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Has Instagram replaced Kodak?

Has Instagram replaced Kodak? | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
I have to admit that I have not read Jaron Lanier's "Who Owns the Future?", but mainstream media seems to be filled with snippets from the book. Often descr
Digital Gloss's insight:

The author of this article claims that digital photography has not actually reduced the number of jobs in the photography field. Here's his argument:

 

"Lanier hints strongly that all of the jobs lost by Kodak should have been picked up by Instagram, if that is not the intention, then the analogy simply breaks down. But obviously there is no one-to-one substitution, Instagram does not equal digital photography. A more accurate analogy would be to look at other elements of the economy that have directly replaced Kodak, and this gives us a lengthy list of companies. Let’s just look at the memory card market, which provides a better type of comparison. We have several types of technologies here, including Secure Digital card (SD), MiniSD Card, CompactFlash (CF-I), Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard (MMC), and SmartMedia. Listing some of the jobs created by some of the top card manufacturers, we get a better picture of just how wrong Lanier truly is (this is not an exhaustive list):

Sandisk – 4,600 employees.
PNY – 1,000 employees in 13 company locations around the world.
Kingston – 4,200 employees.
Transcend – 2,200 employees.
Fujifilm – 35,274 (proving that you can make a successful transition from film to digital).
Samsung – 17% of South Korea’s total GDP."

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Workplace Automation
How automation is affecting our lives and workplaces
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How Does Airbnb Affect Your City? :: Living in Density

How Does Airbnb Affect Your City? :: Living in Density | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Airbnb is a major player in the rapidly-growing sharing economy, made possible by online and/or mobile technology, along with services like Lyft or Uber. Like their less-profitable predecessors, libraries (or tool libraries), these companies smooth out market inefficiencies by taking advantage of amenities that are often sitting idle. People have extra seats in their cars; extra beds in their homes; extra space when they go on vacation, etc. In theory, this is a good thing for all involved. In the case of Airbnb, allowing private individuals to rent out their spare bedroom by the night increases the supply of available beds to meet the demand of travelers, thereby lowering the cost of accommodations overall.

Another efficiency is that sharing services rely on peer reviews and feedback instead of government regulation that comes with taking a taxi or booking a hotel room. This (in theory) ensures that one won’t be mugged or robbed when renting a room for a night through Airbnb.

The main problem reported in the Slate article is that the demand for Airbnb day-to-day accommodations actually out-prices monthly rent prices. This is not hard to see. Keeping in mind that Airbnb is not typically subject to hotel taxes and regulations, people can easily charge 3-4 times per night what they typically would collect in rent per night. Even with a 60-70% vacancy in a given month, a landlord could make more money renting through Airbnb than to a resident needing a place to live. Essentially, short-term rentals increase the value of the property.

The upshot is that in certain cities, including New York, landlords are converting their properties to de facto full-time hotel rooms, rather than rental properties. This pushes renters out of the city, or at the very least pushes rents higher, thereby pricing out lower-income renters and gentrifying the neighborhood.
Digital Gloss's insight:

While it's true that people need to be able to make extra income, and Airbnb sounds like a reasonable way to allow them to do so, the possibility of abuse -- as in the fact that the service is raising rents in places that already have a lack of affordable housing -- is obviously present.

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How Airbnb and Uber Are Changing the Nature of Work

How Airbnb and Uber Are Changing the Nature of Work | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Levine's experience illustrates some of the biggest questions about the American work experience today. What exactly is work? When does it start? When does it stop? Who controls it? Is it supposed to cover all living expenses? What if it doesn't? Is it supposed to make me rich? What does my work say about me?

In some industries, even the physical office is becoming antiquated, just like one-job careers and pension plans (remember those?). It can be hard to know when someone is "at work" or not. Soon that question may be irrelevant.
Digital Gloss's insight:


While it's all well and good to make a virtue out of necessity, the fact is that people who rent out rooms via Airbnb or drive cars for Uber may be making up for the loss of a needed full-time income.

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For Job Creation, Technology Is a Give and Take Proposition

For Job Creation, Technology Is a Give and Take Proposition | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
While new technology is eliminating some positions, it's also creating new ones.
Digital Gloss's insight:

According to this article, "data entry employees lost more than 43,000 jobs to automation between 2002 and 2014, a 16 percent decline in a field paying $14 per hour. However, the adoption of using big data to make business decisions and develop products and services created a big demand by many employers for workers who know how to interpret that information. The study shows that market research analysts added more than 99,000 jobs from 2002 to 2014, a 28 percent increase in a field paying $29.18 per hour." Of course, data entry positions were disappearing before 2002, and market research analysts have to have bigger, more expensive degrees, but...

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How reporters and robots can work together

How reporters and robots can work together | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Digital Gloss's insight:

Automation for writers is happening now. On Monday Associated Press said it would use automation technology, instead of having real writers produce corporate earnings stories. From the article:


Kotecki said, "The automation creates the ability to tell stories that have never been told before. It frees up reporters from just doing the basic kind of reporting. Once they know what is going on, they can figure out how and why.


"The difference between human-written content and machine-written content isn't necessarily tone and is certainly not accuracy," Kotecki said. "The difference is what you are saying."

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I Was a Digital Best Seller!

I Was a Digital Best Seller! | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
And yet I earned little money, and even fewer readers.
Digital Gloss's insight:

In this "cautionary farce," Tony Horwitz describes how he was asked by a new online publication called The Global Mail to write about the Keystone XL pipeline, offered a fee of $15,000 and $5,000 for expenses, and he finished his journalistic long-form piece just as the State Department was about to issue a report on Keystone XL. Good work, good timing, but problems with financial backing and the vagaries of digital publishing guaranteed that Horwitz's experience was disappointing if not ruinous. His conclusion:

"But now that I’ve escorted two e-partners to the edge of the grave, I’m wary of this brave new world of digital publishers and readers. As recently as the 1980s and ’90s, writers like me could reasonably aspire to a career and a living wage. I was dispatched to costly and difficult places like Iraq, to work for months on a single story. Later, as a full-time book author, I received advances large enough to fund years of research.

"How many young writers can realistically dream of that now? Online journalism pays little or nothing and demands round-the-clock feeds. Very few writers or outlets can chase long investigative stories. I also question whether there’s an audience large enough to sustain long-form digital nonfiction, in a world where we’re drowning in bite-size content that’s mostly free and easy to consume. One reason “Boom” sank, I suspect, is that there aren’t many people willing to pay even $2.99 to read at length about a trek through the oil patch, no matter how much I sexed it up with cowboys and strippers.

"Meanwhile, I’m back to planning my next book. I don’t yet know on what subject. But I do know its form: in hard copy, between covers, a book I can put on the shelf and look at forever, even if it doesn’t sell."

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Robot doctors, online lawyers and automated architects: the future of the professions?

Robot doctors, online lawyers and automated architects: the future of the professions? | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Tom Meltzer: Advances in technology have long been recognised as a threat to manual labour. Now highly skilled, knowledge-based jobs that were once regarded as safe could be at risk. How will these professions adapt to the digital age?
Digital Gloss's insight:

This article looks at automation in general, but particularly focuses on the way automation will affect doctors, attorneys, and architects. The author says, "Oxford academics Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A Osborne have predicted computerisation could make nearly half of jobs redundant within 10 to 20 years. Office work and service roles, they wrote, were particularly at risk. But almost nothing is impervious to automation. It has swept through shop floors and factories, transformed businesses big and small, and is beginning to revolutionise the professions.


"Knowledge-based jobs were supposed to be safe career choices, the years of study it takes to become a lawyer, say, or an architect or accountant, in theory guaranteeing a lifetime of lucrative employment. That is no longer the case. Now even doctors face the looming threat of possible obsolescence. Expert radiologists are routinely outperformed by pattern-recognition software, diagnosticians by simple computer questionnaires. In 2012, Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla predicted that algorithms and machines would replace 80% of doctors within a generation."

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Uber Protests Spark Chaos and Traffic Jams From London to Madrid

Uber Protests Spark Chaos and Traffic Jams From London to Madrid | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Thousands of cab drivers held rallies against Uber in cities across Europe, blocking roads and causing traffic jams.
Digital Gloss's insight:

These protests against Uber 'underscore how Europe's traditional taxi industry has has been shaken up by the introduction of the U.S. startup. Cab drivers often have to pay for costly licensing such as medallions, while Uber drivers usually don't have to, putting traditional cabbies at a disadvantage.


'"Everyone should play by the same rules," Richard Leipold, the chairman of the Berlin Taxi Association, told the New York Times. "You can’t have competition between someone who pays all their taxes and someone who doesn’t."'

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Michigan Is Building A Fake City To Put Automated Vehicles In Real-World Situations | TechCrunch

Michigan Is Building A Fake City To Put Automated Vehicles In Real-World Situations | TechCrunch | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
With all the talk surrounding Google's self-driving cars — as cute as they are — questions still remain. For one, how will these automated..
Digital Gloss's insight:

The University of Michigan’s Engineering College plans to build an automated vehicle testing facility this fall. The facility will be operated by U-M’s Mobility Transformation Center in Southeast Michigan.


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Army of robots to invade Amazon warehouses

Army of robots to invade Amazon warehouses | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it

Amazon will use ten times more robots by the end of the year and will not increase the number of human warehouse workers. Amazon owns the company that makes the robots, and they are tied into a system that "can save time and cut down on fulfillment costs."The online retailer is ramping up its use of robot workers in its warehouses, but still no drone delivery yet.

Digital Gloss's insight:

Amazon will use ten times more robots by the end of the year than it uses now and will not increase the number of human warehouse workers. Amazon owns the company that makes the robots, and they are tied into a system that "can save time and cut down on fulfillment costs."

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Oxford Study Cleverly Uses Automation to Predict the Effects of ...

Oxford Study Cleverly Uses Automation to Predict the Effects of ... | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Oxford Study Cleverly Uses Automation to Predict the Effects of Automation in the Workplace. Bloomberg News recently reported on an Oxford University study on the impact of automation on the future workforce.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Mobile robots and ‘smart’ computers — that learn on the job — make it likely that occupations employing about half of today's U.S. workers could be possible to automate in the next decade or two, according to an Oxford University study that estimated the probability of computerization of more than 700 occupations. Jobs that are unlikely to be automated include those that require manipulation, like oral surgeons and makeup artists; those that require creativity like art directors and curators; and those that require social perception like clergy, mental health workers; and coaches.

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Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Presentation by Dr. James Hughes (Executive Director, IEET USA) on the occasion of International Future Day Conference, India
Digital Gloss's insight:

This slideshow, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee, addresses the disappearance of work brought about by robotization, computerization, and other new technologies and what can be done about it, including the possibility of a guaranteed income.

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Repurposing Obsolete Wind-Up Toys As Quirky, Art-Making Robots | The Creators Project

Repurposing Obsolete Wind-Up Toys As Quirky, Art-Making Robots | The Creators Project | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
These obsolete devices are having their own "Brave Little Toaster" moment.
Digital Gloss's insight:

I'm adding this because, oddly, I just read "The Brave Little Toaster," and it is interesting how increasing digitization is leading to repurposing of analog devices.

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Self-Driving Cars Proposed as Solution to U.S. Highway Woes, Saving Money and Lives

Self-Driving Cars Proposed as Solution to U.S. Highway Woes, Saving Money and Lives | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
In Silicon Valley, there’s someone to argue that a disruptive new technology will solve every problem in this world and the next. For instance,
Digital Gloss's insight:

Self-driving cars are still cars, with all the resource-use and other problems inherent in this form of transportation, but a new study says they would save money and lives: "Winston and his co-author Fred Mannering, a Purdue University civil engineering professor, argue that if just one in 10 U.S. vehicles were replaced with a self-driving car, traffic fatalities and injuries, travel time and fuel consumption would all fall, together saving $40 billion a year. If half of the cars on the road were self-driving, that would save $200 billion a year, they say.

 

"Of course, Winston and Mannering’s paper is, like those brazen Valley assurances, speculative. It focuses on how driverless cars could help because there’s no data to prove that the autonomous vehicles have fewer accidents or reduce traffic congestion. But the speculation is based on some fairly logical assumptions."

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The Rustbelt Roars Back From the Dead | Newgeography.com

The Rustbelt Roars Back From the Dead | Newgeography.com | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
the development of low-cost, abundant domestic energy, much of it now produced in states such as Ohio and in the western reaches of Pennsylvania.
Digital Gloss's insight:

If fracking will be responsible for the improved status of rust belt cities, they will truly be giving up irreplaceable resources (drinkable water) for temporary economic growth.

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​The Future of Robot Labor Is the Future of Capitalism

​The Future of Robot Labor Is the Future of Capitalism | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Robots entering the workplace isn’t even really about robots; it's about capitalism.
Digital Gloss's insight:

An  interesting discussion of robots, workplace automation, and the increasingly precarious nature of work.

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The U.S. Postal Service Thinks 3D Printing Can Make It Thrive

The U.S. Postal Service Thinks 3D Printing Can Make It Thrive | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Judging by its executive summary of a new report, “If It Prints, It Ships: 3D Printing and the Postal Service,” the USPS can’t wait for 3D printing.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Though this article has a knee-jerk reaction to "government inefficiency" and is somewhat snarky in its attitude toward the post office, nonetheless it does show an example of automation that may help to keep good-paying, unionized jobs!

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Tech Tycoons Can't Seem To Agree If New Tech Will Create Jobs Or Kill Them

Tech Tycoons Can't Seem To Agree If New Tech Will Create Jobs Or Kill Them | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Marc Andreessen doesn't think that software and robots will eat all of our jobs. And he's set off a firestorm of disagreement about the subject.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Last March at the American Enterprise Institute Bill Gates said, ""Software substitution, whether it's for drivers or waiters or nurses … it's progressing. ...  Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set. ...  20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model."

Marc Andreessen, co-author of Mosaic and co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation, disagrees with Gates' assessment. He claims that the impending Internet of Things will create jobs, not destroy them. He also says that, "What never gets discussed in all of this robot fear-mongering is that the current technology revolution has put the means of production within everyone’s grasp. It comes in the form of the smartphone (and tablet and PC) with a mobile broadband connection to the Internet. Practically everyone on the planet will be equipped with that minimum spec by 2020."

But software engineer Alex Payne thinks Andreessen is wrong. In a recent blog post he argues, "You seem to think everyone’s worried about robots. But what everyone’s worried about is ... people like you.

"... Workers prosper when they own the means of production. The factory owner gets rich. The line worker, not so much.

"... Owning a smartphone is not the equivalent of owning a factory. I paid for my iPhone in full, but Apple owns the software that runs on it, the patents on the hardware inside it, and the exclusive right to the marketplace of applications for it.

"... Investors, shrinking in number but growing in wealth and political influence, own the means of digital production. Everyone else is doing shift work and hoping they still have jobs tomorrow."



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Death of a libertarian fantasy: Why dreams of a digital utopia are rapidly fading away

Death of a libertarian fantasy: Why dreams of a digital utopia are rapidly fading away | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Free-market enthusiasts have long predicted that technology would liberate humanity. It turns out they were wrong
Digital Gloss's insight:

Andrew Leonard critiques the "sharing" economy and notes that it liberates us from censorship and makes us more vulnerable to surveillance at the same time. He says, "Operating on a global scale, companies like Airbnb and Uber are amassing vast databases of information about what we do and where we go. They are even figuring out the kind of people that we are, through our social media profiles and the ratings and reputation systems that they deploy to enforce good behavior. They have our credit card numbers and real names and addresses. They’re inside our phones. The cab driver you paid with cash last year was an entirely anonymous transactor. Not so for the ride on Lyft or Uber. The sharing economy, it turns out, is an integral part of the surveillance economy. In our race to let Silicon Valley mediate every consumer experience, we are voluntarily imprisoning ourselves in the Panopticon."

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Uber Isn't a Savior for Drivers Any More Than Amazon Is for Authors

Uber Isn't a Savior for Drivers Any More Than Amazon Is for Authors | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Uber says its drivers make much more than the average taxi operator, but current income levels will be difficult to sustain over the long term.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Comparison between Amazon and Uber: "

'"I can sum up the bullish case for Uber in one word: Amazon," wrote Kevin Roose in December for New York magazine." Once it has you summoning cars from your phone, the logic goes, it can use that same back-end technology to hook you in for all other kinds of deliveries — food, clothes, Christmas trees. And eventually, like Amazon, it can become something akin to an all-purpose utility — it'll just be a way you get things and go places."


'Six years after the Forbes article, Amazon's massive share of the publishing industry has resulted not in the elimination of publishers but rather ongoing tension within the book industry. Amazon's ability to create an efficient market with low margins has given way to pressure from its investors to make more of a profit, causing it to have standoffs like the ongoing struggle with Hachette Book Group.

The book industry and the taxi market are, of course, two very different businesses. The warning, however, is clear: Companies that achieve massive scale by trying to eliminate middlemen and squeeze margins can become a new type of medallion owner.'

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Are you Ready? Emerging Tech is Transforming the Workplace

Are you Ready? Emerging Tech is Transforming the Workplace | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
While smart mobile devices, SaaS, and social software ushered in a wave of major change in the workplace, that's nothing compared to what's coming.

Via janlgordon
Digital Gloss's insight:

This article breaks down some technologies that might have a big impact on workplaces in the near future. "More specifically, it is the technologies of the so-called Internet of Things, enabled by new fine-grained device protocols such as Z-wave and Zigbee — to name two of the enabling standards that are still far from household names today — which are remaking the deeply connected networked fabric of the world in a way that hasn't happened, well, since the advent of the web itself. Network-enabled devices based on these technologies are defining a new set of capabilities, namely that everything and anything can be percieved remotely, in real-time, over the network, and can then be monitored, measured, and even controlled as necessary."

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janlgordon's comment, June 13, 6:33 AM
Stephen Dale I've been following Dion Hinchcliffe for many years as well. You're fortunate to have met him in London. You bring up a very good point about monitoring our every move. As you say, there is a price we will pay one way or another for privacy and time will tell how this will all shake out in the end. I'd love to connect with you again, it's been a while. As you can see I launched Curatti and we've been very well received. Hope things are going well with you, let's catch up soon.
Stephen Dale's comment, June 13, 9:16 AM
Sound good Jan. I have been following Curatti since you launched - it's one of my top sources for news/content. Think we should arrange a Skype call sometime - unless you plan to visit London, in which case lunch is on me!
Mark Palmer's curator insight, June 17, 10:05 PM

I am looking forward to when technology solutions become a ubiquitous part of our lives in a positive way. A way that makes us all more productive and hopefully working less and living better lives :-)

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Will Google's self-driving pods spell the end of the road for car ownership?

Will Google's self-driving pods spell the end of the road for car ownership? | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Google's engineers want us to stop thinking of cars as possessions and start thinking of them as services, writes John Naughton
Digital Gloss's insight:

Google has decided that human drivers shouldn't have access to the controls on a driverless car. "Here's one way of looking at it. Google is, par excellence – and to a degree rarely seen in industry – an engineering company, and engineers dislike the untidy irrationality of real life. They look at our motorised world and see that we spend fortunes on the purchase, upkeep and operation of cars that are usually driven by a single human, spend a good deal of their time immobilised in urban congestion, and much of the rest of the time parked in streets. They see governments and local authorities driven to distraction, if not to bankruptcy, by the costs of providing roads and infrastructure to support our motoring habit. They see the mortality, environmental and health costs of human-controlled automobiles. And they think: this is nuts."

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Google vs. our humanity: How the emerging “Internet of Things” is turning us into robots

Google vs. our humanity: How the emerging “Internet of Things” is turning us into robots | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
More and more, our lives are becoming automated. But what does that really mean for us?
Digital Gloss's insight:

The author of this article not only describes our helpers in the Internet of Things as "digital Jiminy Crickets" and "technological valets," but also says, "When we delegate life’s hard work to ubiquitous behavior-directing technologies that fade in the background, two intimately related things happen. We become disconnected from decision-making. And, we become susceptible to believing we deserve credit for the devices acting on our behalf doing a good job."

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Rim Country Gazette: The case for a guaranteed income for all

Digital Gloss's insight:

This article gives specifics about what a guaranteed income would mean to many people in the United States, and it also lists a number of ways the money could be raised, such as ending tax loopholes, instituting a 1% sales tax on financial transactions on Wall Street, taxing investment income the same as real, actual work, and raising the inheritance tax to pre-Bush levels.

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Can Facebook’s Massive Courses Improve Education For Developing Nations? | TechCrunch

Can Facebook’s Massive Courses Improve Education For Developing Nations? | TechCrunch | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Facebook is on a mission to prove that social media-empowered education can help some of the poorest nations on Earth. It recently announced a big industry..
Digital Gloss's insight:

MOOC's are a great way to learn -- I'm currently taking two at Coursera -- but they can also be seen as a form of automation. The author of this article says, "Peer assessment and collaboration are essential to helping MOOCs scale; it’s the only way hundreds of thousands of students can get their assignments graded and get answers to questions without employing thousands of more teachers."

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Amazon claims another victim in its relentless push to take over the world

Amazon claims another victim in its relentless push to take over the world | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Another nail in the brick-and-mortar coffin: Radio Shack announces plans to close 1,200 stores
Digital Gloss's insight:

Amazon is gaining on so many retailers, and it's important to realize that automation is what makes Amazon so successful. The internet, the computerized inventory management systems, and the increasing robotization of warehouses all contribute to Amazon's ascendency. But the picture is more complex, as Andrew Leonard notes: "I’ll miss that Radio Shack if it is on the list of victims, but not as badly as I miss a good local independent bookstore. Buying cables or Wi-Fi dongles online isn’t as emotionally wrought as participating in the possible death of the publishing industry. But I do wonder where the friendly, helpful Radio Shack staffers I’ve come to appreciate over the years will end up. Hustling to drag inventory around an Amazon warehouse, while looking over their shoulder at the robots coming to take those jobs?

 

"The narrative is relentless. In 2003, Amazon and Radio Shack both posted total annual sales of $5 billion. In 2013, pointed out the Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman, Amazon was up to $75 billion and Radio Shack was down to $3.5 billion."

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