Price steering. Heard of it?

Are you a rich prick?  Or at least, do you have the best phone, iPad or crappy computer?  In that case, you might be paying more for things online than others.

It’s no secret that advertising is often targeted to online users, but it may surprise you to learn the extent to which pricing is also personalised.

According to a study by computer scientists at Northeastern University, many major e-commerce sites personalize prices per customer, depending on what software they use or their browser history.

The difference in costs can be as large as ten per cent, and most sites don’t even warn you when they are using price steering techniques.

One of the culprits guilty of ‘price discrimination’ – customizing the prices of products – is travel-booking website Orbitz.

Researchers found that users who are logged onto the Orbitz website are charged an average of $12 less than those who are not logged on.

The same goes for online travel services company CheapTickets. Neither CheapTickets nor Orbitz tells customers that prices alter depending on the user.

Websites also discriminate based on what devices customers are logged onto. For example, Travelocity offers an unspoken $15 discount for people using Apple’s iOS operating system.

Home Depot, on the other hand, suggests products that are about $100 more expensive to customers using a mobile device, as opposed to those on a desktop computer.

I’ve had it before when looking at a web site and talking with the Mrs who then also pulls it up, only to find the price is different.   Read more »

Hasn’t he heard of the benefits of practice?

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A man blamed his small penis for his girlfriend breaking up with him and decided to chop it off with a razor.

But after cutting off his organ and throwing it in a bin, 22-year-old Oliver Ilic, was unable to stop the bleeding.

He called emergency services and was taken to a hospital in Kocani, Macedonia, where he told medics he had decided to cut it off because it was no use.

He explained his girlfriend had ended their relationship after telling him he was not good in bed.

That’s taking it a little too seriously.  Definitely a glass half empty sort of person.   Read more »

Michael Bassett on Dirty Politics

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Michael Bassett is one of the smartest men in New Zealand politics.

This is what he has to say on ‘Dirty Politics.

Reading the New Zealand Herald and watching Parliament this week, one could be forgiven for thinking that the 2014 election hadn’t yet taken place. Left-leaning editorial writers and opposition parliamentarians have been busy re-hashing stories that grabbed them during the election campaign as though the voters hadn’t yet passed judgment. It’s worth reminding these people; an election occurred on 20 September, and they lost. The people have spoken. Voters told them that they had weighed up Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” amongst other things and decided his book was either irrelevant to the current state of things, or was a pile of crap. “Dirty Politics” is a corpse, and there’s little sense now trying to resurrect it.
Why would these journalists and lefties, too many of whom are one and the same, want to revive Hager? A few, I guess, want something to keep bashing National with. They are angry at the election outcome. I keep being surprised at how many people believed until the numbers went up that a left coalition was still on the cards. Others possibly believe in St Nicky, and admire his chutzpah in using stolen emails for pecuniary gain. That, they seem to think, is “investigative journalism” at its finest.

It wasn’t and it will eventually be revealed for the large criminal political conspiracy that it was. Then the media will have a choice to make, and watching them make that choice will be delicious.

There will be others again, many of them young or naïve in the extreme, who actually believe Hager’s story. They have so little understanding of political processes in New Zealand or anywhere else that they think there was something new and especially sordid about Jason Ede acting as a conduit to bloggers, passing information, and discussing tactics designed to put National in a good light. Some won’t know about the methods used by the Labour government while Helen Clark was in office 1999-2008, when press releases and exaggerated criticism of opponents were filtered to “The Standard”, Labour’s electronic broadsheet. Nor will they know about the priming done by cabinet minister Ruth Dyson each morning of her email tree with sleaze that the government wanted to be widely disseminated. The Prime Minister knew all about it. I found out about it: some of Dyson’s stuff was inadvertently sent to me! Some journalists won’t know that throughout her career Helen Clark had a list of journalists she’d ring to exchange gossip. Sometimes she would only hint, other times she’d tell the person on the other end of the phone about what she planned to do to some on her own side who had incurred her wrath. Occasionally she’d plant an idea that the journalist would be encouraged to follow up, hopefully with devastating consequences. A few people in today’s press gallery were involved and are currently keeping their heads down. If John Key rang Cameron Slater in any capacity, what’s the difference? The Herald’s editor might like to tell us?

Read more »

Why would anyone tell someone else to kill themselves?

I’ve been at the receiving end of death threats and pressure to take my own life myself.

People telling you to go top yourself, or expressing some hope you might do them a favour.

Not sure what kind of mindset people have  that deliberately put pressure on someone in the hope they will take their own lives.

Mike King, New Zealand’s other mental health ambassador has been having his share too. Read more »

Top meteorologist claims Climate change PROVED to be ‘nothing but a lie’

The wheels are systematically coming off the climate change trolley.

Now a top meteorologists claims that climate change is nothing but a lie.

THE debate about climate change is finished – because it has been categorically proved NOT to exist, one of the world’s leading meteorologists has claimed.

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, what ‘little evidence’ there is for rising global temperatures points to a ‘natural phenomenon’ within a developing eco-system.

In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: “The ocean is not rising significantly.

“The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.  Read more »

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Face of the day

The-Veterinarian-Visit

Belker

When the doctor examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer, he told the family he couldn’t do anything to help, and offered to perform euthanasia for the old dog in their home. Ron and Lisa told him they thought it would be good for 6-y/o Shane to be there during the procedure, they felt Shane might learn something from the experience.

Read more »

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25

10 Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.

Saturday nightCap

Dancing with Wolves? Meh. Swimming with Icebergs!

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