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BUSINESS
May 27, 2014 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Columnist
When Leonard Tau's father opened his dental practice in New York in 1971, attracting business required very little effort. "My dad put a shingle up, and the patients just came," Tau said. By the time Tau started his practice in Northeast Philadelphia in 2007, the Internet had made life anything but smile-worthy for dentists. What are now more than 100 websites that collect and republish consumer reviews (Yelp, Angie's List, etc.) can turn a patient's miserable experience with a root canal into a reputation nightmare for a dentist.
NEWS
April 3, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
How much does "pay-to-play" contracting cost the public? About $45 million, in one episode at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, according to a recent analysis of a contract for computer software. The analysis concluded that the turnpike commission paid far too much and received far too little when it bought a software system from Ciber Inc., of Greenwood Village, Colo., whose former vice president has been charged by state prosecutors with giving gifts to turnpike officials to win contracts.
BUSINESS
January 22, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Metro Bank P.L.C. , the fast-growing, 25-branch British bank started by Commerce Bancorp founder Vernon Hill , has raised $637 million (385 million UK pounds) from past investors. Contributors include hedge funds SAC Capital Advisors , headed by Steve Cohen , and Moore Capital Management L.L.C. , both of New York. Also, mutual fund managers Fidelity Investments and Wellington Management Co. , whose clients include Vanguard Group , and real estate investors Reuben Brothers , based in Switzerland, and Richard LeFrak , chairman of his namesake New York company.
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Venture capitalists invested $420.3 million in Philadelphia-area companies last year, up 1.2 percent from the year before, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. and the National Venture Capital Association. The report, released Friday and based on data from Thomson Reuters, also showed that venture capitalists nationally invested $29.4 billion in 3,995 deals, a 7 percent increase in dollars and a 4 percent increase in deals. Locally, the number of companies receiving venture capital equity investments increased 9.9 percent to 122 from 111. In the fourth quarter, 34 Philadelphia-area companies received $81.6 million in investments.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. is suing a onetime Colorado employee, contending that while he was with the company, he developed software to track TV viewership patterns with set-top box data and then attempted to license the technology back to the cable giant for millions of dollars. The employee, Robert A. Orlowski, filed for two patents and created a company, Tuning Analytics L.L.C., to market the product, Comcast says in a federal copyright-infringement lawsuit filed in Philadelphia. The software presented huge amounts of information gleaned from set-top boxes or digital cable boxes in graphic form that could be easily interpreted by executives, according to both sides in the lawsuit.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2014 | By Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Columnist
LAS VEGAS - HAL, do we still have a problem? As the sneaky computer character in the classic sci-fi flick "2001: A Space Odyssey," you put out those malevolent, controlling vibes. But now, in 2014, you're no scary villain - you're the dude! In fact, you are resonating all over this week's International CES tech fest, here in Vegas - although in a much kinder, gentler fashion. There's a new catchphrase going round - "The Internet of Everything," or IoE - to describe human codependence and willing surrender to the global networks, deep data banks, tracking technology and eerily predictive software that help steer today's high-tech goods and services to give us what we want, when we want it. There's even a new home automation system named HAL debuting at the consumer electronics show.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia is one of the handful of cities where the mix of old and start-up software companies and engineering programs produces at least a modest and growing supply of young software developers for mobile and cloud applications and other emerging products. "It's the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Philly, Boston, Seattle, Austin. That's about it," said Patrick Matalack , director of product at Twillow, a San Francisco-based cloud and communications company. Matalack is an alumnus of Archbishop Carroll and Carnegie Mellon . Matalack's short list of tech hubs raises a question for companies that have prospered elsewhere - as the Internet freed them to do - but are now in growth mode.
NEWS
November 22, 2013
C HRISTOPHER CERA, 35, of Bella Vista, is founder and chief technology officer of Arcweb. The firm, which started in 2011, operates out of the co-working space Indy Hall in Old City. It builds workflow-, logistics- and operations-software products that streamline business processes. Cera, an Upper Darby native, is also a co-founder of Philly Startup Leaders. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Arcweb? A: It happened by accident. I was consulting and did a lot of founder dating and worked with entrepreneurs.
BUSINESS
August 17, 2013 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. is seeking to expand licensing of the cutting-edge software that runs its new cloud-based X1 channel guide, which could be the future of cable TV. Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the nation's two largest cable-TV companies, formed a joint venture to license the X1 software to cable companies, computer-chip manufacturers, set-top box makers, software developers, and others. Comcast says about 100 companies have licensed the software, referred to as the Reference Design Kit (RDK)
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Newtown Square-based Bill McDermott will become the sole chief executive officer of SAP A.G., ending an unusual power-sharing arrangement at the German-based multinational business-software maker. Jim Hagemann Snabe, who had shared the top post with McDermott since 2010, has asked to step down by next May's shareholders meeting, three years before his contract expires, so he can spend more time with his family in Denmark, he told investors and reporters in a conference call Monday.
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