COVID and Warner smack down movie theaters

COVID victim: theatrical window for movie theaters

Warner Media just dealt a blow to the struggling movie theater industry, but allowing HBO Max to debut new blockbuster titles on the same day as they appear in movie theaters. The “theatrical window” is the time that new releases are only available in movie theaters. Warner and HBO have closed that window, or shattered it with an announcement that HBO Max will show new titles on the same day they debut in theaters, for no extra charge. CNET

dis-rup-shun: This kick of a man down is not a surprise, as content producers have been whittling away the theatrical window for the past several years, but this bold move means that other movie producers will likely follow. The move makes recovery that much more difficult for movie theaters that will be hard pressed to lure nervous patrons back, especially when the same content is showing on the couch with free snacks.

Esports team Fnatic hires doctors to test digital athletes

Some professional digital athletes earn over $1 million playing video games for audiences. These competitors practice and play over 10 to 12 hours daily, causing health problems. Now that esports are being sponsored by big brands, being in top shape is crucial, and British team Fnatic has hired doctors to research the impact of sleep and stress on game performance. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Just like professional golf, video game competition is an example of a fun thing that can become damaging when you take it too far. Esports is growing and so is the money behind it. Expect esports athletes to continue to refine their training and become nearly as popular of pro athletes.

Now you can text Alexa from your phone

Amazon is testing a new Alexa feature, enabling an Alexa app user to text questions or commands to Alexa from the screen. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: This feature may be useful in the future, when Alexa is a lot smarter, but for now, Alexa is not as smart as Google. If you wish to get answers to questions, the G has far better answers. But perhaps if you don’t want to wake someone, or you are in a meeting, and you want to ask Alexa to do something for you, this is useful. The greatest potential may be to control the home when you are away. For example, if the doorbell at home rings while you are in a meeting at the office (if you return), you could ask Alexa to tell the delivery man to leave the package next to the garage. But there are a lot of things that need to improve for even that small transaction to be a reality. Let’s wait and see how it will evolve.

Global sand shortage will impact technology pricing

Did you know that there is a shortage of sand? Years of construction and the building booms that consume massive amounts of concrete have depleted many reserves. Desert sand is not useful, as the grains are too well worn and smooth. Glass, like semiconductors, refined from silica, require a steady supply of the natural resource. As the growing global population requires more buildings, more glass, and more technology products, the material will become more scarce, influencing pricing. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The pandemic has caused an uptick in purchases of technology products, as well as a surge in building, as people upgrade their homes and move to outskirts, preparing for decades of “work from anywhere.” Just ask any real estate professional in a resort area, and he or she will report a banner year in 2020. Recycling, smaller buildings, and substitute products are all important trends to watch in the coming decade. Now the expression “go pound sand” may have new meaning as entrepreneurs seek new sources of the material.