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Posted on Thu. Aug. 16, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

BRIEFS

ITT Exelis cuts 21 jobs in slowdown

ITT Exelis cut 21 jobs Wednesday because of falling demand for defense-related products, spokesman Tim White said. The workers, mostly engineers, were given two weeks’ notice and will receive severance pay and transition assistance, he said.

White was unable to say whether there’s a realistic expectation the workers could be called back to the company. ITT Exelis continues to seek new business, he said. He was also unable to give an average wage for the dismissed employees, saying pay varies greatly depending on job duties and number of years with the company.

Over the past four or five months, ITT Exelis has moved some shared services jobs – such as accounting and IT support – to the Fort Wayne campus.

White speculated the number of incoming jobs offsets the number being eliminated. However, he didn’t have updated employee headcounts late Wednesday.

Last November, less than three weeks after celebrating its creation as an independent company, ITT Exelis cut more than 200 local jobs: 95 temporary and about 110 “permanent.”

After those cuts, ITT Exelis was expected to employ about 1,500 locally, White said at the time.

Outage at Frontier affects up to 90,000

Thousands of Frontier Communications customers in the Fort Wayne area and in the southern part of Indiana experienced outages during the early-morning hours Wednesday, a spokesman said.

Roscoe Spencer, regional public affairs officer, said up to 90,000 customers in the state, Michigan and Ohio may have been without Internet, TV and phone service, but the exact number affected hadn’t been determined.

Frontier’s network operations center in Allen, Texas, tracked the outage’s cause to a lightning strike to an overhead wire in Churubusco, Spencer said.

“It happened around (3:30 a.m.) and by 9 a.m. everyone was back up and running,” he said.

There were reports by individual customers of having outages longer or before Wednesday’s disruption, but Spencer called those cases isolated.

Samsung rolls out faster Galaxy tablet

Samsung Electronics Co. is taking another shot at the dominance of Apple’s iPad with a tablet equipped with a digital pen and a faster processor at the same price tag.

The Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 will go on sale today in the U.S. The price starts at $499 for the basic model with 16 gigabytes of storage and $549 for the 32-gigabyte model, expandable with an external memory card. Apple’s latest iPad starts at the same price but the Note 10.1 offers some features that the iPad doesn’t have, while its screen resolution is lower than the iPad’s.

It is Samsung’s first Android tablet equipped with a digital pen and can run two applications side-by-side on a screen divided in half.

Builder confidence reaches 5-year high

U.S. homebuilders grew more confident in the housing recovery in August, as many reported that prospects for sales are the best they’ve been since the home bubble burst five years ago.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose two points this month from July, to 37. That’s the highest reading since March 2007.


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