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Getting Autonomous Car Technology Right
February 24, 2020
Autonomous car efforts aren't looking very good. It is becoming clear that the five-level ranking system for autonomous cars is stupid. The reality is that the definition of "autonomous" is binary: Either the car can drive itself or it can't. The fact is that car makers don't want to take the final step to autonomy -- Level 5 -- because they are afraid of liability.
The Drones Are Coming
February 18, 2020
Spurred by everything from environmental concerns to the desire to avoid congested roads, companies are developing, testing, and beginning to implement a wide array of drone delivery systems. A number of practicalities need to be worked out before drone delivery becomes an everyday occurrence -- including regulations and drone technology itself -- but it's likely only a matter of time.
Coronavirus Pandemic: 6 Things We Should Be Doing
February 3, 2020
As I write this, the first studies of the Coronavirus outbreak are coming in. The count now exceeds 17,500 cases in 24 countries. There have been more than 360 deaths, almost all in China. Most at risk are older males with pre-existing chronic diseases that weaken their immune symptoms. Women appear to have a higher natural resistance to viruses. WHO has declared it a global health emergency.
Uber Tests Plan to Let Drivers Set Their Own Fares
January 22, 2020
Uber has launched a pilot program in California that lets drivers in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Sacramento set their own fares for airport rides. Drivers can set a fare multiple on Uber's base, time, and distance rates for UberX and UberXL trips, according to the company. Drivers can increase the fare in 10 percent jumps up to five times Uber's base price.
The Most Important Autonomous Car Announcement at CES
January 13, 2020
Getting around Las Vegas during CES is a nightmare. One evening I wanted to go to the In-N-Out Burger place, and even though it was only a mile or two from my hotel, the traffic was so bad that I doubted I'd make there and back before midnight -- and it was only 6 p.m. I used to try to walk CES, but the miles of fast walking on concrete ripped the soles off both my feet one year.
Lost at CES
January 9, 2020
CES is in full swing in Las Vegas this week, and the show for all things high-tech -- from gizmos and gadgets to cars and entertainment gear -- has attracted attendees from around the world. The first CES, or "Consumer Electronics Show" as it originally was known, took place in June 1967 in New York City. That first show attracted 17,500 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors.
Don't Expect Too Much From Electric Trucks
January 4, 2020
With the rise of electric cars, it was only a matter of time before electric trucks hit the market. Several electric vehicle startups -- including Bollinger, Lordstown Motors, Rivian and Workhorse -- have been working on developing electric pickup trucks for several years, but none have come to market yet. However, it was Tesla's announcement of the Cybertruck that ignited interest in the market.
2010 - 2019: Product of the Decade
December 30, 2019
As we get to the end of December, I typically pick my product of the year, but this is also the end of the decade, so I'll go back and look at the prior products of the year, name my pick for this year, and then pick my product of the decade. 2010 was an easy choice as the iPad came out and scared the hell out of the entire PC market. Its release made the whole "PC is Dead" thing real.
32-Minute Cleveland-Chicago Hyperloop Run Is Feasible, Study Says
December 19, 2019
The 300-plus mile trip between Cleveland and Chicago could take as little as 32 minutes by Hyperloop, according to a new feasibility study. Hyperloop is the only form of high-speed transportation that is profitable and makes economic sense in the U.S., found the study, a joint effort of TEMS, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
Amazon Gives FedEx the Boot for Christmas
December 18, 2019
Amazon third-party sellers will not be able to ship Prime customers' orders using FedEx Ground and FedEx Home, as of Wednesday. "We have seen a drop in the delivery performance of FedEx Ground and FedEx Home ship methods for Seller Fulfilled Prime shipments," Amazon said. The restriction is temporary, although no exact date has been set for resuming FedEx Ground and FedEx Home for Prime orders.
UPS Chalks Up Another Drone Delivery First
November 8, 2019
UPS has announced the first two revenue-generating residential deliveries of prescribed medicines to consumers. Its drone delivered the prescription medications from a CVS pharmacy in Cary, North Carolina, to a consumer's home, and to a customer in a retirement community. The drone flew autonomously but was monitored by a remote operator who could intervene if needed.
The Truth vs. Censorship Trap
November 4, 2019
There recently has been a lot of rumbling about Twitter deciding not to take political ads, and Facebook deciding -- and this was stupid -- that it would run political ads even if they were untrue. I'm becoming convinced that Zuckerberg is trying to put Facebook out of business. There are some real differences between the firms. Facebook does far more political advertising than Twitter.
Threat From Above: How to Stop Hostile Drones
October 24, 2019
Unmanned aerial vehicles -- or "drones" as these flying objects more commonly are known -- pose a growing danger, cybersecurity expert Kevin Townsend recently warned. The drone category is broad -- it includes toys for hobbyists, tools for commerce, and devices used for a variety of military purposes. They range in size from massive military drones to small hobbyist devices.
New Tech Vetting Law in SF Could Fuel Regulatory Trend
October 17, 2019
San Francisco officials want to get ahead of the emerging technology curve by prequalifying and regulating startup tech proposals before products become available to consumers. That approach is a developing trend in the U.S., according to Arle Lommel, senior analyst at CSA Research. If approved, the creation of a city-controlled regulatory office would invert the historical norm.
California Applies Brakes to Galloping Gig Economy
September 12, 2019
California Assembly Bill 5, which would require many businesses to hire workers as employees rather than independent contractors -- and reclassify their existing workforces accordingly -- has passed its second reading. The State Assembly will vote on amendments in a third reading and then send it to Governor Gavin Newsom, who has indicated he will sign it into law.
Autonomous Vehicle Development Fuels Industry Angst
August 30, 2019
In the Internet of Things -- or the "Intelligence of Things," which is a more apt description -- the automotive segment has become a leading center of innovation. Only healthcare offers the same ability to leverage advances in sensors, processing, connectivity and artificial intelligence technology to advance an industry while simultaneously improving society.
Apple, Tesla, IBM: Only One Has Gotten the 'Unique' Model Right
August 26, 2019
I'm struck by the way Apple and Tesla are executing a model very similar to IBM's. While IBM has evolved to put the customer at the center always, Apple and Tesla are nuanced in that respect, much like IBM was in the past. I worked at IBM when it imploded in the early 1990s, so I can speak to what is in Apple and Tesla's future unless they learn the easy way what IBM learned the hard way.
Sanity-Saving Tips From a Heavy Traveler
August 19, 2019
I'm on the road about 50 percent of the time, and I'm often asked for advice on how to have a better trip -- what to carry with you, where to sit, how to manage frequent flier programs, and so forth. One of my first really bad travel experiences was during my stint in IBM Internal Audit. I was auditing an IBM corporate site when the rules were three-piece suit, white shirt and tie.
Is Biometrics ID Security Good Enough?
August 2, 2019
United Airlines has announced plans to begin rolling out Clear's biometric prescreening at its hub airports. The system works by verifying a flier's fingerprints or eye scan. Clear already is available at about 60 locations throughout the United States. It offers a system that utilizes biometrics to speed preapproved travelers to the front of the security lane.
Tesla's Failings Overshadow Its Impressive Successes
July 29, 2019
Launching a new car company and getting it to global scale doesn't happen often, and it has been a long time since there has been a successful launch of one in the United States. Tesla really stands alone as the only new U.S. car company of scale since American Motors and Studebaker failed decades ago, when three auto companies then dominated the U.S. industry.
The Greening of E-Commerce
June 24, 2019
E-commerce by its nature involves a lot of packaging and shipping, and e-commerce companies can't always control how their products get sent. There are ways to make these processes more sustainable, however, and the benefits might well be worth the effort. "E-commerce won't stop growing anytime soon," said Mark Bastiaanssen, CEO of Shiptimize. "Many models are currently being tested."
6 Things We Won't Be Able to Live Without in 2035
June 24, 2019
Things rarely happen as fast as we think or progress as slowly as we hope. We all thought we'd have flying cars by the end of last century, for instance, but we are due to be up to our armpits in them by the end of next decade if the impressive number of trials continue to go well. I touched on the drone drop issue a little last week, and I have been thinking about it ever since.
Uber Drones to Make Meal Drops This Summer
June 21, 2019
Uber Elevate, the aerial arm of rideshare service Uber, will test a fast food delivery by drone service later this summer in San Diego. Delivery destinations won't be houses or apartment buildings, however, but instead will be "designated safe landing zones." Those landing zones could include the roof of a parked Uber vehicle in one scenario. An Uber courier would hand-deliver it to the consumer.
The 5 Most Pressing Problems With Drone Delivery
June 10, 2019
Amazon plans to begin drone deliveries within the next several months. The drones have become far more capable, safer, and less noisy, but there are five other problems that will need to be addressed before this delivery method reaches its full potential. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to drone delivery. Still, there are several things that will need to be addressed.
Reliving D-Day Through Augmented Reality
June 6, 2019
The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, is honoring the exploits and sacrifices of the Greatest Generation in a new augmented reality exhibit "D-Day: Freedom from Above." This AR experience commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, which helped liberate France and Western Europe from the Nazis and lead to the Allied victory in the Second World War.
US Post Office to Test-Drive Autonomous Trucks
May 22, 2019
The U.S. Postal Service has announced a pilot project using self-driving trucks. It will conduct the two-week experiment in collaboration with TuSimple, an autonomous driving technology company based in San Diego. TuSimple's contract with the postal service calls for one of the company's self-driving trucks to make five round trips hauling USPS trailers between Dallas and Phoenix.
Is Nvidia Tesla's Kryptonite?
April 29, 2019
Tesla sure didn't have a good week last week, given the kind of press coverage it got. I'm not that worried about Tesla going away, though, as its products are far too popular for it to disappear. On the other hand, management clearly needs to be fixed. What got me started looking at Tesla last week was that it pretty much announced that Nvidia was its Kryptonite.
FAA Greenlights Wing Aviation Drone Deliveries
April 25, 2019
The Federal Aviation Administration has given its first air drone delivery certification in the United States to Alphabet's Wing Aviation, paving the way for the service to begin commercial package delivery in Blacksburg, Virginia. "This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy," said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Qualcomm: Rethinking AI in a 5G Quantum World
April 15, 2019
It is expected that 5G will move aggressively into the market, with near-complete major metropolitan coverage by the end of the year. This technology is a game-changer, but it doesn't come without issues, one of which is the massive change in network loading. 5G will shift the bottlenecks from the wireless networks to the backhaul, where the expected massive increase in traffic will force some rather impressive network upgrades.
Alphabet's Wing Delivery Service Takes Flight in Australia
April 10, 2019
Alphabet's Project Wing on Monday launched a commercial air delivery service in North Canberra, Australia, providing customers with fresh food, hot coffee and over-the-counter medications from seven local businesses. Shoppers can use Wing's mobile app to place orders and receive deliveries within 30 minutes. The launch follows an 18-month test period in the area.
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Amazon Advertising: Strategies to Drive Success
How do you feel about your use of the Internet?
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