In 1924 a consortium of lightbulb manufacturers formed the Phoebus cartel. Its goal: planned obsolescence. The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy. [more inside]
Thirty directors--Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, and others--create three minute short films about an innovator or world-changing idea. Warning: corporate sponsorship.
Did you hear the one about the KKK-member in NY who made a death ray? In a weird twist, he targeted Jewish Groups--for sales. "An industrial mechanic with General Electric Co., who is also allegedly a member of the Ku Klux Klan, designed a deadly, mobile radiation device that he tried to sell to Jewish groups and then to a southern branch of the Ku Klux Klan, according to a federal complaint unsealed Wednesday in Albany" (found via TPM)
G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether. 'General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.' [more inside]
When "The Dark, Dark Hours" episode of General Electric Theater aired live from Hollywood on December 12, 1954, Ronald Reagan and James Dean were just two actors yet to find the roles that would define them. – The Atlantic has a six-minute video clip and some background.
The NYT reports that GE has brokered a deal between MSNBC and Fox News to "reconcile" Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly, preventing further criticism of each other or GE. The deal went into effect June 1, the very same day Olbermann declared he was "quarantining" Fox, avoiding discussion of the channel in the future. Mr. Olbermann, who is on vacation, said by e-mail message, “I am party to no deal.” Glenn Greenwald breaks down the political consequences of the deal.
Ultra-High Bypass (UHB) or "propfan" jet engines received attention in the late eighties as an economical and greener alternative to currrent GTF and ATF jet technologies. Adoption was partially prevented by industry fears that the external propellers would being seen as a step backwards. Evidently, General Electric and NASA are reinvesting in the technology.
Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Robert Cooper, creative director at 360° Digital Influence Ogilvy PR demonstrates GE’s Smart Grid Augmented Reality campaign "which consists of a website, a piece of paper, and blowing your mind all over your keyboard. (via The Daily What and Andrew Sullivan)
Hochbetrieb [Nuts & Bolts] is a 2003 short from Germany that utilizes live actors and computer-generated effects in tribute to influences ranging from silent comedies to Charles Ebbetts' images of construction crews atop the GE Building, along with a cat & mouse cartoon from MGM guest-starring a baby and a Warner Brothers piece about an amphibian.
In the 20 years that we've published our annual list,
we've covered corporate villains, scoundrels, criminals and miscreants. We've reported on some really bad stuff - from Exxon's Valdez spill to Union Carbide and Dow's effort to avoid responsibility for the Bhopal disaster; from oil companies coddling dictators (including Chevron and CNPC, both profiled this year) to a bank (Riggs) providing financial services for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet; from oil and auto companies threatening the future of the planet by blocking efforts to address climate change to duplicitous tobacco companies marketing cigarettes around the world by associating their product with images of freedom, sports, youthful energy and good health. But we've never had a year like 2008.( via ). [more inside]
In the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong had a thriving film industry, dominated by studios such as Cathay Studios. One of Cathay's most fabulous stars was Grace Chang (Ge Lan), referred to by some as the Marlene Dietrich of Hong Kong Chinese cinema. Her greatest hit was The Wild Wild Rose (Ye mei gui zhi lian), based on Bizet's Carmen. The showstopper is her version of Habanera (YT). [more inside]
...GE had long done business with the bin Ladens. In a misguided attempt at corporate synergy, I called GE headquarters...
"You Don't Understand Our Audience" --what John Hockenberry (formerly of NBC, now at MIT Media Lab) learned about network news--good guys and bad guys, the "emotional center", synergy, facts, and why fewer and fewer watch nowadays.
Media-opoly from Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse skit created by Robert Smigel broadcast in 1998 on NBC, a subsidiary of GE. Not broadcast since, apparently.
"We're at a tipping point where energy efficiency and emission reductions also equal profitability," The world's largest company announces a massive commitment to the environment. Though not everyone agrees, both consumers (as suggested by this modern-day protest song) and market conditions are making "greener" companies the winners, even in the largest industries. Is the market the solution to environmental problems?
Got GE? GE's new ads are great- esp. the piano with water drops. Any other Web ads impress you lately? I presume everybody remembers this thread.
is crayola doomed?
GE pledges $10 million to a fund that will assist the families of the firefighters, police officers and emergency rescue personnel who perished while responding to the attack on the World Trade Center. Cisco Systems has made gifts to key relief and support organizations serving the New York City and Washington D.C. areas, including a $6 million donation. Microsoft is making a donation of $10 million in cash and technical services. Know of any other companies that are doing something similar?
The year is 1995, and GE Information Services is looking to sell off its unprofitable online service GEnie. (Here is a rate sheet.) GEnie Lamp Apple II offers some thoughts on the sale, and here is a synopsis of the big online services after GEnie's demise (choice quotes abound!)
The _real_ next President is chosen... well, of the Fortune 500, anyway. Today, Jack Welch tapped his successor as CEO of the worldest largest and most profitable public corporation, General Electric. As expected, he chose an executive in his early 40's which (with luck) will give GE another king with a 20+ year reign.