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Consumer Confidential: Blockbuster, man caves, zodiac salaries

Blockbuster-Dish Network Internet video service
Here's your feelin'-groovy Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Heads up, Netflix. Dish Network is announcing an Internet video service that will try to woo away subscribers. The service will be offered through Blockbuster, the video-store chain that Dish Network bought out of bankruptcy court for $321 million five months ago. Netflix's success as a subscription service that mails rented DVDs and streams video over high-speed Internet connections played a pivotal role in Blockbuster's downfall. Now Dish and Blockbuster are apparently hoping for a little payback as Netflix faces a customer backlash triggered by changes to its prices and format. Dish says its Blockbuster service will be "a stream come true." We'll see.

--Good news, guys: A man cave in the basement won't detract from the resale value of your home. "As long as you don't make it too specific, there tends to be a resale market for man caves," said Stephanie Rauterkus, a professor of accounting and finance at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. "No matter how crazy you get, there tends to be at least one or two other people in the world who have that same kind of craziness." Still, she says there are some rules to follow if you want your man cave to be a true real-estate asset: First, stay sane with the cost. Only spend what you can afford. Second, stay sane with the decor -- in case you move or your team preferences change. Finally, stay sane with the decision. Sleep on it as you would for all major purchases.

--Which zodiac signs rake in the biggest bucks? A new survey by CareerBuilder finds that Virgos, Aries and Scorpios tend to score six-figure salaries, while Capricorns and Leos are often vice presidents or higher (although at the highest levels, Capricorns edge them out). Middle management is filled with Aries, while those who fall into the Aquarius category tend to swim at the bottom in entry-level positions. Libras and those born under Taurus are more satisfied on the job than others. Also, first-borns and only children tend to pull in bigger paychecks, and middle children are more likely to hold low-level jobs. Is there anything to this? Post your comments.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: Will Blockbuster get a little payback from Netflix? Credit: Rick Wilking / Reuters

 
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