October 4, 2013

SC business notebook, Oct 5

Charleston economy doing better than state, nation; CNN reveals the voice of Siri; Electronic company stock gets boost from misunderstanding; Easing rules for portable devices on planes delayed

Charleston economy doing better than state, nation

A new report shows the Charleston area economy is outperforming the state and the nation in key areas. The (Charleston) Post and Courier reports the study indicates that by 2030, the area population will be more than one million people. The report from the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce says employment growth has risen at twice the U.S. average in the past two years. The number of jobs lost in the region during the Great Recession has been recovered and unemployment is lower than the national average and dropping at a faster pace. The report found that the area is undergoing a transformation into a more diversified, knowledge-based economy and faces long-term challenges including improving transportation and education.

CNN reveals the voice of Siri

Oh Siri, now we really know you. The woman behind that comforting and helpful voice on millions of U.S. iPhones and iPads has been revealed. CNN on Friday introduced Susan Bennett, who lives outside Atlanta, as the source of the recorded answers to everything from “What’s the weather like?” to “What is the meaning of life?” Bennett told CNN she started the journey as Siri’s voice in 2005, two years before the first iPhone was introduced, offering text-to-speech recordings for four hours a day. Bennett told CNN that the process of recording the voice that would later become Siri was speaking words and phrases that could be mixed together to form different answers.

Electronic company stock gets boost from misunderstanding

A bankrupt electronics retailer appears to have gotten caught up in the investor fervor for Twitter. Shares of Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Inc. rose as high as 15 cents Friday. That’s up 1,400 percent from Thursday’s closing price of 1 cent. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s industry regulator, says the shares were halted Friday afternoon because of a misunderstanding. What could have gotten investors so confused? Tweeter trades over the counter, under the “TWTRQ” symbol. Twitter on Thursday offered investors details about its highly anticipated IPO and proposed the stock symbol “TWTR.” But Twitter’s stock won’t be available for trading until the company actually goes public. That could be before Thanksgiving.

Easing rules for portable devices on planes delayed

If you’ve been looking forward to the day airlines ease the restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices on planes, you will have to wait a bit longer. A panel of representatives from the aviation and electronics industries submitted a plan Monday to the Federal Aviation Administration for lifting the limits on when you can power up electronic readers, tablets and other gadgets during commercial flights. But the FAA says it can’t begin to work on adopting the recommendations because key FAA staffers have been furloughed by the partial government shutdown.

The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times contributed.

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