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Supreme Court rules for states in online sales tax case

Supreme Court rules for states in online sales tax case

Technology
States will be able to force more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big financial win for states. Consumers can expect to see sales tax charged on more online purchases — likely over the next year and potentially before the Christmas shopping season — as states and retailers react to the court's decision, said one attorney involved in the case. The Supreme Court's 5-4 opinion Thursday overruled a pair of decades-old decisions that states said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The decisions made it more difficult for states to collect sales tax on certain online purchases, and more than 40 states had asked the high court for action. Five st...
Robot lawnmowers make the cut as sales soar

Robot lawnmowers make the cut as sales soar

Technology
Sales of robot mowers are soaring as gardeners let technology take the strain out of cutting the lawn. Department store John Lewis says its sales are up by 75% this year due to advances in technology and falling prices.John Lewis spokesperson Hannah McFarlane said: "With temperatures reaching the high 20s, people are less prepared to get hot and bothered mowing the lawn and would rather sit back with a chilled drink and watch their robotic lawnmower creating those perfect straight lines, without having to lift a finger."The mowers work by using GPS software to plan their route or sensors and wires are planted on the edge of the lawn.Once the machines have completed their task they return to their docking stations and switch off, while others can be controlled by mobile phon...
Car dealer tactics stall electric car sales

Car dealer tactics stall electric car sales

Science
"Dismissive" car dealers are a major barrier to boosting sales of electric vehicles (EVs) according to a new study.Researchers, who posed as car shoppers in Scandinavia and Iceland found that sales personnel strongly pushed petrol and diesel powered cars. Around 77% of dealerships that sold EV brands didn't discuss their existence with the potential customers.Government signals are a key reason for these attitudes say the authors. In this study, the researchers visited 126 car dealerships across 15 cities in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. The team also interviewed over 250 industry experts across the region. Of the 126 dealers visited, only 8.8% of the encounters that the shopper has left them preferring an EV opt...
Solid iPhone sales boost Apple revenues

Solid iPhone sales boost Apple revenues

Business
Apple plans to double its share buyback scheme to $ 100bn (£73bn) as solid iPhone sales helped revenues rise 16% to just over $ 61bn.The company said it sold 52.2 million iPhones in the three months to March - only a touch below expectations, despite waning global demand for smartphones.Revenues at Apple's services business that includes Apple Music and the App Store jumped almost a third to $ 9.1bn.Shares rose 3% in afterhours trading.Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, said the services growth was "particularly impressive". He also pointed out that the iPhone X was the best-selling model in every week of the quarter - despite costing almost $ 1,000 or £1,000.Some analysts had questioned whether demand for the top-of-the-range smartphone would hold up after the initial rush.Overall Apple
Facebook sales soar despite data scandal

Facebook sales soar despite data scandal

Business
Facebook's quarterly sales rose by nearly 50% in the social media giant's first results since a privacy scandal over users' data emerged.The company said that revenues rose to $ 11.9bn in the first three months of the year, compared to $ 8bn previously.Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "Despite facing important challenges, our community and business are off to a strong start in 2018."He added that the firm is "taking a broader review of our responsibility". Facebook said that its advertising revenue rose to $ 11.7bn in the three months to the end of March, compared to $ 7.8bn in the same period a year ago.First quarter profits also grew, reaching $ 4.9bn compared to $ 3bn last year.In March, towards the end of Facebook's reporting period, the company was caught up in a massive privacy ...