December 18, 2007
I’ve seen these offers for a free XBOX 360 (or a free PS3, iPod, etc etc) where all you have to do is sign up for some product offers, or refer your friends. I was intrigued, as free things typically do, and I wanted to see how it worked.
After you signup, you’re given a list of product offers and free trials and each have a value in points, typically around 50. In order to get what I was after, a XBOX 360 + 1 game, you needed 1040 points. Your obligation for each offer can be just registering for a free trial, only paying shipping and handling, spending a certain amount or becoming a paying member for a year. There is also a fair amount of ambiguity which sometimes makes it difficult to determine exactly what things will ultimately cost you.
Instead of wasting alot of time, signing up and building up my points, I got my old spreadsheet out and did a best estimate how much 1040 points would actually cost you. I determined that it would cost you at least $280, making that about 3.8 points for each dollar you spend (so you can get a rough estimate on the cost of other prizes).
For me this isn’t worth it, you’ll have to jump through many hoops and the cost could dramatically increase. When you looking at what a new XBOX 360 costs ($299 with no game), the savings are slim. When you look at what you can get on eBay, it’s completely not worth it.
December 10, 2007
Filmmaker Chris Jones posted on his blog the other day that he was trying to decide whether to invest in a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, as a filmmaker he also needs to think about what format to release his latest short film (Gone fishing). Since I had recently looked into it myself, I emailed him my research, and he posted it here. Quick summary:
Warner is rumoured to be backing Blu-ray exclusively soon. Read here...
Stats on Marketshare show that Blu-ray is leading since inception and also recently. Read here...
Michael Bay prefers Blu-ray…Read here… And here…
The end result for me is Blu-ray via a PS3.
December 7, 2007
I haven’t owned a gaming console since the Sega Genesis, I’ve always been a PC gamer. Lately however, I just don’t have the patience for gaming on a PC – the constant upgrading, crashing, patching, etc etc. Also, the time I have for games seems to steadily be decreasing. So I’ve been thinking of getting a console, I don’t need to worry about any hardware issues and the games tend to be more casual so I can jump in and play in bite sized chunks.
Despite all the missteps that Sony has had, I’m a believer in the PS3, and lately things to be going their way. While its more expensive than the other systems, I think you get more bang for your buck. This guy did an analysis of what system offers the best value and determined that the all-in cost for a PS3 is $790 vs. $960 for the Xbox 360 and $654 for the Wii. While this assumes that both the PS3 and Xbox can play HD movies (add-on cost included for the Xbox), the Wii has no such capability so it looks like the PS3 wins.
Anyways, I’ve let the whole family know exactly what I want for Christmas this year!
PS. Yes I’m 26, and yes I’m too old to be getting presents like this from my family – don’t judge me.
December 5, 2007
While I was in England I always enjoy watching Dragon’s Den on the BBC, the “Dragons” for the most part (minus the useless Rachel Elnaugh whose claim to fame was a startup that went bust) were pretty shrewd and knew their stuff. Richard Farleigh was the best.
I come back to Canada and see that the CBC now has a Canadian Dragon’s Den, I watched it and was very disappointed. It has too much of an “American Idol auditions” episode feel, where they bring a bunch of rejects on the show with stupid ideas and the Dragons rip them apart. The Dragons themselves often ham it up way too much, and come off amateurish. None of the Dragons have expertise in manufacturing as mentioned in this blog, so quite often you’ll hear “It’s not a space I know anything about.”
The great thing about the BBC Dragon’s Den is that its much more serious, it’s more about the business of investing, rather than the business of show.
(By the way, I saw Duncan Bannatyne at King’s Cross station once, he noticed I was staring at him and walked away – true story)
December 5, 2007
Finally saw The Darjeeling Limited and thought it was great. What really caught my eye was the set of luggage the guys were lugging around with them. It was their deceased father’s, and it looked to be custom made. His initials were on each piece and they were numbered. I did a little research and Marc Jacob designed them and they are actually being auctioned off – see below for a pic.
Someday I want a set of custom-made luggage… something that will last forever and my children will use… on their cross India train trip.
December 1, 2007
More Norway stuff – I was watching TV yesterday and saw an ad for Citigroup featuring a father and son going to Norway. Norway is like Canada in that we love it when other countries talk about us so I sent it to my girlfriend and my Norwegian friends and despite the fact that the music is Irish and that they turn out to actually be Swedish (their frienemy) it was much appreciated.