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Boycott aimed at Amazon over sales tax fight

Online retailer Amazon has fought hard against sales tax laws and pressure from states from California to North Carolina. Now a group of nonprofits is joining states' efforts the Seattle-based company.

Amazon goes local with a daily deal, the behemoth online retailer, is getting into the local daily deals business.

It launched this week in the Raleigh area, the ninth city where it is offering local deals on everything from restaurants to spas and events. The average savings, AmazonLocal said, is 60 percent off regular prices.
Click here to check out the Raleigh site, which launched Thursday with a golfing deal at  Keith Hills Golf Club. Today’s deal is $50 for $100 towards Sapphire Teeth Whitening at Sloop Dentistry.
Amazon is counting on its name recognition and customer base to succeed in the daily deal industry, which has exploded since the introduction of Groupon in late 2008.

Watching TV without cable or satellite

If you haven't seen it already, I have a piece in today's Connect section on different ways to watch TV without cable or satellite. I compare the pros and cons of options like Netflix and Hulu and iTunes and Amazon Instant, but the list isn't intended to be all inclusive. There are probably dozens of ways to pull this off (feel free to discuss in the comments). I just picked out some of the most popular sources and focused on how you might watch cable shows (like "Breaking Bad" or "Mad Men" or "White Collar") if you don't have cable or satellite. I'm aware there are some free options out there that aren't exactly legal. And I'm aware that you can just plug in your TV and watch and record over-the-air broadcast shows without anything special.

Er, except maybe a better TV antenna. 

Speaking of antennas, there are lots of them out there and apparently you can even build your own. But if you're interested in the Mohu Leaf antenna I mentioned, you can check out the Raleigh company's website or contact them online or by phone (919) 896-7696.

SavingStar: Coupon savings without the clipping

Hey couponers, there's another new way to save money - no additional clipping required.

Launched nationwide in May, SavingStar offers monthly coupons that you can link to your grocery and drugstore cards through its website. Click here to join.

SavingStar coupons differ from traditional coupons in two major ways: they're paperless and they are NOT automatically deducted from your grocery order.

Amazon beats Apple & Google to media cloud service

Amazon announced new media cloud services that enable users to store and access music, video, images and documents online.

"Beast Hunter" host makes mythbusting a good time

He's no Indiana Jones, but biologist Pat Spain makes "Beast Hunter" (9 & 10 tonight, National Geographic Channel) a fun and involving romp through myth-busting journeys you pretty must know are going to go bust.

Spain, young and handsome, has a buoyant curiosity; he's a biologist and it's clear he loves what he does. Whether he's looking at giant bugs, a photo of a rare bird, or checking out the scenery, he's having a blast, and more, he exudes a sense that he's been enriched by the experience.

In "Beast Hunter" he sets out to find mythical creatures, giving us a glimpse of people and cultures along the way. On the first episode, he's after the man ape of Sumatra; a short and stout bipedal creature that a few folk convincingly say they've seen, but there's no photographic proof. Finding it would pretty much change the history of man, so if he found proof you probably would have heard about it by now.

State tax collectors settle privacy rights case

State tax collectors have settled a privacy lawsuit and agreed not to ask or other online retailers to reveal details about Internet purchases made by North Carolina residents.

The N.C. Department of Revenue signed the agreement with the ACLU in January as part of a broader lawsuit filed last year against the state by online retailing giant,

The revenue department and the N.C. Attorney General released the settlement today.

"For months we've been negotiating with them [N.C. revenue department] to try to get them to adopt a policy like the one they just did," said Jennifer Rudinger, the executive director of the ACLU's North Carolina chapter.

Sleeker Kindle coming this summer

Amazon is said to be gearing up for the release of its next Kindle e-book reader in August.

Color Kindle `long way out'

Amazon's CEO hints at the challenges to a color "electronic ink" Kindle.

Android getting Kindle software

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