• Do Real Friends Share Ads?

    Who wants to broadcast the news that he's bought a can of Sprite? Who wants to see that on a Facebook News Feed?
  • 1st Class Airports in 3rd World

    In the developing world, Urban life is a hieronymus Bosch-like vision of tangled traffic, crumbling infrastructure, overcrowding and crippling economic inefficiencies. The population of Vietnam is 85 million souls, of which roughly 84.7 million are driving motorbikes through the center of Ho Chi Minh City right now. In Phnom Penh, the streets leading down to the picturesque Mekong River waterfront are lined with uncollected garbage.But the airports—ah, the airports—in these poor countries are First World havens, oases of cleanliness, serenity and order. The United States, the wealthiest nation on earth, presents the flip side of this paradox. Outside the airports, it's a model of calm and prosperity. But step inside, and conditions instantly degenerate. Citizens queue in interminable lines and suffer humiliating treatment at the hands of surly authorities. In the first nine months of 2007, only 73.2 percent of flights at the top 32 U.S. airports arrived on time, and one of every 138...
  • Capital Ideas

    So, how are you doing? It used to be that you were OK if you earned the equivalent of your age in thousands, but success has become a lot costlier and more complicated since then. Here are some updated ways to measure your financial health.• Check the averages: Median U.S. household income is $48,000, and if your family brings in $88,030, you're in the top quintile of households. If the members of your household are earning more than $157,176, you're in the top 5 percent. When it comes to those credit-card balances, you should try to underachieve: $10,000 is now about the average credit-card debt per household, according to• Pretend you're a business: Denver financial adviser Charles Farrell evaluates clients' health with financial ratios that are similar to the ones used for companies, and he pegs it to their age, too. At 30, you should have your highest levels of debt (including mortgage, student loans and credit cards) to earnings, with total debt double your annual...
  • Some Special Hotel Treats

    Hotels are stepping up their amenities to woo guests. At the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, guests can book a private recording studio ( The InterContinental London Park Lane offers a pre holiday "look and learn before you cook and burn" class ( Rome's Cavalieri Hilton dresses Russell Crowe wannabes in gladiator garb, in which they spend the day learning fighting moves before heading for a massage at the spa ( Skiers will appreciate customized equipment at Pure in Jackson Hole, Wyo. (pure Guests at New York's Bryant Park hotel can choose goodies like the BedSide Lockbox that includes a blindfold, handcuffs and condoms delivered to their rooms from the upscale adult boutique, the Pleasure Chest (bryantparkhotel .com). And the Langham Hotel in Hong Kong features a sushi turndown service, with pillow-top snacks that look like raw fish but are chocolates (hongkong.langhamhotels .com). Sweet dreams.
  • How To Rise Above It All

    Top executives fed up with airport delays and traffic jams are fueling a boom in helicopter travel. Companies, such as London-based PremiAir and Europe-wide RotorMotion, charter their craft to businesses seeking to ferry employees to key meetings and clients to golf outings, as well as to shorten the commute of business leaders from their suburban homes. Honeywell forecasts a 40 percent rise in demand for civil helicopters in the next five years.The world's undisputed heli-capital is São Paulo, which boasts 250 helipads, most of them private—thanks in part to Brazil's soaring crime rates, which make the rich feel vulnerable on the streets. New York has three heliports used to fly execs on business and private junkets. And London's main helipad at Battersea is full to capacity, with stockbrokers taking clients to dinner and rich Russians viewing luxury properties.Fliers tend to favor the twin-engine Agusta, which is faster and safer than a single-engine craft. PremiAir charters the...
  • Tech Hubs Flourish Abroad

    Investors looking for the next big things need to take a detour. New tech hubs are flourishing abroad.
  • Private Islands for Super Rich

    The superrich are finding new ways to set themselves apart. It's not just clubs, resorts and Gulfstreams. Now there are private concerts, stores—and islands.
  • Suits for All Seasons

    Top execs want tailors to come to them. In return, they'll buy scores of pinstripes at the same time.
  • Bollywood Takes on Hollywood

    India's film industry has long been prolific and chaotic. Now, with modern business leaders, it's coming of age—and taking aim at Hollywood, U.S.A.
  • Launching the Next Generation

    The German cofounder of SAP has helped to create design institutes at two universities. He says education is the key to high-tech innovation.
  • Quick Read

    As economic power has shifted from those who make things to those who make ideas, the ability of a person or company to own and control ideas can mean the difference between fortune and failure. But unlike other forms of property such as real estate, where most legal principles are long settled, the law of ideas, trademarks and copyright is prone to abrupt shifts in judicial opinions and statutes. Stanford law professor Goldstein warns that managing intellectual property is like "drawing lines in water," but he also relies on 40 years of academic and professional experience to show nonlawyers how to protect themselves, their ideas and their companies.Rags-to-riches stories may provide inspiring myths about the possibilities of making it to the top in New York, but this tale of one man's path from rags to riches to ridicule is more compelling for being true. CNBC correspondent Gasparino's rigorously reported tome tells the story of a man whose decidedly modest ambitions to become a...
  • Thinking Inside the Box

    There's nothing hoboesque about the Adriance family's 4,000-square-foot summer home in Maine. Except that it's built out of shipping containers—the part of trucks used to transport goods across the oceans. Adam Kalkin, the architect who built the home for Anne and Matthew Adriance, is using those corrugated metal boxes because they offer interesting design possibilities, and are plentiful and inexpensive. The containers come in from China, stuffed with consumer goods, and then hit the scrap heap. "It's cheaper to make another one in China than to ship it back empty," says Kalkin, who buys containers from the ports of New Jersey for $1,500 to $2,000 apiece.Kalkin and others, like New York architectural firm Lot-ek, are developing container homes that are priced for the masses. He offers a Quik House kit for $119,000 that includes six containers and all required glass, plumbing, wiring and walls; he estimates that it takes $65,000 of additional work to turn it into a three-bedroom 2...
  • Business: Hanoi's Hilfiger

    The spiel of a rising Vietnamese manufacturing executive wouldn't sound out of place on CNBC-and underscores the country's economic growing pains
  • Managing Your Money Online

    A new wave of financial management Web sites taps into the power of social networks. Which sites will survive?
  • The (Impossible) American Dream

    Many Americans may not think they've achieved financial success, but the reality is that the United States is more prosperous than at any time in history.
  • Lebanon: Bush's Democracy Campaign

    As Lebanon's Parliament battles over who it will choose as the nation's next president, U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman has made it clear which side America is not on. In op-eds, TV appearances and meetings with top officials, he described the current pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, as an embodiment of the state's chronic weakness. He urged legislators to pick a leader who would disarm Hizbullah, the Iran- and Syria-backed Party of God. He did not explicitly endorse a candidate of the pro-Western majority, but his campaign still has raised eyebrows. The leftist Beirut newspaper As Safir voiced the opinion of many Lebanese, complaining that never in the history of diplomacy "has a foreign ambassador given himself such license to interfere."Not only in Lebanon is the aggressive Bush-administration campaign to promote democracy provoking a backlash. To be sure, the protests do not always come from democrats. But countries that used to blame internal dissent on CIA meddling now...
  • Beltway Bandits

    Thanks to the Bush administration, for-profit aid work is a booming—and controversial—business.
  • The Sermon On The Mall

    The pessimists err by continually viewing holiday shopping as a item, subject to short-term economic whims.
  • Diplomat on Lebanon’s Crisis

    Washington's ambassador to Lebanon explains why the country needs to elect a new president, and how America views Hizbullah leadership.
  • No Iraq Deployments Yet? Get Ready.

    According to a new article in the , the Army is targeting for deployment the 7.2 percent of active-duty soldiers who have yet to serve in war zones.  Since the war in Afghanistan began six years ago, 59.4 percent (515,000 soldiers) of the Army has deployed at least once to regions under the Central Command.  The remaining 33.4 percent of soldiers are either non-deployable or about to leave for war.Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dick Cody told the among the 7.2 percent still without war deployments are soldiers in the health and training fields:Of the 7.2 percent of soldiers (37,000 of them) without combat deployments:--27.2 percent work in health services.--7.1 percent work in career management fields and operations support (i.e. systems engineering, information systems management, and telecommunications).--4.1 percent work in logistics, transportation, and human resources.--3.5 percent serve in combat units.
  • Credit Crunch May Impact '08

    A slowing economy is already a burden that Republicans will carry into the election. A harsher credit 'crunch' could be fatal.
  • A Solution to Mortgage Crisis

    If banks would modify the loan terms, the majority of at-risk borrowers could pay their mortgages and stay in their homes.