• A New Episode In The Intergalactic Battle Of The Cloud
    Amazon announced its Cloud Drive service yesterday -- a "locker" in the ether that will permit users to store and retrieve 5 gigabytes of digital media such as music and videos for free. More storage is available for a fee, or after you purchase an "album" from Amazon.com.
  • What Evil Lurks In The Hearts Of Tweeters
    Maybe futurist and text-to-speech pioneer Ray Kurzweil can solve the problem of spokespeople who don't follow the script. What used to keep marketers awake at night was the worry that one of their celebrities would get into a lascivious scandal or some other personal issue that didn't gibe with their product's image. Nowadays they've got to watch the Twitter feeds and voicemails of every junior employee and spokesduck voiceover artist, 24/7.
  • Getting Real About Your Food Labels
    If a marketing genius were to come up with a food that was fat-free, sugar-free, salt-free, gluten-free, organic and incredibly good for you, I ask nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, what would it taste like?
  • 'Twas A Bad Week To Be A Consumer
    This is supposed to be the golden age of the consumer, isn't it? We have options. We rule. Let the marketer who is not responsive to our needs wither on the social networks. Then why do I sometimes get the feeling that it's all an illusion and that the big guys will just continue on in their mindless, lumbering ways?
  • Circle Or Prophecy: Howard Schultz' Vision Prevails
    A prima facie case for the genius of Howard Schultz can be found in the March 21 issue of the "new" Newsweek in which said Schultz is given four pages to tell us what a genius he has been by going against conventional wisdom time and again. Headlined "How Starbucks Got Its Mojo Back," the article is excerpted from his new book written with Joanne Gordon: Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul.
  • When It Comes To Energy Choices, Let's Stop The Spin
    I saw a Daily Beast headline the other day -- "Most Vulnerable U.S. Nuclear Plants" -- and immediately figured that Indian Point in Buchanan, N.Y., would be on it. I routinely hear test sirens from the facility, which is located fewer than nine miles from our getaway cottage on a dirt road off a dirt road used during the Revolution and not exactly an evacuation route built for SUVs and minivans. Those sirens will sound more ominous from now on.
  • Why Is HarperCollins Picking On Libraries?
    It's not every day that you get to refer to a story where someone uses a great word like "gobsmacked" but that's the case this morning. What does Philadelphia librarian Anne Silvers Lee say her colleague and she are so astonished about? A decision by HarperCollins to limit the number of times an e-book can be checked out to 26.
  • Will Public Demand More Than 'Oops, Sorry About That'?
    Pete Thamel last week keyed an analysis of the ethical miasma that seems to pervade collegiate sports to an announcement that Ohio State was suspending its football coach for the first two games of next season after finding that he did not disclose information about potential NCAA violations by some of his knuckleheaded players. Jim Tressel will also lose $250,000 of his salary to fines, leaving him a measly $3.75 million for the year's work.
  • 'Next They'll Tell Us Junk Food Is Good For Us' Syndrome
    It's not going to happen overnight but putting "No Fat" on your label could become more of a liability than a plus once new scientific thinking hits the mainstream (if the public doesn't throw up its collective hands first and say, "Next they'll be telling us that nicotine cures leukemia.")
  • Duck! The Girl Scouts Are Coming
    I duck behind my desk, which looks out on my front stoop, whenever someone resembling a Jehovah's Witness, New York Public Interest Research Group student/solicitors (do-gooders are the worst nags out there) or a Verizon FiOS salesman approaches the door. But here it is, months into the Girl Scout Cookie-selling season, and I've been downright disappointed that no young ladies have come by selling cookies this year. What better cause can there be than scouting and Thin Mints (in moderation, of course)?
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