Stores search for ways to fight the online tide

… instead of acting dumbfounded by customers’ defecting to online sites, retailers have finally put in place technology that links their online stores with their physical stores. They’re also trying to make their stores more fun.

Reference: Stores search for ways to fight the online tide

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MIT’s automated machine learning works 100x faster than human data scientists

An automated machine learning platform called Auto Tune Models (ATM) from MIT and Michigan State University uses cloud-based, on-demand computing to speed data analysis. -MIT and Michigan State University, 2017
ATM was able to deliver a solution better than the one humans had come up with 30% of the time, and could do this 100x faster. -MIT and Michigan State University, 2017

Reference: MIT’s automated machine learning works 100x faster than human data scientists

Students develop way to expose fake news

A team of college students is getting attention from internet companies and Congress after developing a browser extension that alerts users to fake and biased news stories and helps guide them to more balanced coverage.

The plug-in, “Open Mind,” was developed this month during a 36-hour problem-solving competition known as a hackathon at Yale University.

Reference: Students develop way to expose fake news

Many bonuses, few raises

American Airlines is handing out $1,000 bonuses to its employees.

So are AT&T, Bank of America and Nationwide Insurance. The same goes for Southwest Airlines, Comcast, JetBlue Airways and US Bancorp.

Such announcements, coming from dozens of companies, have followed the passage of the Republican tax plan that President Donald Trump signed into law last month.

The plan slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The companies say the bonuses they’ve announced are a way to share some of their bounty with their workers.

The bonuses are one-time payouts, not the permanent raises that Trump and congressional Republicans have said will eventually result from the corporate tax cuts. Over time, bonuses are far less valuable to employees than wage increases.

Reference: Many bonuses, few raises

Ride-share companies are congesting cities

One promise of ridehailing companies like Uber and Lyft was fewer cars clogging city streets. But studies suggest the opposite: that ridehailing companies are pulling riders off buses, subways, bicycles and their own feet and putting them in cars instead.

Reference: Ride-share companies are congesting cities

Dallas’ immigrants pack $5.4B punch

City leaders and a coalition of business and political leaders released a study Wednesday that says immigrants in Dallas had $5.4 billion in spending power in 2016. That represents about 22 percent of the city population’s entire $24.1 billion in spending muscle. … “Immigrants are a net contributor, and we really need them.”

Reference: Area’s immigrants pack $5.4B punch

No plans to expand Finland basic income trial

Is universal income just a dream?

The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest.

Reference: No plans to expand Finland basic income trial