LEGO Brand Retail
Apr 122009
 

I found out today that Amazon.com has started de-ranking what they deem to be adult content. Funny thing about that though is that the only thing that Amazon seem to be flagging as adult content is gay and lesbian themed books. They are stripping these books of their sales rankings within Amazon so as to keep them from showing up on searches.

I knew when they yanked the ultra violent video Rapelay that is was a sign of more to come. Granted that video is horrible and needed to be removed. But this latest development only proves that censorship of any kind opens the door for further discrimination.

The problems I am seeing with what Amazon is doing is the out and out homophobia. While they are removing the gay and lesbian books they are continuing to allow mainstream, yet extremely trashy sexual, books such as Laurell K Hamilton’s Incubus Dreams to have sales ranks. How is that?

Mark R. Probst is an author who is affected by the changes. He has posted the response he got back from Amazon about the removal of sales ranks on his books over on his blog. Amazon’s reply clearly states it is a new policy for adult content, yet other people are posting that they are getting responses from Amazon that it is a glitch, an oddly specific glitch, but a glitch.

This has obviously caused quite the stir across the net with much of that fervor coming from the Twitter community, where they are flagging posts with #amazonfail and in the past hour nearly 3000 posts with that tag have come through.

I have to say I agree with their requests from Amazon.com users to stop supporting the site until this is either reversed or sales ranks are removed from all adult content not just that with gay and lesbian subjects. There are plenty of other stores on the web (many of them with better prices and service) so if you can please avoid them. Thanks.

Update: for even more information check out this call for a boycott of Amazon until the fix this issue.

Here are a few more articles for your enlightenment:

Mar 052009
 

I was just over at SheSpeaks.com (trying to sign up for a product test) when I stumbled onto their blog post about this video game that even I think is rather disgusting (coming from me that means a lot).

Mind you, I am not one for censorship, but this game pushes the envelope (even my envelope and hopefully yours too). And I have to say I almost agree with it being pulled from online stores like Amazon and eBay.

The game is called Rapelay and I can only hope it has a rating of MATURE and all places selling it are checking Ids before handing it over to anyone. (Shame you can’t do a psych evaluation too as this game is harsh and some sick minds thrive on this shit.)

If you thought Grand Theft Auto and the like were bad influences on your kids they have nothing on this game where you stalk, assault and rape mothers and their daughters.

People are trying to get this horrid game banned. But I am not so sure a ban is really what should be done. Historically banned games, videos, and music always seem to sell more after they have been banned. What needs to be done is to educate parents about these things, encourage them to watch what their kids are playing and get those parents to stop the game from ever entering their kids lives, because if people want this game they will get it ban or no ban.

This is the type of video game that you would expect to find in a Hentai shop or an adult bookstore along with all the other sex games, not on the shelves of your local Walmart or even the virtual shelves of Amazon or eBay.

Jun 262008
 

OMG! I will never, ever, ever (and might I add ever) buy anything from a Spencer’s Gifts store again, I picked up a toy for a friend the other day and it turns out he no longer needed it so I went to return it.

Check out this scam, they will no longer give you your cash back. I had no idea they had changed their policy to something so ridiculous. (Tiny sign in the store was hidden behind junk on their counter.) Maybe they are heading toward bankruptcy like Sharper Image. So I guess the next thing Spencer’s will try to pull on me is telling me my store credit in the form of the gift card (they forced on me) is no longer valid.

Really what kind of rip off is this? I paid in cash I should be allowed to get cash back. I would understand if I was returning something that was used or opened, but the toy was unopened mint in package with the receipt!

When a company reduces their customer service to zero it is usually a sign they aren’t doing well and could care less if you ever come back. I for one will never set foot in another Spencer’s Gifts since they in essence stole my twenty bucks.

So I beg of you do not buy anything from this rude retailer. But if you have to be sure to pay with your credit card so you can get your money back or at the very least issue a charge back on the card when they refuse to give you your money back.

Now I am stuck with twenty dollars credit at a store I never wish to set foot in again. Maybe I should sell it on ebay with a full explanation as to why it is for sale for less than the value along with a warning about buying from Spencer’s at all. Even if it does not sell at least I will get people to notice how stupid a no cash refunds policy is for a big company like Spencer’s Gifts is.

May 292008
 

PayPerPost is a really good way to make a few extra bucks each day writing sponsored posts, but sometimes they can be a BIG pain in the butt. I recently wrote a really great post about something I feel passionately about and just because I link my post to the companies and products involved in the legal case PPP decided it was a sponsored post. Well guess what? It was not!

The post entitled The Litter Box Wars: LitterMaid vs SmartScoop is completely my content and not sponsored (although I would have liked a 500 word article to have been sponsored it was not). I completely adhered to their rules that “each PayPerPost post must be immediately preceded and immediately followed by at least one non-sponsored, original content post”. (Duh, did that!) Yet they won’t pay me for the sponsored post I did for them.

Maybe they need to take another look at the post. Or maybe we bloggers aren’t allowed to have an actual opinion unless they are dictating it to us? This lawsuit is against a company that I admire and I feel strongly about. So strong in fact, that I took it upon myself to utilize SocialSpark.com to help get the word out via a BlogUBack Spark on the site. Now I am left wondering if they will pull my blog Spark from that site? Are we not allowed to get people to help us fight the fight through their system? We’ll have to wait and see.

Oh and for the record this post was not endorsed by PPP in any way shape or form (just in case they try to pull this same crap on me for my next “job” with them.

May 282008
 

Littermaid vs SmartScoop – it is the self-scooping litter box wars I’m talking about not a review of the expensive cat boxes. (But if you want my opinion the SmartScoop wins the review hands down so lets hope they win the legal battle too.)

For a quick run down OurPets, a company that makes great pet products introduced a self-scooping litter box, the SmartScoop last year and the makers of the Littermaid box, Salton, Inc. felt the need to squash any competition before word got out that they don’t really care about pets they just want your money over and over again.

OurPet’s was founded in 1995 by Dr. Steve Tsengas with the goal of promoting pet health, well-being and owner & pet interaction. [taken from OurPets.com]

While Salton, Inc. and its subsidiaries are leading marketers and distributors of a broad range of branded small household appliances. Salton markets and distributes small kitchen and home appliances, pet and pest products, and personal care products. [take from Salton’s website]

Which of these companies do you think has your cat’s best interests in mind and which one do you think is only out to make a quick buck? If the company’s mission statements alone don’t convince you maybe you need to take a look at the products themselves.

SmartScoopThe SmartScoop as a large litter area it is two inches longer than the Littermaid’s usable area, which is rather important if you have a huge cat like mine. The SmartScoop is also a little higher, which can reduce the litter scattering from your cat’s digging.

The SmartScoop has a much less expensive waste bag to replace over the Littermaids plastic containers. Which raises the whole environmental issue. SmartScoops bags are biodegradable Littermaids are not (nor are they recyclable, but who would want to clean them out to recycle them any way?).

The most noticeable differences lie in the motor and the fact that it is outside of the box and removable on the SmartScoop not on the Littermaid. Which one do you think is easier to clean? I’ll tell you from experience, the SmartScoop! Since the motor is removable it is also replaceable too. That’s right if the motor goes bad you can replace just that part not the entire box.

OurPets stands behind their products, does Salton? I don’t think so. A friend of mine had gone through 2 Littermaid boxes in two years yet she could not get them repaired or replaced through the company. She finally gave up on self-scooping boxes as her experience with the Littermaid has soured her to any automatic box even one of superior quality like the SmartScoop.

This brings me to the costs. These boxes are not cheap, especially when you have to replace the entire box a $200 a pop. The SmartScoop retails for around $150 and the replacement costs are much less than that. Supplies for the SmartScoop are much more cost effective too.

As you can see the SmartScoop wins that battle but can it win the war? Maybe with our help the little guy can come out on top. Spread the word, let your congressman know how you feel about the waste of money and resources this type of litigation can be, above all else express your opinion to Salton and ask them why they are so afraid of a little market place competition. If they are as good as they think they are they should welcome some competition.

Besides I thought a person or company could improve on a current invention or patent and then claim the patent on the new and improved item (at least that’s what the infomercials tell me). So how can they really claim an infringement unless the product is exactly the same? Personally, I think they are over reacting and should go sell George Foreman Grills and forget the lawsuit, which will cost them more then if they simply welcomed the competition. Perhaps someone in their corporate offices did not do the math right or maybe they can simply throw away 1.5 million in the hopes of saving a half million dollars from a little healthy competition. Heck, if they have that much money why not throw some my way? Or better yet replace my friend’s boxes!

Boris says: What’s All The Fuss Over A Place to Poop any way?

Jan 052008
 

If you are the victim of an automobile accident in the state of Pennsylvania do not go to CVS pharmacy to get your prescriptions filled. They will fill your prescriptions. I found this out the hard way. Last night when I took my prescription in and asked if they could bill my auto insurance due […]

Jan 042008
 

Coming home tonight I was cut off yet again. A few days ago a big black Dodge pickup tried to share my lane with me. I was in the passing lane trying to go around him. Guess I did not go fast enough and perhaps I was in his blind spot. I don’t know. All […]

Jan 032008
 

Get off the freaking phone people! Why do people think their phone conversations are more important than their own safety and the safety of others? The dangers are everywhere from people driving while talking to walking out in front of moving vehicles. Many states have already made it illegal to use your cell while driving. […]