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Why Automation Fears Are Misplaced

To my utter astonishment, every nook and corner of the internet seems to be suddenly swarmed with hand-wringing reports sounding the alarm about how “automation”—robotics, AI and machine learning—will replace humans and otherwise cause job loss, or how automation will adversely affect or impact businesses and/or society. These adverse automation effect admonitions have even emanated […]

Different Looks at AI, Security/Privacy and eSports

Each year, the fine folks at IFA bring in journalists from around the globe (including yours truly) for a preview of the annual IFA confab in Berlin (1-6 September) and to take in a series of presentations from prognosticators and product makers. Nearly every trending tech topic is discussed. Among all the industry forecasts and […]

The Technology Forest: Don’t Get Lost in the Woods

Believe it or not, there is a somewhat timely pattern to the historical disruption caused by technology advances. Let’s call the individual technology advances the trees, and the profound business and societal impacts from those advances the forest. Individually, these advances may not do much to challenge the status quo, but together, in a compressed […]

Is Net Neutrality In Trouble?

It was barely a blip in the tech press. On February 3, a Friday filled with the furor over the President’s refugee executive order, newly-minted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a simple four-sentence statement: Today, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is closing its investigation into wireless carriers’ free-data offerings. These free-data plans have proven to be […]

Many Monstrous Notes at CES 2017

While wandering around CES 2017, I was reminded of that scene in Amadeus, in which the Emperor Joseph II decides that the new opera by Mozart had “too many notes.” (The actual quote is “monstrous many notes” and referred to Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” but I digress.) That’s what I felt about CES—monstrous […]

I, CES, Robot

Of all the futuristic concepts conceived of in science fiction and turned into reality, one obvious concept has failed to materialize: Robots. It’s been more than 75 years since Isaac Asimov wrote “Robbie,” the first story in his “I, Robot” series, the first robot stories that didn’t entail an updated version of the “Frankenstein,” of […]

A 360-Degree Video Future? Codec is Key

Today, encoding standard 6:9 4K video footage is well served by the newest codecs. But getting to a future of fully immersive 360-degree video recording is where encoding will go next. That destination will be dependent on massive processing power and the most efficient codecs possible that deliver high-quality results. Consumers’ astounded initial reactions to […]

Wireless Internet Infrastructure: Is it Ready for the Connected World?

A century ago, most home devices that ran on electricity—dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, even light bulbs—were rare. Sure, these electronics devices were largely new, so adoption was predictably slow. But what stalled their sales even more than their newness and strangeness was the lack of AC power infrastructure. In 1920, only around a third of American […]

The Chinese are Coming, the Chinese are Coming

Seven months ago, I reported on fifth wave of regional TV manufacturing dominance, the first wave from the U.S., the second from Japan, the third from Europe, the fourth from Korea and, now, the fifth, potentially from China. At least one Chinese TV vendor, Hisense, seems poised to try and make me look prescient. As […]

Video Recording Formats: Are We Done Yet?

While attending a corporate video shoot last week, I was a taken back by the recording gear sitting atop the videographer’s two tripods: not sophisticated prosumer models from Canon or Sony, not a couple of standard consumer beer can-style camcorders, not even a pair of GoPros. No, what these professional video makers were using to […]