From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus - 8 April 04 - Google Print / Confessions of a Car Salesman

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP: Google Print / Confessions of a Car Salesman

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where your 13th pair of shoes is free!

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On with the show...

Google Print Beta Audience: Everyone

Back in October, we talked about Amazon's "Search Inside the Book" feature that lets you search for books whose pages contain a particular keyword. [You can find that post in the Tourbus archives at either or ]

Well, it looks like Google is playing around with a similar tool called "Google Print." With Google Print you can search inside both books and magazines for pages that include your particular keywords. Oh, and like the rest of Google's tools, Google Print is completely free.

Sound like something you'd like to try? Well, all you need to do is add

to the end of your Google search term(s). That's it.

For example, a search for


shows 983 book and magazine excerpts that contain the word "pirates."

Now for the bad news: You and I are getting a sneak peek at this new service well before it is ready for public consumption. For example, Google Print's database is quite small [but growing every day] and the homepage is still blank. BUT, I figured you'd like to get a sneak peek at something Google is working on, something you can now use to impress your friends and coworkers. :)

To learn more about Google Print, take a look at their FAQ page at


Confessions of a Car Salesman Audience: Everyone

Most people dread buying a new car. Car salesmen are among the most hated people on the planet, and stories of customers being cheated by unscrupulous car salesmen and dealerships are legendary.

Fortunately, the web is littered with sites offering in-depth car buying advice. At some sites this advice is free [for example, ] while other sites
charge you a small fee [for example, ].

One of the better, free online car buying information resources is's Tips & Advice page at* offers free guides on how to find the right car, how to finance it, and even how to save money insuring it. The information on this page is so good, in fact, that you really should add this page to your bookmarks or favorites list.

And if that isn't cool enough, the folks at recently hired veteran journalist Chandler Phillips to write an investigative article on the tricks and tactics used by car salesmen. Instead of interviewing car salesmen and their unwitting customers, Phillips actually went undercover and worked as a car salesman at two Los Angeles area car dealerships.

The end result is a *NINE* part article you can read online at either*


Phillips' article is a long read and it gets a bit slow around part six, but it is still well worth your time especially if you are planning on venturing into a car dealership anytime soon. Phillip explains, first hand, the pressure he was under as a car salesman to maximize the cost of the cars he sold. Knowing some of the tricks and tactics that car salesmen use to inflate their prices is one of the best ways to protect yourself and, more importantly, your money when that dealer pulls out the four square and starts scribbling down numbers.

Of course, negotiating the "best deal" is the beginning, not the end, of the process. If you didn't get a chance to watch 60 Minutes last Sunday, they ran a story on how car dealership finance offices routinely gouge customers on the financing, adding several percentage points to the loans to further boost the dealership's profit.

The dealerships get you coming AND going.

You can read a transcript of 60 Minutes' story at

Hopefully, if you read Chandler Phillips's story at, take a quick glance at the 60 Minutes transcript, and then do some pricing research online before you ever set foot on another car lot, you can make your next car buying venture a little less intimidating and a lot less usury.

Seinfeld and Superman Audience: Everyone

Finally, talking about cars, you may remember that a few years ago the folks at German automaker BMW created a site called BMW Films at

The concept behind BMW Films is both simple and revolutionary. BMW hired several well-known Hollywood directors (John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, etc.) to create short movies that were posted to BMW Film's web site for free downloading or streaming. The directors were given complete creative control over the movies they created, the only requirement being that the movies featured a BMW car.

American Express, seeing the success of BMW Films, has created their own long form, online movie/commercial starring Jerry Seinfeld and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

[I'M KIDDING! Helmut Kohl is the *FORMER* German Chancellor.] :P

Seriously, though, you can find the Jerry Seinfeld/Superman movie at

Unlike BMW Films, you can only stream AmEx's movie. And there is only one Seinfeld/Superman movie available, although a second movie titled "Hindsight" should be posted soon.

Is the Seinfeld/Superman movie any good? Yeah. It's cute. It's no Ikea Lamp commercial [see ; click on the picture to start the move in QuickTime], but it's still pretty good. :)

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week and we'll talk again soon!

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