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Public Service Alert: Scam Sellers on Amazon

17 Jul

I buy a lot of books from Amazon and I often buy them from third party sellers. Many of the books I purchase are out of print and hard to find and I don’t mind the wait, since my pile of unread books is always high.

However, I was recently scammed by a third-party seller on Amazon and I thought I would let my readers know about it.

I ordered a book from from a third party seller on Amazon, the price was attractive, but it never arrived. When I checked into it I found these reviews on the seller:


There were a couple hundred reviews along the same lines. It turn out that this a common scam on Amazon, here ‘s an article from Forbes with more details.

The most straightforward way to protect yourself from this would be to pay attention to the seller reviews.

Downloading SoundCloud podcasts

6 Mar

I have a dedicated mp3 that I use when I work out. I know that most people just use their smartphones, but I worry about sweating on or otherwise damaging a sensitive and expensive piece of electronic equipment. Also, a dedicated mp3 player is optimized for its purpose and, I believe, delivers better performance. For the record I use the SanDisk Clip Jam with an sd card for added storage.

The only problem I have encountered is that many podcasts are only available through specialized streaming services, such as SoundCloud. Sometimes you can solve this problem by viewing the page source and finding the url for the mp3 file, but not with SoundCloud.

Thus, I was very please to discover this service, the SoundCloud downloader.

Here are some more thoughts about mp3 players.

Restoring closed tabs in Google Chrome

25 Jan

Maybe you knew about this already, but I just found out. As someone who has many tabs open simultaneously, I sometimes close an important one accidentally. But that is no longer a problem:

To reopen the most recently closed tab in Chrome, right-click on the tab bar and select “Reopen closed tab” from the popup menu. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+T on your keyboard to reopen the last closed tab.

Survival bias

6 Jul

People sometimes remark “my parents let me do x and I turned out OK.” While comments like these often cause heads to nod in agreement, I always think, of course you say that, the ones who didn’t turn out OK aren’t here to tell their stories. Along these lines here is a useful video about survival bias and success advice:


All time best Trader Joe’s hack

5 Feb

Just like everyone else, I like Trader Joe’s product, but hate shopping there. Last Sunday, while my son was in Barnes and Noble, I thought I would stop in the nearby Trader Joe’s and pick up a few items. The store was so packed and noisy that I left without purchasing everything.

Now Daniel Engber of Slate has the best life hacking tip for shopping at TJ’s: don’t.

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