Helpware: This column is guaranteed to put you to sleep

Business / Business News /

Technology is all about functionality. I've always marveled at the mechanical pencil, not to mention the replaceable eraser head. There are sound machines that help block out a neighbor's barking dog. And don't forget the electric toothbrush.

And then there is MyPillow.

If you watch TV, especially cable channels, you've probably seen Mike ...Read more

Tech Q&A: E-mailing photos with no loss of quality

Business / Business News /

Q: The last Windows 10 upgrade wiped out one of my favorite features in my Outlook 2010 e-mail program. Before the upgrade, I could select several pictures to e-mail and have Outlook automatically resize the images to fit the storage capacity of an e-mail. After the upgrade, the resizing option quit working. That means I can't e-mail multiple ...Read more

Amazon wristbands could track workers' hand movements: 'Employers are increasingly treating their employees like robots'

Business / Business News /

As Amazon continues its quest to shrink delivery times and add warehouses in Illinois, the e-commerce behemoth is eyeing technology that could track the movements of its workers' hands as they fulfill orders.

The company recently won patents for wristbands that could be used as part of an inventory system, communicating with equipment in ...Read more

Is harassment training working?

Business / Business News /

The recent high-profile reports of sexual harassment in the workplace have prompted a surge in training courses, which experts are updating to reflect the latest examples making front-page news.

Inquiries about sexual harassment training provided by TrainUp have skyrocketed, said Jeremy Tillman, founder and chairman of the Dallas-based company....Read more

Uber wants to fly air taxis from DFW Airport to Frisco by 2023. Is that pie in the sky?

Business / Business News /

FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Uber and Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter are working to launch an air taxi service in Dallas-Fort Worth.

And before you dismiss the idea as pie in the sky, it's important to note that officials from both companies say they're aiming to get it up and running by 2023.

"We expect test flights by 2020, and we anticipate ...Read more

Costco or Amazon Prime? More shoppers choosing both

Business / Business News /

The number of people who both pay to shop at Costco and pay for free shipping from Amazon has grown rapidly in the last five years.

Fifty-seven percent of Costco members also pay for Amazon Prime, up from 13 percent in 2013, according to a survey of 2,500 consumers conducted last month for boutique research firm MoffettNathanson.

The ...Read more

$92 million accounting error delivers blow to hospital's bottom line

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- In a whopper of an accounting misstep, Edward-Elmhurst Health overestimated by $92 million the revenue it expects to receive from insurance companies and patients, delivering an unexpected blow to its bottom line.

In an interview Tuesday, CEO Mary Lou Mastro said there will be no layoffs or service cuts to compensate for the money ...Read more

Prescription drug cost trends moderated in 2017

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Drug spending trends moderated again in 2017, with Eagan-based Prime Therapeutics reporting a slight year-over-year decline in terms of per-member, per-month expenditures on medications.

The decline applied in varying degrees to employer plans and the Medicare and Medicaid public health insurance programs, according to the report...Read more

Google's fired engineer sexually harassed co-workers via memo: U.S. labor board lawyer

Business / Business News /

Fired Google software engineer James Damore's controversial memo on gender issues in the workplace constituted sexual harassment and the Mountain View tech giant was right to sack him, a federal labor board memo said.

Damore's discrimination lawsuit against Google will not be affected by the claims in the National Labor Relations Board memo -- ...Read more

Fox News will launch an over-the-top TV streaming service for 'superfans'

Business / Business News /

Cable news ratings leader Fox News Channel is launching its own over-the-top TV service that will give its dedicated audience a 24-hour video stream of conservative opinion and commentary.

Fox News announced Tuesday that its new service will be called Fox Nation and will be offered as a stand-alone channel available for a yet-to-be determined ...Read more

Uber class-action lawsuit over how drivers were paid gets green light from judge

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- A class-action lawsuit alleging that Uber stiffed its drivers of fare money has received class certification, paving the way for the lawsuit to include thousands of drivers nationwide who did not sign an arbitration agreement with the San Francisco company.

The breach of contract lawsuit, filed in May in U.S. District Court in ...Read more

The first official report on CEO-worker pay ratios shows an enormous 333-1 gap at Honeywell

Business / Business News /

The first government-mandated disclosure of the ratio of CEO vs. average worker pay has surfaced, and as has been widely expected, it's obscene. Technology company Honeywell, in a proxy statement dated Friday, disclosed that its CEO, Darius Adamczyk, was paid 333 times as much as a median Honeywell employee last year.

The raw figures are these:...Read more

Frantic pace of Latin American bond sales to fade as yields rise

Business / Business News /

SAO PAOLO -- Latin America borrowed the most on record last month, squeezing the last juice from an era of historically low interest rates. The pace is all but certain to slow as yields rise and investors contemplate presidential elections in three of the region's largest economies.

Companies and governments announced sales of $37 billion in ...Read more

H-1B visas: How the Trump administration is 'freaking people out'

Business / Business News /

The Trump administration is bringing a new level of scrutiny to a temporary work visa popular among technology firms, costing employers more time and money as they seek to bring foreign workers to the United States.

From January to August 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent 85,265 requests for evidence in response to H-1B ...Read more

UAW moves beyond auto industry to colleges, expands by nearly 70,000 members

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- The United Auto Workers, historically linked to factory workers throughout the industrial heartland, is seeing significant growth in membership at academic institutions nationwide, with no signs of slowing in 2018.

How does a union that originated on Michigan factory floors fit in the ivory towers of academia?

Many college ...Read more

The California dream is tough to afford if you're under 40

Business / Business News /

Samantha Sprau rents a 450-square-foot studio north of downtown Oakland, Calif., with appliances and gold-speckled laminate that could be decades older than she is.

It costs $1,575 a month.

"It's a ton for one person to pay," said the 27-year-old battery engineer, relies on the grocery-skimping survival skills she learned as a broke ...Read more

Liz Reyer: How to make decisions when everybody wants to have a say

Business / Business News /

Q: A lot of people have an interest in the work my team does. For some it's a direct interest, and others are less directly affected but still want to be involved.

The problem is that they are busy people and don't have a lot of time or energy to give, but then get upset and derail our work if they are not involved in final decisions.

How can ...Read more

Your Office Coach: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Business / Business News /

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of nuts can be hazardous.

I tried to discuss this with my boss, but she refused to believe me and ...Read more

Commerce secretary asks Trump to consider steel and aluminum tariffs

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The Commerce Department has urged President Donald Trump to consider hefty tariffs and quotas to limit the import of steel and aluminum, after concluding that the rising flow of those foreign-made products is a threat to America's national security.

The recommendations were contained in a report released by Commerce Secretary ...Read more

California's cannabis growers stay in the shadows

Business / Business News /

More than a month after California's regulation of marijuana began, only a small number of the tens of thousands of cannabis businesses have joined the system -- threatening the state's shift to a regulated market and the promise of a billion-dollar tax windfall.

Less than 1 percent of the state's 68,120 cannabis growers have been licensed, ...Read more