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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Comment Re:economy of scale (Score 1) 423

Since when do people repair electronics? Electronics are not like cars where people are going to find a way to repair them. When electronics break, they are sent to a land fill and replaced as expeditiously as possible. And used as an excuse to upgrade.

I'm not saying that it is right, just what the market has morphed into. It makes no sense to have an "Autozone" for electronics now.

Comment Re:No place for 'almost', 'not quite' and 'nearly' (Score 1) 423

Actually around the holiday season Radio Shack mall stores would outperform the strip mall stores by miles because of all the RC toy sales (and gift giving). And people would also always buy a pile of batteries to go with them. During the same time, people who would show up at the strip malls were people looking to buy a pack of resistors or fuses.

Malls can charge higher rent because of the demographic and foot traffic in a mall far outstrips that in a strip mall. Sales people always wanted to work in malls because they would easily get more commissions.

However, if you worked in a strip mall, you always worked for minimum wage.

I welcome ex-Radio Shack employees to chime in, as I know that is not far from the truth.

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