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Laptops Outsell Desktops - First Time

Some interesting bit of news for this day after Christmas (aka, the new black friday). Laptops have outsold desktops world wide for the first time in history! Definitely speaks to going more portable since many people can do all they need on a laptop! No need for a big clunky desktop if you are not some hardcore gamer or something.

Hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday season!

Next stop - New Years !



Inspiring Words for 2009

After a disappointing loss, Tim Tebow promises the Gator Nation that only good things will come out of it, and offers some very inspiring words along with it. Happy Holidays, here's to a great 2009! GO GATORS!


What's 'In-Store' for '09

via CPG Blog by Ashley Hedges on 12/22/08

As we round out 2008 and ring in the new year, here are a couple trends that will be hitting your store shelves in 2009.
1. Manufacturers are going nuts. Expect to see more and more products go 'naked' as they tout nuts and seeds as a main ingredient.
2. Take time to Relax.  First it was all about energy, now it's time to relax.  Get ready to see everyday staples from beverages, coffee and gum infused with ingredients that promise to calm and soothe your senses and deliver a relaxation effect.
3.   Just add water. In 2008 we started seeing companies downsize packaging as a way to cut costs and produce less waste for the environment.  Now they are taking it one step further and asking consumers to add their own water to cut down on the cost of transporting water.    More and more expect to see empty bottles with a liquid or powder concentrate and instructions that say 'Just add water.' 
4. You are what you eat.  A list of new foods and drinks promise a new way to look beautiful. Skin-beautifying antioxidants and nourishing ingredients such as biotin and zinc populate the ingredients list of new products from companies like Nestle and Masterfoods in 2009.   
5. Get Steamy.  Leave the pots and pans in the cabinet.  As we search for more hours in the day, microwave cook-in-bags are becoming a hot commodity.  This was a trend that has picked up 'steam' in the past few years and expect to see more new product launches in 2009.
6. Detox Diets.  After the holiays we'll all probably need a little detox regimen.  Stop in to your local supermarket and look for detox products that use liver-friendly ingredients such as Function Urban's Detox Goji Berry drink or Biore's Detoxify Daily Scrub.  The detox craze is intensifying now that celebrities like Oprah and Beyonce have jumped on the trend.
7. It's a Sweet Alternative. Move over Equal and Splenda and say hello to Stevia, the 'holy grail' of sweetners.  Rooted from a South American Stevia plant, the zero calorie sweetner is on its way to the U.S., pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  If approved, get ready to see the flood gates open across many of your favorite 'diet' and 'sugar-free' food items.
8. Are you eco-friendly? Everyone wants to do their part to make the environment safer.  With more product categories incorporating eco-friendly ingredients and processes, it will be easier for all of us to do our part.  Expect to see more eco-friendly products ranging from the baby care to personal care and beauty categories in the next year.
9. Flower Power.  Don't be shocked if your favorite sparkling beverage includes a hint of refreshing hibiscus or your candy bar is infused with lavender-jalapeno flavor.  In the coming year, more and more manufacturers will start infusing floral flavors into new food and drink products.  
10.  Nourish the Brain.  We can always strive to be a little smarter and now getting smarter might be as easy as reading what's on the label.  Look for more manufacturers to tout ingredients that are good for your brain and more mentions of the word brain on product packaging. One example in the U.S. includes Kellogg's Live Bright Brain Health Bar.
Posted by Ashley Hedges, Account Planner - Consumer Packaged Goods



iPhone Users List - Holiday Edition

This week's iPhone Users List has some basic tips and a few apps to enhance your iPhone/Microsoft Exchange 2003 (the email server we use) relationship.

Let's start with a few basic iPhone tricks. One common set of problems are system freezes, sluggish performance, and general bugginess of one form or another. The quickest fix for this is a hard reboot. To perform a hard reboot, simply hold the power and the home button down simultaneously until you see the silver Apple logo appear on the screen. The next tip is an easy way to take a screen shot of whatever you have on your iPhone screen. To take a screen shot, hold down the power button for 2 seconds, then click the home button. Your screen will flash, and you'll hear the camera sound. Whatever you were viewing on your screen will be saved to your photo library.

With the release of iPhone OS 2.0 in July came Exchange Server/iPhone integration. While I'm really satisfied with the integration, there are lots of ways to make it better. Two of those improvements are Out of Office Assistant, and Tasks, both of which are missing from the iPhone OS 2.0. Luckily both functions have been recreated through 3rd party apps available through the app store. TaskData brings Outlook tasks to the iPhone. It is described as allowing you to "easily add/edit/delete tasks that will synchronize wirelessly over-the-air to your corporate network and Microsoft Outlook!" Before you buy it, keep in mind that it costs $12.99! Check it out and let us know what you think. The next app has a simple but necessary function, turn on and off your Out of Office Assistant. OOFY delivers on it's promise of "allowing you to set your Out-of-Office message through a convenient iPhone application interface." They recently made it Exchange 2003 compatible, and the price is only $.99. Check it out.