Take the challenge: Can you launch a company on $100

Can you launch a company for $100?

Books & Books, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Florida International University and The LAB Miami have teamed up to host The $100 Startup Competition. Inspired by the bestselling book by Chris Guillebeau, the contest challenges South Florida entrepreneurs to enter their ideas for businesses that can be launched with just $100.

To enter, applicants must complete a short questionnaire; be ready to produce your mission statement in 140 characters or less. Finalists will be invited to pitch their $100 startup ideas in a public event on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, at Books & Books in Coral Gables. A panel of judges will fund the most promising ventures and additional prizes will be awarded.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, Nov. 18 at 11:59 p.m. Apply at http://100dollarstartup.co/

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Weather alert: Weekend will be cool and breezy

Cool weather will continue Saturday in South Florida with breezy conditions and low temperatures dipping below 70. Highs will be in the mid-70s.

On Sunday, forecasters expect the start of a warming trend, with highs near 80 and a low of about 70.

Monday will bring more breezes and partly sunny skies, with a high of 79 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain after 8 a.m.

For up-to-date forecasts and maps, click here.

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China derides U.S. “Cold War mentality” towards telecoms firm Huawei

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States is exhibiting a “Cold War mentality” with its fears that Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei poses a security risk because of its ties to the Communist Party, China‘s commerce minister said on Saturday.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee warned last month that Beijing could use equipment made by Huawei, the world’s second-largest maker of routers and other telecom gear, as well as rival Chinese manufacturer ZTE, the fifth largest, for spying.

The report cited the presence of a Communist Party cell in the companies’ management structure as part of the reason for concern.

The state role in business prompted a U.S. congressional advisory panel to complain this week that Chinese investment in the United States had created a “potential Trojan horse”.

“Can you imagine if China started asking U.S. companies coming to China what their relationship was with the Democratic or Republican parties? It would be a mess,” Commerce Minister Chen Deming, himself a Communist Party member, told reporters on the sidelines of the 18th Party Congress, which will usher in a new generation of leaders.

“If you see me as a Trojan horse, how should I view you? By this logic, if the Americans turned it around, they would see that it’s not in their interest to think this way.”

All Chinese state-owned enterprises and a growing number of private Chinese firms have a Communist Party secretary at the top of their management structure. In most cases, the top management are themselves party members.

Neither Huawei nor ZTE is state-owned. Huawei is owned by its employees and ZTE by different institutions.

Suspicions of Huawei are partly tied to its founder, Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army officer. Huawei denies any links with the Chinese military and says it is a purely commercial enterprise.

The Commerce Ministry China last month dismissed the U.S. suspicions as groundless.

“This report by the relevant committee of the U.S. Congress, based on subjective suspicions, no solid foundation and on the grounds of national security, has made groundless accusations against China,” spokesman Shen Danyang said.

(Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Tech News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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17 Turkish soldiers killed in helicopter crash

ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish military helicopter carrying soldiers on a mission against Kurdish rebels crashed in heavy fog on Saturday, killing 17 people, Turkish media reported.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash in a mountainous part of Pervari district in Siirt province, where the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party is active.

The provincial governor, Ahmet Aydin, said 13 soldiers and four crewmembers were killed, according to Anadolu news agency.

State-run TRT television said the troops were conducting an operation against Kurdish rebels who have escalated attacks in recent months. The guerrillas have been fighting since the 1980s, and they seek more rights for Kurds, including autonomy in the mostly Kurdish southeast of the country. Turkey and the West categorize the rebels, known by the acronym PKK, as a terrorist group.

Several days ago, Turkish media reported that Turkish soldiers were airlifted into northern Iraq for a brief operation against suspected rebels, who have bases there. There were no reports of casualties on that mission. Turkey periodically carries out artillery and air strikes on PKK positions in northern Iraq, but reports of cross-border incursions by troops are rare.

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Zillow: Foreclosure discounts shrinking

Buying a foreclosed home is no longer the big bargain it used to be.

In South Florida, the discount for foreclosures narrowed to 2.9 percent below a comparable non-distressed home in September from 6.8 percent a year earlier, according to Zillow.

The foreclosure discount for the tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties peaked in August 2008, when bank-owned homes fetched 22.7 percent less than non-distressed homes, the Seattle-based real-estate information firm said.

Nationwide, the foreclosure discount was 7.7 percent in September, down from 9.1 percent a year earlier, Zillow said. The widest gap nationally between foreclosed and non-distressed sales was 23.7 percent in September 2009.

“The smallest foreclosure discount is found in places where competition for homes is so high, people there are willing to pay the same amount for a foreclosure re-sale that they would for a non-distressed home simply to take advantage of historic affordability,” said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist.

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Miami-Dade’s election count comes to an end, finally

After a doozy of an Election Day, Miami-Dade County officials finished their vote tally Thursday, following an around-the-clock tabulation of tens of thousands of absentee ballots and a few thousand provisional ballots.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez also pledged to uncover what went wrong Tuesday, by asking four Miami-Dade commissioners to join a task force that will examine the long lines and frustrating delays that plagued polling places in different parts of the county.

“We need to put it in context,” Gimenez told The Miami Herald. “I believe that there are different operational issues at those precincts.”

Gimenez sent letters to Commissioners Lynda Bell, Sally Heyman, Dennis Moss and Rebeca Sosa, asking them to form part of the group and identify other community leaders who could participate. The mayor chose them for their ethnic and political diversity, and because lines in some of their areas were excessively long.

The group will conduct a precinct-by-precinct review of what happened and make recommendations to the county — including some to relay to Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers regarding early voting.

Gimenez said he hopes to convene the group a week from Monday, after the supervisor of elections has completed a traditional post-election briefing. The group will first learn about election laws and what wiggle room the county has to propose changes.

The advisory group, which the mayor said won’t be too large, will dig into why there were lengthy lines during early voting — despite fewer people voting early than in 2008 — and at many precincts on Election Day, despite turnout being only 8 percent higher.

Commissioners welcomed the challenge.

“We could always stand for improvement, and we will,” Heyman said at a commission meeting Thursday.

Another commissioner not taking part, Javier Souto, also chimed in.

“Democracy is alive and well, and it worked — it worked very well,” he said. “The system got a little bit, uh, difficult at times.’’

As commissioners met at County Hall, Miami-Dade’s absentee ballot count came to a merciful end.

Elections workers counted a final batch of 500 absentees Thursday morning after pulling their second all-nighter. They finished about 40 hours after the polls closed.

Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley fended off criticism that the county’s election was less than perfect.

“Generally, I think Miami-Dade County conducted a very good election,” Townsley told reporters at the elections office in Doral, as she deflected questions about long lines and delays at the polls. “Am I embarrassed or disappointed by some of the things that happened? Absolutely. But I have to focus on simply getting it right.”

The last-minute surge of some 54,000 absentees cast up until the closing of the polls on Election Day caused an extraordinary delay in tabulating the final results. Elections workers counted about 31,750 absentee votes on Wednesday and Thursday alone.

In total, Miami-Dade voters cast more than 242,000 absentee ballots. Officials said Thursday they could not provide information on the number of rejected absentees.

Townsley made note of the fact that Miami-Dade, the state’s largest county, finished ahead of three other big Florida counties — Broward, Palm Beach and Duval. They were still tabulating their absentees Thursday afternoon.

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Exclusive: SEC left computers vulnerable to cyber attacks – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Staffers at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission failed to encrypt some of their computers containing highly sensitive information from stock exchanges, leaving the data vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the computers were unprotected, there was no evidence that hacking or spying on the SEC‘s computers took place, these people said.

The computers and other electronic devices in question belonged to a handful of employees in an office within the SEC’s Trading and Markets Division. That office is responsible for making sure exchanges follow certain guidelines to protect the markets from potential cyber threats and systems problems, one of those people said.

Some of the staffers even brought the unprotected devices to a Black Hat convention, a conference where computer hacking experts gather to discuss the latest trends. It is not clear why the staffers brought the devices to the event.

The security lapses in the Trading and Markets Division are laid out in a yet-to-be-released report that by the SEC’s Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer.


The revelation comes as the SEC is encouraging companies to get more serious about cyber attacks. Last year, the agency issued guidance that public companies should follow in determining when to report breaches to investors.

Cyber security has become an even more pressing issue after high-profile companies from Lockheed Martin Corp to Bank of America Corp have fallen victim to hacking in recent years.

Nasdaq OMX Group, which runs the No. 2 U.S. equities exchange, in 2010 suffered a cyber attack on its collaboration software for corporate boards, but its trading systems were not breached.

One of the people familiar with the SEC’s security lapse said the agency was forced to spend at least $ 200,000 and hire a third-party firm to conduct a thorough analysis to make sure none of the data was compromised.

The watchdog’s report has already been circulated to the SEC’s five commissioners, as well as to key lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and is expected to be made public soon.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the report’s findings.


Rich Adamonis, a spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange, said the exchange operator is “disappointed” with the SEC’s lapse.

“From the moment we were informed, we have been actively seeking clarity from the SEC to understand the full extent of the use of improperly secured devices and the information involved, as well as the actions taken by the SEC to ensure that there is proper remediation and a complete audit trail for the information,” he said.

A spokesman for Nasdaq OMX declined to comment on the security lapse at the SEC.

Since the internal investigation was concluded, the SEC initiated disciplinary actions against the people involved, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

The SEC also notified all of the exchanges about the incident.

The SEC’s Trading and Markets Division, which has several hundred staffers, is primarily responsible for overseeing the U.S. equity markets, ensuring compliance with rules and writing regulations for exchanges and brokerages.

Among the division’s tasks is to ensure exchanges are following a series of voluntary guidelines known as “Automation Review Policies,” or ARPs. These policies call for exchanges to establish programs concerning computer audits, security and capacity. They are, in essence, a road map of the capital markets’ infrastructure.

Although they are only voluntary guidelines, exchanges take them seriously.

Under the ARP, exchanges must provide highly secure information to the SEC such as architectural maps, systems recovery and business continuity planning details in the event of a disaster or other major event.

That is the same kind of data used by exchanges last week after Hurricane Sandy forced U.S. equities markets to shut down for two days.

Prior to re-opening, all of the U.S. stock market operators took part in coordinated testing for trading on NYSE’s backup system.

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro recently said the SEC is working to convert the voluntary ARP guidelines into enforceable rules after a software error at Knight Capital Group nearly bankrupt the brokerage and led to a $ 440 million trading loss.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Karey Wutkowski and Lisa Shumaker)

Internet News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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Justin Bieber Lives Every Teen Boy's Dream at VS Show

"[It's] definitely a good night for me," beamed Justin Bieber on the red carpet of this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in NYC.

"It's an 18-year-old's dream …to be able to see all these models," said the teen phenom who, along with Rihanna and Bruno Mars, took to the stage November 7 to serenade VS Angels as they strut their stuff on the catwalk.

Video: Inside Victoria's Secret's Fashion Show Casting

The annual show, which airs December 4 at 10 p.m. on CBS, was the first major event in New York City since superstorm Sandy.

World-famous Victoria's Secret Angels Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Candice Swanepoel, Erin Heatherton, Lily Aldridge, and Lindsay Ellingson will take center stage at the sexy event.

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Fifth man charged in fatal Bronx shooting


Javier Perez is charged in an August murder in The Bronx, police said.

A fifth man was charged yesterday for gunning down a Bronx man and injuring another man back in August, police said.

Javier Perez, 22, was slapped with murder, attempted murder, gang assault, and weapon possession for fatally shooting Adrian Garcia, 25, and wounding his 20-year old nephew during an argument that turned violent between the victims and five men on Aug. 26 at the Pelham Houses in Morris Park , police added.

Perez was apprehend last month when he stepped off an Amtrak train in West Palm Beach, Fla., police said.

The four other suspects -- Charles “Boogie” Dennis, 29, Earl Gregory, 24, Shoendale Jarrett, 24 and Richard Quijano, 22 -- were collared back in September and October in connection with the incident and charged with murder and attempted murder, police added.

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