How To Run Out Of Cash While Owning Half Of American Apparel

Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel, told Bloomberg News that he’s “down to” his last $100,000 and sleeping on a friend’s couch. How is that possible?

American Apparel founder Dov Charney made headlines today for telling Bloomberg News he’s down to his last $100,000 and sleeping on a friend’s couch on New York’s Lower East Side as he works to win his company back.

American Apparel founder Dov Charney made headlines today for telling Bloomberg News he's down to his last $100,000 and sleeping on a friend's couch on New York's Lower East Side as he works to win his company back.

Charney was fired last week from his position as a paid consultant. He was suspended as president and CEO by the board on June 18 for “alleged misconduct and violations of company policy” and has been the subject of an internal investigation since July 9.


But Charney is still American Apparel’s biggest stockholder, owning roughly 43% of the company, or about 75 million shares. The stock closed at $1.14 today, valuing the company at about $200 million.

But Charney is still American Apparel's biggest stockholder, owning roughly 43% of the company, or about 75 million shares. The stock closed at $1.14 today, valuing the company at about $200 million.

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E-readers and tablets really do seem to alter your sleep schedule

In less than a decade, reading has shifted from the medium it dominated for centuries—paper—to screens of various sorts. The change in habit has been accompanied by concerns over whether this could be influencing sleep. Exposure to light biased toward blue wavelengths, such as that produced by the screens of tablets, has been shown to alter the circadian rhythms that set the body’s clock.

A number of studies have suggested that this is a real problem—enough that the Mayo Clinic’s advice on getting better sleep notes that “Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.” Now, new research published in PNAS provides some hard numbers to back up these worries. But it’s a small study with some significant limitations, so this shouldn’t be seen as the final word on the topic.

The study relies on a panel of a dozen volunteers who spent two weeks in a sleep center. During that time, all 12 spent four hours reading before a strictly enforced 10pm bedtime. For the first week, half were given a regular book and dim room light; the other half an e-reader with an active screen. After a week, the roles were switched.

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The Blackberry Classic Is A Noble Throwback To The QWERTY Era

scaled-5059 It’s 2003. Outkast’s “Hey Ya” is playing on your Archos Jukebox as you take the train into work in the near dark. At your hip is strapped a Blackberry 7200, one of the first color smartphones in the world. Your belt buzzes – it’s an email from your boss. You tap out a response without thinking, your fingers sliding along the angled keys like a jackdaw nipping… Read More

Jobs Confidence Gives Big Boost to Stock Market

Tech stocks and growing confidence in the job market helped to propel the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to record highs Monday.

The S&P 500 gained 0.4% to finish at 2,078.54. The Dow Jones rose 155 points, or 0.9%, to end the day at 17,959.44.

The U.S. market rose broadly on Monday after posting huge gains to close out the previous week, effectively rebounding from a seven-day sell-off earlier this month.

Early in the day, the Gallup polling organization reported that confidence in the job market had hit its highest point since the recession. Meanwhile. Investors seemed to shrug off the news that existing home sales in the U.S. dropped 6.1% in November.

Facebook and Intel both shot up by roughly 2% on Monday as tech companies helped spur the day’s rally.

Markets got a major boost last week when the Federal Reserve said it would take a patient, measured approach to its planned interest rate hike coming at some point in 2015.

The S&P 500 recent performance is a major turnaround from the market retreat earlier this month, when the index dipped below the 2,000-point mark. The index is up more than 100 points, or 5.4%, since the middle of last week, when the market saw some of its biggest gains in years.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is also riding a huge turnaround from previous weeks with more than 888 points gained — a 5.2% swing — since last Wednesday. The Dow Jones is tantalizingly close to crossing for the first time the 18,000-point mark — a symbolic milestone the index approached two weeks ago before the market began to sink.

The Nasdaq composite also recorded its fourth-straight day of gains, rising 16 points, or 0.3%, to finish Monday at 4,781.42. The tech-heavy index is also up more than 5% since the middle of last week and has gained more than 230 points over that period.

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Troll’s last payday? Microsoft pays VirnetX $23M to end patent case

VirnetX is a patent-holding company that won $200 million from Microsoft following a 2010 trial and then sued Microsoft again in 2013. The second lawsuit (PDF) asserted six patents that were said to cover Skype and other Microsoft products that integrated Skype.

Now that second case has been laid to rest as well, with Microsoft agreeing to pay a $23 million settlement. “We are pleased to have come to an agreement with Microsoft Corporation and put all our legal disputes behind us,” VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen said in a statement on the deal. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company was pleased with the settlement and noted that it includes a license to VirnetX’s entire patent portfolio.

The $23 million settlement is more than ten times what VirnetX made from all its licensing activity in 2013, Bloomberg noted in its brief on the settlement.

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Encana to sell some natural gas facilities in British Columbia

Dec 22 (Reuters) – Canada’s Encana Corp will sell some natural gas gathering and compression facilities in British Columbia it owns jointly with a unit of Mitsubishi Corp to Veresen Midstream LP.

More Americans disapprove of Sony film cancellation: Reuters/Ipsos poll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Nearly half of Americans believe Sony Pictures made the wrong decision by canceling the theatrical release of the comedy “The Interview,” the film that provoked a cyberattack on the studio, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.

One Man’s Fight to Free Up Canada’s Beer and Liquor Laws

Beer, wine and liquor consumers, mark your calendars: May 12, 2015 is when new purchasing options may start opening up for you. That’s the date that was set last week for the trial of New Brunswick resident Gerard Comeau to commence.

The retired steel worker had the temerity — or perhaps merely the naïveté — to think that he could actually buy several cases of beer in Quebec (where it’s significantly cheaper) and drive them home to New Brunswick.

Mr. Comeau has been charged with violating New Brunswick’s Liquor Control Act by bringing across the border more beer than the 12-pint legal limit. He did this dastardly deed more than two years ago, in October 2012, under the watchful gaze of several RCMP officers who apparently had nothing more pressing to do that day than tail a senior citizen on his beer run.

The officers seized his alcohol and issued a fine of $292.50, but Mr. Comeau doesn’t plan to pay it. He is not your average beer drinker. He’s the man who is going to make constitutional history by challenging the legality of the Liquor Control Act.

The smart money says he’s going to win.

The organization I work for, the Canadian Constitution Foundation, is supporting the challenge with the help of some dedicated professionals. Ian Blue, Q.C. is senior counsel at the Toronto firm Gardiner Roberts LLP. He has written extensively about the constitutionality — or rather, the unconstitutionality — of provincial liquor laws. Mr. Blue has volunteered to act as counsel to Mr. Comeau, along with Mr. Comeau’s original New Brunswick lawyer Mikael Bernard.

Mr. Blue says the Fathers of Confederation intended alcohol — and indeed all manufactured and agricultural products — to flow between the provinces without barriers such as those imposed by the Liquor Control Act. The internal free-trade law was written right into the constitution in 1867. Section 121 reads: “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.” At the time of confederation, internal free trade was frequently described as one of the major advantages of uniting.

Unfortunately, in a bizarre 1921 case called Gold Seal v. Attorney General of Alberta, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ignored the legislative history and context of s. 121, and declared that it prohibited only customs duties on interprovincial trade, not other forms of trade barrier.

The biography of then SCC Justice Duff discloses that while the Gold Seal case was under consideration, two of his SCC colleagues were summoned to a private meeting with the federal Justice Minister to discuss the case. Had this extraordinary secret political interference with the court not occurred, interprovincial free trade might well have been cemented into Canadian jurisprudence in addition to appearing in the constitution.

Later courts have felt compelled to follow the Gold Seal precedent. Consequently, Canada is now riddled with rules that divvy up markets for agricultural products and prevent Ontarians from buying chickens from Quebec or cheese from Manitoba. Provinces enact their own unique rules on manufacturing standards of items such as vehicle brakes and product packaging, thereby hindering interprovincial competition and trade.

Lawyers Blue and Bernard will attempt to persuade the New Brunswick court to reconsider the original purpose behind s. 121, reject the politically tainted 1921 decision and restore the correct free-trade interpretation to the constitution which Sir John A. Macdonald and his contemporaries intended.

Public opinion against the provincial alcohol monopolies has been mounting, recently spurred on by revelations of a secret price-fixing deal between the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and a trio of privately owned breweries. Mr. Comeau’s case could be the coup de grace for the ridiculous restrictions that raise prices and reduce choices for consumers.

As a non-drinker, I won’t be directly affected by the dismantling of alcohol restrictions, but I love this case because of its potential to liberate markets in other products — for instance, eggs, poultry and dairy products. Internal trade barriers in these farm products also increase prices and reduce consumer choice.