Walmart bets on better-paid, happier employees

Walmart's size means that when the company raises hourly wages and improves benefits, it is essentially raising working conditions for entire areas and pushing other businesses to do the same, writes Oliver Staley. The wage increases have alarmed investors and come against a larger competitive war Walmart is fighting to maintain in-store sales while growing online.

How are teens influenced by social media?

Teen behavior can be influenced by the online behavior of their peers, according to a study by cognitive neuroscientists at Temple University in Philadelphia. The researchers found that teens were more likely to like a photo on Instagram if they were told more of their peers liked the image as well.

Officials agree to extend stalled NAFTA talks

Canada, Mexico and the US have agreed to drop a year-end deadline for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and to extend talks into the first quarter. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the goal of finishing renegotiation this year "was never a hard target."

Celebrity chef Jose Andres: Read reviews, accept criticism

Jose Andres, who owns 26 restaurants and has delivered hundreds of thousands of meals to Puerto Rican hurricane victims, says he reads Yelp every day as part of his bid to understand and listen to customers. "We cannot keep seeing the people coming to our business as the guests or the customers: They are our partners," he says.

Lawmaker reintroduces bill for national data-breach notification standard

The Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, a bill that calls for a national standard for data-breach notification, was reintroduced last month by Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I. The bill, previously introduced in 2015 amid opposition from the National Association of Attorneys General, calls for companies to notify affected individuals within 30 days with assistance from the Federal Trade Commission and from local media outlets, should the breach affect 5,000 or more people within a state.

Dunkin' Donuts hosts Halloween content on Instagram, Snapchat

Dunkin' Donuts' social Halloween push includes an Instagram costume competition, with the winner being displayed on the brand's Times Square Billboard in New York City. The campaign also includes an interactive game on Snapchat and branded Halloween-themed emojis.

Syrian refugees benefiting from IKEA's supply chain change

IKEA's new effort to support female Syrian refugees living in Jordan is changing lives. Key to this success is that IKEA pays each artisan a salary that is equal to or above the monthly minimum wage in the area and ensures workers receive social security benefits and insurance.

Ex-employees of Microsoft say 2013 breach was downplayed

Reuters reports that five former Microsoft employees say the company experienced an intrusion into its secret internal bug-tracking database in 2013. The company did not advise the public of the extent of the breach, the former employees said, noting that Microsoft strengthened security and implemented two-factor authentication after the incident.

Judge invalidates patents for Allergan drug in wake of transfer to tribe

A federal judge invalidated four patents for Allergan's dry-eye drug Restasis, opening the door to possible generic competition, but no such drugs are approved yet, and the company said it will appeal. Allergan has been criticized for transferring patents for Restasis to a Native American tribe in an effort to protect itself from patent challenges.

Nielsen's syndicated service offers transparency into Netflix ratings

Nielsen has announced a syndicated service that will allow studios and networks to compare their ratings to content on Netflix, including the streaming service's own original programming. Metrics similar to those used for traditional TV will be made available to subscribers, and the company plans to launch similar offerings for Hulu and Amazon Prime's over-the-top service next year.

Bay Area water district rejects plans for $17B diversion tunnels

The Santa Clara Valley Water District, the largest water provider in Silicon Valley, voted unanimously to reject the $17 billion plan to build twin tunnels and divert water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The district instead put forth the idea of a much smaller, single-tunnel project.

Ocean Conservancy, partners start fight against marine waste in SE Asia

The Ocean Conservancy and its partners are starting the first phase of a plan to reduce marine plastic waste in Southeast Asia and make plastic a valuable commodity that users will be motivated to recycle. The $150 million campaign has the support of Procter & Gamble, 3M, the American Chemistry Council and others.

TSA installs body scanners at US airports

Body scanners are now in use at Lewiston-Nez Perce Regional County Airport in Lewiston, Idaho. The Transportation Security Administration has installed the scanners at multiple US airports over the past nine months.

AH&LA president joins US apprenticeship panel

Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, has been appointed to the Labor Department's Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Lugar joins 19 others on the panel, which will recommend strategies to the White House.