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We can never find Amazon’s secret customer service phone number in the app or website. So we’re making it easier for you here.

One of the worst parts about shopping on Amazon is that there’s no one to talk to when things go wrong. Or is there?

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Author: Mark Wilson
Posted: December 18, 2018, 6:20 pm

Gallup’s Civic Engagement Index tracks how many people around the world donate, volunteer, and help strangers

Americans may have given a domestic record-breaking $410 billion to charity in 2017, but total cash isn’t necessarily the best measure of generosity. Factor in what percent of each country’s population is donating, volunteering, and helping strangers, and you can calculate a measure of how generous in spirit various populations are.

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Author: Ben Paynter
Posted: December 18, 2018, 6:00 pm

Organizers in northern Virginia, Nashville, and New York plan to protest the expansion of Amazon at meetings this week–and call for a community input process that has been noticeably lacking.

It’s been just over month since Amazon announced the end of its the protracted search for its second headquarters and announced it would be expanding to Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia, and adding an “operations hub” in Nashville. But rather than acclimating to the idea of Amazon in their midst, organizers in the three cities are doubling down on resisting it.

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Author: Eillie Anzilotti
Posted: December 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

The famed director shared a special friendship with Carrie Fisher.

Fans are paying tribute to Penny Marshall today after the comedic actress-turned-powerhouse-director passed away at the age of 75. Marshall rose to fame as one half of the 1970s sitcom duo Laverne & Shirley before going on to direct big-budget Hollywood movies at a time when few women did. Thirty years ago, her comedy Big, starring Tom Hanks, went on to become the first female-helmed movie to gross more than $100 million at the box office. (It also happens to be the best of the body-switch genre that became all the rage in the late 1980s.)

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Author: Christopher Zara
Posted: December 18, 2018, 3:51 pm

Conservative nonprofits, such as ALEC, that support an anti-regulatory agenda, received more than $3 million in donations from high-profile telecom trade groups whose members include Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, helping their efforts to secure the repeal of net neutrality policies last year.

A pair of telecommunications industry trade organizations gave more than $3 million to nonprofit organizations that helped secure the repeal of net neutrality policies last year, according to tax returns reviewed by MapLight.

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Author: Frank Bass
Posted: December 18, 2018, 3:30 pm

The script includes a “single mother refilling snow globes with Christmas juice,” of course.

If you watch enough hours of Hallmark’s (or Lifetime’s or Netflix’s) Christmas movies, you’ll start to see a pattern: There’s a recently widowed mother or a driven career woman who loses track of the true meaning of Christmas due to a dead husband and/or demanding boss only to be saved by a Christmas miracle, usually in the form of a man with seasonal issues to work out. Christmas carols, childhood flashbacks, snow, and magical snow globes usually make an appearance, too.

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Author: Melissa Locker
Posted: December 18, 2018, 3:25 pm

These maps helped visualize all the happiness, heartbreak, terror, and turmoil that 2018 has wrought.

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s hard not to look back with a surreal sense of time displacement. Was the PyeongChang Olympics really only this year? Or the midterms? Or the shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead? Watershed events tend to blend into each other with kaleidoscopic perplexity when the typical news cycle lasts only a few hours.

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Author: Christopher Zara
Posted: December 18, 2018, 2:50 pm

The congresswoman-elect needs a few days to recharge.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking a few days off at the holiday for self-care. It’s an important step for anyone who wants to ward off burnout, and the newly elected Congresswoman is a prime candidate for burnout–what her with being in a brand new job that has put a lot on her plate, thrown her into prolonged pressure, and put her under constant scrutiny before she has even officially started.

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Author: Melissa Locker
Posted: December 18, 2018, 2:03 pm

The annual tradition of announcing the Black List screenplay shortlist with a short film gets a twist this year: The six-minute short film was made in just 24 hours.

What: The Last Days of TJ Staggs, a short film announcing the Black List screenplay shortlist for 2018.

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Author: Joe Berkowitz
Posted: December 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

New York’s attorney general had alleged the company defrauded customers by advertising speeds its network and equipment could’t actually deliver.

Charter Communications has agreed to pay out $62.5 million in consumer refunds as part of a $174.2 million settlement with the New York state attorney general’s office over claims that it defrauded customers by promising speeds its equipment couldn’t deliver.

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Author: Steven Melendez
Posted: December 18, 2018, 1:34 pm

It’s almost as if there is a pattern of corruption.

After a judge decided that a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation could move forward, the Donald J. Trump Foundation decided its best course of action was to close up shop.

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Author: Melissa Locker
Posted: December 18, 2018, 12:36 pm

Tonsser has over 800,000 registered soccer players.

An app is looking for the world’s next Messi or Neymar or Pelé, and it just got $6.2 million to aid its search.

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Author: Melissa Locker
Posted: December 18, 2018, 12:22 pm

3D printers aren’t just for DIY doodlers. They can help seniors and others with limited mobility manufacture cheap gadgets for doing routine tasks like opening jars and putting on socks.

Senior citizens might really like–and use–a 3D printer. That’s the surprising, and money-saving, conclusion of a new study I coauthored: 3D printers can save arthritis patients money by more cheaply manufacturing plastic gadgets that help them do routine tasks like open jars and put on socks.

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Author: Joshua M. Pearce
Posted: December 18, 2018, 12:09 pm

A CEO and head of HR share what they ask job candidates in interviews in order to gauge their focus and hesitations early on.

When it comes to recruitment, good hiring managers look beyond credentials and the idea of finding someone they’d want to “grab a couple of beers with.” That kind of approach is rife with unconscious bias and isn’t always an accurate prediction of how good they’ll be as an employee.

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Author: Eetu Blomqvist and Nikke Ruokolainen
Posted: December 18, 2018, 12:00 pm

He is suing for defamation, accusing the documentarians of depicting him as a corrupt officer.

It appears as though the makers of Making a Murderer may have cut some corners, if not quite as many as their titular subject.

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Author: Joe Berkowitz
Posted: December 18, 2018, 11:30 am

Data privacy is on everybody’s minds these days. But while some companies see this as impeding growth, smart business leaders are embracing it to spur innovation.

Consumers want privacy. But we also take eager advantage of products, apps, and tools that rely on our personal data. These conflicting demands can make it challenging for companies to determine how best to both protect and make use of their customers’ data. They can also make it challenging to innovate, as executives balance privacy concerns with product development.

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Author: FastCo Works
Posted: December 18, 2018, 11:21 am

“These are the smartest light electric vehicles that have ever been built,” says its creator. Is it enough to help Uber win bike sharing?

Uber may want to win the self-driving car wars, but first it faces a battle over electric bikes and scooters. Earlier this year, it acquired the electric bike-sharing service Jump for $200 million. Today, leveraging an engineering staff that’s grown by four times since the purchase, Jump is launching a completely redesigned electric bike, aiming to make scaling its business more feasible–and riding more pleasant for users.

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Author: Mark Wilson
Posted: December 18, 2018, 11:00 am

No one can be a bad boss on their own. Here’s how you might be unknowingly enabling destructive behavior, and what you can do to make a change.

Dishonesty, disagreeableness, and carelessness are not traits you want in a boss, but a collection of research published in Frontiers in Psychology finds that employees can enable these three “nightmare traits” in a boss and make them worse. If the employee has anxiety or low self-esteem, or if they ignore bad leadership behavior, the combination of leader and follower can be lethal.

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Author: Stephanie Vozza
Posted: December 18, 2018, 11:00 am

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s platform looks vaguely familiar.

Cynthia Nixon may have lost the Democratic primary to unseat incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), but that hasn’t stopped her from setting the agenda for the state.

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Author: Melissa Locker
Posted: December 18, 2018, 10:52 am

A yuletide collaboration between “Yeeaah!” and “Oh yeah!”

Christmas traditions have many facets–the food, the family, the Santa, the Baby Jesus, the Kool-Aid… wait, what?

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Author: Jeff Beer
Posted: December 18, 2018, 10:20 am
Small Biz Survival

Small Biz Survival

The small town and rural business resource

Note: This is the second guest post by Whitney Hoffman. She’s sharing some thoughts about being ready for and recovering from disasters. -Becky Guest Post by Whitney Hoffman, Township Supervisor in Kennett Township PA Small towns across the Country are facing a Communications Crisis. We’re seeing contracting media markets, where hometown newspapers fold or go digital. TV […]
Author: Small Biz Survival
Posted: December 17, 2018, 12:12 pm
  The Brag Basket is open! This one is for Dec 14-16, 2018. Bring your good news, big or small, to share with everyone. What can you share in the Brag Basket? introduce yourself share some great news from this week celebrate progress, even baby steps congratulate a friend applaud for each other confess your […]
Author: Small Biz Survival
Posted: December 14, 2018, 11:03 am
Ask yourself: Who are your regular customers? What do they buy and why do they keep coming back? Who are the customers you no longer see? Why aren’t they returning? Why is it important that you can answer these two questions? It’s simple. Regular customers form the base of your business. And customers who have […]
Author: Glenn Muske
Posted: December 12, 2018, 2:57 pm
Note: This week and next week, I’m pleased to share these guest posts by Whitney Hoffman. She’s sharing some thoughts about being ready for and recovering from disasters. -Becky Guest post by Whitney Hoffman I’ve been a Township Supervisor in Kennett Township PA for over three years now. We’re located in what some people call […]
Author: Small Biz Survival
Posted: December 10, 2018, 12:03 pm
  The Brag Basket is open! This one is for Dec 7-9, 2018. Bring your good news, big or small, to share with everyone. What can you share in the Brag Basket? introduce yourself share some great news from this week celebrate progress, even baby steps congratulate a friend applaud for each other confess your […]
Author: Small Biz Survival
Posted: December 7, 2018, 12:46 pm
Earthquakes in Alaska. Fires in California. Tornadoes in the Mid-west. Floods on the eastern seaboard and the Gulf coast. Water pipes break in your computer room. Your freezers break down. The electricity goes out for an extended period. A key player in your business dies. Someone hacks your data. Big disasters and small disasters. Your […]
Author: Glenn Muske
Posted: December 5, 2018, 2:41 pm
  We all hold different titles, work in different fields or sectors, but we’re all fighting for the future of our towns and rural places. We want to be a place our children and grandchildren and our nieces and nephews can live a good life. Quality of Life, a prosperous future for our towns, these are things […]
Author: Becky McCray
Posted: December 3, 2018, 11:56 am
The Brag Basket is open! This one is for November 30-Dec 2, 2018. Bring your good news, big or small, to share with everyone. What can you share in the Brag Basket? introduce yourself share some great news from this week celebrate progress, even baby steps congratulate a friend applaud for each other confess your […]
Author: Small Biz Survival
Posted: November 30, 2018, 12:04 pm
Eureka!! You have found a great business idea and can’t wait to get started. Enthusiasm is great but you need to do a couple of things before opening the doors. You are about to invest money and time. Taking time up-front will help ensure that your investment pays off.  One such up-front task is to […]
Author: Glenn Muske
Posted: November 28, 2018, 3:28 pm
Guest post by Micah Lorenc Let’s talk about a topic that’s commonplace in business schools, but not as familiar to rural small businesses. I’m talking about Sunk Costs. I recently had a conversation with a close friend who is pursuing a new business opportunity, building a gym in a small, rural town in Southern Utah. […]
Author: Small Biz Survival
Posted: November 26, 2018, 12:50 pm
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