Archive for: October 2012

“Fearless Felix” Breaks the Speed of Sound with Recent Dive

Acclaimed skydiver and former soldier Felix Baumgartner, known also by his nickname “Fearless Felix” performed a skydive 24 miles above the Earth. The Austrian skydiver managed to land in New Mexico successfully after the long drop with only a space suit, helmet and his parachute to help him along the way.

Baumgartner is well-known for parachuting from the Petronas Towers of Malaysia, the Christ the Redemeer Statue in Rio de Janeiro and has prepared five years to make the jump that allowed him to break the speed of sound yesterday. This objective, which was met with success, had Baumgartner the first person to fly the highest in a helium balloon and broke the speed of sound.

The 43-year old Felix Baumgartner recalls that that the jump was not without any difficulty. At one point during the dive, he was on the verge of pulling out his droge parachute in the event of difficulty. He was trying to regain control, but was unable to do so. As he was about to pull the parachute and the plug on the entire dive, he slowly regained control, which allowed him to make the best jump the world has ever seen.

Some of his other particular difficulties were his visor fogging up and having a “flat spin”, which would have him disastrous physical problems during and after the jump if he had not regained control.

The Austrian skydiver set off around 9:30 A.M. MT from Rosewell in New Mexico with several weather delays into the stratosphere.

He was preparing five years to make the jump and to prove that he can break through the speed of sound. The highest jump of Baumgartner breaks the record of Col. Joe Kittinger in 1960, which had 102,800 feet or approximately 22 miles above Earth.

Source: CNN

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PPI Claims: Banking Reforms to Proceed Accordingly – Wheatley

Martin Wheatley, the managing director of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) stated in his speech that banking reforms may be required to further minimize events similar to PPI mis selling in the future. The FSA has investigated and discovered that the bank incentives system of many banks nowadays has become the motivation of many brokers and financial advisers into advising PPI as a crucial part of every customer’s financial needs.

Mis sold payment protection insurance claims peaked at 2.2 million from January to June, making it the biggest financial scandal in the United Kingdom. Among high street banks listed with high claims numbers are Barclays with 19,000 and Lloyds with 22,000, both estimates from the Financial Services Authority.

Both banks, along with HSBC, RBS and Santander, have put aside a £9 million compensation package for the United Kingdom. Half of the amount has been distributed to customers.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), an independent consumer-government relations organization, states that they are receiving 1,500 claims a day for mis sold PPI claims. They also state that some banks continue to reject claims from customers which they should be honoring.

Payment Protection Insurance is an insurance policy designed to protect customer loans, mortgages and credit cards. It is often sold alongside these products as a “bonus” product that is free for one year and paid by the customer in the following years, or prescribed by financial advisers.

Statistics of claims in the FOS state that the highest number of complaints were received from the advisory of brokers and financial advisers in purchasing PPI. This prompted the FSA to conduct investigations in the incentives systems of banks pending its reform.

Japan’s New Anti-Piracy Penalties Invokes Civil Wrath

Japan’s Internet users now face charges should they infringe or pirate music and movie files online. Headed by the Recording Industry Association of Japan and voted by Japanese politicians in June, users are filed a criminal charge that could have them face two years in prison or two million yen fines should they be found engaging in deemed atrocious activities.

Japanese citizens are complaining about the new law being a criminal charge. Critics and organizations such as the Japan Federation of Bar Associations have mentioned that the offense could have been civil rather than criminal. Internet use and downloading is deemed as a personal activity and illegal downloads by private individuals is still insignificant to the damage done to the industry.

Japan is the world’s second largest music market next to the United States. Illegal media downloads in the country were plentiful than legal downloads that have been paid for by consumers in the past two years. Citizens called for action against the providers of such illegal downloads rather than having the individual punished for personal downloads.

Japan’s own Anonymous movement has attacked and defaced websites of government agencies such as the Supereme Court, the DPJ and LDP and the Japanese Society for the Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. Citizens have protested in Tokyo and 80 participants picked up garbage from the ground in Shibuya against the new law.

Source: BBC

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