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Comment: Done on purpose (Score 1) 322

by eclectro (#46735555) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

It's cheaper for the IRS to pay the dime to continue to make patches so that they will be available to countless others who are caught with their pants down, costing far more in the economy and thus ultimately reducing revenue headed to the IRS.

They might actually make a profit off from doing this.

Comment: Or maybe there is too much homework? (Score 1) 278

by eclectro (#46555547) Attached to: Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Why do the books need to be piled on in the first place? Does it make students somehow better? Does it help them get a job after highschool - in a world where a college degree doesn't get a job anymore?

Instead of calling B.S. on whether parents should not help with homework, let's call B.S. on the whole notion of homework in the first place.

Finland has no homework.

Comment: Re:Kind of an empty gesture (Score 2) 250

by eclectro (#46546011) Attached to: Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

What would have been a lot more meaningful of Fluke to do would be to cancel the trademark.

I wonder if it should have been granted in the first place. Yellow rubber meter holders existed far before 2000 when this color trademark was granted. Which means that Fluke may have not been entitled to it in the first place. Maybe the fine legal minds on Slashdot can help explain it to me.

I understand Fluke's desperation at wanting to stop low cost meters from undercutting their business, but let's face it, China has been undercutting everyone's business. I don't see what makes them so special to avoid it other than making better products, certainly not through a yellow rubber holder that's been used since nearly the beginning of digital meters.


Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote 208

Posted by timothy
from the gratis-not-libre-of-course dept.
yakatz writes "Microsoft announced that OneNote, including the full desktop program, will be free for anyone who wants to use the program. A version of the program for Mac also appeared in the app store yesterday. This means that a native edition of OneNote is available for most platforms (including iPad, iPhone and Android, but not Linux or Blackberry). Microsoft will continue to offer a paid version of OneNote with 'business-oriented' features (including SharePoint support, version history and Outlook integration). The partial rebranding of OneNote also includes some new tools like a program specifically designed to make it easier to take a picture of a whiteboard.
Is this a signal that Microsoft decided that they need to compete with Apple by making their productivity applications free?"
(Over at WineHQ, they're looking for a maintainer for their page on OneNote. Anyone running it on a Free operating system? What are your favorite alternatives that are "libre" free, rather than only gratis?)

Comment: Re:CompUSA (Score 1) 423

by eclectro (#46404851) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

RadioShack can branch out all it wants, as long as its stores continue to offer the core services (hacker parts, electronics, and knowledgeable staff) front and center.

The sad fact is they have lost that core demographic that would shop there. They have found workable replacements for whatever Radio Shack used to sell them, and even at cheaper prices that the internet can offer.

I have a difficult time seeing how it is not too late. There are a few corporate businesses that struggled in the past, closed stores, and then were able to make a comeback after restructuring and reinventing themselves. But for the vast majority, it just signals the beginning of the end.

If I had a hand in Radio Shack, I'd fire anything that called itself a manager, and get rid of positions in corporate that seem to be merely taking up space. Maybe that's what will happen with all these store closings. Get rid of quite a few district managers.

Somehow Ironic that they will be forced to go through now what they forced countless salesman to do - walking the plank of unemployment.

Comment: Re:Unnecessary since Digi-Key dropped their minimu (Score 1) 423

by eclectro (#46401359) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

Retail store fronts simply are not needed at all for electronics any more. They simply are not going to be able to stay in business with a guy walking in once a week to buy a pack of resistors.

The thing that Radio Shack needed to do like days of old was not necessarily sell parts, but rather innovate. Like what others dealing in electronics have. It's not that Digikey dropped their minimum (though I never thought that was big deal) but that they had every part being made, and then built a robot system that could pull parts faster, more accurately, and cheaper than humans. Something Radio Shack should have spotted, if they weren't more than a bunch of salespersons worried about bagging the next cell phone sale.

It was, and remains to be, beyond them.

Comment: Re:Simple fix to their issues. (Score 1) 423

by eclectro (#46401045) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

People need to be stop being pollyannaish about the old days of electronics coming back, because there is no reason for it to.

Everybody who is the type to buy electronics does so now online. It is impossible for Radio Shack to stay open with a customer walking in once a week to buy a pack of fuses.

This is a story about the transformation of electronics as much as it is Radio Shack mismanagement. Depending on cell phones for short term profit instead of innovation was the death knell for Radio Shack. You can browse old threads about Radio Shack and see that this is no surprise. I think it also marks the path that others will take when they focus entirely on short term gains and not try to look ahead.

As I said in another comment. Radio Shack should have been the inventor of Arduino. Not another me-too place. And who is going to spend $100 for a Raspberry Pi?

Radio Shack is simply not needed. Quite honestly, it's probably beneficial for employees that they close their doors as well, because they can now move on to another place that will treat them a little kinder.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke