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iFive: GM and Chrysler to Get Bailed Out Again, Peter Chernin Meets Peter Griffin, and Amazon-Digg? in Today's Innovation News

While you were sleeping, innovation plotted its comeback. Here's today's innovation news:

  1. President Obama's auto task force appears ready to keep GM and Chrysler afloat with more bailout loans, pending concessions from management, the auto unions, and GM's bondholders. "It's like a Rubik's cube, trying to untwist it and trying to get all the colors to line up," says task-force chief Steven Rattner. When we offered up 25 ideas for how to fix the auto industry, we didn't know about the Rubik's Cube strategy. So here's one more: Let's get the guy in this video to help. [via WSJ's Neil King Jr. and John D. Stoll]
  2. Market researcher Information Resources Inc. released its list of the most successful new grocery-store products of 2008, and the winners that generated more than $100 million in sales include Gatorade's lower-calorie G2 sports drink, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, Campbell's low-sodium soup, and the weight-loss drug Alli. Not surprisingly, given a careful study of this list, Charmin Ultra Strong also had an ultra strong 2008, with $144 million in sales. [via AdAge's Emily Bryson York and Natalie Zmuda]
  3. Outgoing News Corp. executive Peter Chernin teaches us all a valuable career lesson on Sunday: Start lining up your next gig before you leave your current one. Chernin will appear as a cartoon version of himself in the newest Family Guy episode airing on Fox this weekend. Because of the long production time for an animated show, Chernin recorded his part a year ago. It is still unconfirmed that Chernin shouted "Damn you all! Victory is mine!" as he left the studio that day. [via LA Times' Yvonne Villarreal]
  4. Gawker's Owen Thomas plays matchmaker, recommending that Amazon should buy Digg, in light of the social news site's well-stated trouble finding a suitor and Amazon's ability to generate billions in additional revenue from user reviews. Immediately after posting, Thomas received the following note: "Thanks for your suggestion, Owen Thomas! Our Pre-Rumor Price Guarantee covers one or more item(s) in this post. If the acquisition price for Digg decreases between the time you floated your suggestion and the end of the day of the acquisition, you'll receive, well, nothing." [via Gawker's Owen Thomas]
  5. Here's the latest heady design meme to share over limoncellos at next month's Milan Furniture Fair: heirloom design. It's a consumerist spin on sustainable design, arguing that by creating better stuff that lasts longer, we can still buy what we want and be good to the planet. "It sounds like I'm a pretentious wanker when I say 'green' is a Rolex and a Mont Blanc pen," says inventor, MacArthur fellow, and pretentious wanker Saul Griffith, who coined the term, "but what I really mean is, you have to design things and experiences that will last a very long time." Up next for Griffith? Inventing a pipe that produces dreams. [via Worldchanging's Adele Peters]