Wise Guys on WHO Radio - June 27, 2015
Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
In the news this week
- Still not sure I'm ready for an always-listening Amazon Echo in the house. I realize that many of our devices could be listening -- I just don't see a reason to have one actively doing so all the time. Not yet.
- The "unsend" button on Gmail doesn't really unsend...it just delays delivery for a few seconds. Probably worth using. It won't keep you from sending things while drunk or tired, but it might help prevent occasional embarrassment.
Samsung, you're not helping when you disable Windows updates. Use those updates, people!
Street-smart social media
Emojis: Do you use them? Got one you think delivers a special message? For now, they're a cute enhancement to some messages, but I don't really think they're going to be the "in" thing for long. A few people will overdose on them for now, but I think they'll become less prominent (though I don't see them going away). Hieroglyphics haven't predominated over phonetic writing, either.
Gadget of the week
It's not exactly a gadget, but it's a useful application: If you lack creativity in the kitchen and the patience to flip through a cookbook, IBM Chef Watson is for you. You input the ingredients you have in the fridge and Watson generates a recipe for you.
Dispatches from the flying-car future
Bill Gates thinks Uber will lead on self-driving cars. I think trucking companies and outside sales will push it too. Uber definitely has an incentive to push this kind of technology, but there are whole industries that could be enormous potential markets if the technology is brought up to full speed. But we should fully anticipate that self-driving cars will arrive as an evolutionary change, not a revolution -- we already have cars that can parallel park themselves and cars that start to take over if the driver drifts from his or her lane. There will be additional incremental steps from these that will result in cars taking over 20%, then 30%, then 40%, and then 50% of the actual driving. At that point, we'll probably capitulate and let them jump from 50% to 100% or something close to it. I don't see it going from where we are today to fully self-driving cars overnight, but I think we'll see the intermediate steps arriving faster and faster.
Politics of technology
French taxi drivers are really, really mad about Uber. You can always count on the workers displaced by technology to be its loudest opponents.