Issue 135

May 2009


  • The Business of Barbecue

    Where's the beef? During National Barbecue Month, it's usually sizzling over charcoal with pork, poultry, and (sometimes) veggies. As Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of the summer grill season, looms, the industry remains red hot. Here's a tasting platter of stats.


Fast Talk


  • Update

    Small business owners in the Bay Area have claimed that soon after they got negative reviews on Yelp, a sales rep from the site would call and offer to eliminate the one-star ratings — in exchange for a $299-a-month sponsorship.


  • Three Secrets to Make a Message Go Viral

    The police have issued this warning: "If you are driving after dark and see an oncoming car with no headlights on, DO NOT FLASH YOUR LIGHTS AT THEM!" Why? Because the no-headlights car is being driven by a gang member, and as part of an initiation rite, the first person who flashes him will be hunted down and killed. (But at least the gang member will turn his lights on afterward.)

From the Editor

  • Letter From the Editor: What We Can't Live Without

    When my father was a kid, his family had the first television on the block. Neighbors would come by just to watch the transmission signal. I was reminded of this family lore by Sony exec Steve Haber's comments about e-books in the Fast Talk section (which begins here): "Every time I give a Reader to someone, I never get it back. It's just like when digital cameras came out. At first, people didn't know they needed it.