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About ThePointblank

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  1. I'm finding that the NUC's are getting very popular as corporate and office computers, precisely because of their compactness. It seems Intel has a hit on their hands, and the fact that Intel keeps refreshing the lineup and adding to it says they are seeing good sales numbers as well.
  2. GM at the 2021 Virtual CES show announced a new business unit, Brightdrop, which is a ecosystem of electric and connected products targeting commercial clients in the logistics and delivery industries: From TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/12/gm-targets-delivery-companies-with-new-ev-business-unit-brightdrop/ Driving.ca: https://driving.ca/general-motors/auto-news/news/gms-new-brightdrop-sees-it-enter-the-electric-connected-commercial-delivery-biz GM has so far announced two products under Brightdrop; the first is an
  3. Update: Google has yanked the Parler App from their App Store. Per Axios: https://www.axios.com/capitol-mob-parler-google-ban-826d808d-3e06-4468-a7c6-6157557818b3.html
  4. Reading this much more closely, it is technically only a criminal penalty of about $240 million, and the establishment of a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund to compensate crash victims families. The rest is money Boeing would have spent anyways compensating airlines due to their aircraft being out of service, or having their deliveries suspended.
  5. Via Bloomberg and Yahoo News: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-parler/apple-threatens-to-remove-parler-social-networking-service-from-app-store-idUSKBN29D34N https://ca.movies.yahoo.com/apple-threatens-parler-ban-000548898.html In short, Apple is threatening to remove Parler from their App Store unless Parler changes their content moderation policies, specially if Parler doesn’t rein in the violent threats on its app. Apple's CEO has apparently e-mailed Parler's CEO, indicating that Apple isn't happy with how Parler is moderating
  6. Sony's software from my experience is generally very good; their version of Android is more stock than most, and includes some Sony specific tweaks and software. And their software updates is pretty good, with fairly quick updates.
  7. Sony doesn't have the greatest support network in North America. It's actually fairly hard to get parts and service in North America for a Sony phone as few repair shops will touch them because they are fairly rare phones. Samsung on the other hand, is fairly easy to get service and repairs; I can even order the parts directly from them myself. And there are plenty of third party shops that can work on them as well.
  8. As someone who has gone from a Sony Xperia XZ Premium to a Samsung Galaxy S20+, I can't say I'd missed the 4K display that much. I appreciate the faster refresh rate of my Samsung phone as it made the phone feel much more responsive. The big knock against Sony is their lackluster build quality, which is the reason why I had to switch; I had both a defective screen AND a bad USB port within a span of a year after the warranty was over, and I tend to baby my phones. Coupled with very poor technical support and a general lack of availability of parts and service just made it easier fo
  9. This is a pretty big and emergency directive coming from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), directing all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately due to a known exploit that is apparently being exploited by hackers. This after the US Treasury and the US NTIA were apparently breached by hackers. A foreign government is suspected and the National Security Council met Saturday to discuss the fallout. The directive from CISA: https://www.cisa.gov/new
  10. Hyundai is a massive South Korean chaebol or conglomerate, with business activities in a variety of business sectors beyond cars. It's the second biggest chaebol after Samsung by valuation I believe. So yeah, not totally out of whack of what the company's interests and capabilities are, since they have a hand in almost everything.
  11. Brokerage fees are normal, and are a part of importing the goods commercially. You are paying someone to complete customs paperwork for clearance, and to use a customs broker's bond to pay for the clearance until the broker gets reimbursed. So unless you clear the importation yourself (which can take 1-2 hours to do with physical forms), you are paying for the service of importation. And there can be a lot to the customs paperwork for a lay person, and most customs brokers have specialized education and training to do. Let me know if you can figure out a CBS
  12. That looks about normal; brokerage fees for both the major couriers, or through a customs brokerage firm is about $25-35 bucks, depending on the firm, plus taking on duties and taxes. You won't be able to avoid the brokerage fee, unless you are willing and have the know how to fill out the customs forms yourself and go to a customs office to have the paperwork stamped by a customs officer, and pay for the duties and taxes. The question is, is $25-35 bucks really worth your time and effort to print and fill out the forms, go to a customs office, wait in line for an hour, get your pa
  13. Oh, we did that. Small tests orders for the first batch often came in fine, exactly like the samples, with third party lab testing verification, but when we asked them to repeat the production run with no changes, there are changes.
  14. The problem from my experience dealing with Chinese companies is that often, they'll say and promise one thing, and will do their damn best to hide the true situation, or deliver something that falls far short of what was promised. And when you confront the company about the issue; they'll often just ignore you. And if you cut them off, they'll just shut down the company, and restart it again almost the same day, and you're back at square one trying to figure out if the new company you've started working with is going to pull the same stunt with you again. There are som