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December 10, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Robots clean pools, mow lawns, tote golf clubs
    Husqvarna's Automower is gaining traction in Europe and Scandinavia. The robotic lawn mower mows continuously, runs silently and returns to its charging station when batteries get low. Zodiac Pool Systems' Polaris 9300xi is a swimming pool scrubber that can be programmed to work on its own or you can steer it with a remote control. FTR Systems' CaddyTrek is a robot that carries your golf clubs and is controlled by a remote you wear on your belt. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Buzz 

  Economic Indicators 
  • Consumer borrowing accelerates in U.S. for third straight month
    Economists were caught off guard by the sharp increase in U.S. consumer borrowing in October. The Federal Reserve said consumer credit jumped $14.2 billion in October, marking the third consecutive monthly expansion. Economists surveyed by Reuters and Bloomberg expected the October figure to rise by $10 billion. Reuters (12/7), Bloomberg (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Debt boom isn't necessarily something to celebrate
    Debt capital is flowing freely to any U.S. corporation that wants it, but the long-term consequences of this easy money are difficult to anticipate, according to The Economist. "The implicit bet that investors and policymakers are making is that whatever costs come from an eventual increase in interest rates, they will be more than offset by the positive effects of an economy rejuvenated in part by cheap credit," the magazine notes. "It is, in short, a bet on a free lunch, and like most such bets is not without risks." The Economist (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by OPEI SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Inside & Out 
  • How to lead like a Zen master
    When someone presents you with an idea, you should take a deep breath and wait 24 seconds before letting yourself criticize it, Cue Ball CEO Tony Tjan says. If you can manage 24 seconds, then try 24 minutes. "Then if you become a Zen master of optimism, you could wait a day and spend that time thinking about why something actually might work," he says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to make sure your business has good customer relationships
    You can foster a positive relationship with your customers by creating guidelines for interacting with clients and gathering feedback from them on a regular basis, writes Jeanne Bliss, founder of CustomerBLISS. "But don't just listen. Write down the issues and get someone assigned to taking care of the major ones," she advises. She also recommends providing training to your front-line employees and splitting your customers into different segments. Small Business Trends (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Update 
  SmartPulse 
  • Outdoor Power Report: A quarterly update for OPEI members
    OPEI's quarterly summary of issues and activities is now available. Read the report. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.,
American physician, writer and poet


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