Amazon Offers To Connect With Your Facebook Account

Amazon Offers To Connect With Your Facebook Account

Remember Beacon? This is not Beacon, Amazon wants you to know. The retailer has launched a new program where you can connect your Amazon account to your Facebook account, but it promises it won’t broadcast your purchases or bug your friends. Instead, the connection seems designed to funnel all the likes and favorites on your Facebook account (and those of your friends as well) into Amazon’s giant brain, so it can refine its shopping recommendations. Oh, and it will remind you of upcoming birthdays. [More]

GameStop Buys Pre-Owned Website Kongregate

GameStop Buys Pre-Owned Website Kongregate

If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete. [More]

Consumers Hate Facebook As Much As Airlines, Cable Companies

Consumers Hate Facebook As Much As Airlines, Cable Companies

Has Facebook’s ongoing foolishness with privacy settings, fine print, and advertising taken its toll on the brand? According to The American Customer Satisfaction Index’s E-Business Report, Facebook scored 64 points out of 100, which puts it in the bottom 5% of private companies, “in the same range as airlines and cable companies.” The one bit of good news for Facebook is that MySpace scored 63 points. [More]

Is "Internet Content Screener" The World's Worst Job?

Is "Internet Content Screener" The World's Worst Job?

Last week I thought I’d found the job I’d hate most of all (warning: it involves sewers, a shovel, and “fat mounds”), but then I read this New York Times profile of people who are employed as Internet content screeners, which appears to be the real world equivalent of web surfing in hell. [More]

Force A Reality Check With This "Real Cost" Credit Card Tool

Force A Reality Check With This "Real Cost" Credit Card Tool

The next time you want to splurge on some big ticket item, you might want to head over to The Real Damage first to see what it’s going to actually cost you in the long run. The free online tool looks at your current balances and interest rates, as well as your monthly payments, and then approximates how much extra you’ll pay in interest on your new purchase before you’re totally debt free. [More]

Mint Makes Saving More Fun With New "Goals" Dashboard

Mint Makes Saving More Fun With New "Goals" Dashboard

Mint was the cool kid on the financial website block until it cut its hair and went corporate, but the Intuit-owned service can still roll out some nifty features now and then. The latest is a “goals” dashboard, which takes advantage of our natural tendency to try harder if there’s some way to see immediate feedback. Under your account there’s now a goals tab, where you can activate any of the default choices (“get out of debt,” “take a trip,” “buy a home”) or create your own (“laser hair removal,” “pvc bodysuit”). Then you can link your accounts to that goal, and have a quick visual metric you can use to stay focused. [More]

Coming Soon, A Way To Find Out How That Online Ad Knows What You Like

Coming Soon, A Way To Find Out How That Online Ad Knows What You Like

Last year the FTC asked online marketers to regulate targeted advertising, so in an attempt to avoid new regulatory policies the major ad industry groups have gotten together to launch a new service. Starting late summer, when a targeted ad from a participating marketer appears on your screen, you’ll be able to click a small icon somewhere on the ad and see your profile on that marketer’s site. You’ll also be able to then opt out of future ads from that ad network, reports Wired. [More]

Angry Driver Buys Police Department's Website, Launches Anti-Speed Camera Site

Angry Driver Buys Police Department's Website, Launches Anti-Speed Camera Site

Brian McCrary in Bluff City, TN received a $90 speeding ticket in the mail earlier this year, thanks to an American Traffic Solutions speed camera the police department turned on in January. McCrary says when he looked up information to call the police department with questions about the ticket, he discovered something else: that their website’s domain registration was about to expire. So he bought it. [More]

Keep PayPal From Using The Default ATM Debit Setting

Keep PayPal From Using The Default ATM Debit Setting

PayPal exists to make money, not to help you. That’s why the unregulated money broker likes to ensure that when you pay with a linked account, you pay via the ATM debit card setting, because it’s cheaper for PayPal. Of course, that “savings” is sometimes deducted from you in the form of a transaction fee by your bank, but PayPal doesn’t care. If you want to change that payment method the next time you use PayPal, be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops. [More]

Groupon Shows How To Properly Explain TOS Changes

Groupon Shows How To Properly Explain TOS Changes

Groupon is a daily deal sort of website, but the reason it’s on Consumerist today is because of how well it communicated some recent changes to its Terms of Service agreement. Consumerist reader Pureboy sent in a copy of the email he recently received where the website explained the changes in plain English, with examples. [More]

Why Phishing Works Even If You're Not Normally Stupid

Why Phishing Works Even If You're Not Normally Stupid

If you spend a lot of time online, you’re probably aware of phishing scams and know what to look out for. In other words, you’re not one of those ignorant types who clicks on links and starts entering personal information without hesitation. Writer and blogger Cory Doctorow is what you might call hyper-vigilant–he keeps unique passwords, uses a VPN when going online in public, and generally knows not to trust strangers. Still, he got phished a couple of weeks ago. [More]

Use Doctor Finder To Prescreen Your Doctor

Use Doctor Finder To Prescreen Your Doctor

If you’re like most people, you pick a new doctor by going through an approved list provided by your insurer and selecting someone nearby. Doctor Finder from insiderpages.com hopes to make the process less random by providing reviews for doctors and dentists. You can search by zip code, then narrow down results by your insurer, distance, gender, specialty, language, and experience. [More]

Senator Asks FTC To Provide Privacy Guidelines For Facebook, Other Social Networks

Senator Asks FTC To Provide Privacy Guidelines For Facebook, Other Social Networks

Senator Charles Schumer is upset on your behalf over Facebook’s latest loosening of its privacy policies, and yesterday he called for the FTC to step in and provide some guidance, offering to introduce legislation if the agency feels it needs that extra authority. Specifically, Schumer wants three things: opt-out defaults should be switched to opt-in, sites should always disclose where the information is going, and there should be some general “guidelines for user privacy” that sites follow. [More]

Embassy Suites Wants To Sell You Bedding And Alarm Clocks

Embassy Suites Wants To Sell You Bedding And Alarm Clocks

Embassy Suites plans to launch a site next month that will let people buy sheets, comforters, pillows, coffee pots, and alarm clocks just like the ones in their hotel rooms, reports national hotel paper USA Today. A Hilton executive in charge of the Embassy brand says the company doesn’t plan to make much money off of it and that the items will be priced below retail, but I’m not sure that means you’ll find any bargains. [More]

Towing Company Sues Student Over Facebook Page

Towing Company Sues Student Over Facebook Page

T&J Towing of Kalamazoo, MI wants to send a message to anyone in the town who feels like complaining about the company online. They’ve filed a $750,000 defamation lawsuit against a Western Michigan University student for starting a Facebook page about them. [More]

MasterCard Opens Online Store, Uses Predictive Software To Guess What You'll Buy

MasterCard Opens Online Store, Uses Predictive Software To Guess What You'll Buy

MasterCard has decided to expand into online retailing, so it’s opened a store that’s sort of Amazon lite. Well, Amazon several design iterations ago. Actually the site looks like one of those themed mini-stores eBay keeps promoting these days, but the merchandise is all new and tailored to your shopping patterns. And by “tailored,” I mean that the card issuer is using special customer behavior software to predict the things you’re most likely to buy, which it then shows to you. [More]

How To Find A Good Local Bank

How To Find A Good Local Bank

So you’re tired of banking at one of the big, faceless national chains and want to keep your money local? You can try one of the recent sites devoted to the local bank movement, like anewwayforward.org or moveyourmoney.info, or you can follow this Kiplinger columnist’s lead and do it yourself with a little online research. [More]

AOL Plans To Sell Or Shut Down Bebo

AOL Plans To Sell Or Shut Down Bebo

Bebo is a social network a few rungs down from Facebook, which for all practical purposes means it may as well be someone’s WordPress blog. That’s why AOL is finally admitting it missed the window for social network dominance and will sell it or close it “soon,” according to an internal memo. If you’ve been hanging on to a Bebo account and hoping the tide would turn, you might want to start checking out the other more popular social networks out there. [More]