- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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Airport tests new way to avoid deadly bird strikes

NEW YORK (AP) - When birds and planes collide, the results can be deadly. That’s why airports around the world work hard to keep birds away, even resorting to shooting or poisoning large flocks.

One Ohio airport is now experimenting with a new, gentler way to avoid bird strikes: planting tall prairie grass.

Heavy birds like geese - which cause the most damage to planes - are believed to avoid long grasses because they fear predators might be hiding within. So officials at Dayton International Airport are converting up to 300 acres of the airfield’s 2,200 non-aeronautical acres into prairie grass. The goal is, by the end of this year, to plant the tall grass under the takeoff and landing paths.

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Wal-Mart: Try, try again

NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart thought shoppers would like the opportunity to use a smartphone app to scan items they want to buy as they walk through store aisles. In theory, they could speed through self-checkout.

But customers couldn’t figure out how to work the “Scan & Go” app during tests in 200 stores, so Wal-Mart nixed it.

Instead of looking at the app as a failure, though, Wal-Mart took what it learned from “Scan & Go” to create another service: It found that customers like being able to track their spending, an insight that became the impetus for a national program that enables shoppers to store electronic receipts.

The story behind “Scan & Go” illustrates how traditional retailers increasingly are using the nimbler approach to innovating that Silicon Valley startups are known for. Rather than perfecting a program before rolling it out - as most retailers do - they’re doing more testing and refining as they go along.

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Like stocks, junk bonds show investor jitters

NEW YORK (AP) - The stock market isn’t the only place that’s been signaling jitters among investors. The $2.3 trillion market for risky U.S. corporate debt has also been under pressure.

A five-year rally in junk bonds abruptly stalled last month. As with other higher-risk investments, investors have pulled back mainly because they worry about the end of the Federal Reserve’s policy of near-zero interest rates.

Story Continues →