Talk of the bay: Verizon FiOS redefines cable competition

By Times Staff
Published December 6, 2007

In the ever-escalating cable TV battle, Verizon is raising the ante by offering high-definition video-on-demand on its FiOS network. Tampa was among a few select markets chosen for the debut. Others include Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Pittsburgh. Verizon's initial HD VOD offering contains about 75 titles, including a mix of free programs and recently released blockbusters. Customers can access video-on-demand by pressing the "VOD" or "On Demand" button on their remote control, through a menu on FiOS TV's interactive media guide, or by selecting channel 900.

More retail thefts are inside jobs

Careful who you hire: Retail losses to thieves rose 5 percent to $40.5-billion in 2006, but inside jobs by store employees soared to $19-billion while shoplifting was flat at $13-billion, according to an annual survey of 150 of the biggest retail chains by criminologists at the University of Florida. Experts suspect it's because more organized shoplifting rings are in cahoots with store workers. Buttressing the suspicion: $8.5-billion of the losses were from incidents of $7,000 or more. It's one reason why retailers have been switching to more flexible digital cameras and exception reporting technologies that make it easier to monitor employee interaction with customers, said Lee Pernice, director of vertical marketing for ADT Security Systems, a major supplier of loss-prevention equipment in Boca Raton that sponsored the study.

Worker confidence out of the cellar

We're not exactly No. 1 in worker confidence, but we're no longer dead last, either. So say new data from the Hudson Employment Index, which measures worker confidence in 11 metro areas. In November, it found that our workers were more confident than the minions in L.A., Philly and Chicago. More local workers expect their companies to be in hiring mode. On the other hand, more local workers say their financial situation is getting worse. To see more, visit www.hudson-index.com.