Archive for October, 2011

Chexar Networks to bring 500 new jobs to Cordele

Chexar Networks, a Roswell provider of technology-based services that allow banks and other businesses to serve the under-banked population, plans to create 500 jobs in Cordele where it will open a risk management center, Gov. Nathan Deal said Monday.

The company now employs 115 and has a data center in Atlanta and a data center as well as its headquarters in Roswell. The Cordele data center will support the existing operations as well as the company’s growth. Chexar will locate in two existing 18,000-square-foot buildings in Cordele, in Crisp County in south Georgia. Plans are to open by January.

Chexar founder and CEO Drew W. Edwards said the company’s growth, “is accelerating in spite of economic headwinds …”

Chexar technology allows businesses to cash checks and provide other financial services to people without traditional bank accounts _ a population estimated at more than 80 million. Georgia has 457,000 households that are un-banked, 12.2 percent of the …

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Maryland has most millionaires … Georgia not in top 10

Georgia’s economy’s been in the dumper lately, and maybe that’s hurt the upper crust, too.

Our state doesn’t crack the U.S. top ten for millionaires, according to a report from CNBC.

Maryland, Hawaii and New Jersey lead the way.

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Pizza wars: police say Domino’s managers torched Papa John’s

Competition in the pizza industry is heating up.

Comes this story from Florida about two Domino’s Pizza managers there who have been charged with burning down a store of rival Papa John’s.

The motive? Business, naturally.

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Apple getting iPhone 4S battery complaints

Apple’s new iPhone 4S, which debuted with millions of sales, may have issues with battery life, according to a report in the Guardian.

The news site reports Apple engineers are fielding inquiries about a reduction in battery life compared with earlier models of the smartphone.

Apple had already warned that stand-by time for the iPhone 4S would only be 200 hours, compared with 300 for the iPhone 4, but said talk time in 3G would be as long or longer.

Users, however, are complaining battery life has been much shorter, even with minimal use and shutting off features that normally would sap battery life, like location services.

The Guardian said Apple engineers was reaching out to some iPhone users to collect information  in an effort to track down the problem.

Apple is expanding sales of the phones to 22 more countries this weekend after launching it two weeks ago in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

Separately, it also looks like Samsung may be eating some of …

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Samsung smartphones snatching market share from Apple

Samsung is snatching momentum and market share from Apple when it comes to smartphones.

According to a Reuters report, Samsung is now the top smartphone maker, increasing shipments 44 percent in the July to September quarter.

“Apple’s iPhone sales shrank by 16 percent to 17.1 million units in the third quarter,” Reuters reports. “Samsung had 23.8 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter, 9 points higher than Apple. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy line of products is powered by Google’s (GOOG.O) Android software.”

Samsung shipped about 28 million smartphones in the third quarter, up from about 20 million last quarter.

Separately, Apple is fielding complaints over the length of its iPhone 4S battery.

Christopher Seward

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Is the poor economy the real reason behind fewer marriages?

An analysis of new U.S. Census data shows a rising tide of poverty among working-class single parents, especially among women without college degrees.

The implications, revealed in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis, may threaten the long-term prosperity of middle-class families and the heft they provide to the economy, with marriage disappearing as a norm, especially among those who have children.

To some experts, the real problem is a decades-long collapse of job opportunities that is driving decisions of whether to tie or untie the knot.

“What is happening is the kinds of jobs that used to allow people with a high school education to make marriage work are very hard to find,” said Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University. “They’ve either gone overseas or disappeared into computer chips. And the Great Recession has made matters worse.”

Hard times, like jobs,  come and go, and come back. Is the troubled economy really breaking marriages up, or is it …

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Tax us, please! Millionaires say they’re willing to pay more

Warren Buffett is willing to pay more.

So are other  millionaires (and billionaires), it appears.

According to a survey of those with $1 million or more in investments, the rich are OK with higher taxes on themselves, according to a report in Huffington Post.

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Angry customer sues BlackBerry over service problems

BlackBerry customers are so angry with the company behind the smartphone that lawsuits are being filed over recent service outages.

Research in Motion has been besieged with problems that have left customers worldwide without service for days at a time.

Reuters reports that a lawsuit has been filed in U.S.  District Court on behalf of the millions of active BlackBerry customers who experienced email, internet and messaging interruptions in October. A similar suit was filed in Canada.

In the U.S. lawsuit, Eric Mitchell of Sherman Oaks, Calif., said he had an implied contract with RIM when he got his BlackBerry service through Sprint. He said he paid for service he didn’t receive.

During the outage between Oct. 11 and Oct. 14, the lawsuit says, Mitchell couldn’t communicate “in real-time, without delay, reducing and interfering with his productivity and causing him damage and loss of money.”

Bottom line, Mitchell wants to get paid.  Do you?

Christopher Seward

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Securities regulators investigating Avon

If you’re old enough, you might remember a popular Avon slogan that followed a door bell: (ding-dong) “Avon calling”.

The cosmetics company now finds itself answering a doorbell of its own: (ding dong) “SEC calling.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which keeps publicly traded companies in line, is investigating Avon and its relationship with analysts, those Wall Street experts who research publicly traded companies and recommend to investors which company stocks or bonds they should add to (or remove from) their portfolio.

Avon, which has seen sales struggle in the U.S. and abroad, where it makes most of its money because of the weaker dollar, didn’t disclose the nature of the investigation, only that it involves its contact with analysts.

The company also didn’t provide details of an SEC bribery investigation in China.

After cutting prices to spur sales, the skin care and makeup company has had to increase prices to cover the rising cost of raw …

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Atlanta leads nation in gap between rich and poor

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the growing income gap in America between the rich and the poor.

Turns out the the gap is larger in Atlanta than in any other big city  in America, Reuters reports.

Also making the list is Athens-Clarke County, home of UGA and the Dawgs, which ranked sixth on the list.

Atlanta’s No. 1, followed by New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

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