Popular Commerce News and Current Events

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Regulating toxic chemicals for public and environmental health: A PLOS Biology collection
Over the past several decades thousands of new chemicals have been approved for commerce, even as evidence of their ability to cause serious harm has emerged. A new collection 'Challenges in Environmental Health: Closing the Gap between Evidence and Regulations' publishing Dec. 18-21 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology examines the divide between evidence and policy. (2017-12-18)

Proceed to checkout? Not on your mobile, say researchers
Shoppers hoping to bag a bargain in the post-Christmas sales are much less likely to go through with their purchases if they are using phones and tablets to buy goods online. This is because consumers often worry they are not seeing the full picture on a mobile app or that they could be missing out on special offers or overlooking hidden costs, according to new research. (2018-01-05)

Late-year change in income tax rate leads to billions in unexpected profits and losses
In a paper being published Feb. 5 in Tax Notes, professors from Indiana University and the University of Virginia report that Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this could result in unexpected drops in earnings for two thirds of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500, with a median drop of $100 million. (2018-02-05)

New study uncovers major differences in billing complexity among US health insurers
One frequently proclaimed advantage of single-payer health care is its potential to reduce administrative costs, but new research from the Vancouver School of Economics calls that assumption into question. (2018-04-02)

Organic fertilizers are an overlooked source of microplastic pollution
Organic fertilizers from biowaste fermentation act as a vehicle for microplastic particles to enter the terrestrial environment, with the amount of microplastic particles differing based on pre-treatment methods and plant type, a new study shows. (2018-04-04)

How a bunch of bird brains led to the development of touch screens
During WWII, B.F. Skinner and scientists at NIST worked on a project that trained pigeons to be bomber pilots. Although the birds never did any actual missions, the results helped to create modern touch screens. (2017-08-31)

NOAA report states half of US coral reefs in 'poor' or 'fair' condition
Nearly half of U.S. coral reef ecosystems are considered to be in (2008-07-07)

Old Theban port of Chalcis: A medieval maritime crossroads in Greece
One CNRS researcher, in cooperation with Greek colleagues, has focused her attention on a widely disseminated style of ceramics called the 'main Middle Byzantine Production,' found in all four corners of the Mediterranean. The team's findings have just been published online by the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. (2018-07-18)

A world without brick-and-mortar stores? Even avid online shoppers say, 'no, thanks'
The majority of consumers, even those who prefer online shopping, think the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores would be bad for society, according to a new University of Arizona-led study that explores consumers' perceptions of today's transforming retail environment. (2018-11-14)

Ratings rise over time because they feel easier to make
Tasks often feel easier to perform as we gain experience with them, which can have unintended consequences when the task involves rating a series of items, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings show that ratings given by individuals tend to become more positive over time, whether they're judging a televised dance competition, grading college coursework, or rating short stories. (2018-03-12)

Do we really buy 'Top-Rated' deals online? New research may surprise you
Anyone who shops online is familiar with those 'top-rated' products or services that rise to the top of their search on e-commerce intermediary sites like Amazon or Expedia. So, do those rankings really help those products or services get sold? According to a new study, the answer is, 'yes' and 'no.' (2018-07-11)

New insight into origin of superconductivity in magnesium diboride
A team of scientists has provided new insight into the superconductivity of magnesium diboride (MgB2), an unusual superconductor discovered only last year. (2002-06-17)

Turkish-American relations conference first of its kind
An unprecedented gathering on American soil of Turkish cabinet members and Turkish cultural and business leaders will converge at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) for the first Turkish-American Conference on Technology, Business and Culture: (2004-04-20)

Carnegie Mellon to host first U.S.-based int'l conference on electronic commerce
Carnegie Mellon University will host the Fifth International Conference on Electronic Commerce (ICEC2003) at the Hilton Hotel in Pittsburgh. Despite the doom and gloom of the post-bubble years, e-Business innovation has not stopped. Adoption of e-business practices continue to rise. With annual worldwide transaction volumes poised to pass the trillion-dollar mark, it is clear e-biz is here to stay. (2003-09-18)

Want people to fund your Kickstarter project? Sell them on your reputation first
When trying to entice people to invest in your product on a crowdfunding website, potential funders are more concerned about your ethical characteristics than your actual ability to make and deliver the product, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. (2018-03-28)

Selling plants on Amazon: A forest of untapped opportunity
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which horticultural businesses were directly selling live plant products online, either through Amazon, Ebay, or from their own websites. (2018-11-16)

New system 'sees' crimes on audiotape
The Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a real-time magnetic imaging system that enables criminal investigators to (2004-10-26)

Calif. handgun study to fortify crime prevention efforts
UC Davis researchers are releasing a groundbreaking report that provides the first complete description of how more than 200,000 handguns are sold legally in the state each year. The study, which gives results for the state as a whole, as well as for each county and major cities, will help policymakers identify trends and develop strategies to reduce gun-related violence. (2002-09-20)

More recycling on the farm could reduce environmental problems
An analysis argues that semiclosed agricultural systems could enhance global sustainability of biological resources, curtail greenhouse gas emissions and groundwater contamination, and reduce farming's reliance on oil imports and water. (2007-05-01)

Four Loyola physicians named to Who's Who in Hispanic Chicago
Four Loyola Medicine physicians have been named to Negocios Now's 2016 'Who's Who in Hispanic Chicago.' Loyola has more physicians on the list than any other medical center. Negocios Now, a national award-winning business publication, develops a list each year of the most prominent Hispanics in the Chicago area. (2016-07-15)

Hope for improving protection of the reticulated python
Trading in skins of the reticulated python is such a lucrative business that illegal exports are rising sharply and existing trade restrictions are being circumvented on a large scale. This is endangering the stability of populations. Therefore, researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the Royal Zoological Society Scotland are developing genetic methods for tracking down individual origins and potential trade routes of the skins. (2017-08-30)

Penn State to focus on obesity prevention training
Sustainable, comprehensive and problem-based training to prevent child obesity will now be possible thanks to a $4.5 million, five-year grant from the US Department of Agriculture. (2011-05-04)

Study finds nearly 50% of retail firewood infested with insects
A new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology reports that live insects were found in 47% of firewood bundles purchased from big box stores, gas stations and grocery stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. (2012-10-08)

Businesses Don't Capitalize On Information Advances, Journal Concludes
BALTIMORE, January 21 - Management fails to capitalize on the revolution in the Internet and other information systems, costing some companies millions of dollars by relying on trial-and-error experimentation, according to a special issue of a journal published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). (1998-01-21)

USC researchers imagine a cheaper, fairer marketplace for digital goods
Bhaskar Krishnamachari, a professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and Aditya Asgaonkar -- a recent undergraduate computer science alum at BITS Pilani, India who visited and worked with Krishnamachari at USC Viterbi over several months in 2018 -- believe they have found a way to make the buying and selling of digital goods less costly, more efficient, and less vulnerable to fraud. Their proposed solution involves blockchain, 'smart contracts,' and game theory. (2019-05-17)

NIST, NFL, GE and Under Armour announce grand prize winner in Head Health Challenge III
The US Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Football League, GE, and Under Armour today announced that a team of materials designers led by Dynamic Research Inc. has been selected as the grand prize winner of Head Health Challenge III, a contest meant to spur the discovery, design and development of advanced materials to better absorb or mitigate force within helmets, pads and other sports and consumer products that protect against traumatic brain injury. (2017-09-06)

Thanks, statistics! A faster way to improve mobile apps
A Cornell statistician and his colleagues have found a faster way for developers to improve mobile apps, with a new text-mining method that aggregates and parses customer reviews in one step. (2018-11-12)

New NIST Center of Excellence to improve statistical analysis of forensic evidence
As part of a national collaborative effort to strengthen the scientific basis for forensic evidence used in the criminal justice system, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded Iowa State University up to $20 million over five years to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence focused on pattern and digital evidence. (2015-05-26)

Mercury atomic clock keeps time with record accuracy
An experimental atomic clock based on a single mercury atom is now at least five times more precise than the national standard clock based on a (2006-07-14)

Ultra-secure form of virtual money proposed
A new type of money that allows users to make decisions based on information arriving at different locations and times, and that could also protect against attacks from quantum computers, has been proposed by a researcher at the University of Cambridge. (2019-05-07)

Medical costs for one premature baby could cover a dozen healthy births
March of Dimes released a report at the US Chamber of Commerce meeting showing that medical costs businesses pay to care for one premature baby for a year could cover the costs for nearly a dozen healthy, full-term infants. The March of Dimes offers businesses (2009-03-17)

Identifying ID theft and fraud
If the wife of FBI boss Robert Mueller has warned him not to use internet banking because of the threat of online fraud, then what hope is there for the average Joe? The results of research published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics suggests that more of us are no longer entrusting our finances to virtual accounts. (2009-10-14)

'Ambidextrous' robots could dramatically speed e-commerce
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley present a novel, 'ambidextrous' approach to grasping a diverse range of object shapes without training. (2019-01-16)

Study sheds light on why the US and China don't see eye-to-eye on e-commerce
New research from Singapore Management University has found that the US is more concerned with digital barriers like internet censorship and cross-border data flow, while China cares more about traditional trade barriers like tariffs. (2018-09-13)

Georgetown University forum to explore scientific approaches for expediting drug development
This workshop, titled (2002-01-06)

Everything you always wanted to know about marketing channels
A handy guide to the much-studied subject of marketing channels that includes definitions, context, key theories, strategies, and analysis, along with many content-rich tables and citations to important literature on virtually all key aspects of the subject. (2015-10-21)

Not always cool to stay cool in negotiations, study finds
Negotiators shouldn't always try to keep their cool during a heated meeting. Trying to suppress their anger about important points related to the negotiations could, in fact, cause them to lose the focus of discussions, says Bo Shao of the University of New South Wales in Australia, who led a study in Springer's Journal of Business and Psychology. (2015-01-13)

Business-to-business customers expect personal service in online chat
Companies engaged in business-to-business (B2B) sales are also increasingly moving their activities online, but their online chat services and customer interaction have not been studied much yet. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that the nature of social presence in B2B online chat dialogues varied depending on the stage of the customer relationship. (2020-04-17)

Effects of recommender systems in e-commerce vary by product attributes and review ratings
A new study sought to determine how the impact of recommender systems (also called recommenders) is affected by factors such as product type, attributes, and other sources of information about products on retailers' websites. The study found that recommenders increased the number of consumer views of product pages as well as the number of products consumers consider, but that the increase was moderated by product attributes and review ratings. (2020-05-04)

Language competition in Rwanda and Uganda
Despite the fact that the African languages in Rwanda and Uganda are marginalized in most formal domains in society, they are used far more extensively than commonly believed. This is one conclusion reached in a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. (2010-06-21)

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