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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 1/23/2017

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Get the digital magazine subscription today and draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

4 min
in brazil, it’s now beer—without the babes

In Brazil, land of the itsy-bitsy bikini and almost naked Carnival dancers, one summertime staple is in short supply this season: the raunchy beer commercial. The country’s top four beer producers are toning down sexual stereotypes in their advertisements, tapping into the “gender-friendly” wave commonplace in many markets globally. Ambev, which controls more than 60 percent of Brazil’s beer market through such brands as Budweiser and Skol, is still producing edgy marketing content, but it’s focused on diversity, like its recent Budweiser commercial showing a passionate kiss between two men during prime-time TV. Since last summer, Heineken has been running a version of its “Moderate Drinkers Wanted” campaign in which trendy partygoers of both sexes have a blast dancing, chatting, and drinking but know when to say no to the next…

4 min
pruitt faces fire on climate views

Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator nominee Currently: Attorney general, Oklahoma Age: 48 Notable: Played second base on a baseball scholarship at the University of Kentucky In a transition filled with unconventional cabinet picks, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to head the Environmental Protection Agency, stands out. As Oklahoma’s top lawyer for much of the past seven years, Pruitt has established himself as a loyal friend of the fossil fuel industry and become one of the country’s main antagonists of the very agency he’s poised to lead. Pruitt has challenged more than a dozen EPA actions, including President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, limits on mercury from power plants, and regional haze regulations designed to protect the air around national parks. He also signed onto a failed lawsuit against the EPA’s…

4 min
from angry birds to particle physics

The problem with most educational video games is that fun takes a back seat to education. Games such as Math Blaster and Number Munchers are little more than glorified quizzes, and it’s no wonder kids would rather play Candy Crush or Angry Birds, says Lauri Järvilehto. Ideally, he says, the educational component should be “invisible”—kids should learn without realizing it. Järvilehto is co-founder and chief executive officer of Lightneer, a mobile-gaming startup betting it’s developed the right spoonful of sugar. Like much of his team, he comes from Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish maker of Angry Birds. After Rovio dissolved its educational-games division in 2015, Järvilehto, then a consultant, and Lauri Konttori, the Angry Birds maker’s creative director, left to start their venture with backing from London startup accelerator Founders Factory and…

5 min
amazon goes after the walmart shopper

For years, Amazon.com has targeted shoppers who can easily afford a $99 annual Prime subscription to gain faster free shipping of its merchandise or spend hundreds more on other timesaving services such as Amazon Restaurants, which provides quick takeout delivery from eateries in hipster havens like Brooklyn, Seattle, and San Francisco. The company’s latest expansion move goes after a less free-spending group: Starting this summer, Amazon will deliver groceries to food stamp recipients. It’s one of seven online retailers chosen to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which last year provided more than $66 billion of help to 44.2 million needy Americans. Among the other newcomers to the two-year pilot program will be Fresh Direct and the online operations of supermarket chains Safeway and ShopRite. This…

3 min
holding down the costs of the cloud

Rich Sutton knew he was spending too much renting server space. He’s a vice president for engineering at Proofpoint, a $3 billion maker of cybersecurity software that boosted its revenue 41 percent last year, according to analyst estimates—nice, but well shy of its attendant rise in cloud computing costs. Proofpoint rents about 2,000 servers from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon.com’s cloud arm, and paid more than $10 million in 2016, double its 2015 outlay. “Amazon Web Services was the largest ungoverned item on the company’s budget,” Sutton says, meaning no one had to approve the cloud expenses. So he’s signed up with Cloudyn, one of a growing number of software startups trying to help businesses control their cloud costs. For a monthly fee of 2 percent to 3 percent of a…

4 min
the habs, poutine, jobs: welcome to quebec

When Simon De Baene co-founded his Montreal-based software development and consulting company in 2006, it had four employees. Today, GSoft has more than 200 workers—it grew more than 60 percent in the last year alone, and additional hires are coming in 2017, De Baene says. That’s good news for Quebec, which in the past decade has undergone a transformation from the laggard in Canada’s economy to one of its top provinces for jobs. Many of the positions are skilled IT and technology jobs, the kind policymakers expect to increase nationwide. “We have an incredible quality of life in Quebec,” De Baene says. “Great engineers, we’re creative, and the cost of living is really good. We have the ideal environment to build up successful organizations.” Quebec added 85,400 full-time jobs in 2016, more…