The Future of Work: Cashiers

This morning I read Cashiers’ Last Stand, which covers some thoughts I’ve had about AI recently.

I tend towards the futurist’s view: that these changes will happen (machines will take on more of the rote work of the cashier) and that those displacements will happen relatively soon.

I also think that the service role of cashiers has a long-term place, culturally.

Lastly, I need to invest some time into studying Amazon Go. There’s disruption coming to the retail world.

Here’s their intro video:

What do you think?

Android Malware In The Google Play Store

This morning I read about a newer mobile malware variant. It’s a traditional Trojan concept.

Beware! New Android Malware Infected 2 Million Google Play Store Users

From the article in Hackernews, I’ve pulled their advice to protect yourself from such things. I’ve highlighted a biggie, one that’s terrifying to me that people do: grant an app administrative rights.

We need to be thinking more about mobile security than we do. Clearly, this is the new frontier in cybercrime.

Anyway, be safe out there.



How to Protect yourself against such Malware

There are standard protection measures you need to follow to remain unaffected:

  • Always download apps which are from trusted and verified developers and stick to trusted sources, like Google play Store and the Apple App Store.
  • Always verify app permissions before installing apps. If any app is asking more than what it is meant for, just do not install it.
  • Keep a good antivirus app on your device that can detect and block such malware before it can infect your device. Always keep the app up-to-date.
  • Do not download apps from third party source. Although in this case, the app is being distributed through the official Play Store, most often such malware are distributed via untrusted third-party app stores.
  • Avoid unknown and unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and Keep your Wi-Fi turned OFF when not in use.
  • Be careful which apps you give administrative rights to. (bolding is Admin rights are powerful and can give an app full control of your device.
  • Never click on links in SMS or MMS sent to your mobile phone. Even if the email looks legit, go directly to the website of origin and verify any possible updates.

The future of video content

Just spent a moment exploring what’s available on YouTube, content-wise. Now, I love YouTubers like Casey Niestat and the like, but I was thinking about professional content. Things like Star Wars Rebels, movies, and other stuff. I was pleased by what I saw. 

A nice thing about purchasing content through YouTube: it can be watched on any device. Apple tv, Android devices, and, I expect, even my kindle. I hate having my videos and music held hostage by platform idiosyncrasies. And I hate Apple’s unwillingness to play well with others. 

Anyway, I’m thinking that YouTube might be the way I go to buy Rebels season 4. It’d be cool if I could burn the movies and such to DVDs. But I won’t hold my breath. 

I think I might have seen a glimmer of the future. If so, is pretty bright for YouTube. For now, at least. 

Life and Death and Youth, or Life In The Military

Once, I was a sailor, young and foolish.

Looking back I’m truly stunned at what I operated, and the responsibility in my hands. Mistakes had truly life and death ramifications, and I hadn’t no sense of the seriousness.

Everything from nuclear power-plants, torpedoes, big-assed firearms, weapons of all stripes including nukes, operated and maintained, mostly, by teenagers and youngish adults.

This comic below gave me pause, reminding me of my time in the service. And, really, for the first time seriously considering what the heck was going on while I was a young man.

To be honest, there are times that these thoughts terrify me. And yet, I remember back, back to the youthful poor decisions, impulsive and rash actions; through all of it, we managed to be serious enough about our responsibilities that no one was hurt.

Perhaps I, too, don’t take the capabilities of youth seriously. Especially my own.



Wow, the most annoying email marketing fail I’ve received…and I’ve seen a few

With 7 years working in Real Estate, I’m on tons of email lists. I don’t mind this much, as I get to see what’s going on out in the market. Today, though, got one that violates all my marketing skills, understanding and wisdom.

  1. It was a jpg dropped into an email. I’m not a fan (mea culpa: I’ve done that in the past, mainly out of time, or, sadly, that’s all I had to work with).
  2. In the jpg were several urls. Note: I don’t say “links”. The links were NOT CLICKABLE! Simply text in the jpg.
  3. As I was interested in the property in question, I manually typed the links into a browser. Nope! No worky. Not even the one. Not a single link worked.
  4. I saw the project name in the email addresses in the “contact us” section. That was the right URL.
  5. The creme de la creme, the piece de resistance (insert cliche of your choice here): there was no address. No city. Not even a state, region…nothing. When I finally made a url work, I could see that it was on the Washington Coast. Please note: this was for a new real estate development. “Location, Location, Location”?

It seemed like the creator of this campaign worked really hard to ensure I not only didn’t connect, but actually ended up annoyed with them. Amazing how well it violated every tenet I have for effective email communication.

So, do:

  1. Location. Events: have a date, location (address, venue…at least a city), and times. Drives me nuts to get an email for a property that looks interesting, or an event that looks really cool and, well, sorry, it’s it Atlanta. And it’s not until I’m in the registration section that I find that out? Geez!
  2. If you can at all help it, don’t just email jpgs. FYI, spam filters hate them.
  3. Links. Oh. My. Gawd! Making me TYPE your link…from an email?
  4. Links, part ii: Links MUST WORK. Test them! Most people won’t do anywhere near what I did. I was curious at that point and choose to dig. They may have got a click, but they didn’t get a sale.
  5. Segment your market and sell accordingly. I’m not working the Washington Coast market. It’s hours of driving away!
  6. Your main call to action cannot fail. If clicking on the link takes you to a Google page saying “sorry, sparky, no frickin idea what website you’re trying to find”, every erg of energy expended was wasted. Your goal is sales, right? Customers gotta get to your page. Gotta!

Keep your eyes on the prize, folks. Sales pitches to the right people, in the right way, is a splendid thing. Spam? Yeah, no.

Go forth and do great things!