New Cedar-Riverside Center Gives Students High-End Tech Opportunity

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By Kelly Busche, Minnesota Daily

“A new technology center in Cedar-Riverside will connect youth from immigrant families to high-end technology.  Kids and teenagers are already testing the equipment and professional software tools at the new technology center in the Brian Coyle Center on West Bank, which will officially open Dec. 4.”

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Minnesota Drone Startup QFO Labs Is Suing Best Buy, Target, and Amazon

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Via News Release

QFO Labs, a drone technology licensing firm, announced today it is seeking an injunction in Federal Court (Minnesota District) to protect its patents for handheld “tilt-to-fly” control technology it began developing in Minnesota more than 15 years ago. It seeks to stop the sale of consumer drone products manufactured by France-based Parrot SA at three major retailers that have a presence in Minnesota: Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.”

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[Updated] Best Buy Expands After-School Tech Program

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Updated 10/25 3:00pm CDT: “Best Buy announced that by 2020 it will prepare 1 million youth per year for tech-reliant jobs through intensified training and career-readiness programs.”

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP

“Best Buy is expanding an after-school tech program for underprivileged teens as it hopes to create workers with the skills to serve increasingly savvy shoppers as well as groom future inventors who can help fill its stores with new gadgets.

The Minneapolis-based chain said Wednesday the number of tech centers will grow to 60 from 11 over the next three years. The centers, hosted by nonprofit organizations with strong financial support from Best Buy, let teens explore technology such as robotics and 3-D printing.”

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Best Buy Pumps $2 Million Into ‘Teens & Tech’ Nonprofits

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Via News Release

“For a half-century, Best Buy has been a catalyst for the rise of technology as a means to improve virtually every aspect of our lives. As society becomes more reliant on technology, it is critical for youth to develop the necessary skills to be prepared for the jobs of the future. Over the next decade, nearly 80 percent of all jobs will require tech skills.”

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Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age

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By Kevin Roose, New York Times

“While running errands the other day, I ducked into a local Best Buy to pick up a pair of new headphones. What I saw inside was shocking.

Happy-looking people were huddled around tables filled with the latest gadgets from Microsoft and Apple. The video game aisle was bustling. Blue-shirted employees were helping a customer pick from a glowing wall of flat-screen TVs. There was a line — a line! — at the checkout counter.”

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Best Buy To Increase Spending To $700m In E-commerce Battle

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By Khadeeja Safdar

Best Buy Co. reported another quarter of rising sales but said it would increase spending on its e-commerce operations and supply chain to continue growing its business in a competitive marketplace.

The electronics retailer said expenses were higher in the June quarter and it planned to make similar investments in shipping, compensation and online operations in the next two quarters.”

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Best Buy Fires Back With New Geek Squad Service ‘Assured Living’

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By Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune

“Best Buy Inc. is launching a new “smart home” service this week in the Twin Cities aimed at helping adult children remotely check in on the health and safety of their aging parents.  The service, called Assured Living, offers a free in-home assessment with families to design the most appropriate array of monitors and devices. Geek Squad tech workers install the custom-built systems, and family caregivers can receive information or alerts on their smartphones.”

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Best Buy Just Lost A Billion Dollars On News Of Amazon’s Geek Squad Competitor

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By Jason Del Rey, Recode

“On Monday morning, Recode reported that Amazon was quietly building out its own competitor to Best Buy’s Geek Squad gadget repair and installation service.  Almost immediately, investors reacted by selling out of Best Buy’s stock in a big way — the stock was down more around 7 percent as of 11:30 am ET on Monday. That drop works out to a loss of more than $1 billion in market cap for the brick-and-mortar electronics retailer.”

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Best Buy’s New Weapon Against Amazon

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By Jason Del Rey, ReCode

“Over the last few years, the idea of short-term rentals has taken off in industries from lodging to fashion. Now Best Buy is trying to push that same trend into the mainstream for consumer electronics.

Later this month, the big-box retailer will start advertising try-before-you-buy rentals on its website for cameras, audio equipment and fitness trackers, the company recently told Recode. Best Buy is working with a San Francisco-based startup called Lumoid on the partnership.”

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EFF Is Suing The Justice Department Over Reputed GeekSquad Spies

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Via Star Tribune

“The Justice Department was sued Wednesday by a privacy group seeking information on the FBI’s alleged recruitment of Best Buy employees to search consumer computers for child pornography during repairs.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department, demanding access to records about any FBI training and payment to Geek Squad workers to search customer computers without a court warrant.”

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