Friday Latte: Nike/Adidas DryDye, Windows 8 Redesigns, Severe Weather Clobbers Insurance Companies

Nike, Adidas Want To Color Your Shirt With No Water -- This month, Adidas and Nike rolled out a new way of dyeing clothes with carbon dioxide instead of water -- a potentially revolutionary technique that they say could save time, energy, and billions of gallons of H2O each year. The companies are secretive about the details, but we know this: On Aug. 9, Adidas announced the debut of DryDye and put 50,000 branded shirts on sale in Europe and Asia. On the same day, as the Olympics neared their end, Nike announced that Kenya's marathon team would wear singlets made from the waterless apparel.

Technology's getting craaaazy.
Windows 8 spurs new touchscreen hybrid PC designs -- PC-makers are showing off a range of new computers aimed at convincing users to upgrade after Windows 8 is released. Microsoft's operating system features a touchscreen interface prompting manufacturers to restyle their laptops. HP, Toshiba, Dell, Asus and Lenovo are among those showing off new products. Efforts are split between models in which keyboards detach from screens, ones in which the keys remain attached but can be hidden behind displays, and traditional fixed clamshell designs.

Stormy weather.
Wild Weather A New Normal And Insurance Companies Must Act -- Severe weather has been clobbering insurance companies, and the headlines just keep coming. "Drought to cost insurers billions in losses," said the Financial Times a few days ago. "Many U.S. hurricanes would cause $10b or more in losses in 2012 dollars," the Boston Globe said about the latest hurricane forecasts. "June's severe weather losses near $2 billion in U.S.," said the Insurance Journal earlier this year.

The "Bank of Mom and Dad."
The Troubling Trend Towards Family Loans -- How the Bank of Mom and Dad Is Stunting Economic Growth (Not to Mention Children's Own) -- With tightening lending requirements and tough economic times, not to mention the generational phenomenon of helicopter parenting, we've been seeing more parents doing something they swore they'd never do--lending money to their children. For example, according to a recent survey, 20% of parents have already gifted, loaned, or co-signed a loan to help their children purchase a home and an additional 2/3s of parents indicated they would like to do so in the future. But is this really a good thing? On the surface, the decision to lend money to your children may seem like a no-brainer. Helping someone else accomplish their financial goals can be highly rewarding, especially when the person you are helping is your child or another close family member. Unfortunately, the reality of family loans is much more stark. They can often become a lose-lose-lose proposition: bad for mom and dad, bad for their adult children, and bad for the economy.

- Sheena Moore

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