Business

Technology
7:23 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Microsoft Wants To Mine Data Like A Social Network

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the Future Decoded conference in London on Nov. 10. The company hopes to create new social tools to increase productivity in and out of the workplace.
Kevin Coombs Reuters /Landov

Microsoft — a company most associated with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets — is getting a makeover.

Under new leadership, the software developer is analyzing vast troves of data about its users to create social tools for the workplace. They've got the goods — just think of all those Office emails that bind us together — but the question is, will customers want to cozy up socially with Microsoft, on and off the job?

Old Data, New Strategy

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Connecticut's Plan for Energy Efficiency; Roundtable Looks at CL&P Rates

Kevin Dooley Creative Commons

According to a new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Connecticut has dropped to sixth place in the national ranking of state energy efficiency. 

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Destination Retail
9:56 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Foxwoods Readies Outlet Mall

An oculus that will let natural light into the quarter-mile-long mall building
Harriet Jones WNPR

In the week that Massachusetts removed the last challenge to its new gaming industry, voting down a potential repeal, one of Connecticut’s casinos showed off exactly how it’s preparing for competition from the north.

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The Business of Governing
10:31 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Catherine Smith Looks Forward to Economic Development 2.0

DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith
Credit Chion Wolf

Economic development was a major part of the campaign rhetoric this election season, and it seems destined to be a high-profile part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s second term.

WNPR sat down with the administration’s economic development chief, Catherine Smith to talk about what a second term will look like.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
3:24 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.
Mike Belleme for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:41 pm

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

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Ballot Question Defeat
1:05 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Casino Opponents in Massachusetts Consider Their Options

MGM's plans for downtown Springfield include a tower
Credit MGM Springfield

By a 20 percent margin, voters in Massachusetts refused to repeal the state’s casino law. The defeat of the ballot question comes as a relief to those bankrolling projects that were approved in three different Massachusetts communities.

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Technology
4:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Domino's Becomes A Tech Company That Happens To Make Pizza

A stats board displayed at the Domino's flagship store in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Emily Fox Michigan Public Radio

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:20 pm

If we asked you to name a few technology companies, Google or Microsoft might come to mind. But one tech company that isn't so obvious is Michigan-based but globally present Domino's Pizza.

In recent years, the company has gotten noticeably good at something that wasn't always its focus — developing technology products to get pizzas to people more easily.

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Economic Development
3:33 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

UBS, Connecticut Strike New Deal Over Stamford Jobs

UBS Stamford headquarters
Credit Harriet Jones

The state of Connecticut has cut a new deal with banking giant UBS, which it hopes will keep the company in Stamford for another seven years. 

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Springfield Casino
1:27 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Springfield’s South End Looks Ahead as Massachusetts Votes on Casinos

Springfield's former South End Community Center, and the possible future site of an MGM casino.
Henry Epp NEPR

In a few days, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to keep the state’s casino law in place, or repeal it.

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Development Plans
4:49 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Development on Former New Haven Coliseum Site Gets $21.5 Million State Boost

Gov. Dannel Malloy announces a state investment in New Haven's Downtown Crossing.
Paul Bass New Haven Independent

Governor Malloy announced on Thursday a $21.5 million investment in phase two of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing plan.

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Business
3:45 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Frontier Offers Refunds to Customers Affected by Outage

Credit Thinkstock

Frontier Communications said it will offer refunds to customers who have been affected by outages in service. The Stamford-based company just switched over all of AT&T'’s landline, Internet and streaming video customers.

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Johnsonville
1:20 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Sold! Abandoned Village of Johnsonville Sells for $1.9 Million in Online Auction

The fate of Johnsonville is now in the hands of the new, as of yet unnamed new owner.
RM Bradley Co.

The bidding is over, and the abandoned village of Johnsonville sold on Auction.com for $1.9 million. No word on the identity of winner of the village, or their intentions for the 62-acre parcel of land in East Haddam, Connecticut. First Selectman of East Haddam, Mark Walter, said he would like to see the village, including the restaurant and chapel, restored and reopened for business.

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Sexual Orientation
9:04 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to a crowd before he is honored by the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Alabama state Capitol on Monday.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 4:15 pm

Tim Cook, the head of the world's most iconic technology company, has come out today in an op-ed on Bloomberg Businessweek, saying he's never denied his sexual orientation but "I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now.

"Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day," Cook writes.

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Marketing
4:42 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Monsanto Hired This Guy To Help It Win Over Millennials

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.
Juliette Michel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 11:08 am

As I scrolled through tweets about a panel on agricultural entrepreneurs at the SXSW Eco conference earlier this month, one caught my eye. The sender was Vance Crowe, Monsanto's director of millennial engagement.

Corporate America is currently caught up in a torrid infatuation with millennials, who befuddle and torment the companies who want their dollars.

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The Business of Defense
3:44 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Electric Boat Says $10 Million State Loan Guarantees 8,900 Jobs

Electric Boat president Jeffrey Geiger with state officials.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Electric Boat will use a $10 million loan from the state of Connecticut to buy and refit a building from nearby Pfizer. The Groton-based shipyard is launching a $31 million program to expand and upgrade its facilities.

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Johnsonville
10:19 am
Tue October 28, 2014

For Sale: Abandoned Connecticut Village

The Johnsonville General Store.
RM Bradley Co.

Online bidding begins on Tuesday for an entire village in Connecticut named Johnsonville, an abandoned village in the Moodus section of East Haddam.

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Retail Technology
2:28 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

CVS Pulls Apple Pay, And Many See A Fight Over Mobile Wallets

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 3:25 pm

One week after Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, debuted in CVS stores, CVS has backtracked and barred its use. Rite Aid took the same step, leading many observers to note that the two companies are part of a group of retailers that's developing its own payment system, called CurrentC. Partners include Wal-Mart, Best Buy and 7-Eleven.

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Future of Gaming
12:41 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Campaigning Heats Up on Massachusetts Casino Ballot Question

A rendering of the proposed MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.
mgmspringfield.com

Massachusetts voters will get to decide a question on the ballot next week that’s of great interest to Connecticut. Opponents of the state’s law allowing casino gambling have placed a question that asks voters if they want to repeal the measure. 

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Side Business
11:25 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Making Jewelry From Buttons And Bottle Caps

Doll's-eye necklace pendant
Courtesy of Mei-Ling Uliasz

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:22 pm

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

When she's not teaching second-graders in Connecticut, Mei-Ling Uliasz turns bottle caps and little tin cars and brass protractors and other found objects into whimsical "upcycled" jewelry.

Tell us about your secret life.

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Corporate Defection
1:36 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

UBS Puts Stamford Building Up for Lease

UBS headquarters in Stamford.
Harriet Jones WNPR

UBS has put its massive, 12-acre Stamford complex up for lease, confirming rumors that it is mulling a move out of the city.

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Election 2014
1:13 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

How Far Apart, Really, Are Connecticut's Candidates for Governor on Economic Issues?

Governor Dannel Malloy breaks ground on Jackson Lab's new Farmington facility.
Jackson Labs

The two major candidates for Connecticut governor have clashed repeatedly in their debates over economic policy and jobs. But how far apart are they really in how they would tackle the pocketbook issues? Maybe not so far.

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Consumers
11:40 am
Thu October 23, 2014

You're Enjoying Low Gas Prices, But Is It Really A Good Sign?

Macy Gould shared this photo from Lexington, Ky., where the gas prices are under $3.
Macy Gould Instagram

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:40 pm

All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

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Military
1:48 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Visits Connecticut, Talks Leadership

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S Army Gen. Martin Dempsey visited Connecticut this week. First talking with the senior class at the Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday and then speaking to business leaders on Wednesday.
Facebook

The nation’s highest-ranking military officer delivered the keynote address at this year’s Geno Auriemma Leadership Conference organized by UConn School of Business. U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke about the tenets of leadership that exist in both the military and civilian world. 

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Economic Development
2:38 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Gov. Malloy Raises Doubts About UBS in Stamford

UBS headquarters in Stamford.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy says banking giant UBS may renege on its commitment to keep 2,000 jobs in Stamford. He made the remarks during an interview with the owners of the Stamford Advocate. 

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Employment Statistics
4:04 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Connecticut Posts Biggest Monthly Jobs Gain in 20 Years

Credit Sujata Srinivasan

Connecticut posted its best month for job gains in 20 years in September, adding 11,500 positions to its workforce. That’s the largest monthly improvement since 1994. 

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Electricity Market
3:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Connecticut Protests Power Auction That Will Drive Up Future Rates

Credit Невідомий / Creative Commons

Connecticut officials are once again demanding an investigation of an electricity auction earlier this year which they claim artificially drove up prices for the entire region. 

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Lowering the Bills
1:51 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Small Retailers in Connecticut Urged to Get Smart About Energy Efficiency

Credit unkas_photo/iStock / Thinkstock

Small retailers in the state are being urged to save money on utility bills this winter, beginning with a free energy audit. The Connecticut Retail Merchants Association is running a program in conjunction with the state’s electric utilities, designed specifically for independent stores. 

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Technology
6:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Will Apple's Mobile Wallet Replace Your Leather Wallet?

Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 8:57 am

On Monday, Apple is rolling out a new way to pay: a digital wallet called Apple Pay. Millions of people with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be able to tap — rather than swipe — at the register.

The move could be a major change in how we shop. Or it could end up as a blip on the map that fades away, as other "mobile wallets" have in the past.

Here are some questions you might be asking:

I have a leather wallet in my back pocket. Am I going to have it a year from now, given this mobile-wallet revolution?

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Where We Live
8:31 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Exploring Polish Culture in Connecticut

Broad Street, New Britain
Chion Wolf

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama went to Poland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of democratic elections in Poland. The speech signaled a continued strong relationship between the countries - something forged by the decades of immigration from Poland to the US - a connection that created large Polish-American communities in places like New Britain, CT. 

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Seasonal Jobs
2:29 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:44 am

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

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