Google buys Nest! What does this mean for the consumer?

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When I first read that Google bought Nest for nearly 3 billion dollars, my initial reaction was, I hope they don’t screw it up. Because, I really love my Nest thermostats. As I had more time to process the news, I began to worry that, based on Google’s history, I would somehow be participating in an experiment designed to prove just how much privacy the average Nest user would be willing to sacrifice for comfort and to save some energy. I also wondered would Nest have fared better being purchased by Apple? Then again, I don’t own an Android phone (all iPhone since trading in my Blackberry Bold) and I reluctantly use Chrome on my MacBook Air ( it’s really the only choice). Perhaps I’m biased against Google? and that’s why I had a negative reaction to Google buying Nest.  I’m sure there are many people equally biased against Apple, so that begs the question, would Nest been better off on their own ? I can see the benefit of being part of a huge data powerhouse like Google, but unless these benefits are passed along to the consumer, with out too big of a privacy hit, this deal may go down as a big mistake. I’m not a pessimist by nature so I’d like to see this work out beneficially for all parties. Let’s give this union a few months to solidify and then take another look to see what changes occur and what they mean for Nest, Google and most importantly the consumer.

Is the auto industry approaching a tipping point?

imgresAs you can tell from the abundance of blog posts about Tesla both on this blog and on the internet at large, many of us are interested in what Tesla has going on. Much of the interest on my part is focused on the new technology that is transforming how we drive. It has become clear recently that the industry is fighting these changes on every front. This seems to be the standard response to new ideas, (think digital music and the fight that nearly killed the music industry).
Not being an expert on the automotive industry I was surprised to find out that several lawsuits have been filed at the state level to block the direct sale of Tesla vehicles by Tesla to consumers. While I never really gave much thought to whom I was really buying a car from, it turns out that it wasn’t directly from the car manufacture, it was from an independent dealer.  A few Google searches later and it was clear that the independent dealership model is protected by state law. While I understand how this law came into existence, is it time for a change?  Tesla seems to think so, are they right? We’ll soon find out!

Can Google’s project glass transform mobile computing, even if they make you look like a pirate?

imgresEver since Robocop made its film début, little boys everywhere wanted to have a heads up display on the world. It looks like the Google founders were no different, because project glass is just that. The idea of having the world be part augmented reality part cinema verite  has some very real advantages. For example imagine being able to navigate the streets of a foreign city without having to refer to a map on your phone while being able to snap photos and video along your journey. These are ideas that are very easy to visualize because they are a very pragmatic use of the technology. I’m interested in what will come from this technology, that’s not pragmatic but revolutionary. Much like what the internet did to every industry known to humanity. The one thing that may pose and problem for project glass is the way the glasses look. Part of Google’s effort to make the glasses more commonplace has been to make one of the founders wear the glasses anytime he’s out in public. While the glasses are somewhat sleek and svelte looking, I can’t help to think that Sergey looks a bit like a high-tech pirate with them on. I hope that looks won’t kill a project as potentially revolutionary as project glass… What do you think, will fashion get in the way of the Robocob revolution?