Business

real estate
7:24 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Austin Home Sales Jumped 34 Percent in September

Photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunchesandbits/4714938136/

Austin-area home sales grew by 34 percent in September compared to a year earlier. A new report from the Austin Board of Realtors says almost 2,391 single-family homes were sold last month.

Homes are spending an average of 44 days on the market, which is 22 days fewer than a year ago.

In many cases, homes are being sold by word of mouth before they’re even listed, according to housing economist Jim Gaines at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

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Business
3:09 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Majority of Texas Fast-Food Workers on Public Assistance

Texas has the seventh-largest percentage of front-line fast-food workers on public assistance among 24 states included in a new report.
flickr.com/keoni101

Fifty-nine percent of front-line fast-food workers in Texas rely on public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid to support their families, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Nationally, more than half – 52 percent – of the families of front-line fast-food workers use at least one public assistance program, compared with a quarter of the total workforce, according to the report. The research was sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Urban & Regional Planning.

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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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economy
7:30 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Austin Popular Place to Relocate, But Good Luck Finding a Home

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcostin/101701289/

People across America really want to live in Central Texas. So many people, that Williamson County had the ninth largest growth in households of any county in the nation last year, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors. Travis County was number eleven.

The "net inflow" of households to Williamson County was 4,436 last year. In Travis County, it was 4,045. 

“Texas continues to be an attractive place for people who are considering to be relocating," said Stacey Armijo with the Texas Association of Realtors, "and I think, in particular, those who are looking for job opportunities and a high quality of life."  

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Beer
1:30 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Dispute Brews in Austin Over 'Namaste' Beer Trademark

Whip In's in-house beer company, Namaste Brewing, has been challenged on trandemark grounds.
flickr.com/the_photographer

An Austin beer emporium may be forced to change the name of its line of brews.

First opened in 1986, South Austin’s Whip In has evolved from a convenience store into a “Dhabapub” offering Indian cuisine and 72 beers on tap. It’s also launched an in-house line of beers: Namaste Brewery.  But this week, Whip In announced it was being asked to surrender the Namaste name.

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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
9:52 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Nonstop Flights to Europe Coming to Austin (Update)

Austin's only nonstop international flights are to Cancun, Mexico.
KUT News

Update: Austin is getting regular, nonstop service to Europe.

British Airways announced today that it will begin offering transatlantic Boeing 787 flights five days a week, beginning March 2014. The company says it plans to offer daily flights later in the year.

You can read more from British Airways

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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
12:35 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Texas Fast-Food Workers to Join Nationwide Strike

Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.
flickr.com/wisconsinjobsnow

Jose Avila thought he could save money to pay off college loans by moving into his mother’s one-bedroom Houston apartment and working at a Subway restaurant. But he says he’s barely making ends meet on his $7.75-an-hour wage, and he considers taking the bus to work such an extravagance that he walks an hour and a half each way, unless it’s raining.

Avila, 22, says he plans to join fast-food workers in dozens of cities across the country on Thursday in a pre-Labor Day strike to call for $15-an-hour wages. Workers in Houston, Dallas and Austin plan to participate, organizers say.

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Business
6:49 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

'Limited Number' of Dell Employees Laid Off

Dell's corporate headquaters in Round Rock. The company has announced layoffs, but hasn't said how many employees are affected.
Dell Computers

One of the largest employers in the Austin area is shedding a "limited" number of jobs.

According to company spokesperson David Frink, the layoffs affected people in Central Texas and around the world. Dell employs about 14,000 people in the region, mostly at its corporate headquarters in Round Rock. 

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Business
1:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Austin 20th Best Convention City in the Country

Austin went up four spots in a nationwide survey of the best convention cities.
flickr.com/u-suke

Austin is now in the top 20 of the country’s most popular convention destinations. That’s according to event management company Cvent. It its 2013 rankings of the top U.S. cities for meeting and events, Austin ranks 20th out of the 50 top ranked U.S. cities.

Austin’s current position is four spots up from the company's 2012 rankings. And in its current location, Austin ranks right under major convention cities like Houston (19th) and Boston (18th).

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NPR
8:17 am
Tue August 20, 2013

NPR CEO Gary Knell Announces He's Leaving

NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.
Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:58 pm

After fewer than 21 months on the job, NPR CEO Gary Knell announced at mid-day Monday that he's leaving the organization to become president and CEO at the National Geographic Society.

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food
7:45 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

You Are Paying More For Beef Than Ever Before

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarale/6688989961/

The price Americans pay for beef hit a record high last month, according to a federal report quietly released Thursday morning. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly "beef values and price spreads" report shows a pound of beef at the grocery store averaged $5.36 across the country. That's an increase of more than a dollar over the past five years. 

So it's all because of the drought making feed ridiculously expensive, right? Well, that's part of it. But there's more to it, according to David Anderson, an agricultural economist at Texas A&M University. 

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