Business Briefs


POSTED: Monday, February 08, 2010

First Insurance official appointed to national committee

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has appointed First Insurance Co. of Hawaii Chief Information Officer David DiSera and 13 other people to serve as members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee.

The committee provides advice and recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues. Geospatial data and products, including maps, simulations and databases, are tools for managing utility infrastructures, transportation, energy, emergency response, natural resources, climate analysis, disaster recovery, homeland defense, law enforcement and other civilian or military strategic issues, according to the department.

Committee members report to the chairman of the Federal Geographic Data Committee. It is the federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs.


New law boosts Guam's tax on cigarettes to $3 from $1

HAGATNA, Guam » Guam Gov. Felix Camacho has signed into law a bill increasing the tax on cigarettes to $3 from $1.

Camacho said the new law is important because it discourages tobacco use in the U.S. territory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported Guam had the highest smoking rate per capita in the nation from 1998 to 2007. Using data from a 2007 survey, it said about one-third of island residents smoke cigarettes.

The tax increase is expected to raise money for health agencies and smoking prevention programs. At $3.46 a pack, Rhode Island has the nation's highest tobacco tax. When the new law goes into effect in two months, Guam will tie Connecticut for second place.


Unexpected strong sales cause Liquid phone shortage

Acer Inc., the world's No. 2 computer vendor, said stronger-than-expected sales of its Google Inc. Android phone, named Liquid, have led to shortages of the device.

“;Liquid is doing much better than our expectation,”; Gianfranco Lanci, president of the Taipei-based company, said last week in an interview. “;This is why we're a little bit short of supply.”;

The Liquid touch-screen handset, unveiled in October, competes against models from HTC Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Inc. for phones using the free Android platform. Acer expects its smart-phone sales, including those using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows system, to total between 2 million and 3 million units this year, Lanci said.

Acer expects to ship at least 250,000 Liquid handsets by the end of this quarter, compared with initial expectations for 150,000 to 200,000, Lanci said.


Coming up

» Today: CVS Caremark Corp. and Electronic Arts Inc. release financial results.

» Tomorrow: Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for December. Coca-Cola Co. releases financial results.

» Wednesday: Treasury releases federal budget for January. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on cybercrime and identity theft.

» Thursday: Commerce Department releases retail sales for January.