Packages of DVDs await shipment at Netflix's headquarters in San Jose, Calif.
2011: Netflix Separates Its DVD, Streaming Business. Internet video streaming has become a priority for Netflix. As a result, it has raised prices by as much as 60 percent. Recently, the company announced it will break off its DVD mail service as Qwikster. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings apologized for the way the company communicated earlier price changes but not for the hike itself. I decided to simplify to just streaming and walk to Red Box for more recent DVDs. And if Netflix doesn't get more current releases quickly, I won't be streaming anymore either.
Credit Marty Lederhandler / AP
1985: The Coca-Cola Co. Replaces The Original Formula For Its Soft Drink. The consumer backlash was so great that Coke was forced to bring back its original recipe and brand it Coca-Cola Classic. Many people believe the change was a marketing ploy because the company made millions off changing back.
Credit Sesame Workshop, Richard Termine / AP
2006: Sesame Street Has Cookie Monster Eat Fruits And Vegetables. Sesame Street decided to start airing Healthy Habits For Life segments. Cookie Monster explained that his new philosophy was that cookies were "a sometimes food." PBS Viewer Services responded to viewers' concerns with an email saying the show had no plans get rid of Cookie Monster, and he would continue to obsess over the cookie, but would also eat fruits and vegetables. It's great to promote healthful eating habits, but can't Grover or Ernie do it?
2010: The Gap Decides To Change Its Logo. According to company spokesperson Louise Calagy, the new logo would be "classic, American design to modern, sexy, cool." A week later, The Associated Press reported that the casual wear chain was reverting to its original logo. The new logo irritated consumers, who complained about it online. Gap North Amercam President Marka Hansen said Gap didn't handle the change correctly and missed an opportunity to have shoppers offer input.
2009: Tropicana Debuts New Packaging. Owing to a huge customer backlash, the company was forced to return to its original packaging. According to Neil Campbell, the president of Tropicana North America: "We underestimated the deep emotional bond [of the brand's original logo]." Unfortunately, this lack of understanding led to my father-in-law's breaking up with his girlfriend over the changes to the orange juice container. Seriously, it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
1999: Actress Kerri Russell Cuts Her Trademark Long, Curly Hair. Russell starred in the series Felicity. She went along with show producers' idea to cut her hair after her character had a rough breakup. The show's ratings declined and never recovered, and whether the show's moving to Sundays or the haircut was to blame was never determined. TV Guide ranked the haircut as No. 19 on its "25 Biggest TV Blunders" list.
Credit Kent Phillips / AP
2011: George Lucas Releases A Blu-ray Box Set Of The Six Star Wars Films. Many fans are urging a boycott of the set because Lucas made unwanted changes, including having Darth Vader scream "Noooo!" when he kills Emperor Palpatine. One review on Amazon.com says: "Adding Vader's 'Nooo!' is just going too far." As someone who missed the key scene in the movie theater when Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker he was his father because I was 7 and had to go to the bathroom, I can relate ... a little.
Credit Rob Carr / Getty Images
2011: University Of Maryland Debuts Its New Football Uniforms. According to the Two-Way's Eyder Peralta, the unveiling was met with a lot of disappointment. Some of the Twitter reviews from sports celebrities: "OH GOSH! Maryland uniforms #Ewwwwww!" (NBA star LeBron James) and "Man university of Marylands football team have some ugly jerseys lol" (soccer star Freddy Adu). If you want a closer look, the university is still auctioining off the matching gloves and cleats from this ensemble.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
2011: Facebook Insitutes New Round Of Changes To User Pages. The changes included a real-time ticker and new ways to personalize your page. The Facebook blog says of the changes, the "News feed will act more like your own personal newspaper." The company also announced new partnerships for music, movies and TV. You'll be able to see which movies and TV your friends are watching, what music they're listening to and what news items they're reading.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
Carleen Ho picked up a Netflix movie from her mailbox in Palo Alto, Calif. The company announced Monday that it will not split its streaming and DVD video offerings.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
Netflix has backed off its unpopular plan to split its service into two offerings — one for streaming video, and one for sending DVDs by mail. CEO Reed Hastings is seen gesturing in this file photo.
A screenshot shows Qwikster.com, the ill-fated DVD mailing service that Netflix discontinued Monday.
Bowing to customers' anger and confusion over its move to divide its streaming and DVD video offerings, Netflix is reversing itself, snuffing the plan to offer DVDs by mail via a new service called "Qwikster." News of the backpedaling move was published on the company's blog early Monday.
Farmers dry cacao beans in Uchiza, Peru, a file photo from 2008. Researchers are exploring the wild cacao bounty of Peru's Amazon Basin, part of an effort to jump-start the country's premium cacao industry.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:05 pm
Christopher Columbus first encountered the cacao bean on his final voyage to the New World some 500 years ago. It took a while for Europeans to embrace the taste — one 16th-century Spanish missionary called the chocolate that indigenous people drank "loathsome."
But by the 17th century, chocolate met sugar, and it became a hit the world over — it's now a $93 billion a year global industry, according to market research firm Mintel.
Several hundred Christians pelted police with rocks outside a Cairo hospital Monday, in fresh clashes one day after more than two dozen people died in riots that grew out of a Christian protest against a church attack. Sunday's sectarian violence was the worst in Egypt since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.
Security officials said Monday that the death toll from Sunday night's clashes rose to 26 from 24, after two people died of their wounds.
Walking on the beach in Sweden, Anika Winhagen picked up a bottle with a message in it. The note asked a future finder to respond. A response was possible since it turned out Winhagen had worked with the mother of the girl who floated the bottle two decades ago.
Originally published on Mon October 10, 2011 4:04 pm
Americans Thomas Sargent of New York University and Christopher A. Sims of Princeton University have won the Nobel Prize in economics.
In awarding the $1.5 million prize, with the formal title the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited the researchers "for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy."
An eruption of anger inside Syria at the assassination of a leading Kurdish politician is reverberating along the Turkish-Syria border. More than 7,500 Syrians are already sheltering in camps in Turkey. Now that Turkey is about to announce new sanctions against Syria, it's worried about a fresh wave of migration if violence continues to escalate.
NPR's Peter Kenyon has this report from Turkey's Hatay Province near the Syrian border.
Two halves of an ancient Greek statue have been reunited and are on display in a Turkish museum. The top half spent the last two decades in the Boston Fine Arts Museum. Turkish officials said it was illegally removed from an archaeological site in southwestern Turkey and they spent years trying to get it back.