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    Welcome to Main Street Morning, The Washington Post’s daily collection of news affecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses with a special focus on policy and government.Here’s what’s affecting my small business, my clients and other entrepreneurs today.WashingtonThe wrong way to measure government productivity.Franchise owners are upset over a recent NLRB ruling.Why the U.S. government could be your biggest data security threat.U.S. business groups are calling for a probe of the medical funding industry.The EconomyPending home sales tick higher on strong sales in the Northeast.Manufacturing contraction continues in the Kansas City region.The U.S. economy surged at a surprising 3.7 percent rate in the second quarter.Six domestic coal companies have filed for bankruptcy in 2015 alone, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.The Dow rallies after U.S. economic growth in second quarter.The ElectionsDonald Trump makes Ricky Martin’s blood boil and calls on a stranger to confirm that his hair is actually hair.PeopleAmazon’s employees are finally asking for changes.A Reuters employee sends a random email to all 30,000+ employees at the company, and reply-all hilarity ensues.Miley Cyrus dresses in disguise to ask random people what they think of her.Why some truckers are unsafe at any speed.A restaurant settles a pregnancy discrimination suit for $20,000.ManagementThe single hardest thing you’ll do as a business owner.These are five things that could get you sued as an online business owner.Why middle managers are so stressed out.Caterpillar plans to cut 475 more jobs amid declining revenue.More and managers are using drones to monitor their employees.Productivity Ten poor productivity habits most people don’t bother correcting. Entrepreneurs Why craft beer may be as close to a sure thing as an entrepreneur can get.This entrepreneur is using virtual-reality headsets to try to cure vision disorders.Retail Walmart will stop selling AR-15s and similar guns.StrategiesThe maker of Jack Daniels wants to bring America’s flavored whisky craze to the world.Restaurants Bimbo Bakeries recalls bread in 11 states over broken glass.McDonald’s offers free coffee for teachers during September.Sales & Marketing How the best ad agencies market and promote themselves.Thirteen business cards every girl should have handy.Why local is vital, even for national brands.And don’t fear…Small Business Saturday will be returning in 2015.Travel Virgin West Coast more than doubles its fares and infuriates its customers.Finance American small businesses continue to adopt best practices in defined contribution plan design, according to a new report.PayPal boosts prices for its U.S. merchants.Why capitalists love Burning Man.Start-ups The tale of a start-up founder who built success by launching an app for fun.The 25 hottest under-the-radar start-ups in America.Technology A new application provides help with scheduling and tracking a small company’s hourly workers.Fire Phone’s flop may jeopardize Amazon’s future hardware endeavors.Why the Apple Watch isn’t a flop after all.iPhone owners eat more healthily than Android owners, a study says.Why Windows 10 will power Microsoft’s stock even higher.OnlineGoogle rolls out personalized storm-tracking information in its search results.This graphic shows why you shouldn’t connect to WiFi in popular tourist areas.Social Media Yelp helps buy 2000 textbooks for aspiring entrepreneurs.Instagram now allows landscape and portrait photos and videos.Oxford adds “fatshame” and “butt hurt” to its dictionary.Facebook’s ‘M’ could bring voice-activated shopping to Messenger.Ideas If you want to fly a drone for work all you need is a hot air balloon license.Around the Country A Kentucky court continues to refuse marriage licenses for same sex couples.A Washington state business owner asks the public for help in catching a thief.A mobile payments conference in Chicago next week will convene the industry’s experts.The owner of a food store talks about gentrification in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.A “Red Light Robinhood” in New York is caught rigging cameras on stoplights so they can’t give tickets.Ludlo, Kentucky tells a circus owner he can’t operate in town.Around the WorldAfrica’s richest man plans to almost double the continent’s cement production by 2020.Google rebuffs the European Union on antitrust charges.How mobile banking could take over the developing world.Ten useful tips for gaining entry to the House of Lords in Britain.Gene Marks owns the Marks Group,  a Bala Cynwyd  PA  consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. Follow Gene Marks and On Small Business on Twitter.News we should know about? Email us here.






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    A new technology that could make your inflight WiFi a heck of a lot faster just got regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration this week — meaning that on some flights, your Internet might actually become usable again.Gogo (GOGO) said Monday it's won clearance to start rolling out 2Ku, a connection technology that it says will boost download speeds by up to 20 times over more conventional technology. The big difference? Unlike many of the air-to-ground connections that make up your inflight WiFi experience right now — in which airplanes relay customers' Internet traffic to a limited number of skyward-facing cell towers on Earth — the new system routes Internet traffic through orbiting satellites, which can allow for top download speeds of 70 megabits per second.Of course, those 70 Mbps will be shared across all the passengers on a flight, so it's not like you'll be getting exactly the same speeds you might at home. But if they really are achievable under real-world conditions, it will be a marked improvement over current systems.The only question is whether customers will be expected to pay a premium to access these speeds. The cost of inflight WiFi has soared as Gogo (GOGO) — hardly the country's only provider, but one of the most dominant — experiments with new pricing models. For instance, the company charges more on flights where it believes there will be more travelers, such as on Sundays and Mondays. It's also tinkered with different prices for the same packages of data access. Gogo (GOGO) is installed on more than 2,000 aircraft across several major airlines.






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    The investor group offering to buy out security software company Qihoo 360 Technology Co (QIHU) is considering cutting its offer after China's stock-market rout lowered valuations, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Qihoo 360 (QIHU) said in June it had received a buyout offer from chief executive and some investors for $77.00 in cash per ADS.

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    U.S. private equity firm Carlyle is in advanced talks about buying Innovation Group (INVGF) for 40 pence a share in cash, valuing its equity at almost 500 million pounds, the British software company said on Friday. Innovation, which provides software and services to help insurers process claims, said the talks may or may not lead to a deal.

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    The following bids, mergers, acquisitions. ** Mitsubishi Corp's decision to spend $1.1 billion for one fifth of Olam International is a key vote of confidence that will allow the Singapore agri-trader to exploit M&A opportunities thrown up by the slump in the global commodities market.

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    Sharp Corp (SHCAF) said it was considering various options for its liquid crystal display business after a report said it may sell a majority stake in the struggling operations to rival Japan Display Inc. Sharp could spin off the business into a joint venture in which it would hold less than 50 percent, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday.

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    Sprint (S) is offering DirecTV customers a tremendous deal, potentially worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.The country's fourth-largest cellular carrier says it will give DirecTV subscribers a year's worth of free wireless service if they switch their cellphone plans to Sprint.The promotion takes explicit aim at AT&T (T), whose recent purchase of DirecTV made it the country's biggest pay-TV provider. Rolling out a new plan to consumers this month, AT&T (T) said it would give DirecTV customers a $300 credit if they made AT&T (T) their wireless company, too.Now Sprint (S) is attempting to one-up AT&T (T) with its own offer. The year-long deal gives you unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of monthly data per line. After the year is up, the company said in a release, customers will start paying at the following rates for the same package of features:1 line — $50 a month 2 lines — $90 3 lines — $120 4 lines — $150 5 lines — $180Based on these prices, switchers with five lines could save as much as $2,160 over the next year for their cell service. The window for signing up begins Friday and runs through the end of September.DirecTV customers "shouldn’t have to settle for AT&T (T) wireless," said Kevin Crull, Sprint's (S) chief marketing officer.AT&T (T) fired back Thursday, likening Sprint's (S) promotion to a "desperate Hail Mary pass to a petite defensive lineman."Sprint (S) has been struggling ever since the company lost its bid to purchase T-Mobile last year. Short on cash and bleeding subscribers, the carrier slipped to last place this month in the four-way war playing out among the nation's wireless providers.






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    Bouygues SA's nascent turnaround doesn't signal France's long-awaited telecoms recovery. The Paris-based conglomerate Thursday raised its 2015 guidance for Bouygues Telecom after better-than-expected quarterly earnings; Bouygues (BOUYF) stock promptly jumped. The outlook is brightening as Bouygues (BOUYF) gets closer to finishing moving its wireless subscribers to new pricing packages and contracts.

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    - Britain's largest music copyright collective PRS for Music has sued SoundCloud for copyright infringement, saying the online audio-streaming firm did not agree on a licensing deal, the Financial Times reported.

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    Glitch makes it harder to trade in and out of funds. Computer problems plagued the U.S. asset-management industry for a fourth consecutive day Thursday, as Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) said it was still working to correct a glitch that caused hundreds of mutual and exchange-traded funds to miscalculate the value of fund assets. The bank said in a statement that the performance of the accounting platform it uses to price fund securities, the SunGard InvestOne platform operated by...

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    Sprint's offer is only available from Aug. 28 through Sept. 30. Sprint Corp. is taking the wireless price war to a whole new level. The carrier said it would give away a free year of wireless service to DirecTV subscribers who switch to Sprint--a direct attack on AT&T Inc., which recently completed a $49 billion acquisition of the satellite TV provider.

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    Financial services software provider SunGard apologized on Thursday for the collapse of an accounting system that disrupted the orderly flow of pricing on billions of dollars of assets at a number of U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

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    Software company Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) on Thursday said it lost $235.5 million, or $1.04 a share, in the second quarter, versus earnings of 13 cents a share a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, the company reported earnings of 19 cents a share in the quarter, compared with 35 cents a share a year ago. Revenue declined to $610 million, down 4% compared with a year ago.

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    This year, the advent of the so-called "skinny bundle" of TV channels streamed over the Internet has offered consumers the promise of the biggest change to TV viewing since the rise of cable more than 30 years ago.