Gasoline prices favor online shopping
With the price of gas nationwide hovering around $3 a gallon, merchants
are afraid holiday shopping will take a beating. But online merchants
In a recent survey by Shopzilla, a unit of E.W. Scripps that compares
Web prices, 40 percent of Internet shoppers said they had increased
their Web purchases to save on gas.
Overall, online sales are expected to rise about 22 percent in the
final three months of this year to about $26 billion, says research
firm eMarketer. That compares with a 24 percent increase in the fourth
quarter of 2004 or about $21.5 billion.
Store sales, by contrast, are expected to increase by five percent,
according to the National Retail Federation, to $435 billion.
Disconnected is still an option
Everyone knows we’re living in an increasingly connected world,
yet the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that the
number of new Internet users has slowed while the number of disconnected
Americans—those who have never used the Internet and live in
houses without Internet connections—has remained about the same
Called “the hard-core offline,” this group represents
one in five American adults, mostly over age 65 and less educated
than the general population.
I'm sorry, I can come to phone
There’s only one place left where you can be shielded from in-coming
calls and e-mails: 30,000 feet up in a commercial U.S. airliner. But
Some international airlines have already begun gradually introducing
Internet access on their planes. And, according to The New York Times,
two European carriers—TAP Air Portugal and Great Britain’s
BMI—have said recently they would become the first to proceed
with cell phone service during three-month trials on flights within
Europe beginning in 2006.
In the United States, federal regulators have been reassessing the
rules barring phones in the air. In a public comment period from February
to August, the FCC received more than 8,000 responses. Many focused
on the fear of being stuck next to someone jabbering away for the