Business

Technology
7:05 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Startup Week: What Does Austin Need to Become a Legitimate Tech Hub?

Capital Factory founder and executive director Joshua Baer says Austin is in the cycle to becoming a tech hub.
Laura Rice, KUT News

It’s Austin Startup Week – when the technology community invites people to visit to see why they should start their business in Central Texas. But is Austin a legitimate tech hub?

KUT’s Laura Rice put that question to Joshua Baer – the founder and executive director of the tech startup incubator Capital Factory:

Is Austin a Legitimate Tech Hub?

"I meet people every day and every week who are moving here, that picked up and are moving their whole company here from Silicon Valley or from New York or from somewhere else. But these things don't develop overnight. They don't even develop over the course of one or two years. Really, the lifecycle of a tech company is five to ten years. So to get through a few cycles of that, you're talking 20 to 30 years. That's how long it takes to build up a tech community. Silicon Valley? They've had that going for a long time. Austin? We're still a little earlier in that cycle – but we're in that cycle."

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Tesla Motors
1:19 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Tesla's Stock Gets Burned After Car Fire And Downgrading

A Tesla Model S at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 15.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:26 pm

High-flying billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla Motors has seen its shares skid the past couple days because they've been downgraded by analysts and because of a YouTube clip showing one of the all-electric luxury cars engulfed in flames earlier this week.

Just before noon ET, a share of Tesla was trading around $169.50 — down about 6.5 percent for the day and $25 (13 percent) below its 52-week high of $194.50.

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Apple
12:57 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Apple Sells 9 Million New iPhones In Opening Weekend

Apple says it has sold 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models since their launch on Friday. Here, staff members at an Apple retail store in Beijing cheer a customer after he bought a new iPhone.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 2:29 pm

Sales of its new iPhone 5s and 5c models have surpassed other iPhone releases and exceeded initial supply, Apple says. The company says it has sold 9 million of the phones since their launch on Friday and that "many online orders" will ship in coming weeks.

"This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than nine million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a Monday press release. He added that "while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly."

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Business
4:37 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Photos: Inside Austin's First Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is opening its first Austin store this week.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Grocery retailer Trader Joe’s is opening its first Austin store on Friday.

The store on Bee Caves Road is the first of three planned for the Austin region. A second location is planned downtown for the redeveloped Sealholm area. And today the chain announced it will open a third Austin location next year at the Arboretum Shopping Center.

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Dell
9:36 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Dell Shareholders OK Buyout Offer (Update)

Michael Dell at the Web 2.0 Summit in 2011. The Dell founder's bid to buy back his namesake company is expected to be successful.
flickr.com/kevinkrejci

Update: Dell stockholders approved Michael Dell's buyout offer this morning, according to a preliminary vote tally.

“I am pleased with this outcome and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry’s leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions,” Michael Dell said in a press release announcing the vote.  You can read that release here

Original post (9:06 a.m.): Dell shareholders are set to vote this morning on a nearly $25 billion buyout offer from founder Michael Dell. After several postponements, this time, the deal is expected to pass.

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Business
1:11 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Luxury Retailer Neiman Marcus Sells For $6 Billion

The Chicago skyline is reflected in the exterior of Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in a file photo from 2009. The luxury retailer sold for six billion dollars on Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 2:32 pm

Two large investors — Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board — have reached a deal to purchase Neiman Marcus for $6 billion, the companies said Monday. The two buyers will hold equal shares of Neiman, which is based in Dallas.

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DELL
10:17 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Carl Icahn Won't Fight Dell Deal Any Longer

Dell founder Michael Dell's plan to take the computing company private has had a major stumbling block removed.
Stuart Isett/Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Investor Carl Ichan says he will not longer fight Michael Dell’s bid to take his namesake company private.

For the last several months, Michael Dell – who began selling PCs from his dorm room at the University of Texas – had been attempting to take the publicly-traded company back under private control. But his buyout bid, arranged though investment firm Silver Lake, had been fought tooth and nail by Ichan, a major Dell stockholder. Ichan said the bid undervalued the company.

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Business
2:39 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Heard of 'Buy One, Give One?' This Austin Company Helps Pay For a Child's Education Instead

Austin-based ESPEROS sells canvas backpacks and totes. The company donates half its profits to developing countries to pay for a child's education for one year.
ESPEROS

Austin resident and UT grad Oliver Shuttlesworth had just returned home from a series of trips to Central America, but he couldn’t shake the stories he heard from people in the region.

“As I visited with the families I was working with, I heard a recurring theme: the desire for their children to receive an education and to create a better future than they enjoyed themselves,” Shuttlesworth says.

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Business
2:50 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Austin Fast Food Workers Strike For Higher Wages

Fast food workers and supporters rallied this afternoon in support of a $15 an hour wage.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Some Austin fast food workers are joining a nationwide strike for higher wages. Employees from Wendy’s, Jack in the Box and Long John Silver’s gathered in protest this afternoon on Guadalupe Street near the UT campus.

Greg Lee works at Long John Silver’s. He makes $7.25 an hour.

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Business
1:03 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Judge Hints At Helping American Airlines Out Of Bankruptcy

American Airlines aircraft sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport last week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:41 pm

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday indicated that he's leaning in favor of a allowing American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy, clearing a major obstacle to the carrier's planned merger with US Airways.

Judge Sean H. Lane said he is "finding the arguments in favor of confirmation fairly persuasive" to allow American, which filed for Chapter 11 in November 2011, to emerge from bankruptcy.

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Business
10:25 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Justice Sues To Block US Airways-American Airlines Merger

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:33 pm

A merger of American Airlines and US Airways would violate U.S. antitrust law, the Justice Department, six state attorneys general and the District of Columbia allege in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Bloomberg reports that Justice alleges the merger would lead to "less competition in the industry and higher prices for consumers." The wire service explains:

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Business
8:57 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Dell Vote Delayed Again: New Deal Includes Higher Offer, Voting Changes

Dell

A Dell Special Committee has reached a deal with founder Michael Dell. It raises his bid to buy the company by 10 cents per share but also changes some of the voting rules.

Instead of counting votes not cast as “no” votes, only votes that are submitted will be counted. This gives Michael Dell a better chance of getting his deal passed.

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Austin
3:14 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Austin: The Fourth Hardest Working City in the U.S.?

Austin's been named the fourth hardest working of 50 U.S. cities.
flickr.com/dellphotos

Ever feel like you’re working harder than everybody else? It might be because you are. According to recent rankings from real estate site Movoto, Austin is the fourth hardest-working U.S. city.

Basing results off six separate categories, including hours worked per week and lack of sleep, Motovo lists Seattle as the hardest working city in the states, followed by three Texas cities: Arlington, Fort Worth, and Austin.

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Business
8:30 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Dell Decision Day: Today's Vote on Buyout Delayed (Update)

Dell employs about 14,000 people in Central Texas.
flickr.com/philschatz/

Update: Dell is delaying a vote on founder Michael Dell’s offer to buy the company and make it private. The vote was scheduled to happen this morning – but is being pushed back – likely because major shareholders don’t support the deal.

Reports say the vote has been rescheduled for later this month.

Original Story (6:14 a.m.): It is decision day for Dell shareholders.

They are scheduled to meet this morning and vote on whether to accept a buyout offer from company founder Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake Management that values the computer maker at $24.4 billion.

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Business
11:32 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Austin Sets Export Record: $9 Billion

Samsung Austin Semiconductor is a major player in the city's leading export category: computer and electronic products.
Samsung

Exporting everything from semiconductors to barbecue sauce, the Austin metropolitan area set a new $9 billion record for exports in 2012.

The total was an increase of 4.1 percent, or $350 million, according to an announcement yesterday by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA). The announcement says the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area was the 35th largest U.S. export for 2012. 

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Technology
5:50 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Tech-Savvy Cities May Be 'Smart,' But Are They Wise?

Cable cars move commuters over a complex of shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, one of many cities taking part in the smart city boom around the world.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:52 pm

This summer, NPR's Cities Project has been looking at how cities around the world are solving problems using new technologies. And though there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, New York University's Anthony Townsend remains skeptical.

Townsend, whose book Smart Cities is due out in October, tells NPR's David Greene about the causes, benefits and potential dangers of the smart city boom.


Interview Highlights

On what caused the smart city boom

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Business
4:03 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Credit Unions To Congress: Don't Tax Us

Credit unions could lose tax-exempt status if federal lawmakers decide to repeal a law that has given unions tax-free status since 1934.
flickr.com/myfuturedotcom

Credit unions around the country want their members to memorize one phrase right now: Don’t tax my credit union.

The credit unions have enjoyed tax-exempt status since the 1930s, but lawmakers could push them to pay with new federal regulations.

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Business
4:29 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Smaller Texas Banks Stand to Gain from Ban on Debit Surcharge

A prohibition on surcharges on debit cards issued by smaller banks takes effect in September.
U.S. Navy/LaTunya Howard

This year the Texas Legislature passed HB 3068, banning the surcharge placed on debit cards. The bill was championed by The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT), an organization that provides resources to the state’s smaller, community banks.

IBAT Executive Vice President Stephen Scurrlock says the law will have a positive impact on Texas’ small businesses – and that by scuttling the additional cost of using a card not affiliated with a giant bank, payment by debit card will no longer discriminate against community banks. 

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Business
10:06 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Austin Slow to Warm to Mobile Pay Apps like Isis, Square

While mobile payment apps make transactions easier for retailers, some Austin business are still waiting for the payment platform to take off.
flickr.com/joeybones

The idea is great: Walk into your local coffee shop, order your usual, and pay with the tap of a finger. No credit cards, no cash, no wallet.

That’s the concept behind mobile payment apps like Isis and Square. Customers download an app to their phones, program their credit card, and pay by giving the cashier their name. Their card is charged instantly.

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Politics
9:47 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:35 am

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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