Starbucks Gets Greener with New Reusable Plastic Cups

starbucks-plastic-cupStarbucks Coffee Company is getting a bit greener.

The company announced it would start selling a $1 reusable plastic white cup bearing its logo at all U.S. and Canadian locations starting tomorrow.

Starbucks previously conducted a pilot project testing the plastic cups across several hundred of its stores in the U.S., and initiated at least another two environmentally related pilots for its cups.

Starbucks previously teamed with various partners, including North American paper mills, to test post-consumer cups, including paper cups – but the company has now decided to offer plastic based cups, after several challenges, including lack of demand by paper mills to use the paper cups, and process difficulties in “successfully creating new recycled used cups into fiber suitable for producing new cups,” according to the company.

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Lamborghini Officially Unveils SUV Concept: the Urus


Lamborghini Urus, Courtesy: Lamborghini Ltd.

The luxury Italian carmaker, Lamborghini Ltd., officially unveiled its new sport-utility concept vehicle, the Lamborghini Urus, in Beijing, days before the annual Beijing auto show.

The Lamborghini Urus is the first real attempt by Volkswagen AG (parent firm) to produce a full production super-car SUV.

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How Research In Slow Motion can get on the Fast Track Again


NASDAQ:RIMM stock chart with volatility as at September 29, 2011

Demonstration of how Apple’s FaceTime works on iOS devices, which is now also supported with Mac computers.
Source: CNet

Demonstration of Skype for BlackBerry, only available in the U.S. for Verizon customers. International users are not able to use the app to make VoIP calls or chat with Skype friends.
Source: CrackBerry, via YouTube

Adobe engineer demonstrates how developers could use Adobe Air to create a single code base for applications that can be used to run the apps on multiple operating systems.
Source: Adobe, via YouTube


RIM’s overhauled BlackBerry Bold 9900, includes capacitive display and keyboard.
Source: RIM, via Bloomberg

The Ontario-based BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion LLC (RIM), continues to disappoint investors, as sales and free cash flow to equity significantly declined in the pervious fiscal quarter as a direct result of still not having released a competitive device more than a year after Apple launched its iPhone 4 – in fact, Apple will announce the next generation iPhone next Tuesday.

Investors largely blame top management for being too slow to innovate coupled with a corporate structure filled with intermediaries and lack of accountability that works counter-intuitively in facilitating efficient information flows, decision-making, and innovation.

Despite the significant downturn, the company holds over 2,000 patents, and is the market leader in providing enterprises with the most secure mobile communication and management infrastructure. However, competitors are now able to offer many of those core BlackBerry features in their own products with a better user experience and on a more cost-effective basis.

But, it isn’t too late for RIM just yet.

Here are some of the most important things RIM should consider to remain a going concern.

1. Take back control of your own platform:

Apple has been criticized for being notoriously controlling over what apps work on its iOS platform to the point where competitors have raised anti-trust concerns.

Although being too controlling might not be a good thing (and Apple isn’t as controlling today), at least it provides a very consistent user experience, but the same cannot be said about the BlackBerry user experience.

For example, the U.S. telecom Verizon reached an exclusive deal with Skype to make the Skype VoIP/chat app available exclusively only to Verizon BlackBerry customers. As a result, millions of other international Skype/BlackBerry users do not have practical access to Skype (even in Canada) because of the exclusive deal reached between Skype and Verizon in the U.S. – this would have never happened with any Apple product.
As another example, after you’ve restarted your BlackBerry, have you ever noticed new app installation icons (like mobile commerce app Zoom on Telus) on your menu? That’s courtesy of your carrier that has pushed the apps to your device after reaching a deal with the app makers, in the process re-arranging your menu configuration. Even if you delete the service books, after another restart, those apps re-appear. Could you opt out? No.

2. Focus on the user & innovate

One thing Apple really understands is consumer wants, and as a result, people are willing to camp out in front of stores to buy new Apple products.

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Apple Awards 1-million Shares to New CEO Tim Cook

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs most recently unveiled iCloud at the Apple Developers Conference WWDC 2011 in San Francisco
Source: AP

Apple filed an 8-K report (firms are required to disclose new material events as they occur in an 8-K form, also known as a “current” form ) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that reveals the company has awarded its new CEO, Tim Cook, 1,000,000 Apple shares worth $383.58-million based on today’s closing price of Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple earmarked 1,000,000 common shares to Mr. Cook that will be converted in to cash on two different dates, Aug 24, 2016, and five years later on Aug 24, 2021, contingent on Cook’s continued employment at Apple. The number of shares converted will be evenly divided between the two dates.

The stock allocation should not be misconstrued as long call options because the shares will be converted into cash at the closing price on the respective dates, that is, there is no strike price, and the allocation is in fact already like an in the money stock option.

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How to Calculate the Implied Cost of Not Taking Advantage of a Discount

Most suppliers offer discounts if the full balance on a purchase is paid in full before a specific time period. But what if you don’t take advantage of the discount? Ever wondered what the implied annual cost of not taking the discount is?

You can use this formula to easily figure out the implied annual cost of not taking advantage of the discount and to better organize your payables to maximize your dollar returns.

If you’re firm can’t afford to take advantage of every supplier offered discount, at the very least you can use this method to easily identify offers with higher discounts to realize higher savings.

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eBay Looks to Build Super Open Source eCommerce Platform

ebayThe world’s most popular consumer-to-consumer e-commerce company, eBay Inc., has announced the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Magento Inc., the company that develops open-source e-commerce systems that make it simple for smaller retailers to sell their merchandise through the Internet.

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Google Acquires Product Search Engine Sparkbuy

sparkbuy-logoThe world’s largest online search engine, Google Inc., has acquired the product search engine Sparkbuy, according to a note on the Sparkbuy website.

Google has yet to issue an official announcement concerning its latest acquisition, and at this time, the terms of the deal are being kept strictly private.

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Donald Trump Criticizes Mitt Romney, Calls Him “small-business guy”


Donald Trump, photo by Gage Skidmore

WASHINGTON – American business mogul and likely presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, has made headlines numerous times over the last few weeks after publicly lashing out at political heads, including both President Bush and President Obama.

In the latest outburst, Mr. Trump criticized Rep. Mitt Romney during an interview on the CNN show “State of the Union” that aired earlier today.

After being asked by the CNN reporter Candy Crowley why Trump is preferable to Mitt Romney for Republicans, Trump characterized Romney as “a small-business guy,” going on to say, “I’m much bigger than this man and have a much, much bigger net worth. I mean my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney,” when asked who was a better businessman.

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Google Acquires Toronto-based Mobile Media Software Startup PushLife

googleThe Internet search giant, Google Inc., has completed its third acquisition of a Toronto-based tech company, this time scooping up PushLife Inc. with the details of the acquisition being kept private.

PushLife was founded in 2008 by ex Research In Motion employee Ray Reddy and aimed to developed software for people to organize, share, and purchase digital content across different mobile platforms from a single application.

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Nasdaq to reshuffle stock weightings to reduce index volatility

nasdaqIn a move not seen very often, NASDAQ OMX Group, the company that owns and operates the Nasdaq stock index announced today the company would re-organize the weightings of certain securities in a bid to lower volatility.

Technology stocks that are traditionally more volatile will be adjusted to new lower weightings, and other stocks that are less volatile will now represent larger weightings.

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