Friday, January 24, 2020

Field trip Friday.



There is an enormous amount of excitement in the aviation industry in Silicon Valley right now. Next month they are suppose to demonstrate a bunch of those VTOL's. (I'm going to call them drone helicopters for now.)

So.... today I got to tag along to see all the simulators they have at Moffett.

This one was a 180 degree simulator that you got to fly and land a VTOL.



Next was "Future Flight Central". Which was a 360 degree flight tower simulator which was set up to mimic LAX.











In this pod you got to simulate being a passenger.





These buildings are massive.



This is a replica of Vertical Motion Simulator. Because there is no way to get this all in one shot.



A control center for another pod where you could see what it felt like for a pilot.














Then - the wind tunnel!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Peak........ Amazon?

I am pretty loath to believe in peak anything. We go through fads. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don't. But when I heard this term being thrown around yesterday  I really had to think about it.

Maybe there could be a peak Amazon.

It seems like people who write about peak anything feel like the world is very black and white. You either have brick and mortar stores, or you have internet stores which will eat the brick and mortar stores. But, the reality is - no one solution fits all. Some things you buy online because it's easier, but you still want to see certain things in person.

Which is really how I think most people shop these days. I shop like a boy, but you still need to go out and browse things sometimes. I will shop anywhere that is the least hassle. The internet can never replace that. And for now it seems that Silicon Valley is making a plan to claw back brick and mortar by thinking beyond Amazon.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Went to an A.I. conference today. I feel like I'm going to have to put "they aren't coming for the jobs you think they are" on a loop.

I remain heavily skeptical it will make a meaningful impact one way or the other. All those people writing stories about this are doing so for sensationalism.

Monday, January 20, 2020

I think one of Googles Captcha challenges should be - mountains or molehills.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

When Mr. S. and I leave the house, we leave the TV on for Lacy.  So she won't get lonely. She's an only bunny.

Mr S. has started putting on the Golf channel which he calls - "The grass channel". He doesn't golf, so it's purely so Lacy can fantasize about being on the grass.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Everyone's car sugar was low.



The SandHill show has been pretty sketch. The only reason I went today is because the last of my favorite restaurants is Los Altos. The rest of them closed. You can get dutch babies there and I don't know how long they will stay alive. So, if there are no cars you at least get a consolation prize.

To my amazement - EVERYBODY was out on a cold (for California) day. It was definitely the most well attended so far.

They have sort of been shutting these down all over the Bay Area because these are fast cars. And brakes are for sissy's. I'm guessing it won't be long before they shut this one down too. These people can afford expensive tickets. And the exit is two lanes. Not like Santana Row where you have one exit getting out. They already had the Sherrif sharking through this one. Canine and all.











This is the 2020 McLaren. But he had all the doors up - so Meh.







I just liked the they parked them according to age.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Kinda crazy today seeing people act like BOTS are not a problem on Twitter just because they want to shit on Elon.

People never cease to amaze me.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

It's a super confusing market.

All of a sudden there is almost zero housing inventory. I honestly never seen it this low.

Yet when I look at the houses that have recently sold - more than half sold at below asking. A lot -well below.

With numbers like that,  you'd expect a rate increase. It will be interesting to see what happens next. It feels like there was a lot of irrational exuberance out there. Let's see if it hold after the holiday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

8K TV's.



Every time I see one of these TV's I ask them why should I buy ones of their TV's if there is barely any 4k content. This year I got an answer!

The plan to let you scale up for make your own content. Enjoy!

Fisker.



I do really have to give Fisker props for working his booths every year. (He's sort of a car celebrity) But, I just don't get this at all.

It's a fine looking SUV. If there weren't already a million other SUV's on the road. And what happened to last years car?





WeWork was the pin that popped the bubble.

Nothing really gets done in Silicon Valley from October to January, so it isn't that surprising that this WeWork drama has been a nothing burger to date. But I think that is changing.

A lot of us have been trying to figure out if the next recession was going to be 2008 bad, or the Dotcom bursting bad. And it's definitely going to be more like 2000.

All of a sudden in The Valley people feel like they need to turn a profit. What a novel idea.  I don't know which recession that seems more like. Said in the most sarcastic way. Cough pets.com.

Also trash deals seem to be falling apart now because Softbank isn't keen to give out as much VC money.  Just a couple of days ago I told Mr S. that I wondered how They Valley was going to adjust without Softbank.

For at least a year I have been concerned about Softbank before any of this drama. They only started having problem in the Fall. Softbank was basically the only ones with money during the recession and they walked in here and had their way with Silicon Valley. They made some good moves early on with Alibaba and Nvidia. Softbank literally caused Nvdia's stock to double. Chip companies don't trade in the 400 dollar range. That's ridiculous.

And a lot of "Unicorns" seem to be reducing staff all of a sudden because you just can't keep losing money! I don't know what percentage of Softbank portfolio is filled with Lose to Win companies, but I'd venture it's "a lot of percent".

So..... now I guess we get to see what's real and not real I guess.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Bell VTOL/helicopter.



You are going to hear the acronym VTOL a lot this year. It stands for vertical take off or landing,

Bell was at CES again this year. But since I'd already seen it last year I was more excited about the working replica drones they had. I actually tried to get them to sell one to me.





I, for one, am excited about the start of earnings season.

Money - Losing Companies Mushroom Even as Stocks Hit New Highs.

"The percentage of listed companies in the red is close to 40%".

Because that is a LOT of percent.

Where bunnies roam.



I don't think I'm done posting CES stuff yet - but you know how this blog rolls.

We let Lacy out in the hall where we stayed. You don't have to worry about her getting to mischief out there.





This is Lacies hotel setup. Litterbox in the carrier and a collapsable wire cage where she can stretch out.

I'm calling this the Pan's Labyrinth robot.



I sort of thought it was creative to just stick the eyes at the end of a robot arm. The gripper is sort of the mouth.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The robot bubble is bursting.

Some of San Francisco's robot-run restaurants are failing. It could simply be that we still want to be served by humans, not machines.

People think that robots are these magical beings that are better at doing things than humans and never need service. There has been trouble brewing in this sector since at least summer. Robots break down ALL the time. And while they do repetitive tasks well, they just don't do them as fast or efficiently as humans. I'm not even sure they do them as cost efficiently as humans honestly.

I have been sitting on a story for weeks about ZUME Pizza which I have never understood. But I try to bitch about stuff less in December. While I am not religious - even I try to give things a rest for one month.

Anyway. I read in November they were getting rid of their robots. Then while I was at CES I heard the had laid off 80% of their staff. Meanwhile just in November the media was still bragging about how much money investors were still pouring into this company. Thankfully they were not around long enough to start putting other pizza places out of business. Because Zume was another one of those companies that was losing to win. They were in no way profitable.

I have never understood the Zume Pizza robot story. Pizza restaurants margins are so razor thin. And robot arms are not cheap. I tried to hunt down a pizza making robot at CES just so I could mock it. Any time I see a robot with hands I just laugh because each hand is 50 grand! FOR JUST ONE HAND. 100 grand for two hands.

So, whatever your robot is doing, it has to return more than 100 grand right off the top!

 

Makes no sense to me at all.



Worst application for VR ever. This is how soft we are as people enow. It's also pretty weird because you can buy LED grow lights at Home Depo. They must think we won't have windows in the future.