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Opening Bell: 10.30.07

China Bends To U.S. On Trade Subsidies (Forbes)
We doubt this will have much effect on anything, but China has agreed to pare back certain export subsidies, per an agreement signed with the US on Thursday. Supposedly, the agreement helps put China more in line with WTO regs, but it's hard to imagine the country doing much that would lead to a big difference. And since when does the US have any credibility on subsidies?
Oil Falls Below $90 in New York for the First Time This Month (Bloomberg)
As we guessed yesterday, that pipeline explosion (and yes, we're sensitive about the fact that two people died) didn't prove to have much in the way of legs. Forget the century mark, now oil has to be gunning for the $90 mark. Next stop: $30. Wonder if that HuffPo blogger is going to admit that he was taken by the news hype and renounce his call for tapping of the SPR.
Verizon switches standards gears for next-generation network (CNET)
Verizon has announced the technology it will use for its "4G" wireless system, and the mobile cognoscenti seem to think this is a bigger deal than the company's earlier "open" announcement. While the first announcement basically stated that the company would adopt something similar to AT&T, its effect could be seen as muted, since the company's CDMA network isn't compatible with a lot of phones. But for its next gen, it will be using a non-CDMA standard -- LTE -- which will be compatible with a lot more, potentially making it that much more interoperable with other devices and networks.
The End of Hurricane Hugo? (The American)
It just clicked to us: we're going to be reading about the 'last days' of Hugo Chavez for the next 35 years. Seriously, if we could remember Castro's early days, we'd say it's eerily reminiscent, but alas that would be misleading. Then again, maybe not. Word is that the people may actually be catching on to him down there, though we'll believe it when we see it .

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Oxygen Suppliers Fight to Keep a Medicare Boon (NYT)
This story has been going on as long as we can remember. All of the early reports were that it was only a matter of months before Medicare overhauled its rules and oxygen suppliers would have to go back to selling at market rates. But you know how the government does things, in particular bureaucracies. Meanwhile, it looks like Lincare continues to do okay, despite fears.
Florida Halts State-Fund Withdrawals
A state-run fund in Florida has halted withdrawals, as the subprime thang has prompted a rush of money being taken off the table. Of course, the fund had been positioned as a safe, "money market" fund, backed by nothing but conservative debt and prudent asset-backed securities.
Overnight shift to be classified as 'probable' cancer cause (CNN)
Having to work the overnight shift may soon my classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization. Ok, we'll admit... oncology isn't our strongsuit, so we have no way of judging the merits. But where there are carginogens, there are lawsuits. Perhaps in a few years, any company with graveyard-shift employees will have to identify the risk of lawsuit in their 'risk factors'.
Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off (PC Magazine)
We keep hearing this over and over again. The sentiment against Apple is tilting: I'm not sure what ticks me off more about Leoptard (I can't take credit for that nickname—some Brit coined it): the fact that so many of the semi-important changes don't work, the fact that Apple turned a stable OS into a crash-happy glitz fest, or that the annoying, scruffy Live Free or Die Hard actor infecting my TV (and our Web site, by the way) is pretending that Leopard is better than Vista.
Hollywood Studios Send Writers New Offer (AP)
First of all, great news, Broadway is back, which means our beloved Ollie's will probably survive.Other than that, we're not sure what impact we'll see, since we're rarely inclined to want to watch musical versions of movies that we didn't like in the first place. Also, the guild and Hollywood are talking again. Not necessarily agreeing to anything -- just talking. Hopefully the strike has illuminated some new knowledge in both sides that helps them reach an agreement.