Oct. home sales dip amid increased prices

Sales of existing homes dropped 3.4% in October as the median home sales price reached $219,600, according to the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, average 30-year fixed mortgage rates neared 4% after measuring at 3.79% the previous month, according to Freddie Mac data.

Can digital portfolios jeopardize ownership of students' work?
11/24/2015 Connected Principals blog

As education technology companies increasingly offer portfolio options, it is important to know who owns the work stored on those platforms -- the students or the companies, administrator George Couros writes. In this blog post, Couros explains his decision to use blogs as digital portfolios in order to ensure that students maintained control of their own work.

Politicians denounce Pfizer-Allergan deal as tax dodge
11/24/2015 ReutersBloombergBusiness Insider

Politicians and leading contenders for the White House have criticized Pfizer's planned merger with Allergan, which will let the pharmaceutical giant be headquartered in Ireland and escape US taxation. "We cannot delay in cracking down on inversions that erode our tax base," Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said. Donald Trump, a leading Republican candidate, has called the $160 billion deal "disgusting."

Pinnacle to boost health-and-wellness offerings with Boulder Brands buy

Pinnacle Foods plans to add to its roster of health-focused brands with the acquisition of Boulder Brands in a deal valued at about $975 million, including debt, the companies announced today. Boulder produces brands including Evol Foods and Udi's Gluten Free.

Cellular study examines links between heroin exposure, HIV risk
11/24/2015 Pharmacy Times online

A study of the immune cells of 22 people found that micro RNAs that restrict HIV replication are downregulated in the macrophages of heroine users. The research in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology found that HIV replication increased in in-vitro tests when the cells where exposed to heroin.

Macy's is tapping Instagram, Facebook for sequential holiday storytelling
11/24/2015 Adweek

Macy's is taking advantage of Instagram's Marquee ads that enable brands to use three spots to target a big audience. The retailer is dividing a three-minute spot into segments, and Facebook will show the full spot to consumers who've watched the Instagram ads. "You can tell a piece of the story and then target that customer who engaged with that first ad unit with another element of the story later in the day," Macy's Serena Potter said.

Toys R Us touts interactive holiday toys to stand out
11/24/2015 TheStreet.com

Toys R Us plans to set itself apart from mass merchant and online rivals with a focus on voice-activated toys, robots and other interactive, technology-fueled playthings, Toys R Us Chairman and CEO David Brandon said. Longer term, the retailer will evaluate the size of its brick-and-mortar stores. "Our stores are probably larger than they need to be. We'll be looking at formats that allow us to be in a little smaller space," Brandon said.

Kano kit teaches kids how to build a display
11/24/2015 TechCrunch

Kano has debuted a computer kit that teaches children as young as 6 to assemble the 10.1-inch HD display before they can play with it. The kit comes with a keyboard and a Raspberry Pi computer and ships for $129.

Perrigo buys rights to AstraZeneca's Crohn's disease drug

Perrigo agreed to pay $380 million to acquire from AstraZeneca the US rights to Entocort, or budesonide, which is intended for the treatment of mild to moderate Crohn's disease. The acquisition will be completed later this year.

Square's new readers support Apple Pay

Apple Pay gained more support for its mobile-payment platform with Square's move to bring new readers to 100 businesses across the US that will accept Apple Pay and chip credit cards. Separately, Apple Pay has completed deals with four Chinese banks that would facilitate the introduction of Apple Pay in China early next year if the company obtains regulatory clearance.

Gov. Malloy wants $100B over 20 years for transportation infrastructure

The rail infrastructure in Connecticut is aging and uses less than all its tracks because of frequent repairs. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants to modernize the rail system and spend $100 billion over the next 20 years on the state's transportation infrastructure, including reconfiguring the railroad tracks in a way that could potentially quadruple service.

Speak out to help secure a global climate deal
11/24/2015 The Huffington Post

Cementing a meaningful climate deal at the Paris talks will require leadership from national and local politicians, as well as strong support from activists and the business community, writes former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "The more that people from different perspectives speak out, the better our chances are of achieving an ambitious global agreement in Paris," he writes.

JetBlue Mint service takes service to the next level
11/24/2015 Conde Nast Traveler

JetBlue Airways recruits flight attendants for its Mint premium service from the cream of the crop to provide the highest level of customer service. According to Rachel McCarthy, vice president of in-flight experience for the carrier, the highly personalized service is paying off because a high number of Mint fliers remember the name of their crew member. McCarthy said "50-70% of the surveys call the crew members out by name. We have people who have flown Mint 15, 20 times. They feel connected to us."

Making Latino travelers feel special, with a light touch
11/24/2015 HotelNewsNow.com

Hoteliers should tailor offerings to a growing contingent of Latino travelers but take care not to be overly conspicuous, experts advise. "At the end of the day, a traveler is a traveler is a traveler, and Latinos have the same needs as travelers from Asia or Europe or wherever, so I wouldn't be looking at changing the design of the hotel or the design of the room," said Carlos J. Rodriguez, a board member of the Latino Hotel Association. Subtle amenities, such as appealing events and extra storage for shopping vacations, can pay off, he says.