Showing posts with label Delivery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delivery. Show all posts

February 3, 2019

Tag Lines Deliver

Ouch!  How is that for a tag line?
Unlike Your Boyfriend, We Deliver.

That certainly has a sharp bite to it, but you know what?  It works. 

Witty, funny, and maybe even true. 

It's the old adage that "sex sells."

That's a delivery service that I'm sure many would nod their heads to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2015

Extra Special Delivery

I took this photo in Washington D.C. of a bicycle messenger delivery with Valentines Day treats.

He was carrying an assortment of balloons and gifts (those are hiding in the basket under the balloons)!

What do you think chocolate, flowers, or something even more romantic?

There is enough hate and hostility in the world. 

It's wonderful when love is in the air and people show each other that they really care. 

Going home from a day at work, and what can be nicer than someone waiting for you when you get there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 2, 2014

On The Ropes

This seemed like a funny photo today.

I guess the carpet was too big for the elevator. 

So heave-ho it's off to the ropes we go. 

Not sure where the safety devices are for this thing...are there any?

Maybe another way to think of Ali Baba and the Flying Carpet. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy and Dannielle Blumenthal)
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June 22, 2014

From Pepper Spray to Champagne

Shhh! This is the story of drones. 

Drones continue to go from battlefield to backyard. 

Initially, developed for advanced persistent surveillance and later weaponized for targeting terrorists, we heard the like of Jeff Bezos promise drones for Amazon delivery. 

Once again, the double-edge of drones continues...

This week we saw the introduction of scary, "Riot Control Drones" developed by Desert Wolf (a military contractor) that can shoot 4,000 rounds of pepper spray, paint balls, and non-lethal plastic projectiles, employs bright strobe lights and blinding lasers, and issues commands and warnings through loud speakers, and monitors crowds of protesters by high-definition and thermal vision cameras. 

At the same time, we saw drones being used as Flying Bel Hops in the luxury Casa Madrona hotel and spa in California for delivering champagne, treats, toys, and even sunglasses to their $10,000 a night guests on their guest deck or even to a boat out on the bay. 

And we are still only at the beginning, with drones, and robotics in general, moving to revolutionize our world.  

Robots will surveil, they will attack and kill, and they will serve people everywhere from restaurants and retail to hospitals and homes.

You can't shush the robots, they are on the march and they will have the means to help and hurt people--it won't be simple, but it definitely will be completely invasive. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 27, 2014

Newspaper, Identity Thief

So, true story.

I know identify theft is a serious matter, but really...

I'm heading out of the driveway and I see the newpaper delivery guy just pulling up.

He's running a little late, but I figure I can still get the paper in time for morning reading on the Metro. 

I walk over to him and ask if I can get the Journal that he's deliverying to me.

He says, "No, I only deliver the Wall Street Journal and the Post."

I say, "Yeah, the Wall Street Journal, can I get it, since you're running a little late this morning."

He says. "I'm never late!"--actually, he is and sometimes doesn't deliver at all (the other week, I got 3 papers in one day). 

I say, "OK, but I can take it from here."

He says, "No, I only deliver to the door."

I say, "But I'm right here."

He says, "How do I know you are who you say you are?"

I say, "I am, and thank G-d, I really don't need to steal a $2 newspaper from you, Sir."

He says, "Okay, but I'll need to see an id!"

I say, "Are you serious?"

He says, "Yeah," pulling back to safety the pile of newspapers he is holding is his arms. 

Reluctantly, I flip open my wallet and flash my license to him.

Not good enough...he insists I take it out so he can read it. 

I finally got the paper, but we wasted what seemed like 5 minutes between the negotiation and proof of identity exercise. 

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate his diligence, but I think this type of scrutiny over access and identity would be better placed squarely on our cyber assets--somewhere where we really need them! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 8, 2014

Amazing Amazon

So Amazon should be renamed Amazing, because they are.

They are the best online retailer--love 'em!

SELECTION: Amazon has everything. 

PRICE: Amazon is reasonably priced.

SPEED: Amazon Prime gets you your goodies delivered in under 48 hours. 

RETURNS: Amazon takes returns easily; virtually no questions asked. 

Amazon is so customer focused that you can even email Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO himself, at Jeff@Amazon.com. 

Aside from their highly successful retail operation, they have the Kindle tablets, Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud computing, Kiva Robots for warehouse operations, and more. 

So what's the secret of their success?

One thing, according to the Wall Street Journal, is their tough hiring practices. 

Amazon has "several hundred" interviewers called "Bar Raisers" that give candidates extremely thorough interviews.

Bar Raisers typically have conducted "dozens or hundreds of interviews and gained a reputation for asking tough questions and identifying candidates who go on to become stars."

Typically, it "takes five or six employees at least two hours each" to evaluate and vet an applicant. 

Amazon makes all this effort in recruiting to weed out people who are the wrong fit for the company. 

They believe that it's better to invest in a sophisticated recruiting process than to make costly hiring mistakes. 

While this certainly sounds like a well thought out and vigorous hiring process, the article makes little to no mention of performance measures showing that their hires really are better matches, have superior performance, or stay with the company longer. 

The one anecdote given was of a Bar Raiser who found a candidate for a programming job that "didn't know much about the specific programming language."

Barring some real statistics though, either you could conclude that Amazon's hiring process is truly superior or perhaps question why it takes them 5 to 6 interviews to do what other successful companies do in 1 or 2. 

Either way though, Amazon is a amazingly great company. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 8, 2013

Amazon Delivery - By Crunk-Car, If You Like

Jeff Bezos of Amazon is one very smart guy and when he announces that he is interested in drones delivering your next online order that makes for a lot of grandstanding. 

But really how is a dumb drone delivering an order of diapers or a book so exciting. 

Aside from putting a lot of delivery people at USPS, UPS, and FedEx out of work, what does the consumer get out of it? 

Honestly, I don't care if if the delivery comes by Zike-Bike, Crunk-Car, Zumble-Zay, Bumble-Boat, or a Gazoom, as Dr. Seuss would say--I just care that it gets here fast, safely, and cheaply. 

Will a drone be able to accomplish those things, likely--so great, send the drone over with my next order, but this doesn't represent the next big technological leap. 

It doesn't give us what the real world of robotics in the future is offering: artificial intelligence, natural language processing, augmentation of humans, or substitution by robots altogether, to do things stronger, faster, and more precisely, and even perhaps companionship to people. 

Turning surveillance and attack drones into delivery agents is perhaps a nice gesture to make a weapon into an everyday service provider. 

And maybe the Octocopters even help get products to customers within that holy grail, one day timeframe, that all the retailers are scampering for.

It's certainly a great marketing tool--because it's got our attention and we're talking about it.

But I'll take a humanoid robot sporting a metallic smile that can actually interact with people, solve problems, and perform a multitude of useful everyday functions--whether a caregiver, a bodyguard, or even a virtual friend (e.g. Data from Star Trek)--over a moving thingamajig that Dr. Seuss foresaw for Marvin K. Mooney. ;-)
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April 20, 2013

Don't Stampede On Others' Feelings

I took this picture of a cow stampede when hiking in the mountains. 

The cows first came up to us all friendly and then after staying for a little bit, decided to bolt off across the open field.

Together--it was like a mini stampede. 

It reminded me of a situation recently, where I felt bad that I had stampeded (albeit inadvertently) on someone's feelings.

We received a delivery--actually a new couch (the other one we were replacing was really uncomfortable and it was high time to go). 

At one point, I was taken a little aback when the delivery man asked me, admiring it--"How much was it?"

Not wanting to really say specifically, I just said nonchalantly, "Oh, not so much."

But the man pressed on and said, "No really, how much was it?"

I was a little uncomfortable, but I figured he's just making conversation, and honestly it wasn't extravagant  so I say in a round figure what it was. 

Then I see his face go dark, and I realized what had accidentally happened.

It was perhaps a bit much for this nice man (although I really don't know his situation, but just his facial expression).

Anyway, I felt terrible and proceeded to say something light and then we chatted for a little bit. 

I think it is important to feel for all people--trying to make the best with what G-d provides and deal with everyday tests and challenges.

We are all people--and at any moment--what befalls one, can befall anyone, so we must be grateful for each and every blessing, for however long G-d grants it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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