he says. According to the indicators Hays follows, "the peak of downward momentum was reached two-weeks ago, much like it was in May of last year." Right now he says the market is in a period of "super undervaluation."

"Things are happening right now that are very appropriate for long-term investors to be moving in to stocks, not out of stocks."


'Middle' May Help Investors Driven to the Edge
This race to the edges has crept steadily into investing strategies. Amid great market volatility, people are shifting either into the safest investments they can find or, conversely, seeking greater reward through greater risk.

"There is so much cash sitting on the sideline, just like there was in the late '30s and in the '70s," Courtney says, adding that very familiar trends are shaping up. "We had volatile markets, you had people pulling their money out of investment assets and putting them into cash. That depressed interest rates for a long period of time and the interest rates did not keep pace with inflation.


Stocks Pare Gains As “the Bears Appear to Be in Control” Says Technical Strategist
After talking to Ryan Detrick, Senior Technical Strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research, and hearing him list a half dozen positive reasons to own stocks, his sentiment is still cautious as he waits for a better price.

"There's a lot of room to go lower to the previous major lows. So right here we're concerned that the hedge funds aren't putting their money to work and kind of know that market is weak. So for us, it's kind of dicey here," he says. "The bears appear to be in control."

Detrick is not expecting a major crash from here, he's just waiting for a smoother environment. Right now, he says "smart money is accumulating and so-called dumb money is selling" in size at this level. All of these are usually good indicators, he says, yet this time it's different. Even Ben Bernanke can't address a crisis that's global in nature, Detrick says, adding that he is doubtful that the Fed chief "can cure everything."


Low rates squeeze savers and may hold back economy
Low rates are a tool that Fed officials have long used to boost weak economies. In recessions past, when the Fed slashed rates, a drop in borrowing costs led companies to hire and expand.

More people bought homes, too. Stronger home sales encouraged builders to erect houses and hire construction workers. They also increased consumer spending as new homeowners bought appliances and furniture. That's why a housing recovery normally energizes the entire economy.

It's true the Fed's easy-money policies may have kept the economy from getting worse. And they might have prevented a dangerous deflationary spiral of falling prices, wages and profits -- a threat that had worried Bernanke a year ago.

New homeowners might not qualify for mortgages because banks have tightened lending standards after absorbing loan losses during the recession. And a vast inventory of foreclosed homes will likely depress housing prices for years.

"Someone is paying a price for ultra-low interest rates: the patient and uncomplaining saver," writes Raghuram Rajan, a University of Chicago finance professor.


Analysis: "Safe haven" assets start to look risky
This year's heady bout of risk aversion on financial markets has ratcheted up demand for gold, U.S. Treasuries and the Swiss franc to levels that suggest they may no longer be the "safe havens" they are billed as.

Some investors see all three as vulnerable to a sharp sell-off should the global economic environment improve over the coming months, or simply because prices are too high in the absence of outright financial catastrophe.


Debt Will Haunt the Market for Years to Come
And even now, as markets have stabilized and come back a bit, nervous investors are waiting for the next shoe to drop.

The market may rally and then sell off as the debt crisis waxes and wanes and we may see bull market runs, as we did from 2009 through earlier this year.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

【同居蜜友】梁朝偉 鄭秀文

Pop superstar Sammi Cheng stars alongside Cannes Best Actor winner Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in bouncy romantic comedy. Leung stars as Tung, an easygoing fellow who gets into a car accident with the shrill Siu (Cheng). Thought the two initially despise one another, they soon find themselves sharing a night of passion. Unfortunately, the hard part begins the next morning, when they discover that if their relationship is to continue, they must learn to like one another.

【同居蜜友】Part 1


【同居蜜友】Part 2


【同居蜜友】Part 3


【同居蜜友】Part 4


【同居蜜友】Part 5


【同居蜜友】Part 6


【同居蜜友】Part 7

Sunday, August 21, 2011

【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011

Travelling across three continents, Justin Rowlatt investigates the spread of Chinese influence around the planet and asks what the world will be like if China overtakes America as the world's economic superpower. In the first of two films, he embarks on a journey across Southern Africa to chart the extraordinary phenomenon of Chinese migration to Africa, and the huge influence of China on the development of the continent. While many in the West view Africa as a land of poverty, to the Chinese it is seen as an almost limitless business opportunity. From Angola to Tanzania, Justin meets the fearless Chinese entrepreneurs who have travelled thousands of miles to set up businesses.

【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 1 Part 1


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 1 Part 2


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 1 Part 3


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 1 Part 4


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 2 Part 1


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 2 Part 2


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 2 Part 3


【The Chinese Are Coming】 - BBC World News 2011 Episode 2 Part 4


Selling Volume Decreased; Pessimism Still Looms

Market did not have strong support to rise. Investors are concerned with poor economic growth and weak job openings. Market makers are holding short positions before option expiration in this month. But selling pressure is decreasing when market falls back to previous bottom before the rebound.

Market makers have been using bad economic news to beat down market. There is a lot of speculation by day traders and individual investors holding tremendous amount of cash. Market makers are leading other market participants to speculate a falling stock market. In the previous bottom, day traders did not follow market makers close enough to stop selling, thus creating a rebound in short covering. As selling pressure decreases, day traders will watch closely to cover the short positions before any rebound. On the other hand, investors with pile of cash are looking for any sign of rebound to re-enter the market.

In a market flooded with capital, investors have to make a trade-off between risk and return. Although equity stocks are attractive on return of investment on a long term basis (assuming world economy will stabilize and resume growth on technology advancement but with threats on polarized wealth distribution and global environment deterioration), investors are seeking short term safety in cash or equivalent leading to market speculation. The flow of capital will drive market direction in very short term as market participants are taking high risk in short term profit.



Warren Buffett Pushes Congress to Raise Taxes for ‘Coddled’ Billionaires
Billionaire Warren Buffett urged Congress to raise taxes on the nation’s wealthiest individuals to help cut the U.S. budget deficit, saying it won’t inhibit investment or job growth.

He cited Internal Revenue Service data showing that the tax burden on the nation’s wealthy had fallen for the past two decades.

Buffett said the notion that high taxes discourage hiring and investment is false.

“People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off,” he said. “And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.”


Once Bit, Rich Shy From Risk of Stocks
Recoveries are often led by the investing and risk-taking of the wealthy, and the rich have traditionally been more optimistic about the economy than everyday investors. Yet current surveys show the rich are among the most pessimistic about the economy. Rather than investing in stocks or companies that can create jobs, they are betting on continued volatility and slow growth by hoarding cash, gold and other safety assets.

Not all the rich are playing it safe, of course. Spectrem Group, the Chicago-based research firm, found that a third of millionaire investors planned to add to their stock holdings in July, just before the markets faltered.

Mr. Curtis said many clients were calling in this week to seek information. But they were calm and mostly looking for opportunities. "There was not the panic that we heard in their voices in 2008," he said.


Don't Fall Into a 'Value Trap'
After a 9.3% drop in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index this month, most stocks are looking cheap—but some seeming bargains may have more room to fall. Investors need to do more than simply look at price history and buy the most beaten-down stocks, say strategists.

Investors looking to place a high-risk bet on a market bounce should buy the cheapest "cyclical" stocks possible, says Vadim Zlotnikov, chief market strategist at AllianceBernstein, since such stocks should rebound more when the selling finally stops.


Buyers Wary of Building Bubble
Some of the nation's largest pension funds are starting to back away from trophy properties in the most expensive real-estate markets over concerns a new bubble is inflating.

After property prices crashed during the financial crisis, pension funds—among the biggest investors in commercial real estate—turned their investment strategies away from risky speculative projects and toward properties considered "core," well-leased buildings that are seen as low risk due to their stable income, in cities such as New York, Washington and San Francisco.
But strong demand for a limited number of buildings has boosted prices of big-city skyscrapers so high they are approaching record levels.

Not all funds are worried about a bubble. Townsend Group, a pension consultant, says pensions and other large investors have committed $9 billion to funds that invest in core assets, but the fund managers have yet to invest that money. Townsend said the cash sitting on the sidelines for lack of an attractive opportunity is the most in many years. In some cases, pension funds are sticking with trophy assets in part because the recent upheaval in capital markets has scared them off from anything but the most stable assets.


A Second Great Depression, or Worse?
With the United States and European economies having slowed markedly according to the latest data, and with global growth continuing to disappoint, a reasonable question increasingly arises: Are we in another Great Depression?

The easy answer is "no" - the main features of the Great Depression have not yet manifested themselves and still seem unlikely. But it is increasingly likely that we will find ourselves in the midst of something nearly as traumatic, a long slump of the kind seen with some regularity in the 19th century, particularly if presidential election-year politics continue to head in a dangerous direction.

The Great Depression had three main characteristics, seen in the United States and most other countries that were severely affected. None of these have been part of our collective experience since 2007.

First, output dropped sharply after 1929, by over 25 percent in real terms in the United States (using the Bureau of Economic Analysis data, from its Web site, for real gross domestic product, using chained 1937 dollars). In contrast, the United States had a relatively small decline in G.D.P. after the latest boom peaked.

Second, unemployment rose above 20 percent in the United States during the 1930s and stayed there. In the latest downturn, we experienced record job losses for the postwar United States, with around eight million jobs lost. But unemployment only briefly touched 10 percent (in the fourth quarter of 2009; see the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site).

Third, in the 1930s the credit system shrank sharply. In large part this is because banks failed in an uncontrolled manner - largely in panics that led retail depositors to take out their funds. The creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation put an end to that kind of run and, despite everything, the agency has continued to play a calming role.


Behind the Selloff: Stocks Are Pricing 'Worst Case Scenario'
Fears of a global banking crisis swept across markets, driving stocks sharply lower, Treasury yields to record lows, and gold to record highs.

"What's pointed out in the Wall Street Journal is what's obvious to us. We are concerned about European banks, sure. Are they going to need to raise capital? Will they all be solvent at the end of the day? These stories go back and forth, and until we know the answers to that, we're going to try to price worse case scenarios into stocks. Right now the markets are going trough the process of concerns."

Hogan said the "muscle memory" of the Lehman failure is adding to the anxiety in markets.

"People waiting for the Lehman moment probably will be disappointed," he said. "The psychology of the market is such that we have a very recent memory of calamity."


European Bank Fears Slam U.S. Market: Don’t Hit Panic Button Says Strategist
Concerns that started with Greece, Portugal, and Ireland spread to Spain and Italy. Now today comes fear that they've infected markets like Finland and Austria. What once was a fear about sovereign solvency has now shifted to a panic about bank insolvency, with virtually every single European bank selling off.

So how do you handle days like this? "You definitely don't hit the panic button and sell. You have to look at your portfolio and the companies you own.. and see where there's going to be opportunity down the road in 3 to 5 years because we know we'll get through this in maybe 12 months or 24 months," Sethi advises.

As for gold, everybody's favorite safe haven of late, be "really careful...it's no longer an investment, it's beginning to be a speculative position."


European bank stocks hurt by borrowing crunch
European bank stocks tanked Thursday as fears mounted about their exposure to the region's debt crisis and weakening economy.

Some European banks with heavy exposure to the debts of Greece and other weak countries are relying on loans from the European Central Bank because other private banks are reluctant to do business with them. The ECB said one bank, which it didn't identify, had paid above-market rates to borrow $500 million a day for seven days.

In 2008, the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, causing the global credit markets to freeze up. Banks refused to lend to each other because they feared more failures and greater losses. Companies and consumers couldn't get loans.

"Any signs of a funding crisis brings back horrific memories," Pawlak said. "There's this visceral reaction."


Last Straw or Time to Buy?
After the 419.63-point selloff by the Dow, many individual investors are finally throwing in the towel. They were already nervous.

Not everyone is pulling the plug. Christopher Cordaro, a wealth manager at RegentAtlantic Capital LLC in Morristown, N.J., says that he and his clients are holding tight. "We're in a slow-growth recovery that will have a lot of volatility associated with it,'' Mr. Cordaro says. "But there's not enough bad economic news to get out of the market.''

Sunday, August 14, 2011

【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991

【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 1


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 2


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 3


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 4


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 5


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 6


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 7


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 8


【History of Computer】 - BBC Horizon 1991 Part 9


Market Testing Bottom

The downgrade of US debt sent market down dramatically. Market makers are suppressing any significant rebound as individual investors are scared to stay away from the market. However, there is ample cash on the sideline and some market participants are making use of this opportunity to speculate the market. Trading volume surged to nearly three times of the average in the prior week.

From the point of view of an investor, stocks are attractive with a decent dividend and long term growth potential. Nevertheless, at this moment market is irrational and investor behaviour is highly unpredictable. There are buyers looking for long term appreciation and there are also buyers and sellers for short term speculation.

Market seems to have reached recent bottom and is getting support from investors who are looking for bargain as well as speculators for quick profit. Market makers are still holding short positions and derivative products. It is anticipated that market will continue to be turbulent for a while until market makers cover the short positions and the options expire. Market should recover slowly as the news fade away. However, there are still other potential problems such as the European debt crisis. Market makers may exploit any bad news to drive market further down as investors confidence are extremely fragile.



Investors resigned to more portfolio pain
"I don't think investors are worried about the downgrade. It's more a case of investors being afraid of each other," says Charles Lewis Sizemore, chief investment officer with Dallas-based Sizemore Capital Management. Many investors, who think someone else is going to sell out of panic, will go ahead and join the fray.

Transaction volume in 401(k) and other Vanguard client accounts was also heavy, spokeswoman Linda Wolohan said. She characterized the moves as "a mixed bag, with some investors taking money off the table, and others seeing the market decline as a buying opportunity."

What's more, brokerage firm E-Trade Financial reported a record number of trades were placed Monday by investors using mobile devices.

After the 2008 financial crisis, Carol Clemens, a 64-year-old retiree from Edmond, Okla., loaded her portfolio with dividend-paying U.S. and foreign stocks. With corporate earnings remaining healthy, she doesn't have any immediate plans to sell.

"I expect there are still lemmings left who must run for the cliff, but I will not be among them," Clemens says.

Still, some investors are active, regarding Monday's market's decline as a buying opportunity.

"I'll be watching for the panic to turn, because a crisis is a terrible thing to waste," says Dick Bristol, a retired Air Force major and dividend-stock investor from Biloxi, Miss.

"They can stay the course, as they know they are supposed to," she says, "Or they can sell stocks and rush into something safe -- a course they know they are not supposed to take, and one that risks missing out on whatever recovery may lie ahead."


Asian stocks tumble after Wall Street rout
Jackson Wong, vice president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong, said the sell-off was creating opportunities for sophisticated investors to buy at bargain prices. What was unclear, he said, was when those investments might bear fruit.

"It's still very hard to predict how the U.S. market will do," Wong said. "When the dust settles, if the situation doesn't get worse in the U.S. or Europe, the situation will rebound. But the U.S. has to stabilize."


Who started the S&P downgrade rumor?
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating on Aug. 5, which plunged stocks into a roller coaster frenzy for the past week, didn't come as a surprise.

While S&P didn't give any public statement about the timing of the move, by the morning of Aug. 5, rumors were rampant on Wall Street that the downgrade would come after the closing bell that day.

Major stock indexes, which started higher on a better-than-expected jobs report that morning, were soon in negative territory, with the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling 240 points before rebounding to close modestly higher.

The rumors turned out to be spot-on correct, as the downgrade was announced just after 8 p.m. ET.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission apparently wants to know where those rumors came from and how they spread.

Some market analysts have questioned whether the downgrade was the major cause of market volatility this past week, since demand for U.S. Treasuries remained strong throughout the week. But others have argued the downgrade added to uncertainty and fed into fears that the United States is at an increased risk of a double-dip recession.


Forget 2008, This Is Like 1987, David Kotok Says: And He’s Bullish!
While some observers are drawing comparisons to 2008, David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, says the current environment reminds him of 1987.

Kotok's optimism is based primarily on a belief this is not another 2008, as well as a view stocks are cheap on a fundamental basis.

"What we do know is, in the U.S., the equity risk premium is huge," Kotok says, referring to the comparative returns between stocks and Treasuries (or cash). "From a valuation view, you can buy American large companies cheap," he says. "That doesn't mean they don't get cheaper [but] we view this as entry level."


Insiders are Buying
You may recall that, three weeks ago, corporate insiders were selling at an abnormally high pace. By one measure, in fact, they were then selling at the fastest pace in the nearly 40 years that insider data had been collected.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average now more than 1,400 points lower, the insiders appear to be shifting back to the buy side in a big way.

Still, it is comforting that a group of investors who presumably know more about their companies' prospects that the rest of us consider the low prices of their stocks to represent attractive bargains.


S&P Slammed After U.S. Downgrade
Days after Standard & Poor's downgraded the United States' credit rating, a powerful backlash has set in against the move. Washington leaders of both parties, as well as investors, have seemed to shrug off the ratings agency's verdict--and some analysts have even raised questions about S&P's basic competence and credibility.

Take a look at the financial markets: It's true that, so far this week, Wall Street and foreign markets have nosedived. But that descent began last week, before the downgrade. More important, far from running away from U.S. Treasury bonds, investors are flocking to them, suggesting that they see the chances of a default as slimmer than ever.

Many economists argue, essentially, that the United States isn't going to fail to pay its debts. "The debt is issued in dollars. That means it is payable in dollars. The U.S. government prints dollars," wrote Dean Baker of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research Saturday. "This means that if for some reason the government was unable to tax or borrow to raise the money to pay its debt then it could always print it. This may carry a risk of inflation, but S&P is not in the business of making inflation predictions, they are in the business of assessing the likelihood that debt will be repaid."

S&P is the world's largest ratings agency. In most cases, its business model is based on charging the issuers of debt--private corporations, local and state governments, for instance--in exchange for a rating. The issuer then uses a positive rating to give investors confidence in the solidity of the investment. But S&P also rates the debt of 126 countries. And, like many of the countries whose debt is rated by S&P, the United States neither requests nor pays for its rating.

S&P had warned earlier last month that if the debt ceiling negotiations failed to result in a deficit-reduction package worth at least $4 trillion, it would downgrade the U.S. rating. And now that the agency has delivered on that threat, S&P's critics argue that the credit raters are digging in on what amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The decision "smacked of an institution starting with a conclusion and shaping any arguments to fit it" declared Gene Sperling, a top White House economics adviser, over the weekend.

And Monday, Moody's, the second largest ratings agency, released its own report, confirming that it's maintaining the United State's triple-A rating. The country, said Moody's, enjoys "unmatched access to financing, meaning that the U.S. government can support higher debt levels than other governments."


Gold shoots past record $1,800 an ounce
The price of gold surpassed $1,800 an ounce Wednesday for the first time as investors pulled their money out of stocks and snapped up precious metals contracts.

Gold prices have shot past a series of milestones over the past two years on an uninterrupted climb. Gold was trading at about $900 in the summer of 2008, before the financial crisis unfolded that year.


Corn supply tightens for 2012, raising prices
The U.S. Agriculture Department estimated Thursday that the fall harvest won't yield as much corn as first estimated. High temperatures in key U.S. corn-growing states have damaged about 4 percent of the coming yield.

Corn is used in everything from beef to cereal to soft drinks. It typically takes six months for a change in corn prices to affect products on supermarket shelves.

A smaller surplus drove corn prices higher earlier this year. Global demand for corn, soybeans and wheat has outstripped production for the last 10 years. Surpluses, vital to a stable food supply, have shrunk.

When surpluses drop as low as they are now, even relatively small declines in supply can send crop prices sharply higher on global commodities markets. Traders have been nervously watching the USDA crop reports, looking for any sign that the crop harvested this fall will be smaller than expected.


Analysis: China costs start to worry U.S. multinationals
For years, low prices on China-sourced goods helped dampen inflation in the United States. Now China's efforts to boost domestic consumer spending, reducing reliance on exports, are leading to higher costs for multinationals that manufacture goods there.

Eventually, China could export its inflation.

"Wages are getting large enough that you start to feel the difference," said Hal Sirkin, a BCG senior partner, who said U.S. companies are looking at alternative manufacturing sites. "One of the answers is to start moving back to the U.S."

The next few years will bring a wave of reinvestment by U.S. multinational manufacturers in their home base, as rising wages and a strong yuan currency make China a less attractive production center, BCG predicts.

"The customer base in China is just so immense," said Tim Hanley, Deloitte LLP U.S. Process & Industrial Products Leader. "Companies that were in China as a low-cost exporting base recognize they need to be there. That's where demand is."


Chart-based trading behind big market swings
That strange language is being spoken more forcefully on Wall Street these days. It is the language of technical trading, which is helping to drive recent wild gyrations in stock prices.

Charles Dow, the founder of Dow Jones and Company, is credited as the inventor of technical analysis. In the late 1800s, Dow said that technical trading strategies allowed small investors to compete with institutional investors even if they didn't have access to the same information. A stock's price behavior in the past could show whether a move up or down past a certain level would lead to a long-lasting change in its momentum, he said.


Tax increase for the rich? Might be only 3% of taxpayers
As the government looks for ways to climb out of its massive hole of debt, all eyes are on the rich.

President Obama and many of his fellow Democrats continue to call for higher taxes on the wealthy. And, according to results of a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday, many Americans agree that it's the only way the country can dig itself out of its current economic mess.

President Obama's tax proposals -- which many Republican's call "job-killing" tax hikes -- include getting rid of some corporate tax breaks enjoyed by oil and gas companies and corporate jet buyers, and restoring some Bush-era tax rates for high-income households.


Executives see bright spots, no reason to panic
Americans are still spending money at casinos, amusement parks and concerts. Some are even shopping at Bloomingdales and looking at new homes.

Executives addressed the turmoil this week during earnings conference calls and in interviews with The Associated Press. From their vantage point, the economy looks less troubled than major stock indicators like the Dow Jones Industrial average, which has tumbled by 12 percent since July 21.

In another reassuring sign, people are spending money in search of a good time, even though about $2 trillion in wealth has evaporated on paper in the past 15 trading sessions.

At Beazer Homes USA Inc., CEO Allan Merrill was pleased to see prospective buyers still touring homes in Atlanta during the past weekend, but he was troubled by the anxious tones of his conversations with them.

"There is clearly some trepidation," Merrill said in a conference call. While he expects most people already hunting for homes to end up buying, he is worried the market volatility will dampen activity as summer draws to a close.


Stock Funds to Post Biggest Withdrawals Ever
U.S. stock mutual funds are forecast to set a new record for investor withdrawals in August as Americans recoil from the biggest equity-market slump in three years and the first-ever downgrade of Treasuries.

In previous stampedes out of U.S. stock funds, investors slowly returned, but McDevitt said it could be different this time because there have been a series of "structural shocks" to the financial industry that are not cyclical in nature, as in previous downturns that came with a bear market or a technology-stock bubble as seen early this decade.

And those same investors don't put much trust in U.S. money market funds either -- usually the safe place to park cash -- which are down $223 billion this year. They are opting instead for bank savings accounts or certificates of deposit, despite the paltry rate of interest they pay, because of the safety and liquidity.


Markets Being Irrational, So Stay Away From Stocks: Bove
Investors are behaving irrationally because they're being driven by irrational fiscal and monetary policy, banking analyst Dick Bove said.

"In the past few weeks holders of funds may be judged as acting somewhat irrationally:

When they heard that Treasury securities had been downgraded, they bought Treasury securities. When they decided that bank stocks were bad investments, they sold these stocks and took the money they received and deposited it in the banks," he wrote in a note to clients.

"They are also buying gold, commodities, and currencies in nations where the financial systems are judged to be stable. There is a frantic need to find a safe haven for funds and traditional pockets are being used."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

報道指美證監查標普降美國評級或涉內幕交易

英 國 《 金 融 時 報 》 引 述 消 息 人 士 報 道 , 美 國 證 券 交 易 委 員 會 已 要 求 信 貸 評 級 機 構 標 準 普 爾 披 露 , 哪 些 內 部 人 士 可 能 在 正 式 公 布 前 已 獲 悉 下 調 美 國 信 貸 評 級 的 決 定 。

消 息 人 士 說 , 美 國 證 監 會 的 行 動 可 能 涉 及 內 幕 交 易 調 查 。

報 道 提 及 , 標 普 並 未 意 識 到 內 部 人 員 洩 露 消 息 , 亦 未 有 發 現 市 場 出 現 異 常 交 易 。

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

月餅也炒賣 加價愈貴愈好賣




【經濟日報專訊】百物騰貴,今年月餅價「瘋」漲,尤其是酒店高檔貨,部分加幅達一至兩成,卻愈貴愈好賣,其中半島酒店嘉麟樓的奶黃月餅,推出即日6萬盒全售罄,網上更出現炒賣,一盒8個迷你奶黃月餅,由228元熱炒至300元,被炒高3成。

由半島酒店中菜部嘉麟樓推出,每盒售228元的迷你奶黃月餅禮盒,本月一日推出,供顧客在電話或網上預訂,雖然今年加價一成,但首日推售已搶購一空。

「銷情較去年踴躍,去年亦要一星期才售罄!」半島酒店發言人稱。由於太好賣,嘉麟樓今年要取消中秋可堂食該款月餅的安排。

文華東方 有客戶訂4千件

該款奶黃月餅火速售罄,第二天已有網民在網上炒,以248元出售該款月餅券,更清楚寫明:「嘉麟樓已售完(可即日交收)」,昨日所見銷情十分暢旺,有人一訂就要20盒;有人更將該月餅炒至300元,即較原價貴逾3成。

文華東方酒店亦發現今年月餅需求增加。雖然受包裝及食材成本上升影響,月餅要加價7%至10%,文華東方亦提早兩星期開始發售月餅,單是電話查詢已比去年增加一倍;大量訂購需求亦較去年多,發言人稱,有一向訂購文華餅店月餅的公司客戶已訂購了4,000件月餅。

高檔暢銷 四季加15至20%

貴價月餅不愁銷路,四季酒店今年就每盒月餅加價40元,加幅達15%至20%,一盒酥皮雙黃白蓮蓉月餅索價近300元。

至於傳統月餅市場,恆香餅家市場部職員姜國安說,月餅定價不會調高,但門市的折扣卻不如去年的5折,優惠減至55折。他解釋,糖、麵粉、欖仁、金華火腿等食材價格上升,升幅高至兩成。

姜又稱,雖然預計今年內地客由去年兩成多升至3成,但他坦言擔心股市會影響市民買月餅的意慾。

同樣不會以加價應付成本上漲壓力的榮華餅家,發言人表示希望薄利多銷,相信月餅銷售量可較去年升一成,又指內地人因稅率而選擇於香港購買月餅,曾有深圳客人直接駕車到港購買近百盒月餅。奇華餅家的月餅價今年則平均增加約4%,但今日開始於美食博覽提供8折訂購優惠;美心月餅發言人亦表示,將輕微調整售價。

香港工業總會副主席劉展灝指,內地客戶對月餅需求甚殷。一個10多人公司至少要送兩至三盒;若公司有百多人,亦要送10多盒月餅;本地生意夥伴則較歡迎果籃,「香港人要健康,寧願不要月餅。」

銷售果籃的店主宋先生指,今年已有顧客預訂價值2,000至3,000元的果籃;公司客戶亦有訂百多個價值500至600元的果籃。

Monday, August 8, 2011

【Microprocessors】 - BBC Horizon 1978

This is a British TV documentary dated 1978 on microprocessor, the computer chip behind modern electronics. The first part describes the birth of solid-state electronic device and microprocessor chip. The second part describes the local manufacturing process (high technology) and overseas packaging process (cheap labour). The third part describes the proliferation of computer technology, both hardware and software, in office and industrial automation and the impact on economy and society.

Microprocessors - BBC Horizon 1978 Part 1


Microprocessors - BBC Horizon 1978 Part 2


Microprocessors - BBC Horizon 1978 Part 3


Microprocessors and Software, 1977


Microprocessor Marketing Wars

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Butterfly Effect" In Financial Market

Investors were shocked by the sudden turn in market sentiment. A few determined market makers initiated a selling wave followed by day traders and then by individual investors with sideline cash. Trading volume surged on large capital flow into equity stock market on speculation. Both stocks and derivative products were trade heavily.

A slowdown in economy was known for some time without market panic. The sudden change in market may seem to be a surprise superficially. But market makers may have been planning since the end of June. The outcome of the expiration of Federal Reserve bond buying program did not result in investors selling. Market makers even attempt to prop up market on momentum buying twice. When the debt ceiling issue was resolved, market should settle down. But instead market makers use cash on hand to create panic with heavy selling. Market participants ran under herding behaviour. Again market makers made profit on market sell-off. The difference is a steep drop this time rather than a slow decline across several weeks last time. But in both case, market makers made significant profit.

This is an example of the "Butterfly Effect".

Market makers and day traders have been using news to create panic selling. Therefore profit should be realized within short time when the panic is stabilized. Since market markers and day traders bet with short positions and derivative products, the former have to be recovered soon while the latter can be held longer until expiration. Individual investors are using sideline cash to speculate and can also wait for market stabilization.

Market makers have taken the market by surprise last week. The economic condition should support the equity stock market to recover from panic selling. Also long term investors may find opportunities at this level.

The speculative trading portfolio does not anticipate that market makers would have enough confidence to short sell the market. Knowing in advance the S&P downgrade of US debt may have given market markers the confidence to create panic selling.

It is guessed that market makers should have finished with this round. Many investors are shocked by the fast drop and wild swing and remain standstill to watch the market. See if investors can recover some loss in the coming week.



Life in the Fast Lane: Ferrari Sales Surge in U.S.
Amid a generally blah spring for car sales, Ferrari just turned its best half year in history, with revenues up nearly 20 percent from the year before.

If the rich have done well in the past few years, the extremely rich have done extremely well. Ferrari North America President Marco Mattiacci notes that the number of high net-worth individuals grew last year and is back to the level of 2007. "What has changed is that people now want to spend, they want to enjoy life," he says.

But as with luxury brands, Ferrari may find that the greatest prospects for growth lie in China. Sales in China more than doubled in the first half of 2011.


The Slow Growth Economy Will Last For Years, Says Professor Lerrick
Because, Professor Lerrick says, the United States does not have an economic policy--and has not had one since Ronald Reagan was President. Instead, the United States has a social policy, one in which the government's goal appears to be to spread the wealth earned by the richest Americans to the rest of the country without promoting private-sector growth in the meantime.

U.S. Economy Running at ‘Stall Speed’
“We’re not looking at a recession yet, but we’re at a tipping point,” Gross said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We’re at what we call a stall speed in which corporate profits don’t grow, jobs aren’t created,” said Gross, who is based in Newport Beach, California.

The U.S. economy is “very close to stall speed” and the Fed may need to consider signaling a longer commitment to low interest rates, according to BlackRock’s Fisher, who is based in New York.


Two-year Treasury yield drops to a record low
Treasury prices are jumping, sending the yield on the two-year note to a record low, as investors buy U.S. government debt in search of safety.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note fell to 0.29 percent from 0.34 percent late Wednesday. Earlier in Thursday trading, the two-year yield fell as low as 0.265 percent, an all-time low.


QE3 Is Coming, But Won’t Save the Economy: Lance Roberts
Stock indexes continue to tumble Thursday, with the S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq falling more than 2 percent.

Roberts is of the mind that the Fed will step in to help stave off another recession, but the potential for it to work after QE1 and QE2 is not great due to the law of diminishing returns.

To top that off, he says markets, not consumers, will feel all the benefits if QE3 should come to pass. Consumers will actually take a beating because commodity prices -- oil and food prices -- will jump as the Fed pumps more dollars into the economy.


Gold Rises to Record on Haven Demand Amid Equity Slump, Currency Turmoil
Gold futures rose to a record $1,684.70 an ounce as turmoil in financial markets boosted demand for the precious metal as an investment haven.

“The geopolitical backdrop is inherently bullish for gold,” Matthew Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “As risk appetite wanes, people have been piling into gold and Treasuries. Yields are so low that the only alternative is gold.”

The Federal Reserve has completed two rounds of so-called quantitative easing and kept its benchmark interest rate at zero percent to 0.25 percent to bolster the economy.


Fear on the Street: Inside the Stock Sell-Off
Stocks posted a severe drop today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 4.3% and the Nasdaq crumbling over 5%.

By the end of the day there were few places left to hide. Gold, silver, crude and yields on Treasuries all fell sharply as traders looked for safety and were met by nothing but falling prices.
Corporate America is sitting on record amounts of cash but is refusing to make new investments with so little end demand for its products. Consumers and corporations are hoarding cash, and the economy appears to be seizing.

Today was the first sign of fear stocks have seen in a year. To paraphrase Churchill, that may not be the beginning of the end of the selling, but it's the end of the beginning. It's extremely unlikely we're going to see good economic news anytime soon.

Take hope for a quick economic recovery out of the equation and ask yourself this: If you woke up tomorrow and stocks were set to open down another 1,000 points on the Dow, would you buy or sell? Whatever your answer is, you'd be well served to consider doing it a little bit at a time now.

Trying to "call the bottom" by going all in at once is a fool's game. Be patient, be calm and tune out the panic. In a market this volatile, prudence is the only rational strategy available.


Wall Street plunge could worsen economy's troubles
The two-week plunge in stock prices is signaling economic anxiety, but it's also compounding the problem: Lower stock prices are shrinking Americans' wealth, rattling their confidence and making them less inclined to spend.

And employers may become even slower to hire.

Luxury retailers like Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue have remained a bastion of strength. They benefited from a stock rally that started a year ago and made wealthy households even wealthier and willing to spend. MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse says its index of luxury sales at restaurants, food boutiques, department stores and clothiers, surged 12 percent last month.

Traders are losing faith in the creditworthiness of debt issued by a growing number of countries and in the banks that hold it. That's causing banks to charge each other more money for overnight borrowing. It's also making short-term credit harder to get, traders say.

One sign of jitters: The yield on the one-month Treasury bill fell into negative territory on Thursday. That meant that lenders would, in effect, pay the U.S. government to hold their cash. Market participants said the falling Treasury yields show that investors still regard U.S. debt as the safest place for their money.


The Government Can’t Save the Market This Time
For anyone who followed the market crashes of 2000-2002 and 2007-2009--especially the crash of 2007-2009--the 512-point drop in the Dow feels awfully familiar.

And as those market crashes reminded us, the downdrafts can last a lot longer and be a lot more severe than most people initially think. (They can also reverse themselves quickly and unexpectedly, and maybe that's what will happen this time. We can always pray.)


Investors looking for answers after wild week
A nerve-wracking week punctuated by the biggest stock market plunge in three years has left investors with more questions than answers -- and considerably less money in their portfolios.
Here's some guidance to help sort out all the mixed messages:

1. Don't panic
The volatility is dramatic and the TV anchors used phrases like "bloodbath on Wall Street." Yet despite the eyebrow raising market statistics, it's important for investors to keep a level head. Don't lose sight of your investing goals -- a key component of which is considering your time horizon.

2. Stocks on sale?
Historically the stock market is the best means to ensure that your savings outpace the rise of inflation -- though that's been minimal in recent years.

Despite the market downturn, corporate earnings are healthier and better able to endure an economic slump than they were three years ago. Earnings for the second quarter are still on pace to post a record high.

3. Play defense
When the economy gets tough investors typically flock to large companies with strong balance sheets. That's because these companies have the reserves and track record of being able to ride out economic downturns. Investors are drawn to the stability of their reliable earnings.

4. Bonds Overbought.
Investors have continued to pour into U.S. Treasury bonds for safety even though they have lost considerable allure as an investment. Heavy demand pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 2.42 percent Friday, its lowest of the year.

5. Mixed international outlook
Fund managers still advise keeping a portion of your portfolio in international investments. But the worsening debt drama in Europe makes it worth checking your holdings to make sure you're not over-reliant on companies in developed countries. Emerging markets have delivered impressive gains for international investors for years and promise to continue to do so over the long term. They too, however, have had their issues lately.

6. Shelter money in cash?
Shifting a portion of your money to cash or low-risk investments like money-market mutual funds can ease a potential hit from the stock market.

失意終極會考 中六生轉報毅進

【明報專訊】隨會考成絕唱,主要為中五生舉辦的毅進計劃,昨早在九龍灣舉行最後一屆聯招日。部分去年在末代會考中英文不及格的學生,今年升中六後再戰「終極補考」以升讀大學,可惜放榜仍然「肥佬」,9月面臨輟學無法升中七,昨紛紛轉報毅進另謀出路。有中學校長擔心他們會感氣餒,協助學生報讀其他課程。

今年毅進課程接受網上申請,昨日在九龍灣舉行的現場聯招日人數,只及去年約3%,只得884入場人次,至今報讀人數有2028人。

校長憂同學氣餒 助報課程

由於今年終極會考是最後一屆補考機會,去年會考中英文不合格的學生,若升讀中六後再補考,必須把握機會闖關,否則明年即使報高考,也不符合聯招申讀大學的最低要求。

昨在場報名毅進的中六生歐陽同學及陳同學表示,去年會考獲5科合格,英文「肥佬」,獲原校升讀中六,但今年再戰終極會考卻仍然「肥佬」事與願違。兩人預計,9月無法再回校讀中七,惟有讀毅進以繼續升學。陳同學稱,找兼職時已明白學歷的重要,望藉實務課程換取會考中英文合格的資格,但擔心明年新學制後的銜接問題。

廠商會中學校長麥耀光表示,有邊緣成績學生去年以14分、英文不及格的成績升上中六,但在今年會考仍無法過關。麥校長說,可讓同學完成中七課程,但只能頒授修業證書,擔心有關學生無法與其他預科同學一起升讀大學,會感到氣餒,因此會協助這些學生報讀其他專上學院或毅進課程。

承諾考IELTS TOEFL 可增錄取機會

學友社學生輔導中心總幹事列豪章亦指出,過往的邊緣考生,若學校讓他繼續留讀中六,會有多一次機會重考,如今考生卻要另覓出路。列豪章建議,邊緣考生成績普遍達13分,除毅進外,部分副學士或文憑課程會小量收取這類學生,建議面試時應具體承諾改善不足,如考取IELTS或TOEFL資格,增加錄取機會。

今屆毅進計劃,由8間院校提供189項課程選擇,預計有4000人報讀,有在職人士亦趕在轉制前到場趕坐「尾班車」。港專毅進課程主任謝若瑟稱,預計今年只有200至300人報名,較去年人數減少近八成,而會考生比率也較少。明愛、港專及浸大持續教育學院等,也會開辦基礎或文憑課程,讓同學在明年完成毅進後,可在新制下繼續銜接副學士或高級文憑等。

Friday, August 5, 2011

S&P downgrades US credit rating from AAA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's says it has downgraded the United States' credit rating for the first time in the history of the ratings.

The credit rating agency says that it is cutting the country's top AAA rating by one notch to AA-plus. The credit agency said late Friday that it is making the move because the deficit reduction plan passed by Congress on Tuesday did not go far enough to stabilize the country's debt situation.

A source familiar with the discussions said that the Obama administration believes S&P's analysis contained "deep and fundamental flaws."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

終極會考狀元摘4A3B

被稱為「終極會考」的最後一屆中學會考補考今日放榜,今年有2.6萬人應考,一名女考生以4A3B成為「終極會考狀元」,另兩名中六男生取得3A成績。應試者中有30多人是1978年首屆中學會考生,為人生留下紀念。今日過後,會考正式走進歷史,明年起由配合新高中的中學文憑試取代。

逾30首屆考生再考 但求有始有終

終極會考只限自修生報考,約有2.9萬人報考,最終26,573人應試。84%考生曾應考去年末代會考,40%是中六生。今年只辦22科考試,較去年少17科,英文科最多人報考,其次是中文科,分別有2.16萬和1.33萬人應考,但分別僅209人和50人取得最高的5*成績。

43人報考10科,但只有12人完成十科,無人取得10A(或5*)成績。最佳成績是一名報考7科的女生,取得4A(或5*)3B;另有兩名分別考5科和4科的中六男生同時考獲3A。今年最年輕考生13歲,是一男一女中學生,各只考一至兩科;年紀最大考生65歲。

最小13歲 最大65歲

由於應試人數僅為過往會考的四分之一,考評局秘書長唐創時昨在記者會表示,各科評分與兩科語文科一樣採用水平參照,棄用拉曲線,由專家依考生表現,參照過往資料,評定各科各評級所需的分數,以免因人數少而造成不公。

考評局1978年接手舉辦會考,今年有30多名當年考生為求有始有終而應考,也有屢敗屢考的會考常客。

考五次盼湊五科及格

50歲的張友萍是其中一名終極考生,這次已是她第五次應考,只考中文一科。她昨出席商場活動時表示,去年英文和商業及格,但中文科「肥佬」,希望這次及格,連同81、83、84年三次會考取得及格的數學和會計兩科,湊夠五科及格。

「細個唔識得讀書,大個先知讀書可貴。」直至去年,她有感會考已屆末代,毅然重拾書本。為應付今年考試,她報讀夜校,平日與80後同學赴自修室溫習,「家人好支持,先生經濟上支持;兒子都好支持,我唔識嘅時候好樂意畀我問」。她又打算與將升讀中六的兒子,明年一起報考中學文憑試。終極會考生成績即使優異,今年也不會有公營中六預科學位升讀。明年高考是末代高考,後年的補考將是終極高考。

終極會考資料

報考人數:約2,9000人
應考人數:26,573人
考生年齡:13至65歲
最多人應考科目:英文,21,559人
最少人應考科目:科學與科技,11人
獲至少一個A或5*人數:490人
最佳成績:4A(或5*) 3B
任何 5科及格人數:665人
舉辦費用:6,475萬元,其中4,181萬元由政府資助
資料來源:考評局及立法會文件

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

港版三中三 [六合彩騙局事件] 市場營銷智慧剖析

簡介
港版三中三短片宣傳六合彩騙局事件是指於2011年5月4日在YouTube流傳的一段聲稱是《港版三中三技術》的新聞發佈會短片。該短片分成兩段,全程以粵語旁白,片長約九分鐘,聲稱能以電腦推測六合彩結果,保證十期六合彩至少會中六期,呼籲有興趣者登入網站,用900至13,800元入會,即可在每期六合彩搞珠前,取得預測的中獎號碼。

非法六合彩網扮港官員 馬會報警促刪短片
【明報專訊】內地一個聲稱可預測六合彩結果的不法集團,近日在網站上載了一條模擬記者會片段,找人扮演香港康文署長馮程淑儀、創新科技署長王榮珍和馬會高層等,聲稱網站的預測準確及合法。馬會澄清該片段與馬會無關,已經報警,並要求盡快刪除短片。警方表示會了解事件。
馮程淑儀看過片段後接受查詢,表示感到很無辜及啼笑皆非,強調片中的「官員」並非她本人,六合彩不會是康文署負責,呼籲內地民眾不要相信。

港人沒中招 警難執法
立法會議員涂謹申指出,除非有港人中招受騙,香港警方才有治外法權可以調查案件,但若主謀在內地,而網站設於外國,內地也需要跟該國有司法互助協議。他又說,這種手法並不新穎,數年前亦有日本人收到單張,指可代購香港的彩票,單張上並印有聲稱是香港官員頒發支票予中獎者的相片,最後日本和香港警方都作調查,證實單張並非由香港寄出。

近日在YouTube等網站流傳的短片,對白全為粵語,片段聲稱有一種可準確預測六合彩的技術,召開新聞發布會,並邀請了8名嘉賓出席,聲稱台上嘉賓包括康文署長馮程淑儀、創新科技署長王榮珍、馬會副主席,甚至有一些根本不存在的香港六合彩推廣中心、博彩娛樂應用研究中心及香港慈善基金會等代表。
片段為營造墟冚場面,更特別把國務院召開記者會的片段剪接過來,報稱活動吸引中外百多名記者採訪。

訛稱可獲貼士 入會費900元起
該片段用來招攬會員,聲稱付費入會就可在每期六合彩攪珠前數小時得到3個中獎機會極高的號碼,入會費由900元起,片段又多次強調,技術得馬會和特區政府認可,並獲授權在內地網上銷售。然而片段錯漏百出,開首的英文新聞名稱已誤寫為「breken reporat」(應為Breaking Report),之後「馮程淑儀」回應「記者」提問時,稱香港六合彩要7個號碼全中,才獲一等獎,明顯與事實不符。有心水清的網民更指出,原本在台下提問的記者,之後又變身成分享「成功經驗」的市民。

馬會保留追究權利
馬會昨表示,對短片中含有虛假資料及人物深表關注,已即時通知警方,並要求YouTube盡快刪除該短片,保留追究責任及要求賠償損失的權利。馬會又說,從未委任或授權任何人士或機構在香港或香港以外地區刊登廣告、招募會員以接受六合彩的投注,亦不會以任何形式提供或要求顧客購買「貼士」或「預測服務」

video

“港版三中三”背後的市場營銷智慧 - 理論篇
《轉載》
平心而論,從市場學(尤其是直銷 - Direct Marketing)的角度看,港版3中3的確做得不錯,因為很多優秀的市場推廣策略都在裏面出現。而作為一位市場顧問, 即使明知道這是一個騙局,我還是會讚嘆這些市場策略。

如果只因為它是一個世紀最攪笑的騙局而笑笑就算的話,你或許會錯過一些基本的,卻十分重要的市場推廣策略。如果你能運用這些策略,它能輕易地讓你的生意利潤提升25% - 50%。現在讓我帶你看一下港版3中3究竟用了些什麼市場推廣策略:

- Video(短片):看一下你周遭的,做小生意的人,有哪一位真正利用了短片去推廣產品呢?短片的價值在於它能在某程度上讓觀看影片的人和拍片的人互動,而不是單純的用一些艷麗的圖片或者性感的女人去吸引眼球。片中用新聞報道的手法,令我們覺得在接收信息(看新聞),而不是賣東西給你,因為他們知道很多人會抗拒“被銷售”,卻不介意看新聞。 片中的記者會場(國務院於人民大會堂)和訪問都讓我們感到正在參與一個新聞發佈會/記者會,所以你是在接收”新聞“,這些做法都可以減低你正在“被銷售”的警戒心。

- 權威(Authority)和可信性(Authenticity): 權威能增加信任感。如果有一位陌生人向你說:“買這個,買這個能讓你變有錢”,你可能當他是瘋子。但如果這一位陌生人是某某局長/署長的話,可信性(至少看起來可信,因為是局長說的)就會不知不覺提高。片中充份利用這種權威,所以你會看到很多所謂“高官名流”聚首一堂,為你帶來一些“重要消息”。而且還怕你們不相信,甚至憑空”創造“一些權威出來:香港政府特別參議員,亞洲博彩娛樂投資有限公司副總裁,香港六合彩推廣中心,香港博彩娛樂應用研究中心,香港慈善基金會副會長。如果對香港的政府架構沒什麼概念的話,還真的會相信呢。

還有,片中有來自世界各地(那一長串的地方就不說了。。)的記者“雲集”在這個記者會。既然各地記者對此也“大表興趣”(這麼多人。。。),這該是很重要旳東西/產品/服務。

- 準確的,有效率的標題(Headline):標題是客戶最初見到的文字。包含優點,簡短卻”給力“的標題能引起大多數人的興趣。港版三中三的標題是:一夜致富不是夢。細看這個標題,你就會發現這個標題擬得有多好:夠簡短,容易勾起好奇心,引起絕大多數人的潛在慾望(致富,而且是短時間之內),而且這並不困難(不是夢)。這夠震撼吧。見到這個標題之後,大部份的人會想:怎麼做 (How?). 這個標題也能令人希望“看看這是什麼”,而不是掉頭離去。

- 目標市場:標題也有另一個含意,就是這個產品針對的並不是“所有人”,而是那些:買了很多期六合彩卻不中,希望快破滅了,但仍想一朝發達的人。這些人會去四出尋找一些簡單,有效,便宜而且可以大幅提高中獎機會的東西(比如電腦程式,扶乩,求神問卜等)。至於那些只是偶爾買六合彩,把六合彩當娛樂而不執着的人,並不是港版三中三的目標“客戶群”。因為這些人已經嘗試過不同的,提高中獎機會的方法卻不成功,所以他們”特別謹慎“,不會再隨便嘗試新東西。這也是為什麼要放這許多“權威人仕”增加可信度的原因(這些人都推薦這產品了,它該是一個優秀的產品)。

- 優秀的產品:他們告訴你:這是一班“國際級的專家研究隊伍”(就是我們一家人)用”最前沿,最深入,最先進的研究技術研究了10年以上(看了10年六合彩)“,“運用了數據統計,機率統計,波色規律(?)學(就是憑老子的感覺)”,”以超級電腦(我家看A片的那台WinXP電腦)計算”出六合彩的結果(好吧,只有三個字。。。)。先別說那3個數字是怎麼來的,但這就是他們的USP (Unique Selling Proposition, 市場定位),也是他們與眾不同的地方。那,老闆們,貴公司的定位又是什麼呢?最重要的問題是:為什麼人們要向你購買,而不是其他人呢(Why should people buy from you, but not others?)?你的產品/服務有”最前沿,最深入,最先進的研究技術“嗎?你為顧客帶來了能“計算”的結果嗎?你的產品能”保證”帶來某些結果嗎?

- 預先回答反對的問題(Answering Objections):片中用了“記者提問”的方式去回答那些對這個產品仍抱有疑問的人的問題。記者的提問,也是對產品有興趣的人的問題。當然,事前要有些熱身:

最初的問題是:

- 六合彩是預定結果嗎?

- 香港和大陸的六合彩有什麼分別?

熱身問題的原意是:最初的問題的解答必須正確。既然最初回答的數條問題是“事實”,那後面的問題的可信度又會高一點。不過,那位“馮太”也把答案答錯就是了。。。。

然後就是產品本身的問題:

-港版三中三的中奬率為何?

-在哪裏能購買港版三中三?

問題的數量與銷售量可成正比。預先解決的問題越多,就能讓越多人信服。如果在這裏再加多1-2條問題的話,我相信對銷售效果會有更多良好的影響。

- 這是有錢人不想讓你知道的秘密:這裏的想法是:有很多“行內人”對這種技術十分忌憚,不想這產品令“行內人”蒙受損失,所以想“出高價”(後文你會知道為什麼這很重要)買斷這個產品,但因為我是好人,我想讓大多數人“奔小康”,所以我拒絕了這些邀請,我是站在你那一邊的,與那些不想讓你知道致富秘密的“行內人”不同。這是利用同理心的一種方法,能大幅提高大眾對此產品信任度。而因為這是一個“秘密”,所以也在某程度上提高人們對此產品的好奇心:我好想看一看這是什麼秘密。。。

- 方便獲得:這個產品能輕易獲得:網上銷售,而且還是已經在賽馬會“合法”注冊呢!這裏的暗示是:你可以足不出戶,舒舒服服地在家裏一夕致富。你只要能上網就可以了。還有什麼方法比這種簡單,容易和有效的致富方式更令人心動呢?

- 會員制度:港版三中三的商業模式是這樣的:你給一筆錢,他會定期給你一些天知道是從哪裏來的數字。換言之,這不是一次性的產品,而是會員制的服務。這樣的話,騙徒就能每個月定期收到大筆會費,他們只需要“隨機”給你三個號碼就可以了。你能利用會員制度去為你的生意帶來持續性的收入嗎?

- 推薦信 (Testimonials): 好了,就算我不明說,你也知道那些“顧客”也是假的。這裏的重點不是他們的真假,而是:為了讓你相信我們是“玩真的”,我就找幾個與你有相似點的“顧客”來告訴你我的產品有多好。

關鍵字眼是:與你有相似點的“顧客”。就如剛才所說,港版三中三的目標顧客是怎樣的一群人,所以這裏就把那些人找出來去說服你。因為那些“顧客”與你相似,所以就在某程度上引起了目標顧客的“同理心”:我與你一樣,在之前都把錢浪費掉了,但現在有港版三中三,我現在發達了,你也一起來“加入成功的行列”吧。

- 立即行動 (Call To Action): 片段末段的女子在總結的時候再三強調立刻到那個網站申請,並且認明網址不要去錯(雖然最後還是錯了。。。囧),但是要求卻清楚不過:到我們的網站登記吧。這種清楚,簡明地說:“去做這個,現在!”的表達方式解答了:“接下來該做什麼?”的疑問。試問,又有多少網站,企業(無論大小),會清楚讓他人知道接下來我們要做些什麼呢?
- 病毒式營銷效果(Viral Effect): 我實在不喜歡這個字眼,但在這裏卻適合不過:透過使用youtube(在大陸的話就是其他視頻網站),短片的散播速度前所未有地快。人們爭相分享這個“重要消息”(對香港人來說是茶餘飯後的笑話),然後一傳十,十傳百。這種傳播方式不僅非常有效,而且免費。

在這裏我並不想教你行騙,也不會做這件事,但是,如果是我的話,我會再加多兩個營銷策略:
1. 免費試用:有興趣的客戶可以免費登記,即可獲得x期數字。此舉能把風險從客戶轉到企業上,客戶毋須負任何風險,就可以放心使用產品。如果客戶滿意,則自動在x期後收費。(不過,因為港版三中三的數字是”隨機”的,客戶又怎會滿意。。。)

2. 優惠截止日期:設置一個期限(比如一星期以內),網站將開放注冊會員。一星期後則關閉登記服務,不再接受新會員登記。這種做法可令人有一種”資源不多,要買快手”的衝動。那將令會員登記人數大增。

就這樣,一個無法騙到香港人的騙局,卻包含了這許多的營銷策略。這也是我希望能與你分享的一些智慧,也希望你能把這些智慧用在正途上。也想讓你知道,把利潤翻幾翻其實並沒想像中困難。

P.S.

- 有些朋友可能會想:這只是大陸人做的短片,當他們做這個東西騙人的時候又怎會想到這許多策略呢?嗯,你知道嗎?你是對的。我也認為他們根本沒想得這麼透徹。可是,這裏面的某些想法(權威,可信度,推薦信等),都是很多企業裏的行銷部門沒有做的事。他們或許沒想到這許多,但是裏面還是有些東西想讓你學學。

【Animals Farm】Animated Movie Based On George Orwell Fiction 1954

Animal Farm is a British animated film by Halas and Batchelor, based on the book of the same name by George Orwell. It was the first British animated feature released worldwide, which, despite the title and Disney-esque animal animation, is in fact a no-holds-barred adaptation of George Orwell's classic satire on Stalinism, with the animals taking over their farm by means of a revolutionary coup, but then discovering that although all animals are supposed to be equal, some are more equal than others.

內地網稱有六合彩必中號碼

以下是港版三中三的網上廣告內容: (請各位切勿盡信)

實力是信譽的保障,強料的民心!早日跟蹤此料,早日實現你的夢想,早日幫你擺脫輸錢的日子,不欺不詐、良心為本、客戶至上、誠信第一 一份必贏的猛料定能給大家帶來好運!也給大家帶來財富!我們雄厚的實力讓您豪宅-靚車已不再是夢.當你看到本料,那就是你收的雲開見明月的一刻!你只需要堅信本料擁有雄厚­的實力能夠幫助你脫離輸錢的苦海!你現在只需拿出勇氣再向前走一步,財富和幸福便和你握手!光明燦爛的日子一定是屬於你的.迷失的彩民朋友拿出勇氣向前邁出一步吧!
我們的目的只有一個:幫助大家以最少的支出獲取最大的利益!希望我們的付出能起到一個抛磚引玉的作用!

下注方法可以分為五注:1.三中三為一注! 2.三中二為一注! 3.三個平碼一個為一注!

如果無法立即播放,請等视频缓冲到10%,再用鼠標左键点击视频左下角__的三角形播放符号

即可立即观看!___谢谢大家长期来对本技术的支持!合作愉快!

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