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Comscore: Apple tops LG as No. 2 U.S. mobile phone maker

While Samsung is still sitting pretty at the top of the U.S. smartphone market, Apple just climbed to the second-place spot for the first time, according to the latest data from the research company ComScore. For the three-month period from August to October, Apple climbed 1.5 percentage points to reach 17.8 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, toppling LG to third-place.
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5 Companies That Make Money & Do Good

Need a little inspiration? Check the creative spark behind these socially conscious business models.A new generation of consumers, influencers, and entrepreneurs has come of age--and its outlook on doing business is revolutionary. Millions of children born between 1980 and 2000, commonly known as Generation Y, have matured into adulthood with a unique worldview that is firmly entrenched in the beliefs that anything is possible and anyone can make a difference. This is a generation that had front-row seats for the crumbling of "secure" institutions such as Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, people who saw firsthand how the greed-mongering practices of jerks like Bernie Madoff ruined the lives of thousands.Gen Y fundamentally knows that there is a better, more ethical way to do business--and its everyday behaviors reflect this mindset.From college dorm rooms to apartment "offices" across the country, Gen Y entrepreneurs are building new businesses with social responsibility infused directly into the DNA of their business model--as a forethought, not an afterthought.Thousands of these businesses launch every month--all with the goal of making a difference and a profit.5 That Inspire MeAs founder of Roozt.com, I sell products from some of the most inspiring social entrepreneurs across the country.
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Report: Best States for Small Business

A new survey of more than 6,000 small businesses determines which areas are most inviting for entrepreneurs.How business-friendly is your state? A new study offers some answers.In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, Thumbtack.com conducted a survey of over 6,000 owners of small businesses (most with 5 or fewer employees) throughout the U.S..The survey focused on how small business owners viewed the economic climate and overall environment facing them in their specific regions. Business owners were asked to rate their cities and states across a number of different categories that affect the success of small businesses. Their responses were then converted into numerical scores and ultimately each region was assigned a grade--A+ through F--for each category in the survey.Best & Worst StatesWhen the results were in, it turned out that business owners ranked Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah as the friendliest states for small companies
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Microsoft announces new Surface tablet

At a special event this afternoon in Los Angeles, Microsoft fulfilled the rumors and unveiled their new tablet, called the Microsoft Surface.The Microsoft Surface tablet weighs 1.5 lbs and sports a 10.6-inch Gorilla Glass display, edges beveled at 22 degrees, a 9.33mm magnesium case, USB 2.0 and DisplayPort for high resolution displays.The Microsoft Surface tablet will come in a number of flavors, including those that run Windows RT and a version with an Intel chip that will run the full desktop Windows 8 OS.That version, which has a higher-res display called "ClearType," is a "full PC," said Microsoft Corporate VP Michael Anguilo.
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How to Find Your Next Great Idea

Sometimes it's smarter to ditch the dream of finding something brand new. Try riding someone else's wave instead.You've probably heard of Foursquare, the location check-in app that manages to get a lot of interested users but not much money. But you might not be familiar with FearSquare.It's an app that lets Foursquare users know if they're in danger by checking the UK crime statistics for their current locations.This isn't a money-making venture.
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Productivity Trick: Pick Your Best 2 Hours

If you aren't getting enough done in your day--and who is?--try this time management technique.Not all hours are created equal. Some hours produce more net value–for you, your customers and your firm–than others. As my old partner liked to say, "Some of my hours are priceless and some of them are worthless."In looking at the most effective executives, leaders and business owners I know, I notice many of them are very careful with their time. This includes the appointments they set or take, the meetings they have, organizations to which they belong and the activities they fill their day with.Look at your appointment calendar from last week.
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4 Harvard Start-ups to Watch

A look at the latest batch of winners--and promising ideas--from Harvard University's storied business plan competition.Harvard Business School hosts one of the most influential business plan contests in the country. Previous finalists have gone on to build great businesses, including some you’ve probably heard of: Rent the Runway, Birchbox, and CloudFlare, to name a few. Others’ ventures eventually IPO or get acquired for millions of dollars. Many of them create jobs and help transform industries. In short, the companies coming out of this competition are ones to watch.
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What if Environmentalism Were as Big as Social Media? [INFOGRAPHIC]

What if everyone across the globe used his or her social media influence to help the planet? The impact would be huge, according to a recent infographic from Recyclebank, a company that rewards green consumers with discounts and deals from local and national businesses. The data encourages the connected generation to use social networks and technology for a positive effect on the earth. For example, if each Pinterest user shared one green idea per month, there would be 12 million more environmentally-conscious tips being passed around.
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