Brian Banmiller's blog

Online Shopping Sales

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The biggest shopping weekend of the year has come and gone and records were broken at the swipe of a screen.

According to Adobe this past Cyber Monday was the biggest online sales day in history with sales totaling just over $3 billion. A 12.1% increase from last year. And Black Friday wasn't far behind but it wasn't the brick and mortar stores racking up the sales. Instead once again people took to their computers, phones or tablets and online shopped their way to $3.4 billion dollars in sales. About $2 billion more than was brought in on Thanksgiving. And of all those numbers most of the shopping was done on phones.  read more »

Alexa's Daily Deals

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Looking for some holiday shopping deals? Just ask Alexa.

Alexa is Amazon's voice controlled virtual assistant that runs on Amazon's echo speakers and fire TV products. She can handle a variety of your needs including traffic and weather updates, ordering replacement items and playing music. Now Amazon is using Alexa to roll out holiday deals.

The program began November 18th and allows Alexa owner to simply ask quote “Alexa what are your deals?” End quote. Then she will rattle off the daily special. If you're interested, simply tell her you want to purchase it and your Amazon account will be charged.  read more »

The Interview Process

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Job interviews can be tough; but not just for the potential employee.

Every company takes a different approach to the interview. Some leave you hanging, some grill you for hours and some make you want to cut and run before they've asked the final question. But then there are those that make you that much more excited to land a job there.

Recently Glassdoor analyzed feedback from U.S. based candidates that interviewed at companies with more than a 1,000 employees. Some of the companies that made Glassdoor's top fifty list include retailers such as Gap, American Eagle and Old Navy. Potential employees say the management team was friendly and personable and they mixed things up with ideas such as the group interview and challenges to see how people would perform.  read more »

Holiday Shopping Horror

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It's the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year, and if you're hating the long lines and crowds just remember things aren't so hot for the people on the other side of the counter either.

Black Friday, small business Saturday and cyber Monday are really just the beginning for the season. For the next month people will be frantically hitting the stores to snatch up the must have items for their loved ones. And while it can be a pain to deal with your fellow shoppers, think about the retail workers.  read more »

Pot Breathalyzer

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A California lab is creating a bit of a buzz thanks to a new product aimed at people dabbling in what is now a legal pastime.

Matt Francis, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley has spent the past 18 months developing what is being called a pot breathalyzer. Francis says THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high can linger in bodies for days and even a month. So if a police officer pulls someone over and suspects they are driving while high the current blood and urine tests are not conclusive. So while it's easier to make the arrest, getting the conviction is a harder battle to win.  read more »

Fast Food Fat

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Looks like more trouble for Chipotle, but this time instead of getting sick, customers are getting fat.

Last year the fast food Mexican chain was hit hard by an outbreak of E. coli that affected about 60 people in 13 states. Since being declared bacteria free the company has been trying to lure back customers with new menu items and more promotions. But it looks like the legal troubles aren't over with a handful of people in Los Angeles filing a lawsuit over what it calls false information.  read more »

Lyft's New Look

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The ride sharing company Lyft is going for the clean shaven look.

When Uber's number one competitor launched passengers were able to see it coming thanks to the giant, pink, fuzzy mustache attached to the front of cars. Slowly that was edged out for a light up dash accessory dubbed the “glowstache.” Now the company is ditching the facial hair for something a little more high tech.  read more »

Luggage App

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Worried your baggage may or may not take off without you? There's an app for that.

Considering there is an app for almost anything it seems that one to track your baggage when you fly is pretty late to the party. But earlier this week Delta Airlines rolled out the first high tech way to make sure you aren't stranded with nothing to wear.

According to WLS TV in Chicago the new tracking system includes a chip that is embedded into your luggage tag and contains all your information. The chip will get scanned as your bag is loaded onto a conveyor belt. If the bag is on the wrong belt, the chip will trigger the belt to stop moving and alert the worker that something is wrong.  read more »

Biggest Business Blunders

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Samsung is dealing with the fallout of exploding phones and a movie about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is about to hit theaters. But they aren't the only companies that have hit a rough patch.

MSN Money has put together a list of the top 15 biggest business blunders of all times. Everything from bad products to cringe worthy PR campaigns to monumental fails. For example, Starbucks and the “race together” campaign.  read more »

Holiday Shopping Hours

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Toys “R” Us is opening its doors on Thanksgiving Day but not everyone is thankful for the early opportunity.

The retail toy giant has announced that it will open up for shopping at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day and remain open until 11 PM on Black Friday. This will give people 30 full hours to cross some items off their holiday gift lists.  read more »