How to work your way through a sales drought

If you have a sales drought, don't despair -- work through it instead. Revisit your sales target and rebuild your prospect base. Consider coaching as well as "reinventing your environment," which could be as simple as taking a day off.

Report: Tips to minimize health barriers to learning
Education Dive

Student health has a direct effect on learning -- particularly among low-income students -- according to a report from the Education Commission of the States. Authors suggest three ways to help address the gaps between health and academic performance, including adopting proven programs, such as ACSD's Whole Child School Model.

Central bankers worldwide descend on Wyo.

Central bankers from Europe, the UK, Japan, Turkey, South Africa, Mexico, Russia, Canada, India, Brazil, the US and many other nations are meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to discuss monetary-policy issues. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is set to speak Saturday and is expected to offer insight into when the central bank will increase interest rates. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also is scheduled to speak Saturday.

New Dollar General prototype puts a focus on fresh

Dollar General will roll out a new store prototype that offers quicker checkout and a larger focus on fresh foods and health and beauty, CEO Todd Vasos said Wednesday. Starting next year, the new format will be incorporated into new stores and remodels, he said.

Choosing Wisely adds 5 dermatologic tests, treatments to question

The American Academy of Dermatology has identified five dermatologic tests or treatments, such as using skin prick or blood tests for evaluating eczema, that may be unnecessary. The list was released as part of the Choosing Wisely program. The group also advised against the routine application of antibiotics for bilateral swelling and lower leg redness, and the use of systemic corticosteroids for long-term dermatitis treatment.

How B2Bs can use virtual reality
Marketing Dive

The advancement of virtual-reality technology such as Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift has created an opportunity for business-to-business marketers to give customers the experience of a product or service before they buy, David Kirkpatrick writes. Companies including General Electric say they're starting to see its potential as a storytelling tool.

Wal-Mart gives holiday layaway a 2-week head start

Wal-Mart will launch its holiday layaway program on Friday, two weeks earlier than last year, and shoppers will have 90 days instead of 60 to pay off the total, the retailer said Thursday. Wal-Mart brought back layaway in 2011 after dropping it five years earlier, and this week's layaway launch coincides with the retailer's "Toy Week" promotion.

Fitbit, Apple lead wearables market

Apple sold 3.6 million Apple Watches last quarter, IDC reports, ranking the company second in the market behind Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million devices. "Consumers expect their wearables to do more than simply count steps, just as they expect to do more than just make phone calls with their handsets," Argus Insights CEO John Feland said.

Food companies asked to submit pathogens detected during plant inspections

The FDA is asking US food companies for samples of pathogens that have been detected at their facilities during inspections to support its efforts of sequencing the genomes of food pathogens, such as salmonella and listeria, that are commonly found in sick patients. The agency hopes that sequenced genomes, which will be stored at a National Institutes of Health database, will help experts link patients with an outbreak and identify outbreak sources.

Apple Pay may expand to small businesses with new card reader

Apple and North American Bancard have forged a partnership that come September will enable smaller retailers to buy a $40 PayAnywhere card reader that plugs into iPhones and iPads and works with Apple Pay as well as other mobile-payment systems that support near-field communication technology.

Fukushima disaster forces new look at steel-plate composite construction
Power Engineering

The disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has forced plant designers to look at the construction of nuclear power plants from both a safety and sustainability aspect. Bechtel's Sanjeev Malushte and Purdue University civil engineering professor Amit Varma explore some options that could accomplish that, including increasing the resiliency of reinforced concrete, incorporating seismic isolation methods and using steel-plate composite construction.

Obama could soon announce Keystone XL denial, source says

President Barack Obama will likely reject a permit for constructing the Keystone XL pipeline before the Labor Day weekend, according to a source. However, White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday said the federal review of the project is still in progress. "I'm not aware of any decisions the State Department has forwarded onto the White House," Earnest said.

Hawaiian launches safety video starring island scenery

Hawaiian Airlines uses scenic backdrops from the islands for its new safety video, which also features employees and their families. Other airlines have also revamped once-stodgy safety videos with a lighter touch.

Survey: 25% of hoteliers don't use digital management systems

One in four hotel owners still uses a pen-and-paper management system for daily operations, according to data from Software Advice. Collected from their clients' inquiries and purchases, the data also show that 16% of hoteliers use no organized management system. However, many owners want to use digital systems and commonly request online booking features.