January 01, 2005

Biz and Market Notes

Sri Lanka Brewery Now Producing Water: "Sri Lanka's top brewery normally produces 160,000 bottles of beer a day. Now the plant has turned its technical might to producing a very different beverage: potable water for the survivors of the Asian tsunami disaster. "On AP Business

Stock Mutual Funds Perform Well in 2004: "Wall Street's fourth-quarter rally gave stock mutual funds a solid performance for 2004, with small-cap equity funds and real estate funds scoring some of the biggest returns. Large-cap growth equities and technology-focused funds had the slimmest gains."On AP Business

Shops Without Chip-And-Pin Liable For Fraud: "Retailers not signed up to chip-and-PIN have become liable for fraudulent transactions as changes to the card payment system come into force."

On Ananova: Business

Russia OKs $18 bln Siberia-to-Pacific pipeline: report: "SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Russia has approved an $18 billion oil pipeline connecting Siberia with the Pacific ocean and pumping 1.6 million barrels of oil a day for export to the United States and Japan, according to a report published Saturday."

On CBS MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

Wall Street Watching for Market Shift: "At this time last year, money managers were betting that growth equities would outpace value, and that large company stocks would produce better returns than small caps.

On AP Business

Stocks up in '04 as Nasdaq, S&P 500 outshine Dow 30: "NEW YORK (CBS.MW) - The Nasdaq composite and the S&P 500 closed out 2004 on Friday at levels not seen since 2001, making the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 3.3 percent gain look modest in comparison."

On CBS MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

Economic data to drive markets next week: "NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- U.S. stock investors will enter the new year next week with a full plate of economic data to digest, culminating Friday in the release of the December jobs report."

On CBS MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

DIY Enthusiasts Face Shock Fines: "Millions of DIY fans could face hefty fines of up to £5,000 under a new law that has come into force."

On Ananova: Business

January 1, 2005 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2004

First Drive-through Supercenters Planned for Late 2005

DECEMBER 20, 2004 -- LAS CRUCES, N.M. - AutoCart, LLC, based here, said it plans to roll out the world's first "drive-through supercenter" format, a 130,000-square-foot facility equipped to deliver more than 25,000 SKUs directly to consumers in their cars. The first of the supercenters, designed with 60 ordering/pickup stations, are projected to open in December 2005 in Albuquerque, N.M. and Tucson, Ariz., according to AutoCart....

Among the more than 17 classifications of products and services that AutoCart said it will offer at the proposed supercenters are grocery, pharmacy, banking, movie and game rental, bakery, office supplies, florists, photography development, dry cleaning, liquor, and lottery sales....

Store features will include interactive drop-down touchscreens at all order/pickup stations, allowing customers to place orders and communicate with retailer representatives on-site; the ability to order off-site by phone, fax, PC, laptop, or PDA; and the delivery of orders in a shuttle/lift, which will open up next to the car so that shoppers can take out their bags and drive away in a matter of minutes.

December 20, 2004 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In Praise of Costco

Kevin Kelly -- Cool Tools: "Costco has become my personal shopper. I do some research, then I buy what they sell. Like all discount chains they have professionals working full time looking for deals/quality. But what I like about Costco is their niche -- which is my niche. They consistently find a bargain in the "highest common denominator" bracket. What they seem to aim for, and what I am happy with, is the highest quality common quality. Not the very best, not the cheapest, and not mediocre either, but a good brand-name bargain in the high middle. They consistently deliver a great price on a very popular and competent item. It's neither optimization (the top model with the most features), nor is it minimization (cheapest per feature) nor plain thriftiness. Rather Costco aims for some sort of consumer satisficing, to use Herb Simon's term: a high quality that is just good enough, but at a low-end price."

December 20, 2004 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2004

Joel on Software - Camels and Rubber Duckies


"How much should I charge for my software?" When you ask the experts they don't seem to know. Pricing is a deep, dark mystery, they tell you. The biggest mistake software companies make is charging too little, so they don't get enough income, and they have to go out of business. An even bigger mistake, yes, even bigger than the biggest mistake, is charging too much, so they don't get enough customers, and they have to go out of business. Going out of business is not good because everybody loses their job, and you have to go work at Wal*Mart as a greeter, earning minimum wage and being forced to wear a polyester uniform all day long.

December 18, 2004 in Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack