Friday, December 28, 2012

Close Friends in Facebook, Another Marketing Angle?

Are you sure you know how Facebook is handling your profile information, if you've given that much info up?

Facebook is all about "breaking down the barriers" on the web and making much about your marketable information public.  This is how they key in on advertisers and tease them to play along.  When you admit a FB app into your profile, it can then start looking at profiles of that person's friends.  Of course, as time goes on, this can get more controlled by the users if they pay attention to how they have their privacy settings established.

Then there's this thing where they ask you to submit your email address to see if any of your friends are out there on Facebook.  Which is curious, considering that all this is doing is having you willingly give up your address to this search function.  I'm not paranoid, just not fond of flinging my personal information out into the digital darkness of the web.

But now Facebook started asking me to add select folks to my "Close Friends" category.

Really?  Why add to or have another category?  What are they up to now?  Is this some new marketing angle to determine who you think are close friends, then come flying in with some new marketing aimed at these relationship?

Probably.  But we won't find out about it unless some watchdog group digs and finds out what's up.

Until then, meh!  I'm not voluntarily offering up information.  And though I'm not advocating anything against Facebook, I do strongly suggest that if it interests you, you should look into your privacy settings to make sure they concur with what you think your settings are.  And if you get them the way you like them, to check them after each change or update that FB makes to their system, because they seem to change with the changes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reviewers Get Sued? Figure Out How To Dodge That One!

Hey, I was putting together a piece on an article that inspired me to write up a sort of how-to not get in trouble writing reviews.  There are right ways and there are wrong ways.  In my past, I've done a few reviews that had me stammering when I was called on the carpet about.  To be honest, you have to create a good, well written experience to get anyone's attention.  If you're upset and write upset, it don't look no good to no one.  It becomes gibberish with missing and misspelled words.

And Gibberish is the best way to have folks stop reading your tirade.

But the trick to getting tirades read, are to write them from a logical corner of your mind.  One where you've calmed down a bit and you are able to express in detailed, fact-backed words, what your experience was.

Below, is the starter of an article addressing this, and continue it over on my primary website, where I've put it.  I had a bit of a moment trying to figure out where to put it, so I split it up this way. 

So... Let me get this beast rolling along and the link only takes you to my other site... it looks a wee bit different, but that's all.

- - -

The other day I came across an interesting article on the Business Insider that talked about how businesses are suing customers that are putting up bad reviews on Yelp, one of a few review websites.

I shook my head at first since that seems almost counter-productive than the negative reviews they're trying to squash.  Two examples of lawsuits were focused on negative descriptors that seemed to come from an emotionally based spot in the mind/heart, or how a contractor stole jewelry from a customer.

I personally knew of a business that was looking to smite a review because of how a review was worded inaccurately.

There's a growing concern that lawsuits like these could create a trend and start a wave of worries, one being the right to free speech.  But on the other side of the coin, if reviewers win the lawsuits, this could be bad for businesses, if they can't defend against false accusations.

And therein lies the issue, as far as I can see it... false accusations and poor, fact-less based statements.


Suggestions For Writing Reviews...

(If something like this worries you.)

Many moons ago I was called "on the carpet" by an organization when, in one of my very early reviews, I used what I deem to be emotionally based wording in my caustic tirade of the organization.  In fact I got carried away a bit and did veer from the truth by adding emotionally-based suppositions.  And that's not cool.  (As I have learned.)

Sure, in one place I lived at at the intersection of the 101 and Lawrence (in Sunnyvale), the place had vehicles broken into every single week.  Sure, one eatery establishment in Menlo Park has staff that screws up most custom menu orders.  Sure, one MP mechanic suggested a $2500 job when I got the problem fixed for $90. And sure, that free car wash cost my $4.  And of late, yes, that $50 cell phone, with the accompanying free cell phone, ended up costing me $300.

But you have to be careful how or what you write and reflect the facts only, as you have encountered them.

If you're going to write a review, well, here's how I suggest doing it, or, as I proceed.

First, always report the absolute truth of the event. 

In the scenario of the apartment building I had lived in, I saw the aftermath of broken into cars.  Each week I saw a new car just in my section of the parking structure end up with shattered windows and contents removed.

Emotionally, I wanted to convey what other people told me. Things like the cars being stolen or units being broken into.  And this seemed reasonable, since the complex has a local PD rep show up to talk to us about such things.

[click to continue reading at…]

Friday, December 7, 2012

Product Recalls on Generators, Fuel Filters, Cordless Drills, Bath Seats and more warnings

It's been a while, but here's a collective of recalls I feel strongly enough to pass on to everyone...

Product recalls include gasoline generators, fuel filters, lawn mowers, cordless drills, bath seats and so much more.  OK, maybe not much more, but more.


Powermate Generators Recall to Repair by Pramac America Due to Fire Hazard and were sold exclusively at Home Depot

The problem  with the generator is that the fuel filter allows gasoline to leak, posing a fire hazard.  There have been 51 reports of leaks but no fires or injuries have been reported.

The generators being recalled have "Powermate 5500" printed on the side of the black generator with wheels.  Printed on a plate on the rear of the generators are serial numbers of the recalled units ranging from K003xxxxxQ through K090xxxxxQ.

They were sold at Home Depot stores in northeast, mid-west and southeast U.S. between February 2012 and August 2012.

Contact Pramac America to receive a free repair kit including a replacement filter, hose and hose clamps for fuel line.

Pramac America LLC (800) 445-1805 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or and click on the Generator tab and then the Expert Advice followed by the Service Notification link for more information.


Kawasaki Motors Recalls Lawn Mower Engines Due to Fire Hazard due to a potential leaking fuel filter, posing a fire hazard.  Kawasaki has received 110 reports of fuel leaks but no injuries reported.

The models involved include Kawasaki FH, FR, FS and FX series engines used in riding and wide area, walk-behind lawnmowers made and sold under the following brand names: Ariens, Bad Boy Mowers, Big Dog, Bob-Cat, Bush Hog, Country Clipper, Cub Cadet, Dixie Chopper, Dixon, DR Power Equipment, Encore, Exmark, Ferris, Gravely, Hustler, Husqvarna, Land Pride, SCAG, Simplicity, Snapper Pro, Tiger Corp, Toro, Worldlawn and Woods. Engines may have also have been bought separately and used in other lawn mowers.

Recalled engines are 13 to 36 horsepower, air-cooled, v-twin engines. "Kawasaki" and the model number are printed on the top of all of the engines. In addition, the spec and serial numbers are printed on a label on one side of the engine.

The model, spec and serial numbers can be found in a table on CPSC's web site at

Recalled items were sold between October 2011 and August 2012 for between $2000 and $10,000.

Contact Kawasaki or a Kawasaki dealer for a free repair.

Kawasaki Motors; toll-free (866) 836-446, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, or online at or e-mail the firm at for more information.


Kawasaki Motors Recalls more Fuel Filters for Lawn Mower and Utility Vehicle Engines Due to Fire Hazard

This recall is for Fuel Filters and Tune-Up Kits with Fuel Filters

The recalled fuel filters are white translucent plastic and attach to the fuel tubes on Kawasaki lawn mower and utility vehicle engines. The filters were sold separately and as part of engine tune-up kits. "VISU Filter" and a manufacturing date code number are on the top of the filter. The following date codes are included in this recall: 136/11 through 365/11 and 001/12 through 216/12. The tune-up kits say "Kawasaki Engine Tune-Up Kit" on the box. A part number is located on the top of the box. Recalled tune-up kits include one of the following part numbers: 99969-6189, 99969-6190, 99969-6191, 99969-6196 and 99969-6220.

Sold at Kawasaki dealers between August 2011 and August 2012.

Stop using products with the recalled fuel filters and contact Kawasaki or a Kawasaki dealer for a free repair.  Toll-free at (866) 836-4463, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m .ET Monday through Friday, or e-mail


Harbor Freight Tools Recalls Cordless Drill Due to Fire and Burn Hazard because the black trigger switch on the 19.2v cordless drill can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

The recall involves model number 96526. The drills are blue and black and have a black trigger switch. They have a 19.2v rechargeable battery pack. The drill's model number is located on a yellow label on the left side of the drill.

Stop using the drill, remove the rechargeable battery and contact Harbor Freight Tools to receive a free replacement drill at toll-free at (800) 444-3353, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or and click on Recall Safety Information under Customer Service for more information. Consumers can also email the firm at


Children's Riding Toy Recalled by Step2 Due to Fall Hazard because children who lean too far forward on the seat can go over the handle bar and hit the ground. This, they call a fall hazard.

There have been a few incidents with one incident resulting in head bumps and one resulting in a minor concussion and cuts to the gum and lip from the child's front teeth.

It's called an X-Rider Car, is a red, plastic toy scooter with a yellow handlebar and seat, and two blue stickers that simulate headlights. It is 14 inches high, 14 inches wide and 19 inches long. The middle of the handle bar contains the Step2 logo. Step2's contact information is located on the rider's left side of the car. Children use their feet to propel the toy.

It as sold at Target and other retailers between January 2012 and August 2012 for around $25.

Contact Step2 to receive a free replacement toy, toll-free at (866) 860-1887, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at, and click on the "View Details" link under Recall Information for more information.


Trampolines Recalled by Sportspower Due to Injury Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Sports Authority.  The problem is that the legs can move out of position and puncture the jumping area, posing a risk of injury, including deep, penetrating puncture wounds, cuts and bruises to users of the trampoline.

It's the Sportspower Parkside model TR-14FT-COM trampolines. The model number is marked on the packaging and instruction manual. "Parkside" is printed on the enclosure net.

They were sold at Sports Authority stores between April 2007 through May 2012

Consumers should contact Sportspower to receive a free repair kit, toll-free at (888) 965-0565, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, online at or email for more information.


Dream On Me Recalls Bath Seats Due to Drowning Hazard because the bath seats fail to meet federal safety standards, including the requirements for stability. Specifically, the bath seats can tip over, posing a risk of drowning to babies.

There have been a few incidents and some of the seats have a Dream On Me label under or on the rear of the bath seats. Model numbers are also printed underneath the bath seats and on the product packaging and include the following product models and colors:

Model Name | Model Number | Color
Baby Bath Seat | 251B, 251O, 251P, 251Y | Green with orange tray, orange with beige tray or yellow with green tray Ultra 2 in 1 Infant Bath Tub and Toddler Bath Seat | 252B, 252P | Solid pink, blue or white body and a blue or pink bottom Niagra Baby Bath Seat | 253B, 253G, 253P, 253Y | White or blue body with a green, pink or orange insert

They were sold through various venues between July 2012 and September 2012.

You should stop using the recalled bath seats and contact Dream On Me to receive a free replacement bath tub, toll-free at (877) 201-4317 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at and click on Recalls for more information.


If the information above isn't enough, you can always hit up and look up the official recall for more details. -Bruce