FedEx Pumping Up Shipping Costs After Diesel Prices Rise -- FedEx's will raise its U.S. freight-shipping costs by 6.9% starting early next month. Anyone shipping between the U.S. and Canada can expect a higher bill, as well as for folks sending packages from the United States to Mexico, the company said this morning. Diesel fuel costs rose along with other gasoline prices this spring, from an average of $3.83 a gallon in January to $3.97 a gallon in May. And in the past two years, diesel has risen from around $2.90 on average.
How Online Retailers Get You to Spend, and 5 Ways to Avoid This -- In my post on understanding your brain, I shared six tips to avoid overspending when you are out shopping. But what about online shopping? Online shopping can be VERY hazardous to our wallets, and yet we often only think about its virtues. We think we won't be tempted to buy other things that catch our eye if we are in a brick and mortar store. We love how it can save us precious time. And we can easily shop for the best deal.
Revolutionizing the hospitality industry...or being illegal??
Legalize Airbnb! -- The problem, you see, is that Airbnb may be illegal. If you own--or even rent--a home, then who comes and goes from your house is largely your own business. If a friend wants to spend the night on your couch or in a spare bedroom, or borrow your place for a week while you're out of town, then good for you. If your goodwill is repaid in the form of being treated to dinner or hosted at your friend's house on some future visit, then there's nothing wrong with that. Companies have arisen to extend the logic of this kind of old-school mutuality. Home Exchange lets you swap houses with someone you're not friends with, and CouchSurfing appeals to a deliberately anti-commercial DIY spirit. What makes Airbnb different is that in exchange for staying in someone's house, you must give your host money.
Update update update.
Open source's unlikely enemy: Your procurement rules -- In a public discussion last week, I heard one of the speakers -- a spokesman for a large proprietary software company -- alleging that "the lack of any indemnity in open source makes it more risky." Naive as I am, I had assumed that moldy anti-open-source argument had gone out of favor long ago. Apparently not. But it did remind me that the indemnity issue is one of those red herrings that your procurement policies may be perpetuating. If you want to get more open source software into your enterprise and benefit from the greater flexibility of software deployment and control over your own destiny, you have to update your procurement rules to allow it.