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Showing posts from January, 2020

Amazon: All Your Brands Belong To Us

The evolving world of home automation.  Amazon's Alexa has firmly captured my world: she controls lights, heat, power, entertainment, even our refrigerator! What I find fascinating about this is another example of Amazon using it's leadership position to undermine brands. For example, I have 7 or 8 kinds of devices from different manufacturers, but the only way I interact with them is through Alexa. That means the brands of the devices themselves are immaterial, which makes the only thing that they can compete on is price. But wait, it gets worse. Amazon sees what devices people are buying. Let's say something gets really popular in the Echo ecosystem, like a Phillips Hue light. Amazon can now manufacture a similar device under their Amazon Basics line, brand it as "Designed by Amazon for Echo," and put it up for sale at half the price. So long, Hue. I recently had a Twitter discussion with Rakesh Agarwal (@rakeshlobster on Twitter) about an article a colle

Samsung Dex

Yes, I realize it's been four years or so since I last updated this. I will be happy to regale you with all the tales of boring day to day details since then. Ready? Waits to see if everyone has left... Ok, that got rid of most of you. For the true diehards, here are just some assorted thoughts that 140 characters have not been able to capture: Samsung Dex. I'm a big fan of the Samsung Galaxy line of phones. The form factor is just right, and the features are bleeding edge. One thing they added a year ago or so was Dex: the ability to see and work with your phone on a desktop. Intriguing, but there were some drawbacks: you needed a special dock, you needed to have a dedicated monitor and keyboard. Wasn't worth it. Fast forward to a few months ago: Dex is now an App! You can throw it on your PC, connect your phone through USB, and voila: your phone as a desktop. It's surprisingly useful, and really well thought out. For instance, you can pin whatever apps on yo