Is the use of videoconferencing one to improve recidivism or profits?

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Jails are replacing face-to-face visits with video conferencing screens and are passing the costs on to inmates and their families. In some cases, these costs are up to $1 per minute. Questions: 1. Where do most videoconferencing companies make their money? 2. Who are the industry giants in prison videoconferencing? 3. Explain the last statement… Read more »

Are you getting what is advertised?

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Four major retailers were accused by the New York State attorney general’s office of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements. The attorney general demanded that they remove the products from their shelves. Questions: 1. Who were the four national retailers? 2. What were the results of tests performed on the supplements? 3. In summary,… Read more »

A Big Bet!

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Pfizer is making a $15.2 billion bet on the drug industry’s new, more elite class of generics, which are costly, complex copies of already expensive biotech drugs. Questions: 1. What are biosimilars? 2. Why are there questions about the durability of the market for these specialty drugs? 3. What is the dollar estimate of the… Read more »

Credit Unions for Pot?

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Since medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2001 and recreational marijuana was legalized a year ago, sellers have had limited, if any, access to banking services. As a result, a group of other entrepreneurs in Colorado want to start the first-ever financial institution established specifically to serve the pot industry. Questions: 1. What are… Read more »

No More SkyMall?

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The parent company for SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection on January 23, 2015. SkyMall was the entertaining catalogue of everything you never thought about buying, but was in the seat pockets of every plane. As Farhi said, “the value added to this grotesque shlock was SkyMall’s enthusiastic descriptive copy. SkyMall’s writers never let on that… Read more »

Military Contracting Failures: A $1.5 Trillion Mistake

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The F-35 is being produced by 1,200 suppliers. Seen as the fighter jet of the future, it has trouble flying at night, its engines have exploded during takeoff, and early models suffered structural cracks. Questions: 1. Why is the military still pursuing the production of this pink elephant? Why doesn’t technology become less costly for… Read more »

Marriott to pay $600,000 to Resolve WI-FI-Blocking Investigation

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In March 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received a complaint that the Marriott convention center at the Gaylord Opryland location in Nashville, Tennessee was in violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act. After an FCC investigation substantiated unlawful use of containment features, Marriott agreed to pay $600,000. Questions: 1. What did the FCC’s… Read more »

Capitalism is Broken?

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Camp Bow Wow, a dog-sitting chain, makes its workers sign non-compete agreements that bar them from plying any of the “trade secrets” they learn walking dogs at any other animal day care centers for up to two years. Questions: 1. Do you think that these quasi-feudal non-compete contracts should be illegal for everyone other than… Read more »

Let’s Have Pizza!

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According to the New York Times, the uptick in pizza sales in Brooklyn at Domino’s Pizza is due to stolen credit card numbers being used to order to see which cards were still active and could be used for bigger purchases. Questions: 1. Explain why the article called this a blend of high-tech fraud and… Read more »

That’s the Walmart Way!

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An Oklahoma City Walmart is asking employees to donate food to help their coworkers make ends meet during the holiday season. The company drew criticism for similar employee food drives a year ago. Besides incurring a total public assistance cost of $6.2 billion per year, Walmart has been criticized for running a corporate charity called… Read more »