The news at a glance
Economy: Unemployment falls, along with wages
The U.S. jobless rate fell last month to a 17-year low, said Harriet Torry and David Harrison in The W all Street Journal. The unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent in October, to 4.1 percent, the lowest rate since December 2000, during the “height of the technology bubble.” The U.S. economy largely shrugged off recent hurricanes as hiring picked up faster than anticipated. With all signs pointing to a tighter labor market, economists were puzzled by wage figures that suggested average hourly rates actually went backward in October by 1 cent, to $26.53 per hour.
Mergers: Broadcom offers $103B for Qualcomm
Chipmaker Broadcom has launched a $103 billion takeover bid for its rival Qualcomm, “in what would be the largest tech deal ever,” said Akin Oyedele in BusinessInsider.com. The unsolicited takeover, if completed, would create the third-largest chipmaker in the world, behind Intel and Samsung. Broadcom and Qualcomm both manufacture semiconductors vital to the speed and functionality of smartphones, in particular Apple’s iPhone. Broadcom last week announced in a ceremony at the White House that it plans to move its corporate headquarters from Singapore to the U.S.
Tech: Twitter supersizes its tweets
“The iconic 140-character tweet is now officially a thing of the past,” said Casey Newton in TheVerge.com. Twitter announced this week that after a global test, it was doubling the maximum length of posts on the social network to 280 characters. The company hopes that offering users more space to express their thoughts will encourage them to tweet more often. But a number of users objected to the change, arguing that it would “disrupt the fast-moving, real-time nature of the site.”
Media: Disney lifts ban on Los Angeles Times critics
After a widespread backlash, Disney this week retreated from its decision to ban the Los Angeles Times from press screenings of its movies, said Sydney Ember and Brooks Barnes in The New York Times. The ban began after Disney vehemently objected to a lengthy LAT exposé in September on the “subsidies, incentives, rebates, and protections from future taxes” the company had secured from the city of Anaheim, where the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks are located. After Disney barred LAT journalists from movie screenings, a number of other news outlets announced they “were boycotting advance screenings of Disney films in solidarity.” ■