domingo, 20 de mayo de 2007

Tax Music - Profits or Purchase Not? Buy Software with CD Best Free

(His look was so convincing, it left me to believe that either he was trained to look that way or I really did appear to be from another planet.)
I scrambled to unfold the page from the flier that I had stuffed in my pocket.
“Here it is,” I pointed to the offer. If I had rolled up to the register with arms full of goodies, it’s highly likely that I would have never noticed the cost of the not-quite-so-free CD.
I had to laugh when I read the current articles about the company’s Q4 profit surge.
Does Best Buy profit from an inattentive customer? I was enticed by an offer in Best Buy’s latest flier that promised a free music CD with a $25 purchase of tax software. You betcha.
I wouldn’t call this a case of bait and switch … more a caveat emptor case of “make sure you double-check that tally before you hand over your dough” …
DIGG IT! I squawked, of course.
“Hey, what about the free music CD with a $25 tax software purchase?” I asked.
The cashier looked at me like I was from another planet. Best Buy expected that a substantial portion of its customers would buy more than just tax software. When I saw the offer for a free music CD, it seemed like a no-brainer … buy my fave tax software and get some free tunes.
So off to the store I went …
I picked up my copy of TurboTax and wandered around the store looking at all the cool new stuff. He pulled his own flier from underneath the counter. This past weekend, I went to Best Buy to pick up a copy of TurboTax. They wanted to bring feet into the store. I knew that Intuit had sent me a copy of TurboTax at the end of last year, but I couldn’t remember where I put it. After flipping through a few pages, the cashier found the offer and placed a call to the office.
An efficient young woman promptly burst from the office and made her way to the register. It was roughly fifteen bucks more than I had expected.
Lo and behold, Best Buy’s system failed to deduct the price of the music CD. I got my free music CD with the only cost being five wasted minutes.
The free CD offer was clearly a loss leader.

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“Right here.”
The cashier looked at the flier incredulously. He rang them up and gave me my total. She punched in some codes and quickly disappeared, with nary an apology for the inconvenience. I eventually found my way to the music department, found something worth adding to my music collection, and headed for the registers.
At the register, I handed the CD and copy of Turbo Tax to the cashier.
Shipping? Handheld 02 OQO

The top of the line provides the choice of Vista or XP Pro along with 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM for $1849. It’s cuter than a pet hedgehog!
The base OQO model 02 comes equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, XP Home, a 30GB HD, 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM, 802.11g, and Bluetooth for a list price of $1499. The OQO website lists the base and mid range model with estimated ship dates of 4-6 weeks, while the top of the line customers will need to wait 6-10 weeks.
While good things might come in small packages, they don’t come cheap. The brand-spanking new OQO 02 Windows-based handheld computer is shipping (so say the good folks at and I’m dying to get my hands on one of the nifty little beasts. Timing is everything, my friends. Windows XP or Vista on a sweet little handheld computer with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard? The mid range offering ups the processor to 1.5GHz, and swaps in XP Pro along with a 60GB drive for $1699. Woot blew out a whole bunch of OQO model 01s back in January for just $799 a pop.
If OQO is looking for a real live reviewer, I’m all ears and thumbs … :)

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Kwik-E-Marts? to Spawn Movie Simpsons

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the 7-Eleven Corporation is planning to turn almost a dozen existing stores across the states into Kwik-E-Marts for the release of “The Simpsons Movie.” Now we can finally forgive them for unleashing the Big Gulp upon us.
If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. - Richmond is an unlikely choice - to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store that Homer and other characters frequent in the classic cartoon TV series.
Customers also will be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO’s cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee).
Get ready for eBay to be jammed with the goodies this summer, as opportunist shoppers seek to finance their cartoon sweet-toothed obsession.
“The Simpsons Movie” is scheduled for release on July 27th.
Rumours of an impending Kwik-E-Mart franchise opportunity have yet to be confirmed.

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Via Loans Payday SMS?

NPR reports that loan companies in Finland are accepting loan applications via text message. II
Payday Loan
Fast Cash or Big Mistake?
Payday Loan Pt. “The loans are approved quickly but come with exorbitant interest rates.” The lure of cash in five minutes has proven too strong …
Is ten percent interest after four days too much? And think twice before you sign on the digital dotted line for that quickie cash advance …

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PC Home Case? Ultimate Theater

Your search just might be over. Air vents are thoughtfully positioned to ensure maximum cooling: pulling air directly into the power supply, as well as away from the graphics card and the hard drives . Forget that boring beige … these aluminum-cased babies come in either anodized silver or black, but they don’t come cheap …
Packed with three “ultra-quiet, high-capacity” fans, the HD 160XT case is built to breathe. (There’s a generous amount of space for hard drives, with five 3.5-inch bays and one 5.25-inch bay.) Fan speed is adjusted via the touch-screen LCD panel.
The LCD screen also provides control over volume and EQ, while the front panel uses buttons to mimic the keyboard arrows, enter, and backspace keys. Looking for the ultimate case for your home theater PC? A Windows XP MCE-Compatible remote control is included, as well.

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USB, Firewire, audio I/O ports, and a memory card reader can be found on the front panel, as well. A big honking volume knob provides the tactile feel you love (if you don’t get your jollies from adjusting the sound levels with the LCD). The Zalman HD160XT delivers the holy grail for the home theater PC aficionado: a stereo component form factor and a spiffy 7-inch touch-screen LCD on the face.
No Fireplace is Electric The Bargain

My jaw dropped when I opened the electric bill today. Spring is about to be sprung and with any luck, my electric bills will drop as the grass starts to grow.

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Punch! I just didn’t expect it to be this bad … now it was cold last month, but sheesh … it looks like the spiffy new home office electric fireplace conspired to double our electric bill. Home Design Architectural Series 3000 $103.99

But it looks like the half-price savings were eaten up in roughly a month.
On a positive note, we might hit 70 degrees around these parts tomorrow!