A bill making its way through the Senate would make more online retailers collect sales taxes. The battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers. Amazon has endorsed the bill, while eBay is the loudest voice against it.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday, to discuss nuclear energy and other topics. But the handshake they shared created the biggest stir in Korean society, after Gates greeted Park with a smile — and his left hand jammed into his pants pocket.
Apple released quarterly earnings on Tuesday that beat Wall Street's bearish expectations. Investors have done a pessimistic about-face on Apple since the company's stock price topped $700 in September. Apple's earnings were lower than a year ago for the first time in a decade. But Apple did offer investors some goodies — it increase its dividend and added $50 billion to a stock buyback program.
Energy companies are using a drilling technique known as fracking to extract natural gas underground. Many people raise questions about the environmental impact, but there is no doubt fracking has produced lots of natural gas and driven down the price. That has led energy-hungry manufacturers to build plants in fracking hot spots like Texas and Pennsylvania. But even in old factories — far from the drilling or even the pipelines — cheap natural gas is providing a competitive edge.
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