Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Chicago's digging deep.
Accenture Tasked To Find $25 Million In Savings For City Of Chicago -- The city of Chicago will work with Accenture for a comprehensive review for $500 million worth of contracts with the promise that the city will see $25 million in savings by 2013. Dubbed a "procurement modernization initiative," the Chicago-based company will also use the analysis project as a training effort for city employees. Using the completed review, Accenture is also then responsible for getting a better deal for the city --including renegotiating and re-bidding with contractors, as well as coordinating combined purchases for bulk prices. The city spends $2 billion on goods and services.

Apple's iPhone gets Japanese earthquake alert -- Japanese iPhone users will get the option to receive earthquake alerts under the next version of Apple's iOS operating system. 9to5Mac reports that the feature will be added to the device's notification centre in iOS 5, which is expected to be released in September. Japan has a sophisticated early warning system which collects readings from more than 1,000 seismic sensors.

The big split.
On Wall St., a Big Split on Outlook -- Amid all the grim economic data and a chorus of warnings of a fresh recession, one group on Wall Street has remained remarkably optimistic despite the dangers that may lie ahead -- the research analysts who track individual companies. Typically bullish in the best of times, this group has barely budged on its expectations for earnings in the second half of 2011, even as the economists and strategists at the big brokerage firms have steadily ratcheted down their forecasts for overall economic growth.

The winds are a'blowin'.
Hurricane Irene slams Puerto Rico; threatens U.S. -- Hurricane Irene is shaping up as a stronger storm than expected. With the hurricane likely to skirt the mountains of Hispaniola, the National Hurricane Center significantly raised the ceiling on Irene's intensity, projecting it as a major 115-mph hurricane by Thursday as it approaches the Central Bahamas.

- Sheena Moore

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