07 June 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project

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Who Wants Yesterday's Woot!?

I have a confession to make.  It's a two-parter:
  • I check Woot! every day.
  • Despite doing this for over a year, I have never bought a thing from them.

Do you know Woot!?  They're an overstock clearance outfit with a big difference.  The difference that receives the most publicity is their method of selling:  They put one item per day on their web site.  You can buy one or two or three of them, for their (usually) bargain price.  They charge $5 for shipping, whether you buy a few-gram card (as in the item below) or a projection teevee set that comes to your house on a truck.  Idiosyncratic?  That's just the beginning!

They don't tell you how many of the items they have for sale or how near to out-of-stock they may be.  If they run out, they simply put a "SOLD OUT" message on their site and sell nothing for the rest of the day, which ends at midnight Central Time.  If you live on the East Coast and want to get what turns out to be a hot item, you have to stay up 'til 01:00 since they don't tell you what the next day's item is until they offer it for sale.

What do they offer?  Mostly high-tech cast-offs*.  Discontinued television sets, computer monitors, GPS units, watches, and the occasional consumer items like BBQ grills, bottles of wine, and the random bag of crap.  Literally:  That's what they call it.  The last must be the best deal of all since they inevitably sell out instantly.  They also have a mysterious Roomba fetish.  You can count on seeing a robot vacuum cleaner every couple of weeks.  I picture a special warehouse just for them; it's one item that never sells out, or perhaps even sells at all.

Back to my confession

Why do I check Woot every day if I never buy?  Because the guy|team|lunatic who writes their descriptions is so good.  (I say "guy," by the way, because it's written from a distinctly guy point-of-view, and gives me, superannuated guy that I am, a peek into the language used by the young set of gamers and hyperactive techies.)  And he either has good grammar skills or an editor, since I rarely find an error in the parts I can understand. 

Below is a non-random Woot!.  This write-up especially tickled me and I don't imagine the last line requires elucidation.  If you're curious about this eccentric vendor, you can find a new bizarre blurb every day, complete with an offer for something new and occasionally useful.  This year they've expanded to weekends as well.

More GB Than You Can Handle, Maybe

It’s amazing what a little SD card can do these days…if your device can handle it. See, there are 4GB of memory packed onto this little Connect3D SD Memory Card. But before you start envisioning gazillions of JPGs dancing on the head of this pin, you better check the manual for whatever gizmo you want to use this with.

Not all devices can handle a card this size. If you buy one and it doesn’t work, might as well put it on eBay or use it as a guitar pick. We’re calling no give-backs. Now, if you’ve got the equipment for it, this represents an astonishingly good deal for so much portable storage. But that’s a big if. The choice is yours: either RTFM or STFU.

Warranty: One year 4GB SD card as shown on Woot!


  • Cryptographic Security

  • Non-volatile solid-state

  • High Storage Capacity

  • Low battery consumption

  • Operating shock rating of 2,000 G’s

  • Fast Data transfer

  • Lightweight

  • Operating voltage 2.7V – 3.6V

*The Wall Street Journal Law Blog recently discussed the issue of pluralization of compound nouns.  E.g., is it "attorney-generals" or "attorneys-general"?  Some comments actually suggested that the former is acceptable, a position I adamantly reject.  I told the writer that I would have more to say after I finished my dinner of yummy lefts-over.  However, in writing "cast-offs" I intuitively first wrote "casts-off" but after a moment's thought I realized that it didn't feel comfortable, as does "lefts-over."  Clearly this requires more thinks-about.

Asteriskal follow-up 08 June 2007

Seems there's a rule for everything.  "Thanks, Deb," he asserted unenthusiastically.  From Grammar-Monster: To form the plural of a compound noun, pluralise the principal word in the compound.  When there is no obvious principal word, add s (or es) to the end of the compound. 
(pluralise the principal word "mother") 
(pluralise the principal word "clip") 
(no principal word, so add s to the end) 

NP:  "Silas Stingy" - Petra Haden

© 2007
Richard Factor

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