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2 Holiday Gifts You Shouldn’t Buy at Best Buy



best buy

The days when consumers went to Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) to look at items they later intended to buy on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have long since passed. The retailer has remade its business, and now offers competitive pricing that makes it an Amazon competitor rather than a showroom for the online giant. That makes Best Buy one of the top Black Friday destinations. The retailer sells the televisions, appliances, computers, and phones that top many people’s wish lists — in fact, when the chain opens its doors on Thanksgiving Day at 5 p.m. it will have some of the lowest prices on electronics being offered by any retailer.

Best Buy has become a player that can compete with anyone, but there are still two areas where you should not make a purchase from the retail chain. In one case, Amazon remains the better bet; and in the other, there are simply cheaper options.
Cables and cords

When you buy a television it’s logical and easy to buy any necessary HDMI cable at the same store you purchase the TV. The same is true for a printer, computer, or anything else that does not come with all the required cables and cords.

Best Buy counts on consumers wanting that convenience, and it charges accordingly. To be fair, the company has become more competitive on these items — a few years ago the chain was absurdly expensive for cables and cords — but it’s still cheaper to buy these items on Amazon if you’re hoping to offer a complete gift package.

Ideally, you should find out what you need before shopping and order the cables and cords so you have them when you make the bigger purchase. That will help you resist any temptation to make an impulse buy.

TV mounting services
Best Buy offers all sorts of services through its Geek Squad arm. Many of them are good deals, but when it comes to TV mounting there are cheaper choices out there. The retail chain charges $129.99 for basic mounting and $199.99 for more complex mounts.

Shoppers can find local providers with a simple internet search that charge anywhere from $69 to $99. Yes, you’ll want to be careful and read reviews to make sure you’re getting someone good, but that’s easy enough to do. Even Amazon can be cheaper than Best Buy (though it’s not always, as it depends upon TV size), and you can easily find a professional to mount your TV for under $100.

Be a smart shopper
Just because Best Buy has become competitive when it comes to prices does not mean you should not do your homework. It’s easy to check prices at Amazon while you’re in the brick-and-mortar retailer. It’s also smart to do as much homework as you can before you visit the store.

Best Buy has become a viable Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping destination — really one of the best places to do some holiday shopping. It’s still important, however, to plan, budget, and research to get the most out of your shopping dollars.

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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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