Minneapolis open data policy heads to the Council

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By Eric Roper, Star Tribune

“Reams of public data addressing everything from restaurant inspections to city spending may soon become easier to access under an “open data policy” under consideration at City Hall.

The policy, which will be presented to a committee this Wednesday, would create a new portal where departments can upload raw public data about different metrics they are tracking. To access that information now, inquiring citizens and journalists must formally request it from the city.”

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New CEO wants to turn Proto Labs into a $1 billion company

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

Proto Labs CEO Vicki Holt doesn’t sit still. In her first 11 weeks on the job, she negotiated an acquisition, opened a factory, started two production lines and relocated 175 workers from the company’s Maple Plain headquarters to Plymouth. She also moved herself from St. Louis to the Twin Cities.”

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HighJump Software acquired by rival Accellos

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

HighJump Software, a Bloomington firm that pioneered warehouse management and logistics software, has been acquired by a Colorado-based rival, Accellos Software.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, brings together two leading providers of software that distributors and retailers use to keep track of items in warehouses and in transit.”

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New 3M software warns users about prying eyes

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

“3M Corp. wants computers to know you — and only you. This week, the Maplewood conglomerate debuted privacy software that uses ­cameras, face recognition technology and filters to alert users if someone is trying to take a peek at their screen.

The technology blacks out content if an onlooker tries to view from an angle. The software also allows users to select various privacy settings to shield information.”

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Kidizen app taps into recycled kids clothes

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By Sally McGraw, Star Tribune

“Before they had kids, friends Dori Graff and Mary Fallon considered themselves minimalists. Both women liked beautiful things, chosen carefully and arranged meticulously.

But once their kids came along, the two realized that parenthood brings with it a constant cycle of stuff: Toys, furniture, shoes, and especially clothing flow into and out of the household at an alarming rate. It’s a cycle that feels wasteful, expensive and draining. They thought other parents might be feeling the same way. So they decided to tackle the problem head-on.”

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At Rasmussen College, a game attempts to cut college costs

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By Maura Lerner, Star Tribune

“Business students at one for-profit college soon will have a new way to earn credits: by playing computer games.

Rasmussen College in Bloomington announced Thursday that beginning in July it will offer game-based courses — with no instructors — as part of its associate degree in business management.”

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SPS Commerce helps retailers find all paths to consumer

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

Archie Black had reason to beam last week.  The CEO of Minneapolis-based SPS Commerce hosted 300 retailers, vendors and logistics experts at a three-day “SPS Omnichannel” conference at the downtown Marriott.

It was testimony to SPS’ growing prominence as a software provider that helps retailers reach customers who want the best of online and in-store shopping.”

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Cachet seeking $20 million in a public offering for mobile wallet

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By Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune

Cachet Financial Solutions of Minneapolis has filed an initial registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission looking to raise about $20 million through a public stock offering.

The company is developing mobile wallet solutions for customers of banks, credit unions, prepaid card programs, check cashing services and payday lenders. The company uses remote data capture technology that allows customers to scan checks with cameras on their smartphones or other devices and then transmit the scanned image to a bank or other financial institution for posting and clearing using Cachet’s cloud-based “Software-as-a-Service’’ platform.”

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Eighteen companies vie for massive Minneapolis IT contract

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By Eric Roper, Star Tribune

“Eighteen companies are vying to win all or part of Minneapolis’ largest contract, an IT outsourcing deal that has paid Pennsylvania-based Unisys more than $149 million since 2003.

The city opted to seek competitive bids on the contract in 2012 and IT officials have expressed interest in breaking up its many components. The city renewed the contract without seeking bids in 2007 and then extended it in 2010 — it now ends in December 2015.

Some have questioned the city’s close ties with the company over the years. A Star Tribune analysis in 2012 revealed a revolving door of sorts between the company’s top ranks and Minneapolis government.”

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