Business Administration Education Guide

Friday, February 09, 2007

Electronic gadgets may dominate New York Toy Fair

Thanks to new toys expected to be unveiled next week at one of the world's biggest toy fairs, preschoolers will be able to access the Internet safely, while older children might have more fun learning to play guitar...

U.S. toy sales in 2006 crept up to $22.3 billion from $22.2 billion, driven by 22 percent growth in the youth electronics category, market research firm NPD Group said this week.

Zizzle LLC is introducing a guitar of its own as part of the "Electric Rockerz" music maker, which it said allows youngsters to create music as part of its electronic toy line inspired by Disney's "High School Musical" -- a made-for-TV movie and franchise that has aired on 26 Disney Channels worldwide, reaching more than 100 countries.

Meanwhile, Mattel's Fisher Price line has made a way for preschoolers to go online with its "Easy Link Internet Launchpad."

After connecting the pad to a computer, children can plug figures of characters like Elmo or Barney into the pad, and visit a corresponding Web site where they can play games.

The device requires no typing and does not allow children to surf the Internet, the company said.

More Than Just Fun & Games

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Oil breaches $60 on supply concerns

U.S. crude oil rose 34 cents to $60.05 a barrel by 1723 GMT. It earlier hit a session peak of $60.42, the highest level since January 3.

London Brent crude was up 7 cents to $59.10.

"To stay above $60 on a sustainable basis would take some confirmation the Iranian situation is deteriorating further," said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix.

Reduced supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have helped boost prices, which in January fell to a 20-month low of $49.90 for U.S. crude.

OPEC's overall exports in January fell by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) from December, shipping data from Lloyd's Marine Intelligence Unit showed, bringing the group closer to its pledged supply cut of 1.2 million bpd from November.

The group's exports were expected to fall again in February with the implementation of a second OPEC cut of 500,000 bpd.

Find the lowest gas pump prices

What is more important to you - Living longer or living larger?

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Starbucks 2.0: Terra Bite Lounge, Where Coffee is prices are based on the people who are inherently good….

Ohhhh this should be interesting…and only in the area of Seattle could I se this working. Kirkland

area, people tend to be a bit more honest.

If it's Web 2.0, it's free - we're quite used to that, but would you expect it in the real world?

Terra Bite Lounge is an upscale cafe in Kirkland, WA that doesn't list any prices on its menu. That doesn't mean it's free either. The owners' definition:

"Terra Bite Lounge is an upscale voluntary payment cafe/deli.We serve espresso, blended drinks, baked goods, sandwiches, and desserts in a hip upscale setting.

Patrons choose what to pay, and are encouraged to pay what they would elsewhere. You may use this as a convenience feature, e.g. get your daily coffee and drop in a $20 at the end of the week.

We also cheerfully serve those who cannot pay, in a non-stigmatizing customer setting, with no political or religious message, and with full-time availability. "

The idea emerged from a debate where founder Ervin Peretz, a Google programmer (ahhh, is Google moving into the cafe business? smile_tongue) argued that people are inherently good. To prove his point, he create Terra Bite. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is... to the tune of 6 figures. But he does not run a charity, he plans to build a growing for-profit business. Will people pay (enough)?

"Even without posted prices, "social monitoring" — the feeling that others are watching what you do — can enforce payment, said Erica Okada, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Washington Business School." But Terra Bite employees are instructed not to look at the drop box where patrons can discreetly drop payment - if they so chose:

With its anonymous drop box, Terra Bite has minimized, if not eliminated, that effect. Under these circumstances, Okada said, the economic model predicts that Terra Bite customers won't pay anything.

The Professor's pessimism does not deter Ervin, who plans to expand Terra Bite into a chain - last time we checked, Starbucks hasn't crumbled yet.

What do you think? (If you can't see the poll in your feed, please click through to cast your vote).

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bill Gates openly challenges hackers to exploit Vista!

Does anyone else feel that this is just a bad idea? Or an entertaining one. Maybe this will become the next sequel in Bill Gates movies.....

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates talked with Newsweek magazine's Steven Levy about the new version of Windows and shared his views on the "I'm a Mac" television commercials. In excerpts from the interview Gates goes on the offensive and claims that the security in Vista is better that the security in the Mac:

Gates even goes so far as to issue a challege to hackers to exploit Vista while calling the Mac's security sub-standard (because of the MOAB hacks):

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Latest must-have for baby -- a pram with a portable air fan.

TEL AVIV, Feb 5 (Reuters Life!) - Most parents worried about their baby getting too hot in a pram will adjust blankets or head for shade, but one dad wanted a more high tech solution for his young daughter -- a portable air conditioner.

"At first I was trying to cool her off with a hand-held fan. Then I thought of a much simpler idea -- a little air conditioner," Israeli Ofir Ben Aharon told Reuters.

The device, which weighs less than 2 kg (4.4 lb) looks like a motorized fan attached to the end of about a half-meter long pipe that can be fitted under a typical pram.

An air vent connected to the other side of the pipe is fitted with a puppet so it can be propped inside, looking like just another of baby's stuffed toys.

Ben Aharon says he wants to market the battery-operated machine in Europe and the United States in the next few months, although he has not yet come up with a retail price.