Robin Hood restaurants

“Deciding between the spicy peanut stew and the pesto chicken, or the squash soup and the avocado, chicken, lime soup, are not the only decisions tempting patrons at the One World Café in Salt Lake City and the SAME So All Might Eat Café in Denver. They must also decide what the meal is worth. These pay-as-you-can cafes have missions that are unapologetically altruistic—call it serving up fare Robin Hood style… Customers who have no money are encouraged to exchange an hour of service — sweep, wash the dishes, weed the organic garden — for a meal. Likewise, guests who have money are encouraged to leave a little extra to offset the meals of those who have less to give.” Peta Owens-Liston, Time.com

Prosperity theology

“What remains is a materialism framed in a kind of Tony Robbins positivism… Jesus is front and center but not his Crucifixion, Resurrection or Atonement. There are chapters on overcoming trauma and a late chapter on emulating God’s generosity… But there are many more illustrations of how the Prosperity doctrine has produced personal gain, most memorably, perhaps, for the Osteen family: how Victoria’s ‘speaking words of faith and victory’ eventually brought the couple their dream house; how Joel discerned God’s favor in being bumped from economy to business class.” TIME.com, on megapastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen’s ‘Best Life Now’

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Connected

“I’ve seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left. You’re much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you’re connected with about two feet of headphone cable.” Steve Jobs

The lion sleeps tonight

“As Solomon Linda first recorded it in 1939, it was a tender melody, almost childish in its simplicity — three chords, a couple of words and some baritones chanting in the background. But the saga of the song now known worldwide as ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ is anything but a lullaby. It is fraught with racism and exploitation and, in the end, 40-plus years after his death, brings a measure of justice. Were he still alive, Solomon Linda might turn it into one heck of a ballad.” Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times

Flickring of the metaverse

“Ben was saying, ‘Oh, but it’s like, you know, like, kind of like if you see the flickering of the metaverse…’ And we’re like, ‘flicker!’ We tried to get ‘flicker’ with an e, but the guy who had the Web domain wasn’t willing to give it up.” Flickr co-creator Caterina Fake

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Tim Hortons

“Tim Hortons sells coffee but it truly produces loyalty. It enjoys far better market penetration than Starbucks. When compared against 2006 Census data, Starbucks has an average of one store per 37,000 people in the US, while Tim Hortons has an impressive one store per 12,000 in Canada. This penetration has helped Tim Hortons to essentially eliminate competition in Canada.” Interbrand, Best Canadian Brands 2006

Branding fidelity

“Wi-Fi doesn’t stand for anything. It is not an acronym. There is no meaning. Wi-Fi and the ying yang style logo were invented by Interbrand. We hired Interbrand to come up with the name and logo that we could use for our interoperability seal and marketing efforts. We needed something that was a little catchier than ‘IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence’. Interbrand created ‘Prozac’, ‘Compaq’, ‘oneworld’, ‘Imation’ and many other brand names that you have heard of… The only reason that you hear anything about ‘Wireless Fidelity’ is some of my colleagues in the group were afraid. They didn’t understand branding or marketing. They could not imagine using the name ‘Wi-Fi’ without having some sort of literal explanation.” Phil Belanger, founding member of the Wi-Fi Alliance

I think I can, I think I can…

“When people hear ‘version 2.0’, they think it’s the last call for the only feature train in a good long while. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait for the big three-oh to board. Nobody likes waiting, so they rush and they push to make this one. Now the big version that started out with a clear vision, one or a few great ideas, suddenly gets bogged down by feature freeloaders. When the 2.0 train is already hauling those heavy weights, surely no one will notice this little thing or that little thing. And what could have arrived in weeks turns into months. In no time short, your feature train is so overloaded that it seems like its not moving at all. Or going backwards. Certainly there is no one who can tell you when it’ll pull in. So stop it. Don’t alias your next big feature idea ‘version 2.0’. Call your big idea by its name and it’ll be much easier to spot the freeloaders. Once they have to pay full scheduling fare, you’ll probably realize that they weren’t that important anyway.” Signal vs. Noise

War of the words

“We find that pretty arrogant. They don’t decide. We don’t decide. Gamers decide.” Xbox Canada’s Jason Anderson, on Sony’s E3 proclamation of “Sony decides when the next generation begins”

Taken over by tourists

“And the unsettling truth sinks in: Travel is oversold… Overrun by yappy guides, European capitals have become giant theme parks. Beset by swarms of tourists, the Acropolis looks more like an anthill than a Greek temple. Invaded by cellphones, Westminster Abbey feels like a playpen for tour groups rather than a revered place of worship. Now, even distant Asian destinations have a surreal cast, overbuilt with golden arches and accented by Starbucks logos. As tourism infiltrates the far corners of the globe, the juggernaut seems unstoppable — and increasingly unmemorable. Far be it from me to begrudge the benefits of the travel boom for the poor countries and rich corporations that depend on the hospitality industry. But why trek to an exotic locale that is so utterly westernized as to be eerily familiar?” Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star