They don’t make them like they used to (thankfully!)

To show how far vehicle safety has come in the last 50 years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety decided to take 2 cars, 50 years apart in when they were manufactured, and crash them into each other.  Here are the cars:

1959 Chevy Bel Air:

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2009 Chevy Malibu:

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Here is the moment of impact:

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The aftermath:

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What can we take away from this?  Well, if you were in the 1959 model, you would quickly learn what your knees taste like if in an accident.  Thank goodness for science and advances in highway safety.

Alright, alright, you have earned it.  Here is the video:

(source: Autoblog.com)

They don’t make them like they used to (thankfully!)

To show how far vehicle safety has come in the last 50 years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety decided to take 2 cars, 50 years apart in when they were manufactured, and crash them into each other.  Here are the cars:

1959 Chevy Bel Air:

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2009 Chevy Malibu:

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Here is the moment of impact:

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The aftermath:

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What can we take away from this?  Well, if you were in the 1959 model, you would quickly learn what your knees taste like if in an accident.  Thank goodness for science and advances in highway safety.

Alright, alright, you have earned it.  Here is the video:

(source: Autoblog.com)

RedLaser : Barcode scanner for the iPhone that WORKS.

Imagine the scenario… You are at Best Buy shopping for that new wireless router.  You find the one that you want, but you wonder if it is any less expensive online.  You whip out your iPhone, head to Amazon.com, and try to find it.  The only problem is that there are several wireless routers that are very similar, so it’s hard to make a fair comparison.

Enter RedLaser.

RedLaser (iTunes link) is an app that will scan any UPC/Barcode on a product and almost instantly give you the listing on Amazon as well as other online merchants.  And, since it is based on the UPC of that product, it will be an exact match.  Here’s how it works in pictures:

First of all, there is the app.  Fancy arrow, huh?

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Once in the program, scan your barcode:

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Then, almost instantly (and I really mean this… maybe 2 seconds) you will get an Amazon listing, followed by Google results:

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Clicking any of the results will take you to that merchant’s website to buy it.

RedLaser is a very simple app, but it makes comparative shopping so much easier!

RedLaser (website)

iTunes link

Minimum Purchase Required

Downstairs at the little cafe I buy my lunch at every day, there is a sign on the cash register:

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I’m sure you have seen something similar to this at other restaurants/shops in your part of town.  It has never been a problem to me until one day, when I wanted to buy a drink, and that’s all.  I almost never have cash on me, so my only option was to use my debit card.  The only catch was that I had to get up to $3 before the lady would ring me up, so I ended up getting a few things that I really had no intention of purchasing.  (In their defense, the Nerds were a tasty snack when I was struggling at 3pm.  But still.)

Do you see something wrong with that?  Forcing my to buy items that I don’t want to just so I can use a debit card.  Now, I realize that companies have to pay a fee for every credit card transaction, but that is usually 3% or so.  Not that much.  But at the same time, I believe that companies should build that into their pricing for whatever they are selling.

I have seen places that have a $10 minimum amount, which is just absurd if you ask me.  What if I only want to spend $5?  If I don’t have cash, that means I have to spend twice as much as I wanted to spend just for the “convenience” of using a debit card.  If you ask me, it’s a way for a store to make you spend more in order to shop there.

And here is the kicker… according to Visa and MasterCard, this is against their terms of service for their Merchant Accounts.  From Visa’s website:

Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge a surcharge fee when you use your Visa card.

So there you have it… What these places of businesses are doing could potentially cost them their Merchant Account.

How do you feel about this?  Should companies be allowed to have these kinds of policies?

The US Postal Service is very resourceful. Or not.

The other day, I needed to mail something from Alpharetta, GA (A) to Lawrenceville, GA (B).  That is about 20 miles away, as you can see from this nifty little map:

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Well, I just tracked the package, and it went all the way up to Memphis, TN first.  To give you an idea, here is the map of its travels.  Alpharetta (A) to Memphis (B) to Lawrenceville (C):  (click for full size)

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Alpharetta to Lawrenceville: 20 miles

Alpharetta to Memphis to Lawrenceville: 804 miles!

Does this make sense to anyone?  Maybe they wouldn’t have to raise the cost of postage if they weren’t doing ridiculous things like that.

Thoughts?

Old iPhone + eBay = new iPhone

On July 11, 2008, I purchased the iPhone 3G.  I waited in line for about 2 hours to buy it, and it was actually an all-around fun experience.   I paid $299 for the 16GB version, and in doing so, I entered into a 2-year contract with AT&T.  Fast forward a year or so later…

Apple releases the iPhone 3GS, and if I want to get it, I have to shell out $399 to get the low-end model since I am not yet eligible for the cheaper upgrade pricing.  I was bummed, but still content with what I had.  Now, fast forward to last week…

I have recently been wanting one of those little Flip video cameras for on-the-fly video shooting, and I started thinking that if I had the new iPhone 3GS, it would accomplish the video part, plus, I would have the shiny new phone that can do several other things that my iPhone would not do.

So my dilemma was this… how in the world do I justify spending $399 on a new iPhone when my current one works fine, and more importantly, I don’t have $399 to spend on a phone? The only way would be to sell my current iPhone and try and recoup some of the cost of getting the new iPhone.

Enter eBay.

On Thursday, I put my iPhone up on eBay to try and sell it.  I thought I might get around $300 or so, especially considering that the phone was used.  I would be ok with that.  I spend $100 to get the latest-greatest.  Well, the auction closed Saturday, and the price it sold for?

$425!

The buyer paid instantly with Paypal, and I went and got my shiny new iPhone.  The best part is that I am out ZERO dollars for it.

So, the moral of the story is this:  If you have an older iPhone and want a newer one, put it up on eBay.  You will get a lot more for it than you would expect, and it just might pay for the new iPhone that you want =)