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Daniel Rook

Thought Leader wins blog of the year

The <i>Mail & Guardian Online</i>'s <i>Thought Leader</i> </a>, where some of South Africa's finest minds stir up debate every day, on Wednesday evening scooped South African web log of the year at the 2008 SA Blog Awards, beating formidable competition.

Toshiba concedes defeat in DVD format war

Japan's Toshiba conceded defeat on Tuesday to rival Sony in a long-running DVD format war, ending consumer confusion but leaving about one million people with expensive machines doomed to become obsolete. Toshiba said it will stop selling its HD DVD machines by the end of March.

G7 finance chiefs see growing risks to global economy

Top world finance ministers warned on Saturday that the global economy faces growing threats from a United States housing slump and credit crunch. The finance chiefs from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations said their economies were set to lose steam in the near future but remained fundamentally solid.

Apprentice geisha reveals secretive world online

Ichimame's life is already an endless blur of parties, visits to the hairdresser, kimono fittings, lessons in traditional dance, music and tea ceremony. Even so, the Japanese 18-year-old still manages to find the time to keep what is probably the first internet blog by an apprentice geisha.

How Japan’s internet king lost his crown

It began with a tip-off to the media that the offices of one of Japan's top internet entrepreneurs were going to be raided. Soon dozens of reporters were camped outside, a whiff of scandal in the air. Two days later, the Tokyo stock market was in turmoil and more than -billion had been wiped off the market value of Japanese companies.

Time up for camera film? Nikon focuses on digital

Nikon, the iconic Japanese camera maker, has put another nail in the coffin of traditional photography with plans to stop selling most of its film models in favour of hot-selling digital cameras. Nikon said it will end production of all but two of its eight single-lens reflex analogue models and axe all of its non-digital compacts, signalling the end of its more than 50 year history of selling film cameras.

Sony gets boost as Warner hedges bets in DVD duel

Sony won a crucial boost on Friday in a war over new DVD formats as Warner Bros became the latest Hollywood studio to announce its support for the struggling electronics icon's Blu-ray technology. Warner Bros is a member of a rival format group led by Toshiba, which said the Time Warner unit continued to collaborate closely with the group towards a commercial launch of its HD DVD technology.

Sony slides as market gives thumbs-down to revamp

Sony shares tumbled almost five percent on Monday as investors fretted that with a big loss looming this year, a plan to overhaul the struggling Japanese electronic icon may not be radical enough. Sony fell by as much as 4,8% in early trade as dealers gave their first response to the restructuring plan, which was announced after the close of trade on Thursday ahead of a long holiday weekend.

How big a risk are runaway oil prices?

Are global stock markets proving resilient in the face of surging oil prices or in danger of going nowhere -- except downwards -- unless crude futures reverse their relentless march higher? That's the puzzle analysts were trying to solve on Monday as oil prices pushed into new uncharted territory above a barrel.

British Airways sale sparks speculation

A planned sale by British Airways of its stake in Australia's Qantas has reignited talk of further consolidation in the European airline industry, but analysts played down prospects of an imminent deal. The British carrier said on Wednesday it expects to net about £425-million from a sale of the 18,25% stake in Qantas.

Tycoon marshals £9bn to buy Marks and Spencer

British retail magnate Philip Green launched a takeover battle for Marks and Spencer on Thursday, unveiling a war chest of £9-billion (about R106-billion) to fund a bid for the struggling retailer. The group has not yet responded to Green's statement but its new management appears unlikely to give in without a fight.

Opec promises to calm the market

World oil prices simmered close to record high levels on Wednesday as Opec producers, under heavy pressure from consumers to raise production, gathered in Beirut for a meeting overshadowed by a weekend terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia. European Union finance ministers late on Tuesday expressed concern that skyrocketing oil prices could jeopardise Europe's fledgling economic recovery, calling on Opec again to act to calm the market.

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