Posts Tagged ‘business’

NYC Hot Dog Stand License: $289,500. Per Year.

September 20, 2018

Licenses for a New York City hot dog stand can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. There are 3,100 hot dog stand licenses in New York City, and there’s a 20 year waiting list for them. The licenses, not the hot dogs.

A “Half as Interesting” video from Wendover Productions

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Starbucks in Italy: ‘Costruiscilo, e loro verranno’

September 10, 2018

Starbucks in Italy: 'Costruiscilo, e loro verranno'

Espresso made it’s world debut in Milan at the 1906 World’s Fair. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz claims his visit to Milan 35 years ago inspired him to go into the coffeehouse business, so he’s thanking the Italian city by draining business from its venerable coffee bars. The huge Milanese Starbuckery opened Friday in an historic former post office, and plans are brewing for Starbucks in Verona, Venice, and other Italian towns.

More:

“Will espresso-loving Italy embrace country’s 1st Starbucks?” Luca Bruno and Frances DeMilio, Associated Press

“Starbucks fulfills its Italian dream. Italians are yet to be enchanted.” Aisha Hassan, Quartz

“Starbucks’ Italian dream comes true, but it is not cheap,” Francesca Landini, Reuters

“Does Italy Want More Cafes? Starbucks Will Find Out,” Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times

“Starbucks In Italy, Latest Stop On U.S. Food Imperialism Tour,” Brant deBoer, Il Sole 24 Ore, via Worldcrunch

 

Note: “Costruiscilo, e loro verranno” = “Build it and they will come.” Maybe.

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How to Sell a Million Dollar Work of Art

August 23, 2018

How do you sell (very) strange artwork for millions of dollars? Dion Lee explains.

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The CD: R.I.P.?

August 2, 2018

The CD: R.I.P.?

“As streaming services replace previous modes of music consumption, CDs are too young to be considered vintage and too old to keep their value. Stores like Best Buy and Target that were once powerhouses for CD sales are inching toward a CD-less model ….”

“Go deeper: The slow death of the CD,” Marisa Fernandez, Axios

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Ivanka Abandons Asian Sweatshops For White House

July 24, 2018

Ivanka Abandons Asian Sweatshops For White House

Sweatshop shmata merchant and celebrity nanny-employer mom Ivanka Trump has decided to pull the plug on her failing imported fashion brand in order to concentrate on wielding her undefined influence in her Daddy’s White House. Pop’s tariffs spared her trademarked Chinese-made products, but women aren’t buying them, stores won’t carry them, and online purchases have tanked. This champion of working women is laying off her Ivanka brand staff of 19 women in New York.

Even though Ms. Trump isn’t paid for whatever-the-hell it is she does in the executive mansion, she won’t go broke. Last year she earned $3.9 million from the lobbyist- and diplomat-infested Trump International Hotel a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Bayer Gobbles Up Monsanto

June 11, 2018

Bayer Gobbles Up Monsanto

German pharmaceutical company Bayer has the go-ahead to acquire U.S. seed and agrochemical company Monsanto for $66 billion. The new firm will be called “Bayer” rather than “Monsanto” because Americans associate the former with children’s aspirin and the latter with Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, glyphosate, GMOs, and other now-unpopular products.

Like many German corporations, Bayer has its own dark history. It was once part of the IG Farben conglomerate, which made Zyklon B gas for Third Reich death camps, and Bayer itself used Jewish slave labor in its wartime factories.

But memory is short, so “Monsanto” is out and “Bayer” is in. As Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing puts it, “Bayer and Monsanto merge into a new company called ‘Bayer’ because Nazis have a better reputation than Big Ag.”

More:

“Monsanto is about to disappear. Everything will stay exactly the same,” Zoë Schlanger, Quartz

“Why ‘Monsanto’ is no more,” Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

“Monsanto to ditch its infamous name after sale to Bayer, Rupert Neate, The Guardian

“Bayer Can Drop The Name Monsanto, But Can’t Erase The Hate,” Elisabeth Dostert, Suddeutsche Zeitung, via Worldcrunch

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Endangered Species

May 16, 2018

Endangered Species

“National Audio Co. is the only company in the U.S. that produces cassette tape. Now, as cassette tapes enjoy a resurgence in popularity, National Audio has less than a year’s supply left of the stuff, the Wall Street Journal reports.

For the last 15 years, National Audio’s co-owner and president Steve Stepp has been clinging to his company’s dwindling supply of music-quality magnetic tape. In 2014, National Audio’s South Korean supplier stopped making the material, so Stepp bought out their remaining stock before they shuttered — and has been left with a shrinking stockpile ever since.

Although the demand for tape has increased in recent years, the quality and supply has not; National Audio has long relied on outdated gear that Stepp jokes is ‘the finest equipment the 1960s has to offer.’ That’s why the company — which makes cassettes for everyone from indie bands to Metallica — is planning to build the U.S.’s first high-grade tape manufacturing line in decades. The hope is that by January, their plant in Springfield, Missouri, will produce nearly 4 miles of tape per minute, and that they can sell the first cassettes with U.S.-made tape shortly thereafter.”

— “America is running out of cassette tape,” Kelly O’Meara Morales, The Week

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Cambridge Analytica Calls It Quits

May 2, 2018

Cambridge Analytica Calls It Quits

Cambridge Analytica and its British parent company SCL Elections are shutting down, according to a company statement. Cambridge Analytica is under attack for the shabby Facebook data mining operation and FB-based targeted advertising effort it mounted on behalf of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, and SCL has been under pressure for its pro-Brexit disinformation campaign, and is the subject of investigations by UK prosecutors and Parliamentary committees.

Cambridge Analytica was set up by UK-based SCL to advance the fiction that foreign citizens weren’t engaged in US federal election work, and was funded by the conservative Mercer family. Steve Bannon, who claimed he thought up the company’s name, was a Vice President. In addition to its UK operations, SCL worked on election campaigns in a number of other countries.

Ironically, the firm blames “the siege of media coverage,” fake news and negative publicity, for driving it out of business.

More:

“Cambridge Analytica closing operations in wake of scandals,” Khorri Atkinson, Axios

“Cambridge Analytica is shutting down,” Emily Stewart, Vox

“Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy After Misuse of Facebook Data,” By Nicholas Confessore and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times

“Cambridge Analytica: Facebook data-harvest firm to shut,” BBC News

“Cambridge Analytica and parent SCL Elections shutting down,” Reuters

“Cambridge Analytica Parent Company Ceases Operations,” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

Update:

“Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata,”  Shaun Nichols, The Register

“The Cambridge Analytica power players set up a mysterious new data firm — and they could use it for a ‘Blackwater-style’ rebrand,” Shona Ghosh and Jake Kanter, Business Insider

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SpaceX to Launch World’s Most Powerful Rocket

February 6, 2018

Elon Musk’s SpaceX corporation is scheduled to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket today. The 200 foot tall, 1500 ton space vehicle will be powered entirely by loud electric guitars, if the SpaceX video (above) is any guide.

More:

“Can Elon Musk disrupt deep space with the world’s most powerful rocket?” Tim Fernholz, Quartz

Updates:

“SpaceX successfully launches the world’s most powerful rocket, in a spectacle that sends a Tesla on its way to Mars,” Christian Davenport, Washington Post

“The middle booster of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket failed to land on its drone ship,” Loren Grush, The Verge

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Uber is a Taxi Company

December 22, 2017

Uber is a Taxi Company

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Uber is a taxi company, not a digital information system, as the ride-hailing mobile app giant maintained. Down the road, that may mean drivers, who Uber claims are “contractors,”  will have more rights as employees.

More:

“Uber Is a Taxi Service, the E.C.J. Rules, in Major Setback for Firm,” Liz Alderman, New York Times

“Uber suffers setback as EU rules that it’s a transport service, not a digital company,” Sam Meredith and Arjun Kharpal, CNBC

“Europe’s top court just said Uber isn’t a tech company — it’s a cab company,” Zeeshan Aleem, Vox

“Uber is finally getting called on its biggest bluffs,” Alison Griswold, Quartz

“Could Europe’s Uber ruling affect the future of the gig economy?” Hamza Shaban, Washington Post

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