Posts Tagged ‘needs’
The retailer’s online sales fell 33 percent last year while competitors are seeing double-digit gains.
As bad as things are for J.C. Penney’s brick-and-mortar stores, they are even worse for its digital operation.
Internet sales plunged 33% last year to $ 1.02 billion, performing even worse than the company's physical stores, where sales fell 25%. By contrast, e-commerce sales for competitors are booming — Macy's and Kohl's both saw online sales soar more than 40% in the same time period.
The decline is even more surprising given that it came under the watch of former CEO Ron Johnson, the executive responsible for transforming Apple into a retail behemoth.
Mike Ullman, who was brought back to replace Johnson as CEO in April after retiring from that position in November 2011, emphasized on J.C. Penney's first quarter conference call Thursday that fixing the retailer's online storefront was a top priority. (First quarter online sales figures were not provided.)
During his first public remarks since becoming CEO, Ullman told analysts yesterday that problems with the website were “self-inflicted” — it was just hard for customers to use. During the last year, JCP.com operated as “a completely separate entity inside the company, with little synergy between stores and online” and the company is working to make “a seamless omnichannel experience” going forward, he said.
Or, put another way, J.C. Penney's digital operations lacked the ease-of-use and seamless integration that has become Apple's trademark.
Visitors to the J.C. Penney website are now met with a pop-up asking them to participate in a customer satisfaction survey that asks questions about what sections they plan to visit, their likelihood of making a purchase and possible bugs, among other things.
Ullman is cleaning up a number of mistakes caused by his predecessor, who was responsible for a $ 4.3 billion plunge in sales last year as he experimented with a shift to everyday-low prices, slashed mainstay private-label brands such as St. John's Bay and sought to turn most J.C. Penney stores into a collection of boutiques.
This month, J.C. Penney has been running ads asking customers to come back to stores and thanking them for returning.
Ullman wouldn't provide any concrete numbers but said the response to the marketing and Mother's Day promotions were encouraging. After a 16% decline in this latest quarter and a net loss of $ 348 million, investors and analysts will have to hope so.
We know Glass comes with some snap-on shades, which is no doubt great when casually vlogging in the sun. If you’re heading down a mountain, though, you’re going to need something a little more like Recon Jet. You may know Recon Instruments from its line of technolicious HUD ski goggles, but Jet sees the firm leap into more casual (yet no less useful) eyewear. Inside you’ll find a dual-core processor, WiFi, GPS, Ant+, Bluetooth and an HD camera, plus all the sensors you could want (altimeter, thermometer, accelerometer etc). Recon Jet comes with its own open platform (which typically has been based on Android), and will have some existing native apps (video streaming, Facebook integration, etc.) on display at Google I/O this week. Comparison with Mountain View’s own product will be inevitable, but we’re guessing that Recon hopes you’ll leave Glass on your desk, while popping Jet on for the weekend.
Forget having kids. Forget mind-transfers. Real immortality lies in naming a video transition after yourself. No, seriously. To make eternity happen, you simply need to donate $ 500 to Jonathan Thomas’s Kickstarter project and in return he’ll let you create and name a transition effect in a new cross-platform version of his free, open source video editing program, called OpenShot. Currently Linux-only, it supports regular timeline-based video editing with layers and compositing, transitions, effects, titles and support for a wide range of AV formats courtesy of the usual open source codec libraries. If it reaches its $ 20k goal, Thomas will start work Windows and Mac OS editions alongside Linux, anticipating a beta release before the end of the year. Smaller donations will receive more minor possessions in the afterlife, such as your name in the credits. Bigger pledges — of up to $ 10,000 — will flip things around slightly and require Jonathan Thomas to sell you his soul. Go get it, Pharoah!
Filed under: Software
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The OUYA Android-based gaming console is getting ready for its debut: the stated beginning shipping date for Kickstarter backers is March 28. At launch, it sill isn’t clear exactly how many software titles the console will offer, but a new report suggests that at the very least, early backers will have emulators to play with on the small, inexpensive console.
OUYA forum admin and owner Ed Krassenstein said in a post on his site that EMUya, a NES emulator, has been submitted to OUYA for review and should definitely be available at launch, and a couple of SNES emulation options are confirmed, including the SuperGNES and the Mupen64Plus Nintendo 64 emulators. The Mupen64Plus project is also said to be available at launch, with the developer behind it posting that it has already been approved by OUYA for inclusion in the official store.
Emulators on OUYA aren’t new in and of themselves. Back in January, footage surfaced of the developer kits of the console running Nintendo 64 games, as well as SNES titles. Emulation support appears to even be sanctioned at the top: the N64 emulator’s inclusion in the actual OUYA store proper means users shouldn’t even have to sideload the titles themselves to get access. We’ve reached out to OUYA to see if it has an official stance on emulation and its acceptability on the OUYA platform, and will update if they respond.
Whether or not it gets the “official” nod, emulators coming to OUYA is a good thing for the upstart. A lot of the apprehension around the console’s upcoming launch centers around how much content it will be able to offer at launch, and the quality of that content. OUYA has been making a point of announcing as many software partners as possible, but it still isn’t exactly clear what the launch lineup will look like when it first becomes widely available for consumers.
Emulators mean that at least early adopters will have a rich selection of software to choose from, even if that content isn’t exactly “legal” to use. But emulators are freely available for virtually every platform out there, including Android smartphones and media center PCs. OUYA might succeed by finally making the tech truly plug-and-play, by integrating it into a set-top device designed to be used from a couch with a gamepad. The appeal will still be limited, but it might be enough to keep user attention as OUYA ramps up for its big splashy retail and wide consumer market launch later on this year.
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This is the Kymera electric bodyboard. It doesn’t need Mother Nature’s sissy wave power because it has an electric engine and battery. It’s basically a lay-down jet-ski, and I was actually pretty impressed with its speed. They’re currently a Kickstarter project though so if you want one you’re gonna have to cough up at least $ 2,500 (and hope a bunch of other people do too). That’s a little out of my watersports budget at the moment. My budget is more along the lines of an inflatable pool and two of those foam noodles to beat each other with American Gladiators style, and I already have the noodles in the closet. I get to be Nitro though.
Hit the jump for their Kickstarter video.
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On The Rebound is a new app that guesses which among your Facebook friends is primed for a new relationship…with you. Make it stop!
Another day, another essentially functionless “dating app” made by a group of two or three young guys who’ve been reading too much Mystery — which, to be quite clear, is any Mystery at all: “On The Rebound” is a new Facebook app — created by Anthony Coombs and Jon Tran — that claims to “analyze” users' relationship statuses and history to evaluate which among your Facebook friends are, per the name, “on the rebound.”
With around 3,000 users in its first few days, “On The Rebound” is, perhaps, the rabid mouse to Bang With Friends', let's say, rat king: It's not quite as sickly ambitious or brazenly delusional — it doesn't assume that ALL of your Facebook friends might be lusting after you and would totally do you if only you'd present them with the right app to announce it, and a disclaimer at the bottom of its page reads “[This app] will not help you get laid” — but it still belongs to the same gross family.
After you’ve logged into “On The Rebound” and specified whether you're interested in creeping on men or women (you can't have both!), the app shows you a handful of friends — the quantity depends on your own set of Facebook friends — with the highest “rebound ratings,” or presumed readiness to date/hook up. To arrive at these ratings, the app collects information about users' past relationship statuses, how long they were maintained, and how long it's been since they were changed to “single.” A rating of 100 means that the user in question is “on the rebound” and ready, I guess, for you. (In the “Our Advice” box adjacent to that particular rating, the text reads: “He's ready. He's been ready. C'mon now! You are so obviously the one for him!”)
Of course, for the app to even SORT of work, users would need to be completely forthcoming with their relationship statuses, which many Facebook users don't always do, or even use at all. Like “Bang With Friends” and other apps in this vein, “On The Rebound” reflects a widely held, oversimplified, and often mistaken belief that Facebook knows everything about us, like a diary stand-in. But that's not really true for most of us: Facebook is an outline, not a complete picture.
So apps like these tend not to “work” — not in any practical sense, at least — at all.
Consider the six guys I'm presented with: a friend in a six-year (but unlisted on Facebook) relationship, my best friend's 21-year-old little brother, a gay guy I used to intern with, and three old friends from college — all of whom don't have prior relationships listed on Facebook, and all of whom “On The Rebound” weirdly describes as “still in love with his ex or he's not looking for anything serious at all.” I guess I can say that's true enough for one of them, but how, in general, do the app's designers arrive at their ratings and justifications in the absence of concrete relationship status changes?
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I loathe using some websites. Twitter and Facebook are horrific on the web when compared to their iOS/Android apps. I simply refuse to use Zillow’s website; I’ll wait until my kids are done with the iPad to look for our new place. The same is true for Tumblr and other sites. The mobile first strategy is in full force and Microsoft needs to hop on board.
With Windows 8, Microsoft is forcefully pushing the PC into the post-PC era. It’s a touch first interface with the Desktop mode allowing for a more traditional Windows experience. But if Windows is to succeed, apps need to be the top priority and as a user of the Surface RT, it’s clear Microsoft does not agree.
I’ve been using the Surface RT a lot more recently. I want to like it. I want to have it in my life. I’m a Windows guy and I just wish I had a companion device like the Surface to supplement my desktop. When traveling, I use a MacBook Pro and iPad. They’re a wonderful pair, but so far, I’ve yet to find the same sort of synergy with the Surface RT and Windows 8 desktop mainly because of the lack of compelling apps outside of Microsoft’s ecosystem.
Three months after launching there still isn’t a reason to buy a Windows 8 tablet.
Do you want these things on an 11-inch screen with a questionable keyboard?
Microsoft proponents will tell you that Office is the strongest selling point for Windows 8 tabs. That’s true. It’s the only reason I see as well. But do you need Office? Do you need a full-featured word processor or all-powerful spreadsheet editor? Do you want these things on an 11-inch screen with a questionable keyboard? If so, and I’m sure some people do, an Ultrabook would probably suit their needs better than a Surface RT — they better fit on airline trays anyway.
As it’s been explained countless times, the Surface RT runs Windows RT, a version of Windows written specifically for ARM processors. Because of this, standard Windows programs do not run on the Surface RT, or any other Windows RT tablet. You cannot install Chrome, Spotify, Scrivener, Steam or any other normal Windows program. Worse yet, the apps that are available in the Store are pure garbage compared to their iOS/Android counterparts — including our TC app. Even Surface fanboys on Reddit show the shallow depth of the Store’s library with this list of favorite apps.
In short Microsoft has left the Surface RT rot by not supporting its ecosystem.
Access to the web is no longer good enough. “Pin any website to the home page to make it its own app,” says Microsoft. Remember who else tried that? How did that work out?
Access to the web wasn’t good enough when RIM launched the Playbook in 2011 without any apps. Instead the company touted its full-feature web browser. It wasn’t until nearly a year later the company made it easy to port Android apps that the tablet finally started to take off. Now, with BlackBerry 10, BB set out on a quest to launch the platform with as many apps as possible. BB10 launched last week with 70,000 apps. Windows RT is three months old and it seems that Microsoft is still behind in terms of app counts.
It’s been said that BlackBerry went to great lengths to get apps for BB10. We’ve heard that the company went as far to pay developers to port their apps (something that Microsoft has some experience with). We’ve heard from others that BlackBerry did all the work internally to port some apps. Ignore the methods; the company hustled. BlackBerry did what it needed to properly support its upcoming platform. A modern mobile system is only as good as its apps.
I’m not alone in wanting to like the Surface RT. Surface owners are going to incredible lengths fixing Microsoft’s underwhelming ecosystem. Hopefully Microsoft is watching the self-inflicted pains Surface RT owners are suffering just to keep their devices fresh.
Surface owners are going to incredible lengths fixing Microsoft’s pitiful ecosystem.
Surface RT users have taken to jailbreaking the Surface RT to supplement the OS’ lack of compelling apps. There is a community currently porting open applications to Windows RT — but these apps are not/will not be available through the official Windows Store. Quake 2, anyone? Worse yet, they’re classic Windows applications and not touch-first apps. This action will quickly lose its appeal as more and more owners grow tired of the hassle.
When a product has to be jailbroken, something is wrong. Apple quickly learned this. Hackers beat Apple to the punch and launched backchannel app stores prior to Apple itself. In fact, Apple has closely watched this active community and implemented many enhancements and functions first developed by these users.
The iPad is a great device not because of the hardware. It’s special because of its access to new content. B&N was the first company to see this and developed the first generation Nook Color to be a portal to B&N content rather than a mobile productivity device. Others including Amazon, Google and BlackBerry followed suit. But Microsoft.
Listen, the Surface RT, and likewise, the Surface Pro, are fantastic examples of hardware. They feel like devices from the future with their full-size USB ports, microSD card slots, and, in the case of the Pro model, a Wacom active digitizer screen. But past the hardware, there is little reason to get excited because of the inherent limitations of Windows RT.
Microsoft has yet to get that the consumer electronics game is played with new set of rules. Hardware is no longer good enough. The web is no longer good enough. To be successful products have to provide consumers with a complete experience. That’s why every Apple mobile device since the iPod has been successful. That’s why Android is dominating the mobile wars. And that’s why until Microsoft can attract a large set of app developers to its Windows RT ecosystem, the ARM-based platform will go nowhere.
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Metamaterials are showing to be fairly beneficial for toying with the electromagnetic spectrum, whether for modern technology previously believed to be the things of sci-fi, or for monotonous real-world applications. Engineers at Duke College have actually shown up something that falls more into the latter classification: a metamaterial imaging sensor that doesn’t require a lens to create a picture. The sensor is a pliable copper-plated slab patterned with little squares that capture different light frequencies all at as soon as, functioning like one huge aperture. Include a couple of circuits with a pinch of software and the sensor-only camera could produce up to ten images per second, but the catch is Duke’s only works at microwave regularities. Microwave imaging is used plenty, nevertheless, and due to its versatility and absence of relocating parts, the sensor might be utilized to develop better integrated, cheaper flight terminal scanners and auto accident avoidance modern technology– making you more secure nevertheless you opt to travel. Unless you take the train. Then you’re on your very own.
Submitted under: Misc, Transport, Science, AltCommentsVia: Phys.org Source: Science, Duke College
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This is the periodic table of Minecraft made by DeviantARTist egeres. Is it accurate? No clue, I don’t play too many sandbox games because the last one I played was “hunt for buried treasure” at daycare and I dug up a sand-coated cat turd. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it really had a profound impact on my life. And not just because I know what it feels like to hold a fresh cat shit in my bare hand, but because it was the first time somebody (the daycare worker who caught me with my treasure) asked me if I was stupid. Haha — who’s laughing now, Ms. Trina?! (Not me, I still cry about it when I drink)
Thanks to Markin, who I can tell wants to hear another Ms. Trina story. She used to make us do bare-knuckle pushups on asphalt when we were bad. And sometimes when we were good!
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Evernote CEO Phil Libin responds to Skitch critics: ‘We don’t think the world needs another MS Paint’
“Our vision for Skitch hasn’t changed at all,” Evernote CEO Phil Libin insists, “and the core beliefs of its founders are lined up with ours.” Yet, plenty of Skitch users are upset with a recent update to the app that removed some well-loved features like instant uploads and added long, ungainly Evernote URLs in place of Skitch’s short links. “We did a full rewrite of Skitch, and we didn’t take anything out — there’s just some stuff we haven’t put in yet,” Libin says. Evernote acquired Skitch back in August 2011, and has slowly been integrating the two popular applications.
But he isn’t worried. “We have to draw some lines and ask ‘What is Evernote not?’ and ‘What is Skitch not?’” he says. The company actively dogfoods all its own…