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Motorola Mobility layoffs hit about 200 employees in Chicago

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Smartphone-maker Motorola Mobility has laid off about 200 employees at its Chicago headquarters, according to sources.

Motorola spokeswoman Kathryn Hanley would not confirm the scope of the layoffs, but said the affected employees received notice last week. The layoffs are part of a previously announced global restructuring under Chinese parent...Read more

Amazon team headed to Chicago next week to inspect potential HQ2 sites

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CHICAGO -- An Amazon advance team will hit Chicago late next week to visit some of the proposed locations for a new headquarters, a source familiar with the visit who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly said Friday.

Company officials will visit a handful of the 10 sites city and state officials have pitched, the source said. It's ...Read more

Facebook's 'rat-catching team' spies on employees: report

Business / Business News /

Silicon Valley's tech giants are famously secretive -- after all their proprietary products and services are worth billions -- but a new report alleges that Facebook goes to Orwellian lengths to keep its workers from talking out of turn, even about their working conditions.

One Facebook employee was told he was led to expect a promotion, but ...Read more

Uber just raised rates on Florida riders. But drivers are the ticked off ones

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MIAMI -- Last Friday, Uber quietly increased rates for rides in Florida and Louisiana. In Miami, the rates rose by about 10 percent.

According to data compiled by Harry Campbell, publisher of, passengers will now pay $1.05 per mile and $0.16 per minute, compared with $0.91 per mile and $0.13 per minute.

That means a ride in...Read more

Paul Jacobs reportedly trying to take Qualcomm private

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- Qualcomm director Paul Jacobs has reportedly informed the company's board of directors that he intends to partner with investment firms to make an offer to buy the semiconductor giant based in San Diego.

Jacobs made his intentions known to the company's directors in a letter sent on Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal, ...Read more

Saudi Arabian fund looks to invest in Endeavor as the kingdom opens up to Hollywood

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Saudi Arabia is looking to acquire a stake in the Hollywood talent agency Endeavor in a move that would advance the Middle Eastern kingdom's growing ambitions in the entertainment industry.

The Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund -- a public fund that the government uses to invest in projects at home and abroad -- is exploring the acquisition ...Read more

UCSD professor devises way to recycle lithium-ion batteries

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- The promise of a global electric vehicle transformation has a looming problem.

The cathodes in the lithium-ion batteries typically used in electric vehicles, or EVs, are made of metal oxides that contain cobalt, a metal found in finite supplies and concentrated in one of the globe's more precarious countries.

But an assistant ...Read more

Wells Fargo customers could have more time to file claims in $142-million fake accounts settlement

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Wells Fargo & Co. failed to notify some customers about its $142-million class-action settlement over its unauthorized accounts scandal -- an error that could give customers more time to participate in the deal but contribute to months of delay in receiving payments.

The bank last month told attorneys representing customers that it did not send...Read more

Microsoft says it fired about 20 people last year for sexual harassment

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SEATTLE -- Microsoft defended its handling of gender-discrimination complaints Thursday, and said it fired about 20 people last year after sexual-harassment investigations.

In an email to all employees late Thursday about its internal inquiry process for bias complaints, it addressed issues raised earlier this week in a gender-discrimination ...Read more

Fiduciary duty rule struck down by New Orleans appeals court

Business / Business News /

DALLAS -- A federal appeals court struck down an Obama-era rule requiring retirement account managers to put their clients' interests ahead of their own, handing a victory to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans ruled 2-1 to vacate the fiduciary rule, noting that ...Read more

The Week Ahead: New Fed head meets the press (and pressure)

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Being the chairman of the Federal Reserve is to walk a tightrope. Say too much or the wrong thing, and you can upset investment markets to the tune of trillions of dollars. Don't say enough, and rumor and innuendo rule the day.

Jerome Powell steps out onto that tightrope Wednesday afternoon in the week ahead when he holds his first press ...Read more

Auto review: Buick's seven-passenger Enclave crossover redesigned for 2018; prices start at $39,995

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Buick's large three-row crossover, the Enclave, got a complete makeover for 2018, bringing it into its second generation.

It's actually about 10 percent roomier inside than before, and still offers comfortable seating for up to seven passengers -- even adults.

Prices for 2018 begin at $39,995 (plus $995 freight) for the base front-wheel-drive ...Read more

Peter Thiel-founded floating-island plan sunk by the government of paradise?

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It seems the "Next New World" may not be coming to Tahiti after all -- the government of French Polynesia has thrown a wrench into plans for a libertarian utopia on floating islands there -- as proposed by a group founded by Peter Thiel and a former Google engineer.

The "Floating Island Project" by the Seasteading Institute -- which started up ...Read more

Lyft links with Magna to sell driverless systems to any auto manufacturer

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Lyft's driverless car strategy became much clearer Wednesday. The ride-hailing service announced it will partner with major automobile industry supplier Magna to develop driverless vehicle systems and make them available to any automaker that wants to buy them.

That could give Lyft a lot more choice when deciding what car ...Read more

Cord cutters' choice: Streaming TV alternatives spring up in Netflix's shadow

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The popularity of cutting the cord to traditional cable TV bundles isn't just evident in the number who have done it -- 13.5 million people by 2017, according to MoffettNathenson Research. It's also obvious in the individual streaming subscriptions now being offered, with more options for viewing different genres of films and TV shows.

Most ...Read more

California lawsuits accuse Uber and Lyft of discriminating against wheelchair users

Business / Business News /

If a person wants to drive for Uber or Lyft but doesn't have a car, both ride-hailing companies steer them toward rental cars.

If a driver doesn't feel like getting behind the wheel when it rains, both companies sweeten the deal by offering additional pay.

If a driver's car isn't wheelchair accessible, should Uber and Lyft then encourage them ...Read more

Under the Hood: Truck occasionally loses power when put in gear

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Q: I have a 2004 GMC Envoy XUV, V6 with 65,000 miles. For about the last six to nine months it seems to lose power about every 20 starts. It starts, no problem, but when it's time to get in gear and move, it makes a sound that is hard to describe and seems not to want to move forward or backward. This lasts for a bit, and then the sound ...Read more

Quicken Loans affiliate hit with $706M judgment from Texas jury

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A Texas jury has returned a $706-million judgment against a Detroit-based title company affiliated with Quicken Loans, finding that it ripped off a small real estate data startup.

On Wednesday, a 12-person jury in a state district court in Bexar County, Texas, found that Detroit-based Title Source -- rebranded last month as Amrock -- stole data...Read more

Adobe posts record revenue and a surge in profits

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Adobe Systems posted record revenue for its first quarter of fiscal 2018 along with a surge in profits, and offered Wall Street a rosy outlook, a strong financial performance that caused the tech company's shares to rocket higher Thursday afternoon.

In extended trades after the stock markets were closed for the day on ...Read more