Thursday, December 29, 2016

Amazon out-imagining Google? Behold the drone-deploying Amazon Blimp!

Much ado in 2016 about Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat tightening belts and putting the kiebosh on some of Google's more fanciful projects. RIP Project Ara, Bubble Car, etc. It's reasonable to muse about when the belt-tightening reaches a dulling point. When does Google lose its edge? How far is too far with regards to Google losing its 20% time luster?

Amazon is piggy-backing on Android with the Fire OS and on Chromecast with its Fire TV line. But Bezos is blazing trails elsewhere. No one can touch Amazon in the online retail world. And it's outpacing all other players with its retail innovation.

"The ecommerce giant was approved for a patent in April for airborne warehouses that use drones to make speedy deliveries. The patent was recently discovered by an analyst at CB Insights. Amazon's patent contends that such a system would allow for deliveries to be made in minutes. The move could also reduce the resources needed to make a delivery. The patent describes how Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) blimps would circle over cities at 45,000 feet and launch drones carrying orders. The drones would initially fall to earth relying largely on gravity, and their motors would fire up for the final stretch."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last Island In From The Cold

On the announcement yesterday of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, I presume many want to hear a Latin rant about how we let the Castro Regime off easy.

I have nothing of this sort of tantrum to offer them. There is only a profound sense of regret for time lost. We just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Back in '89 when Hasselhoff welcomed the East Germans to West Berlin with his freedom song, many naively expected the thawing of relations between the nations along the Florida straits to follow soon thereafter. One can only imagine that the Cuban people who were aware of those stirring world events thought that their rescue was coming soon as well. What a bitter pill to swallow - the waiting is indeed the hardest part.

In the current news-as-entertainment culture there are a lot of aspiring politicians eagerly denouncing President Obama's executive orders. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush were hitting the same notes and staking out the same political real estate. Nicaraguan American commentator Ana Navarro, a refugee of another communist state, was making the cable news rounds arguing that this rapprochement was happening two years too soon, that it was a matter of time before the Castro gerentocracy would fall apart with a couple of broken hips or strokes. "Why cave to them now?"

As a Cuban American, I feel nothing but regret for lost decades. The Castro Regime's only victory is the decades-long thumbing of the nose of the underdog to the "imperialistas yanquis". They won a popularity contest. The only people to pay the costs of this contest were the Cuban people on that island, left to wither with meat ration tickets. Cuba inherited the Spanish code of the Inquisition.

We are now once more back at the chess table with the Cuban state and its perennial inquisition on its own people. We finally made our next move, the first one since October 1962. Let's not ever leave the table again.