Funny Business with Jane Wells


  Friday, 8 Jun 2007 | 8:38 AM ET

PC Vs. Mac "Wins" And Have You Been Scammed?

Posted By: Jane Wells
“PC versus Mac” ads
“PC versus Mac” ads

The “PC versus Mac” ads are THE BEST. And they have now been recognized as such, given the top prize at the 41st Annual Belding Awards, a Tinseltown nod to the marketing industry. The ads were created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab, based in Los Angeles.

Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if the Geico Cavemen can get their own TV show, why not Mac and PC? Apple could underwrite the whole show! Except, of course, people like me love PC more than Mac. PC actually makes me want to go out and buy a PC.

Gray writes that the show is the 21st Century version of “The Odd Couple,” with PC as “Felix,” and Mac as “Oscar.” Here’s her idea, and it ain’t bad:

‘Pitch: After Silicon Valley hits another downturn, the rivals are forced to become roomies.

Hook: While Mac lives the iLife, PC’s nostalgic for the good old days of Windows 98.

Pilot: When a beautiful woman moves in next door, the boys vie to offer support for her operating system - only to discover that she's running (gasp) Linux.”

When you’re Paris Hilton, every move you make is headline news. Really. Paris inhales, it’s on TMZ.com. Paris exhales, they’ve got it on CNN. Look, I’ll admit when I see her on the tube, I look up.

On the other hand, when you’re Florence Henderson and Shirley Jones, it’s a little harder to get pub, you know? So in a marketing move that’s straight out of Planet Desperate, I caught the following on the PR newswire: “Shirley Jones Responds to B---- Remark from Florence Henderson.” Except it didn’t have dashes after the “B.” A smackdown between the Partridge and Brady Bunch moms? Apparently Flo called Shirl the “b” word in an interview. Turns out Henderson really wanted to star in “Oklahoma,” about a hundred years ago (a figure referenced, literally, below) except “that b---- Shirley Jones got it.” Here’s the article.

»Read more
  Thursday, 7 Jun 2007 | 8:54 AM ET

Judge Dredd-Ful And His "Reduced" $67M Pants!

Posted By: Jane Wells
Good news! A guy suing a Washington, DC area dry cleaner for $67 million over a pair of pants gone missing two years ago has reduced his damages demand to only $54 million! The guy is a judge. A JUDGE! Administration law judge Roy Pearson is suing under the local Consumer Protection Act (that must be some act), claiming signs posted inside Custom Cleaners were fraudulent by promising "Satisfaction Guaranteed." Pearson wants $54 million to make it right. Talk about being taken to the cleaners. »Read more
  Monday, 4 Jun 2007 | 3:59 PM ET

Dell "Dude" Taking A Bite Of The Apple?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Remember Ben Curtis? He's the actor who played Steven, the "Dell Dude," the only memorable Dell ad campaign ever. Curtis was eventually phased out--he wanted to move on, and there was also the little matter of getting arrested for trying to buy marijuana. Since then, Curtis has done a little of this, a little of that. He was hired to promote Gameznflix, an online game and DVD rental company. »Read more
  Friday, 1 Jun 2007 | 10:39 AM ET

Google Co-Founder Caught "Off Guard"

Posted By: Jane Wells
So here's what you don't see on TV. I covered the first ever web developer conference held by Google, a "coming of age" rite for a company that, well, came of age a while ago. No top executives were supposed to be there. They were all supposed to be at the D5 tech conference near San Diego. So you can imagine my shock when, as I ignorantly sat on my journalistic butt, producer Christine Egy ran up and said, "Sergey Brin just walked in!" »Read more
  Wednesday, 30 May 2007 | 11:18 AM ET

Princess of the Cubes, No eBay Love, Fruit Fly Contest Winner

Posted By: Jane Wells
A San Francisco-based author/career counselor is using the fairytale princesses in "Shrek the Third" to hawk a book called "Make the Right Career Move." Okay, it's a stretch, but the nuggets in the release are fun. Using the princess theme, author Rachelle Canter commissioned a survey of office workers on how many people work with "princesses." »Read more
  Tuesday, 29 May 2007 | 11:30 AM ET

Breast Charity, Not-so-Hot Domains, Hide-the-Burrito, Hearty Beer & More

Posted By: Jane Wells
The Burlesque Hall of Fame is teaming up with Keep A Breast Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer. Well, one can see how this is, as the burlesque organization says, "a match made in heaven."Now, to raise awareness, the Hall of Fame next month reportedly will host an art exhibit and auction featuring plaster breast molds of "legendary burlesque, pin-up and cheesecake queens." The museums founder, it turns out, died of the disease in 1991. Her name, Jennie Lee, was known as "The Bazoom Girl." »Read more
  Wednesday, 23 May 2007 | 10:24 AM ET

Mid-week Mania

Posted By: Jane Wells
I am told by a very good source that Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville has no test kitchen. The company that sells everything, including the kitchen sink... has none. A vendor coming to demo food at the world's largest retailer of food has "to cook in the Sam's Club employee lunch room, then wheel it over next door to Wal-Mart to present it." »Read more
  Tuesday, 22 May 2007 | 3:35 PM ET

Microsoft's Bad Karma, Hamsters, Un-PC Biz Idea of the Day & More

Posted By: Jane Wells
The company built by the world's richest man takes on the world's largest democracy, and it's a case of cyber culture clash. India-based itVAR News (an IT website) says Microsoft is billing computer retailers in the town of Gujarat thousands of dollars, accusing them of installing pirated Windows software.The retailers have responded with a strike, a boycott and general outrage, though no one appears to be denying the accusations. One Indian retailer put it this way, "Since we are not charging anything extra for installing the software, it means that we are actually not trading in pirated software. For us, this is just a 'sewa' (selfless act) that we are offering to our customers. Besides, the pricing of their operating systems is way too high for Indian markets." »Read more
  Monday, 21 May 2007 | 10:39 AM ET

Bugged Out Readers

Posted By: Jane Wells
"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It's a whisper campaign to replace Melvin the stock-picking monkey, who wants a new contract beyond the salary cap."- Judy B., Oklahoma"Of course fruit flys have free will!!!! - in fact, every morning I print out charts of active stocks and smear a little banana on the top of each page - I then open my fruit fly cage (where I keep my pet flies) and see which chart attracks the most flies - I then place my trade and watch the stock soar!!! Now if this doesn't beneift humanity, I don't know what does." - Granny »Read more
  Friday, 18 May 2007 | 1:16 AM ET

Best Waste, Feminine Colons & Wacky World

Posted By: Jane Wells
Someone please email me at funnybusiness@cnbc.com to explain how the following research can benefit humankind. I will post interesting replies, and the reader with the best explanation will win a CNBC cap (I know I have one around here somewhere).A group of researchers has determined that fruit flies have free will. It's comforting to know, I guess. How did the scientists figure this out? They put the flies in a uniformly-white environment, and then tethered their legs and watched them move. »Read more

About Funny Business with Jane Wells

  • If it was up to Jane Wells, she’d spend her entire day combing Mother Earth for stories and observations just for this blog. She has more fun writing Funny Business than anything else she does... professionally, that is. Funny business is whatever Jane considers hilarious, strange, fishy, or ridiculous, which pretty much covers everything on Wall Street. It is her hope this blog makes you smile, even when the news is grim. After all, it's only money.


  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.