/ Weekly Takeaways

Amazon is buying up old malls, Google broke your smart home and Game designers at risk of PTSD

Amazon is buying up abandoned malls in the US

Since 2017 Amazon's been buying up bankrupt or abandoned malls without telling anyone why. The Wall Street Journal ran a report this week that indicates that the buyup has been to house all the fulfillment centers for projected demand for shipping and warehousing: https://www.wsj.com/video/why-amazon-is-gobbling-up-failed-malls/FC3559FE-945E-447C-8837-151C31D69127.html

Key Takeaway

It's pretty funny that Amazon seemed to go from getting into the retail game, to just sticking their toe in it, and then completely undoing the system.

The act of "going shopping" is coming to an end. Now we'll just have giant warehouses filled with robots that will send stuff to us whenever we ask our Alexa for more stuff... And I think that's pretty awesome, as long as we replace shopping with something more productive.

Google changes the way Nest thermostats work, potentially breaking them in the process

Like many of Alphabet's acquisitions, Google changed Nest to be a "Google Nest". The key change was that you now connect to to Nest through your Google account instead of your original Nest account.

Not a terribly big deal - but what if you didn't set yours up? What if you don't have a Google account?


Key Takeaway

This is the new VCR with the blinking 12:00 (80s kids, you know what I'm talking about). To have a smart home, you need to have a working understanding of the Cloud. You don't need to be a developer, but you need to be able to grasp the basic principles of data syncing and account management.

This new requirement for living in the modern world is setting a new barrier between the "early adopters" and "laggards". You can't just buy new gear anymore - you need working knowledge of how to keep it all going.

This was historically just an issue with those of us who bought bleeding edge technology - and is now an issue for all mainstream "smart" tech.

Game designers working on violent games are being diagnosed with PTSD

Several designers and developers have anonymously told reporters that they're being diagnosed with PTSD from extreme exposure to human gore for research for games like Mortal Kombat: https://www.kotaku.com.au/2019/05/id-have-these-extremely-graphic-dreams-what-its-like-to-work-on-ultra-violent-games-like-mortal-kombat-11/

Key Takeaway

This sits in contrast with recent research into the effects of violent games on violence in adolescents - in which little connect was found.

It also sits in context with decades of union strikes and class action lawsuits against game publishers who have mistreated their staff.

This isn't likely to change unless people stop wanting to play violent video games.

Amazon is buying up old malls, Google broke your smart home and Game designers at risk of PTSD
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