Urbanite

Column: How Amazon Prime is driving up shipping costs

MINYANVILLE

(Credit: MINYANVILLE)

In a typical December, United Parcel Service and FedEx see their volumes peak mid-month as folks wrap up their Christmas buying. Last year, however, the packages just kept coming.

"More consumers shopped last-minute," said an analyst from NPD Group, as events unfolded. "E-commerce shipments far exceeded peak projections," noted UPS during its quarterly earnings call. "Last-minute promotions...

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Icahn gives up Apple buyback plan after ISS urges 'no' vote

Carl Icahn, billionaire investor and chairman of Icahn

(Credit: Carl Icahn on March 27, 2012 in New York. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg))

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has backed off from his proposal that Apple Inc increase its stock buybacks, citing the company's recent repurchases as well as an influential proxy adviser's call against his proposal.

In a letter to Apple shareholders on Monday, Icahn wrote he was ditching his efforts to force Apple to add another $50 billion to its stock buyback plan, "especially...

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Twitter: The bears sweat the details

MINYANVILLE

(Credit: MINYANVILLE)

Twitter is taking an absolute beating post-earnings, mostly because of one measly stat: Its quarter-over-quarter growth in monthly active users fell to just 4% from 6% in Q3.

Incidentally, Facebook's quarter-over-quarter growth fell to 4% in the second quarter of 2013.

But at that time, Facebook had over 1.1 billion users.

As of the fourth quarter reported yesterday, Twitter was...

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Column: Microsoft's Satya Nadella does not need our advice

Why is it that every time a company gets a new CEO, the media falls all over itself to offer advice?

Satya Nadella has been running Microsoft for one day and already thousands of folks have stepped up to offer lists of recommendations of things he needs to do right now before Microsoft, I don't know, falls into a volcano or something.

Now I'm okay with identifying Microsoft's weaknesses...

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SAC's Mathew Martoma found guilty of insider trading

Former hedge fund portfolio manager Mathew Martoma exits

(Credit: Mathew Martoma exits a New York federal court on Nov. 26, 2012. (Spencer Platt/Getty))

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at billionaire Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund, was found guilty on Thursday of engaging in what prosecutors called the most lucrative insider trading scheme in U.S. history.

A federal jury in Manhattan found Martoma, 39, guilty on all three of the conspiracy and securities fraud charges that he faced, over a scheme that allowed...

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Column: Apple files its most ironic patent yet

MINYANVILLE

(Credit: MINYANVILLE)

"Who wants a stylus? You have to get 'em, put 'em away, you lose 'em. Yecch! Nobody wants a stylus. So let's not use a stylus."

That sweeping, provocative disapproval of rubber-tipped pointers was expressed seven years ago by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs during the grand debut of the original iPhone. Valuing simplicity above all else, the Cupertino chief condemned the notion of extra accessories...

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Column: Amazon's Prime move may go well with shoppers, investors

MINYANVILLE

(Credit: MINYANVILLE)

When Amazon introduced its Amazon Prime two-day free shipping program for $79 per year back in 2005, many investors and analysts thought the idea was plain bonkers.

A year of unlimited free shipping for $79? With no limits on product weight or ordering frequency, and no minimum price?

Way to sink that ship!

Nine years later, Amazon has built its vast retail empire largely around...

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Column: Did Apple just reveal its next big thing?

MINYANVILLE

(Credit: MINYANVILLE)

Last week's earnings report was a bruiser for Apple iPhone sales disappointed, the outlook for the current quarter was gloomy, and unit prices continued their long fall as consumers embraced older, cheaper models.

These trends aren't surprising, or even new, but the quarterly conference call had an air of frustration as one analyst asked CEO Tim Cook, "Are you still a growth company?"

In...

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Wall Street slumps to hit lowest level since October

Wall Street

(Credit: Getty Images)

U.S. stocks slumped on Monday, with the S&P 500 hitting its lowest level since October after weaker-than-expected data on the factory sector in the world's largest economy provided investors with the latest reason to book profits.

U.S. manufacturing grew at a slower pace in January as new order growth plunged by the most in 33 years, while spending on construction projects barely rose...

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Career 180: 'Hop'-ping into the real estate biz

Lee Lin for amNY career 180 story on

(Credit: Lee Lin (Renthop) )

Finding an apartment to rent in New York City can be tough. To help make it easier, in 2009, Lee Lin, 33, and his partners launched RentHop, a website that ranks roughly 85,000 New York rental apartment listings according to quality.

Lin, who lives in midtown, was a software engineer at Microsoft for three years before crossing over to a Manhattan-based quantitative hedge fund from February...

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