Cómo afrontar procesos de selección en tu pyme #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre cómo afrontar procesos de selección en tu pyme. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/03/como-afrontar-procesos-de-seleccion-en-tu-pyme-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

El cambio siempre es mejor en compañía #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía que nos dice que el cambio siempre es mejor en compañía. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/03/el-cambio-siempre-es-mejor-en-compania-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Guía Definitiva para Concursos y Promociones en Twitter #marketing #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación con una Guía Definitiva para Concursos y Promociones en Twitter. Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/03/guia-definitiva-para-concursos-y-promociones-en-twitter-marketing-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Mexicanos en el ciberespacio #infografia #infographic #internet

Hola: Una infografía sobre Mexicanos en el ciberespacio. Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/03/mexicanos-en-el-ciberespacio-infografia-infographic-internet/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

El comercio electrónico en cifras #infografia #infographic #ecommerce

Hola: Una infografía sobre el comercio electrónico en cifras. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/el-comercio-electronico-en-cifras-infografia-infographic-ecommerce/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

¿Las Redes Sociales nos hacen narcisistas? #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía que pregunta si ¿Las Redes Sociales nos hacen narcisistas? Un saludo Source: BestComputerScienceSchools.net

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/las-redes-sociales-nos-hacen-narcisistas-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Guía de campo para moverse por Redes Sociales #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con una guía de campo para moverse por Redes Sociales. Un saludo – Click to download your social media field guide. - See more at: http://9clouds.com/2013/11/27/navigating-social-media-infographic/#sthash.NKBkWwoF.dpuf

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/guia-de-campo-para-moverse-por-redes-sociales-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Find Some AA Batteries That Are Not Terrible

Haven’t you always wanted to buy a bunch of different brands of batteries, test them side by side in the same appliance, and see which one lasts the longest? No? Well, let’s pretend that you have. Everyone uses batteries at some point, and our fully-charged colleagues over at Consumer Reports tested some for all of our benefit.

The winners? Big brand names. Among lithium batteries, Energizer took the top prize. Alkaline batteries are much cheaper, but don’t last as long. The best performance came from a Duracell battery, and the best buy for your money a 48-pack of Kirkland brand batteries at Costco. This presumes that you use a lot of batteries, but between digital cameras and every other gadget in your home, 48 batteries may not last that long.

Which battery is right for you? It depends on what kind of device you want to power. For a relatively low-power device like a flashlight or a toothbrush, the best choice is probably an alkaline battery. If you’re shopping for batteries for a power-slorping device like a digital camera or a handheld gaming device, lithium batteries might be a better choice.

AA batteries that shine [Consumer Reports]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Los 5 mejores teléfonos Android de 2013 #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre los 5 mejores teléfonos Android de 2013. Un saludo Top 5: Smartphones Android 2013 – Infografía producida por Android Jefe

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/los-5-mejores-telefonos-android-de-2013-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Todo sobre fotografías en FaceBook #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con todo sobre fotografías en FaceBook. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/todo-sobre-fotografias-en-facebook-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

La venta online de vino en España #infografia #infographic #ecommerce

Hola: Una infografía sobre la venta online de vino en España. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/la-venta-online-de-vino-en-espana-infografia-infographic-ecommerce/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

10 consejos para un Cyber Monday seguro #infografia #infographic #ecommerce

Hola: Una infografía con 10 consejos para un Cyber Monday seguro. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/10-consejos-para-un-cyber-monday-seguro-infografia-infographic-ecommerce/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Great, Now We Have To Worry About Black Widow Spiders Hiding In Grapes

And you thought you only had to worry about bananas infested with deadly spiders. Ha! Silly you, because now bunches of grapes are the new cool hangout spot for venomous critters, specifically Black Widow spiders. It’s the latest in extreme eating.

The Modern Farmer says there’s been a rash of Black Widow-in-grapes situations recently, with the little critters ambushing consumers from within the grapey embrace of the bunch.

So why is this now the thing for venomous creepers? It could be because farmers are trying to go green and wean themselves off pesticides. Spiders are natural bugeaters, so many farmers are trying to use them instead of chemicals to keep their crops safe. But once you put a spider on a plant, it’s not so easy to convince it to leave its home.

After three such surprise incidents back in 2002, a Tesco Supermarkets spokesman admitted it was probably due to this practice, saying: ”We do use natural predators on grapes in the vineyards because they prevent insects from puncturing the grapes. The spiders are very effective. All I can do is apologize for any distress this may have caused.”

But black widows aren’t the most helpful at patrolling produce because they like to eat cockroaches, crickets and other walking bugs, as one study points out, so perhaps it’s time to switch spiders.

Because the best way to get black widows out of grapes is to use pesticides, which would defeat the purpose of using spiders as natural pest controllers, it seems the best you can do now is just be careful.

Be your own spider inspector: Look closely at that bunch of grapes, especially right in the middle where the black widows like to burrow in and blend with darker grapes. While a black widow bite won’t kill you on the spot, it will send you to the hospital for a few days and make you wish you never bought those grapes in the first place.

Careful out there, folks. Don’t let spiders scare you from your snack of choice.

Venomous Spiders Are Hiding in Our Grapes [Modern Farmer]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Linkedin como sala de prensa de tu empresa #socialmedia #marketing

Hola: Una presentación sobre Linkedin como sala de prensa de tu empresa. Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/linkedin-como-sala-de-prensa-de-tu-empresa-socialmedia-marketing/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Have You Tried These Ways To Save Money At Amazon?

Amazon offers the best prices on many items and has an unbeatable inventory, but did you know that there are ways to save even more? Yes, there are, ranging from signing up for rebates to asking for a price-match.

Granted, these methods will be familiar to veteran deal-hunters, but the majority of shoppers don’t know about them. The blog where we heard about them, The Greenbacks Gal, even calls them “secret.” We wouldn’t go that far, but they are pretty great.

  • Use eBates. Retailers offer different cash back options on eBates, with periodic double refund deals. Amazon will give you 3-8% back on your purchase depending on what department it’s from. To say that other retailers participate is a gross understatement.

  • CamelCamelCamel is not a website for tracking the latest prices on large desert mammals, but a price-watching tool for Amazon.com and Best Buy. (Their Newegg capabilities were cut off, but might be working again by the time you read this.)

  • Just ask for a price match. Way at the bottom of an Amazon catalog page, there’s a link that says, “Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?”


It’s those last few words that take you where you want to go: if you know of a lower price, let Amazon know and try to get them to match it.

  • Earn free gift cards. You’ve probably heard of Swagbucks from that one annoying friend you have who keeps trying to get everyone to sign up for it. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re going to spend aimless hours on the Internet anyway, why not earn free Amazon gift cards?

Find cart filler items. If you aren’t quite at the $35 threshold for Super Saver Shipping, go hunting for an item you might need that can get your total just above $35. There are a lot of sites that can provide this service for you – Filler Item Finder is just one example.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Time Warner Cable Jumps On Discount HBO Bundle Bandwagon, But Price Is Misleading

If you actually want to take advantage of the $29.95 Starter TV with HBO package, it will cost you a lot more than that.

If you actually want to take advantage of the $29.99 Starter TV with HBO package, it will cost you a lot more than that.

A month after Comcast launched its Internet-Plus package, which is basically a plan for people who want Web access and just HBO, Time Warner Cable has quietly begun offering its own HBO-focused service aimed at slowing the rate of cord-cutting.

TWC is now offering its “Starter TV with HBO” for the intro price of $29.99/month for 12 months. But as GigaOm points out, if you want to actually watch the channels that come with the package, you’ve got to fork over a set-top box fee of $10/month.

Additionally, if you want access to HBO Go, you’ll need to get Internet access separately, and that doesn’t come cheaply. For example, I punched in my old Brooklyn address (which I know all too well is serviced by TWC), and the lowest tier of Internet service that would be suitable for streaming HD content is $35/month for the first 12 months.

So between the Starter TV with HBO and the Internet plan, the intro price is $65/month, and that’s before you factor in any modem and cable box rental charges. That price is notably higher than the $50/month intro price Comcast is charging most customers for Internet-Plus.

The Time Warner Cable website doesn’t even fully disclose what the price will be when the promo ends. Instead, it tells you to call the company and find out.

It’s a shame that most consumers have little to no choice in who they get their cable and Internet service from, otherwise TWC and Comcast would be forced to compete against each other, instead of testing to see how much they can charge potential cord-cutters for just HBO.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

10 estadísticas sobre elearning para 2014 #infografia #infographic #education

Hola: Una infografía con 10 estadísticas sobre elearning para 2014. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/10-estadisticas-sobre-elearning-para-2014-infografia-infographic-education/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Basura espacial #infografia #infographic #medioambiente

Hola: Una infografía sobre Basura espacial. Vía Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/basura-espacial-infografia-infographic-medioambiente/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

SEO en la era del colibrí #internet #seo

Hola: Una presentación sobre SEO en la era del colibrí. Un saludo

TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2013/12/02/seo-en-la-era-del-colibri-internet-seo/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Sara Lee Cherry Pie Delivers Disappointing Amount Of Actual Cherries

When you buy a frozen, pre-made pie, are you expecting it to be exactly like one you’d whip up from scratch using fresh ingredients? No, probably not. But if it’s advertised as a cherry pie, there should be some actual cherries involved, right?

Consumerist reader Tony was recently disappointed by this Sara Lee Oven Fresh Cherry Pie, which shows a glowing depiction of a pie crust fairly bursting with berries. Look, it couldn’t even fit those two other cherries, that’s how full it is!

But what came inside the package was a far cry from the photo on the front of the carton, laments Tony.

“The reality was something quite different,” he writes, adding that he sees it as deceptive advertising to show all those cherries and not deliver. And he would know, as he (or someone else) appears to have at least served, if not consumed, a fair portion of the pie. Eating to seek truth!

Tony's sad pie.

Tony’s sad pie.

While the reality unfortunately often doesn’t live up to the advertising, the least Sara Lee could do is throw a few berries in there for texture instead of just injecting pie crust with whatever gelatinous, sweet flavored substance it uses and passes off as pie filling.

My advice to Tony and others who don’t want to go the extra mile (or miles) to bake a pie from scratch? Buy a pre-made pie crust and a can of filling, combine and pop in the oven. Voila.

In the meantime, we’ve reached out to Sara Lee’s parent company, Hillshire Brands, in an effort to get to the bottom of this cherry situation.

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

This Is Probably The Worst Cyber Monday Deal Of 2013

Retailers with a huge coupon list the exclusions to that coupon when manufacturer deals or other factors keep them from lowering the price too far on a given item. We understand that. What we understand slightly less is why Dick’s Sporting Goods bothers to publish their exclusions at all.


See, the list of things that the coupon actually covers would be much shorter. If you don’t believe us, go check out the list of exclusions on the Dick’s site.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

5 Non-Drone Suggestions For Amazon AirPrime

This is the drone Amazon showed off last night, but we think there are better ideas.

This is the drone Amazon showed off last night, but we think there are better ideas.

Last night, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos unveiled his not-at-all-fraught-with-problems plan to unleash an autonomous fleet of delivery drones into the air, which he says it at least another two years off because of those wet blankets at the FAA and their silly “rules.” So we thought of a few suggestions that might be doable in the interim.

1. Amazon HotAirPrime

Why use new-fangled octo-copters that can only carry a few pounds at a time when you can go retro and pack significantly more in the basket of a hot air balloon? Sure, you’re not going to get into the nooks and crannies of densely populated urban settings, but who said the balloon needs to land? Surely, Amazon could rig up a dropping mechanism that allows the package to fall safely to the ground at 9.8 meters per second per second. Think of the fun games the neighborhood kids could play trying to catch their Christmas gifts before they hit the ground!

Think of how many people would come out every day just to see the Amazon balloons fill up with parcels... and hot air, of course (photo: Don)

Think of how many people would come out every day just to see the Amazon balloons fill up with parcels… and hot air, of course (photo: Don)

2. Amazon PrimeCannon

30-minute delivery? Ha! If you live within the PrimeCannon’s firing range, you’ll have your package in a matter of seconds. And for those times when a customer’s signature is required on delivery, Amazon can just pack the cannon with one of its daredevil employees who will come screaming to your doorstep with a smile on his/her face.

It's not just delivery, it's a daredevil show! (photo: Christine Jackowski)

It’s not just delivery, it’s a daredevil show! (photo: Christine Jackowski)

3. Amazon PrimeParatrooper

It’s the holiday season and UPS/FedEx/USPS trucks are currently snaking around city streets, burdened with Amazon packages. We recommend cutting out the middle man and just loading up those packages on a plane and putting them into the hands of skilled paratroopers, who will descend from the heavens and bring them right to customers’ homes and offices. Then these brave men and women can catch rides back to the depot on the reasonably empty UPS/FedEx/USPS trucks.

With tandem dives, you can deliver twice as many packages! (photo: Monkey Nacho)

With tandem dives, you can deliver twice as many packages! (photo: Monkey Nacho)

4. Amazon PrimeVacations

Have you ever tracked an Amazon package coming from some other part of the country and thought, “Hey, I’ve always wanted to see that place”? Well, for a slight, few hundred dollar upcharge in your shipping fee, Amazon could fly you to the warehouse, where you’ll enjoy an all-inclusive vacation package, pick up your order, and deliver it yourself!

You'll never have to worry about trusting the delivery driver, when YOU are doing the delivery! (photo: MyToenailCameOff)

You’ll never have to worry about trusting the delivery driver, when YOU are doing the delivery! (photo: MyToenailCameOff)

5. Amazon PrimeSanta

Since Amazon is always looking to expand its network of distribution centers, may we suggest placing one directly on the North Pole? Not only does it put the company in a decent position to deliver packages to customers all over the Northern Hemisphere, the area is also fully stocked with magical flying reindeer who have been known to circumnavigate the globe in a single day. There is also a manufacturing center there, though they only seem to specialize in rag dolls, wooden trains, rocking horses and other stuff that was never particularly cool. So maybe Amazon can get them to pump out the next generation of Kindles — the Kris Kindle! (Sorry… it seemed funny when I thought of it.)

It'll be Christmas all year round when Amazon takes over the North Pole operations from Saint Nick. (Photo: Jaime Chapoy)

It’ll be Christmas all year round when Amazon takes over the North Pole operations from Saint Nick. (Photo: Jaime Chapoy)

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

It Was Going To Be Your Christmas Tree But Now It’s Dead: The Fir’s Fight Against Root Rot

The life of a fir means long years spent with its roots digging into the earth, boughs and limps reaching toward the sky and the dream of becoming someone’s Christmas tree. But for many fir species, it’s often a dream deferred (pun intended), nay, destroyed by a pesky disease called root rot.

It might sound silly to mourn the death of a tree, but it’s also a disappointing result to the nation’s Christmas tree farmers, who put years and years into cultivating the trees so they can one day be sold to hold court during the holidays.

As the Associated Press report on Phytophthora puts it: “It was going to be someone’s Christmas tree. And now it was dead.”

“Never get paid back for this tree,” said a North Carolina farmer of a recent case, a tree that two months before it browned and dried up was ready for sale. “Eleven years of work — gone.”

Once root rot gets into the soil, the water mold makes it impossible to grow healthy trees like the Fraser fir, which along with the Douglas and Noble is one of the most classic Christmas trees.

“Phytophthora is a problem in most areas where true firs … are grown,” said a plant pathologist and extension specialist at Washington State University. “It’s a national problem.”

So far there’s no fungicide that’s been able to solve the root rot problem on Christmas trees plantations. But with the potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, there’s a lot of pressure to find a fix. Can you imagine the outrage if there’s a Christmas tree shortage?

Growers in Oregon — the biggest producer of Christmas trees — and North Carolina, among other places, are looking to different species that are resistant to the root rot. Oregon farmers have been working with the Turkish fir for more than 30 years, as it and the Nordmann Fir show they might be able to fight root rot.

As such, researchers are working on a way to inoculate firs against root rot using the gene that makes the Turkish variety resist it.

“And if we can identify the gene, maybe we can go out and … possibly we can speed up the hybridization and get something to the growers faster,” said one masters student working on it.

If you’re not sure you’d like a Turkish Fir over the traditional Douglas, Noble or Fraser, one Oregon grower says his trees have been doing well since he sold his first last year.

“We followed them all the way through, from when they put them up to when they took them down,” said of gauging customers’ reactions. “And they were happy and so now we’re sure of the tree.”

Root rot threatens traditional Christmas fir trees [Associated Press]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Toy Self-Checkout Prepares Children For Bleak Future Of Consumption Without Human Interaction

self_checkoutWhat kind of future are we preparing our children for? There’s no way to know, but reader Beth noticed a toy intended to prepare kids for a cold, robotic future: the My Very Own Shop N’ Pay Market, available at Walmart for $20. Yes, it’s a toy self-checkout.

The scanner “beeps when food is dragged over it,” which is good training. Okay, but why is the girl on the box wearing an apron? Did she run to the store in the middle of making cookies, noting that she had no more eggs?

“This Walmart has a self-checkout,” notes Beth. “So you could buy this self-checkout set using the self-checkout.”

Then your kid could pick up an empty box and pretend that it’s a toy self-checkout set, using the toy self-checkout set to pretend to buy it from himself. Self-checkout Inception!

The online reviews, however, aren’t all that good. Customers complain of flimsy plastic

This is the perfect set to start your little ones learning how to shop… its cute, space saving, and great for the imagination.. :)

Wouldn’t “imagination” be designing your own self-scanner and play food using empty cardboard boxes? Or have I suddenly gotten very, very old?

American Plastic Toys My Very Own Shop N’ Pay Market [Walmart]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Restaurant Receipts Now Tell You What You Should Have Eaten Instead

A study shows that putting these helpful hints on receipts convinces customers to make substitutions, but has little impact on total calorie and fat intake.

A study shows that putting these helpful hints on receipts convinces customers to make substitutions, but has little impact on total calorie and fat intake.

Do you have that one friend who, after hearing what you ordered at a restaurant, always manages to find a way to say something like, “I would have gotten the dressing on the side and saved 100 calories”? Well now you can do away with those so-called friends, because a new generation of restaurant receipts has replaced them.

The Nutricate receipt from the folks at SmartReceipt not only reminds you of all the calories, fats, and carbs you probably paid too much for, it also includes a helpful little “Did you know?” box to mention less unhealthy options than what you ordered.

“Did you know? Holding the mayo on your sandwich will save you 150 calories and 10 grams of fat?” reads one potential message on the Nutricate receipt, which unlike your obnoxious friend, you can easily (and legally) crush and discard.

The Nutricate (even the name sounds like some sort of horrid, powdery fad dietary supplement) has been tested at two West Coast chains, Burgerville and Silvergreens. And this recent study of the data from a two-year test at the former chain seems to indicate that it is indeed changing what some customers order.

“We find that customers, in the aggregate, made most of the item substitutions that were encouraged by the messages, such as substituting ham for sausage in a breakfast sandwich, or substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream, though effects on overall calories and fat consumed were small,” reads the report, which does recognize two significant limits to receipt-based nutrition information — “it relies on consumer memory and can only affect consumption on future restaurant visits.”

The researchers claim that the very specific, but simply stated information on the Nutricate receipt helps customers to remember the advice for future visits. They say this may be more helpful for some consumers than the menu board nutrition info currently being introduced around the country.

The menu boards generally provide calories totals of the as-advertised item, so the customer doesn’t always know that there can be subtractions from the food item that could have a significant impact on the nutritional value. But if the customer is told afterward, “Hey, buddy… ditch the special sauce and save 80 calories,” they may be more likely to remember that going forward.

“[W]e hypothesize that simple suggestions to make a health-improving switch from something the consumer recently chose to a close substitute may circumvent many of the cognitive difficulties associated with making choices from lists, such as menus,” write the researchers.

That said, during the two years during which dozens of Burgerville restaurants were successfully convincing customers to substitute side salads for fries, or grilled chicken for fried chicken, these changes ultimately had little effect on the calories or fat consumed.

“One possible explanation is that customers made other item substitutions that counteract the [more healthy] substitutions,” reads the report. “Second, several of the encouraged items (whose consumption rose substantially in percentage terms when Nutricate receipts were introduced) constitute a very small share of fast-food purchases. Examples include side salads, kids’ apples and grilled chicken sandwiches. Even large substitutions towards items like these will have only minimal effects on total fat and calories purchased.”

Restaurants Are Calorie-Shaming Diners on Receipts Now [Eater.com]

Would You Hold the Mayo If the Receipt Suggested It? [Bloomberg]

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Plane Full Of Passengers Reportedly Told To Get Tuberculosis Shots After Flight Lands

It’s one thing to endure a flight full of your neighbor’s hacking and coughing (bring cough drops to share, you never know!) but it’s an entirely different matter to learn that you might need to get to the doctor for some shots because someone was flying with active tuberculosis.

A plane full of passengers landing on a US Airways Express flight operated by Mesa at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport on Saturday was reportedly advised to get shots for tuberculosis, reports ABC 15.

One passenger says she, her husband and their daughter were coming back from Austin when the plane came to a halt short of the gate. She says paramedics and cops came onboard and took a man off the plane who’d been sitting in front of them, allegedly because he had active tuberculosis.

According to that witness, passengers were told they should get TB shots, while a customer service worker at the airport said passengers should call the airline on Monday.

A spokesman for US Airways confirmed that a flight from Austin to Phoenix did have a passenger with a “medical issue” but wouldn’t say which specific disease.

Apparently the passenger was cleared to board the plane, but at some point in midair his status was switched to “no-fly,” but the spokesman says he’s not sure why. He did say that the plane stopped before reaching the terminal and paramedics boarded it to advise passengers before the plane went on its way.

There’s no confirmed case of TB in the area, an official with the county’s department of public health tells the station, and as such passengers aren’t at risk.

Passengers get tuberculosis scare on flight landing in Phoenix [ABC 15]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Mugger Finds Victim On Facebook 35 Years After Stealing His Bus Pass, Apologizes

The world can feel so tiny sometimes, especially now that social media’s tentacles are thoroughly suctioned on to every aspect of life. That shrinking universe is what led a former mugger to his victim of 35 years ago, when he stole a guy’s bus pass as part of a gang initiation. Facebook reunited them recently in an altogether heartwarming way.

‘Tis the season for cheer and all of that, which makes this story a bright spot in the midst of so many other bummers in the news. A simple Facebook post about a local New York City bagel shop closing down started it all.

The former mugger tells the The New York Post he boosted the pass from a man sitting on the steps of the American Natural History Museum in the late 1970s to impress a friend who didn’t believe he was in a graffiti gang.

“I went up to [him] and said, ‘Where’s your bus pass?’ The cops immediately pulled out badges and arrested me,” the man remembers. “I told this story throughout my life. I felt so bad about it.”

Cut to last week, when the former mugger happened to be perusing the Facebook post about a bagel shop closing, and recognized a name among the comments: It was the man who’s bus pass he’d taken as a teenager.

“You may not remember this … but a long, long time ago I walked up the steps of [the museum] one afternoon, trying to look like a tough guy,” he posted. “I have never forgotten the incident or your name … then here I am … reading about my favorite bagel store in the world closing down, and [whose] name do I see but yours. Finally I can say — I’M VERY SORRY that you had to go through that crap that day long ago.”

The former victim remembered the man and as these warm, fuzzy things go, accepted his apology.

“Clearly you’re a ‘bigger man’ today,” he replied in the comments section. “Memory is a funny thing. I recognize your name now as well…. Any man who draws a line for himself [and says] ‘Today I step forward for myself, my family, and humanity’ is a hero to me,” he added. “So let us now, jointly, put this in its proper place, behind us.”

The mugger says he’s spent his life trying to make up for doing bad things by thwarting other crimes around the city, and says former Mayor David Dinkins gave him a thank you note for saving a woman from an attack near a building where he worked as a doorman. But this takes the cake.

“A very large weight has been lifted off my shoulder,” he said of the apology. “I feel peace and dare I say joy. I’m even happier this is bringing joy to other people.”

‘I’m very sorry’: Mugger’s Facebook apology to victim — 35 years later [New York Post]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Comcast Wants To Insert New Ads Into The Old Shows On Your DVR

I enjoy the regular watching of many TV shows, but I tend to let episodes of these shows build up on my DVR until they reach a critical mass that demands I spend an entire Saturday in the Morran Cave (patent pending) binge-watching while skipping over all those old ads for movies/sales/TV premieres that have already come and gone. But if Comcast has its way, I’ll soon be skipping over completely new, more relevant ads.

See, since DVR use became commonplace, broadcasters have been basing ad rates based not just on the Nielsen rating of a particular airing, but also according to how many people watch that same airing on their DVRs or on-demand within three days. According to Comcast, which isn’t just the nation’s largest cable provider but also one of its largest broadcasters, only about 40% of TV viewing happens within these three days.

Since millions of people watch shows after that 72-hour window has closed, the broadcasters don’t get the credit because the advertisers aren’t paying to have old commercials shown to consumers.

Thus Comcast has come up with a novel idea to reap oodles of new ad money — replacing those old ads with new ones. So when you go to see who Red Reddington drolly killed on that episode of The Blacklist you recorded in October, your outdated recording would now contain current commercials.

The Wrap reports that Comcast has already completed a test of the technology with its own NBC network shows and some on ABC. The goal isn’t just to open up recorded and on-demand programming to more relevant ads. There is also a mountain of cash to be mined from all the episodes that are not being made available on-demand to consumers.

Most previously aired episodes of a show are not available on-demand from the network because the network rarely owns the full rights to the show and advertisers have not exactly gone gaga for paying to advertise on old shows. But Comcast figures if it can insert the same ads running on this week’s Blacklist into previous episodes of the show, then advertisers can reach the millions of people who are catching up on old programming. And if advertisers are willing to pay, then the networks will pay for the on-demand rights for full seasons of shows.

The biggest hurdle may be the issue of diminishing returns. Yes, this technology would attract a lot of additional eyeballs to advertisers’ commercials, but will the increased audience be large enough to justify a rate increase? And just because you’re putting more relevant ads on an old episode, doesn’t mean viewers won’t fast-forward or go take a bathroom break during the commercials.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Walmart Sold 2.8 Million Towels This Weekend

Sure, we in the media like to focus on the people who punch each other over televisions at Walmart stores during the weekend after Thanksgiving. While the mega-retailer sold millions of TV sets this weekend, that wasn’t their top seller. What item did they move the most of over the long weekend? Towels.

Well, okay, to be fair, the frenzies over towels have become a tradition too. That’s because they cost only $1.74, and a 29-cent washcloth was also a huge hit on Black Friday. At that price, you could just buy washcloths and throw them away instead of washing them.

Here’s a towel frenzy from last year:

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Restaurant Manager Fired For Making Food While Barefoot In Plain View Of Customers

Everywhere you turn it seems there’s a cell phone waiting to capture your every move, whether it’s your roommate chronicling the epic blob of food on your face or a savvy customer catching a restaurant worker in the act of doing something that’s just plain gross. To wit: A cellphone pic of a taco restaurant manager in Iowa preparing food while barefoot is causing quite the stir.

According to the Des Moines Register , the 31-year-old team leader at the restaurant mowed the grass outside the franchise on Aug. 8, and then walked into the food-preparation area which is visible to any customer at the counter. She then started making food for herself and friends, says the report.

And a customer did see her — and snapped a photo of the barefoot woman and posted it to the company’s Facebook with the caption noting the location and adding:

“This woman was preparing food with bare feet, no uniform, her bra and chest hanging out all over the place, she was pouring sweat, wiping it off with her hands and not washing them. I asked for the manager — she WAS the manager!! She was extremely rude because I was upset with her appearance and behavior.”

That’s all it took for the photo to spread to the restaurant’s Facebook page, prompting the franchise owner to look at the security footage of the incident. The owner then fired the employee for her behavior, which included failing to pay for the food she’d made for herself and friends, which violated company policy as well as state health regulations.

This is all leading to a bad spate of business for the restaurant, as the owner testified at a public hearing that business has gone down 25% to 33% since the photo went viral. The parent company might also decide to revoke her franchise agreement.

Meanwhile, the fired worker filed a request for unemployment benefits after she was fired, but the owner contested that claim. A judge denied the request, citing health code violations and that the theft of food “had a negative impact” on the restaurant.”

Keep your shoes on at work and pay for food, people. You never know who’ll be watching, and they probably have a cell phone with a camera.

Photo of manager leads to her firing [Des Moines Register]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Global Law Enforcement Crack Down On 690 Web Sites Selling Fake Stuff

While plenty of web sites peddling everything from spangled pet collars to high-end fancy watches will see a rush of online traffic today, there are 690 sites that won’t be getting a chunk of the Cyber Monday pie. American and European authorities have taken over 690 sites that were selling counterfeit merchandise, saying in a statement that “counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday spirit of shoppers around the world and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere.” [Associated Press]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

5 Things You’ll Pay Less For If You Wait Until After The Holidays

Everyone knows, or at least should know, that the best time to buy a huge honkin’ TV set isn’t during the holidays, but in the weeks immediately following the Super Bowl, and that post-Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get some jewelry at rock-bottom prices. But they’re not the only items on a lot of holiday shopping lists that would be cheaper to buy at some point after Dec. 25.

Kiplinger has a lovely slide show of a dozen items — including the aforementioned TVs and bling — that you should avoid buying during the holiday shopping season. Here are the ones we considered the most interesting on the list, in order of how soon after the holiday you can get a good deal.

1. Cars (Between Christmas and New Year’s)

Sure, it looks a bit romantic in the commercial when the impossible attractive couple with the camera-ready home give each other luxury cars with big red bows on top, but Kiplinger says you’d do better to wait until after Christmas and take advantage of year-end clearance sales at dealerships looking to make room for the next model year. And besides, you know that everyone on the block really hates that adorable couple, and their new cars will be covered in egg and toilet paper by week’s end.

2. Furniture (January)

If you can live with that ratty sofa for a few more weeks, or duct tape that fractured chair leg a couple more times, Kiplinger says you can score some clearance deals on new furniture in January when stores are preparing to bring in next year’s models.

3. Perfume (post Valentine’s Day)

What’s more alluring than some nose-tickling new scent on the neck of your loved one? Knowing you saved up to 50% by waiting until after the Christmas and Valentine’s buying frenzy.

4. Luggage (March)

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as sexy as some of the other items in the round-up, but people do spend a lot of money on luggage and may not know that they can get the best deal in March, as retailers look to keep merchandise moving between the holiday and summer travel seasons.

5. Bicycles (September)

Unless you have a time machine, this is one you’ll have to mark on the calendar for next autumn, when retailers discount current models about 25% to make room for the new two-wheelers. And if you do have a time machine, we’d hope you would use it for more interesting purposes than going back in time a few months to score a discount on a bike.

Again, you can check out the whole list at Kiplinger.com.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

I Don’t Want To Live In A World Where You’re Punished For Making It Snow Money At The Mall

makeitsnowbg When you see dollar bills floating toward your clutching hands from the sky, like some a question directed upward that is now answered with cash, what’s your first feeling? Joy, unremitting and excited, “I can’t believe this is happening!” joy? Yes, well, at the Mall of America in Minnesota, the person responsible for making it rain money recently was cited by cops instead of hugged.

It sounds like the perfect set-up, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune: Singers caroling happily away to the strains of “Let It Snow” while a 29-year-old man flung $1,000 in dollar bills over the third-floor railing of the Mall of America, in an apparent attempt to spread cheer.

But then the Cheer Police showed up in the form of the local cops, who cited the man with a disorderly conduct ticket. According to officials, the man just wanted to stage a publicity stunt to persuade his girlfriend to come back to him.

The man admitted to throwing the money, say the police, which was stamped with his YouTube address (where he uploaded the video of his efforts later) so people would visit his page.

In the video, the man admits he’s had a tough year but decided to chuck his “last $1,000 … to spread some holiday cheer … to make it snow money” while the singers performed. They apparently weren’t part of the stunt.

He argues that no one was hurt so he’s unsure why he was cited.

“I don’t see how holiday cheer is disorderly conduct,” he said.

A Mall of America spokeswoman said it’s the first time anyone has ever done something like that in the mall, but added that the man disrupted the singers’ performance and could’ve caused a serious situation.

Man cited after tossing $1,000 in dollar bills into Mall of America rotunda [Star Tribune]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Visit The Magical Factory Where Frozen Pizzas Come From

doughAmericans eat a lot of packaged foods, but do you ever wonder what kind of magical land these boxes of convenient tastiness come from? There’s no army of dough-tossing elves trapped inside a pizza factory: the reality is much cooler.

In this clip from the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made,” we watch the birth of frozen pizzas from the mixing of the dough to the final packaging in a cardboard box. Pizzas are never tainted by human hands: pizzas pass under cascades of sauce, cheese, meat, and vegetables that are carefully regulated so that each pizza receives the precise correct amount of toppings. In theory.


Wait: what happens to the sauce and toppings that fall between the pizzas, which are round? They go back into reservoirs to be thrown over more pizzas that roll down the line.

Video: See How Frozen Pizza is Made [Slice] (via Foodbeast)

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

The Total Cost Of Doing The 12 Days Of Christmas? $114K

Since nothing says Christmas like a home full of hundreds of random birds, musicians, and overactive landed gentry, it’s time to once again consider the actual cost of giving your true love every item listed in “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Yup, PNC Financial has once again tallied up what is calls the Christmas Price Index (NOTE: turn your speakers off if you go to the site) the individual costs of each item on the list:

One Partridge in a Pear Tree: $199.99

Two Turtle Doves: $125.00

Three French Hens: $165.00

Four Calling Birds: $599.96

Five Golden Rings: $750.00

Six Geese-a-Laying: $210.00

Seven Swans-a-Swimming: $7000.00

Eight Maids-a-Milking: $58.00

Nine Ladies Dancing: $7552.84

Ten Lords-a-Leaping: $5,243.37

Eleven Pipers Piping: $2,635.20

Twelve Drummers Drumming: $2,854.50

So to just buy each item once will cost you a total of $27,393.17, a 7.7% increase from last year’s total of $25,431.18.

But if you actually repeat each of these items according to the seemingly interminable song, PNC says it will run you $114,651.18, more than a $7,000 uptick from the 2012 grand total of $107,300.84.

Prices remained flat year-over-year for six items on the list — the turtle doves, hens, golden rings, geese, the milking maids, and swans, — and the cost of the partridge/pear tree bundle actually dropped 2.4% since 2012. According to PNC, this decrease was due to a drop in the price of pear trees during the year.

But three gifts experienced double-digit price increases. Those lords-a-leaping jumped up a percentage point for each of the 10 men in the group, the apparent huge demand for calling birds sent their price skyrocketing by 15.4%, and the dancing ladies raised their fees by a whopping 20%.

Interestingly enough — and perhaps fitting with the song’s old-timey groove — PNC says it would actually cost you more to order many of these items online because of the shipping costs involved. Just buying all the listed items once will cost you $39,762.61, about $12K more than if you’d just gone out to your local milkmaid/bird/gentry/musician/tree shop.

And of course, what story about the 12 Days of Christmas would be complete without a visit from Bob & Doug McKenzie?

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

NYC Park Banning Hot Dog Vendors But Of Course, Mario Batali’s Gelato Cart Can Stay


Not the vendor in question. (MichelleRick)

Ah, the humble New York City hot dog cart. There it stands, its water tanks full of hot dogs sloshing around, staying warm until the moment some hungry passerby is in need of $2 sustenance. But those street meat carts are an eyesore to one park’s conservancy group it seems, which is pushing two hot dog vendors out while allowing other more upscale offerings to stay.

According to the New York Post , the hot dog vendors have until the end of December to leave their spots in Washington Square Park, which often has floods of New York University students searching for cheap, fast food.

But Mario Batali’s Otto Enoteca Pizzeria Gelato Cart? That gets to stay, along with a vendor selling Indian crepes and a new deal with a fancy ice cream sandwich vendor. Batali, it turns out, is on the board of a private conservancy which is working with the Parks Department.

“I will miss this spot,” said the 35 year-old immigrant from Bangladesh who currently mans his hot dog cart in the park. “If I move outside the park, I’ll make hundreds less [a week]. It affects my business.”

One memo reportedly shows the celebrities on the Parks Department to move the hot dog carts last year from one side to the other, which was a sign to some that eventually the dogs would go forever.

The conservancy then asked the park administrator to “follow up on moving the hot-dog guy away from the Arch view corridor” and to push for “new and different food vendors.”

That administrator also serves as the conservancy’s executive director, and it appears she doesn’t like hot dogs because the carts are getting the boot.

“We got some word from our neighbors that [the hot-dog vendors] were unsightly,” said the conservancy’s president. “We suggested moving them based on what other people were telling us. The fact that it was done was Parks’ decision.”

A spokesman added that the agency is allowing contracts with the hot-dog stands to expire to “ensure clear views of the fountain and arch and . . . to bring in a more diverse selection of food options.”

Washington Square Park banning hot-dog vendors [New York Post]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist