Category: economics

Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar

I don’t always pick Pepsi over Coca-Cola, but when I do I pick “Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar”.

It’s a shame that my favorite drink is apparently married to the makers of HFCS (), and the only is imported into the US from Mexico.

Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar
Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar

Prescription sunglasses for $20

I don’t do “sponsored” posts, but this will probably look like one so I feel I must say it: This is NOT a paid post.

It’s a brave new world, and you are invited

I have been wearing glasses for over fifteen years. Every time my prescription goes up (about every other year or so) I must shell out $500 or more for new lenses and new prescription sunglasses. No more.

The folks at made me these wonderful new prescription sunglasses for a fraction of what I would have paid at the mall store. You order online, you choose from thousands of stylish frames, you upload your prescription info, you choose the type of lens. They mail you brand new glasses (frames, lenses), case, and a cleaning cloth in about a week.

My new prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical
My new prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical

PS I opted for the higher-end polarized lenses, so these glasses cost more than $20. But I could have had the same frames with prescription tinted lenses for about $20.

Why I don’t link to The New York Times any more

I don’t link to The New York Times any more because chances are that by following the link my readers will see this screen, with its giant “Subscribe” button. And they won’t see the actual story. Because they don’t subscribe. Good thing the same story is available elsewhere for free. Cough.

Notice the /mobile/wall/smart/ in the URL path in the screenshot? How ironic. There is nothing smart about this. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish (looking at you, NYT!). Or eating the seed corn. Or hoping to get bought by Steve Ballmer. Ugh!

New York Times paywall screen with giant Subscribe button
New York Times paywall screen with giant Subscribe button

Canada targeting San Francisco Bay’s Intelligent Immigrants?

[UPDATE June 7, 2013] The New York Times ran an article titled , using a photo of the same board.

***

This photo got 17,088 Flickr views in eight hours. There’s a strong message in this. I wonder whether the US is listening. [UPDATE July 25, 2013] The original Flickr photo was removed. Below is a facsimile:

Canada immigration billboard in San Francisco advertises new start-up visa H-1B
Canada immigration billboard in San Francisco advertises new start-up visa H-1B

Billboard says:

H-1B Problems?

PIVOT to CANADA

New Start-Up Visa

Low Taxes

The Apple Tax

A lot has been said and written about the “Apple Tax” — a nickname for the surcharge Apple users pay for the pleasure (or privilege) of using Apple products. This Reuters article ()  goes further than the bumper sticker joke and does a great job of explaining the Apple Tax phenomenon and its hidden impact on consumers’ wallets.

Americans are shelling out big bucks annually to outfit the entire household with Apple products. And they are spending hundreds – if not thousands of dollars – more each year for the unexpected Apple “taxes” — add-ons that lock them into the Apple system: iTunes downloads for music, movies and games, along with subscriptions and accessories.

[…]

Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because they’re essentially slaves to the devices.

The bicycle index of neighborhood affluence

I ride around on a 2006 Trek Discovery Channel edition. I love it. Its aluminum frame and carbon fork make it light and fast. My bike is easily one of the nicer bikes in town. Today it is worth around $300.

My Trek bike -- indicator of neighborhood affluence?
My Trek bike — indicator of neighborhood affluence?

Cross over the Raritan River bridge into neighboring , and you are in a different world. During today’s morning ride through I saw an , a (Cervélo), a Klein, and a Specialized. Some of these are $10,000 bikes.

Judging a neighborhood’s affluence by the cars people drive is so 20th century. Nowadays all you have to do is look at the bikes people ride.