Brian Banmiller's blog

Loose Lips

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Hard at work or hardly working? Whatever the answer, you might want to keep it to yourself.

The longtime communications chief for New York’s court system was recently fired after accidentally telling a reporter that he hardly ever worked. And with an annual salary of $166,000 that news did not sit well with the higher ups.

David Bookstaver was let go after he unintentionally dialed the phone number for a reporter at the New York Post. The reporter's voicemail then caught him conversing with a co-worker saying quote “I’m not doing anything. I barely show up to work.” The 58-year-old has been planning on retiring in October but after the post published the recording online his last day came a lot sooner than expected.  read more »

Walmart Kiosks

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Walmart is improving its system to pick up online orders and customers are buying into the changes.

In its first run through of in store kiosks where people could pick up online orders, customers said the process took too long and the kiosks were hard to find. So the retail giant reworked things and are testing out the new machine at 20 stores with more than a hundred rolling out over the next couple months.  read more »

Travel Politely

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Your money might be a welcome sight when you travel but that doesn't mean you are.

Tourists are a vital part of a country's economy pouring millions of dollars into local businesses. Unfortunately along with a travel budget they come with crowded streets, traffic jams and rude behavior. In some cases people in cities such as Venice and Barcelona are protesting against tourists and asking the government to close the country's door to them.  read more »

Adjusting to Intelligence

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As technology evolves many of the things around us are becoming automated, but none of it should be a new experience.

“Think about AI merely as the latest chapter in a long history of automation that goes all the way back to the industrial revolution and what we have seen in the past is that of course new technologies destroy jobs but on balance they create more jobs than they destroy, this is what happened in the 20's and 30's. It's what happened with the first wave of computing in the 50's and 60's, the question is, is this time different?”  read more »

Credit Score and Love Life

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Want to have a great love life? Start with a high credit score.

According to a new survey just reported by Bloomberg Business, financial responsibility was ranked as a very or extremely important quality in a potential mate by 69% of 2,000 online daters. That high ranking placed financial responsibility ahead of a sense of humor at 67%, attractiveness at 51%, ambition at 50%, courage at 41% and modesty at 39%. And thanks to the internet or a friendly banker, it's a lot easier to find the credit score of a potential mate than to put a number on someone's sense of humor, courage or modesty.  read more »

A Bidding War

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Two of the world's biggest automakers are joining forces and half of the country is competing to get in on the action.

Recently Toyota and Mazda announced the two companies were joining forces to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant here in the United States. The plant will employ 4,000 workers and would be located near Toyota’s existing supply chain. And since that supply chain is currently located from West Virginia through Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, Midwestern and southern states are competing for the new business.

Experts say states covet plants such as this one because they typically pay above average wages and spin off jobs to nearby suppliers and service companies.  read more »

A New Ticketmaster

The world's largest online retailer could soon become your primary source of entertainment.

According to Reuters, four sources have confirmed that Amazon might be making a power play against Ticketmaster. Right now Ticketmaster, currently owned by Live Nation is the country's leader when it comes to selling tickets for a variety of events. Now Amazon is eyeing a window that would allow the Seattle based company to get a foot in the door.  read more »

Forbidden Places

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No one likes being told they can't do something. But in some cases it just might save your life.

While most places on earth encourage the business from tourists there are a few locations where a select few will ever be welcome; and for good reason; maybe the climate is to extreme, the locals aren't very friendly or maybe the wildlife will kill you.  read more »

A New Art Critic

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There's a new art critic in New York and he has four legs and a tail.

Former Washington Post art critic Jessica Dawson says she was at an exhibit with her rescue dog Rocky when she noticed how intently he was checking everything out. Unlike the people who were reading their phones, New York Times review or artist resume. But unfortunately for Rocky everything was a bit high on the wall for him to really see so Jessica decided to do something about it.

So she contacted the organizers of the exhibit Documenta to curate ten pieces of outdoor art for a three day experiment. All of the pieces were set up in a park and were strategically placed on a dog's eye level. Some were even interactive with dog bones or pools of water for the animals to play in.  read more »

The Worth of the Dollar

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The American dollar is dropping and tourists are reaping the benefits.

Since the start of the year major currencies including the euro, British pound and Chinese yuan are gaining ground against the dollar which has seen a drop between 9 and 13%. And while the drop came too late for people to book a cheaper vacation, those who were already heading our way are cashing in.  read more »