Walmart employee trampled to death by Black Friday shoppers.

News stories like this one are what prompted SEB’s tag line. Jdimytai Damour was hired as seasonal help at a Long Island Walmart only to perish under the feet of deal-crazed shoppers this past Friday:

“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Wal-Mart worker Jimmy Overby, 43.

“They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.

“They took me down, too … I didn’t know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back,” Overby said.

Damour, a temporary maintenance worker from Jamaica, Queens, was gasping for air as shoppers continued to surge into the store after its 5 a.m. opening, witnesses said.

Even officers who arrived to perform CPR on the trampled worker were stepped on by wild-eyed shoppers streaming inside, a cop at the scene said.

“They pushed him down and walked all over him,” Damour’s sobbing sister, Danielle, 41, said. “How could these people do that?

“He was such a young man with a good heart, full of life. He didn’t deserve that.”

What the fuck is wrong with you people in Long Island? I love a good deal as much as the next guy, but how you could trample someone to death trying to get a good deal is beyond me. That pic on the left (click to embiggen) is what the scene looked like as the doors opened. They have a whole gallery of pics from this tragedy that shows just how stupid people can be.

Roughly 2,000 people gathered outside the Wal-Mart’s doors in the predawn darkness.

Chanting “push the doors in,” the crowd pressed against the glass as the clock ticked down to the 5 a.m. opening.

Sensing catastrophe, nervous employees formed a human chain inside the entrance to slow down the mass of shoppers.

It didn’t work.

The mob barreled in and overwhelmed workers.

“They were jumping over the barricades and breaking down the door,” said Pat Alexander, 53, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. “Everyone was screaming. You just had to keep walking on your toes to keep from falling over.”

After the throng toppled Damour, his fellow employees had to fight through the crowd to help him, police said.

Witness Kimberly Cribbs said shoppers acted like “savages.”

“When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been on line since Friday morning!’” Cribbs said. “They kept shopping.”

Seriously, what the fuck? Even after you’ve crushed a man to death you insist on shopping? Have you no empathy at all? Are you so bereft of concern for your fellow man that killing him in the mad rush for a deal isn’t enough to give you pause? Couldn’t some of you have stopped and helped this poor man to his feet before he had the life stomped out of him? Help me to understand the insanity of this event, please.

Hat tip to ***Dave who has some choice words of his own.

Toshiba 32” 1080P LCD HDTV + 80GB PS3 + Blu-ray movie = $997

I don’t normally post deals on SEB because they tend to be fleeting, but this was too good not to mention. If you’re in the market for a new LCD HDTV and a PS3 then you might want to cheack out this offering from Walmart. Yes I know it’s Walmart and I’m not a huge fan of Walmart, but a deal is a deal and this seems a pretty good one.

It includes a Toshiba 32” Regza 1080P LCD HDTV, an 80GB PS3, the PS3 Blu-ray Remote Control, and your choice of either a Blu-ray movie of your choice (from a list of 27 options) or a HDMI cable. The movies being offered include 300, I Am Legend, and Reservoir Dogs so they’re not all craptastic titles. If you want it shipped it’ll ad $20 to the cost or you can pick it up at your local store. There’s sales tax to consider as well, but it’s still a helluva deal.

Seems the holiday deals are getting warmed up. Just thought some of you would like to know.

another DRM server bites the dust

Walmart… (via BoingBoing).

From: Walmart Music Team
Date: Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 7:42 PM
Subject: Important Information About Your Walmart.com Digital Music Purchases
To: xxxxxx@gmail.com

Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases

We hope you are enjoying the increased music quality/bitrate and the improved usability of Walmart’s MP3 music downloads. We began offering MP3s in August 2007 and have offered only DRM (digital rights management) -free MP3s since February 2008. As the final stage of our transition to a full DRM-free MP3 download store, Walmart will be shutting down our digital rights management system that supports protected songs and albums purchased from our site.

If you have purchased protected WMA music files from our site prior to Feb 2008, we strongly recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any personal computer. This change does not impact songs or albums purchased after Feb 2008, as those are DRM-free.

Beginning October 9, we will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from Walmart.com. If you do not back up your files before this date, you will no longer be able to transfer your songs to other computers or access your songs after changing or reinstalling your operating system or in the event of a system crash. Your music and video collections will still play on the originally authorized computer.

Thank you for using Walmart.com for music downloads. We are working hard to make our store better than ever and easier to use.

Walmart Music Team

There’s not much to add, is there…

It’s nice that they’re transitioning to a DRM-free store, but can’t they just give the suckers who music crippled by DRM the unshackled tracks? Just another example that buying anything locked down by DRM is not a long-term investment, but a short- or medium-term rental.

I have been to hell and it is the Ypsilanti Michigan Walmart store.

Anne and Courtney picked me up for work last night and, after a quick dash home to drop off a few things they had brought with them and a quick gourmet dinner at Burger King, we headed out to check on TV prices. I’ve been reading some good things about Vizio HDTVs being a decent compromise between quality and price and knowing that Walmart was one of the places that carries that brand we headed out to the closest store at hand.

I’ve spoken before of my lack of enthusiasm for Walmart. They certainly have some of the best prices around, but at a cost to the employees that bothers me. Being human, however, there are occasions where the deal being offered at Walmart manages to overcome my aversion to doing business with them and when you’re looking at plunking down a few hundred dollars on a TV set it’s easy to give in to temptation.

So off to Ypsilanti we headed, which isn’t very far at all considering our location in Ann Arbor. I’ve always considered Ypsi to be a fairly decent town, admittedly I’ve never spent a huge amount of time there, but it always seemed nice enough on the occasions I’d visited in the past. Up until last night I can only assume I had the good luck to only hit the nice part of town as the section the Walmart was in was somewhat reminiscent of some of the lesser popular parts of Detroit that often make headline news. Still, it’s Walmart and every single Walmart store I’ve ever been in has been clean and well maintained. This was not one of those kinds of Walmarts.

I didn’t notice it at first as the TV section seemed reasonable enough, but over the course of the next hour that we were there hemming and hawing and debating over a 37” or a 42” TV – and how big of a TV stand we would need for it – and then realizing that the damned thing wouldn’t fit in my Grand Prix at all anyway – and then going off to look for a microwave, can opener, and toaster oven that we also need – and, yes, this is a ridiculously long run-on sentence – it became increasingly clear that we shouldn’t buy anything at all at the store.

Take the microwave oven. We found one we kinda liked for a decent price, but all the boxes for it appeared to have been opened or badly battered about by the stock people. Who knew if all the parts were present or if it was even undamaged? Same thing for the toaster oven and can opener. The can opener was the worst of the lot with the boxes looking like they’d been stomped on a couple of dozen times by elephants in desperate need of a diet. The store as a whole was a mess that reminded me a bit of scenes in post-apocalyptic zombie movies where people scavenge for food inside a decrepit grocery store. I was already somewhat irritated by my initial indecision over the TV set and the subsequent realization that it didn’t matter cause I wouldn’t be able to get the damned thing home anyway, but after taking a good look around I’m now glad I didn’t buy the TV there after all.

We won’t even go into the almost total lack of assistance by anyone on the staff which pretty much ensured that even if we had made a decision and had been able to transport the TV that we wouldn’t have been able to buy it because no one offered to sell it to us. If nothing else it’ll make my aversion to shopping at Walmart a lot easier to self enforce.