Jason's Blog


Friday, April 27, 2007

Look out for the Snakes...I mean Geeks!!!!

Geek Squad... You see their VW Beetles cruising around town, their eye catching commercials and especially, their flat black ties and white short-sleeve shirts in your local Best Buy. You think they're the ones that can help, offer incite and recommendations for your PC or other Best Buy purchased electronic device, GUESS AGAIN!

The Geek Squad is by far the biggest rip-off going! After reading the article posted on Consumerist.com, we realize just how scummy the squad really is from a former Geek. He admits that the Geek Squad end of Best Buy had to meet certain numbers and would target older users or uninformed users to jack up their repair costs.

"As a Geek Squad employee you are expected to meet certain budgets regardless of hours worked and complete x number of units in a day or risk immediate termination. In order to meet the budgets I constantly found that my coworkers, my senior(s), my managers and I regret to admit myself were deceiving customers. Often times I would review tickets and find that units were being checked in that suffered only from minor Windows problems that might take less than 30 minutes to complete however on the ticket they were charged for an OS repair, malware removal and tune-up which at the time cost $118. The units often only had one tracking cookie or some temp files and there was no sign of a malware problem and no need for a tune-up. "

Personally, this doesn't surprise me at all. Any large electronics store that offers extended warranty or repair services is completely full of it! I have stood by the geek squad bench to listen to them tell customers complete BS and charging astranomical prices for relatively do-it-yourself simple tasks to be done.

In 7th grade I started BunamiTek (Formerly Computers By J), a small computer company that offers custom builds, configurations, networking, repairs, etc... I have seen everything under the sun from computers that were a on their death bed to those that seemed to house every corrupt file possible that was available on KaZaa. When taking your computer to get fixed, be aware of the sleezeballs at places like Best Buy. Generally, they follow the same old routine and not actually dig in there to see what's causing the problem. Remember you're going to know more about the problem than they are because you've dealt with it and have already experieinced it. If they try to feed you some bologna, turn around and walk out because you're only going to get swooped in as their next victim.

When you do have a problem with your PC, look for the local guys or other companies like mine. Usually, rates are less expensive, they'll come right to the house and prices are more affordable.

In a nutshell, stay away from places like the geek squad and DO NOT get any extended warranty, especially at places like Best Buy.

For More info Clicke: http://consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/geek-squad-gouges-197249.php



Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I really thought that Barcodes would be replaced by RFID...maybe I'm wrong?

After Professor White's lecture, I must admit, I was convinced that Wal-Mart and their goal of being the first retailer to manage inventory via RFID labels on all of their products would be a trend that would spread like wildfire. Not only is it relatively inexpensive to produce these labels or tags, but it's extremely accurate and efficient. With all of these great benefits, I figured that was the sure shot jump that had to be made from today's monochromatic striped bar codes.

The computer giant "monopoly" Microsoft may have something up there sleeve that will be sure to delay a large jump to RFID. There new barcodes are nothing like those that we are familiar with today, Gavin Jancke has added color to store more information. His use of four or eight hues will allow a greater amount of data to be packed into less space. The different colors used are made up of interlocking triangles forming a perfect square shape.

Although it's quite possible to see this new form of barcoding take off, Microsoft is targeting commercial media like videogames, movies or other recordings and may appear on DVD's by the end of the year.

Well...How does the consumer benefit?
One mentioned instance of a special feature that these new High Capacity Color Bar Codes offer is added security, or links to a movie trailer or bonus features. -- Whoopity doo!

Downsides: We've got a few...
Color labels call for color printers...and I mean high-quality color printers. With various hues in the label, there cannot be a chance of colors running or not being uniform throughout a batch. Standard barcode readers also wont read these color codes. What does this mean? Microsoft monopolizes yet another aspect of technology and if this takes off, every company will have to buy their readers/scanners to utilize the new barcodes.

Overall, I think it's a nice idea..pack some more information into a 1x1 inch space, but I think its a jump that is completely unnecessary. Who cares if you can get a free trailer or see a few special feature clips on the net, with one click of a button, you can get a hold of that content no matter how exclusive they try to make it sound. As much as I am for adoption of new technology, I feel this is a nice attempt at adopting a soon to be antiquated barcoding methodology.

Read more about the New Barcodes here: http://news.com.com/Microsoft+gives+bar+codes+a+splash+of+color/2100-1008_3-6175909.html?tag=cd.lede

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Standard HD Plasmas and LCD...already a tech toy of the past?

Sony does it again! If we thought for one second that the current lines of plasmas and LCD's are sleek and sharp enough, think again! OLED technology is the future of high def!

Recently in Tokyo, Sony released the prototype of the all new 11 inch OLED screen. When it comes to streamline design and sleekness, these new monitors clearly take the cake. What makes these new monitors even more attractive how thin they are and the option that they come in both white and black. Aside from the aesthetics, these screens also are better on energey and do not require a backlight, which on today's flat screens eventually will die out after 60,000 viewing hours.

What does this mean? We could be seeing future computer monitors, screens in laptop computers, all use this new OLED technology. Although we currently see these OLED's in 2.5" dimensions in digital cameras, the brige to large screens is there.

Who is going to the be prime customer? The people who simply don't care about the price tag. These are going to be expensive! So shine that piggy bank off and start saving!

Learn more here:http://news.com.com/2300-1041_3-6175494-2.html?tag=ne.gall.pg

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

CompUSA Decides to Close 126 Locations!

What is going on? First Circuit City decides to close a mess of locations throughout the United States, now CompUSA. The Tech retailer claims they are closing the 126 locations in order to focus on their top performing locations. Doing this will also create a $440 million dollar cash infusion and allow the company to really rework their image as a top tech retailer.

Now why are these big stores deciding it's worth it to close? I feel if you want to point a finger at anyone or anything aside from the bottom line figures, you have to blame the internet. With websites like slickdeals.com or phatwallet.net that are designed for users to post the best deals and prices on all different types of products, why not take advantage of buying online and not have to leave your house? Now that tech retailer websites have built in product reviews as well as websites like cnet.com that supply in-depth reviews of all sorts of gadgets with links to the best prices on the net, why bother wasting the gas and going to the store when you can have it at your doorstep in 3-5 business days.

Although there is this push to lower costs and bring retails exclusive to the internet, I'm not completely sold on the idea. I feel with all of these new gadgets hitting the market, it is important to have stores like CompUSA to be able to showcase these items and actually get to see the products in person. Even though stores like CompUSA and Circuit City don't have the guaranteed best prices around, they are reasonable and if you have a problem, returns don't involve sending the product back in the mail and then waiting for a refund on your charge.

No matter what happens, I'm interested to see what CompUSA is going to do in restructuring their business plan and whether or not they are going to do something to mimic Amazon and allow the Users to take a greater part in the online retail sector of the company.

Read more at: http://news.com.com/CompUSA+to+close+more+than+half+of+U.S.+stores/2100-1041_3-6162933.html?tag=cd.top

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Talk about Scary! MIT's iFind

So you're on your computer and decided to go down to your hangout in a secluded area of the library when all of a sudden your buddy taps you on the shoulder. You look at him in disbelief as to how he knew of your whereabouts and it turns out your computer left him the perfect trail of jelly beans to follow.

Recently at MIT, the creation of the iFind has swept through campus. What the iFind actually does for MIT students is via a AIM-like instant messaging tool displays the current location of all your buddies if they are on campus.

Today we have the big two social networks, Facebook and mySpace...could iFind be the next big addition to staying connected and will it be at Bentley in the near future? Who is to know for sure but with about 5 iFind downloads every 5 minutes at MIT, it looks as if its popularity is going in the right direction.



Can the Web Give Pontiac a Makeover?

Granted the internet is repsonsible for some of the greatest and most successful businesses in society, but the question is, "can the internet give Pontiac a makeover?" It's tough to say for sure. GM (maker of Pontiac) has been traveling in a continuous downward spiral and in order to help re-image the brand has gone straight to one of the hottest relatively recent additions to the net, mpSpace and Second Life. With a mySpace page that offers all sorts of pictures and media on the newest Pontiac models as well as links to other Pontiac exclusive sites, they are hoping to really get a buzz going.

Second Life is a phenomenon in itself. Recently, Pontiac paid to open an island and a dealership in the online realm. Although Second Life attracts a heafty 1.2 million users, who knows if Pontiac has what it takes to win over this web savvy crowd.

With a rocky history, Pontiac has not been known to be too hott of a seller, especially among the younger demographic. With their latest web campaign, the company hopes to finally penetrate the market and appeal to those that were neglected by their past marketing endeavors.

So you've seen the cars, but will the web drive truckloads of cash back to the folks at Pontiac?