Google Offers Millions in Contest

Excerpted from an article on, by Bob Keefe:

Got an idea how to make the world a better place? Tell Google about it, and you could win a couple of million bucks to help put it into action.

As part of its 10th birthday celebration, Google launched a $10 million project Wednesday to solicit world-changing ideas from anybody, anywhere.

Google will split the prize money among the top five entries and fund the projects to get them started. Winners won’t get to pocket the cash, but it will be used to get their project off the ground.

They’ll also enjoy, as Google puts it, “good karma and the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people.”

No idea is off the table, and Google expects them to run the gamut, from the highest to the lowest of technologies.

Google offers millions in contest.


Trend: Consumers Using More Coupons

Excerpted from Consumers Pick Up Clip of Coupons, by Anjali Cordeiro for

After years of ignoring coupons that offer rebates on daily household products, cash-strapped consumers are showing more of an appetite for these small discounts.

Last year was the first time in 15 years that coupon redemptions didn’t decline, research shows. Individual companies have mixed reports on coupon usage, but a broad Unilever NV study in the U.S. found that in the first quarter, the percentage of goods sold via coupon rose from a year earlier.

The weakening economy is now pushing some companies to use coupons as a creative way of promising better “value” to consumers. As consumers eat out less, Kraft Foods Inc., for instance, has created coupons that are intended to make the idea of a brown-bag lunch more financially appetizing. The company has put together coupon booklets with a dollar off on each of six brands that go toward a sandwich: Oscar Mayer deli meats, Kraft cheese slices, mustard, pickles, mayonnaise and Ritz toasted chips.

“Consumers are looking for coping mechanisms,” says Lisa Klauser, vice president of consumer and customer solutions, at products company Unilever U.S. “Coupons are one way they are trying to make ends meet, get more bang for the buck.”



Semi-Annual Bon-Ton/Goodwill Sale (9/10-22)

From Wednesday, September 10, through Monday, September 22, Bon-Ton and Goodwill Industries will be partnering for the semi-annual Goodwill Sale. Donors can bring in gently-used clothing at participating Bon-Ton stores and receive a 20-percent-off coupon toward new merchandise, including designer clothing, cool accessories, brand-name cosmetics and much more. One coupon is given for each item donated.

On September 10, as a kickoff to the Goodwill Sale, people will receive two 20-percent-off coupons for each item donated.

The donations will be sold in Goodwill Industries stores, and the revenue will fund job training programs in our local community.

The last semi-annual Goodwill Sale generated nearly 3.3 million pounds of donated clothing and textiles. From the sale of these donated items, Goodwill has earned an estimated $2.3 million in revenues to support Goodwill’s job training and career services for individuals with disabilities and others who are having a hard time finding a job. By donating to Goodwill, customers are also helping the environment by keeping usable items out of landfills and providing affordable, gently-used merchandise to local Goodwill stores.

Thanks, Charlene!


Starbucks Slims Down Breakfast Choices to Five

Excerpted from

In its strategy to present a healthy menu, Starbucks Corp. has whittled down 200 potential breakfast options to five, which will be sold for the first time Wednesday morning.

The choices are: hot oatmeal; a protein plate with a cage-free hardboiled egg and a whole-wheat bagel; apple bran muffins; a chewy fruit and nut bar; and a multigrain roll with either almond butter or strawberry preserves. None of the foods has artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup.

Hot oatmeal is one of Starbucks’ new breakfast options.

For 20 years, Starbucks has been accumulating skinnier choices on its menu–nonfat milk, soymilk, fruit juice Frappuccinos and reduced-fat coffee cakes, for example.

But this year marked a philosophical shift in the company menu. Instead of taking away fat and calories, Starbucks is adding nutrients such as protein and fiber. The shift started in July with Starbucks’ Vivanno protein fruit smoothies and Berry Stella pastries, and continues with the breakfast options added Wednesday.

Starbucks is reviewing its lunch choices and says more food news will emerge this year.

Starbucks slims down breakfast choices to five.