Posted by Ben Berkon on February 26, 2010 05:01 PM
Whether it’s cutting down on emissions, offering “green” products, or using reusable materials, big companies have been pushing eco-friendliness like never before. And Wal-Mart is no different.
The mammoth retailer announced this week that the company would undergo a “green” overhaul – including its plan to cut more than 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, offer more “green” products than ever before, and rethink how to package and transport products by using reusable materials.
Looks like someone is giving Al Gore a run for his Nobel Peace Prize, right? Well, sort of.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 25, 2010 04:15 PM
Shoppers on eBay are voracious purchasers of antique, retro, and vintage items, but they also fawn after independent and uniquely crafted products. Now, eBay believes it has found a way to deliver products that offer all of these qualities.
The wildly popular online retail brand has purchased the wholesale division of World of Good, a venture that connects artisans from developing communities with mainstream retail markets. eBay plans to feature World Of Good’s products on its site, bringing together a classic example of supply meeting demand.
Since its debut in 1995, eBay has been the king of Internet garage sales, allowing users to sell or buy anything from an antique stapler to a grilled cheese sandwich that looks like the Virgin Mary. With the addition of World of Good, eBay is embracing a “do good” big-company grassroots direction.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 23, 2010 04:47 PM
The emergence of the iPad certainly adds a dynamic and powerful product into the e-book reader market, but it also raises the stakes for Amazon’s Kindle – which has been leading the category.
Since Apple announced the debut of its iPad in January, Amazon and other competitors have been scheming, plotting, and forming alliances in an attempt to fight the cultural juggernaut that is Apple.
And that changing landscape in the tech and publishing world has brought Amazon and Microsoft into cahoots with a cross-license patent agreement.Continue reading...
can't buy me love
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 23, 2010 11:44 AM
Most people use their iPhones for rather pedestrian purposes such as communicating with friends, browsing the Internet, and listening to music. However, the intersection of human nature and technology has always resulted in the proliferation of another powerful tendency: viewing porn.
And, unsurprisingly, a significant number of iPhone owners use the device for just that purpose – putting Apple, and its brand, in the unenviable position of having to make judgment calls on what is acceptable, and what is unacceptable, regarding iPhone apps. So, Apple announced that it would purge all “adult” iPhone applications from its App Store, sending many users in a nuddy rage.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 22, 2010 01:25 PM
Nothing is better than a credit card – it’s easy to use, you don’t have to carry around cash, and you can pay off the bill later in the month when you’re still broke. As easy as it may be, it’s going to start costing customers a lot more.
Over the past five years, the annual percentage rate (APR) has been increasing at an alarming rate. The average APR now stands at 13.5 percent, whereas just one year ago, it sat at a comparatively light 11.8 percent. That’s small potatoes though. If you think it will drop back down anytime soon, you’re dead wrong.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 19, 2010 05:04 PM
Here’s the good news AND the bad news: social networking platforms allow everyone to know where you are, and when. That could be useful information for your wife. And your wife’s former boyfriend who just got out of jail.
Boy Van Amstel, creator of PleaseRobMe.com, attempts to prove that very point with his creepy-named website. Van Amstel’s site proves how easy it is for people of ill-repute and dubious intentions to track down and locate houses where the owners are not around, for one reason or another.
The advent of new technologies, such as Twitter and Foursquare, are often greeted with a spectrum of reactions from utter naivety to outright paranoia. In this case, we’re dealing with naivety. The amount of private up-to-the-moment information available about individuals revealed on social networking sites is staggering – and Van Amstel saw the inherent risk in this.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 18, 2010 04:33 PM
Unless you’re a wine connoisseur, differentiating between a Pinot Noir and Bordeaux is difficult. At least that’s what various French wine producers and traders decided after supplying E. & J. Gallo, an American winery, with falsely labeled wines.
Over the past three years, E. & J. Gallo winery has been purchasing French wine and supplying it to Americans under false pretenses. While in similar situations a recall would be justified and swiftly enacted, this particular circumstance is different. According to The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, "[it] does not have recall authority.” Since the wine has not posed a health or safety issue, which is the usual recall reasoning, it just becomes an unfortunate incident.Continue reading...
Posted by Ben Berkon on February 17, 2010 03:30 PM
Verizon is handing its users something they’d never expect from a phone company – free telephone service. No, it’s not just one of those catch-filled ploys to get people to switch over or buy a phone – though it might help – but instead, they’ve partnered with Skype, the notoriously free computer phone service.
Skype, the formerly Swedish-based company that was founded in 2003, is a computer software application that enables users to make phone calls over the Internet. The application is free just as long as users call computer-to-computer – however, if one were to call a cell phone or landline, there would be varying, yet still reasonable, fees. eBay purchased the booming startup in 2005 for $2.6 billion, and has propelled its user-ship to over 520 million worldwide.Continue reading...