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Troy Wolverton: Amid angst, tech industry innovates

Business / Business News /

LAS VEGAS -- CES is nearly a week-long party celebrating the tech industry.

But in recent years, the annual tech show, held earlier this month, has had a palpable sense of anxiety as much as excitement.

Products that have gotten lots of hype in recent years as the Next Big Thing, from 3-D television to 3-D Printers to smartwatches to virtual ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Vista updates aren't the real problem

Business / Business News /

Q: I read in your column that Windows 7 isn't updating properly (see tinyurl.com/zzhdlyf). Do you know why I can't update my PC's Windows Vista 64-bit operating system?

I'd like to update my PC before Microsoft stops supporting Windows Vista this April. But I haven't received an update since mid-July of last year, and the software last checked ...Read more

Uber files challenge over Seattle's unionization ordinance

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- The ride-hailing service Uber on Tuesday filed a legal challenge over the Seattle ordinance giving drivers the power to unionize.

The City Council adopted the ordinance in 2015. The first of its kind in the country, it gives independent-contractor drivers for Uber and other app-based ride-dispatch companies the right to collective ...Read more

Wal-Mart touts slowdown as growth before Trump inauguration

Business / Business News /

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart's slowdown in opening new stores -- part of an effort to cope with sluggish brick-and-mortar sales -- is now being touted as a growth plan.

On Tuesday, the company announced its intention to open, expand or relocate 59 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club locations this year. While that adds 10,000 retail jobs, the expansion is far ...Read more

U.S. Bancorp CEO Davis to step down in April

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Richard Davis, who led U.S. Bancorp through the economic downturn and shaped it into the nation's best-performing large bank by financial measures, will step down as chief executive in April, the company said Tuesday.

Davis, 58, during his decade in charge of the Minneapolis-based banking giant also became a force in Twin Cities ...Read more

Exxon Mobil buys Bass family holdings in Permian for $6.6 billion

Business / Business News /

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Exxon Mobil is buying about 275,000 acres in the booming Permian Basin oil fields from the Bass family for $5.6 billion in stock and $1 billion in contingent cash payouts.

The oil company, which owns XTO Energy in Fort Worth, said the purchase covers 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, doubling Exxon Mobil's resources in...Read more

GM, after pressure from Trump, pledges $1B US investment

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- A week after President-elect Donald Trump criticized its production of cars in Mexico, General Motors on Tuesday pledged to invest $1 billion at several plants in the U.S.

The automaker also said it plans to bring thousands of information technology jobs back to the U.S. from overseas. The moves will create 7,000 new manufacturing ...Read more

UnitedHealth sees potential in 'next phase' of health reform

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- With speculation swirling about how Republicans might replace the federal health law, the chief executive of UnitedHealth Group offered no specifics Tuesday but said he sees the potential for health care changes focused on state-based markets, flexible Medicaid programs and well-structured high-risk pools.

Even so, the nation's ...Read more

Can't sleep? More technology devices promise relief

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- Do you believe drinking coffee is keeping you up at night? It's not -- as long as you're consuming less than four cups per day.

That's according to a new survey from SleepScore Labs, a spinoff of sleep apnea medical device maker ResMed.

Released at the CES 2017 consumer electronics show earlier this month, the SleepScore Labs ...Read more

Paresh Dave: Snapchat in 2017: 7 predictions about what's to come

Business / Business News /

As Snap Inc. moves toward an expected initial public offering this year, it's natural to expect increased predictability and transparency from a company that has thrived so far without much of either.

In question in 2017 is whether Chief Executive Evan Spiegel will make Snap act more like Facebook or if he will continue forging a new route.

My...Read more

Helpware: Dragon has heard it all

Business / Business News /

I have a cold.

I sound like a punch-drunk boxer from the Bronx whose nose has been broken too many times. It ain't pretty.

I mention this not to elicit sympathy but to show how Dragon Professional, a dictation-to-text software, was able to adapt to my voice. It did so well, I used Dragon to write this column.

It's been a few years since I ...Read more

Diane Stafford: What makes a 'best' job best for you?

Business / Business News /

A recent report said new dentists are graduating with as much as $400,000 in student loan debt and then face another $500,000 cost to acquire a dental practice.

Who would want to start a career with that kind of financial pressure? What does that say for the future of dentistry?

But I had barely moved from reading those figures when a missive ...Read more

Rex Huppke: Why swearing at work is just fine

Business / Business News /

Let's talk about your damn language at work.

Yeah, that's right, I put a profanity right at the top of this column. And if it weren't for the publishing standards of a newspaper that might be read by children, I would've used a worse one. Maybe an F-bomb, or even a Z-rocket. (The Z-rocket is a profanity I made up that's so bad nobody even knows...Read more

Your Office Coach: Son with Asperger's will finish college but with little work experience

Business / Business News /

Q: My son "Brett," who will graduate from college next year, has a documented diagnosis of high-functioning autism, often referred to as Asperger's syndrome. Fortunately, a full scholarship has made it possible for Brett to focus on his studies without having to get a job. The stress of juggling school and work would have been a lot for him to ...Read more

Liz Reyer: How to talk with work team members facing big changes

Business / Business News /

Q: Due to some organizational changes, I will need to have conversations with team members about ways they fit in the new structure and changes that may affect them as roles change. These may be difficult; how can I best prepare and help them move forward?

--Ellie, 40, director, operations

A: Be authentic, open to the emotional aspects people ...Read more

Balancing Act: Is working late a necessity, or a habit?

Business / Business News /

It's a challenge almost every worker faces: getting out the office door on time. Many get caught in an email trap, sticking around to send one more message and finding themselves still at the office an hour later. Others linger late to appear committed to their jobs, particularly when the culture demands it.

But as the new year kicks in, ...Read more

No unauthorized immigrants? Manufacturing, hospitality workforces would struggle

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Abigail Alvarado has spent most of her 5 1/2 years in the U.S. on assembly lines preparing the frozen pizzas and packaged sandwiches shoppers find in their grocery stores.

Until recently, the 26-year-old hadn't feared being sent back to her native Veracruz, Mexico.

But the incoming Trump administration has her worried a crackdown is...Read more

For millennials, financial security may be out of reach, research suggests

Business / Business News /

Millennials are on shaky ground, struggling to gain the same financial security afforded to their parents, new data analysis suggests.

When baby boomers were young adults, their net worth was double that of today's young people, who earn $10,000 less than their counterparts did in 1989, according to findings from advocacy group Young ...Read more

Feds allege Minnesota bank discriminated in lending practices

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The U.S. Justice Department has accused Minnesota-based KleinBank of "redlining," the practice of unlawfully structuring its mortgage lending business to avoid serving minority neighborhoods around the Twin Cities.

In a federal lawsuit filed late Friday, lawyers from the department's civil rights division said Chaska-based ...Read more

Traders use algorithms that capture Trump's remarks and then buy or sell affected stocks

Business / Business News /

The jaw-dropping speed at which certain stocks have moved in response to Donald Trump's tweets about corporate America makes it seem as if Wall Street already was waiting for the president-elect's words.

It was.

Some sophisticated traders with automated programs are using computer algorithms that instantly capture Trump's Twitter remarks and ...Read more