Although it’s not a prime as it could be, here’s some choice news chum I selected for you over lunch for Square Root Day, 3/3/9:
- From the “When Times are Hard, Rebrand” Department: There have been a number of articles recently about how groups are coping with hard times by rebranding themselves. For example, the Girl Scouts are rebranding by deemphasizing badges and emphasizing the Internet and Blogging. The cookies will remain, but they too are being downsized. Other things are rebranding as well: Pepsi is changing its logo, and that doesn’t sit well with some.
- From the “But Some Change Can Be Good” Department: Yesterday, while driving the van to work, I noticed that the Granada Hills Bakers Square had changed names: it was now a Du-pars. I did some further investigation, and found that the same thing had happened to the Bakers Square in Oxnard. In fact, I learned that almost all Bakers Squares in California had been closed. The NoCal ones are becoming Shari’s; the SoCal ones are either Du-Pars or Pollys. This actually is good news: Du-Pars is a local chain, recently brought back under control of the Naylor family, who used to operate the Tiny Naylors chain, which I remember quite fondly. I shall have to go try the new Du-Pars.
- From the “Are You Feeling Secure Yet?” Department: Slashdot is reporting that the stimulus package is pouring boku bucks into Cybersecurity, which is a good thing. But on the other side of the ledger, there are more breaches: USA Today is reporting that there has been a third major breach in MasterCard and Visa accounts, although no details are provided.
- From the “Good Things Come In Threes” Department: I’m sure you’ve heard by now of the Spiderman musical coming to Broadway in 2010, as well as the Addams Family Musical. Here’s a third: “Sleepless in Seattle: The Musical”… with music by Leslie Bricusse. I’m not encouraged. This is not a good time for the performing arts. Companies are closing left and right, and the money has gotten even tighter. The public views the arts as a frivolity in hard times, forgetting that the arts creates jobs just as any manufacturing business, and the people in these jobs use their paycheck to pay their mortgage, their credit card bills, their grocery bills, and to take care of their families just as any other worker. We’ve decimated our schools by cutting back on arts education; let’s not decimate our lives and culture as well.
- From the “Won’t You Be My Friend?” Department: It seems Facebook is really in the news these days. There’s a good article in the NY Times about how to deal with friending co-workers and family safely on Facebook. Specifically, it talks about how to use friends groups to provide more fine-grained controls on who can see that Facebook picture where you’re tagged in a drunken bacchanal. Well worth reading.