Assassins Among the Bookshelves: “Showrooming” is Deadly

showroombookstoreIf you ask a local business about “showrooming,” they’ll either scowl or, more likely, look befuddled. The practice is booming among consumers, though, and any business owner has probably seen it: a customer walks into the store, browses the shelves, and then whips out her smartphone.

A few minutes later, she’s gone. Where’d she go? Well, she already ordered the item she saw in the store at a discount. On the Internet. Not from your store.

About half of consumers are using showrooming while they’re purchasing. The jury’s out on whether it’s really bad for retail or not-so-bad-but-probably-not-good.

However, one type of retail is suffering more than others: bookstores.

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Google Glass: Is an App Store for Memories Just Around the Corner?

googleglassglassesGoogle Glass is Google’s latest awesomely terrifying innovation.

It’s basically a pair of dorky glasses that function as a high-definition video camera wherever you go.

The footage you record can be shared virtually with friends, in real-time.

Friends who you can see in the corner of your screen.

Sorry, they’re glasses. I mean world.

Although when you wear glasses that are a screen, the whole world becomes a screen.

The next logical step is finding a way to make stylish glasses. After that, Google will need to make contacts that can project a screen – which is already happening.

But what’s after that?

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When Does the iPhone Become an iMemory?

For New Year’s Eve, I was in Amsterdam, visiting my dad.

At the time, I dared to wander out onto the downtown streets to witness the all-day fireworks marathon around eight or nine at night.

People swarmed the cobbled alleys, plazas, and vast field behind the Van Gogh Museum, where a gargantuan stage was being readied for a band. People stumbled around with open containers, or open… uh… bottles of vodka and whiskey, and generally Reveled.

Fireworks are widely available in the Netherlands and not seen as the evil, life-threatening fire hazard that they are in my native Massachusetts. That meant that everyone and their elderly Dutch grandmother was planting fireworks in open plazas and lighting the fuse.

Everywhere you looked, there were either flaming piles of debris or exploding piles of debris. And, every time the colors arced out into the sky, sparkling amid the unfurling smoke, people turned their smartphones toward the heavens.

Easily half of the masses all had the same instinct when witnessing this spontaneous act of terrifying merriment: record it. Continue reading