Japan Braces for a ‘Designed in China’ World

NYT: Like ‘Dilbert,’ but Subversive and Online
Mr. Rees, a graduate of Oberlin College, is a bystander to the rat race and, for all his intended political commentary, the strip is most incisive about the sinkhole of cubicle culture. The office settings are blandly generic; the characters are a few pieces of clip art that Mr. Rees uses over and over. Some of the dialogue comes verbatim from his old temp job as a Maxim magazine fact checker, which ended shortly after Sept. 11.
Get your war on!
David Rees author essay at Random House.
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Salon: The bull in Martha Stewart’s china shop
The most successful women in American business — the three, self-made billionaires Oprah, Meg Whitman of eBay and Martha Stewart — have made it as entrepreneurs, rather than rising in big companies. Could a Martha Stewart have risen in the executive ranks at a big company?
Well, she couldn’t have succeeded at Time Warner. That was impossible. And she recognized that pretty early on. And that’s why she got out of there. I worked there for 13 years, and I can tell you from firsthand experience: That’s not a place where the gals get ahead. There’s a glass ceiling starting at the lobby. It’s not an easy place to advance your career if you’re a woman. There’s not anything representing gender balance in the executive ranks of that company. She said: “Enough of this,” and left.
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NYT: How Does AOL Fit in the Grand Plan Now?
On Wall Street and within the media industry, the most provocative thought about AOL Time Warner these days is that the company should admit that the merger that created it Û the biggest merger in United States history Û was all a big mistake and split into two companies again: America Online and Time Warner.
After all, if America Online were independent, AT&T Comcast could not demand $10 billion from the Internet operation for the Time Warner Entertainment stake. In addition, the core Time Warner businesses seem to be doing reasonably well. Perhaps investors would value the Time Warner operations more richly if they were not confused and anxious about America Online.

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NYT: Japan Braces for a ‘Designed in China’ World
The Japanese have long prided themselves on quality production, relegating Chinese-made goods to discount shops. Now, Japanese manufacturers and consumers say they do not see much qualitative difference between Made in Japan and Made in China.
In a recent survey of 81 Japanese companies operating in China, 62 percent of managers said they saw no difference in the quality of products made in Japan from those made in China. Fifteen percent said the Chinese products were of better quality, according to the poll, which was commissioned by The Nikkei Business Daily, Japan’s leading business newspaper, and Japan Management Association Consultants, a private industry group.

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NYT: Young, Single and Dating at Hyperspeed
The reason seems to be the fundamentally different ways that younger and somewhat older Americans view personals. Where traditionally personals in newspapers and magazines were seen as last-ditch attempts by the desperate, Americans younger than 30 are using the online services more casually Û simply to make friends or to date outside their established circles. Some ambitious Û or just manic Û men and women play the services as if they were video games or eBays-for-daters, where the goal is not so much acquiring the goods as simply playing to win.