Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: Texas factory activity increased in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 6.4 to 10, suggesting stronger output growth.
Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated growth in September. The new orders index rose to 5.3 following a reading of zero last month, suggesting a pickup in demand. The capacity utilization index advanced from 1.7 to 9.3, largely due to fewer manufacturers noting a decrease. The shipments index rose to 4.5, bouncing back into positive territory after falling to -2.3 in August.
Indexes reflecting broader business conditions were mixed. The general business activity index remained slightly negative but edged up from -1.6 to -0.9. The company outlook index was positive for the fifth month in a row but fell slightly to 2.4 from a reading of 4.1 in August.
Labor market indicators reflected slower labor demand growth and slightly longer workweeks. The employment index remained positive but fell to 5.9, its lowest reading in more than a year. Sixteen percent of firms reported hiring new workers, while 10 percent reported layoffs. The hours worked index moved up from -0.9 to 2.8.
Price pressures were mixed in September. The raw materials price index jumped nearly 12 points to 22.5, indicating a sharp rise in input costs. The finished goods price index held steady at -1.3, continuing to suggest a slight decline in selling prices. The wages and benefits index edged up from 13.5 to 15.4, although the majority of manufacturers continued to note no change in compensation costs. Looking ahead, 52 percent of respondents anticipate further increases in raw materials prices over the next six months, while 30 percent expect higher finished goods prices.
Expectations regarding future business conditions were more optimistic in September. The index of future general business activity rose sharply from -5.1 to 5.5, registering its first positive reading in three months. The index of future company outlook increased slightly, coming in at 9.2. Indexes for future manufacturing activity moved down slightly from their August levels, but all remained in strong positive territory.
The Dallas Fed conducts the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey monthly to obtain a timely assessment of the state’s factory activity. Data were collected Sept. 11-19, and 97 Texas manufacturers responded to the survey. Firms are asked whether output, employment, orders, prices and other indicators increased, decreased or remained unchanged over the previous month.
Survey responses are used to calculate an index for each indicator. Each index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents reporting a decrease from the percentage reporting an increase. When the share of firms reporting an increase exceeds the share reporting a decrease, the index will be greater than zero, suggesting the indicator has increased over the prior month. If the share of firms reporting a decrease exceeds the share reporting an increase, the index will be below zero, suggesting the indicator has decreased over the prior month. An index will be zero when the number of firms reporting an increase is equal to the number of firms reporting a decrease. Data have been seasonally adjusted as necessary.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: The Biggest Dallas Beer Stories of 2013; Southwest Airlines wants American Airlines’ two gates at Love Field; Rule could mean lights out in Texas; Free encyclopedia called in lawyers after 300 'sock puppet' accounts were traced to Texas firm; The economics of Marfa; Famed Austin Nightclub Is Sold; Cinemark opening Movie Bistro in El Paso; Blockbuster Fades Out, But Some Texas Zombie Stores Will Live On; IBM debuts major new Austin design studio; and more.