Afternoon Coffee: eBay Uses Big Data to Save $$$, Dole Salad Recall, GM Cuts Plant Hours in Germany

eBay's big savings.
The Surprising Way eBay Used Big Data Analytics to Save Millions -- After crunching those numbers –talk about big data! –the results were telling. eBay uncovered underutilized servers, misconfigured devices and other inefficiencies. In fact, armed with these findings, the company was able to repurpose thousands of servers and save millions in capital expenditures within the first year. "(We saw) patterns that were not obvious to the individual technician, ones that only got visibility once you took all of the corporate data and looked at it," explained Oliver Ratzesberger, then eBay's Senior Director of Architecture & Operations. "That was millions of dollars for us in terms of capital savings –just through applying analytics in an area that at first we never thought about using analytics for."

Dole Recalls Bagged Salad Over Listeria Risks -- Dole Fresh Vegetables, a division of Dole Food Co., is voluntarily recalling 1,039 cases of bagged salad due to a random sample testing positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The product affected is 10 oz. Dole Italian Blend coded 0049N2202008, with a use-by date of Aug. 20 and UPC 7143000819, and was distributed in Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia. No other salads are included in the recall. The recall follows a sample of the Italian Blend salad testing positive for Listeria in a random sample test conducted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

"The European car market is declining substantially."
GM in Deal to Cut Working Hours at German Plants -- Twenty work days at two of Opel's German plants will be shortened through the end of the year starting in September, Opel said in a statement Thursday. The company didn't disclose which days will be shortened or how much the German government will spend to compensate employees for a portion of the hours they don't work. "The European car market is declining substantially," Opel management board member Holger Kimmes said in a statement after reaching a deal with the German government and the IG Metall union. "Short work is the right bridging measure." The announcement is the first victory for GM as it wrestles with continuing losses in Europe. However, the measure still doesn't solve the problem of production overcapacity plaguing GM and other competitors. Auto makers cannot close or idle plants due to strict government and union rules.

Cut cut cut.
Sony Mobile to cut 1,000 jobs -- Sony Corp will cut about 15 percent of its global workforce at mobile phone unit Sony Mobile as the Japanese giant tries to integrate the struggling business with a series of measures including moving its headquarters. Sony took over the troubled Sony Ericsson mobile phone venture at the start of this year for 1.05 billion euros ($1.3 billion), renaming it Sony Mobile. Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai is under pressure to reverse the fortunes of his company, which this month slashed its 2012/2013 operating profit forecast. Sony said it would cut about 1,000 jobs, of which 650 at its Lund mobile phone plant in Sweden.

- Sheena Moore

First Voice

  1. Paulson:

    As far as buying/saving on eBay goes:

    If you have a question about an item, go to another of the seller’s listings and ask the question from there. This will add a bit of work for the seller, if they want to add your question and their answer to the item description page. Maybe other interested buyers will not bother to ask a question, instead just continuing to look for a similar item that already has the question answered in the item description.

    If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. If that doesn’t work, use a sniping service such as to bid for you. It’ll bid in the last few seconds, helping to save $ and avoid shill bidding.

    If there is a particular item that you want that is relatively rare on eBay or goes fast when one is listed, use to set up a saved eBay search for it. You’d get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. You can use the price, category, exclude word, etc. filters to narrow down the results that you get in the e-mails. Excellent for “Buy It Now”s priced right.

    If the item that you’re looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like to find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers may never see them.

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