Creación de empresas en España en 2013 #infografia #infographic #entrepreneurship

Hola: Una infografía sobre la creación de empresas en España en 2013. Vía Un saludo

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Pasos para una estrategia de Social Media Marketing #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con los Pasos para una estrategia de Social Media Marketing. Un saludo

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Las cifras más importantes sobre Whatsapp #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía con las cifras más importantes sobre Whatsapp. Vía Un saludo

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Lo que debes saber sobre la curación de contenidos #infografia #infographic #marketing

Hola: Una infografía sobre lo que debes saber sobre la curación de contenidos. Vía Un saludo

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FaceBook y Whatsapp #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre FaceBook y Whatsapp. Un saludo

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20 claves educativas para 2020 #infografia #infographic #education

Hola: Una infografía con 20 claves educativas para 2020. Vía Un saludo

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This FTD Flower Arrangement Says, “My Love For You Is Gnarled And Dessicated”

John’s husband ordered flowers for him for Valentine’s Day, using a Groupon voucher for That’s what a loving but frugal spouse does, right? Only what showed up on John’s doorstep were really dead. No, not buds that hadn’t opened yet.

It shouldn’t be too much to expect to order red roses on Valentine’s Day and expect them to be, you know, alive.

Here’s what was on the Groupon page. We don’t know exactly what his husband ordered, but they were expecting something fresh and lovely like this to arrive.


Here’s what John got.


“I called FTD and they promised a re-delivery on Tuesday, 2/18,” John wrote to Consumerist. “I accepted, but was disappointed when my ‘replacement’ order came– It was only 4 roses and a small teddy bear, nothing like the bouquet I was ordered the first time.”


It’s not as bad as it could be…well, assuming that John likes stuffed animals. FTD were supposed to deliver bouquet #3 today, but we haven’t heard back yet.

What leads to dashed expectations like this? As we learned last year, deals like this often end up costing your local florist money, even before they send multiple replacements. When you order from the national FTD site, the company takes a cut and then sends the order on to the local florist who actually arranges and drops it off for you.

You presumably have access to the Internet: that’s why we recommend going direct. We recommend calling up a nice local florist directly, or finding one online (being careful to avoid fake local florists.)

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Estadísticas reveladoras sobre Twitter #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con Estadísticas reveladoras sobre Twitter. Un saludo

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La importancia de la nube para las empresas #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre la importancia de la nube para las empresas. Vía Un saludo

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Los coches más emblemáticos del siglo XX (España) #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre los coches más emblemáticos del siglo XX (España). Vía Un saludo

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Comercio electrónico en Puerto Rico #infografia #infographic #ecommerce

Hola: Una infografía sobre Comercio electrónico en Puerto Rico. Vía Un saludo

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Everyone Hates Spirit Airlines, Keeps Buying Tickets Anyway

Spirit Airlines is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the country. No, really. Sure, they’re a regular contender in our Worst Company in America tournament, and it seems like everyone who has tried the airline complains about the experience. But many of them can’t resist their rock-bottom fares, and just keep coming back.

NPR’s Planet Money economics reporting team did all of the normal stuff that reporters do when writing about an airline: they researched the company, and visited its headquarters to interview delusional CEO Ben Baldanza. To get there, the reporters sought the full Spirit experience. They boarded a Spirit flight from New York City to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and talked to passengers and staff.

They found that there are really three kinds of passengers on Spirit: those who know exactly what they’re getting into and enjoy the no-frills experience, those who don’t and are horrified to learn that they need to pay to put items in the overhead bins, and the hate-flyers.

See, many Spirit passengers know exactly what they’re getting into, complain about it, and then come back anyway. Team Planet Money calls these customers hate-flyers. You know, like hate-reading: visiting a website or picking up a magazine again and again because it makes you so mad that you get a perverse joy out of it. That’s how many of Spirit’s passengers feel about “the dollar store of the skies.

Spirit Airlines Taps A Nation Of Hate Fliers [NPR]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Líderes tradicionales vs líderes colaborativos #infografia #infographic #liderazgo

Hola: Una infografía sobre líderes tradicionales vs líderes colaborativos. Un saludo

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Signos y Síntomas de Dislexia #infografia #infographic #education #health

Hola: Una infografía sobre los Signos y Síntomas de Dislexia. Vía Un saludo

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Want Those Dairy Cows To Produce More Milk? Turn On Some Slow Jams To Set The Mood

First of all, I hope you all read that word in the headline as “mooed,” because, get it? Wordplay! Anyway, if you’re a dairy farmer this probably isn’t news to you, but for the rest of us out there with no cows to milk, it’s interesting to hear that a good way to get the cows producing is to play some soft, smooth, slow jams.

It’s not easy to relax in a noisy dairy, notes Modern Farmer at its lengthy look at the influence of music on milk cows that’s currently making the rounds on the Internet. Because of all that stressful noise, many farmers find that a great way to make happy cows and keep the oxtyocin flowing and milk pumping is to turn on some good music.

There have been studies on this kind of thing in the past, most notably a 2001 study by a pair of psychologists at the University of Leicester in England. They showed that slow music played at a large dairy farm increased cows’ milk production by 3%, in contrast to fast music which basically didn’t do anything.

But beyond the professional researchers, farmers themselves swear by their own music methods.

“In the days when there were tie stalls and stanchions, there was the discussion about how if you played music in your barn, you would increase milk production,” says one farmer who milks about 250 cows on her dairy farm in Minnesota. “At our farm you can always tell when the radio is not on because the cows are way more jumpy and less likely to come into the parlor.”

Others in the industry point out that slower and calmer is better. Some Barry White or Kenny G, perhaps?

“In terms of music, in my 30 years working with dairy cows, I have found that music can be beneficial to the well-being of the cows, but it must be consistent and calming,” says the executive vice president of a large dairy corporation centered in Boulder, Colorado. “If the music volume is kept constant and the style of music is consistent, and everything else in that parlor is well managed and maintained, music can have a positive effect on milk let down.”

Dairy farmers should unite to create a calming playlist for everyone to use — with songs like “Everybody Hurts” by REM and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on the recommended list from the Leicester study, we’d like to think cows might like some updated fare as well. Adele does a great ballad, but let’s keep Miley Cyrus out of the parlors.

And definitely no Willie Nelson, says another farmer.

“Our cows will tolerate some country and western, but they do not like Willie Nelson,” she reports. Their milk production doesn’t drop, but The Redheaded Stranger just riles up the cows somehow.

Milking to Music [Modern Farmer]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

5 Ways Couples Can Avoid Disastrous Money Mistakes

Some couples are just made of money. (mikemilton)

Some couples are just made of money. (mikemilton)

Dealing with finances is one of the least fun aspects of being an adult. Dealing with finances when you’re in a committed relationship is even less enjoyable. Of course you love your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé, or whatever, but you don’t have to love the way they handle money. Seamlessly transitioning to a ‘we’ financial situation doesn’t have to be full of mistakes or a completely painful situation.

There are several ways to ensure that your financial future with your sweetheart isn’t going to be full of doom and gloom. Kiplinger recently released a list of 9 mistakes couples make with money. Here are the ones we thought would be of interest to Consumerist readers…

1. Have the ‘money talk’ before marriage. No, you don’t need to browse each other’s credit reports on the first date, but earlier you talk about it the better. As we recently wrote in this guide on merging your money when you marry, communication truly is key.

2. Remember to amend your single-filer tax returns. Now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a wedding, how about a little gift from the federal government? To do so, make sure you change your single-filer tax returns. If you somehow forgot you were married, you can go back as far as 2010 to amend previous filings and watch those tax bills drop.

3. Keep a separate bank account. What’s your is mine, unless it’s a personal bank account. Each person should have their own account for their splurges and a joint account can be used for boring things like paying the mortgage.

4. Share in the fun (or burden) of managing household expenses. Both members of the relationship should take active roles, unless of course you like doing a thankless job alone. Of course knowing the ins and outs of your household finances is always a plus if/when your partner dies or you break-up.

5. Plan for your future, your kids can deal with their own. Ask yourself are those children going to provide for you when you’re retired and all the money you had planned to put in your 401(k) actually went to their college education? Forego the college account and save for retirement instead. After all, your kid can just get a student loan and deal with their own crippling debt, right?

Isn’t money fun when you’re in a couple? Remember, you love your significant other, not their money.

9 Money Mistakes Couples Make — And How to Avoid Them [Kiplinger]

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

El “precio” de los usuarios en las Redes Sociales #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre el “precio” de los usuarios en las Redes Sociales. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista

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Not Interested In Bikini Baristas? Maybe You’d Like Shirtless Men Instead

These baristas are both attractive and talented.

These baristas are both attractive and talented.

Sure, not everyone finds the idea appealing, but coffee shops and stands with scantily clad ladies behind the counter are a popular diversion and source of caffeine. Yeah, there are the occasional accusations of stripping and bringing new meaning to “bottomless cup of coffee,” but they’re not a big deal. They just aren’t terribly interesting unless you’re attracted to women. A new coffee stand in Spokane, Washington solves that problem.

As communities fight over bikini coffee stands that some people say push the boundaries of decency, this stand quietly opened last week and began to draw a lot of repeat business. “Most of the customers that come here anyway are women,” the owner explained to the Spokesman-Review. “Really I haven’t had a lot of male reaction.” Men do have an incentive to stop by: they receive a $1 discount on their coffee.

Hot Cup of Joe has an incredibly appropriate name, and opened on Friday. We just learned about the business from Foodbeast, and checked out some of its promotional pictures on Facebook. We can’t really get behind all of their serving suggestions.



No G-strings and pasties at Hot Cup of Joe, though. The owner says that they’re going to remain a classy topless coffee stand. The baristas may eventually leave their jeans behind and serve up coffee in what the owner calls “cute, classy underwear.”

New Spokane coffee stand to feature shirtless men [Review-Spokesman]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

¿Merece la pena estudiar? #infografia #infographic #education

Hola: Una infografía sobre si ¿Merece la pena estudiar? Un saludo Source:

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Las compras más grandes de empresas tecnológicas #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre las compras más grandes de empresas tecnológicas. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista

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Whatsapp como herramienta de marketing para empresas #marketing

Hola: Una presentación sobre Whatsapp como herramienta de marketing para empresas. Un saludo

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Primer Estudio de Medios de Comunicación Online 2014 #internet

Hola: Una presentación con el Primer Estudio de Medios de Comunicación Online 2014. Un saludoArchivado en: Comunicación, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Comunicación, internet, tic

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75K People Must Buy Raffle Tickets If Anyone’s Gonna Win This Dream House

Before you go setting your heart on a raffle prize, you should always read the fine print. Otherwise all your hopes might be in vain — and so will everyone else’s. To wit: In an exciting raffle benefiting Special Olympics athletes in Washington — very worthy cause, to be sure — the top prize is a gorgeous, $5 million lakeside house. But the only way anyone will win it? If the raffle sells at least 75,000 tickets.

The Seattle Times takes a look at the high-profile $150-a-ticket raffle, which also showcases 1,700 other tantalizing prizes like cars, cruises and a golf outing to Scotland.

As for that house, however, there’s a bit of fine print buried in the rules that doesn’t appear in the raffle brochure, notes the Times: That in order for the top prize to be handed over of either the house or a $4 million annuity, ticket sales must first reach 75,000.

Something similar happened in St. Louis in a raffle that brought about a warning from that area’s Better Business Bureau.

“Our feeling was if they are calling it a house raffle and saying someone could win a house, then someone should win this house,” said Bill Smith, a BBB investigator.

It’s much the same story at the BBB’s Seattle office.

“This is not to say this a bad charity, but I’m concerned that they’re not being transparent here,” spokesman David Quinlan says. “It’s imperative for anybody buying tickets to read all the contest rules.”

The consultant running the raffle for Special Olympics says that not including that 75,000 person requirement in the brochure wasn’t an intentional thing, and not meant to be a bait-and-switch.

“The marketing material is only so big. … We’re trying to motivate people to buy,” he said, adding that all of the information about the raffle is spelled out on its website. All of the other prizes will be rewarded no matter what, and he said ticket sales are doing well so far.

The Special Olympics Washington CEO said she got the idea for a house raffle from a Special Olympics organization in Los Angeles that has run four raffles before, as a way to help boost funds for the charity after the recession. Again, a good thing for a good cause — those four raffles have pulled in more than $4.5 million.

It’s worth noting that none of those sold enough tickets for a house to be awarded, but Bill Shumard, CEO of Special Olympics Southern California says he hopes that will change.

“We’d love to see someone win the house,” he said. “We keep trending upward … in a couple more years, the house may just come into play.”

The raffle runs until mid-May, so if you or anyone else wants to win that house, you better start buying.

Win dream house? Fine print in Special Olympics raffle suggests prize uncertain [The Seattle Times]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Real Competition From Google Or Window-Dressing For FCC? Time Warner Cable Improves Speeds In Austin

Here are two facts: Google Fiber is coming to Austin, and Time Warner Cable is being bought by Comcast. The question is: Which one of these two facts is the cause for TWC’s significantly ramped-up service in the Texas capital?

GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham reports that TWC service in Austin, which had previously maxed out at 50 Mbps, will begin offering tiers with speeds up to 300 Mbps.

It appears that all of TWC’s current tiers are being upgraded without a price change for subscribers. At the lowest end, users with 2 Mbps connections will get jacked up to 3 Mbps (can you feel the burn!?), while 3 Mb customers will speeds more than triple to 10 Mb. The Standard 15 Mb tier gets bumped up to the current max of 50 Mb, 20 Mb increases all the way to 100 Mb, and the “Extreme” tier goes from its current 30 Mb to 200 Mb.

So what’s behind this decision?

Obviously there is the specter of Google Fiber and its promise of gigabit Internet service for about the same as TWC customers are paying for their lesser service now. Bumping speeds up to 50 Mbps and faster without a price change could keep customers from jumping ship.

AT&T has also announced plans to bring fiber service to Austin, meaning consumers may actually have a bit of choice (assuming all three companies build out their networks to include as many residents as possible).

Is this the competition consumers have longed for? Multiple options for providers, each trying to offer faster service at competitive rates. That’s all most cable subscribers could reasonably ask for.

But then there’s the cynical voice looking askance at these service improvements and wondering if there is an ulterior motive. Is TWC (and, by extension, Comcast) using Austin as window-dressing to woo regulators?

It would be incredibly easy for the merger partners to make these improvements in Austin so they can say to the FCC and the Justice Dept., “Look! Just like we said, there is competition in the cable market! See?”

Such proactive regulatory wrinkle-smoothing is nothing new to Comcast. In its announcement of the deal to buy TWC, Comcast said it was already planning to divest the merged companies of some 3 million customers. That’s the kind of thing many merger partners would not offer until being asked to shed subscribers or risk having the deal killed.

And in Comcast’s all-too-easy acquisition of NBC Universal, Kabletown execs appeased regulators by creating “Comcast Essentials,” which is supposed to make Internet access affordable for lower-income families with kids in school, but which has been criticized as just a fresh coat of paint on Comcast’s rusting core.

But one city, no matter how good the food and music are, does not a competitive marketplace make, as most Americans still have virtually no choice when it comes to cable TV and broadband ISPs.

Regardless of TWC’s motives, it’s good to know that at least the good people of Austin — Hey Dan and SueAnn! — should soon have some choices about where they get their high-speed Internet service from.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

27 Major Companies That Are Worth Less Than WhatsApp

All these are worth less than a popular messaging app.

All these are worth less than a popular messaging app.

Just how big of a deal is the $19 billion WhatsApp is getting from Facebook in the acquisition announced yesterday? It’s a pretty freaking big deal — especially when you consider that there are a whole lot of major companies –including many that produce physical goods you can reach out and touch — that have been around longer than WhatsApp and are worth a lot less.

Gurbaksh Chahal, Chairman & CEO at RadiumOne has a list of all 62 major companies that are worth less than WhatsApp, using what appear to be current market cap numbers, give or take few million here and there.

While WhatsApp doesn’t make anything per se, it’s got power and value in numbers — its user base is around 450 million people on a monthly basis. So that’s worth a heck of a lot, $19 billion, apparently.

Here are 27 companies worth less than WhatsApp that may surprise you:

  1. American Airlines – $12.3B

  2. Campbell Soup – $13.6

  3. Chipotle – $17.1B

  4. Citrix Systems – $10.7B

  5. Coach – $13.5B

  6. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group – $10.2B

  7. Expedia -$10.2B

  8. The Gap – $19B

  9. Fidelity – $15.8B

  10. Harley-Davidson – $14.1B

  11. Hertz – $11.5B

  12. Kohl’s – $11.1B

  13. Kroger – $19.4

  14. Macy’s – $19.6B

  15. Marriott International – $15.4B

  16. Mattel – $12B

  17. MGM Resorts – $12.7

  18. Nordstrom – $11.4B

  19. Progressive – $14.3B

  20. Ralph Lauren – $14.2B

  21. Royal Caribbean Cruises – $11.4B

  22. Sherwin-Williams – $19.4B

  23. Southwest Airlines – $14.7B

  24. Tiffany & Co. – $11.4B

  25. Under Armour – $11.4B

  26. Whole Foods Market – $19.3B

  27. Xerox – $13.2B

All the Major Companies Worth Less Than WhatsApp [LinkedIn]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Taxi Driver Allegedly Kidnaps D.C. Council Member’s Daughter After Credit Card Dispute

Taxi horror stories are nothing new. There’s the one about the driver who held a customer hostage for refusing his tip demand, and the one where a driver crashed into a home after being unsatisfied with a tip. But what does a driver do when the credit card machine doesn’t work and the customer threatens to report him to the Taxi Cab Commission? He kidnaps the customer, or at least that’s what a Washington, D.C., city council member alleges a taxi driver did to her daughter.

The November incident occurred when the council member’s daughter attempted to pay for her late-night ride with two different credit cards, but both were declined. According to a police report, she offered to pay the fare with cash, but said she would report the driver to the Taxi Cab Commission for having an improperly working credit card machine, the Washington Post reports.

Apparently unsatisfied with the offer, the passenger claims the taxi driver locked the doors and drove several blocks before calling 911 to report he had a passenger refusing to pay her fare.

The council member says the incident constitutes kidnapping, but officers declined to arrest the driver. The council member says she tried to make a case for the arrest but didn’t “pull rank” by identifying herself as a council member. A follow-up investigation by the taxi cab commission could result in a suspension for the driver.

The anecdote was used during a Taxi Cab Commission oversight hearing Wednesday to illustrate how several drivers are failing to comply with a new law requiring taxi cabs be equipped with working credit card machines.

Taxi Cab Commission Chair Ron M. Linton says he believes most drivers are complying with the new rule, but the commission had heard several instances of drivers locking the doors and demanding cash.

The commission recommends asking a driver if the credit card machine works when a rider first enters the taxi. If a dispute does arise, Linton suggests paying with cash if you have it and take down the cab number to report it to the commission.

D.C. Council member says was briefly ‘kidnapped’ in dispute over taxi fare
[The Washington Times]

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Target Clarifies Confusing Sign: Cleaning Products Are 50% Off, Not Free

We are thankful to Target, because they have alleviated our existential angst. Okay, it’s their weird signage that caused the existential angst in the first place, but we’re still very happy that they cleared things up for us, for our readers, and for Target shoppers everywhere.

We’ve posted about this sign twice already, but here it is again to refresh your memory:


Target spokesperson Jamie Bastian was nice enough to humor us and figure out what the heck was going on here. The official answer from Target HQ: the cleaner is supposed to be half off. But it’s not just any random Clorox cleaning product that you find sitting around. Only specific products qualify.

Apologies for any confusion. For Target guests that buy one of the following Clorox products (Angle Broom Brush, Butterfly Mop, Roller Mop or Conforming Wide Surface Mop), they get 50 percent off one of the following Clorox wipes or bathroom cleaner products: (Manual Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, 34 ct. Wipes).

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Restaurant Defends Chloroform/Rape Sign As “Harmless”

The sign outside this Montreal restaurant translates into English as, "Pick-up line of the day: does this tissue smell like chloroform?"

The sign outside this Montreal restaurant translates into English as, “Pick-up line of the day: does this tissue smell like chloroform?”

Because nothing lures in potential diners to your restaurant than a rape joke, an eatery in Montreal has defended its decision to display such a joke in public on a sandwich board outside its front door.

Since it’s Montreal, the sign was written in French, but it translates to “Pick-up line of the day: does this tissue smell like chloroform?”

Guess what? Not everyone sees the humor in a restaurant cracking jokes about rendering a woman unconscious, presumably for the purpose of non-consensual sex. And even some people who admit that such a joke might have a proper time and place contend that maybe a restaurant sandwich board is neither the time nor the place.

In response to the people who find rape less than amusing, the restaurant’s owner took to the eatery’s Facebook page [via Eater Montreal] to defend the gag:

We thought it was harmless. The joke is from the movie Hall Pass and Family Guy. It wasn’t intended to offend anyone or to condone rape or violence. We kind of find it mind-boggling. We’re not promoting rape here. We’re not saying that rape is normal and that people should be getting raped. It’s dark humour, not for kids, but apparently some people choose to interpret it differently.

The Montreal mess is already the second rape-themed restaurant story of 2014, coming on the heels of the Spokane bar that made headlines with its “Date Grape Kool-Aid,” which drew not just the ire of those who have no sense of humor about dates that degrade into sexual assault, but also that of Kraft, which sought to distance its Kool-Aid brand from the drink.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Now In Nespresso News: Another Day, Another Single-Cup Brewing System Makes Its Debut

Beep boop bop, we're robots. (Nestle)

Beep boop bop, we’re robots. (Nestle)

Sitting high atop the lofty Green Mountain — made entirely of coffee beans, natch — sits Old Man Keurig on his Green Mountain Coffee Roasters throne. He surveys his coffee kingdom with satisfaction, after all, it’s 3/4 of the single-serving brewer market. But what’s that, on the horizon? A challenger is riding in from Europe — Nespresso.

Fairy tales of bearded old men aside, Nespresso is making its move to grab a piece of the single-serve brewing system bonanza in the U.S., and it knows that size is the way to our hearts: The company’s new brewer — the VertuoLine — makes larger, American-sized portions as well as the smaller espressos favored in Europe. It goes on sale this week in the U.S. and Canada.

This points its parent company Nestle in direct competition with the reigning leaders at Green Mountain. And while Nespresso does well enough, with a 35% share of the global market, it’s got its work cut out for it challenging Green Mountain, which controls more than three-quarters of the market here, reports Reuters.

It sounds like Green Mountain is game for a little competition, though.

“We’ll watch it like we watch all of them,” Green Mountain Chief Executive Brian Kelley told Reuters. Oooh, stone cold, guy. Stone cold.

Green Mountain isn’t just sitting back and enjoying its position — it’s pushing out new products as ewll, including the new Keurig 2.0 due in fall, which uses both single-serve “K-Cups” and larger-sized “K-Carafe” packs that brew 28 ounces of coffee.

“We want a brewer on every counter and we want a beverage for every occasion of the day,” said Kelley, before turning back to his cool coffee castle on the mountain in the sky.

Previously in single-serve brewing news: Soda In A Pod? Coke Buys Stake In Green Mountain Coffee To Make Its Dreams Come True

Nespresso takes aim at Green Mountain’s Keurig with big-cup brewer [Reuters]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Burglar Steals Sound System, Returns 30 Mins. Later To Grab Remote

Not the actual burglary suspect, but this is how we imagine him. (scenemissingmagazine)

Not the actual burglary suspect, but this is how we imagine him. (scenemissingmagazine)

Have you ever packed for a big road trip, gotten everyone into the car and then realized a short while later that you forgot something stupid like a phone charger or your contact lenses? This story is basically the petty criminal version of that head-slapping moment.

Police in Haddon Township, NJ, say that a local criminal mastermind’s brilliantly plotted heist was undone when he returned to the scene of his crime because he still had some unfinished business. More precisely, he had forgotten to take the remote to the sound system he’d stolen 30 minutes earlier. reports that the burglar (we’re going to assume he wore a bandit mask and knit cap) first entered the private home early in the morning on Feb. 4, walking out a short time later with the aforementioned sound system and other valuables, but not the remote control that is so key to operating the boosted audio equipment.

Another hairline flaw in his otherwise peerless plan — not realizing that the entire thing would be caught on nearby surveillance cameras. And so he was not only filmed during the initial breaking-and-entering, but was also when he returned for the remote a half-hour later.

So let this be a lesson to anyone out there planning to rob some random person’s home — just don’t. It’s not only mean; but you’ll probably get caught.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Here Is A Guaranteed Strategy To Win The Lottery

There was only one winner of the $425 million Powerball drawing this week, and the ticket was sold at a gas station in California’s Bay Area. As you spend that money in your head, as we inevitably all do, you might wonder how you could win the lottery. You don’t need luck. Here’s a guaranteed winning strategy.

Step 1: Get a jar. Or an envelope. Whatever works for you. (You can even buy purpose-built ones.)

Step 2: When you want to buy a lottery ticket, take the money you would have spent and put it in the jar instead.

Step 3: Deposit this money in a savings account.

Using this innovative lottery strategy, you are guaranteed to win.

BEST WAY TO PLAY THE LOTTERY (YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LIKE IT) [Barbara Friedberg] (via Rockstar Finance)

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Gallup: North Dakota Is The Happiest State, West Virginia Comes In Last Again

If you’re living in North or South Dakota right now, you’ve probably got a big ol’ grin on your satisfied face. And well you should, as a new study from Gallup says the Dakotas top the list of states with the highest well-being figures in the nation for 2013.

So what exactly is well-being, and how does the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index work out? The numbers reflect the overall health, employment, education and the local environment, Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, told 24/7 Wall St.

Basically, this means that if you’ve got a bustling economy and educated, healthy people boosting employment rates, that can collectively lift well-being in an area, which in turn could provide further opportunities to develop a community and make it even happier.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is based on interviews with more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year and takes a look at the physical and emotional health of the nation.

States at the top of the scores have residents who probably don’t smoke, likely exercise more often and better themselves by learning new things every day.

On the other end of the spectrum, states with low well-being scores were more likely to have residents who exhibit unhealthy behaviors or don’t have access to basic necessities. That takes a toll on their health, both emotional and physical, the study finds.

Check out the best and the worst and either high-five yourself for being in the top 10 or feel just, totally awful. Thanks, Gallup. Scores are out of a possible 100 points.

The Top 10

1. North Dakota: 70.4

2. South Dakota: 70.0

3. Nebraska: 69.7

4. Minnesota: 69.7

5. Montana: 69.3

6. Vermont: 69.1

7. Colorado:68.9

8. Hawaii: 68.4

9. Washington: 68.3

10. Iowa: 68.2

The Bottom 10

50. West Virginia: 61.4

49. Kentucky: 63.0

48. Mississippi: 63.7

47. Alabama: 64.1

46. Ohio: 64.2

45. Arkansas: 64.3

44. Tennessee: 64.3

43. Missouri: 64.5

42. Oklahoma: 64.7

41. Louisiana: 64.9

North Dakota No. 1 in Well-Being, West Virginia Still Last [Gallup]

America’s Most Content (and Miserable) States [24/7 Wall St.]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

How A Man (And A Forklift) Conquered A Vending Machine, Then Lost His Job

We’ve all been there, the utter disappointment of having your candy bar stuck in the evil teeth of a vending machine. The sweet treat hanging by a thread, mocking you from the top rows. How far are you willing to go to satisfy your sweet tooth? For one Iowa man scoring his treat cost him a job.

It all started last fall when the man put a dollar in his company’s vending machine to procure a Twix bar, The Des Moines Register reports.

Unfortunately, the candy bar was snagged by a spiral hook on its journey through the machine.

Not one to be deterred, the man pounded the machine and then shook it back and forth in an attempt to dislodge his snack.

When those methods didn’t work, the man took a more sure-fire approach. He used an 8,000-pound forklift to lift the machine 2 feet from the floor before letting it drop. According to unemployment compensation records he repeated the move six times and eventually dislodged three candy bars.

When confronted by a supervisor, the man allegedly said he was trying to get the candy bar he paid for.

He was fired five days later.

A claim for unemployment benefits was denied when a judge found the man had demonstrated a willful disregard for his employer’s interests. The former employee contends he used the forklift to simply place the machine back in its original spot after shaking it with his hands.

The man told The Des Moines Register that he heard the company now has new vending machines.

The Twix bar, the forklift, and the fired Iowan [The Des Moines Register]

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Arrest Warrant Issued For “Cash Grant Institute” Scammer Who Failed To Pay $20 Million Penalty

Nearly two years after the FTC hit the scammy robocallers at the “Cash Grant Institute” with a record $30 million penalty for violating federal Do Not Call regulations a few million times, a judge has issued an arrest warrant for one of the scheme’s operators after he failed to repay the lion’s share of what he’d agreed to hand over.

Paul Navestad aka Paul Richard aka Paul Richard Jones was one of two operators of the same that made more than 8 million robocalls, including at least 2.7 million calls to consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Recipients of these calls were told they had qualified for “cash grants” worth up to $25,000 from federal, state, and local governments, private foundations, and “wealthy individuals.” They were then directed to, where they were referred to sites that charged a fee for basic info on how to apply for grants, a process that is not exactly quick and easy.

As part of the $30 million deal in 2012, Navestad agreed to pay a $20 million penalty and fork over $1.1 million in money he’d received as part of the scam. Sucks for him, but better than going to jail, right?

Apparently not to Navestad/Richard/Jones, who was recently held in contempt of court by a federal judge who found that the scam artist had ignored his part of the FTC bargain.

Authorities believe he’s fled the U.S. and is living overseas. The court has ordered his arrest upon his return to the United States and his incarceration until he pays the money due.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

You Don’t Say: Study Shows That Bad Weather Is Good For Online Merchants

From the Global Department Of Studies That Tell Us What We Already Knew, a recent study of online retail data shows that while retail spending is down overall, shoppers spent more money online in January 2014 than in January 2013. What could the reason be? Well, speculates the company that did the study, maybe it’s because of the run of really crappy weather in highly populated areas of the country in 2014.

After all, if you can’t go to work and you notice that your favorite boots aren’t so waterproof anymore while shoveling out your parking space, how do do you remedy the situation? You make a cup of tea and surf over to Zappos.

They didn’t spell this out in their blog post about the study, but Ecommercebytes asked Custora what the causes of current shopping trends might be. “One may assume the inclement weather in major parts of the country since the beginning of the year is making more consumers inclined to stay indoors and shop from the comfort of their home,” a spokesperson said.

Good news for online retailers: not as good for the brick-and-mortar kind. Or for the delivery personnel who must forge through treacherous driveways in order to bring us our boots.

US E-Commerce: 2014 Starts with a Bang [Custora]

Bad Weather Linked to Good Sales for Online Merchants [Ecommercebytes]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Man Suing Outback Steakhouse Because Mashed Potatoes Shouldn’t Include Broken Dishes

While you might be the kind of person who prefers a couple lumps in your mashed potatoes, any lump that’s hard and feels like a bit of plate is an unwelcome addition. That’s what a man suing Outback Steakhouse in Oregon is claiming: He says he broke two teeth as he bit into mashed potatoes at the restaurant.

He’s suing the restaurant for $48,000, claiming that there were pieces of broken porcelain in his food, reports The Oregonian.

Two of his molars cracked during the bite back in February 2012, he says in his lawsuit, and when his waitress alerted her managers, they “admitted to plaintiff that a plate had broken in the kitchen and that pieces had fallen into the mashed potatoes.”

In his lawsuit he faults the restaurant group that runs the location for not throwing out the potatoes that received the shattered plate treatment. The suit also says management was negligent in failing to tell customers that a dish had broken and let them “make their own informed decision regarding whether to eat food that might contain sharp, hard, dangerous and potentially deadly pieces of a broken plate.”

Because of course, your average person would simply say, “Gee, thanks, but I’ll take the smoothest potatoes you can find and without dish chunks, please.”

One of the managing partners of that group says he’s never heard of something like this happening, and that safety is very important.

“It’s really disappointing when someone gets hurt inside the restaurant,” he said.

Outback Steakhouse left broken plate bits in mashed potatoes, cracking customer’s teeth, suit claims [The Oregon [The Oregonian]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

“Saving” A Shoveled-Out Parking Spot: Your Hard-Earned Right Or A Jerk Move?

This is not an uncommon sight in Philadelphia during the winter. (Twitter: @NoSavesies)

This is not an uncommon sight in Philadelphia during the winter. (Twitter: @NoSavesies)

Readers who’ve only lived in warm climates or areas with ample parking don’t understand the special hell that is going through the effort of digging your car out of a plowed-in curbside parking spot, knowing all the while that said spot will soon be occupied by someone else’s car. That’s where some people employ the controversial practice of using chairs, traffic cones, handmade signs, trash cans, and apparently ironing boards, to “save” their shoveled-out spots for later.

There are two issues surrounding this traditional spot-saving ritual: First, is it legal? Second, regardless of legality, do you have some sort of tacit right to that spot?

“Just because a practice has been going on for so long that [it] has been ignored, doesn’t mean that we need to continue to do so,” explains Philadelphia police sergeant Eric Gripp, who also created the @NoSavesies Twitter account and hashtag, to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Gripp says that there aren’t laws on the books in Philly that specifically forbid the practice of saving a spot with a lawnchair or whatever other piece of furniture you’re wiling to risk losing by putting it in the vacated spot. However, there are laws against littering and obstructing the roadway.

That said, cops — not just in Philly, but in other cities where this is a common practice — tend to not issue citations to spot-savers, presumably because it’s hard to locate the owner of some random, busted folding chair left sitting in the gutter.

Instead, says Gripp, he and his fellow officers are more frequently called to handle the fights that erupt over saved spots, or from people like visiting nurse services who can’t find a parking spot because entire blocks are littered with bits of furniture.

Since I haven’t had a car in more than 15 years and my street in Philly is so narrow you can’t actually park on it, this issue doesn’t impact me. And so I took the question to my colleagues who own cars and/or have lived in snowy cities.

Ms. Kate Cox is now working in Consumerist’s D.C. office, but she’d previously lived in Boston where she says spot-saving has “always been considered a total [expletive redacted] move,” but “everyone does it anyway.”

Mary Beth Quirk sees her fair share of snow in Brooklyn, but not as much as she did growing up in Wisconsin. She feels that spot-saving might be accept under two conditions:

“If you (A) did the shoveling, and (B) are sitting in the chair, the spot is yours,” MBQ explains. “But the traffic cone thing? That’s bad. I’ll just drive over it.”

Meanwhile, Meg Marco, who has come across spot-saving during her time in both Chicago and NYC, worries about those who might unwittingly find themselves in a saved-spot dispute because of some other jerk’s actions:

“Say the first guy shovels his car out in the morning and leaves a cruddy chair there, hoping his spot will still be free when he returns. Then an hour later, a second guy comes, scoffs at the chair and tosses it out of the way. So after that guy leaves and a third driver pulls up to find an empty, shoveled-out, unclaimed spot, she might be the one getting yelled at when the first driver returns home to find her car in the spot he shoveled out that morning.”

And D.C.’s Ashlee Keiser, formerly of Iowa, apparently adopts the same double standard held by most spot-savers: “If the spot was being saved for me: acceptable. If it was being saved for someone else: illegal,” she jokes (I hope). “Honestly, if there’s not a person there guarding the spot, then I’d consider it fair game.”

Albany’s own Laura Northrup sums it up by saying, “In an ideal world, it would be illegal to save the spot for any longer than it takes to go get your car from wherever it is. In a real world where law enforcement has to make real rules, if no one is actually standing in the spot then it should be fair game.”

This is a very complicated matter… You know, a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-you’s. Which is why we’re putting it to y’all to make the call:

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Homeland Security Warns Airlines Of Possible New Threats From Shoe Bombs

Loosen those laces and get ready to slip off your sandals: Travelers flying into the United States will likely find their footwear under closer scrutiny after the Department of Homeland Security warned airlines about a possible new shoe-bomb threat.

Officials told the airlines to perk up and stay alert on flights heading from overseas into the U.S., with several sources telling NBC News that “very recent intelligence” showed credible warnings of possible attempts to attack planes using explosives concealed in shoes.

There’s no specific threat to any certain airline, country or time, or any confirmed plot, officials say. But Homeland Security thought it was best to let airlines in on the possible danger anyway. One official told NBC that the concern that comes with this news is “moderate.”

“It’s a reminder that we are under constant threat and an advisory to airlines be on their A game,” said another official familiar with the threat intelligence.

This also has nothing to do with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, officials say.

“Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners about relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe,” the Department said. “These types of regular communications are part of that important priority.

“Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.”

You’ll recall The Shoe Bomber, Richard Reid, whose attempt to blow up explosives in his shoes on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2002 is the reason why we all take our shoes off in airport security screenings now. And it sounds like the shadow he cast on our footwear is going to last for a very long time yet.

Homeland Security Alerts Airlines to Possible Shoe-Bomb Threat [NBC News]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Millions Of Credit Cards Stolen From Target Being Sold At Closeout Prices

Like scalpers who drop their asking prices as game time approaches, black market sellers of credit card numbers stolen during last December’s massive data breach at Target are now offering this ill-gotten information at rock-bottom prices.

Cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs has been following the asking price of these cards on underground online marketplaces and found that the purloined numbers are now selling for a fraction of what they were going for in December.

On Wednesday, sellers on one such marketplace sold nearly 3 million stolen card numbers, getting anywhere from $8 to $28 per card.

By contrast, card info stolen from Target shoppers was selling for between $27 and $45 on the day the news of the hack broke back in mid-December.

Why the steep drop in value? Because the odds of those numbers still being valid has dropped significantly. At the time of the breach announcement, sellers were claiming 100% “valid rates,” meaning that all the cards in a bundle would work if used right away for an illegal shopping spree.

But the cards currently being sold only have stated valid rates of 60%, meaning there is a pretty good chance that four out of 10 cards purchased have already been canceled or flagged.

It’s kind of like buying a day-old baguette at the baker. Maybe it’ll be fine, but there’s a decent chance it will be stale.

It’s surprising to us that so many people have still not canceled cards that were included in the Target breach. Just because your credit card offers $0 liability on fraudulent purchases doesn’t mean you should continue to be in a position where you’re constantly checking your card activity for questionable purchases.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

¿Cómo debieran ser las aulas del siglo XXI - Javier Turón

via Educación tecnológica

IKEA To Record Collectors: Don’t Freak Out About The Death Of Expedit Shelves

expedit The LP has survived the 8-track, the cassette tape, the CDs, the MP3, and streaming audio. But will all that vinyl have a place to live now that IKEA is killing off collectors’ beloved Expedit shelving units?

If you or someone you know has a substantial record collection, there’s a good chance you have encountered a few Expedits. The dimensions are ideal for storing and arranging LPs; the no-frills design is unassuming and can fit in just about anywhere, and the shelves are sturdy enough to handle the weight of thousands of records (at least when you follow the directions and don’t turn the units on their sides).

But after vinyl lovers got wind of the impending death of the Expedit, there was an outcry of analog outrage on social media, with one “save the Expedit” Facebook group already counting more than 18,000 members.

There are claims on the never-hyperbolic Twittersphere (a word I hate myself for typing) that there has been a run on Expedit shelves at IKEA stores. However, I just did a spot-check of availability at stores around the country and couldn’t find one where the shelves were listed as likely to be out of stock; not even in vinyl-loving Brooklyn, where I’ve seen tiny apartments made even tinier by floor-to-ceiling Expedits on multiple walls.

The retailer says it will continue to sell the Expedit until it runs out of stock, but hopes record collectors will be equally pleased with the Kallax shelves it plans to release on April 1.

The Kallax has rounded edges and the sides are slightly thinner than the Expedit, but IKEA is assuring customers (in German) that the interior dimensions of the shelves will remain the same LP-friendly dimensions and that the skinnier exterior walls will still provide adequate support for folks’ cherished vinyl library.

Ikea shelves send vinyl enthusiasts into panic [The Verge]

IKEA Discontinues Beloved Shelf, Prompts Internet Fury [HuffPo]

by Chris Morran via Consumerist