Posts with tag technology

It turns out the internet is good for a lot

#SaveMarketBasket – the hashtag that brought revolution to a regional Supermarket chain




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The internet has done a lot for the world – it has revolutionized the way we consume information, its revolutionized the way we express ourselves, and even revolutionized the way we communicate with one another. But this week, it’s helped bring about yet another revolution – one for the heart and soul of a regional supermarket chain.

If that sounds even a little crazy, then you absolutely won’t believe the specifics. First, the Board of Directors at Market Basket – a family operated supermarket chain located throughout the North East of the company – voted to oust beloved CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas from the company following a long running family dispute with Arthur S. DeMoulas, who control of Market Basket’s Board of Directors recently. Then, the company employees (all of which aren’t unionized, by the way) decided to take matters into their own hands. Using social media, supporters of Arthur T. DeMoulas, known also as “Artie T.”, decided to encourage like-minded fellow employees and customers alike to boycott the company, refusing to work and encouraged patrons to shop at other supermarkets until Arthur T. is reinstated as CEO.

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“This is a movement to stop the avarice of Arthur S. and his board of directors who have stopped caring about the company, the associates, and the customers.” said Sean Brown, an employee at Market Basket Store #09 in Haverhill, MA regarding the protestors’ motives. Joseph Medici, another longtime Market Basket employee in Haverhill, believes that former CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas was key to the success of the once growing chain, saying that Mr. DeMoulas “kept the prices low” while “still [having] one of the largest profit margins in the grocery industry.”

The movement has been historic; supporters of the movement have flocked to various groups on Facebook to get the word out; one such group, “SAVE ARTIE T. & SAVE MARKET BASKET” has amassed 17,918 members as of this writing; another, “Save Market Basket”, a whopping 62,760 members.

Likewise on Twitter, hundreds of people have been expressing their support by tweeting with the hashtag #SaveMarketBasket, getting their message out to a total of over 85,000 Twitter users in all. Protestors are even using Instagram to get the word out, posting around a thousand images in all with similar hashtags.

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On top of the now countless social media posts, protestors are also making their voices heard – and helping touch lives – using some of the web’s most popular crowdsourcing applications. A petition regarding the Market Basket on Care2 has grown to become one of the largest ones active on the site, reaching 23,824 signatures with many leaving messages of support: “I fully support all these hard working people in their pursuit of what is right and true.” GoFundMe is also being used to help support truck drivers and warehouse workers involved in the strike, who have stopped receiving pay from the company. That’s managed to raise an impressive (and growing) $3,520.

So for all of this excitement, all of this talk, and all of this effort on the behalf of the employees, how effective has the strike been thus far? Incredibly, an absolutely massive one. According to unconfirmed reports, Market Basket suffered a 90% profit loss on July 22nd, and an even greater 91% loss on July 23rd. Market Basket parking lots are virtually empty – aisles are deserted, and food is seldom longer being restocked; even the back rooms are empty, as you can see in the photo above. And how about those nearby competitor supermarkets? Well, let’s just say that bread is flying off the shelves.

What does Market Basket’s new management have to say about all this? Why, “no comment”, of course; hardly any surprise for the likes of new co-CEOs James Gooch of Radio Shack and Felicia Thornton, formerly of Albertsons, who Sean pointed out to us has a “terrible track records where they have destroyed their previous companies and lined their own pockets.” Of course, I’ll be sure to update you on how the Market Basket saga plays out once all is said and done. The Board of Directors is scheduled to have a meeting regarding the issues tomorrow, the same day that the protestors are planning their biggest demonstration yet. Stay tuned as this continues to develop.

Photographs provided for use courtesy of Katie Langlois, Johanni Manon.


Things aren't perfect, but they're getting better, faster

Technology on the Cusp




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For centuries now, mankind has been using technology to benefit nearly every corner of civilization. Since the early days of applied sciences, we have been using technology to grow more crops, faster, with less waste and more product. Technology has been used to extend the human lifespan far beyond what human kind has ever seen before; modern medicine and increasingly advanced surgical procedures saves countless lives every year. Horse drawn carriages, roads, and boats stretch the possibilities of human migration and transport – trains, cars, and planes shatter any preconceived notions of limitations in their entirety. The abacus made number crunching easier – the calculator made it faster, the computer so powerful, it was nigh magic.

Read more after the break.


I'll have a You Pick Two

Panera Bread is making the first sandwich shop for the 21st century




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Anybody who loves a good sandwich is likely to have a sort of love affair with Panera Bread. The better-than-fast-food-but-still-not-quite-a-real-restaurant sandwich chain has become somewhat iconic for its selection of premium made to order sandwiches, soups in bread bowls, and most recently pasta dishes (oh god, the Macaroni & Cheese – the Macaroni & Cheese), and now the company has announced today that they will be significantly revamping each and every one of their retail locations before the end of 2015, creating one of the first visions of what a sandwich shop should look like in the twenty-first century.

Panera is known for its long lines, but no more – according to the company, the chain will be virtually removing lines in their entirety for anybody with a smartphone. Customers will simply be able to grab a table, order and pay from their table, and wait for their food to arrive within minutes – no hassle, no dealing with a cash register, and virtually eliminating the risk of getting mayonnaise on that sandwich when you asked for no mayo, damn it.

No smartphone? No problem – Panera will also be adding kiosks to their stores, letting customers walk up and tap on a touch screen with the whole menu, allowing you to order and pay from there as well.

On top of that, Panera will now allow customers to schedule orders up to five days in advance, and pick it up at a designated box at the time of your choosing.  Panera’s new revamp will likely get customers in and out faster, shorten wait times, improve the quality of orders (which had been somewhat slipping as of late, much to the company’s chagrin), and just making this a more enjoyable experience for all.

Subway, your move.

Source: Recode


Questions the state of technology in the USA

Michael Moore is really upset about missing The Good Wife




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Michael Moore is, as it turns out, a pretty big fan of The Good Wife. That’s why he’s pretty upset about missing last night’s supposedly mind blowing episode (though I’ve never seen the show), which has in turn prompted a rant posted on Facebook that extends from the state of his DVR to questions about the state of all the technology in the United States.

In the post, Michael Moore laments missing 40 minutes of the show “due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game.” While this might be the end of it for some people, not Mr. Moore. According to him, the DVR system in the United States should work more like that of the the systems in “more advanced countries” than ours, such as “Ireland, the UK, Australia, those Scandinavian ones, etc.” Apparently, in those countries, DVRs are smart enough to record a whole program no matter when (if?) it runs on time or not, as those systems are set to record a program, not a time slot.

Michael Moore then ends his blog post pointing out that China has a bunch of bullet trains – specifically nine – “criss crossing” the country, whereas the United States has a big fat zero, as if this is confirmation that the United States is just super behind the times – both when it comes to the quality of our DVRs, and when it comes to the quality of our trains.

While Mr. Moore might be a little too angry about having the ending of The Good Wife spoiled for him, he’s also kind of got a point – there are many aspects of the United States that are just, well, pretty far behind some other countries. But to call them “more advanced” then us? Might be a bit of a stretch.

Source: Michael Moore (via Facebook)


Domino's, you mad genius you.

Thermal Ink makes DVDs smell like delicious pizza




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How’s about this for an innovation – someone at Domino’s Pizza apparently came up with the incredible idea of mixing two of the best things in the world : the smell of a hot, delicious pizza, and a movie. Domino’s Pizza in Brazil are now advertising and selling copies of ten of today’s hottest movies (including The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, and Argo) that have been stamped with what’s called thermal ink which, when heated up (like by a DVD player), smells like the heavenly scent of Domino’s Pizza.

Each disc has also been specially printed with a label that reads “Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino’s Pizza.” I’m not sure if this is madness or genius, but I do know that I want some pizza with garlic crust.

Source: Adage


Featured Friday: How to build a computer for $200




There are a lot of great guides out there to help those on a budget to build cheap computers, but one thing that always bugs me is that they either never seem to be worth the money, offering low-end, garbage parts, or on the flipside they seem to be too expensive for what it could be. So today, I was on a mission: what’s the cheapest I could build a computer that’s worth using using only parts currently sold on NewEgg?

Read more after the break.