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    U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year in March and factory activity hit a near two-year low, fresh signs that economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter. The economy has been slammed by a harsh winter, a strong dollar and weaker global demand.

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    Alibaba Group Holdings named on Wednesday Yu Yongfu president of Alimama, which is the Chinese e-commerce giant's online marketing unit. Yu, who joined Alibaba (BABA) in June 2014 when the company bought the mobile browser company UCWeb, had been running Alibaba's (BABA) mobile business unit, which included the Autonavi and UCWeb units. Yu will report directly to Chief Operating Officer Daniel Zhang.

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    United Microelectronics Corp (UMC). * Says orders machinery equipment worth T$2.6 billion from KLA-Tencor Corp (KLAC). * Says orders machinery equipment worth T$560.6 million from Applied Materials South East Asia. Source text in Chinese:http://bit.ly/1BL6u5j ; http://bit.ly/1CvHClA. Further company coverage:

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    It's a little hard to know what to say  about the HTC One M9, the Taiwanese company's latest flagship smartphone. The phone is already up for pre-order — $650 for an unlocked version — and will hit stores April 10. And there are few criticisms to make: Inside and out, this is a solid phone, and one that can probably carry the line's reputation as one of the best Android smartphones out there.And yet, if anyone asked me why they should pick this phone over its competitors — namely the Samsung Galaxy S6, which comes out on the same day — I'd be at a loss for words. In fact, even if you asked me if this was a necessary upgrade from last year's model, I'd ask what else was going on in your budget before answering.Which isn't to say that there isn't a lot to praise about the One M9 — even if that praise is a little bit faint. Those who like the HTC One M8 will find a lot to love, including an improved camera, the same great front-facing speakers and elegant construction. HTC's definitely decided not to change a winning formula here, and has even added some polish. The company's changed small, thoughtful things such as the position of the power button — now on the side rather than on the top — to make it easier to hit the button when gripping the 5-inch device with one hand.It performs just fine in the course of regular use, though it can lag on occasion when photo-editing or showing high-quality video — surprising, given its powerful Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM. Battery life is also strong, with the phone getting through a full day's use on a single charge and even stretching another half-day in the course of my testing.  (Some reports have noted that the M9 runs a bit hot; that's not a problem I experienced in my week with the phone.)HTC has also made some tweaks to the phone's camera, giving it a 20 MP sensor that performs well, though is still a bit fuzzy in low light. You can also take a picture with two cameras at once, and blend your two shots.  Overall, though, it should fit the needs of most users. The phone also comes pre-packed with HTC photo-editing software, which lets you drop in cool effects on your pictures, such as the ability to add in a kaleidoscope effect.If you buy this phone, you will like it. But here's the thing: There's no feature that screams "Buy this phone!" And that's a problem for HTC, and for consumers who are looking for a specific reason to buy this phone over its competitors.It doesn't have a fingerprint reader, or come linked to any useful services such as those for payment, for music or for extra cloud storage. (Though it does come with a promise for a one-time replacement if you drop the phone, called "Uh-Oh Protection.") ()  It doesn't have built-in waterproofing or even a gimmicky feature like a built-in game control pad.Basically it's a good phone, maybe even a great one, that just doesn't stand out from the pack. That makes it hard to recommend it to any specific audience — particularly one already mostly locked into Apple or Samsung's universe.




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    GoDaddy priced its IPO beyond its earlier pricing range and bumped up the offering by 1 million shares on Tuesday, a move that signals the strong interest its IPO has spurred among investors. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company, will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "GDDY."  Typically, once a company prices its IPO, its shares begin to trade on the market the following day.

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    Web hosting company GoDaddy Inc has priced its initial public offering at $20 per share, above its previously indicated $17 to $19 per share range, valuing it at around $4.5 billion, including debt, according to underwriting sources. At this price, the IPO would raise $440 million.

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    Misery doesn't just love company, it also breeds opportunity. For investors in cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks (PANW), the question is how much to pay for it. Reflecting the intense interest around anything to do with cyberthreats, Palo Alto trades at about 133 times forward earnings.

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    Microsoft (MSFT) is adding another device to its Surface tablet line, debuting a new lightweight model on Tuesday called the Surface 3.The tablet, which boasts the same laptop-replacing features as its higher-end Surface Pro 3 sibling, starts at $499 and will go on sale in May. Microsoft (MSFT) notes that it is the company's thinnest and lightest tablet to date, but that it will also run "full Windows," including desktop applications. It has a full USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort and a microSD card slot, as well as an optional dock in case you want to make it your computer at work.The Surface 3 will also work with the company's signature Surface Pen. The pen will also now come in different colors -- silver, black, blue and red -- but is still sold separately. (So is the Surface's keyboard cover.)Take a closer look at the Surface 3's features here:[Some of the content in this entry could not be displayed on this device.]The announcement is also notable because of what it doesn't mention -- anything about Windows RT, the operating system that Microsoft (MSFT) designed for tablets that used to count the lower-priced Surface as its main showcase device.When Microsoft (MSFT) announced the Surface Pro 3 without a Windows RT counterpart last year, speculation flew that the operating system was on its way out. Tuesday's announcement seems to confirm that -- at least for now -- Microsoft (MSFT) isn't interested in making new RT devices.The new tablet will run Windows 8.1 and will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the new operating system comes out. The Surface 3 will go on sale in the U.S. starting May 5, and expand to more international markets on May 7. If you want to try it before then, you can head to your nearest Microsoft (MSFT) store starting April 1 for a hands-on demo.




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    With its delivery by drones initiative and launch of new products such as the Kindle and the Fire Phone, Amazon   has continually sought to push the envelope in services and products. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying.

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    NEW YORK-- Online marketplace Etsy on Tuesday launched the roadshow for its planned initial public offering. The company is planning to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker ETSY, and will sell 16.6 million shares, priced at $14 to $16.. The Brooklyn, New York-based company was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin as he was searching for a place to sell his handmade wooden computers.

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    Amazon.com (AMZN) on Tuesday unveiled its latest effort to bring more speed and convenience to online shopping: A WiFi-connected gadget called the Amazon Dash Button that allows shoppers to refill orders of household staples with the press of a button.The adhesive buttons are meant to be hung in convenient places around the home — so, for example, you might stick the Tide-branded button on the washing machine or the Huggies button in the nursery. When it's time to restock that item, you push the button, and Amazon (AMZN) will soon ship it to your doorstep.At launch, the Dash button is only available for a limited number of household staples, such as Cottonelle toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and Glad trash bags. Using the Amazon (AMZN) smartphone app, consumers will configure the button to order exactly what they want — such as a four-pack of Gillette razors or a 12-pack.Dash buttons are free and are available now to Amazon Prime customers on an invitation-only basis. Amazon (AMZN) has been packing more and more perks into its Prime memberships, including same-day or even one-hour delivery and the ability to stream its exclusive TV programming. All of these efforts are aimed at more deeply entwining Amazon (AMZN) with its customers’ everyday lives, and in turn, boosting Amazon’s sales.Amazon (AMZN) has set up the Dash Button system so that it’s difficult to, say, end up with a shipment of 20 bottles of laundry detergent if your toddler discovers the bright orange Tide button and finds it really fun to press.  Once a Dash Button is pressed one time, it won’t be able to accept another order until the first one has been delivered.  You can also opt to receive notifications of Dash Button orders on your phone and can quickly cancel them, if necessary.The Dash button is a powered by the same technology as Amazon's (AMZN) new Dash Replenishment Service. Appliance and device manufacturers can incorporate DRS technology into their products so that an Internet-connected coffee maker is able to order more beans, or a water filtration pitcher can order more filters. Gadget-makers can use DRS in two different ways: They can make it so that their products include a button that allows the consumer to choose when to place an order, or they can set it up so that orders are filled automatically when something is running low. The first DRS-powered devices will hit stores this fall.If the Amazon Dash name sounds familiar, it’s because the e-commerce giant rolled out another product under this banner last year. This earlier product is designed to work with AmazonFresh, the company’s grocery delivery service, and allows users to create their grocery lists by scanning barcodes or saying their order into a microphone.The announcements make clear that Amazon (AMZN) is continuing its exploration of the “connected home” category — industry-speak for the appliances and other ordinary household objects that are connected to wireless Internet. Its Amazon Echo device, for example, is a Bluetooth speaker that also includes voice-recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri.(Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon (AMZN), owns The Washington Post.)[Some of the content in this entry could not be displayed on this device.]




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    Hillary Clinton, who defended her use of a private e-mail server by saying she only wanted to use one device for all her correspondence, actually used at least two devices: her regular mobile phone and an iPad.That's according to a report from the Associated Press, which reviewed Clinton's e-mails released by the State Department. There were only four messages to see. But it was enough for the AP to conclude that Clinton not only used an iPad to send e-mails — she mixed work and personal e-mails on the tablet, too."In reply to a message sent in September 2011 by adviser Huma Abedin to Clinton's personal email account … Clinton mistakenly replied with questions that appear to be about decorations," the AP writes. Clinton quickly wrote Abedin to apologize for the message, which was meant for somebody else. But then Clinton added: "Also, pls let me know if you got a reply from my ipad. I'm not sure replies go thru."The anecdote undercuts Clinton's argument for having a private, nongovernmental e-mail server. Weeks ago, she said that it seemed "easier to carry one device for my work… instead of two." The iPad revelation suggests that as secretary of state, Clinton sent work e-mail on more than one device. (Previously, Slate wrote about the many devices of Hillary Clinton, including an iPad mini and iPod.)Clinton's fundamental issue — having to juggle multiple phones — is a frustration she shares with many of us.I asked Deloitte, which publishes the annual Global Mobile Consumer Survey, how many people in the United States carry more than one phone with them. While their research on this question isn't freely available and doesn't break it down by country, Deloitte's response suggested that 1 in 5 people own or have ready access to multiple smartphones at a time. Four percent have access to three smartphones. And one percent uses five or more.We're not even counting tablets or other mobile devices at this point. Just smartphones. (These people must be gadget reviewers or rocket scientists or something.)Here's the detailed data they sent me:You can't conclude from these numbers that the multiple-smartphone users are all Washingtonians who have their digital lives separated on work BlackBerrys and personal iPhones. They just give you an idea about how common the frustration associated with the constant switching must be.Not all of us can be secretary of state. But if anything, that underscores how odd it is that Clinton felt compelled to have a separate e-mail server. If so many of us are forced to lug around a work and personal phone, why shouldn't she?Read more:Clinton also used iPad for email; mixed personal, work chatsHillary Clinton promised a new relationship with the media. She was kidding.Clinton: It ‘might have been smarter’ to use a State Dept. e-mail account




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    Online retailer Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) has launched a hardware that allows its Prime members to order a product by pushing a button. The 'Dash button', which is connected with the Amazon (AMZN) app through Wi-Fi, is brand specific and the company has tied up with household names such as Tide, Huggies and Gillette. The 'Dash button' comes with an adhesive and a hook and can be hung or hooked anywhere in the home.

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     Microsoft (MSFT) has announced an expansion of its Surface tablet line to include a new, somewhat less expensive Surface 3 model. The new Surface 3 is thin, lightweight and should be easier to maneuver as a tablet than its very slightly beefier big brother, the Surface Pro 3. The new device has 10.8-inch touchscreen, a quad-core Intel Atom x7 "System-On-a-Chip processor and a starting price of $499.

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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. Washington •  Former Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke launches his own blog. •  U.S. inflation has fallen short of the Fed’s two percent target for the 34th straight month. •  Congress is grappling over whether to grant President Obama authority to negotiate potentially lucrative trade deals that could be a boon for several states — such as South Dakota.  •  The Department of Commerce awards $10 million in grants to advance innovation. The Economy •  Consumer spending barely rises in February. •  Pending home sales give a hopeful sign for the U.S. housing market. •  These are the four things that are keeping small business owners up at night. Ideas •  Researchers have developed simple liquid metal machines that zip around if they “eat” aluminum and other substances that produce electrochemical reactions. Employees •   After Zayn Malik leaves One Direction, some heartbroken fans are asking their employers for time off to cope. •   After a news story is published, a minimum wage worker loses her job at a hotel. Management •  A marketing expert and CEO thinks that to run an airline you should first be required to run a small business. •  How a local bank in the Amish country has flourished amid a dearth of small lenders. •  What you need to know to expand your business internationally. •  Why people who are good at sports are not successful at business. •  Why I don’t want to have coffee with you (no offense). Marketing •  Some are wondering if the Guinness World Records can be trusted in light of its relationships with publicity-seeking companies. Retail •   Amazon launches a new service to help small businesses sell everything from an oil change to piano lessons. Cash Flow •  Insurance giant the Hartford reports that more than 40 percent of small businesses will experience a claim in the next 10 years. Customer Service •  The President and CEO of a social media sales and customer service company explains why text messaging is a customer service channel whose time has come. Technology •  Microsoft (MSFT) starts rolling out mobile device management to Office 365 business customers. •  This drone is surprisingly good at herding sheep. •  The top small business software for 2015. Travel •  A JetBlue (JBLU) network outage causes delays. Entrepreneurs •  A 10-year-old in Texas gets a pretty sweet investment for her booming lemonade business. •  An author’s breakout success is all the more surprising because her target audience is adults who like coloring books. •  There are a rising number of expat-reneurs.  Restaurants •  McDonalds is testing all-day breakfasts. Online •  Google’s Gmail service goes down for some users. •  Dex Media (DXM) and Yext extend and expand their five-year-old agreement to help small and medium-sized businesses enhance their Internet presence. Start-ups •  Venture money is flooding into Indian start-ups. •  A tech investor bets $100,000 that there’s a tech bubble.  •  A start-up lets you email digital photos directly to a picture frame. Around the Country •  Thieves rob an Oregon salon owner of its products…but leave the cash register full. •  An ultra-high-speed Internet and TV service wants to entice more upscale residents to central Detroit. Around the World •  China’s central bank chief said that the nation’s growth rate has tumbled “a bit” too much, underscoring forecasts for further monetary easing in the world’s second-largest economy. •  Amazon tests courier drones in Canada to avoid hassles in the U.S. •  Nest thermostats fail to account for British Summer Time. •  Global poverty is at its lowest rate in history. 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.