Amazon workers reject proposal to form first US union

Amazon's US employees will continue on without union representation, a group of workers from Delaware decided Wednesday night. The group, which would have been affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), voted down the proposal to form a union.

IAMAW spokesman John Carr said establishing a union often takes several election cycles, but put the blame on Amazon's anti-union tactics. It was a 21 to 6 vote.

"The workers at Amazon faced intense pressure from managers and anti-union consultants hired to suppress this organizing drive," he said in a statement. "We … Read more

Battle of the Benjamins: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs. Droid Mini, HTC One Mini, iPhone 5C

Although you can't deny the popularity of flagship handsets, manufacturers aren't shying away from offering devices that are just one notch down from their highest tiered smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, for instance, recently landed on Verizon and Sprint (with plans to reach AT&T and U.S. Cellular customers soon). It costs $99.99 on contract, though with temporary rebates and deals, Sprint is offering it for free to new customers only. The device features many of the things users love about the Galaxy S4, but in a smaller, slightly less powerful package.

Likewise, Motorola … Read more

10 must-see videos of the week

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that this week was all about Apple. Not only did the iPhone 5S and 5C go on sale, but iOS 7 was finally released to the masses. In this week's roundup we've included our comprehensive video reviews of the new handsets, as well as a full rundown of all the new features in the latest OS. And if you've already upgraded, Brian Tong offers up some of the best hidden secrets inside iOS 7 in a new episode of Apple Byte.

We realize many of you … Read more

iPad to woo more corporate customers this year, says analyst

The iPad will land in the hands of more business users in 2013, according to a poll conducted by Piper Jaffray.

Revealing the survey results in an investors note out today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said that IT managers will spend more money to outfit employees with tablets this year than in 2012. Among the 59 CIOs polled, 57 percent plan to deploy tablets in 2013, compared with 46 percent last year.

Further, the percentage of CIOs who said they'd conduct "broad" tablet rollouts jumped to 15 percent for this year from just 4 percent last … Read more

MIT Sloan CIO Symposium takes on mobile, data, clouds

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Most discussions about where computing is and where it's going end up touching on three big themes: mobility, big data, and cloud computing. Yesterday's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium was no exception, whether those precise terms were used or not.

Perhaps the most striking example of just how rapidly mobile devices are forcing IT organizations to adapt came from Scott Griffith, the CEO of Zipcar, who said that "60 percent of interactions are now through an Android or an iPhone." He also noted that essentially BlackBerry's entire share had shifted to Android over a … Read more

A focus on possibilities at MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--One of the reasons I like to attend events like the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is that they're opportunities for a reality check. Vendor confabs can sometimes feel like a bit of an echo chamber that is a bit disconnected from what IT departments are really doing or, at least, the pace at which they're doing it.

To be sure, the companies attending and speaking at events like this symposium tend to be more leading edge and forward-thinking than average. Even so, I was still a bit surprised at how strongly most of the end-user panelists … Read more

Making IT an enabler of business

Historically, users viewed IT departments as the people who ran the basic infrastructure "plumbing," were inflexible when it came to doing anything new, and generally far more of an inhibitor to the business than an enabler. That take was at least middling unfair in most cases, but it was grounded in certain realities.

For most organizations, IT was primarily focused on a fairly common--if hardly standardized--set of tasks. Functions like enterprise resource planning, financials, human resources, and e-mail all had to work. But they weren't something that especially advantaged the organization most of the time. Yes, an … Read more

Survey: CIOs tightening access to social networks

Concerned over the use and abuse of social networks, many CIOs are now clamping down on employee access to such sites, according to the results of a Robert Half survey released Tuesday.

Among the chief information officers questioned for the survey, 38 percent said they've created stricter policies on employee use of social networks compared with 17 percent who said they've relaxed their rules.

Many CIOs are particularly worried that sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a distraction from work. As a result, 23 percent of the executives surveyed said they've placed limits on social networks … Read more

Former Google CIO back with book, start-up

Who better to show people how to handle information in the digital era than a former Google chief information officer?

Douglas Merrill, Google's CIO until leaving in 2008 to steer EMI Music's digital unit, is raising his profile again a year after leaving the record label. He's written a book that he says can help people improve their cognitive skills and he's also founded a new start-up.

Merrill is the co-author of "Getting Organized in the Google Era," a book that offers advice to people who wish to improve their memories and sharpen their … Read more

Gartner: CIOs see flat 2010 IT spending

CIOs are eyeing relatively flat IT budgets this year, but that's better news than last year when spending took a nosedive.

IT budgets will rise on average only about 1.3 percent this year compared with last year, though that marks a halt to 2009's recession when spending dropped by 8.1 percent, says a Gartner CIO survey released Tuesday. The research firm's report "Leading in Times of Transition: The 2010 CIO Agenda" questioned almost 1,600 chief information officers, all of whom saw 2009 as their most challenging year in a decade.

This year'… Read more