MONEY Small Business

Startup Makes Money By Giving Away Free Stuff

Claim It! lets users win prizes just for watching a 15-second ad.

When Ali Abdullah was homeless a few years ago, he was struck with the brilliant idea that would lead to his current, thriving company, Claim It! Free stuff makes people happy, so he would build a business around giving away free products that people actually want. By watching a 15-second advertisement on the Claim It! app, users are eligible to win prizes ranging from lip balm to pricey headphones. Investors understood the power of this business model, and he’s raised millions, including a six-figure contribution from just one investor.

MONEY Autos

Buick’s New Encore Will Change Your Mind About Buick

The small SUV turns in a respectable performance.

Since its own corporate revival, GM has been working hard to reposition Buick as brand that we should take seriously. And not without reason: The company sells more than three times as many Buicks in China as it does here, so the badge is important globally. It’s just that car buyers here have long memories, and their memory of Buick is that it’s been all marketing and not very interesting metal.

Encore is one of the models out to reverse that notion, and it’s making headway. The small SUV’s sales were up 21% in May, making Encore Buick’s top model, accounting for 30% of sales. You can look at it as a gutsy decision, since Buick unleashed Encore into one of the most competitive segments of the auto markets. There’s Honda’s CR-V, Mazda’s CX-5, Ford’s Escape, Chevy’s own version, called Trax, and Nissan’s Rogue, to name a few.

Can Encore compete with this excellent group? In a word, yes. That is, it can compete but it can’t necessarily win. But that’s all right with Buick. It just wants a chance to be considered in such good company. And Encore has earned that right, courtesy of some nice styling. It’s a curvaceous little number with the classic Buick grill but frills such as blue halogen headlamps. Inside there’s a really great adjustable chair, the better to enjoy a ride that you have to admit is smoother and quieter than you’d thought it would be. One reason: The Encore has an active noise cancellation system. Our test model, a front-wheel drive Premium Group number, ($31,755; entry level models start at about $24,000) came with a good collection of safety systems: forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot and rear cross traffic alert. The navigation system, though, was annoying, and the middle console, a jumble of buttons that were less than helpful. Intuitive, it’s not. There’s also an 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot available.

Where Encore comes up a little short is under the hood. It’s powered by a turbo-charged, Ecotec 1.4-liter engine. While that sounds like it has some oomph, it’s so wimpy at 138 horsepower that Buick doesn’t even bother to list it on the dealer’s invoice. Can’t say I blame them. You can measure the acceleration on this thing with a calendar, although it does get a thrifty 28 miles per gallon combined mileage, which is one of the only benefits of the smaller engine. To be fair, Encore is really designed to be a city/suburban getabout. And by that measure, it gets about its business fairly well.

You Might Also Like:

Behind the Wheel of the New Chrysler 200

New Subaru Outback Rides Smooth in Rough Conditions

Honda’s Adorable Little SUV Is This Summer’s Hottest New Car

MONEY

The Top Gear Boys Are Back in Town

Cue the Jessica.

The Orangutan, Hamster and Captain Slow are back, but on the web only. After Jeremy Clarkson’s contract was not renewed — he allegedly punch a producer while on a shoot — and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond decided not to renew theirs, a bidding war begun among ITV, Netflix, Amazon, and a few others. Ultimately, Amazon won, announcing it on Twitter. The show won’t be called Top Gear, but it will be led by former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman.

Wilman told the Radio Times the team would start working on the new show as soon as they’re back from their summer holiday. The show is scheduled to debut online next year.

You Might Also Like:

Get Ready for a Jaguar You Might Actually Be Able to Afford

Shifting Gears: Ex-Banker Sells Used Luxury Cars

For About $78,000, You Can Buy an ‘Entry Level’ Maserati

MONEY job hunting

How Do You Actually Land Your Dream Job?

What is it that makes you excited about getting up in the morning?

What do you really love doing? Here’s how to figure out and land your dream job.

Talk to your network. Ask your friends. They know you well; ask what skills they see you with. You’ll likely hear things you take for granted about yourself.

Don’t do anything rash. Go slowly. Do your homework.

Research. Find out what’s out there right now you could be good at. Then, find out if you need some kind of professional licensing. If you do, go get it.

Try it out. Go and do the job pro-bono and find out how you like it. Get a sense of how well you fit in.

In order to make a huge industry switch, it’s good to allow three to five years to lay the groundwork and ensure you’re ready to launch.

Read next: How to Ace Any Interview and Land the Job of Your Dreams

MONEY Workplace

How to Quit Your Job Gracefully

There's a right way and a wrong way to head out the door.

So you’ve got a new job, and you’ve got to leave your current one. There are a few things you need to do before up-and-quitting:

Make sure you tell your boss first. Your direct supervisor should be the first to know. It may be tempting to talk to your close friends and colleagues, but hold off because word spreads quickly.

Give at least two weeks’ notice. The old adage of giving two weeks’ notice may actually be required by your company. If you’re in a higher-up position—you’re senior management or you supervise a lot of people—it’ll be harder to replace you, so give three or four weeks’ notice.

Thank your colleagues. When you thank them for being a fun bunch to work with, use the opportunity to leave your contact information. Your colleagues are your network, and you never know when you may need them for a reference or a job in the future.

Document exactly how you do your job. Your successor will thank you for it. Within reason, offer to keep in touch to help acclimate him or her to the job.

Don’t slack off. No matter how tempting it is to come in late or leave early in your last few weeks at a job, work as hard as ever. You don’t want your last few days to leave a bad impression on your coworkers; that may come back to haunt you later.

MONEY Internet

Verizon Internet Customers Can Now Watch HBO Without a Pay TV Package

HBO Now is now available if you have Verizon broadband.

On Tuesday, HBO and Verizon announced a new partnership allowing Verizon broadband customers to sign up for the Internet-only HBO Now service, starting immediately.

TV fans had begged HBO for years to introduce a streaming service that didn’t require the usual pay TV subscription. The TV giant finally obliged by launching HBO Now in April, at a price of $14.99 per month. At the beginning, however, HBO Now was available exclusively on Apple TV and Optimum.

Verizon broadband customers now have access to HBO Now too. Free 30-day trials of HBO Now are currently available via verizon.com/hbonow. After the introductory period ends, subscribers would pay $14.99 per month to keep the Internet-only service, which offers instant access to the usual HBO content, including series like “Game of Thrones” and hundreds of movies and sports and comedy specials.

For the time being, only Verizon’s broadband customers—Fios or otherwise—have access to HBO Now. Verizon says that eventually HBO Now will be open to 100+ million Verizon Wireless customers as well, though it hasn’t been announced when that option will be available.

MORE: Get Ready for Your Internet Bill to Soar
7 Streaming TV Packages That Will Let You Cut the Cord for Good

MONEY Autos

Volkswagen Pulls Ahead to Become Top Automaker

Volkswagen is on pace to surpass Toyota in auto sales for 2015, but analysts question whether it can maintain its lead.

MONEY Family

The Hidden Upside to Living With Mom and Dad

Recent college grads may think living at home is less than ideal, but it has its advantages.

CNN’s Christine Romans thinks it’s the perfect solution. If you’ve just graduated from college, there’s a good chance you’ve got at least a little bit of debt. Romans advises you to take a year at home to save up money, start paying off your loans, and get on your feet financially. But don’t stay forever, she says. Make a plan – you can even sign a contract – with your parents on what responsibilities you’ll take on, and how you plan to be out of the house before two years are up.

Read next: Why Millennials Are Better Off Waiting 10 Years to Buy a Home

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com