Startup valuations may have been inflated by "tourist" investors who don't understand the startup world, and there are signs that these investors are starting to pull back. This happens in developing economies, but it might also be happening in Silicon Valley. "The biggest danger is that the startups see abundant capital, they massively increase their burn rate, thinking that they can go back to the well over and over again, and then they find out that they can't," says Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.
Amazon has been quietly building a sustainability "dream team," most recently with the addition of global supply chain expert Dara O'Rourke. That suggests the company could be rethinking its hands-off approach to CSR issues, writes Marc Gunther. "There's certainly plenty to do. For years, Amazon has been mostly absent from the corporate responsibility conversation," he notes.
A Massachusetts school district wants $3.6 million to upgrade technology over the next three years. Officials say this would be the first investment in the district's technology in at least six years, and the plan focuses on the need for periodic investments in technology going forward.
A $10-per-barrel tax on oil firms will be part of the Obama administration's budget proposal for fiscal 2017. Proceeds would fund alternative transportation and infrastructure. Congress is not expected to include the measure in spending legislation. The proposal is significant, however, because it reflects Obama's increased focus on climate change.
Some of America's best-known seafood, including Maine lobster and New England clams, might struggle to survive in the face of rising global temperatures and increasing ocean acidification, research suggests. Scallops, salmon and sturgeon were also found to be extremely vulnerable to the shifting climate.
Female patients diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during childhood had a twofold increased likelihood of developing obesity in childhood and adulthood than those who didn't have ADHD, according to a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers assessed 1,001 individuals with and without childhood ADHD, all born between 1976 and 1982, and found no association between obesity and stimulant treatment among those with the disorder.
YouTube users spent 840 million minutes watching Super Bowl ads last year, making digital an important way to promote Game Day campaigns and use pre- and post-event hype. Taco Bell has released online ads to encourage rumors about a new product it plans to unveil in its Super Bowl spot.
Most Target stores will have at least one cart with a special seat for shoppers whose medical conditions keep them from being able to sit in regular shopping cart seats, the retailer said. The carts, called Caroline's Carts, are designed to give parents of children with special needs an alternative to shopping with both a cart and a stroller. Other retailers including Cub Foods and Hy-Vee have added the carts at some stores.
BQ has unveiled what it claims is the first Ubuntu tablet, a 10-inch device that can connect to a secondary monitor via HDMI port or hook up to a mouse and keyboard over Bluetooth to transform into a desktop. The Wi-Fi tablet features 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM and is expected to go on sale in March through BQ's online store.
The food industry is urging Congress to create a national labeling policy to prevent the enforcement of a mandatory biotech food labeling standard set to go into effect in Vermont in July. Critics and supporters of mandatory biotech food labeling have failed to come to an agreement after two rounds of talks organized by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Congress wants a bipartisan compromise to be reached before summer.
Google will offer another Android 6.0 upgrade for Android Wear devices over the next two weeks, following its ill-fated launch on an LG Watch in November. The upgrade adds support for 4G service, as well as for speakers and voice-activated messaging.
Google-backed startup Urban Engines says it has developed software that will not only tell users where there is traffic congestion on their route, but also predict when it is likely to occur. "Our world is constantly changing with variances every second. The best route and time for getting from one end of a city to another is not static, so the best business decisions shouldn’t be either," the firm said.
Oklahoma's wind farms have generated about $134 million in ad valorem taxes since 2004, according to Oklahoma State University. The report said that tax revenue from wind companies provides rural communities with economic benefits, improved schools and energy independence. "Having these turbines in rural areas really makes an impact on those county budgets," said professor Shannon Ferrell. Oklahoma sources about 17% of its total electricity from wind.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly calls on customers to join efforts in supporting a plan to transform the air traffic control system. "We need your help in urging Congress to modernize our skies, and deliver the transformational ATC reform that our customers deserve," Kelly writes. "I am asking you to please take a moment of your time and visit modernskies.org to learn more about ATC reform. ... I am absolutely confident that the voice of our loyal customers can prevail in this challenge and together we can help modernize our skies!"
Winter storms and heavy snow can cause disruptions when travelers depart from northern ports such as New York and New Jersey. Travel agents advise winter cruise travelers to fly south and depart from a South Florida port, an additional expense that's worthwhile.