Amazon Sidewalk: you are the network
If you haven’t already heard, Amazon is turning your home into a public utility. New Ring doorbells and cameras, and new Echos are broadcasting a tiny sliver of your home’s bandwidth to the neighborhood, using low power Bluetooth radio technology. If your neighbor’s dog is wearing a tile based tracker (that uses Bluetooth technology) and runs through your yard, then your home network is helping your name track and locate the dog. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Sidewalk is an interesting concept, similar to one that Comcast tried a few years ago. It raises a number of questions, such as: during high bandwidth times of day, are my home network devices not giving me their all because they are reserving some bandwidth for the neighbors?; or is the Sidewalk network really open to any compatible devices, or is Amazon creating an environment optimized for Amazon products?; and finally, how do I feel about turning my home into a public utility, and will cars be stopping in front of my house when passengers want to momentarily surf the web? More to follow…
Upgraded SpaceX Dragon resupplies the International Space Station
On Sunday, a new and improved version of the SpaceX Dragon, (Dragon II) reusable space craft left Earth with supplies for the ISS. The new version of the craft is able to carry 50% more cargo into space. This is the 21st launch of a SpaceX craft on duty for NASA. CNET
dis-rup-shun: SpaceX is proving to be a good partner to NASA — linking Musk’s out-of-this-world ambitions with renewed national focus on controlling the “bandwidth” of lower orbit, access to the Moon, and potentially be the first to arrive on Mars. While the U.S. government’s conservative NASA and Musk seem like strange bedfellows, the partnership is looking good. Expect some ambitious accomplishments from this partnership.
Apple reportedly preparing newer, faster silicon
Apple, as stated, began transitioning some of its lower end personal computing line from Intel chips to its own M1 family of processors earlier this year. Now the company is said to be producing faster chips that are likely to displace Intel’s place in Apple’s higher end devices. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: What we do know about producing microchips is that it is an extremely expensive undertaking, requiring armies of gifted engineers coupled with equally gifted fabricators in bunny suits. The question is, once Apple creates adequate silicon to power its own line of products, does it also become a microprocessor company, competing with Intel, Qualcomm, NVidia and others? Does the company begin to power other vendors’ devices with Apple chips, or is that like licensing the unique Apple software experience to competitors? If one studies the stumbles of the world’s greatest companies, they usually occur after large and great companies get so big and diverse that they lose their core advantages (as perhaps Intel has now). At what point does vertical integration become a threat to the magic that makes Apple special?
How to regulate Big Tech: follow the European Union
U.S. legislators have spent two years pondering the regulation of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and others. The European Union, on the other hand, is acting swiftly and succinctly, pledging to have guidelines for regulation announced this week. Regulator Margrethe Vestager states that as long as Big Tech firms list their own sites at the top of so-called open shopping sites, they are not competing fairly. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Self-prefacing is a practice that has helped build Google, Apple and Amazon into the giants they are. Amazon Basics, the generic equivalent to whatever you are shopping for, pops up as you begin to place your online order, reminding you that you have an often less expensive alternative. This practice has out Walmarted even Walmart, a company struggling to catch up online with a company that offers everyday low prices without leaving the comfort of your desk.