Jessica Ramirez

Stories by Jessica Ramirez

  • bobby-flay-biz-advice-hsmall

    Bobby Flay's Tips for New Restaurant Owners

    There are a few things American chef Bobby Flay knows how to do better than most people. They include a cornmeal-crusted chile relleno, anything that requires a grill, and running a restaurant.
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    How to Succeed as a Top Chef

    Award-winning restaurateur and "Top Chef" lead judge Tom Colicchio knows a thing or two about running a restaurant. He shares tips on what to avoid if you want to succeed in this business.
  • Struggling Automakers Find Open Road in Brazil

    There aren’t many bright spots in the global auto industry—so when carmakers find one, they go all in. With ebbing demand in the United States, and subsidies propping up Japan’s industry set to expire, the real bright spot is Brazil. In 2003 the country was the world’s 10th-largest car market; this year it is on pace to surpass Germany as No. 4. By 2014, demand is forecast to hit 4 million new cars per year. Sensing opportunity, Asian auto companies are leading a surge of investment. Toyota is building its second Brazilian factory for $600 million, due in 2012, the same year the country’s first Hyundai-owned plant will come on line. China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. is also investing $700 million to open its first factory there. Together, the three plants will create more than 400,000 new vehicles a year.
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    Blog This

    They invented the software that breathed life into the blogosphere and sold it all to Google within five years. The people behind Blogger and Blogspot.com look back at how they accidentally created a publishing tool that changed the Internet.
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    Blackberry Inventor Sees More Growth Opportunity

    Since Mike Lazaridis cofounded the Canada-based Research in Motion Ltd., maker of the Blackberry, his devices have spawned an entire industry—and quite a legacy. It’s no surprise then that RIM’s market share is No. 1 in North America and No. 2 in the world. But can he fend off the iPhone and Android?
  • Google News Adds Features to Customize Your News

    Yesterday afternoon, between celebrating the first Social Media Day and Amazon’s interesting purchase of Woot, Google launched several new features on its Google News aggregation page—the site's first major redesign since its 2002 launch.   ...
  • gal-tease-history-pda

    Spyware on Your Cell Phone?

    A decade ago the idea that anyone with little technical skill could turn a cell phone into a snooping device was basically unrealistic. Now a simple app can track you with a level of precision that only federal authorities were once capable of.
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    The New Wireless Health-Care Market

    If you're in a hospital and your doctor wants to monitor you without being in the room, there's an app for that. There are also wireless pacemakers that allow doctors to keep track of your health over the Internet, as well as all types of sensors that check your vital signs and can be transmitted to a smart phone or laptop.
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    Dating Site Creates Online Sperm and Egg Bank

    BeautifulPeople.com recently launched a fertility introduction service to help make this a better looking world. The site, with more than 600,000 members around the globe, says their virtual fertility forum will allow attractive donors to find someone who matches their “procreation interests.”
  • trendy-digital-ipad

    Six Strange iPad Accessories

    We’ve been here before: the period right after a major gadget is released when strange doodads—like an entire bed made to complement the iPod—start to pop up.
  • BP Oil Spill, by the Numbers

    As of today, BP has spent about $350 million—or $16 million a day—on cleanup and related problems due to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf. Sure, it’s a lot of money, but cleanup and related costs are only the beginning. While it’s difficult to predict the long-term impact of the spill, here’s a closer look at the short term.400The minimum number of species threatened by the oil spill2,000Number of estimated square miles of oil slick7,000Square miles of federal fishing area in the Gulf that has closed because of the slick10 Minimum number of days the federal government is restricting fishing in federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill25 millionNumber of birds that crisscross the Gulf Coast each day, and could be at risk from the oil spill $365 millionCost to build the now-bleeding Deepwater Horizon oil rig$1.6 billionEconomic activity at risk because of the oil spill$14 billion+Current estimated total cost of the spill$163 billionBP profits from 2001 to 200910-15The...
  • The Catholic Church Turns to Social Networks to Recruit

    When it comes to the holy call that is the priesthood, it turns out that it can come in many forms, including via Facebook. The Catholic Church in France has turned to the social-networking site as part of its campaign to recruit young priests, with the hope that they can reverse years of dwindling ordainment. (Think 24,000 priests in France today compared with 42,000 in 1975.)The church's Facebook page, which was set up on April 21 in French, has garnered more than 1,400 fans so far. Most of the posts center on reasons to consider a career of the cloth, a difficult pitch to make given the recent child-abuse scandals. According to the Associated Press, the campaign was launched April 20 and also included “postcards depicting a Catholic priest's outfit with a button reading 'Jesus is my Boss,' " pinned to the lapel. These have been distributed at restaurants, bars, and movie theaters across France.The French are not alone in the push to use social networks...
  • China Churns Out iPad Clones

    iFakes? One of several Apple knockoffs coming out of China. (aliexpress.com) Call it another shining example of how China doesn't need the United States to get what it wants when it wants. According to a Reuters story, Chinese demand for the Apple iPad—whose international launch was delayed—is so big that knockoffs have already made it to some of the dark-lit back rooms where vendors sell all sorts of bootleg digital devices.  The new fake iPad is apparently a little larger and heavier than the actual iPad, but one of the vendors the Reuters reporter spoke to said it's only the first generation, implying that future versions will address these issues. The price for the counterfeit is slightly cheaper, at $410, compared with the real thing, which ranges from $499 to $699. (There's also another version available on Aliexpress.com--an eBay like site--for about $200.)  China has long had a taste for faux things, pirating everything from DVDs to Nike shoes, and a lot of i...
  • The Seismic Impact of the Boobquake Movement

    Jennifer McCreight did not mean to make the Internet freak out over boobs and earthquakes. In fact, what we now know as the Boobquake movement started out as a boob joke. Last week, amid college homework, McCreight came across a comment by Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, who was quoted as saying, “Many women who do not dress modestly...lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity, and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes." That’s right, bad girls literally make tectonic plates shift in discomfort, causing the earth to quake. (And here I thought earth-shattering was supposed to be a good thing.)  So McCreight decided to put the man’s theory to the test. She offered up a modest proposal, inviting women on Facebook and Twitter to wear their most revealing tops this Monday to see what kind of seismic impact they might have on the world. Well, the results are in and, according to McCreight’s blog, there were only 47 earthquakes on Monday, not an abnor...
  • Don’t Know How to Use Facebook? You’re Fired!

    According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the British intelligence agency MI5 has rolled out plans to lay off workers (including spies) who do not know how to use social-networking tools like Facebook and Twitter.  The cuts were announced by the organization’s director-general, Jonathan Evans, who told Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee last month that some of the older secret agents possessed computer skills that were not up to snuff in the war against cyberterror. The belief is that part of fighting counterterrorism involves dealing with cyberthreats. That includes extremists who turn to social-networking sites to recruit followers and hold meetings. So the need for agents who understand the Internet’s social landscape is becoming more and more crucial.To be fair, this doesn't appear to be about a handful of agents afraid of technology. To infiltrate private terrorist forums and similar groups requires more than a basic understanding of social-networking tools...
  • 'Protecting' Your iPad

    Just because something isn't broken, doesn't mean it can't be, right? Hey, the idea isn't exactly an old adage, but software firm Intego thinks it might be a moneymaking move. The company, which only produces security products for Macs, is offering VirusBarrier X6 10.6.5 to keep your iPad free of malware. The software is really an updated version of the anti-malware tool they designed for Mac computers and iPhones. It runs on a user's main computer and scans the iPad for malicious files whenever a person plugs it in. The software won't load on the iPad because Apple doesn't currently allow multitasking, making it difficult for stuff like antivirus software to run in the background. In other words, this is not what you might call a shroud of protection.Theoretically, Apple deals with possible virus vulnerabilities by only running Apple-approved apps on its systems. So then why bother developing an antivirus software for this device? Intego spokesman...
  • Did Google Drop Censorship in China?

    Did it or didn’t it? News reports and online forums are buzzing with the news that Google.cn may have dropped its censorship wall. NBC news reported doing some sensitive searches on the mega search engine from China to test it. Among the items it Googled was the "Tiananmen Square massacre," which returned a fairly thorough list of results on the military crackdown—something the government doesn't normally allow. MarketWatch has also picked up on the reports, but according to their piece, it looks like Google's China spokeswoman, Marsha Wang, said they are running their business as usual. Scott Rubin, a spokesperson for Google U.S., confirmed that much to me in an e-mail saying, "Google.cn is still operating within the law in China." It's quite possible the search results don't mean what some news reports suggest they do. Nart Villeneuve, a well-known cyber guru, makes a very good case for that here. Still, it's a big coincidence, given...
  • Your TV, in 3-D

    I'll be the first to say that I don't like to do 3-D in theaters. Sometimes it makes me nauseated. It doesn't yet add enough to my movie experience, and the only reason I put up with it is because if I want to see a flick like Up or Avatar in a New York City movie theater, those are generally the only tickets left. So when Samsung unveiled its new line of 3-D flat-screens at the Time Warner Center this week, I was on the fence. Well, my stomach was. And my question was simple: Is 3-D really worth watching on a home system? It turns out the answer is yes ... and no.   At its most basic, the quality of Samsung's product is state of the art. I actually flinched when the character on the screen took a nice whack of his paddle ball and it looked like I was about to be hit in the nose. The screens also have a nifty little feature that can render 2-D content into 3-D content in real time.From a hardware standpoint, Samsung has certainly made every effort to turn the 3-D...
  • Kids and War

    Since 9/11, more than a million kids have had a parent deployed. Their childhoods often go with them.

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