This guy knows his stuff. Microsoft paid him a cool $115 million for something he created—Farecast, a predictor of airline ticket prices in the future. It’s now incorporated into the travel website of Bing, with those green, light green, yellow, orange, and red arrows that indicate whether the fare you have searched for is worthy buying (green: “fares will rise”) or not (red: “fares will drop”).
Oren Etzioni. That’s the guy. Expert on data mining and artificial intelligence. Teaches computer science at University of Washington and is Director of its Turing Center. Professor Etzioni.
In time for the season, Prof E decided to direct his skills to the unique phenomenon of Black Friday shopping. According to the New York Times, after examining billions of prices of consumer electronics, Etzioni decided to spend his Black Friday scuba-diving in Bali (sunny; 84°F; winds from the W at 5 mph). Smart man!
The guy’s research points to early December as being the best time to get bargains for electronics, that many of us misguided folks think we could get cheap on Black Friday. Etzioni explains: “The bottom line is, Black Friday is for the retailers to go from the red into the black. It’s not really for people to get great deals on the most popular products.” “Black Friday is about cheap stuff at cheap prices, and I mean cheap in every connotation of the word,” said another deal tracker who works with Dealnews, Dan de Grandpre. Cheap laptops, and cheap models of other stuff. de Grandpre agrees with Etzioni that the week beginning Cyber Monday is the moment of opportunity, the time to buy!
The explanation for all this is simple, according to de Grandpre. Toys and stuff like that are useless after Dec 26 for the retailer, so they cut prices early in December. However, there is only a brief moment of opportunity, a window, if you will, for grabbing things at low prices at this time. For, in a week or so before Christmas, prices escalate again, to exploit those procrastinating last-minute shoppers, who then are left with no choice but to ante up. You wait, you pay!
Aforementioned Professor Etzioni has a website dedicated to searching for deals on electronics. It is appropriately called decide.com. It will tell you when to buy something you want. And it will also inform you how confident it is about the decision. The opportune moment … to decide.
Oh, yes, and there is an app for that: “decide com.” To help you come to the time of decision.
But the Bible tells us, regarding another important matter:
Behold, now is the acceptable time,
behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2
Now! Don’t put it off. Salvation comes with believing in Jesus Christ as your only God and Savior.
For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Sorry, no app for that. But it is as simple as placing your trust in Jesus as the one who died for your sin and rose again.
Delay can only create problems!
For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Etzioni, from Bali, urged everyone to “look at all the amazing volatility, and wait for the price drops.”
I’d say, look at the volatility of life. And don’t wait.
It is appointed for men to die once
and after this comes judgment.