Bull Session155 podcasts

Bull Session

Automating America

July 16, 2015          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life we chat about about digital automation, innovation, and its effects on the economics of the American middle class.

Is the growing contractor economy, as typified by Uber, another signal that the middle class is in real trouble? As a part of her campaign rhetoric, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, is making some hay of the topic. But the concern is very much a real one. The need for meaningful work is an essential one for humanity, and one that increasingly is falling prey to technological change.

Resources

Hillary Clinton vs. The Uber Economy

A Sneak Preview of Hillarynomics

Uber

Bull Session

We all scream for the video stream

July 8, 2015          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life we chat about streaming television, cord cutting, and the future of the medium.

2015 has been a big year for streaming TV, with HBO NOW making its debut, Sling TV (from Dish) launching, and Netflix stock roaring. In fact, next week Netflix stock — currently trading around $650 — will split 7 times. Technology and increasing bandwidth has acted as the facilitator to streaming TV’s rise, which is now effectively built into the infrastructure of our lives. Users can access their shows anywhere, consuming them on any device containing a screen — from mobile phone to tablet, to computer, to smart television.

And the audience has an even greater stake in determining what shows survive and thrive; Netflix and Amazon are using in-depth customer data to make decisions about what original shows they make. The end result of all this is (mostly) high-quality new television series and a golden age of storytelling. But ongoing audience splintering is a real concern, and while ordering just what you want may be perfect for some, for others the paradox of choice is getting even harder to manage.

Resources

Netflix

Netflix stock splits

HBONOW

Sling TV

Bull Session

The de-evolution of online privacy

June 24, 2015          

Episode Summary

Our big institutions, both corporate and government, are not able to keep up with security in the digital age. As our communications, commerce, and even our health data continue to move online, what is the individual to do?

From the recent breach of US government systems exposing valuable personal data, including Social Security numbers, for millions of Federal employees; to the Sony hack revealing private corporate communications to embarrassing effect; to the intrusions on computer networks at major health insurance companies Anthem and Blue Cross, the list of concerning events goes on and on.

Do we need a cultural shift in our understanding of cyber-privacy? And what would that be? In this episode of the Digital Life, we discuss the consequences of online privacy devolution.

Resources:

WikiLeaks Dumps More Sony Documents

Chinese Hackers Get Access to US Government Systems

Bull Session

Has virtual reality finally arrived?

June 18, 2015          

Episode Summary

Virtual reality headsets could be the next big thing for entertainment. A bevy of new product offerings from the Oculus Rift to the HTC Vive to Sony’s Project Morpheus, mean that there will be plenty of consumer choices when it comes to this new computing and communications device. But how, exactly, will this medium will fit into our online and offline lives? Product demonstrations so far have been severely limited. And no one knows exactly how much these things will cost.

In this episode of The Digital Life we take on the new virtual reality product craze from a user experience perspective — examining everything from the new social norms of virtual space to the practical realities of navigating your environment when you can’t see.

Bull Session

Apple Misses the Mark

June 11, 2015          

Episode Summary

The latest and greatest from Apple used to be something to celebrate. At their Worldwide Developers Conference this week, the biggest tech company in the world announced its newest efforts to much fanfare and largely came up short. While the Apple Watch and the newly minted Apple Music streaming service have garnered lots of interest from the tech press, these offerings from Cupertino seem like pale shadows, trailing after the company’s previous glory. In this episode of The Digital Life, we comment on Apple’s innovation drought from a design and UX perspective.