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    Baidu (BIDU) plunges by double digits after reporting an earnings miss and lowered forecast, as China-based companies trading on U.S. markets overall take a hit as the Chinese markets start to steady. Read More: 11 Safe High-Yield Dividend Stocks for Times of Volatility and Uncertainty. The China-based Internet search giant posted net income that translated into $1.80 per share in the second quarter.

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    Amazon (AMZN) never sits still, and the most recent move by the company comes in the form of a new program for startups called Launchpad. Launchpad was announced on Tuesday as a way for startups to more easily market and sell their products to consumers on Amazon.

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    Once a staple of the American workplace, the annual raise is turning into a relic of the pre-crisis economy as companies turn to creative — and cheaper — ways to compensate their employees.More businesses are upping their spending on benefits such as one-time bonuses, health care and paid time off, according to recent survey data. Many are rolling out perks such as free gym membership, commuting subsidies, even pet health insurance.Often, those benefits are being provided in lieu of higher salaries. Government data shows the growth in spending on benefits is outpacing gains in wages. Companies say they are catering to the growing workforce of millennials who seem to prize short-term flexibility over long-term financial security, and the change allows bosses to reward star employees without permanently increasing costs.“There’s been this seismic shift,” said Gary Burnison, chief executive of Korn Ferry (KFY), an executive search and talent management firm. “And I think one of those is that the raise has gone the way of the gold watch.”The decline of the raise could help explain one of the most frustrating puzzles of the America’s lumbering economic recovery: stagnant wages. Growth in workers’ average hourly earnings has been stuck at roughly 2 percent for the past five years — even after the rapid drop in unemployment and surge in hiring over the past 18 months.It’s one of the main reasons many Americans feel the recovery remains elusive, as stagnant wages mean rising rents and college tuition take a bigger bite out of the family budget. Economists are divided over whether the paltry paychecks are the new normal or a sign of underlying weakness in the labor market, especially among people in relatively low-wage jobs like retail.But wages don’t tell the whole story, some economists argue. Broader measures of compensation casting a rosier light on what Americans take home — in particular in the higher-skilled jobs that come with benefits.Government data shows companies’ spending on benefits has jumped 16 percent since 2004, after adjusting for inflation, compared to a 2 percent increase in wages. Some of that reflects higher health care costs that companies have covered through employee insurance programs. But it also includes things like bonuses, vacation time and tuition reimbursement. And all told, benefits now make up 31.6 percent of workers’ total compensation, a share that has steadily risen over the past decade, according to government data.Meanwhile, bonuses and other awards have spiked to the highest level in more than three decades, according to an analysis by consulting firm Aon Hewitt. A survey this summer by the Society for Human Resource Management, an industry group, found about 35 percent of companies increased spending on benefits, up 7 percentage points from the previous year.“Wages tell you almost nothing,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo (WFC). “It has changed over the last 20 to 30 years as companies try to compensate workers in a way that matches their lifestyle.”Of course, the growth in benefits can only occur at businesses that offer them in the first place, most frequently in white-collar industries where salaries are more generous. For many low-skilled workers, the paycheck is the end of the line. In industries such as retail and fast-food, labor groups are pushing to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. And even in jobs that have enjoyed bigger benefits, experts warn that workers don’t always come out ahead if they sacrifice traditional raises for other forms of compensation.“I see it mostly as a risk shift onto workers,” said Josh Bivens, research and policy director at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.When Ashley Chandler went beyond the call of duty at her sales job, she was rewarded not with a bigger paycheck but with something she said was just as valuable: time.The 25-year-old spent weeks poring over paperwork at the flooring installation company Netfloor USA where she works in North Carolina to help one of the managers close some complicated projects on time -- the type of dedication that a generation ago might have placed Chandler first in line for a big raise at the end of the year. Instead, she received three extra days of paid leave.“Would I like to make more? I think everybody would like to make more,” said Chandler, who is expecting her first child next month. “But for me, what I liked most about it was the flexibility.”The shift toward bigger benefits and smaller salary increases accelerated as firms tightened their belts following the financial crisis, experts say, but it is rooted in broader demographic changes in the nation’s workforce. Millennials say they prize the freedom to work away from their cubicles, while businesses have learned that flexible compensation can help the bottom line.At Los Angeles-based Korn Ferry (KFY), the company devotes about a quarter of its payroll to targeted bonuses and incentives and is considering doubling its parental leave. Mattress company Casper Sleep says many of its employees take a pay cut to work at the start-up, but it provides equity in the firm and a doctor-on-demand in return. In New York, HR software firm Justworks eschews the standard matching contribution to employee’s 401(k) retirement plans in favor of paid gym membership and pretax commuter benefits for its millennial employees.“The amount you spend on a benefit does not correlate with how much an employee gets out of it,” Justworks chief executive Isaac Oates said of the decision. “You’re spending a lot of money and people may not care.”At Netfloor, Chandler’s boss, Ryan Hulland, used to give employees 6 or 7 percent raises, no questions asked. But that was before the 2008 financial crisis, when the boom in high-tech construction that drove sales of the company’s specialty flooring began to drop off. In downtown Charlotte, Hulland had watched the construction of the gleaming skyscraper Wachovia Bank once planned to use as its corporate headquarters. But before it was finished, the bank was taken over by Wells Fargo (WFC). Hulland was determined that his company would not meet a similar fate.“I don’t want to be caught in a double dip recession,” Hulland said. “I don’t want to be caught in a position where we have overextended ourselves.”So he slashed raises to 3 percent and began searching for other ways to reward his best employees. Hulland started by giving out $100 gift cards and was taken aback by how excited workers were to receive them. Encouraged by the response, Hulland began offering an intangible reward: extra paid time off.Though the dollar amount didn’t make up for the smaller raises, human resources experts say such rewards provide a more immediate psychological boost -- particularly when times are tight.“That’s why we give people gifts at Christmas and not just bags of money,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at job search firm Glassdoor. “They can build a relationship that goes beyond a paycheck.”When Korn Ferry (KFY) reached a major milestone this summer of a record $1 billion in annual sales, the company’s chief executive wanted to thank the employees. But instead of giving everyone more money, Burnison opted to make them work less: The company will be closed the Friday before Labor Day and the week between Christmas and New Year’s.“Given the demanding world in which we operate, I know we are all pulled in many directions and never seem to have enough quality time with family and friends,” he told staff in an e-mail. “This year, we would like to take a small step to improve that situation and demonstrate our appreciation for your dedication and commitment with the gift of time.”






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    Motorola is aiming wholeheartedly at the mid- and low range of the smartphone market. The company announced three models Tuesday aimed squarely at the more frugal consumer: While it didn't announced exact prices, the company did say that each would be much cheaper than top-tier phones such as the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S6, which carry full price tags of $650 or more.To that end, the company is splitting its Moto X brand into two, offering a pair of flagship smartphones that suit different needs.The Moto X Pure edition, which will be known as the Moto Style overseas, is due out in September. Motorola promises that its U.S. version will be without bloatware — added programs that phone manufacturers and carriers often add to new phones to promote their own products — and will be more customizable. The phone will have a 5.7-inch screen and a 21 megapixel rear-facing camera. And a note to selfie-takers: The front-facing camera will be pretty good too, at 5 MP.The phone is unlocked and should work on all major U.S. carriers, provided that you have the right SIM card for the network you want.The second Moto X phone, the Moto X Play, won't be coming to the U.S. just yet. But it boasts a battery life of up to 48 hours and a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that Motorola promises will provide "all the power you need for gaming, streaming and multitasking at the speed of life." It will go on sale in 55 countries, including Canada, in August. It will be slightly smaller than the Pure edition, with a 5.5-inch screen — but it will have an edge-to-edge display.Finally, Motorola also announced an update to its low-cost Moto G smartphone, which goes on sale Tuesday. The phone is available at Best Buy (BBY) and through Motorola's Web site itself, carrying a $179 price tag. For that price, consumers get a phone that Motorola says is durable and water-resistant — marketing, no doubt, to people who are hard on their phones and worried about breaking a super-expensive device. It has a 5-inch display and a 13 MP camera.Motorola will also now allow Moto G customers to design their phones using the "Moto Maker," the company's super-customizable online design lab. It is available now through Motorola's Web site.Since Google (GOOG) sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo (LNVGF) last January, the company has found a foothold in the global market — which may explain why it held parts of its Tuesday launch event in London and Sao Paolo as well as New York.According to the International Data Corp., Lenovo (LNVGF) and Motorola combined made the world's third-largest smartphone maker in the first quarter of 2015. That puts the company well behind Samsung and Apple, but its 5.6 percent market share puts it ahead of Chinese smartphone giant Huawei as well as LG.






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    Shares of Intel Corp. (INTC)  closed up 2.15% to $28.96 in afternoon trading on Tuesday. Intel (INTC) and Micron Technology (MU) announced today that they will bring new 3D XPoint technology to gaming, phones and data centers. 3D XPoint technology is a non-volatile memory that has the potential to revolutionize any device, application or service that benefits from fast access to large sets of data, the company said.

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    A hacker could take over Android smartphones with nothing more than the mobile number, according mobile security experts at cybersecurity firm Zimperium.That's a serious problem because some 80 percent of smartphones ship with Google's mobile operating system and victims of a hacker exploiting the bugs may not even know they've been attacked, Zimperium researcher Joshua Drake told NPR. Unlike other types of attacks, a target in this kind of hack doesn't necessarily need to open up a suspicious file or message to be hit. Instead, the attack works the moment you receive a text message -- or more specifically, a multimedia message using the Hangouts app.First a bad guy would need to create a short video and hide malware inside it. When they text it to your number, your device would do some initial processing to get the video ready to play when you open the message. It's that initial processing that triggers the malware, Drake told NPR. So, iff a target was using a phone's default messaging app, they might have to view the text message to be infected -- but they wouldn't have to play back the video, he said.From there a hackers could do almost anything, the researcher said, including taking over a device's microphone or camera -- and covering their tracks so a victim doesn't know the phone has been compromised.The problems were found in Stagefright, a media playback tool in Android. Zimperium says it uncovered multiple problems in the tool and that Drake will be presenting his research at two cybersecurity conferences in Las Vegas next month. The company estimates that the vulnerabilities it uncovered expose 95 percent of devices running Android, or nearly 1 billion devices.Drake told Google (GOOG) about the problems back in April and May, according to Forbes, even sending along patches."This vulnerability was identified in a laboratory setting on older Android devices, and as far as we know, no one has been affected," a Google (GOOG) spokesperson told The Washington Post in a statement. "As soon as we were made aware of the vulnerability we took immediate action and sent a fix to our partners to protect users."But Drake worries that the fixes will be slow to reach users -- telling NPR that as few as 20 percent of devices might get fixed, with 50 percent being an "optimistic number."Apple is the lone maker of iOS devices and controls the infrastructure for updating the operating system. But Android is run on many different devices from many manufacturers  -- and those device makers and mobile carriers have their own update systems,  meaning that Google (GOOG) has little control over when the fix will make it into users' hands.Google (GOOG) will be rolling "further safeguards" to users of its Nexus devices starting next week, the company told The Post in a statement.Some have already rolled out updates addressing the problem. According to Zimperium, SilentCircle has released fixes for users of its BlackPhone device and Mozilla's Firefox, which also relies on Stagefright, has released a version that fixes the issues.HTC told NPR it began rolling out the patches in early July, while Samsung said it was notified about the problem by Google (GOOG) and is "working to roll out the software update as soon as possible."






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    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Amazon sparked interest in drones more than a year and a half ago when it revealed on “60 Minutes” a program to use drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes. Since then the Amazon Prime Air engineers have largely kept a low profile as they test their technology overseas.But at a conference Tuesday attended by leading players in the burgeoning drone world, Gur Kimchi, vice president of Amazon Prime Air, shared the company’s proposal for how drones could operate safely in cities, suburbs and beyond around the world.“Imagine the Internet without HTTP and TCP/IP,” Kimchi said. “That’s basically where we are now. So we’re putting our foot down, and we’d like everybody to feel an urgent need to come together and create these standards and adapt them.”He spoke at the NASA Ames Research Center, which is hosting hundreds of guests for a three-day conference to discuss an air traffic management system for drones.Amazon suggests divvying up airspace access based on a drone’s mission and capabilities. Drones would connect to an online network that manages their flights in real time to prevent any trouble. Amazon believes this approach will ensure safe and efficient drone flights.Kimchi is calling for airspace under 200 feet to be designated for low-speed localized traffic. Drones in this space might be surveying, shooting videos or conducting inspections. Drones without the best collision-avoid technology would also be restricted to this level.While that airspace would be like a local service road, between 200 and 400 feet would serve as a highway for drones. Most of these drones would be flying autonomously. A drone making a long commute to conduct a mapping operation or package delivery could speed along in airspace populated by drones only with the most sophisticated sense-and-avoid technologies. These drones would communicate with each other and be able to detect hazards not on the drone network, such as birds. The airspace between 400 and 500 feet would be left empty as a buffer between drones and planes.Only drones with the best capabilities — such as technology capable of detecting and avoiding birds — would be allowed to fly in urban areas. Sense-and-avoid technology is critical as companies such as Amazon want their drones to fly autonomously, so a human won’t be present to avert a collision with a pigeon, skyscraper or helicopters.Kimchi sketched out one potentially dangerous situation, and how a network like the one Amazon envisions would prevent a mishap: What if a homeowner happens to be having a package delivered at the same time their real estate agent had planned to shoot a sales video of the home with a drone?“The ground control station will present an alert. Maybe — it depends on the software — it will tell the operator what they can do: land, create a geofence so you stay on this side not the other side, remain under an altitude, whatever,” Kimchi said. “They accept the alert. They do the right thing; we can complete the mission. We take off again. The alert clears; both networks notify each other, and then they can complete the real estate photography.”Kimchi also laid out his thinking on how autonomous drones could safely fly in the same locations as helicopters. Helicopters are much more problematic than planes for drones because of low-altitude flying.“The helicopter can talk to air traffic control, which can then maybe draw a little rectangle around where they’re flying and then say, ‘Hey this is a new no-fly zone; all drones please get away.’ Because the system is all real time, this will be sent to all drones as an alert,” Kimchi said. “Even if the pilot doesn’t do anything they still have sense-and-avoid. They’ll see the pilot from a long time away and still disperse.”Amazon thinks drones can fly safely in urban areas, provided they have an array of cutting-edge technologies, which are still being developed and tested by Amazon and others. It believes drones flying over cities should have geospatial data to avoid known hazards such as buildings; online flight planning and management; an Internet connection; sense-and-avoid that communicates with other drones, plus sense-and-avoid that uses sensors to detect unexpected obstacles such as birds.Delivering packages via drones could be a boon for Amazon if it cuts its shipping costs and speeds up deliveries for customers.Amazon expects that in the next 10 years the number of drone flights under 400 feet will dwarf the roughly 85,000 commercial, military, cargo and general aviation flights that happen every day in the United States. Given this projected growth, Amazon believes responsibility for traditional air services such as navigation and air traffic control must be delegated. It imagines a civil aviation authority having underlying authority, yet much of the air navigation being handled in a distributed fashion as drone operators manage their fleets. Amazon sees such a model working provided that all parties follow the same protocols.Its vision is more ambitious than the FAA’s proposed rules for commercial drone flight, which do not allow operation outside of a pilot’s line of sight. Those rules are expected to be finalized within a year. Now we’ll see if drone operators such as Amazon can demonstrate to the FAA and others that autonomous drones can safely fly in a range of environments. If that happens, the full potential of drones could be realized.






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    Aol says it has the cure for what ails television networks, and its new owner, Verizon (VZ), couldn't be happier. Aol, which Verizon (VZ) purchased last month for $4.4 billion, aims to inject linear television, both broadcast and cable, with a variation of the large-scale automated advertising formula it has been building for online platforms.

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    Chip giants combine to create 3 D Xpoint technology. Intel Corp. (INTC) and Micron Technology Inc. (MU) say they developed a new breed of memory chips that could bring dramatic performance gains to computers, smartphones and other kinds of high-tech products. The companies say the forthcoming chips will be up to 1,000 times faster than the NAND flash memory chips now used in most mobile devices, while storing 10 times more data than dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, chips that are another...

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     PayPal (PYPL) may be the biggest player in the digital payments space, but a new partnership in the industry shows it is certainly not the favorite of the big credit card networks. Digital payments startup Stripe announced on Tuesday that it had raised a new round of funding from investors such as Visa and American Express  valuing the company at $5 billion.

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    As the world becomes awash in data, the ability to access large sets of data at quick speeds is becoming more important than ever. Intel (INTC) and Micron  on Tuesday unveiled a way that not only aims to get past the current limitations of tapping into large data sets but is also designed to analyze the data faster. The two companies debuted the next iteration of memory, 3D XPoint.

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    The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process: APPROVALS AND WITHDRAWALS. -- Private equity firm Cinven Capital Management to acquire biological testing services company Labco (approved July 28.

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    Business planning software start-up Anaplan is nipping at the heels of industry leaders SAP, Oracle and IBM (IBM), with sales of its cloud-based service tripling in each of the past three years as it seeks to shake up the market. Customers are demanding more flexible ways to use business planning software, which crunches corporate data to allow companies to forecast growth and set performance goals.

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    Shares of Cadence Design Systems (CDNS) were gaining 9.91% to $20.85 Tuesday after the software company beat analysts' estimates for earnings in the second quarter. Cadence Design (CDNS) reported earnings of 27 cents a share for the second quarter, above analysts' estimates of 24 cents a share.

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    London-listed industrial investor Melrose Industries (MLSPF) said Tuesday it is selling its utilities metering business to Honeywell (HON) for £3.3 billion. The agreement comes just under three years after Melrose spent £1.8 billion buying Elster from CVC Capital Partners and defies expectations that Melrose would first sell Elster's water metering unit only.

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    Twitter is scheduled to report its second-quarter results on Tuesday afternoon, and while most analysts are waiting to hear an update on the company's CEO search, staff turmoil at Twitter may go much deeper than just the C-suite. More than 450 employees -- 12% of the company's staff -- have left Twitter in the past year, according to The Financial Times.

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    Corning Inc (GLW), the supplier of Gorilla glass to Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales due to weak demand for its glass used in TVs and personal computers. While demand for Gorilla glass from smartphone makers has driven Corning's results in the past few quarters, declines in prices of LCD glass used in TVs and PCs have weighed on revenue.

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    Updated from July 28 to include additional analyst comments in the sixth paragraph. Facebook's (FB) second-quarter results are poised to show the social network giant continues to attract enormous amounts of ad revenue, as advertisers rethink how they're going to reach customers. There have been no signs of a slowdown at Facebook (FB), SunTrust analyst Robert Peck wrote in a research note.