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Comment Re:Monopolies are bad (Score 4, Insightful) 57

Brick & Mortar businesses' response has been to cut back selection. Just TRY to find good precision screwdrivers locally, for example. Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, smaller hardware chains, etc - no dice. Frys has some decent sets but they're not here in the northeast so they aren't an option.

Appliances such as mixer stands - you'll find 5qt and under KitchenAid mixers with the weak motor and plastic gear case at many stores, but most don't stock the 6qt and larger models with the stronger motor and transmission with metal gears. Soo. I'm going to Amazon for that.

Monitors - Worst Buy is the only local authorized reseller for the ROG Swift monitor but no stores I've been to stock it. I went to Amazon for those. I'll be buying another through Amazon. Why do the Worst Buy "ship to store" for free shipping when I have to go pick it up, whereas ordering from Amazon gets me free shipping to my door, with better customer service?

Klipsch speakers - I can't get the Reference Series at local authorized retailers, even at the "Mangolia" outlets at Best Buy. They stock plenty of the Synergy line (which isn't bad, but isn't great), so again, I've been turning to online retailers for Reference-series speakers.

That's just a small handful of examples but I could list so many more. I try to shop local, but when the stores stick to carrying low-end crap I'm forced to shop online. It seems like retailers only want to sell low-end items that need replacing after six months to a year rather than higher end product lines that actually last.

Comment Funny, but meh (Score 3, Interesting) 159

When one considers Russia has an office in St. Petersburg out of which it pays an army of online trolls to spew Russian propaganda or muddy the waters by making false statements and outright lies about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, one person from the U.S., doing this on his own without government backing, doesn't quite rise to the level of nuisance.

Sure, Putin is probably miffed this has been done and is looking for payback, but when one is spending millions of dollars every year to pay people (not to mention their vodka allotment) to do your bidding, and providing them the equipment to do so, one person isn't going to make a difference.

Had he instead posted pictures of the unmarked graves of Russian soldiers who have died during the invasion of Ukraine, that would have been different and had a greater impact. Not that Putin cares about the over 2,000 soldiers who have so far died during the invasion, including colonels within the Russian military who are working to support the invasion, but it would have been a nice touch to rub Putin's nose into how badly Russia miscalculated and is suffering because of Putin's ego.

Comment Re: Halfway There (Score -1, Troll) 360

Just because you know people who are responsible gun owners does not mean everyone is and the statistics prove it out, particularly when it comes to children either killing themselves or others with guns they found lying around.

Then there are those who think Russian roulette is a game.

This doesn't include those gun owners who don't bother to report their guns have been stolen. Which is odd because if they're responsible they wouldn't leave their guns in their cars.

Comment Re:Only one reason to jam GPS... (Score 1) 159

If there were only backup systems which could detect changes in motion by measuring acceleration regardless of what nonsensical GPS data says and maybe a secondary device which measures angular changes, and if the path since the last good data set could be extrapolated based on these hypothetical devices. For a thought exercise let's call the acceleration detector an "accelerometer" and the angular detector a "gyroscope." It's such a shame that those devices do not exist and are not already included in cruise and air to surface missiles. /s

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 1) 256

A less-contrived example would be when the person cutting the lock is legally authorized to do so. For example, someone leaves the lock (with or without a bicycle) locked to the rail of a handicap-access ramp, or some other place that it isn't allowed to be, and at some point a city employee is tasked to remove the lock. When (s)he does so, (s)he gets gassed. I don't think that would play well from a legal standpoint.

Comment Re:easily made up in peripherals. (Score 1) 490

Speaking as an admin, the number of mac users that request elegant peripherals is not trivial.

No doubt, but a business is allowed to say 'no' to those requests, if it feels it's not worth the money to buy the elegant peripherals.

I imagine a lot of businesses probably don't care though, since compared to their ongoing salary costs, the cost of an occasional frou-frou trackpad is rounding error. If a one-time $80 purchase makes a $3000/week employee happier and/or more productive, why not?

Comment Re:Were the users randomized? (Score 1) 490

Tried that. It didn't work because the technically inept parent still had just as much problem with the Apple product. It turns out that you can't idiot proof something.

Sometimes you gotta up the dose. If a Mac isn't simple enough, switch them to an iPad. If they can't handle the iPad, then there's no hope, you'll need to migrate them back to pen-and-paper.

Comment Re:Were the users randomized? (Score 1) 490

it's a hidden cost that is virtually impossible to tally on a spreadsheet: your productivity is lost while you fix that problem. Did it take you an hour, where a tech might have taken 10 minutes?

Not really an issue at my employer, where the IT department will always take at least 48 hours to respond, followed by an additional 8 hours to diagnose, only to conclude that my Mac "must have come down with a virus" and recommend that I reinstall Windows on it.

(only mostly kidding)

Comment Re:Starbucks is down too (Score 2) 261

That is a common misconception. Anyone who has to pay for people to handle cash knows that it is not free. It depends on particulars of the business, but in general cash is somewhere between the cost of debit card and credit card fees. You can learn about it from this article [pdf warning]

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