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January 2013 Archives

Online holiday sales soar 14 percent: Report

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Online holiday sales soared 14 percent from 2011, to $42.3 billion during the November-December period, according to the latest news released minutes ago from online-sales tracker Comscore.

Free shipping day, which fell on Monday, Dec. 17, saw sales skyrocket by 76 percent, to $1.013 billion, and even on Christmas Day, sales jumped 36 percent to $288 million, the report says.

Despite the growth, the 14-percent final tally fell short of Comscore's 16-percent growth forecast. After four weeks of growth, the next three weeks of the November-December holiday season failed to surpass a 12-percent growth rate, Comscore reported.

Shoppers' worries about the economy and Congress' fiscal cliff budget negotiations contributed to the December "swoon," said Comscore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

Sun-Times scoops parking tech news

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Digital Second City Scene beat the rest of the technorati pack with the story of Chicago-based ParkWhiz, one of the first of a growing number of web and mobile competitors vying to help motorists find discounted parking-garage spaces in real time on their smartphones.

Four days after the Sun-Times column hit, ParkWhiz won $2 million in venture funding and put on its board new investors, including Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social news website Reddit; Garry Tan, partner at Y Combinator venture fund, and Amreesh Modi, managing partner at Caprigo Ventures and former chief technology officer at Chicago-based digital maps-maker Navteq Corp.

And then, 42 tech and mainstream media picked up on ParkWhiz's funding story.

Hey, remember the Bright One. Think Wrapports, too -- the "rapport" of new technology and the "wrapping" of a traditional print newspaper.

Robots grab headlines for New Year

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Robots will be the focus of two upcoming events in Chicago -- the "Automate" show at McCormick Place convention center and the Illinois FIRST Robotic Competition for high-school teams at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The Jan. 21-24 McCormick Place show highlights how robots are playing increasingly important roles in helping businesses save money, and how they are becoming more sophisticated in working side-by-side with humans.

The Jan. 5 robot competition at IIT is expected to attract nearly 800 people from 40 Chicago-area teams of 9th through 12th graders. The teams will spend the coming months designing, programming and testing their robots to compete in the Midwest Regional Competition in April.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2012 is the previous archive.

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