Mon August 22, 2011

E-Receipts Cut Clutter, Boost Marketing Opportunities

A sample e-receipt from Seamless Receipts that retailers e-mail to shoppers after purchase.
Courtesy of Seamless Receipts

Shoppers may not have to worry about bulging wallets stuffed with old, crumpled receipts much longer. Retailers have found a solution — e-receipts — though it may come at a price.

Apple has been doing this for years now; Nordstrom and Patagonia have also made the switch. And this summer, Gap Inc., which owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, launched e-receipts at more than 2,600 stores.

Shelley Perelmuter, Gap's vice president of customer relations management, says e-receipts are convenient.

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Weekend All Things Considered

On May 3, 1971, at 5 p.m., All Things Considered debuted on 90 public radio stations.

In the 40 years since, almost everything about the program has changed, from the hosts, producers, editors and reporters to the length of the program, the equipment used and even the audience.

However there is one thing that remains the same: each show consists of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment, all brought alive through sound.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the year the Beatles arrived in America, Jim DeRogatis began voicing his opinions about rock ’n’ roll shortly thereafter. He is a full-time lecturer in the Professional Writing Program of the English Department at Columbia College Chicago and continues to write about popular music for WBEZ Chicago at its Vocalo blogs. Together with Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune, he co-hosts “Sound Opinions” —“the world’s only rock ’n’ roll talk show”—originating at WBEZ and distributed nationally on public radio via PRX.


Sun August 21, 2011
National Security

The Surge In FBI Informants

James Cromitie, center, is led by police officers from a federal building in New York, Thursday, May 21, 2009, after being arrested on charges related to a bombing plot in the Bronx. The arrest of Cromitie and three other Muslim ex-convicts in the alleged homegrown terror plot is renewing fears about the spread of Islamic extremism in the nation's prisons. (AP Photo/Robert Mecea)

In today's post 9/11 America, there are 15,000 informants working with the FBI. That's nearly three times as many as there were 25 years ago. Over the years, when there has been a surge in the number of informants the FBI recruits and uses, there's a specific target in the FBI's sights like organized crime or drug trade. The FBI makes no secret of their top priority of today — counter terrorism.

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Greg Kot has been the music critic at the Chicago Tribune since 1990 and is the cohost of the nationally syndicated "Sound Opinions." He has written several books, including ""Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music" and Wilco, “Learning How to Die.” Kot is currently working on the biography “I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March up Freedom’s Highway,” to be published by Scribner in 2014.

Studio 360

Public radio's smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts.

Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy - so let "Studio 360" steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.

More information can be found at the Studio 360 website.

Kurt Andersen is a writer. His novel Heyday, a New York Times bestseller, was included on several short lists of the best novels of 2007 (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Onion, New York Public Library) and won the Langum Prize for the year's best work of American  historical fiction. His earlier novel, Turn of the Century, was a bestseller and New York Times Notable Book that Times reviewers called "wickedly satirical," "outrageously funny" and "the most un-clichéd novel imaginable," and that The Wall Street Journal called a "smart, funny and excruciatingly deft portrait of our age."


Sun August 21, 2011

The Role Of FBI Informants In National Security

In today's post-9/11 world, the FBI has 15,000 informants working undercover, many of them infiltrating mosques and Muslim communities to set up terrorism stings. The goal? To preempt and prevent — so says the FBI. Guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with Mother Jones writer Trevor Aaronson about his year-long investigation into the FBI's use of informants.

Robert Siegel is senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel is still at it hosting the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reporting on stories and happenings all over the globe. As a host, Siegel has reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.


Sun August 21, 2011

A Mini-Housing Boom For Miami, With Foreign Flavor

Oliver Ruiz is a managing broker of Fortune International Realty in Florida.
Courtesy of Oliver Ruiz

While housing demand sputters among Americans, foreign buyers are flocking here for cheap deals.

For the 12 months ending in March, sales to foreign buyers totaled $82 billion, up from $66 billion in 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. And while international buyers are unlikely to turn the US housing market around, they are making a big difference in states such as Florida.

Today, thanks to foreign buyers, home sales are so good in Miami that more houses and condos could sell this year than during the boom year of 2005.

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