A Publication of WTVP

Fight Strokes With Your Morning Roast
New research has determined that coffee may be beneficial in warding off strokes. By analyzing a group of 35,000 women between the ages of 49 and 83 for 10 years, Swedish researchers found that those who drank more than one cup each day were nearly 25 percent less likely to suffer strokes than those who consumed less of the morning pick-me-up. It seems that coffee’s high level of antioxidants may reduce the inflammation and cell damage that lead to strokes. As one of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee’s “small health effects” could add up to “large public-health consequences,” says the study.

A New Pal for Payments
By the end of this year, you could be paying your babysitter via credit card instead of by check or cash, under a service that Visa has in the works. And the new person-to-person (P2P) system could make transactions on Craig’s List a whole lot easier.

The credit card company plans to enter the digital P2P payment arena by allowing direct transfers to Visa accounts using one’s 16-digit account number, cell number or email address. Payees will receive the money directly in their accounts or be sent a message asking for confirmation of the transfer.

The ability to make direct P2P payments has been around for awhile, but if you’re not active on eBay, you may not have used it. And while the current market is dominated by Paypal, there is a large swath of consumers who have not felt comfortable with the online payment provider. As such payments become more common, it’s possible that Visa could leverage its reputation to take a big chunk of that market.

Financial institutions may balk at the loss of the money it currently earns from transfer fees, but the ease of such a service is likely to loom large in the end.


Internet Wishlist
Do you have an idea for a website? Wish for an app that did exactly what you wanted? That’s what is all about. The website, which is basically just a series of simple notes, likes to think of itself as “a suggestion box for the future of technology.” Users post wishes via their Twitter accounts by including #theiwl in their tweets. The wishes are then posted on the website, where other visitors can comment on them—and tech entrepreneurs can get an idea for their next project. Here are a few examples:

“I wish for an app/website that would monitor my home’s energy and water usage and show me local alternative energy options.”

“I’d like an app that looks at my grocery shopping habits and alerts me when things I buy are on sale at my local supermarket.”

“I’d like a real-life equivalent of command-F, as in “Find” my keys, wallet, phone, pen, etc.”       

“I wish all major metropolitan cities were required to release comprehensive and up-to-date apps for their public transit services.”

“I wish there was an app where I could enter my children’s measurements and it would tell me what size they are at various stores.”

“I wish there was a website where nonprofits could ask for what they need and people could work for them from home.”

“I wish there was an app that shows you different language subtitles when you point your phone at the person who speaks.”

My Favorites
Bob Marx is president/CEO of the Peoria Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, a position he’s held since moving to Peoria from Birmingham, Alabama, in February 2010. Prior to taking the helm of the PACVB, Marx worked for CVBs throughout California. While he enjoys being physically active and playing outdoor sports, he is especially challenged to improve his depressing golf game…a work in progress…

Sadly, I don’t read as many books as I’d like. I often have great intentions but exhaustion takes over and my reading comes to an end after a chapter or two. I find that those books that enlighten, educate and/or motivate me hold my attention with greater success than dramas or fictional tales. My five favorite books include…

  1. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. From time to time, I find myself looking at the dark side of life and not believing in my thoughts or direction. This book showed me the importance of becoming a joyful person and leading a happy, fun-loving life.
  2. The Purple Cow by Seth Godin. I have come to learn that the essence of marketing is distinction and differentiation. This book clearly and with a modicum of entertainment laid out the importance of differentiating your brand to grow your customer base.
  3. Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is my opinion that far too many business owners, managers and employees settle for okay and satisfactory when dealing with the public. This book clearly shows how to build a great company and the triumphs that result from doing so.
  4. Trump 101 by Donald J. Trump. Like him or hate him, the Donald has survived the tumultuous business world, and this book explains the tactics and strategies required to be successful in business.
  5. Fish by Stephen C. Lundin, PhD, Harry Paul and John Christensen. This is a very light and entertaining read for any business leader charged with maintaining morale and knowing how to improve it, with the focus on being serious about business but having fun with the way you conduct business. iBi