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Submission + - Web Scraping Finds Stores Guilty of Price Inflation on "Sale" Days (

UnsettledTCK writes: In the US, there are a series of supposed major sale days leading up to Christmas and New Year. These are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday. These days are billed as the absolute time to buy what you want for rock bottom prices. Out of curiosity, we decided to track the prices of 30 products over five retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Sam's Club) across five different days starting from Black Friday and including Cyber Monday, Green Monday and also Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. We compared the prices taken to January 13, 2016 (used as a baseline). Turns out that not only was there an issue of inflated prices, but these higher prices actually took place on the same days as the alleged sales.

And yes, obviously it shouldn't come as a shocker that retailers charge more, but it was noteworthy to see which companies were the most guilty and which played by the rules.

People seem to fall into two consumer camps: careful shoppers who wait for discounts and sales or those who know what they want to buy and will spend the money regardless. We were curious to see if the savvy shoppers were rewarded or if it's better to just pay the money for the convenience of not waiting for a "sale". Turns out that the answer is mixed, but products in the Toys category were basically a damned if you do/damned if you don't scenario.

You'll probably still end up continuing your same shopping behavior, but at least now you know when you're being overcharged.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 2) 564

1) Nobody RTFM when they buy a new car
2) Nobody RTFM when the rent a car
The industry had standard, and Chrysler deviated from the standard. The benefit to deviating from the standard is nonexistent. The drawback is a safety concern.

It reminds me of push button start. Once you get over the "Gee Whiz" factor, it's a safety concern.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 156

I see no mention of the energy put into the process vs the methanol output. Unless they are close, this would make no sense.

TFA mentions lower temperatures than other processes. That suggests the new process is more energy efficient than the old one.

Obviously, the laws of thermodynamics prevent this technology from being anything more than a way to store energy. However, it seems like they have made the process more efficient by discovering a new type of catalyst.

Comment Re:Of course it is. (Score 1) 286

And the US Air Force did plan to operate their own Shuttles, even building a launch site for them (Challenger convinced them to go with expendable launchers instead). But it can't reasonably be claimed the Shuttle itself was a military product.

Here's a really great article on the US Air Force Shuttle program. The pictures are amazing!

Comment Re:What Type of Truck? (Score 1) 223

That could be one hell of a towing truck.

I foresee problems using this proposed truck for towing. One of the things that makes the Model S successful is it's form. It has very low aerodynamic drag, and a somewhat fixed mass. Towing a trailer completely disrupts that system. Mass will increase dramatically, and most trailers have the aerodynamics of a brick.

Comment Re:It's not surprising (Score 2) 141

The fact that people matter is quickly becoming forgotten in the quest for maximizing quarterly return on investment.

That was forgotten long ago! It's in a graveyard next to research and development funding.

The only place you will find those are startups with passionate leadership. Once Wall Street gets involved, it's all over.

Comment Re:/etc/hosts anyone? (Score 1) 442

As an old-schooler, I've been using a modified hosts file. Are there any distinct advantages to using ad-blocking software over a hosts file?

Ad-blocking software updates the list automatically. Typically some sort of script needs to be used to do this with a host file.

I've been thinking about switching to the host method myself. I'm looking to use the very host file you posted on my router. Since I am a networking novice, I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

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