Lai See

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 August, 2008, 12:00am

Red faces as Jobs' obituary dead wrong

When it comes to breaking stories, financial newswires compete down to the fractions of a second. So a hush must have fallen over the Reuters newsroom in Silicon Valley on Wednesday after Bloomberg appeared to have scooped all other media with news of the death of Apple's charismatic chief Steve Jobs.

It was no doubt news to Mr Jobs, too.

It turns out Bloomberg accidentally published an incomplete obituary on Mr Jobs.

The practice of preparing obituaries of notable people in advance is common in the media world. Many outlets, including this newspaper, do so in order to be able to get the news out as soon as possible.

Bloomberg's 17-page obituary for Mr Jobs was apparently published inadvertently during a routine update, according to media gossip website

The 'obit' included a list of Mr Jobs' friends and peers, along with their phone numbers, who could be contacted for their reaction to the news of his death.

In typical newswire fashion, Bloomberg issued a correction in a blink:

Story Referencing Apple Was Sent in Error by Bloomberg News

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) - An incomplete story referencing AppleInc. was inadvertently published by Bloomberg News at 4:27 p.m. New York time today. The item was never meant for publication and has been retracted.


High-rise to sway opinion

It has taken 14 years but China's tallest building, the 492-metre Shanghai World Financial Centre, finally opens to the public today.

The US$1.4 billion bottle opener-shaped skyscraper, owned by Japanese developer Minoru Mori, has some interesting features.

As home to world's highest hotel, a Park Hyatt on floors 79 to 93, the architects had to come up with a way to deal with the effects the building swaying up to one metre in high winds would have on sleeping guests.

To counter the sensation, they put two 150-tonne computer-controlled counterweights on the 90th floor. Also, there are springs below the hotel's pool so that water doesn't spill over the edges when the building sways.

We wonder if they've got a similar setup in the bar.

Small is beautiful

Macau nabbed bragging rights to the 'world's largest casino resort' a year ago with the opening of the US$2.5 billion, 3,000-room Venetian. But now developers in the casino boomtown are gearing up for a different kind of competition: building the ultimate luxury boutique hotel.

Most visitors to the territory agree that since its opening in 2006, the Wynn Macau has ranked at the top of the luxury segment. But Venetian developer Las Vegas Sands Corp threw down the gauntlet this week with the opening of its US$1.1 billion, 360-room Four Seasons hotel and casino.

In terms of small and spectacular status, Las Vegas Sands president and chief operating officer William Weidner said in an interview that since the Wynn was in the process of expanding to 1,000 rooms from its current 600, it wouldn't really qualify as boutique property.

Rival operator Melco Crown Entertainment's 216-room Crown Macau is another strong contender and bills itself as a six-star property (albeit in a three-star location, as Macau residents have been known to joke). And despite having 600 rooms, the MGM Grand is sort of boutique when compared with the 6,000-room complexes going up on Cotai.

In the boutique pipeline, Galaxy Entertainment plans to launch a 254-room Banyan Tree hotel at its Cotai property. Likewise, Macao Studio City plans to include a 118-room luxury hotel created by David Tang, although the project is struggling to secure financing.

But Lai See reckons none of the above can touch Macau's boutique-est luxury hotel - Stanley Ho Hung-sun's Pousada de Sao Tiago (below).

Built into a 17th-century Portuguese fort and with just 12 rooms, the Sao Tiago is in a different category altogether when it comes to competing against Macau's newest and swankiest hotel properties: it has no casino.