‘Mass layoff’ at Imation As Oakdale Company Refocuses

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By Nick Woltman and Jaime DeLage, Pioneer Press

Imation Corp. is undertaking a “mass layoff” at its Oakdale headquarters as part of the extensive restructuring plan the company announced this week.

Affected employees were notified Monday that their last day of work would fall between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, according to a copy of the notice obtained by the Pioneer Press. The notice said there would be a mass layoff Sept. 28 and that the job losses are expected to be permanent. The number of job losses was not available.”

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St. Paul: The Data Belongs To The Public, Not Employees

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Via St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Open-government advocates raise good questions about a new St. Paul email policy for city workers.

The practical effect of the policy, which took effect Saturday, is that emails staff members now delete might one day “be important for the public to see,” said Don Gemberling, who long has been a state leader on freedom-of-information and privacy issues.”

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St. Paul City Employees’ Emails Will Be Deleted Sooner

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By Frederick Melo, Pioneer Press

“Public watchdogs are raising questions about the transparency of a new St. Paul policy that deletes most city employee emails after six months.  In addition to the six-month policy, St. Paul employees have been notified that emails they move to “junk” or “trash” folders will disappear in two weeks.

“Don’t save messages that are no longer useful,” a new employee training manual states. “Delete as soon as their purpose is served. … Keep what you need to do your work.” The new records retention policy takes effect Aug. 1.”

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St. Paul-Based App Data Room Offers Global Marketing Muscle

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By Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Pioneer Press

“Caterpillar used to have many ways to consummate a sale — too many, it turned out.  The Peoria, Ill., company is best known for its hulking construction machines, like tractors and backhoes. But it actually has 10 distinct business units hawking hundreds of products with thousands of variations.

The problem? Sales staffers heading out to woo clients did not have a single, consistent system for making pitches, distributing promotional materials and gathering market intel about prospective buyers.  App Data Room, a privately held St. Paul technology startup, got Caterpillar and many of its franchisees around the world to streamline their sales operations.”

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Like to make stuff? Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire is for you

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By Richard Chin, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“A massive show-and-tell for an eclectic collection of DIYers, geeks, gear heads and others who just like making stuff will hit the Minnesota State Fairgrounds this spring.

Called the Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire, the May 29-30 event will feature more than 200 local and regional “makers.” Among them: “tinkerers, coders, woodworkers, crafters, farm hackers, artists, students, designers, chemists, roboticists, entrepreneurs, scientists, food inventors, metalworkers, educators, green technology creators, inventors, corporate designers and bicycle builders.”

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JAMF’s Bushel thinks small for Apple device management

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By Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Pioneer Press

“Aaron Hormann used to set up his company’s employee iPhones and iPads one by one — a laborious and time-squandering process. Technologies exist for automating a multi-device setup but are typically tailored for larger organizations, such as corporations, government agencies and school districts.

Eagan-based Herregan Distributors, where Hormann works in marketing and does tech management on the side, is not remotely in that league. It has dozens of employees, not hundreds or thousands. But now Hormann has streamlined the set-up of his worker iOS devices just like the big boys, and he has a local company called JAMF Software to thank.”

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Minnesota firm using 3-D printing to customize cremation urns

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By Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Pioneer Press

“Urns for storing ashes of the deceased, intended to look classy, sometimes can be tacky — even creepy. One company hawks 3D-printed busts of the dearly departed, or famous people like Barack Obama.  Then there is Foreverence, an Eden Prairie startup that is attempting to aim a bit higher.

Foreverence is offering custom 3D-printed urns shaped like objects that were important to the deceased — a sportscar, say, or a guitar — and made out of a ceramic material that is intended to look and feel more appealing than the more-common 3D-printed plastic.”

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CenturyLink rolling out gigabit service to Twin Cities

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By Julio Ojeda-Zapata, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“CenturyLink intends to overtake top residential-broadband provider Comcast with a new fiber-optic service it said will provide the Twin Cities’ fastest-ever home-Internet speed of 1 gigabit per second.

The service would smoke cable company Comcast’s home Internet speeds, which top out at about 100 megabits per second in the Twin Cities.”

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Minneapolis’ FirstTech, Apple retailing pioneer, is closing

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By Julio Ojeda-Zapata, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“When Apple first began selling its pioneering personal computers in the late 1970s, its first batch of machines went to Team Electronics in the Twin Cities.

Team Electronics eventually morphed into FirstTech, a Minneapolis tech dealer that has prided itself on being the world’s first Apple reseller — and in being symbiotically associated with the Cupertino, Calif.-based personal-technology giant.  Soon, though, FirstTech will be no more.”

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