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McDonald's Found a Great Way to Grow Its Breakfast Revenue–and Your Waistline
February 12, 2019 12:57 am|Comments (0)

Here come the doughnuts. Or, at least, the donut sticks. McDonald’s will bring six- and 12-stick versions of fried dough rectangles, covered in cinnamon sugar, to its breakfast menu come Feb. 20. Price will be $ 1.29 for 6 or $ 2.39 a dozen. (With a hat tip to Business Insider, which sussed this out in early January.)

McDonald’s in the fast food, not religion, business. But the company does seem to depend more frequently on Hail Marys. A little over a year ago, it tried bringing back its dollar menu–sorry, now the $ 1 $ 2 $ 3 menu–to get more people back to the chain.

Now it’s a version of a treat that Dunkin’ Donuts began to serve in 2017. Dunkin’ said in an earnings call that the snack was “one of the best-performing limited-time offer bakery items in recent brand history.” Though between “one of” and “in recent brand history,” that’s a lot of wiggle room.

Not that the concept even originated with Dunkin’. These are basically crullers, which go a long way back. Or churros, as Boston.com did. Shrinking the size and offering multi-packs as a single serving was a different twist, but even that didn’t start with McDonald’s or Dunkin’, as a little web search turns up references and recipes from years before.

I still think that McDonald’s has stifled innovation of its franchisees, who were the ones to invent the Big Mac, Filet-o-Fish, and Egg McMuffin. None of that was the product of some central kitchen and executives who carefully considered what people would want.

One of the best ways to innovate is to crank out ideas and test them. That’s what franchisees can do. Let them try different things with their local markets. See what works. Give a bonus or reward or maybe even a royalty for items that prove themselves on a national or international stage. McDonald’s could have so many potential hits being developed.

But these days, that’s not what many big franchises seem to want. They’re interested in control. In fact, they’re so determined to be in charge that they’ve been willing to see many customers walk elsewhere.

Such is life. It does provide great opportunities for the company’s competitors, and even all the small restaurant operators out there who can try out what they’d like. A bit part of the fun of business is coming up with your own ideas and seeing what you can do with them.

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Certain HP laptops are found recording users’ keystrokes
May 11, 2017 11:05 pm|Comments (0)

Over two dozen HP laptop models have been secretly recording users’ keystrokes, possibly by mistake, according to a Swiss security firm.

The keylogger is found within the PCs’ audio driver software and has existed since at least Dec. 2015, the security firm Modzero said in a Thursday blog post.   

The audio driver was designed to identify when a special key on the PC was used. But in reality, the software will capture all the keystrokes and write them in an unencrypted file located on the laptop.

In other cases, the keystrokes will be passed to a Microsoft Windows debugging interface on the PC, and expose them to possible capture, Modzero said.      

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This girl found a genius way to buy Pokémon toys on Amazon
December 29, 2016 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

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A 6-year-old girl from Little Rock, Arkansas has possibly become the envy of children around the world. 

While Ashlynd Howell’s mum Bethany was napping on the couch after a movie, she used her mother’s thumb to unlock her iPhone and purchase toys on Amazon. 

Bethany received 13 order confirmations for Pokémon items worth $ 250, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The girl’s parents initially thought they’d been hacked but they were soon set straight by the culprit — their daughter.  

 “No, Mommy, I was shopping. But don’t worry, everything that I ordered is coming straight to the house,” Ashlynd said.  Read more…

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The Technology That Will Build Our Future May Be Found In Mushrooms
August 20, 2016 8:50 pm|Comments (0)

The Technology That Will Build Our Future May Be Found In Mushrooms

The key to the human race’s future may be right beneath our feet. It sounds bizarre, but fungi better known as mushrooms can help solve many of society’s greatest challenges, from cleaning up the environment and living more sustainability to colonizing other planets.

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