Archive for June, 2011
Is OptionsHouse a Scam? A 2011 OptionsHouse.com Review
OptionsHouse, doing business as OptionsHouse LLC since 2005, is a market maker owned by PEAK6 Investments. PEAK6 has been in business since 1997 in both the stock options and derivatives market.
The big draw to OptionsHouse is based on their promotions. At one time, OptionsHouse offered 100 free trades and $2.95 trades after those first 100 expired. Unfortunately for traders, the $2.95 price has inflated slightly to $3.95 for stock trades. $3.95 per trade is still a great deal, considering that most brokers are changing in the range of $7 to $12, with some high profile brokers charging closer to $30 per. OptionsHouse is also well-known in the options trading market, having won the “Best for Options Traders” award from Barron’s for three years in a row.
To open an account at OptionsHouse, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of $1,000 for a cash account or $2,000 for a margin account.
Even though the $2.95 OptionsHouse fees per trade deal ended in January of 2011, you can still sign up for 100 free trades. Getting 100 free trades on OptionsHouse’ new trading platform is a great deal. OptionsHouse released their new platform in March of this year, and it more than justifies the change in OptionsHouse fees. Remember that the $3.95 per trade fee is only good for stock trades. If you participate in options trading, spreads, or other financial trades you’ll have to pay a different fee.
As of this writing, the fee structure for trades other than stocks is as follows.
Fee plans for options trading come in two forms:
- Up to five contracts for $5 with each additional contract costing just $1 OR
- $8.50 flat fee plus a charge of 0.15/contract
Fee plans for spreads include two plans as well:
- Up to 10 contracts for $10 with a $1 charge for each additional contract OR
- $12.50 flat fee plus a charge of 0.15/contract
Mutual fund trades are $9.95 apiece.
OptionsHouse Trading Platform
The focus on trading at OptionsHouse is options trading, naturally. OptionsHouse offers free online seminars (called “webinars”) that take advantage of PEAK6’s experience in options trading.
OptionsHouse’ new platform offers real time quotes, a risk calculator for various trading situations, industry-standard charting and graphing tools, and a handful of useful watch lists you can tailor to your needs.
I find the Maxit tax-management tool particularly useful. Too many times I’ve made a foolhardy trade through another broker and found myself facing pretty serious tax consequences. With Maxit, I can look at those consequences before I make a hasty trade.
There are other features as part of the OptionsHouse trading platform that are pretty much available at any trading platform–conditional orders, streaming-options chains, and standard portfolio performance reports. You basically get everything you would with a more expensive broker site for much less money.
OptionsHouse also offers their clients an iPhone app for trading on the go, as well as options trading education and classes, the option to get one-on-one coaching at just $150 a month, and the best promotions package of any brokerage online as of this writing.
Is OptionsHouse a Scam?
Because of a large number of OptionsHouse complaints found all over the Internet and the low price per trade, some people think OptionsHouse is a scam.
Most of the OptionsHouse complaints online follow a pattern: “poor execution, clunky platform sceens, mishandling of funds, extremely limited customer service, not much extended hour trading” and the like. There is very little about any actual scams or criminal activity. Complaints about OptionsHouse seem to be from people who expected a service like ScottTrade or TD at a deeply discounted price. The fact is, you’re never going to get the kind of service and tools you’d get at those sites for just $3.95 per trade.
The key to avoiding these common OptionsHouse complaints is to do your research before you join the site. For example–most stocks and trading options valued under $1 are not compatible with OptionsHouse. There are other restrictions as well, like the fact that OptionsHouse’ extended hours trading is extremely limited.
Since OptionsHouse offers “virtual trading,” there’s no reason not to test the service out before you decide to join and start trading. If you play around with the virtual trading service and find you don’t like the interface or the speed at which the trades happen, don’t join the site.
OptionsHouse Promotion Code
There are currently three OptionsHouse promotion code deals available online. Enter these promo codes when you setup your account to take advantage of the deals.
- ACAT100REFUND–Use this code and have your transfer fees reimbursed, up to $125.
- DELL24–If you deposit $5,000 or more into your OptionsHouse account, you get a free Dell Full HD 24″ Monitor. There are additional monitor giveaways when you deposit larger amounts. Check for the latest Dell monitor giveaway codes.
- WIRE25REFUND–You can have your wire transfer fees refunded if you use this code when you make your initial deposit.
Using an OptionsHouse promotion code is a quick way to save a little cash or get a free HD monitor. Check for new promo codes regularly, as OptionsHouse tends to offers lot of different promotions.
OptionsHouse Pros and Cons
The best things about OptionsHouse are the access to PEAK6 market tools and the fact that their commissions are the absolute lowest of any trading site. The worst aspects of OptionsHouse are the lack of futures and international trading, the limited mutual fund investment opportunities, the lack of automated trading, and the difficulty OptionsHouse’ trading platform has with extended hours trading.
OptionsHouse has been dealing with complaints about their service and their financial policies since the site opened, mostly because people expect a top-notch trading service even when they pay OptionsHouse’ rock-bottom prices.
Respect from Barron’s annual list, placing them 4th overall among online trading sites in 2011, means more traffic and respect for OptionsHouse and PEAK6. For options traders, who do battle with spreads and fees on a daily basis, a service like OptionsHouse that offers such low fees for options trading is the best way to lower your trading costs without giving up a quality trading service.
Medifast is a five-step meal replacement diet plan recommended by doctors and nutritionists for a wide range of health concerns. Because Medifast Meals are low in fat content and are created to meet low glycemic index requirements, they are not just safe for people with type 2 diabetes, they are often used by physicians to help treat diabetic patients. Medifast Meals come in gluten-free varieties and a few other special meal plans to meet patient’s weight loss and health needs. Special Medifast Meal plans exist for vegetarians, diabetics, Medifast Meals for teens, seniors, nursing mothers, even people suffering from gout and those losing weight in preparation for weight-loss surgery.
Medifast Food Reviews
Replacement meal programs can be difficult to follow because the food isn’t satisfying. If
you can’t stand the taste of the food or if the meal plans aren’t filling enough, you’re less likely to follow the diet plan.
Online Medifast food reviews are helpful if you’re trying to figure out whether or not to start the Medifast plan. I started researching Medifast when it came time to lose thirty pounds I’d gained “sympathetically” after my wife’s pregnancy. I actually gained more weight than my wife did, and she had a baby. I knew it was time to take some action, but I was suspicious of the quality of Medifast food.
What I found was that the Medifast food gets its share of cheers and jeers. As a person who tries to eat as little meat as possible, I was mostly interested in the quality of the vegetarian meals and entrees with little or no meat. Luckily, there are tons of people sharing their Medifast experience online on blogs and personal websites. The first blog that caught my eye was called Escape from Obesity. Though I’m far from obese, I was interested in seeing what someone working on long-term weight loss thought of the Medifast food.
The Medifast food reviews I found at this blog were honest and extremely detailed. I learned how this particular dieter would make small changes to the food to make them more edible without really throwing off the nutritional value, like adding torn spinach leaves to the powdered scrambled eggs. She also talked about how to properly prepare Medifast’s powdered foods: simply mixing them with water and letting them sit in the fridge for twenty minutes made a huge difference in the texture of the meals.
If you’re unsure about starting a meal replacement plan, look around for Medifast food reviews. You may be surprised at people’s honesty and the quality of the diet food available through Medifast.
Negative Medifast Reviews
I don’t want to make it sound like everyone loves Medifast food. I have run into my share of real stinkers, especially the oatmeal that Medifast offers. Negative Medifast reviews make up about 50% of the total food and diet plan reviews online. The key for me was to find what food I liked, what foods I hated, and tailor my Medifast orders to those conditions.
Negative Medifast reviews all sound very similar. Many people complain about the overly sugary taste of Medifast’s shakes. Since the shakes are a major part of many Medifast dieter’s plans, not enjoying the experience puts a big dent in your Medifast plans. I personally found the shakes far too sweet-tasting to drink, and found myself heading more towards the crunch bars in between meals or as meal replacements.
When you read negative Medifast reviews, remember that what’s nasty to one person may be palatable or even delicious to another. Even though I try to avoid meaty meals, I really love the Medifast version of Beef Vegetable Stew. What other reviewers found to be little more than “gravy with chunks” I liked as a hot soup for cold winter lunches. As long as I put the soup in a thermos and didn’t look at it too much, it reminded me of the beef broth I used to drink when I had a sore throat.
Medifast Reviews 2011
Since Medifast is constantly changing their meal plans and tweaking their food, it is important to read Medifast reviews 2011. Reading outdated reviews will get you nothing but an outdated idea of how the Medifast plan works. It’s easy to read updated reviews–just type “Medifast reviews 2011″ into Google and click away.
2011 Medifast reviews differ from older reviews of the plan in that there’s a ton of new Medifast food and slightly altered Medifast food to choose from. People love the new Medifast pancakes, a menu item that Medifast didn’t even carry until this past year. There are even chocolate chip pancakes on the Medifast plan.
2011 Medifast reviews also mention that the recipe for the popular Medifast 55 shakes has changed slightly. It may be time for this dieter to try these shakes again, since reviewers claim that the overly sweet recipe has been altered to be more palatable.
2011 Medifast reviews keep you up-to-date with the latest in Medifast food and Medifast diet support. Reading old information will give you the wrong idea about the Medifast plan and menu items.
My Medifast Results
The results I’ve seen from the Medifast plan are encouraging. I’m not going to go overboard and say that I’ve had Medifast results worth writing home about–the plan is difficult to get used to, especially in the first couple of weeks, and I’ve had trouble finding meals that I don’t get burned out on or just plain hate.
Medifast claims some outstanding results are possible if you follow the five-step plan and eat a proper diet based on their Medifast Meals. With food items ranging from 90 to 100 calories, Medifast says that dieters stand to lose about 2 pounds a week. This is a realistic goal for weight loss–where other diet plans claim ridiculous weight loss goals as high as 9 or 10 pounds a week, which is physically impossible, Medifast promises nothing. Losing 2 pounds of week is a healthy way to shed unwanted pounds.
My personal Medifast results fell right in line with this promise. I stumbled a lot in my first two weeks, probably due to the difference in my caloric intake and the little bit of gas that the Medifast eggs gave me, but as my body got used to the food and the reduced calories, I found myself losing first four pounds, then three pounds, then a stead two pounds a week up to this point. I’m on week eleven and I’ve lost 23 total pounds, just a few shy of my goal of 30 pounds of weight loss.
TheHipChick Coupon Codes 2011
TheHipChick prides itself on offering clothes worn by celebrities and fashion icons at discounted prices. When you shop around at THeHipChick, you’ll notice photos of celebrities wearing the clothing items in place of anonymous models. Not every item for sale at TheHipChick was worn by a celeb, but the ones that were are easy to pick out.
The discounted prices allow you to dress like a celeb without an A-list budget, though prices are still pretty steep. That’s where THeHipChick coupon codes and promos come into play.
2011 TheHipChick Coupon Codes
Most of the savings and deals you’ll find at TheHipChick are site-wide and don’t require coupon codes. As of this writing, you get free shipping on all orders over $150 as well as sale prices up to 70% off on different items. Just shopping around at TheHipChick and spending more than $150 will save money on your clothes and on shipping cost.
TheHipChick releases a ton of coupon codes, and not just generic site-wide discounts. For example, the code “ChanLuu10″ gets you 10 percent off all Chan Luu bracelets. It is common to find 2011 coupon codes for specific brands at TheHipChick.
You can use social media to save cash on your next shopping spree at TheHipChick. Right now, if you “like” their Facebook page and leave a comment, you’ll get a coupon offer good for $50 off your next order of $250 or more. Similar deals are available for their Twitter page and other media pages.
There are traditional coupon codes as well. In 2011, enter coupon code “20OFF” and get twenty percent off your next order, minimum purchase requirements subject to change. You can also get ten percent off select items by entering “10OFF” at checkout, though you have to look for specifically labelled sale items while shopping.
Well-known bigname fashion brands True Religion, Anna Sui, Christian Dior, and ZoeNYC are thrown in with more boutique names like Young, Fabulous, and Broke and Torn. When you shop by brand, you can further refine your search by price, color, and category. Pretty much every big name in their catalog has a fashion icon, famous model, or celebrity showing off the clothes. For example, if you search under “Anna Sui,” you’ll see a photo of model Keri Hilson wearing the Anna Sui Diamon dress, on sale at TheHipChick for just under $500. On sale at other retailers for twice as much, you can pick up this A-list dress for less than the price of a plane ticket to Fashion Week.
TheHipChick Celebrity Picks
Instead of crawling around the site looking randomly for photos of TheHipChick items worn by celebrity bodies, you can click the “Celebrity Picks” link at the top of the page to browse through all items they’re currently offering “as worn by” a famous person. Names like Paris Hilton, Kate Moss, Kourtney Kardashian, and Sarah Jessica Parker are thrown about, as are less-known (B-List) types like Nicole Richie and Ashley Benson. The prices on these items currently runs from $45 (for a plain white T-shirt as worn by Mary-Kate Olsen) to well over $500 for an Alice + Olivia dress worn by the aforementioned B-Lister Ashley Benson.
My TheHipChick Shopping Experience
I’m not what you’d call a fashionista, but my girlfriend is. When I wanted to get her something special for Christmas, I dug around for designer clothes at reduced prices and came across a slew of coupon codes and promos for TheHipChick. I don’t know Donna Karan from Donna Reed, but the shopping interface at TheHipChick made it easy for me to find something my girlfriend would go nuts for–a Ben Amun Gold-Plated Brass French Coin necklace worn by none other than Kate Moss. Compared to other retailers, the $298 pricetag for this item (minus 10% off with coupon and shipped for free) seems to have saved me at least a hundred bucks.
TheHipChick sells a huge line of clothes and accessories, with the focus apparently on bags, jewelry, and other accessories to turn an otherwise normal outfit into something special. Their emphasis on presenting famous people in the clothing items they sell as well as offering tons of coupons and deals shows that they’re trying to put high fashion into the hands of the regular Joe . . . or should I say Jane?
Discover Card Services
Discover Card appeared in 1985 as a financial service of Sears. Since then, Discover has become its own entity, breaking away from MorganStanleyDeanWitter in 2007. The Discover Card competed with the two credit giants in America (VISA and MasterCard) where other credit card programs failed.
The Discover Card Difference
Discover Card was popular for a variety of reasons: for starters, unlike VISA and MasterCard, the Discover Card had no annual fee, the first national credit card to offer that feature. Discover Cards had slightly higher credit limits than its two main competitors, and Discover customers were the first in the nation to be offered a “Cashback Bonus.” Retailers were quick to accept the Discover Card because it offered much lower fees than VISA or MasterCard, meaning that people could use their Discover Card pretty much anywhere they could use their other credit cards.
Discover Card Application
To fill out a Discover Card application, head to the Discover website. Choose one of ten different Discover products, ranging from student cards and “miles cards” to their flagship Discover products, and fill out the application. You’ll need a few pieces of information to fill out your Discover Card application:
- Personal details (name, address, telephone number)
- Employment details (name, address, and phone number of employer)
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Mother’s maiden name
Applying for a Discover Card is even easier now that they have a large number of pre-approved offers you can look up with your name, social security number, and credit score. Plug the information in and cards for which you are pre-approved pop up. Select your card design and start using your Discover card right away.
Discover Card Benefits
Depending on which Discover credit product you choose, your benefits can be anything from free travel, cash rewards, and even discounts on retail goods through the Discover Shop. There’s a huge array of Discover Card benefits available depending on your credit situation, the kind of credit card user you are, and how much you use your Discover Card.
The flagship Discover Card has a 0% introductory APR on all balance transfers. That means for the first fifteen months of your Discover membership, you pay no interest on transferred credit balances. That makes it easy to transfer from a high-interest card and save cash. Be aware that after those fifteen months, the interest jumps to between 11.99% and 20.99%, depending on your credit.
I used this option of the flagship Discover Card to pay off a store credit card that had just inexplicably jumped from 12% APR to 19.99%. I wasn’t about to pay off a high dollar credit card at that interest rate, so I transferred the balance to my new Discover product and paid the card off in fourteen months, just enough time to avoid paying interest on the total altogether.
That 0% introductory APR also works on all purchases made with your Discover Card for the first 15 months of membership. After that time period expires, the traditional APR of between 11 and 20% kicks in. This is one of the longest 0% introductory offers of any credit card in America. This makes Discover the perfect card for making a single large purchase, like a big-screen TV, and paying it off within 15 months.
As a victim of identity theft, I was pleased to find out about Discover’s $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee. Discover promises that if there are any unauthorized transactions on your card, you aren’t liable for those expenses. This service comes with Fraud Alerts–sign up for Fraud Alerts and get phone calls, emails, or text messages whenever there is suspicious activity with your credit card.
Other Discover Card benefits include Business Card benefits like spending tracking and expense management, the ability to create employee cards with set spending limits and monthly reporting, and quarterly and annual financial statements from Discover to help with your business bookkeeping.
Discover Card Rewards
The Discover Card Rewards program is built on a number of different special offers for Discover members.
Earn Cashback Bonus rewards with every purchase–be sure to read the fine print, as lots of special restrictions apply to this reward. The main Discover Card offers 5% cashback on certain purchases; you can take the cash or you can redeem your cashback bonus for retail goods or gift cards from partner businesses, like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the Apple store, and other big name retailers.
The special ShopDiscover section of Discover’s website offers 5% to 20% cashback rewards when you shop at select online retailers that have a partnership with Discover.
Discover also offers their customers a cash bonus when they pay on time for a few months in a row, a bonus that can be exchanged for gifts or other rewards. These cash rewards are also available for customers who demonstrate “good credit management” (as determined by the customer service department).
Be sure to pay attention to the categories of goods that are valid for the cashback rewards. Check out the latest Discover Card rewards cashback schedule so you can make purchases in the right categories and earn money back. Cashback is available in categories like gas, travel, restaurants, and grocery stores. Cashback is only paid on amounts spent over $3,000, so if you’re not a big credit spender, you may not be able to take advantage of this deal.
Discover Card is sometimes seen as the redheaded stepchild of credit card companies, mostly because it doesn’t carry the exclusivity of American Express or the name recognition of MasterCard and VISA. Now that Discover card is offering branded bank cards through their acquisition of Pulse and with their excellent rewards and bonuses, expect Discover Card to become a bigger player in the American credit scene. If you’re looking to transfer a high balance or spend more than $3-4,000 a year on your credit card, opening a Discover Card can be a very lucrative credit decision.
- How to Book a Hotel without a Credit Card
- How Does Bill Consolidation Work?
- How to Prevent Identity Theft
- How to Contact Equifax
- How to Improve Your FICO Score
eBags Coupons – Coupon Code for eBags.com 2011
eBags.com was founded in 1998 as a web-only retailer of handbags, backpacks, and bags and accessories of all kinds. Employing nearly 100 people at their headquarters in Colorado, eBags now sells more than 600 brands of bags and accessories with a focus on purses and designer bags more than luggage, as was the company’s initial focus.
Coupon Code for eBags.com 2011
Right now, the most common coupon code for eBags.com 2011 is “EMSSCM70.” This code is good for 20% off your entire order and free shipping. This over is good no matter the size of your order. Another active code for eBags.com in 2011 is “COMJRMN,” this one good for 15% off and free shipping on orders over $50.
Both of these codes can save you a substantial amount of cash on your next eBags.com order. Just enter the codes in the appropriate box at checkout and enjoy the savings.
Besides coupon codes, eBags offers coupon-style savings at their site all the time. Depending on when you shop there, you can find deals ranging from free shipping on all orders to percent off your total order. These sales are focused mainly around high retail shopping times like Christmas and “back to school,” but there’s always some kind of eBags coupon style deal available.
As for traditional coupons–since eBags.com is a web-only store, physical coupons are rare if there are any at all. Stick to coupon codes and sales for savings at eBags.com.
eBags Shopping Experience
I’ve been an eBags shopper for almost twelve years now, going back to the days when they mainly sold luggage. I graduated high school and headed off to college the first time I shopped at eBags.com, looking for a fancy backpack for tromping back and forth to classes, but got upsold on a nice pair of luggage. eBags.com’s founders were employees at Samsonite before jumping off to join the .com boom of the late 90s.
eBags.com’s luggage set sales drew me in. I got a beautiful and functional set of Lightweight Mobility luggage by Samsonite for 70% off the retail price. Those three bags accompanied me to Europe and Africa as well as on countless trips across the country, and I still use them ever time I travel.
Coupon codes for eBags.com are easy to find, easy to use, and often come with free shipping. On heavy items like purses, bags, and luggage, I find the free shipping reason enough to keep shopping at eBags.com.
eBags has their backpack selection broken up into a dozen or so different categories, like “Kids,” “Backpacking,” “Hydration,” and “Waist and Fanny Packs.” eBags.com sells twenty different brands of backpacks, including their own eBags line consisting of convertible, school bags, and even wheeled laptop and computer storage bags.
You can also shop for eBags backpacks by color, style, and price. The wide selection of backpacks at deep discounts makes shopping for backpacks at eBags even better than hitting your local school supply or big box retail store, and using a coupon or sale promotion for free shipping makes the experience pretty pain-free.
eBags Lifetime Guarantee
I’m always surprised by the lifetime guarantee on eBags brand products, but when I broke a zipper on my eBags convertible backpack I put the “lifetime” part of the guarantee to the test. I bought the bag in 1999, pretty early in the lifespan of the eBags guarantee. A few minutes on the phone with customer service later, a replacement bag was in the mail, which I received six days later.
The guarantee is good for eBags brand products, and all I needed to get my replacement bag was the email address I used for the order and a few details about the break itself. It didn’t matter that the break was due to regular wear and tear, and the customer service rep I talked to didn’t ask any details about how I used the bag–just offered me a new model of the same bag or a gift card for the bag’s original value.
If you prefer to shop with a catalog rather than online, eBags is happy to send you a free catalog via US Mail. It’ll take a little over a week to get to your door, but the catalog is attractive, containing all the items you can find at the online store plus a handful of catalog-exclusive bags. My copy of the catalog came with two “coupons” in the form of codes to enter at the time of ordering, for “catalog customers only.”
To get your copy of the eBags catalog, just complete the Request a Catalog form at their website.
eBags Designer Purses
If you’re a designer purse or handbag fanatic, eBags now has a huge line of designer bags to choose from. Brands like BCBG, Michael Kors, Cole Haan, and kate spade are represented, with prices ranging from $39 (for an attractive silver Elaine Turner mini wallet) to $850 for a large Helen Kaminski purse.
Not all of the designer handbags are available at the usual eBags sale prices or with certain coupons, since the site makes deals with the designers and can’t always offer the same discounts as other brands, but as of this writing, designer bags from BODHI and Treesje can be purchased with your eBags coupon code or discount.
1950s’ Halloween Costume Ideas
America in the 1950s is thought of as a time of conservative dress and behavior, the “golden age” of American commerce. We had a huge middle class, a vibrant pop culture scene, and the beginnings of both the Cold War and the conflict in Vietnam.
1950s’ Halloween costumes are popular because they’re relatively easy to put together, they’re easy to recognize, and something about the 50s makes us go nuts. Nostalgia for the 50s spiked in the 70s and 80s but is still going strong, judging by the popularity of Halloween costumes based on life in the 50s.
The most common 1950s stereotypes are of the “greaser” with his leather jacket and slicked back hair and his rockabilly girl companion. One version of this classic 50s costume is the two main characters from the 70s movie Grease–Danny and Sandy. Though Sandy wasn’t exactly a greaser girl, you could get away with a pair of high-waisted jeans, a leather jacket, and a scarf alongside Danny’s leather jacket and tattoos.
The 1950s’ “Pinup Girl” look is also popular, especially for adults who don’t mind getting a little risque. Pinup Girls were big in the 50s, a time before the Internet and 24 hour television programming. Posters of attractive young women in skimpy clothing could be found everywhere from garages to teenage boys bedrooms. Bikinis, big hair, and lots of skin were their trademark.
If you don’t mind spending a little cash, there are lots of prefabricated 1950s’ Halloween costumes based on celebrities of the time: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Ginger Rogers, and Cary Grant are four popular costume choices because they’re so famous. Costume sets for these celebrities are based on famous roles they played and can be found at Halloween shops and online costume shops.
The Poodle Skirt is probably the most popular example of 1950s fashion. Invented in the early 1950s, the Poodle Skirt was originally called a “circle skirt” for the fact that it is essentially one big circle of fabric with an applique or two. Not all Poodle Skirts were embossed with poodles–drag racers, music notes, and even celebrity’s faces were common additions to the Poodle Skirt. Simple to make with basic fabric and an iron-on logo, a Poodle Skirt is an easy go-to 1950s’ Halloween costume for women.
The 1950s gave us plenty of great costume ideas, from celebrities and TV characters to stereotypes like the greaser. For more ideas on 1950s’ Halloween costumes, check out 50scostumes.net.
Kindle Reviews 2011
Most of the Kindle reviews written in 2011 mention that eBook sales are spiking. (If you don’t know what a Kindle is, see this page: What Is a Kindle?) Reviewers are quick to point out that Amazon is now selling more eBooks than actual books, and though that number is not yet true for the book market in general (paper books still outsell eBooks 5 to 1) it is seen as a trend that book publishers and book sellers should keep an eye on.
In 2011, there are two basic versions of the Kindle for sale–Kindle 3 and Kindle DX. The DX model is larger, has a larger screen, better resolution, and has support for more media types than the Kindle 3. Reviews of Kindle devices in 2011 make it a point to describe the many ways that Kindle 3 is better than the original version, which has been discontinued. Seems a little obvious, right?
CNET Kindle Review 2011
CNET is one of the most trusted sources for tech reviews. They give the latest version of the Kindle four stars out of five and have named it an editor’s choice. CNET praises the new Kindle’s “slimmer” and “more compact” design, as well as its improved screen and faster page-turning features. As for the downside, CNET complains that there’s no expansion slot for adding memory and no support for the popular EPUB book file format. I agree with CNET, and suggest also that AMazon should consider throwing in a carrying case with Kindle purchases and figure out a way around the fact that the Kindle’s battery is permanently sealed into the device, making repairs impossible.
I’m constantly amazed that CNET likes the Kindle so much, in the face of all of its flaws. For a device that’s sold millions of units, I’m fairly disappointed by my own Kindle DX. The screen is not “glare-free” as Amazon advertises, and is especially hard on my eyes on long flights with those bright overhead airplane lamps.
Blog Kindle Reviews 2011
I’ve been surprised by the blog response to Kindles in 2011–they seem to be as into the Kindle as the major tech review sites. A blogger at oddstocktrader.com gives the 2011 version of the device a “9.3 out of 10″ thanks to its light weight and easy to read screen. This blogger repeats the old lie about the screen being free of glare–not true by any stretch of the imagination.
A blogger at Zatznotfunny.com suggests that the new Nook Touch might finally be a better device than the Kindle 3, mostly because of its ease of use, saying that the UI touch interface is far superior to Kindle’s 5 button interface. Still, this blogger shows his Kindle fanboy true colors by wondering ” . . . how far away is the Kindle 4?”
It’s clear from reviews of the Kindle in 2011 that most people are really into their Amazon eBook readers, even in the face of new versions of Barnes and Noble’s well-reviewed Nook and much-cheaper eReaders from Borders and other retailers. The Kindle was the first giant of the eBook world, and probably maintains a lot of customer loyalty simply because it came out before its competition.
- Kindle for Mac
- How Do You Make the Kindle Read Aloud Function Work?
- Kindle Alternatives
- Kindle Cases and Covers
- Kindle Deals and Discounts
Who Sells Kindle?
Since the Kindle’s release in 2007, industry analysts estimate that Amazon has sold over 5 million units, though the actual numbers haven’t been released. For a long time, you could only purchase the Kindle directly from Amazon, but in recent months, major American retailers have gotten into the Kindle game, selling the device as part of a deal with Amazon.
eBooks now make up 15 percent of the American book sales market, and this move to introduce Amazon’s popular eReader into the bricks and mortar retail store market should push that number even higher. Here’s a look at three stores where you can buy Amazon’s Kindle device right now.
Buy Kindle at Target
There are 1,203 Target stores in America, including 230 of the behemoth “Super Target” locations in 22 different states. Amazon’s deal to put Kindles in Target stores exposes millions of people to the device in a familiar retail setting. Assuming that some people have resisted purchasing the Kindle because of their lack of familiarity with buying products online, moving into retail giants like Target could really boost their sales figures.
Target is selling the Kindle as low as $114, but this deal is only available in-store. Amazon’s deal with Target requires that they don’t compete with Amazon’s online Kindle sales, a tactic Amazon would repeat with other Kindle retail deals.
Buy Kindle at Best Buy
With 1,070 stores in the United States, the sale of Kindles at Best Buy was another big victory for Amazon. The cheapest Kindle device at Best Buy is only slightly more expensive than at Target–$114.99, less than a dollar higher than the deal offered by Target.
I bought my Kindle through Best Buy, mostly because I got a nice-sized Best Buy gift card as a gift and had been wanting to upgrade to a top-of-the-line Kindle for a few months now. Since the Kindle prices are essentially the same no matter what retailer you shop, choosing a retail store was more about which stores were closest to my home and the fact that I had a gift card.
Buy Kindle at Staples
There are over 2,000 Staples stores worldwide, though right now only their US locations are selling Kindles. Prices on Staples’ Kindle devices are identical to those found at Target and Best Buy. One annoying thing I found out about purchasing a Kindle at Staples is that the store doesn’t stock the item–you will most likely have to “special order” your Kindle device.
Like the other retailers on this list, expect Staples to use interest in their sale of Kindles to pimp their other brands of eReaders, usually cheaper and less-known devices like Staples’ Aluratek LIBRA. Staples advertises this device (priced at $99) directly below their Kindle devices when you do a generic site search for “Kindle,” and for good reason. People are likely to go for the cheaper device, even if they’re only saving $15, especially if they don’t care about the brand name.
It is no longer true that you have to shop at Amazon.com to buy the Kindle. Major retailers are making deals with Amazon to sell the mega-popular Kindle eBook reader in their retail stores . . . just don’t expect to buy a Kindle online from anyone but Amazon in the near future.
Does Google Docs Work on an iPad?
The buzz about the iPad was that the device would (eventually) replace netbooks for everyday functions. When I bought my iPad, my expectations were pretty low. As a tech junkie and Apple fanboy, I pretty much had to pick up an iPad even though I had major doubts about its abilities. No Flash? No HDMI? Still, I stood in line and paid for what I thought may be little more than a fancy paperweight.
Now that Google offers GoDocs for iPad and iPhone, my paperweight’s value has skyrocketed. For example–at this very moment, I’m typing this article on my iPad in a cab on the way to the airport. After my flight lands, I’ll plug my laptop in at the hotel and finish editing it, post it, and sit back and have a glass of wine. Pretty cool, right?
GoDocs is by no means the first attempt at convering Google Docs to work with iPads and iPhones, but it is the first official release by Google, and probably the best.
GoDocs popped up in November of 2010 and has undergone a few changes since then. This is a true mobile version of Google Docs that lets you create, edit, and delete documents on the go. If you travel a lot or work from a few different places, like me, you’ll find GoDocs increases the value of your iPad or iPhone tenfold. I can work with Google Docs on all my different devices from pretty much any location.
The biggest difference between GoDocs and regular old Google Docs is that lack of a “save” button. Have no fear–your document auto-saves every few seconds automatically.
What about losing your connection? iPad users (especially those that move around often) know how much of a headache keeping a connection can be. If you lose your data or WiFi connection, GoDocs uses the HTML5 “offline storage” feature so you can still use the app. You just can’t “save” your document. Lose your connection? Keep working, and GoDocs will automatically save your document the next time your iPad is online.
The biggest knock on GoDocs is that you can’t do very much. You can’t format text (fonts, size, etc.), you can’t add links, and you can’t even align your paragraphs. There’s also nothing in the way of document-sharing available. GoDocs is for typing and editing text, and that’s all.
Hopefully, Apple and Google will work together to better utilize the iPad’s features and create a richer Google Docs experience for those of us that like to do our typing on the go. Using GoDocs on the iPad, I get the feeling that there’s so much more that this machine could do with an app like this. I’d like to be able to add images, draw, put together presentations, and even create web forms on the go, like I can on non-mobile versions of GoDocs, and I feel like the iPad would be the device to get it done.
Is the iPad a Disappointment?
When the iPad rolled out in early 2010, the consensus was that the device was a huge disappointment. Jokes about the device being nothing more than a “big iPhone” notwithstanding, users of the first-gen iPad had plenty to complain about: the screen size was a let-down, with as much as 20% of the surface of the device made up of bezel. iPhone apps displayed poorly (usually a tiny screen with a lot of black space around the edges) and those apps that were “translated” for the iPad were simply doubled in pixel size, making text-based apps practically unreadable.
Now that the iPad 2 is set to pop up at your local coffeeshops and college dorms, has the iPad really been as big a disappointment as it first seemed? Unfortunately for Apple, I have to say yes.
We were led to believe that the iPad was more than just a really big iPhone–that it would replace our netbooks altogether. Unfortunately, you can’t multitask. No listening to Pandora while you play Angry Birds. No reading a scathing Pitchfork review of your favorite indie band’s new record while you look up your ex-girlfriend’s new apartment on Maps. No multitasking at all.
When Apple chose to use the same old touchscreen keyboard, they really let us geeky Apple fanboys down. The darn thing is just too big to “thumb-type” on. We all expected something revolutionary, a new style of keyboard or input method, but instead we found ourselves standing in line at Best Buy an hour after we got our iPads picking up keyboard docks. Lame.
HDMI? What’s HDMI?
Apple has sorta fixed this problem, but it still stands that when the iPad first appeared, it had no HDMI-out capability. It seemed like Apple was trying to force us all to buy AppleTV rather than use our fancy new iPad to play those beautiful HD videos we just got from The Pirate Bay downloaded legally.
Not allowing Flash on your devices in this day and age is just ridiculous. I understand that Steve Jobs has some kind of weird beef against Flash, but we’re living in 2011, not 2111. Flash is still a big part of the Internet experience, and if you’re going to try to invent something to take the place of my beloved Netbook, it darn well better be Flash-capable.
The list could go on and on–and while some of these issues can be fixed or improved with after-market add-ons, hacks, and user generated repairs, I want my expensive Apple technology to arrive at my home ready to go. Call me old-fashioned, call me a Luddite, call me whatever you want–the fact remains, when I buy a netbook and get it going for the first time, I don’t have to tweak it to get it to do what I want.
There have apparently been some improvements to the iPad 2. My first iPad experience was such a disappointment, I”m not sure I’ll be standing in line, eager to buy another overly-bezelled, over-hyped paperweight.
Kellogg Cereal Printable Sale Codes
Frosted Flakes coupons help the discount shopper save on their grocery bill by taking money off your grocery bill with a printable coupon.
Searching online turns up multiple Frosted Flakes discount sites with their own sales offers. Many of these are going to copy each other, since shoppers take the codes and post them on other sites, but with a little patience, you’ll find hidden sales gems amongst the host of savings.
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Promotions
Go to the official Kellogg Company promotions and coupon sign-up pages for the latest special offers from the company itself. Kellogg’s has a good coupon program, so start at the source for coupon offers. Here’s two pages to visit periodically.
If these don’t provide the bargains you’re looking for, there are alternate places online you might be able to find good deals, including grocery store chains that give bargain bin pricing and have their own local sales.
Frosted Flakes Coupon Sites
Besides the Kellogg’s official sale, coupons, and discount page, you’ll find a series of websites on the Internet where shoppers can post sales items and coupon codes they find. You can rate the effectiveness of these coupon items, depending on whether they worked in your area or not, giving others feedback so they don’t waste their time printing off useless coupons. You can use the same information when shopping online for printable coupons.
- Coupons Cabin Discounts
- Coupon Network Printable Coupons
- Red Plum Coupons
- Save.com Sales and Promo Codes
- Coupons Dotcom Coupons
Most of these websites de-list a promotion or coupon code as soon as it goes out-of-date, so you don’t print a bunch of dated coupon offers. Right now, you should be able to print 2011 free coupons.
Frosted Flakes Cereal
Frosted Flakes was one of the first in a new generation of sugary breakfast cereals when it appeared in 1952. Known by names like Frosties in the United Kingdom, Corn Frosties in Japan, Corn Frost in South Korean, and Zucaritas in Latin America, Frosted Flakes first were marketed by Kellogg’s.
Because the name is descriptive, “Frosted Flakes” cannot be trademarked, and is therefore the name of a number of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes knock-offs. The most version remains the Kellogg Corporation flakes with Tony the Tiger on the front of the box. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes of Corn has had many slogans over the years, but the enduring one is the classic, yet somewhat uninspired, “They’re Gr-r-eat!”
Printable Coupon Discounts
Printable Special K Coupons are available on a number of coupon websites on the Internet, but if you’ve been reading this week, you already know that. I wanted to discuss some alternative places to find print-off savings for Kellogg and Special K foods. Here in 2011, parent companies and specialty websites are each getting into the game. Let me explain.
Special K Coupons on Kellogg Site
The first place to find Special K coupons is to go to the Kellogg website, where you can sign up to learn about special offers and discounts on Special K cereal from Kellogg’s. Signing up carries with it no obligation, though you’ll have special offers sent to your email address every once in a while (you can hit the spam filter if it’s a nuisance).
You can also access Special K recipes if you are considering the Special K Challenge, a diet designed to help you lose six pounds in 2 weeks (not necessarily a healthy weight loss rate). You can also read about the health benefits of fiber, along with other nutrition and fitness tips.
High Value Special K Coupons
Click on the following site to find four different valuable Special K coupons for free. All you have to do is copy these printable coupons, which include $1 off a package of chocolate caramel protein bars from Special K, $1-off any two packages of Special K product (mix and match if you wish), $2-off when you purchase any 3 packages, or $3 off when you purchase any 5 packages of Special K brand items (over 3.3 ounces).
These might not sound like huge savings, but if you make Special K a common part of your diet for a year, the discounts you can print off become substantial.
What Does “Special K” Mean?
Special K simply refers to the name “Kellogg”, which markets the breakfast cereal. I suppose the cereal is considered special by the Kellogg Company because the wheat and rice combo food is eaten for diet, health, and fitness purposes.
The product has been around since 1956 and is considered a healthy option, if you eat it with fruit and skim milk, instead of sugar and whole milk. Since whole generations of people have found enjoyment and nourishment eating Special K, it’s an option for adding to your daily diet.
Getting free coupons for cereal items is a good way to save money while you watch your weight. I often talk about Retail Me Not, Coupon Junction, and Coupon Mountain, and printing off coupon codes and sale discounts is so easy these days, everyone should make online print-off coupons a part of their year-round shopping experience.