The (un)official mascot of Press This Week: Johannes Gutenberg, father of the printing press.

Author’s Note: It’s Day Three of Press This Week! If you haven’t seen my intro to Press This yet, check out this blog post for the details.

9 Bargain-Bin Gadgets for the Struggling 99 Percent | Gadget Lab |

It seems like everything these days references the 99%, and technology blogs are no different. Earlier this week, Wired posted a nifty list of knock-offs “for the struggling 99 percent.”

Now, I suspect that many members of the 99% are willing to shell out the dough for an iPod, no matter what their financial situation. Likewise, if you’re into photography, you’re probably going to go ahead and purchase that new Nikon you’ve been eyeing, instead of a cheap knock-off. Simply put, many brand name products are better than their imitators. But I think it also has a lot to do with social status. Even during a recession (and perhaps especially during one), consumers buy brand names because it shows they can. The Nintendo Wii was released in 2006, right on the cusp of the economic recession. Yet it has still managed to become Nintendo’s most popular home video game console, selling millions of units worldwide.

If you’re looking for something different, and particularly if you like that retro feel, Wired’s list of knock-offs is definitely worth checking out. The writers make it clear that they’re not necessarily recommending the products on the list– they’re simply showing you what’s out there. Who knew you could buy an MP3 player for 11 bucks? Or an LED watch for less than the price of a cappuccino?

Now I’m going to feel extra guilty tomorrow while I’m waiting in line at Starbucks. I mean, look at all of the cool gadgets I could purchase if only I kicked my morning coffee habit. I’d be like Inspector Gadget, only female and without those strange winged sideburns. Thanks, Wired, for showing me my true techie potential.