Herding Cats: Donald Trump for President, Gas Prices Rising and iPhone Tracking
This week Donald Trump becomes a viable presidential contender (really
), gas prices go up and Obama panics, people are fooled by the word "healthy," and owning an iPhone is like having a GPS unit implanted in your body.
: Trump On Lying About Net Worth: 'I'm No Different Than A Politician'
- With all the news about Donald Trump, most of it seems to be focused on birth certificates, rather than his acumen as a businessman. Turns out he hasn't been totally forthright about his net worth--and if he really did run for president, all of this would have to be on the table. Sometimes I don't want to get too political here because Savings is a non-partisan site. But Donald Trump? Seriously, Donald Trump? That's all I'll say.New York Magazine
: Obama Hopes Gas-Price Task Force Will Appease America
- Obama's poll numbers are directly related to the soaring price of gas (as is the case for every president
), so he has created a gas price task force to deal with the issue. All this will really do is make it seem like he cares about the issue, without doing anything about gas prices. So, erm...problem solved!Bargaineering
: Fuel Taxes: Why Gas Prices Vary So Much
- While on the subject of gas, Bargaineering has a good primer on how gas prices are determined by taxes. If you're feeling bad (in the U.S.
), then know many other countries have it worse. Of course some countries also have it much better: $.08 a gallon in Venezuela, for example. But better than the eight bucks in France. Here's a good post which discusses why gas prices go up
the way they do. Why do gas prices shoot up suddenly, but then don't don't shoot down again when the price of oil goes down again? The answer (as usual
): profit. If oil prices go back down, this is the window where gas stations can make a bigger profit. Yeah, I know, not fair.Medical News Today
- Many Dieters Eating Wrong Foods Due To Misleading Labeling
: This is interesting and actually has something to do with how people save money:
66 passers-by in the street where asked to identify a new item on a menu. The target item read "onions
and red peppers tossed with pasta shells, diced tomatoes, salami,
mozzarella cheese, dressed with a savory herb vinaigrette. Served
chilled on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce."
The investigators randomly described the menu item as a salad dish to
half the passers-by and a pasta dish to the other half. When hearing the
term pasta, those who were on a diet viewed the dish as less healthy than when it was described as a salad.
If you're on a money diet, the same principle applies. If you see "Discount! Sale! 15% off!," this could be totally meaningless if the initial price is still expensive. 20% off one place can still be more expensive than the everyday price somewhere else. So pay attention to more than language.Mint.com
: Are vacation package deals really a deal?
- Mint puts the above theory to the test, illustrating how vacation packages are not necessarily cheaper than buying each individually (hotel, rental car, airfare
). You might think this is sort of like buying in bulk, but actually the opposite is true--you're paying extra for the convenience of getting everything in one place. So "package deal" doesn't necessarily mean package "deal." At the same time, this convenience might be worth the price. Fox News
: Apple, Google, and Location: Is It All About Advertising?
- So smartphones appear to be tracking your every move, which is creepy for obvious reasons, especially if it's just to sell you things. But they also been used by police to track and catch criminals
. This may seem more justified, but it's sort of like the police tapping everyone's phones at once--this has the potential for abuse. All in all, this is uncharted territory and opens up interest questions about the nature of privacy when everyone's connected to the web.
How about you? Think the smartphone GPS development is totally creepy or potentially justified?