top RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
Around here all the "Radio Shack" stores because "The Source"
Those struggled too for awhile but seem to be doing better these days. I actually recommend them to people quite often for small stuff like cheap USB sticks, MMC cards, or USB mice. A $9.9/16GB USB stick is good enough for Joe Average to dump a backup of his/her documents onto.
They also do a lot of cellphone stuff, and have various little gizmos that I suppose some people buy, and their salespeople seem to be slightly less of a brainwashed PITA drone than the people at Best-Buy/Future Shop (seriously, my last foray to FS almost made me want to throw up when I heard the sales guy talking to some poor schmo about how the Win8 interface is "revolutionary" because it lets you your PC like a tablet, with apps).
And those 16GB usb sticks actually work in my experience with no problems whatsoever on my Xbox 360 for copying/storing data whereas brand name Lexar sticks from Walmart of the same size didn't work at all. And at my local "The Source" store on my end of the city anyways it's an older guy with gray hair probably in his 50's as the manager then literally a few east indian teenager's or young adults still in their early 20's (men and women) always looking to the older guy for help. Still, like you said, it's better then FS or BB drones. If I ever had to go into FS or BB again I do what i've done for years, say "No thank you I'm doing fine" and just keep on walking and look myself!
top RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
Hobbyist components aren't consumer items. Selling them in consumer packaging in a consumer store doesn't work.
Set the stores up like auto parts or appliance repair stores. Lots of shelves in the back, a couple guys with computers up front. You tell them what you want, they go back and get it for you. They maintain the parts bins, no kids moving stuff around, no bent leads.
Also allow online orders then you go pick up your package with 16 different resistors, 4 connectors and 20 LEDs all in a bag ready to go.
You don't want these in malls or consumer strip centers, they can be in low rent districts. Hobbyists are more at home there anyway. And (broad stereotyping alert) women won't go in them wherever they are.
Kind of like Digi-key with local pickup.
What you just described reminded me of "Consumers Distributing" which ran in Canada and the USA from 1957 to 1996. Yet oddly enough continues to thrive in Ireland and the UK, go figure.
Same idea though really, you'd walk into a store, look in the catalogue, fill out a sheet with what you want by stock/item numbers and bring it to the counter. The only problems I remember with CD as a kid was my parents being frustrated because the majority of the time you went there they never had much in stock and you'd be forced to wait 2-4 weeks on end for even small things. This lead to CD having the perception of "always out of stock" in Canada and the USA.
top RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
I'm beginning to wonder now if this will affect "The Source" stores here in Canada which is what Radio shack for all intents and purposes became around 2009. They too try to push the cellphones and accessories along with some electronics and computers and what seems like smaller sections of pegboards with all the smaller parts that Radio shack was always known for.
top RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
That being said - stocking last minute items could provide a niche. Sometimes you need a new keyboard, battery, or PSU stat, and even next day shipping isn't an option. The question is - is that a frequent enough occurrence to sustain a store?
Absolutely not. Walmart stocks enough of that stuff to fill that need. Radio Shack simply straddling multiple strategies and not doing any of them well. They are simultaneously trying to supply batteries, electrical components, cell phones, toys, and a few other niche items from small and expensive stores where it is relatively expensive and inconvenient for their customers to visit them. I honestly cannot think of anything Radio Shack sells where they would be my preferred shopping destination.
Except good luck trying to find semi rare or exotic adapters, converters, or cables at Walmart. Some things I doubt my walmart superstore here in Canada would sell would be things like
3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter
2 ft long USB micro usb or mini usb cable (without the power brick) Extension cables for 3.5mm plugins (great for extending headphone cable length)
Unless walmart has changed in recent years as I rarely go into walmart anymore, with the last time I was in a walmart store was over a year and a half ago, I doubt they'd want to be like Radio Shack and carry all the small parts and accessories bigtime like Radio Shack did for years.
top RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
They're best business model would be availability and location. When I was in college, I could go to 2 different electronics stores that were less expensive, but if I needed only 2-3 components, Radio Shack was the place to go. More expensive, but faster to get to. They closed near 20 years ago in Canada, after years of only being the shadow of themselves...
They tried to compete with the big stores (Futureshop and Bestbuy) and failed. I remember in the '80s they had so much nice stuff, their 200-in-1 kits and Armatron come to mind...
Except you forgot to mention that they did come back in an odd way as "The Source" now in Canada as of 2009. Only thing I find that's annoying is their name brand "Nexxtech" seems ok for a few things such as batteries, alarm clocks, USB Drives, and cables, adapters, etcetera, but they don't actually print product number's on the packaging which means if you want to look by stock number online then go to an actual store in the mall you end up hoping it's not in the wrong spot.
And, here in Canada too the focus is more on accessories for cell phones, followed by TV's, then a smaller section for computers and small sections on the walls for all the various little items. I remember radio shack used to have a hell of a lot more for converting or adapting darn near anything.
top Can Nintendo Survive Gaming's Brave New World?
What nintendo needs to consider is going back to what i call the old school roots that made them successful. Make the next console to replace the Wii-U use cartridges again considering that nowaday's we have USB flash drives that can hold up to 512gb currently and in the future up to 1 or even 2TB. When you look at back in the N64 days the cartridges held maybe 64-128mb worth of data it's kind of mind-blowing what they can do now with the same size cartridges if not even bigger or smaller and how much data they could hold in them. And go back to the old school gamecube controller or update it but keep it comfortable to use.
The one main reason I haven't gotten a Wii-U is because of the insistence on using that silly IMHO mini-tablet controller and the fact that you apparantly can't reuse old gamecube controllers and even play Gamecube games on it something which the original Wii was quite good at with Gamecube compatability until it was removed in later models.
top Under the Hood With
Could never get logged into the beta servers, due to the Windows 8 - Punkbuster crashes.
Thankfully, this has cemented my determination to never buy another EA game.
As if Origin wasn't reason enough.
Wait didn't Punkbuster die a horrible death years ago when everyone realised it didn't do jack shit on half life engine servers that ran stuff like counter-strike and team fortress classic?
top VLC Reaches 2.1
K-Lite Mega Codec pack with MPC-HC on Windows is the best video player period. Even offers you the ability to use ffdshow codecs or the newer and better IMHO quality LAV codecs. If you play music on Windows Foobar2000 is also the best. The one thing that pisses me off about VLC is that for year's people have been asking for a reliable bookmark function so that you can add a bookmark while playing a video as an example and it works, but the second you close VLC the bookmarks are lost until you use an evil kludge fix of adding the bookmark, then saving a playlist file and loading said playlist file will make VLC go to the bookmark position. Why it's so hard for them to actually save bookmarks between sessions doesn't make sense.
Add to that in regards to embedded album artwork in OGG Vorbis music files VLC refuses to show it when lots of other players including Foobar2000 and Audacious as well as others show it just fine. Instead the default behaviour of VLC will be to "download" album art which 99% of the time is low quality pixelated crap and more often then not even the right album cover to begin with. If the people behind VLC would stop being assholes and fix these kinds of problems that have been mentioned before and ignored for years then more people would use VLC again. Until they pull heads out of asses though which may never happen I don't care how many "re-writes" or "new cores" they do it's still the same player that "plays practically everything but is brain-dead in some area's".
top Man Killed By His Own Radio-Controlled Helicopter In Brooklyn
Reminds me of the banning of balls at a school in Ontario because a parent got knocked out by a ball to the head.
Shit happens. We can't stop the world from spinning because of one incident.
FYI that was "fake" with the banning of balls at a school in Ontario.
""The CBC Radio show This is That — a satire of Canadian culture, news, and CBC Radio itself — aired its first show of the new season last weekend and already people are mistaking its spoofs for real news. Again.
They posted their latest offering on their blog on Tuesday and it was believable enough to enrage some sports fans."
But on to the main subject I agree wth the majority here that it was the 19 year old's fault 100%. Obviousely the father didn't teach him enough safety lessons in regards to R/C helicopters and the kid did it to himself by sitting down and landing the damn thing right next to his body on a table. To me that's kind of like eliminating another moron from the gene pool that SHOULD have realized "Um Gee maybe I shouldn't land this next to my body". But I do feel for the father though he'll have to live with not only seeing his son kill himself like that but also realising he could have prevented it by trying to teach him some more safety lessons and hope for the best.
top Linux 3.11-rc7 Release Celebrates 22 Years of Linux
Linux will never reach year of the desktop even with this kernel release coming up. In a lot of ways Linux right now in various distro's such as Ubuntu and variants like it kind of remind me of the Windows 3.x and 95 days. You might have decent driver support for most hardware but come time to upgrading the kernel more often then not you break the official closed source nvidia drivers along with your nice GUI boot screen that usually hides all the normal boot messages from the kernel as it's loaded up until you see your fancy login screen. Same goes with the god awful support of AMD video support in Linux both with official and open source drivers and more often then not your network and ow wi-fi settings might be hosed or you may not even have the WI-FI driver needed and then it's a mad dash off to the official Ubuntu forums for help.
And applications need to be improved too in some area's. There's really only one half assed decent CD/DVD/BR burning program and thats K3B that actually won't produce messed up unreadable discs. Wheras in Windows you have the excellent free CDBurnerXP or if you like bloatware "one does it all" package the commercial Nero Burning rom. Video players in Linux suck too when you don't have much choice been mplayer and it's front ends and VLC. Gnome Mplayer as a front-end example can't even jump to a specific point in hours, minutes, or seconds in a video if you want and won't allow you to save bookmarks.
VLC on the other hand DOES allow you to jump to a specific time, but it sure as hell can't save bookmarks at any point in a video until you use a workaround of saving a bookmark into a playlist file, and not too mention that when playing audio files VLC will absolutely ignore embedded artwork in say Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files and by default will try and download cover art that's garbage in quality or completly wrong.
When in comparison to windows xp/7/8 you have K-lite media codec pack and the great Media Player Classic HC (MPC-HC) that not only has more modern video renderers such as Haala and MadVR but can also use newer LAV audio/video decoders for much better picture and sound quality compared to VLC, and if you don't want to use LAV decoders you can use ffmpeg included with k-lite instead and STILL get better picture quality. Oh and also no problems playing DVD's either when even with restricted-extra's packages in Ubuntu and variants and some other stuff installed to play dvd's you still find the occasional DVD that will not play because of it's copy protection garbage.
Image viewers and editors aren't much better. Irfanview and Xnview are great to use but all you have with Ubuntu is the newer XnviewMP (Multi-Platform) which is really the only decent image viewer on Linux these day's that isn't retarded. For editors sure you have GIMP on Windows, Linux ETC but Adobe Photoshop still has a fair amount of features that GIMP doesn't have. Audio players in Ubuntu suffer too when the only decent audio player is Audacious but in comparison to Foobar2000 on windows which does so much freaking more it's like night and day.
Overall in a lot of ways windows has better apps in some areas or has more development in some area's towards audio and video quality in playback. It's just that for the most part a lot of people are dumbasses and don't take precautions of running ONLY Firefox as a browser with Adblock Plus, Noscript, Cookie Controller, Ghostery (or DoNotTrackMe if you prefer) and Socialfixer (to fix whats annoying as hell on facebook) and don't actually read each popup from an installer asking if you'd like to install "X toolbar" or "X program" and automatically default to YES until you click no or refuse to avoid getting malware and viruses and browser hijackers simply because people are too stupid to read and in a hurry to always click through every screen. That and people who still to this day launch attachments from emails.
Linux is no better either these days with some newer malware packages showing up and with all those so called wonderful Linux help sites with really long command lines using sudo in the terminal, some people will blindly copy and paste it into the terminal and run it without verifying what they copied off the site actually matches what was pasted into the terminal before hitting enter and entering in your password then wondering how linux malware got on the machine.
So overall the point i'm trying to make here and hope i've made is until the applications are improved or better alternatives become available for linux it will never reach the year of the desktop, especially not when you have to live in fear each distro and kernel upgrade if it's going to hose your network, wi-fi, or video driver or your boot/login screens, or god forbid something else. And yes I am aware of WINE if you want to run the majority of Windows programs in Linux but it's still not 100% with all apps out there.
top Calibre Version 1.0 Released After 7 Years of Development
I've been using this program for over a year first in Windows XP and now in Lubuntu and it's really really good to manage books on my Kindle Paperwhite. There's even a quality check plugin that has an option titled "Fix ASIN for Kindle Fire" which fixes it so that the book cover actually shows up on my paperwhite instead of a generic one.
top Amarok 2.8 "Return To the Origin" Released
Not until the entire audio layer in Linux works better with more hardware, including pro stuff like Avid, Focusrite, MOTU, etc.
It's still too fussy to get good audio out of Linux. Though I realize it's not entirely the fault of Linux.
It's great for streaming samples, rendering, etc, but not for actually playing or producing audio, without a whole lot of fiddling.
Really? My lubuntu install plays audio just fine with no problems. Just because you have issues doesn't mean everyone does.
top Amarok 2.8 "Return To the Origin" Released
I've been quite happy using Audacious in Lubuntu compared to say in the past when i've tried Clementine and Amarok and I found they both felt bloated almost like iTunes for windows.
top Talking On the Phone While Driving Not So Dangerous After All
Some people just can't handle concentrating on multiple tasks at once such as driving as well as talking into a phone let alone texting. Even if you have your cell phone linked by bluetooth in a newer car and can answer a voice call via a push of the button on the steering wheel or another method of answering it you're still making most people focus more on a conversation as to what to say and less on the road and driving. My former boss was like this when he'd take me home on occasion in his brand new Honda 4 door from 2012 and he'd answer calls from co-workers and his family and there was a couple times he did get distracted and almost caused an accident or wasn't as steady on his driving as he should be.
I've even almost once been killed by a person who decided she had to grab her cell phone and reply to a text message. Thankfully she's my ex girlfriend but back in 2007 she was doing around 110 km/h (or 68 mph or so) on a two lane road outside of Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada) and she took both hands off the steering wheel and damn near made the minivan almost swerve off the road into a ditch. To put it mildly that I was pretty pissed off and screaming at her was an understatement.
top Omni Magazine To Reboot
Why bring back an old magazine title when it will end up being more full of ads then actual articles? 10+ years ago I used to read Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Scientific American all the time and it was worthwhile reading. Now in the last 4-5 years i've noticed in the above mentioned magazines there is literally twice as many ads with the majority of them being 3-8 page ads trying to hype some product, car, etc, the usual two page ads, and so on. Plus, a lot more mail in cards that everyone basically rips out and tosses in the trash anyways.
I know the magazine publishing companies whine they have to survive in this era to keep making issues but keep a lot less ads in the magazines and way more articles and stories and you'll get more subscribers who prefer magazines that aren't 85% ads and 15% articles.
top Backdoor Found In OpenX Ad Platform
So pretty much Malware ads only with full websites
Also EasyList Blocks the Sucuri site
And this is why I tell friends and family to run Adblock plus and keep it updated so you have a lot lower chance (if any) to see ads from websites you *believe* are safe delivering malicious code via ads.
top Ask Slashdot: Light-Footprint Antivirus For Windows XP?
Agreed. It's not an active memory scanner but it's good for when you need it to do the occasional scans of programs or program updates you download. Along with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanner, and finally a lightweight firewall such as Privatefirewall it does help a lot. Also, using Firefox along with Adblock Plus, Noscript, Ghostery, Cookie Controller, and Social Fixer (Facebook) you basically eliminate a good 99% of all that wonderful infested malicious code in ads on various websites since one can only assume most servers that serve up ads are already compromised and serving up all that garbage.
I run two older Intel dual core machines here (1.86ghz 6300) with 1gb of ram using Windows XP SP3 (one for myself and one for my fiance) and even though they both have Intel Q965 integrated chipsets using 256mb of that ram I wouldn't dare bother with on demand scanners from any company, period. I did leave MSE scanner on my fiance's machine though as she's somewhat of a computer ludite and all she does is go on firefox to watch Netflix and go on facebook, and if she accidentally clicked on something she shouldn't have, at least I have several Linux live CD distro's available to boot from just in case along with a dual boot of Ubuntu on that machine in case she somehow manages to hose her Windows install bad enough but miracousely doesn't damage grub!
Come 2014 I may just end up switching my machine at least to Linux Mint XFCE or Xubuntu because of microsoft not patching Windows XP anymore.
Only thing that pisses me off with Linux though is that Adobe can't be bothered to have flash properly use graphics acceleration you literally need to install Google Chrome in your favorite distro unless it comes with it already, and use the built in flash in that browser to actually GET the same flash performance you do on a Windows machine. But then you come across a catch 22 in that yea google chromes built in flash runs faster on linux then adobe flash in Firefox but then you're missing out on the most needed extensions such as Adblock plus (Crippled in chrome compared to firefox), and Noscript.
And speaking of anti virus scanners I'm suprised no one has mentioned that there actually is anti virus scanners too for Linux such as avast, bitdefender etcetera. But again probably active scanners slowing down your linux machine.
top Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Be Back As the Terminator
We've already had four terminator movies with the last decent one being the 2nd movie. The third was just an excuse to get a female terminator with big boobs killing people, the 4th movie was horrendous, and for crying out loud the tv show Sarah Connor chronicles was better then the movies in some aspects. I mean whats the story going to be this time, they make new T-800's that look like senior citizens to invade the care home where John Connor is in and kill him with false terminator teeth?
It could be worse! If they got Bey or Abrahms to do it then we'd see more lense flares and ultra fast fight scenes and no story followed by more lense flares and more female terminators with big boobs that open up to be machine gun cannons or flame throwers.
about a year and a half ago
top What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?
A lot of people are bringing up the whole malware/viruses issue alongside performance issues as well. What I haven't seen mentioned much is that *IF* Linux were the mainstream OS on the desktop you would see a lot more malware and viruses for Linux distro's. I mean hell Android alone has been hit so hard with malware and viruses it's become more of a joke then anything especially when some of it comes from the official google play store hidden in various apps. Same applies to Mac OS/X which also has seen an increase in malware and viruses the last few years.
Hell even MS-DOS back in the 80's and 90's were affected by viruses when that was the mainstream OS and when Windows 3.0x and 3.1x releases came about we started seeing more viruses affecting them and then it took off with Windows 9x releases and so on and so forth. Heck let's even say if Microsoft and IBM had decided to play nice years ago and kept co-developing OS/2 together and had released that in 1990 instead we might have been in a world of Microsoft OS/2 today and still dealing with viruses and malware.
Part of the problem is that Microsoft encouraged bad computer user habits for the average user that unfortunately still exists today for most people who have no interest in learning how to defend yourself from the vast majority of shitware and viruses out there. Automatically clicking on file(s) attached to e-mails if using Outlook, downloading various free, trial, or even commercial programs, especially from CNET, where it's bundled in with so much adware/scareware/crapware/malware you name it, that you have to uncheck several boxes and click through more prompts to confirm that, yes, I do not want this toolbar or this search engine or this software installed. Even now some uninstallers try to install more adware/malware when you remove the original program which is just downright nasty.
Then we wonder why so many people are (or should be using) programs such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and at least a half assed decent anti virus like Avast if you need realtime scanning, or Clamwin AV if you just feel the need to scan executable files you download along with a decent firewall such as Privatefirewall or, god forbid if you like buggy pieces of shit firewalls, Comodo or Zonealarm. And linux users arent immune either in that sometimes people who arent familiar with the terminal will randomly copy and paste sudo command lines from various "Linux help sites" to install this program or that and don't verify that what they are copying and pasting is actually what it says on screen. I mean hell you could have it say onscreen "sudo apt-get netflix-desktop" but when pasted into terminal a user in a rush might not realize it says "sudo apt-get malware-sucker-package" and boom your linux box is now targeted for god knows what.
Same goes for the browser too. Too many people still use Internet Explorer which for over a decade now has been so full of security holes its no wonder windows systems get fucked up so hardcore. Using firefox along with Adblock plus, Noscript, Ghostery (or DNT+ if you prefer) goes a hell of a long way on windows to stop a lot of the "visit said website or get re-directed to a website and have software installed without your permission" often through something as innocent looking as flash ads, banner ads, or sites insisting you have to "download codec to play video" when you don't need it to do so.
And finally for performance it's easy enough to tweak in both Linux and Windows. Disable services and startups you dont need in both operating systems, honest to god de-fragment your hard drive in windows once a month even with free programs like Defraggler, keep the registry clean and learn what the hell is running in both operating systems at boot time, and what you have installed. I still have friends who don't bother to learn how to tweak windows or linux, how it all works, how to keep it operating smoothly and malware/virus free especially when browsing even if you use firefox and or chrome and don't have critical plugins/extensions like ABP and Noscript to give you better control, and then wonder why they have tons of toolbars and popups in firefox and chrome, and several toolbar and other "apps" in control panel and why windows 7 or 8 is running like a piece of shit exhausting RAM and swapping to the swapfile like a mofo slowing it all down.
In short if people would stop actually learn more about how to use Windows and various linux distrubitions safely and practice safe browsing to defeat all the ads and drive by viruses/malware that comes with those ads to begin with, and not drink the microsoft kool aid that tries to convince you Bing and Internet Explorer are the "shiznit" of the web, we'd all be better off. But because a lot more apps have been made over the years for MS-DOS + 16/32/64 bit Windows apps then any amount of native linux apps combined we will all be pretty much stuck using various version of windows as a main desktop, using virtual machine solutions to run software that may be 10 to 30+ years old, or dual boot systems even.
about a year and a half ago
top Supermarkets: High-Tech Hotbeds
Safeway for example at least in the USA and Canada was or still is using OS/2 to operate the tills. As recently as six months ago I remembered watching a manager reboot a till and on a 17 inch LCD screen it looked like OS/2 rebooting then bringing up their own till software.
about a year and a half ago