It Looks Innocent Enough Doesn’t It?

John saw an article a few weeks ago ….

… literally gushing with enthusiasm about The Wynn Hotel in Vegas installing an Amazon Echo in every room. I wasn’t so enthused. Imagine someone stationed in your room, 24*7 jumping up to your every instruction … “James-open the drapes”, “James – get me some coffee”, “James – put on Fox News” – ok – just checking – nobody would ever say that – would they?

Turns out someone at Wynn thought it would be a great idea to replace ‘James’ with ‘Alexa’ … “Alexa -open the drapes”, “Alexa – get me some coffee” .. you get the drift.

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Don’t Point The Finger Too Quickly

John thinks we were writing about this just the other day …

… you know about large companies buying up small companies and then wondering what to do – and getting all confused …. well I know it wasn’t exactly that – but close enough. Here is what we said.

Anyway, on a similar and related topic – this is GothamGal rapping on the state of retail as we enter 2017 and noting both Macys and Sears cutting their brick and mortar stores back significantly – and ‘The Limited’ closing all stores completely. Continue reading “Don’t Point The Finger Too Quickly”

Dude, Where’s All Our Cars?

(Almost-Dr.) Graham puts on a professional hat and speculates …

Kids of 2017 will never get to drive a car, at least according to a leading roboticist. What could this mean, to them and the rest of us?

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/science/sd-me-robots-jobs-20161213-story.html

Deeper implications to that – than immediately apparent. Developmentally,  driving a car might have been the first experience a youth had of performing simultaneous tasks requiring a lot of practice to transfer to muscle/automatic memory. Does the now-common experience of simultaneously doing homework (hah!), watching streaming video,  and chatting online make up for that?

Wait,  though,  there’s more…

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Different Maps for Similar Chaps?

Graham has been wondering…

…how to reconcile an apparently freeform lifestyle with being an effective instrument of social change.

You could say I’ve been, maybe (and probably less than I think), something of an embodiment of an alternate existence. But that’s been often a subsistence-level lifestyle, supported by crap jobs like contracting electrician, labourer, and the like — kind of interesting, but off-point, and in many ways, limiting. Only now do I get to some level of formal achievement with some resources to do something more –facilities, knowledge, credit in triple digits. Meanwhile, John, a man with whom I share a scarily similar background …

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Defending Your Turf

John read this morning that …

GE will buy more Tech startups in 2017 than Google. It must be true because I read it on the internet. Not only that – it was Hunter Walk himself that was writing – following up on pieces from both the NYT AND the WSJ.

Personally, I am not sure what that proves. If you are a large conglomerate defending your corner, I wonder how many ‘existential threats to your existence you would buy per year. Would Walmart have bought Amazon back in the day – had they been using a working crystal ball?

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