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LanceList - Issue #33

Tale of the Koreas, Hello Windows Update, Amazon Home Security


April 27 · Issue #33 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Tale of the Koreas, Hello Windows Update, Amazon Home Security

Welcome to the Demilitarized Zone
Welcome to the Demilitarized Zone
Reunification: Almost a decade ago, I traveled to South Korea to visit Samsung and tour their massive headquarters. I also strolled the teeming streets of Seoul, marveled at the technology (they city-wide wireless broadband, basically pre-4G, before anyone else), and just how pervasive Samsung (and LG) are in the tiny capital city (they make everything from computers and washing machines to cars and buildings). This was just two years after the last face-to-face meeting between the countries’ leaders and two years before Kim Jung il died and his son Kim Jung Un took over and steered North Korea away from the idea (and stability). I even toured the DMZ (the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea) and climbed down a tunnel the North Koreans dug decades ago in a desperate attempt to invade South Korea. Yesterday, the leaders of North and South Korea walked across that no-man’s land in a fresh attempt at deescalating tensions and, maybe one day, operating as a united Korea. My lasting impression from my trip is how much the South Korean people wanted reunification (and believed North Koreans wanted it too). This is a very big moment for all Koreans, and maybe even Samsung, which might eventually see new business opportunities north of the border.
That's North Korea behind us.
That's North Korea behind us.
The house that Windows built. Microsoft is having a pretty good week. Yesterday, it rolled in with huge financial quarter, beating most estimates with growth in virtually every sector of its business (its Azure cloud business is a big revenue driver). Today, though, Microsoft goes back to its roots with another big(ish) Windows 10 update. Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update focuses on time, specifically your time. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and think you’re gonna like it. Check out my hands on to learn more about what to expect when the update arrives on your desktops and laptops next month.
Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update: It’s about time – Lance Ulanoff – Medium
Alexa, secure my home. Amazon is suddenly knee-deep in the home-security business with not only a collection of home security hardware options, but free in-home installation. Obviously, Amazon is tying together its existing smart-home gadgets like Echo Dots and camera-enabled doorbells, but that’s not what will make the Slomin’s Shields of the world nervous. It’s the no monthly fees. Amazon is literally flipping the business model on its head. Security co’s usually charge pennies for the hardware and get you on the monthly fees. How Amazon’s full-boat security service stacks up to Slomin’s and ADP is still a big question mark, but I’m sure we’ll have our answer soon as consumers jump at this sweet deal.
Amazon is now selling home security services, including installations and no monthly fees – TechCrunch
Here’s the bad news. Amazon is raising Amazon Prime Prices by $20 a month.
To boldly go where no woman. In case you missed it, I am a huge Star Trek fan. I lean toward the original 1960s series and William Shatner will always be my Captain Kirk. Still, I’m a fan of the new movie series that launched in 2009. Yesterday at a film industry event known as CinemaCon, Paramount Pictures announced two new movies (yay!) and the franchise’s first-ever female director, S. J. Clarkson (bravo!). Star Trek 4 will also mark Clarkson’s first film-directing gig. I can’t wait to see what she delivers.
‘Star Trek 4’: S.J. Clarkson First Female Director in Franchise’s History (EXCLUSIVE) – Variety
Drive one of these, they said. If you needed evidence that the auto industry is undergoing sea changes, look no further than Ford Motor Company’s recent earnings report where it quietly made the startling announcement that its choice of sedans would be boiled down to exactly two: The Focus and the Mustang. Explained Ford in its report: “Given declining consumer demand and product profitability, the company will not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.” My guess is that this is a result of fewer millennials and GenZers owning cars and driving (they love their ride shares) and the big shift to alternative propulsion technologies. Ford plans to have 16 electric models by 2022.
David Shepardson on Twitter: "Wow: Ford confirms it will shrink car lineup in North America to just two vehicles: the Mustang and "Focus Active""
Snapped Back. Snapchat is back with an all-new set of Spectacles. V2 is lighter, slimmer, faster, water-resistant and even lets you take circular photos (along with HD video). As fascinated as we all were with the original Spectacles, they did not sell particularly well. Are these the smart sunglasses that become a summertime sensation? Can Spectacles save Snapchat from the Instagram Stories onslaught? All I know is that I’d have to spend almost another $100 to get prescription models. No thanks.
Snap’s second-generation Spectacles are more grown up — and more expensive - The Verge
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