TARP Money: Hard At Work For You

Wondering where all those precious TARP funds are going? You, the citizen, have a right to know! The Federal Government is offering a map showing Capital Purchase Program (“CPP“) transactions in the lower 48 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The map can be manipulated and viewed in SML or as a Google Map. Hovering will show state totals and there are related links.According to the site:

[t]hrough CPP, Treasury has touched almost every banking market in the country, with investments ranging from as small as about $301,000 to as large as $25 billion in community, regional and national banks as well as Community Development Financial Institutions from Connecticut to California.

Whew! Prepared to be overwhelmed by the scope of these payments.

Hat tip to the Resource Shelf.

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Westlaw: Think Globally, Search Locally

Westlaw is recognizing that there is much to be gained from offering access to international authorities as our inexorable (SAT word inserted to ensure apt attention) march towards a Uni-World continues. Thomson Reuters (the parent) announced yesterday that it was expanding its global Westlaw Business platform, including the launch of a new Securities-UK Centre. Described by TR as a unique “business research and workflow tool” to support biz and transactional lawyers around the world, the Centre is tweaked in both content and interface to appeal to this type of practitioner.

TR posits that global business necessarily involves cross-border transactions, global reporting standards, increased regulatory review and, *gasp* “greater emphasis on disclosure transparency.” I would argue this is equally as important on the home front these days.

Nonetheless, TR is standing behind its support for global practitioners by offering UK authority in the Centre, including searchable listings from the Financial Services Authority, relevant legislation and “guidance”, that employs special search taxonomy based on the language employed by business law professionals. The Centre joins other Westlaw Business resources such as Restructuring, Securities-U.S. and Securities-Canada, M & A, Private Equity and LIVEDGAR.

I snagged this vid from Westblog:

Time to wake up and smell the English Breakfast tea.

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Using Office Out Of The Office

I do a lot of drafting, editing and text manipulation, primarily in Word, but occasionally in other Microsoft Office programs as well. I long to be able to take those tasks with me in a meaningful, user-friendly way. I could bring my laptop with me, but sometimes dragging that beast around on an all day trek can be tough (more on the heft of my Lenovo in a later post).

With my old Treo 750, I had a DataViz program, Documents To Go, that provided sweet little stripped-down versions of Word and Excel. And the real, albeit tiny, keyboard was not too bad for light typing. I had toyed with the idea of getting a small, foldable bluetooth keyboard and little tiny mouse for the phone, which would have improved the interface dramatically.

Then I went and gunked up the works by replacing the Treo with an iPhone. So what’s a mobile, iPhone-wielding word warrior to do?

Jeff Richardson of iPhone J.D. has a post today about some of the iPhone options. They include a promised, but not yet released, Documents to Go version for iPhone, rumors and rumblings from Microsoft itself about an iPhone-ready package, and the imminent release of a Word and newly updated Excel editor for iPhone by Quickoffice.

Previously, the Quickoffice apps allowed you to upload and download from iDisk, transfer using wi-fi, email from the phone and view a variety of formats. They still do. Transfer and view: cool.

But what about editing? There is an app that is now called Quicksheet ($12.99) which offers some limited Excel editing ability. Coming soon is Quickword, which will permit the same for Word docs.

Richardson rightly recognizes that in practice one might not use these apps as much as one might anticipate. I didn’t regularly use my Documents To Go programs on the Treo, and instead planned my work to coincide with my rendezvous with the decidedly more user-friendly full size laptop and desktop keyboards as much as possible. And it will certainly be an even bigger drop in customer satisfaction when my editing must be performed on that damnable touch screen.

However, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, so I welcome any and all offerings in this arena.

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Blackberry App World – As Only Gizmodo Can Do It

Not to be out down in this new mobile market craving instant customization, Blackberry, the bastion of business-on-the-run has trotted out its own app store to quiet the rumblings of die-hard fans peeking over at the iPhone’s pretty toys.

And there is no site like Gizmodo to review it.

I have been over to Blackberry App World to poke around, but I must admit that I have not actually downloaded anything yet. Since I cannot give the proper breadth and depth to a review, I will simply point you to Matt Buchanan’s comprehensive review.

If you need a quick down and dirty, you have to love Matt’s analogy: iPhone is to Whole Foods as Blackberry is to Target’s grocery section:

it [App World] does some of the things the App Store does decently enough, but it doesn’t match the breadth and depth or the polish that makes you feel good about having spent $8 on a bag of local handmade sustainably farmed artisan organic granola.

App World houses several hundred apps at inception. It’s interface is not as simple as the iPhone App Store, and requires text lists and frequent trips to the Menu button. I also am not crazy about having to use Paypal (and negotiate a couple of screens) everytime I want to purchase something. There are many expensive apps on there as well, and I am very much a sucker for free.

Still, it’s a start. A centralized location for app purchasing and customization is not a bad thing and, like the App Store, it is certain to evolve and improve as more apps and easier interface is introduced.

Maybe I will slick up my secondary Curve phone with some low profile tires and spinning “RIMs”.

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