DESCUENTO LECTORES

FaceBook: 10 años 10 consejos #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre FaceBook: 10 años 10 consejos. Un saludo



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Ventajas de Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads para pymes #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre las ventajas de Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads para pymes. Vía Un saludo



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Los métodos modernos de búsqueda de #empleo #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con los métodos modernos de búsqueda de #empleo. Vía Un saludo



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Cómo empezar con marketing automation #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre cómo empezar con marketing automation. Un saludo



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5 tendencias SEO 2014 #infografia #infographic #seo

Hola: Una infografía con 5 tendencias SEO 2014. Un saludo



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5 Things You Shouldn’t Buy At The Drugstore


Sure, you’ll still be able to buy cigarettes at Walgreens for the foreseeable future, but what else should you pick up while you’re there to get your smokes? Nothing, apparently.

Marketwatch compiled a list of five things that you should avoid buying at the drugstore unless you’re in a bind, in a hurry, or trapped inside your neighborhood chain drugstore during a zombie apocalypse.


1. Drugs


Wait, what? Our own colleagues over at Consumer Reports figured out that the cheapest place to get the most popular prescription drugs is Costco. Turns out discount stores generally have better prices on over-the-counter meds.


2. Food


Not surprising – other than a few loss leaders, food is generally more expensive at drugstores than grocery stores. When you’re picking up milk or a frozen pizza there, it’s more like going to a convenience store.


3. Makeup


Marketwatch’s research showed that the same makeup products are generally cheaper at big-box stores than at drugstores.


4. Cleaning products


Noticing a pattern? They, too, are cheaper at big-box stores.


5. Office supplies and gift wrapping


You can’t beat the convenience, but there are much better and cheaper places to get your cards, gift wrap, and office supplies. Dollar stores, for example.


5 things not to buy at drugstores (including drugs) [MarketWatch]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Impacto Redes Sociales en decisiones de compra #infografia #infographic #socialmedia #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre el impacto Redes Sociales en decisiones de compra. Un saludo



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50 maneras de reutilizar tu contenido #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía con 50 maneras de reutilizar tu contenido. Vía Un saludo



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Los 6 pilares de la comunicación interna #infografia #infographic #rrhh

Hola: Una infografía con los 6 pilares de la comunicación interna. Vía Un saludo



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Top 10 peores cosas que hacemos con los móviles #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía con el Top 10 peores cosas que hacemos con los móviles. Un saludo



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Tecnología basada en el ser humano #infografia #infographic #tech

Hola: Una infografía sobre Tecnología basada en el ser humano. Un saludo



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Riesgos laborales: cómo evitarlos #infografia #infographic #rrhh

Hola: Una infografía sobre Riesgos laborales: cómo evitarlos. Vía Un saludo



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Discover Now Giving Free Monthly FICO Scores To All Cardholders. But Are They Actually Useful, And Will Anyone Else Follow Suit?


All Americans are, as Consumerist is happy to remind you, entitled to access their own annual credit reports for free. But those reports are just that: reports. They don’t come with credit scores on them. For those, you still have to pay. Unless, that is, you happen to have a Discover card–and maybe, someday, other major credit cards, too.


As Bloomberg reports, Discover began a pilot program last November where monthly statements to some cardholders included those customers’ FICO scores on them for no additional fees. This month, Discover’s opening up that offering to all of its cardholders.


That’s great for Discover customers, but what about other banks? A representative for FICO told Bloomberg that his organization is in the middle of negotiations with “some of the largest credit-card issuers” to distribute that information to their customers, too. The FICO rep indicated to Bloomberg that the major hurdle was a “technology-implementation challenge,” saying, “You’re talking about millions of customers, a tremendous amount of data, and how do you squeeze more data in an already jammed space” on statements.


If the biggest challenge is one of layout and formatting, it seems likely that banks willing to provide FICO scores to their customers could almost certainly find a way. Are they really willing? Hard to tell. Discover is the 6th largest card issuer in the country, according to Bloomberg. None of the five bigger ones–JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, American Express, and Capital One–would provide Bloomberg with a comment.


Still, let’s say some of the big credit card companies do eventually jump on board with free FICO scores for their customers. Will those scores be useful to the consumers who receive them? Probably, but there are caveats.


There are dozens of different kinds of credit scores out there, and every entity looking at yours–credit card companies, auto loan lenders, and so on–sees a different one. For most of us, the numbers are consistent. For about 20% of us, though, there are inconsistencies, and those discrepancies can cause problems.


Will the FICO score you get with your monthly credit card statement be the same one that a lender sees when they look you up? Maybe. Will you have any real way of knowing what they see? Not really.


Right now, many credit-card-issuing banks are more likely to look at a consumer’s Vantage Score, not FICO score. So why would FICO and card issuers give out this information for free to consumers? In a sense, it’s marketing.


FICO charges the bank to retrieve the score–it can be free to the consumer because it’s already been paid for. The bank then already has it; providing it to the customer doesn’t cost anyone anything extra. If consumers get hooked on those FICO scores, that could mean more business for FICO from those very same card issuers and consumers in the future.


Still, without a law to help consumers have the same guaranteed access to their credit scores that they have to their credit reports, the numbers can be expensive to come by.


Attaching FICO scores to credit card statements wouldn’t help consumers who don’t have the right cards, of course, but it would at least let many more people find out for themselves what other companies already know about them. It may be a single snapshot from a much more complex and hard to read system, but it’s still information–and free from a business you already work with is certainly better than getting taken by a scammier score seller.


U.S. Banks Weigh Free FICO Scores as Discover Expands Offering [Bloomberg]




by Kate Cox via Consumerist

Air New Zealand Hires ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Models For Its In-Flight Safety Video

This is not what it looks like on any flights I've been on. (Air New Zealand on YouTube)

This is not what it looks like on any flights I’ve been on. (Air New Zealand on YouTube)



When’s the last time you actually paid attention to an airline’s in-flight safety video? If you’re the type who likes scantily clad swimsuit models cavorting in paradise, you’re paying attention right now. And you might be more inclined to pay attention an Air New Zealand flight, as the airline hired none other than Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue models for its new in-flight safety video.


On the heels of other updated safety videos designed to create a buzz even if you’re not on a plane (like Virgin America’s choreographed dance bonanza), Air Zealand is drumming up interest using perhaps the oldest marketing tactic of them all: Showing some skin.


The airline shipped a bunch of models down to the Cook Islands to demonstrate in-flight safety, although from what we can tell none of them actually filmed on a plane. But aren’t we all imagining ourselves somewhere more idyllic in those cramped cabins, anyway?


The completed video isn’t out yet, but the airline does have a behind-the-scenes featurette you can watch, if you’re into that whole “bikini-clad supermodels gamboling around in pristine waters and lying idly in hammocks” kind of thing. Time to stop typing now because you’re not even reading this, you’ve probably already skipped down to the video. So it goes.





by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Prepaid Debit Cards: Salvation From Overdraft Fees Or Putting Your Money At Risk?

pew No overdraft penalties, no overspending and sometime low but occasionally ridiculous fees are all perks that have led consumers to an increased use of prepaid debit cards in the last year. And while the cards are convenient there are plenty of reasons consumers should by wary.


Prepaid cards offer consumers an alternative to traditional checking accounts, and often come with lower or fewer fees. However, with no federal laws or regulations tied to the cards, consumers could be putting their financial future at risk.


Two reports released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts highlight consumer demand for GPR prepaid cards (PDF), a growing concern over the lack of consumer protections and recommendations (PDF) the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should consider.


The landscape of prepaid cards has changed immensely since they first entered the marketplace. The new report found that nearly 12 million consumers loaded more than $64 billion onto prepaid cards in 2012. Today three of the top 10 companies offering prepaid cards are highly recognizable banking institutions, while none offered the product last year.


Still, consumers’ reasons for using the prepaid cards remain mostly the same. Most reported using the cards as a way to avoid debt, control spending, and avoid problems of the past, such as, losing or closing a checking account because of excessive overdraft fees.


Prepaid cards can be a useful product to assist consumers in avoiding financial problems, but there are also vulnerabilities that need to be addressed before consumers take the plunge, says Susan Weinstock, director of Safe Checking in the Electronic Age project for Pew.


Because there are no federal laws or regulations to protect consumers who use the cards, they could be subjected to hidden fees, unauthorized transactions, or loss of funds. It’s that lack of oversight which undermines prepaid cards as a safe and easy way to manage money, Weinstock says.


One of the first steps would be to require cards be accompanied by clear, concise information about terms, conditions and fees. This would help to ensure consumers truly understand what the product they are using and are getting the best card to meet their needs.


On Thursday, Pew recommended six policies to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would ensure the protection of consumers using prepaid cards:



  • Prepaid cards should not have overdraft or other automated or linked credit features.

  • Prepaid cardholders should be protected against liability for unauthorized transactions that occur either when a card is lost or stolen or a charge is incorrectly applied.

  • Prepaid cardholders should have access to account information and transaction history.

  • Prepaid cards should be required to provide information about terms, conditions, and fees in a uniform, concise, and easy-to-read format. This information should be included with the card packaging so that it is accessible pre-purchase at retail outlets as well as online.

  • Prepaid card funds should be federally insured against loss caused by the failure of an institution.

  • Predispute binding arbitration clauses in cardholder agreements, which prevent cardholders from having the choice to challenge unfair and deceptive practices or other legal violations in court, should be prohibited.


Consumers Continue To Load Up On Prepaid Cards [Pew Charitable Trusts]

Why Americans Use Prepaid Cards [Pew Charitable Trusts]




by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Formatos de libros electrónicos #infografia #infographic #ebook

Hola: Una infografía con los Formatos de libros electrónicos. Vía Un saludo



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Networking cara a cara #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre Networking cara a cara. Un saludo Source: GreatBusinessSchools.org



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Evolución de los datos económicos de Twitter #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre la evolución de los datos económicos de Twitter. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista



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Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

I think I went on a date with Jane a few years back.

I think I went on a date with Jane a few years back.



Some people wouldn’t have a problem with you shooting photos and video of the people you pass as you stroll down the street sporting your Google Glass headgear. But if you could use a facial recognition app on that same device to glean personal information about complete strangers, it’s probably not going to be as warmly received.

That’s how Senator Al Franken of Minnesota felt after hearing about the development of an app called NameTag, which according to its makers “can spot a face using Google Glass’ camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles,” including online dating sites like OKcupid, PlentyOfFish, and Match.com.


Google currently forbids such facial recognition apps on Glass, but NameTag could run on a jailbroken device that has been tweaked to work around Google’s restrictions.


Feeling that this app may cross a line that shouldn’t be crossed, Sen. Franken sent a letter this week to the makers of NameTag


The senator, who is also Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, says that NameTag’s facial recognition technology, which does not require the knowledge or permission of its subject, “crosses a bright line for privacy and personal safety.


“I urge you to delay this app’s launch until best practices for facial recognition technology are established,” he continues. “At a minimum, NameTag should only identify people who have given the app permission to do so.”


Franken says there is a specific need to sort out privacy issues surrounding facial recognition software.


“Unlike other biometric identifiers such as iris scans and fingerprints, facial recognition is designed to operate at a distance, without the knowledge or consent of the person being identified,” he explains. “Individuals cannot reasonably prevent themselves from being identified by cameras that could be anywhere — on a lamppost across the street, attached to an unmanned aerial vehicle, or, now, integrated into the eyewear of a stranger.”


To the makers of NameTag, Franken writes, “Your company has a duty to act as a responsible corporate citizen in deploying this technology, which must be done in a manner that respects and protects individual privacy… I urge you to limit the app’s facial recognition feature to only those individuals who have given their affirmative consent. Such an opt-in feature is a well-recognized best practice for mobile apps, but it is unclear whether NameTag will be opt-in.”


He also expressed concerns about an app like NameTag being a juicy target for hackers.


“This vulnerability was underscored two years ago when Face.com, a company that was later acquired by Facebook, released the first commercial grade facial recognition program for public use,” recalls Franken. “Although the program was designed to only identify the customer’s Facebook friends, it was quickly hacked so that it could potentially be used to identify total strangers.”


The senator provided the developers with a list of questions to which he’d like a response, including:


• Will NameTag be an opt-in program?


• How are you addressing concerns that NameTag could be used by stalkers or other bad actors to jeopardize personal safety?


• Which facial recognition database does NameTag use to identify faceprints? Is it owned by your company? If not, who owns the database?


• Does NameTag use any Facebook photos, including public profile photos, to help identify individuals? What other websites are used?


• How do you plan to address Google’s prohibition on facial recognition Glassware?


Here is a demo of the app from its makers:



[via TheVerge]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Price-Matching At Radio Shack, Where It’s Always 1992

radioshack1976bigMatthew normally buys electronics online, but likes to get his family’s mobile phones from the local Radio Shack. They’re friendly, helpful, and price-match brick-and-mortar competitors, so why not support keeping local people employed? The last time he stopped by to buy a new phone, though, his price-matching plans went awry.


His wife decided on an iPhone 5, which cost $150 at Radio Shack with a new contract agreement. Were there any discounts available on that price? Nope. He heard that Walmart had the same phone available for $98, though–maybe he could get Radio Shack to price match?


Radio Shack does price match. They price match the prices in local brick and mortar stores, which is a fair policy. However, the only proof they will accept of the prices in other stores is a copy of a current newspaper circular. Walmart didn’t advertise the iPhone deal in their circular.


He showed a store employee the Walmart site. Not a flyer. Doesn’t count. “The site indicated that the phone was only available at that price in Walmart stores, not online,” Matthew writes. “The rep said that it doesn’t matter what prices competitors are using; his only concern was the price shown in a competitor’s printed weekly sales flyer.”


He went to Walmart and took a photo of the iPhone on the shelf. Still not a flyer. That means that, as far as Radio Shack is concerned, the price doesn’t exist.


“The entire purpose and spirit of the price match concept is to be a convenient option for the customer who is shopping on price,” Matthew mused in an e-mail to Radio Shack. “It would seem that Radio Shack’s price match promise isn’t as customer friendly as one would reasonably hope to find.”


We wrote to Radio shack to make sure that this is a companywide policy and not a weird outlier. The Shack’s website spells it all out pretty clearly, though: it has to be a print ad.


Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 3.27.35 PM


A reasonable person would say that a special advertised online should count for a promotion like this. However, the written price-match policy specifically says that you need to bring in a newspaper advertisement, because it’s always 1992 at Radio Shack.




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Evolución de los usuarios activos de Twitter #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con la Evolución de los usuarios activos de Twitter. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista



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Guía de Google + para pymes #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con una Guía de Google + para pymes. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ift.tt/1cZUm8Q Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Free Checking Accounts Are Vanishing And Consumers Are Letting It Happen


U.S. consumers and businesses currently have $1.4 trillion stashed away in checking accounts and banks and credit unions around the country. That’s more than ever before, and most of that cash is being held in accounts that earn absolutely no interest. At the same time, financial institutions are continuing to cut down on the availability of unconditional free checking.

The Wall Street Journal cites a recent survey of 2,890 banks and credit unions of all sizes which found that more than 40% of these institutions do not offer truly free checking to their customers and that this number is trending downward. It hasn’t been this difficult to find a checking account that didn’t require a minimum balance or place limits and restrictions on withdrawals and/or deposits since 2002.


In general the number of checking accounts being offered to consumers has declined by more than half. Meanwhile, there are fewer banks available to consumers now than there have been in all of the nation’s history. So we have fewer banks each offering fewer options for checking.


And some of the banks that do have conditional free checking set requirements that make it difficult for customers with smaller bank balances to avoid fees. Someone making $75,000 a year with no family might not have a problem meeting the $1,500 monthly balance requirement for Bank of America’s most popular checking account, but a customer earning a more modest income — or a customer with a large family to support — may end up having to pay monthly fees because she comes up short on that balance requirement.


Yet in spite of the dwindling number of consumer-friendly accounts available to us, we continue to pump more money into checking accounts — money the banks can use to make loans and earn interest — and many of us do so without expecting anything in return. Around three-quarters of all money on deposit in U.S. checking accounts is not earning any interest for the account holder.


Between 2007 and 2013, the gross value of no-interest checking accounts in the U.S. more than tripled, from $290 billion to $956 billion, as crash-wary consumers sought to hold their money in accounts that was more readily available.


At the same time, regulators clamped down on the fees banks could earn from businesses for processing debit card transactions. The lost revenue would have to be made up somewhere, so many of the larger banks took away debit card and checking account perks and began to squeeze out free checking accounts that attracted customers with low-value balances.


There are still plenty of free checking accounts out there, but many of them are through smaller regional banks and credit unions.


It’s unlikely that the big banks will ever return to offering truly free, unrestricted checking accounts, but consumers can convince those institutions that still offer these accounts to continue doing so by moving their money, or by putting it into interest-earning accounts so that they at least get something in return for allowing the bank to use their deposits.


The vice president of the American Bankers Association once likened checking accounts to riding the train, saying no one expects to be able to ride the train for free.


But that’s a flawed analogy. You’ve already paid the bank by letting it hold onto and use your money for its own gain without asking for anything in return. So tacking fees and requirements onto checking accounts is like going up to passengers who have already paid for their ticket and saying, “We decided we want you to pay more.”




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Badvertising History Lessons: Trap A Man With Soft Skin, Adult Diapers Are In, IBM Claims A Win

We’ve come to expect that the past is terrible. Well, rather, it was terrible, and now it’s just fun to look back and chuckle over how companies wanted us to wear high-waisted diapers alongside our children and use soap not for hygiene, but to ensnare unwitting men.


In this installment of Badvertising History Lessons, our stalwart witty minds at-large chime in on Palmolive’s tips on how to make men just want to kiss all up on your soft, soapy face, new fashions for busy moms and IBM’s investment in making any secretary’s boss proud for her work.


Scroll on down and click on any ad caption to enlarge and read the full text in all its sexist glory — and send your own examples of why the past was terrible to tips@consumerist.com with the subject line TERRIBLE PAST.





Laura Lane, comedian, writer and journalist with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge:

Palmolive: Helping pedophiles have a bigger selection of schoolgirl prey since 1942.

Lauren D., awesome friend:

Give me a break. He’s not in it for your skin. He’s in it for your money.


Mark M., a misanthrope with a heart of gold:

I believe the claims made by this miracle soap. Why, I’ve never seen a corpse with such radiant, glowing skin! Tragic that she died so young, though.


Abby Aronofsky, Social Media Strategist:

I missed the memo on needing to be fresh and alluring EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY. No one tell my fiancé.



Laura:

And the best part is, Spun-lo stretches, so you and your baby can share undies! (Also available in Thong Baby styles)


Mark M.:

Are they both wearing diapers? Well, I suppose it’s better than matching mom-and-baby thongs.


Lauren D.:

HOLD. UP. Ladies — apparently we can have it all.


Abby:

If women’s lib played a part in in killing this idea, call me a feminist.



Mark M.:

I’m so confused by this ad. What’s a “sales-clinching” crisis? If that’s an electric typewriter, where is the power cord? And what is happening with that secretary’s hand? Does she have a deformity, or is she boasting, “That’s right, bitch, I typed that in 5 minutes flat?” More importantly, what will she do with all her extra time now that she’s exerting less finger effort? So many questions…


Abby:

Fast-forward 57 years to 2014, when faster typing leads not to increased efficiency but to vaster quantities of mindless Internet surfing.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Waterfront Restaurant Takes Off Down Waterway

waterfrontThere’s a floating restaurant in Kentucky called Jeff Ruby’s Waterfront, and it’s located pretty much where you would assume: on the water. Until 2011, the restaurant operated in a boat docked in the Ohio River. Well, it was. Three years ago, the eatery came loose from the dock and floated down the river with more than a hundred customers on board. Waterfront closed, but was supposed to reopen soon. Today, it escaped again.


The boat isn’t equipped to actually cruise down the river with the ability to “steer” and whatnot, so it just floats like a very large, very fancy raft. This time, there was one maintenance worker on board when it broke loose.


The boat was secured with only one cable, and left open gas and electric lines when it broke loose from the dock.


The restaurant’s owner is really having one of those days.



Waterfront Restaurant breaks free again (Thanks, Reid!)




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

FDA Updates Safety Requirements For Infant Formula, Because No One Like Contaminated Fake Milk


The Food and Drug Administration is taking additional steps to ensure our youngest citizens are getting the nutrients they need from formula by updating quality standard requirements for manufacturers. So maybe you can rest a bit easier knowing your child’s formula probably isn’t contaminated.

The FDA’s interim rule will ensure that infant formal contains all federally required nutrients infants need. Those nutrients obviously doesn’t include beetles or high levels of melamine.


The rule amends the FDA’s quality control procedures, notification, and record and reporting requirements for manufacturers of formula use by infants without medical or dietary problems.


Detecting contamination is a significant part of the interim rule. By establishing good manufacturing practices, including required testing for microbial contamination, manufacturers can prevent the distribution of contaminated products.


Many companies manufacturing infant formula in the United States already voluntarily conduct the good manufacturing practices set forth by the rule.


The FDA also issued two draft guidance documents addressing formula manufactured for infants with unusual medical or dietary problems and how manufactures can demonstrate that their products meet the quality factor requirements of the interim rule.


Last year, the FDA banned manufacturers from using BPA in infant formula packaging, although most had already quite the practice.


The FDA is accepting comments from the public on the interim final rule for 45 days at http://ift.tt/MjwdZ7 (Docket Number FDA-1995-N-0036).


Updated FDA requirements for infant formula will maintain high-quality standards and help ensure healthy growth of infants [Food and Drug Administration]




by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Sure, We Need A Smartphone-Enhanced Piggy Bank

_MG_5880Smartphones have changed modern life, from our inability to disconnect from our jobs to making commutes more fun to making it possible to order items online from inside a store. There are some applications of smart technology, though, that are just plain stupid. Like the Porkfolio, an Internet-enabled piggy bank.


The idea behind the Porkfolio is that it counts your money as you put it inside the plastic pig, and you can check your balance from afar. You can set savings goals within the app, and the pig’s nose lights up when you insert a coin. Nice.


It also has a built-in accelerometer that can trigger alarms if someone steals your bank. Does it make a loud noise or just send you a push alert? The promotional materials aren’t clear on that point.


The maximum the bank can hold is about $100, so the alarm system may be overkill.


I have a plastic piggy bank that counts money for me, using the low-tech method of measuring the diameter of each coin. Sure, it mistakes pennies for nickels sometimes, but it only cost two dollars.


Porkfolio [Quirky] (via The Worst Things For Sale)




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Utah Lawmaker Apparently Tired Of Residents Having Fast, Competitive Internet Access, Proposes Law To Stop Expansion


Municipal fiber networks might just be the wave of the future when it comes to speedy internet access. The cable companies already providing internet access, though, aren’t always so keen on the competition–and those companies have deep pockets and access to lawmakers’ ears. And so now Utah becomes the latest state to try legislative measures to bar its cities, towns, and counties from diving into the ISP market.

Utah’s got a bill in its state legislature right now that would prevent local entities from building more fiber networks, Ars Technica reports.


This particular bill isn’t aimed at kicking Provo’s Google Fiber network in the teeth as much as other states’ proposed bills have been. Instead, it’s got a broader aim.


Utah has an organization called UTOPIA, the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, which is a group of 16 cities that together operate a fiber broadband network. The bill’s language pretty clearly targets the UTOPIA consortium and any future similar projects that might try to arise.


UTOPIA is an open access network, Ars explains, that allows private ISPs to sell access over its fiber communications. The 11 member cities and towns that already have access would be unaffected, and contracts already in place would be grandfathered in and allowed to continue if the bill became law. But the law, as currently written, would harm UTOPIA’s ability to expand, to build new partnerships, and to defray or contain costs.


The bill explicitly prohibits “interlocal entities” from building fiber optic infrastructure or providing “telecommunication service” outside of their own borders. Member cities and towns can continue to build connections within their own borders and to each other, but not to serve other locations. So if a housing development were built 50 yards past the city limits, tough cookies: no fiber for you.


Similarly, if Town A and Town C were members of UTOPIA but Town B in between them was not, Town B would not be permitted to buy access to the fiber network. The bill would allow UTOPIA to admit new member cities, who would then be permitted to build connections to the network, but UTOPIA legislative policy director Gary Crane told Ars Technica that getting cities to join can be a tough pitch, where selling access is easier and allows the consortium to recoup costs.


Municipal fiber may be the best route to fast connections and true competition. In Utah, it’s working: the presence of competition–from both UTOPIA and Google Fiber–has been forcing existing providers (coughComcastcough) to drop their rates:



Established providers have been forced to lower prices in areas where UTOPIA offers services, and in Provo where Google Fiber is building a network, Crane said.


Crane lives in a part of Layton that isn’t served by UTOPIA yet and pays Comcast $242 a month for an Internet, TV, and phone package with speeds of less than 10Mbps, he said. In Provo, Comcast is reportedly offering a $120 triple-play package with 105Mbps download speeds.



Municipal fiber is making a slow march across the nation, but it’s definitely an uphill battle. Cities like Seattle have run into trouble with their partner companies or faced pressure from cable companies to drop their plans altogether.


Still, there’s hope. A fiber-targeting bill in Georgia failed last year, and Kansas is supposedly tweaking the language in their own recently proposed anti-fiber law. The Utah bill, currently holding in committee, isn’t state law yet. Maybe, as in Georgia, it won’t ever be.


Utah bill would stop regional fiber networks from expanding [Ars Technica]




by Kate Cox via Consumerist

Knowing Your Facebook Number Might Be Pointless, But Here’s How To Find It Anyway


In a world where people will post anything from “What Weather Phenomenon Are You?” (I’m a cirrus cloud!) to “Which Journey Song (From The Steve Perry Years, Of Course) Are You?” on Facebook, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen posts touting your so-called “Facebook Number,” ostensibly, the number that designates when you became a user. But what’s the point?

The short answer is, there probably is none, besides slapping it up on your Facebook status and calling it a day. And despite the fact that you can use a simple trick to find this ID number, it doesn’t mean that if you’re No. 820,597 that you were the 820,597th person to join Facebook, ever, points out Mashable.


Here’s how you find it, in two easy, yet pointless steps:


1. Go to your Facebook profile

2. Replace “www” in the URL with “graph.”


Facebook will then spit out something like “id”: “820597.”


That happens to be close to my number, but it doesn’t mean I was the 820,597th person to join Facebook. That’s impossible, actually, because the site hit its one millionth user in December 2004, before I joined in 2005.


See, at first Facebook grouped members sequentially by the order in which their college or university joined, starting with numbers 0-99,999 for students at Harvard, where Mark Zuckerberg (user No. 3) attended when he founded Facebook. Columbia was the second school to gain access to Facebook, where its users got numbers starting with a 1, so it would follow that 100,001 was the first ID number for that school’s first user.


So this just means that my school was the 83rd school to join Facebook, and I was around the 597th person from my college to join.


And if you want to find out find out where you fall in the whole scheme of things — were you the 1,567,697th to join? The 34,578th? There’s no way to find that out, a Facebook spokesman tells Consumerist.


“We assigned numerical blocks in the early days, but today user IDs are not issued sequentially. We draw them from a variety of number ranges.”


Now you know. Do with it what you will — refuse to date anyone with a significantly higher or lower number, splash it all over your wall, whatever… but it’s basically pointless. Or you could just go back to making those Facebook photo movies everyone seems to enjoy enough to fill my newsfeed with them all day, everyday.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Home Depot Employees Arrested For Stealing Personal Information Of 300 Co-Workers


Of all the people at your workplace that you’d hope would not violate employees’ trust by stealing their personal information and using it for illicit gain, it would probably be the folks in corporate human resources. But you’d be wrong, at least in the case of the three Home Depot HR staffers who have been arrested for allegedly stealing co-workers’ information to open bogus credit card accounts.

The information thefts, which affected some 300 employees at the hardware and home improvement chain, were initially detected last fall and those employees whose files were compromised were notified of the breach.


Home Depot was tipped to the scam after one of the three employees was caught using her Home Depot e-mail to send the stolen information — including Social Security numbers and birthdates — to her alleged co-conspirators, one of whom is her daughter.


“Our corporate security, IT security and legal teams quickly investigated the matter and notified law enforcement, and the three associates were subsequently arrested,” said the Depot’s Director of Corporate Communications.


The 300 employees listed in the e-mail were contacted and offered free credit monitoring, but the retailer admits the possiblity that other employees may have been affected.


“Out of an abundance of caution and looking at the universe of those whose information might have been exposed – which we believe is between 10 and 20 thousand – we’ll notify others as needed,” the company rep, who adds that no customer information was compromised, as these “rogue” employees did not have access to that data.


Home Depot employees charged with stealing co-workers’ personal info [WSBTV.com]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Feds Warn Airlines Heading To The Olympics Of Potential Bomb Threat From Toothpaste Tubes


Travelers should be used to not hauling ginormous quantities of liquids/gels/aerosols in their carry-ons on airplanes by now, but you might find your tube of toothpaste under extra scrutiny if you’re heading to Russia for the Olympics. Federal officials have issued a warning to U.S. and some foreign airlines to be on the lookout for toothpaste, whose containers could hold ingredients used to make a bomb on a plane.


The Department of Homeland Security provided the warning this week, according to a senior U.S. official who spoke with ABC News. There are no other details about it, or what prompted the warning, but the official said the department “regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics.”


“While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority,” the official said. “As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.”


Another source in federal law enforcement says the information is mostly for foreign carriers and that the generic threat isn’t aimed at the U.S.


Despite that, American travelers and all those at the Olympic Games should still take the warning seriously, says Rep. Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.


“Any type of explosive, concealed explosive, can be extremely damaging,” he explained. “It could be enough to bring down a plane… This is the type of threat that we’re very concerned about.”


The issue of security in Sochi has been an important one in the months leading up to the Games, and this seems to fit with that — another source said the warning is linked to the arrests of two women in France this week who are of Chechen descent.


In the last three months, Russia has been the target of three suicide bombings attributed to Islamic militants, prompting the U.S. State Department to urge Americans traveling to Sochi to be “vigilant and exercise good judgment” during the Games because of the terror threat.


And just leave your toothpaste in your checked luggage.


Olympic Threat: US Warns Airlines About Toothpaste Tube Bomb [ABC News]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

This McDonald’s Hosts Candlelit Valentine’s Dinners, With “Musical Selections By Ron”


If you’re looking for a relatively cheap and brief Valentine’s Day dinner and also happen to live near Southport, NC, then there’s a McDonald’s that is calling your name.

A Reddit user posted the above sign spotted at their local McDonald’s, advertising its 3rd Annual Candlelight Dinner on Feb. 14.


Since some people actually choose to get married at McDonald’s, it’s perhaps no surprise that they will start that romance at the fast food chain.


“Our crew will greet you at the door, seat you, take your order and deliver it to your,” reads the sign. “All you have to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy your romantic evening with your date.”


Of course, this all only takes place between the hours of 6-8 p.m., so don’t plan on extended, loving gazes into your date’s eyes.


And our favorite part:

“Featuring musical selections by Ron.”


We assume this is a reference to Ronald McDonald, but since we’re terrified of burger-slinging clowns who hang around with known thieves, amorphous purple blobs, and politicians with mammoth cheeseburgers for heads, we’re going to imagine it’s this Ron that will be providing the romantic music:





by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Newegg “Premier” Offers Expedited Shipping For $50/Year

neweggpremier While Newegg has long been a go-to online retailer for a large number of electronics shoppers, for some consumers the site was lacking the expedited shipping and other perks offered by the Amazon Prime service. This week, Newegg finally dipped its toes into the premium subscription service pool with Newegg Premier.


The service goes for $49.99/year, $29 less than what Amazon Prime members pay annually. Of course, the Newegg plan doesn’t include a library of streaming video content.


Which may be just fine with shoppers who primarily enjoy Amazon Prime’s expedited shipping and have no use for rewatching Under the Dome or Downton Abbey online.


The Newegg deal guarantees delivery in up to three days, one day longer than the timeframe for most Amazon Prime shipments. It also allows for free returns with no restocking fees.


The announcement of Newegg Premier makes no mention of a minimum order amount, which may also be of interest to Amazon customers who are displeased with that retailer’s recent decision to raise the minimum qualifying purchase amount from $25 to $35.


The Premier shipping also seems to extend to a wide range of products. It’s not available on absolutely everything from Newegg, but when we clicked around the site looking to find the limits of the offer, we found Premier eligibility on everything from a $2.47 cable extender to a $3,800 gaming laptop.


Only time and experience will tell if Newegg Premier lives up to the shipping and service promises it makes. We imagine that we’ll be hearing from some of you if the retailer fails to meet expectations.




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Save Money And Stay Focused With Grocery List Templates


While some people swear by grocery list apps, it’s hard for some people over 25 to get used to walking around the store staring at our phones. A written list is easy to consult quickly without having to unlock the screen, and easy to write on. Over at The Kitchn, Anjali Prasertong offers her technique: a list template made in Microsoft word and based on her regular purchases and the layout of her local Trader Joe’s.

“I hate fiddling with and staring at my phone while I shop,” she notes. Even if grocery apps are the ultimate in organization. The paper list is based on the order in which Prasertong and her husband move through the store, which is where she and her husband do much of their shopping. If the store gets rearranged, they can easily change the order of items on the template.


Shopping with a list keeps you on target and helps prevent impulse purchases that may be unhealthy for your diet and/or your wallet. It also saves trips back to the store because you forgot something essential, and helps with weekly meal planning.


Why I Made a Shopping List Template (Organized by My Trader Joe’s Layout) [The Kitchn]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Subway Says It’s Removing A Controversial Chemical From Its Bread


These days it seems like if there’s an ingredient in food sold to the masses with even the slightest whiff of controversy around it, someone will root it out and start a campaign to get rid of it. Thus, Subway now says it will remove a chemical from its bread — one that’s banned in Europe but legal in the U.S. — after a food blogger started a petition against it.


Of course, in Subway’s statement about Azodiacarbonamide, an ingredient that apparently increases elasticity in the bread, there’s no mention of the popular food blogger behind FoodBabe.com, Vani Hari. She started a petition against the stuff which has earned 58,000 signatures to date, reports USA Today.


The chemical is also used in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather, she says.


“We are already in the process of removing Azodiacarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is USDA and FDA approved ingredient,” the company says in a statement. “The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”


While Subway isn’t saying, “Yes, we’re bowing to the pressure of this campaign,” there’s always a bigger campaign out there, one that might be somewhat silent but is reflected in the way consumers have changed their eating habits.


Eating healthy and making sure food is safe have become important to American consumers in recent years, and companies have started to respond. Just last month General Mills said it would remove genetically modified ingredients from Cheerios, reflecting the changing habits and desires of its customers.


“I commend Subway for finally responding to me and now over 58,000 concerned citizens. Their swift action is a testament to what power petitions and individuals can have,” Hari said. ” I’d like to note that current Subway sandwiches still have this ingredient, and I urge everyone not to eat their sandwich bread until they have finally removed the chemical.”


Subway to remove chemical from bread [USA Today]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

20 Years Ago, Only 1 Baseball Stadium Had A Corporate Sponsor; Now All But 9 Do

Target Field is one of 21 MLB venues with corporate sponsorship. (Skip Nyegard)

Target Field is one of 21 MLB venues with corporate sponsorship. (Skip Nyegard)



When the 1994 baseball season started, there was only a single MLB stadium whose name could be considered a result of corporate sponsorship (and the company owned the team at the time, so even that is up for debate). When the 2014 season kicks off this spring, fewer than one-third of the stadiums are without a corporate name over the gates.

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers announced that their stadium would once again be undergoing a name change after selling off the naming rights to Oklahoma City-based Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company. With that, the number of MLB stadiums without a corporate sponsor sinks to only 10 (possibly 11, depending on how you look at things).


Out of curiosity, we looked back to 1994 to see just how rampant this naming rights nonsense had become within our lifetime.


As things stand now, there are only 9 stadia of the 30 MLB venues that aren’t brought to you by some company or product — Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers), Yankee Stadium (NY Yankees), Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox), Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs), Nationals Park (Washington Nationals), Marlins Park (Miami Marlins), Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals), and Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles).


And of those nine teams, two had previously played in branded stadia. In 1998, Anaheim Stadium became Edison International Field, a name it kept until the end of the 2003 season, at which point it took on its new, non-commercial title.


Meanwhile the Marlins, then known as the Florida Marlins, played in a stadium that went through numerous name changes in just a few years. When the Marlins started there it was Joe Robbie Stadium, before changing in relatively rapid succession from Pro Player Stadium to Dolphin Stadium to Land Shark Stadium to Sun Life Stadium before the Marlins moved out to their own, yet-unbranded Marlins Park in 2012. We have no doubt that the cash-strapped club would not turn away a big enough offer to slap some bank or insurance company’s name on that new stadium.


The ’90s Bring Changes

Twenty years ago, only the St. Louis Cardinals played in a stadium with a corporate name — Busch Stadium — but even that may be an exception to some, as Anheuser-Busch did own the team at that point in time. But following the strike-shortened 1994 and 1995 baseball seasons, a handful of stadium operators and teams began selling off the naming rights to their venues.


The Atlanta Braves moved from the crumbling confines of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to the venue that had been briefly known as Centennial Olympic Stadium (built for the 1996 Atlanta games) before selling the naming rights to Ted Turner. The Braves continue to play at Turner Field but will soon be moving to a yet-unsponsored stadium outside of the city.


The Cincinnati Reds were playing in Riverfront Stadium in 1994, but that became Cinergy Field in 1996. The team moved to spanking new sponsored stadium, Great American Ball Park, in 2003.


The San Diego Padres had called Jack Murphy Stadium (aka San Diego Stadium) home since 1969 before it was renamed Qualcomm Stadium in 1997. The Padres then made the move to Petco Park in 2004.


For years the San Francisco Giants shared Candlestick Park with the NFL’s 49ers, but the legendary stadium was briefly renamed 3Com Park in 1995. The Giants would then move to their own waterfront stadium in 2000, going through three name changes — from PacBell Park to SBC Park to AT&T Park — in only six years, as rapid consolidation in telecom and wireless required constant rebranding of the venue.


The expansion Colorado Rockies were still playing in Denver’s Mile High Stadium in 2004, but would relocate to the beer-branded Coors Field the next year.


When the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now just the Rays) entered the league in the late ’90s, they came with branded stadia. The D’backs played in Bank One Ballpark, which is now known as Chase Field, and the D-Rays bounced balls off the rafters of Tropicana Field.


The Seattle Mariners left their home Kingdome and moved to Safeco Field in 1999, closing out a half-decade of naming rights deals for MLB stadia.


New Century, New Names

The new millennium would see the closing of two of baseball’s most beloved (and a few of its most hated) venues, meaning stadium operators had to decide whether to stay true to a well-known name or cash in with brand-name sponsorship.


While Yankee Stadium was replaced with… Yankee Stadium, the Detroit Tigers had no such reverence for the Tiger Stadium name, leaving their longtime home and relocating to the corporate-friendly Comerica Park in 2000.


The Chicago White Sox had tried to keep the Comiskey Park name when they opened their new stadium in the early ’90s, but a decade later it was time to make some money off the naming rights, turning the building into to U.S. Cellular Field in 2003.


After three decades of playing at Milwaukee County Stadium, it was apparently time for the Milwaukee Brewers to be associated with the city’s most well-known beer company, as the team moved to Miller Park in 2001.


In 2000, the Houston Astros left behind the Astrodome and into the significantly upgraded site of what was originally dubbed Ballpark at Union Station before almost immediately being renamed Enron Field after a company that tanked so badly the stadium had to briefly be renamed Astros Field in 2002 before being re-christened as Minute Maid Park.


Both Pennsylvania ball clubs ditched their cookie-cutter concrete behemoths in the early part of the 21st century. The Pittsburgh Pirates were first, fleeing Three Rivers Stadium for the bank-branded PNC Park in 2001. My beloved Phillies left the not-very-loved Veterans Park behind in 2004 and walked across the parking lot to Citizens Bank Park.


Another relic that sorely needed replacing was Shea Stadium, which somehow managed to stand up for nearly 45 years. But unlike their counterparts in The Bronx who maintained their unsponsored stadium’s name, the New York Mets sold the naming rights to Citi Field… right before the bottom fell out of the banking industry and no one knew if the bank would have to back out of the deal (or be around to take advantage of it). Citi survives but to this day, the NYC subway map still refers to the Citi Field stop as just “Mets.”


The Cleveland Indians had just moved into Jacobs Field in 1994, and the team managed to wait all the way until 2008 before selling off the naming rights to Flo from Progressive.


Likewise, the Toronto Blue Jays are still playing in the same building that was called the SkyDome in 1994. It just got a new name, Rogers Centre, after Rogers Communication bought the team and the stadium. Much like the Busch Stadium of the ’80s and ’90s, you might not consider it sponsorship if the team owner puts its name on the building.


Recent Developments

Given that there are fewer and fewer stadia to slap a corporate name on — and how some fans would likely revolt if they had to go to games at Gatorade Field at Fenway Park or the Yahoo! Yankee Stadium — we don’t expect too many major name changes to MLB venues in the coming years.


That said, in addition to the Texas Rangers announcement, there have been two recent examples of branded stadia.


After years of being somewhat sheltered from the elements inside the Metrodome, the Minnesota Twins aligned with a small local retail chain and moved into Target Field in 2010.


Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics’ home continues to roll through a series of name changes. The Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum was renamed Network Associates Coliseum in 1998, then McAfee Coliseum in 2004, then back to Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in 2008, then finally to O.co Stadium in 2011 in the most expensive effort ever to convince people to use shortened URL for an online retailer.




by Chris Morran via Consumerist