Cigarettes kill more than 5.4 million people each year, a 30 percent increase over the past two decades. Although cigarette use has generally fallen in the U.S., increased use in Asia and Eastern Europe has ensured that the tobacco industry is bigger than ever. Innovation has also hit the cigarette business in the form of e-cigarettes, electronic devices that heat up liquid nicotine to a vapor that is then inhaled.

Like everything related to tobacco, e-cigarettes have been controversial since Continue reading

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Net neutrality continues to be a hot topic for debate in Washington. Here’s a video explaining this complicated subject.

 

http://nyti.ms/1nRVU8i

Questions:

  1. Should the Federal Communications Commission (FDC) continue a policy of net neutrality?
  1. Does FCC Chairman Wheeler have a conflict of interest in this decision?

From The New York Times

 

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June 25, 2014

As recently as the early 2000s, the stereotypical image of the corporate careerist typically included a flashy convertible jetting down the highway with a set of expensive golf clubs stashed in the trunk. Nowadays, though, these once weighty symbols of wealth and status have plummeted in popularity. Instead of a cherry red Corvette, modern executives and ladder climbers would prefer to cruise to their next meeting in a big SUV. And thanks to smartphones, the golf links aren’t the same Continue reading

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June 12, 2014

Recent federal banking regulations have placed limits on the fees that financial institutions can charge for things like overdrafts and credit card transactions. Although this has been good news for consumers and merchants, the new rules have reduced revenue streams for banks across the country. As a result, many institutions are looking to make up the difference through additional sources of income, such as Western Union branches.

The more than 160-year-old money-wiring firm sells its services to 52,000 locations throughout Continue reading

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diningIn the world of fine dining, the food may be the focus, but the customer is king. That’s certainly the case at New York’s exclusive Eleven Madison Park, where professional servers iron table linens and polish silver before diners arrive. Like any three Michelin-star establishment, they want to ensure that guests will be as comfortable as possible even before they sit down to eat. While this includes primping that is common at other elite eateries, the maître d’ at Continue reading

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For many working Americans, leaving the office in the early evening doesn’t necessarily mean your workday is done. Answering emails and phone calls can stretch one’s workday far past the standard five o’clock threshold. That is, unless you happen to be a consultant working in France. Under a new agreement between labor unions and corporate representatives, more than 250,000 French employees at consulting, computing and polling firms are required to “disconnect” from work once they clock out.

Under the Continue reading

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Advancements in technology have allowed entrepreneurs to experiment with radical new ideas that wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago. However, often these innovations end up disrupting established businesses that have operated the same way for years. The latest example of this phenomenon can be seen with the new wave of “ridesharing” companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. Although these startups have made a splash with young, tech-enabled consumers, taxi companies and local governments don’t share the same Continue reading

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Most state laws designate marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic that is illegal to possess, sell or consume, barring medical reasons in some states. But last year voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize the drug following years of lax medical cannabis legislation. While Washington lawmakers are spending a year drafting regulations for retail sale, Colorado’s legal dispensaries opened to customers aged 21 and over on January 1, 2014. Nevertheless, the Rocky Mountain State’s marijuana growers have a Continue reading

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This New Jersey pinball wizard is trying to modernize an old arcade favorite.

http://youtu.be/FnKKoaMNxw4

 

Questions:

  1. What’s important characteristic about their customers must pinball machines manufacturers keep in mind?
  1. Will pinball manufacturers like Jersey Jack be able to expand their market?

From CNN Money

 

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Over the last few years, brick and mortar retailers have come up with some ingenious ways to gather data about the customers who walk into their stores. We’ve taken a look at some of them in past posts on this blog, including one story about “smart” mannequins that observe consumer patterns using cameras in the dummies’ eyes. Although that may skew a bit on the creepy side, it’s important to keep in mind that physical retailers are merely trying to Continue reading

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