Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
I bought a Williams-Sonoma cheese grater for my mom for Christmas once because I had no idea what to get her and I was in a mall and there the grater was, just large enough to take up space under the tree and just cheap enough to let her know that I put NO thought or care into buying a gift for her. Anyway, I paid for this grater with a credit card. And when a place like Williams-Sonoma gets your credit card and thus your address, you are on the mailing list for life. Every holiday season, my mail slot gets bukkake’d with monstrous catalogs packed with shit I would never, ever buy, and the W-S catalog stands out among them.
While certain retailers like Hammacher Schlemmer are almost intentionally ludicrous (“Buy this personal hovercraft for $80,000!”), there’s no wink to be found in a Williams-Sonoma catalog. The people at W-S aren’t the least bit self-conscious about getting you to pay $35 for mailed gravy. So I thought I would go through this holiday season’s catalog, which has spent a solid week atop my shitter, and point out some of the more ridiculous items. Because there are people out there who buy this shit. The question is … who? And why? Let’s try to figure that out now.
GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations?
“Guy Fieri is a pox on professional chefs. I think the Donkey Sauce may be seasoned with the tears of Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain. “
Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex? When you saw the burger described as “Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,” did your mind touch the void for a minute?
Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table? Were the “bourbon butter crunch chips” missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too? Was your deep-fried “boulder” of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?
New York-based startup H. Bloom has taken the flower industry by storm since its launch in February 2010.
Their subscription-based flower delivery company, which caters to hotels, restaurants and other service businesses, combines the artistry of mom-and-pop flower shops with the technology and innovation of today’s hottest startups to disrupt what is a $35 billion flower industry.
The company also has a successful employee development program, which is helping fuel their rapid expansion to new markets. H.Bloom is currently in five cities around the country and has plans to expand to 75 by 2015.
Co-founders Bryan Burkhart and Sonu Panda were recently featured in our annual SA 100 list, which honors the coolest people in New York tech.
Reboxetine is a drug I have prescribed. Other drugs had done nothing for my patient, so we wanted to try something new. I’d read the trial data before I wrote the prescription, and found only well-designed, fair tests, with overwhelmingly positive results.
Reboxetine was better than a placebo, and as good as any other antidepressant in head-to-head comparisons. It’s approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA), which governs all drugs in the UK. Millions of doses are prescribed every year, around the world. Reboxetine was clearly a safe and effective treatment. The patient and I discussed the evidence briefly, and agreed it was the right treatment to try next. I signed a prescription.
The last Lada Classic rolled off the production line in Russia earlier this week after 40 years of production.
But Russian carmaker AvtoVaz, which owns Lada, has just launched a new concept car which it hopes will also capture the hearts of drivers.
It was designed by a leading British car designer, Steve Mattin. He worked at Mercedes Benz, and was the Design Director at Volvo, but agreed to move to Lada last year.
Our Moscow Correspondent Daniel Sandford has been to see Steve Mattin and his XRAY Concept car, to ask why he gave up a good job at Volvo for AvtoVaz.
I’ve lamented before the idea of “branding” (and “re-branding”), now that it applies seemingly to everything – not just to products and services and the companies responsible for them but also to regions, universities, ideas and individuals – especially, individuals. Maybe it’s just me but I find the notion of individual-as-brand to be obnoxious, the triumph of slick BusinessSpeak and BusinessThink over something – the human being – that can’t possibly be captured as simplistically as brand managers and spin doctors would have us believe.
Okay. So now that I’ve cleared my throat on how I feel about branding, what would it take to re-brand America, and help to lift it out of its doldrums? The narratives that have worked for so long are not working all that persuasively of late – the economic miracle that is America, the global policeman that is America, the melting pot that is America, the cradle of democracy that is America, the cradle of innovation and ingenuity that is America. True enough, historically we’ve gone through tougher times than these; true, it’s not as if these narratives have gone unchallenged until now. But certainly some burnishing or tidying up could be done to the brand, to re-ignite enthusiasm, optimism, investment, energy. After all, that’s what each presidential candidate tries to do. (Presumably it’s harder for an incumbent to do it than for a non-incumbent.)
What stories might America, or its brand managers, try to tell? What stories might sound a little less dreary and more believable than the ones that are being told now (if, in fact, such a story is being told at all)?
Apple Announces Record Pre-Orders For iPhone 5: 2M in 24 Hours, 2X iPhone 4S Day One Sales | TechCrunch
Apple today announced that it managed to rack up 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in 24 hours, two times as many as it managed for the iPhone 4S last year, which sold over 1 million devices during its first 24 hours of pre-order sales. That’s a new record, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been watching the progress of iPhone pre-order sales since the device originally hit the market.
The iPhone 4S eventually went on to sell more than 4 million devices over the course of its first weekend actually on store shelves, so expect the iPhone 5 to blow past that milestone, too. The iPhone 5 is initially available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., adding two new countries (Hong Kong and Singapore) to the list of launch regions for the iPhone 4s, so expect that to influence early sales as well, especially since Hong Kong is a popular destination for those looking to resell the iPhone at a premium on the grey market in China.
Do you want your McDonald’s food talking to you? A cheeseburger does in this print ad from DDB Stockholm—which, at 265 words, is surely one of the longest-copy ads ever written for a fast-food sandwich. The burger, which is out to stridently defend its half-namesake ingredient, gets comically irritated at times, clearly put off by society’s vilification of cheese.
“How can that cheese not be for you?” it asks toward the end. “It melts in your mouth, for God’s sake, it melts in your mouth.” No stranger to making offbeat McDonald’s ads, this office of DDB might have bitten off more than it can chew with this one—as the cheese on a McDonald’s burger is not, as a rule, the kind of cheese you write home about. The writer, Magnus Jakobsson, is also no stranger to long-form copy, having done notable ads recently for Swedish pop-culture retailer Papercut. Larger image of the text from the new McDonald’s ad below.
NEW YORK: The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab is testing a new four-legged, rugged terrain robot, dubbed “Robo-mule,” and demonstrated it Sept. 10 at Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Va., giving Commandant Gen. Jim Amos a look at the newest technology.
The Legged Squad Support System (LS3) demonstration by the Warfighting Lab, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Boston Dynamics is part of a larger effort to develop unmanned equipment that could help lighten the load for Marines on the ground.
LS3 differs from autonomous vehicles like the Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate and the Cargo Unmanned Ground Vehicle, which were tested this summer at Fort Pickett, Va. Unlike large wheeled vehicles, the LS3’s animal-like body is designed to climb rugged slopes and inclines.
“This can go where GUSS and the Cargo UGV cannot go,” said Maj. James Richardson, head of the Logistics Combat Element Branch within the laboratory’s technology division.
Like the Cargo UGV and GUSS, LS3 does not require a driver and is controlled by a remote operator. Intended for small infantry units, LS3 can carry up to 400 pounds of equipment, including ammo, batteries and water. It can also reach speeds of 5 mph and accelerate to 8 mph during “burst” periods. Richardson said developers hope to increase operating speeds to 20 mph and get the robot to respond to basic verbal commands.
Robo-mule recognizes road obstacles and has a refined sensor system to prevent it from walking off cliffs. It can also turn itself upright onto all four legs autonomously if it’s been knocked over.
As Samsung Tries To Get Galaxy Tab Injunction Lifted, Apple Names Eight Samsung Products It Wants Banned | TechCrunch
After Friday’s $1.05 billion verdict in favor of Apple, Samsung is now trying everything to reverse the trend while Apple is charging foward at full speed. Even though the injunction hearing will take place on September 20, some Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1, were subject to preliminary injunctions. The jury decided that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 did not infringe the iPad D’889 design patent — Apple’s trade dress — and therefore invalidated the prior injunction.Samsung requests a dissolution of the sales ban, the $2.6 million bond from Apple that protected Samsung if it was determined that the injunction was unnecessary, and probably damages for lost sales.Apple, fresh off of its court victory last week, just informed the court the products it is going after for a U.S. sales ban on the basis of patent infringement. Thankfully, at least for Samsung, most of these products are no longer available. But Samsung will no doubt fight Apple on this as well. Droid Charge Galaxy S Showcase Galaxy Prevail Galaxy S 4G Galaxy S2 AT&T Galaxy S2 Skyrocket Galaxy S2 T-Mobile Galaxy S2 Epic 4GSamsung is trying not to lose ground in the legal battle against Apple. On June 26, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ordered a preliminary sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 based on the fact that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was hurting Apple’s sales due to trade dress and design patent infringement. At that time, Koh seemed convinced because she did not even wait for an Apple hearing to issue the injunction.