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Consumer

FCC Speeds Up Digital TV

by Luke Landes

The FCC has decided to speed up the digital television requirement in order to make over-the-air radio frequencies available to be sold off to private parties. This will force people to buy new televisions or a converter for their old television at or before that time. Slashdot discussion here.

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Just Chill

by Luke Landes

Chill, or chillout, is a “new” music genre gaining popularity. Will it save the world or will it just sell more products? CD101.9‘s contest features a Mercedes CLS, obvisouly the most chilled-out of sedans. In reality, chill is just repackaged adult contemporary, which changes its name every once in a while to attempt to appeal ... Continue reading this article…

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Monday’s Links

by Luke Landes

These will be updated throughout the day if I find anything interesting online: * What’s the Worst Ad Song Ever? A Slate article takes suggestions from the audience for most cognitively dissonant commercial. * Citigroup loses 3.9 million customers’ information while in transit. Free Wall Street Journal article here. * Jacquelyn Tran had an idea ... Continue reading this article…

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To Serve Man

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, the Billboard Liberation Front celebrated 50 years of McDonalds by modifying a billboard (including animatronics) by Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The billboard is clear in the picture but the animatronics depict Ronald force-feeding a supersized burger to a supersized kid. The billboard modification was perpetrated by people dressed as Ronald ... Continue reading this article…

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Knockoffs and Other Bits

by Luke Landes

See, I told you I couldn’t stay away for long. Here are some interesting links I came across today: * The Flickr tag: knockoff. First of all, Flickr is a photograph sharing site where items are “tagged” with a category. The “knockoff” category is a repository for photographs of generic consumer products that are designed ... Continue reading this article…

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Gasoline Price Database

by Luke Landes

Earlier, I mentioned a great tool for mapping gasoline prices. Now, AAA members will have access to a new service that will identify gasoline prices at individual service stations. When the service begins, it was interesting to see if the data set is more comprehensive than the Gas Buddy database.

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Gift Spending

by Luke Landes

Popular people find themselves invited to a number of their friend’s events, such as weddings, anniversaries, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, etc. These are the typical events that generally take place between getting out of college and middle ages. How can a popular person afford to attend all these social events?

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Car Prices Going Up?

by Luke Landes

While doing research for an article for Business Week, Amey Stone has come to the conclusion that car prices are on the way up. Incentives are running out, and makers can’t squeeze any more savings out of their operational processes. She makes an interesting point in an entry on her weblog, Well Spent: … 10 ... Continue reading this article…

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Buy a Toyota Prius New or Used

by Luke Landes

According to USA Today and Kelley Blue Book, a used 2004 or 2005 Toyota Prius can sell for $1,000 to $3,000 more than a new Prius. There is a waiting list for new Toyota Priuses, so those who want one right away are willing to pay a little more for instant gratification. The USA Today ... Continue reading this article…

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Regularly Scheduled Auto Maintenance

by Luke Landes

As I recently passed 20,000 miles on my 2004 Honda Civic, I decided it was time to take the car in for regular maintenance. The dealer suggests maintenance after every 7,500 miles, but I try to stretch it to every 10,000. I go to the dealer where I bought the car in order to have ... Continue reading this article…

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Paying For Convenience

by Luke Landes

The “Personal Services” industry has been growing. More people are willing to pay others for tasks considered inconvenient, like shopping, washing laundry, and possibly even “wiping.” This article by Gordon T. Anderson describes various mundane tasks for which you can hire a specialist. If you want to make money in this industry but you have ... Continue reading this article…

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Retail Alphabet Game

by Luke Landes

Here’s something fun for Friday. The Retail Alphabet Game gives a player the alphabet, with each letter coming from a different brand logo. See if you can guess the brand belonging to the letter. Note that the only official way to receive a clue is to buy one from the author.

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Score a Good Hotel Rate

by Luke Landes

MSN Money often recycles older personal finance articles for its front page. I don’t really mind since I might have missed one in the past. They don’t date their articles so you never know when something was originally posted. They are featuring an article on finding deals on hotel rooms. They give some examples, but ... Continue reading this article…

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Search for Low Fares

by Luke Landes

I’m thinking of going out to California next month. I’m checking flight prices with a new fare search from Yahoo (although it is still in beta). It queries “discount” carriers in addition to the bigger airlines. With some time, I’ll compare it to the fares other search engines find. In the mean time, check it ... Continue reading this article…

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One Breast, Breast For Sale

by Luke Landes

From the YouCanSellAnythingOneBay Department: You can now bid on a stripper’s removed breast implant. At the time the article was written, bidding was up to $14,000. Don’t get hasty, you can bid on the item only after approval from Tawny Peaks, the seller/porn star.

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Wal-Mart in the Banking Industry

by Luke Landes

Wal-Mart already performs a million financial transactions a week and has good deals — better than most banks — on money orders and wire transfers. They’ve attempted to buy a local bank in the past. What if Wal-Mart did enter the banking industry? Liz Pulliam-Weston speculates on the consequences which seem favorable. For instance, Wal-Mart’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Grease The Maitre d’

by Luke Landes

Marshall Loeb from CBS Moneywatch has published an article explaining how to properly “grease,” that is, tip in advance to ensure special service. His “tips” for discreet tipping: * Talk to the person in power. * Speak privately instead of in front of other customers. * Fold the bill with the denomination clearly visible by ... Continue reading this article…

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Luxuries You Can Live Without

by Luke Landes

M.P. Dunleavey adds this commentary on MSN Money. She talks about “luxury” products that draw the attention of middle-class individuals to help them feel like they have a wealthy lifestyle. One of her points is that the premium paid for a high end item very rarely justifies the price difference. Dunleavey includes examples of various ... Continue reading this article…

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Super Bowl Commercials

by Luke Landes

Spike already posted on his blog some thoughts about the commercials during the Super Bowl, focusing on the draw of monkeys. I’ll add to that a little bit about an ad he didn’t mention. In the first quarter, Fox aired an advertisement for GoDaddy.com. The spot was about some kind of committee hearing on censorship ... Continue reading this article…

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Olsen Twins Buy Out Their CEO

by Luke Landes

The Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are now twin queens of their media empire. Not bad for only 18. Apparently their attorney, who helped them build the Olsen Twin Empire and has been CEO of their company, agreed to let the twins take over their business if compensated, and in his own words he was, handsomely. ... Continue reading this article…

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