Showing posts with label Streaming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Streaming. Show all posts

January 31, 2021

GameStop Is What I Call A Sh*t Store

For those of you who have been in GameStop, you know what I mean. 

Let's face it, it's a sh*t store!

They have videogames (some that I like) that you can buy online for half the price and crappy toys and collectables (i.e. "made in China" trinkets)!

Hey, I think you can get some action hero socks on sale for $5. 

The company makes nothing!

Their intellectual property is virtually nill!

Their assets are some leases in strip malls and shopping centers that have less and less traffic due to e-Commerce and Covid!

For those who drove the stock up from a year-low of $2.57 to a high this week of $483.98, congrats on showing that the market can be completely irrational and manipulated by the social media masses. 

Like right before the dot.com bubble of 2000, showoff your brokerage statements and brag about your beefy balances, I remember the local yocals from the barber shop doing the same back then--when everyone was a stock maven and becoming a multimillion from the likes of Pets.com.

But GameStop and AMC (another almost dead company unable to face Netflix, Amazon Prime movies, and all the other streaming plus Covid) are probably worth in concept less than good 'ol Pets.com or the Tulip Mania of the 17th century (at least flowers are beautiful). 

This will end in tears for the ever "greater fool" who's following the herd.  

Let's hope they and the spiraling, out of control national debt don't take down all of us with them!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 11, 2016

Transitioning To Virtual Ease and Triviality

I took this photo a few weeks ago on the streets in Washington, D.C.

This was a huge box from eBay coming to someone.

In my building, they recently built an extra storeroom for all the deliveries that are coming everyday--there is no where to put all of them.


While today in the Wall Street Journal, even the revered retailer of Herald Square, Macy's, had their stock price shed half it's value in the last year, and other big box retailers are hurting just as bad. 

eCommerce is threatening the very survival of brick and mortal retailers, as they are seriously eating their lunch--and breakfast and dinner too!

But this is part of a much larger transition occurring from our physical to virtual worlds...

As we abandon department stores and the Mall for online shopping, 
movie theaters and playhouses for home theaters and video streaming, 
physical activities for gaming and virtual reality, 
and even factories and office work for telework and robots,  
soon we will have no real place to go and nothing to physically do. 

From the bed and couch to the computer and gym, like hamsters on the wheel of triviality, we might as well package ourselves up in the big eBay box and send ourselves to outer space--but only as long as we can get Internet access there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

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February 17, 2014

Alert, Alert, And More Alerts

No this is not an alert, but some strategic thinking about alerts. 

As a kid, we get our first alerts usually from the fire alarm going off in school and practicing the buddy system and safely evacuating. 

As adults, we are used to get so many types of alerts:

- Homeland Security threat alerts
- Breaking news alerts
- Emergency/Disaster alerts
- Severe weather alerts
- Smog alerts
- Transportation delay alerts
- Accident alerts
- Fraud alerts
- Economic and financial alerts
- Amber missing child alerts
- Internet security alerts
- Power loss alerts
- Home or business intruder alerts
- Fire alerts
- Carbon Monoxide alerts
- Medical/health alerts
- Chemical spill alerts
- Product safety or recall alerts
- Unsafe drinking water alerts
- Active shooter alerts
- Work closure alerts
- Parking garage alerts
- Dangerous marine life alerts
- Dangerous current or undertow alerts
- Air raid siren alerts
- Solar eclipse alerts
- Meteorite or falling space debris alerts
- Special sale or promotional event alerts

With the arrival of highly successful, mass social media applications like Twitter, we have alerts aggregated for us and listed chronologically as things are happening real-time. 

The brilliance of the current Twitter-type alerting is that we can sign up to follow whatever alerts we are interested in and then have a streaming feed of them.  

The alerts are short--up to 140 characters--so you can quickly see the essence of what is happening or ignore what is irrelevant to you. 

When more space is needed to explain the details behind an alert, typically a (shortened) URL is included, which if you click on it takes you to a more in depth explanation of the event or item. 

So alerts are a terrific balance between short, attention grabbing headlines and links to more detail, as needed. 

What is also great about the current alerting mechanism is that you can provide concise alert information, including:

- Message source (for ensuring reliability)
- Guidance (for providing immediate instruction on response). 
- Hazard (for specifying the type of incident)
- Location (for identifying geographic or mapping locality)
- Date/time (for implications as to its currency)
- Importance (for determining severity such as catastrophic, critical, etc.)

While we remain ever, hyper-vigilant, we need to be careful not to become anxiety-ridden, or at some point, simply learn to tune it all out, so we can actually live life and get stuff done.

It's good to know what's going on out there, but can too much information ever become a bad thing? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 3, 2013

A Seeing Eye


This video from NOVA is an amazing display of the surveillance capabilities we have at our disposal.

ARGUS-IS Stands for Automated Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System.

Like a "Persistent Stare," ARGUS provides continuous monitoring and tracking over a entire city, but also it has the ability to simply click on an area (or multilple areas--up to 65 at a time) to zoom in and see cars, people, and even in detail what individuals are wearing or see them even waving their arms!

Created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ARGUS uses 368 imaging chips and provides a streaming video of 1.8 gigapixels (that is 1.8 billion pixels) of resolution and attaches to the belly of a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone. 

ARGUS captures 1 million terabytes of a data a day, which is 5,000 hours of high-definition footage that can be stored and returned to as needed for searching events or people. 

The Atlantic (1 February 2013) points out how using this over an American city could on one hand, be an amazing law enforcement tool for catching criminals, but on the other hand raise serious privacy concerns like when used by government to collect data on individuals or by corporations to market and sell to consumers. 

What is amazing to me is not just the bird's eye view that this technology provides from the skies above, but that like little ants, we are all part of the mosaic of life on Earth.  We all play a part in the theater of the loving, the funny, the witty, and sometimes the insane. 

My Oma used to say in German that G-d see everything, but now people are seeing virtually everything...our actions for good or for shame are visible, archived, and searchable. ;-)

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August 12, 2011

To Follow Or Not To Follow

Theskystallione

Twitter is a great streaming feed for news and information, but what you get depends on who you follow.

While Twitter does provide suggestions based on whether they are "promoted" or who you already follow (i.e. follow Joe because they are "followed by" Julia), it doesn't tell you a lot of information about them except their Twitter handle, short profile, location, basic stats, etc.

A new service called Twtrland helps you decide who to follow by providing lot's more information and displaying it in an organized fashion--simply plug in the Twitter handle you are interested in knowing more about and you get the following:

1) Basic Info--Picture, profile, stats on follow/follower/tweets

2) Top Followers--Let's you know who else (from the who's who) is following this person.

3) Advanced Stats--Provides measures on how often he/she gets retweeted, tweets per day, retweets, etc.

4) Graph of Content Type--Displays in pie chart format the type of content the person puts out there: plain tweets, links, pictures, retweets, replies and more.

5) Samples of Content by Category--Examples of this persons tweets are provided by category such as: famous words, plains tweets, pictures, links, retweets, and mentions.

I like the concept and execution of Twtrland in organizing and displaying tweeters information. However, I cannot really see people routinely taking the time to put in each Twitter handle to get this information. Making a decision a who to follow is not generally a research before you follow event. The cost-benefit equation doesn't really make sense, since it doesn't cost you anything to follow someone and if you don't like their tweets, you can always change your mind later and unfollow them if you want.

Overall, I see Twtrland more as a profiling tool (for research or interest) by getting a handy snapshot of what people are doing/saying online in the world of micro-blogging, rather than a decision support system for whether I should add someone to my follow list or not.

(Source Photo: Twtrland Profile of Sylvester Stallone, Rocky!)

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December 12, 2010

3G, 4G, XG...Huh?

There is a huge need for speed on our networks—as we demand the latest and greatest download streaming of books, movies, games, and more.

The network generation (or mobile telephony) standards have evolved to soon to be 4th generation (or 4G).

While 3G standards require network speeds for voice and data of at least 200 kbit/s, the 4G-performance hurdle jumps (500x) to 100 mbit/s.

The chart from Wikipedia shows the various standards and how they have evolved over time.

What are interesting to me are two things:

1) Network carriers that are competing for your business are already boasting 4G deliveries even though they do not meet the standards set out by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the U.N. According to Computerworld (22 November 2010), the 100 mbit/s standard is “about 10 times the performance that any carrier…can offer today.” Moreover, technologies such as LTE-Advanced and WiMax 2 that are expected to be 4G complaint aren’t “expected to go live commercially until 2014 or 2015.”

2) While the carriers are touting their various breakthrough standards, most people really have no clue what they are talking about. According to the Wall Street Journal (4 November 2010) on a survey by Yankee Group that “of more than 1,200 consumers found 57% had either never heard of 3G or didn’t understand the term. [And] With 4G, the ranks of the confused jump to 68%.”

Some lessons learned:

In the first case, we need to keep in mind the principle of caveat emptor (or let the buyer beware) when it comes to what the Wall Street Journal is calling the “increased rhetoric underscoring the high-stakes games played by the carriers as they jockey for position.”

In the second, vendors and technologists should understand that they are losing the consumer when they talk “techno-geek.” Instead, all need to use plain language when communicating, and simplify the technical jargon.

The comic in Computerworld (22 November 2010) summarized it well with pictures of all the various GGGG… technologies and the people next it to it saying, “At this point the labels are ahead of the technology.” Of course, I would add that the labels are also ahead of most people’s ability to understand the geek-speak. And we need to fix the communications of both.


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