FM-Tech-AI-Cryto-Gas-Governors-Week’s Best Stories-Podcast 723

Every once and a while it’s good to roll through the news and pick a few stories to talk about. Used to do this a lot back in the radio days. These days not so much. We’ll talk about it in FM-Tech-AI-Cryto-Gas-Governors-Week’s Best Stories-Podcast 723.

The Brits May Say Goodbye To FM

Radio is a good place to start. Seems the Brits are getting rid of the FM Radio Band. Listening to digital services in the UK is now over fifty percent. Meanwhile in the US, the radio industry insists on telling the world radio listening has never been higher.  I don’t believe it.

Young Adults Abandon Radio

Especially relevant is an informal survey I did recently of younger adults. I asked them if they listened to the radio. Virtually none of them have. In years.

Princess Leia On Your Smart Phone

Radio talk makes me want to talk about tech. Remember the Princess Leia hologram in the first Star Wars? The first holographic smart phone is due to hit the market this year. The Red Hydrogen One will allow you to shoot 3D video and projects a holographic display which doesn’t require special glasses to see. Another idea from Star Wars that has become real. Details in FM-Tech-AI-Cryto-Gas-Governors-Week’s Best Stories-Podcast 723.

Big Tech Makes Us Mad

When they’re not complaining about gas prices, people love to complain about social media and big tech companies. With so many of the top market cap companies in the tech world, like Amazon and FaceBook for example, people are getting worried they might be too big. Regulation is the answer, right?

Not So Fast

Big Tech Disruptors

What disrupts social media and tech companies? Artificial Intelligence and Crypto Currencies to name two. Blockchain, Smart Contacts and Community to name three more. Moreover when you combine these new ideas with robotics and a faster and more robust internet, the next big thing might not be Amazon, FaceBook, Google or Apple.

Maybe It Will Disrupt Big Government Too

If so called ‘Big Tech’ can be disrupted by this ‘crust’ of new tech ideas that give the consumer control of their identity and money, what’s the possibility for the disruption and eventual dissolution of our sclerotic government? Think about it with me in FM-Tech-AI-Cryto-Gas-Governors-Week’s Best Stories-Podcast 723.

Minnesota Where Corruption-I Mean Business As Usual-is Legal

In conclusion it’s business as usual in the land of ten thousand lakes. The 2018 Governor’s race is heating up. Retiring 1st district congressman Tim Walz just got the nod from Education Minnesota. This is a big endorsement for Democratic candidates. On the Republican side the more things change…

Attack Of The Re-Treads

Gubernatorial re-tread and wealthy banking lobbyist Tim Pawlenty has decided to forgo the Minnesota GOP’s State Convention at Duluth in the beginning of June. He says he got into the race too late. Truth is, the twenty or so rich guys in Minnetonka don’t like the grassroots political community. Find out why in FM-Tech-AI-Cryto-Gas-Governors-Week’s Best Stories-Podcast 723.

Sponsored by Water Butler Water Purification and Reliafund Payment Processors

FM-Tech-AI-Cryto-Gas-Governors-Week’s Best Stories-Podcast 723

Summer Binge TV Shows-Escape-Midnight Walk-Podcast 722

Suddenly summer in the Upper Midwest. When the news keeps talking about the same stuff time for escape. These days that means binge watching. In Summer Binge TV Shows-Escape-Midnight Walk-Podcast 722.

Lots Of Great New Shows Means Peak TV

Hundreds of drama and comedy shows will be produced for networks like HBO, ShowTime, Hulu, AMC, Netflix and others in 2018. They call it ‘Peak TV‘. I love nothing more than sitting up all night, drinking coffee and binge watching my favorite shows. Every now and then I like to talk about the shows I am watching.

What’s more, I actually consider it part of my job!

The shows we binge watch say a lot about the national mood.

A Window Into America’s Subconscious

Especially relevant to this podcast is the idea I have that the content and tone of these shows has begun to change. Does this reflect a change in the national mood? Are these shows a window into America’s subconscious? We’ll talk about it on a midnight walk in Summer Binge TV Shows-Escape-Midnight Walk-Podcast 722.

New Shows

While the major networks are focused on adding remakes like Roseanne, Will and Grace and Murphy Brown, Netflix, HBO and others are cranking out great new dramas, comedies and documentaries. I can hardly keep up with Stranger Things, Black Mirror and more!

What Are You Binging On?

I’ve been binging on WestWorld, Homeland, Billions, and especially a new show on ShowTime called I’m Dying Up Here. Who hasn’t watched all the Breaking Bad shows again, or the more current Narcos? Plus documentaries like Evil Genius, and the new Elvis doc on HBO, Elvis The Searcher. Don’t even get me started on Game of Thrones!

Changing Mood

With the addition of new shows like The Deuce and I’m Dying Up Here, there’s a nostalgia for the American urban experience in the 1970’s. While older shows like The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking dead have started to seem stale, new shows strike a different tone. What’s more, I get the feeling the mood is changing. Maybe we just want to laugh.

Broadcast Fades To Black

As the ratings for cable channels and news shows that focus on the constant drone of the political back and forth these days, when the weather changes, who doesn’t want to escape?

Shows like WestWorld focus on anxiety about robotics and artificial intelligence, in Billions, it seems like they’re all villains. If you think some of these plots are farfetched, consider the fact that House of Cards pales in contrast to the actual craziness in today’s Washington DC.

Delicious!

What are you binging on and what do you think about it. Let me know at thebobdavispodcasts@gmail.com, after you check out Summer Binge TV Shows-Escape-Midnight Walk-Podcast 722.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing Of Saint Paul and Reliafund Payment Processors

Summer Binge TV Shows-Escape-Midnight Walk-Podcast 722

Podcast 506

Future Shock. As the 24 hour news media and talk radio fixate on gorillas and high school election antics, its hard to get a conversation going about the future. Is the future potential leaders want the future we should have? Is it the future we want? There are developments almost everyday now with autonomous cars, robotics, materials, aviation, and communications; the building blocks of a future wave that will leave nothing untouched and unchanged. A series of stories from today’s headlines shedding a light on one potential future and a question; Planners and government officials are  diverting resources to bring about a vision of the city of tomorrow, which is really the city of the early 1900’s. Is this what you want? Will the driverless car, autonomous software and machines, robotics, and other developments make trains, buses and the standard bureaucracy heavy city, state and federal government ‘obsolete’? If so, why is so much time, effort and authority expended to see that we plan for and create a urban spaces, and that suburban villages and towns conform to a vision of a city that probably never existed and never will. Driverless cars will render the amount of space needed for freeways and parking ramps obsolete. Remote technology, robotics and other technologies may mean that people will not have to travel to large office complexes for their work, with increasing freelance employment. What are our so called leaders talking about? Minimum wages, government controlled health insurance and trains. Trains. Why are we planning for 1940’s Chicago when reality could be closer to Jefferson’s vision than Robert Moses? The old world is being torn down and a new one is being built that will be very different from what we know. Do our leaders understand this? Future Shock. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.

Podcast 383 – Emmer on Trade

Emmer on Trade. Live from the Nation’s Capital, Washington DC, where it’s all about free trade authority. To talk about it with the Bob Davis Podcasts, Congressman Tom Emmer left the Cannon House Office building, walked a couple of blocks, to where the Mobile Podcast Command Unit was parked. He is the first official interview in the Podcast Mobile Command Unit. At issue, votes for three measures constituting fast track trade authority for President Obama on Pacific nations, not including China. Opposition to this package of bills being considered takes two forms; Some Republicans don’t want to grant this president any more authority, especially when considering his pen and love for overstepping pesky things like the constitution. Democrats oppose because they believe this trade deal will hurt American workers, and American jobs. Tom’s take is, this package of bills, particularly the TPA (Trans Pacific Trade Authority) actually limits the president’s unilateral authority, at least when it comes to congress, which is one of the reasons he supports the legislation. Are you a trade protectionist, or a free trader? What are the benefits, drawbacks of each position? Do you think a president should be given ‘fast track’ authority to negotiate these deals, considering the possibility for this president, or future president’s to include initiatives that could actually hurt the country, a concern for everyone regardless of where they ‘lean’ on the political spectrum. If you speak in political circles you’re going to hear “They shipped all our jobs to China” more than once from democrats and republicans. While IT, higher labor costs have been factors in company’s decisions to outsource and have cost American jobs, some say the country is much better off economically with free trade, than trying to protect American jobs. China itself (not a part of this trade deal by the way) has already eliminated millions of jobs with IT. Millions more jobs will be lost even more technology is installed in the coming years. What’s effected American jobs the most? Poor economic growth. Another factor in pushing this agreement is the idea that American soft power (trade and diplomatic relationships) is what we should be developing, because its less costly than troops and ships and weapons systems. But without so called hard power, is soft power possible to sustain? Apparently a congressmen some consider to be conservative thinks so. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. (Editor’s Note: You don’t often see congressmen come to media on a backstreet behind the Cannon Office Building, and I want to personally thank Tom Emmer for doing so.)

 

Podcast 381

Norfolk Naval Base. The Big East Road Trip continues from Western Virginia, to the Atlantic Coast. Virginia Beach, and the Naval Base at Norfolk where a relative is flying helicopters. Life on the base is different from civilian life in many ways. Most significantly, everyone has a job and a place in the big machine. As everyone does their job, it all comes together somewhere downstream. It’s also apparent there are clear rank divisions in the armed forces, with various perks and rituals. While some may covet the residence of an Admiral, few covet the weight of the responsibility higher officers have, or of what it takes to reach high rank. Odd, considering the debate we’re currently having in this country about inequality, with the implication that government has to step in and ‘equalize’ things. There’s no such attempt in the Navy that I can see, and no stigma with being enlisted or in the lower ranks of officers. Again, everyone’s job is important in the overall process. That doesn’t mean everyone is happy. It just gives a person visited a sense of purpose everywhere you look on the base. Besides, I got to sit in a helicopter! On the political front, it looks like Congress will make another attempt next week to pass the Pacific Trade Authority the President wants. Democrats usually oppose free trade measures because they think it hurts American jobs. Republicans generally support free trade because they think it helps the overall US Economy. The main problem with this bill is no citizen of the US has been able to see and review the bill to get an idea of what is at stake. Moreover, this bill grants authority to a president that has demonstrated a willingness to push the envelope on the constitution, to get what he wants. Already republican representatives are adding amendments to keep the President from committing the US to Climate Change regimes congress should vote on. While some might decry it as a talking point, the question of what this president is willing to commit the United States to and what his intentions are, should be on the table. Maybe it would be better to wait until the next President is elected to pass this authorization. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. (Editor’s Note: By the way, my next Mobile Podcast Command Unit is definitely going to be a Seahawk.

Podcast 375

Where’s My ObamaNet? FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler wants to expand a program that dates back to at least the Bush Administration, which became known as the ‘Obama Phone’. Originally the program was intended to make sure older people with no communication could get phone lines, then it was expanded to include cell phones, and was made famous during the 2012 election cycle. Now the FCC wants to expand the program to include free broadband Internet! Surprise! We all pay extra on our phone bills to fund this program, now we’re paying so people who don’t work, can get free or low-cost Internet. When is it time to draw the line? Warning! This podcast includes a freewheeling discussion of technology it all its many forms, economic growth, dystopia, Paul Krugman, Solar Power, Wind Power, the smell of cigarettes and Martinis on a warm summer night, the sound of planes landing, and more! Big argument in the tech world after The New York Times Astrologer in Chief, Paul Krugman claimed the technology revolution has produced no economic growth. Is that true? Then there is the bizarre reaction to Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Machines, Robotics and Additive Manufacturing (to name a few new technologies) threatening to eliminate jobs. Most of the time, it’s disbelief, followed by the darkest predictions about the future. And yet, technology revolutions throughout history while tumultuous, result in economic growth and more jobs. Why does the future have to be so bleak? What if the future is so bright, you’ll have to wear shades? Now, you might have to wear shades because you live next door to a giant solar farm — subsidized by the state and federal governments — while solar produces less than one percent of our power and pollutes the Earth. Why is it, news coverage of the spread of ‘friendly’ solar power doesn’t include stories about the pollution in creating, and eventually disposing of panels, and batteries? Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 338

Change. Interrupting The Rockford Files to do podcast 338. The sameness of news coverage lately provokes discussion on change. How it occurs, when it occurs and how do we notice when things are changing? Think back to different times, and how you noticed things were changing. What caught your attention? A TV Show, Fashion, a song, or something in the news? What resonates with you to indicate things are changing. Usually major change requires some kind of catalyst. The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression, the assassination of President Kennedy was the beginning of the tumultuous 1960’s and early 70’s, and of course in our time frame, September 11th brought huge changes in our society and the world. Is there a point where you look up and say, “Things are different now”? Are we on the cusp of major changes in the world and in the United States? What are the cues, the waypoints, the clues of a major change in era? When we watch our favorite old TV shows we can see how things have changed. Its nostalgic but also instructive to watch shows with good writing. like ‘The Rockford Files’, or ‘Friends’, or ‘Miami Vice’; shows that aired for many seasons, starting in one era, and ending in another. Certainly this podcast does not suggest that we can tell what’s going on by watching old TV shows on Netflix. What it suggests is things are changing again, and this time maybe significantly. What things that are present now will be the building blocks of the future, and what things will be swept away. As Moore’s law continues its exponential impact on technology and society, suddenly there is more coverage of robotics and artificial intelligence, suddenly IT systems that were up to date seem old and ‘kludgy’, and we’re seeing signs of the future everywhere; Uber outnumbers yellow cab in New York, autonomous check out machines, new business models, an iPhone that was brand new a second ago seems suddenly obsolete. Media is changing too; MSNBC is dying, broadcast television viewing is plummeting, Netflix is getting competitors including the networks, HBO and Apple, and the new cars don’t even come with AM radio anymore. As things change one thing is for sure. People attuned to politics should hold on loosely, because it may be true that in the near future  many things we consider constants will change. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. 

Podcast 334

Target Layoffs. While there’s a lot of news — or is that noise — about Hillary Clinton’s email, the iWatch from Apple and more nonsense than you can stand about the 2016 election cycle, some real news hits home in the Twin Cities as the crown jewel of Minneapolis Downtown, Target Corporation lays off 3100 people, mostly from the downtown headquarters. Target says the jobs will not be coming back. Of course the rah rah Minneapolis-Saint Paul media goes for the emotional angle; the human cost of layoffs and so forth, complete with soothing public relations from Governor Mark Dayton and the Target CEO. These people get 15 weeks of severance, we’re renewing our commitment to Minnesota and so on. Just last week General Mills, another Twin Cities mainstay let hundreds of middle managers go. When you look at these two big companies, you have to wonder if there’s something going on, despite rosy scenarios about the US Economic ‘recovery’. Over the years there’s been a lot of cheerleading and downtown boosterism from the biggest booster of them all, The Star Tribune. The ‘Trib’ is constantly promoting the Minnesota Miracle of Public-Private Partnerships and the wonders of what government can do for people. Is it a miracle?  Or becoming a bloated, bureaucratic, crony-capitalist cartel benefitting the rich sports team owners and companies big enough to benefit from the tax breaks? Is it too soon to start asking whether the template – the whole philosophy – of development in the urban centers of this state, is really an outdated, early twentieth century vision? The boosters say Millennials will move in to these downtown areas in droves, you’ll see. This week a new study shows that while some millennials are moving into dense urban centers with hipster apartments, bike trails and light rail, built and subsidized at enormous expense to taxpayers, not enough of them are moving into those downtown areas to be significant, when considering metro areas as a whole. Meanwhile, the tax bill in close ring suburbs goes higher and higher, as does a hamburger and a beer in downtown or uptown. And the same vision is pushed for the first ring suburbs like Saint Louis Park, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, and Richfield, to name a few. More and more big companies are using new technology to downsize and eliminate jobs in the vast middle level management job categories, especially in their ritzy downtown headquarters. 50 years ago Moore’s law established the integrated circuit as one of the most explosive forces in history. Today Moore’s law is back with a vengeance as we pass 25 billion transistors on one chip, we’re seeing exponential redoubling of capabilities, and the arrival of a very disruptive new age. Autonomous machines, robotics, drones, advanced communications, the Internet of things, and more, suggest the future imagined by the central planners in Saint Paul, The Met Council, the Capitol and at Minneapolis’ City Hall might be a dystopia after all. Live from the deck on the first Spring night 

Sponsored by XGovernmentcars.

Podcast 300

Republicans and Rhetoric. Wasn’t able to tape tonight’s appearance at the SD-61 Chili Dinner and Contest. Thanks to everyone who showed. Podcast 300, aside from being a milestone for The Bob Davis Podcasts, gives the listener an idea of what was discussed. One usually comes away from these kinds of events feeling a little uneasy, especially when hard political issues are discussed. I usually write these podcast notes in the third person, but not this time. I am either seeing things others don’t see in the political process — out in front of the vanguard so to speak — or the things I am seeing and feeling are internal issues and aren’t really there. At this weekend’s big confab in Iowa, the good news is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was able to connect in a personal and substantive appeal to the conservatives gathered in the Hawkeye state for Congressman King’s event. The bad news is that Donald Trump and Sarah Palin made purely rhetorical appeals, which I think damage the so called conservative ‘brand’. Now, since it was a Republican get together I don’t expect good coverage from most of the media, but some of the things said were just not helpful. Aside from involvement in local politics, if so called conservatives are going to be able to argue their points, they are going to have more than just rhetorical arguments. If all Republicans are going to do is bray in an attempt to persuade, or shock, without eliciting any information, it is going to be a very long election cycle from next fall, to November of 2016. It is possible to persuade and inform. The problem is what do Republicans want to do? What do they stand for? What’s their plan for the long term? As people shift from outrage and frustration to addressing a kind of inner challenge, do any candidates in any political party understand that challenge? Mostly what I hear is a lot of empty talk about values and outrage and demands. Is that connecting with people? We talked about some of this at the SD61 event, and I review that conversation in this podcast. Sponsored by Depotstar

 

Podcast 221

The Negative View of Technology. It seems as though the pessimistic view of the world takes precedence these days, especially when it comes to technology and the future. Autonomous machines, robotics, driverless cars, the Internet, smaller (and larger) personal devices are portrayed as the villain. What happened to the formerly optimistic view of the future as portrayed in ‘Star Trek’, the original TV Series? The Hollywood Lens of tech today makes ‘Blade Runner’ look like a romantic comedy! On a beautiful fall afternoon, The Bob Davis Podcasts escapes the bunker for coffee at a ‘joint’ full of hipsters, working on their wireless devices, and portable computers. As technology frees some, apparently it imprisons others. Or so some commentators would have us believe. Do we view the present, and future, too darkly? With technology on most factory floors of the late 90’s vintage, advancements in technology associated with data storage, energy, materials, 3D printing and the like, there’s plenty of room for growth just doing upgrades! It’s time for an optimistic view of what we can do with science, and technology to produce a better country and a better world. What kind of political system, economic policy and foreign policy do we need to unlock and promote innovation and economic growth, while maintaining security. How are we pushing toward the future, while some parts of the world push toward the past? Why do commentators and reporters have a tendency to take something terrible happening in one small part of the world, and turn it into a crisis everywhere? How can we change our thinking about tech and the future? Finally, when will we develop an intuitive and ‘smart’ ATM? One that won’t charge us 4 dollars to get a hundred? Sponsored by Baklund R&D