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Best of the Blogs: Facebook Acquires Another Mobile Software Team


Plus, Sony brings its NXT smartphones to the US market.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

The Wall Street Journal: Digits
Link: Facebook Acquires Spool Team for Mobile

"Facebook (FB) has acquired the team behind San Francisco start-up Spool in its latest talent acquisition aimed at getting better performance from its mobile business.

"Facebook will not acquire the company or its assets, a Facebook spokeswoman said. Spool makes free Google Android (GOOG) and Apple iOS (AAPL) apps for smartphones and tablets that let users save Internet articles and video that is viewable online or off, kind of like a DVR for the Internet. Spool said Saturday that those apps will be shut down. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed."

All Things D
Link: Sony Brings NXT Smartphone Series to US

"Following the June release of the Sony Xperia Ion (SNE), the electronics giant has brought three smartphones in its NXT series - the Xperia S, Xperia P and Xperia U - to market in the U.S.

"All three phones are "unlocked" - meaning, they're available without carrier contract and are unsubsidized.

"The 5-inch Xperia S retails for $600, has a 4.3-inch HD display and boasts a 12-megapixel camera. It's running a 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual core processor, while the other NXT phones run on 1GHz dual-core processors."

Link: Apple's MacBook Air 13″: The perfect ultrabook (review)

"In the constant cycle of tablet and smartphone news, the seemingly minor upgrade to Apple's MacBook Air barely made headlines. That's not really surprising, especially after the announcement of the Retina ready MacBook Pro. A next generation Intel CPU and graphics processor, USB 3.0 ports, and more flash storage don't sound all that impressive.

"In reality, this iterative update makes the MacBook Air the perfect laptop."

The New York Times: DealBook
Link: Capital Can't Be the Only Line of Defense

"The recent trading losses at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) have highlighted a bright spot of bipartisan consensus on financial reform: strong capital requirements are essential for preventing future financial crises."

"This was one of the central - and simplest - lessons of the 2008 financial crisis, one the Obama administration took to heart from the beginning. In June 2009, President Obama called for financial firms to hold more capital to increase their ability to withstand potential losses. In the three years since, the administration has worked with Congress, the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators to put stronger capital requirements at the core of our efforts to strengthen the financial system."

Link: Putting The Corn Harvest In Drought And Flood Context

"By now, everyone is aware of the incredible increase in the price of corn thanks in large part to the almost unprecedented drought levels across the country. Up another 5% today at over $7.77, the 30-day run has seen prices up over 41%. However, while this is an unbelievable move to record high prices, on a trailing 12-month basis, this price move has merely mean-reverted to the average gain of the last 10 years. From 2002-2011, the average price rise from July-to-July was around $55 and the current July-to-July price rise is only around $75. While things do not look set to improve any time soon for the weather, some longer-term context for Corn may well be worth considering."

Financial Times: BeyondBRICS
Link: IMF forecast: cloudy, risk of lightning

"The world's becoming a more dangerous place, including for emerging markets. That's the view of the International Monetary Fund in its latest quarterly reports on the global economy and financial stability.

"Economic growth prospects have slowed while 'risks to financial stability have increased' since the Fund's last pronouncements. For EMs this means: 'Emerging markets have not escaped contagion, and are also dealing with home-grown vulnerabilities. Emerging markets are facing extraordinary uncertainty about external conditions impinging on their economic performance.'

"The message could hardly be clearer."

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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