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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: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:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

I can't understand the fuss, since the iWatch and a Swiss watch are two different markets.

Mostly. However, there's going to be a large intersection in the people who buy a $device in that price range mostly to show off how much money they have, and the iWatch is probably going to own that market.

People who care about Swiss watches aren't going to buy an iWatch. People who care about the functionality of an iWatch probably aren't going to buy an iWatch. But people who want an excuse to flash an expensive piece of wristwear are going to buy a gold iWatch and set their phone to send a notification to the watch every few minutes so everyone can see them checking their wrist.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 1) 367

by c (#49216301) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

Death/mass violence threats are not a political correctness issue. They are a criminal issue.

Sure. And if speech crosses the line to become a real criminal matter, then by all means treat it as a criminal matter.

That doesn't change the fact that in 99.99% (or more) cases the motivation is to get a rise out of society rather than the aggression or hatred the parent post was blaming.

At the same time, institutions hyper-sensitivity where even perfectly innocent and reasonable behaviour gets perceived as a threat ("OMG! Someone's walking towards the art department carrying something in a long bag! Call 911!") and the complete lack of sanctions for gross over-reactions has basically turned trolling into an instant denial of service.

There's gotta be a balance. Right now, the way things are structured, we're letting the trolls run the show and just reacting. Poorly.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 1) 367

by c (#49215163) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

I don't object to references to raping my daughter and leaving her in a bloody pile in a ditch because it's politically incorrect.

No, but you also don't issue a press release saying how the entire community is just aghast at the whole business and how you're going to host a conference to talk about "healing", do you?

If they said something sufficiently heinous, you might try to track the fucker down and kick his ass (i.e. how "talking shit" was generally handled up until around the 70's), or perhaps something like Curt Schilling. In other words, a response based on going directly after the perpetrator. Direct threats are something for law enforcement to handle.

A "politically correct" response, on the other hand, is rooted in the idea that all we need is a bit more education and a lot more censorship.

Education will probably work in the very long run, unless it's so ridiculously heavy-handed that it becomes parody and propaganda. Censorship will work for a short while until the next mole pops its head up. The gaps in between the short and long term is where the trolls live.

I don't know what the ideal solution to trolls is, but I'm positive that ineffective hand-wringing isn't it, nor is trying to engage them in healing dialogue.

I'm pretty sure that effective, but not excessive, discipline where they can be caught is one necessary aspect (we tend to fail pretty badly as "not excessive" when discipline actually happens). Having society be just generally more resilient to offensive (and particularly anonymous) speech is absolutely critical.

The tao that can be tar(1)ed is not the entire Tao. The path that can be specified is not the Full Path.