Cook vs. Jobs: Supply Chain.
Apple's Chief Puts Stamp on Labor Issues -- When he became chief, many people wondered whether Mr. Cook, a skilled manager of Apple's operations, could ever rival the visionary influence of Mr. Jobs on Apple products. Instead, it appears Mr. Cook could make his earliest and most significant mark by changing how Apple's products are made. "I want to give credit to Tim Cook for this," said Dara O'Rourke, associate professor of environmental and labor policy at the University of California, Berkeley. "He's admitting they've got problems."
Congress Bites At Pet Exemption -- In response to the concerns of families having to make tough choices between organic chew toys and (gasp) regular rawhide, Congress has crafted language that would, under Section 151 of the Internal Revenue Code, extend the definition of "personal exemptions" to include family pets. It's admittedly controversial. However, with more than 60% of Americans owning pets – roughly the same percentage as taxpayers who think Congress is doing a poor job of managing the country according to a recent Rasmussen Report – with the potential to cast a vote in an election year, it's not surprising that Congress acted as they did. It's also not completely out of sync with the intention of the deduction.
The changing face of French lunchtimes -- "About two billion sandwiches a year are sold in France," says food writer Franck Pinay-Rabaroust. "That means the French eat an average of 65 sandwiches per second." The change is partly because French workers' lunch breaks have been drastically shortened. A recent survey found that the average is now 22 minutes, compared to an hour-and-a-half 20 years ago.
Amazon and (the lack of) charitable giving.
Amazon a virtual no-show in hometown philanthropy -- Last year, amid a troubled economy, United Way of King County said it received record donations from some of the area's largest companies. Microsoft made a corporate donation of $4 million. Boeing gave $3.1 million. Nordstrom, nearly $320,000. And Amazon.com? Zero. Conceived on Wall Street, born in a Bellevue rental house, and based in a dozen buildings on the northern edge of downtown Seattle, Amazon has grown into one of the Internet's most-recognized name brands and a company so big that it holds staff meetings at KeyArena.