La importancia de Linkedin para empresas y profesionales #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación sobre la importancia de Linkedin para empresas y profesionales. Un saludo

TICs y Formación Via Alfredo Vela y

Mejora la Primera Experiencia de tu Hotel en Google + #infografia #infographic #socialmedia #tourism

Hola: Una infografía sobre la Mejora la Primera Experiencia de tu Hotel en Google +. Vía Un saludo

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Kit básico de Herramientas 2.0 para Pymes #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación con el Kit básico de Herramientas 2.0 para Pymes Un saludo

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10 consejos de uso para la Samsung Galaxy 3 + Gear #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía con 10 consejos de uso para la Samsung Galaxy 3 + Gear. Un saludo

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Presencia de las marcas en los canales 2.0 #marketing #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación sobre la presencia de las marcas en los canales 2.0. Un saludo

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¿Tu web es válida en la actualidad? #marketing #internet

Hola: Una presentación que plantea si ¿Tu web es válida en la actualidad? Un saludo

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Networking: Estrategias para convertir relaciones 2.0 en 1.0 #marketing #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación sobre Networking: Estrategias para convertir relaciones 2.0 en 1.0. Un saludo

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UPS Driver In Trouble Because You’re Not Supposed To Have Naughty Times On The Job

We know, we know, there are plenty of opportunities in a job filled with packages of various sizes and shapes to move things in a sassy direction. But UPS is highly displeased over a photo floating around out there as evidence that one of its drivers allegedly had a sexual encounter in the back of a delivery truck.

Not only that, the lady partner in question — who reportedly posted the photo, says in Oklahoma City — appears to be clad in a UPS uniform jacket (and not much else) while preening among the packages.

A spokeswoman for UPS corporate tells the statoin that this kind of behavior is grounds for termination, and that the company is working on tracking down the driver as fast as it can.

The woman apparently posted the photo of herself in the driver’s jacket on a personal website (where she’s listed as a “happiness consultant” with the caption, “Look at my naughty time from yesterday.”

Another follow-up post reportedly described exactly what happened with the driver, saying there could be more photos to come if people sign up as members of her site.

“It disrespects UPS drivers and customers. This is not behavior we would ever condone for anyone, let alone for our company. We want to assure other drivers and our customers that this will be fully investigated,” the spokeswoman says.

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

How YouTube’s Forced Google+ Integration Devolved Into ASCII Porn

bananagrabber Google’s push to merge YouTube and Google+ was in part an attempt to clean up the notoriously negative (and sometimes nonsensical) comments left on videos, by forcing previously anonymous users to associate their comments with the name of a real-life human. But this story on Ars Technica explains how short-sightedness at Google and clever (if juvenile) YouTube users have instead turned the site’s comments into “a sea of ASCII penises.” [ArsTechnica]

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Consejos para salir bien en tu webcam #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre Consejos para salir bien en tu webcam. Vía Un saludo

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Los reyes de Twitter #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre los reyes de Twitter. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista

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Please Don’t Fling Your Empty E-Cigarette Cartridges Out The Car Window

E-cigarettes, even the ones that are plugged into the correct charger and don’t explode, have a problem. Well, their users have a problem. Some former cigarette smokers who are used to flinging butts out the window when they finish a smoke are having trouble letting go of their nasty habit. The trouble is that metal e-cig cartridges are, well, metal, and puncture tires out on the roads.

“We have seen usually one or two [nicotine cartridges] a week puncturing the tire,” the manager of a tire shop told TV station WGAL. The cartridges, which are made out of metal, are much more harmful than a cigarette butt when they land on the road. “When they slash a tire,” the shop manager explains, “they usually leave a pretty big gash in it.”

Unlike a nail, the sharp cartridges don’t leave a simple hole in the tire that can be plugged up. They leave a gash that can’t be patched.

So, smokers, as you use the battery-powered device to break one bad habit, please try to break another. Keep a trash bag in your car for the cartridges.

E-cigarette cartridges puncturing tires [WGAL]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Bags Might Fly Free On Southwest, But Your Pet Will Cost You An Additional $20

For several years, Southwest has charged one of the lowest fees ($75) for passengers flying with a carry-on pet. But starting in January, that price will be going up to be more in line with the fees charged by Southwest’s competitors.

According to the airline’s site, travelers departing on or after Jan. 15, 2014 will incur a $95 fee (one-way) for carry-on pets.

Since this is a fee that is paid at the time of check-in, it looks like even those who made reservations before the price change went into effect will face the higher fee.

Even at $95, Southwest is still the least-expensive airline for flying with pets in the cabin (it does not accept checked pets in the cargo hold), but it is closer to what other airlines currently charge.

JetBlue and Spirit each charge $100, while United, US Airways, Delta, and American all charge $125 for carry-on pets.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Blogs para empresas locales #infografia #infographic #socialmedia #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre Blogs para empresas locales. Un saludo

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¿Cuánto tiempo debe dedicar mi organización a la gestión de las Redes Sociales? #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación sobre ¿Cuánto tiempo debe dedicar mi organización a la gestión de las Redes Sociales? Un saludo

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Price-Matching At Toys ‘R’ Us: No Stacking Discounts On The Lower Price

imagesRichard thought that he found a great deal between a sale on a Nintendo 3DS game at Walmart and a promotion with the Toys ‘R’ Us credit card. The store employees stood in his way, not understanding the store’s price-match policy the way he did. He tried to convince corporate to intervene: no luck. No stacked discounts for him.

Here’s the deal that he was trying to make happen. “Skylanders: SWAP Force” normally costs $74.99, but Walmart had it on sale for $37, and Richard could prove it. Sweet deal. Then there was a 10% off discount for people with a Toys ‘R’ Us credit card, taking another $3.70 off the top. Then he noticed a buy one, get one 40% off promotion, which could get him a second game for 40% off. He found a $10 game that seemed to be worth about $6 and headed to the register.

I asked why the policy said that you could price match after applying TRU offers,” he wrote to Consumerist, “and all they would tell me is that it was one or the other, that I could not combine offers.”

Now, Richard had read the chain’s price-matching policy carefully. As far as he could tell, he should be able to get the game for the Walmart sale price, then apply Toys ‘R’ Us discounts to get another game for 40% off, then 10% off the whole total. That’s not how it works. The policy is to apply each store’s discounts, compare the two prices, and give the customer the lower of the two prices.

This dispute hinges on the meaning of this line in the Toys ‘R’ Us price-matching policy:

Prices are matched after deducting any Toys”R”Us and/or Babies”R”Us coupon savings and other offers from our price.

Richard understood this to mean that Toys ‘R’ Us would apply their discounts to the price along with matching the Walmart sale price. That reading of the text makes sense, but that’s not what Toys ‘R’ Us means. The policy says “from our price” – not from the matched price.

We know this because we sent Richard’s issue over to Toys ‘R’ Us for some clarification. “A customer cannot apply a Toys”R”Us discount on top of matching a competitor’s price,” explained a spokesperson. That means you can’t combine the Walmart price with the 10% off credit card discount, or with the buy one, get one 40% off deal. Customers can have one discount or the other, but not both.

So that settles it. Or does it? While we were talking to Toys ‘R’ Us, Richard reported back that he spoke to a corporate employee and to the store manager about his dispute. “[The corporate employee], after we spoke, confirmed that the store should had honored both offers, as per the terms of their price match policy,” Richard explained to us. When the employee offered to send his complaint on and have someone from the store’s district management contact Richard, he agreed.

The next day, the manager called him up, explaining that the real policy is exactly what the media relations person told us and the store staff had told him when he tried to combine discounts. The policy doesn’t say what he thinks it does.

Who’s right here? The store’s message is pretty consistent, unless you read the policy the way that Richard did. They apply discounts and then compare the two prices. Maybe the corporate employee was going rogue and a fellow lover of discount games…or maybe the store has a secret hatred of price-matchers.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

75 blogs sobre opinión de productos a seguir #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía con 75 blogs sobre opinión de productos a seguir. Un saludo An infographic by the team at CouponAudit .

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¿Le podría ir peor a los medios impresos? #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía que plantea si ¿Le podría ir peor a los medios impresos? Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista

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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Wants To Ban Axe Body Spray From Ever Wafting Through Schools Again

After a Pennsylvania high school student suffered such a severe reaction to the smell of Axe Body Spray — that teen cologne that we imagine smells like a cross between Justin Bieber’s morning breath and that time a raccoon got caught in the copier — he was hospitalized, a state lawmaker is trying to ban the stuff from tickling the nostrils of students who are allergic.

State Rep. Marcia Hahn wants to introduce legislation that would ban the use of scented products like perfume, cologne or other body sprays in schools where students have fragrance allergies.

The boy who was hospitalized after a run-in (a nose-in?) with Axe now has to take cyber classes, which Hahn doesn’t think is fair to him. But it’s also not the easiest thing to regulate the particular scents kids want to drench themselves in. At least her proposal will get people talking, she says.

“If you have a piece of legislation and it’s not enforceable, it doesn’t really help,” she tells the Pennsylvania Independent. “So I’m hoping that we can come up with a solution that works for everyone.”

The principal of the boy’s high school isn’t so sure banning smelly self-grooming products is the way to go, although the school tried asking students to lay off and it didn’t work so well. He had another allergic reaction when he tried to go back earlier this year.

“Kids that don’t take showers don’t want to walk around all day with body odor, so some of them will put cologne on or whatever,” he explained.

Should the Fragrance Free Schools Act get signed into law, districts or joint school boards would have to work up a written policy banning the use of scented products — if a student notifies the school that he or she has one of those kinds of allergy.

Schools would then post the policy within the halls and in the student code of conduct, but without identifying which student it is with an allergy. Because can you imagine what the other kids would say? Something awful probably because teenagers are scary.

What smells? PA lawmaker wants to ‘Axe’ fragrance in certain schools [Pennsylvania Independent]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

This Guy Made A Homemade Shotgun — All With Stuff He Bought At Airport Stores After Security

Of course, the Transportation Security Administration is not going to let anyone through security with a homemade weapon that could hurt someone. Heck, you can’t even bring a big snow globe or your Mamaw’s cranberry sauce. But that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a homemade shotgun using only products purchased after security. Say what?

We would never condone building such a thing (or any of the weapons in his DIY arsenal), but a programmer who is also somewhat of a “security researcher” by night did just that to show that well, it can be done.

He spoke to FastCompany about his efforts using things like dental floss, a can of Axe body spray, condoms and magazines to create the BLUNDERBUSSiness Class, saying the object of his research is to show in a somewhat silly, albeit scary kind of way, that weapons are everywhere and that the “security theater” of the TSA is ill-prepared to keep us safe.

“If we’re trying stop a terrorist threat at the airport,” he says. “It’s already too late.”

He says he started the project as a reaction to the ubiquity of body scanners at airports around the country.

“It just seemed so invasive, really expensive,” he says. “And if you’re going to go through all that trouble getting into the terminal, why is all this stuff available in the terminal?”

Perhaps because most people have neither the knowledge or the desire to go through the effort to make a homemade crossbow? At least, we hope most people don’t want to do that. It’s also worth noting that he didn’t assemble or test any of these weapons at an actual airport, but at his home.

He’s also been sending reports to both the FBI and the TSA to show his work before he publishes it online, just so they know what he’s up to. As a result, the FBI stopped by one day.

“That was really the first time that I knew someone had looked over the material and put together a report on their end,” he says. “That was encouraging.”

A disclaimer on his site reads:

What if Terrorists See This?!

That’s a great question. An even better question is: What if they already know all this? All of these findings have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) to help them better detect these types of threats. Furthermore, the next time you fly, you’ll be flying as a more informed consumer (and taxpayer, possibly) — one who is more equipped to demand better, more appropriate airport security.

While the FBI turned down his request for research funding, so he could test weapons on actual airplane parts and the like, he’s going to keep working as a freelancer in the future.

Again — don’t try this at home. Or at the airport. Or anywhere.

As he notes on his website, “Don’t break the law. Don’t build weapons if you don’t know how to do it safely. Don’t be stupid.”

The TSA Is No Match For This Mad Scientist And His Gun Made With Junk From Airport Stores [Fast Co.Exist]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Deer Wanders Into Frozen Yogurt Shop, Does $5,000 In Damage

ohdeerFrozen yogurt is currently quite trendy, but we didn’t know that word had spread to wildlife. Yet a deer psuhed through the swinging door of a Peachwave shop in New Jersey last month and had an exciting romp, doing $5,000 in damage to the shop as it freaked out that its hooves couldn’t get any traction on the shiny floor.

Of course, the world didn’t hear about this incident until the owner’s son decided to set the footage to “Benny Hill” music and post it on YouTube. Of course.

The shop had just closed for the night when the deer crashed through the door, scaring the owner and his daughter. It scrambled around for about three minutes, finally giving up and lying down in a hallway near the door until an employee came and let it out.

The shop closed for a day to clean up, fix the damage, and get the health department’s okay to open back up.

Deer caught on tape running through Peachwave Yogurt in Holmdel [News 12]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Fulfilling That ‘Banker Bro’ Stereotype In Job-Hunting E-mails Is A Bad Idea

bunchofboners It’s one thing (though still obnoxious) to be a brash, backstabbing alpha male when you’re out on the town with business associates. It’s another for a job applicant to be so dimwitted as to put that same arrogant attitude into an e-mail and assume it’s not going to be forwarded around, and probably end up on the smartphone screen of the very people you’re insulting.

Thus the lesson being learned by one young college chap trying to secure post-graduation employment with the Charlotte-based firm of Bank of America.

In e-mails screengrabbed on Business Insider, the gent sends of an electronic epistle (e-pistle?) to a Bank of America Merrily Lynch (BAML) recruiter with whom he’d presumably discussed the refined art of beer pong earlier in the week.

Reads the e-mail:

“Last night at Kips chilling with you was a good time and a great start to the week lol! I went to the Wells Fargo IB info session tonight and they were all a bunch of boners, the experience didn’t compare…. hope to talk to you again soon bro!”

Yes, not only did someone who wants to be an investment banker at one of the world’s largest financial institutions put “lol!” into the e-mail, he referred to Wells Fargo recruiters as “boners.”

Another version of this e-mail, presumably sent to another BAML recruiter, changes that insult to the less awkward but still juvenile “doofuses.”

Thing is, investment bankers — and recruiters for these banks — know each other. And while smack-talking is certainly par for the course in certain circles, you kind of need to earn your stripes before you can start referring to people you don’t know as boners and doofuses (doofi?).

Thus, the e-mail was forwarded, and eventually ended up in the inbox of a Wells Fargo recruiter who tersely noted “I don’t think this kid should get an offer.”

It finally got all the way back to one of the Wells people at that event, who admitted, “I’m apparently the dufus. I apologize to you all.”

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Amazon, Best Buy, United Airlines Make Consumer Reports’ Naughty List

While the bearded guy at the North Pole is making his list and checking it twice before he heads out to deliver toys and/or coal on Dec. 24/25, our pals at Consumer Reports have already decided who they think deserves a shiny black hunk of anthracite in their stockings.

CR has unveiled its latest Naughty and Nice list on its website, damning or praising a range of retailers and other consumer-facing businesses for their particular policies.

Since we’re not yet in the holiday spirit (and we rarely like to praise any company for simply having policies that are humane), we’re going to focus on those businesses making the Naughty cut in 2013.

In alphabetical order…

Amazon: The e-tail giant makes the list for its decision to increase the purchase requirement on free shipping from $10 to $35.

Best Buy: No, it’s not for those irritating Amy Poehler commercials. Instead, the women and men in blue get coaled for requiring photo ID for returning an item (a requirement the company has had for nearly three years) and its use of that info to track other returns (though technically the tracking is being done by a third-party company).

BJ’s Wholesale Club: Unlike fellow warehouse stores Costco and Sam’s Club, BJ’s won’t accept returns of perishable products like food and flowers. For that, it apparently earns a place on the Naughty list.

Fry’s Electronics: Most TVs are larger than 24″ these days, but if you buy one that size at Fry’s you can’t return it. So naughty.

Kmart: We think putting Kmart on the naughty list is like blaming a football player with broken leg for not scoring enough touchdowns, but CR has no problem kicking the beleaguered retailer when it’s down, putting the store you haven’t shopped at since 1987 on the list for its decision to open its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving (presumably so people waiting for the Best Buy across the street to open will have a warm place to hang out for a few hours).

Lord & Taylor: I’ve never been in a Lord & Taylor because I’m not my mom, but the retailer is apparently naughty for advertising that people could “Save 25 percent at the ultimate one-day sale,” while using the fine print to exclude 70 brands and entire categories like jewelry, beauty products, cosmetics, women’s designer coats, fragrances, luggage and more.

But if you’re going to put L&T on the Naughty List for that, you should also toss in Sears, Guitar Center, Lane Bryant, Babies R Us, Macy’s, and countless others.

QVC: The home-shopping channel is deemed coal-worthy for its confusing array of 20 different categories for prices and deals:

For example, there’s the “QVC Price,” also known as the everyday great price, “Today’s Special Value,” a steep one-day markdown, the “Event Price,” another temporary deal, and “While Supplies Last Price,” identifying big savings on items in relatively short supply. Then there’s the “Last Clicks” category, featuring a limited quantity of leftovers priced to sell, which is not to be confused with “Clearance Price” products, whose prices have been reduced to make room for new inventory. That’s only six of the categories.

Raymour & Flanigan:

While many retailers offer sketchy deferred-interest, store-branded credit cards — which gives you a period of no-interest payments but which will retroactively slap you upside the head with all the interest on the original purchase if not paid off in full by the end of that period — the furniture chain heavily markets its deferred-interest card on its home page (but doesn’t make a huge deal about the 28% APR on that deferred interest).

Toys ‘R’ Us:

After earning some love for its plan to price-match online competitors, the toy chain has decided to suspend that policy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (on which we all dress like characters from the 1995 classic Hackers and then just sit at home and order stuff online).

United Airlines: The country’s largest airline (at least for the moment) could probably make the list for any number of its policies, but CR chose to call out United for not allowing families with youngsters to join in the pre-boarding fun.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Hurry And Pick Up A Top Snowblower Before The Snow Comes

snowthrowIf you live in a part of the country that gets snow, you might be thinking about buying a snowblower…um, sometime in the next few hours if you live in the Northeast. Fortunately, our bundled-up colleagues over at Consumer Reports has already done the heavy plowing for you and picked out the best machines on the market.

Have you ever wondered how Consumer Reports tests snowblowers before there’s snow? They use wet sawdust and occasional trips around a local skating rink, using the “snow” created when the Zamboni smoothes the surface of the ice.

Their top choices include models from Cub Cadet, Ariens, Toro, and Craftsman.

Snow blowers that make easy work out of snow removal [Consumer Reports]

Inside CR Test Labs: Snow-Blower Workouts [Consumer Reports]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Annual Survey Confirms: Yup, There Are Dangerous Toys On Store Shelves This Season

This just an example of a toy aisle, not necessarily one with dangerous items. (C x 2)

This just an example of a toy aisle, not necessarily one with dangerous items. (C x 2)

It’s a hectic time of year — shoppers dashing through the toy aisles in stores around the country, grabbing toys as they go to appease the mighty appetites of children who absolutely must have this or that source of entertainment. But this year’s annual survey of dangerous or toxic toys shows that it also pays to be aware of what you’re buying before you bestow it upon your kid.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report [PDF here] found that even though there has been some important progress in toy safety, it’s still a good idea to be careful with what you buy this holiday season.

The report outlines results of laboratory testing on toys for toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, and phthalates. Any of those can have adverse health effects on the development of children.

Then there’s the danger posed by small toys, which can choke young children, as well as extremely noisy toys which might have an impact on a child’s hearing. And of course, keep in mind that toy magnets are a very bad thing if a child swallows them.

“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys,” said Jenny Levin, U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate.

The report found several toys with high lead levels, including a toddler toy that had 29 times the legal limit of lead, an infant play mat with high levels of the toxic metal antimony, and a child’s pencil case with high levels of phthalates and cadmium.

There’s no comprehensive list of potentially hazardous toys, the survey notes, so it’s up to parents or other adult shoppers to examine toys carefully before you buy them. US PIRG has some handy Toy Safety Tips on its site as well.

And should you stumble upon any unsafe toys or experience toy-related injuries, report them to the CPSC at and or call 1-800-638-2772.

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Even Yahoo Employees Want Nothing To Do With Yahoo Mail

yahoomail If you’re one of the many Yahoo users (Yahoosers?) who hasn’t been terribly impressed with the numerous recent “upgrades” to the web giant’s e-mail service, you’re not alone, especially in the Yahoo offices, were 3-out-of-4 employees have apparently decided to just stick with Microsoft Outlook, in spite of the company’s pleas to switch.

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher got her hands on a memo sent to Yahoo employees by the company’s Chief Information Officer and a Sr. VP of Communications, in which the execs basically beg employees to break up with the boring but safe Blaine McDonnagh that is Outlook and please, please see that they should really be falling for the Duckie Dale of Yahoo mail.

“Earlier this year we asked you to move to Yahoo Mail for your corporate email account,” reads the message. “25% of you made the switch (thank you). But even if we used the most generous of grading curves (say, the one from organic chemistry), we have clearly failed in our goal to move our co-workers to Yahoo Mail.”

The memo calls it a “matter of principle to use the products we make,” adding “BTW, same for Search,” which implies that most Yahoo employees have the same feeling about Yahoo search as the general public.

“[Y]ou might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol’ gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance,” continues the memo, no doubt causing countless Yahoo workers to search on Google or Wikipedia to understand that last sentence.

The memo then goes on, trying — much like an overeager suitor mocking his object of affection’s current love interest — to show how much cooler Yahoo is than stupid ol’ Outlook:

First, it doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana. At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl. There was a similar outcry when we moved away from Outlook’s suite-mates in the Microsoft Office dreadnaught. But whether it’s familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness dressed in a cloak of Ayn Randian Objectivism, the time has come to move on, commrade [sic...go deep in this pun, it is layered].

At this point, everyone at Yahoo is probably reminded why they get picked on by the cool kids at Google when they run into them at the mall.

The letter praises all the features of using the Yahoo Mail service for corporate e-mail accounts — basically all stuff you can do in Outlook and numerous other suites — but then slips in the note that, oh yeah, “corp mail is not yet supported in our Mail app for Android or iOS, but that will change.”

So the company wants everyone to switch to a mail service that isn’t yet mobile-friendly? That’s like the aforementioned suitor telling the girl he adores that “Okay, so I do currently live in my mom’s basement, but I swear I’m going to move out soon!”

We wonder how many of the Yahoo employees that received this memo then immediately used their Gmail accounts to forward it to their friends, or to apply for jobs elsewhere.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

JetBlue Quietly Launches “Free” In-Flight WiFi, Charges $9/Hour If You Want Streaming Quality

If you just want to go online, check your e-mail or update your Facebook status, you probably won't need to ante up for the pricey Fly-Fi Plus tier.

If you just want to go online, check your e-mail or update your Facebook status, you probably won’t need to ante up for the pricey Fly-Fi Plus tier.

It’s been more than a year since JetBlue first confirmed that it would be installing next-generation, satellite-based WiFi on its planes, and that the service would initially be free to passengers. Well, even though it’s still weeks away from the official launch of the “Fly-Fi” service, the airline quietly flipped the switch yesterday on at least one jet, and revealed that there are two tiers of service, one of which could cost you quite a bit of money.

Engadget’s Zach Honig managed to get on this first Fly-Fi flight, from JFK International in New York to Austin, and things didn’t exactly go so well in the service’s debut.

“Unfortunately, a recent update caused unexpected performance issues, and Fly-Fi’s speed and consistency fell far short,” writes Honig. “When a flight attendant asked the woman seated in front if me if she had enjoyed her experience at the end of the flight, she responded with ‘not so much.’”

Since he was just making this trip to get his hands on the Fly-Fi, Honig got a bit of lunch at the Austin airport and headed back to JFK. This time, things were much improved.

With the exception of a 30-minute loss of service during the flight, he says that the connection, provided by the folks at ViaSat, was as solid and speedy as that company’s products for Internet users on terra firma, at least when upgrading from the free “Simply Surf” tier to the “Fly-Fi Plus” pay-as-you-go plan that could add quite a bit on to the cost of your flight, depending on how many hours you plan on using it.

“I had no problem loading picture-heavy websites and videos on YouTube after upgrading to Fly-Fi Plus, which currently costs $9 per hour (ouch!),” writes Honig, adding that the Fly-Fi Plus access can be paused so that you’re not running up a huge tab just because you can’t find anything worth watching on Netflix.

He even tried hosting a Google Hangout via webcam with a few on-the-ground friends and said the audio was inconsistent, which can be explained by the rather strict upload caps put in place to optimize the service for passengers who want to stream video and audio.

As for the free service, Honig writes that he was able to stream songs from Spotify and do normal Internet things that don’t hog a ton of data, like load Twitter feeds, check and send e-mails.

So for people who want to get some work done or just browse the Web online, the free Fly-Fi tier may be fine. But it looks like the dream of freely streaming episodes of Longmire on Netflix as you fly across the country is just not to be.

Right now, the service is only on a couple of planes, and Honig says that these jets are not assigned to specific routes until a couple of days before departure, so there is currently no way to be sure that you’re going to be getting on a Fly-Fi flight anytime soon.

What also remains to be seen is whether the free tier will remain after the initial roll-out. JetBlue had originally planned to only offer free service until they hit the 30-plane threshold (which is only about 9% of its fleet) then it would decide whether to continue. But at that point, there was no public mention of the Plus tier.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Airlines Relaxing Change-Fee Policies Ahead Of Impending No Good, Very Bad Weather

Looks like fun!

Looks like fun!

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a bit squirrelly over here on the East Coast wondering about my flight home tomorrow to the Good Land (yes, Milwaukee, Wayne’s World fans, and no, I’ve never heard that one before), in light of the harbingers of doom at various weather services. One bright spot — many of the major airlines are already announcing relaxed change-fee policies for fliers inconvenienced by the coming bad weather.

Delta Air Lines : Delta will give passengers a one-time ticket change with no fee for any traveling to and from New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore and other airports in the East around the Thanksgiving holiday, even if your flight isn’t delayed or canceled. If it is canceled or “significantly delayed,” travelers will be entitled to refunds.

American Airlines: Travelers can change flights with no fee if they’re ticketed to, from or through many airporst in the East (check the site for the list) on Nov. 27, as long as your ticket was issued no later than Nov. 26.

US Airways : American’s soon-to-be bride will also waive change fees for one ticket for flights leading up to Thanksgiving, as long as the airports and fares remain the same on your ticket. You might have to pay extra if there’s a difference in fares or you choose another airport. Again, check the site for a list of affected airports.

United : United will waive fees for certain passengers traveling to or from Cleveland, Washington-Dulles or Newark N.J., including the airports in those areas.

JetBlue : Guess what? JetBlue is also tossing aside change fees for customers hit by weather. Anyone scheduled to fly to or from Dallas/Fort Worth on Nov. 24 or 25 won’t have to pay change fees after an ice storm hit the area. For Northeast customers, JetBlue will waive change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers traveling on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Check their site for affected cities.

As always, check in with your carrier before you head to the airport for any cancellations or delays.

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Mall Santa Accused Of Groping Elf Co-Worker Due In Court Christmas Eve

In a story that seems to be ripped from the North Pole’s headlines, a mall Santa Claus has been ordered to stay away from his place of seasonal employment after allegations that he groped a coworker over the weekend. According to some reports, it appears that the 18-year-old woman he’s accused of harassing was playing an elf.

The Massachusetts man has been barred from the shopping center after pleading not guilty this week to indecent assault and battery, reports the Associated Press.

Cops say the woman called on Saturday and said the man had pinched her bottom and made suggestive comments. They worked together at the Santa photo booth, but it’s not absolutely certain that she worked as an elf.

The 62-year-old sports his own white bushy beard to play Santa, but he won’t be able to take that selling point to any other venue — the judge also barred him from acting as Santa anywhere else until his case has been resolved. He’s due in court on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve.

Mass. mall Santa Claus charged with groping elf [Associated Press]

Ho! Ho! Hold on! Massachusetts mall Santa charged with groping coworker [Reuters]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Walmart Workers Don’t Understand Store’s Return Policy, But Think They Do

walreturngrab - Edited In the retail shopping realm, there are few things worse than running up against an employee who is not only mistaken about his or her store’s policies, but insists that you are the one who does not understand the finer points of that retailer’s rules.

KTVK-TV in Phoenix recently put a handful of area Walmarts to the test (you can watch the video below) to see what would happen when an undercover producer tried returning a mix of seasonal and regular items with a gift receipt.

Four different stores, three different results. None of them quite right.

Store 1 would not give the customer any refund, insisting that because the original purchaser had paid with a credit card that the refund had to be credited back to that person’s card.

Stores 2 and 3 provided a refund of the $10.77 purchase to the gift receipt holder, but did not give her the option of receiving a cash refund.

Store 4 flat-out refused to provide any refund whatsoever, saying the store’s general manager was not allowing refunds on seasonal items.

The Walmart website says a lot about returns, with a number of pages dedicated to the process, but this by-department breakdown mentions no special policy for seasonal items.

This page specific to gift returns is says that you’ll receive a gift card back, but that if the return is “within the guidelines of the No Receipt Return Policy, you may also have the option to receive cash back.”

That policy, spelled out yet another page, says that refunds for returns under $25 can be provided in cash.

Walmart’s corporate response wasn’t exactly impressive.

“It’s our expectation to refund the original purchase price when returning an item with a gift receipt,” a company rep told KTVK. “Clearly, we’re disappointed this didn’t happen in these particular instances.We have addressed this with all of our stores in the market to help ensure these are handled correctly going forward.”

How about simply providing employees and customers with clear guidelines at the customer service desk so that there is no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding?

Walmart HQ says customers who are having trouble returning products should request a manager. We recommend anyone returning a product to any store in the coming weeks and months go there with not just the receipt, but also with with that store’s return policies printed out or bookmarked on your phone.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Family Claims They’re Fine With Server’s “Lifestyle,” Left 20% Tip

receipt_checkA few weeks ago, a New Jersey waitress set the Internets on fire with by posting a receipt, allegedly from her work, with a hateful message instead of a tip. “Sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle & the way you live your life,” read the message on the receipt. The customer has now come forward to say that they left a 20% tip and would say no such thing.

The family claims that they recognize their receipt, the amount, and even the husband’s signature under the obscuring blur. Yet their own copy of the receipt and their credit card statement show a different total…with an included 20% tip.

“We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service,” insists the wife, “and we would never leave a note like that.”

The receipt that circulated online showed a total of $93.55, but the total that the family actually paid was $111.55. Their copy of the receipt was printed at the same exact time and from the same terminal as the one circulated online. Their copy just has a tip and lacks the explanatory note.

The family wants to correct the record, but they also want to remain anonymous because of the hysterical Internet frenzy reserved for both non-tippers and bigots. The question is: who did write the note? NBC 4 confronted the waitress outside of work, and she claimed that it isn’t in her handwriting and she had nothing to do with it.

For people concerned about the donations collected on her behalf, don’t be: as a Marines veteran, she’s turning them all over to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The restaurant claims that they’re investigating the situation.

Family Says They Did Tip Gay Server, Didn’t Leave Note [NBC New York]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Can I Bring That Homemade Pumpkin Pie On Board? Know How To Pack Before You Fly

While you’re probably eyeing the weather reports of storms, snow and sleet with trepidation, there are other things to consider before you head to the airport during the holiday season. For example: Your aunt makes the best darn pumpkin pies this side of the Mississippi and she wants to send one back with you because she’s the best aunt ever. Should you pack it in your checked luggage or can you bring it as a carry-on?

The Transportation Security Administration has helpful hints on what you can bring through security checkpoints during the holidays, when you might be traveling with items you wouldn’t usually fly with.

About that pie? Cakes and pies can go onboard with you, but don’t be surprised if you’re stopped for additional screening.

Not so lucky is that jar of cranberry sauce Mamaw pressed upon you on the way out — any liquid, aerosol or gel items above 3.4 ounces must be checked or shipped ahead of time.

No-nos for carry-ons:

Cranberry sauce


Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)

Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)





Maple syrup

Oils and vinegars


Salad dressing



Snow Globes


Wine, liquor and beer

If you’ve got wrapped gifts, security officers might need to unwrap something if a bag triggers an alarm during the screening process. Just to be safe, it’s probably a good idea to wrap presents after the flight or ship them before you get to your destination.

Safe and happy travels, everyone. Even you Grinches out there — you know who you are.

Traveling with Food or Gifts []

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist