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Cheap hotel rooms coming to Europe

Looking for a cheap hotel room when you travel to Europe? Marriott and Ikea are teaming up to deliver accommodations from around $73 a night.

The joint venture is a fashion forward discount hotel chain called Moxy. It’s starting out in several Europe cities, but it could likely migrate to the U.S.

The first location will be in Milan, Italy, next year, with subsequent openings in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany, and London. The idea is to create ultra-cheap accommodations (for Europe) by scaling down the size of the room and making wise use of available space.

The hotel rooms will be 180 square feet instead of the typical 300 square feet we’re accustomed to here in America. All rooms will have free wifi, a big flat-screen TV and all the other accommodations you’re used to.

We already know smaller hotel rooms can work. One U.S. chain, Microtel, is already doing compact rooms that check in at 250 square feet. So I’ll be keeping my eye on the developments with Moxy for you.

Junk mail data mining

They don’t call it junk mail for nothing.

The amount of bulk mail you see in your mailbox will climb by a great deal if the United States Postal Service has its way. Facing a massive debt, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe is actually making appeals to bulk mail customers and asking them to look at increasing the amount of mailings they do.

Adding to the onslaught is the use of data mining to make junk mail more profitable for direct marketers. They’re using technology that’s similar to what online marketers use to snoop on you as you surf. Then they send targeted ads your way based on the dossier they build on you.

Only now it’s targeted junk mail in your real mailbox.

It’s shocking how little there is of first class mail anymore these days. It’s estimated that 55 percent of all mail is now direct marketing junk mail. Receipt and payment of bills is becoming almost entirely electronic. There are still some holdouts out there, but they’re few and far between.

My take is the Postal Service needs to look at everything from how it handles mail to how often it delivers that mail to every other facet of their business. Everything involved needs to be put on the table as they look to tame their budget. The Congress should butt out.

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