Think Green

Good afternoon. I trust everyone has had time to adjust to the time change. Isn’t it time we put our agrarian roots in the history books and ditch Daylight Savings? I digress.

Spring/Cingular Tips & Tricks
Since we have a negotiated deal with both Spring and Cingular I thought I’d pass along a couple of tips to help you get the best deals. First off if you don’t use either of these carriers you could be missing out on a pretty significant savings on your rate plan. In addition you also get the benefit of cheaper phones and accessories with less stings attached.
Cingular Tips
Other Carrier Tips

Wal-Mart Customer Overview Leaked
Someone at Wally World let slip a presentation that walked through their shopper demographics. They came up with different persona to discuss customer attributes. Personally I don’t think there is anything really shocking about the presentation, but some people took exception to the use of the term “Conscientious Objector” when referring to those that do not shop at Wal-Mart for various political, religious or social reasons. The bigger issue here is the fact that it was leaked at all. It kind of makes one wonder how security conscious we need to be. You can find it here.

Days Inn Auto Bot…and it isn’t a transformer
Another story from my new favorite blog: The Consumerist. They can be a little to heavy on the world is against me mentality at times, but it is a different perspective. This article shows the transcript from a Days Inn upsell agent. The transcript is pretty funny and worth a read.

Kosher Coke…as in Classic Coke
NPR ran a story that made rounds the other day that there is formula using cane sugar. I’m a bit of a Dr Pepper snob and you can always get Dr Pepper from Dublin, TX which is made from cane sugar. If it wasn’t for Dr Pepper I think the town would cease to exist, right Kellie?

Google Maps, now with Traffic
Google has added color coded indicators to the highways in thirty cities. The smarty pants in me wanted to see how bad it looked in LA and sure enough all of the highways were red. Just kidding. However the majority were yellow so maybe it is only red when there are police chases? Still it is a pretty neat check to see what the roads look like before you run out the door.

You have HDTV? Are you actually getting HD content?
There was a recent article in AZ Central that showed up on, you guessed it, Consumerist. Nearly half of the 24 million HDTV’s in households do not watch HD content because they haven’t upgraded their cable, satellite or antenna. Roughly 6 million viewers had no idea that they weren’t watching HD. So make sure when you take the plunge you get the content.

Have a great weekend! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (Eating at Bennigan’s is NOT required)

January? Where?

Now that it is February I figured I better get on the ball and shoot one of these bad boys out. BTW, I’ll save the iPhone until June.

Wal-Mart as a Power Company
Don’t look now, but Wal-Mart owns a power company in Texas. Through deregulation the company figured it could save about $15Million a year by owning their own power company to supply all of the stores in Texas. The stores here in Texas use about 1.6 million megawatt hours a year. The article below also mentions efforts by the discount chain to use renewable energy whenever possible. Wal-Mart set a goal to sell 100 million Compact Fluorescent Lights in stores this year.
Story Here

New Web 2.0-ified Health Site
You are all probably aware of the big health sites like webmd.com and health.yahoo.com, but someone thought they could do better. This site has a nice clean look and offers some interesting community building ideas. Sure they have forums, but they also have links to blog entries relevant to certain categories, personal stories and a ratings/reviews section.
http://www.revolutionhealth.com/

Jellyfish – Like Woot! but totally different
If you don’t know what Woot! is all about then you are truly missing out on life. They had a Woot!-off the other day, but I digress. Jellyfish takes a similar approach in offering one product per day, but the method is a little different. They offer some products in succession at 12pm CST Monday through Friday. Once a product is displayed the price continues to drop. The longer you wait the better the deal. But they usually only offer a few spots. For example a camera sells for $1,628 through the retailer. They had three winners that got 28, 41 and 44% cash back. Yes, that is cash back. You still have to pay the full price for the item on sale but you end up getting cash back (30-60 days later).

Boston’s Fake Bombers
No doubt you heard about the publicity stunt that from Cartoon Network that had Boston all a buzz this week. The devices were LED lights with a battery pack and magnet. But the idea is nothing new. You might recall that some nerds at the Graffiti Research Lab came up with a very cheap and simple idea to attach a watch battery, magnet and led light together and throw them around as “art”.

Nike+iPod=Google Maps
It isn’t officially sanctioned, but there is a group of people that have figured out a way to plot your running route on a Google map. So far users have logged nearly 3,500 miles.

Single in Bangkok?
Single travelers with carry on luggage get priority clearance through immigration and then straight into the hotel lobby. The car is up on the hotel site if you want to see what it looks like. Look for the “Ultimate Rush” package. See Hotel Chatter for the review.

The finale – 2006

It is hard to believe that 2006 has nearly come to an end. So we’ll end the year on a light note and revisit a couple of sites from last year to see what might have changed. Plus one timewaster…

IKEA
The ikea site that I sent last year was just amazing. The concept was a 360 degree spin around four or five different scenes with different ikea products. This newest version takes it a step further and is really quite fun to play with. Make sure you wait for everything to download. Make sure you turn up the volume! You’ll need it on the red room.
link

Borders
Last year you might recall that Borders had a really fun and engaging way to find gifts for the people in your life. The motif was a like a mix between a choose your own adventure and an elaborate Sabuda popup book. Rather than a self exploration idea, they have opted for a chat with different characters that fit a certain market. They still walk you through a series of questions that you have to answer specifically. Not too much playing around. I am disappointed that the process yielded results that were not exactly in line with the questions that I responded to. I somehow managed to get a Shakira CD and the Melrose Place DVD as recommendations…

Games
Please don’t get me in trouble, but in the name of research one of our competitors has two games out there. I’m not sure the placement of the games is in the right spot and the game play is kind of cheesy, but we must do research. I cam in at a terrible 33.94 on the lobby run and over 60 seconds on the workout sneakoff.
http://www.redesignedforyou.com/

And Finally…
Magic Missiles are from D&D and was a pretty popular tactic in the game from what I could find out.