Big Tech versus US Congress

USA vs Big Tech

The day on The Hill occurred on Wednesday, and legislators, as expected, held no punches while interviewing the CEOs of Big Tech — Google’s Pichai, Facebook’s Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Bezos and Apple’s Cook. A few key moments included: “Our founders would not bow before a king, nor should we bow before the emperors of an online economy,” stated David Cicilline, chairman of the subcommittee. Rare bipartisanship was in the house as Jim Sensenbrenner, R, Illinois, made it clear that company size and success are not the concern, but blocking competition is. The congresspeople have done their homework and it appears clear that some action will be taken, but not for many months.   CNET

dis-rup-shun: The congresspeople sound focused, measured and determined, not something that can be said, of late. It appears that mounds of anti-competitive evidence have been collected and the action of the committee going forward will not be about if Big Tech is anti-competitive, but what to do about it. The congress must find a balance between the pressure for the USA to lead in the race with China on 5G and AI, keep the job creation engines cranking, and restrict these same companies from anti-competitive practices. Finding that balance will be a challenge and will take some bright minds.

Perseverance Mars rover launched on Thursday morning

One of NASA’s most ambitious projects launched for Mars in the early hours of Thursday — putting the rover on the surface of Mars this coming February to explore a crater that once held water — 3.5 billion years ago. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The craft, with its self-driving rover and helicopter will explore like no other explorer before, drilling into the service of the planet in search of subterranean water molecules. If water is identified, what will the next move be?

Best smart home products: Google and Amazon removed

CNET constantly provides “best of” lists. It’s latest Best of Smart Home products list removes products directly branded by the two giants, and excludes companies owned or funded by Google and Amazon. The remaining top players are:

Best smart speaker… Apple HomePod

Best smart display … Apple iPad

Best mesh WiFi system… Netgear Orbi

Best smart plug … TP-Link Kasa Smart

Best smart light bulbs … Wyze bulb

Best smart thermostat … Honeywell T9

Best home security camera … Arlo Pro3

Best home security system … Simplisafe

Best video doorbell … Arlo video doorbell

Best smart lock … August Smart Lock Pro

dis-rup-shun: These companies provide solid products that work with the Amazon and Google products not listed. Given the antitrust winds blowing in Washington, it is unlikely that these companies listed will be acquired by the two giants, perhaps helping them shape their courses to live in a market being expanded rapidly by the giants.

Ready for your smartphone to help brush your teeth?

Wired reviews the OralB iO Series 8 connected toothbrush. Aside from being expensive ($250), the device does not always accurately reflect what parts of your mouth have been thoroughly brushed. But for someone who is plagued with problems, having a visual guide via a smartphone app may be worth the investment.

dis-rup-shun: The market is full of newly launched connected appliances that fail to fully reach the potential of connectivity, or have failed to offer any real benefits of connectivity. It may be a while before tooth brushing apps reach a mass market, but the benefits are not hard to imagine especially when costs are inline with everyday products.