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Netflix’s latest Blockbuster is a mix of nostalgia and reality



Blockbuster once had over 9,000 stores, but streaming services like Netflix led to a rapid decline in business

Do you remember the smell of a video store? The fully-stocked shelves boasting the week’s newest releases, which were a haven for film and TV buffs.

Blockbuster was a stalwart in the video-retail space. However, the chain went from a corporation of 9,024 stores in 2004 to one remaining store.

The last Blockbuster store is located in Oregon, and has become a novelty for passers-by and locals.

Today, the store has become the subject of Netflix’s latest series, Blockbuster.

The show is an office-humour sitcom, which gives viewers a glimpse into the last remaining Blockbuster.

It follows a hardworking manager, who is fighting to keep his video store open and staff happy.

But the store and its employees are facing competition and complicated feelings towards their job.

Melissa Fumero and Randall Park star in Netflix’s new series.

The shows’ executive producer, Vanessa Ramos said she liked the concept of using the Blockbuster example but also wanted to “build our own little world”.

“There was a Blockbuster by my house and on Fridays, once my dad got home from work, we would go as a family and we would pick three movies,” she said.

Ramos has worked on other successful Netflix series, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore.

Does Blockbuster still exist?

There is one remaining Blockbuster store, which is located in Oregon.

The store was opened in 1992 before it rebranded to Blockbuster in 2000. Today, loyal customers and passers-by can rent their favourite movies, shows and video games.

“Before we became the last one, it definitely was more just loyal local customers,” said Sandi Harding, who is the last remaining Blockbuster manager.

“In July, when we became the one store left, everyone started coming here and visiting from all over the world and there was more nostalgia to it,” she told the U.S. Today Show.

The store has also become a popular tourist attraction. Avid film enthusiasts can even use the store as an Airbnb.

The store was decked out with a bed, free snacks and, of course, a large TV.

“It was a challenge to find that chunky TV,” Harding told CNN.

The world’s last Blockbuster Is now listed on Airbnb.

The staycation was a popular choice for people when Covid-19 gripped the U.S. in 2020.

“It’s only $4 for the night, a penny more than what you would spend for a new release.”

“They can just enjoy their evening, enjoy pizza and popcorn and just have a blast,” Harding said.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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First home purchases cost 60% more than renting in most cities



It has been revealed that buying a starter home in the majority of major cities is a whopping 60% more expensive than renting.

This staggering revelation is causing many potential homeowners to rethink their plans and consider the financial implications of such a significant disparity in costs.

The report, conducted by a leading real estate analytics firm, analyzed housing markets in various urban centers across the country.

The findings indicated that the dream of owning a starter home might be considerably out of reach for many aspiring homeowners.

Steep price

While renting provides a level of flexibility and convenience, the prospect of home ownership is an appealing one, but it comes at a steep price.

The rising costs of homes, combined with increasing interest rates and the need for substantial down payments, are contributing to the substantial gap between buying and renting.

Additionally, maintenance and property taxes add to the financial burden of owning a home, making renting an attractive alternative for those looking to save money.

Despite the financial challenges, experts advise potential buyers to carefully weigh their options and consider long-term financial goals. While renting may seem more affordable in the short term, the potential for home appreciation and building equity could provide substantial benefits over time.

However, for those who are struggling to save for a down payment and are concerned about the overall cost of homeownership, renting remains a practical choice in many major cities.

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UPS is using AI to thwart package theft



UPS, one of the world’s leading package delivery companies, is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to combat the persistent problem of ‘porch pirates’ stealing packages from doorsteps.

This innovative approach aims to safeguard customers’ parcels and enhance the overall delivery experience.

The rise of online shopping has led to a surge in package deliveries, making porch piracy a growing concern. Criminals often seize opportunities to snatch packages left unattended, causing frustration and financial losses for both consumers and delivery companies. UPS, however, is stepping up its game.

By integrating AI-driven solutions into its operations, UPS has developed a sophisticated package protection system. The AI algorithms work in tandem with a network of smart cameras strategically placed in delivery vehicles. These cameras capture real-time footage of delivery drop-offs and monitor for any suspicious activity.

When a package is placed on a recipient’s doorstep, the AI system analyzes the surroundings for potential threats. If any unauthorized individuals approach the package, the system triggers an alert for UPS personnel or local law enforcement. This proactive approach not only deters thieves but also helps in apprehending them swiftly.

This groundbreaking initiative not only bolsters package security but also reinforces UPS’s commitment to customer satisfaction. With the deployment of AI technology, the company aims to reduce theft incidents significantly, making doorstep deliveries safer and more reliable for all its customers.

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How much money you need to earn to be “officially rich”



In today’s economic landscape, achieving true financial prosperity is a goal many aspire to attain.

While perceptions of wealth can vary widely, there’s a consensus that a specific salary threshold qualifies as officially rich.

When it comes to defining what it means to be rich, the benchmark often lies in one’s ability to comfortably afford a luxurious lifestyle, invest for the future, and still have funds to spare for philanthropy or personal indulgences.

The magic number that often places individuals in this coveted category is an annual income of $250,000 or more.

Reaching this income level is no small feat and generally requires a combination of factors such as a high-paying job, wise financial investments, and, in some cases, entrepreneurship. Those earning this salary often enjoy access to exclusive perks, whether it’s upscale living arrangements, exotic vacations, or fine dining experiences that most can only dream of.

The financial freedom that comes with an income of $250,000 or above enables individuals to secure their future, supporting their retirement plans and ensuring a comfortable life for their families. It also allows them to make a significant impact on causes they care about, contributing to charitable endeavors and supporting local communities.

However, it’s essential to note that wealth is a subjective concept, and one’s perception of richness may differ significantly based on personal circumstances and geographic location. In some areas with a high cost of living, a $250,000 income may not stretch as far as it would in other regions.

In conclusion, while the definition of being rich can vary, a salary of $250,000 or more often marks a significant milestone in one’s financial journey. It provides the means to lead a luxurious life, secure the future, and make a positive impact on society.

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