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Biz tidbits from the Internet, blogs and podcasts

In the coming decades, might oenophiles be debating the subtle aromas and delicate flavors of all the great new wines coming out of Saskatchewan? Maybe. Global warming affects grapes just as surely as any other crop. With wine, though, where slightly more shade or sun can profoundly affect quality and character, the effects of climate change exert a particularly strong influence. It is not clear just how extensively or in precisely what ways the wine business will be changed as the planet heats up, though wine watchers have their theories. "Get ready to say bye-bye to French Bordeaux and hello to British champagne," warns the anonymously written blog called Global Warming Global Warning ( In an effort to get a handle on the problem, viticulturists and other experts from around the world (as well as Al Gore, via satellite) assembled in Barcelona last weekend for the International Conference on Climate Change & Wine ( A changing climate could alter the character of regional wines. The pinot noirs of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, which need cool temperatures and great care to thrive, could be endangered. Not all the news is bad. Some winemakers in New Zealand, for example, are looking forward to the effects of climate change. Warmer temperatures there could help them produce more of their high-quality wines and expand into more varietals, notes Robert Knox of the blog Environmental Graffiti (

How about another high-tech Web site?

Working from the dubious proposition that the world needs another Web site devoted to technology news, Yahoo Finance last week introduced Tech Ticker ( , a video blog by Sarah Lacy, a BusinessWeek columnist, and Aaron Task, formerly of In an interview with, Lacy, whose new book is called Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0, said the site was different from its competitors because of its "very modern approach," which can be seen in "the way the video comes down the page as you scroll and it can be embedded."

Nutrition news that's tough to stomach

Men's Health( is about more than just abs. Last week, the magazine's Web site featured "The Top 20 Worst Foods in America." Topping the list is Outback Steakhouse's 2,900-calorie Aussie cheese fries with ranch dressing. "Even if you split this 'starter' with three friends, you'll have downed a dinner's worth of calories before your entree arrives," the site warns.