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Outsourcing The News On A "New" Level

Update on what may be the dumbest outsourcing idea yet that I actually love. Last week the Associated Press reported that a daily news website in Pasadena, California, has hired two reporters based in India to cover LOCAL NEWS. The reason: since things like city council meetings are streamed online, who really needs to be there?

The site, www.pasadenanow.com,is run on a shoestring by James Macpherson, and it’s still not turning a profit after two years. So, in a cost-conscious move, Macpherson placed an ad for Indian journalists on Craigslist, and faster than you can say “help desk,” he hired two people for less than the price of a single American reporter. Macpherson reasons, “Whether you’re at a desk in Pasadena or a desk in Mumbai, you’re still just a phone call or e-mail away from an interview.” Update: after the AP broke the story (presumably from a reporter in the Los Angeles region, but who really knows?), Macpherson says he’s been so overwhelmed with the media response (threatened American reporters?) that he hasn’t had time to train the new hires. They have different sleep schedules.

NOT ALL iPOD ACCESSORIES HOLD WATER
One of the most publicized iPod accessories last year was the iCarta Stereo Dock, which is a

iCarta Stereo Dock
iCarta Stereo Dock

toilet paper roll holder and iPod dock all in one. For people who want to listen while they, um, work. It originally cost $100! For…a…toilet…roll…holder…that…holds…your…iPod. But now on Amazon.com,the item is for sale for $80. A steal! Wait a bit, though. The item is currently ranked #12,372 in sales, which means more price cuts could be on the way. Of course, you have the option to buy one...used. Why not? On the Amazon sales page a couple of consumers rave about the product. One enthusiastic reviewer jokes, "My wife is anxiously awaiting their latest item, a combination breast pump/iPod dock," while another suggests it be renamed the iPooed.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD
Scientists in France claim they’ve figured out how to add an hour to every day, at least in our minds. Four neuroscientists, all men, took twelve volunteers, and by “exposing them to pulses of bright light,” they “were able to stretch the circadian rhythm” to a 25-hour cycle.

Now they know what it’s like to be a working mother.

Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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

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