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M$ sues Google over executive

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Legal

The escalating rivalry between Microsoft and Google erupted on Tuesday as the software giant sued to prevent one of its top engineers from defecting to run the search engine company's new China operations.

Kai-Fu Lee, who had been in charge of Microsoft's Beijing research and development centre before moving to head office in Redmond, wason Tuesday named president of Google's China business and the first head of its planned R&D centre in thecountry.

Microsoft said it had filed lawsuits against both Google and Mr Lee to force him to honour confidentiality and non-competition agreements he had signed with the software company.

The agreements, which are signed by all new Microsoft employees, are designed to prevent workers from moving to a direct competitor for a year after leaving the company, or hiring other Microsoft employees or disclosing the company's trade secrets.

Tom Burt, deputy general counsel at Microsoft, said the company often reached agreements with former employees that let them work for a competitor in a position that did not overlap directly with their former responsibilities, but Mr Lee, who resigned onMonday, did not try to negotiate this kind of release.

The fight over Mr Lee threatens to mar one of Google's most important international initiatives.

Its Chinese R&D centre, due to open later this year, will give Google a toe-hold in a country that already accounts for one of the world's largest internet populations.

Hiring a leading Chinese expert to build a team of local engineers was yesterday billed a sign of Google's long-term commitment to the market.

That was before Microsoft's legal intervention.

Full Story.

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Gibson and Associates Solicitors: 5 Reasons to Avoid a Payday Loan

Payday loans are incredibly easy to obtain, which in theory should ring alarm bells. However, due to unemployment levels and a poor economy, thousands of people turn to payday loans to try and clear their debts immediately. Ironically, payday loans often cause people's debt problems to escalate instead of acting as a quick solution.

People usually use payday loans as a short term solution to financial difficulty. These loans are typically advertised as ‘convenient' for those who are struggling to survive before their next pay slip.

Payday loans are increasingly becoming controversial and here are 5 reasons why:

They're Expensive

All loans are expensive to pay off. No matter how much money you borrow if you miss repayments or decide to extend the loan, what was a small loan can turn very expensive as interest and bank charges are applied.

High-Interest Rates

Interest rates for payday loans are huge. Some lenders charge interest rates of more than 4,000% and if this is rolled over, debts can quickly escalate.

Lenders are keen to describe the way an APR is calculated. APR is generally not designed for short-term lending, thus reducing the loan period means the interest rate goes up. As a result, consumers are unsure of how to compare the correct costs of the various loans available.

They Target the Vulnerable

Sceptics claim that lenders appear to target the most vulnerable borrowers, arguing that lenders are not completing proper affordability checks on debtor's before granting them the loans. In some cases, lenders have encouraged consumers to borrow more money than they need.

Most lenders will happily allow you to continue borrowing from one month to the next. People who cannot afford to pay off the loans by the agreed date will run serious risk of their debt spiralling out of control. Before they know it they will owe more money than they initially borrowed due to large interest rates alone.

Hidden Charges

When you sign up for a payday loan you will usually agree on a date to pay back the loan which typically falls on or after payday. During the agreement you will provide the loan company with your bank details. If you continue to miss payments, interest will continue to be taken out of your account each month which can easily escalate. You may also need to pay bank charges if you exceed your overdraft limit.

Fraud

Fraudsters are aware that people are desperate to find an immediate solution to their financial worries, providing them with the perfect opportunity to violate vulnerable people.

Taking out a payday loan requires you to disclose confidential information such as your bank details and address. You'll be surprised at how many illegimate payday loan sites are now on the internet asking for your most confidential details, when they do not even provide their own basic contact details - suspicious. However, when people are desperate and vulnerable they often see past these warning signs. Chances are these sites are fraudsters attempting to steal your personal details.

How Gibson & Associates Can Help You Write Off Your Debt

If you have a debt which you cannot repay, it is important that you speak to a solicitor so that they can explain the options available to you. At Gibson & Associates Solicitors, there are a number of ways we can help relieve you from your debt.

Legal experts at our firm are professional and sensitive and understand what a distressing time this must be for you. We will work with you to provide the best solution, easing the financial burden hanging over you.

Additional Services: Shannon & Associates Independent Accounting and Consulting Firms

While we're known for our expertise in the fields of accounting, auditing, taxes, employee benefits and accounting software, we offer a broad range of other services to complement your business's financial needs. That's because we function not only as your accounting firm but your management consultant as well. Our supplemental services include:

Business succession planning: We'll do your succession planning and transactions without the need for an outside appraiser.

Other accounting and financial services include:

• Estate tax compliance

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• Strategic planning

• Cash flow projections

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• Financing options

• Management and CEO consulting

• Wealth management

• Cost segregation

For more information about any of these management consultant services, simply contact us.

Shannon & Associates is committed to your success.

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