Category Archives: Amazon

Episode 86 – State of AI, News Roundup

This week’s format is a little shorter than usual – we dispense with our third segment and stick to just the News Roundup and Question of the Week, partly in preparation for some format changes we’re planning. More about this in the episode, but we’re considering a split of the News Roundup and Question of the Week portions into separate episodes. That change – or something like it – should be happening in the next week or two, so look out for that.

This week’s News Roundup covers our usual trio of topics. First up, Intel’s proposed acquisition of Israeli tech company Mobileye for its autonomous driving technology. Secondly, a few additional details that have emerged about Hulu’s over the top pay TV service which is launching soon. And lastly, a pair of home speaker-related announcements: Google plays its first ad on Google Home, while Amazon puts Alexa in the Amazon app on iPhones.

Our Question of the Week is “What is the state of AI?” There’s been a bit of a backlash recently agains the alleged overuse of “AI” to describe all kinds of technologies, and certainly evidence that the term has been used increasingly on earnings calls and elsewhere. So what is the definition of AI, and what counts and what doesn’t? Is it being overused (or underused)? And what is it actually being used for today?

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 84 – AWS and Outages, MWC Announcements

This week’s News Roundup covers YouTube’s announcement of the appropriately named YouTube TV service, which will offer a bundle of broadcast and cable channels from four major companies for $35; rumors that Apple would replace the Lightning connector on iPhones with USB-C in the fall; and Snap Inc’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Our Question of the Week is “What is AWS and why are so many people so dependent on it?” Naturally the prompt here is this week’s AWS S3 outage, which caused many sites and services to go down for several hours on Tuesday. We talk through what AWS is, the major products and services that are part of it, how big this is, and the details of Tuesday’s outage, in terms of both the causes and the impact, and whether it’s healthy that so much of the Internet depends on one company.

Our Third Segment is a discussion of some of the phone announcements made at Mobile World Congress this week, from Nokia, BlackBerry, Oppo, LG, and Motorola, and what they tell us about the state of the smartphone market.

Our Weekly Pick is a life hack of sorts recommended by Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 81 – Business and Politics, News Roundup

We have a slightly different format this week – Jan lost his voice and so we took out the third segment we usually have and spent a little more time on the Question of the Week, where Aaron was going to be doing most of the talking.

Our News Roundup covers three news items as usual. First up: Oculus’s decision to close 200 of its Best Buy demo areas for VR, which some have taken as a sign that VR is fizzling. Second, we talk about Apple’s recent hiring of a former Amazon Fire TV executive, and what it might mean about Apple’s ability to sign content deals. And thirdly, we discuss Android Wear 2.0 and the new LG smartwatches which launched this week, and what they suggest about the state of the smartwatch market and wearables more broadly.

Our Question of the Week is “What role should businesses play in political and social change?” This topic has been in the news recently with many tech companies weighing in on the Trump administration’s recent executive orders on immigration, but it also has a long history. Aaron talks us through some of the history, the pros and cons of corporate intervention in politics, and the evidence about whether such intervention is actually effective or not. This isn’t a political discussion per se, but we do touch on some current and past political issues.

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 77 – CES, iPhone 10th Anniversary

We’re back after our long Christmas, New Year, and CES hiatus – thanks for bearing with us while we took our break, and Happy New Year!

We kick things off with a News Roundup, with three topics: Apple’s reported investment in original video content, ostensibly for the benefit of Apple Music subscribers; Nintendo’s announcement of pricing, specs, and other details for its Switch console; and Facebook’s attempt to help news organizations with its Journalism Project. Our main topic today is themes from CES, in which we discuss the fact that Amazon’s Alexa was everywhere, cars continued to grow in importance, smart home gear and services continue to evolve, drones were popular at CES but struggled elsewhere this week, wearables seem to be fading as a force, and Chinese companies continue to struggle to break into the US in a big way. Our third segment is a discussion of the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the iPhone, and all that’s changed in the world as a result.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 75 – 2016 Year in Review, AirPods

Our News Roundup this week covers three topics. We start with a second week in a row of Amazon news, this time the announcement of a drone-based delivery trial in Cambridge, England. Next, we discuss a couple of pieces of news about autonomous driving – Google’s restructuring of its self-driving car efforts into Waymo, a separate entity under the Alphabet umbrella, and Uber’s self-driving cab testing in San Francisco. Lastly, the news of yet another massive Yahoo hack.

Our usual Question of the Week segment this week becomes Questions of the Year, as our way of looking back on 2016. We answer a set of questions about the year that’s ending soon, from what surprised us the most this year to which companies we changed our minds about during the year. Next week, we’ll follow up with predictions for 2017 (and a review of last year’s predictions for 2016).

Our short third segment is a quick discussion of Apple’s delayed AirPods launch and the AirPods themselves, which Jan has been using this week.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 74 – Music Streaming, Are Gadgets Dead?

Our News Roundup this week covers three topics. First, T-Mobile’s announcement of Digits, a service which will allow customers to use their single number on multiple devices, or multiple numbers on a single device. Second, we discuss two news items relating to Apple and AI: the announcement that its researchers will now be able to publish their research, and second the slides from its talk this week at an AI conference. Third, Amazon’s announcement of Amazon Go, a sort of grocery store of the future.

Our Question of the Week is “How is streaming changing the music industry?” Jan talks about the size and composition of the music industry and its revenues, and the rise of streaming. We discuss the differences between ad-supported and paid streaming, and what’s happening with each. And we talk about where the industry will go from here.

Our third segment is a conversation about Farhad Manjoo’s article this week in the New York Times about the increasingly tough landscape for hardware vendors, and whether we agree with his conclusions.

We wrap up with our Weekly Pick, which this week is a holiday gift guide recommended by Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 69 – Q3 2016 Tech Earnings Review

This week’s episode is a review of earnings for the biggest tech companies that have reported earnings for Q3 2016 so far: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Twitter. We cover each for a few minutes in alphabetical order, discussing the highlights and trends they suggest.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 66 – Conflict Minerals and the De-Democratization of Publishing

Our News Roundup returns this week with three topics: first off, the latest installment of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 saga; secondly, Amazon’s launch of two new streaming music services and the implications for the sector; and thirdly, the figures on iOS 10 adoption and what they tell us.

Our Question of the Week is “What is the human impact of mineral sourcing in consumer electronics?” Aaron talks us through the meaning and significance of the phrase “conflict minerals”, but he also explains the latest reporting from the Washington Post on two additional minerals used in consumer devices: cobalt and graphite. We talk about the implications of all this for device manufacturing, as well as what we as consumers can do about it.

Our third segment is a discussion of a topic Jan writes about this week for Techpinions, which he refers to as the de-democratization of online publishing. Essentially, new platforms such as Google’s AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and Apple news make it harder for smaller publishers to have their voices heard. We also talk about the broader changes in publishing and media, especially in the current presidential election cycle in the US.

We wrap up the episode with a Weekly Pick, which this week is a movie recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 62 – Verily Overview, iPhone Reviews Review

Our News Roundup this week covers the ongoing fallout from the Samsung Galaxy Note7 battery problems; the story that Amazon is going to be experimenting with a 30-hour work week for some of its employees; and the expansion of comment filtering functionality to all users by Instagram. We discuss each of these topics for a few minutes and talk about the context and implications. We’ll likely do a Question of the Week next week on consumer product recalls using the Note7 recall as a jumping-off point.

Our Question of the Week this week is “What is Verily and what does it do?” This question builds on a piece Jan wrote for Techpinions Insiders contrasting Alphabet and Apple’s approaches to the healthcare space, with Verily being Alphabet’s Life Sciences subsidiary (formerly Google Life Sciences). We talk through what Verily is, who runs it, what it’s intended to accomplish, its internal projects and its partnerships with other organizations, and lastly how it’s perceived within the broader life sciences community. It’s a fascinating business and we both learned a lot from doing this segment.

Our third segment is a discussion of the reviews for the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, which will be available for sale on Friday, as well as a brief discussion of iOS and watchOS 3, which were released to the general public this week.

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 59 – Tim Cook’s 5 Years, Intel IDF Announcements

Our News Roundup this week covers the Backchannel article about Apple’s AI efforts; Spotify, Amazon, and Pandora’s attempts to negotiate new rights deals with music labels; and the shutdown of John Gruber’s Vesper note-taking app for iOS (and what it says about the state of the App Store and the app economy more broadly).

Our Question of the Week is “How should we view Tim Cook’s first five years as Apple CEO?” and builds off the blog post Jan did this week with lots of charts comparing Apple at the beginning and end of Tim Cook’s first five years. We talk about how Apple has changed, what Tim Cook has done differently (notably increasing R&D spend), and his biggest successes and failures during his time as CEO. There’s a link to the post in the show notes for today’s episode.

Our third segment is a discussion of Intel’s announcements from its big developer event last week. We talk about the emphasis on specialized silicon and non-traditional devices for Intel, the focus on sensors and their many applications, and the licensing deal with ARM, among other things.

Lastly, we wrap up with a Weekly Pick, which is a personal hygiene recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

  • The Backchannel article by Steven Levy on Apple’s AI efforts.
  • John Gruber’s post on Vesper shutting down
  • Jan’s post with about 20 charts and analysis on Tim Cook’s first five years as Apple CEO
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick was an electric toothbrush – specifically, the Oral B Vitality Floss Action model, which you can find on Amazon (affiliate link).

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.