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Installed Build Tools revision 33.0.1 is corrupted. Remove and install again using the SDK Manager

I have done a clean install of Android Studio Giraffe. I previously had Dolphin. I am creating a new project trying just a basic Empty Project with the Java.

I get the error
Installed Build Tools revision 33.0.1 is corrupted. Remove and install again using the SDK Manager

I have tried the solution recommended by @vikrant-pandey (and others) on this link, but I do not have a dx.bat or dx.jar d8.bat or d8.jar anywhere in my Windows 10 folders:

Anyone know what I am doing wrong?
How do I uninstall and install 33.0.1 from the SDK manager?

Medicare supplement plans

You are likely sick of the commercials, I know that I am. However, seniors with medial needs, have the opportunity to shop providers of their supplement plans each year. My wife has to shop her drug plan each year. Not necessarily to find a cheaper provider but to find a plan that covers the majority of her prescriptions. It becomes a big pain to find the best provider that covers or at least supplements the cost of her drugs. It's also a hassle to find a provider that allows her to purchase the drugs where she wants to take her business. The plans seem to change the drugs they push and the places they want you to shop each year. It should not be such a hassle and the stress it creates is unkind. A person is forced to shop the plans or it could amount to a great out of pocket expense for those in need. Shame on the industry! It's really an evil game they play with the seniors knowing that some will not shop and have to pay the cost.

If you are someone you know is caught up in this madness, I'd like to hear your take on the game and how you are effected.
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[App][Free] Capture and Organize Real-World Colors for Your Projects

Hello there,

I often see colors in the real world that I want to use in my apps or websites. I tried to find an app for capturing color codes from real things, but all the ones I found were either full of ads, had in-app purchases, or their interfaces were too complicated. So, I decided to make my own app.

My app is pretty straightforward – it helps you capture colors, organize them into different projects, and write notes for each color about how you plan to use it.

It's the ideal tool for designers, artists, and creatives, providing instant access to essential color codes (HEX, RGB, HSB) for use in various digital projects. Whether you're working on graphic design, interior decorating, or digital art, this app turns your environment into an endless palette of colors. It's a perfect way to remember the context of your color choices, from conceptual design ideas to specific client needs.

I'm still working on the app and would really like some feedback. I'm especially interested in how you find the user interface and any suggestions for making it better.

Here’s the link to the app: Color Capture - Apps on Google Play

Thanks a lot for any feedback!

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How to control Christmas lights with Alexa

With the holidays around the corner, you might be pulling out your string lights and preparing to decorate. Thanks to Alexa and Amazon devices, you can bring new life to your old-school holiday décor with a little bit of holiday magic (aka Alexa Routines).

An image of wrapped holiday presents with Christmas lights. There is an orange background behind them.

Setting up string lights with Alexa​

How to set up your holiday lights with Alexa.

You don’t need to throw out your old string lights to get started decorating with Alexa. Here are easy steps you can take to level-up your existing décor:

  1. Use smart plugs to control regular string lights and other electronic décor. Smart plugs can control power to many small household items as long as they have an on/off switch.
  2. Set up a smart home hub so your smart devices can work on your behalf. Smart home hubs help devices connect to Alexa so you can enable smart features and automations like Routines and Hunches. Smart Home hubs can be standalone, or built into a speaker or Wi-Fi access point, like an Echo or eero.
  3. Swap out regular light bulbs for smart bulbs to easily change the ambiance of a room with color and dimmable options that you can control with Alexa.
  4. Control your smart devices with the Alexa app. Alexa is compatible with thousands of smart home devices from a variety of devicemakers and brands, allowing you to mix and match your devices based on your preference and needs. To ensure an optimal Alexa experience, look for the “Works with Alexa” badge to ensure your device is compatible.

Alexa holiday Routines​

How to set up your holiday lights with Alexa.

Alexa Routines are shortcuts that help save you time by grouping together a bunch of actions so you don't have to ask for each one individually.

Here are a few examples of our favorite ways to bring some holiday cheer into the home with custom Routines:

  • Deck the halls: At sunset, Alexa can automatically turn your connected string lights on, change the color of your smart bulbs, and turn on your connected electric fireplace to get your home in the holiday spirit without you having to lift a finger.
  • Christmas morning: When your alarm goes off, Alexa can begin playing holiday music, turn on your connected smart coffeemaker, and announce “It’s time for presents” on the connected devices in your home.
  • Holiday safety: As you head out the door for holiday shopping or on an extended trip to see family, you can use a phrase like “Alexa, I’m leaving” to kick off a Routine that turns off all the lights, locks your doors, and arms your connected security system.
An image of a coffee maker plugged to a smart plug. There is an Echo device next to it and a white mug on the other side, along with miscellaneous items on the counter.
10 popular Alexa Routines that can simplify your day
Alexa Routines can organize your day, complete tasks, and make your daily routine more fun, all without you saying a word.
Read more
You can easily create these holiday Routines for the smart home devices you have or set up other custom ones by following a few simple steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Open "More" and select "Routines."
  3. Select "Plus."
  4. Select "When" to schedule an event, and follow the steps in the app to choose what starts your Routine.
  5. Select "Add," and follow the steps in the app to choose the action of your Routine.
  6. You can select multiple actions for the same Routine.

Other things to try​

How to set up your holiday lights with Alexa.

Can’t get enough of the holiday spirit? Here are some other things you can ask Alexa to do to help celebrate the season:

  • Shop and track your gift purchases with Alexa.
  • Ask Alexa to play holiday movies on your Fire TV devices.
  • Customize your Echo Show with your own holiday photos.
  • Ask Alexa to find your favorite holiday recipes.
  • Ask Alexa to play holiday music.

Source: Amazon

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How to Watch: Cybertruck Launch Event [VIDEO]!

We’ve been waiting for the Cybertruck to launch for YEARS and the day is finally upon us! During this event, Tesla will announce details about the Cybertruck. Although attendance is limited to VIPs, the whole world can watch from home: the event will be live-streamed and you can watch it here. What: Cybertruck Delivery EventWhen: Thursday, November […]

See full article...

Will AI allow our loved ones to “live on” in a sense?

Part of an email I received this morning included the following bit:

Silicon Valley codes a new grieving process

The Future. Several AI companies are marketing services that hope to make grieving a thing of the past. These AI-powered recreations of loved ones may have the power to provide a psychological cushion for those spiraling from loss, but they could also become a crutch for people looking simply for comfort, not closure.​
Broken heart bot
Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard… so some AI firms are trying to ease the pain, per Vox.​
  • “Grief tech” startups like Replika, StoryFile, Seance AI, and HereAfter AI provide services, such as the creation of virtual avatars of loved ones and interactive video conversations.
  • These “companions” provide grievers something they can talk to whenever they miss their lost loved one — giving them a gentler way to let go.
  • While some have found these services comforting, others have been hit with unannounced updates that totally break the illusion — a phenomenon that could be retraumatizing.
Grief counselors warn that the rise of grief tech could make people reliant on these tools to cope or, worse, avoid the natural human process of grieving altogether. Could the ambition to optimize grief simply postpone the process, prolonging our psychological need for closure?​
Whether or not that’s a good thing may be a deeper question about the role death plays in society.​

Although thinking about it, it makes sense as part of the AI evolution; after all, Carrie Fisher was in the last Star Wars film via CG, so couple that with some AI modeling/sampling and you could talk with her anytime you like.

I’m rather disturbed by this use of AI, though it’s novel enough that I’m still reflecting on it all.

Since our name change suggests we’re all about early tech adopters, this seems a good place to discuss it. ;)

So what thoughts do you all have?

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How Android helps you stay safe from mobile fraud apps

Here's a concise summary of the key points from the article on how Android helps protect against mobile fraud apps:
  • Multiple Layers of Protection: Android offers various protections and warnings to aid users in making safe choices when installing apps, especially from sources outside established app stores.
  • Voice Phishing Protection: Google's Phone app provides caller ID, spam protection, and Call Screen to protect against voice phishing and scams.
  • AI-Powered Message Screening: Messages by Google and Gmail use AI to identify suspicious messages, blocking them or flagging them with warnings.
  • Google Safe Browsing: This feature warns users about potentially dangerous websites that might phish credentials.
  • Chrome Download Warnings: Chrome browser alerts users when downloading Android (APK) files that could be harmful.
  • Control Over Unknown Sources: Android requires users to opt-in for installs from unknown sources, adding a layer of security against accidental downloads of malicious apps.
  • Google Play Protect: This service provides real-time protection for apps installed outside of Google Play, scanning for harmful apps and warning users about potential risks.
  • Restricted Settings in Android 13: This new feature in Android 13 adds protections against apps from unknown sources that request to change critical device settings.
  • Continuous Improvements for Safety: Android is continuously enhancing its protections and warnings to safeguard users from fraud and mobile banking scams.
Source: Google

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A Conversation With the Makers of the Galaxy SmartTag2


  • Determine location of nearby Galaxy users through Galaxy SmartTag regardless of distance
  • Battery life extended to 500 days
  • Find lost items from a short distance with UWB technology-based Compass View feature
  • Newly added Lost Mode feature
  • Discover unregistered Galaxy SmartTags and prevent unauthorized location tracking
  • 23% (23 out of 100) of Galaxy SmartTag owners use more than two

Full Story​

“Where did I put it?” It’s a thought most people can relate to after losing their belongings. Samsung Electronics is putting an end to searching and stressing with the Galaxy SmartTag2 — a mobile accessory released in October that provides a simple, convenient solution for locating items.

Just two years after the launch of its predecessors, the Galaxy SmartTag2 has returned with a design upgrade and substantial feature enhancements based on user feedback.

Samsung Newsroom sat down with Dalwon Kim and Kiyoung Kwon, Product Planners of the Galaxy SmartTag2 at Samsung Electronics, to discuss key aspects of the product and its improvements.


Dalwon Kim and Kiyoung Kwon, Product Planners of the Galaxy SmartTag2

Rugged Design: IP67-Rated Usability With Metal Loop

Building off valuable user insights gathered during the launch of the Galaxy SmartTag and Galaxy SmartTag+, the Galaxy SmartTag2 was developed with a focus on the user experience to improve comfort and increase satisfaction.

The most noticeable change with the Galaxy SmartTag2 is its design — reducing the product size and thickness resulted in a more portable device. The new metal loop improves functionality and adds an air of sophistication to the product.


The Galaxy SmartTag2 Silicon Case (sold separately) allows users to carry their devices safely and conveniently.

“After analyzing thousands of reviews of the previous iterations, we noticed some feedback about minor inconveniences that affect the user experience,” explained product planner Dalwon Kim. “Our goal for this version was to create a design that is smaller, lighter and attachable anywhere. We also wanted to make sure the battery was not easily removable. We took outdoor activities into account and made specific improvements to enhance the product’s durability, such as adding IP67-rated water- and dust-resistant features.”1

Added Convenience With Compass View and Lost Mode

Improving the features of the all-new Galaxy SmartTag2 began by asking how the company can allow users to make the most out of their Galaxy SmartTags in any environment. By harnessing the global network of Galaxy products, Samsung was able to strengthen Galaxy SmartTag’s versatility and utility through two features — Compass View and Lost Mode.

“The Galaxy SmartTag2 has evolved significantly to make it applicable in a wider variety of scenarios,” said Kim.

Dalwon Kim explains the features of the Galaxy SmartTag2.

The Galaxy SmartTag2 still operates with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology, a feature originally adopted for the Galaxy SmartTag+.

Taking a deeper look at what’s new, Compass View is an upgraded feature available on the Galaxy SmartTag2 and takes the Find function to the next level.

When using Compass View on the Galaxy SmartTag that relied solely on BLE, users had to physically move closer to lost items to strengthen the signal. However, the new Galaxy SmartTag2 builds upon the innovations of its predecessors and introduces a more intuitive way2 for users to locate their belongings by displaying both the direction of and distance from the misplaced object.

“With the Galaxy SmartTag+, users had to monitor the signal strength to gauge their proximity to items and then tap Find Using Camera before turning the mobile device around,” explained Kim. “Through Compass View on the Galaxy SmartTag2, the direction and distance to the lost item are automatically displayed when you reach a certain distance — an arrow icon appears on the screen, pointing in the direction of the item. It’s as simple as using a compass.”


The Galaxy SmartTag2 can also be attached to bags and luggage.

The Galaxy SmartTag2 also introduces Lost Mode,3 a new feature powered by near-field communication (NFC) technology that will be handy in a variety of situations. If Lost Mode is activated and someone with a NFC-compatible device discovers a lost item, they can scan the Galaxy SmartTag2 — allowing them to access the owner’s contact information and any personalized messages.

Extended Battery Life: Up to 500 Days of Usage

The Galaxy SmartTag2 boasts an impressively long battery life4 — offering approximately 500 days of continuous use or more than double that of its predecessors. When the new Power Saving Mode5 is activated, the battery life can stretch to 700 days or more than four times that of the previous versions. “Although Galaxy SmartTags are designed to track both locations and lost items, most users primarily utilize them for location tracking. We introduced the Power Saving Mode to cater to this preference,” said Kim.


Kiyoung Kwon explains the product features of the Galaxy SmartTag2.

“One of the most common points raised in user feedback was related to battery life,” said product planner Kiyoung Kwon. “Our primary objective was to extend battery life — ensuring it could span several months or more.”

Compared to the Galaxy SmartTag+, the Galaxy SmartTag2 offers a longer battery life at a more affordable price point. “This achievement was made possible by implementing a new chipset solution and improving software mechanisms,” he emphasized.

Strong Security Features and Unauthorized Tracking Detection

The main goal of the Galaxy SmartTag2 is to assist users in locating their cherished belongings. However, it is crucial to recognize that location-tracking services can be exploited.

To prioritize user safety and privacy, the Galaxy SmartTag2 incorporates robust security features through Samsung Knox. “Galaxy SmartTag2 location data cannot be accessed without the user’s consent, and all user data is encrypted and safeguarded by Samsung Knox. Furthermore, location data is shared only with individuals designated by the user,” explained Kim.



Using the “Unknown tag alerts” feature can prevent misuse of the Galaxy SmartTag2.

The Galaxy SmartTag2 can also detect unknown Galaxy SmartTags in the vicinity to alleviate concerns about unauthorized tracking. “Unknown tag alerts,” a feature within SmartThings Find,6 identifies any unregistered Galaxy SmartTags nearby and sends a notification7 to alert the user against unauthorized tracking.

“This feature offers assurance and an added layer of security,” said Kwon. “Regardless of the device, users are provided with transparency to help avoid misuse of the Galaxy SmartTag.”

Why 23% of Users Opt for Multiple Galaxy SmartTags

Users familiar with the Galaxy SmartTag recognize its practicality. For every 100 people who own a Galaxy SmartTag, 23 people own two or more. This number has more than doubled since last year and continues to grow.

The upgraded Galaxy SmartTag2 is expected to be adopted by an even larger user base for a wider range of applications. Kim and Kwon, the minds behind the product, underscore the Galaxy SmartTag2 as a mobile accessory that offers “peace of mind.”


“We’ve improved the product’s features with a strong focus on enabling users to conveniently locate their lost valuables from a distance,” said Kim. “I’ve heard of cases where the Galaxy SmartTag was used to catch thieves and prevent other crimes, which made me very proud as a product planner. We will continue to do our best to create products that users can continuously rely on wherever they go.”

“I hope that the Galaxy SmartTag2 can become an integral part of people’s lives,” said Kwon. “I want the Galaxy SmartTag to be the first solution that crosses people’s minds when they need to find their lost belongings.”

1 The Galaxy SmartTag2 is rated as IP67. Based on lab test conditions for submersion in up to 1 meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Not advised for beach, pool use or soapy water. Water and dust resistance of device is not permanent and may diminish over time.
2 For the Galaxy SmartTag2, Samsung account log-in and registration on SmartThings Find is required. The Galaxy SmartTag2 needs to be paired with ultra-wideband (UWB)-enabled Galaxy smartphones with Android 11 or higher to fully function. Accuracy may be reduced if there’s an obstacle between you and the tag, such as when the tag is inside a drawer, behind a wall or in a car.
3 Contact information and message shown on Lost Mode must be registered beforehand on the SmartThings app.
4 Battery life is based on results from internal lab tests for typical usage pattern scenarios conducted by Samsung. Tested with results from a pre-release version of the device using inbox CR2032 battery. Actual battery life may vary depending on different usage patterns, environmental conditions, the replacement battery manufacturer, and other factors.
5 Non-Power Saving Mode, expected battery life under typical usage conditions is up to 500 days. Power Saving Mode is limited to basic Bluetooth finding functions (for example, Search Nearby signal indicator and map).
6 Non-Galaxy users can access the “Unknown tag alerts” feature in the SmartThings app’s settings.
7 Users must have the “Unknown tag alerts” feature activated to receive notifications of unregistered Galaxy SmartTags.

Source: Samsung

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The art and science of working with AI

Article summary:
  • AI-Powered Productivity Era: We are entering a new era where AI, specifically Microsoft 365 Copilot, is transforming workplace productivity.
  • Art and Science of AI: Effective use of AI requires both art (creative questioning) and science (technical know-how). The outcomes depend significantly on how users frame their queries.
  • Increased Workload: There's a growing need for AI assistance as workloads have increased significantly, with users juggling numerous emails, chats, and meetings daily.
  • Enhancing Human Capability: AI is not just a tool for automation; it augments human capabilities, enhancing overall productivity and ingenuity.
  • Effective Prompting: Detailed and specific prompts lead to better AI responses. The key is to be descriptive and precise in your queries.
  • Four Key Prompt Components: Successful prompts should include a clear objective, relevant context, specific parameters, and a preferred format for the response.
  • AI as a Collaborative Partner: The interaction with AI should be dynamic and iterative. AI serves as a co-creator, evolving based on continuous feedback and refinement of prompts.
  • AI for Personalized Assistance: AI acts as a personal assistant, understanding the user’s work context and priorities, thereby tailoring its responses and suggestions accordingly.
  • Building New Work Habits with AI: The integration of AI into work processes requires the development of new habits and approaches, similar to the shift observed during the PC era.
  • AI's Role in Enhancing Collaboration: AI can enhance teamwork, especially in flexible and distributed environments, by identifying key discussion points and facilitating rapid collaboration.
  • Accepting Imperfect AI Outputs: AI-generated responses may not always be perfect, but they can be "usefully wrong," stimulating further creative thinking and refinement.
  • AI as a Cognitive Load Reducer: AI helps in reducing the cognitive burden of routine tasks, allowing users to focus more on the substantive aspects of their work.
Full Article: Microsoft

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4 new Teams updates to enhance classroom engagement

The 4 updates to Microsoft Teams for Education:
  1. Mindful Coloring Book in Reflect: Reflect, a Learning Accelerator in Microsoft Teams, now includes mindful coloring activities featuring the Feelings Monster. This helps students explore emotions through art and supports wellbeing and engagement.
  2. Clickable Cards in Reading Progress: Reading Progress now features clickable cards that provide insights into each student's reading progress in areas like speed, accuracy, and prosody, making it easier for educators to tailor support.
  3. Background Noise Suppression in Reading Progress: A new feature that uses AI to filter out background noise during student readings, improving the accuracy of auto-marked scores.
  4. Clickable Insights Cards in Search Progress: These new cards in Search Progress allow educators to assess students' research habits and progress, helping to identify those who are doing well, those on the right track, and those needing more support.
The article announces the general availability of the new Microsoft Teams app for Windows and Mac, offering a faster, simpler, and more flexible experience.

Educators are encouraged to explore the new features in detail in the October and November 2023 updates for Microsoft Teams for Education and to take advantage of the free online training, "Master Microsoft Teams for any learning environment," available on Microsoft Learn.

Full Article: Microsoft

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LG Expands Platform Business With New webOS Hub 2.0S

LG Offers Greater Versatility Across a Wider Range of Products From
Third-Party Brands With Latest Upgrade to Its webOS Ecosystem


SEOUL, Nov. 17, 2023 — LG Electronics (LG) announced that the new webOS Hub 2.0S for third party brands – released for TVs in September – is branching out this month to include smart monitors, responding to the expanding smart TV market as well as the highly increasing number of single-person households. While smart TVs are catered to family households, the rising trend of single-person households has led to a significant demand for smart monitors, making webOS Hub 2.0S, which offers both convenience and a large variety of content, a great choice for smaller screens as well.

The new webOS Hub 2.0S presents greater hardware adaptability, broadening its availability beyond smart TVs, and is able to provide more options for third-party brands to offer a customizable user experience.

A new addition on the main home UI screen of webOS Hub 2.0S is the Card App Home Hub & Music, granting access to an abundance of services with one remote click. Featuring a smart home ecosystem dashboard, users can customize control capabilities with supportive device status monitoring for TVs and IoT-based devices.

Designed to meet a diverse range of user needs, the webOS Hub 2.0S offers comprehensive services with a variety of features. Users can easily access music from popular apps such as Spotify or music stored in USB drives via the Card App Music feature. Functions such as Remote PC allow easy access to content for hybrid work, ensuring users a seamless transition to office PCs or laptops. The platform enables convenient video calling and conferencing with support for USB cameras* and encourages productivity with an elevated home fitness experience. To cater to students and working professionals, webOS 2.0S allows accessibility to streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. Compatibility with Apple Home and AirPlay* enables users to easily and securely control compatible smart home accessories and effortlessly stream movies, music, games, and photos using their Apple devices as well.

Affirming its exceptional services and unparalleled versatility, LG has diligently bolstered its market presence over the past three years by integrating the webOS Hub into various third-party products with over 300 brands joining in this exciting endeavor.

Following the success of the company’s approach, LG is expanding the webOS Hub platform to a broader range of smart TVs and smart monitors, solidifying its presence in the industry with a commitment to providing seamless access to the webOS Hub experience across multiple devices.​

# # #​

*Apple Home and AirPlay, USB camera features are only available on the 1.5GB model equipped with webOS Hub 2.0S.

Source: LG

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this happened when the URL changed

ok just in case someone else had this happen to them. ever since the name change to the website url, i could not access the site. i thought the site was down due to the changes that has been going around. but nope. it had been flagged by my router as malicious. i had to turn off the advanced security from the router. as soon as i did that, i can now access the site.

this all happened since the change in url......curious as to why my router thought this site is malicious......anybody know? is there a way to fix it from happening again? i would like to turn that feature back on at some point.

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LG to Present Innovative Solutions for a Better Life at CES 2024

To Become a Smart Life Solutions Company, LG is Harnessing AI to
Expand and Enhance Living Spaces and Customer Experience


SEOUL, Nov. 28, 2023 — LG Electronics (LG) invites consumers from around the world to tune in to its LG World Premiere press conference and to come visit its exhibition booth at CES in Las Vegas this January. The press conference, hosted under the theme ‘Reinvent your future,’ is scheduled to kick off at 08:00 (PST) on January 8 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Arriving on stage first, LG CEO William Cho will be announcing the company’s key areas of focus for 2024 and beyond. Major topics will include LG’s transformation into a Smart Life Solution Company – declared earlier in July as Future Vision 2030 – and how it is leveraging AI to expand and enhance both the living space and the customer experience. The LG World Premiere is set to unveil more details of what the vision truly means and promises for the consumers.

The state-of-the-art products unveiled during the press conference will be on show during CES 2024 at LG’s booth. Along with impressive displays, jaw-dropping technology installations and entertaining interactive exhibits, visitors can explore and learn more how its innovations will improve lives across various areas, including the home, commercial and mobility.

LG World Premiere will be livestreamed on the LG website and LG Global YouTube channel.​

# # #​

Source: LG

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Samsung Acquires Roon Audio Platform (via HARMAN)


HARMAN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer, and enterprise markets, today announced the acquisition of Roon, the music management, discovery, and streaming platform for music enthusiasts.

Roon is a music player platform for music enthusiasts, which features a rich interface for browsing and discovering music, compatibility with almost any audio device, and a playback engine designed to deliver the best possible sound. Roon is available for all popular operating systems and manufactures a line of hardware server appliances called Nucleus.

“At HARMAN we take great pride in our ability to create exceptional audio experiences for our partners and consumers around the world,” said Dave Rogers, President, Lifestyle Division, HARMAN. “The team at Roon shares our passion in bringing exceptional sound and connectivity to music lovers as they browse, discover, and listen at home and on the go. We are looking forward to welcoming Roon, whose impressive talent will join the HARMAN family and bolster our already robust engineering capabilities.”

Roon will operate as a standalone Harman business with its existing team. All Roon operations will stay in place and continue to be dedicated to serving and growing Roon’s community of device partners and customers, under a joint mission to deliver engaging and personalized audio experiences across a universe of products and platforms.

Aligned with its ‘work with all’ strategy, HARMAN is committed to growing Roon’s open device ecosystem which includes collaborating with more than 160 other audio brands, delivering audio to more than 1000 high-performance devices. Roon’s dedication to its loyal community and its exceptional UI/UX design expertise will continue to expand and flourish with the acquisition.

“Our team is ecstatic to join HARMAN, a visionary company that has been leading the audio industry forward for decades,” said Enno Vandermeer, CEO of Roon. “By combining forces with HARMAN, Roon gains the incredible scale, resources, and reach of a global technology leader, while maintaining our independence to invest in the business’s growth and future. We look forward to continuing to bring our advanced data management, SaaS expertise, and consumer engagement capabilities to our broad ecosystem of partners, as we join forces with HARMAN to deliver even greater audio experiences to our customers.”

Source: Samsung

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday: How Dumb Have They Become?

What in the heck have Black Friday and Cyber Monday become?
  • Black Friday "sales" started weeks early this year
  • Many products are marked way up purely to show huge savings
  • Cyber Monday deals started on Saturday
  • Cyber Monday "deals" are the same as Black Friday deals... they just did a "Find & Replace" for Black Friday
It's all one big money grab that preys on historical ideas of what Black Friday and Cyber Monday used to be. At some point, they'll both lose all meaning, and will eventually get renamed or overtaken by something else, because the concepts no longer make any logical sense.
They've become nothing more than buzzwords, and quite frankly, it's pissing me off. It's hard to imagine that I'd miss the pre-internet days, when "Black Friday" meant herds of people at retail stores, waiting in line for "Doorbusters", featuring the inevitable annual local news "trampling" story. But alas, here I am...

And when "Cyber Monday" came along, I was a reluctant participant, favoring it over Black Friday merely because shopping from the comfort of my laptop was much more safe and saved hours of wasted time in traffic and checkout lines.

At least back then I was complaining about actual sales with a distinct purpose. Today, I'm complaining because these sales are a nonsensical farce. The words themselves hold very little weight. It's like the boy who cried wolf but the stores are the boy and they're shouting "Black Friday!". How long until we all stop listening?

I think it will either take a generational shift- the marketing only works because of the 30+ crowd who remembers the nostalgia of when BF/CM actually meant something. Don't get me wrong -- there are definitely a lot of good deals to be had -- but they've got nothing to do about a day of the week or being online/offline.

I think we should group all Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals under a new term: "Q4Busters". It replaces the old "Doorbusters" terminology and gives companies runway to start their dumb "Black Friday" promotions on October 1st without fear of being fake news.

Who else has gotten exhaustively sick of the intentionally negligent use of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to the point that their meanings have been dilluted into nothingness? What's an irritated consumer to do beyond complain?

Don't forget: Cyber Monday was invented in 2005 by the National Retail Federation, so it's very possible to coin something new to cure this new retail sickness. However, not all attempts go so well: other efforts have included Green Monday, Buy Nothing Day, Small Business Saturday, Super Saturday, Giving Tuesday, and Singles' Day.

Article Comments & Forum Threads Now Linked!

You can now view EBC article comments directly on each article:

Just click the "View Comments" link and BOOM: everything appears.


Each article (at our discretion) is automatically connected to a related forum thread.

Still working on styling, but this should be an awesome improvement for discussing the news and highlighting opinions from our community. If you can remember, this is something we always struggled with when Phan/AF were connected at the hip.

See you out there!


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