• When It Come To Fees, Don't Bank Against Banks
    The headline atop Rachel Louise Ensign's story in the Wall Street Journal -- "Maybe We'll Charge an Extra Fee to Read This" -- is rather arch this Monday given the fact that the paper was one of the first to successfully implement an online pay wall. But it speaks to the heart of the matter, which is that despite what regulators do, every business is going to find a way to make its bucks. In this instance, we're talking banks and their fees.
  • Whispers About Privacy Become Embarrassingly Public
    The home-page tease on the San Jose Mercury News website this morning calls it a "potboiler that has put much of Silicon Valley on the edge of its seat," and Patrick May's lede entices us further with the promise of "an unfolding tale ... of skullduggery." Indeed, the story has had classic whodunit qualities since some bloggers and newspaper journalists let it be known that they smelled a rat when the Burson-Marsteller public relations firm refused to divulge who was paying it to pitch a story about Google's purported violations of Facebook users' privacy. Suffice it to say that they …
  • Senators Grill Phone Company CEOs About Merger
    Did you like Ma Bell? Then you'll love the company being spawned by her offspring and T-Mobile, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken seems to feel. But he and some other Democratic senators grilling the CEOs of the two companies, whose merger would combine the No. 2 wireless provider (AT&T) with the No. 4 (T-Mobile) to create the No. 1 ahead of Verizon and Sprint, don't remember the phone company monopoly all that fondly. Neither does Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse, commercial star of the little and littler screen and fan of both unlimited calling plans and competitiveness.
  • In Xanadu Has Triple Five An American Dream Decreed
    Across the Hudson River and within sight of Manhattan's "canyons measureless to man," as Samuel Taylor Coleridge envisioned it, lies a patch of land scarred by an eyesore of am ambitious shopping complex that, until last week, was known as Xanadu. With the infusion of $1 billion in capital, and the infectious "can-do" gigantism of a family of Canadian Iranian immigrants who have developed Mall of America and the even larger West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, it is being "rebranded" for the Digital Age as American Dream@Meadowlands.
  • Microsoft Skypes Skype With $8.5 Billion Offer
    Reuters says the deal is just about done and will be announced as early as this morning: Microsoft is buying the Internet telephone service Skype for nearly $8.5 billion, most of it in bills so large they haven't been invented yet. It will also assume Skype's debt. Representatives for Microsoft and Luxembourg-based Skype have declined to comment.
  • Netflix Crosses Each Stream As It Comes To It
    psychiatric patient in a bustier" only to discover that you're a day late and a dollop of good sense short? If you have, you've just experienced an "Aw, (expletive)!" moment, writes Knoxville News Sentinel entertainment writer Wayne Bledsoe, and you know exactly how cable television industry executives and DVD manufacturers have felt as they watch Netflix's streaming strategy take off.
  • A New Gap At The Top Of Gap's Creative Dept.
    There's a bigger story at Gap than that of a designer losing his job after four years, but when you get right down to it, it seems to be more about the gristle and sinew of the bottom line than anything juicy that the tabloids can gossip about. A Gap press release yesterday morning was straightforward, giving the blogosphere and mainstream media all day to cook up tales of fiery creative conflicts and stultified visions. But they didn't.
  • ConAgra Has An Appetite For Ralcorp's No-Name Brands
    It doesn't take an economist to sense that people are going to resist price hikes in these jittery times. That perception seems to be the main driver behind ConAgra's edgy, if not yet hostile, bid for Ralcorp, which has a hefty business making brands that customers "have never heard of," as the Wall Street Journal's John Jannarone puts it, in grocery-store categories such as cereal, pasta, crackers, jellies/jams, syrups and frozen waffles.
  • Google's 90-Second Spots Promote Chrome Browser
    Google launched a campaign on national TV last night to boost usage of its Chrome browser. The series of 90-second spots, via Bartle Bogle Hegarty, have a simple objective.
  • Listen Up, Because Your Business Depends On It
    Amidst all the chatter in the last 36 hours about the role of Twitter in spreading the news about the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, a larger truth is evident: Even as the impact of social media grows exponentially, it is not "replacing" anything. It is another cog in the machine that inundates us with information. We are merely watching it come of age. And, if we're smart, we're listening.
« Previous EntriesNext Entries »