If you're a webcaster struggling with issues involving ad insertion, you can be comforted by the fact that at least you're not alone -- the multi-billion dollar corporation NBC (owned by the multi-multi-billion corporation Comcast) is having issues too.

Just as my grandmother had what she called "her shows" (e.g., the noontime soap opera "The Edge of Night"), I have my shows too. In my case, they're primarily the Thursday-night comedies on NBC (e.g., "30 Rock," "Parks and Recreation," and "The Office").

And because I'm trying to be cutting-edge, I'm trying to "cut the cord...

After dinner last night (at Bandera on N. Michigan Ave., by the way, which is a sister brand of Houston's, at which I've probably eaten 200+ times in my lifetime and had a near-perfect meal every time, which is the subject of another column entirely), I had the opportunity to stop by an Apple Store and take a look at the new iPad mini.

My two-word review: It's amazing.

To expand on that review slightly: It's like holding in your hand the most perfect electronic device ever. It's almost unbelievably compact and lightweight, yet because the screen takes up a bigger...

Pandora's stock has taken a big hit in recent weeks due to rumors that Apple is considering entering the Internet radio space. Similar concerns have been raised about Microsoft recently "reentering" the space of Internet radio (actually, it's already in and has been for years -- it's simply rebranding its less-than-stellarly-successful "Zune Music Pass" as "Xbox Music Pass"), about the fact that Spotify is offering radio channels, and about the possibility of Google competing in the music space.

In all of these cases, I think the alarm is over-exaggerated.

Here's why: Each...

How did the largest restaurant chain in the country in the 1960s and 1970s end up virtually defunct today (with only two locations, in Lake Placid NY, and Bangor, ME, both alive mainly for historical reasons)?

I'm talking of course about Howard Johnson's, which I think was the first restaurant my parents took me to as a small child -- famous for 28 flavors of ice cream, clam strips, Indian pudding, and more.

There are a plethora of reasons, but here are a few:

DIVERSIFICATION: Since the name was already famous for hospitality among America's highways and turnpikes, it...