Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How to Wash A Cat - By Bud Herron

Instructions for all your first time cat owners out there. Be sure to have your cat bathed prior to my arrival at your house. My allergies thank you in advance.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bank Of America To Charge For "Free" Checking

From: The Consumerist, Ben Popkrn

Bank of America will start charging "Free Checking" customers starting 2/1/07. The bank will switch change the accounts to "MyAccess" checking, with a fee of $5.95/month.

When one SlickDeal forum member called to complain, the BoA rep said, "It's not a big's less than $100 a year."

Fees can be avoided, however, on BoA MyAccess checking if direct deposit is set up or if there is a scheduled transfer of $25+/month to a BoA savings account.

Several months ago, Bank of America offered a $100 signon bonus for opening a new checking account. We even encouraged readers to take advantage of this apparently "strings free" offer, even if they didn't intend of continuing to bank with BoA.

Looks like now the heretofore invisible string has been plucked. What rhymes with plucked?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Who needs BuyerZone when you have VARNetwork?

A little group of upstart telecom guys are biting at the heals of BuyerZone and OnForce. Telarus, Inc. announced today that they have reached a tremendous milestone - 1,000 Value Added Resellers (VARs) under their network known as VARNetwork(tm).

In under 6 months, they developed and launched VARSearch(tm), a database of telecom hardware dealers and network integrators. The VARSearch database drives and is accessible to the general public for use in finding a telephone or network equipment installers/dealers in their local area.

The current crop of VARNetwork VARs represent brands including: Cisco, NEC, Avaya, Toshiba, Nortel, Vodavi, Extreme Networks, Juniper, Foundry Networks, Artisoft and TalkSwitch.

"The 1,000th profile that we added to VARSearch marked the first major milestone in the development of our VAR program" commented Robert Butler, Director of the Telarus VAR Network. "As we add more VAR partners to our database, the results that VARSearch provides our users will continue to increase in quality. Users of our software are now finding multiple VARs in their area, usually under 20 miles away, as a result of the increase in memberships. As the results of VARSearch improve, so too does the number of people who choose to use our VAR search tool. Helping businesses find the right VAR is what this program is all about."

Over 800 unique leads went through VARSearch network to Telarus' group of partners in December '06. They rate VARs based on a number of factors including geographic proximity to the customer, previous customer and agent feedback, and VAR's level of participation with ShopforT1's core telecommunication services business. Those ratings determine which VARs are returned for a given search and in what order they will be presented to the potential customer.

I'm wishing them the best of luck... I love to see an underdog going up against well funded competitors. Especially when that underdog is using better ideas and technology to wage the war.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Presto Printing Mailbox Experience Update

Well... it's been 3 months now. My grandmother has gotten accustomed to having Presto around. You know a piece of technology has been formally adopted into someone's life when they start taking it for granted.

For example, the other day she called to let me know that the ink had run out. That makes usage about 1 high capacity cartridge per month. Not bad considering she seems to be going through a whole ream of paper a month too.

I do have one complaint... The Presto Mailbox only uses a single cartridge. That means it creates black by printing CMY together. That makes for a slightly less black than actual black. It also means that color ink usage is higher than it realistically should be. In turn, the higher ink usage makes the total cost of ownership higher than it really should be.

Altogether, it's been quite a surprise as to how well the system works.