Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 3, 2011 12:07 PM
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz isn’t running for public office but he still keeps a close eye on nationwide employment numbers and wants to help boost them. The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks, which laid off 39,000 employees over the two years ending last fall, is about to start hiring again.
By year’s end, Starbucks will have a new barista battalion, some 3,500 strong, pulling on their aprons and dealing with steam burns, the Times notes. Next year will see 200 new Starbucks added to the nearly 11,000 existing ones. Those will need to be staffed up while 1,700 other Starbucks go through job-creation remodeling.
And if that weren’t enough, Starbucks will add a fifth roasting plant, which will create more jobs. The current ones exist in Sandy Run, S.C.; Carson Valley, Nev.; York, Pa.; and Amsterdam. And the neighbors probably wake up with vim and vigor just from the smell coming out of the doors of those places. Employees surely don’t suffer from mid-afternoon drowsiness there.
It all comes as Starbucks launches its "Create Jobs for USA" campaign this week.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2011 06:31 PM
All-electric vehicles in U.S. auto showrooms are becoming the equivalent of prune juice in the supermarket aisle: You've got to make it available for certain individuals and apparently for the overall health of the planet, but don't expect a lot of genuine excitement about its purchase. And don't expect it to pay the bills.
Ford is about to find out just what a yawn EVs are to most American consumers, now that it has priced its new Focus Electric and has begun taking orders for the car. The sticker is $39,995, identical to the once-reduced price of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid, and $3,900 more than the all-electric Nissan Leaf. The purchaser of each vehicle is welcome to capitalize on the generosity of the American taxpayer to the tune of federal incentives up to $7,500.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2011 05:28 PM
On Nov. 4, 2010, Microsoft launched Kinect worldwide. A year later, a new Microsoft commercial, above, showcases the 'Kinect Effect,' showing how its motion-controlled gaming device has evolved into a product with much broader potential social impact.
“We started with a sensor that turned voice and movement into magic. We thought: "This will be fun to play with" and it was. Something amazing was happening, the world was starting to imagine things we hadn't even thought of,” says the V/O from Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 2, 2011 03:02 PM
If you can’t see, is it possible to join the billions of people worldwide who play soccer out on the field of play? Well, the Pepsi Refresh Project just made it possible for a group of young men in Sweden.
Launched in 2010 as a public affairs platform, and a social media alternative to Super Bowl advertising, the Pepsi Refresh platform's mission is to donate $20 milion in grants to people and organizations that are making the world a better place. It's certainly making good on its promise to be a world-changing brand. Witness The Sound of Football, a Pepsi Refresh-funded project to help visually impaired athletes get out on the field and play.
The first test of the technology showed the huge potential for the technology. As the partners involved in the research project note, "As a first test, we arranged a football (aka soccer) match between a team of visually impaired players and a team of former professional footballers. We wanted to see how they would perform under equal conditions — in a match where no one can see."Continue reading...
Posted by Matthew Moore on October 31, 2011 01:01 PM
Ten years ago, brandchannel quoted a Google spokesperson as saying “It seems counterintuitive to the concept of stickiness, but the point of Google is to allow people to find information as soon as possible and get on their way.” Ten years later, it appears Google would prefer its users to stay in its realm for as long as possible.
Google has come a long way since Sergey Brin and Larry Page started a research project at Stanford in 1996 that would eventually grow into a company employing 30,000 and producing nearly $30 billion in revenue each year. In doing so, Google has expanded its offering from a search engine to a full-fledged suite of services including email, social networking, cloud storage for files and music, and daily deals. Google even recently opened its own branded products store in London.
Google has always been an innovative company, but it has seen some of its innovative thunder stolen by others such as Facebook and Groupon. In order to remain the first-in-mind internet destination for its users, Google has decided to take to some of its web competitors on their own turf. Google+ takes aim at Facebook, and Google Offers is targeted at daily deals sites Groupon and Living Social. As it keeps rolling out new products, Google seems content to throw its brand's name in front of just about any serve it's offering: Google Voice, Google Docs, Google Maps, etc.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2011 11:01 AM
Pollution, waste and poor management leaves one in eight people lacking access to safe water, according to the United Nations. PepsiCo finds that statistic unacceptable.
Its latest philanthropic initiative is targeting India, where PepsiCo achieved a "positive water balance" in 2009, giving back to communities more water than it consumed in its manufacturing processes, a significant milestone in its growing water stewardship by implementing sustainable water initiatives, reducing wasteful water use and recycling where possible, in addition to other measures.
Increasing that commitment, PepsiCo just announced an $8 million donation to Water.org, the non-profit co-founded by actor/activist Matt Damon, to be used for micro-loans with a goal of providing 800,000 Indian families safe water by 2016.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 27, 2011 04:04 PM
You want to look tough while cruising China’s roadways? Well, if you choose to do so on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, you can only do so on certain roadways due to varying regional restrictions that make it difficult for riders to spend extended time on their bikes.
Bloomberg reports that Harley is attempting to change things in the world’s most populated country and “is lobbying the Chinese to ease those laws in an effort to hike sales by as much as 40 percent annually through 2016.”Continue reading...
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Posted by Shirley Brady on October 25, 2011 06:30 PM
The IBM board of directors today elected Virginia "Ginni" Rometty president and CEO of the company, effective January 1, 2012. She succeeds IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer Samuel J. Palmisano, who retires as IBM's traditional age of 60 and will remain chairman of the board.
"Ginni Rometty has successfully led several of IBM's most important businesses over the past decade—from the formation of IBM Global Business Services to the build-out of our Growth Markets Unit," Palmisano said in a statement. "But she is more than a superb operational executive. With every leadership role, she has strengthened our ability to integrate IBM's capabilities for our clients. She has spurred us to keep pace with the needs and aspirations of our clients by deepening our expertise and industry knowledge. Ginni's long-term strategic thinking and client focus are seen in our growth initiatives, from cloud computing and analytics to the commercialization of Watson. She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company's future. I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century."Continue reading...