Business

Manufacturing
1:51 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

What's Behind the Connecticut-Made Brand?

Bob Torrani, director of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology’s (CCAT) Advanced Manufacturing Center in East Hartford, explains how CCAT helps smaller firms to optmize new technology.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

What consumer product comes to mind when you think of Vermont? Maple syrup, Cabot cheese, or Ben & Jerry’s, perhaps? If that's what comes up in a kind of consumer word association, marketing gurus would nod their heads knowingly.

A strong product is great, but if you don’t build a strong brand, it won't sell. How are businesses and policy makers branding Connecticut-made products?

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Insurance Industry
1:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Connecticut's Share of Insurance Industry Continues to Decline

Hartford, Connecticut, known as the Insurance Capital.
Credit Cliff / Creative Commons

A new analysis shows employment in the insurance industry is steadily recovering nationally. Connecticut’s share of the industry, however, has continued to decline.

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Job Growth
12:25 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Growth, Report Says

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (right) and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess cut a cake to celebrate city's raised minimum wage.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:42 pm

New data released by the Department of Labor suggests that raising the minimum wage in some states might have spurred job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.

In a report on Friday, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, would cost 500,000 jobs.

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Technology Industry
8:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:23 am

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.

The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.

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Online Shopping
5:16 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

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Technology
3:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Company Experiments With 3D-Printed Car

Local Motors engineer James Earl prepares to test drive the company's 3D printed vehicle prototype. (Carrie Jung/KJZZ)

3D printers are capable of producing a variety of consumer products, from children’s toys to prosthetic limbs. Now, a company in the Phoenix area is trying to take the technology to the next level with cars. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Jung of KJZZ reports.

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Customer Service
2:32 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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Customer Service
1:15 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:38 pm

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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Aerospace
9:44 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Connecticut Companies at World's Biggest Air Show

Farnborough Air Show

Connecticut aerospace companies are front and center at the world’s largest air show on Monday. The Farnborough Air Show in England alternates with Paris each year to host the biggest names in the world of aerospace.

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Subprime Mortgages
7:53 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Pay $7 Billion To Resolve Mortgage Probe

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:53 am

Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The deal covers mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008, the company said in a statement on its website.

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Minor League Baseball
4:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Hartford Pulls Out of $60 Million Bond Plan For New Stadium

Segarra now wants a new stadium without a tax burden on Hartford property owners.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has withdrawn a resolution that would have bonded up to $60 million for a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford.

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Overtime Pay
2:59 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Berlin Limousine Firm Ordered to Pay $500,000 in Back Wages

Credit Anja Peternelj/iStock / Thinkstock

A Berlin limousine firm has been ordered to pay its drivers half a million dollars in back wages and damages, after it failed to pay overtime for several years.

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Schooner Spat
2:47 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Amistad Bows Out of Sailfest, Citing Local News Coverage

Sailfest visitors will no longer be able to tour The Amistad.
Ed G Flickr Creative Commons

As New London gathers for its annual Sailfest, the operators of The Amistad say the famed schooner will no longer take part in the annual event.

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For-Profit Hospitals
1:58 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

St. Mary's Hospital Opts for Tenet Healthcare Deal

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

A fifth hospital in Connecticut has announced plans to give up its not-for-profit status, and join the for-profit Tenet Healthcare group.

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Defense Industry
11:37 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Pentagon Grounds All F-35s Amid Fire Investigation

The U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter
Samuel King Jr./U.S. Air Force AP

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 7:19 pm

The Pentagon has grounded all of its F-35s while it investigates the cause of a fire last month involving one of the jets.

In a statement late Thursday, the Defense Department said the decision was made based on initial findings from a runway fire incident June 23 at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. No one was hurt.

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Bottom Five
11:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Business Climate: Is Connecticut Really That Bad?

Perception or reality?

A recent study saw Connecticut drop once again in the ranking of business-friendly states. According to CNBC, we’re now among the bottom five states in the nation in terms of our business climate.

There is a view out there, however, that things may not be so bad after all.

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Unionization
10:53 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Connecticut Studies Supreme Court Decision on Home Health Aides

Supreme Court
Getty Images

Governor Dannel Malloy’s office will study the implications of a Supreme Court ruling that weakens the power of unions to organize home health care workers.

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Hard Hittin' History
2:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Voices From the Hardware City

Fafnir Bearing Company.
New Britain Industrial Museum

New Britain may lose its baseball team to Hartford, another blow to a city that, over the years, has lost many of its jobs, and many of the the iconic brands associated with the city.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:02 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Can Technology Save the World?

Wendell Wallach is the Chair of Technology & Ethics at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Chion Wolf

Let's take the most dire problem facing humankind: Climate change has so many negative implications it would take all day to list them. Meanwhile, there's the possibility of a sudden acceleration of a problem caused by the melting of Arctic ice, which exposes more ocean water to warming, which causes more melting, which causes more...well, you get the picture.

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Social Media
10:57 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Facebook's Diversity Numbers Are Out, And They're What You Expect

Numbers out Wednesday show almost 7 out of 10 Facebook staffers are male.
Photo Illustration: Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 3:42 pm

The summer of tech company demographic data dumps continues apace. Facebook is the latest big firm to share its staff's racial and gender breakdowns, following similar releases from Google and Yahoo. Other tech firms NPR has reached out to say they are having conversations about whether they will do the same.

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Technology
11:27 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Yo Is The Buzzy App Of The Moment, Whether Yo Like It Or Not

justyo.co

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:41 pm

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Globalization
7:50 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Fairfield County a Mecca for Foreign Investment

Many of Stamford's finance jobs are provided by foreign-owned firms
DBen Wikimedia Commons

Fairfield County had the highest proportion of employment provided by foreign-owned companies of any metro region in the country. The figures came in a new study on the impact of overseas investment in the U.S.

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Preserving Michelangelo
11:58 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Carrier to Install New HVAC System in the Sistine Chapel

The famous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel
Antoine Taveneaux Wikimedia Commons

Farmington-based Carrier is to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Sistine Chapel as part of an effort to preserve the frescoes of Michelangelo.

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International Trade
9:32 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Connecticut Creates Deep Water Port Authority

Gov. Dannel Malloy signs the Connecticut Port Authority legislation in New London
Harriet Jones WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that will create a comprehensive port authority for the state of Connecticut.

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Made in Connecticut
9:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Connecticut Vaccine Company Gets $50 Million in Federal Funding

The Meriden labs of Protein Sciences.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Meriden’s Protein Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar extension to its contract with the federal government to provide flu vaccines.

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Courts
6:51 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

SunTrust To Pay Nearly $1 Billion For Mortgage Practices

SunTrust has agreed to pay $968 million as part of a settlement with the government over charges that it failed to comply with standards required for federally backed mortgages.

The settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Justice Department and other agencies includes money for homeowners and a requirement that the company improve its procedures for mortgage loans and foreclosures.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Made in Connecticut
11:09 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Helping Manufacturers Save For the Future

Hugh McCann at his Bridgeport factory.
Harriet Jones WNPR

As manufacturing continues its rebound in this country, there’s a lot of discussion about the best ways for government to encourage the trend. One group of manufacturers in Connecticut think they’ve found the perfect policy tool, and they’re pioneering it here in Connecticut.

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Made in Connecticut
9:27 am
Fri June 13, 2014

How Connecticut Manufacturing Businesses Have Beat the Odds For 100 Years

Bill Potvin at Hosmer Mountain Soda continues to sell flavors that are uniquely New England.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The odds were never in favor of small businesses. Data from the Small Business Administration shows that only about one-third of all start-ups make it beyond the first ten years. 

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Technology
1:14 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Facebook Ad Targeting Will Use Even More Of Your Data

Facebook says that starting soon, ad targeting will "include information from some of the websites and apps you use," making ads more relevant to users' interests.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:53 am

Facebook says it will pull from more user data, including browsing histories, to better target ads to consumers. As the changes roll out over the next few weeks, users will also have more control over their own data profiles, the ones that help determine which ads they see.

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State Growth
9:21 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Connecticut Economy: Good News! We're Not Dead Last

Credit Tracy O / Creative Commons

Connecticut's economy is showing positive growth, but it's very modest, according to newly-revised figures from the federal government.

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