Blockbuster Video Wants Circuit City, Now!

This article was written on April 14, 2008 by CyberNet.

blockbuster circuit city

Do you remember back in the late 80′s and early 90′s when Circuit City was the place to go for consumer electronics? Do you also remember the days when a parking spot was hard to come by in the Blockbuster Video parking lot on a Friday night? At one point both companies, Circuit City and Blockbuster Video were at the top of their game and were doing very well for themselves. Over the last several years we have seen them slowly drop in popularity and in profitability, and both are seen as companies in a bit of trouble. That’s why when we read that Blockbuster has made an offer to acquire Circuit City, we were surprised to say the least.

In a letter dated February 17th, but just made public today, Jim Keyes, Chairman and CEO of Blockbuster writes to Philip Schoonover, CEO of Circuit City to make an offer for the company. In the letter, Keyes asked that a response be made by February 21st, however no response was made. Now they’re taking a Microsoft-ish approach to this saying that they are taking an unsolicited $1 billion dollar plus bid for Circuit City directly to the shareholders.

Blockbuster’s CEO  gives us a small glimpse at what they intend to do should they acquire Circuit City by saying that a deal would create a chain that could sell portable devices and entertainment for them, much like Apple Inc’s stores. In a letter to the company, Keyes writes, “Our vision for the new Blockbuster is to be the most convenient source for media entertainment.”

So now comes the issue of price. Blockbuster is offering $6 to $8 per share in cash to Circuit City which is valued at $1.01 to $1.35 billion. Friday’s closing price for Circuit City was $3.90 and this morning they were as low as $2.33, so $6-8 per share doesn’t sound all too bad. Of course once word came out that Blockbuster was after Circuit City, their shares jumped to $6.25 and Blockbuster shares dropped. Keyes said the offer is a “significant premium” to Circuit City’s share price and said the combination of the chains would create “a game-changing retail concept with a sustainable competitive advantage.”

Do you think we’ll ever see a day in the future when Circuit City is able to regain the title as #1 American Consumer Electronics Chain, a title they lost to Best Buy in the 1990′s?

Source: Engadget

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Computer Geeks Can Make Jokes, Too!

This article was written on November 20, 2006 by CyberNet.

Calculus Textbook Computer geeks are often tagged as people are are unbelievably dull and have no lives. I’d like to think of myself as having a life but I have met several people that fit the stereotype of a geek. Textbooks, however, are often the last place that I thought a joke could be found but it looks like some computer geek authors have a sense of humor that is just itching to be unleashed.

This site has a great compilation of jokes that can be found throughout several textbooks and I’ll list of my 10 favorite entries:

  1. In the index: “pitfalls, see traps” and “traps, see pitfalls.” [Link]
  2. In the index: Scooby Doo, pronouncing “Windex”     166
    It is supposed to be the rindex function but we all know Scooby Doo has a hard time pronouncing his r’s. [Link]
  3. In the index: pun, really bad     152
    On page 152 talks about Bird and Penguin classes and says “Yet we’re not finished with these fowl matters.” [Link]
  4. In the index, which is on page 269 it has: recursion  86, 139, 141, 182, 202, 269 [Link]
  5. At the bottom of the last page: Any inaccuracies in this index may be explained by the fact that it has been prepared with the help of a computer. [Link]
  6. In the index: recursive loop     See recursive loop [Link]
  7. A dedication at the beginning of the book:
    To Joanna,
    My brilliant and beautiful wife without whom I would be nothing. She always comforts and consoles, never complains or interferes, asks nothing and endures all, and writes my dedications.
  8. In the index of a Fourier Analysis bok it says: fractals: not mentioned, 112
    Sure enough there is no mention of fractals on that page. [Link]
  9. In the index: Fibonacci numbers, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610
    and then it goes on to give a “prime numbers” entry that lists every prime number from 1 to 826 (takes up 20 lines) which is how many pages there are in the book.[Link]
  10. In the index: IndexOutOfBoundsException: 30, 196, 210, 596
    The book only has 595 pages. [Link]

You can see which book any of those entries came from by clicking on their respective links. If you are into programming then I’m sure you’ll get most of those jokes and if you don’t understand them that is why they are called “in-jokes.” :D

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Computer Use Causing Your Aches & Pains?

This article was written on June 29, 2008 by CyberNet.

rsi.pngAll who suffer from back aches, shoulder pain, and/or wrist and hand pain, raise your hand. There’s gotta be a lot of you that do, at some point, even if it’s not on a regular basis due to working conditions. Perhaps you’ve never associated those pains to work, but they’re likely related if you spend much of your day working on a computer or mobile device. A recent Microsoft research study found that the number of people suffering from repetitive strain injuries is on the rise and this increase is causing over $600 million in lost working hours.

So what’s the specific cause of these problems? One cause is the lack of ergonomic hardware. According to the findings, not enough companies are spending the money needed to equip people with ergonomic chairs, mice, keyboards, and other types of equipment. Microsoft also says that this new trend to work wherever we are isn’t helping the cause either. If you’re slouched in a chair at the airport working on your laptop before your plane takes off, chances are, your back and wrists simply aren’t getting the support that they need.

How many of you think your miscellaneous pains could be due to repetitive strain injury?


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We’ve Upgraded our Server’s Operating System

This article was written on January 06, 2007 by CyberNet.

Just a quick explanation for the recent down time today.  We were inaccessible for the last several hours as we upgraded our Operating System to Fedora Core 5.  We had been experiencing some brute force attacks, and problems with our operating system. Our host helped us out getting everything set-up so we’d have as little down-time as possible.  They added our old hard drive as a slave (2nd hard drive) so that we could copy files over to a new hard drive.

Ryan has spent the last couple of hours working on this and getting all of the kinks worked out. There may still be a few problems that we haven’t come across yet.  If you notice that something isn’t working quite right, let us know.


Ryan and Ashley

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We’re Going On Vacation…

This article was written on July 11, 2008 by CyberNet.

trip.pngWe just wanted to give everybody a heads-up that our writing schedule will be a little bit different over the next several days because we’re taking a quick vacation to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary.

For those of you wondering where we are headed, we decided to stay in our own backyard and take a road-trip around Lake Michigan, something we haven’t done before. We’ll be driving to a couple of different places along the lake in Michigan, then crossing the Mackinac bridge and driving around into Wisconsin with a couple of stops there too. And then back home to the Chicagoland area in Illinois on Wednesday.

This week instead of writing our CyberNotes as we usually would, we decided to do something a little different and post lists of our favorites for each day of the week. This will start on Monday, and will continue all week. No Daily Downloads will post, but we’ve got some good wrap-up articles for the days we’ll be gone, along with a couple of extra articles.

Now that we just got our hands on the new iPhone 3G, this road-trip will give us the opportunity to put the GPS feature to the test! When we get back, we’ll let you know how well it works.

See you on Wednesday!

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Cheap Sony 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo High Speed MSX-M2GN

This article was written on December 24, 2005 by CyberNet.

Sony MSX-M2GN 2GB Memory Stick Duo

I recently received the Sony DSC-T5 Digital Camera. Of course, with any digital camera you need a good sized memory card. I decided to opt for the 2GB memory stick duo from Sony, but not the normal speed one, I got the High Speed! Now, if you order the card from Sony directly, it can run you $449 for this, and doing a Froogle search you can find it for around $250. This was still a little high for compared to what I wanted to pay, so after doing some shopping I decided to pay eBay a visit. That is where I found the best deals on this 2GB card…just $135 and it wasn’t coming from Hong Kong, it shipped from America. It is, however, still a Japanese memory card (all the writing on the whole package is in Japanese) but it does not function in my camera any differently than a normal memory card and also comes with the Memory Stick Adapter. So, I just want people know that there are other options out there other than the overpriced stores online.

Check For Yourself On eBay!

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CyberNet Is Performing Maintenance

This article was written on July 04, 2006 by CyberNet.

CyberNet Is Performing Maintenance

CyberNet News is currently in the process of switching hosting providers and transferring our domain. You may experience some periodic downtime but it will be for the better in the long run. Right now the domain transfer is in progress and some people will not be able to reach this site (consider yourself lucky if you can reach the site).

We will continue to post throughout the maintenance and will let you know when it has completed. Thank you for your patience as we try to make your experience here the best it can be.

Ryan and Ashley
The CyberNet Team

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Could a Robot Help You Lose Weight?

This article was written on August 18, 2007 by CyberNet.

Weight loss robotScientists have been working on robots for years that are able do things like dance and play soccer, among many other things. And now a team of people from The MIT Media Lab are working on a robot that would act as your own personal weight loss coach. They’re building a set of these weight-loss robots that will be going into homes of those living in the Boston area so that they can study if and how well the robots work, and how people interact with them.

Once the robots are in the homes, the Scientists are hoping to see what the impacts of using a robot versus just the software would be, and if people would actually like using it to guide them along and help them reach their goals.  The robot will ask you how much exercise you’ve gotten, and then you’d use a touch screen to input how much exercise you got, and what you’ve eaten. The robot also has a camera for face tracking, and its eyes will follow you as you’re talking to it so that it will be a more personalized experience.

A conversation with the robot would go something like this:

Hi, I’m ready to work with you to help you meet your goals.  Thank you for coming back. I hope you’ve had a good day so far. It’s helpful for us if you’ll tell me how much exercise you’ve gotten today. Would you do that now?

To me at least, it doesn’t seem like this robot would be doing anything for you that you wouldn’t already be able to do on some of these weight loss sights that allow you to keep a weight-loss journal. But the difference may be that the robot will always be there to ask you how you’ve been doing with exercise and what you’ve eaten, whereas with a website or another method, you’d have to take the responsibility to go to it to enter in the information. And if the robot can say “FREEZE, drop the cookies and get yourself some carrots instead,” lots of us would benefit. :)

If you’d like to see the robot in action, The Media Lab has a video demonstration.


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Amazon Unbox on TiVo: Movie Downloads Without the Hassle

This article was written on July 10, 2007 by CyberNet.

TivoRemember back in February when TiVo and Amazon announced a partnership to bring movies to TiVo users? At the time, those who wanted to use the service were required to purchase the movies that they wanted from the Amazon website which obviously required the use of a computer. This just added an extra step in the process of trying to watch a movie. The good news is that as of today, a computer is no longer required!

The “Buy on TV” feature, as it’s being called, works with series 2 and series 3 TiVo’s that are connected to broadband Internet. Users will be able to purchase the movies that they want using their TiVo box, and the remote.  The entire experience from start to finish is done on the TiVo.

Buy on TV Quick Facts

  1. TV shows will cost $1.00 for each episode
  2. New movies just released on DVD will start at $7.97
  3. Older movies will start at $1.99
  4. More than 1,100 movies are available for rent
  5. More than 2,000 movies are available for purchase

Because it’s so easy to flip through movies right on your TV, it would probably be easy for children to purchase movies without parent consent. This won’t be a problem however, because there’s now a 5 digit pin which must be entered before a movie can be purchased.

There are several movie services like this available, but I’d say Amazon and TiVo take the cake with this one. People don’t like extra added steps to get what they want. “Buy on TV” is the simplest way to get the movies that you want on your TV without any hassles. Nice job!

Source: AP (Thanks for the tip Cory)

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Giveaway: Remember The Milk Pro Accounts

This article was written on December 08, 2008 by CyberNet.

Remember The Milk.png
(Click to Enlarge)

Back in August of 2006, we wrote about a Free Simple Task Manager called Remember the Milk. At the time, Remember the Milk had been around for about a year and they were still in the process of making a name for themselves. Three years have past since they launched and they now have over one million users and their service is one of the best around. With time, it has continued to get even better.

One of their goals with the service is to provide an easy way for people to write and keep-track of their to-do lists. Instead of using loads of sticky notes like I used to do, you can use Remember the Milk to make the process of remembering everything you have to do, easier. In this day in age, it’s absolutely necessary to have a way to manage tasks!

Both a free and paid version of Remember the Milk are available. A Pro account is $25 for 1 year, which is what we have available today for our giveaway. What are the benefits of a pro account versus the free account, you ask?

  • Remember The Milk for iPhone and iPod Touch – Take your tasks anywhere with this feature-packed application; now available on the iPhone App Store! An award-winning web version is also available. Pro users only! (Checkout a detailed explanation of this service here)
  • MilkSync for BlackBerry – Synchronize your Remember the Milk tasks with the built-in Tasks application on your BlackBerry. Pro users only!
  • MilkSync for Windows Mobile – Synchronize your Remember the Milk tasks with the built-in Tasks application on your Windows Mobile device. Pro users only!
  • Pro Tester Program – as a Pro user, you can try pre-release versions of Remember the Milk features
  • Priority support via email

Features available to all include:

  • Gmail Integration
  • Manage tasks offline using Google Gears
  • RTM for Twitter
  • Manage tasks via Google Calendar
  • Netvibes module
  • Reminders just about anywhere
  • Locate tasks on a map
  • And more…

Remember the Milk Homepage

–The Giveaway–

We have five annual Remember the Milk Pro Accounts available! Each is valued at $25 for one year. All you have to do is drop a comment below providing both your name and email address in the appropriate fields. We obviously need your email address for contacting you in the event that you should win. Believe it or not we’ve actually had winners in previous giveaways get randomly selected, but since they didn’t provide an email address we had to pick someone else.

Just as with all of our giveaways we will be using a random number generator to determine the winners. For this round here is how we’re going to give out the licenses:

  • 1 winner will be picked from comment numbers 1 through 5
  • 4 winners will be picked from comment numbers 1 through however many comments there are.

Entries for the giveaway will be accepted up until December 11th at 7:00PM Central Time.

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