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Sep
02

Deal of the Day: Get your Groupon!

Posted By · September 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Have you ever wondered through a store
and stumbled upon a clearance shelf?

You find an item, that at full price,
didn’t seem that good.  But now, at a
discount…

You must have it!

You get this same rush when you shop
at a Deal of the Day web sites.

Deal of the Day sites sell very few items.
But, those items are sold at a dramatically
reduced rate.

Here are a few of my favorites.

www.groupon.com

Groupon deals are based on your city location.
It offers 50%-90% discounts on the following items:

Restaurants
Spas
Activities
Events
Classes
And More!

A business or entity will offer deal.  The deal
will go into effect if a minimum number of people
participate.

Some deals also have a maximum number of participants.

For instance, on August 25th, Groupon, in Indianapolis
sold tickets to the Mary Poppins musical.  $67 seats
were sold for only $39.

The deal went into effect after 15 people bought
tickets.

The deal only had a maximum of 1,500.

NOTE: Groupon asks you for an e-mail before you see
the site.  If this bugs you, click on the Groupon
logo in the upper left to get around entering your
e-mail. 

(that annoys me when a site asks for your e-mail
before they tell show you their goods)

www.livingsocial.com

Living Social is another deal of the day site based
on your city location.

On September 2nd, in Indianapolis, Carolina Grill
offered a $50 gift certificate for only $25.

 

www.woot.com

I you are looking great deals delivered in a light
hearted manner, WOOT is for you.

Here is the humble origin of the company, taken
straight from their web site:

“It started as an employee-store slash market-testing
type of place for an electronics distributor, but it’s
taken on a life of its own. We anticipate profitability
by 2043 – by then we should be retired; someone smarter
might take over and jack up the prices.”

On September 2nd, they had a great price on a
multifunction printer.

WOOT wrote a big joke based on the product.  It began:
“Man walks into a bar. Orders an Epson Workforce 600
Wireless AIO Printer soup.”

Silly people, good deals.

 

www.1saleaday.com

On September 2nd, the family section had a great deal
on a Thomas the Tank Engine set with Cranky the Crane.

The set was normally $89.99.  It was on sale for $29.99.

 

www.yugster.com

Yugster provides a few options.  It has a daily offer,
a daily watch deal and boutique items.  In addition,
it features “Yours Until Gone.”

On September 2nd, the daily deal was a high quality
folding knife.  The “Yours Until Gone” item was a
Corona Extra baseball cap with a built in bottle opener.
Was that too low brow for you?

How about something a little more… upper class?

 

www.wiredforwine.com

Wired for Wine offers vino:
“One unbeatable deal each day until it sells out!!”

If it doesn’t come in a box I don’t know much
about wine.

I appreciate the description Wired for Wine gives
to each featured bottle.
Still looking for something more… cultural?

 

www.ugallery.com/dailydeal

UGallery offers one deal a day on reasonably
priced fine art.

While I can’t see to many people buying from
this site, it was fun to see the art.

 

www.tanga.com

I love board games, so Tanga is a personal
favorite.  Each day, they offer a great deal
on a board game and at least three other items.

Tanga’s items can be quirky and geeky.  (like me)

One day, they sold a Space Invaders T-shirt. 

Classic.

Finally,  here is one independent retailer,
you have never heard of before.

Target

Yes, even the big retailers are getting into
the game.

dailydeals.target.com

Target offers 5 deals a day, only on their
website.
I hope you enjoy these sites, please post some
of your favorite Deals of the Day!
Todd Donaldson
P.S. I had two alternate titles for this blog.

Woot, There It Is!

and

Last Tanga In Paris

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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Aug
30

Book of Jobs

Posted By · August 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Congregation.

Brothers and sisters.

Please turn to Chapter 7,
verses 24-29 of the Book of Jobs.

“The prophet in black came down
from the mountain and gave the
people holy relics.”

“The people raised their voices
to spread the good word.”

“But there was only silence.”

“The people looked to the prophet
in black for advice.”

“He gazed down up the people and said:
YOU’RE HOLDING IT WRONG.”

I have personal testament in regards
to the biblical controversy now known
as “Antennagate”.

I ordered the iPhone 4 for my beloved
wife as an anniversary present. 

Every AT&T store was sold
out of this highly prized item.

So we waited…

and waited…

and waited…

While in the queue, I read some early
reviews of my wife’s phone to be.

There were articles and videos claiming
the iPhone 4 had a problem with poor
reception. 

Apple downplayed the allegations,
stating performance had to do with
the way users held the phone.

According to Engadget, Steve Jobs emailed
one upset user, “Just avoid holding it
that way.”

Still, I held out hope, and waited…

The iPhone showed up on July 12, the same
day Consumer Reports said it could not
recommend the phone due to poor reception.

Great…

Why did I believe the false prophet in black?

Because the rest of the “phone”
is outstanding!

The screen is brilliant, the camera is great,
e-mail was a snap and navigation is easy and
intuitive.

It just can’t… make… calls… worth a darn.

On July 16, Steve Jobs, wearing his trademark
black shirt, held a press conference to address
the issue.

Apple gave all iPhone 4 users a free
insulating bumper, normally 30 dollars.

We ordered the bumper from a free
iPhone app the company provided.
Unfortunately, it was going to take 3-6 weeks.

So we waited…

and waited…

and waited…
Finally the bumper arrived, and imagine that,
we could make a phone call! 

(no matter how we held it)
Amen
Todd Donaldson
p.s.  If you someone you know has an iPhone 4,
be sure to order your bumper soon. 

You only have until September 30th to order
the cure to your reception woes!

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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Aug
26

Where is my flying car?

Posted By · August 26, 2010 at 12:25 am

Wired magazine recently featured a cover
story called “The Future That Never Happened”.

We grew up with the promise of a fantastic
future full of dazzling inventions.

The Wired article explained why we don’t
have flying cars, food in a pill, self driving
cars and jet packs.

I asked my co-workers if they had any
unrealized futuristic technology.

Sunrise anchor Bruce Kopp said,
“Windshield wiper blades that never wear out.”

Kerry Williams from our promotions department
recalled the hologram TV from the Jetsons.

Sara Galer, our Senior Web Producer said,
“A hard drive that plugs into your brain,
like Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic.”

Photographer Kyle Duell wanted time travel…
to the past.

Every day in the kitchen, I think about my
invention-yet-to-be.

The smart refrigerator.

Not impressed?  Consider this.

All food will be scanned as it enters
the refrigerator. 

My smart fridge will keep an inventory
of all items and will warn you when
food is about to go bad.

The door will have a touch screen that
is connected to the Internet and your
personal video and music collection.

This screen will also show you the current
contents of your chilled food palace.

With a simple touch, the screen will then
show you various recipes that work with
your current inventory of food.

If you need ingredients, the smart fridge
will beam the list to your favorite mobile
device.

I went to Clark’s Appliance on the south
side to see if they had anything close to
my smart fridge.

The salesman at Clark’s said they once carried
a refrigerator with a built-in television.
It cost over $6,000 and did not sell well.

Downtrodden, I asked if there are any other
futuristic kitchen appliances.

He introduced me to induction cooking.

To quote from a GE brochure:
“Induction cooking uses a high-frequency
induction coil below the cooktop’s smooth
surface that heats the cookware by a magnetic
field.”

Please note the high-tech words:
“high-frequency”, “coil”, and “magnetic field”.

I immediately perked up.

The salesman put a paper towel on the cooking
surface. Then he put a pot on the paper towel.

We brought water to boil faster than any
gas or electric stove I have ever seen.

Even while the stove is active, you can
touch the cooking surface and not get burned.
In fact, the paper towel was totally unaffected
by being in direct contact by the “burner”.

I have never heard of induction cooking, but
the salesman said it has been around since
World War I.

So to find the future, I had to look to the past.

Maybe one day, I will have my smart fridge.
All I really need is the following timely message.

WARNING: BEER LEVEL DANGEROUSLY LOW.
Todd Donaldson
Please leave a comment. 

What invention or technology has
gone unrealized?   What are we missing?

I need to unplug my computer brain and go to bed.

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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Aug
22

Mayor of WTHR

Posted By · August 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

CHECK IN: Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza “Love the pizza”

In just seconds, I expressed my love of Jockamo’s pizza though Foursquare.

Foursquare is social networking software which allows users to post their location to sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Foursquare also keeps track of each time a user checks into a location.

Users are rewarded with badges after meeting certain criteria.

For instance…

The Adventurer badge is given for checking into 10 different venues.

The Gym Rat badge is for going to the gym more than 10 times in 30 days.

The School Night badge is earned by checking into a venue after 3AM on a school night.
(one of my favorites)

In addition, the person who checks into a venue the most becomes the mayor of the location.

You may be asking, what is the point of all this?

With Foursquare, your friends can instantly see your location and meet up with you. (very useful for late night bar hopping)

Some users enjoy earning new badges.  It gives them a sense of personal achievement.

Everyone enjoys the bragging rights associated with being the mayor of a location.

Some locations have special offers for those who check in.

Scotty’s Brewhouse offers a discount on lunch and dinner on certain
days of the week, and the Mayor of Scotty’s always receives 10% off
their bill.

This is a nice benefit for the regular crowd and a handsome reward for being the Mayor.  The restaurant, in return, earns loyal customers.

While Foursquare is fun, I always felt like it is a feature, not a full fledged, stand-alone service.

Facebook agrees with me.

Facebook programmers took one look at Foursquare and (click, click, click) made their own location
feature.  (time elapsed to save time in this blog)

Last week, Facebook revealed “Places”.

It is a feature which allows users to post their location so your friends will instantly know
where you are.  (sound familiar?)

Foursquare has about 3 million users and Facebook has over 500 million users.

Eventually, most companies will focus on Facebook Places just because of the shear number of users.

Once Places adds fun features like badges, I can’t see your average user checking in to both Facebook AND Foursquare.

Unless Foursquare expands its service, it may be forgotten, in favor of Facebook’s location feature.

Until then, I’ll continue to check into Foursquare.

Maybe one day, I’ll be the Mayor of WTHR.

Todd Donaldson

(Below are a few screen shots of Foursquare)

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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Aug
18

All Aboard Flipboard

Posted By · August 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Flipboard

When the New York Times, USA Today and Newsweek
shine a spotlight on the same application, I
get skeptical.  Apps seldom live up to the hype.

Flipboard is an exception.

Flipboard scans your Facebook and Twitter feeds
and displays them in a visual manner, similar to
a magazine. 

In fact, Mike McCue, the CEO of Flipboard, describes
the app as “the worlds’s first social magazine.”

Facebook and especially Twitter can be tedious. 

You have to scan each entry to evaluate the content.
To see a photo, you have to click a link, then click
“back” to return to the feed list.

The user is an active participant, almost playing a
video game going back and forth between feeds and links.

Flipboard is a much more pleasant and passive
experience.

Text and pictures are together in a clean magazine
layout. Your eyes drift from tweet to tweet with ease.
A simple flick of the finger turns the digital page.

Flipboard also assembles RSS feeds from popular content
providers in the same easy to read format.

For example, I added feeds from Wired Magazine, The Onion
and, of course, WTHR, Channel 13.  Each brief article
provides a link to the full story on the original website.

Flipboard is an iPad only app, which needs an online
connection to work.  Future versions may allow the user
to use it offline.

The anticipation surrounding Flipboard was intense.

The launch fell flat because the company’s servers
were overwhelmed with demand.  New users had be put
on a waiting list.

Flipboard rapidly expanded their servers and quickly
addressed users’ concerns.  Now anyone can walk up to
the front of the line and enjoy the ride.

Todd Donaldson

Categories : 13 Tech Blog
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