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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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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Like all coveted consumer items, smartphones are a prime target for theft. As the devices have become increasingly common, so have reports of muggings and break-ins involving the gadgets. According to Consumer Reports, more than 1.6 million Americans had their smartphones stolen in 2012. Meanwhile, smartphone thefts accounted for more than 50 percent of robberies in San Francisco and 75 percent of thefts in the neighboring city of Oakland.

The uptick in gadget-related larceny has led to an outcry among Continue reading

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April 30, 2014

In our increasingly connected world, people are constantly generating new data about themselves. While social networks collect a record of one’s feelings, sensors that measure sleep patterns and Wi-Fi-enabled scales can keep track of vital statistics. To tech experts, all this seemingly vain information may actually lead to the next great innovation: predictive computing. Soon enough our gadgets will know us so well that they won’t just store our to-do lists, they might actually write the lists themselves.

Many smartphone Continue reading

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April 26, 2014

 

babyFor many parents, the day a child becomes potty-trained is cause for celebration. Not only has their kid progressed to a new stage of their life, but it also means that they’re done dealing with one of parenting’s messiest products: diapers. Each year Americans spend more than $10 billion on Pampers alone, accounting for 12 percent of Procter & Gamble’s sales. Although that makes Pampers the biggest brand in P&G’s portfolio, their North American market share still trails Kimberly-Clark’s Continue reading

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April 24, 2014

 

The “Happiest Place on Earth” may also be one of the priciest: last year Walt Disney increased the cost of a one-day pass for its Magic Kingdom theme park to $99. The $4 uptick came just eight months after Disney’s previous price hike, but customers don’t appear to mind. In 2013 theme park income rose by 17 percent to $2.2 billion as crowds continued to pack the company’s $14.1 billion entertainment empire.

It’s possible that the lofty costs required Continue reading

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April 21, 2014

When it comes to entertainment, kids today have more options than ever before. Increasingly, though, they’ll opt to play a game on a mobile device like a smartphone or iPad. This is bad news for toy makers, who have watched a large amount of their market share shift to gadgets. Except for Lego, that is. The Danish stackable bricks brand reached a low point in 2003 after experimenting with the design of some of its products. Since then, Lego’s focus Continue reading

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April 16, 2014

If there’s one snack Americans love, it’s chips and dip. But more than a few snackers would be turned off if they found a big bowl of hummus next to their tortilla chips. That’s because 80 million people in the U.S. have no idea the popular Mediterranean chickpea dip even exists. Over the last few years the food company Sabra has been trying to change that fact by making hummus more accessible to American palettes. After all, with only 26 Continue reading

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April 13, 2014

In the days before the Internet, consumers had two choices if they wanted more information about a product: either ask a friend or consult the item’s marketing. And since people in those days weren’t able to stay in constant communication with everyone they knew, most had to opt for the latter. Nowadays, though, consumers have no shortage of options available when they want to shop around. Studies commissioned by Google show that consumers consult an average of 10.4 sources before Continue reading

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April 3, 2014

 

Although Americans love sports, they’ve never quite warmed up to soccer the same as with other pastimes. But interest in the world’s most popular game has been growing steadily as more TV stations pick up games from top-flight European leagues. However, some Americans are busy building their own soccer culture. The Portland Timbers, for instance, have sold out every Major League Soccer home game since their founding four years ago. Thanks to a clever launch and solid marketing, the Continue reading

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