McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Updated at 9 p.m.

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm •  Published: April 23, 2014


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Updated at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 UTC)


This budget is now available on MCT Direct at, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^IRS paid 1,100 of its employees bonuses although they owed back taxes<

IRS-BONUSES:LA _ Failure to pay taxes usually is bad news for most Americans, but apparently not for some employees of the Internal Revenue Service _ they received performance bonuses from the agency despite failing to submit what they owed.

600 by Jim Puzzanghera in Washington. MOVED


Also moving as:

IRS-BONUSES:TB _ 400 by Becky Yerak. MOVED

^New-home sales tumble in March; prices rise<

REAL-HOMESALES:LA _ New home sales plunged in March, another sign the spring home-buying season has started with a whimper.

150 by Andrew Khouri. MOVED

^Online retailers seek to reach, reassure buyers face-to-face<

RETAIL-ONLINE-POPUPS-BIZPLUS:TB _ As a first-year law student with job interviews on the horizon, Huy Nguyen was in the market for a well-fitting suit that wouldn't blow his budget.

Online custom suit retailer Indochino enticed Nguyen with the right price and quality, but what ultimately sold him was a Facebook ad offering old-fashioned service: in-person measuring and styling at its "Traveling Tailor" pop-up shop in downtown Chicago.

"I like the in-person contact, having a professional's advice," said Nguyen, 22. "If I measure myself at home, I don't know if I'm doing it correctly."

As many traditional retailers scramble to boost their online presence in an age of rapid growth in e-commerce, a growing number of online retailers are investing in bricks-and-mortar shops to put in valuable face time with their customers.

1200 (with trims) by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz in Chicago. MOVED



^Facebook reports big quarterly boost in sales and profit<

CPT-FACEBOOK:SJ _ Social networking company Facebook Inc. on Wednesday posted first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations and showed continuing strong growth in the company's revenue, particularly from advertising.

500 by Steve Johnson. MOVED

^Apple's stock jumps after earnings top Wall Street<

CPT-APPLE:SJ _ Strong iPhone sales helped Apple Inc. blow through Wall Street expectations for its fiscal second quarter, sending its stock sharply up in after-hours trading.

350 by Troy Wolverton. MOVED

^It's 'game over' as Zynga founder Mark Pincus leaves company<

CPT-ZYNGA-PINCUS:LA _ Zynga Inc.'s Mark Pincus will no longer be involved with the day-to-day operations at the company he co-founded seven years ago.

The announcement came Wednesday morning along with the company's results for the first quarter.

350 by Salvador Rodriguez. MOVED

^With a swipe of the smartphone, loyalty punch cards becoming obsolete<

CPT-LOYALTYCARDS:MS _ The days of the "buy-10-get-one-free" loyalty punch card are as numbered as the paper punch itself.

Mom-and-pop restaurants, convenience stores and pet groomers are joining national programs that equip them with an iPad at the register where a customer either swipes a loyalty card or waves a smartphone to record the purchase and any reward. National programs such as Belly, SpotOn, Perkville and FiveStars use cloud and mobile technology to enable retailers to offer programs that reward the customer faster and with more creativity than a punch card.

1000 by John Ewoldt. MOVED

^Wearable tech devices hit another bump in the road<

CPT-WEARABLETECH:LA _ Wearable fitness trackers are in survival-of-the-fittest mode.

Touted as the next big thing in technology, wearable tech has spawned a dizzying array of Internet-connected wristwatches and head-mounted devices. Leading the fledgling industry are fitness gadgets that count steps taken, calories burned and other measurements of activity.

But in racing to meet the hype, many companies may have outpaced demand and rushed out products too soon.

Nike said Monday that it plans to lay off a small number of employees who work on its line of FuelBand fitness accessories. Its move comes as Fitbit Inc., one of the most popular wearable tech companies, faces a lawsuit after recalling its Force fitness tracker from shelves after wearers complained of rashes and blisters.

900 by Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu. MOVED

^Legal online poker draws gamblers across state lines<


The reason is not glamorous, but it is profitable: Azzaro, 27, is a professional poker player.

Of the online players who have signed up to play in New Jersey at, 15 percent don't live in the state. You must be within New Jersey's borders to play, but residency isn't required. That so many out-of-state players are traveling to New Jersey _ call it "poker tourism" _ is an encouraging sign for the fledgling industry, which so far has been generating less than $2 million per month in tax revenue for the state budget.

850 by John Brennan. MOVED

^Comic book maker forges digital path<

CPT-ONLINECOMICS:SL _ To find out if the superhero saves the day, today's comic book readers don't have to turn a printed page. Many comic book fans prefer swiping a screen on a tablet or e-reader, and Lion Forge Comics is building its business model around these tech-savvy readers.

Since first debuting its work in March 2013, Lion Forge has come out with a dozen comic book titles that are available on tablets, e-readers and smartphones for about $2 each.

"Everyone is seeing digital as a side thing, but that's where we see the industry going," said Carl Reed, Lion Forge's director of visual development and one of the company's co-founders.

1400 (with trims) by Lisa Brown. MOVED

^Warming up to the future with Nest thermostat<

CPT-REAL-NEST:SJ _ During cold spells, Andy Law likes to keep his San Jose, Calif., house warm and toasty, which used to be a problem whenever the 29-year-old Yahoo mobile app designer traveled out of town.

He'd sometimes forget to turn down the thermostat and run up a nasty heating bill by the time he returned. But he hasn't had to worry about that since buying one of Google's Nest thermostats, which "learns" its users' daily heating and cooling preferences.

Companies are developing a wide array of smart devices _ from refrigerators to coffee pots _ that will tailor their functions to what they learn about their users' needs. It's all part of the so-called Internet of Things. But many of these gadgets are still on the drawing board, so the Nest thermostat provides an intriguing example of what is fast coming down the road.

800 by Steve Johnson. MOVED



^GM's image suffering more than Chevrolet's, survey finds<

AUTO-GM-IMAGE:DE _ Consumer perception of General Motors Co. has fallen much more than the view of its Chevrolet brand in recent weeks, but both are beginning to rebound modestly, according to YouGov BrandIndex, a consumer survey that tracks perceptions of hundreds of companies.

400 by Greg Gardner. MOVED

^Boeing boosts profit on strong jet sales<

BOEING:LA _ Boosted by strong sales in its first financial quarter, Boeing Co. beat analysts' estimates largely due to an increased production rate of commercial jetliners.

The Chicago aerospace giant reported a profit of $965 million, or $1.28 a share. That's down 12.7 percent from last year's first-quarter profit of $1.11 billion, or $1.44 a share.

350 by W.J. Hennigan. MOVED

^Delta profit flies through winter storms<

DELTA:AT _ Delta Air Lines Inc. reported a big boost in its first quarter profit, despite a multi-million dollar hit from thousands of flight cancellations during winter storms.

Atlanta-based Delta's quarterly net income of $213 million, or 25 cents a share, rose significantly from a year ago. In the same period of 2013, Delta had net income of $7 million, or 1 cent a share.

400 by Kelly Yamanouchi in Atlanta. MOVED

^HBO sells reruns of hit shows to Amazon's Prime Instant Video<

TV-HBO-AMAZON:LA _ HBO has cut a deal to sell reruns of many of its hit shows to Inc.'s Prime Instant Video platform.

Among the programs that will be made available on Amazon's Prime Instant Video streaming service are "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," "The Wire," "Girls" and "Veep." The agreement also covers HBO's miniseries including "Band of Brothers" and original movies such as "Game Change."

As part of the pact, HBO's online streaming service HBO Go will also be available on Amazon's new Fire TV set-top box that is due to launch at the end of the year. HBO shows will be available on Prime Instant starting May 21. Terms were not disclosed.

450 by Joe Flint in Los Angeles. (Moved as an entertainment story.) MOVED



These features regularly move on Wednesday:


CPT-WOLVERTON-COLUMN:SJ _ An in-depth review of the latest tech gadget, with an eye toward industry trends.

950 by Troy Wolverton. MOVED


CPT-TECHQA:MS _ Q&A on general computer/technology questions from readers.

500 by Steve Alexander. MOVED


CPT-STUMPTHEGEEKS:RA _ Q&A on vexing technology issues.

By Tyler Dukes. (Not moving this week.)


CPT-TECHREVIEW:DA _ Reviews of personal electronics.

700 by Jim Rossman. MOVED


CPT-HELPWARE:MCT _ Reviews of helpful computer programs.

450 by Harold Glicken. MOVED


CPT-WEBWINNERS:PH _ A collection of Web resources that offer financial guidance.

350 by Reid Kanaley. MOVED


CPT-APPTITUDE:PH _ A compilation of useful smartphone applications.

350 by Reid Kanaley. (Not moving this week.)


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2014 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services


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