Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to a new online communication from the Spanish-English Club! In this Weekly Bilingual News you will find a brief analysis of the news of the last few days plus a story of success.

Before we talk about politics, finances, economy or civil wars, today we have something different to mention. On Thursday, June 16, IBM celebrated its first 100 years with different activities across 170 countries of the world. The Chairman and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano and other IBM executives rang The Opening Bell of the New York Stock Exchange in Wall Street as part of the special events for the first century of life for the American company.

Also during the week, other technology companies were in the headlines of newspapers. Hewlett-Packard announced the most important changes in the management of the company since Léo Apotheker assumed as CEO and president. The former executive of SAP is trying to maintain the helm of the HP under his control.

For the other side, Research In Motion warned about an important fall in the sales of its BlackBerry. By the way, the smart-phone niche is a very demanding market. If a maker cannot update its products in step with its competition, it will lose market share despite all its previous contributions to the industry. In general, the classic consumers of digital devices are not loyal to the brands. They always want the latest technological innovations. When BackBerry was at the top, RIM didn't generate a sociological phenomenon like the armies of Apple's fans.

Across the world, again Greece was one of the main headlines of the international media. In Athens, the Greek Primer Minister George Papandreou reshuffled his cabinet with the appointment of Evangelos Venizelos as new finance minister and asked to the Parliament for voting a package of austerity measures. Meanwhile, in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas launched a new plan to woo private investors to acquire the bonds of the Greek debts.

In the American politics, Michelle Bachmann added her name to the list of candidates for the Republican nomination of the 2012 presidential election. Michele Bachmann is member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 6th congressional district of Minnesota. She is a supporter of the Tea Party movement. Some observers think Michelle is the most anti-Obama candidate till now in presidential campaign.

The Wall Street markets after a long series of falls, closed with mixed results in the middle of the Greek financial crisis. For the week, Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a fraction of one percent and Nasdaq Composite fell one percent.


IBM was founded by Thomas J. Watson Sr. on June 16, 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) through the merger of four companies: Tabulating Machine Company, International Time Recording Company, Computing Scale Corporation and Bundy Manufacturing Company. In 1924, CTR changed its original name by International Business Machines (IBM).

During its first hundred years, IBM has played a very important role in transforming business, science and society through different inventions and strong dynamics. Its history is a succession of key milestones: punched card tabulating machines, electronic typewriters, computers, the first hard disk drive, mainframe systems, the UPC code, microprocessors, printing systems, computer programming languages, operating systems, database systems, the IBM PC, and more. By the way, in the last few days, IBM announced it will provide the microprocessors that will serve as the heart of the new Wii U system from Nintendo.

To celebrate the new milestone, the technology company is releasing a book titled: "Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company" written by journalists Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O'Brien that shows the ways the world has changed over a century in technology, business and the way progress happens, as well as the role IBM has played in making these changes.

At the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Samuel Palmisano speaking to the employees of the company said that IBM "will reexamine the history of technology innovation and predict where the world will be in the next 100 years."


AL QAEDA IN ACTION: On June 16, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Al Qaeda Names New Leader" where the author says Ayman al-Zawahri who was the number two of al Qaeda is now assuming the vacancy generated by the death of Osama bin Laden.
Our Comment: "The western countries have to be more careful when they support uprisings in countries of the Arab world because probably they might work for the benefit of al Qaeda."

LIBYAN BOMBING: Also on June 16, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Obama Defends Libya Intervention" where the writer talks about the president's authority to pursue a military action in Libya.
Our Comment: "According to the public information about Libya, we don't see results and advances. Worse, we don't have any idea if the efforts of U.S. and its allies will help to establish a modern democracy or will they contribute to create a new extremist regime."

SYRIAN REFUGEES: On June 15, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Syrian Refugees in Turkey Call for Action" that comments the exodus of Syrian civilians due to the repression of tanks and troops of the government.
Our Comment: "We understand the situation of the Syrian refugees is dramatic but western countries cannot be involved in more civil wars of the Arab world without the effective support of the United Nations. It could have a detrimental effect for the international volunteers."

CHINESE CYBERASSAULT: Also on June 15, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Opinion: China's Cyberassault on America" with some opinions about the recent Chinese cyber attacks.
Our Comment: "We think the White House is losing time, resources, and energies in the efforts to help countries that don't know what they want, while it doesn't focus on the true risks for the nation. Without any doubt, China has a plan to conquer the world with cyber-weapons. In the first phase, step by step, the Chinese captured the best jewels of the technology industry developed by American companies and western engineers. Now, China is deploying the second phase of its plan: training for its hackers and cyber-soldiers in the guerrilla warfare. What will be the third phase? We believe the cyber-soldiers are spreading panic to prepare the battlefield for something worse."

IMF CANDIDATES: On June 14, Journal Community of WSJ asked to its members the following question: "Which candidate should become the new head of the IMF?" (Agustin Carstens from Mexico, Stanley Fischer from Israel, Christine Lagarde from France)
Our Opinion: "We think the International Monetary Fund has to select a candidate who knows what poverty is and how deep it can be for the economic and social problems of the emerging countries. This candidate is Agustín Carstens. Please don't select celebrities because they only look for the grandeur of themselves!"

Best regards,


Domingo A. Trassens
Spanish-English Club
Electronic mail:

Questions - Preguntas:

1) From your point of view, what was the worst news for the week?
1) Desde vuestro punto de vista, ¿cuál fue la peor noticia de la semana?

2) And what was the best news from the week?
2) ¿Y cuál fue la mejor noticia de la semana?

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

- Apple's fans = fanáticos de Apple, simpatizantes de Apple
- Athens = Atenas
- austerity = austeridad
- bonds = bonos
- century = siglo
- database systems = sistemas de base de datos
- demanding = exigente
- hard disk drive = dispositivo de disco duro
- mainframe = unidad principal, unidad central, sistema central
- microprocessor = microprocesador
- operating systems = sistemas operativos
- printing systems = sistemas de impresion
- programming languages = lenguajes de programación de computadores
- punched card tabulating machines = máquinas de tabulación de tarjetas perforadas
- reshuffle = reorganizar
- ring a bell = replicar una campana
- smart-phone = teléfono inteligente
- typewriter = máquina de escribir
- UPC (bar code) = código universal de productos (código de barras)


Thanks to Ann, Bob, Erika, Frank, Jenny, Joseph, Mary,and Suzanne your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

Technology always requests a good service
(Courtesy from IBM Palisades Center)

Sources: IBM, HP and RIM websites, Wall Street Journal, Journal Community of WSJ, PBS NewsHour, Barron's Online, New York Times, Think Tank of Comlab, others.

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