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Bull Session

The War for The Smart Home

May 19, 2016          

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the war for the smart home. When it comes to the ongoing battle for consumer IoT dominance, there are many big players involved like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon; connectivity providers including AT&T and Verizon; and innumerable device manufacturers such as Withings, D-Link, and a host of others.

On the consumer side Amazon has some unexpected market leadership with its Echo product and rivals are beginning to take notice. For instance, Google recently open sourced its networking protocol for IoT devices, OpenThread — which is used by Nest — in the hopes that other companies will get on board.

Companies are approaching the smart home from multiple vantage points — HVAC, lighting, television (entertainment) — but Amazon seems to have the upper hand so far with Echo and its voice UI, Alexa, as the interface for the IoT goes beyond the screen.

Resources
Google’s Nest Open Sources OpenThread to Snag More IoT partners, Take on Amazon

Cover photo: “Miracle Kitchen” series by Bob Lerner for Look Magazine

Bull Session

The Top Stories of 2015

December 17, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week, on The Digital Life we chat about the top science and technology stories of 2015.

From new net neutrality rules to evidence of flowing water on Mars, Amazon’s cut throat corporate culture to outrageous drug price increases, hacking exploits to genetically altered designer babies, we explore the biggest and most impactful news events of the year.

Resources
White House Approves Sanctions Against North Korea for Sony Hack
FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules, Reclassifies Broadband as Utility
Working for Amazon Can Be Awful. Is It As Awful As the New York Times Says?
A Huge Overnight Increase in a Drug’s Price Raises Protests
NASA Scientists Find Evidence of Flowing Water on Mars
Chinese Experiment Which ‘Edits’ DNA of Human Embryos Ignites Ethical Controversy

Bull Session

Alphabet

August 20, 2015          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life, we explore Google’s corporate transformation to holding company Alphabet, what that means for unleashing innovation in the company, and how that effects the firm’s chief technology rivals, Amazon and Apple. So far, Wall Street has loved the move and the company has increased its worth by $20B.

Alphabet is well-positioned to be the dominant emerging tech company of the 21st century, with fingers in the IoT, wearables, self-driving cars, robotics, and genomics. But what does that dominance mean for our data, when innovation is reliant on advertising revenue for financial fuel?

Resources
G is for Google
Google confirms Life Sciences as the first new company under the umbrella of Alphabet