Quick ideas for boosting holiday sales

Use your online store to complement your physical storefront this holiday season as you remarket to potential and previous customers, writes Tina Mulqueen. Try a few different holiday promotions to attract customers' attention as you attempt to ramp up your sales.

Data: College completion rates increase

Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center show that college graduation rates inched up 2.1 percentage points this year over 2016. The increase in six-year completion rates to 56.9% follows a two-year decline and surpasses the prerecession high of 56.1%, according to the analysis.

Disney purchase of Fox assets expected to face scrutiny

Disney's acquisition of part of 21st Century Fox is expected to get the same antitrust scrutiny the Justice Department has given other major media mergers. If the deal closes, one of the six major Hollywood studios will be absorbed by Disney and Disney's strong position in sports broadcasting will become even more dominant.

Kroger maps out foodservice growth for 2018

Kroger's first standalone restaurant, Kitchen 1883, has gotten a positive reception since opening in Union, Ky., last month, and the retailer is also readying for the opening of its culinary innovation center. The moves are two examples of how Kroger's Hospitality Division and Culinary Innovation Team are driving foodservice growth for the company heading into 2018.

New program integrates vaccination data into EHRs

The Immunization Integration Program, an alternative testing and recognition program for EHRs developed by HIMSS, Chickasaw Health Consulting and ICSA Labs with support from the CDC, aims to integrate vaccination data with patients' EHRs to help reduce the administrative burden associated with charting immunizations. Collaborators hope the program will improve vaccine coverage and compliance and clinical practice related to immunizations, according to Joyce Sensmeier, vice president of informatics at HIMSS.

Amazon's advertising business is taking off

Crealytics, Possible and Kenshoo report an increase in media investment going to Amazon Marketing Services, the company's self-service ad platform. Amazon has been ramping up its ad offer, allowing advertisers to buy Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals ads via the self-serve platform and pushing its sponsored product ads, with brands taking note this holiday season, writes Seb Joseph.

Driver shortage likely to continue due to low unemployment, better-paying options

The US unemployment rate of 4.1%, a 17-year low, coupled with higher-paying job choices are worsening the long-haul trucking industry's driver shortage. This is placing renewed pressure on shippers to increase compensation and improving working environments.

Oracle reports 6% revenue increase in Q2

Software giant Oracle reported a second-quarter revenue increase of 6%, reflecting strong growth in cloud services, although some analysts were expecting a stronger showing from the company's cloud business. Oracle posted net income of $2.2 billion.

6 new dolphin click types identified by computer algorithm

After sorting through 52 million echolocation signals in underwater sound recordings, a computer algorithm has found six previously unidentified dolphin click varieties, according to findings published in PLOS Computational Biology. Researchers say that figuring out which species of dolphin is making these clicks could help them better track the movements and populations of wild dolphins.

Comcast, Charter voice support for net neutrality deregulation

Comcast and Charter this week called for the Federal Communications Commission to "end the cycle of regulatory ping pong" and roll back net neutrality regulations. Both companies said that they will not block, throttle or discriminate against internet content if deregulation occurs.

Effects of weather patterns on infrastructure to be studied

The University of Houston is leading a group of seven universities in Texas, Florida and Louisiana that will study flood mitigation, hurricane modeling and public policy related to hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Researchers say more understanding is needed about the impacts of changing weather patterns on infrastructure.

House, Senate negotiators preserve PTC in tax bill

Senate and House of Representatives negotiators have agreed on a final rewrite of the US tax code that maintains the wind energy Production Tax Credit phaseout and prevents the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax from destroying the tax equity finance market for renewables, say congressional Republicans. A final vote is expected next week.

JetBlue launches nonstop flights between Haiti and Orlando, Fla.

JetBlue Airways has started nonstop service between Florida's Orlando International Airport and Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Amtrak sees record passenger traffic, refurbishes trains

Amtrak's revenue for November was the highest in the company's history, thanks to a record number of passengers during the week of Thanksgiving. Amtrak has recently made almost $17 million in upgrades to its trains, including new carpet, drapery and cushions for seats.