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Google Is Becoming A Car Manufacturer

May 28, 2014

Google is taking a detour into the world of automobiles, by becoming a carmaker.

But not just any car: a car that drives itself. In an effort to create a fully, 100 percent self-driving vehicle — something that needs no human being at the steering wheel — the company is building a car without a steering wheel.

Scientists at the company's research wing, Google X, have been working on this project hush-hush for the past year.

Today's Self-Driving Car

Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland could lay off hundreds of its U.S. employees, according to new reports. The company has its North American headquarters in Stamford.

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

Bullying is a behavioral problem often associated with children in grade school, but according to a recent Zogby poll commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute more than a quarter of American workers say they've experienced abusive conduct at work.

Now, many states are considering laws that would give workers legal protections against workplace abuse.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

Starwood

The Starwood Hotel group said it will create 340 new jobs at its Stamford headquarters, bringing its total workforce in the city's Harbor Point to more than 1,300.

Ebay

Connecticut's attorney general is working with other states to try and prevent data breaches like the ones that happened to eBay, Target, and Neiman Marcus.

Design Pics / Thinkstock

A group of taxi firms in Connecticut is suing two new ride-share companies, trying to stop them from doing business in the state.

Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.

EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.

IICONN

Giving to good causes is something many of us think about at the end of the year, as we send off a donation to a non-profit that we support. But what if you had the means and business expertise get more deeply involved in the work of your chosen cause? A new organization in Connecticut wants to harness that kind of talent.

ESPN

Sports media giant ESPN has opened its new digital media center on its Bristol campus.

Michael Blann/Digital Vision / Thinkstock

Foxwoods Resort Casino has announced plans to close parts of one of its casinos on weekdays, and lay off employees. This is the latest bid to brings costs under control as its gaming receipts continue to drop.

vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

The rising cost of medical care is the top concern of businesses surveyed in a new report by insurance company Travelers.

Pfizer

Pfizer's bid for rival pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca looks likely to fail, after the UK business turned down its latest offer.

Connecticut added more than two thousand jobs last month, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Labor. It adds to the positive trend seen through the early part of this year.

The Labor Department always cautions that monthly figures can be volatile, and subject to correction, but April marks the third straight month that the state saw positive job growth. Employers added 2,200 jobs and the unemployment rate, measured through a separate household survey, dropped to 6.9%, down 1/10ths of a percent.

Shana Sureck / WNPR

If you ask Michael Fazio how long he’s been in the pipe organ business, he’ll say, “How do I get out of it?”

The U.S. housing market is strengthening after a tough winter, according to economists at a Realtors convention in Washington.

But even as the short-term outlook brightens, they remain worried about a long-term problem with "missing" young buyers.

"There really are serious issues in the first-time-buyer market," Eric Belsky, managing director of Harvard's Joint Center of Housing Studies, told the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

New rules for how Internet traffic is governed were officially unveiled and approved for public comment following a 3-2 vote Thursday by members of the Federal Communications Commission.

Pfizer

Pfizer's chief executive will face questioning by politicians in the UK this week over the company's bid for rival pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca.

Vibram USA — the maker of those shoes that look more like rubber gloves with separate compartments for each toe — has agreed to pay $3.5 million settlement in a class action suit for allegedly misleading their customers.

The lawsuit was brought by a woman who says the shoe company claimed to decrease foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles, but had no scientific research to prove it.

allnightavenue / Creative Commons

Hartford has the highest rate of underwater mortgages in the country, according to a new report that says communities of color are most likely to owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. But the city administration disputes the data on which the study is based.

Media industry veteran Jarl Mohn will be NPR's new CEO, the organization's board of directors has announced.

Mohn, 62, currently sits on the board of directors at several media organizations, including Scripps Networks Interactive and Web analytics company ComScore. He is also on the boards of KPCC Southern California Public Radio and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Announcing the hire, Kit Jensen, who chairs NPR's board of directors, said Mohn has "an ability to find nuanced and new ideas." He is slated to start work at NPR on July 1.

White House

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will give a lecture series at Yale this fall, based on his experiences during the financial crash.

Pratt and Whitney

Companies that supply planes and engines to commercial airlines are about to see a boom in business unlike anything that the industry can remember. There are more customers than ever before for airline flights, and alongside that, engine technology has taken a big leap forward. That means unprecedented investment, and Connecticut is at the epicenter of that change. 

ClearEdge

The market for fuel cells is growing, according to industry experts, despite the recent bankruptcy of one of Connecticut's largest fuel cell manufacturers.

Electric Boat

Electric Boat expects to hire more than 500 extra employees as it gets ready to work on the largest contract ever awarded by the U.S. Navy. The workforce can still expect pain in the short term.

The contract for ten Virginia class submarines represents five years of steady work building two submarines a year at the Groton yard, something that's been hard to come by in recent decades.

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

After decades of stagnant incomes, the inability to save, and disappearing pensions, 75 percent of Americans nearing retirement have less than $30,000 saved, which won’t last long. One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers -- a big demographic that is headed straight towards retirement. In fact, Connecticut’s population of 65 and up is growing ten times faster than the general population.

Teen's App Helps Pay Family's Bills

May 5, 2014

Michael Sayman is a 17-year-old game developer from Miami, whose app — 4 Snaps — has been going strong in the iTunes App Store. Sayman was highlighted at Facebook's development conference last week by Mark Zuckerberg. He graduates from high school this month and starts an internship at Facebook headquarters later this summer. Sayman spoke with Tell Me More about his app, how he used the proceeds to help his family and how some schools and teachers are overlooking the importance of tech.

How did you get into tech?

Harriet Jones / WNPR

As May begins, Connecticut's tourism industry is gearing up in earnest for the summer season ahead. And there's cautious optimism that receipts may be up once again this year. One Old Saybrook business is investing in the future.

ctfastrak.com

Connecticut is to invest millions of dollars in an attempt to spur economic development along the route of the New Britain to Hartford busway, and the New Haven to Springfield rail line.

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