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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Right to be Forgotten; Ukraine Settles Gazprom Bill; Russia and the EU; EU Election Impact; BNP Paribas Fine; European Markets Down; US Markets Up; Don't Sell in May; King of Comics; Long-Lost Satellite Wakes Up
Aired May 30, 2014 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
MAX FOSTER, HOST: The S&P 500 hits a new record again as the closing bell rings on Wall Street. It is Friday, May the 30th.
The right here to be forgotten. Google surrenders to EU demands.
Call him Basket Ballmer. The ex-Microsoft CEO and his $2 billion bid.
And from Marvel's Stan Lee to Will. i. am. Tonight, we talk to innovators across the generations.
I'm Max Foster. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Good evening to you. Europeans can now ask Google to pretend their shady past never happened. The web giant has created a request form for people who want their checkered history deleted, at least in terms of Google search results. It follows a ruling by the EU's top court that citizens have the right to be forgotten.
Here's the form you need to fill in if this applies to you. Users must submit their name, their country, and the reasons they object to a particular link. To be removed from Google's list of results, the information must be inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant. Google can reject a request if it thinks the information is in the public interest. It hasn't said how soon it will begin taking links down.
My next guest is Formula 1 president -- former Formula 1 president Max Mosely. He spent years fighting to have images filtered out of search results. French and German courts have ordered Google to stop directing users to pictures of Mosely taking part in what was described as an orgy.
The search giant is appealing. Back in 2008, Mosely won a breach of privacy lawsuit against "The News of the World," which published the secretly filmed images. Max Mosely, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
Now, yours, on one level, was a very clear case, wasn't it? Because the pictures were deemed illegal, so they shouldn't have been up at all. So, you've had some success anyway in having them taken down.
MAX MOSELY, FORMER PRESIDENT, FORMULA 1: Well, yes. Every time we've asked Google to cut a link, they've done so. And then, we've also, of course, gone to the individual URLs, and 400 of them in Germany.
But the quarrel with Google is that I say if you take them down when we ask and you have the means to take them down automatically, which they do, you should stop them coming up in the first place. So, that's the specific issue.
FOSTER: But that is being addressed, isn't it? Because they will be taken out of the searches.
MOSELY: They'll take you out if you ask them. But you see, if you've got something that went viral, like mine did, it comes up in one place after another. It goes on forever. So, you'd spend your life -- or your lawyers would -- asking them to take one thing down after another.
FOSTER: But if it doesn't come up when you Google it, actually that's a huge job, isn't it? Because you're going to have to search everywhere to try to find the pictures or --
MOSELY: No. Because you see, that's exactly -- it does come up when you Google it, unless they were to suppress it automatically, which is --
FOSTER: But that's -- isn't that what they're going to do --
MOSELY: -- the thing they --
FOSTER: -- under the new system?
MOSELY: No. If you look, they are seeing that each time you must say what the URL is, where it is, and what -- why you want it taken down. So, you must do each individual case.
FOSTER: OK. So, it's not a case of if you put this search for you with that image, even if they had approved your application, it still may come up in the Google searches, you think?
MOSELY: Well, exactly. Because you see, it's all automatic. They've got these robots that crawl around the net. So, every time someone somewhere really obscure -- Kazakhstan, Uruguay, somewhere like that -- they put it up on a little site, doesn't matter. Until Google finds it, then bang, it's up on their page.
FOSTER: So, do you think this is pointless, this exercise?
MOSELY: No, because it's very good for people who, for example, a teenager puts something on Facebook and ten years later, it's a disaster when she or he is asking for a job. So, I think it's important for that.
But of course, the other things that's missing in the whole thing is that they'll take it down, for example, if it was in the UK. But if you went into Google France and asked, they can get around the back door. So, there's a lot still to be done.
FOSTER: I know you have this debate endlessly, but the internet was meant to be open and free and fair and democratic, because everyone had the same access. Larry Page has described this as something that could be damaging to democracy as soon as you start censoring anything. What's your argument about that in simple terms?
MOSELY: Well, in simple terms, its this: you've got two extremes. You've got the corrupt politician, and nobody should allow him to get that concealed.
The other extreme, you've got somebody who takes -- secretly takes photograph of, perhaps, two film stars making out in an hotel room, puts them up on the net. Now, I think any reasonable person would say that's the other extreme, you take that down.
Now, of course, in the middle, it can be quite difficult to balance. The problem with Google is that they're so brilliant technically in every way, but they haven't really taken on the persona of a big, international corporation with full-on corporate responsibility.
FOSTER: You want them, perhaps, like a media company in the same way as CNN, who would apply the public interest question to everything that they show. Is that what you're suggesting?
MOSELY: Well, I think it's -- well, this is what the court's suggesting. I think it's right.
FOSTER: But they can't do that. It's too -- as you say, it's just robots. It's just a tech company.
MOSELY: Well, no, because the thing is, first of all, they're very good at the software. They could certainly do an algorithm that would catch the extremes, and you're going to end up with just the bit in the middle.
And there, it'll cost them some money, but they make a huge amount of money by selling people's personal information. It's only right that they should be careful what they do with it.
FOSTER: You continue to fight this battle, and obviously, your photograph's at the core of that battle, but you're now part of a much bigger campaign, aren't you, around this? But because of what happened to you, it's never going to go away for you, is it?
MOSELY: No. In my case, it -- there will always be something somewhere. But what -- for me, really, it's a question of principle. The more fuss I make about it, the more everybody looks. So, the damage is done in my case.
But I think it's absolutely wrong that people should be able to find something, like for example, there's a case of a woman in America, she did something stupid when she was a teenager, went to jail, left the area, went somewhere completely different, got married, had children, totally respectful member of the community --
FOSTER: And the pictures --
MOSELY: Her children's friend in school then hunt and they find the pictures, and that cannot be right.
FOSTER: OK, Max Mosely, thank you very much, indeed, for your time.
Up next, Romano Prodi says Europe and Russia go together like some of the best things in life. An optimistic view from Italy, perhaps? Next.
FOSTER: Ukraine has agreed to pay nearly an $800 million to Russia's Gazprom for bills dating back to February. Energy ministers from the two nations met today in Berlin to negotiate a payment schedule for the remaining debts.
Russian officials said they're hopeful talks can continue next week, once Moscow confirms the payment has arrived. It's expected on Monday morning. The payment is an effort to stave off the threat from the Kremlin to cut off the flow of gas.
Romano Prodi is the former president of the European Commission and former Italian prime minister. He says he's optimistic about the future of European and Russian relations.
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ROMANO PRODI, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY: It is clear, in the short run, Russia has the knife in his hand. In the middle run, we have the knife in our hand. So, I am not pessimist, I'm an optimist that there will be some agreement. Because Putin knows that he needs Europe more -- even more than we need Russia.
I think that -- as I told many times, Europe and Russia are like vodka and caviar, always together. We must stick together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Pascal Lamy is the former European commissioner for trade and the former director general of the WTO. Earlier, I asked him if he thought tensions between Ukraine and Russia will have ripple implications for global diplomacy.
PASCAL LAMY, FORMER EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR TRADE: I expect it won't, and I hope it won't. I hope that on both sides, there will be enough restraint for this not to degenerate in a big geopolitical crisis.
After all, Ukraine is somewhere between Europe and Russia, and there will have to be a solution that is acceptable for the Europeans, for the Russians, and of course, for the new Ukrainian government.
So, my own sense is that so far, this has been managed in a relatively restrained way, and I hope that the stabilization of the political situation in Ukraine will help.
FOSTER: I also wanted to ask you about a political trend here in Europe that we've seen since the elections, this move towards more conservative populist groups, so Le Pen, for example, in France, where you are now, or in this country with UKIP.
Obviously not the same sorts of parties, but they do represent a movement, a feeling within political circles and voting in Europe. Do you think it's significant, or do you think this was just down to the European parliamentary elections?
LAMY: It's both, in a way. These are European elections which are interpreted within national lens, like they have been in UK, with UKIP, like they have been in France with the Front National. So, it has a significant domestic meaning.
And notably in France, where obviously it's the first time that this National Front, which is a reasonably far-right party, is in the lead in elections. But these are European elections, and what you have to consider at the end of the day is the impact of this on the European politics and on the European parliament.
Now, true, euro skeptics or anti-Europeans have more seats than they used to in the previous European parliament. They had probably 120 seats in the previous European parliament. They now probably are around 140, 150, 160 maybe. Not more than 25 percent of the seats.
Which means that at the level of the European parliament when all this is aggregated, you still have a very strong pro-European majority with Christian Democrats slightly in the lead, less than in the past. Christian Democrats, the Greens, and the Liberals.
So, at European level, I don't think it will change the course of European oil tanker. Maybe five degrees port or starboard, not more than that. Whereas at the domestic level, the swing is much more significant.
FOSTER: Pascal Lamy in France, where BNP Paribas is facing a $10 billion fine. That's according to reports in "The Wall Street Journal." US authorities say the bank violated sanctions on Sudan and Iran. BNP shares plunged in early trading before climbing back to the -- to end the session down 2.4 percent.
The size of the penalty may be reduced before BNP actually pays up. France's far-right party sprang to the bank's defense calling on the French government to intervene. The National Front says the fine follows a pattern of, quote, "systemic submission by France to US wishes and foreign policy." The French government says it is monitoring the situation.
The drop in BNP's shares pushed French stocks down for the day. The main markets in London and Zurich also fell. Investors are waiting for an announcement on possible stimulus from the ECB next week.
In New York, the Dow and the S&P hit new highs. It closes out a month marked with records. The Dow ended the month almost 1 percent higher. The S&P and the NASDAQ ended the month 2 and 3 percent higher, respectively.
Madison Square Garden's shares ended the day more than 3 percent higher after reports that Steve Ballmer will buy the LA Clippers for $2 billion. MSG owns the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers. Investors are betting that the Clippers sale will boost valuations for those other teams.
The old phrase "Sell in May and go away" doesn't seem to have come true, though. Patrick Chovanec is a managing director at Silvercrest Asset Management Group. He joins me now, live from New York. Thanks for joining us. How are you looking back on the week?
PATRICK CHOVANEC, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SILVERCREST ASSET MANAGEMENT GROUP: Well, last year, we had a very nice, neat story where the bond market and the stock market were all pulling in the same direction. They were pointing towards a strengthening economy.
This year, they seem to be pointing in different directions. So, if you believe the bond market, you think that the economy is slowing and there's a weak outlook. If you believe the stock market, things seem to be going along.
Now, normally, people say that the bond market's smarter than the stock market. In this case, the numbers that I see reassure me that the US economy is moving in the right direction, and I think that we won't see the kind of valuation increases that we saw last year, with PE ratios spiking upwards.
But year-on-year, corporate profits are up about 5 percent, and I think that the steady increase in the stock market reflects that.
FOSTER: There's this volatility, though, underneath all of this that's so unnerving, isn't it? So, it's still a market for experts, and it's something that you're constantly having to juggle every single day.
CHOVANEC: The challenge is that this is an expansion that looks very different from the recoveries that we've seen in the past. No matter how much we say that 2008 changed everything, we sort of want to go back to the world before 2008, where the US consumer was the consumer of last resort and consumer demand in the US drove not just the US economy, but the global economy.
And we're not seeing that. We're seeing consumption in the US as a steady contributor, but it's not reaching that breakaway speed that would really help the economy gain momentum. And I think that's because what we're really facing in the world today is a rebalancing, where the US economy -- the US consumer is not going to leverage up to drive global growth.
We're actually seeing a production story out of the United States and a consumption story that's tethered to that. And we're seeing a lot of resistance to rebalancing in places like Germany or China, where -- which are really key to unlocking the global demand that's lacking in the world economy.
FOSTER: OK, well, thank you very much, indeed. The next week also interesting when we see the European interest rates. We'll see what happens then. Thank you very much, have a great weekend.
Up next, life lessons through comic book characters. Marvel's Stan Lee tells us why we love and can learn from, actually, his comics.
FOSTER: Superheroes have never been so diverse, according to the man behind some of the world's most famous superheroes. Stan Lee, the 91-year- old legendary comic book creator says superheroes transcend racial, national, and even gender boundaries.
Avengers Station, an interactive exhibit showcasing Marvel superheroes is opening in New York, and CNN's Maggie Lake visited and caught up with the legendary Stay Lee.
STAN LEE, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF MARVEL COMICS: I made up these characters. Captain America, he's stronger than -- I didn't make up Captain America. But he's stronger than most people, and he runs faster, and that was it.
But you come to this exhibit, and you run why he's stronger and how he runs faster and all that is metabolism and his blood and all of that. And as I say, I realized that I was deeply into science and never realized it.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it's coming to life now. What is about these characters that have such an enduring appeal that enabled more storytellers to layer on?
LEE: I don't know. I think it's the fact that with all our characters, like the Hulk and Iron Man and Thor and the Avengers, we tried to give them human frailty and failings. They weren't perfect. They all had a problem of their own. Like Iron Man had trouble with his heart.
So, I think people were able to relate to them a little bit better, because no matter who you are, even if you're as perfect as I am, there's going to be something that isn't right, something you worry about.
So, by taking a superhero and showing that he's also fallible, or has some frailty somewhere, I think that gives them more appeal. And I hope our competitors aren't listening, because I don't know why I should be educating them.
LAKE: We think of these sort of traditional superheroes, some of them as being American, especially when you mention Captain America, but I know you think this is sort of a time for superheroes to be more global as well.
LEE: Oh, there's no doubt about it.
LAKE: What can we expect?
LEE: We're working now on a Chinese-American hero called the Annihilator, and we have an Indian one called Chakra. He's now being animated. There are cartoons of him shown in India and it'll soon be in motion pictures.
I'm creating a new Latin superhero that you'll be seeing pretty soon. And I absolutely agree with you. We're a small world, and we're one world, and we've got to get heroes of every type.
One reason I think Spider-Man is so popular, he wears a costume that covers him completely, so no matter what color skin you have, you could imagine that's you in that costume. And I think it's important that people from all over the world realize that we're all in this together, and let's all be heroes. Let's do good things.
LAKE: So, this is storytelling, no matter what form it's in, whether it's the exhibition, whether it's the original comics, you feel that is always the basis, isn't it?
LEE: Stories are the biggest -- everybody loves stories. Everybody. It depends what kind of story. But getting a story with a good guy fighting a bad guy, and it's something that people can relate too, well, that's the most fun you can have.
LAKE: And lastly, I noticed there are so many children here, little children. I have a six-year-old who's mesmerized by your characters. How do you feel when you see them come in, so small and that next generation embracing the characters that you made up?
LEE: I love it. I love the fact that -- see, comics started appealing to young children, and little by little -- in fact, at Marvel, we used to get fan mail written in crayon. Then it would be written pencil. Then I'd get some letters written in ink. Then some were typewritten and I knew the readership is getting older.
Now when I go to a comic book convention, there are grownups. There are men who are grandfathers with their kids, and there are also young children. So, comics and the movies based on these comic superheroes, they seem to appeal to everybody now, which is a wonderful thought to me.
FOSTER: Now, a real-life feat worthy of a superhero. A 36-year-old satellite left for dead ten years ago is alive once more. NASA turned the keys over to a group of scientists who raised funds to contact the long- lost satellite and send it on a new mission.
Keith Cowing is the project director of the Reboot project. He joins me now from Washington. Extraordinary story. First of all, how did this process start? Why did you all decide to identify or approach NASA about it in the first place?
KEITH COWING, PROJECT DIRECTOR, REBOOT PROJECT: Well, actually, the spacecraft left Earth 36 years ago, back in 1978, and it sort of had a notoriety of its own. It did some rather interesting orbits.
And after it did its original job, which was to measure space weather, some people came up with the idea of sending it to a comet to fly to its tail. Well, after it was done, they pretty much said, well, yes, thanks a lot, and left it orbiting the sun. And everybody who's been in the space industry has sort of heard the story from Robert Farquhar, who's the guy who did the trajectory.
So, flash forward a bit, everybody knew it was coming back to Earth in August 2014, and NASA didn't seem to have the interest in saving it. Ended up they didn't have the budget for it. So, my co-lead on this thing, Dennis Wingo, and I just were sitting in a little meeting one day, and he said hey, why not?
One thing led to another. Within a week, we were crowdfunding, and that was seven weeks ago, and yesterday, we contacted the spacecraft and told it to do something.
FOSTER: So, you're now in control of it?
FOSTER: But if NASA can't afford to run it, how can you?
COWING: Well, we did some crowdfunding. We raised $159,602, and that covered the cost of the hardware we were building, the travel time, the software development, and some other things. And how can we do it for less? Well, maybe my response is why does it take so much for NASA to do the same thing?
FOSTER: Well, it's a good question, indeed. But the other question I want to ask you is what are you going to do with it? What use is it? If NASA can't find a use for it, what are you going to use it for?
COWING: Well, NASA's actually said that they can't really justify the expense right now, given budget issues, but they said hey, if you guys can save it and bring it back and it does send science back, it's useful data.
But we intend to take the data from the spacecraft and actually make it available to the public the instant we get it, and we're going to encourage people, citizen scientists, if you will, to do their own analysis and to send us back the information.
In essence, we hope to give back the spacecraft to the people who paid for it, but back when disco was in. Now it's -- 36 years later.
FOSTER: And what sort of equipment is onboard that is useful and valuable?
COWING: Well, there's about a dozen instruments, most of which are likely to still work. We're waiting to get that information back. But it can study the sun, how the sun and the Earth interact. Space weather, solar flares, and other aspects of the interplanetary environment.
So, it's a very simple spacecraft, it doesn't have a computer. But it does have quite a number of instruments, and I'll guarantee you, any student that gets a hold of this data is going to be able to do something with it.
FOSTER: So, it is going to be more of a research project. You're not going to be able to make some sort of -- commercial value out of it? It is very old, isn't it? And you've got others going up all the time that are actually much more powerful.
COWING: Well, old stuff still works. And this spacecraft still works. It has been on since 1978. And so, it has instruments that work that can provide data, and data is data. And sometimes an old piece of hardware can be taught to do new tricks.
FOSTER: Keith Cowing, thank you very much, indeed. A fascinating story. And good luck --
COWING: Thank you.
FOSTER: -- with your new satellite. Old, new old satellite.
Anyway, next, he's got plenty of money and a lot of energy. We'll ask whether Steve Ballmer has the other qualities, though, needed to make the Clippers succeed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Welcome back, I'm Max Foster, and these are the top headlines we're following for you this hour. In Ukraine, there's still no sign of four international observers who disappeared in the city of Severodonetsk. That's located in the country's eastern Luhansk region. The four monitors went missing after being stopped by armed men on Thursday.
There's been outrage in northern India after authorities there said two teenagers were gang-raped and strangled. They were found dead hanging from a tree. Three men have been arrested, another is being sought.
The husband of a Christian woman condemned to die in Sudan has told CNN his wife is unlikely to renounce her faith. Meriam Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy after refusing to profess herself as a Muslim. She is considered a Muslim under Sharia law because her father is one, and her marriage to a Christian isn't recognized.
US president Barack Obama has accepted the resignation of his secretary of foreign affairs. Eric Shinseki took down -- or stood down after claims of misconduct at the veteran's health care facilities.
In a separate personnel move, Mr. Obama has announced White House press secretary Jay Carney is also stepping down to focus more attention on his family.
Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene are expecting their first child together. The baby will be delivered by the end of the year and will become the heir to the throne of the principality. It will be Albert's third child. He acknowledged fathering two children from previous relationships in 2005.
Steve Ballmer has given the Sterling family two billion reasons to sell. If the deal goes through, it will be the most anyone has ever paid for an NBA franchise. It's not a slam dunk though. Donald Sterling is still in the game. Rosa Flores is here with new information coming in to CNN. Rosa, what've you got?
ROSA FLORES, CORRESPONDENT AND SUBSTITUTE ANCHOR FOR CNN: You know, this is information just coming in to CNN that Donald Sterling was deemed mentally incapacitated in the past two weeks by two independent physicians. Now, this complicates the entire deal because there is a clause in the Sterling family trust that says that if one of its trustees becomes mentally incapacitated, then the other trustee is the sole trustee. In this case, that would be Shelly Sterling, and you and I know that she has been negotiating the sale of the Clippers up to this point. She's been paving the way. However, the attorney for Donald Sterling has made it very clear that Mr. Donald Sterling has only given here the authorization to negotiate, and to negotiate only and not to sell. So, Max, this story gets more complicated and there are more moving parts by the day.
FOSTER: And very difficult for the fans of course. So how is this being accepted or this new deal - potential deal - being accepted within the industry, if I can call it that?
FLORES: Yes, within the sports industry here in the United States of course it's a huge industry. And let me share with you a tweet that Magic Johnson shared moments after the deal was announced late yesterday. And he says quote, "Steve Ballmer, owning the Clippers is a big win for the city of L.A. and all the people who live in the City of Angels." And I think one of the other big messages that we've seen on social media from a lot of people is that they just want to get this behind them. The team wants a new beginning, the fans want a new beginning, certainly the supporters do as well. But lets' be honest, the NBA Board of Governors meets on Tuesday, all of this is going to continue to surface, and of course, Donald Sterling had the last word at this point. Will he sell or will he sue perhaps?
FOSTER: It's a fascinating story, isn't it? A business story. I thank you so much for joining us and Steve Ballmer -
FLORES: You're welcome.
FOSTER: We'll be hoping the championship banners will soon be waving from the ceiling at the Staple Center, the home of the Clippers. If fans were worried about the team's financial super power --,
(SOUND OF CROWD CHEERING)
FOSTER: -- it's an absolute stand down come (ph) to (Ballmer. He's worth $20 billion. That makes him ten times wealthier than Donald Sterling. As a tactician though Ballmer's had his critics.
(SOUND OF BUZZER)
FOSTER: And some would argue that he's been nothing but net - the internet that is. Whilst Microsoft's online has been strong, it fell behind its rivals when things went mobile. The firm was slow to release its tablets. The surface launch was a failure ending with the company taking -
(SOUND OF ORGAN)
FOSTER: -- charge of $900 million. Some critics said Ballmer's leadership style was a problem.
(SOUND OF WHISTLE)
FOSTER: Anonymous surveys taken by staff on glassdoor.com gave him one of the lowest approval ratings for any CEO in Silicon Valley, way behind rivals like Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg. But if there's one thing that's never in doubt, is Ballmer's enthusiasm for the job.
(SOUND OF CROWD CHEERING)
FOSTER: If you've seen Ballmer's speeches to Microsoft staff, you'll know that this is a man who's not afraid to get loud.
STEVE BALLMER, FORMER CEO OF MICROSOFT: (SCREAMS). Get up! Get up!
FOSTER: You never go back to gee (ph) promote (ph) Donald Sterling. Ballmer said he once shouted so loudly at a sales meeting, he ripped his vocal cords. It's not just speeches either. If the Clippers ever find themselves in need of an extra cheerleader, the new owner is proven he's got the fancy footwork to go with it.
(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP -
COMEDIC CLIP OF BALLMER AND BILL GATES DANCING AND
FOSTER: Yes, Steve Ballmer with Bill Gates paying tribute to a night at the Roxbury. Jim Boulden joins me now.
FOSTER: In terms of these big figures going into - even with the sort of tech industry - it's happened, doesn't it going into sports. So what's the precedent?
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think what's interesting is some of these men who have created these companies love to then spend that money. So the Seattle Seahawks is owned by one of the former founders of Microsoft as well. With Bill Gates, no interest at all. You look at someone like Mark Cuban who absolutely loves American basketball as well, so he's pumped his money into that. And then Larry Ellison in loving his sailing. But, I mean, I remember Michael Dell. I even asked him once, I said, "How come you don't buy a football team or a baseball team or something?" He said he has no time and no interest in sports.
So, for some of them, this is the pinnacle, isn't it? This is, I've done all this stuff and now I'm going to buy a team. Others couldn't care less about sports, and I find it absolutely fascinating where this is what they really want to do or there's no interest whatsoever.
FOSTER: I guess it's fine so long as he's hands off in terms of the sport and just looks to the business side, right?
BOULDEN: He paid an insane amount of money, I'm sorry. This does not set a precedent - I'm guarantee you. This doesn't set a precedent. This is not a very good team. It's not even the best team in L.A. It may be this year, but it's not. And so he's paid probably - he's paid more - than people pay for some of the top Primary League teams and some of the top NFL teams. It's an insane amount of money, so it won't be a precedent but he can afford it, so he's done it because apparently he wanted other teams and couldn't get them so now he's got what he wants.
FOSTER: In terms of fans in the business, I mean, they are now used to people with lots of money coming in and almost taking over these clubs -
FOSTER: -- as a hobby, they will be looking for what from him?
BOULDEN: The thing is though American sports have salary caps. So he can't do what you do in football in Europe and just go out and buy all the best players. He's got to play within the rules. So he could make the team more interesting because it is the second team in L.A. which I find fascinating. He could move it possibly, he could look to rebrand it somehow and try to make it a more interesting team. But mostly if - since - he's now retired from Microsoft, I'd like to know if he's going to be courtside. He's going to be running up and down the court, because that will add a lot of buzz to that team.
FOSTER: And he is this - he is this great character, isn't he? But he's known also he's quite a fiery character.
FOSTER: And if you're involved in sport, it gets a bit fiery, so, I mean, it's a challenge isn't it? He's got to keep a lid on that.
BOULDEN: Yes because if he starts yelling at the coach or yelling at the players or if he starts getting into it with the fans -
FOSTER: He could lose respect, right?
BOULDEN: -- which some owners do. He could lose respect and it could actually get out of hand. And you have seen that on the basketball court where players actually getting involved with the fans. It can be quite volatile. And he's - I wouldn't call him volatile but he is in my view quite hyper.
FOSTER: He's eccentric, though isn't he? He's a genius, he's well- regard - you know he did whatever people say about Microsoft -
FOSTER: -- it was still a huge company and had a certain degree of success and it could've gone down the pan some people said, if it wasn't for him.
BOULDEN: You remember he came in -- Bill Gates stepped away - he came in. There had - you know - he may have been an early employee, but was the face -
BOULDEN: -- and Steve Ballmer successfully became the face of Microsoft for many years, and now he's stepped away.
FOSTER: OK. Jim, thank you very much -
FOSTER: -- indeed. Coming up, Will i Am, he's a founding shareholder in Beats, but not a lot of people know that Apple just acquired it for $3 billion. He'll join me after the break.
FOSTER: Apple shares traded above $630 today on the company's acquisition of Beats and the recent stock split. Some Wall Street analysts think it could hit $700 very soon. It has been a profitable week certainly for the rapper Will i Am. He's co-founder of the Beats venture with Dr. Dre and its third equity partner. I asked him how he got involved in the project and he told me it all started with the rise of SmartPhone cameras back in 2004.
WILL I AM, MUSICIAN AND ENTREPRENEUR: In 2004, people experienced concerts differently and the reason was because they put a camera on a phone. Now people watch concerts like that.
WILL I AM: Right - even if you go online right now and you google any group - if they we're touring in 2003, you're not going to see footage from a phone camera. That happened in 2004. So, right after that, I come home from tour, I go to Jimmy. I'm like, `Jimmy, the world's changed.'
FOSTER: Who's Jimmy?
WILL I AM: Jimmy Iovine.
WILL I AM: Like, `Jimmy, the world's changed.' `What do you mean the world's changed, Will?' The world's changed. People watch and, you know, experience concerts differently. We need to make hardware. From that point on I knew it, we need to make hardware, Jimmy, hardware. He's like, `Well, you know, how hard it is to make hardware, that's why they call it hardware.
WILL I AM: I was like, `Yeah, Jimmy, we need to be in hardware.' So 2005 and 6, you know, a couple of years passed and he came up with the idea of Beats with Dre and asked me if I wanted to be a part.
FOSTER: Headphones have been around for so long, why did you decide to invest in headphones? What new could you do with headphones? You obviously have because this - value of this business is incredible.
WILL I AM: So, when you think of headphones, it's the most intimate relationship you could have with someone because you're putting them right on your head, in your ears. So they're like whispers, if you will. You're letting someone right - you're putting someone this close to you.
FOSTER: Well they already existed, so what were you going to do differently?
WILL I AM: Well they existed from a technology standpoint, and tech for tech is just tech. As soon as art and culture comes in, then you have something that you wear. It's like you're wearing a suit and a person designed it. And it hasn't changed in culture so much that we still have these lapels. For what reason are lapels on our coats?
FOSTER: So you were thinking about fashion because people are wearing them?
WILL I AM: No, I'm thinking about culture. So, now people wear headphones regardless if they're on or not. Kids walk around with headphones on their neck and they're not even playing music yet. It now became like a necklace and an accessory. I got my headphones to match my shoes. You're doing it differently. You're not wearing your phone, people don't wear, you know, a Nokia. They're not wearing a freaking a Motorola flip.
FOSTER: But it started out quite slowly, didn't it? But then it just got bigger and bigger and then you had the snowball effect, and suddenly everyone -
WILL I AM: Yes.
FOSTER: -- had these headphones on.
WILL I AM: Yes, so the - it - started in the right place. And that's the adopters, culture, taste-makers, you know, influencers. Those cats. The ones that tech people ignore. Right, you have tech then you have culture. And you have tech culture but then you have pop culture. So, pop culture is not logical. It's just emotional. You do things because it makes you feel good.
FOSTER: Someone who has tech is Jenny Harrison up to tell the weather.
JENNY HARRISON, WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: (LAUGHTER). Yes, nothing as greedy as a pair of headphones wearing around your neck there, Max. And let's talk about Europe because there's some more rather heavy rain across the southeast. Not a bad weekend ahead across much of western and central Europe. In fact there's one or two passing showers. Instead it's going to be the southeast once again, particularly this little area here. Not a lot of movement in terms of moving away from the area of low pressure, so that is why we've seen some fairly heavy amounts of rain in the last 24 hours.
You can see again if your place is picking up some fairly high accumulations, 99 millimeters over there in Russia, 70 millimeters, 58 millimeters in Albania. So heavy amounts of rain but the good news is that this is not been falling in those areas across the southeast, particularly around Belgrade, Sarajevo and of course a week ago was so very, very flooded. Still of course that floodwater has to recede in some areas. But there's more scattered showers and thunderstorms across the region and as I say the heaviest of that will not be where we saw the flooding a week ago. But look at this -- Bucharest picking up 46 millimeters, Kiev 61 millimeters. So that could lead to some localized flooding.
Now, the picture elsewhere in Europe partially scattered showers and thunderstorms. It's not too bad across central Europe. That's really the best weather. Also the far southwest in Portugal and Spain but even into eastern Spain, the western Med, we've got the chance of one or two showers. And also just a passing stray showers across the U.K. So it will be feeling a little bit cooler than it has been apart from Moscow in Russia. Very nice temperatures. In fact by Monday getting pretty warm again - 27 Celsius, the average is 20 for this time of year. And pretty much down to average in Saint Petersburg after that really, really hot spell with temperatures in the low 30s. And Kiev, temperatures in the mid-20s. So not bad really when you consider as well that we've got that rain heading in and it will be accumulating, so a fairly high number.
Well, we've also got the French Open of course. This is what the middle weekend. So weather is pretty good - it's not hot, it's not raining. Should be good for spectators and players alike. Twenty-one on Saturday, 19 on Sunday and not that much different on Monday. And as I say, it should stay dry. So pretty good weather conditions indeed.
This is a picture across all of Europe, so that rain across the east is more widespread. It's also going to be heavier. And then this is what I mean about those scattered showers out across the west, the northwest across in the U.K. Quite a bit of cloud around and keeping temperatures lower, but overall not bad - 21 in Berlin, 19 in London and 22 Celsius in Paris.
Now, elsewhere around the world if you're traveling a little bit further afield this weekend, let's have a look first of all in New York. Again, pretty nice, getting warm by Sunday at 26. It should stay dry. Scattered showers and thunderstorms, high pressure across the northeast of the U.S. We have got rain across the south. More of that some scattered thunderstorms at Sao Paulo. It'll be cloudy certainly on Sunday and in fact improves in Buenos Aires on Sunday, the temperature there 19 and some good sunny skies.
And then across in Lagos, again, we've got a bit of a mix on Saturday and Sunday. In some areas scattered thunderstorms. Nairobi good on both days. Temperatures in the mid to high 20s Celsius. And some very nice weather continuing through much of South Africa - Johannesburg temperature in the low 20s with some good, clear sunny skies and nice low temperatures in the nighttime so really freshening things up. Tel Aviv meanwhile mid 20s and of course not much change in the overnight hours. Cairo sunny and hot as you expect and the same for Riyadh. In fact temperatures there now beginning to climb up this time of year. So the mid to high 40s Celsius. Copenhagen a mix of cloud on Saturday and Sunday, Frankfurt is the same but, again, temperatures pretty good. Remember central Europe and actually across towards Denmark is where some of the better weather will be this weekend. And then, in Milan, a bit of a mix but it should be dry certainly on Sundays. Saturday may be just a stray shower with those rather cloudy skies. So overall, not a bad weekend for most cities around the world. Max, been a pretty good one for you there in the U.K. as well.
FOSTER: Good after all that rain we deserve it. Thank you very much indeed. Coming up, the texting abbreviation many of us use every day is celebrating a special birthday. "Quest Means Business" will be BRB.
Male: Stichomythia - s-t-i-c-h-o-m-y-t-h-i-a, stichomythia.
Male 2: Correct.
Male 3: Fee (ph) - whatever -
Male 2: However you say it, just spell it.
Male 3: F-e-u-i-l-l-e-t-o-n.
Male 2: Correct.
FOSTER: Words you never knew about. And there you have it - the first co-winners of the U.S. National Spelling Bee in 50 years. The two young men spelled like pros and actually exhausted the competition's list of words would you believe. At that point, they were both declared victorious. The feat seems particularly impressive on the week this word celebrates its 25th anniversary. Believe it or not, the spelling champs have never known a world without `lol.' To mark the occasion, we asked New Yorkers how they feel about text abbreviations.
STEVEN PINKER, LINGUIST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: If anything, it just makes people communicate a little faster, but I don't think it's destroying any language.
Female: I think it's a grammar thing. People should learn how to communicate and speak, so, I think it's not a good thing, but we use it, so.
Female: I'm not a fan of it but I still do it because it's kind of a part of us now.
Older Female: I'm older and all the kids know how to do all this stuff with texting and I don't, but I know what lol is.
Female: Smh - shake my head - smh, wcs I think we all know what that means.
Older Female: Lol - laugh online.
Female: It's laugh out loud but -
Female: Laugh out loud, OK, laugh out loud.
FOSTER: Steven Pinker joins me now from New York to discuss how our language is evolving. He's a cognitive scientist and linguist at Harvard University and author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature." You must've had some fun with lol over recent years. It's the one that always gets people.
STEVEN PINKER, LINGUIST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well particularly since a lot of people think that it means lots of love. So you have inadvertent funny exchanges like, `Oh, I'm sorry to hear that your father died - lol,' especially for older people who -- .
FOSTER: Does it somehow typify how language has changed more recently?
PINKER: Well, there's no one such thing as language. We use different forms of language in different media. No one speaks the same way to an intimate boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife then they do when they're on television or delivering a lecture. And the form of language that you use on hand-held devices is different from the form that you use in speaking and in writing in different forums. So there's no one such thing as language, and the question that will these abbreviations change the language - well they'll change some parts of the language, but they won't necessarily change the way language is used in other settings.
FOSTER: But people do use lol in conversations now when it used to just be in abbreviations. So it has changed things, hasn't it, technology?
PINKER: A typical person knows between 50 and 100,000 words, and new words are entering the language from all kinds of sources - from music, from sports, from politics, from hobbies. So the fact that you add one more word to your vocabulary - lol - from texting abbreviations, doesn't really mean that the language is changing in any other way that it has changed in the past.
FOSTER: Does it matter that it's changing? Is it a good or a bad thing?
PINKER: It's nothing that we can do anything about, so it's almost a meaningless question. You and I don't speak in the - using the grammar of Shakespeare, and he didn't write using the grammar of Chaucer. That's one of the great constants of language. It's always changing, and despite academies and dictionaries, rule books and so on, there's nothing that you can do to change -- to stop -- language from changing.
FOSTER: But as you get more words, it's good thing, isn't it? Because then you can be more descriptive.
PINKER: Absolutely, and occasionally the language will lose a word or a sense, but on the other hand it's always being replenished by the new slang, the new jargon words, the new technical terms, the new vogue terms. A lot of them will drop out of the language. They'll just become so uncool that no one would be caught dead using them. But every once in a while, one will catch on and it can go viral and it can become part of the language. Like OK which -
FOSTER: You must -
PINKER: -- only came into language -
PINKER: -- in the middle of the 19th century and now it's the most popular word in the English language.
FOSTER: And there are often schools and teachers that worry about this abbreviated language which has become more common in this generation because they are dealing with text messaging and tweets which other generations didn't have. They've been forced to come up with shorter sentences, haven't they? And that, some people say, is damaging. Do you think it has been damaging to young people to be introduced to those words so early on?
PINKER: You know, every generation worries about the language of the younger generation. In our time, the worry was what television would do to the language and in my parents' generation, it was that radio was going to kill language. The thing is there is no one such thing as language. So, yes, when you're - if I'm typing a message, you've got to use abbreviations, that doesn't mean that you're necessarily going to use those abbreviations when writing a newspaper column or an essay or a movie review. In fact, studies of student term papers over the decades have shown that they have not been shorter, that students are savvy enough not to use texting abbreviations in their university term papers. There are a lot of urban legends about how the language is going to the dogs, but the reality is quite different. I mean, an analogy was that 100 years ago people had to economize when they composed telegrams. You paid by word, you left out the prepositions, you left out the articles, all the things that you could recover from the context. But the language didn't lose its little words like "the" and "of" and "when." People would leave them out of their telegrams but not leave them out of other forms of writing.
FOSTER: Steven Pinker, thank you very much indeed. Very much appreciate your time today. Now, "Quest Means Business" will be back in just a moment with a look at what's coming up on our special weekend show "The Best of Quest."
FOSTER: Well this is an unfinished seemingly random jumble of notes about life in Paris, and it appears in this weekend's "Reading for Leading" on "Quest" - "The Best of Quest," rather. It is the choice of the renowned American poet Kenneth Goldsmith. He tells Paula Newton that this book is his favorite because it's a bit like surfing the internet.
KENNETH GOLDSMITH, AUTHOR OF "THE ARCADES PROJECT": This book doesn't have 100 percent profundity. There's a lot of kind of just daily stuff about what it was like to live in Paris in the 19th century. If you take the internet as the greatest book or the greatest poem ever written, the Facebook page is the great collective autobiography of our culture. You're going to find out what it was like to live here. And I don't think that's any small task.