Brokestone, Unlimited ATM Heists? and Writing Barnes & Noble’s Next Chapters

Brookstone’s goes Halloween…

Image courtesy of cooldesign/

Image courtesy of cooldesign/

What does a seasonal store that sells Halloween related merchandise have in common with a gadget store? Nothing really. But Spencer Spirit Holdings, where you probably shopped for Halloween merchandise just bought Brookstone, the gadget store where you apparently didn’t shop. The gadget company finally cried bankruptcy and agreed to be acquired by Spencer Spirit for $147 million. Brookstone, long the seller of items you obviously don’t think you need, including (in my opinion) an unusually large array of massagers, operates out of 244 locations, many of those at airports.

Don’t stop at the ATM…

Image courtesy of 2nix/

Image courtesy of 2nix/

You might want to reconsider using the ATM for the foreseeable future and stick to using your credit card instead. Once again, individuals who would rather resort to crime than actually earn their spending cash have figured out yet another way to rip off people who actually work hard for their money. The scam, not-so-charmingly nicknamed “Unlimited Operations” involves changing the controls on ATMs to be able to access unlimited withdrawls, whether the funds are there or not. So simple yet so sinister. In one instance, thieves/hackers/future inmates scored $40 million with just 12 debit accounts. Imagine if these criminals used their ingenuity and industriousness in more productive ways, like curing disease and ending world hunger…

Chapter and e-verse…

Image courtesy of adamr/

Image courtesy of adamr/

Barnes & Noble’s next few chapters are looking rather grim. Besides losing $2 billion during the last holiday shopping season, its e-reader isn’t fairing so well against Amazon’s Kindle and the perennial crowd pleasing iPad. Then one of B&N’s  largest investors, Liberty Media decided it is going to sell most of its preferred shares. Naturally, this caused shares of the bookseller’s stock to head south. What’s in store for the once mega-powerful bookseller remains to be seen (or read I suppose).

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