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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday Morning Must-Reads

Starting the rainy week with my list of interesting business stories to explore:
  • OK, is it just me, or does this transaction, announced today, seem to come straight from "Bizarro World" from Seinfeld? Nestle, responsible for -- well, getting at least some of us fat with its Kit Kat bars and other sweet treats -- is buying the Jenny Craig weight-loss chain. Seriously. For $600 million. (NY Times.) Here's a link to the press release.
  • Another reminder that while we have our winter weather, every area of the country has its unpleasant side. Homeowners and businesses in Florida, it seems, are getting socked with major increases in insurance due to the intensity of the last two hurrican seasons. (St. Petersburg, Fla. Times.)
  • Detroit may be in complete upheaval. But some foreign automakers continue to invest here. See this story about an area near Milwaukee that is courting Honda. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.)
  • The future of the "free" Internet may be at stake in connection with legislation moving through Congress. It goes by a typically fancy name -- "net neutrality." But the Philadelphia Inquirer has done an admirable job of explaining it.
  • The world of computing as we know it is changing under our feet. No longer do we have to hit the Best Buys and Circuit Citys of the world to find the latest software -- it will come to use via the Web. Read two stories here and here.

Lastly -- it's always a risk to bring attention to matters such as these. But as a parent, I feel it important to shine some light here. The state's Consumer Protection Board is warning parents about the new video uploading service offered by Google. According to the CPB, the service is filled with explicit, violent or otherwise inappropriate videos. While these videos have always been available, Google is warehousing them in a single, easily-accessed, searchable site, the board believes. Google isn't the only one grappling with the issue, according to this story from CNET News via the NY Times.

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