Out-of-This-World!

Landing a space probe i.e., comet on the surface of a comet… nothing short of incredible!

(Source) Wired: http://goo.gl/kVpVgX

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Just in Time.

Has anyone else noticed that Amazon’s Echo just so happened to be released right before the Christmas season (as if the firm would’ve timed it otherwise!?) Merry Snooping…

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Pushing Prime.

Given that Amazon Prime subscribers (if selected) can purchase Echo for $100.00 off, one has to wonder: a) how many additional (Prime) subscribers the firm has gotten since this announcement; b) how much more content the firm is hoping to push as a result of both subscription increases as well as end-users utilizing Echo and/or; c) something else?

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Limit (ed/less) Access?

Assuming that Amazon’s Echo is a success, there are a number of variables to contend with. For example, content. It’s clear that the company is pushing for an end-to-end integration via said device; however, what happens if a request for such is not available? Will Echo allow any given end-user to access it by the device itself? Or, be forthright about the fact that is it not accessible?

Leaving that aside, what about Echo’s ‘relationship’ with children under 18? Obviously, this is not going to be without controversy regarding accessing content / information, etc. that is considered age-inappropriate (tabling the issue of protecting children and securing their safety which are also interrelated). This is potentially another variable that the company is going to have to take into consideration (putting it mildly) that’s too detailed to cover herein. Nevertheless, this area is potentially an Achilles heel for the device.

Granted, a first-generation device of this nature is / will not be without limitations. Yet, if humanity continues down the path of more fully integrating AI into our world there’s still a lot to be sorted out / unanticipated and/or unknown to take into consideration.

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Echo + NSA = An Orwellian Nightmare?

Agreed, while the thought of having an AI-assistant is arguably every Trekkie’s dream… think about the potential implications in the post-Snowden-era when (inevitably) a bug and/or some sort of malware is introduced into said devices ecosystem? Leaving that and fatalistic / pessimistic scenarios aside (if possible) this seems like a dream-come-true for a myriad of paranoid governmental / quasi-governmental / private security interests, etc. regarding the access to the private lives of countless citizens that just might (rather unsuspectedly) be subject to (even greater / more intrusive levels of) surveillance that they may have not been subjected to otherwise (sans said device being introduced / utilized within their household).

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(Test for) Echo…

Amazon’s Echo could be a game-changer; a dud; first-mover advantage / disadvantage and/or somewhere in between… whatever the case may be, AI, and, by extension, humanities’ fascination / reliance on machines just might have taken a giant step forward… er, backwards?

(Source) Amazon: http://goo.gl/2o76at

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In Case You’re Wondering…

Yes, Apple’s former-invincibility regarding being immune to malware / viruses, etc. is clearly under threat as evidenced in the PRC where Chinese users have been hit with the aforementioned.

(Source) BBC: http://goo.gl/TJnzzb

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Urban On-shoring.

Bringing jobs back to America – a good thing. Locating them in urban areas most notably considered less than desirable – a (potentially) great thing!

(Source) Wired: http://goo.gl/q17eSC

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Laggards…

Does anyone (ever) recall the Reagan’s Administration touting of how the ‘free-hand’ of the market was going to revolutionize America’s Telecommunications Industry? Most people might simply respond, “Me neither.” Nevertheless, hyperbole inclusive other than Ma Bell essentially being reconstituted what’s largely changed is the nation continually falling behind the rest of the world. For example, Kenya has an 80% market saturation of mobile payments… whereas America has (no comment is in all probability the nicest way to put it!) Long story short, perhaps Apple’s Pay will change this and NFC will become ubiquitous?

(Source) ZD Net: http://goo.gl/r4vmGy

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Space Tragedy.

This past few days have been a very challenging ones for the commercial Space Industry… Nevertheless, it is in times like these that pause, reflection and appreciation is paramount for all those involved who have suffered such heart wrenching losses…

(Source) LA Times: http://goo.gl/xitNpJ

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