Why You Should Buy the Dumbest Appliances You Can Find

In this article the author argues for dumb (ie, not smart, IoT) appliances. One problem is that smart appliances are complex and prone to failure. For example, “[t]he last time a repairman came to my house, he told me that he’d had to get a full-time weekday job at Home Depot because nowadays, when appliances break, most people just buy new ones.” He also coined Owen’s Test  “Until I can operate my Samsung TV, Blu-Ray player, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Cisco cable box with a single remote control, the Internet of Things is a hoax.”

Harvard Business School professor: Half of American colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years

The HBS professor is Clayton Christensenm, whom I hold in high regard. One of his contributions is understanding how technology is disruptive to businesses. The disruptive technology affecting colleges is online education. Basically, he believes “online education will become a more cost-effective way for students to receive an education, effectively undermining the business models of traditional institutions and running them out of business.” See this article.


Read something very enjoyable today. Netsafe built a bot that wastes scammers’ time. Hurrah! Email scamming is a billion dollar business that preys on peoples’ naivety (and to some extent their greed).

Scammers send out millions of emails. Most are deleted or directed to spam. But a few (enough to keep the scammers in business) hit. Scammers personally with these hits trying to get people to reveal sensitive information. Re:scam is a bot that will engage scammers in an endless conversation. Anytime the scammers spend with the bot is time that they are not preying on your grandmother.

I love it.

What To Do When Machines Do Everything

Paul Roehrig gave a thought-provoking keynote address at the HPCC summit last month (video below). He also wrote a book with the same title as this post (I stole it). The high-level take away is the AI will (eventually) benefit all. Similar to the industrial revolution the disruption caused by AI will hurt many industries. (There is a chapter called “There will be blood.”) His talk begins at 8:40 and ends at 29:40 in the video below.