Business


Austin among final 5 candidates for Army’s high-tech Futures Command site

Austin is one of five finalists to land a prestigious a new military command center that would be focused on modernizing the U.S. Army and developing new military technologies, an Army spokesman confirmed Friday. Col. Patrick Seiber said Army officials have narrowed the list of possible sites for the Army’s Futures Command center to Austin, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C...


Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site: elevator tower, restaurant, marina

Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site: elevator tower, restaurant, marina

It’s an often photographed, picturesque spot synonymous with Austin: a scenic bluff that gives way to an expansive ridge with views of Lake Austin, the Pennybacker Bridge and the downtown skyline. Now imagine the pristine, wooded tract on Shepherd Mountain with an array of development: an elevator ascending 180 feet from the lake to an upscale, 200-seat, ridge-top restaurant, plus a casual bar...
Friday Tech Crawl: AT&T/Time Warner a done deal, key Facebook figure exits and Google’s diversity report

Friday Tech Crawl: AT&T/Time Warner a done deal, key Facebook figure exits and Google’s diversity report

Happy Friday, friends! Before you sneak out early from work to catch “Incredibles 2,” check out some of the tech stories we’re reading about this morning. Last night, AT&T announced that it has completed its massive, $85 billion pickup of Time Warner after a federal judge approved the move. The U.S. Justice Department could still appeal the decision, but it’s looking unlikely...
More than 1 million workers, retirees at risk of losing pensions, businesses tell Congress

More than 1 million workers, retirees at risk of losing pensions, businesses tell Congress

The pension crisis that threatens the retirement savings of 1.5 million Americans also poses the risk of driving the U.S. economy into a tailspin, a panel of witnesses told a congressional panel. >> Read more trending news  Witnesses from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses, including UPS, told the Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multi-employer Pension Plans that should...
Big Ass Fans founder buys Lance Armstrong’s Austin home

Big Ass Fans founder buys Lance Armstrong’s Austin home

Carey Smith, founder of Big Ass Fans manufacturing company, is the new owner of  cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Windsor Road home,  which Smith and his wife, Nancy, will remodel and make their primary residence. The purchase price of the house, which Armstrong bought in 2013 in the Old Enfield neighborhood, was not disclosed. Most recently, the 8,185-square-foot house at 1706 Windsor Road...
Talking about what’s on the video game horizon, plus Apple’s anti-tech-addiction plans, on Texas Standard

Talking about what’s on the video game horizon, plus Apple’s anti-tech-addiction plans, on Texas Standard

It’s been too long since we checked in with the “Texas Standard” radio show, so this week, we’ve got a double feature: In case you missed it last week, we had a discussion on the new ways that Apple and Google are trying to get you to be a little less addicted to your gadgets (smart phones, mostly). What do future versions of iOS and Android OS have for those of us who...
Austinites craft anti-litter campaign for Tenn. with Bones, Orakpo

Austinites craft anti-litter campaign for Tenn. with Bones, Orakpo

“Nobody Trashes Tennessee.” That’s the new anti-littering message from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, crafted right here in Austin by local ad agency EnviroMedia. Recently rolled out across Tennessee, the campaign includes a variety of ads featuring former Austin radio host Bobby Bones, whose nationally syndicated show is now based in Nashville; ex-University of Texas...
Chip designer Ambiq Micro raises $11M of planned $20M offering, according to SEC filings

Chip designer Ambiq Micro raises $11M of planned $20M offering, according to SEC filings

Austin-based chip designer Ambiq Micro, which has been a pioneer in ultra-low power solutions for wireless electronics, has raised $11.4 million, according to a securities filing. The money is part of a planned $20 million offering, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  The company received the funding from 23 investors, according to the filing. Ambiq Micro...
Austin-area home sales, median price climb in May

Austin-area home sales, median price climb in May

Central Texas single-family home sales — and the median price buyers paid for those homes — both continued their climbs in May, the Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday. The median price of the homes sold within Austin’s city limits was $389,000 in May, a 3.7 percent over May 2017 and an all-time high for any May on record, the board said in its latest monthly report. Decreasing...
A year after Amazon deal, how has Whole Foods changed?       

A year after Amazon deal, how has Whole Foods changed?       

When Amazon announced a year ago Saturday that it was buying Whole Foods Market, entering the brick and mortar retail industry it had long been destroying, the reaction across the sector was largely consistent: Amazon would dramatically transform the organic grocery chain and take over the industry. The assumptions made sense. Years of Amazon’s dominance within e-commerce has made it an intimidating...
Thursday Tech Crawl: Austin’s Asure Software looks to raise $35M in stock offering

Thursday Tech Crawl: Austin’s Asure Software looks to raise $35M in stock offering

Good morning, Austin! We have scrolled the internet to bring you the latest tech news. Here are this morning’s headlines: Austin-based Asure Software today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of its common stock.  The offering consists of 2 million newly issued shares being sold by Asure and 500,000 shares being sold by iSystems Holdings, the selling stockholder...
Report: Whole Foods CEO Mackey has clashed with Amazon, says he’s ‘not afraid to get fired’

Report: Whole Foods CEO Mackey has clashed with Amazon, says he’s ‘not afraid to get fired’

The relationship between Whole Foods Market and new owner Amazon has had both its good and bad points since the two companies struck a $13.7 billion merger deal a year ago, according to audio obtained by Business Insider of co-founder and CEO John Mackey speaking at a recent company meeting. In the audio, Mackey said sales at the Austin-based grocer have increased “far greater than I anticipated&rdquo...
Kroger closing all its stores in ‘oversaturated’ North Carolina market, 1500 losing jobs

Kroger closing all its stores in ‘oversaturated’ North Carolina market, 1500 losing jobs

Kroger is reportedly closing 14 stores in North Carolina where 1,500 employees work, according to media reports. >> Read more trending news  Jerry Clontz, president of the Mid-Atlantic Division, told TV station WRAL of Raleigh that Kroger is closing the doors of all Raleigh and Durham area stores because the grocery market in the region is oversaturated. Harris Teeter, a wholly-owned...
You’ve been whitelisted. What does that even mean?

You’ve been whitelisted. What does that even mean?

A recent research report suggests that some Apple computers running older operating system software were made vulnerable by a miscommunication that allowed for malicious code to be flagged as fine. The mix-up was apparently caused by third-party whitelisting software. But what is “Whitelisting?” in a nutshell, it’s the opposite of blacklisting; it allows for access of data, say an...
34-story downtown Austin tower hits milestone

34-story downtown Austin tower hits milestone

A 34-story residential tower under construction in Austin’s Rainey Street district has reached its highest point of construction, a milestone referred to as “topping out.” Called 70 Rainey, the building on downtown’s southeastern edge will have 164 luxury condominiums ranging in price from the $400,000s to $5 million, with an average price per square foot of more than $800...
Austin-area auto sales surge in May

Austin-area auto sales surge in May

Austin-area auto sales bounced back with a vengeance in May, a new industry report shows. Auto dealers in the metro area saw sales of new vehicles rise by more than 12 percent in May, compared to the same month in 2017, according to Freeman Auto Report, a Dallas-based company that tracks auto sales in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. In May, Austin-area dealers...
Report: Texas In-N-Out locations back open

Report: Texas In-N-Out locations back open

The buns were bad, so the burgers stopped coming. After closing all Texas locations Monday and Tuesday, In-N-Out stores are back open Wednesday, according to CBS Austin. The fast food chain initially planned to reopen on Tuesday. The company said that the reason for the closure was not food safety or health concerns, but rather a quality control matter with the stores’ supply of hamburger buns...
Andy Roddick, Brooklyn Decker join Tiff’s Treats team

Andy Roddick, Brooklyn Decker join Tiff’s Treats team

Two well-known Austinites are putting their money where their mouths are, investing in a beloved Austin brand. Tennis ace Andy Roddick and his actress/model wife Brooklyn Decker said this week they have joined the Tiff’s Treats team as shareholders and brand ambassadors. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. Known for its deliveries of hot cookies and cold milk, Tiff’s...
ViaAir adds another nonstop destination at Austin’s airport

ViaAir adds another nonstop destination at Austin’s airport

ViaAir continues to beef up its presence at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, announcing a new nonstop destination Tuesday. The carrier, which operates out of the airport’s South Terminal, will begin service to Baton Rouge, La., on Sept. 13. RELATED: Discount carrier ViaAir plans to boost Austin presence, add flights Flights will operate three days a week: Monday, Thursday and Friday....
12 things you should never buy secondhand

12 things you should never buy secondhand

To the popular saying, "Reduce, reuse and recycle," today's conscientious shoppers are adding a fourth "re": Resell. Peer-to-peer and online secondhand sales business are booming, from Facebook Marketplace with its 4 million-plus followers to secondhand clothing marketplace thredUP, which paid out more than $58 million to participating sellers between 2012 and 2017...
Austin holding company BuildGroup raises $330 million to invest in software startups

Austin holding company BuildGroup raises $330 million to invest in software startups

Austin-based holding company BuildGroup said Tuesday it has raised a $330 million fund to make long-term investments in software companies. Founded in 2015 by Rackspace alums Lanham Napier, Jim Curry and Klee Kleber, along with Pete Freeland from General Catalyst, the company plans to use the capital to back 10 startups over the next five years.  Napier, who is BuildGroup CEO, said the company...
Austin startup Medici gets $22.4 million to continue expansion

Austin startup Medici gets $22.4 million to continue expansion

Medici, an Austin startup that has developed a mobile app to connect doctors and patients, has landed $22.4 million in funding as investors continue to give the company a strong prognosis. The new money — on top of $24.2 million raised about 18 months ago — comes from a number of prominent business people, Medici said, including retired Dell executive Tom Meredith, retired Publix Super...
Amazon Prime Day 2018: Here’s what you should know

Amazon Prime Day 2018: Here’s what you should know

Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t the only days consumers can snag online deals. They can begin their shopping spree in July thanks to Amazon’s annual Prime Day.  >> Read more trending news  The event, which allows customers to take advantage of a plethora of discounts on a wide variety of popular items, takes place on July 10. Need some help sifting through the...
Civitas Learning expands EdTech platform with an acquisition

Civitas Learning expands EdTech platform with an acquisition

Civitas Learning is expanding its education technology platform by acquiring a student engagement app for higher education. Austin-based Civitas said it has purchased ClearScholar, an Indianapolis startup whose mobile app makes it easier for colleges and universities to get tailored information to students. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2011, Civitas Learning works with...
Austin quantum computing startup Strangeworks scores $4 million to advance its technology

Austin quantum computing startup Strangeworks scores $4 million to advance its technology

Austin-based quantum computing startup Strangeworks has landed $4 million to build out its platform. The lead investor in the deal was Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Ecliptic Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, Lux Capital, BoxGroup and Amplify Partners and private individuals.  The company was founded in 2017 by William Hurley, an Austin serial software entrepreneur...
BAD BUNS: In-N-Out temporarily closes all Texas locations due to issues with burger buns

BAD BUNS: In-N-Out temporarily closes all Texas locations due to issues with burger buns

In-N-Out Burger closed all its Texas locations Monday morning because the quality of the hamburger buns weren’t up to the company’s standards, according to the company’s customer service representatives.  The fast food chain will reopen its locations on Tuesday, when they get new shipments of buns. The burger buns did not pose any safety or health concerns, customer service...
Uber Eats has grown into Texas’ most-used food delivery app

Uber Eats has grown into Texas’ most-used food delivery app

Maybe it’s the same simplicity as found in its flagship ride-hailing app, or maybe it’s the brand recognition. Whatever it is, Uber Eats’ share within the food delivery industry is overtaking competitors. Two years after launching a standalone phone app, Uber Eats has become Texas’ most popular on-demand food delivery service and continues to grow, according to Second Measure...
Monday Tech Crawl: Austin’s Accruent opens office in New Orleans, and the new scooter company that wants to follow the rules   

Monday Tech Crawl: Austin’s Accruent opens office in New Orleans, and the new scooter company that wants to follow the rules   

Accruent is making more moves The Austin-based software maker said Monday that it is opening an office in New Orleans and hiring 65 people by the end of the year, with plans to expand that office to roughly 350 employees by 2020. The announcement comes on the heels of the company saying last Wednesday that it had acquired Colorado-based EMS Software and California-based Maintenance Connection...

Top Workplaces nomination deadline extended

For the ninth straight year, the American-Statesman is trying to spread the word about the best places to work in Austin. The response to our call to recognize local employers in the 2018 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project has been so strong, we are extending the nominating deadline to July 6 to accommodate the demand. The Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project recognizes Central Texas employers...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

DELL EARNINGS EMC deal helping boost Dell’s revenue: Dell Technologies’ decision to buy data storage giant EMC Corp. is proving a boost to the Round Rock-based tech giant’s revenue. Dell last week reported 19 percent year-over-year revenue growth for its fiscal first quarter, with revenue increasing from $18 billion a year ago to $21.4 billion. The company is the largest private...

Up the Ladder

Health care and medical Curadux has named Alice Peterson chief operating officer. Law firms Dickinson Wright has named Steven Daniels a member of the firm for its Austin office. Logistics ShipEngine has named Tony Capasso general manager. Professional services JLL has named Steve Garven vice president, public institutions. Public Affairs Ironclad Partners has named Lauren Willis, Danner Bethel and...
Austin developer offers $22.5 million for McKalla Place

Austin developer offers $22.5 million for McKalla Place

On the same day soccer was placed on the Austin City Council agenda for next week, a developer made a proposal to the city Friday to purchase McKalla Place for $22.5 million. Precourt Sports Ventures recently proposed to the city to privately finance a $200 million Major League Soccer stadium, to be home for Columbus Crew SC, on that 24-acre site. Commercial real estate developers Marcus Whitfield...
New affordable housing option comes to Northeast Austin

New affordable housing option comes to Northeast Austin

There’s a new affordable housing option in Northeast Austin. The Terrace at Walnut Creek, at 8712 Old Manor Road, features 324 apartments, with a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units reserved for tenants making either 40 percent or 60 percent of the area’s median income. Developers of the $50 million project are the Travis County Housing Finance Corp. and NRP Group, an Ohio...
Austin e-commerce firms finding space in sector dominated by Amazon 

Austin e-commerce firms finding space in sector dominated by Amazon 

In the e-commerce world, Amazon commands the attention. The company’s roughly $800 billion market cap is proof of that. But in Austin, that’s not where the story ends. Despite being overshadowed by Silicon Valley in the e-commerce space, the Austin metro area is home to a growing e-commerce sector that specializes in building online buying systems for merchants small to large — and...
Moviehouse & Eatery debuts theater at Southwest Austin development

Moviehouse & Eatery debuts theater at Southwest Austin development

As more and more people move to Southwest Austin, developers are in hot pursuit, bringing shops, restaurants and needed services to the area. The latest example is Lantana Place, a new mixed-use development by Austin-based Stratus Properties at Southwest Parkway and West William Cannon Drive. The $80 million Lantana Place project recently welcomed anchor tenant Moviehouse & Eatery, an Austin-based...
Online retailer Spreetail sets up shop in Austin, plans to hire 100-plus

Online retailer Spreetail sets up shop in Austin, plans to hire 100-plus

Nebraska-based online retailer Spreetail is opening shop in downtown Austin, with plans to hire dozens of workers in the next year. The company, based in Lincoln, Neb., sells home and garden products online, from vacuum cleaners and blenders to lawnmowers and leaf blowers. Spreetail aims to hire 100 employees in Austin in the first year and expects additional growth beyond that, said CEO Brett...
Austin-based car2go moving into new headquarters 

Austin-based car2go moving into new headquarters 

Car-sharing company car2go, which has its North American headquarters in Austin, is moving into a new downtown-area office at 901 E. 6th Street, company executives said Thursday.  The headquarters change is the latest milestone for the growing brand, which in December surpassed 1 million users in North America.  Its new 28,500 square-foot office will be part of a five-story building...
U.S. Army officials visiting Austin amid search for Futures Command site  

U.S. Army officials visiting Austin amid search for Futures Command site  

U.S. Army officials are visiting Austin as they evaluate the city as a possible site for a new operational arm that will be focused on developing new military technologies, Col. Patrick Seiber, an Army spokesman, said Wednesday. The military officials are considering Austin for the Army’s Futures Command center,  which will be the fourth command-level operation in the Army. Austin is the...
Austin’s airport adds nonstops to 3 more destinations

Austin’s airport adds nonstops to 3 more destinations

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is adding nonstop flights to three more destinations. Vacation Express kicked off service from Austin to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic Monday, while Frontier Airlines is set to launch flights to Louisville, Ky., and Orange County, Calif., in August. The outbound Punta Cana flights will operate once a week on Mondays, Vacation Express said, departing Austin...
Don’t just hang up on robocalls; report them to the FTC

Don’t just hang up on robocalls; report them to the FTC

If you’re like me, the volume of robocalls for things that have nothing to do with you has increased dramatically on your phone the last few years. That’s even if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry. (I’ve never had a student loan. But boy do these robocallers want to help me resolve my student-loan debt.)  Texas, unfortunately, leads the nation in robocalls...
Austin’s Accruent continues buying spree with two more acquisitions

Austin’s Accruent continues buying spree with two more acquisitions

Austin-based Accruent, which has been on a two-year buying spree, has snapped up two more companies. The software maker said it has acquired EMS Software, based in Centennial, Colo., and Maintenance Connection, based in Davis, Calif. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. Accruent, which sells real estate, facilities and equipment management software, has grown through buying smaller...
Former Stratfor CEO David Sikora launches Austin blockchain security firm, ALTR

Former Stratfor CEO David Sikora launches Austin blockchain security firm, ALTR

In another indication that Austin’s roster of blockchain-related startups is growing quickly, a new firm with about 25 employees, $15 million in funding and an enviable roster of software-veteran advisors, has come out of stealth mode to launch today. ALTR, which is focused on using the underlying blockchain technology that caught fire with cryptocurrencies for enterprise-grade security, is...
Austin’s Phunware steps into cryptocurrency sector, aims to raise $100 million with PhunCoin

Austin’s Phunware steps into cryptocurrency sector, aims to raise $100 million with PhunCoin

Phunware, an Austin-based mobile software company, on Tuesday began advance sales of a planned digital coin, saying that it wants to serve as a “beacon” for proper roll-out of a cryptocurrency at a time when the emerging sector has been rife with fraud allegations and regulatory investigations. The company is aiming to raise $100 million initially through sales of its digital token, called...
Plane tickets are about to get more expensive: Here’s why

Plane tickets are about to get more expensive: Here’s why

The price of a plane ticket is expected to increase this year as fuel prices and other airline costs mount, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association. >> Read more trending news  Hundreds of members of the worldwide industry group and airline leaders have gathered in Sydney, Australia, this week for the IATA’s annual World Air Transport Summit. In the...
Tuesday Tech Crawl: Apple unveils feature to curb smartphone overuse, and Microsoft buying GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock  

Tuesday Tech Crawl: Apple unveils feature to curb smartphone overuse, and Microsoft buying GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock  

What you need to know from Apple’s developer conference held Monday: Apple revealed a slew of new features for its devices, including the headliner: A new mode in iOS 12 that allows iPhone owners to control how long they want to use apps daily, with “time check” reminders popping up on users’ screens. Apple launched the new control in response to public concern about the addiction...
Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz stepping down at end of June after almost 40 years

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz stepping down at end of June after almost 40 years

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down on June 26 after nearly 40 years, according to a statement from the coffee giant. >> Read more trending news  The company will honor Schultz, who is credited with reimagining the Italian coffeehouse tradition in America, as chairman emeritus when he leaves at the end of the month. While Schultz was at the helm of Starbucks...
PolitiFact: How Texas is topping Illinois in union jobs created

PolitiFact: How Texas is topping Illinois in union jobs created

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner recently used Texas by way of comparison at a forum on workforce expansion in his state. The Republican governor said laid-off Mitsubishi Motors workers, all union members, told him they were moving to Texas. “There’s more union jobs growing in Texas, which is a right-to-work state, than in Illinois, and factory workers make more money in Texas than they do in...
Self-heating beverage tech company HeatGenie lands $6 million to launch product

Self-heating beverage tech company HeatGenie lands $6 million to launch product

HeatGenie - a self-heating beverage technology company - has raised $6 million to complete development and launch its product. The Austin-based company received the funding from lead investor Artis Labs, with additional financing from Almanac Investments and private investors. HeatGenie, whose investors include Whole Foods Market co-founder Walter Robb, said it is working with ready-to-drink beverage...
Austin software maker SolarWinds files paperwork to go public again

Austin software maker SolarWinds files paperwork to go public again

Little more than two years after it was sold to two investment firms and taken private, Austin software maker SolarWinds said Monday that it has filed paperwork to again become a publicly traded company. SolarWinds, which makes IT infrastructure management software, said it has filed Form S1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “relating to the proposed initial public offering...
EMC deal helping boost Dell’s revenue 

EMC deal helping boost Dell’s revenue 

Dell Technologies’ decision to buy data storage giant EMC Corp. is proving a boost to the Round Rock-based tech giant’s revenue.  Dell on Monday reported 19 percent year-over-year revenue growth for its fiscal first quarter, with revenue increasing from $18 billion a year ago to $21.4 billion.  The company said its revenue growth was driven by a 41 percent jump in its server...
Backstage, new discount chain from Macy’s, coming to Austin area

Backstage, new discount chain from Macy’s, coming to Austin area

Attention bargain shoppers: A new wallet-friendly concept from an established retailer is making its way to Central Texas. Macy’s Backstage will debut inside the Macy’s store at Lakeline Mall, at 11250 Lakeline Mall Drive in Northwest Austin, this summer. Look for it on the first floor. The 19,200-square-foot store within a store features clothing for men, women and children, as well as...

Up the Ladder

Technology Rackspace has named Mark Bunting chief marketing officer. Duo Security has named Neville Letzerich chief marketing officer. Flueid Software Corporation has named Eric Swenson chairman of the board. Medical St. David’s North Austin Medical Center has named Becky Barnes chief operating officer. ResearchPoint Global has named José Iglesias medical director, oncology...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

OFFICE DEAL Cramped for space, Austin Energy searching for new HQ: Austin Energy is in the market for a new headquarters capable of housing employees currently scattered across the city. The city’s electric utility is reviewing proposals recently solicited – with help from commercial real estate firm CBRE – from developers for a building of about 300,000 square feet. For comparison...
Talking about Trump, China and tech company ZTE with Texas Standard

Talking about Trump, China and tech company ZTE with Texas Standard

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio show, we discussed in a tech segment the ongoing saga about ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications and electronics maker that could be saved from doom by the president after the U.S. Department of Commerce took action against the company for various reasons. This comes against the backdrop of a potential trade war with China.  You can hear the...
TreeHouse, Austin’s green home improvement store, moving to Dallas

TreeHouse, Austin’s green home improvement store, moving to Dallas

TreeHouse, which operates eco-friendly home improvement stores and got its start in Austin in 2011, is closing up shop here and shifting its base of operations to the Dallas area as it seeks to expand. TreeHouse chief executive Gary Kusin said the move was prompted by the company’s view that Austin couldn’t support multiple stores. TreeHouse opened a store in Dallas last summer, followed...
Where can you still afford the ‘American dream’ in Austin?

Where can you still afford the ‘American dream’ in Austin?

New cottage-style homes priced from the low $200,000s to the $280,000s in Northeast Austin. Just-finished contemporary duplexes starting at $247,990, just 8 miles southeast of downtown Austin. Older homes with brick or stone facades priced below $300,000 in an established Northwest Austin neighborhood and near major tech employers, including Apple Inc. Prospective buyers on the hunt for a starter...
May TV ratings: See how your favorite Austin news station fared

May TV ratings: See how your favorite Austin news station fared

TV stations across the country wrapped up the all-important May “sweeps” period last week, pulling out all the stops to get viewers to tune in. Looking at total households and the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults ages 25-54, NBC affiliate KXAN and ABC affiliate KVUE were the frontrunners, for the most part. KVUE was the station to beat in the morning, while KXAN was the frontrunner...
At Austin Central Library, hands-on gadget time drives the Tech Petting Zoo

At Austin Central Library, hands-on gadget time drives the Tech Petting Zoo

By now, even if you haven’t visited, you’ve probably already heard a lot about the Austin Central Library: its unusual architecture, its plentiful meeting spaces, the enormous amount of print and digital offerings. But you might not have heard about the Technology Petting Zoo. Sitting up on the fifth floor (you can do it! Climb those Harry Potter-style stairs!) is an area where patrons...
Spire Studio samples music-studio magic in deceptively simple package

Spire Studio samples music-studio magic in deceptively simple package

There are all kinds of ways that technology has improved the process of creating and consuming audio over the past 20 years. Wireless headphones, easier sound editing, streaming music services and the built-in recording capabilities of smart phones are just a few of them. But if you walk into any professional music studio or even a room where podcasters who care about audio quality are recording,...
Friday Tech Crawl: Apple WWDC preview, ATX Hack for Change and a cyberattack at Ticketfly

Friday Tech Crawl: Apple WWDC preview, ATX Hack for Change and a cyberattack at Ticketfly

Happy Friday! Here are some of the tech news stories and events we’re taking a glance at today: Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference starts Monday and while it is sometimes an occasion for the world’s biggest tech company to roll out new gadgets, analysts are expecting a more subdued presentation focused on software, and perhaps even using our electronics less. (SAY WHAAAAAT?)...
Sears closures to include one Austin-area store

Sears closures to include one Austin-area store

One Austin-area Sears store is among the 63 Sears and Kmart stores nationwide that Sears Holdings plans to close, the struggling retailer announced Thursday. The Sears store at Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park will be closing this year, Sears executives said. The company told employees that it will close 48 Sears locations and 15 Kmart stores in early September, with liquidation sales starting as early...
Charles Schwab unveils new 50-acre Austin campus as it plans more hiring

Charles Schwab unveils new 50-acre Austin campus as it plans more hiring

Walking trails, on-site yoga classes and showers with changing areas to foster wellness activities. A gourmet cafeteria, an outside amphitheater, and an artist program that showcases the artwork and photography of employees and local artists. Those are some of the features of the new 50-acre Austin campus that financial services firm Charles Schwab unveiled on Thursday. The 469,000-square-foot...
CapMetro testing first-mile, last-mile program with RideAustin

CapMetro testing first-mile, last-mile program with RideAustin

In the future, transportation experts have said, mobility systems could be connected by a multipronged approach that moves people from their front door to their destination through a variety of connected services. That future will soon be tested in Austin. Austin’s Capital Metro transit system and ride-hailing nonprofit RideAustin are combining for a first-mile, last-mile pilot program that...
Pinched nipples, flatulence among co-worker’s ‘nasty behavior,’ Texas car salesman’s lawsuit claims

Pinched nipples, flatulence among co-worker’s ‘nasty behavior,’ Texas car salesman’s lawsuit claims

Pinched nipples and flatulence feature prominently in a League City car salesman's lawsuit against a former co-worker and the dealership's parent company, according to documents posted online by news station Click2Houston. In the lawsuit filed May 25 in Galveston County against Jeremy Pratt and CT Motors, Inc., Brett Bland claims he faced workplace abuse and “nasty behavior&rdquo...
Advocates aim to sway rural Texans with ‘new face’ of medical pot

Advocates aim to sway rural Texans with ‘new face’ of medical pot

With the sound off, images from a new advocacy video touting the merits of medical marijuana could blend seamlessly into a commercial for the latest model of pickup – a burly Texan, clad in a cowboy hat, strides past bales of freshly cut hay, tinkers with a tractor and even feeds a horse. The similarity is no coincidence. Proponents of loosening marijuana prohibitions in the state are mounting...
Kansas Schlitterbahn case expands, 2 maintenance workers charged

Kansas Schlitterbahn case expands, 2 maintenance workers charged

Two maintenance workers have been charged with obstruction of law enforcement in the Schlitterbahn case, according to indictments unsealed Wednesday by a Wyandotte County, Kan., judge. David Hughes and John Zalsman each made a first appearance in Wyandotte County court Wednesday, entering not guilty pleas during a brief court hearing. Assistant Kansas Attorney General Adam Zentner described the nature...
Reader wants to know: where are the personal tech coaches?

Reader wants to know: where are the personal tech coaches?

A reader asks: “What's the best way to find a regular technology coach? Like a personal trainer, but for a senior citizen needing regular one-to-one education/support. Not wanting to learn hardware or coding, but basic (very basic) stuff on Android phone, desktop computer, maybe laptop. I don't want to take classes.” This is a great idea and a few enterprising individuals have offered...
Music giant Live Nation acquires majority stake in Austin’s ScoreMore

Music giant Live Nation acquires majority stake in Austin’s ScoreMore

Music industry giant Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in Scoremore Shows, an Austin-based business focused primarily on hip-hop and electronic dance music. Financial terms of the deal weren’t released. In its eight years of existence, Scoremore Shows — which produces the Jmblya music festival locally — has grown from a scrappy startup to one of the most influential boutique...
‘Fallout 76’ teaser reveals new Bethesda game; Austin studio likely working on it

‘Fallout 76’ teaser reveals new Bethesda game; Austin studio likely working on it

This morning, Bethesda Softworks, the video-game publisher behind “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4,” revealed its next big game after starting an online video countdown yesterday: it’s called “Fallout 76” and the company has promised more details at the E3 gaming industry event on June 10. Here’s the teaser revealed Wednesday: Online...
Amazon Prime discounts arrive at Whole Foods stores in Texas 

Amazon Prime discounts arrive at Whole Foods stores in Texas 

Austin Whole Foods shoppers take notice: Discounts on rotisserie chickens, organic raspberries and a mix of other grocery items have arrived for Amazon Prime members. Amazon said early Wednesday that it has expanded its discount program at Whole Foods Market to 121 stores across 12 states, including Texas.  Launched two weeks ago in Florida, the program adds an additional 10 percent savings on...
Music giant Live Nation acquires stake in Austin-based ScoreMore Shows

Music giant Live Nation acquires stake in Austin-based ScoreMore Shows

Music industry giant Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in ScoreMore Shows, an Austin-based concert promoter and festival producer. Financial terms of the deal weren’t released. Sascha Stone Guttfreund and Claire Bogle co-founded ScoreMore in 2010. Today, the company produces about 200 shows each year, primarily in the southern U.S. ScoreMore also owns three festivals: JMBLYA, Neon Desert...
Cramped for space, Austin Energy searching for new HQ

Cramped for space, Austin Energy searching for new HQ

Austin Energy is in the market for a new headquarters capable of housing employees currently scattered across the city. The city’s electric utility is reviewing proposals recently solicited – with help from commercial real estate firm CBRE – from developers for a building of about 300,000 square feet. For comparison, that is about half the square footage of downtown Austin&rsquo...
HanAra Software picks Austin for site of North American headquarters

HanAra Software picks Austin for site of North American headquarters

HanAra Software, a data management and predictive analytics software company with roots at the University of Texas, has chosen Austin as the site of its North American headquarters, the company said. HanAra Software is a subsidiary of BNF Technology, which is based in South Korea. BNF Technology brought its products to the United States in 2012 through a partnership with the IC2 Institute at UT. BNF...
Walmart rolls out online delivery option in Austin market

Walmart rolls out online delivery option in Austin market

Retail giant Walmart has added Austin to the list of markets where its online grocery delivery service is available, the company said. Austin is one of 13 U.S. markets where the service is now available, according to Walmart. The company plans to expand the service to 100 markets by the end of the year. The Walmart delivery service costs $9.95 per order and requires a $30 minimum purchase. Consumers...
Medical cannabis, AI companies dot Austin chamber's 2018 A-List of promising startups 

Medical cannabis, AI companies dot Austin chamber's 2018 A-List of promising startups 

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its annual A-List, which highlights local startup companies that the chamber says have breakout potential. The 21 winners were announced last week. Any stage startup in any industry was eligible to apply. A panel of independent judges evaluated the businesses in three investment categories: early stage, mid stage and later stage. Now in its eighth...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

CANNABIS DEBATE State backs off cannabis oil ban, seeks ‘big picture’ plan: A state health agency has tapped the brakes on its drive to strip food and supplements infused with CBD oil — a non-psychoactive extract of marijuana — from Texas retail store shelves. But it’s unclear how long the reprieve will last for over-the-counter food products containing CBD, or cannabidiol...

Up the Ladder

Medical Triumvira Immunologics has named Sabine Chlosta chief medical officer and Jon Irvin vice president of finance. Insurance Texas Mutual Insurance Company has named Jeanette Ward chief operating officer. Technology ESO has named Christopher Raps vice president of sales. Aurea Software has named Tej Redkar chief product officer. Venture capital LiveOak Venture Partners has named Mike Marcantonio...
$250 million apartment, office project planned near Domain

$250 million apartment, office project planned near Domain

Plans are in the works for a $250 million project — a 14-story apartment tower and a six-story office building — that is expected to break ground early next year in North Austin near the Domain. Capella Capital Partners, an Austin-based commercial real estate development company, said Friday that North Gateway Plaza will be built at 10615 Burnet Road, adjacent to the 24-acre McKalla Place...
Friday Tech Crawl: GDPR Day is here; Alexa spills some beans; and buying used stuff online

Friday Tech Crawl: GDPR Day is here; Alexa spills some beans; and buying used stuff online

Happy Friday, everybody! Hope you’ve got your Memorial Day weekend plans lined up and that you’ll take a moment Monday to remember our fallen veterans. Here are some of the tech stories we’re watching this morning: If you’ve noticed a flood of emails in your inbox from companies updating their privacy policies, you can thank Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation...
Talking about Amazon’s facial-recognition technology with Texas Standard

Talking about Amazon’s facial-recognition technology with Texas Standard

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio show, we discussed the sudden publicity Amazon has on its hands with “Rekognition,” a facial-recognition software that the company has apparently been selling to law-enforcement agencies. You can hear the segment on the Texas Standard website or listen to the audio below:
Kroger just bought Home Chef for $200 million: 5 other major changes to expect

Kroger just bought Home Chef for $200 million: 5 other major changes to expect

Kroger Co. is buying Home Chef, the country’s largest private meal kit company, in deal that could reach $700 million, according to the Cincinnati-based grocery chain. >> Read more trending news  The initial transaction price is $200 million and future payments of up to $500 million over five years are contingent on achieving certain sales goals, the company said. The pending...
Study: Americans worried about AI and its impact on data security  

Study: Americans worried about AI and its impact on data security  

You’ve heard it before. Artificial intelligence is here to take your jobs and steal your privacy. With the advent of facial recognition technology in products like iPhones, and recent data breaches at major companies such as Facebook, concern over the effects of AI in daily human life is as strong as ever. A survey released this week by Washington-based Brookings Institute shows America&rsquo...
Maker of Sweethearts candy message hearts, Necco Wafers sold for $18.83 million

Maker of Sweethearts candy message hearts, Necco Wafers sold for $18.83 million

The bankrupt maker of Necco Wafers, Sweethearts conversation hearts and other beloved American candies has a new owner. >> Read more trending news  The Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co. offered the winning bid of $18.83 million for the iconic New England Confectionery Co., the country’s oldest continuously operating candy company, at a federal bankruptcy auction in Boston Wednesday...
State officials: Travis case shows more auto title oversight needed

State officials: Travis case shows more auto title oversight needed

An evolving — and potentially expensive — scandal in the Travis County tax office regarding automobile title transfers served as a cautionary tale at the Capitol on Wednesday for why stronger tools are needed statewide to combat title fraud. State regulators “still lack adequate oversight” resources to stamp out the problem, said Steven Ogle, general counsel of the Texas Sunset...
Why are smaller semiconductors better in tech?

Why are smaller semiconductors better in tech?

Some Apple fans are excited on recent reports that the company has already started ramping up smaller, more efficient processors to use in its next iPhone models. The new processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company are said to be 7 nanometers instead of 10 nanometers, the current standard in Apple’s current high-end phones, and that could be good news in terms of speed and energy...
Austin web hosting company Hostway purchases MyHosting.com, Mail2Web from IT distributor Ingram Micro 

Austin web hosting company Hostway purchases MyHosting.com, Mail2Web from IT distributor Ingram Micro 

Austin-based website hosting company Hostway has purchased Toronto-based MyHosting.com and Mail2Web from California IT distributor Ingram Micro, Hostway said Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hostway CEO Emil Sayegh said the acquisition will boost his company’s reach because MyHosting.com performs similar cloud and web hosting services, while Mail2Web offers email hosting...
Really cool and a bit of drool: Wearing a VR headset while soaring in an iFly wind tunnel 

Really cool and a bit of drool: Wearing a VR headset while soaring in an iFly wind tunnel 

If you are someone who has dreamed all your life of having the gift of flight — of soaring up in the air in unlawful defiance of gravity — here’s the thing you don’t want to think about the moment your wish is granted: drool. That was what was at the forefront of my mind in one of three flights provided by Austin-based iFly Holdings at its North Austin location off U.S...
Chief operating officer, 3 other employees with Austin-based EZCorp injured in Honduras plane crash, company says

Chief operating officer, 3 other employees with Austin-based EZCorp injured in Honduras plane crash, company says

Four employees with the Austin-based pawn loan company EZCorp — including the chief operating officer — were injured after the private jet they took from Austin crashed as it arrived at the Honduran capital’s international airport on Tuesday, company officials said.  The crash was not fatal, Honduran officials have said. The four employees were on the plane with two aircraft...
Austin’s own Kendra Scott offers advice to UT grads

Austin’s own Kendra Scott offers advice to UT grads

Austin’s own Kendra Scott was this year’s commencement speaker for the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas – and she had plenty of advice for graduates. Scott started her jewelry business in a spare bedroom at her Austin home in 2002. Today, it has grown into a billion-dollar entity with more than 70 stores and 2,000-plus employees. Scott has made philanthropy a...
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