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Microsoft's Windows 10 update bets on a bigger virtual-reality role for PC

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Microsoft is trying to nudge laptop and deskbound computers to interact with the three-dimensional world.

The company on Tuesday started rolling out its latest bundle of updates to the Windows 10 operating system with features clustered around a bet that people will use their PCs to experience 3-D virtual worlds.

Dubbed the Fall ...Read more

FCC chair says agency can't revoke TV licenses over newscast

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission lacks authority to revoke broadcast licenses in retaliation for news reporting, its chairman said Tuesday in his first public remarks on the topic since President Donald Trump threatened the licenses of news networks six days ago.

"I believe in the First Amendment," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said ...Read more

Liz Reyer: When your authority at work is undermined, time for talk with boss

Business / Business News /

Q: My company is in the middle of discussions with an important client, and I have been given authority to negotiate on behalf of my firm. The problem is, the client is not accepting my authority and keeps going to my boss, and she doesn't always stop him. How do I rein him in?

--Troy, 32, account management and sales executive

A: You have to ...Read more

Mayors say many families would be hurt by GOP plan to kill state, local tax deduction

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Tom Tait, the Republican mayor of Anaheim, Calif., isn't happy about his party's tax-overhaul efforts in Washington because the plan would eliminate a deduction for state and local taxes that helps many of his city's residents.

In Anaheim's 92806 ZIP Code, for example, the loss of the deduction would lead a family of four with ...Read more

Infernos could worsen Bay Area's already brutal housing market

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The deadly wildfires that roared through Sonoma and Napa counties last week, destroying thousands of homes, might also scorch the Bay Area's already brutal housing market for months or years to come, experts warned Friday.

An estimated 2,800 homes have been destroyed in the wind-whipped infernos in Santa Rosa alone, and a ...Read more

Kushner plan for Fifth Avenue tower in NYC being blocked by partner

Business / Business News /

NEW YORK -- An ambitious plan by Jared Kushner's family to recast its indebted Fifth Avenue office building as a luxury architectural trophy is collapsing, setting off a chain of events that may imperil the Kushners' ownership of a property central to their real estate empire.

Their partner, Vornado Realty Trust, is telling brokers to plan for ...Read more

Netflix serves up big new subscriber gains

Business / Business News /

LOS GATOS, Calif. -- Netflix sees its subscribers as hungry, and they're still eating up what the internet video-streaming kingpin is serving up.

On Monday, Netflix said "strong appetite" for its original content continued to drive the company's results during the third quarter of the year, which included Netflix adding 5.3 million new ...Read more

Napa Valley workers harvest last fruits of season by night

Business / Business News /

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. -- Mario Maldonado didn't wear a mask. The 22-year-old field laborer thought it would slow him down. Besides, he doesn't like to cover his face when he tends to the vineyards on most nights.

But this Napa Valley harvest was different than most. A muddied pinkish glow emanated from the horizon. A haze hovered in the air and ...Read more

Weinstein Co. in talks to potentially sell itself to Colony Capital

Business / Business News /

The Weinstein Co., beset by sexual harassment and assault allegations against ousted co-founder Harvey Weinstein, announced Monday that it is in negotiations to sell part or all of itself to Colony Capital.

The company -- known for producing films such as "Silver Linings Playbook," "Django Unchained" and "The Iron Lady," as well as the reality ...Read more

Tesla tells hundreds of its employees they're not good enough to work there

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Firing hundreds of workers all at once is rare, at least in the auto industry. But Tesla Inc. does things differently.

Word leaked out Friday that the electric car, battery and solar roof company had bulk-fired several hundred employees.

The Mercury News, which broke that story, said Tesla made clear that workers were ...Read more

Nordstrom family suspends effort to take retailer private

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Nordstrom family members have suspended their effort to put together a buyout offer for the Seattle-based retailer, citing "the difficulty of obtaining debt financing in the current retail environment prior to the conclusion of the approaching holiday season."

Led by Bruce Nordstrom, the group disclosed in June its plan to take the ...Read more

Beam's Cruzan Rum distillery up and running after Hurricane Maria damage

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Beam Suntory's Cruzan Rum distillery in St. Croix is back in operation after being battered by Hurricane Maria, according to a Beam Suntory news release Monday.

The distillery was shut down for about three weeks while the company made repairs after the hurricane, a process that required airlifting in 35 workers "with necessary ...Read more

'Happy Death Day' stands out among weak lineup of wide releases

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- It's been a great season for horror, with Blumhouse's "Happy Death Day" becoming the latest such film to top the domestic box office in its opening weekend.

The $5 million movie, a bloody riff on the classic "Groundhog Day" concept, brought in an estimated $26.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to figures from ...Read more

US seeks to gut NAFTA dispute tribunals

Business / Business News /

OTTAWA, Ontario –– U.S. NAFTA negotiators are proposing to essentially do away with the independent tribunals that oversee the trading and investment relationship, either by eliminating them or substantially scaling back their roles, people familiar with negotiations said.

The U.S. has proposed changes for two types of independent dispute ...Read more

Tesla fires hundreds after performance reviews

Business / Business News /

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Tesla fired hundreds of workers this past week, including engineers, managers and factory workers, even as the company struggles to expand its manufacturing and product line.

The dismissals come at a crucial point for the company, which is pushing to increase vehicle production fivefold and reach a broader market with its ...Read more

What next for Amazon studio?

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- As the head of Amazon's entertainment studio since 2014, Roy Price was tasked with shaping the e-retailer into a major player in the film and TV world.

But his unpaid suspension last week after a television producer accused him of making unwanted sexual advances toward her has not only raised questions about his future in the ...Read more

Joseph N. DiStefano: Is China big enough for US investors yet?

Business / Business News /

I was skimming headlines at Bloomberg.com when an ad for HSBC Corp. filled the screen like a news-killing fog.

It urged us to buy China stocks -- now! -- before the Morgan Stanley stock indexes follow the rival Financial Times indexes in adding Beijing and Shanghai companies over the next couple years and the dumb money from American index-fund...Read more

Lee Schafer: Trading case tied to former Life Time Fitness exec hits investing neophytes

Business / Business News /

It's easy to imagine that illegal insider trading is mostly a game played by slick bad guys or aggressive traders who sometimes cross the line.

The story that federal prosecutors tell in the recent indictment of former Life Time Fitness Vice President Shane Fleming and eight others is a lot different. What's striking is the very ordinariness of...Read more

Susan Tompor: Payday loans rule could lead to cheaper alternatives

Business / Business News /

Consumers who are caught in a financial squeeze might one day be able to skip the payday loan store and turn to banks and credit unions for lower-cost, quick-fix loans.

That's one possibility being raised by consumer advocates who want to see an end to gruesome, triple-digit rates that are charged to vulnerable consumers who take out payday ...Read more

Holiday retail forecast: More sales, more hiring, more online

Business / Business News /

Despite department store woes, national retailers have started to seek seasonal help -- and at levels close to those seen last year, according to some estimates.

Many of the seasonal jobs are focused on stocking additional inventory, customer service, and helping in shipping and distribution centers, an area that is growing as online holiday ...Read more