A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 2:37 p.m.
PIZZA HUT: Using Bluetooth to connect a computer or smartphone, the playable cardboard decks mix digital music using a special conductive ink design from printed electronics specialist Novalia, according to Digital Spy. (Watch DJ Vectra demo it in the video, above.) Starting today, the pizza maker is offering them in a promotion rolling out via the @PizzaHutUK Twitter feed, where it will announce which of only five restaurants will have one box each. The decks feature two turntables, a cross-fader, pitch volumes, cue buttons and the ability to rewind music, all like traditional mixers. What’s a deck?
Watch DJ Vectra demo it in the video, above; he’s playing “P Money 10/10,” according to music and media identification app Shazam.
This isn’t the first Yum unit to create electronic packaging to grab the attention of technology-loving young consumers. In June, KFC India gave away Watt a Box, a 5-in-1 meal box with a lithium-ion battery cellphone charger. The chicken chain has also fitted photo printers inside buckets and Bluetooth keyboards onto paper tray covers.
Today’s promo will surely boost U.K.’s Twitter traffic. Right now, its feed has 53,700 followers. The U.S. site has far, far more: 1.46 million; how other companies’ Twitter count compares. Pizza Hut teased customers about the cardboard gadget via Twitter yesterday:
HAIER, which bought GE Appliances in June, is pumping about $10 million into 9KaCha, a Chinese wine information app and e-commerce platform whose database and label recognition software will power its new smart wine cooler. It’s unclear whether the cooler will be offered in the U.S. (China Money Network and Decanter China).
HUMANA: Insurance companies “keep pretending” that participating in the Affordable Care Act exchanges is killing their business model, says Haider Javed Warraich, a cardiovascular disease fellow at Duke University’s Medical Center, in a Guardian newspaper column today. Humana merger partner Aetna was the latest, announcing late Monday it will withdraw from 70% of the Obamacare exchange markets where it operates by next year, including 10 Kentucky counties. Humana disclosed a similar pullback earlier this month. But, Warraich writes, “this corporate hardship story couldn’t be further from the truth. Aetna’s overall profits surged last year, and its share prices have risen consistently since the ACA passed in 2010” (Guardian).
Aetna’s Kentucky exit leaves consumers in Boone, Campbell, Owen and Kenton counties with only two exchange plans. Other counties affected are Continue reading “Music to our ears: Pizza Hut U.K. offering five boxes doubling as playable DJ decks; today-only giveaway is latest to capture more young techie consumers”