Have you seen Nabisco’s new attempt to engage with customers through those social networking thingies that all the kids are into? They’re the latest brand to reach out through social media and find customers who are already talking about their brand, then engage with them. In completely ridiculous ways. Take, for example, the woman whose mournful Facebook post about running out of Wheat Thins led to the delivery of more Wheat Thins than one person could ever eat.
Quick, give Hammacher Schlemmer $70 + shipping so you can bring one of these magic H1N1 wand obliterators with you on Black Friday! The “technology for people who don’t get technology” catalogue explains that the wand’s UV light will kill “99.98%” of H1N1 viruses after you hold it 3/4″ above a surface for at least 5 seconds. That’s certainly convenient. Just carry it with you and use it on doors, boxes, shopping carts, and of course the cashier’s hands before you accept any change. Be sure to bring an adapter for your car, however, because it only lasts about 90 minutes after an 8-hour charge.
The Wall Street Journal has some ridiculous looking photos of beds designed for the male shopper. Apparently guys want built-in coolers, safes, TVs, and iPod docks in their beds. Sorry, we mean “man caves.”
The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”
Hey, grocery shopper! You look like a responsible consumer, what with your grocery buying and standing upright. Why not take a moment to fill out an impulse-buy credit card application? If you’re approved, we’ll give you $25 you can spend on your first charge!
We may have to invent a new tag just to accurately describe how absurd Think Geek’s shipment to Micah in Ontario was. It was bad enough that the shipping was over $30, but that’s a consequence of stupid shipping options from the US to Canada. What really elevates this story to the top of the stupid shipping mountain is how they packed a sticker. But hey, at least the sticker didn’t get broken in transit. Update: Think Geek responds in the comments below (which is awesome because we felt kind of bad talking about a site we like so much).
We’ll give Unilever points for offering an exhaustive opt-out page that covers every conceivable form of communication you may be receiving from them. We’ll take all those points away, however, and award them a fail badge for creating the world’s longest, most labor intensive opt-out page you’ve ever seen.
Daniel went to his local Safeway with his brother to buy some beer. Daniel had his ID, but his brother didn’t—but that’s okay, because Daniel was the one buying the beer. The cashier, however, felt otherwise, and wouldn’t complete the transaction without carding both of them. The store manager told him “the policy is, at the discretion of the clerk, to check the ID of every person present.”
Make of this what you will, as the story comes from the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s church-owned Washington Times and may be more fiction than fact, but “a senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser.” Yes, the EMD Safety Bracelet from Lamperd Less Lethal is designed to make flying a fun experience once again. Just check out everything it can do:
- Take the place of an airline boarding pass.
- Contain personal information about the traveler.
- Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage.
- Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes.
Ooo, what could be inside this box that IBM shipped to a reader—retail-packaged software? Peripherals? Maybe a hard drive with air padding? A logo-emblazoned hoodie? Monogrammed pencils? A kitten?