There’s an App for THAT??

Well, I guess you need advice for a movie that runs longer than 3 hours without an intermission.

“The RunPee app was created to give moviegoers specific, non-crucial times to sprint for the loo. Despite the secrecy around “Avengers: Endgame,” the app’s staff (called Pee-ons) sent a correspondent to the premiere, who suggested three times for bathroom breaks (you can set a timer on the app to vibrate when they hit).”

For those of you who are interested, the app crashed spectacularly because the designer totally misjudged the activity it would engender.

You all may think I have lost my mind to include this in my blog sequence, but hold your criticisms.  The author for this app correctly identified a problem along with a creative solution but misjudged the response and the consequences for failure.  On many levels, there is NO REASON for an app for that, is there?  Apps are designed to provide dynamic information to numerous inputs.  This “problem” solution (sorry for the pun) is wrong by design.  The entire theatre is watching the same movie.  If everyone tried to go to the bathroom at the same time in the movie, they would be there for way too long a time.

A simple PSA would have been better, and a creative movie entrepreneur would have been much wiser to stop the movie for a 15 minute break, rewind the tape, and finish the movie giving the moviegoers time to go to the bathroom and fill up on their snacks for the second half.

Is there really a reason for an app for that?  Let’s see whether RunPee is going to even survive.

Robotic Taxis Next Year?

As a Tesla owner I have witnessed the over the air evolution of my car over the past four years.  I wake up and find a new feature available in my car that was downloaded overnight. On many levels, this is very satisfying, but I can also attest to some every day functionality that still has not been corrected, despite customer complaints. Never the less, I am extremely happy with this car.  It is a testimony to excellent engineering, implicit simplicity of the design, and the power of on board computing.  It is also fast as hell.

Today, Elon Musk announced another twist in the autonomous vehicle landscape.  Customers could turn their cars into the fleet of autonomous taxis to convert the car from a cost to a cash cow.

Read the USA Today story here. 

I remain suspicious of just how quickly autonomous vehicles will enter the market.  There are so many variables in the mix that I find approval from NTSB and others unlikely.  All it takes is one lawsuit to throw things into the ditch.  Can the car sense a pedestrian or a bicycle rider who accidentally enters the path of the vehicle?  What happens when a tall truck blocks a traffic signal?  What about today’s slalom style drivers who cut people off in the vain attempt to gain a few car lengths before the next traffic light stops everyone?

Regardless of all these challenges, it seems the path to autonomous vehicles is in our future.  Clearly disruptive if it happens no matter when.


Efficiency vs Luxury

A recent article on the latest designs of high-rise condominiums illustrates how silly we are now about a focus on energy efficiency.  Let’s be careful that all the work we have done to help save money and energy is not just showing up in excesses in other ways.  We saw this with electric vehicles and even high mileage gasoline vehicles … people are prone to drive the cars more because it cost less to go anywhere.

Read the Energy Central article.

The temptation however among regulatory thinkers facing these characteristics is to move beyond the EE and DR agendas to moralize about what we should and shouldn’t have in our lives.

Is it right to have hot tubs and home theaters?  What right does anyone have to tell each of us whether we should or should not have these luxuries? Should we rethink the gas guzzler taxes of years ago that punished high performance cars for stupidly low mpg?

I think my recent blogs about raising speed limits settles the question.  If you believe this is widespread, we are about to see electricity load growth reemerge.