"How does `squeezing' differ from the treatment overhead luggage is likely to receive from strangers in a world that is somewhat less gentle than it used to be?" -- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting from a ruling that bars law-enforcement officials from squeezing luggageEdited by Robert McNattReturn to top
Jaguar: We've Gotta Have It
In an unusual alliance, Jaguar Cars has hired filmmaker Spike Lee to produce a series of Internet ads and promotional videos it hopes will attract more well-heeled African Americans and other hip young urbanites.
That wider audience is crucial as the British auto maker tries to expand from an elite niche brand to a marque with less expensive, higher-volume cars. With the $42,500 S-type introduced last year and the $30,000 X400 "Baby Jag" on the way, the Ford unit needs new customers--both minorities and those younger than 50.
Jaguar is already "on the radar" of urban hip, says Lee. But buying a Jag? "It just seemed inaccessible," he says. He has already made an eight-minute film with a young Harlem couple in their Jag--she a surgeon, he a sculptor--lightheartedly bickering over who gets to drive. "Spike tells the story in such an unconventional but convincing way that this will work not only with African Americans, but with all consumers," says Mike O'Driscoll, Jaguar's North American boss. But Lee is also worried about salesmen who may brush off black car shoppers. So he and Jaguar are discussing sensitivity training for sales reps.By Katie Kerwin; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top
Ira's New Health-Care Thing
Ira Magaziner just doesn't quit. The ex-White House aide, who spearheaded President Clinton's ill-starred health-care reform, is now at work on another venture to cut health costs.
Magaziner is advising French consumer-electronics giant Thomson Multimedia on developing a range of high-margin businesses. His latest project will let people communicate with doctors by television. Thomson, which sells RCA television sets in the U.S., is developing radio-controlled devices to monitor patients' vital signs at home. The data would then be sent, over the Net, through interactive set-top boxes on patients' TVs. Homebound patients could even switch on a video camera so doctors could see them. Magaziner says the technology would save money by reducing doctor visits and by letting patients leave the hospital sooner.
Thomson expects to market the devices early next year at prices starting at under $200. Magaziner, who became the White House Internet guru after the health-care plan collapsed, says he was drawn to Thomson because "it's a melding of two things I'm interested in." And this time he won't have to persuade a recalcitrant Congress to go along.By Carol Matlack; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top
Cough It Up for Dot.TV
With a population of 10,000 and an economy based on fishing and coconuts, the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is no communications mecca. But to Internet incubator idealab!, Tuvalu is a potential cash machine.
That's because all Internet addresses in Tuvalu end with the letters "tv," just as those in Britain end with "uk." William Gross, idealab's CEO, has agreed to pay Tuvalu $50 million over 10 years to license the dot-TV domain. He began auctioning off dot-TV URLs on Apr. 6. Since then, says Louis Kerner, CEO of idealab's company, dotTV, they have received $1.5 million in bids on more than 300 sites. Beijing's ChinaGo.com, for one, has bid $100,000 apiece for the names China.TV and net.TV. Bidding starts at $1 million for the biggies: business, sports, and, yes, sex.TV.
As the Web and television converge, Kerner believes dot-TV names will increase in value: "It's the Fifth Avenue of domain names." Even though some critics aren't convinced, the folks at dotTV are hustling out a $1 million ad campaign. Focused on radio, dotTV has bought time with shock jock Howard Stern--a man who knows his way around sex.TV.By Ronald Grover; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top