Groupon Gets a Facelift

Groupon Redesign

Groupon, the former daily deals site that turned into a social deals site that is trying to turn into a marketplace site has released its first redesign just in time for its five-year birthday. They aren’t just changing colors from old-school green to clean and tidy white. They’re trying to reinvent themselves… again.

After passing up on a $6,000,000,000 offer from Google a few years ago, they’ve had ups and downs. Mostly downs. That’s not to say that they don’t have a future, but it will take more than a redesign and a new direction to justify passing up on billions.

Here’s what Mashable had to say about the new design:

When users visit Groupon now, they will see a spotlighted deal followed by personalized collections of deals and a left-hand navigation menu, which lets users browse deals by category. There is now a search option featured prominently at the top — long overdue — which finally lets users search for keywords across categories. For example, someone looking for sushi would be shown restaurant deals, as well as deals for sushi classes and merchandise.

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5 Techie Friendly Travel Destinations

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing. An escape from everyday life. But for most people, especially families, planning a vacation and traveling can be more stress than relaxation. For families planning a trip, not only do parents need to work out every step of getting there, but they need to plan activities that will keep their kids engaged (and hopefully it’s something more meaningful than watching cartoons in the hotel room), and on top of all of that they need to stay within their budget.

Planning a stress-free vacation starts with finding the perfect place. There are plenty of family friendly travel destinations, some exotic and far away and some can be fairly close to home. Wherever travelers end up, they’ll want to have their days planned so that they don’t miss out on any of the local attractions.

Where to Go: The Best Places for a Family Vacation

Traveling with a family can be tricky. The traveling needs to be safe, the destination engaging (and hopefully still interesting for the parents), and everything able to accommodate kids. For parents that don’t want to empty their wallets at Disneyland, here are five great travel destinations that have plenty to offer to both parents and kids.

  • Washington D.C.: Have kids interested in dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, animals, or space travel? Take them to the Smithsonian museums and many other free museums around the nation’s capitol. There is plenty to see and learn, from government buildings to the zoo.
  • Australia: From the wildlife to the expansive beaches, Australia has a lot to offer kids and parents. Take a tour, enjoy the food, and get to know the people of Melbourne, Sydney, or many of the other metropolitan areas.
  • London: Any kid (young or old) who has read Harry Potter will love to travel to the center of it all. Check out attractions the city has to offer like the London Dungeons, the Tower of London, or the London Eye. There is history and culture everywhere you look, and plenty to do and see.
  • San Francisco: See the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, watch street performers, eat the famous sourdough bread, take a stroll through Golden Gate park, visit the albino alligator at the Academy of Sciences, and finish the day with a beautiful sunset over the bay. There is a lot packed into little San Francisco, with plenty to keep kids interested and tired by the end of the day.
  • San Diego: Lovely San Diego has just about everything a family could ask for. Beaches, shopping, and a great zoo and aquarium. With beautiful weather, San Diego is a great destination to explore all year round.

What to Do on Your Vacation and How to Save Money

Families don’t want to go too over their budget with trips to expensive tourist attractions, but they also don’t want their trip to be a waste. A memorable trip doesn’t have to include expensive activities; it’s likely that there are national parks, markets, and free family friendly events to fill their days. Going on tours is a great way to get out and see the best that the destination has to offer, kids and parents alike can learn something new, and it will all be relatively affordable.

With any vacation, the best way to save money is to plan ahead, and for most family trips it’s nearly impossible to plan a trip at the last minute. Travelers who plan far in advance can save money on their flight, hotel, and have time to research the best sights to see and activities to check out.

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5 Epic Memory Foam Mattresses

With memory foam mattresses from Nature’s Sleep becoming the new standard these days, most people don’t have a clue what they should be look for or how to shop for one. Recent reports by Star Tribune note that most buyers these days will typically aim for something very high or very low priced. The middle ground simply does not exist for these buyers.

This data makes sense with how the current economy is shaping up as the middle of October draws near. With big box stores such as Target and Wal-Mart offering their own low-priced mattresses, which start around $500, the only other popular options for shoppers out there are brands such as Serta or Tempur-Pedic. Mattresses from higher-end companies have an average price of around $2,000 or more.

According to Tempur-Pedic, the mid-range mattress market has only grown around $26 million from 2009 to 2011. The numbers for both low-end and high-end mattresses is much higher, with high-end mattresses achieving a growth of around $390 million and low-end mattresses growing around $260 million.

So which is better? Should consumers opt for picking up a high-end mattress, a low-end mattress, or something adequately priced in the middle? Does price affect quality when looking at quality mattresses with memory foam?

Here are 5 of the best memory foam mattresses, known for factors such as owner satisfaction rate, lifespan, and price.

Bodipedic – $250 to $600

Manufactured by Sleep Innovations, Bodipedic has a unique combination of 3 inches of low-density memory foam along with polyurethane foam. According to a report by SleepLikeTheDead, 82 percent of Bodipedic mattress owners were satisfied. These mattresses were known to be silent, very comfortable to sleep on and easy to move on for the price. The only cons that come along with this type of mattress is that one will typically last around 5 years or less and if it has been opened, it cannot be returned.

Bed In A Box – $600 to $2000

Bed In A Box, while having a huge variation in their price range, was reported by one survey as having an 86 percent satisfaction rating. Bed In A Box offers various firmness levels with their mattresses, no noise, and excellent customer service. The only cons associated were that 15 percent of owners reported a slight odor with their mattress. However, they were able to return theirs as Bed In A Box offers a 120 return policy and an option 20 year warranty.

Comfort Dreams – $360 to $640

Comfort Dreams was noted to have a 79 percent positive satisfaction rating based on 1,019 customers who were polled. The price ranges depends on the overall thickness of the mattress. Comfort Dreams makes all of their mattresses in the USA with 4 to 6 inches of foam. Consumers noted that their mattress relieved some of their pain, kept them cool, and was quiet to move on. The only downsides associated were that some believed their mattress was too firm and the durability of the mattress was questionable over time.

Night Therapy – $220 to $500

Night Therapy, who has their mattresses manufactured in China, uses a foam core combined with 3-inches of low density memory foam in their mattresses. 82 percent of consumers polled stated that they were satisfied with their mattress. Benefits include no noise, an excellent return policy, and great support. Consumers who were disappointed by their mattress did not like that Night Therapy only offers one firmness level and does not have a life expectancy past six years.

Tempur-Pedic – $1,200 to $7,500

Tempur-Pedic is known as one of the most expensive makers of memory foam mattresses out there. However, despite their high price point, 81 percent of those surveyed were happy with their mattress. Popular benefits include the 10 year lifespan, excellent warranty coverage, and pain prevention. Cons reported by owners include that the beds are high-priced, hard to get on and off of, and they like to hold on to body heat.

 

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What Might Change for Groupon if They Begin to Charge a Fee for Their Service

Groupon Deals

The pundits have been critical, and the competitors have been multiplying in number, but Groupon is still sitting atop the pile in the daily deals space. For consumers, the service is attractive for the simple fact that they don’t have to pay to use it, and can actually save money on the things they want to buy by taking the company up on its deals.

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Daily Deals on… Porn?

FriendFinder JigoCity

Today, the publisher of adult magazine Penthouse intends to buy a daily deals site. What do they have up their sleeve?

FriendFinder Networks will pay $65 million in stocks and warrants for JigoCity in an effort to expand into the social networking arena that is currently booming in China and throughout east Asia. While all of that makes sense (somewhat) why would they not just build their own, expand on their current properties, or buy something more in line with their core product?

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