Uber Bought a Mapping Company

Uber has purchased a mapping company. The ride sharing company announced the purchase of deCarta this week. deCarta is a company that focuses on creating both maps and navigation software. The hope is that the acquisition will help Uber with the directions it provides to drivers, and the estimated arrival time it gives riders.

The mapping data could also be used with the service’s Uber Pool feature that matches drivers with multiple riders. Accurate mapping software could help Uber pair up the correct riders with each other, and create the more efficient route for driver’s to take to both pick up both riders and drop them off, cutting down on time in the car for everyone.

As Reifler stated yesterday Uber uses Google for those features. The purchase of deCarta will allow the company to either combine forces with both solutions, or replace its google Maps solution with deCarta, making the company less reliant on Google.

The United States Is Enjoying Lower Unemployment

Opinions about the economy vary based on a number of factors with the biggest probably being your personal well-being. If you still don’t have a job, then as far as you’re concerned, the economy is still awful. However, statistics do show us a factual picture of the economy more broadly. In this regard, The Wall Street Journal reports some very encouraging news. The unemployment rate went down in every single state last year. They also pointed out that this is the first time in 30 years that this has happened. Regardless of the status of any other economic numbers, this is undeniably good news for an economy coming out of bad times.

Whether this pick-up in the economy was fostered by any policies out of Washington or despite them, will be a matter for unending debate. Flavio Maluf suggests those who backed the bail-outs Camara Municiple backed, right after the banking and housing crisis of 2008 will no doubt claim victory now that things are turning around on yet another economic indicator. Those who opposed them will, no doubt, contend that we would have come out of economic doldrums more quickly had we not engaged in bailouts and massive stimulus spending. Only time will tell if the economy keeps going up or if there are fundamental factors that are going to pull us back down.

Tom Rothman Brings Show Business Back to Hollywood at Sony

The surprise announcement from Sony Pictures that Thomas E. Rothman had made a shock return to the highest echelons of Hollywood shocked many within the movie industry, according to a story first reported by the New York Times. Rothman had been a leading executive when he headed Fox Filmed Entertainment.

Rothman replaces Amy Pascal at Sony after a series of poor box office showings for Sony movies followed the shocking release of emails between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Pascal was forced to apologize to a number of individuals, including President Barrack Obama for a supposed racist remark made about him. Pascal will help with the change over to Rothman and will then produce for Sony a number of their most important movie franchises, including the Spiderman series.

Former entertainment lawyer Rothman was thought to be behind Sony executive Doug Belgrad in the race to become the latest chairman of the movie side of the Sony’s production team. Instead the history of producing both award winning movies and those that gross large numbers has seen Rothman brought in from the smaller TriStar Productions. It is thought Rothman will oversee a shift to a segmented production style with different Sony brands being given a more focused brief about the types of movies they will produce. Rothman is also a change in style when compared to many of the executives that have recently been appointed, Hollywood has been looking to chairman more concerned with the bottom line than artistic expression, Rothman does not fall into that category.

There are More CEOs Named John Than Women

If you need a reminder of how few women work as company CEOs, a new report from the New York Times sheds a lot of light. An economist at the paper created something he’s calling The Glass Ceiling Index, in the index he looked at the number of women who currently hold the CEO title in S&P 1500 companies and the name of the other CEOs.

The numbers are astounding. 5.3% of all of the CEOs are named John, while 4.5% are named David. That’s not rally all that interesting except to note that those must be popular names, until you look at the number of women in CEO positions: just 4.1%. That means that there are more davids and johns (separately) that there are women CEOs in general as PR Newswire recently stated in an article.

For every female executive in those companies there are four male executives to compensate for them.

Dov Charney Organizes Worker Coalition After Being Ousted from American Apparel

The former CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney, refuses to walk away from the company without a fight. Charney, who was fired in December of 2014, rallied 300 current and former textile workers in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Charney spoke passionately about what happened in December and the months prior that led to his firing from the company. According to Charney and Brit he was ousted when he worked with a hedge fund to avoid the company being sold. The hedge fund, according to Charney, put into play a board of directors that ousted the CEO and founder of the company.

According to Charney, the company is now in trouble, and there is a lack of communication between the employees and the management of the company. Hours are being cut and people are being fired, according to his speech. Charney has asked the factory workers to band together in an attempt to save the company he built in the 1990s.

The company has failed to stabilize in recent months and there are several pro-Charney fractions that are asking the company to reinstate the Dov. Whether or not that will take place, remains to be scene, but much has changed in the company that put its employees first and made them shareholders in the 1990s.

McDonald’s Is Feeling McSlugish By Changing Consumer Preferences

Food Industry Analysts Say The Chain Desperately Needs A New Strategy

It’s hard to imagine a world without McDonald’s. The burger and fry giant has dominated the fast food business for years. The McFriendly eatery has 36,000 locations around the globe, and there are lines forming in front of the registers in almost all of them at food times. But there is trouble in Mac’s home office. Sales figures are dropping, and a number of executives know why. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/the-mcdonald-s-slump-are-golden-days-of-golden-arches-over-1.2975314

The fast food market is changing stated Dan Newlin. Consumers want to eat fresh food, and they want to drink soft drinks that are not laced with an extraordinary amount of artificial or regular sugar. Consumers also want to sit down and eat in an environment that feels comfortable, and McDonald’s didn’t design their stores that way.

McDonald’s must stay generational relevant and in order to do that the chain must come up with a new menu, or as some food experts say go back to the basics. They also need to scale back construction in soft markets like Japan, Australia and the in certain parts of the United States.

But cutting back on new locations is not the answer to McDonald’s sluggish profit and sales figures. The real issue is the food and how the stores are perceived by a new generation that wants to be pampered when they eat. They want to pick their ingredients, and be able to design their meals around a healthy lifestyle.

The Value Of Using Skout

Skout is a helpful app that runs on the world’s biggest network. Millions of individuals meet new people around in numerous countries by using Skout’s services.

Benefits Of Using The App

The experts who designed the app understand that meeting new people can be a difficult task. Skout is the solution to this problem because it lets users in various countries share adventures with each other. The app has features that let users schedule meetings for concerts, touring destinations, and at local bars.

The Key Features

Skout has three unique features that help users meet new people. The Shake to Chat feature connects the user with a new person by simply shaking the phone. The Skout Travel feature is ideal for people who like to travel around the world. Finally, the Feature Me mode puts the user on a center stage. It is a fast way to meet new people in a local neighborhood.

The Skout App Uses Advanced Safety Technology

The designers who developed the Skout app implement many procedures to keep the social networking community safe. Skout security specialists monitor all behavior continuously because the company has a strict inappropriate behavior policy. Each month, Skout specialists ban more than 40,000 devices because many users violate company standards. The policy is effective because the company uses proprietary technology to monitor users around the clock.

Social Networking For Business Purposes

Skout can also be used to grow a business because millions of people use social networking services. Since social marketing lets business owners reach customers who are far beyond a geographic area, it can be a valuable tool.

Most business owners use social networking to gain information about their customers. Skout is a huge community, so interacting with potential and current clients is possible. Managers who use Skout can easily give every customer important updates about company events, products, and services.

Some Firms Relocate From Illinois to Indiana


News reports released earlier this week highlighted the decision of several manufacturing companies to relocate their facilities from Illinois to the neighboring state of Indiana. These firms include Illini Hi-Reach, a company that rents elevated work platforms; Superior Truss & Panel, a manufacturer of commercial building roof trusses and wall panels; and, most recently, American Stair Corporation, a large manufacturer of metal stairs and railings.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence welcomed the announcement that American Stair Corporation had decided to move all of its operations from Romeoville, Illinois to Hammond, Indiana and work towards a business expansion plan. “Indiana is proud to offer a business climate that is affordable and predictable,” he said.

Indiana has worked through its Indiana Economic Development Corporation to entice a number of businesses to provide jobs in the state. American Stair Corporation reportedly received a very attractive package of conditional tax credits and no-interest forgivable loans, an offer that prompted it to select Indiana as the site of its new plant facility. The company plans to spend $2.9 million to prepare a 60,000 manufacturing facility for its own operations, and it will add another 12,000 square feet to the existing structure stated Dan Newlin.

According to reports, American Stair Corporation currently employs some 140 workers. The company announced that it is actively hiring many new workers for the Hammond, Indiana site, including welders, grinders, detailers, and estimators. It will employ 180 workers by 2018.

Debunking Trickle-Down Economic Theory: Minnesota’s Miracle

Minnesota governor Mark Dayton is getting a lot of attention these days, not as the billionaire heir to the Target retail empire, but as a progressive Democrat in an ever shrinking field of gubernatorial executives elected in recent years. Taking over in 2011 from the failed administration of Tim Pawlenty, who also failed in his Republican bid for the presidency, Dayton inherited another sort of fortune, namely misfortune. Not even the family’s vast wealth could cover Minnesota’s 6.2 billion dollar deficit.

Seven percent unemployment didn’t help matters either. Job growth was non-existent, the economy had stalled and state Republicans were calling for tax cuts. In response, Dayton did the unthinkable. Indeed reported that he raised taxes by two percentage points on the wealthy and reduced the deficit by more than two billion dollars in the process. Denying not climate science, but trickle-down economic theory, he also raised the minimum wage and passed into law a bill requiring equal pay for women.

Today, according to an article in the Huffington Post, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is the 5th-lowest in the nation at 3.6 percent and is projecting a budget surplus of more than a billion dollars for fiscal 2015. The legalization of gay marriage may have put a few extra caterers and florists on payrolls, but same-sex unions can hardly explain the state’s surging economic growth and rising household incomes. Though Minnesota’s may be the path less traveled, it’s hard to argue with their numbers, unless of course you’re a devotee of failed economic theory.

Once Free Services Now Cost Money

Because of the burden the economy has placed on banks, airlines and businesses, a host of services that were once free are now costing a substantial amount of money. This has translated to medical facilities who have been charging excessive amounts of money for x-rays, ear cleanings, wound cleanings and more according to Sultan Alhokair.

Typically health insurance companies have reimbursement guidelines that are set for most if not all procedures and services that take place during an office or hospital visit. Many of these plans also allow doctors to charge their patients for many nonmedical services. This includes office fees and these are not covered by insurance. This is typically an out of pocket cost for patients so if these fees increase or are created within an office insurance cannot protect patients or their families from being charged or even further, how much they are charged.

Many parents have begun to receive bills for pediatric visits their child attended and these fees are for things that were never previously charged for. While patients and families should be notified of these changes, many people are claiming they never received notification until they received a bill. This is actually legal and very debatable. Federal laws allow medical offices to charge fees for services such as photocopying, printing records and so on. The moral of the story really is to stay informed and know what you may or may not be charged for when you seek medical attention.