HBO’s new streaming service, HBO Max, enters the fray
HBO has entered a new option in the streaming wars, but their offering is more complicated. First, it costs $15 per month as opposed to Disney + for $7 and Netflix’s starting price of $9. Secondly, it doesn’t support 4K, nor is it available on the most common streaming devices — Roku and Amazon FireTV, and thirdly, if you already pay for HBO, you may have to pay for HBO Max separately. CNET
dis-rup-shun: The shape of TV continues to change quickly, and with more choices comes confusion. HBO’s entry into the fray will continue to up the ante for great original content, and consumers are the big winners in that battle. Currently, a great deal of cross-over exists among the streamers, with Amazon Prime offering access to HBO programs and STARZ select content for additional fees. The big question is, can the average household cut the cord, consume all it wishes, and still spend less than a pay TV service? For now the answer is yes, but the complicated future may put us on track to spend like we were still on DirecTV or Comcast.
Drones permitted to deliver protective equipment in North Carolina
Commercial drone flights remain heavily regulated by the FAA, but a special project of Zipline and Novant Health permits delivery of masks and front line health worker supplies during the pandemic. Drones are flying as far as 20 miles round trip to deliver packages of masks to health workers in Charlotte, NC. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Drones continue to face challenges of regulations, as interference with aircraft, with utility lines, and with neighborhood associations whose residents don’t want drones buzzing overhead and recording videos through their windows remains formidable. Drone companies are using Covid-19 to gain footholds in industries, and these opportunities will, no doubt, accelerate adoption into commercial activities, and will also likely lead to designated flight lanes and landing platforms.
Tesla cuts EV prices
In the U.S. and China, Tesla will cut prices for its production vehicles as it attempts to jump start both factories as well as demand for its electric vehicles. Production has resumed in its Fremont factory. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Much talk abounds about how the post COVID-19 world will look, and we can be assured that demand for cars will be reduced for at least three years, if not longer. More people have learned that they can work from home, reducing the wear and tear on autos, which should last quite a bit longer if commuting frequencies are reduced. We are likely already in a recession, and most people will defer auto purchases in these uncertain times. This leaves Tesla, and every other car maker, with no other choice than to start a fire sale that will likely last the rest of this year and into next until inventories can be reduced.
Boeing resumes production of its 737 Max
Despite Coronavirus induced airline slowdowns and layoffs of over 700 workers, Boeing is restarting manufacturing of its beleaguered airliner. The company is yet to receive clearance from the FAA to resume flying the aircraft. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: The company must see light at the end of the FAA testing tunnel, else deploying more capital into the program doesn’t make sense. The aircraft, assuming it becomes safe when revamped, is still an ideal configuration for the expected post-pandemic travel world, providing an efficient vehicle to optimize shorter-haul loads with a larger passenger capacity. If the aircraft is approved to resume flying, airlines may rely on it to play a bigger role in post-pandemic schedule restarts.