XBox Series S — a miniature game console
The console wars are as interesting as ever, with cloud gaming subscriptions changing the landscape. Enter Microsoft with a miniature XBox. the Xbox Series S sells for $299 and is four times more powerful than the Xbox OneX, its predecessor. Perhaps most interesting is that Microsoft will be pushing both the Series S and its new larger console, the XBox Series X on a monthly plan, combined with its gaming content subscription. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: XBox versus Playstation is a religious discussion, much like IOS versus Android. But Microsoft has made an important chess move here, going after a semi-core gamer. The target market is someone who likely doesn’t own a current, up-to-date computer, but does own an iPad and smart phone and enjoys using them for gaming. Upgrading the experience without a large cash outlay, by adding a few dollars to the monthly gaming subscriptions, flies under the budget radar. Who would have thought that there was room for a semi-core gamer’s console in an increasingly crowded array of devices between mega-gaming desk-side PCs on one end, and smartphone on the other? We will know, post holiday season, if Microsoft nailed it or shot an air ball.
iPhone 12 could be the 5G spark
In case you haven’t turned on your television, you may not have realized that 5G is now here. Commercials for AT&T and Verizon’s 5G networks have likely not turned your heads, as no one has yet found the killer app. Apple is expected to introduce or announce the iPhone 12 in coming weeks, and it is expected to support 5G. The question is, will Apple also roll out an app that exercises 5G sufficiently that we all need it and quickly upgrade? Apple’s marketing magic is expected to make us all sit up and pay attention to the new 10x faster network. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Even during the pandemic, people get out of the house — either to work remotely or to visit family. The need for a super reliable and adequately fast roaming hot-spot for your PC or tablet is certainly a killer app, and one worth upgrading for — if not immediately, but as soon as your wireless carrier offers it. What if we discover that 5G provides us with better internet connectivity at home than our patchy home broadband provider? Will our 5G phones become the go-to connection for the rest of the household and even for Netflix viewing? At that point, 5G fixed mobile will make the landscape even more interesting.
China lands first reusable spacecraft
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been getting all the attention as it successfully ferried two astronauts to the International Space Station and back this year in its partnership with NASA. China launched and landed a Long March-2F rocket from its Jiuquan launch center in Inner Mongolia over the weekend, reminding the world not to count China out of the new reusable rocket race. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Conquering the new west, as the space frontier seems from an American point of view, is a race to establish dominance, or at least keep a seat at the table, as first to get there divide up the spoils. And what are the spoils? At a minimum, the possibilities are control of global communications networks, and, of course surveillance. Add defense or offensive military capabilities – god forbid, and more commercial applications such as mining new minerals and resources on other planets, revolutionizing the travel industry, and, of course, colonization of new outposts.
Rising resentment toward parent employees at tech firms
Tech message boards are stating that employees with children at home may not be as effective as others. A survey by Care.com revealed that 45% of workers with children at home believe their career advancement has suffered due to juggling work and family at home. CNET
dis-rup-shun: The coronavirus is undoubtedly re-shaping our culture. Builders are now offering homes with two separate offices, and people are flocking to vacation homes and rentals to change their scenery. Will the pandemic lead to a structural change in the workforce, nudging our culture back to a time when one parent remained at home to raise the family? Will families reset financial expectations to live on a single income — perhaps cutting back on cars