Without satellites, geo-stationary and otherwise, we'd have no GPS, weather maps, satellite radio, geo-fencing, all kinds of nautical and aeronautical navigation, cartography, including Google Maps, and gorgeous pictures of the Pillars of the Gods. How many are up there helping us find the nearest Starbucks and the best route to grandma's house? This time-lapse video, starting with Sputnik will give you an idea. Prepare to be amazed and maybe horrified.
Lamplight Analytics finds Japan has the most engaged Star Wars fans in the Far East; Korea has the most creative, and China the most inexperienced, as they are four decades behind. Japan has the biggest legacy with the franchise and is so tuned into the movie that it got its own trailer, which revealed plot points other trailers did not, and therefore went viral. Japanese social-media users had three times as many online conversations as Korean and Chinese users combined.
Starbucks Corp. released a map of which specialty drinks sold best in states and regions across the United States this holiday season. Iced drinks, like Iced Chestnut Praline Latte and Iced Peppermint Mocha, were big in California; Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino topped Florida's list; Caramel Brule Frappuccino was hot in Hawaii; the Chestnut Praline Latte was big in Texas; the Holiday Spice Flat White was a hit in the Northeast. Eggnog Latte was the top choice in the Pacific Northwest; and Caramel Brule Latte was the most popular beverage in the Midwest.
Gone are the days when men dominated the new-car buying process. Women now buy - or at least influence - more than half of the vehicles sold in the U.S., according to various studies. But there's still a big gender gap when it comes to the vehicles men and women choose. More precisely, when they go online - as most shoppers do to research their eventual choice - women appear to be practical and direct about what they're looking for - affordable cars and trucks. Men are more interested in sportier, powerful cars and trucks than woman, according to a …
Pep Boys will be acquired by Carl Icahn for $1 billion, beating out Japanese tire company Bridgestone in a bidding war. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Icahn Enterprises offered $18.50 in cash for each share of Pep Boys on Tuesday, $1.50 more per share than the most recent offer from Bridgestone. Icahn said in a statement that Pep Boys has "enormous growth potential." He said he was looking for a company to pair with parts distributor Auto Plus.
Target is emphasizing the approachability of a limited-production trio of Republic of Wine varietals this winter. The wines are a Ctes du Rhne and champagne from France and a chardonnay from California. The store is distributing a beginner's guide to wine by winemaker Erin O'Brien of Republic of Wine, including flavor notes and food pairings. "Remember that everybody has different tastes in wine, just like art and music. Trust in your own taste buds!" said O'Brien in a press release.
Sao Paulo, Brazil, has a unique idea for keeping ride-sharing companies in line: skimming some cream from the top. The city has proposed that Uber and others be required to buy government credits to cover their distance traveled. App makers would also have to support a service that picks up multiple passengers headed in the same direction. Uber is happy with the concept. It sees the credit model as "innovative." It would rather pay a small fee than face a ban attempt (as in Rio).
With the impact of a cheating scandal nipping at the heels of its chief rival, Toyota appears ready to win the global sales race for 2015 again, something that seemed far less likely just a few months ago. Going into the final months of the year, Volkswagen AG was posed to nab the sales crown from the Japanese giant. But VW sales have taken a serious hit since it was revealed in mid-September that the German maker had cheated on diesel emission tests.
Twitter has hired Jeffery Siminoff, a 50-year-old former Apple executive, as its new (air quotes, please) "vice president of diversity and inclusion." There is a problem with this picture. Siminoff is very white. Before Apple, he was at very white Morgan Stanley, where he ran diversity. Worth noting: Twitter's greatest penetration is in the Middle East and Africa. Black and Hispanic adults make up more than 30% of the company's U.S. users, and less than 5% of its management.
A new retail brand called Main & Vine is entering Kroger's extensive store portfolio soon and it could spell more trouble for Whole Foods Market and other competitors. A website for the new concept is filled with beautiful photos of fresh products and bills the store as a place, "where eating is healthy, affordable and fun!" The site does not offer an indication of when the store will open other than soon.