March 14, 2013 in Business

Comcast TV customers must get cable box

 

Comcast Corp. is converting its last group of analog TV signals to digital later this month.

The company is contacting about 2,500 customers in Spokane who receive “limited basic” channels through a cable plugged into a TV set.

By April 1, those customers will need a digital cable box as those channels will be switched to digital format, Comcast spokesman Walt Neary said.

“If customers don’t have a cable box, they’ll be affected,” Neary said.

The limited basic group includes channels 2 through 30, 72 to 79 and 95 to 99.

The digital equipment is free, Neary said, and can be picked up by calling Comcast’s Spokane office.

Like other major cable companies, Comcast is making the change in order to increase bandwidth for more channels and services, Neary said.

CEOs expect increase in sales, survey says

WASHINGTON – Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies are much more optimistic about their sales prospects than they were three months ago, though many remain cautious about hiring.

The Business Roundtable says 72 percent of its members expect sales will increase in the next six months. That’s up from 58 percent at the end of last year. And 38 percent plan to invest more in plant and equipment, up from 30 percent in December, when the Roundtable released its last report.

Still, the better outlook hasn’t made the group more optimistic about hiring. Twenty-nine percent of CEOs plan to increase hiring over the next six months, the same percentage as the last two surveys.

The Business Roundtable represents CEOs of the 200 largest U.S. corporations.

Amazon lowering price of larger Kindle Fire HD

SEATTLE – Amazon says it is cutting the price of its Kindle Fire HD with the 8.9-inch screen in the U.S.

The company said Wednesday that the version with Wi-Fi-only access is now $30 less, at $269. The version that can access “4G” cellular networks was cut by $100 to $399.

Buyers of the 4G version can buy a data plan for $50 for the first year.

<p>Amazon.com Inc. also said it began sales of the 8.9-inch model in Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said the expansion allows the company to boost production volume and cut costs. Amazon has said it makes little to no profit on each device, aiming to make money when customers buy books, videos and other items from Amazon.

NYC law protects jobless job applicants

NEW YORK – New York City Council members have passed the nation’s most far-reaching measure to protect out-of-work job applicants from discrimination.

Council members Wednesday overrode a mayoral veto of a measure that bans discrimination against job applicants because they’re unemployed. The city law takes effect in three months.

While measures elsewhere in the country ban help-wanted ads that say applicants must be employed, the New York City law goes further by letting rejected applicants take employers to court and get damages.

Businesses and Mayor Michael Bloomberg predict the measure will lead to baseless lawsuits from disgruntled applicants. They say lawmakers shouldn’t try to dictate how hiring choices are made.


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