Ashlin Rich

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USA TODAY's Travel blog

The Latest Science On Whether Money Can Buy Happiness

Money, we love it. Happiness, we want it. That much we know. What we don’t know, and what reams of research have yet to show definitively, is whether having one really yields the other.<p>A recent symposium of psychology researchers, called Happy Money 2.0: New Insights Into the Relationship Between …

Happiness

Free Flights On Southwest Airlines Are About To Get A Lot More Complicated

Southwest Airlines is joining competitors Delta and United Airlines in changing its frequent flier program. Travelers are probably not going to love it.<p>“The cost of [Southwest's Rapid Rewards frequent flier] program has risen, and we needed to increase the number of points required to manage that …

Southwest Airlines
Higher Education

Staples and RadioShack deliver big hit to jobs

RadioShack's bankruptcy will put thousands of workers out of work, but Staples' plan to buy rival Office Depot could cost even more jobs.<p>The two office supply companies have about 4,000 stores and nearly 150,000 employees between them. About half of those stores within five miles one another.<p>The …

Online

Jack Ma loses $1.4 billion in a day

Jack Ma had a no good, very bad day on Thursday, a $1.4 billion paper loss on the plunge in shares of Alibaba.<p>The Chinese e-commerce company reported disappointing sales that sent shares down nearly 9%. And founder and CEO Ma's 6.3% stake in the company tumbled right along with them.<p>The loss won't …

Jack Ma

Is Windows 10 Microsoft's Consumer Comeback OS?

I had the distinct pleasure attending Microsoft's event in Redmond last week where they brought out a myriad of new products like HoloLens and Surface Hub and disclosed many more details on Windows 10, in particular, the consumer features. In the totality of the event, I think Microsoft score big …

Windows Phone

Is a $4.5 million Super Bowl ad worth it?

Companies justify spending a whopping $4.5 million on a 30 second Super Bowl ad by touting how it's the one time you can reach more than 100 million people.<p>An added bonus? Those viewers aren't feverishly hitting the fast forward button on their DVR remote to zoom past commercials. For many, the ads …

Advertising

U.S. retail workers are No. 1...in employee theft

It’s almost Groundhog Day, but for retailers, the holiday season is finally winding down.<p>“The four months from October through January are when …

eCommerce

IBM disputes report of 112,000 layoffs

Could IBM be preparing for the biggest corporate layoff in history? It depends who you ask.<p>Tech blogger Robert Cringely wrote last week that IBM would lay off 26% of its staff, or nearly 112,000 employees, in a massive restructuring. The cuts will be announced Wednesday, and they will predominantly …

IBM

A huge Northeastern snowstorm shuts down some businesses but pumps up sales at others

Businesses large and small are feeling the effects of a huge snowstorm sweeping into the Northeast Monday. For some, wintry weather is derailing activity: Airlines canceled thousands of flights. Car dealers expect to lose a couple sales days. Others are enjoying sales bumps, as shoppers stock up on …

Post Holdings to pay $1.15 billion for Malt-O-Meal cereal maker

Post Holdings Inc. will spend $1.15 billion to bulk up its presence in the cereal aisle by buying privately held MOM Brands Co., maker of Malt-O-Meal cereals.<p>Post said Monday that it would pay $1.05 billion in cash and give MOM Brands' owners nearly 2.5 million shares of stock for the acquisition, …

The 10 worst ZIP Codes if you're buying car insurance

Your ZIP Code has a lot to do with what you're paying for car insurance. If you live in Detroit, you probably already know that.<p>Drivers in that city's 48227 ZIP Code pay the most for auto insurance -- with an average premium of $5,109 to insure a 2014 Honda Accord for a year, a study has …

Valentine's Day spending expected to reach a record $18.9 billion.

Can't buy love? Tell that to the lovebirds expecting to shell out $18.9 billion for Valentine's Day, the most since the National Retail Federation began tracking the holiday 12 years ago.<p>Though the proportion of Americans who say they celebrate Valentine's Day has dropped, to 55 percent this year …

National Retail Federation

China moves to accept imports of all US apple varieties

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — For the first time, all varieties of apples from the United States will go on sale in China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.<p>A deal was reached last week between officials for the United States and Chinese governments to grant access to all U.S. apple varieties, …

Exports

Toyota to move to merit-based pay for factory workers: Nikkei | Reuters

(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) will change the way it pays factory workers, focusing on their performance rather than their seniority, the Nikkei reported on Monday.<p>Members of the media are shown under a large Toyota logo during the first press preview day of the North American …

IT

4 stocks popping thanks to Snowmageddon

The weather outside much of the Northeast may be frightful, but the stock performance of several companies that could benefit from The Blizzard of 2015/Snowmageddon 2015 is delightful.<p>Shares of Generac (GNRC), a company that sells generators, are up 5% Monday afternoon. This company has often done …

Weather

Senate Fails To Move Forward On Keystone Bill

The Senate has failed to move forward on the Keystone XL Pipeline Monday evening, extending the battle over the controversial Canadian oil import project that is one of the Republican Party's top priorities since taking over control of the Senate in January.<p>The Senate voted 53 - 39, falling short …

Mitch McConnell

No excuses: Apps to get you in shape in no time

Too busy to work out? Think again. These apps will get you moving in just a few minutes a day.<p>New year, new you, right? Well, at least until life gets in the way. Don't let your busy schedule stymie your goals to get moving with these apps.<p>The hot new fitness trend is getting in a workout in a …

Apps

Woe Canada! Many U.S. retailers fail up north

Canada and the United States are geographical neighbors with many things in common. But for big American retailers, the Great White North might as well be another planet.<p>Target announced Thursday that it was closing its stores in Canada. New CEO Brian Cornell defended the decision by saying that …

Canada

How to Get Rid of 'Mommy Guilt' (or Daddy Guilt) Once and For All

The moment your new baby comes into your arms, a whole new set of emotions rushes in—pride, joy, wonderment, fear, and, yes, guilt. Because …

The richest woman in the world is ...

<b>(CNN) —</b> There are 2,325 billionaires in the world, according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014, and just over 12% of them are women.<p>With a combined wealth of $930 billion, the world's richest females are making their mark on the global economy -- and their fortunes are only expected …

Entrepreneurship

Target to shutter Canada stores, book a $5.4 billion charge

Target said Thursday it will exit the Canada market, a recent expansion that has resulted in billions of losses and a move that will lead the …

Profit