Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro chatter: Shakeup at Yahoo and a Google car that barely needs you


Carlos Yerbes, member of the le Private Cannabis club, prepares a coffee on November 30, 2010 in Madrid.


Dominique Faget

Need to know:
The US is still about 1 million job openings short of where it was in early 2007.

The US in March of this year had 3.7 million job openings, the Labor Department reported. That boils down to 3.4 unemployed people per opening.

It’s a vast improvement from the recession’s end when nearly twice as many people were vying for each job.

When the recession began there were fewer than two unemployed people per job opening in the US.

Want to know:
The fallout over Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s padded resume is still shaking things up at the troubled tech company.

Patti Hart, a Yahoo board member who led the search that resulted in Thompson’s hiring, said she won’t try and keep her seat on the company’s board. Hart already is busy running International Game Technology, and her company’s board wanted her to focus more on it, All Things Digital reported.

Of course, Yahoo may have been trying to oust her.

Thompson had claimed a bachelor’s in computer science and in accounting, but really only received the accounting degree. An activist investor vying for more power over the company’s board revealed Thompson’s embellishment hoping to win some wiggle room to put his own plans for Yahoo in place.

Dull but important:
It’s a tough time to be the euro. The pressured currency has been hovering around a three-month low.

Political uncertainty in Europe is continuing to pressure the single currency, which has been having trouble cracking and staying above the $1.30 mark.

The Euro hit a low of around $1.29 on Monday, and Reuters said it could go even lower.

Just because:
The Netherlands decision to ban tourists from its famed cannabis coffee shops could provide an opportunity for Spain and Portugal to generate some new revenue.

The countries take a more liberal approach to policing marijuana, and one Spanish village has already been exploring whether it make money by getting into the marijuana business, GlobalPost’s Paul Ames reported.

Spain already tolerates co-ops that produce marijuana for members’ consumption, but those clubs aren’t open to tourists — yet. 

Strange but true:
Google’s self-driving test car has gotten its license in Nevada. It just can’t go out alone.

The modified Prius uses cameras, laser radars, GPS technology and artificial intelligence to get around without human intervention. Nevada still is requiring two humans be in the car whenever it's on the streets — one to drive it and the other to monitor its computer systems.

Mashable tested one of the Google cars out in March 2011 and said it didn’t run into any problems. A Google car did cause an accident last August but that was when the driver was in charge.