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Gonna Fly Now

What’s Going On: People want to use their mobile devices anywhere at any- time, but one area has been restricted. Air space has had strict limitations, but those are about to be lifted. Air-

line passengers will now be allowed to use a range of mobile electronic devices in flight with very few restrictions, according to U.S. aviation authorities. These more relaxed rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration—which eliminate the rule that no personal electronics can be used while a plane is below 10,000 feet-- are to take effect on most airlines by the end of

Holiday Hours Remain Controversial

the year. Passengers will be able use their Kindles, e-readers, play games, and watch videos on their portable electronic devices during all phases of flight with limited exceptions. The changes have come about after a study by outside experts on safety concerns related to portable electronic devices.

How It Can Affect You: This is a huge win for consumers who are connected to their

devices around the clock for personal and professional reasons. The new rules simply mean that passengers will be able to use their devices in airplane mode gate-to-gate. Mobile phones still cannot be used for voice communications or texting while in flight, due to regulations by the Federal Communications Commission. As of November 1, 2013, Delta and JetBue have become the first airlines to win FAA approval for device usage during all phases of flight. United Continental said they are looking forward to providing this benefit to passengers as well.

What’s Going On: The holiday creep contin- ues, but some think the line has been crossed by retailers who want to get a jump on sales. Macy’s was planning to have most of its stores open on Thanksgiving Day—for the first time in its 155-year history—a sign of the cut- throat competitiveness of the season. The doors at most of Macy’s 800 namesake department stores were to open at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 28. The retailer had opened most of its stores at midnight in 2011 and 2012 to kick off the Black Friday sales after opening later in the morning in prior years. But some of its rivals—Sears and Target, for starters— have opened earlier and earlier, pressuring Macy’s.

How It Can Affect You: This time of year is especially critical for brick-

and-mortars, many of which had sluggish second-quarter sales and who are fiercely competing with online retail- ers around the clock. Store hours are critical, and store owners have to be compet- itive with pricing as well as having their doors open as much as possible. U.S. retailers have extended their Black Friday hours every year in recent years to get a jump on the sales events that kick off the holiday season, when they earn more than a third of their annual sales in the holiday season. Not only will Macy’s open, but J.C. Penney’s will have most of its 1,100 stores ready for business as well as Kohl’s which planned to be open on the Thanksgiving holiday as well. The pressure will be on all brick-and-mortar stores as the shopping season now begins while you are still digesting your turkey.

Wrist Revolution Rings in New Year

What’s Going On: Reflecting the transformation of the standard wristwatch into a connected GPS, music player, exercise device, and more, there will be a new TechZone at the 2014 Interna- tional CES--WristRevolution. The latest advancements from downloadable watch faces to Internet connectivity and app- based programs will be showcased in this show floor area.

How It Can Affect You: Tech wearables have arrived…so much so that they now

warrant their own TechZone at CES. According to Karen Chupka, events and conferences senior VP, CEA, “Smart watches are creating new possibilities in the wearable technology market and increasing the ways consumers can connect with these pocket-sized devices. This exciting trend propelled us to create the WristRevolution TechZone.” Current exhibitors include Burg Limited, Cookoo, Dennco Brands, Kronoz, MetaWatch, Neptune and Qualcomm Toq. 45

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