Buy a product on, pay

When paying for products online, you almost always need to pay with a credit card. Until now.

Wal-Mart announced a new program today, called "Pay with Cash," that allows online shoppers to sift through a broad selection of products, and after deciding what to buy, pay with cash. Of course, there's no cash terminal sitting in the average person's computer, so in order to complete the transaction, customers will need to head down to their local Wal-Mart store or Neighborhood Markets.

According to Wal-Mart, users will be able to fully check out online, and will be … Read more

UltraViolet: DRM by any other name still stinks

Wal-Mart this week ushered in a high-profile outing of Hollywood's UltraViolet scheme for digital streaming of movies and TV. And it's the same old song it ever was: complicated, restrictive DRM with a big side helping of "pay me again."

In theory, UltraViolet gives you an easier--or at least, legal--way to digitally stream your movies to multiple devices. The UV standard, developed by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, offers dizzying promises of an easy-to-access digital library, "total freedom" to view your UV-enabled movies on any device, and future-proof DVD buying where every disc includes … Read more

Wal-Mart unveils disc-to-digital service powered by Vudu

Wal-Mart Stores debuted a service today that executives say will encourage DVD ownership while also giving consumers ubiquitous access to their film libraries via the cloud.

The megaretailer announced that customers can bring their DVDs into their local Wal-Mart, and pay $2 to get access to each title via's cloud service, powered by the UltraViolet platform. The $2 only supplies a user with access to a copy in standard definition; a high-definition copy will cost $5.

Dan Rayburn, an analyst who has covered streaming media for more than a decade, broke the news about Wal-Mart's announcement … Read more

Wal-Mart will stream your own DVDs back to you--for a fee

Wal-Mart, the country's largest retailer, is expected to announce today that it has adopted the UltraViolet cloud video platform.

Dan Rayburn, an analyst for research firm Frost & Sullivan, is reporting that Wal-Mart plans to charge between $2 and $4 to customers who want cloud access to the movies they've purchased on DVD. Customers would be required to cart their discs into Wal-Mart brick-and-mortar locations, said Rayburn, citing discussions with studio executives. Wal-Mart's cloud would be UV compatible.

The cloud is the term used to describe the process of storing digital information on a third party's … Read more

The 404 954: Where hey, it's Monday, wanna Cyber? (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 Podcast episode:

Black Friday online shopping actually works, grows 26 percent Best Buy, Verizon, Dell launch Cyber Monday deals. Apple posts Black Friday retail records, despite customers reporting underwhelming discounts. Kindle family soars on Black Friday, but unit sales still elusive.… Read more

Black Friday online shopping leaps 26 percent

It appears online retailers will have more to be jolly about this holiday shopping season.

Consumers in the U.S. spent $816 million online on Black Friday, a 26 percent increase over 2010's Black Friday, according to ComScore data released today. The results buttress numbers released Saturday by IBM Coremetrics that showed online sales on Black Friday grew by 24.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

Some 50 million visited online retail sites Friday, a 35 percent increase over last year, ComScore reported. Excluding auction sites such as eBay, the most visited retail site was Amazon, … Read more

Black Friday deals you can get right now

If you're hearty enough to drag yourself out of bed in the middle of the night, stand in long, cold lines, and fight deal-crazed crowds, just to score a superlow price on a laptop, hard drive, or whatever, I salute you.

Quick housekeeping note: I'm off tomorrow (Happy Turkey Day, everyone!), but I'll be back on Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday! So if you have the time, I hope you'll pop in for some sweet weekend deals.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to sleep in, spend time with your family, and avoid potential stampedes, … Read more

Bring Wal-Mart to your iPad

The Wal-Mart app for iOS does a great job laying out shopping categories for its huge inventory, letting you browse to items quickly. The interface includes categories on the left navigation bar that let you drill down to specifics, and a bigger window on the right to view results.

The Wal-Mart app takes advantage of the iPad's screen real estate well, by keeping navigation and viewing windows all on the same screen. Once you've drilled down to a category, you can get more product viewing area by swiping the navigation bar to the side. Then you can swipe … Read more

Black Friday apps for the big screen

Black Friday is almost here, and if you're the type who likes to avoid the shopping rush like the plague, I may have the perfect collection of iPad apps for you.

Instead of getting up early and waiting in crowded lines for the doors to open, how about sitting on your couch with an iPad and a cup of coffee, and getting your holiday shopping done in peace? It's true that you probably won't get the super mega deals found by doing the leg work at your local retail outlet, but you'll also run zero risk of being trampled by overexcited shoppers.

While this collection is focused on the iPad (simply because it's easier to see the items you're buying), you could just as easily get any of these apps for smaller iOS devices.… Read more

Netflix feeling the pain

The father of the iPod creates a cool home thermostat, the Obama campaign joins Tumblr, and Netflix reports its first drop in customers in nearly two years--and it's a doozy.

Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:

Big loss for Netflix Is this the iPhone of thermostats? Zaarly gets $14 million and Whitman Walmart selling Square Obama joins Tumblr Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD