Howie’s Hot Five for…9 August, 2012

Stream podcast here

5. Phones not Cars…(sorry Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen and The Cars)

Staying connected is now more important than getting from A to B…and the auto industry is worried.


  • 2 million less cars in the US sold to 18-34 year old’s this past year  – or their share is now 11% of all cars sold down from 17%.
  • The percentage of 20-to-24-year-olds with driver’s licenses dropped to 81 percent in 2010, down from 92 percent for the same age group in 1983


Gen Y now have many more way to get ‘freedom’ than owning a car.
And staying connected at all time = $ – important $ wasted on a car.

Technology is competing with cars… and winning.

The auto industry says it’s concerned that financially pressed young people who connect online instead of in person could hold down peak demand by 2 million units each year.

Now, technology not only competes with cars- it competes and wins = laptops, smartphones and ipads.

The perfect case study; A 26 year old male having to buy a car had a choice between a 2012 Ford Focus Titanium and a  VWGolf TDI -chose the one that could play the Spotify Internet music service from his Android phone, he said. He chose the Focus.

Reason for buying: “I have to get to work so it’s a necessary evil.”

Source: The Atlantic Monthly

4. In a DotCom world- the pirates will always win – so say the experts…

Stamping out Internet Piracy is the world’s biggest game of Whack-a-Mole… and the guys with the mallet are really slow.

Mole 1 – Mallet 0  – This cat…

Mole 2 – Mallet 2: The tens of millions using bit torrent to do peer to peer file sharing.

Mole 3- Mallet 0: Spawn of Pirate Bay
Earlier this year authorities won an injunction against Pirate Bay.
PB offered the code that runs its entire site for download by anyone for free…suddenly hundreds of versions of the PB were spawning instantly.

Mole 4 – Mallet 0 (future game): Mr Spock?
Yep he’s a guy building drones that will float in the air and allow downloads by people with wireless radio transmitters.

Facts: Game of Thrones is downloaded millions of times more than it’s watched on its official cable channels.

More Laws  – more geeks find alternatives.

Here’s the kicker;

But even if HBO put the shows online, the price it could charge would still pale in comparison to the money it makes through cable operators. Technology industry observers believe that the big media companies don’t really want to solve the piracy problem.

“If every TV show was offered at a fair price to everyone in the world, there would definitely be much less copyright infringement,” he said. “But because of the monopoly power of the cable companies and content creators, they might actually make less money.”

Source: The Sunday Review

3. Wifi appliances are here.. is that plug talking to me

That fantasy era of playboys opening curtains and turning on music from one switch is finally here.

First up this $300 gadget: from the guy that led the development of the Iphone – these thermostats simply sit on the wall and use motion sensors to see if someone is present and can heat room accordingly… and you can adjust and turn on from your Smartphone via wireless or mobile internet connection

So we are in the age of ‘household objects having inbuilt Wifi….which allows them to talk to your smartphone… cool!

Plugs with wifi so any appliance plugged into them can then be controlled by a smartphone. (lamps, TV, Stereo)  – Belkin Wemo… leave a room the TV turns off (motion sensor) and away on holiday, turn the lights on via your phone.

Source: The New York Times Technology

2. Amazon breaks out the locker – all this technology and we’re back to basics…

Problem: The US population (very much like many Kiwis) work all hours God sends – makes them feel wanted. BUT with all that spare cash they are never home to take delivery of the toys and groceries their hard work can buy.

Enter the humble locker;
So now these are being installed in grocery, convenience stores in the US (we could see gas stations in NZ no?)  Customers get sent a code via email or cell phone that opens the locker.

Why the need? Cos urban apartment dwellers are hardly ever home – and nicking the goods from doorsteps is now rife.And this saves on ‘failed delivery’ expenses. And its great for those ‘adult’ products which is another booming industry.

By the way this is a company that spent US$1. 36 billion on order fulfillment in the last financial quarter.

Source: Wall Street Journal

1. Antibalas

Afrobeat – and not by a bunch of good looking university boys…

Antibalas are from Brooklyn and all have played in the Fela Kuti stage show in New York. (Nigerian and King of the 70’s Afrobeat

New CD next week on Daptone Records – and they reckon analogue tape gives it a funkier sound.

Why we love them: Its 11 current members are white, black, Latino and Asian; the oldest is 54, the youngest 21,

Also check out Paul Simon’s 25th Anniversary Graceland doco here:

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