| Friday December 19th 2014

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Why Groupon is poised for collapse

wall collapse

The author has great points. Why the company is not transparent is obvious – the refunds they issue hurt the growth. I personally have about $500 in “Groupon Dollars” in my account. Deals I couldn’t or didn’t use, that because I’m in the State of California they cannot expire. So they don’t refund my credit card, but issue me funds to use on other deals.

I believe this company has a business model designed for disaster. Need to use my Groupon Dollars soon! (BTW, Author is also right on the inability to track refunds – a couple of times they refunded my account twice for the same purchase)

So what’s happening at the coupon company?

Well, for starters, it’s not a coupon company nor a marketing company. At its core, Groupon’s U.S. business is a receivables factoring business, as I wrote last year. They give loans to small businesses at a very steep rate (the price of the discount plus Groupon’s commission). They get the money to fund these loans from credit card companies such as Chase Paymentech. Groupon is essentially a sub-prime lender that does zero risk assessment. And as word continues to spread about what a terrible deal running a Groupon is for many categories of businesses, the ones that will choose to run Groupons are the ones that are the most desperate. For U.S. based businesses, the only time I can definitely recommend running a Groupon is if it is otherwise going to go out of business.

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Draw Something bought by Zynga

Dan Porter Draw Something

The party was in celebration of Zynga’s purchase of Omgpop, a New York-based game maker founded by Mr. Forman, and it was extravagant to an extent that Omgpop’s employees could only have dreamed of until recently.

Omgpop had been limping along until Draw Something, a smartphone game it introduced just seven weeks ago, became a breakout hit. That drew the attention of Zynga, the maker of FarmVille and the current king of social games, which last week bought Omgpop for $180 million.

Draw Something transformed Omgpop from a little-known, nearly broke start-up into a must-have for an industry giant. The Zynga deal shows how companies are moving at Internet speed to stay on top of online trends, generating quick reversals of fortune.

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HOWTO: Cheat Against Your Friends On Draw Something

Draw Something is one of the hottest apps on the App Store right now, but it looks like there are still a few kinks to work out.

Draw Something SithWhen you challenge a friend, you have to pick from three words which you are going to draw. If you don’t like any of them, you can pay to get new ones.

Or, you can force-quit the app and re-open it, and you’ll get new ones.

Here’s the problem for Draw Something: the “bombs” which get you new words are one of the main sources of revenue for the game.

If you get a list of words you don’t like, you can force quit Draw Something by returning to your home screen. Then double tap your iPhone or iPad’s home button to pull up the tray of running apps. Tap and hold the Draw Something icon until it starts to wiggle. Tap the red circle to close the app. Then relaunch it and you’ll get a new set of words.

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Live stream from Ultra Music Festival 2012

HOWTO: Be A Dick To Your Wife At 80 MPH

Not everyone is great at math. But this woman trying to explain how many miles you can travel in an hour when driving 80 MPH takes math skills to a new low. Since it’s a little sad, it has, predictably, blown up on Facebook overnight. But the mathematically-challenged passenger is not actually the one who sucks here. Nor is she the idiot in this video.

It’s her jerk of a husband.

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AIM is (unofficially) dead

AIMFor anyone inside the generation for which AOL was synonymous with the internet, and AIM was prerequisite to any social life at all, some pretty sad news: AOL just sacked its IM team. The old king of chat is paraplegic.

The NYT’s Nick Bilton reports the mass canning:

The AOL Instant Messenger group took the deepest cut so far. A former AOL employee said the group was “eviscerated and now only consists of support staff.” This person, who asked not to be named because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the company, added that “nearly all of the West Coast tech team has been killed.”

Support staff only means no more developers. No more developers means no more new software. No more new software means AIM stops growing and changing forever, frozen on the decline—we’ll never know if the new client could have been great. AOL still somehow hopes to milk “$25 million a year” from tranquilized AIM, but put their business fantasies aside: the staff execution only makes formal what was happening anyway.

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Google is globally switching its search to HTTPS by default

Google has announced on its Inside Search blog that it is enabling SSL encryptionby default on its global search pages. Google logoThe US site google.com has been switching users to the secured HTTPS protocol since last year and now, to improve security and privacy for all its users, the company is rolling the behavior out to its international properties such as google.co.uk.

As is the case on the US site, this only affects users who are signed into their Google account when visiting the site. The company expects to roll out this feature to the different local Google search pages “over the next few weeks”. Google hopes that this move will encourage other companies to adopt SSL more broadly across their web sites as well.

U.S. Warns Apple and Publishers

Tim Cook Apple“The publishers have denied acting jointly to raise prices. They have told investigators that the shift to agency pricing enhanced competition in the industry by allowing more electronic booksellers to thrive.” Jesus… I don’t care what you might have to say about “competition in the industry.” We don’t need any more freaking middle men.

The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle, these people said. If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers. However, not every publisher is in settlement discussions.

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Your New Zombie Hammer!

Innovation Factory: Truckers Friend All Purpose Tool

Kinda looks like an update on the old $2 flea market multi-tool little ashamed to admit, i have owned for like 20 years.

Innovation Factory Trucker’s Friend All Purpose Tool

The Maybach From the “Otis” Video Up for Auction in NYC

The Otis Maybach

Need something to take to the Hamptons this summer? The 2004 Maybach 57 from Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Otis” will be up for auction at Phillips de Pury & Company in New York on the evening of March 8th, with all proceeds going to Save the Children. Estimates say the chopped and screwed ride should be selling in the $100-150k range, which is a pretty decent deal seeing as a “whole” one goes for double that. Wait… that’s what was in LeBron’s “man-purse.” Ladies and gents, your winner. I’ll make other plans on Thursday. Damn.

The “Shooter McGavin” of bowling

See you at the Sizzler!

Galaxy S III full specs: 1.5GHz quad-core, 1080p display, ceramic case

Samsung Galaxy S III

We reported some exclusive details surrounding Samsung’s upcoming flagship Galaxy S III smartphone this past weekend, and now we have received some more information that helps us paint a more complete picture. And as that picture becomes more clear, this sure looks like the baddest Android smartphone the world hasn’t yet seen. We reported that the new Samsung flagship would launch in a simultaneous fashion across the globe, but we now have some more detailed specifications to report. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the Samsung Galaxy S III:

  • 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor
  • 4.8-inch “full HD” 1080p resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio display
  • A 2-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera
  • Ceramic case
  • 4G LTE
  • Android 4.0

As always, we’ll keep pounding our sources for more information, but we have to say… a Blu-ray display? On a smartphone? We’ll cuddle up with that and some popcorn any night of the week.

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Tron: Uprising: An early look at Disney’s return to the Grid

The Grid, a world of shimmering, digital wonder, was introduced to moviegoers in 1982 film “Tron” and then taken to a new visual level in “Tron: Legacy” in 2010. Now the Grid is going to television and expanding with a wider mythology and new characters — and more of the sleek, glowing vehicles that fans love.

“Tron: Uprising,” which begins this summer on Disney XD, was developed by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the same tandem that wrote “Tron: Legacy,” and they say the freedom of animation is allowing to explore the Grid without the constraints of a special effects budget.

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VLC reaches 2.0

vlc logoWhile this isn’t news about the site per se, it does impact many of our visitors. VLC is one of the most universal media players with built-in codecs. It is also cross-platform, free and open-source.

It has been locked to the 1.x versioning for many years, but now the latest major release
VLC 2.0 “Twoflower” is here.

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

beach body

[Pole] ran test after test, analyzing the data, and before long some useful patterns emerged. Lotions, for example. Lots of people buy lotion, but one of Pole’s colleagues noticed that women on the baby registry were buying larger quantities of unscented lotion around the beginning of their second trimester. Another analyst noted that sometime in the first 20 weeks, pregnant women loaded up on supplements like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date.

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Sexy Jenni in a 1250whp Underground Racing Lamborghini

One more after the jump…

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Skrillex – Breathe (D.veloped Vocal Mash)

Skrillex

I love the original “Breathe” track that leaked a while back from Skrillex (not so much the actual “Breathe” track that was on the EP), and thankfully the leaked version is the track that D.veloped thought to use. He sent this track my way awhile back, and I mean a long ass time ago, but never released it to be downloaded. Two words: I suffered. A lot…

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John Wayne Gacy had a helper?

John Wayne Gacy Belushi

“There is significant evidence out there that suggests that not only did John Wayne Gacy not operate alone, he may not have been involved in some of the murders, and the fact that he was largely a copycat killer.”

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Nero – Must Be The Feeling

With David Guetta looking at me like that, it was difficult, but I did manage? to pleasure myself to this.

The Pirate Bay will fit on a ZIP cartridge

The Pirate BayThe Pirate Bay is making good on its long-announced plan of moving from hosting a torrent-tracker to hosting “magnet links” that allow BitTorrent file-sharing without a centralized tracker. This will vastly reduce the amount of data that TPB needs to store and serve, so much so that the entire TPB index will only be 90MB — a file that you could fit onto an original ZIP cartridge.

The Pirate Bay team told TorrentFreak that one of the advantages of the transition to a “magnet site” is that it requires relatively little bandwidth to host a proxy site. This is needed, because The Pirate Bay is currently blocked in several countries, and more are bound to follow in the months to come.

Without torrents, the Pirate Bay also becomes extremely portable which makes it possible for people to download a personal backup. As we said before, such a copy would easily fit on a thumb drive. Pirate Bay user “allisfine” was intrigued by this idea and decided to find out how small a copy of the torrents site would be.

“I did a complete snapshot of ALL the Pirate Bay torrents, in case somebody wants to close it or something similarly crazy,” he told TorrentFreak.

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