Tuesday, August 29, 2017

$TGT Starting to Move Away From AWS: First of Many?

Well it seems that Target doesn't want to compete with Amazon and fill their coffers at the same time.
Target is struggling mightily to compete with Amazon in retail, but it's finding other ways to fight back.
The discount retailer is scaling back its use of Amazon Web Services, according to sources familiar with the matter, as the company aims to take greater control over its infrastructure and stop financing its chief rival. Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods is the latest sign of how deep the e-commerce giant is moving into all forms of retail.
I think this Whole Foods merger might cost Amazon on the Web Services end. I can see Kroger and Safeway and such bring their business to Microsoft's Azure to stop funding their competitor like that. Target might be the canary in the coal mine to see if there is a rush for the exits vis-a-vis AWS.

It Seems Millennials are Spending More in Certain Categories

Hmm lots more eating out and coffee shops.
Millennials spend more than an average of $2,300 per year than older generations on five key items: groceries, gas, restaurants, coffee and cell phone bills, a recent study released by personal-finance site Bankrate.com found. Millennials spend $233 per month on meals versus $182 for older generations, and $161 on cell phone charges versus $135 for older people (but they spend $1,130 less per year on travel and TV). For TV services like cable, satellite and steaming/subscription, millennials spend just $80 per month, compared to $114 for those aged 37 and up.
That cell phone bill thing is going to go up and up as we go forward. Much of that bill is a monthly charge on the phone because almost no-one is going to buy an iPhone8 outright.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

$TGT Beats By Going Small Format: Might be a Winner

It seems that Target is going after neighborhoods near colleges with a small format store and it seems to be paying off.
On the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell said the retailer would be nearly doubling the number of small-format stores it has this year, with the ultimate goal of having more than 100 open for business over a three-year period. The plan is to have 30 in 2017, said Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan, with nine opening in July and four opening in the first quarter.
I think this might be a good plan because college kids might be more brand loyal and have a harder time getting Amazon delivered in the dorms.

It would be easier to buy a charger cable, a plastic pitcher, or something by popping into Target. Or they could just hit a button on an app and then pick the item up after class. They don't need to drive out to the Outlet Malls and search through a large format Target and be disappointed when the item isn't in stock. That is if they can drive in the first place. Plus Target saves money on rent, employees, and can bump up revenue per square foot metrics.

Interesting Article about @RottenTomatoes and its Influence

Very interesting article indeed.
But in spite of its failure, Detroit is a counterweight to an old saw that was dusted off this summer movie season. “Rotten Tomatoes Is Causing Hollywood’s Latest Existential Crisis” a HuffPost headline screamed two weeks ago. The column detailed an oddly triumphal chapter in a confusing media-managed narrative coming out of Hollywood’s excuse factory. The headline was spurred by The Emoji Movie, a poorly reviewed movie featuring animated phone icons, which had a successful box-office performance in spite of those poor reviews. This was deemed a victory over the tyranny of the number that appears beside a movie’s title on Rotten Tomatoes. (In this case, 8 percent.)
I usually don't look at the critics review's as much as I do the spread between that and the peoples review score. If the movie has an 19% Fresh from the Critics and a 75% from the people. I am much more likely to watch it than one that has a 19% from both groups. I figure that most critics have different tastes than the average moviegoer like myself.

Friday, August 04, 2017

A Surprisingly Open-Minded View of the @Heritage Conservative Woman's Conference

If more liberals checked their biases at the door we would have better communication and respect for one another. The article sited about was especially interesting.
Recently, I spent two days at the hub of conservatism in Washington, DC. Nope, not the White House, but the Heritage Foundation for the Network of Enlightened Women’s National Conference—also known as NeW—where a group of college-aged conservative females gathered to discuss and learn about Republican policy and leadership. And yes, Kellyanne Conway was there.As a 24-year-old liberal woman who cried watching Hillary Clinton lose the election live at New York’s Javits Center, this wasn’t a room I ever thought I’d find myself in, and my preconceived notions ran rampant—all I could think was that I didn’t have the right clothes, let alone the bandwidth for the mental gymnastics it would take to talk to women about Donald Trump without combusting.
This author figured out that they will never agree on things like abortion but she did have empathy and understanding for this group of conservative women.
I started thinking about Hall’s ideal definition of feminism, and how she believes it should be a network of women supporting each other to run for office. Before the conference, I never really thought about wanting more Republican women in positions of power, I only focused on what was happening on the left. Now having met these girls, and witnessing how tough-as-nails they are, I’ve never been more confident that the future of the Republican party is female—and, in that way, they have my support.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Something about #Japan I have Never Heard About Before: Evaporating People

Here is a fascinating article about something I have never heard about before.
The New York Post reports, of the many oddities that are culturally specific to Japan — from cat cafes to graveyard eviction notices to the infamous Suicide Forest, where an estimated 100 people per year take their own lives — perhaps none is as little known, and curious, as “the evaporated people.”Since the mid-1990s, it’s estimated that at least 100,000 Japanese men and women vanish annually. They are the architects of their own disappearances, banishing themselves over indignities large and small: divorce, debt, job loss, failing an exam.
It makes sense that these are people that would be people around that would hide their shame and invent a new life instead of simply killing themselves. This is the Japanese equivalent of giving up ones life and "moving out West" or "leaving for the colonies." Although the description of their lives after they "evaporate" sound pretty terrible.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

@nytimes Turns on Woman's March Organizers: Interesting Article by @bariweiss

Wow, when the NY Times stops being a Trump-hatred mill it seems they do a good job with actual journalism.
What wasn’t to like?
A lot, as it turns out. The leaders of the Women’s March, arguably the most prominent feminists in the country, have some chilling ideas and associations. Far from erecting the big tent so many had hoped for, the movement they lead has embraced decidedly illiberal causes and cultivated a radical tenor that seems determined to alienate all but the most woke.
It is so strange to get this kind of journalism directed at the top people in the progressive women's movement. The writer is a dyed-in-the-wool Trump-hater and progressive as well so this isn't some kind of missive from a newly formed alt-right convert. Her take-down of Linda Sarsour is especially notable.
But just last month, Ms. Sarsour proved that her past is prologue. On July 16, the official Twitter feed of the Women’s March offered warm wishes to Assata Shakur. “Happy birthday to the revolutionary #AssataShakur!” read the tweet, which featured a “#SignOfResistance, in Assata’s honor” — a pink and purple Pop Art-style portrait of Ms. Shakur, better known as Joanne Chesimard, a convicted killer who is on the F.B.I.’s list of most wanted terrorists.
I did not know all this about Sarsour that was mentioned in the article. But she sounds like the kind of person that does no favors to the progressive movement.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

63,000 Public Employees in Illinois make more that $100k a year? That Adds up to $10 Billion with a B

Talk about giving themselves a raise.
Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently one of the worst offenders. Recently, we found auto pound supervisors in Chicago making $144,453; nurses at state corrections earning up to $254,781; junior college presidents making $465,420; university doctors earning $1.6 million; and 84 small-town “managers” out-earning every U.S. governor.
I would be willing to bet those small-town "managers" don't do half of what a US Governor does. Also I wonder what value-added these college professors and Deans are adding to their schools?
9,567 college and university employees – including the southern Illinois junior college power couple Dale Chapman ($465,420) and Linda Terrill Chapman ($217,290). The pair combined for a $682,000 income at Lewis and Clark Community College. Fady Toufic Charbel ($1.58 million) and Konstantin Slavin ($1.04 million) are million-dollar doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
I wonder what the budget for Lewis and Clark Community College is minus the salaries of these two highly paid persons? Also those two doctors (I guess they are professors at the college) are actually paid more than quite a few college football coaches. I guess the medical department of University of Illinois at Chicago is making big money or something.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Looks like Scaramucci is Going to Double as a Plumber: Finally going to Plug Leaks

It is about time someone starts going through the White House and stop it leaking like a sieve.
“I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” Scaramucci said to reporters outside of the White House on Tuesday. “You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to be fired.”
He claimed to have the full authority of the president to clean out the communications shop and put his own stamp on the team. A source close to Scaramucci said that he’s planning to bring in people from the corporate communications world in addition to conservative broadcast stars.
Hopefully those corporate communications people will be more adult about things and have some message discipline. Hopefully they can teach Trump to do the same.

@realDonaldTrump Blocks Chrissy Teigen: It Should have Happened Years Ago

I think someone is going through Trump's social media and purging the list of celebrity followers who get all worked up about his Tweets.
This isn't the first time Teigen has been vocal about her dislike of Trump. At a Super Bowl event in Feb., the star opened up to USA TODAY about her long history with dissing the Donald.
"I've actually been a big Donald Trump hater (for a long time). I've been trolling him for about 5 to 7 years now," she said.
Actually she was such a hater that she had to get Botox to loosen her jaw and get her teeth fixed because she was grinding them so much. Now that is almost pathological hatred of someone. So Trump solved her problem by simply blocking her access to his hated tweets and she can now sleep better at night. He should have done this long ago to simply improve her mental health.