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LanceList - Issue #3

Not-Sharing Enough Economy, Cord Switchers, Head of the Space Class, SXSW Preview


March 5 · Issue #3 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Not-Sharing Enough Economy, Cord Switchers, Head of the Space Class, SXSW Preview

First Thoughts
Health alert. Went to an orthopedic surgeon’s office this week where I filled out pages and pages of paper documentation to, mostly, explain health and personal data that hasn’t changed in years. Granted, I’d never been to this office before, but I was stunned that they still don’t have a digital data entry system. Even the fast-food-style healthcare Urgent Care offices I visit on a regular basis are fully digital. Inefficient systems surely play a role in our expensive, broken healthcare system. Personally, I’m ready for my whole healthcare history to live on my iPhone so any healthcare professional can, with authentication, accept an AirDrop data dump of the details. It will lower error rates based on mis-entered or mis-transcribed information and save a lot of time. 
Not so into this Gig. Researchers at MIT talked to over 1,000 Uber and Lyft drivers and found that, on average, they’re making less-than-minimum wage while driving all of us around.  The study also contends that the gig-economy-based system might be short-changing the tax system, too, paying far less than its fair share of taxes on earnings. I’ve written about Uber drivers a few times, even conducting some impromptu interviews. None of them expressed dissatisfaction with their earnings, though they all saw increasing competition from traditional taxi systems and a glut of new drivers potentially hurting their bottom lines. Naturally, Uber has some issues with the study. Will this be first in a series of damning reality checks for the booming Gig Economy, or did the researchers get it wrong?
MIT study shows how much driving for Uber or Lyft sucks – TechCrunch
Keep your products to yourself. The smart home gadget wars are now breaking out into the open. Last year, Amazon told Nest it didn’t want to sell any of the company’s newest gadgets (think the affordable Nest Thermostat E and and Nest Hello) and Nest “retaliated” by telling Amazon it would be pulling all Nest products from the shopping platform (once current stocks run out). Amazon is free to decide who can sell what on its service, but Nest (which is owned by Google) is a highly-respected, well-reviewed brand, making Amazon look petty or, worse, afraid of competition for its own growing collection of smart home Echo products. 
Amazon won't sell Nest products from Google - Business Insider
Cord switching. For the first time in a dozen years, I switched cable/Internet providers, dropping fiber-based Verizon Fios for – wait for it – Cablevision. Of course, Cablevision is now Altice, child of a Netherlands-based company that’s overhauling Cablevision’s antiquated technology and rehabilitating its image. My reasons for switching and how it all worked out are detailed in a new Medium post. Don’t judge me too harshly before you read it.
Goodbye Verizon Fios, hello Altice, and other risky decisions
Head first. NASA and IBM are sending a robot head to the International Space Station. You read that right, not a complete bot, just an intelligent ball with a digital face that will float through the station and help German Astronaut Alexander Gerst  conduct some experiments. I wonder if it can also assist with lightsaber training.
IBM Ships Robotic Head to the International Space Station - ExtremeTech
Coming up
Party down in Texas: SXSW kicks off this week in Austin. I got a little preview from Hugh Forrest, the guy who runs the whole thing. If you’re attending SXSW, be sure to come find me and attend a pair of panels I’m moderating at the Capital One House (Antone’s): “How Can I Control My Credit Card Footprint,” and “Car Buying Is About to Change…Forever.”
SXSW 2018: Expect a little less weird, a lot more useful
Life is better in slo-mo. I’m still testing Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 Android smartphone and simply cannot get over what you can do with 960 fps slo-mo. I just point my camera at a scene and, sometimes, magic happens. My full thoughts on the phone are coming up later this week. 
Lance Ulanoff on Instagram: “Instantly my favorite Samsung Galaxy S9 960 fps super slo-mo clip. Come for the snow, stay for the cardinal. #SamsungGalaxyS9 #slowmo…”
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