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The Monday after Thanksgiving used to be the Ron Paul of holiday-season shopping. Called "Cyber Monday," it was an Internet-only creation, as relevant to real-life commerce as the Web-friendly presidential candidate is to national politics. Which is to say, not very. That's changed.

Now, the New York Times reports, almost 90 of the 120 online retailers belonging to online trade group plan to offer discounts today on par with the type brick-and-mortar retailers offered last Friday. survey results say that 32 percent of adults will shop online today.

One-third of the population is a large chunk and the crowd brings cash. One e-commerce analyst told the Times Cyber Monday will account for $4.68 billion in online retail spending, about 12 percent of what's spent online over the entire holiday season.

Some still don't buy into the idea of offering huge promotions to drive sales. "There's something inherently dishonest about it," Bill Bass of Fair Indigo told the Times. "If you're giving a promotion now, you're kind of saying you stuck it to people who bought from you when there wasn't a promotion." It's a fair point, but doesn't Bass know that's the way technology works?

(Photo by Tracy O)