Month: December 2007

Amazon MP3 One Ups Apple, Gets Warner Music MP3s DRM-free

Hot on the heels of news of Apple soon offering rental movies via iTunes, Amazon has some even better news (in my opinion). Another sign that DRM (Digital Rights Management, music with restrictions) is on its way out: Amazon MP3 now offers DRM-free MP3s from Warner Music Group’s catalog. This makes Amazon’s MP3 download store

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Month: December 2007

Amazon 30-day Price Guarantee: Check Your Holiday Shopping

While this holiday season has been met with record online shopping, remember that many retailers (even the online ones) don’t necessarily offer their best prices leading up to Christmas. I personally did much of my Christmas shopping via Amazon. And today being the day after Christmas, I thought I’d check the current prices on all

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Month: December 2007

Online Shopping Sets Record Even as Consumers Procrastinate

The Economist, via numbers from Comscore, tells us that since the beginning of November online spending is up by 18% compared with 2006. And Thursday December 6th was the “biggest online spending day yet” with sales of $803m, which made for a weekly online sales record of $4.6 billion (see chart below). Meanwhile, the Wall

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Month: December 2007

Why Blockbuster Total Access Doesn’t Work

In theory, Blockbuster has a better offering than Netflix in that it “lets you rent online with the flexibility to exchange movies in-store, so you never have to wait for a movie.” That is, according to the marketing pitch plastered all over its homepage. But I decided to see just how “total” Total Access is,

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Month: December 2007

Email Signatures with Famous Quotes: Amusing or Annoying?

The popularity of adding some sort of quote as part of your email signature is on the rise (see discussion here and here). But some can be taken differently than intended. For example: “Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act

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Month: December 2007

HD DVD Still Winning Price War vs. Blu-ray: Player & 10 Movies $219

(*Update* The deal mentioned in the title is over, but Amazon has an even better deal: HD DVD player & 7 Movies for $132.) Today I came across this article by Joel Hruska at Ars Technica in which he links to this Blu-ray deal on Amazon and says the following: “Samsung is hoping to tilt

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Month: December 2007

Internet Video & TV: Can they ever join forces successfully?

We here at TechConsumer are no strangers to trying new ways of getting quality entertainment onto our living room big screens. Regular old cable TV doesn’t cut it, what with frequent commercial breaks, horrible selection, and inopportune timing. Surprisingly (at least to us), though, cable TV is what most of the free world uses (the

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Month: December 2007

RSS Explained: A Really Simple Summary

For those uninitiated, RSS is generally thought to stand for “Really Simple Syndication,” a name that’s almost as useless as the acronym in explaining what it is. In short, it’s an online technology that allows you to read headlines/articles from news websites, blogs, and other sources all in one place (see example pictured below). Tweet