The Case For Blu-Ray

Thought i’d bump a blog article I like about how blu-ray is significantly better than streaming. Click here to read it.

Where’s My Perk ? – My Ongoing Indiegogo Experience

From time to time I encounter crowdfunding campaigns on products I think are interesting and have shared them here on this blog. And I have successfully backed some through both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter with no issue. But have you ever wondered what would happen if something wrong were to happen?

Well, it just has for me and I thought I’d go through the process with my blog readers.

In November 2016, I encountered a crowdfunding campaign for the Solartab C, “The World’s Quickest Solar Charger” and thought I’d back it for US$144.00 to receive two solar chargers.

I sent a payment of approximately $200 in Canadian funds via Paypal to IndieGoGo on the 24th of November 2016 and the estimated delivery of the product was December 2017. But due to complications with the manufacturers in China, the product was delayed on numerous occasions through-out 2017.

In December 2016, they had discovered waterproofing issues with their product and unfortunately, this issue occurred just before a month-long New Years celebration, which caused significant delays in China.

The revised product samples were delayed until mid-March so they were only able to have their final test results on the revised product in late May. And that meant they only started manufacturing the final product in the summer of 2017 and it would only likely get through the quality control tests in the fall before getting shipped during the busy Christmas season, which of course causes issues and delays.

By November 2017 it was obvious that I would not be getting my perks in 2017 because they encountered an issue with the cables and wall plug included with their final product, which was provided by yet another manufacturer. And by the time they replaced all of the cables and wall plugs that were included with the 3000+ units their international shippers had no room for them, having allocated this space to other products for the Christmas rush.

The last update issued by the campaigners was on December 2nd, 2017 and my options are limited in regards to a refund.

IndieGoGo states it won’t honor refunds after the funds have been forwarded and there are complaints on the campaign site that the people behind the campaign are non-responsive, so I’ve emailed them asking for a refund to see if they’d respond.

In regards to Paypal, complainants only have 180 days after the transaction to open a case at the Resolution Center and I’m guessing they would have probably directed me to IndieGoGo, who would have forwarded me to the campaigners. But you should always keep track of this six-month window whenever you use Paypal.

Basically, I would have saved time and money simply buying two Anker PowerCore+ 20100 or Anker PowerCore 26800 to re-charge my Samsung tablet and Sony MP3 player. But I really wanted to have reasonably priced solar chargers for the spring and summer.

I’m still hoping to receive my Solartab-C order though and will update this entry with more information if anything happens.

UPDATE (02/05/2018) – Received word that they have finally received the perks at their warehouse in China and are getting ready to ship. Apparently they had to renegotiate with one of their 3rd party providers. :-/

Canada Post News

The Canadian Government is expected to release a statement today in regards to their community mailbox conversions and several media outlets suspect that these conversions will be suspended.

Officials have told The Canadian Press that a task force will be created to address issues related to seniors and individuals with mobility issues. And apparently, Canada Post may extend their money transfer services for individuals who want to send funds abroad.

Ticketmaster VS Bots

According to the Financial Post, Ticketmaster will be introducing two methods to counteract the use of bots this year.

The first will involve the gradual release of tickets, which will make it harder for scalpers to buy large amounts at one time. And the second will involve a service name Verified Fan that confirms a fan’s interest in particular events and sends these fans codes to purchase tickets.

Both have been tested in 2017 with some success and enabled Ticketmaster to observe patterns in the purchasing of tickets by scalpers, which in turn helped them to take legal action against them.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday vs Boxing Day

It appears that the Good Friday and Cyber Monday sales may be winning over Boxing Day sales in Canada and the U.k. But if you’re looking for Christmas merchandise and deep discounts on electronics, the later may be preferable.

Basically, people are using Black Friday and Cyber Monday to score gifts and Boxing Day for personal purchases, sweets and impulse purchases of overstock products.

I’ve personally stocked up on chocolates using my Canadian Tire money and Optimum Points at Shopper’s Drug Mart because nothing beats free, discounted chocolates. And I also for deep discounted Christmas themed air fresheners free using loyalty programs cause I own a cat and I happen to like pine and cinnamon/gingerbread. 🙂

The boxing day sales are all week on and Indigo so i’m keeping an eye out for stuff I might need in the new year. And the dollar’s stronger so I’m also looking at the year end deals are available on

I’ve already imported what I wanted from the U.k, the Deluxe version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango In The Night“. But decided to wait for the 30th Anniversary boxed set of Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” and Queen’s “News Of The World” 40th anniversary boxed set. I’m hoping to score those later, hopefully during one of these sales.

I’ve also just run into this whilst browsing today, which is incredibly tempting regardless of the fact that I pretty much already have everything that’s included on this boxed set.

Decisions. Decisions.

My Year End Predictions For Retail

With the death of Sears Canada, had become obvious that retail is changing way quicker than anticipated by economists.

Back in the 90’s, I suspected something was going on in the industry because one of the stores I had expected to have a future went under a few years after I had left the company.

Consumers Distributing was a chain of stores in Canada and the United States that operated with catalogs like Sears but dedicated only a small portion of their retail space to displays at all of their stores. And most of their merchandise could be found stacked on shelves the back of their outlets, which were brought forward by associates to the consumer, who chose their products from catalogs located in the retail space.

Had they survived into the 2000’s, I suspect they would have progressed from their six-digit catalog system, where people physically presented order slips to an order desk or called an order in using their credit cards, to a touchscreen system that simply gave consumers an order number. And I suspect Amazon would have simply purchased the company, automating the warehouse space further.

Unfortunately, the 212 store chain went under because Sears Canada had a foothold in the catalog market and it just could not survive both the recession of the time and Walmart’s expansion into the Canadian market. But I suspect Amazon may have a limited number of retail outlets that closely resemble Consumer’s Distributing stores in the future, where people could place orders and pick up purchases 24/7 from coded lockers.

Amazon Pickup Point locations already exist in Canada and the United States. And I believe they will likely expand these to Whole Foods locations, a chain that was recently purchased by, creating one stop shop locations in the major cities.

I’m personally hoping they’re going to convert my local Sears Home store here in Western Ottawa to a Whole Foods/Amazon outlet. But I doubt they will consider taking over that many Sears retail stores because the large department store format is pretty much dead.

Consumers are previewing merchandise online so retailers will not need to provide as many displays as they did before. And with 3D technology, I suspect people will scroll through merchandise on virtual reality headsets with customized 3D imagery before 2020.

Optometrist retailer sites already offer services in which people can place frames on their faces and all one would need to do in the very near future is to provide their measurements for virtual models, who would wear clothing for consumers to preview.

Norstrom currently offers a service where clothing is set aside for people to try out and I suspect other stores will offer this convenience shortly through their website, with the aforementioned virtual modeling. And I wouldn’t be surprised some stores would offer perks like high-end coffee and/or liquor through these services as well.

In regards to drones and self-driving vehicles, I don’t know if drones would be the best choice for our weather.

Not only does it get quite cold in most of Canada’s major cities during the winter, it also gets quite windy.

Those who have tried to take digital photographs in the cold here can attest to issues related to draining batteries and I’m sure that drones would be constantly slammed on the side of buildings and into trees by the wind in my suburb. We even get the occasional microburst here.

Self-driving vehicles are currently being tested in my community and I’m expecting pizza/food delivery to be the first service in my area to take advantage of this new technology. But I doubt I’ll be seeing drones delivering goods in my area before 2020, especially fragile items.

The Transport Canada regulations to fly drones are quite tight and I believe we are more likely to get deliveries from our grocery stores and pharmacies in normal vehicles for quite some time. Several of my local grocery stores have only recently started offering click and collect services.

I personally don’t see many advances in music retail either.

As you may or may not know, I had originally wanted to have a career in music retailing. But when the MP3 came along I knew stores would likely go online.

Vinyl sales will continue to expand slightly until higher resolution recordings become the norm and offer the depth of vinyl. And High Definition radio will eventually become the norm, requiring consumers to purchase equipment to listen to the higher resolution recordings, although most stations will likely continue to broadcast in FM and simply include high definition recording data on the same signal.

I don’t believe Canada will follow Norway’s example and go all digital because we haven’t gone all digital when it comes to television in the minor markets. And the government will probably want as much access to Canadians as possible for emergency and weather-related broadcasts so I won’t personally be purchasing an HD radio compatible device for some time.

Even if I wanted to purchase a receiver now they’re over $100 at the moment and there are only three of four HD radio stations in my city. It just isn’t a priority for most and will not likely be until well past 2020, although virtual reality multi-cam live concerts could be a “thing” soon.

4k cameras are getting incredibly compact and can be placed in multiple discrete locations at venues, enabling broadcasts to fans via the internet now. Mostly static front row, mezzanine, and other multiple angle shots but we can just imagine what they’ll be able to do soon with VR headsets. 360-degree 4k live shots of entire performances from the front row or stage, perhaps?

I don’t expect everything to happen next year but it’ll be quite interesting after 2020.