News In Brief
KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?
No doubt, Dilbert would agree: Jargon-spouting business executives simply confuse their staffs - when they aren't intimidating them. A new survey by Office Angels, a London-based consulting firm, found that employees feel pressured to use "meeting speak" terms that they don't understand in conversation ... so as not to appear out of step with the boss or co-workers. Examples: "low-hanging fruit" (an easy target); "ticks in all the right boxes" (being on track); "gap analysis" (assessing untapped opportunities). Forty percent of respondents said this was irritating; 10 percent said frequent users are "pretentious."
YOUR HONESTY IS APPRECIATED
New proof that not everyone in pro sports is self-absorbed. When San Antonio hotel maid Tomasa Luna turned in $5,000 cash left behind by an unidentified member of the visiting Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association Feb. 4, she was invited to keep one-fifth of it. Other guests have had more valuable items returned, the hotel manager said, but none has offered so generous a reward.
US startup companies found willing investors last year
Lenders willing to risk venture capital set a record last year, investing $48.3 billion, a new report says. The National Venture Capital Association and Venture Economics announced in Boston that the amount was a 151.6 percent increase over the 1998 total. The big winners: Internet-related companies, which attracted just under $32 billion, and northern California, which soaked up almost $17 billion in venture capital - more than any other region of the US. The regional totals for 1999 (in billions), according to the report:
Northern California $16.9
Southern California 3.9
Rocky Mountains 2.0
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