« September 2009 | Main | November 2009 »

October 2009

October 23, 2021

Burger King Japan unveils 7-patty burger to promote Windows 7

Microsoft, as you might know, is a big company.

I wouldn’t know an employee stationed in, say, New York, and an employee in New York likely wouldn’t know one in, say, Paris.

The point? There are a lot of moving parts that make the method to this madness.

Continue reading »

October 22, 2021

You'd better buy airfare early this holiday season

The recession’s end should mean only good things.

A smidgen of job security might return, that pension hopefully comes trickling back and – maybe, just maybe – employers will start to hire people again.

But believe it or not, there are some downsides in the return to normal.

For one, you might’ve noticed that airfares over the past year or so have been marginally decent.

Continue reading »

October 21, 2021

Teens wrestle with credit card debt

It's no secret that many college students are quickly sucked deep into credit card debt. U.S. college seniors, for instance, carried an average of $4,138 in plastic debt in 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And, since roughly 70 per cent of Canadian students have a credit card, there’s no reason to think that things are any different here.

But, thanks to new U.S. laws aimed at protecting young adults from debt, this may be changing.

Continue reading »

October 20, 2021

How crazy of an idea is the fat tax?

I always enjoy watching a local U.S. news telecast whenever I can, if for no other reason than the obligatory “Is America getting too fat?” story a few minutes in.

You know the ones I’m talking about, the features where a reporter rambles off a bunch of stats while they show those shots of fat people from the neck down.

Those are always fun.

Continue reading »

October 19, 2021

Is the coffin closing on MySpace?

Who here remembers Lycos? What about Infoseek? Excite?

Anyone? … hello?

Unless you enjoyed the early years of mass Internet consumption, you probably won’t recognize those three sites, bonafide heavyweights in the ‘90s online surge toward the new millennium.

Continue reading »

Cross-border shoppers search for better deals

With the Canadian dollar up sharply, cross-border shopping is once again on the rise – despite concerns that that new U.S. passport restrictions could limit how many Canadians actually cross the border.

"Every time that getting across the border gets tighter, we see the relationship between exchange rate and cross-border trips deteriorate further," says Philip Cross, Statistics Canada's chief economic analyst. 

If you regularly load up the van to visit U.S. outlet malls, at least consider getting a Nexus card. It expedites border clearance for low-risk travellers who've submitted to a background check.

Continue reading »

October 16, 2021

Go green with filtration system that lets you drink shower water

Environmentalists won’t stop at much to conserve.

They’ve developed a panel you can plunk on your roof to save electricity. They’ve engineered giant, swooping windmills that dot our landscapes and power cities. And they’ve designed the hybrid car that, just earlier this week, we wondered if it had somehow become too  quiet to be safe.

But here’s one eco-conscious idea that, despite the benefits, might take a bit to catch on.

Continue reading »

Are hybrid cars somehow too quiet to be safe?

For years, environmentalists have been tripping over themselves to heap praise on hybrid cars and their drivers.

After all, the vehicles are less polluting, conserve a fraction of the fuel and are whisper quiet. It’s like they’re not even on the road.

But, are the cars too quiet?

Continue reading »

Dealing with death in the digital age

If you’re having a bit or trouble remembering all those pesky usernames and passwords, think what it’s going to be like after you die.

With an increasing portion of our personal lives locked away online in password-restricted accounts, pulling together an estate following a death can cause major headaches.

Enter Legacy Locker, an online service that allows you to securely store usernames, passwords and other access information for all your digital assets — from Facebook and MySpace to PayPal — and transfer that information to beneficiaries in the event of your  death.

Continue reading »

October 15, 2021

Life in a subscription-based world

Any chubby guy with a gym membership knows exactly why a subscription to anything generally stinks.

You buy a pass to use the weight room for 12 months, go three times in the first week and the thing essentially becomes a tab you put on your keychain to unsuccessfully pick-up girls.

This is what happens.

But as you can imagine, subscriptions are big business for big companies, and their influence on the purchases we make extend further than you might think.

Continue reading »


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...