Tech Q&A: If you don't know what it is, don't click on it

Business / Business News /

Q: Occasionally I get a pop-up message on my four-year-old PC that says "To check for new device software, connect your PC to the internet and press 'continue.'" There is no company logo on the message and I'm leery of it, so I've been pressing "cancel," which makes it close until another day. I have looked in Windows Task Manager, but I can't ...Read more

Troy Wolverton: Sony's PlayStation VR shows virtual reality's promise and problems

Business / Business News /

In these early days of virtual reality, Sony's new PlayStation VR seems like the ideal product.

Facebook's Oculus Rift and HTC's Vive, which both debuted earlier this year, offer high quality, super-immersive VR experiences at steep prices. On the other end of the market, Samsung, Google and others are offering headsets powered by users' ...Read more

Why a US president needs a 'White House on wings'

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Sure, it has plush leather seats, a bed and abundant hot meals served on plates emblazoned with the presidential seal. But there are more critical reasons the president of the United States wants -- and needs -- Air Force One.

The aircraft is equipped to provide instant communications with leaders across the globe, protect against...Read more

Maker or Ride the Ducks vehicle in Seattle crash to pay up to $1 million

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- The Missouri-based manufacturer of the amphibious Ride the Duck tour vehicle that crashed on Seattle's Aurora Bridge last year, killing five people, has agreed to pay up to $1 million in civil fines for violating federal safety regulations, U.S. transportation officials announced Tuesday.

Ride the Ducks International (RTDI), which ...Read more

Study: Anti-gay, transgender laws could cost Texas $8.5 billion

Business / Business News /

AUSTIN, Texas -- Setting the stage for one of the most contentious debates awaiting next year's legislative session, the state's leading business group released a report Tuesday warning that bills targeting gay and transgender rights could severely hinder the Texas economy.

The Texas Association of Business study concluded that, if passed, such...Read more

Caterpillar CEO likes Trump's business focus, but not anti-trade 'rhetoric'

Business / Business News /

While concerned about some of President-elect Donald Trump's "rhetoric" on trade policy, Caterpillar chief executive Doug Oberhelman said Tuesday that he thinks those in the new president's administration "will use every tool they can get" to promote growth.

Oberhelman, the chairman of the Business Roundtable, said he thinks the team of ...Read more

Alaska Air gets antitrust OK to complete $4B purchase of Virgin

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- The Department of Justice on Tuesday approved the $4 billion acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Airlines, clearing the way for creation of the fifth-largest U.S. airline and one that should fly more passengers out of West Coast airports than any other carrier.

However, to curb the potential anti-competitive effects of this ...Read more

Robert Reed: Trump's tough tweet goal: Rattle Boeing

Business / Business News /

It didn't take too long for President-elect Donald Trump to send a strong message to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

The Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant is waiting to see how the incoming Trump administration will affect its business. Such concern especially applies to Trump's foreign policy and its approach to international trade ...Read more

Trump: Sprint's parent company to invest $50B, create 50,000 jobs in US

Business / Business News /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Tokyo-based parent company of Sprint Corp. has agreed to invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the United States.

Trump made the remarks standing beside Masayoshi Son, who is chairman of Sprint and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., which owns more than 80 percent of Sprint...Read more

Supreme Court says Samsung doesn't owe Apple $400 million in damages for copying iPhone look

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled for Samsung in its patent dispute with Apple and set aside a $400 million damages verdict for copying the look of the iPhone.

The justices dealt only with the question of how much the South Korean firm should pay for copying several design features of Apple's smartphone.

A jury had found that ...Read more

Your Office Coach: What to do about temperamental manager?

Business / Business News /

Q: I recently started my first job and I'm not sure what to do about my manager. "Ashley" has a mean temper and is often out of control. Just the other day, she got angry with a customer who was asking a lot of questions. When the woman got upset and refused to complete her purchase, Ashley threatened to call security.

Ashley often yells at ...Read more

Trump wants the contract to build a new Air Force One canceled, calling the program 'ridiculous'

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump took aim at Air Force One on Tuesday, criticizing the cost of the iconic 747 jumbo jet that has served as the president's flying White House and projected America's might wherever it lands.

The aircraft used by President Barack Obama, built by Chicago-based Boeing Co., have been in service since the ...Read more

SeaWorld lays off hundreds of employees

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- SeaWorld Entertainment announced Tuesday it is laying off 320 workers company-wide, part of an ongoing effort to sharply cut its costs.

The announcement comes almost two years to the day since the Orlando, Fla.-based company announced its last round of layoffs, which then affected more than 300 employees. In San Diego, more than ...Read more

Rex Huppke: The downside of happiness at work

Business / Business News /

Happiness. That seems to be the goal, at least according to a wide array of self-help books and cute phrases on coffee mugs and aspirational cubicle signs and bosses telling us to smile more.

To be happy -- thrilled, even -- with our work is supposedly the true tell of whether we've found our niche. It's the emotion to which we should all ...Read more

Balancing Act: In the workplace, manage post-election stress to finish out the year strong

Business / Business News /

Rachel Sapoznik noticed that stress levels in her office seemed higher than usual and employees were anxious about post-election "what-ifs." With her team headed into the busiest month of the year, she called a staff meeting.

"Change is creating uncertainty, and that creates anxiety about what's ahead," she told her team at Sapoznik Insurance ...Read more

Liz Reyer: To make a difference, don't overlook small gestures

Business / Business News /

Q: I think a lot about how to help make the world a kinder and more just place. At the same time, I have a fairly mundane job in a bank. What can I do to have a greater impact?

––Mariana, 50, accountant

A: You have many opportunities, large and small; the key is in paying attention so you can act on them.

Think about all the ways to show ...Read more

Diane Stafford: Workers cry: Give us our space!

Business / Business News /

How important is personal -- or personalized -- space to you at work?

I keep hearing from workers whose offices have eliminated individual desks, created rotating workspaces or strictly depersonalized desk areas.

It turns out that workers of all ages want to be able to say, "This is my spot." Who would have thought that people would long for ...Read more

Free TSA PreCheck could save millions of dollars, study suggests

Business / Business News /

By offering frequent travelers free membership in the Transportation Security Administration's expedited screening program, the agency could save save money and speed the screening process at airports across the country, a study concludes.

Professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offered the idea as a solution to the TSA's ...Read more

Former Expedia official admits stealing company information

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE –– A former Expedia official has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and faces up to 25 years in federal prison for stealing proprietary information from his bosses and using it to make more than $300,000 in illegal trades on the stock market, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Jonathan Ly, 28, of San Francisco, appeared in U.S. ...Read more

Microsoft introduces chatbot named Zo after Tay went awry

Business / Business News /

Microsoft is taking another stab at building a chatbot, several months after Tay, an earlier attempt, was taken offline when some internet users made it spout racist and sexist comments.

The company's second try, Zo, lives on the Kik messaging application.

Spotted over the weekend by a Microsoft-tracking blog, Zo appears to avoid discussion of...Read more