Was Amazon’s Prime Day a Total Rip-Off? Let’s Look at the Numbers

Shipping and logistics concept

Last Wednesday, July 15th Amazon celebrated its first annual Prime Day, proving that if you’re enough of a commercial juggernaut you can make up your own holiday, just like Valentine’s Day or Trump Morrow Eve. Expectations ran high, with Amazon promising more deals than Black Friday. So how’d it turn out? Depends who you talk […]


The 2014 US Airways Disaster: Anatomy of a Twitter Fail


It’s rare to witness a genuine apotheosis in real time, but yesterday, if you were on Twitter around noon Pacific time, you may have witnessed the Greatest Twitter Fail of All Time.

A few days ago, US Airways received this complaint from Twitter user @ElleRafter: “@USAirways Unhappy that 1787 sat for an hour on tarmac in CLT because overweight, resulting in over hour late arrival in PDX…” There was a brief, benign exchange. Then days later, in a routine follow-up US Airways tweeted the following (originally with an uncensored image):


Hypocrite Lobby: Why Corporations Are People Who Live In Glass Houses

Hobby Lobby Scratch

The average Jane Six-Pack out there would be rightly confused by the idea that Dow Chemical Co. is just as much of a person as she is. It makes a little more sense when you consider that “corporate personhood”-related Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United were decided by a bunch of lawyers, pretty much the furthest thing from a Jane Six-Pack — unless you mean a six-pack of Coke. Sure, corporations are people to a bunch of lawyers, because it’s the shortest possible contortion of logic that gets us to a point where we can grant corporations legal rights, describe their liability or lack thereof, and allow them to own things.

But when corporations assert that they believe things, corporate personhood gets sketchy. At best, corporations’ expressions of “belief” place them among the worst hypocrites out there, and at worst, their glaring inconsistencies threaten to break apart any notion of their personhood altogether.

Newsworthy Announces $125 Ad Buy During Puppy Bowl X

LOS ANGELES – Refusing to be priced out of the year’s biggest day of television watching, Los Angeles-based coupon and deal site announced today that they will spend upwards of $125 advertising their Twitter feed during Puppy Bowl X, the counter-programming phenomenon running concurrent to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“We’re in the game!” exulted Seth Barnes who works in marketing for “Granted it’s the day’s second biggest event and we’ll be advertising on the proverbial second screen, but doggone it we’re ready to play ball!”

My tech predictions for 2014


It’s just a few days until the clock strikes 2014, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a safe, happy, and healthy new year. And, of course, a year filled with killer deals. (I’ll be on hand to help make that happen.)

As you may recall, I recently named my favorite tech of 2013. But no more looking back; it’s time to set our sights on the year ahead, which promises to be just as exciting, crazy, and unpredictable as the year we just finished.

Of course, unpredictability won’t stop me from making predictions. And I’ve got my Android-powered crystal ball (what, you think I’d trust Windows with something as important as the future?) right here, so let’s take a look at the tech trends that will shape 2014.



Kmart Christmas Layaway Commercial: Shame on you or Thank you very much?


Kmart just released their Christmas layaway commercial featuring a gingerbread man and a lady working behind an office desk. So what’s so special? It’s getting some major attention and heat from the public.

Some people think that Kmart went overboard by releasing a Christmas commercial in September, but others that have benefited from Kmart’s layaway plan are praising them. Just read some of the comments from customers on the Kmart Facebook page.

At, we’re always encouraging our readers to plan early because having a game plan leads to maximizing your savings. So while this is not a shocker for us, what are you thoughts? Do you think that Kmart made the wrong move by releasing a Christmas commercial so early or did they do the right thing to help customers start planning for the holidays that are right around the corner? Take a look at the commercial and please comment below.


Kindle Matchbook offers discounted e-books to hard-copy owners


In an ideal world, buying a hard copy of a book would entitle you to a free download of its e-book counterpart. Amazon’s AutoRip already extends that courtesy to folks who buy select music CDs–the purchase immediately adds the MP3 version of the album to your cloud library–but there’s no such equivalent for book buyers.

There is now–sort of. Amazon’s new Kindle MatchBook program offers discounted e-book prices for physical books you’ve purchased, both past and future.
In other words, if you bought Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” (from Amazon) back before the Kindle even existed, MatchBook will give you a price break on the Kindle edition.
What kind of break? MatchBook prices will run $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or even free, depending on the book.

Three things you should know before funding a Kickstarter project

Long ago, I recognized the World Wide Web for what it was: a great equalizer, a way for little-guy businesses to compete with industry giants. Of course, that was assuming they already had a product to sell. Back then, you still had to go through traditional channels–starting with raising capital–to take an idea from concept to production.
Kickstarter is the great equalizer of the modern era, allowing anyone with a cool idea (and a great pitch to go with it) to raise money from interested parties around the world. It’s a concept more widely known as “crowdfunding,” and it’s really slick.
For example, perhaps you’ve heard of the Pebble, one of the very first smartwatches to hit the market.

Three reasons you should steer clear of Windows 8–for now


In case you missed the news, Microsoft officially launched Windows 8 today.

My thoughts? 8 ain’t so great.

This is Microsoft’s most dramatic Windows overhaul ever, as it effectively replaces the interface most of us know and love (or at least tolerate) with something completely new. Something futuristic. Something that would look right at home on a phone or tablet.

And there’s the rub. Windows 8 was clearly built with phones and tablets in mind–a forward-thinking move on Microsoft’s part, but not the right approach for PCs. Indeed, on a desktop or laptop PC, the Windows 8 experience is unintuitive and frustrating.

Consequently, my advice is to steer clear of the new OS, at least for now. Here are three reasons why:

1. You must unlearn what you have learned.
The Windows 8 learning curve is so steep.


5 surprising things about the Amazon Kindle Fire HD


I thought the original Amazon Kindle Fire was a pretty good tablet. It benefited from a decent, if slightly slab-like, design, a rich ecosystem of apps and media, and, most of all, an iPad-stomping price tag ($199, or $249 for the model with more storage.).

A year later, Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HD — another pretty good tablet. It has a laundry list of new and improved features that make it even more tempting, especially considering that it still starts at $199.

But you know what? Having lived with one for the better part of a week, I’ve found that the Kindle Fire HD is far from perfect. In many respects it’s one step forward, two steps back. Before you decide to buy one for yourself, consider these five surprising discoveries:



Virgin Mobile Joins The No-Contract iPhone Movement; But Is It The Best Deal?


Want an iPhone, but don’t want to get locked into a two-year contract? Wireless carrier Virgin Mobile just announced plans to offer a no-contract iPhone with seriously attractive monthly rates.

Wait a second, that sounds familiar. Oh, right, I wrote the exact same intro two weeks ago, but for a no-contract iPhone from Cricket.

Say hello to the start of a new and awesome trend: iPhones that are actually affordable. Well, more affordable, at least over the long haul.

Once again, it all boils down to math.


Cricket to Offer No-Contract iPhone for $55 per Month


Want an iPhone, but don’t want to get locked into a two-year contract? Wireless carrier Cricket just announced plans to offer a no-contract iPhone with seriously attractive monthly rates.

Starting June 22, you’ll be able to get an 8GB iPhone 4 or 16GB iPhone 4S without the usual two-year commitment.

What’s more, Cricket offers unlimited voice minutes, texting, and data for just $55 per month–a price that far undercuts the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

Ready for the catch? (You knew there had to be one, right?) Because there’s no contract, the iPhones aren’t subsidized in the usual way. And because they’re not subsidized, they’re pricey.

Specifically, the iPhone 4 costs $399.99, while the iPhone 4S runs $499.99.


5 Cool Ways To Spend Your Tax Return


It’s tax time, and that can only mean one thing: a big, fat refund check. (Well, okay, it might mean a big, fat payment check, in which case this is probably not the post for you.)

Sure, you could put that extra cash in the bank. Or use it to pay bills or buy food. BO-RING! Wouldn’t you rather treat yourself to a new gadget — especially if it’s one that can save you money, improve your health, or encourage you to read more?

I’ve rounded up five way-cool gadgets that are perfect for tax-refund splurging.


Food Co-Ops, Celebrities, and You


If you’ve ever read pointless celebrity gossip– and why wouldn’t you?– you probably have heard the name “Park Slope Food Co-op” a few times. Most recently, Maggie Gyllenhaal was accused of shirking her co-op duties in favor of sending someone else to cover shifts. Before that, a Ryan Gosling fan started the silly, single-serving blog entitled, Hey Girl, I Belong to the Park Slope Food Co-op. The name is everywhere.


No Hybrid? No Problem! Cost-Effective Ways to Save on Gas


Rising oil prices are great news if you’re Exxon Mobil, but not so much for the rest of us. And, while those of us who drive regularly were hoping that the cost of hybrid cars would drop, it instead looks like car manufacturers are moving away from hybrid cars altogether. What’s a cost-conscious commuter to do?

1 2 3 4 5
Back to top Back to top

Pin It on Pinterest

SCRATCH DEBUG :: not set