Amazon to refurbish, rather than dispense employees
Amazon, ever resourceful, announced that it would begin a program of retraining existing employees as its business and personnel needs change. At the cost of $7,000 per worker, it will train up to 100,000 employees who elect to participate, between now and 2025. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: At a time when Big Tech is increasingly under fire for monopolistic practices and personal information mismanagement, Amazon creates the ultimate loyalty program — potentially leading a cultural shift among global corporations to stop the long held practice of quick termination of employees who don’t fit changing needs, at a high cost of severance, unemployment, and bad public relations. This is a cultural change with very powerful benefits.
Connected hair straightener with poor security
U.K.’s Glamorizer makes the world’s first Bluetooth hair straightener. The app can be easily hacked, giving nefarious beauticians the ability to take over someone’s straightener and sustain high temperatures over sustained periods.
dis-rup-shun: Get ready for it –a wave of connected appliances that gain little value from being connected other than differentiating them on the store shelves or Amazon.com pages. Makers of inexpensive household appliances that do little by being connected have little incentive to secure them. For this reason the appliance industry needs to implement a security standard that is displayed on a sticker on the device, just as UL certification assures consumers that electronic products have undergone some inspection.
Luminar raises $100 million for next generation lidar
Increasing total funding to $250 million, Luminar is racing to be a heavyweight in the autonomous car industry. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: What is lidar? It is the radar-like technology used by autonomous vehicles to see what’s in front of them. Without really good lidar sensors, driver-less cars will run over things they shouldn’t. 79 million cars were sold globally last year. Think of the market value of being a leading provider of a component that will be in almost every new car in 2025.
Automation replaces part of umpire’s jobs
Baseball’s Atlantic League is using computerized TrackMan radar to call balls and strikes, dumbing down umpire’s jobs to watching for checked swings and keeping an eye on the technology. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: Point and counter-point: replacing the judgement of umpires with technology removes some of the human-element charm of the sport, or, finally, costly errors by umpires won’t skew outcomes of games in the future. TrackMan took over for tennis lines persons years ago, yet they still sit and stare down each line for every match. Pilots sip coffee while watching computers land large jets, but well-trained pilots remain a part of every flight. Let us conclude that AI will eliminate some jobs and will certainly eliminate the human factor of many jobs.