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Address for Success: Internet Name Game; Individuals Snap Up Potentially Valuable Corporate E-Mail IDs
August 11, 1994

To reach Jim Cashel on the Internet, just drop him a line at his e-mail address "cashel@esquire.com."

You can’t call him at Esquire magazine, though. He doesn’t work there and never has, according to the company. Try some of his other 17 e-mail addresses, including "hertz.com" and "trump.com," and you’ll get the same result. He doesn’t work for those companies either, spokesmen said.

But Cashel does own the words they might want to use in their cyberspace addresses.

Cashel — a Kalorama resident who works at the government-funded Eurasia Foundation here — declined to be interviewed for this article. He is among a …

'I want it! And I want it now!'
June 19, 1995

With her father David in tow, Sarah Chappell looked across The Disney Store at Raleigh’s Crabtree Valley Mall, spied the Pocahontas birthday party set she had been searching for and smiled.

"Here it is. I want it," the 3-year-old girl announced in delight.

"Maybe we’ll get it when it is closer to your birthday," her father said.

"But I want it now!" insisted Sarah, who will turn 4 on Friday, the same day that "Pocahontas," Walt Disney’s latest animated movie, opens nationwide.

Like Sarah, children across the Triangle have discovered the Pocahontas merchandise that has been flowing into stores since the beginning of this …

Long-distance firms fight change
August 2, 1995

In high school civics classes, they don’t mention the shrink-wrapped Monopoly board games in how a bill becomes a law.

A coalition of long-distance telephone carriers has sent the popular board game to every member of Congress and to newspaper editors across the country in a last-minute lobbying effort.

Much more than Monopoly money is at stake. The long-distance carriers are trying to keep federal telecommunications reform legislation from passing "Go."

The reform bill had cleared the U.S. House Commerce Committee May 25 by a 38-5 vote, with the long-distance companies’ whole-hearted support. Then on July 13, they learned that House leaders slipped …

Foam in the shape of things to come
August 12, 1995

ZEBULON - A 6-foot foam cylinder called the Funnoodle could be the Hula-Hoop of the 1990s. Or so its makers hope.

The packaging of the buoyant water toy says it’s from Tennessee, but the Funnoodle is really made right here in the Triangle.

So are Nerf arrows, parts of Seeley mattresses, and even the protective padding at those playgrounds McDonald’s provides for french fry-fueled youngsters.

"Those are applications that many consumers in the Triangle use and don’t know that it’s made here," said Marc Noel, the president of Nomaco Inc., a low-profile, privately held company that makes thermoplastic foam products.

With 460 employees and …

Business edges into the Brave new cyberworld
August 20, 1995

The Internet could be the newest commercial frontier, where pioneers strike gold every place they tread.

Or it could be a treacherous and deadly landscape, swallowing up trailblazers and setting in motion costly financial flops.

Welcome to the world of cyberbusiness.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the Internet as companies in the Triangle rush to go on-line. But, so far, success stories are few and far between as companies tentatively explore the intricacies of Internet commerce.

In fact, many companies have found they are more likely to use the Internet to save money rather than to make money.

"I don’t …

Home work has special benefits
August 22, 1995

When Paul Jones has a particularly thorny matter on his mind, he leaves his Durham office and plays a few holes of golf across the street.

He doesn’t have to worry about what his co-workers might think. Since July, he’s worked by himself, in an office above his garage.

When Jones agreed to leave his job at a Raleigh law firm to join a Columbia, S.C., company as vice president for business development, he insisted that he be allowed to remain in the Triangle.

"I didn’t want to move to Columbia," Jones says. "I can make an argument that, with the type of …

A stitch in time means profits after a year
August 22, 1995

RALEIGH - Vernita Evans’ business strategy looks remarkably simple:

Keep people in stitches. Laugh all the way to the bank.

No, she’s not a comedienne. She’s a seamstress. Evans owns Sew Well Learning Center & Manufacturing, a North Raleigh company that teaches people how to sew.

"Sewing is like typing," Evans said. "If you can type, you can get a job anywhere. If you can sew, you can always make money. People always need alterations."

So a year ago, she left her job working with mentally handicapped patients to try her hand at teaching sewing full time.

Evans rented office space on Wake Forest Road, …

Computer users clamor to open new Windows
August 24, 1995

The longest waiting game in software history comes to an end today. But the frenzy has just begun.

Microsoft Windows 95, possibly the most heavily promoted computer product ever, officially went on sale throughout the Triangle at midnight.

The newest version of Microsoft’s highly successful operating system should make personal computers easier to set up and use. Windows 95 will include better audio and video capabilities, and offer easy access to the Internet through the Microsoft Network, the company’s new online service.

Seven to nine million copies are expected to be sold this week alone, according to market research firm Dataquest Inc. Another …

Factory Orders Decline 0.1% On Low Demand for Aircraft
June 4, 1996

The sluggish manufacturing sector is showing signs of emerging from a recent slump even though overall new factory orders fell 0.1% in April, according to analysts. Many economists had estimated a drop of nearly 1%.

Factory orders fell slightly because reduced demand for aircraft and defense goods offset moderate gains in other sectors, the Commerce Department reported. The April decline followed a revised 1.7% increase in March, previously reported as a 1.5% gain.

Analysts had predicted a greater decline in April after the Commerce Department announced last week that durable-goods orders, such as for major appliances and automobiles, fell 1.9% in April. …

People Are Spending Briskly, But Inflation Remains Low
June 7, 1996

Alan Helfman has no doubts about the strength of the economy. He owns Ford and Chrysler dealerships in the affluent Houston suburb of River Oaks, Texas, and is selling vans, Jeeps and Ford Explorers like "gangbusters."

"We’re hot as fire down here," he drawls. "It’s not the best it’s ever been, but it’s pretty dang close."

Defying predictions, American consumers continue to open their wallets — and fuel economic growth. Economists say businesses let their inventories dwindle early this year and then were surprised by consumers’ resilience. But now, as they rush to restock their shelves, economic growth could pick up in …

FAA’s Flaws Exposed In ValuJet Shutdown
June 19, 1996

How did federal air safety regulators fail so badly?

The Federal Aviation Administration’s shutdown of ValuJet Airlines — less than six weeks after FAA officials had insisted that the airline was safe — has raised questions about the agency’s ability to ensure the safety of the U.S. airline industry. Those concerns led Tuesday to a major personnel shakeup at the agency, a tightening of inspection rules and a plea by Transportation Secretary Federico Pena for Congress to rewrite the agency’s historic mandate that requires it to promote as well as police the aviation industry.

"There should never be another question about the …

Tie-In's Impossible Mission: Find Sponsor's Name on Screen
July 1, 1996

Imagine Burger King sponsoring a movie in which a lead character is told to choose any food in the world and asks for a Big Mac. Then you’ll understand why Apple computer users are miffed.

In May, Apple Computer launched a multimillion-dollar marketing tie-in with Tom Cruise’s "Mission: Impossible." It featured Mr. Cruise in its TV and print ads, created a web site for the movie and even cosponsored its premiere.

Apple executives say they are pleased with the public reaction to their "brand-energizing" campaign. But techno-savvy moviegoers are baffled by the short shrift given Apple in the film.

It’s true that Mr. …

ValuJet's Future Is Unclear, But Its Jets Are All Too Visible
July 11, 1996

The gates are empty, the passengers are gone, but ValuJet Airlines has yet another problem: parking its 51 planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration forced the discount airline to cease operations indefinitely June 17. But early this week, about half of ValuJet’s fleet was still parked at airports in Atlanta and Washington, blocking gates and costing ValuJet money. At Atlanta’s Hartsfield International, one out of every eight domestic gates was filled with parked ValuJet planes, increasing congestion even as Atlanta prepares for Olympic-size traffic.

Three more jets were parked at Washington Dulles International. The rest have been sent to maintenance facilities in Lake …

Durable-Goods Orders Slipped In June; Jobless Claims Eased
July 26, 1996

WASHINGTON — New orders for durable goods fell 0.8% in June, the Commerce Department said, signaling that the economy’s strength isn’t unbridled.

June’s decline partially unraveled the huge 4.2% jump in May orders. That gain was just one piece of economic data in the robustly healthy second quarter that caused financial markets to wonder if the economy was in danger of overheating.

But June’s report helped temper that fear a bit. Treasurys ended modestly higher Thursday, with the bellwether 30-year bond rising nearly 3/8 to yield 7.01%.

More than half of the June decline in orders for durable goods, or big-ticket items such …

Leading Indicators Rose 0.5% In June for Fifth Straight Gain
August 5, 1996

WASHINGTON — In another forecast of continued economic growth, the index of leading economic indicators rose a strong 0.5% in June, the Conference Board said.

The index’s rise was its fifth in a row, including a 0.3% gain in April and a 0.2% gain in May. Three consecutive increases usually signal that the economy is expanding.

"The economy is on the move again, but the speed of the expansion is uncertain," said Robert Dederick, chief economist at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago.

The index of leading indicators is intended to predict economic activity six to nine months ahead, but many economists say it …

Producer Prices Stayed Flat Even as the Economy Surged
August 12, 1996

Despite surging second-quarter economic growth and tight labor markets, wholesale prices remained unchanged last month, the Labor Department said.

The stable prices at the producer level offer a further sign that inflation is under control, analysts said. Bonds were up sharply on the news Friday, with the Treasury Department’s benchmark 30-year issue closing Friday at 100 23/32, up 23/32 point.

"It just doesn’t get much better than this," with declining inflation and strong real growth, said Chris Varvares, a forecaster at Macroeconomic Advisers L.L.C. in St. Louis. The producer price index, which tracks price fluctuations at the producer level, and the consumer …

Labor Market Has Rebounded In Recent Years, Study Says
August 23, 1996

Over 71% of workers whose jobs were eliminated in the past three years found new ones by February, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

From January 1993 to December 1995, an estimated 8.4 million workers were displaced from their jobs, including 3.8 million long-term workers who had held their jobs for at least three years, the bureau said. Displaced workers are defined as people 20 years or older who have lost their jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, their positions or shifts were eliminated or there was insufficient work for them to do.

Of those 8.4 million …

Greenbrier Symposium for Professional Food Writers 2002: Outside Observations
March 23, 2002

Instead of creating a product and then finding an audience to sell it to, you will need to create an audience and then find out what products they want to buy.