If you’ve been hearing startup companies throw around phrases like, “We’re the Uber of [insert industry that is not ride-hailing]!” or “Our service functions just like the Airbnb of [another industry that is not renting out rooms to strangers]!” you’re not alone. A recent analysis of language used by startups to describe their businesses show that a lot of them are hitching their apple carts to those brands’ rising stars. [More]
It seemed like such a good plan. For their small businesses, several of our readers use postage printers from DYMO. The software that goes with these printers comes in two versions: free and $10 per month. The free version requires users to round their postage up slightly; the paid version does not. Then the company dropped a new rule on customers: if they want to use the free version of the software, they have to buy their labels from DYMO. If they want to keep using cheaper third-party labels, they have to pay $10/month for the service. [More]
A federal indictment alleges that a California woman conned nuns in a Rhode Island convent out of $285,000. [More]
We all that know that tipping your waiter 15-20% is the standard (though some of you will surely disagree) or that you usually throw the pizza guy at least a couple bucks, especially if he braves flood waters to deliver your order. But what about your tattoo artist, or your salmon fishing guide or your sherpa? [More]
The new trend in government cost-cutting involves disbanding the police department, says the WSJ. The paper has an article about Maywood, a tiny city southeast of Los Angeles. The city lost its insurance after its carrier decided to cancel its policy “because of the $21 million in legal expenses and judgments against the city stemming from the conduct of its police department.” This means that Maywood can’t employ anyone. [More]
Dell has given up even pretending to be subtle. They’ve just gone ahead and call their offer of in-home programming for your Logitech Harmony remote control what it is–an upsell. [More]
If you don’t want all your various online accounts left unattended when you permanently go off the grid, you can now hire several different services to clean up any loose ends–closing accounts, sharing passwords with survivors, transferring gaming accounts, and so on. Wired says they cost anywhere from $10 a year to $300 for a lifetime account, although after reading about this you may find it’s cheaper and more efficient to just add the necessary info to your will. [More]
The blog for OkCupid.com recently looked at over 7,000 profile pictures of men and women on the dating site, and compared various poses with the number of new contacts made each month. If you’re using a dating site you might want to read through their findings and fine-tune your presentation. [More]
BillPayRegistry is a new website where customers can create a list of bills they need paid off, and then have friends and family members make “gift” payments via the website to be applied to said bills. The site takes 5.9% off the gift amount and sets aside the rest in a fund that the registrant can only apply to the accounts listed–there’s no way to cash out the funds, in other words. [More]
The next time you travel to another city, it might be cheaper, or at least more interesting, to rent directly from a local homeowner. Cool Tools says Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO.com) is a great way to find rental opportunities when you travel.
The new music search capabilities that Google introduced today will make it easier to quickly find a song you can’t remember the name of, or sample some tracks from an artist you’re interested in. But it’s not so much a new service as a more efficient combination of a bunch of services already scattered around the web.
When I was in college, an older woman I worked with paid me $25 to come over and program her VCR, and that is not a euphemism. Clearly I missed a valid business opportunity when I didn’t think to package that skill and resell it as an in-home service for idiots everywhere. You know, sort of like what InstallerNet offers with universal remotes for the low low actually-sort-of-high price of $250.