Well this is mildly terrifying: according to a new Pew study, the Facebook privacy mode a lot of us rely on for photos and status updates is, on average, anything but private. Time to reconsider your settings, everyone.
The finding is staggering—Friends of Friends can hit as many as over seven million people:
Facebook users can reach an average of more than 150,000 Facebook users through their Facebook friends; the median user can reach about 31,000 others. At two degrees of separation (friends-of-friends), Facebook users in our sample can on average reach 156,569 other Facebook users. However, the relatively small number of users with very large friends lists, who also tended to have lists that are less interconnected, overstates the reach of the typical Facebook user. In our sample, the maximum reach was 7,821,772 other Facebook users. The median user (the middle user from our sample) can reach 31,170 people through their friends-of-friends.
When you think friend of a friend, the IRL analogue comes to mind. Your buddy’s buddy. That guy you met at a bar who seems okay. Your girlfriend’s pals from college. They must be okay people, right? They’re so narrowly removed from you, why not share all your photos with them?
Because 150,000+ people includes a hell of a lot of strangers you probably shouldn’t trust, and certainly don’t (and will never) know personally. You can read the study in its entirety below. [Pew]
It’s no surprise why online shopping is so popular.
“You get the item quickly, you don’t pay for shipping, you often receive better prices, and you don’t have to leave your house,” said Andrew Schrage, founder of Money Crashers.
Perhaps in response to shoppers like Schrage, businesses have been giving away free shipping with a vengeance.
Some 93 percent of stores will offer at least one free shipping deal this year, which means a six percent increase from last year. Meanwhile 30 percent of store sites will offer free shipping on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.
Experts like Kit Yarrow, a professor of psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Calif., told Smart Money that free shipping has become an expectation. However, things don’t always don’t always pan out for consumers.
Retailers may raise the price of their products to make up for shipping costs or bar consumers from using coupons. She also warns shoppers to consider the overall package, including whether or not you can combine discounts.
Besides analyzing the overall deal, Schrage advises shoppers to stick to Web-based companies when shopping online.
“Online sites like Amazon almost ALWAYS have as cheap, and usually cheaper, prices than these retailers who also provide free shipping,” he said.
He points out that companies like Amazon even offer two-day shipping for free, and maintain great return policies that prove to be better than those of bricks-and-mortar stores.
From time to time Schrage admits you will seen an online site offer a higher retail price with free shipping. But stay away—you can score a better deal.
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This is a big, beautiful chart of GDP since 2007 put together by Doug Short.
In addition to showing GDP, it also makes it very easy to see the components, and how they have broken down each quarter.
Two things stand out in the current quarter.
First is that the consumer — the blue bar — really stepped it up in a big way, fueling the lift.
The other thing that stands out is that government consumption, purple, stopped being a drag on things.
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I love my iPad. It’s the original model, bought on April 3, 2010. It’s been working perfectly since then but the battery life was really bad, lasting only a couple of hours lately. It was exhausted. I had to replace it.
In the process, I got a fresh iPad 64GB at the Apple Store for just $100. The good news, you can get one too.
After so many charging cycles, my original iPad’s battery was exhausted. It took forever to recharge and only a few hours to completely run out. I remember the days when I first got it. I could use it normally for a couple of days, watching at least two Netflix movies on it or browsing the web, running some apps and reading comic books.
I went to the Apple Store to ask for a battery replacement. But, as it turns out, you can’t replace an iPad’s battery. As the guy at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar told me: “See? They don’t have screws. We can’t replace the battery.”
Then he added: “If you want a new battery, we have to give you an entire new iPad.”
How? My iPad was out of warranty. I didn’t buy Apple Care. Furthermore, the iPad itself was broken on one side. One day I dropped it on the floor and the aluminum got quite chipped on one side.
He answered that this was no problem. I only have to pay $100 for the “battery.” In return, they would give you a reconditioned iPad with the same storage size as yours, with a fresh battery inside.
So I did exactly that. I paid the hundred bucks and got back home with a perfect battery life and an iPad with no blemishes whatsoever. If your battery life is sketchy—which is probably the case if you bought it back in April 2010—you should go to an Apple store, pay your hundred and get a fresh new iPad on your hands.
And your old iPad doesn’t go to waste. These get refurbished too. Any bad parts get replaced and go back into the cycle of Apple life.
Update: A former Genius shares his tips in the comments:
• You can do the same thing with any iPhone for $79, and most iPods for $69.
• Apple will replace an iPhone in almost any condition (the only exception being for devices that are literally broken into little pieces, or ones that are missing parts) for $199, even if it’s liquid damaged or cracked.
• Apple will replace any OOW damaged iPad for around half the price.
• On an iPhone 4, if the back glass is cracked, an Apple employee can replace it for $29 in only about 5 minutes, also not a bad idea if your camera lens is scratched beyond repair
• If you restore your device before bringing it in, there are no usage records saved and they have to take your word for it that the battery is defective.
That’s pretty good customer service indeed.
“Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex brand is offering an at-home version of a product that people take for granted in public restrooms: disposable hand towels. The new Kleenex Hand Towels are intended to address consumers’ growing concern with hand hygiene.
The product is on sale now with a retail price of about $3 for a box of 60 towels, per the company.
The Kleenex Hand Towels come in box packaging, with pop-up delivery. The product is intended to complement bathroom décor and space limitations — i.e., it can go on a towel bar or countertop.
Kleenex Hand Towels performed well in preliminary testing with consumers, the company says: Approximately two-thirds said they would use Kleenex Hand Towels as a substitute for cloth towels, and more than 90% reacted favorably to how the product and package design looked in their bathrooms.”
They used FOCUS GROUPS! And 2/3 said they would use! But think about it: $3 a box versus cloth towels I already have at home. At home, I don’t use disposable hand towels and at home I am not concerned about “hand hygiene” as I am in a public bathroom.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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