The RX8 — Mrs. Big Picture’s daily driver — went back off lease this week. In addition to being a well  handling, balanced, 6 speed with a 9,000 RPM redline, it also had a nicely integrated GPS.

We’ve narrowed down the replacements to three choices: The Acura TL (great interior, but essentially a purtyified Honda Accord — with no stick), a Chrysler 300 Hemi (Gorgeous exterior, lousy interior quality, also no stick) , and (1st preference), a BMW 330i 6 speed (the non-track car at Skip Barber Lime Rock, which does everything very, very well).

None of the packages we like have GPS. In each case, an absurd set of option packages (about $4-6,000) needs to be bought — that then gives you the privilege of overpaying another $2000 or so for the GPS.  These combinations of options turn each of the cars from a not-cheap-but-reasonable-for-what-they-are into a ridiculously over-priced set of wheels.

I love the GPS technology in general. Regardless of which wheels we take, I want to grab a portable unit.

I’ve been leaning towards the Garmin Nuvi 360.

Anybody have thoughts, suggestions or alternatives?

Category: Web/Tech

Retail Sales = Hard Landing ?

Category: Consumer Spending, Markets, Psychology, Retail

Forget Murdoch: Yahoo! Should Buy Dow Jones

Category: Media

Broken Fiber Line

Category: Web/Tech

FOMC: Nothing Done

Category: Federal Reserve

Word of the Day: Slowflation

Category: Economy, Inflation, Psychology

Fed Funds Rate Predictions (May 2007)

Category: Federal Reserve

More on NFP: More Recognition of Disbelief

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Psychology

Are CD Prices Coming Down?

We have long criticized the absurd Retail pricing of CDs. A few years ago, we asked the question Are CD Prices Getting More Dynamic?

It seems that some people in the industry have actually read The Long Tail, and figured out that they are better off pricing older catalog CDs aggressively, and actually selling them, rather than maintaining an absurd list price for 20, 30, even 50 year old recordings, and letting them sit in some warehouse somewhere unsold.

At the same time, it must be mentioned that the preponderence of utterly brain damaged morons in positions of authority in the Music Biz has not attenuated one tiny bit. They are the anti Long Tailers, also known as The Fat Heads.

The latest evidence of blunt head trauma syndrome is via this little piece of advanced rocketry: To sell used CDs in some states, at the behest of the industry, you are required to: 1) have your fingerprints taken; 2) endure a 30 day waiting period; 3) only recieve store credit for used CDs (not cash).



Meanwhile, in the world of online retailing, Amazon has done a decent job taking CDs and recordings that are Long Tail — either via age, or obscurity, or just overdue — and making them available at more competitive prices.

As traditional CD sellers disappear, the long tail catalog will be found increasingly at Online retailers, while the Big BOx (Wal Mart, Best Buy, Target) only carries the latest top 50 hits.

It makes smart business sense to use Amazon to blow them out.

After the jump, there’s a handful of Discs I pulled from Amazon — most are $7.97 . . .


NARM Coverage: New Laws Threaten Used CD Market
Ed Christman, Chicago
Billboard May, 01, 2007 – Retail

Record shops: Used CDs? Ihre papieren, bitte!
Ken Fisher
Ars Technica,May 07, 2007 – 01:23PM CT

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Music, Retail

Dow Winning Streak

Category: Investing, Markets