TV ads pitch business in NY
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislative leaders Thursday unveiled six TV commercials and a website, thenewny.com, to encourage businesses to expand or move to New York State. The ads, to be shown nationwide, are narrated by actor Robert De Niro, though he is not identified. The song "Empire State of Mind," by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, plays. The Montauk Lighthouse is shown in one spot. The ads tell the stories of businesses including Fage Greek yogurt in upstate Johnstown and Smith Electric trucks in the Bronx. No Long Island businesses are featured. The $50-million campaign, by Manhattan advertising firm BBDO, also includes the new "I Love New York" tourism spots.
Council may rethink mall plan
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council appears open to revisiting its support for an upscale mall proposed for the former Cerro Wire Mill in Syosset. Co-vice chairman Kevin Law said the council's development plan for the region could be amended. Mall opponents have criticized the council for including it among seven "regionally significant" projects. Eighty opponents attended the council meeting Wednesday at Stony Brook University. Their lawyer, Howard Avrutine, asked the council to rescind the "regionally significant" designation because high-profile retailers, such as Neiman Marcus, have pulled out. "We are open to things like that if the facts warrant it," Law said. Gary Lewi, a spokesman for the mall's developer, Taubman Centers, said Thursday, "By any criteria . . . this is a project of strategic regional significance." He said it is "shovel-ready" and requires no taxpayer funding."NATIONTwitter has one-hour outage
Twitter users were unable to access the microblogging service for about an hour Thursday. Twitter said on its status blog that its engineers were investigating the issue. About an hour later it said the issue had been resolved. The short messaging service was working again by early afternoon. The company declined to say how widespread the outage was or what caused it. Outages were once a relatively common occurrence for Twitter, but that was several years ago when it was new and trying to manage growth. There was no indication that the outage was the result of malicious attacks.
Moody's lowers 15 bank ratings
Moody's Investors Service lowered the credit ratings of 15 of the world's largest banks late yesterday, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, saying their long-term prospects for profitability and growth are shrinking. The ratings agency said it was especially concerned about banks with significant financial markets businesses, because those markets have become so volatile. Some large European banks were among those downgraded. The downgrades mean Moody's is more concerned about the ability of the banks to repay their debts. In a sign that investors took the news in stride, stocks of major U.S. banks rose in after-hours trading. WORLD
BlackBerry going touchscreen
The first BlackBerry running Research In Motion Ltd.'s new operating software will not have a physical keyboard, only a touch-screen one. The BlackBerry 10 software will be offered on devices with physical keyboards in the future. Canada-based RIM is expected to start selling BlackBerry 10 touch-screen devices this year. Top-selling smartphones, including Apple's iPhone and several running Google's Android software, also lack physical keyboards. Many corporate users have stuck with the BlackBerry because of its physical keyboard, believing that it's harder to type emails on a touch screen.---- AP