HP’s Green Printer — 83% Recycled Plastic

At $45, this sounds like a good deal (depending on what cartridges it uses).  Here’s a link to the CNET blog posting about this article.

BOGO Deals on Houses in Escondido

Wow … The housing market in SD is so bad that developers are giving houses away. Yes, that right, developer Michael Crews is giving away a lesser value house to buyers of $1-Million+ houses in one of his luxury developments. Woo-hoo, now you can buy two houses in Escondido for the low price of $1.6-Million, or $800K each. Never mind that these houses are still unaffordable!

Here’s a link to the story in the LA Times. Maybe someone in “La-la Land” will think this is a bargain.

Oprah: Maintaining Authenticity

First let me say that I am no fan of the “Oprah Brand” and I do not understand the Oprah “effect” — this is not a criticism upon Oprah Winfrey, because I, personally, don’t know her outside of her TV persona.  In general, though, I don’t think much of celebrities’ opinions, so I pay no attention to celebrity opinions and endorsements. I will give Oprah credit, though, for being one heck of an advertising machine and for making her endorsements seem authentic. Here’s a link to an interesting article about how to get your brand on “Oprah.”

Before reading this article, I didn’t think too hard about the product endorsements on talk and reality shows. I assumed if the brand “fits in” with the show, then paid advertising would happen. I figured no advertising went unpaid or unnegotiated. After all, a brand may not want to be associated with Oprah. Well, anyhow … what’s most interesting about what goes on with Oprah is the more influence she has, the more she has to manage  her image and the tighter control she has to have on her personal “brand.” Also, it’s interesting how any whiff of money or quid pro quo with relation to Oprah endorsements would somehow diminish Oprah’s brand value, since a big part of Oprah’s brand is authenticity. That all seems extremely troublesome.