Apple's Tablet Computer and The Worst PR Writing

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A crackdown on behavioral targeting? A high tech form of advertising where Web users are shown advertisements based on what sites they've visited is coming under fire from the new FTC chief, BusinessWeek reports. Behavioral targeting, a commonly used tactic for trying to cut down on website abandonment rates, involves forcing visitors to your site to download cookies--data files that allow them to be tracked--and then showing them ads elsewhere on the Web. John Leibowitz, who was appointed to run the Federal Trade Comission by President Obama earlier this year, told BusinessWeek that he was interested in forcing behavioral targeting companies to get consent from their customers before collecting data from them.

Get ready for the Apple tablet. Apple nuts are currently salivating over the possibility of a larger version of the iPod touch--an Apple tablet computer. Barron's, which talked to somebody who has actually touched the thing, says we should expect the device to be announced next month and that it'll cost between $700 and $800. Meanwhile, over at Techcrunch, which happens to be developing a competing device, Devin Coldewey is unimpressed.

The worst of press-release writing. Want a surefire way to turn off your readers? Use one of these 10 stale PR terms in your press releases, writes Robin Wauters at TechCrunch. At the top of the list of the words he'd love to see banned: "leading" and "revolutionary." For more business phrases to avoid, read through our list of 15 Business Buzzwords We Don't Want to Hear.

How to raise revenues during a downturn. Charge 'em to go to the bathroom! That's a plan floated by Michael O'Leary, the shrewd and unconventional CEO of Ryan Air, the Irish discount airline. "He is known for thick-skinned aggression, outrageous public statements and an implacable belief that short-haul airline passengers will endure nearly every imaginable indignity, as long as the tickets are cheap and the planes are on time," writes Sarah Lyall in a profile that appeared in the New York Times on Saturday. The article details the absurd (or smart depending on how you see it) lengths the company goes to keeps its fares low. These include offering poor customer service and requiring employees to bring their own pens. During the interview O'Leary shows off his pens, which he stole from a budget hotel room. (Via The Huffington Post.)

The birth of Silicon Valley. If you've ever wondered about the earliest days of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, it's worth checking out this post from serial entrepreneur Steve Blank. It's the first of two posts on the subject, and "chronicles the decade of 1946-1956 as Stanford University became the hub of military/industry contracting in the Bay Area." A little history lesson to kick off your week never hurts.

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Last updated: Aug 3, 2009




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