Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Intel "ready to go mobile."
Intel's supply chain chief says ready for mobile -- Intel's manufacturing whiz and new chief operating officer, Brian Krzanich, says he has fine-tuned his supply chain to meet expected demand for chips for smartphones and tablets. Krzanich, whose January promotion marks him as a forerunner to one day become chief executive, said his focus has been shortening turnaround times in the top chipmaker's cutting-edge factories -- improvements he said have become key in the fragmented mobile market.

Another Guilty Plea In Massive Procurement Fraud Case -- The former director of a technology company pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in a massive bribery scheme to steer a $1 billion government contract to several companies. Harold F. Babb, the former director of contracts at Eyak Technology LLC, entered a guilty plea in federal district court in Washington, D.C., on federal charges of bribery and unlawful kickbacks. He faces up to 25 years in prison. The charges against Babb stem from an investigation into more than $28 million in bribes that were allegedly paid to steer the huge government project, known by its acronym TIGER, or Technology for Infrastructure, Geospatial, and Environmental Requirements, to several companies.

That's one way to make a buck.
Public High Schools Sell Seats To Foreigners. Ka-ching! -- Top U.S. boarding schools, such as Phillips Exeter in Exeter, New Hampshire, charge $72,000 a year in room and board. That number excludes costs for tutoring and remedial language training (essential for most foreign students), special instruction in music, certain athletic programs, textbooks, course supplements, medical expenses, organization dues and so on. When a clothing, travel, food and entertainment allowance is included – not to mention the cost of flying Mandy, Fahd, and Fabio back and forth for holidays in London, Riyadh and Rio -- foreign parents are looking at a total yearly nut of nearly 100 grand. A number that can cause even the growing cadre of foreign masters of the universe in the Forbes list of global billionaires to do a triple take.

Upping the cropland.
As commodity prices rise, farmers carefully plan -- With prices for commodities such as corn, soybeans and wheat at historic highs, U.S. farmers are expected to plant the most acres this year that they have in a generation. Farmers in the Midwest, where the bulk of those crops are grown, are being particularly aggressive. The prices and decisions of Midwestern farmers have an impact elsewhere. Farmers are trying to use as much of their cropland as they can, and many are looking to cash in on the current commodities boom by locking in prices as early as possible.

- Sheena Moore

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