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Friday, November 30, 2012

Elf On The Shelf is the Stupidest Thing Ever Invented

I don't have kids, but this Elf on the Shelf thing is starting to appear on my Facebook feed.

Elf On The Shelf could be the Stupidest Thing Ever Invented.

One of my friends, Don Martelli, is taking photos of his Elf on the Shelf every morning to track where he turns up.

Don has named his Elf on the Shelf, Bernard. He says his kids love it.

I asked Don to tell me more. Don says:
"My wife and I love the Elf on the Shelf because the joy that it brings our young daughters, who are eight and six. Every morning they rush downstairs to see what hijinx Bernard has gotten into the night before. This year, we took it a little bit further by giving Bernard a Twitter handle so he could "talk" to the kids and chat with his other Elf friends. Next year, we're thinking about maybe a podcast...kidding, but maybe not."
Sounds likes loads of fun.

Let's look into the Elf on the shelf a little more, starting with Don's photos.

Oh, the Elf on the Shelf thing might start up as a cute idea:



But he soon starts getting into your unhealthy food:



The next thing you know, he's making eyes at the kid's Barbie dolls:



Then he starts defacing things:



At this point I would imagine that the kids are freaking out that Bernard moves around the house at night on his own.

I would be. Freaking. Out.

Reminds me of scary clowns.

It gets worse, as Don mentioned above, Bernard is on twitter.



Bernard even found me on twitter after I left a message for him on Don's Facebook page!



Bernard also has a list of other Elves on the Shelf that are on twitter.

I also just found Elf on the Shelf on twitter too. This elf is on the Social Media Outposts!

I don't like Bernard the Elf on the Shelf.

I just looked it up on line and of course, the Elf on the Shelf is on a shelf at Amazon.com:


The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition with Blue Eyed North Pole Pixie-Elf

Listed as:

- #1 national bestseller with over 2.5 million copies sold
- Touted as "the best thing since The Night before Christmas"

Here's the description:
Year after year, children and adults alike are baffled by the mystery of how Santa really knows who’s been naughty or nice. After much urging by the elves and Mrs. Claus, Santa has allowed his biggest secret to be revealed in The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. At the start of each Christmas season, the elf appears to serve as Santa's eyes and ears, traveling back to the North Pole each and every night to make a detailed report of the day’s activities. This keepsake gift set includes a light skin, blue eyed boy North Pole pixie scout elf and a hardbound watercolor picture book. Children can register their elf online to receive an official adoption certificate and a special letter from Santa.

A Christmas Tradition?

Oh wait, there's an Elf on the Shelf website... and a movie!


An Elf's Story DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack

The Elf on the Shelf website even has a FAQ:
Why do I see elves in stores? I thought they came from Santa.
Every Elf on the Shelf comes from Santa Claus. Some come direct from the North Pole to your house, and some come from special adoption centers that Santa has approved. The adoption centers are often located inside certain stores. Much like you would go to the store to adopt a pet, your Elf on the Shelf can be adopted, too. The important thing to remember is that no matter how an elf gets to his or her family, they are all on the same special mission: to be Santa’s eyes and ears during the holiday season.

So that explains it. ;-)

Buddy the Elf though, is someone that I can get behind, he's funny:



Buddy can visit me any time!

Does the Elf on the Shelf visit your home?

What's your take?


Read more:

The Elf who stole Christmas:
Far more subversive to the true meaning of Christmas than the secularizers is the “naughty or nice” legalism of “Elf on the Shelf”

CBS’s ‘Elf on the Shelf’: Unwarranted Christmas surveillance techniques:
Who can resist the holiday fun of scaring the children into good behavior? Ask any of history’s most efficient dictators — they’ll tell you. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the naughty-nice punishment paradigm. Where would this holiday be without its good old-fashioned behavioral paranoia? Charles Dickens may get all the credit for this, but do also consider George Orwell.

That’s what makes “The Elf on the Shelf” so ingeniously successful.

'Elf on the Shelf' Is the Real Nightmare Before Christmas:
I'm not going to say I've never shrieked "Santa's watching!!" at my misbehaving kids in a moment of sheer desperation, but on the whole, I really do try to avoid using the fear of being passed over by a mythical bearer of gifts as motivation. Kids are supposed to be going to sleep and having visions of sugarplums this time of year, not visions of mean-spirited elves spying on their every move.

Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies

Elf On The Shelf, Or Lamp Shade, Or Wherever Else You Put Your Stupid Elf

5 Highly Inappropriate & Traumatizing Elf On The Shelf Ideas


Image: Elf on a Bender by Jill

Down With Elf on the Shelf:
Let me just come out and say that I think this whole Elf on the Shelf scam is one huge bag of crazy and it’s not just because I’m so upset that I didn’t come up with concept my$elf... although I’m all for creating an Orwellian experience for your child, isn’t there something inherently Big Brother about this Elf thing? Big Brother as in unAmerican? Is hating country really the message that we want to send to our children?

More:

Rabbi Rat on the Shelf: A Hanukkah Tradition Since 5 Minutes Ago.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

[Video] The Fitzgerald Family Christmas - Trailer



SYNOPSIS:
With The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, Burns returns to the working-class, Irish-American roots of The Brothers McMullen. Reuniting with McMullen co-stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), and Mike McGlone, along with Noah Emmerich (Little Children, Beautiful Girls) and Kerry Bishé (Newlyweds, Red State), Burns seamlessly weaves an ensemble story of adult siblings dealing with the desire of their estranged father (Ed Lauter, The Artist, The Longest Yard) to return home for Christmas for the first time since he walked out on his family 20 years ago. Family rifts emerge, and like with any family, Christmas brings a mixed bag of complicated emotions and dynamics. Alliances form, old wounds are reopened or glossed over, and the possibility for a new hope and forgiveness emerges.




CAST & CREDITS:

Director: Edward Burn

Screenwriter: Edward Burns

Primary Cast: Kerry Bishé, Connie Britton, Edward Burns, Heather Burns, Dara Coleman, Brian D'Arcy James, Marsha Dietlein Bennett, Noah Emmerich, Caitlin FitzGerald, Anita Gillette, Tom Guiry, Ed Lauter, Malachy McCourt, Michael McGlone, Daniella Pineda, Nick Sandow, John Solo, Joyce Van Patten

iTunes Movie Trailers - Online and in iTunes 11

iTunes Movie Trailers
Image: iTunes Movie Trailers

Online at http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/

iTunes 11 Movie Trailers
Image: iTunes 11 Movie Trailers

In iTunes here [Link opens iTunes].

Looks better online.

[Video] Karmin - Sleigh Ride



I know her!
Download "Sleigh Ride" FREE at http://www.coach.com

Happy Holidays!

Big love and thank you to Coach for making this video with us. And to Rachel Zoe for being maj and styling us! xoxo

http://www.karminmusic.com

http://www.facebook.com/karminbook

http://twitter.com/#!/karminmusic

http://bit.ly/Karmin-iTunes

ORIGINAL RAP LYRICS

Rooftop we pause, just like the Clause
Noses so red Pointsetteias in a vase
My Pillsbury dough boy, gingerbread tough
Now kiss me did you miss me mistletoe for some luck

The winter ice so cold yeah it's clogging my snuff
I need the fireplace hot get the logs in the ov
Until I get my egg nog a-fog foggin' me up
Catch me candy cane crunchin' - come on!




Image: Amy Heidemann

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl on Facebook: New England Entry - Chatter Bug Wife

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl on Facebook: New England Entry - Chatter Bug Wife

I know him!
My name is Barry Clegg, a team of us from Boston entered the Crash the Superbowl contest for Doritos and have actually been named one of the 40 finalists. The cool thing is of all the entries posted we are the ONLY team from New England to be a finalist. What we are trying to do is get the word out about how Boston based media can make a splash on the national scene.

Let me know if this is something you would be interesting in promoting, we would be very excited to be part of your publication. One of our team member already wrote a press release and you can read it below.

Doritos fan-made Crash the Superbowl ads never fail to disappoint. This year, Doritos challenged us to “Make it big. Make it funny. Make it Super Bowl worthy.”, and we did just that. Our plans took shape, as do all of the great ones, over beers and wings at Harry’s Bar and Grill in Brighton. Two of the other key ingredients for greatness were also added to the mix: best friends and creative minds. Fast forward a couple of weeks and we’re shooting with two hilariously talented actor friends and a very professional filming setup, thanks to yet more friends in the business. The whole process was so fun that if nothing came of it, we would have been pretty pleased with ourselves.

Something did come of it, though. Out of thousands of entries our spot made the cut and became 1 of 5 finalists in the Most Powerful Dorito category, 1 of 40 overall contenders. We are not only the lone Massachusetts finalist, but the only one representing all of New England. As a group of locals, we're pushing hard to show off our East Coast pride and bring this title home to Boston. Let’s get this whole town, state, and region behind “Chatterbox Wife” in hopes of representing NE on and off the field on February 3rd!

You can see "Chatter Bug Wife" in the "Most Powerful Doritos" section on Facebook: https://apps.facebook.com/crashthesuperbowl/

[Video] CRM Idol 2012 Finalist: Awareness



My friends at Awareness are finalists for CRM Idol.



Fun to see these cameos pop up in the video:







And what's up with this scientist's missing finger?



[Video] Inside The Walking Dead: The Making of Episode 307 When The Dead Come Knocking



(CONTAINS SPOILERS) The Making of Episode 307 When The Dead Come Knocking: Inside The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 7

Go on the set of The Walking Dead as the cast and crew film the dramatic meeting of Michonne and the group in Episode 307.



Image: The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode, Michonne (Danai Gurira) in Episode 7, Photo by Blake Tyers/AMC, Courtesy AMCtv.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creative Computing, Beginning With 10 PRINT



10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
Image: 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 Bookmark

The question remains, Who wrote the line of code "10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10"?

It was in the Commodore 64 User Manaul, but we don't know who wrote it.

Do you?

Commodore 64 Online User Manual
Image: Commodore 64 Online User Manual Online Version

BONUS:

Get 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 as a free PDF here. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

[Video] Steve Garfield as PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V



Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

I think it's hilarious. This is NEVER going to get old.



[Video] President Barack Obama Behind the Scenes by Arun Chaudhary


As the First Cameraman for the United States of America, Arun Chaudhary filmed President Barack Obama all over the world. Luckily he captured these backstage moments for your viewing pleasure.

For more information on politics and film, visit Arun's website, www.firstcameraman.com.

Arun also wrote a book about his experiences:

First Cameraman: Documenting the Obama Presidency in Real Time




Image: President Barack Obama Backstage Reel

[Video] Behind the Scenes of "Surprise" - Official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Video with @iJustine




Buy on Amazon.com: Call of Duty: Black Ops II (affiliate link)


Image: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Behind the Scenes of "Surprise"

More info here:
Behind the Scenes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's "Surprise" Trailer

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[Video] Futures of Entertainment 6 (FoE6) Day 2 Opening Remarks - Xiaochang Li and Mike Monello



I loved this opening session, on Day 2, at Futures of Entertainment, where Xiaochang Li and Mike Monello recapped Day 1.

Great content.

MIT TechTV – FoE6 Day 2 Opening Remarks - Xiaochang Li and Mike Monello

All the videos from Futures of Entertainment 6 are now online at http://bit.ly/WTy3dE.

Speedtest: Download 60.76 Mb/s, Upload 11.10 MB/s, Ping 8ms



Speedtest:

Download: 60.76 Mb/s
Upload: 11.10 MB/s
Ping: 8ms

ISP: Comcast Cable
Server: BOSTON, MA

It's Art: The Truth by Michael D'Antuono


Image: The Truth by Michael D'Antuono

Bunker Hill Community College artist depicts Obama as crucified Christ:
FOX News - A painting that features President Obama posed as Jesus Christ crucified on a cross is on display at a community college art gallery in Boston.

The painting by Michael D'Antuono is part of a larger exhibit called "Artists on the Stump – the Road to the White House 2012." It's on display at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery until Dec. 15th.

The painting is called "Truth" – and shows the president on the cross with his arms outstretched. A crown of thorns rests on his head.
The link to this story is getting a lot of comments over on the Fox25News Facebook Page.

The Truth by Michael D'Antuono 30" x 54" | acrylic on canvas:
This painting was inspired by watching conflicting reports on the same issues on the different cable newscasts and the effect on their viewers. Peoples' perceptions of the issues seem to get distorted though their political lenses. People have had drastically different interpretations from this painting. What you see in this painting will be a reflection of your own partisan view and that is precisely the point.

Monday, November 26, 2012

#nowplaying @cassadeepope | Are you happy now? Yes! #thevoice

Buy on iTunes: Cassadee Pope | Are you happy now?



On Twitter: https://twitter.com/cassadeepope



Image: Courtesy NBC The Voice

Update 11/2712 8:40 AM ET:

iTunes: #4 Cassadee Pope
Image: iTunes #4 Cassadee Pope

Visit: iTunes Charts Songs

The Voice Top 8
Image: The Voice Top 8 GetGlue Check-In Sticker

My Toronto Dioramas at The Hallway Gallery December 6 - 24



My Toronto Dioramas will be shown at the hallway gallery Holiday Art Salon, December 6 - 24.

It's my first gallery show. I'm excited.

Opening Reception December 6th 6-9pm.

Here are my Toronto Dioramas that are going to be shown in the gallery:

Toronto 1 and 2

They are available in my imagekind store where you can buy prints, posters, framed prints and canvas prints.

Note: These photos were shot with an Olympus PEN E-PM1 given to me by Olympus.



Olympus PEN E-PM1 12.3MP Interchangeable Camera with CMOS Sensor, 3-inch LCD and 14-42mm II Lens (Black)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Derek Sanderson on his demons

Boston Globe Magazine has an article about Derek Sanderson. One of my favorite players.

Former Bruin Derek Sanderson on his demons:
In this selection from his new autobiography, the onetime hockey star reveals how, after his fabulous Bruins success, his life spiraled out of control.

This excerpt from Crossing the Line is printed with the permission of Triumph Books, triumphbooks.com/dereksanderson.

HOW DID I SCREW UP MY LIFE SO BADLY? My only dream was to become a professional hockey player. Everything I did, I did to play in the National Hockey League. Now I was 31 years old. I should have been in the prime of my life. I should still have been playing hockey. A few years earlier, in 1972, I was the highest-paid athlete in the world, and yet there I was, being quickly escorted into the bottomless pit of alcoholism and drug addiction.



Orr to Sanderson to Orr, and what could be better than that?


Image: Crossing the Line cover courtesy of Triumph Books

Derek Sanderson’s story readied for the big screen

Derek Sanderson Didn’t Always Smoke and Pray at the Same Time

Greatest Hockey Legends: Derek Sanderson

[Video] What If Money Didn't Matter | Alan Watts



AlanWatts.com:
By the early seventies Alan Watts had become a foremost interpreter of Eastern thought for the West, and was widely published in periodicals including Earth, Elle, Playboy, and Redbook. He appeared on CBS television’s Camera Three in 1969, and in 1971 he recorded a pilot for a new show titled “A Conversation with Myself” for NET, the precursor to PBS. When the series was not produced he recorded the shows in 1972 with his son Mark and his long-time audio archivist Henry Jacobs. Overall Alan Watts developed an extensive audio library of nearly 400 talks and wrote more than 25 books during his lifetime, including his final volume, Tao; the Watercourse Way. Alan died in his sleep in November of 1973 after returning from an intensive international lecture tour. A film on his life and works is currently in production.

A few Alan Watts Books On Amazon (affiliate links):





Alan Watts Podcast:
Alan Watts is one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. In addition to his 28 books, Alan Watts delivered hundreds of public lectures and seminars the recordings of which have been preserved in the archives of the Electronic University. Alan's eldest son Mark Watts has reviewed and cataloged these talks to prepare them for public broadcast. In 2005 Amber Star of Zencast.org created Alan Watts podcast to help disseminate these lectures to a new iPod listening generation . Today the Electronic University and Zencast.org are pleased to present the highlights of the spoken works of Alan Watts.
Who Was Alan Watts?:
Bibliography:

The Spirit of Zen (1936)
The Legacy of Asia and Western Man (1937)
The Meaning of Happiness (1940)
The Theologica Mystica of St. Dionysius (1944) (translation)
Behold the Spirit (1948)
Easter - Its Story and Meaning (1950)
The Supreme Identity (1950)
The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
Myth and Ritual in Christianity (1953)
The Way of Zen (1957)
Nature, Man, and Woman (1958)
"This Is It" and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience (1960)
Psychotherapy East and West (1961)
The Joyous Cosmology - Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness (1962)
The Two Hands of God - The Myths of Polarity (1963)
Beyond Theology - The Art of Godmanship (1964)
The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
Nonsense (1967)
Does It Matter? - Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality (1970)
Erotic Spirituality - The Vision of Konarak (1971)
The Art of Contemplation (1972)
In My Own Way - An Autobiography 1915-1965 (1972)
Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown - A Mountain Journal (1973)
Tao: The Watercourse Way (unfinished at the time of his death in 1973 - published in 1975)
The Early Writings of Alan Watts (1987)
The Modern Mystic: A New Collection of Early Writings (1990)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

[Video] TEDxTeen - Jacob Barnett: Forget What You Know

My friend Joselin Mane shared this video with me by saying:
This 11 year old recommends you Stop Learning and Start Thinking and Creating, something he learned from Einstein and Newton
#ironic



Inspiring video.

Visit Jacob Barnett's Website.
Jacob “Jake” Barnett (born 1998) is an American child prodigy and mathematics genius.

60 Minutes: Jake: Math prodigy proud of his autism January 15, 2012 4:00 PM



Jacob's mom has written a book.

Pre-Order on Amazon: The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius
Kristine Barnett’s son Jacob has an IQ higher than Einstein’s, a photographic memory, and he taught himself calculus in two weeks. At nine he started working on an original theory in astrophysics that experts believe may someday put him in line for a Nobel Prize. Last summer, at age twelve, he became a paid researcher in quantum physics. But the story of Kristine’s journey with Jake is all the more remarkable because his extraordinary mind was almost lost to autism. At age two, when Jake was diagnosed, Kristine was told he might never be able to tie his own shoes.

The Spark is a remarkable memoir of mother and son. Surrounded by “experts” at home and in special ed who tried to focus on Jake’s lowest skills and curtail his distracting interests—moving shadows on the wall, stars, plaid patterns on sofa fabric—Jake made no progress, withdrew more and more into his own world, and eventually stopped talking completely. Kristine knew in her heart that she had to make a change. Against the advice of her husband, Michael, and the developmental specialists, Kristine followed her instincts, pulled Jake out of special ed, and began preparing him for mainstream kindergarten on her own.

Relying on the insights she developed at the daycare center she runs out of the garage in her home, Kristine resolved to follow Jacob’s “spark”—his passionate interests. Why concentrate on what he couldn’t do? Why not focus on what he could? This basic philosophy, along with her belief in the power of ordinary childhood experiences (softball, picnics, s’mores around the campfire) and the importance of play, helped Kristine overcome huge odds.

The Barnetts were not wealthy people, and in addition to financial hardship, Kristine herself faced serious health issues. But through hard work and determination on behalf of Jake and his two younger brothers, as well as an undying faith in their community, friends, and family, Kristine and Michael prevailed. The results were beyond anything anyone could have imagined.

Dramatic, inspiring, and transformative, The Spark is about the power of love and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles, and the dazzling possibilities that can occur when we learn how to tap the true potential that lies within every child, and in all of us.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day Was Instagram’s Busiest Ever, and I Helped!

My Instagram Thanksgiving Photos
Image: My Instagram Thanksgiving Photos

Turkey Day Was Instagram’s Busiest Ever, With 10 Million+ Thanksgiving Photos Shared At Up To 226 Per Second

Instagram: My Instagram Photos

INK361: My Instagram Photos

myfoxboston.com on facebook and twitter, that's the way you reach us. NOT.

Guess the Facebook Page and Twitter Account name? myfoxboston.com

Gene Lavanchy on FOX 25 Boston says:
myfoxboston.com on facebook and twitter, that's the way you reach us.
NOT REALLY.

FACEBOOK

A Search for Fox Boston results in finding Fox 25 news: http://www.facebook.com/fox25news



For the morning show it's actually: http://www.facebook.com/fox25mornings

TWITTER

FOX 25 News Boston (fox25news) on Twitter

A search for Fox Boston results in finding: https://twitter.com/fox25news

So this is my suggestion for the morning show:

myFOXboston Social Media

Make it EASY for viewers to find you.


CALL US

You wouldn't put a picture of a TELEPHONE on the page, without a phone number, and say "Call us."

Note: You are not supposed to the the letter 'T' for a twitter badge.

See: How to use the Twitter Brand and trademarks

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Voice - My Top 5

The Voice - My Top 5
The Voice - My Top 5, a photo by stevegarfield on Flickr.

1. Cassadee Pope
2. Nicholas David
3. Melanie Martinez
4. Terry McDermott
5. Dez Duran

Where would rockets land if Gaza were in your backyard? - Quartz

Where would rockets land if Gaza were in your backyard? - Quartz

That's Not Right: Dunkin Donuts vs. Starbucks T-Shirts



Dunkin' Donuts has a new T-Shirt that reads:
"Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Starbucks."
That's not right.

Can't we just get along?


Image: That's Not Right: Dunkin' Donuts

Massachusetts prods Amazon to collect sales taxes and kill affiliate program



Michael B. Farrell writes in the Boston Globe, State prods Amazon to collect sales taxes:
The Patrick administration is pressing Amazon.com Inc. to begin collecting sales taxes from Massachusetts customers as early as next year, arguing it is no longer exempt under federal law from charging the tax.

Under federal law, online retailers do not have to collect sales taxes from Massachusetts buyers unless the company has a physical presence, such as an office or store, in the state. But officials in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick contend that Amazon’s purchase of a North Reading technology firm, Kiva Systems, earlier this year, as well as its ongoing efforts to recruit engineers for a new office in Cambridge, establish the kind of physical presence necessary to collect the 6.25 percent sales tax.

The state government lost out on an estimated $387 million in 2011 from Massachusetts residents buying products tax-free from online retailers, according to the Massachusetts Main Street Fairness Coalition, an association of retailers, unions and local officials.



USE TAX: Honest tax paying citizens already pay


The article fails to mention that Massachusetts residents are required to pay a Use Tax on out out state purchases.
The Massachusetts use tax is 6.25 percent of the sales price or rental charge on tangible personal property 1 (including phone and mail order items or items purchased over the Internet) or certain telecommunications services 2 on which no sales tax, or a sales tax rate less than the 6.25 percent Massachusetts rate, was paid and which is to be used, stored or consumed in the Commonwealth. The use tax, unlike the sales tax, generally is paid directly to the Commonwealth by the purchaser.
While many do not, some do.




WHAT ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS: Amazon Tax Will Hurt Small Business


The article also fails to mention the strong probability that if Massachusetts forces Amazon to begin collecting sales taxes from Massachusetts customers, Amazon will most likely immediately end it's affiliate program for Massachusetts residents.




LEARN FROM HISTORY: Look at other states first


It's happened before:

Amazon ended affiliate program in Illinois:
It got overshadowed by recent events both foreign and domestic, but last week Governor Pat Quinn (D, IL) signed legislation declaring that in-state affiliates for online sellers count as ‘a physical presence’ in Illinois, thus theoretically allowing the state to require those online sellers to collect sales tax information. This is usually called the ‘Amazon tax*,’ as it is largely aimed at Amazon.com**. This is a long-standing dispute (H/T: Instapundit), and usually ends with the companies in question ending their affiliate programs: Illinois businesses and individuals were however assured (by groups like the Illinois Retail Merchants Association) that there was no chance that Amazon.com would dare end its affiliate program for Illinois***.

Turns out that this was incorrect: as usual in these cases, Amazon.com (and Overstock.com) immediately closed down its affiliate program for Illinois (beginning April 15), thus making the issue moot. This means that no Illinois resident or company will receive a commission for sales – which means lost revenue, which means less taxable revenue for the state of Illinois (Amazon.com requires its affiliates to fill out 1099 forms, and the money that affiliates generate is subject to income tax).



Amazon to shut down California affiliates over new sales tax law:
Amazon's reaction has been predictable: the company sent a letter to its affiliates in the Golden State earlier in the day on Wednesday warning that the affiliate program may soon be cancelled there due to the impending state law. "We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors," Amazon wrote. "Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action."

The aforementioned "other states" include New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, most of which have seen their own Amazon affiliate programs killed for exactly the same reason. (Edit: New York managed to keep its Amazon affiliate program, presumably because it's such a huge market.) And, as noted by The Tax Foundation, there are a handful of others—Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont—that are considering passing similar "Amazon Tax" measures.

Not that the measures are necessarily helping much in terms of states collecting more tax revenue—Rhode Island General Treasurer Frank T. Caprio was recently quoted, saying, "The affiliate tax has hurt Rhode Island businesses and stifled their growth, as they’ve been shut out of some of the world’s largest marketplaces, and should be repealed immediately." FatWallet, which itself acts as a giant affiliate to Amazon and Overstock, ended up moving from Illinois to Wisconsin over the Illinois "Amazon Tax."



Affiliate cancelation letter: Thanks a Lot, Jerry Brown: Amazon Cancels California Contracts.



Disclosure: I'm a zealous Amazon.com affiliate. ;-)