Category: news

Black Friday Body Count: Lol Target

I’m not sure if reporters Hadley Malcolm and Doug Stanglin have something against Target or what, but these are the only mentions of the place in their rather tame roundup of this year’s somewhat tame Black Friday happenings.

In Vauxhall, N.J., the fog-shrouded parking lot outside a Target was a virtual ghost town just after 6 a.m. Friday with less than two dozens cars. Inside, some aisles had more red-garbed store employees than customers.
“We didn’t know if they were open” said Noel Sweeney of Springfield N.J., who has taken a Black Friday jaunt with her cousin, Dana Migliozzi, every year for the past 15 years. “We come for fun,” she said.
But Sweeney said she appreciated the calm after the likely shopping storm the night before when the earliest bargain hunters prowled the stores. “It’s good because they start the night before,” she says, “so by the time we come, the aisles are clear and there are no crowds.”

On Friday, in Salisbury, Del., Mercedes Young and Ian Columna of Bridgeville, Del., were shopping at Target for their 2-year-old daughter. The couple started the night before at the Walmart in Seaford where they found deals on clothes, movies and other items. “It was crazy last night, but today’s not too bad,” Young said.
In a sign of the mixed messages some consumers are sending retailers, Kim Day, of Gloucester, Va., waited a half-hour in line at a Target in Falls Church to buy a Galaxy Note 5 phone, for a penny. How did she spend her time? Going online to dabble on Amazon, buying everything from Mr. Potato Head to a Fit Bit. “I feel fantastic,” she said.

What a burial. It’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder if Target is going to pull out of the U.S. the way it did Canada.

Black Friday Body Count: And…Riot!

Black Friday Brawl 2015, crazy guy swings on cop

I knew it was just a matter of time.

The video above was taken at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Walmart, by the way, announced earlier this month that they had plans to make the Black Friday shopping experience simpler for their customers. Good to see that’s working out well.

The New York Daily News seems to have a bit of a round-up going on, so here’s a link to that and here’s a sample of what they’ve found.

At a Louisville mall on Thanksgiving night, shoppers wrestled each other to the ground in a packed food court.
The fracas knocked a woman to the floor as shoppers at Mall St. Matthews gawked at the sight of two unidentified men slapping, punching and tearing at each other’s shirts.
A police officer broke up the fight, as shown in video capturing at least 30 seconds of the melee. It’s unclear who or what sparked the fight or if the assailants will face criminal charges.
At least one participant in the fight was shown being ushered out of the food court by his friends. He made sure to pick up a shopping bag he had dropped on the floor.

In addition, A fight video circulated on social media early Friday showing a scuffle between a group of men at a mall in Florence, Ky.
In both videos, onlookers shouted “World Star,” a reference to a hip hop website that aggregates fight videos into monthly compilations.

Black Friday Body Count: The Police Suck, Walmart Sucks And Losing A Loved One Sucks Most Of All

The New York Daily News recently caught up with the family of Jdimytai Damour, the Walmart worker who was killed in a literal doorbuster back in 2008. Not only do they talk about how much they miss him, but the story then goes on to detail once again just how terrible the people who run Walmart are and the lengths to which they went to wash their hands of the situation. The police don’t come out looking very good either, as in a detail I don’t remember from the time, they left long before things got truly out of hand because handling crowds wasn’t in their job description, they decided. If your police don’t do crowd control, just what the king fuck do they do, exactly?

I know we have a lot of fun with this whole Body Count thing, but if you remember, it was born out of my frustration with the whole stupid exercise. This is a great reminder of not only the senselessness of it all, but of the type of people you’re really supporting with your purchases.

The 6-foot-5 clerk was trying to hold back a throng of some 2,000 early-morning shoppers pushing against the store’s sliding-glass double doors when he was trampled to death.
“We always think about him on Black Friday and what could have been different,” his aunt Margareth Damour told The News this week.”
“Every time I go by the [Walmart’s] door I think about him.”
A worried Walmart supervisor called the Nassau County Police Department after the crowd surged past eight interlocking plastic barriers about three hours before Jdimytai Damour was trampled.

Responding cops used bullhorns to order the crowd back but later left after claiming dealing with the crowd was “not in their job description,” according to court records.
A group of shoppers soon pushed their way past the barriers again.
The store supervisor ordered the bigger staffers like Jdimytai Damour to guard the front door from the frenzied crowd. Right before the store opened at 5 a.m., the doors fell on top of Damour due to the mass of the throng.
“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” Walmart worker Jimmy Overby told the Daily News at the time.
Four other people were injured, including a pregnant woman who said Jdimytai Damour tried to help her before he was trampled.

Black Friday Body Count: Best Buy Down!

I’m still waiting for the first real life store riot of the day, which is legitimately shocking to me. But it seems that Best Buy Canada has given us the online equivalent by shitting the bed not long after their big sale started.

The online backlash against Best Buy Canada began shortly after the company tweeted Thursday night that its Black Friday sales were in effect.
By midnight, many were complaining that the site wouldn’t allow them to make purchases and tweeting photos of themselves shopping on competitors’ websites.
Some suggested that the retailer, which also owns the Geek Squad computer support company, should be able to avoid tech-related problems on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Well shit. And here I thought I’d be the first one to make a Geek Squad joke.

The company says everything should be ok now, but at last check folks were still letting them have it because if there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s stand between a maniacal herd of people on laptops and its newer laptops. Well, that and run servers that fail to work perfectly 100% of the time.

Dear Victim: Thank You For The Candy. Here Are My Teeth As A Token Of Appreciation. Sincerely, Thief

Some people really don’t do drunk well. It would seem that Connie Frances Perris might just be one of them. And in what may be a case of one relating to the other, she doesn’t appear to be so hot at burglary, either.

After breaking into one apartment and finding it occupied, she decided to take a crack at another in the same building rather than calling it a night because why would the person I just walked in on be inclined to call the cops, or something.

Police say Perris then entered a second apartment, which was not occupied at the time, and began to steal and eat candy.

Officials say Perris then urinated on the floor. They say she also took out her dentures and left them in the apartment, along with a handwritten note with her name on it.

After what I’m sure must have been a heroic amount of effort, police were able to catch up with her. She was arrested and slapped with numerous charges including burglary, criminal trespass, theft, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

The Great Big Nasty Spider Freaked The Jackass Out. Out Came The Spray As He Began To Scream And Shout. Then Came The Cops Because Someone Was In Pain. And They Left Him With A Warning To Not Do That Again

Middle of the night. Hysterical screaming. Death threats. Lots of thumping and banging. Sounds of furniture being flung about. Yeah, I’d probably call the police too, just like this Australian fellow’s neighbours did. And were I those police, I’d probably send a few extra cars just to be safe, much like happened on this night. Hell, there could be a murderer in there. You can never be too careful at times like this. … Or maybe it’s just some dude freaking out as he chases a spider around his apartment.

“Where’s your wife?” an officer asked.
“I don’t have one,” the man replied.
“Where’s your girlfriend?” he pressed.
“I don’t have one,” he said.
Police told the man neighbours had heard the screams, the threats to kill, the dull thud of flung furniture. “Come on mate, what have you done to her?” the officer asked.
“It was a spider,” the man replied sheepishly. “A really big one.”
“What about the woman screaming?”
“Yeah sorry, that was me,” he said. “I really, really hate spiders.”
The commotion was down to the man frantically chasing the spider around his apartment with a can of insect spray, police said.
They inspected the unit just to be sure, finding nobody injured. “Other than the spider,” officers added.

The man wasn’t charged with a crime, which is a little surprising. Do they not have disturbing the peace on the books in Sydney?

I Must Be Somewhere Else. Someone Just Suggested Less, More Sensible Regulation. In Canada

Canada’s Competition Bureau has taken a break from aproving mega mergers with horrible idea written all over them that allow companies like Bell Media to fire everyone in sight even though they’re raking in hundreds of millions of dollars to toss out some entirely sensible suggestions on how municipalities and provinces should best handle ride sharing services like Uber. The idea, which will almost certainly be seen as revolutionary and controversial in government circles, is to ease up on the regulations other than in cases where it’s absolutely necessary and let market forces do their thing. You know, so that there’s actually some competition in the taxi space instead of what we have now. Crazy.

“When new regulations are needed, they should be limited to meeting legitimate policy objectives, like protecting the safety of passengers and drivers,” the bureau said.
Among other things, the bureau urges local regulators to:
■Ease price controls, such as regulated taxi fares, to allow fares to be adjusted during periods of varying demand, such as weekends, evenings and bad weather.
■Eliminate restrictions on the number of taxi plates issued and move to a system where additional qualified drivers may operate as vehicles‑for‑hire.
■Allow all drivers to respond to street hails, regardless of whether they work for a taxi company or ride‑sharing service, unless there is a compelling policy reason not to do so.
■Provide incentives to drivers to operate accessible vehicles in areas where consumers are under‑served.

Does Breakfast Make Banging Sounds

Are you at all surprised to learn that Anthony Fennick, a 20-year-old man who police say threw eggs, potatoes and fruit at them as they investigated something that may not have had anything whatsoever to do with him, is from Florida? Me neither.

Initially, Fennick approached the deputies and asked why they were there. After giving him an explanation, the deputies said Fennick thanked them and returned to his home.
A short time later, half a potato was thrown at the deputies, landing behind one of their cruisers. Then an egg flew into the scene, hitting a cruiser and nearly hitting two of the deputies.
They searched for the food assailant without luck but found three more eggs, a potato and a piece of fruit that had been thrown.
When deputies continued their search, they reported finding Fennick nearby with an egg in his front pocket.

Feeling that this was sufficient evidence, the officers took time away from the hunt for the mysterious banging noises that brought them there in the first place to charge Fennick with four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer as well as criminal mischief and loitering. He was being held in police custody in lieu of $7000 bond at last report.

Fun To Play With, Crap For Phone Calls

Perhaps there’s a perfectly logical reason why the owner of a cell phone store would need to buy a bunch of brand new, still wrapped iPhones from a group of teenagers. I haven’t the foggiest clue what it might be mind you, but it could happen, I guess. But logical or not, happen it did over the summer outside of Detroit. And as you’ve probably already guessed if you’ve been here before and know what happens when somebody makes an odd sounding business deal to acquire something electronic, he didn’t exactly get what he paid for.

The three male teenagers, plus a fourth who has not been charged but remains under investigation, on Thursday sold a Metro PCS store owner in Auburn Hills, outside Detroit, what appeared to be brand new iPhones still in the box and sealed with factory plastic, the Auburn Hills Police Department said.
When the owner opened the box, however, they were filled instead with Play-Doh bricks.

But unlike most of these stories, this one has a happy ending in that our business man friend appears to have invested in the multiple brain cell market at some point, so had the presence of mind to get some contact information from the little brats. Little brats who, it appears, hadn’t yet gotten around to sinking any of their newly gotten fortune into lessons on how you should always give fake contact information to someone you’re ripping off. And so a second sale was arranged, one to which the local authorities were invited.

The four men returned to the store on Saturday with “more phones,” but fled before the deal was closed, police said. They were located and arrested shortly after that.
In a search of the teens’ rental car, police found a backpack with phone boxes filled with Play-Doh, about $500 in cash and clothes.

The three suspects have since entered not guilty pleas to charges of larceny by false pretenses and attempted larceny by false pretenses.

If this is what it looks like, I wonder if there are more cases floating around or if he was the first and they were planning to do it again. they pretty clearly had the makings of a decent little operation going here if everything is as it seems.

Get A Handle On Your Dog’s Health

I spend a lot of time laughing at ridiculous technology, but I think I want this little gadget. It’s a harness handle attachment that can give the handler info about their guide dog’s well-being.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a device that allows people who are blind to monitor their guide dogs, in order to keep tabs on the health and well-being of their canine companions.
“Dogs primarily communicate through their movements and posture, which makes it difficult or impossible for people who are blind to fully understand their dogs’ needs on a moment-to-moment basis,” says David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the new technology. “This challenge is particularly pronounced in guide dogs, who are bred and trained to be outwardly calm and avoid drawing attention to themselves in public.”
This guide-dog harness handle contains electronics that allow users to monitor the breathing and heart rate of their dogs. To address this need, the researchers have developed a suite of technologies that monitor a dog’s breathing and heart rate and share the information with the dog’s handler. …

Sweet! Man, what I wouldn’t have done for one of those when Trix was so stressed out. Maybe I could have figured it out faster. I might have also figured out patterns of when she was more or less anxious.

So the plan is to embed vibrating motors in the harness handle, one near the thumb, and one near the pinkie. They are supposed to be in sync with the dog’s heart rate and breathing…and how the technology picks up that info, I’m still not sure. The hope is that we can more easily pick up signs of stress, illness or heat exhaustion. That seems simple enough, and probably not hard to learn, if at first the amount of input wasn’t a little overwhelming. But since it’s so intuitive, I think I’d catch on quick, and as long as the dog’s heart and breathing were within normal parameters, it would probably slip into the background as the sort of input that I’d take in on a subconscious level.

I really want this to work, so I have some logistical questions. Can the technology be adjusted to fit multiple hand sizes? My hand is definitely smaller than a big man’s hand. Is this something you add to your existing handle, or do you get a whole new handle? If you need a whole new handle, are they eventually going to build them in urgo, offset, and in different lengths? I think about this because I have an extra short urgo handle. How long is the battery life? Is there an ability to turn it off, for example when you’re settled into a meeting and the dog is sleeping under the table, and you’re going to be there for a long time, so you’re pretty sure you know how the dog is doing. Can you conserve power by turning it off?

I’ll be watching for when this thing comes on the market. It sounds pretty freaking cool.