Monday September 16, 2019

Still Alone

Astronomers have been publicizing the first exoplanet to have water molecules and the potential for life.  It is exciting news but it is tempered by the fact that the “super earth” is 110 light years away.  Even if we were able to detect carbon forms on its surface, there is no way to communicate at […]

QED

Not  long ago this blog commented on a Business Round Table declaration of 200 CEOs that they would serve all stakeholders and not just shareholders.  My opinion stated that the principles were good until an activist shareholder (an institution) took offense.  AT&T is about to find out.  A large institution has taken a position in […]

Didn’t Work

When is a do-good deed a failure in PR?  When you talk too much about yourself.  Like this.  The Carolina Panthers football team and the Lowe’s home improvement retailer combined to provide a 12-year-old a lawn mower so the boy can cut lawns to raise money for college.  Heartwarming, sure, but in a 90-second video about […]

Reporting A Horror

This story about CNN reporters on Grand Bahama during Hurricane Dorian is compelling.  It is factual testimony that supports the Bahamian government’s statements about the wreckage on the islands.  It also is an explanation of the slow pace of supplying food, water and medicine to the populace.  Destruction of parts of the islands was complete.  […]

What Happened?

When Google was founded, one of its dictates to employees was “Don’t be evil.”  That admonishment disappeared, and today, Google is being hammered for activities that fall outside of the law and good sense.  Like this.  Small business can’t afford to fight the giant’s ad placement of competitors directly over one’s listing.  They call it […]

Reputation Threat

Tesla’s autopilot feature lulled a driver into inattention according to the National Transportation Safety Board.  The fellow crashed his vehicle into the back of a fire engine.  This is a reputation crisis for Tesla and for autopilot technology.  The software and hardware packages aren’t ready for general use.  Alphabet’s Waymo subsidiary has barely allowed its vans to […]

Serial Offenders

Agribusiness for the longest time has been an abuser of workers and their rights.  The reason is clear.  Consumers don’t want to pay much for food, so processors squeeze expenses and take cost cuts out on workers.  This lawsuit claims a conspiracy among 18 companies running 200 chicken plants to set wages for line workers and […]

Absurd But Great Publicity

The Bugatti Chiron has just smashed the 300 mph barrier.  The engineers who built the prototype have something to boast about but the project was absurd.  Not even Formula One racers go that fast.  The company can claim that its multi-million dollar vehicle is a true sports car, but who can afford one except those […]

Honesty

A Monmouth University poll showed Biden plunging in voter estimation.  It made headlines.  Now the university is backing off.  It calls its poll an outlier.  In other words, it was wrong.  These things happen in the survey industry, especially since people are more difficult to contact randomly than ever.  Kudos to the university’s director of […]

The Future Hurts

Who would think that speech to text software would run afoul of copyright law?  This is a legal battle Amazon is facing.  Its new Captions feature translates audio to text and lets readers follow the written word while hearing it.  The software is intended for students in public school settings.  Publishers will have none of […]