Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Buzz| The cutting edge of technology

Buzz: AOL's takes the clip out of coupons

AOL wants you to stop clipping coupons or even printing them. The company is launching a new service, Shortcuts, for manufacturers to distribute coupons on the Internet. Instead of clipping them out of your newspaper insert, you choose the ones you want online and add them to an account tied to a grocery store's loyalty program. To redeem those coupons, you simply present your loyalty card at the register. The program is free for consumers and retail chains, while manufacturers pay to have their coupons listed. Charges will be based on how many get selected and redeemed. Manufacturers can buy banner ads to accompany the coupon listings at The service, the latest aimed at distributing paperless coupons online or by cell phones, comes as Time Warner Inc.'s AOL continues trying to boost advertising revenue to offset steep declines in subscriptions for dialup Internet access. Although AOL expects manufacturers to continue distributing coupons in print publications, Shortcuts director Sharon Baker said companies could eventually offer exclusive deals online. That could leave out people with little or no Internet access, who often are poorer and the ones who most need such discounts. But Baker said that, because it will be free to consumers, Shortcuts will break down barriers — no longer would you need to buy a newspaper. Shortcuts was scheduled to launch with the Kroger Co. grocery store chain and one food manufacturer, General Mills Inc. Coupons from Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Kraft Foods Inc. are to come this month.

Dutch say security pass can be hacked

The Dutch interior affairs minister says a technology being used in up to a billion security cards around the world can easily be hacked. The "Mifare" chip technology owned and licensed by NXP Semiconductors is frequently used in public transport systems. It is also used by corporations and governments in "swipe" access cards. Guusje ter Horst said recently that researchers at the Radboud University in Nijmegen have "developed a method by which a large number of (Mifare) chip-cards is relatively easy to crack and duplicate." Ter Horst said the chip is used in an estimated

2-million cards in the Netherlands and a billion globally. The company said it was "taking these claims very seriously," was investigating and would inform its customers.

Startup RatePoint referees reviews

A startup called RatePoint Inc. wants to play referee for reviews posted on the Internet. RatePoint has built a rating system that businesses can run on their Web sites for a $149 annual subscription. The unusual aspect is what happens after a review is submitted. If it's negative (one or two stars out of five), the reviewer is asked to provide an e-mail address and a phone number so the merchant can follow up. RatePoint then forwards the negative review to the merchant, giving the business a chance to rectify the problem. If the customer agrees the business has righted the wrong, the negative review won't get posted. RatePoint CEO Neal Creighton argues that this approach gives businesses an incentive to listen to their customers' online feedback.

TiVo, YouTube will deliver videos to TVs

TiVo users will be able to watch YouTube clips on their televisions by year's end, TiVo Inc. said recently. Fans of the popular online video provider can view its videos on their cell phones and Apple TV, a box that streams movies from people's computers to their TV. Now TiVo users with a broadband Internet connection and a TiVo Series3 box will be able to search, browse and watch YouTube videos directly on their TVs. Each month, 66-million viewers watch about 2.6-billion videos on YouTube, according to the latest data by Nielsen Online. That's 57 percent of the

116.7-million monthly online video viewers. YouTube is owned by Google Inc., which paid $1.76-billion for the company in November 2006.

EU says it needs

to change IT image

The information technology industry needs to show that it isn't just for "geeky, unsociable" people if it is to attract more women to fill a skills shortage, says the EU's top technology official. EU Commissioner Viviane Reding said stereotypes that IT careers are "boring and too technical" for women need to be overcome because few women are taking engineering and technology degrees despite huge demand. The field will need 300,000 qualified workers by 2010 in Europe alone, according to EU estimates. But that means a radical change. "We need to show that IT … is interesting, is mainstream, is part of everyone's daily life — and that an information and communications technology career is a choice for a creative person," she said.

Buzz: AOL's takes the clip out of coupons 03/23/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 24, 2008 8:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays appear close to landing Marlins SS Hechavarria



  2. What to watch this week: Catch these titles before they leave Netflix in July


    It's been less than a week since summer officially started, and I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready for cooler weather to get here. It's too hot outside to function (looking at you, 116 degree Arizona), but Netflix has us covered with a boatload of new TV shows and movies coming in July. Unfortunately, that …

    Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in 1989's Batman.
  3. Do you need to vote in city elections to run for mayor of St. Pete? Jesse Nevel says no


    Jesse Nevel is running for mayor. But, voting records show, he has never cast a ballot in a St. Petersburg city election.

    Jesse Nevel is running for mayor, but has never voted in a city election
  4. St. Petersburg man arrested for breaking into 12 homes being tented for termites


    ST. PETERSBURG — A 36-year-old former pest control worker was arrested for burglarizing 12 homes over the last five weeks, according to St. Petersburg police.

    David Cooper, 26, was arrested for breaking into 12 homes tented for termites over five weeks, according to St. Petersburg Police. [Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Video: Gator snaps at photographer who got too close at Paynes Prairie


    Perhaps this guy should have just used a zoom lens.

    A video that was posted June 17 on Facebook by Ben Boukari Jr. shows the gator lurching at the photographer, causing him to stumble behind some shrubbery as it chomped at a tripod and rested near his backpack before staring him down. [Facebook]