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Author Archives: john.stodder

Replacing the legal pad: Apps for note-taking

Taking notes is a critical task for lawyers in all practice areas. Some would rather write longhand, some would rather type and others prefer to enter text directly into a mobile device, with their thumbs or using a dictation program. Regardless of these preferences, it’s essential that an attorney’s notes are preserved and accessible, and there are apps to serve ...

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Libor: An opaque scandal erodes confidence in major banks

Last month, one of the biggest financial scandals in history came to light, involving many of the most pre-eminent banks in the world. But public reaction has been so muted that a Los Angeles Times columnist was compelled to ask, “Why aren’t more people furious about the Libor scandal?” In fact, people are. The news media soon will be full ...

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Hispanic homebuyers: A wave to lift the housing industry?

At a time when the housing industry needs an infusion of hope, the demographic gods are poised to unleash what some realtors, lenders and builders say will be the industry’s salvation: waves of young Hispanic workers and families hungry for houses of their own. For the moment, however, holding back that salvation are such economic factors as tight credit and ...

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STODDER: Businesses need social media, not Don Draper

Don Draper, the fictional madman-adman of TV fame, has survived booze, cigarettes, two marriages and countless affairs, but a social-media trailblazer insists the 21st century would kill him. Kill Draper’s spectacular advertising career, anyway. Curtis Hougland, who has founded – twice – the social-media-marketing firm Attention, is telling corporate executives that Draper’s presentations, dazzling with slogans and story boards, would ...

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STODDER: Blooming interest in Pinterest

Once belittled as an insubstantial electronic scrapbook with narrow appeal, the 2-year-old website Pinterest is maturing into a marketing monster. Visits to the site have increased more than 4,000 percent in less than a year, vaulting it to the No. 3 spot in social-media popularity behind only Facebook and Twitter. Some big-name retailers are taking not only notice, but also ...

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Vermont takes symbolic stand with first fracking ban

If the much-hyped dream of U.S. energy independence must involve hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) to extract natural gas from shale deposits deep underneath the surface of the earth, the State of Vermont wants no part of it. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law May 16 banning fracking, a practice that involves injecting water, sand and chemicals deep ...

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Natural gas vehicles, like the Toyota Prius, face the chicken-and-egg syndrome

While the push is under way in some states to provide roadside battery-charging for the thousands of electric cars on the highways, another alternative, the natural-gas-powered vehicle, mostly sits idle. Anyone who has watched television in the past decade knows about the Chevy Volt and hybrids like the Ford Fusion or the Toyota Prius. But only Honda sells a natural-gas-powered ...

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iPad spurs disruption in point-of-sale payment industry

Apple created and marketed the iPad mobile tablet as a media player for the family, and it is that. But its versatility, coupled with the imaginations of its users, has launched mini-revolutions within some business sectors, as entrepreneurs discover the iPad is a readymade platform for cloud computing. An illustration: App-makers and entrepreneurs are taking a run at replacing many ...

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