Vuze XR: A New VR Camera

It’s too early to get excited about this — there are no hard specs yet! — but the idea is intriguing:

Vuze XR: One Camera – Dual Experiences

I wonder how sales of the Lenovo Mirage VR180 camera are doing?

And whatever happened to the VR180 camera from Xiaomi?

Previously here:

Virtual Reality category

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Book: The Black Hand

The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History by Stephan Talty

This is a must-read.

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Reference: Spiral Dynamics

I hadn’t heard of this before today (via a YouTube Comment on a Dan Peña video).

Spiral Dynamics – A Way of Understanding Human Nature

What is Spiral Dynamics and Why Have I Become So Interested in It?

There are also YouTube videos. One I peeked into was fraudulently titled a TED Talk and was not — and the Comments from people who know about Spiral Dynamics were brutal.

Previously here:

Human Variables category

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Bike Rental Service Ofo Constricts, Withdraws From U.S.

Chinese Bike-Share Startup Ofo Lays Off Majority Of US Staff As It Scales Back Global Ambitions

Ofo insiders attribute the scaling down to China becoming an increasing priority amid an effort to dial back its global ambitions. Ofo has also pulled out of India, Israel, Australia and Germany this month, according to news reports.

This sounds fishy to me. China is drowning in bike outfits:

The Bike-Share Oversupply in China: Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles

Chinese bike share graveyard a monument to industry’s ‘arrogance’

The Trouble with Sharing: China’s Bike Fever Has Reached Saturation Point

Who knows the real reason? Does it even matter? No.


Previously here:

Brainless Mayor Allows Dockless Bikes In New York City
Spin In Boston Dumps Bikes For eScooter Rentals
New eScooter Rental Funding And Now Bikes Go Dockless Too
eBikes On The Way To Being Legal In NYC
Bikes Vs. Cars, Plus Why eScooters Matter

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Uber All The Things?

Spoiler: The title is very misleading.

Is Uber For Everything A Good Thing?

But there’s this bit of enlightenment:

Cities across the US are experiencing soul-crushing congestion, and as a surprise to no one, it’s been getting worse. Average taxi speeds in midtown Manhattan have been steadily declining towards the pace of a brisk walk. Suburban buses to Boston have added 30 minutes or more to their morning commute times over the past decade. And in San Francisco, traffic congestion has grown by 80% since 2010.

And there’s even more along those lines, with other solid statistics.

Which begs the damn question: Why aren’t eScooter rentals available all over NYC by now? Where’s the graft bottleneck? Which pig is asking for more than his/her share? And all of the bastards holding the reigns of power in this city? They need to all be outed! How many of them are taking Uber, Lyft, and whatever else is out there instead of the mass transit nightmare they inflict on everyone else? If graft won’t work, then maybe widespread public embarrassment will!

My blood sometimes boils on this subject. As you can see!

Previously here:

MaaS: Mobility As A Service And The Macro, Micro, Nano
Brainless Mayor Allows Dockless Bikes In New York City
Chronological List Of Electric Scooter Posts
eScooters category

Posted in eScooters, State Abuse | 2 Comments

Hollywood Anxiety

Disruption, Consolidation, Uncertainty: Welcome to Hollywood’s Age of Anxiety

The business has been rocked by the arrival of deep-pocketed digital players such as Amazon, Apple and especially Netflix that threaten to transform not only the cozy old relationships of buyers and sellers but even the way viewers consume (and pay for) product. Historic studios that once represented the pinnacle of the culture business are being swallowed by vast corporations that think nothing of merging these long-discrete entities together. Movie companies that previously jostled for equality at the box office are living in the shadow of a modern-day Goliath, Disney, and all of them are battling a shrinking North American marketplace that has been dwarfed by international territories. Meanwhile, cord-cutting is accelerating and Netflix, which plans to spend $8 billion on content this year, is sounding a death-knell for the traditional “bundles” of channels that make up the TV business (while Netflix missed its growth target for the recent quarter, it still added 5.2 million users, bringing total membership to 130 million).

See the trend chart after the break.

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Trump Trade Tariffs On eScooters

YouTube notice: CGTN is funded in whole or in part by the Chinese government

Tariffs could put brakes on booming scooter-sharing industry

I don’t know how much of this is scaremongering. Whether or not a 25% tariff will apply to eScooters will depend upon how bureaucrats parse the regulation. And even if it goes into effect, the only people to be hurt will be individuals who want to own an eScooter and finally discover the model that was US$399 has jumped to over US$499. eScooter rental businesses can absorb the increase. This is “winning”?

Previously here:

Chronological List Of Electric Scooter Posts
eScooters category

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Freego Electric Scooters

Even though Freego has videos on YouTube going back four years, they haven’t made any impression on me until now. That could be due to YouTube’s rotten algorithms, however.

Three videos caught my attention this morning.

The first, showing a Xiaomi M365 clone as part of an eSooter rental fleet. Apparently Freego is selling this as a turnkey solution.

Freego Scooter Sharing Project

That makes me wonder if either Bird or Lime are using those and not eScooters bought from Xiaomi.

Then there’s a new dual-motor eScooter I’ve never seen before.

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The Billionaire Boys Club

Back in the 1980s, I learned of The Billionaire Boys Club in an eye-popping article in Esquire magazine [paywalled link]. It was total serendipity. I don’t read Esquire and can’t recall how that issue got into my hands.

Who knew I was getting a glimpse into all of the financial fraud to come since? Bernie Madoff. The Wolf of Wall Street. Enron. And more.

NBC found the story fascinating too, and did a two-part mini-series. I saw that. At least twice.

And now there’s a new movie adaptation, with the untouchable Kevin Spacey in it.

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MaaS: Mobility As A Service And The Macro, Micro, Nano

I encountered the “mobilty as a service” term for the first time in a standards proposal from the City of Los Angeles. It neatly abstracts all “ride-sharing” (a camouflage term for pay-per-ride) services and systems and places them under one umbrella concept.

Well, the city of Helsinki, Finland, is leading the way in MaaS: How Helsinki Arrived at the Future of Urban Travel First [a Bloomberg link that might be paywalled for some].

The elements of mobility-as-a-service products are already familiar digital services—trip planning, ride hailing, car sharing—alongside the seamless booking, ticketing and payment common to every kind of mobile app. Instead of using one app for rides and local government apps for public transport, Whim offers a single app with a single fee. Users get to pick the most efficient way to get between any two places.

Helsinki has not had an invasion of electric scooters — from Bird, Lime, or another company — land on its streets yet.

The monthly subscription offers:

After its first big marketing push about six months ago, Whim has grown to more than 45,000 users in the Helsinki region, of whom 5,100 pay monthly fees. There are two subscription packages: an all-inclusive 499 euros ($582.65), and a more modest 49 euros that gets you unlimited bus travel and short city bike rides, as well as cheaper taxis and rental cars. A pay-per-ride option also exists for those who want to try out the service.

Over US$500/month seems steep to me. But I’ve never owned a car and still have no desire for one.

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