Remember how Verizon argued in 2012 that net neutrality rules violate its First and Fifth Amendment rights?
While Verizon itself isn’t challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s latest net neutrality order, AT&T and the other Internet service providers that are suing the FCC have resurrected this argument.
In a statement of issues that AT&T intends to raise when the case moves further into the court process, the company said last week that it plans on challenging whether the FCC’s net neutrality order “violates the terms of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution.” The First and Fifth Amendment will be used to attack the FCC’s decision to reclassify both fixed and mobile broadband as common carrier services, as well as the FCC’s assertion of authority over how ISPs interconnect with other networks.
Retail analysts say the world’s biggest retailer has reason to fear a small grocery chain that’s based in Idaho and boasts a business model that allows it to undercut Walmart on prices.
So about that eye-catching Walmart quote. Those are the words of Burt Flickinger III, a widely respected supermarket-retailing-industry expert who works for the Strategic Resource Group. Flickinger was quoted in a recent Idaho Statesman story about WinCo, a chain of roughly 100 supermarkets in the western U.S., based in Boise, Idaho.
“WinCo arguably may be the best retailer in the western U.S.,” Flickinger says while touring a WinCo store. “WinCo is really unstoppable at this point,” he goes on. “They’re Walmart’s worst nightmare.”
While this is a puff piece for a line of Steelcase furniture some true facts lie herein. In tech businesses where the workforce is paid a living wage they cut costs elsewhere, but remain tied to past paradigms. Juxtaposing a communal team environment with the need for individual focus and isolation to get things done will probably drive some changes. The most likely outcome I see will be team on site communal days coupled with work at home days - teams will be at the office some days, but working from home (or anywhere) most others.
Innovations in the world of office furniture design have tended to serve one of two purposes. Some are designed to help the corporations who pay for them — open-plan offices are supposed to make workers more collaborative, for example, and cubicles or “hotel” desks help save on real estate costs. Then others are designed to help improve workers’ health — like ergonomically designed office seating, balance ball chairs and the current obsession with standing desks.
Yet increasingly, companies and furniture designers are considering a third purpose: helping workers concentrate and focus in the cavernous, noise-filled open offices that have become practically de rigeur in today’s workplace.
With roughly 70 percent of U.S. workplaces adopting an open-office environment, while in the meantime research piles up on how ineffective and stressful open plans can be, there’s a growing recognition that workers need some sort of refuge to concentrate at work (beyond putting on headphones and hoping for the best).
Do you feel like getting mad at mega-corporations right now? With no specific point to make other than temping yourself to shout “f***ing liars!” at your monitor/device at the top of your lungs before sheepishly noticing everyone’s bewildered stares around you?
Well then, this link is for you: cracked.com
I wasn’t sure whether to categorize this as business or crime. Either works.
Comcast is going to abandon its attempt to buy Time Warner Cable, with an announcement to be made as soon as tomorrow, Bloomberg reported today, citing anonymous sources.
“Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, after regulators decided that the deal wouldn’t help consumers, making approval unlikely,” Bloomberg wrote.
In the ongoing wars over solar energy, one power company is consistently painted as the archetypal, mustache-twirling nemesis of clean electricity: Arizona Public Service. So you might be surprised to learn that this same company is about to become a big new producer of rooftop solar power.
APS is an unlikely solar patron: In the summer of 2013, the Phoenix-area utility launched a campaign to weaken Arizona’s net metering rule, which requires utilities to buy the extra solar power their customers generate and provides a major incentive for homeowners to install rooftop panels. A few months later, APS admitted giving cash to two nonprofits that ran an anti-solar ad blitz in the state. Early this year, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that a letter criticizing the solar industry’s business practices, sent by members of Congress to federal regulators, was originally authored by an employee of APS. And a couple weeks ago, APS asked state regulators to let the company quadruple the fees it tacks on to the monthly bills of solar-equipped homeowners.
The Federal Communications Commission’s staff threw up a significant roadblock Wednesday to Comcast Corp.’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., recommending a procedural move that could potentially sink one of the media industry’s biggest mergers in years.
The FCC staff reached a conclusion that the best option for the FCC is to issue a “hearing designation order,” according to people familiar with the matter. In effect, that would put the $45.2 billion merger in the hands of an administrative law judge, and would be seen as a strong sign the FCC doesn’t believe the deal is in the public interest.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable may still have an opportunity to weigh in on the matter before the proceeding moves forward, people familiar with the situation said. Those people cautioned that the situation remains fluid and no final decision has been made.
A hearing could be a drawn-out process, and some regulatory experts describe the procedure as a deal-killer, though Comcast would be entitled to make its case for the tie-up.
Gabrielle Canon at Mother Jones gives who’s who on supporters and detractors of the TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership. Many of the leading progressives are leaning trade protectionist against the pact because Unions definitely have taken a hit post NAFTA, and we all learned the math of outsourcing the past decade and a half.
I suspect that some of the fears of world trade courts trumping rights in the US are overblown, but I think the other worries bear investigation.
Senior lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation last week that would let the Obama Administration keep negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a pact that could be the most far-reaching free trade agreement in American history.
Now in its fifth year of negotiations, the TPP is intended to bolster free trade among 12 participating countries and set the tone for future trade deals. Getting it done before campaign politics interfere hinges on the passage of the new legislation, a Trade Promotion Authority bill (a.k.a. “fast track”) that limits congressional participation to a up/down vote on the final deal, rather than opening it up for amendments. The TPA is needed to ensure negotiating partners that their hard-fought agreements won’t be altered at the whims of one politician or another. But some members of Congress, along with various interest groups, insist that the pact needs additional congressional oversight and public approval.
Like most trade deals, the TPP is being negotiated by the administration behind closed doors, and details are scant.
Rebecca Watson takes on Sea World, and their attacks on John Hargrove. She takes them to task for attacking him, rather than even trying to refute his allegations, and in the process gives us a lesson in critical thinking.
Wal-Mart suddenly closed five stores in four states on Monday for alleged plumbing problems.
The closures could last up to six months and affect roughly 2,200 workers in Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Florida, CNN Money reports.
Wal-Mart employees say they were completely blindsided by the news, having been notified only a couple hours before the stores closed at 7 p.m. Monday.
“Everybody just panicked and started crying,” Venanzi Luna, a manager at a store in Pico Rivera, California, told CNN Money…
…According to ABC News, “no plumbing permits have been pulled in any of the five cities where the stores were suddenly closed for at least six months.” The cities where locations were closed include Brandon, Florida, Pico Rivera, California, Livingston, Texas, Midland, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A city official in Pico Rivera confirmed to CBS Los Angeles that the city has not received any permit requests for building repairs.
In Midland, Texas, where another store was closed, a city official told ABC News that his plumbing inspector was turned away when he visited the store and offered to help secure construction permits.
Wal-Mart plumbing technician Codi Bauer, who worked at the now shuttered store in Brandon, Florida, questioned the company’s time frame for the repairs.
“Even if they had to replace the whole sewer line, it wouldn’t take six months to replace a whole sewer line in that store,” he told WFLA.
Read more: businessinsider.com