Items tagged with electronics

If flight attendants get their wish, you'll once again be prohibited from using electronic gadgets like your smartphone or handheld gaming system during takeoffs and landings. Why? For one, flight attendants are concerned that many passengers are no longer paying attention to emergency instructions, and secondly, they're worried that mobile devices will turn into projectiles during turbulence, as has happened at least once since the ban was lifted. "Essentially we want to set the reset button to the way personal electronic devices were handled prior to October 2013," Amanda Duré, attorney who is representing the flight attendants, told The Wall Street Journal. She added that takeoffs and... Read more...
Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, and in other instances, they're nearly inseparable. The latter is the case here, as thieves in Brazil pulled off a heist in a such a way that it could have just as easily been part of a script for an action movie. According to reports, the robbers attacked a Samsung factory near Sao Paulo late Sunday and held workers hostage while they stole truckloads of mobile devices. Armed robbers pulled off the heist by hijacking an employee shuttle to gain entrance into the factory. They then stole more than half a dozen trucks containing over 40,000 smartphones, tablets, and notebook PCs valued in the neighborhood of $6.3 million, Reuters reports. Image Source:... Read more...
It looks like a relative breakthrough has been made where materials sciences and nanotechnology are concerned. Scientist Liangbing Hu, stationed at the University of Maryland, turned to one of the most simple materials in order to built a transistor: paper. You might not think of paper as being a good base for anything but writing or packing your stuff for a move, but when treated properly, it can become as thin and clear as glass and plastic. Like regular paper, nanopaper, despite its ultra-thin likeness, can be handled like you'd expect - it can be cut, folded and made into a paper airplane (that one might be a stretch). With normal paper, natural bumps in the surface can stand tens of micrometers... Read more...
Best Buy on Tuesday didn't pull any punches when reporting its fiscal third quarter 2013 earnings, calling its performance "clearly unsatisfactory." The struggling electronics chain reported a GAAP net loss of $13 million for the three-month period ended November 3, 2012, compared to net earnings of $173 million during the same quarter one year ago. "In line with trends experienced over the last three years, Best Buy’s third quarter financial performance was clearly unsatisfactory. On November 13, we shared our candid assessment of Best Buy’s situation and unveiled Renew Blue, a set of priorities to begin re-invigorating the company’s performance and rejuvenating Best Buy. The... Read more...
A little over two weeks ago, Best Buy revealed plans to shutter 50 U.S. "big box" brick-and-mortar retail locations as part of a larger cost cutting initiative expected to save the company $800 million by fiscal 2015. At the time, the mega electronics chain didn't specify which exact locations would be getting the boot, but has now made that list public. So far this year, Best Buy has closed down a store in Kansas City, Missouri and another in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has notified five Twin Cities stores and a one in San Antonio of plans to close them down later this year. That leaves 42 stores left on death row, which are listed below. States that will be hit the hardest include California (seven... Read more...
For you nostalgic types out there, you may want to head over to your local Best Buy electronics store and take a stroll through nerd nirvana, it could end up being the last time you do so. In reporting its fourth quarter and full year 2012 financial results, the mega electronics chain outlined a new transformation strategy that includes the closure of 50 big-box brick-and-mortar stores. It's part of a larger cost cutting initiative that Best Buy hopes will save the company $800 million by fiscal 2015. Closing 50 retail stores is expected to cut costs by $300 million. Best Buy says it will save another $300 million by reducing its outside consultant services and eliminating 400 positions in its... Read more...
Ever since the flat panel TV segment came into existence, it's experienced growth on an annual basis, and that includes when the recession in 2008 hit an all time high. But just like the Boston Celtics reeling off 8 consecutive NBA championships in a row from 1959-1966, all good runs eventually come to an end, and so it looks to be that way for flat panel televisions. According to IHS iSuppli's crystal ball, flat panel TV shipments will decline to 37.1 million units by the end of 2012, down 5 percent from 39.1 million units in 2011. "The U.S. flat-panel television market has never declined on an annual basis, even at the height of the recession in 2008 and 2009," noted Lisa Hatamiya, TV research... Read more...
If you head over to Best Buy's Store Exchange & Return Policy page, you'll notice that the electronics chain limits the return window for computers, monitors, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, iPads, tablets, and radar detectors to 14 days. All other products carry a 30-day return/exchange windows, and 45 days for all products if you're a Reward Zone Program Premier Silver member. That all may be about to change. Tuaw claims to have heard from a "Best Buy insider" that the electronics chain is getting ready to increase its return/exchange window to 30 days for all products, including iPads and Macs. The site even posted a supposed screenshot outlining the change. Image Sources: Flickr... Read more...
Would you miss Best Buy if the electronics chain suddenly shut its doors for good the way Circuit City did awhile back? The knee-jerk reaction by many tech enthusiasts is to answer "Hell no!" followed by a Best Buy horror story or three, but such incidents aside, would you really be happier if Best Buy no longer existed? Regardless of your answer, the time may come when you'll find out firsthand if the world is a better place without Best Buy in the picture, and according to Larry Downes, a contributing writer with Forbes, the time will come. Mr. Downes gives Best Buy "maybe a few more years" before the seemingly inevitable happens, and he supports his notion by pointing out a few key metrics.... Read more...
Wondering what to get your little ones for Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or just because)? Well then, pay no attention to market research firm Nielsen if you're currently torn between a skateboard or a bicycle. Either of those will get your kids out of the house and moving around, which is a good thing for this generation. But if you're looking to score hipster parent points by getting them something they actually want, then stop being foolish and start turning your attention to electronic gadgets. This iHoliday, as Nielsen now calls it, is dominated by Apple devices on nearly every kid's wish list. Of those ages 6-12 years told, 44 percent want an iPad. Too rich for your blood? You could... Read more...
Best Buy appears to be having a bit of trouble pushing its mega store mentality over in Europe and has decided to shutter all 11 of its U.K. pilot big box stores. The electronics chain crunched the numbers and came to the conclusion that it makes more financial sense to refocus its efforts in Europe on its installed base of 2,500 small box stores. "Best Buy Europe launched a big box format test in the U.K. in April 2010, ultimately resulting in 11 stores. Based on challenging economic conditions and profit expectations of these stores, Best Buy Europe is announcing that it plans to close all 11 of these stores effective at the end of the calendar year," Best Buy said in a statement. "As required... Read more...
Now's not a fun time to be working at Panasonic, not when you're constantly looking over your shoulder wondering if the corporate axe will come crashing down. Over the next two years, Panasonic said it plans to hand out another 17,000 pink slips and turn out the lights at up to 70 factories in order to trim costs and remain competitive. This comes after Panasonic already slashed 18,000 jobs in the past year, which will bring the overall tally to 35,000 when the higher ups are finished showing workers the exit door, presumably (and hopefully) with severance pay in hand. "The figure is huge, but so is the company, and for an old-fashioned one like Panasonic, this is a big move," said Toru Hashizume,... Read more...
You may have noticed a larger electronics section in your local Wally World. That's because over the past couple of years, Walmart devoted about 20 percent more floor space to push home entertainment items, and in particular television sets. But with consumers showing little interest in 3D TVs, and with popular electronic gadgets shrinking in size, Walmart has made the decision to scale back its electronics department and use the space to sell things like fishing poles, fabric, and full-figure fashions, according to Reuters. "It's still a vibrant category but much smaller items are being sold," said Rosalind Brewer, president of Walmart East. Walmart said it will still sell the same number of... Read more...
Monopoly is going 21st century. Soon, there will be a computer managing all the transactions in the game, which will make all the clever alterations to the game's rules that people inevitably use as part of the fun a thing of the past. Monopoly Live, as it is called, was shown off at last week's Toy Fair in New York. Instead of that huge center space in the board, where players used to throw money, put the Community Chest and Chance cards, and roll the dice, is an infrared tower with a speaker. It's the HAL 9000 for your Monopoly board, and it issues commands, er, instructions, keeps track of the money and makes sure players stick to the rules. There's no confusion here. It even makes sure you... Read more...
It seems impossible to escape advertising, and California, looking for any possible way to close its budget gap, may make it still more difficult. The state is considering electronic license plates. The reason for the digital-age change, though, is strictly monetary: advertising. The plates would appear to be standard license plates when the vehicle is moving, but when the vehicle is stopped for more than four seconds, either in traffic or at a stop light, would switch to digital messages. The number wouldn't vanish completely; it would still be visible in the corner of the plate. In emergencies, the license plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts, traffic information, or emergency instructions.... Read more...
The retail sales of electronics and appliances this summer should have a modest increase over last year, according to IBM's analytics-based forecast. The sales are predicted to increase 4 percent - $953 million - in June, July and August. June July August 3-month total 2009 (actual) $7.791 $7.740 $8.131 $23.662 2010 (forecast) $8.034 $8.069 $8.512 $24.615 IBM produced the forecast using "statistical and analytical software" that looks at long-term sales trends and seasonal peaks. The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau's survey of retailers whose primary business is the sale of electronics and appliances - that includes, among other things, televisions, cell phones, computers, radios/stereos,... Read more...
Not long ago, we learned about Walmart's plan to expand its consumer electronics offerings. The big-box retailer is not alone. Target also has a system-wide plan to upgrade its TV, gaming, and digital imaging sections and product offerings.  The rollout began last month and should be completed by June. With the new CE department design, Target stores will get an updated TV wall that should make it easier for consumers to compare TVs across brands. Along with the display, Target plans to offer clear signs that highlight product features, making it even easier to compare models. The display also will present models in "a more realistic in-home presentation." In addition to a change in display... Read more...
Walmart is expanding its home entertainment and technology offerings in an effort to keep Americans connected inside and outside the home. Sometime this month, the retailer is planning to carry more streaming Blu-ray players, new Internet-ready HDTVs, LED HDTVs, additional wireless products for home networking, and much more. The retailer will also rollout a dedicated area for pay-as-you-go, non-contract mobile broadband products with offerings from Verizon, Cricket, Virgin, and AT&T. Walmart Adds New Hi-Tech Devices and More Ways to Save For the Always-Connected Life Attractive New Rollbacks, Internet Connectable Products and New Services Rolling Out BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/... Read more...
As margins on actual wares grow slimmer, many retailers are looking to soak up more cash in the form of services. Granted, that's increasingly tough in the DIY universe that we live in, and even tougher in a retailer that looks to save people money. In an odd move aimed to rival Best Buy's Geek Squad, Wal-Mart has announced plans to offer its own form of tech support for shoppers. The mega-retailer has confirmed that it has started up a partnership with N.E.W. Customer Service Companies in order to offer in-home setup services to those who buy their gear from Wally World. In fact, the new offering will be in place prior to the holiday season getting fully underway, so there's a good chance things... Read more...
If you knew that giving up one of your precious electronics would help save the Earth, would you?Don't lie - a new survey claims fewer than half of Americans would give up their iPods. Specifically, only 42 percent would be willing to, according to the study, conducted by The Shelton Group.And Apple-haters shouldn't get too smug. iPod owners weren't even close to the worst offenders.In answer to the question, "If you thought these things were harming the environment, which of the following would you be willing to give up?" merely 6 percent of those polled would have been willing to give up all the devices mentioned: iPod - 42 percent Dishwasher - 38 percent Microwave - 28 percent Cellular phone... Read more...
AMD hosted a small gathering in the London NYC Hotel yesterday to showcase some of their existing products and technologies, to show off a few products built by their partners, and to demo some products due to be released in the coming months. We attended the event and took a few photos of the various demo stations and thought we'd share them with you here.We're sure many of you have already seen a few of the items that were on display, but we were able to get a bit more up close and personal with a few of them and can give more insight into their operation. The various demo stations were filled with different types of systems / devices and all of them featured an AMD product or technology at... Read more...
AMD hosted a small gathering in the Penthouse at the SoHo Grand Hotel in New York City yesterday, to showcase some of their existing products and technologies, to show off a few products built by their partners, and to demo some products due to be released in the coming months.  We attended the event and snapped some photos of the various demo stations and thought we'd share them with you all here.  We suspect the shots and info regarding the quad-core Phenom-powered system running John Woo’s ‘Stranglehold’ will be of interest, as will the slick notebooks, HTPCs, and hand-held devices.  Check them out at the link below... AMD Consumer Electronics... Read more...
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