The Day Fry’s Died

Goodbye Fry’s — we will miss you indeed

The demise of Fry’s Electronics hurts more than so many closings of the past year. As Wired reported, the chain was an important if eclectic part of many people’s journey through technology. Wired reports that Fry’s was yet another victim of the Amazon Effect. It was a place that claimed “if it has a plug, we sell it.”

dis-rup-shun: What made Fry’s important is what has made it irrelevant. For many years, it was one of very few places that had anything you needed related to computers or electronics, and you could pick up a case of Pringle’s alongside a new hard drive. Fry’s, for many of us, was always a long drive away, as the stores were frequently located in outer suburbia. It wasn’t a place easy to drop in to meander, rather it was a place to visit with a purpose. Nowadays, the best place to aim through endless isles of unrelated but interesting stuff is at the end of a mouse — And getting products from Amazon is so much quicker and more convenient than driving, parking wandering, reading, then choosing.

The Broadband Miracle of Mississippi

The Governor of Mississippi is changing the state in a most radical way — spending a portion of the state’s coronavirus stimulus grant of $1.2 billion on rural broadband. The state’s connectivity is currently ranked as 42nd among the fifty states, with at least 35% of rural residents without access to broadband. The Mississippi legislature smartly assigned the money to 15 electric co-ops and gave them only six months to spend it, creating a mad rush for deployment. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The pandemic has brought, along with its destruction, a myriad of success stories. Upgrading the rural citizens of Mississippi is a brilliant move, especially with the unplanned infusion of $1.2 billion into the state’s coffers. The long-term implications for the state are numerous as access to jobs, education and information will increase for an otherwise un-connected population.

Scheduled text messages — now on Android

Android users received a highly beneficial feature with the addition of scheduled text messages on Android phones running Android 7 or higher. Previously this feature was available only with third-party messaging apps. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: In a time when smartphones are so advanced, meaningful new features are few and far between, but this one is significant.  How many times have you forgotten simple tasks that others have asked you to do because you are focused on something else? How many times do parents fail to register with children who are so engrossed in their mobile device that they never heard a request, despite nodding their heads? This feature, for parenting alone, is worth installing instantly.

Target to open mini Apple stores 

Target continues its battle to remain a relevant alternative to online purchases, and the company has fared well during the pandemic by offering same day pickup at most stores. Now the company will open mini-Apple stores within a store — hoping to keep people coming to Target as the outlook for a return to shopping as normal appears only months away. 17 Target stores will feature an Apple shop in the initial roll-out, which will not include a Genius Bar. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The blurring of the lines continues in retail and tech, and Target has always lived on the edge of mass discount retailer and upscale shopping experience. Target’s electronics department has long been almost good enough, but lacking a few options. This move will close that gap to an extent, and likely skew the customers entering the store slightly upward as it will attract a few more shoppers seeking premium Apple devices.