• Friendly's Navigating Some Not-So-Friendly Waters
    It's a bleak Friday in New England, and I'm not even going near the Red Sox story ("With Boston's Historic Collapse, Red Sox Fans Are Back to Blue," reads the Wall Street Journal's headline.)
  • 'Brandwashed': Self-Referential Expose Of Marketing Tactics
    How's this for a sales pitch: "From the bestselling author of Buyology comes a shocking insider's look at how today's global giants conspire to obscure the truth and manipulate our minds, all in service of persuading us to buy." So quoth the Random House home page for Brandwashed, Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy,the new book by Martin Lindstrom.
  • So, What's Up With The IPhone 5?
    Even as tech journalists everywhere prepare to cover the unveiling of what we've learned will be called the "Kindle Fire" today, Apple has plopped a "Let's talk iPhone," invitation on their screens. The date of the not-quite-so-intimate tête-à-tête is Tuesday, Oct. 4. The iPhone 5 will be the subject; new CEO Tim Cook will be the messenger.
  • Bad Week For '60s Icons: Kodak Dives; Doritos Guy Dies
    It's a sad day if you remember tail fins, "Bonanza" and hula-hoops. Kodak, the company that brought us boxes full of memories of backyard birthday parties and second cousins whose names we can't recall, borrowed a little money from its revolving line of credit and saw its stock price dive to levels it hasn't seen since Elvis was an up-and-coming stud.
  • Eyes Of Tablet World Are On Amazon's Price Point
    It may be a tad premature to call the seven-inch device that Amazon reportedly is poised to introduce on Wednesday as the "final" competitor to Apple in the so-far lopsided tablet wars -- as David Streitfeld does in the New York Times this morning, but he says consumers no doubt will be cheered by its price, which is expected to be about $250 (or around half that of the cheapest iPad).
  • Communications Snafus At The Heart Of H-P's CEO Woes
    The last time Hewlett Packard's board embarked on a search for a CEO, which actually was less than a year ago, "we had a joke," a company executive James B. Stewart tells The New York Times: "The code name for the search was Léo Apotheker. Because no one had heard of him." This time, the board might well have codenamed its search "Meg Whitman," because it seems to have seriously considered no one else before appointing the high profile former CEO of eBay as the next in line for a position that seems to be surrounded by …
  • Pepsi Re-Rolls Out The Big Guns In 'X Factor' Debut Spots
    You weren't in a time warp, Bruce Horovitz assures us in USA Today, and pardon you if thinking you were while watching the likes of the late Michael Jackson and Ray Charles pitching Pepsi on the debut of Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" on Fox last night. There were other no-need-for-last names megastars of another generation in the 60-second spot, dubbed "Music Icons," such as Brittany, Mariah, Kanye. But it also features a "Pepsi-exclusive remix" of the song, "Tonight is the Night" by Yonkers-own Outasight.
  • Disney Sees Green In Blue World Of Pandora
    Walt Disney Co. has reached an agreement with "Avatar" director James Cameron, co-producer Jon Landau and 20th Century Fox, the movie's financier and distributor, "to bring flying banshees, giant blue aliens and other fanciful creatures from the blockbuster" movie to its theme parks, Dawn C. Chmielewski and Rebecca Keegan report in the Los Angeles Times this morning.
  • Hyatt's Homes Away From Home Getting Homier
    Home may be where the heart is but for many a businessperson nowadays, it's not where the body finds itself for extended periods of time. As a result, business travelers are demanding -- and getting -- more accommodating accommodations with a touch of the amenities they hanker for at the hearth. Case in point: Hyatt Hotels announced Monday that it is "evolving its extended-stay brand into a distinctive new hotel concept -- Hyatt House - that will redefine the segment.
  • Subscribers Take A Hatchet To Netflix' Pricing Script
    We consumers collectively told them so, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Now they're paying the price, which is to say that they've got a company on their hands this morning that's worth 19% less than it was 24 hours ago, and is down about 40% since it announced what amounted to as much as a 60% price increase on July 12.
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