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Moda Center is big success, don’t spoil it with petition drive

By TJ Reilly,
Oregon Small Business Association

The renaming of the Rose Garden Arena to the Moda Center is a win-win for everyone. For the Rose Garden It is a long awaited reward which can lead to new businesses filling the vacant stores and even possibilities of bringing in new franchises such as Arena Football or Major League Hockey. There is even chance that this deal could bolster help for the Memorial Coliseum. For Moda Health, it is a chance for a local Portland based company to break into bigger markets with a splash.

With such success it is unfortunate to see a small minority of Portlanders take to the streets with a petition to pressure Rose Garden management against the name change and to reject helping a local business as they bring new funds to improve the arena. Nearly 3,000 people have signed this petition so far which is not a lot but still represents a step backwards for progress and for small business in Portland. Read more »

Businessweek notes Portland talent recuiting success

By Oregon Small Business Association

Businessweek wrote about Portland’s innovative idea to attract new talent. The CEOs of 11 of Portland’s startup tech companies have launched a novel and promising venture: joining forces to recruit new talent into the city instead of poaching software engineers from each other. To kick off the campaign, the group filmed a video called TechTown Portland, a high-speed tour of their offices and employee amenities. The film, viewed on Vimeo, is shown at corporate recruiting events. Each company contributed $2000 and the Portland Development Commission gave $18,000 and facilitated the shoot. The coalition plans to create an online shared job board and may also host recruiting events. The TechTown companies had 110 openings for technical positions as of early June. Read more »

AT&T ahead in wireless speed test

By Oregon Small Business Association,

According to Rootmetrics AT&T’s average download speeds are 30% faster than Verizon. At&T may be winnign the speed war, but Verizon has winning the volume contest as they have 93 million subscribers, compared to AT&T’s 71 million. Below is a chart comparing the average download speeds between the three big carriers, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.
chart-web-speeds-2013

Washington-based Donuts Inc. emerges as most prolific bidder in Website domain wars

Computer-online-good
By Oregon Small Business Association

Washington-based Donuts Inc. paid almost $56.8 million to apply for 307 top-level Website domain names, the most of any company, more than Google (99) or Amazon (76). The domain name registrar startup paid $185,000 per application.

The company that manages the Internet’s address system, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), published a list of applied-for domains on June 13. It will decide on which names to approve. In mid-2013, ICANN plans to auction 1,400 new suffixes for Website domain names, expanding way beyond .net, .com, and .org. The last expansion occurred in 2004.

Owning a domain name can be highly profitable. Bloomberg reports that Clover Holdings paid $13 million for the rights to sex.com.

Backed by more than $100 million in venture capital, Donuts applied for names including .blog, .inc, .love, .baby, and .toys. Most are in English, but some are in other languages, including Spanish, French, German, and four in Chinese. Donuts won’t sell domain names directly to consumers but will act as a wholesaler, brokering names to registrars like GoDaddy.

Donuts, based in Bellevue, was started in November 2010 by four men with vast experience in Internet domain management. The company is led by co-founder Paul Stahura, a veteran tech entrepreneur who founded domain registrar eNom and sold it to Demand Media in 2006.

Some worry that Donuts will license websites to cybersquatters. Donuts has already arranged to sell 107 of its top-level domain names to Demand Media, which has been involved in more than two dozen cases involving cybersquatting.

For more, see http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-21/donuts-tries-a-domain-grab

Online giants eye Oregon: eBay, Cisco, Facebook, SalesForce, Google

By Oregon Small Business Associationportland
eBay is enlarging its footprint in downtown Portland, where it established a mobile development operation when it bought Critical Path Software in 2010. It has added dozens of employees since then and lists additional jobs on its website. eBay will occupy a third floor of its building near Portland State University, increasing its office space by 50 percent to make room for more software developers. Read more »

Retailers Test Same-day Delivery

By Oregon Small Business Associationdelivery-speed

Giant retailers are offering same-day delivery in selected cities to try to gain a competitive edge. Amazon started same-day delivery several years ago, filling orders from its own warehouses.

“Amazon created this monster and everyone has had to jump on board to compete,” expert analyst Kerry Rice told the Wall Street Journal.

Walmart announced it would test same-day delivery in October in several key cities. They charge a flat $10 delivery fee, no minimum purchase required. Orders are filled from local Walmart stores and delivered by UPS. Orders must be placed before noon for same-day delivery. Most US residents live within close driving distance of at least one of Walmart’s nearly 3,100 Supercenters, giving Walmart a strategic advantage over Amazon, at least until Amazon can build more distribution centers. Read more »

Nike Backs Out of Surfing Business

By Oregon Small Business AssociationNike2

Nike Surfing was launched in 2005 to manufacture and market surfing gear, but after seven years, Nike has decided to roll over its surfing business to its Hurley brand. Nike plans to double its investment in surfing, but it will do so by channeling funds and efforts through Hurley, which it acquired in 2002 for an estimated $100 million to $140 million.

All of Nike’s surf athletes, including Kolohe Andino, Carissa Moore, and Julian Wilson, will join the Hurley team in January. This means that Hurley will be the top sponsor for eight of the world’s top 34 surfers. Nike has already announced that it is pulling out as the main sponsor of the US Open of Surfing, an event attended by close to a million people in 2012. Read more »

Palm Scans Replacing ATM’s?

By Oregon Small Business Association,

Biometric scans may become more available as replacements for ATM’s, PIN’s and other personal ID while increasing security and speeding up check-ins and online transactions.

Biometric Technology

Biometric scanners use personal characteristics and traits to identify a person. Palm prints, used widely by Japanese ATM’s and Australian police, show a relief map of the palm. New palm print technology tracks veins and bone structure. Iris scans, although expensive, are considered among the most accurate and acceptable to customers. Facial recognition, which scans the iris and measures distance between the eyes and between the nose and mouth, is being used on some smartphones and laptops. Reuters reported Intel has developed a prototype tablet and software which recognizes the unique pattern of veins on a person’s palm. The tablet will then securely communicate the user’s identity to online accounts.
Banks, Business and Travel

“Biometrics has a real opportunity to take off,” Alphonse Pascual, a security, risk and fraud analyst for Javelin Strategy & Research told MarketWatch. “When they are done well, they are a great solution (to secure identification). Unfortunately, there are still limitations to it.”

Drawbacks include privacy issues and accuracy. But a growing number of businesses, hospitals and financial institutions are investing in the technology. Disney World has employed finger scans at entrances for years.  CLEAR biometrics claims a speedy 5-minute airport identity screening process using iris and fingerprint identification currently in use at five airports.

Customers are growing more comfortable with biometric identification. In fact, a Javelin report on banking authentication claimed that “business customers crave biometrics.” Seven in 10 banking customers told Javelin researchers they were interested in biometrics with 35% saying they preferred using fingerprints. The researchers found technology-driven people liked card issuers and banks that embraced biometrics.

FBI

The FBI is completing a $1 Billion project called Next Generation Identification which will employ a multimodal system in the largest worldwide person-centric biometric database.

Hospitals

Time Health and Family reports New York University’s Langone Medical Center uses palm scans for expedited intake of patients who have their information and palm scan, in numeric code, on file. It makes registration quicker, avoids misidentification and helps when a patient is unconscious. An article in Becker’s Hospital Review reports the advantages of iris scans to help solve patient ID problems.

Privacy Concerns

However, there are objections. The Baltimore Sun reports the use of the PalmSecure system in Maryland schools to pay for lunches has upset some parents who consider it a violation of privacy. Students palms were scanned before the parents were given the choice to opt-out. Parents in other areas of the country also have privacy and cost concerns.

Nike Facing Stiff Competition from Adidas

By Oregon Small Business Association

 

 

 

When Nike’s shirt deal with the London club Arsenal expires in 2013-4, the German manufacturer Adidas is hoping to lure Arsenal away with a kit-supply bid that will at least double Arsenal’s $21 million annual profits. According to the Telegraph, Arsenal fans buy 800,000 shirts every year, which makes them Nike’s third-largest European soccer customer after Manchester United and Barcelona.

Arsenal has worn Nike kits since 1994. Before that, they had an 8-year contract with Adidas.

Nike also has a 13-year contract with Manchester United that will expire in 2015. Last month, United announced that when its contract expires, it will seek a more favorable contract or take its business elsewhere. Last year, United reported retail sales of $54.7 million.

“We continue to believe that there will be an opportunity to reset our existing deal with Nike to market rates,” United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said on a conference call with analysts, according to Bloomberg. “There have been many changes to the world of football since this deal was negotiated in 2001.”

One of those changes is the emergence of new soccer-apparel manufacturing companies such as Kitbag Ltd., Warrior, and Under Armour. “The clubs now have more options and can drive up the sports marketing fee they are getting from the brands,” Andy Anson, United’s former commercial director, told Bloomberg.

In June, Nike announced that for the first time, its soccer-related sales hit $2 billion.

Though Arsenal and United are expected to look for better deals with Nike, the Portland Business Journal says, “The chance of Nike losing either is still remote.”

Columbia River Crossing Bridge Knocked by Taxpayer Group

By Oregon Tax News

The watchdog taxpayer group, Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS), has included the Columbia River Crossing Bridge in its list of what it terms “common sense cuts to avoid the fiscal cliff.” The cuts total $2.0 trillion, which is more than enough to avoid sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts mandated by law that will automatically go into effect January 2, 2013, if the budget is not otherwise cut. Sequestration will hit defense and non-defense budgets equally.

“Sequestration is bad. It would cut the good along with the bad, the effective and the wasteful. It is irresponsible,” states the TCS October 2012 report.

Instead, the report suggests dozens of projects that should be cut, including the Columbia River Crossing Bridge, which would save $1.25 billion. The report argues that the proposed highway-transit bridge over the Columbia River would only reduce morning commute times by 60 seconds. It also argues that the state transportation department’s justification for the project is based on faulty traffic projections. “Congress should deny state requests for one-third of the project’s billion dollar price tag and require more cost-effective alternatives,” concludes the report.

It also recommends cutting the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project (saving $1.2-$4.6 billion) and the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (saving $1.4 billion).

The entire TCS report can be found here.