Apple Implementing A New Value-Centric Tactic For Black Friday Discounts

In order to attract customers to their stores and at the same time keep their purchases within those stores, juggernaut Apple, is instituting a different discount offer strategy this Black Friday than it has in previous years.

Apple Implementing a New Value-Centric Tactic for Black Friday Discounts

Instead of utilizing the age-old approach of offering cash back or off to its customers, Apple is experimenting with a new approach: give customers gift card discounts towards Apple specific products. For example, instead of receiving $50 off of the purchase of an iPhone and using those savings for whatever they please, the buyer will instead receive a $50 gift card to the store for an iPod Touch. The buyer still receives their $50 “discount”, however, that $50 now also goes towards Apple and is not, technically, a form of “savings” in its most simple definition.

Additionally, because Apple is offering these gift cards towards products that are traditionally priced lower with a higher margin, Apple’s revenues from the products are not reduced as much as they would be if they were to put cash off discounts on the products. Not only is Apple keeping these customers in their store, but they are also essentially saving themselves even more money by not giving cash off these items.

Similarly, Apple employees themselves are being offered a somewhat equivalent offer as part of their holiday gift from the company. Gift cards to the store can be purchased by staff members at a $10 discount by paying $40 for a $50 gift card. Again, Apple offers a small discount to keep customers (or in this case their employees) shopping for items within their store.  For anyone interested in an iPhone, consider Cydia and Cydia Apps which can open a whole new world of iPhone usability.

It appears as though Apple has come up with a seemingly foolproof strategy to keep their customers and even employees hunting within their stores for products and accessories to use their gift cards on. But will customers and employees use this tactic or go elsewhere to make technology purchases where they can still save money in the old-fashioned way of discounted pricing?

The New Judges on American Idol

Since its premiere in 2002, American Idol has showcased singers hoping for a shot at stardom. Viewers tune in week after week to hear the good, bad, and downright ugly performances. Throughout the seasons we have watched contestants develop successful careers and look forward to many more. At the center of the show is the panel of judges that hand out advice, encouragement, and eliminations in a way that only they can. Each brings to the table industry experience and a unique personality.
The New Judges on American Idol (photo courtesy of tvrage.com)
Season 12 started in January and is only the third of all the years to have four judges on the panel. Previous judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler both announced they would not be returning for another season. This left empty spots which were filled by three instead of two new judges. Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj are all music superstars with successful careers. With very distinct and varied personalities, the show is sure to be infused with a new feel.

The judges do not come cheap though. The cost to infuse new talent into the latest season was high. Country star Keith Urban was reportedly paid 6 million and pop star Nicki Minaj allegedly made double that (12 million) for her spot. The highest paid of the new three judges is Mariah Carey who is rumored to have been paid 18 million to be a judge. Based on her amazing and long standing career it is not surprising. Out of the three she brings credibility to the show that none of the previous judges could even offer. The stars sign contracts for a season and ultimately like the American Idol contestants, the viewers will decide by ratings how entertaining they are.

Don’t Sing the Blues, Sign Up for Verizon FiOS

Coming over to people over fiber optic networks is FiOS, a cable television, high-speed internet and telephone service from Verizon. Consumers are able to bundle all of these together in order to help you save money, and there tend to be offers to choose from each online as well as in outlets. Verizon commonly provides seasonal promotions, specifically for new clients, that feature fantastic starting rates. A popular FiOS incentive for new customers is a debit card, that may range from $100 to $150 based on which bundle consumers choose.

Verizon is a unique communications corporation that links households along with businesses with more sophisticated mobile technology on the market.

FiOS Features

Verizon Fios

Verizon was basically a leader in rolling out a fiber optic network for residential customers. Not even 10 years old, the FiOS service is definitely fairly new in an old telecommunications industry. Not each community around the united states has access to the fiber optic network, though, possibly because they don’t currently have service or even there are current service agreements with various other telecom companies. Those who are interested in receiving FiOS ought to check with Verizon or perhaps online sites and ensure that Fios exists within their community, because there are numerous places where clients are unable to obtain it. In certain cases, just some of the Verizon FiOS products can be accessible in particular regions. Certain online sites will also have a Verizon FiOS promotion code for clients.

  • FiOS Voice – There are various home telephone choices from Verizon, such as a regular home telephone product as well as voiceover internet. Just as with standard phone plans, FiOS Voice consumers can decide between unlimited regional calling and even paying for the minutes that they use.
  • FiOS TV – FiOS cable tv provides different program levels such as HD, Prime HD, Extreme HD, Ultimate HD. The set up will be free of charge, and there are countless stations offered from Verizon FiOS.
  • FiOS Internet -FiOS Internet is publicized among the quickest connections in the u.s. Verizon supplies one of their high speed modems to assure quality. The web connections available are some of the speediest out there, plus it is quite reputable also. Not all clients require the identical bandwidth plus connection data transfer speeds, so Verizon provides multiple packages to pick among.

The Verizon organization also has smart phone services together with mobile phone coverage. In addition to savings on FiOS, Verizon generally provides coupon codes for its cellular services, too. Data plans are not offered on the fiber optic network, but Verizon does offer a 4G network for its mobile together with data coverage. Verizon provides various mobile phone plans to choose from.

Verizon FiOS really should be a top consideration for digital voice, television and/or broadband if it’s accessible in a client’s region. Special offers happen all through the year, consequently customers who would like to move to FiOS need to ensure they can get it within their area and then find what initial offers might be out there. It’s simple to save money on a FIOS order, possibly by combining FiOS solutions or even by utilizing promo codes.

Woman Waves Gun In Wal-Mart After Coupon Is Rejected

According to reports, a Florida woman allegedly retrieved a handgun from her car and waved it at Wal-Mart employees in anger for not honoring a coupon.

Woman Waves Gun In Wal-Mart After Coupon Is Rejected
The Smoking Gun reports the woman, 61-year-old Mary Frances Alday, entered a Wal-Mart in Crawfordville, Fla. March 1 to use a “dollar off” coupon. When she realized that her coupon would not be honored, she responded violently, calling names and striking a worker with a shopping cart, a Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office report states.

The report also states that when employees told her the police would be notified, she said, “Call the cops”. She was later escorted from the Wal-Mart by an employee. However, she allegedly continued the verbal assault and when told her vehicle license plate number would be recorded she said, “If you follow me I have something in my car for you.”

Several Wal-Mart employees watched Alday walk to her vehicle, go to the passenger side facing away from the storefront, and walk back towards them waving a firearm still in its holster. She eventually removed the gun, a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special and aimed it at store employees. Employees immediately rushed back inside the store.

After leaving the store in her SUV, she was later pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy who requested she turn over her gun. Refusing twice, and after she leaned over the passenger seat to grab something, she was tasered, dragged from the car and handcuffed. Alday faces four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of battery. She remains in county jail awaiting an initial court appearance.

Taylor Hicks Settles Into 10 Month Gig in Las Vegas

Taylor Hicks recently started settling into a 10 month run of gigs at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, saying it was an upgrade from his previous gig. His new room in Las Vegas is bigger and nicer than his previous room, although he says that the sound and lighting “has room to improve”.
Taylor Hicks Settles Into 10 Month Gig in Las Vegas
Hicks also mentioned that he has his sights on recording a country record this year, with the possibility of using his new gig to try out his new material and test it before recording.

The gig is set to have from 20 to 30 songs on rotation, with Hicks playing Guitar, Harmonica and his Hammond Organ on stage. The show is expected to also be very audience oriented, with heavy audience participation expected.

Hicks has quickly adapted to his new lifestyle in the hotel. Despite this, he says that “Sometimes you want to cook and have a big kitchen. That’s one thing I do miss, cooking my own food.” Nowadays, Hicks tends to hang back in the steakhouse in his pajamas for his meals and says that he’s “probably taken more photos in pajamas, in the steakhouse, than at meet-and-greets.”

Hicks also recently had an encounter with teen pop star Justin Bieber, saying that he introduced the young star to Saw’s Juke Joint, which Hicks is a partner of.

Catch Taylor Hicks at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, at which he is currently headlining.

“American Idol” on Fox On Demand with FiOS

With American Idol Season 11 wrapped up, auditions began immediately for Season 12. Auditions will take place throughout the summer with Season 12 airing in the fall.

It’s hard to believe that this will be the 12th season of AI. I remember when Taylor Hicks won in Season 5. During Season 5, I would make sure I was home every Wednesday and Thursday nights so I wouldn’t miss a minute. Now, of course, that’s not an issue with On Demand. On Verizon FiOS, Fox has “American Idol” available On Demand for three days after each showing and if you don’t have FiOS, you can get a great deal with a Verizon FiOS promotional code. And Season 5 was the first season that aired in high definition, which really does improve viewing quality.

And believe it or not, I still have some old Season 5 episodes I recorded that I sometimes like to watch! Sometimes recording a show on your DVR is better than watching it on On Demand because with On Demand, you generally can’t fast forward through commercials (though there aren’t as many commercials as during a regular showing) where the fast forward option is active on a recorded show.

So for this next season of AI, I’ll still try and be home for every show, but if I happen to miss one, I know I’m covered with FiOS On Demand or even my DVR!

Taylor Hicks – Life After American Idol

American Idol can be a fickle beast. It has the ability to launch complete unknowns into the hearts and minds of the entire nation in a matter of weeks. The trouble though, is that, even for the winners, the exit from the limelight can be equally as hasty. Many stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry may have gone on to continued success, but what about 2006 underdog winner Taylor Hicks?

Taylor Hicks rose to notoriety very early on in the competition, when Simon Cowell told him during his initial audition that he would never reach the final round. But once he gave his first contest performance, he gained the attention of both Cowell and the American public. Because of his niche style, however, many were skeptical of his commercial appeal beyond the competition. So where has Taylor Hicks’ career ended up since winning?

Immediately after the show ended, Hicks was signed by 19 Recordings Limited/Arista Records, which was managed by Simon Fuller, the American Idol creator. His debut single went to the number one spot immediately, and was later certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

After enjoying chart success, Taylor Hicks’ star power began to fade, but this was not reflected in his schedule. He continued to appear as a guest star in many large name sets, including Willie Nelson and the unusual fit with Snoop Dogg. This touring schedule culminated in an Idol reunion tour at which point many feared his 15 minutes of fame had run their course.

The next step for Taylor Hick’s would be a very unexpected direction for the New Orleans native and Blues singer. For the next 18 months, Hicks joined the Broadway cast of Grease in a traveling rendition of the famous musical, eventually performing in 20 live shows.

Once the musical run had ended, Hicks returned to the studio to work on his debut album, Taylor Hicks. When launched, it reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts, eventually earning a platinum status. His album was followed later by a second, The Distance, which reached only number 24. Despite his debut single and album success, Hicks has had the lowest album sales of any American Idol winner. His success by its own standing has been mixed. He has gone from the highs of the number one spot to being dropped by his label in 2008.

Despite the ups and downs, Taylor Hicks has shown that he is more than just a music fad, though his successes certainly fell short of what many expected. He has since returned as a guest on Idol, and continues to promote his current album.

The Most Popular American Idol Winner

American Idol has a been a hit for several years now, topping the charts and earning itself the title of most watched reality television show. Getting millions of views each season, American Idol features some of the best aspiring singers in the nation looking for a chance to make it big. Over the years, winners have come out with record deals and top singles, really getting to live their dream of singing and songwriting. Although hundreds of participants have gotten to the finals and some who have won, one of the them had the most success after her big win on American Idol, and that is Carrie Underwood.

Carrie was the first country artist to win American Idol back in 2005. After singing all throughout her childhood, she tried out for American Idol and made it to the top. The summer after Underwood won, she released her very first single, “Inside Your Heaven”, and began to work on her first album. Selling over 300,000 copies of the single, Underwood stole the hearts of many. Next released was the album’s first lead single, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”, which made its way to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for over six weeks.

Through the year, Underwood garnered more attention and her deep, southern voice made a big hit. “Jesus, Take the Wheel” won Single Record of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and many other awards as well. During her crazy and growing singing career, Underwood found time to become a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She also worked on her new album and released “Wasted” in 2007 as her fourth single which quickly became a number one hit as well. After the success of her album and singles, Carrie Underwood attended the Billboard Music Awards, where she won a total of five awards in one night, including country album of the year.

Her passion for singing and making music continued throughout the years, and in October 2007, she released her new album called Carnival Ride. A total of four tracks on the album made their way to the number one spot, giving her album multi-million dollar sales and a handful of Grammy awards. Two years after, Underwood released her third album named Play On, which also had success. In 2010, the country artist was awarded her fifth Grammy and landed a spot acting on a hit show.

Carrie Underwood’s success is well known to the world, especially long time viewers of American Idol. To this day, she continues making music and is known to be one of the greatest country artists of all time.

American Idol Around the World

American Idol is a show that was meant to give young, American talent a real shot at a career in the music industry. From day one, it has been a hit with viewers of all ages. Viewers watch as hopefuls try out, are critiqued and move up or get shipped out of the competition. From the beginning of each season to the end, die hard American Idol fans are increasing exponentially with no signs of slowing. This reality show, which originally began as Pop Idol in the United Kingdom, has taken the United States by storm and is now stretching its influences more internationally than ever before.

From Singapore to South Africa, Idol is becoming a hit show for countries all over the world. American Idol, and other singing shows, contribute their popularity to a wide variety of factors that have captured the hearts of the world. A top show that is seen in over 100 different countries all over the world, American Idol continues to grow in popularity and fame. The question remains, why has this show and others like it been able to achieve such international success?

American Idol is a show that exhibits candidates of all personas. The comical, the desperate, the curious, the quirky and, above all, the dreamers. We meet these characters, and we are invited into their personal lives, where we discover their strengths and weaknesses. We begin to root for them, to care about them, even to love them. Votes from viewers decide the futures of the candidates, giving viewers a sense of control and empowerment. Then they wait patiently, week after week, hoping for their favorites to pass on to the next level of the competition. This obscure relationship that develops between the fans and the talent is what continues to draw viewers.

American Idol presents musical artists, some of which lack that “special something” and others with the undeniable, raw talent that becomes more and more evident as the season continues. Celebrity judges, like Simon Cowell, became a major attraction for the show as well. Viewers are guaranteed entertainment on all levels; they laugh, they cry and they rejoice right along with the talent and each week, when the show ends, they are left longing for more.

This show makes the possibility of accomplishing a dream a reality. The fact that great and extreme things can happen to anyone, at any time, allows the popularity of American Idol to cross borders and cultures all over the world. Following their seasons of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Hicks, Carrie Underwood and more have gone on to achieve worldwide fame and status in their musical careers. We are raised to love fairytales, so when we discover that sometimes fairytales do come true, we become infatuated.

American Idol will continue to increase in international popularity, because it is a show that appeals to our human nature. The X Factor, America’s Got Talent and many others based on the same ideology as Idol are equally as popular. The success of all reality shows depends on its ability to connect to its viewers. Consistently playing on our heart’s strings, American Idol is a reality show that has successfully united the world through music.

About Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks is best known for his rise to fame on the hit television show American Idol. He was the fifth season winner of the singing competition, but his journey as a professional musician began much earlier than that.

Taylor Hicks’ life began in Birmingham, Alabama when he was born on October 7th, 1976. His parents, Bradley Hicks and Pamela Dickinson, were later divorced, and Hicks has cited his childhood as the reason he turned to and relates so well to soul and blues music.

When Taylor was just fourteen years old his hair began to go gray, becoming one of his most recognizable traits. He bought his first harmonica from a flea market at the age of sixteen, and it reportedly cost him $2. He taught himself to play which lead to the discovery that he had absolute pitch, an ability to recognize the pitches of everyday noises and then mimic them using the harmonica. He wrote his first song, In Your Time, at the age of eighteen and then taught himself to play the electric guitar at nineteen.

Hicks graduated from Hoover High School in 1995 where he had played varsity baseball, soccer and basketball. He went on to study business and journalism at Auburn University, but dropped out after three years due to lack of interest.

It was in college where Taylor joined his first band, Passing Through, although he later quit to start a band of his own. He spent a majority of this time touring in the Southeastern United States. In 1997 Taylor independently recorded an album, In Your Time, including both live and studio recordings.

Taylor moved to Nashville, Tennessee to try to further his music career. While there he recorded a three song demo with Billy Earl McClelland and Percy Sledge, Nashville veterans on the music scene. However, he was still unable to find a record label that would sign him.

After a year of having no luck in Nashville, Taylor returned to Alabama where he continued to work on furthering his professional music career, performing at several parties and venues. During this time Taylor had the pleasure of performing with the likes of James Brown, Tom Petty, Snoop Dogg and many more. He also had a very notable gig performing during a Nascar weekend event at the Talladega Superspeedway in 2004.

In 2005, Hicks recorded and released a second independent record, Under the Radar. The fact that he had released two albums did not violate the American Idol requirements for contestants, because he had never actually had a recording contract. Taylor took advantage of that when he auditioned for the show on October 10th 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He went through to the next round with the approval of Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, but not Simon Cowell.

Taylor Hicks was named the new American Idol on May 24th 2006, winning the title over runner-up Katharine McPhee, with over 63.4 million votes cast in total. Prior to his win he was named a spokesperson for Ford and the hottest bachelor of 2006 by People magazine. He has released three studio albums – Taylor Hicks, Early Works and The Distance. He has also written a book about his life and performed with the Broadway musical Grease.