5 Things - Week Ending 10/12/12

This is the 26th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

Best Buy to Match Online Retailers’ Lower Prices

Marcus Wohlsen:

Best Buy is fighting back in a big way this holiday season against “showrooming,” the practice of checking out a product at an offline store and then buying it for less on the internet. The struggling electronics seller says its workers now have the leeway to match online retailers’ lower prices when trying to close a sale. The new policy signals a sharp shift for Best Buy, which hopes to undercut the main reason would-be customers go home empty-handed and order from Amazon instead.

This is probably a smart move for Best Buy. Perhaps more people will actually buy when in the store if they know they can get the same price that they see online.

I don't think Best Buy's willingness to match online prices will be enough to entice me to purchase technology through them again. I have had too many poor experiences in the past year and I would rather shop from the comfort of my own home.

Screens, Phones, Tablets and More: Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age

The Vision Council:

For many americans, digital eye strain is a product of their lifestyle. Thirty-four percent of adults are in professions that require prolonged use of digital devices. and the eyes feel it. digital eye strain is the most common computer-related repetitive strain injury, surpassing carpal tunnel and tendonitis.

Until I saw this report from the The Vision Council I had never considered the impact that laptops, tablets, and smart phones might have on our eyes. This is definitley worth a read for anyone who spends a considerable amount of time looking at a screen.

Offline: email

Paul Miller:

You know what I hate? Email. I hated it before I left the internet, and I hate it now. It’s a cancer on our society. It is all-consuming. Email has absorbed into itself short messages, long messages, cute conversations between two people, futile conversations between a dozen people, calendar invites, Twitter subscription notifications, Facebook friend requests, password recovery, file exchange, file storage, coupons, project management, newsletters, infighting, backbiting, apologies, diatribes, bills, receipts, payments, and the great how-to-stay-organized minds of our generation.

Paul Miller left the internet a few months ago and he has been sharing his thoughts on the experience. This particular piece focuses on his hatred for email.

Email is so frustrating because anyone can send it to you and often you don't want to receive it. You still have to check it and sort through it to find the emails that you do want to receive.

If you don't like email you may enjoy reading this article.

Review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite really shines

Melissa J. Perenson:

With the Kindle Paperwhite’s integrated illumination and dramatic software redesign, Amazon has meaningfully improved the everyday experience of using its top-tier Kindle. Though the nontouch Kindle is now available at a bargain price at $69, the $119 Kindle Paperwhite offers greater flexibility and easier navigation—advantages that you’re likely to appreciate in day-to-day use. If you’re already committed to the Kindle ecosystem, this is a worthy upgrade. And if you’re new to e-readers, you’ll find that the Paperwhite offers serious competition to Barnes & Noble’s $119 Simple Touch with Glowlight.

I purchased one of the new nontouch Kindles for $69 and I have a Kindle Paperwhite on the way. I really enjoy reading on the Kindle. After reading the report from The Vision Council I think I will make an attempt to spend more time reading on the Kindle and less time on the iPad and iPhone.

Finding a Good Flashlight App for the iPhone

Ben Brooks:

If you are a person that uses a flashlight app on your iPhone, I have to say: of the 16 flashlight apps I tested, Lighty is the best.

With so many apps in the App Store I often turn to various people that I trust to help me discover quality apps. I was looking for a flashlight app for my iPhone 4S and Ben Brooks thinks that Lighty is the best. For $.99 you get a super simple easy to use app that turns your iPhone into a flashlight. I use it everyday and would highly recommend it.