August 31, 2007
U.S. Open: Action Heats Up in New York
Photo: Czech's Nicole Vaidisova defeats, 6-2, 7-6, Italy's Flavia Pennetta in their second round match of the Tennis US Open tournament held at the Arthur Ashe stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York City, NY, USA on August 30, 2007 (Abaca Press)
The U.S. Open is heating up with favorites Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin all advancing to third round action. |GlobalGiants.com|
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA TO UNVEIL I-BLUE AT FRANKFURT
Photo: Hyundai Motor Corporation will unveil the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle seen here at the 2007 Frankfurt International Motor Show which opens on September 13. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 30, 2007
"Project 2000: The Rise and Fall of Oldsmobile." GM Insider's Book Reveals Secret Project Leading to Crumbling of GM's Empire : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: 2003 Oldsmobile Alero.
MIAMI, Aug. 30 -- As General Motors' empire started to crumble, automotive expert Bob Horvath was hardly surprised.
"In fact, Detroit's Big Three forgot how to satisfy customers and dealers back in the eighties," says Horvath, a 40-year GM veteran, who details one of the carmaker's notable missteps in "Project 2000: The Rise and Fall of Oldsmobile."
In the mid-80's, when GM had Oldsmobile, their world market share was 54 percent. In 2007, it has declined to 13 percent, according to Automotive News.
The key to success in the car industry is simple. Keep customers happy by giving them the products they want, and keep your dealers happy too. Horvath says GM forgot about all that and squandered its market dominance in the process.
Horvath continues, "GM's attitude and regime change in the mid-80's allowed Japan to make significant inroads in the U.S. and world-wide auto industry."
Failure to recognize consumer demand for a Toyota Camry-type or Honda Accord-type car, and failure to compete in this market, partly led Toyota to becoming the world's number-one auto manufacturer through June of 2007, Horvath says.
Tatsuya Mizuno, a Fitch Ratings auto analyst, said it was inevitable that GM would hand over its crown to Toyota at the end of 2007, ending its 76-year reign as the world's best-selling automaker.
"One key element in GM's demise was the closing of the Oldsmobile Division. From 1970 to 1985, the Olds Cutlass was the number-one selling car in America and Oldsmobile was the most sought-after franchise in the world. Oldsmobile went from best to worst in 20 years and became a dinosaur in October 2005," says Horvath.
Horvath said another key element contributing to GM's declining share was a secret project that GM called "Project 2000" which was the systematic elimination of dealers to take place by the year 2000. This benefited GM's upper management at the expense of the dealers who were betrayed.
Horvath, who had a front seat to the "Project 2000" scheme hatched by GM, offers an insider's viewpoint in his book why GM has lost its spot as the perennial number-one carmaker to Japan's Toyota, and backs it up by hundreds of documents contained in the book. |GlobalGiants.com|
Fashion Rocks Update
NEW YORK, Aug. 30 -- Conde Nast Media Group announced today the following updates regarding New York Fashion Week's most star-studded event:
• Mary J. Blige Joins Stellar Performance Line Up
• Show will feature duet performances from Mary J. Blige and Usher, Fergie and Ludacris, and Alicia Keys with Santana
• Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Teri Hatcher, Jessica Alba, Denis Leary, Mischa Barton, 50 Cent, Sean Lennon, Tyra Banks, LeAnn Rimes, Tommy Hilfiger, among others join a star-studded lineup of previously announced performers.
• Portion of Proceeds to Benefit Keep a Child Alive.
The show, hosted by Entourage star Jeremy Piven, will include performances by Aerosmith, Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Carrie Underwood, Chad Kroeger, Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Mary J. Blige, Martina McBride, Santana and Usher.
The concert returns to the legendary Radio City Music Hall on September 6, 2007 and will air the following night, Friday, September 7, 2007 in a two-hour special on the CBS television network (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT).
FASHION ROCKS(TM) is a production of Conde Nast Media Group, a unit of Conde Nast Publications, which includes corporate sales, marketing, interactive and direct sales efforts for all of Conde Nast's consumer magazines and websites. Conde Nast Media Group is recognized as an industry leader for its creation and execution of large-scale, integrated, multi- platform advertising programs and events.
FASHION ROCKS(TM) is sponsored by Chevrolet, Citi, Revlon, Dillard's, and Nexxus. |GlobalGiants.com|
SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. SPONSORS EVENTS
Photo: Subaru is the official vehicle and sponsor of the 2007 West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium, The 2nd Annual Whitewater Festival, and Gauley Fest in September. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 29, 2007
NISSAN MIXIM AT THE FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW 2007
Photo: London, 29 August 2007. TRAPPES, France - Nissan Mixim 3/4 Rear. (Nissan Europe) |GlobalGiants.com|
Mixim Concept Car
The Mixim concept car is a compact vehicle for young drivers who are mostly engaged by their computer and the world via the internet. The driver sits centrally, with two seats either side, while the steering wheel and controls are inspired by the interfaces so familiar to computer gamers.
Powered by Nissan's 'Super Motor' electric motor/generator and using compact lithium-ion batteries, Mixim has unusually rapid performance combined with a usefully extended range. One Super Motor powers the front axle and a second drives the rear axle, giving Mixim all-wheel drive.
Mixim takes the most up-to-date electric vehicle (EV) technology and clothes it in a svelte and distinctive coupé shape. Its wraparound windscreen, inspired by the visor of a crash helmet, dominates the profile while the swept back windscreen, flowing roofline and sharply truncated rear hints at sporting performance unexpected from an electric vehicle.
Despite being a concept car with no guarantee of being turned into a series production model, Mixim's development is in line with the Nissan Green Program, the company's publicly stated desire to create a more sustainable mobile society.
Throughout the show, the Mixim will be driving from a low stage via a ramp to an elevated display platform on the Nissan stand. |GlobalGiants.com|
Amy Grant's First Ever Career-Spanning Hits Collection to be Released on October 2 by Sparrow/EMI America Records
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 29 -- During her award-winning 30-year music career, Amy Grant has sold more than 30 million albums around the world. EMI CMG Label Group and EMI Music Marketing have partnered with Amy Grant Productions for an in-depth global catalog campaign, including remastered catalog titles and digital sales initiatives. On October 2, Amy Grant's first-ever career and label-spanning hits collection, Greatest Hits, will be released around the world in CD and Special Edition CD/DVD packages and digitally. In the U.S., the new title will be released by Sparrow/EMI America Records.
Amy Grant has achieved unparalleled success as a crossover Contemporary Christian artist. In the U.S. alone, Grant's achievements include nine platinum and platinum-plus albums and nine gold albums, six Grammy Awards and 21 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. |GlobalGiants.com|
ROSETTA STONE INC. VERSION 3
Photo: Rosetta Stone Inc., creator of the world's leading language-learning software, has introduced Rosetta Stone Version 3 Personal Edition. It is an interactive software program that uses technology to create an environment of immersion in the language, which, according to the company, is the fastest, most effective way to learn a new language. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 28, 2007
Tepper School of Business Study Shows Unethical Conduct Often Inadvertently Overlooked : GlobalGiants.com
Research Shows How 'Boiling Frog Syndrome' Is Recipe for Unintentional Misconduct.
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 28 -- In the wake of ethical debacles in major businesses like Enron, Tyco and WorldCom, new research from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University suggests that unethical behavior in corporate settings is often not born of a deliberate intent to defraud by a few bad apples. Rather, it's the slow erosion of individuals' behavior within the organization - small deviations that eventually become part of the norm - that go unnoticed and unreported, highlighting the need for companies to redouble their commitment to an open, transparent corporate culture.
Unethical behavior that develops incrementally over time, or along the "slippery slope," is much less likely to be noticed by an individual, according to the study "Slippery Slopes and Misconduct: The Effect of Gradual Degradation on the Failure To Notice Others' Unethical Behavior." Co-author Francesca Gino, visiting assistant professor in organizational behavior at the Tepper School, conducted a series of experiments testing individuals' ability to observe and identify ethical misconduct that occurred either gradually or abruptly. The research was conducted in partnership with Max Bazerman, the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.
"We find that most individuals are more apt to engage in unethical behavior when it falls along the slippery slope, because they aren't aware that it's happening," Gino said. She noted that, in many ways, it's similar to the "boiling frog syndrome," referring to the adage that frogs immediately hop out of boiling water, but when put in unheated water fail to notice a gradually rising temperature and eventually cook to death.
According to Gino, members of an organization may eventually realize that something is wrong, but by then may believe they have a conflict of interest for failing to report the misconduct and thus ignore the unethical conduct and contribute to it becoming ingrained in the culture. "Once the ethical line has been crossed, an institutionalization of corruption can occur in which unethical acts become a common part of daily activities and people often have a vested interest in remaining quiet," she said.
Gino and Bazerman conducted four experiments with 330 subjects who were shown pictures of jars filled with pennies, with each experiment providing different estimates for the amount of money in the jars. Some of the changes in estimates were gradual while others were more abrupt. Subjects were asked to play the role of "approver," accepting or rejecting the estimates, and were told that they and the estimators would be paid more for higher-approved estimates; however, they would risk a penalty for approving egregiously exaggerated estimates. Overwhelmingly, the results indicated that individuals were much less likely to notice this "unethical behavior" when it occurred gradually rather than abruptly.
Gino and her colleague also sought to gauge the effects of incentives, such as the increased payments for higher-approved estimates, on participants' tendencies to overlook gradual degradation. In the end, they discovered that such incentives made little difference in the perception of others' ethical behavior. Gino says these findings provide further evidence to support the conclusion that failure to notice gradual erosion -- and not a deliberate attempt to defraud -- is to blame.
According to Gino, the best way for companies to combat unintentional tendencies that may represent unethical behavior is to focus on changing the organizational factors that make these types of gradual breakdowns possible, rather than attempting to change individual employee behavior. Within an organization, the human resources department is best suited to spearhead efforts at such reform, she says.
But, first and foremost, says Gino, "Companies must more clearly and consistently communicate ethical standards to employees and strive to create a culture in which there's a commitment to doing the right thing and in which people are encouraged to speak up." While Gino acknowledges that there is a role for industry-specific regulation to address some aspects of unethical conduct, she adds that such regulation should be carefully scrutinized to assess other, unintended consequences.
Founded in 1949, the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon is a pioneer in the field of management science and analytical decision-making. The school's notable contributions to the intellectual community include six Nobel laureates and a consistent presence in the top tier of business school rankings. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 27, 2007
Writers of the Future Awards Ceremony
24 Writing and Illustrating Careers Launched at the California Institute of Technology Athenaeum.
Photo: NYT bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson (Dune series) gets his book signed by newly published illustrator Marcus Collins at the L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Ceremony at the Athenauem at Caltech where 24 writers and illustrators were feted at black tie celebration.
PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 27 -- Over 300 fans, along with two-time Emmy nominated actress Lee Purcell (Due South, Valley Girl) and Latina singer/songwriter Carina Rico, attended the 23rd L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards ceremony this past weekend at the Athenaeum situated at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena to honor the 24 winners of the international Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests and cheer the release of Writers of the Future Volume 23, the book featuring their first professional sale.
Each writing and illustrating contest winner was presented their trophy by contest judges at the ceremony. The Gold Award to the author of the Story of the Year was presented by actress Lee Purcell to Steven Kotowych from Toronto, Ontario, for his story "Saturn in G Minor". The Gold Award for the Illustrator of the Year was presented to Lorraine Schleter from Fort Branch, Indiana by Latin vocalist Carina Rico.
Prior to the awards ceremony, the winners were flown in from as far away as France, United Kingdom and Ukraine to attend a week long workshop taught by contest judges-including New York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson (Dune series), Tim Powers (Three Days to Never), Sean Williams (The Resurrected Man) and internationally acclaimed artist, Stephen Hickman -- each one an experienced professional in the field providing sound advice based on hard-won experience. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 26, 2007
FORD VERVE CONCEPT HINTS AT FORD'S FUTURE SMALL-CAR DESIGN VISION
FRANKFURT, August 2007 - Ford Verve Concept - a bold and colourful concept car to be revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show - gives the first hints of Ford's future small-car design vision.
The significance of the Ford Verve Concept is that it's the first physical evidence of the design direction for an all-new small Ford since it was announced earlier this year that the European arm of the company's global Product Development group is taking the design and engineering lead in creating a new small-car portfolio for major world markets. The Ford Verve Concept is the first of three concept vehicles which will debut in key regions - Europe, Asia and North America.
Photo: The Ford Verve Concept Design Team (2007)
Finished in rich colours and distinctive materials inspired by the world of fashion and cosmetics, the Ford Verve Concept was created by a team of designers from Ford's studios in Dunton, England, and Cologne, Germany.
The concept's face is bold and sporty, yet friendly and engaging. The front of the vehicle is dominated by a large, inverted trapezoidal lower grille and a large Ford oval badge centred in the compact upper grille opening.
At the rear, the lower diffuser with integrated centre exhaust outlet are central elements of a cohesive design that incorporates the encapsulated rear bumper and design accessories, like brushed aluminium accents on the lower edges of the fog lamps.
The Ford Verve Concept was designed for the generation that grew up with mobile phones. Every button and switch was crafted with the kind of minute attention to detail that characterises good mobile phone designs. This system philosophy gives the Ford Verve Concept instrument panel centre stack a different feel than that of traditional automotive switchgear.
As product development of a new generation of Ford small cars continues behind the scenes, Ford of Europe is hoping to gauge public reaction to the Ford Verve Concept during the Frankfurt Motor Show.
August 25, 2007
Volkswagen is the Official Pace Car of SCCA and SCCA Pro Racing : GlobalGiants.com
Volkswagen and Sports Car Club of America announced today an official partnership naming Volkswagen the Official Pace Car of SCCA and SCCA Pro Racing. As part of its official sponsorship, Volkswagen will provide pace vehicles for the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championships and the SCCA National Championship Runoffs(R) Presented by AT&T as well as course vehicles for The Tire Rack(R) SCCA Solo National Championships.
Founded in 1944, Sports Car Club of America, Inc. is a 55,000-member motor-sports organization that, along with subsidiary SCCA Pro Racing, incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both club and professional levels. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg. |GlobalGiants.com|
Blake Lewis Sixth Season Runner-Up on 'American Idol,' Signs To 19 Recordings / ARISTA Records : GlobalGiants.com
Beatboxing Singer Working on Debut Album Due for Release Late 2007.
Blake Lewis, the popular runner-up on the sixth season of "American Idol," has been signed to 19 Recordings / ARISTA Records and is already working on his debut album with a stellar line-up of producers and songwriters. The album is due for release in late 2007.
Lewis, who has already charted on 'The Billboard Hot 100' with his versions of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" and the Zombies' "Time of the Season," has been finding time to go into the studio to work on his first album while touring the United States and Canada on the "American Idols Live" tour. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 24, 2007
Egyptian Blogger, Burmese Reporter Named 2007 Knight International Journalism Award Winners : GlobalGiants.com
Along with Tom Brokaw, they will be honored at the International Center for Journalists Awards Dinner on Nov. 13.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 -- The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) has named Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas and Burmese investigative reporter May Thingyan Hein as the 2007 Knight International Journalism Award winners.
They will be honored along with Founders Award recipient Tom Brokaw at the 10th annual ICFJ Awards Dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, on November 13. The dinner also will feature Keynote Speaker Bob Woodruff and Master of Ceremonies George Stephanopoulos.
The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition. Since 1984, ICFJ has worked directly with more than 40,000 journalists from 176 countries. |GlobalGiants.com|
P&G Secret(R) Partners With Jennifer Lopez in Search of America's 'Hottest' Dancer : GlobalGiants.com
America Votes to Determine Who Will Appear in an Upcoming Jennifer Lopez Music Video.
Secret(R), the number one female anti-perspirant/deodorant in North America, has partnered with the music and movie star Jennifer Lopez to kick-off the "Secret's Show Us Your Moves" contest in New York City August 23. The nationwide search is looking for America's hottest female dancer. The dancer who best conveys her unique confidence while showing her "moves" will be eligible for a chance to appear in an upcoming music video with Ms. Lopez.
After the August 23 casting call in New York, the contest will travel to Dallas, Atlanta , Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas through the end of September. Contestants who can't make it to one of the six casting calls can submit a 30-second video of their "Secret Hot Moves" online.
P&G Beauty sells more than 130 different brands in over 180 countries worldwide. |GlobalGiants.com|
August 23, 2007
CAPITOL/EMI: Dean Martin Hits the Top 40 With Forever Cool : GlobalGiants.com
New Album from the 'King of Cool' Strikes a Chord with Youth Market; iTunes, Yahoo! Music, AOL Music, MP3.com and MySpace Help To Lead the Charge.
Around the world, entertainment superstar Dean Martin has the market cornered on charisma, easygoing charm, playful wit, and gracious humility, all of which combine to make him infinitely cool to each new generation of fans. Released worldwide on August 14 by Capitol/EMI, Martin's new all-star collaborations album, Forever Cool, debuts at #39 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, with first week sales totaling 17,242.
More than 40 years after knocking the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" out of the #1 chart position with "Everybody Loves Somebody" in 1964, Dean Martin continues to enthrall music fans around the world. Said famed producer Phil Ramone, "I think Dean's whole re-birth, so to speak, is that young people have realized how cool he is and how funny he is ... and he could sing."
Said Martin's daughter, Gail Martin, "It gives me a warm glow to know that everybody -- all ages, all generations -- just seem to adore him and want more of him. That's exciting, and it doesn't surprise me." |GlobalGiants.com|
Gooding and Company Announces $60 Million Record-Breaking Results from Pebble Beach Classic Car Auction : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: This 1956 Ferrari 250 GT sold for $1,100,000. It was one of many classic vintage cars that sold for over one million dollars at the Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auction.
Gooding and Company announced its top results from the company's first-ever two-night Pebble Beach Auction event this weekend, held annually following the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. A high-energy atmosphere set the tone for a capacity filled crowd of bidders at both Saturday and Sunday's auctions that garnered a record breaking more than $60 million dollars in sales. The multiple record-breaking sales included the 1931 Blower Bentley from the E. Ann Klein Estate for $4.51 million dollars along with a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, which sold for $4,455,000.00.
GM; CHRYSLER; FORD; UNITED AUTO WORKERS RALLY
Photo: Chrysler, Ford and GM workers rally in St. Louis to support better fuel economy and American jobs.
VERIZON WIRELESS MOTO Q MUSIC 9M : GlobalGiants.com
Verizon Wireless and Motorola, Inc. introduced the MOTO Q music 9m. Exclusively available through Verizon Wireless, the MOTO Q music 9m offers a sleek updated design, dedicated multimedia interface that offers V CAST Music capabilities, and the business sense of its predecessor -- the Motorola Q -- in one thin black and red package. (Verizon Wireless, Thomas Burke)
August 22, 2007
Big Zooms Come in Small Packages With New Sony Cyber-Shot H-Series Camera : GlobalGiants.com
Photo: The new 8-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot(R) DSC-H3 camera has a powerful 10x optical zoom lens for those close-up shots you don't want to miss, and yet features a super compact form so you can take the camera along anywhere.
The model features high-definition component output, putting a high-resolution spin on the family slideshow. By connecting the new camera to any HDTV set with Sony's VMC-MHC1 high-definition component cable (sold separately), families can see their digital photos the same way they watch their favorite TV shows -- in full 1080 HD resolution. The camera is equipped with a built-in slide show function so you can view photos, complete with transitions choreographed to your choice of programmed music clips. |GlobalGiants.com|