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Herding Cats: The Sears, SOPA and Scams Edition

By (view all posts by Dealman)
at 11:57AM Friday December 30, 2011
under Loose Change

Image courtesy of ICanHasCheezburger
This week we have Sears problems, the Kindle bonanza, SOPA news, surviving scams, best apps of the year and financial resolutions. 

Plus a fierce lion.
AOL Daily Finance: How Sears Can Save Itself: Buy (and Sell) American - End of an era.  100-120 Sears and KMart stores are shutting down.  People blame the upkeep of their stores, and I have to agree with that. The Sears and KMart stores where I live feel old.  In the age of the flashy internet, these stores at least have to seem modern to keep up.  But really what it comes down to is prices, and Sears prices don't always measure up to other retailers.  All told, it's kind of sad: Sears isn't just a store, it's an icon--this post says that their future is still salvageable.  Here's a list of all the Sears and K-Marts shutting down.

TechCrunch: Amazon: We Sold Over 4 Million Kindle Devices This Month; Gifting Of E-Books Up 175 Percent - It was the year of the e-reader.  Actually, it seems like every year is going to be the year of the e-reader from now on.  Get one?  I got one for my daughter and she was totally excited. For all the arguments about paper vs. ebooks, e-readers add an extra element of excitement to reading. And how often do you see commercials for paper books on TV?  Never--but the Kindle, a fair amount.  That's a pretty amazing development.  Meanwhile: Apple has to keep up so iPad 3 rumors are heating up. 

Fox News: Will Google, Amazon, and Facebook Black Out the Net? -  Everyone should get to know SOPA because it could alter the web as we know it. Already, there's been a huge backlash against GoDaddy for supporting SOPA. The idea is to prevent piracy--which is basically impossible--by targeting pirate websites. But the legislation is so sweeping that it will affect the entire web.  Heavy hitters like Amazon and Facebook are against the legislation, but given the current Congress, having them do the right thing may be a long shot.

Mint: Gotcha! True Stories of Getting Scammed (And Surviving It!) - These are eye-opening and will alert you to methods used by scammers, which you should relay to the seniors in your life because they're the most likely to get scammed.  It's also a checklist for scammers to try new tricks, but there's kind of no way around that.  The first one about wiring money is particularly alarming and seems like it could work very well--calling someone up and saying "It's your favorite grandson."  Imagine calling number after number and getting wired thousands of dollars from different people. There's a reason why scams persist: they work.

Huffington Post: Best-Rated Apps 2011: Mobilewalla Ranks Users' Favorites For Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone - Nice list, and a lot to check out.  I haven't heard of a lot of these, which is weird because I have an iPad.  Some of the top rated aren't listed as the top sellers in the app store.

Perkstreet: Evaluate Your 2011 Finances and Move Forward in 2012 - A less-fun year-end roundup--but inevitable. A pretty helpful post: it's not just a list of things you should do.  Someone saying--pay off credit card debt--isn't really all that helpful. The questions here will help put 2011 into perspective and help you organize for 2012.

What are your resolutions for 2012?  Anything beyond organizing finances and exercising?

Video of the week: This isn't cute or anything: