Goodyear receives honor
Newsweek magazine says Goodyear is getting greener.
The magazine ranked Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 74th on its “America’s Greenest Companies” list of the 500 largest U.S. corporations. It is the only tire maker on the list and the second-highest ranked automotive industry company. Newsweek ranked Goodyear at 252 in 2011.
Goodyear moved up after showing it has done such things as eliminate manufacturing waste sent to landfills and reduce solvent use. Goodyear said it has not sent any manufacturing waste from its 53 factories to landfills anywhere in the world since 2008. The company has reduced solvent usage by 56 percent since 2007.
Newsweek ranks companies based on what is called environmental footprint, green management and transparency in reporting.
The Carbon Disclosure Project also said that Goodyear has improved its environmental score by reducing greenhouse emissions.
Amazon duels with Netflix
Amazon.com Inc. started a monthly subscription option for Amazon Prime, a service for shipping and streaming video, a move designed to entice holiday shoppers and step up competition with Netflix Inc.
Prime subscriptions, which have cost at $79 a year, can now be bought for $7.99 a month, according to pricing information on the website of the Seattle-based company.
Free two-day shipping may help Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, encourage consumers to make more holiday gift purchases on its website. The new payment option also intensifies a rivalry with Netflix, which charges the same price for monthly subscriptions to its streaming video service.
Comics going mobile
DC Comics is expanding its digital storefront, putting all its monthly titles — from Batman to Superman — on sale at iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle store and Barnes & Noble’s Nook shop.
The move appears to make DC Entertainment the first major comics publisher to make its titles available through online stores the same day they’re on sale in comic shops. It also expands its digital offerings beyond the top industry digital purveyor, Comixology.
Hank Kanalz, DC Entertainment senior vice president for digital, said the decision shows the importance of digital downloads to the company, which relaunched its universe last year under the so-called “New 52” banner.
The decision to go with devices by Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. reflected the fact that users of those gadgets have extensive libraries of digital files — movies, books, TV shows and, now, comics — and don’t necessarily tend to jump from one device to another.
Snacks at Taco Bell
Taco Bell wants to become the destination for snack-starved younger people, not just a place to get burritos for lunch or dinner.
The Mexican-style chain plans to announce this week an expansion of its sweet treats menu, with the addition of churros and cookie sandwiches to its current lineup of cinnamon twists and caramel apple empanadas. And in coming weeks, it will beef up its offering of savory snacks with the introduction of its “loaded grillers,” which are nachos, chicken or loaded baked potato wrapped in a tortilla.
There’s a grand scheme behind the new additions; by early next year, Taco Bell plans to launch a “Happier Hour” TV ad campaign touting its snack offerings. Fast-food companies are trying to find new ways to attract customers at all hours of the day.
Skepticism on RIM product
Research In Motion Ltd. shares fell the most since June after Pacific Crest Securities said the company’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system, the linchpin of its comeback plan, may be dead on arrival.
“We believe BB10 is likely to be DOA,” James Faucette, a Pacific Crest analyst in Portland, Ore., said in a report. He has the equivalent of a sell rating on the shares. “We expect the new OS to be met with a lukewarm response at best and ultimately likely to fail.”
RIM is counting on BB10, a new operating system that lets users “peek” at one program with their finger while running another, to restore market share it has lost to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android software.
RIM shares had rallied last week after the company said wireless carriers had begun lab-testing BB10 phones worldwide, a sign the devices are on track for delivery early next year. RIM shares fell 9.1 percent to $8.24 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since June 29 and the first loss in six trading days.
Compiled from staff and wire reports