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HD DVDs are going away. But should you buy Blu-ray?

The first half of my title is taken straight from the title of an email I received from Netflix a couple days ago (see end of post for text of the email). In short, as of December 15, 2008, Netflix will no longer carry HD DVDs. Around the same time I got this email, coincidentally, a friend of mine sent me an email about an online sale offering $2 HD DVD movies.

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My First Time Using Craigslist

Somehow I missed the Craigslist memo. It could have something to do with the fact that I haven’t used even eBay for a while. (I used to be on eBay quite a bit but gave it up a few years ago when Amazon proved to be a worthy replacement with much less hassle.) But we recently moved and found ourselves with a couple of items needing a new home due to space constraints in our new place. Namely: a Yamaha electronic keyboard and a spare fold-a-bed.

So I signed up for Craigslist and posted these items online. Here’s what I found:

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Best Buy vs. Amazon for Printer Shopping

So my HP G85 all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax died after nearly five years. Truth be told, though, I had been printer window shopping earlier this summer and was planning on replacing it relatively soon. At the time, I had tentatively decided on HP’s Photosmart C7280 all-in-one. It has everything my G85 had but is smaller, faster, and better (more features). You gotta love technology.

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Canceling Credit Cards: Why Not Online?

I recently canceled a couple credit cards and has to go through a tedious phone process to do so. You know the drill. Call the main 800 number, fumble through a horrible phone system, and then find the cancel option as the last possible selection in the option tree. In both cases, this transferred me to someone asking if I was sure I wanted to cancel only to then transfer me to an “account specialist” who would help me further.

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Dash Express: When The Internet & GPS Are Combined

I’ve avoided the GPS scene and have relied instead on printing out maps from Google/Mapquest/Live maps. But having recently moved to a new city, I decided it was time to make the plunge. After some basic research and asking around, I went for the Dash Express. Here’s my first impression of the Dash Express and GPS in general:

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Amazon: Sales Tax Hasn’t Stopped Me Yet

One of the best things about shopping on Amazon (or most anywhere online) is that you don’t have to pay sales tax. Well, that recently changed for me. Since I now live in the state of Washington, I pay sales tax on any Amazon orders (because Amazon headquarters is here). The funny thing is, though, that I haven’t really given up on shopping via Amazon. Since being here, I’ve used Amazon to buy an Xbox 360 and a GPS device, plus some other odds and ends.

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T-Mobile vs. The iPhone or Hurry Up, T-Mobile!

I don’t have a “smart” phone and am in the market. So what logically comes to mind? The iPhone, of course. But I’m a T-Mobile customer and most my extended family are as well, which means we can all talk to our hearts’ content without worrying about minutes. Thus, it’s hard for me to give up the plan my wife and I are on: 1,000 shared minutes for only $50.

But our contract with T-Mobile recently expired, so I thought I’d use that as leverage to see what T-Mobile could offer me to, you know, “retain” me. At the same time, though, I don’t want to admit that I’m mostly happy with their service. What followed was an interesting conversation with a T-Mobile “retention representative” I was transferred to.

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eBay: No Matter How Hard You Try, You’re Still No Amazon

eBayMy top issues with eBay: Prices aren’t that competitive, service is inconsistent, time is wasted, and the shipping is a wild card. It’s no wonder then that, due to lackluster growth, eBay recently announced changes including “holding sellers to higher customer-service standards.” But I gave up on eBay years ago when I discovered Amazon has all the same stuff at around the same price but with real customer service.

Just for fun, I thought I’d revisit eBay and see what kind of deals I skipped out on by searching for the last few items I ordered on Amazon. Here’s how the process works: you search for your item and get excited when you see an amazing deal! Oh wait, that auction still has 12 hours before it’s over. So you save it to your watch list and waste more time searching for other deals.

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