While most American TV watchers and broadcasters are preparing for (fretting over) the long-planned DTV transition in February 2009, broadcasters along the U.S. southern border are requesting an exemption from shutting down their analog broadcasts--up to five years after the deadline. The House of Representatives, according to an article by HD Guru, has already passed the DTV Border Fix Act bill by unanimous consent.… Read more
In the Internet Age, clipping and keeping coupons is a bunch of busywork. Cellfire's compelling mobile coupons service, however, helps users redeem offers from the cell phone, today's essential pocketbook.
Version 3.0 of Cellfire for the mobile Web and for Windows Mobile phones, adds three new useful ways to work with mobile coupons in your area. That is, if your area happens to be in the U.S.
The first change is the ability to save offers of interest, which are generally good for a week, in a separate silo. From the offer details page, you'll … Read more
Ed Moltzen writes headlines an article with "Microsoft's Coupon Money Boosts Novell's Linux Numbers," which is true on its face, but not as interesting under the covers. Justin Steinman, Novell's head of Linux marketing, had told me a week ago that Novell's "non-Microsoft- related Linux business is growing."
This remains true. While Novell continues to redeem its Microsoft coupons for a healthy amount of money, the relative amount of money attributable to Microsoft is in decline.
Moltzen notes that Novell had $16 million in Microsoft coupons (quoting Novell's Ron Hovsepian, who … Read more
We finally got one of our government-issued DTV converter box coupons in the mail, and one of the notices on the accompanying information sheet caught our eye:
IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING REFUNDS: You will not be able to receive cash or credit for the coupon amount, but you can receive cash or credit for any amount you paid out of pocket, if the store policy permits.
To be honest, that's not much of a surprise when you consider how the coupon program actually works. If consumers were able to get credit or cash for returned DTV converter boxes, unscrupulous buyers could return a DTV converter box then use the credit to purchase any piece of electronics they wanted--which is definitely not the spirit of the coupon program.
But what happens if you get your DTV converter box back and it's broken?… Read more
Editors' note: Since the publication of this story, a battery-powered DTV converter box has been released, the Winegard RCDT09A. While we'd still hold off on buying a new portable TV this year--it's better to wait for portable TVs with new digital tuners--older analog portable TVs can be used with the RCDT09A if they have a composite or RF input. For more information, read our full review of the Winegard RCDT09A.
Portable TVs can be great for camping or in case of emergency, but you're probably going to be getting ripped off if you buy one in 2008. That's because almost all portable TVs use standard analog TV signals, and those signals are going to get turned off on February 17, 2009. And even though these TVs are just about obsolete, you can still buy them at places like Target, Wal-mart Stores, and Amazon. Some of the pages have warnings about the impending DTV transition, but some of them don't.
While it is possible that someone will come out with a battery-powered DTV converter--which could work with a portable TV that has inputs--we wouldn't hold our breath. The FCC's DTV FAQ page already explicitly says, "it is not anticipated that battery powered digital-to-analog converter boxes will be produced,"… Read more
The DTV transition is less than a year away and as of January 1, 2008, Americans have been eligible to sign up for a $40 coupon to help purchase DTV converter boxes needed to receive new digital TV signals. While your instincts may tell you to sign up as quickly as possible, there's a strong argument to be made to hold off for a little while. Here's why:
1. The coupon expires in three months If you carefully read you the FAQ on the government's Web site, the program clearly states that the $40 coupons expire three months after they're shipped. That's unfortunate because we're guessing many people don't think much of it, and are just trying to sign up before they forget. Now you're forced into getting whatever DTV boxes that are currently on the market, even though...
2. Better, cheaper boxes are coming… Read more
I love a good deal, and the number of sites out there to help get special codes and links is massive and frequently packed with annoyances like pop-up ads and outdated content. To help sort through it I usually use Google, but a service called RetailMeNot seems like a worthy addition. The site's been around since last year, but has launched a new community portion of its site this morning that makes the coupon hunting experience a little more social and a lot easier to keep track of what deals are hot.
The service was created by the same … Read more
There's a new Web site in town that has Cheapskate written all over it: Free Shipping On. Terrible name, great service: It enables you to search Amazon and eBay for only those items that have free shipping. It also corrals free-shipping deals from over 500 other stores, from Apple to Home Depot to WebUndies.com.
I particularly like the eBay search tool, as it drives me nuts when I find a seemingly great deal on something and then discover a ridiculously inflated shipping charge. Both the Amazon and eBay tools can be added to your browser's list of … Read more
If the spare contents of your wallet dictate your dining destination, you'll want to know of this reprieve. Cellfire (hands-on review), offers coupon deals with more than 10,000 local U.S. restaurants and services, and chains. With custom-built applications for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, the RAZR, and Nokia phones, Cellfire has rounded the smartphone bases. A WAP site--www.cellfire.com--that works with iPhone and other Internet-enabled devices brings the app home.
I like Cellfire, a mobile coupons app that's optimized for BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, and has a WAP site for cell phones (www.cellfire.com from your phone's browser.) They've got a smart business plan, good partnerships, and wide accessibility to users through support for multiple carriers and platforms.
Too bad some of the national offerings are so pedestrian, such as Cellfire's partnerships with Supercuts and Extreme Pita, announced Wednesday. That's only mundane if you're a snob like me. If you're most people, Cellfire's deals with local, regional, and national retailers … Read more