This week we we cover the changes on Facebook and Netflix, the Buffett tax, the merits of used, when to pay more, earning money with surveys and traveling faster than the speed of light. Also a cat that seems to be Photoshopped in real time.
USA Today: Facebook overhaul elicits range of reaction - It was a weird week for major brands. First, Netflix splits in two, which was pretty mystifying. Then Facebook changed its layout, causing massive uproars of complaints. I'll give Facebook a pass because people will probably get used to it and forget what the old design was like. But Qwickster? Yeesh, it's like they want their DVD service to be obsolete. How about Mailflix? Interestingly, though, the new Facebook is going to be more integrated with Netflix, so those guys knew what these changes signified and knew people would be initially annoyed. The result: people will vent and vent and probably still go on using these services anyway.
Bargaineering: Your Take: The Buffett Tax - Speaking of branding, this was a pretty good job by the Obama administration. People may be torn about Obama (including people who voted for him), but a lot of people like Warren Buffett, so calling this the "Buffett tax" nixes some criticism before it starts. Taxing the uber-wealthy is also politically popular, so it's not like Obama's taking any huge chances--except with that crop of voters who disagree with anything he does.
Wisebread: 6 Reasons Why Used Is Better - A used manifesto. I agree with all of these, except buying used kitchen appliances. Well, at least some of them. Just creeps me out a bit to buy something where someone else's food has been prepared. Glassware can be thoroughly washed, a toaster can't. Considering how dirt-cheap a simple toaster is, it doesn't even seem necessary to shop for a bargain. There's something to be said to the fact that used items have stood the test of time as well--but it could also be that it's being unloaded because it's on its last legs. Overall, though, there's no shame whatsoever in thrifting it.
Money Ning: 5 Consumable Products That's Not Worth the Extra Cost - Here's a post about when you should actually splurge a little more and when spending extra will make your money literally go down the drain. Not all paper products are considered equal. Unless you're printing a resume, high-grade printer paper isn't all that necessary. Also interesting: high-grade gas isn't necessary if your car can't actually process it. There is some trial and error with this--though it's recommended that you buy generic, this isn't always true. Last summer I had a roach issue: the generic traps did nothing, but then I splurged on Raid and they were gone overnight.
Consumerism Commentary: Earn More Money: Online Surveys - Some interesting info about how to make some side money. You might think that filling out surveys is a kind of like the spam offers like "Win a Free iPad!!!" that you see all over the web. But you can actually earn some real money doing this--albeit not a huge payday. If you're in need for some extra cash, this is something to consider. Click on the link in the post to the podcast with the eminently trustworthy Donna Freedman for more information.
National Geographic: Particles Moved Faster Than Speed of Light?
- OK, this isn't really savings related, except for, um, time saving,
but it's incredibly cool. Neutrinos have been clocked at flying faster
than the speed of light--something that was not thought to be physically
possible (see: Einstein). This experiment needs further testing,
but if corroborated could rock our fundamental understanding of
physics. This won't totally invalidate Einstein's theories, but it
suggests that the theory of relativity is more of a beginning point than
an end point. There's clearly a lot more to be discovered.
Back to Facebook: do you love or hate the changes?