Price Protectr turned 1 this December. I didn’t even know they existed until 2 weeks ago, I wonder how much money I could have saved if I did?
Price Protectr is as simple as it gets. Their claim is to save you money by helping you take advantage of online retailers price protection guarantee. In their words:
Sit back and relax. If we notice the price drop any time within the price protection period, we’ll send an email your way (and we’ll keep sending them if the price keeps dropping).
To use their service all you do is fill in the URL to the item you purchased. They then give you it’s title & current price. They assume you are buying it at that price and that you bought it today, but if not you can change both values. Once you’re finished setting up the item you simply fill in your E-mail address and click the protect me button. You’ll get a confirmation E-mail and then anytime the price drops you’ll get notified via E-mail as well.
There is no requirement to create an account, however if you wish to, creating an account gives you a few additional features such as tracking all of your savings.
At launch they only had 6 retailers. I’m not sure which ones, but I would guess sites such as amazon and buy.com topped their list at the time. Now they have over 70 different retailers listed and it’s still growing!
Consumers, don’t fret! Buy that IPod Nano or that PS3. Stop worrying about whether the price will drop in another few weeks or not and buy it now! Price Protectr is here to save the day!
Retailers probably love this because it will mean more people will throw caution to the wind and buy it now! I wouldn’t be surprised sometime in the future to see Price Protectr partnering with retailers and advertising in their stores.
What concerns me with Price Protectr is a question that often accompanies these web applications. How do they make money? It doesn’t seem like there’s any kind of a business model for them to turn a profit so will they last? Who knows, but I’m sure to take advantage while they’re here.
Ze just posted a new song titled ‘Scared of Something‘. Caroline recorded her own version and I can’t decide which one like better. In either case I want one of them on my iPod. Caroline’s is embedded below.
So I guess it’s safe to talk about now that I’ve been doing it for a month and a half. I tried riding the bus over a year ago and quickly stopped. This time I did some things different and it has worked out for the best. I’d like to share a few things I did and thought differently this time around that really helped me overcome the dread of using public transportation.
- Live in a big city. For those of you who live here you know that Rochester is by no means a big city. However; it does have regular public transportation and thats a start. In order to be useful, It needs to go close to where you work and where you live. Its best if you can walk from home to a bus stop but driving a short distance is better than driving to work every day.
- Make one change at a time. The biggest two reason I stopped riding last time is I would wake up a bit late and miss it and I felt I had to fit within the bus schedule. It’s true you have to fit the bus schedule, but there are many buses throughout the day. During the normal commuting times they are only 20-30 minutes apart. Missing one is really not that big of a deal. Last time I tried to change my schedule (get to work slightly earlier) and begin riding the bus at the same time. Its best if you can make one change at a time. Stick with it for a while and once you’re satisfied with the results move on to the next item. Determine what time you normally get up and find the morning Bus route that fits with that.
- Set a Goal and evaluate your performance. When I started I said I wanted to ride for 2 weeks and see how it went. At the end of my 2 weeks I evaluated my experience and it had gone so well I immediatly switched my commuter plan at work to the bus pas instead of downtown parking saving a whole bunch of cash.
- Take it With You. I carry my bag with me every day. This means I always have something that can occupy my time with me as well as giving me a place to put things I need to bring to or from work. My bag always includes my: laptop, ipod, book, water bottle, umbrela and camera.
- Utilize your Time. I decided this time around I wanted to maximize my time and get things while riding the bus. It does take me a little more time to get to work, but now that time is spent productively. I could be doing things that would normally take time away from me at home (like posting this blog message) or I could be doing something I wouldn’t normally take the time to do (read a good book, most recently Second Horseman by Kyle Mills). Don’t just sit there like a log.
- Make use of whats there. The buses run with or without you. Whether you’re a tree hugger or not I think you’d agree that its good to reduce your environmental impact. Using public transportation is a big way to do that.
- Save some Money. We all know Gas is expensive, but there are several other ways you can be saving money by riding the bus. You can lower your insurance rates (in my case over $100/6months) simply by telling your insurance company you now drive only 2-3k miles a year. On top of that if you drive and work downtown chances are you have to pay for parking. This is all on top of the general wear and tear on your vehicle.
- Park it and Forget It. Its easy to take little side trips on your way home if you’re driving. Often you’ll buy things you really don’t need. If you ride the bus make it a point that once you get home you don’t leave unless absolutely necessary or if you can, take the bus again.
- Get an Unlimited Ride Pass. It works out almost even for you to buy an unlimited pass. They’re $56 so if you ride them 46 times a month (23 work days) its 1.22/ride. If your employer is like mine, they’ll even contribute a portion to the cost of the pass and you’ll break even long before the end of the month.
- Walk a little. We all need a little bit of excercise. If you can walk to the bus do it. It’ll give you just a few minutes of excercise a day but it’s a few minutes more than you were getting before. If you really want to get some benefit, take the long route and maybe add your bike to the mix once and a while.
I read about Anywhere.FM a while back and even added it to my Daily Notes. I never took the time to look into it until today. Holy crap I wish I had! It’s an awesome service. It lets you upload your entire music collection and listen to it anywhere you want. At the moment there is no storage limitation but the site is still in beta so they say that might change. I was originally hesitant when I heard about it because I thought it was going to be a service you had to run on your computer at home to share your library over the web. Since I have recently gotten rid of my home server I wasn’t looking forward to running another service.
There is also a client side application which allows you to sync your entire iTunes library. They claim to be working on a winamp and Windows Media Player syncing as well.
Don’t worry you’re not stuck listening to your own music either. What would a website be today without a built in social network? Anywhere.FM is no different. They allow you to add friends and listen to their music and playlists. They also have a very large repository music available for free. Plenty of raw music for you to discover. You can even browse other people’s music and play that as well. I’m not sure whether you get access to all of everyone’s music or if it has to be shared somehow but at this point I’m very excited.
Apparently this is all legal thanks to paying royalties to the artist through ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, the three performing rights organizations. I’m sure the artists are happy about this because they get paid for songs which have already been paid for assuming you actually do own the rights to the music you’re playing. It’s just paying income tax and sales tax.
This leads me into another topic… I’ve gone legit. That’s right I’ve started weeding out my questionable music and getting legit copies of music I really enjoy. That being said I currently have a lot of whole albums. That has stopped. I’m now only getting the songs I really want. I think the desire to obtain a whole album is a hold over from the days of purchasing CD’s. Its time to move into the 21st century and only pay for what I want. It will increase my overall quality of music as well. To that end I’ve also begun a weeding out process on my Ipod. This weekend I went from somewhere around 4-5k songs down to only 300.
Ironically the very thing that caused me to get into this legit kick is something not so legit. About 2 weeks ago Nick let me in on a loophole for free iTune songs from facebook. It took some time but I managed to build up 250 free songs before they closed the hole. Yay for me :).
Last night I went saw Blades Of Glory with some friends. I give it a 7/10. Lots of good quotes. Some of my favorites:
– you put the bone in zamboni
– Work the Google on the Internet Machine
– Mind-bottling. Like your mind is trapped in a bottle
– It makes my hair shine like the Belt of Orion
Afterward we went downtown. I read this on the wall at O’Callaghans and thought I’d share:
Irish Diplomacy – The ability to tell a man to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip
Ryan came up with an Idea for Guitar Hero. Not going to mention any details but we may be asking for help from everyone so be prepared.
I just read this morning that Michigan is thinking about spending $38 million to buy all of its students IPods? How freaking crazy is that. I’m all for new an innovative ways to teach, but IPods? I don’t get it. When I took calculus it was required that I buy a Graphing Calculator, the state didn’t buy it for me.
Dan’s Video of the day for Friday: Internet Sys Op. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.
Matt introduce me to the New York State Real-Time Transportation Status site. Pretty slick. I can now check to see if it’s worth leaving work or if I should just wait a while until traffic picks back up.
Check out the video below for an innovative 3D desktop idea or for more info check out bumptop. I think it would work great with the multi-touch panels that have been getting so much press recently.