Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
New York entrepreneurs launch Jewish Groupon. Kosher delis rejoice: you can now better target your promotions through jdeal, the Jewish equivalent of Groupon, AdWeek reports. Allen Ganz and Jodi Samuels, co-founders of the Jewish-mom-targeted site MetroImma, launched the new discount aggregation site aimed specifically at Jewish consumers just before Hanukkah and have already snagged 5,000 members. Jdeal has attracted merchants ranging from butchers and dry cleaners to realtors and yoga studios, according to AdWeek. Samuels says the appeal is that Groupon doesn't offer deals relevant to Kosher consumers and some Jewish merchants are more likely to find repeat business from Jewish customers.
How to respond to critics. Only the strong survive in the restaurant business, but how do you deal with customer complaints online when it begins to affect your business? Sites like Yelp are a great way to increase your company's visibility, but "an angry guest's voice can resound well beyond your restaurant's door," writes Adam Kuban in OPEN Forum. Do you need to respond? "Not always," he writes. "Let's face it, some folks are just plain crazy." But when you're at fault and when the facts are just wrong, Kuban says it's essential to parry back. The first step? Relax. "The last thing you want to do...is go off half-cocked and write an angry review or one that belittles a customer."
Mark Zuckerberg's new digs. Just three months after inviting Oprah's cameras into his modest four-bedroom home, Facebook's frontman has moved out. Gawker tracked down his new crash pad—a five-bedroom, security-camera-studded house in the same Palo Alto, California, neighborhood. What gave it away to his nosey neighbors? His signature black Acura is parked right outside. Check out photos here.
Is Google getting too big? Six months ago, Google announced they would acquire ITA Software, a Massachusetts-based flight information software company, for $700 million. ITA is one of the leading companies that powers flight-comparison sites like Kayak.com, SideStep.com and Hotwire.com. But the deal has sparked a bit of controversy within the travel industry, and now it seems the Justice Department might get involved too. According to the Wall Street Journal, government staff lawyers have "begun preparing legal documents for use in a possible court challenge to the $700 million deal." According to an anonymous source, lawyers involved asked a number of travel industry executives "whether Google would direct users of its search engine to the travel-search service it plans to build around ITA's technology, to the detriment of soon-to-be rivals that currently get traffic from Google's search engine."
What are the most bizarre corporate tax write-offs? Everybody knows that refineries, and basically everyone who deals with corn-based ethanol, can take a whopping 45-cents-per-gallon tax credit. But what about the credit for making Puerto Rican Rum? Or manufacturing ... hamburgers? CNN Money asked six tax policy experts which corporate tax breaks should get the as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets with business executives to discuss reforming corporate taxes today.
In other impressive innovations... IBM has created a supercomputer smarter than Ken Jennings, the champion of 74 consecutive Jeopardy games. Well, at least it thinks it has. Watson, a DeepQA-based supercomputer, beat Jeopardy champs Jenninga and Brad rutter in a practice round yesterday, as reported by PC World. Engadget liveblogged a test-run of the computer, too. Will man toughen up against computer in the televised game, set to air mid-February? Check out CNN's video of Watson in action.
BYOC is the new BYOB. No, the "C" doesn't stand for cocktail, but computer. A number of companies including Kraft and Microsoft have started allowing employees to choose their own hardware, according to the BBC. "The reality is that there are a number of consumer devices that provide services that you just don't see in a corporate laptop, and employees just enjoy their computing experience more," says Mick Hollison, vice president of marketing at Citrix, which gives staff a stipend to spend on the computer of their choice. Beyond employee satisfaction and freedom, the scheme may also save money. Most companies are requiring 3-year service agreements for the employee's computer, smartphone or tablet, alleviating responsibility and stress for their already costly IT team.
No longer lost in translation. While we wouldn't suggest that you drop out of that language class right away, you may want to think twice about enrolling for the summer session. Google launched Google Translate, an app for its Android devices that can translate conversations in Spanish and English on the fly. According to Daily Mail, the company plans to introduce new languages to the app in the future, but the app, which is based on the Google Goggles technology, is still being refined. It works by recording the user's speech, pinging Google's servers with the speech audio file, and then forwarding the translated audio back to the user. Amazingly, this is all done in real time.
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