Page 2 – News Debris For The Week Of September 11th
Robots and People as Partners
We often hear about robots replacing human workers and putting people out of work. But there is another meme. The alternative is based on the idea that a robot only needs to be smart enough to perform many manual labor tasks. We don’t need robots/androids of the caliber of Star Trek’s Lt. Commander Data to move heavy boxes around in an Amazon warehouse. And so the rise of robots in the workplace will develop into more of a partnership. Robots do what they do best, and humans supervise.
This article at The New York Times by Nick Wingfield discusses that very scenario. “As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles.” The nature of this partnership is very sensible and cost effective. That means, of course, that job training for humans will change. Human partners will have to be robot tech savvy (to spot problems), supervise and understand the big picture in any production plant. The outcome is that humans will have more responsibility and training than before. But computers and robots avoid the common human struggles and mistakes. From the article:
Amazon’s global work force is three times larger than Microsoft’s and 18 times larger than Facebook’s, and last week, Amazon said it would open a second headquarters in North America with up to 50,000 new jobs.
Very cool I think.
• Speaking of Nick Wingfield, here’s an interesting article about keeping up as a writer. “How to Keep on Top of Technology When You Write About It.”
• The lowly MacBook doesn’t get a lot of love and attention. Yet many people swear by it. It’s not overly expensive. It’s small and light. It’s fast enough for many tasks on the go. And so I was pleased to see Rene Ritchie write up the state of the MacBook and its possible evolution.
Especially helpful is the accounting of all the updates to the original 2015 model so we can track the changes to date.
• If you have an iPhone 7 and are wondering what the changes are in the iPhone 8, here’s a nice comparison chart from Trusted Reviews. “iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: Should you upgrade?”
• The overly expensive cable and satellite subscription services (Pay TV) are still very widespread and popular.. But more and more young people are cutting the cord (or have been cord nevers). If you’re in that twilight zone between Pay TV and live streaming, Phillip Swann has some very good advice. “Pay TV vs. Live Streaming: There Has to Be a Better Way.”
• Al Franken (D-Minn) wants to know more about Apple’s Face ID technology, and has some questions, namely how users’ “faceprints” will be protected and safeguarded, if at any point that data will be shared or sold to marketers, and whether or not law enforcement will be able to access the Face ID database. Here’s the letter. These are interesting questions. We know Apple will handle the security issues correctly, but seeing Apple’s response to Sen. Franken will be helpful for all.
• On September 12, we got a glimpse of the Steve Jobs Theater. Here’s a great story, with excellent photos by Lance Ulanoff at Mashable. “The incredible architectural secrets of Steve Jobs Theater.”
• Finally, Dan Moren at Macworld has looked at some Apple tea leaves to see where Apple might be going in the future. “3 small announcements that hint at Apple’s big future.” Wireless, it own graphics chips, and supplanting the classic SIM form an aggregate notion of where Apple might be headed. It’s a good read.
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weekends.