Just how big of a deal is the $19 billion WhatsApp is getting from Facebook in the acquisition announced yesterday? It’s a pretty freaking big deal — especially when you consider that there are a whole lot of major companies –including many that produce physical goods you can reach out and touch — that have been around longer than WhatsApp and are worth a lot less. [More]
This weekend’s 17-state EBT glitch was a disturbing lesson in human nature, with customers at one Louisiana Walmart cleaning off shelves when their cards showed no limit, and abandoning entire carts when their transactions didn’t go through. Reader N. works at a retailer somewhere in the Midwest, and reports that a much smaller government benefits system outage on Monday had very distressing results at her store. [More]
Over the weekend in Louisiana, some food stamp recipients realized that their EBT cards were suddenly showing up as having no limit, resulting in empty shelves and overflowing shopping carts as people tried to buy as much stuff as possible with their cards before the glitch was fixed. Now, Walmart and Xerox are playing the blame game over who’s at fault. [More]
The Research Institute has compiled a list of the most reputable companies in the U.S., “calculated by averaging perceptions of trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling obtained from a representative sample of 100 local respondents who were familiar with the company.” (Then they do some statistical stuff to it.) Coming in at #1 is Google, which we think is remarkable considering how much data the company has managed to collect over the past several years, and continues to collect with new record-keeping initiatives like Google Health.
MIT”s Media Lab has started a website that helps consumers contact the manufacturer of their printer so they can request that “tracking dots” be eliminated from their machines.