Posts from Random Posts

Fun Friday: Holiday Shopping

Between Black Friday and Cybermonday, it would seem that the big holiday shopping days have already come and gone.

I saw a report this week with holiday shopping market shares for the 2016 holiday season. Are we already done with this year end burst of ecommerce and can now report the winners and losers?

For Fun Friday I thought we’d do a Twitter poll to see what percent of the AVC community has completed their holiday shopping already vs those who procrastinate until the last minute.

In my case, I don’t do a lot of holiday shopping. It’s not that I’m Ebenezer Scrooge, but I prefer to give as often as possible throughout the year and not do all of my giving at the end of the year.

Black Friday

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, we’d like to leave you with a 15 second message from our sponsor about where to do your holiday shopping this year.

Video Of The Week: Solidarity

I woke up thinking about the french and I’d like to communicate my solidarity with them.

This video says it best for me

Family Time

We’ve had my entire family at our beach house this weekend. That includes my 87 year old father, my 19 month old nephew, and a dozen other Wilsons in between.

So I’ve got a house full of folks and not a lot of time to post this morning. So if there’s any action here today, it will be in the comments.

I hope you are enjoying your summer weekend. I am.

Feature Friday: Brights At Night

The best features are the ones that you discover on your own and say “wow, that’s amazing.”

That happened to me last weekend.

We were coming back from dinner at night and the Gotham Gal was driving our Tesla.

She had the brights on and as another car came into view coming toward us, the Tesla automatically switched the brights to normal.

Then as the car passed, the Tesla switched back to bright.

I don’t know how long Tesla has had this feature on its cars. But I noticed it for the first time last weekend.

It’s such a simple thing. It’s not that hard to swap the brights on and off as you drive at night.

But having your car do it for you is better.

It is a great feature.

A Hopeful Thought On Memorial Day

Much has been written about the potential to replace menial and dangerous jobs with machines. One of those dangerous jobs that is already being replaced by machines is the foot soldier. Over the past decade the US has ramped up its drone program and reduced the number of men and women we put in harms way in service of our foreign policy and national security goals.

It’s worth a national discussion about the morality and legality of using machines to take out our enemies. We haven’t had that as far as I can tell. And we should.

But the truth is we are fighting more and more of our warfare with unmanned machines and the trend is clearly in that direction. It’s hard for me to see how we turn around and go back.

So while it is not entirely clear to me how this plays out over time, it does suggest that we may be burying less of our young men and women in military cemeteries in the coming years. Which is a hopeful thought on this memorial day in which we remember our fallen soldiers.

Giving Thanks

I went back and read all of the thanksgiving posts I have written here at AVC this morning. That’s a good way to remind myself of everything I have to be thankful for and I have a lot.

I found this picture of the Gotham Gal cutting a turkey up ten years ago. I remember that thanksgiving well.

I’m glad that our country takes a day off to give thanks. It’s my favorite holiday of the year because it is not tinged with religion or national pride. Thanksgiving has no baggage. It’s a day for friends, family, warmth, food, wine, and relaxation.

I plan to spend the day mindful of all that I am thankful for. Including all of you here at AVC.

Incremental Innovation

Early this summer I walked into my parking garage and saw that they had installed two Chargepoint electric vehicle charging stations. I turned around, walked back to our apartment building, and went upstairs and told the Gotham Gal that the moment I had been waiting for had come and I wanted to get a Tesla. That weekend we took a trip up to the Tesla showroom in the art gallery section of Chelsea and bought one. It came last week and we are enjoying driving a car built by software people. We may be late to this party but we are happy to be at it now.

This past week Tesla announced a software upgrade that offers Autopilot features. I’ve been wondering for a while now how self driving technology would come to market. Google has been working on this technology for close to a decade and I’ve seen driverless cars on 280 heading from San Francisco to Palo Alto. But who wants to get into the back seat of the first self driving car and let the car do its thing? Not me.

On the other hand if self driving technology comes to market feature by feature, the way Tesla seems to be approaching things, we can get used to it bit by bit and someday we will happily get into that back seat without thinking twice about it.

It sounds like it will start with things like highway lane changes and parallel parking (if there ever was a thing that machines can do better than humans that would be it). And over time we will get more and more autopilot features. And at some point the car will be driving itself and we will be fine with that.

This makes a ton of sense to me. Sometimes incremental innovation is better than doing the whole thing at once. When you want to change behavior on something as game changing as driverless cars, I think the incremental approach makes a ton of sense.