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Comment: Re:Brand names mean a lot in some places (Score 1) 197

by c (#49369933) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

What I've seen is that american brands have had trouble penetrating that market because preference goes to the incumbent local company.

There's a certain amount of truth there. But there are also counter-examples. Walmart, in particular, destroyed quite a bit of the competition (Woolco, K-Mart, Zellers, etc).

And then there's cross-border shopping...

Target is struggling to gain acceptance

Well, not anymore. The best I can determine is that Target's approach to the Canadian market was to push brand recognition, but their supply chain, pricing, and how they ran their stores was jarringly different from how they ran them in the US, and enough Canadians knew the difference that once the word got out, the impression was they were trying to milk Canadians without bringing anything new to the table.

Canadian Tire is still the go-to

Canadian Tire hits a real sweet spot in terms of locations, pricing and selection. I can't really think of any other competition which covers quite the same ground.

even major e-tailers like Newegg have trouble over the other Canadian e-tailers

True. I think was solidly established well before Newegg opened a Canadian store.

The problem for these companies is that their .ca sites routinely offer less to Canadians at usually substantially higher prices than their .com's, and while there may be legit business reasons, nobody likes being treated as a second-class citizen. So there's always a bit of resentment.

Hell, Sears seems to have won mindshare by having a little maple leaf in their Canadian logo.

I think Sears won mindshare in Canada from catalog sales. There are Sears mail-order outlets in every stinking little town across the country, and Canada has a lot of stinking little towns; up until maybe 10-15 years ago when e-commerce took off they were the household name for remote purchasing. But they're no longer the only game in town, and their supply chain is still stuck in the 90's; I can buy Craftsman parts directly from China faster and more reliably than I can get them from the local Sears parts store. I'd be very surprised to see them last another five years.

Comment: Re:Not a huge surprise (Score 1) 197

by c (#49364603) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

I shopped more at Best Buy than FutureShop because Best Buy sales reps were not on commission while FutureShop sales reps were (and, as a result, tended to be very pushy).

It might be a local thing, but I've found that the Future Shop employees generally leave... sorry, left me alone unless I hunted one down and asked questions. The few times I bothered with Best Buy I either couldn't find an employee willing to answer questions or couldn't find the product I needed.

Comment: Not a huge surprise (Score 4, Insightful) 197

by c (#49362217) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

The real surprise is why it took so long? 14 years is a heck of a long time to be running large redundant stores. From the parking lot of my local Future Shop, you could literally see the Best Buy store, and neither store was ever busy enough to really justify having two so close together, and I've heard that some were so close as to share a parking lot. It might be different if there were significant differences in the product lines they carried, but as it is it never really made much sense.

Comment: Re:I hate not being culture (Score 3, Informative) 236

by c (#49355131) Attached to: Quebec Plans To Require Website Blocking, Studies New Internet Access Tax

This is one thing I wish the US could import from France. Over there, all radio stations, newspapers, and other places have to have a percentage of their artists be local to that country.

Canada has that sort of system, too, to protect local "culture" from the US marketing behemoth.

When it works, it seems to work pretty well.

The main issue with that sort of system is that it's based on a minimum quantity of local content. Yes, you do get some good local talent which you might not hear about otherwise. Unfortunately, most of the time you just get Nickelback.

I think the majority of Canadians would prefer to just drop the CanCon requirements entirely.

Comment: Re:Dangerous Precedent (Score 1) 236

This sets a dangerous precedent that it is perfectly okay for the government to block websites in order to generate more revenue. If this passes, expect states in the US to try the same thing, especially if they have casinos that aren't doing well.

That would almost make sense, except Quebec, like Louisiana, has a legal system based / influenced on French civil law, rather than the more common (in US and Canada) English common law heritage.

That said, state and provincial governments are facing deficits and short-falls, so anything that promises increased revenue would certainly catch their attention.

Comment: Re:Easy Solution (Score 1) 221

by c (#49354219) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House

I guess it depends on what the fine is for not complying. For your above scenario to make sense, the fine itself would have to be more than the cost of installing the line.

It doesn't have to be a big fine. It just has to be a fine that continues to apply until they install it. $50/day until the service is turned on would get compliance... eventually.

Once they've installed your lines, you're basically a slave to paying that provider's rates.

That's a tougher problem, but I'm sure it could be managed.

Comment: Re:This is the dumbest research I've seen this yea (Score 2) 485

by c (#49336383) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

Pretty much my thoughts. Writing to disk is slow, but it's also semi-async operation (in that much of the time, the job is offloaded to the I/O subsystem before the write is complete), which generally means the sooner you start writing your results the sooner you'll finish, and if you start early you can do computational work while the I/O is happening rather than spinning wheels while trying to write the whole thing in one go. All they seem to have done is add a pile of latency and may even have introduced other impacts such as garbage collection or VM swap.

Comment: Re:hypocrisy (Score 1) 337

by plcurechax (#49302557) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

americans are and should be angry at the NSA

but other countries complaining about the NSA is hypocrisy

So you think the rest of the world should just accept the illegal (in the rest of the world) spying that the NSA does to them, just because it's a foreign government? That's a foolish argument.

It is hypocritical to continuous publicly call a nation an ally, often pressuring them them into working with US on fighting terrorism, etc., and then spy on said government who practises what US calls good governance, i.e. an independent government consisting of democratically elected representatives. That's the part of hypocrisy in foreign affair approach of US that upsets people from the rest of the world. That and the fact they do it even when there is no evidence or even fear of hostile or undemocratic activity.

if i was [G]erman, would i be worried about the NSA? or the BND and the BfV?

Why should any law-aiding, peaceful, democracy supporting person in the world be subjected to espionage?

if you live in a country outside the USA, and your biggest privacy concern is the NSA, you're a moron: your own country is doing everything the NSA is doing, and in many countries, far worse. obviously, they can also abuse you a lot easier than the USA can. and they do

Actually in most of world the intelligence agencies are limited to investigate suspects of terrorism, and international criminal activities, not whatever they feel like. While unlawful and unreasonable spying does happen, the democratic governments do try to limit the powers of their intelligence agencies. Economic espionage is regarded as an illegal activity, even though numerous countries have been found to be engaged in it, it is still considered wrong.

No other country in the world has an intelligence community even half the size of US. The Americans have always complained about allegedly Russians and Chinese spying on UN activities during negotiations, etc., but I doubt the Soviets ever managed a fraction of the spying the US conducted on the UN representatives.

It is quite rational to be considered with being spied upon by all parties, foreign and domestic. The idea that US is somehow above the law when dealing with other countries in one of the prime reasons the US suffers from poor public image internationally, it undermines the massive good the US also does do in many cases.

again: i don't have a problem with americans complaining about the NSA. americans SHOULD complain about the NSA. but i do have a problem with other countries complaining about the NSA when they do the same or worse

Do people also not have the right to complain about fascist governments, because they didn't elect them? Do Americans have no right to be opposed to ISIL / ISIS because they are not primarily active within US?

Why should you complain about what others complain about? Or are not a supporter and believer in free speech? It is one of those so-called key "American values" in theory.

Comment: Classified "experiments" (Score 1) 97

While border crossing has typically meant displaying government issues documentation, primarily a passport and any related travel/entry visas. This requires informed consent of the traveller, they are asked to display their papers. The question is, what about programs that aren't obvious or informed consent?

The part that is concerning is the existence of classified "experiments" where is it not clear what information is being gathered, who has access to it, and how it is being used.

History has repeatedly shown that undisclosed, and/or unchecked surveillance ends up being misused against the public, not in the public interest.

If everything is legal, robust, and accurate, why does law enforcement has to be done in such a clandestine manner? The vast majority of identification / evidence techniques used in court are robust enough to withstand being challenged by the defence.

While these clandestine techniques being "experimented" with may be pure BS, being misused simply as a basis for law enforcement agents to continue practising age-old discrimination based on racial profiling, bigotry, and sterotypes, not any actual accurate information.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson