In Brief for December 18, 2013December 18, 2013 4:34 pm ·
The fine print: We’re sure you saw the TV news reporters going all gaga over Amazon’s delivery by drone. What they didn’t tell you is that it will cost a bundle. UPS says “Me too! Me too!”, and there’s no sign the drones are being used to deliver tomatoes. Am I the only one who remembers Webvan.com?
How much is that doggie in the window? Google has acquired Boston Dynamics, the eighth robotics company it has picked up in the last six months. It’s a sure bet that the first dog they start selling will have a screen that displays ads of kennels and pooper-scoopers. The company also figured out another way to get a bigger slice of the advertising pie.
Y’know, it don’t come easy: California’s judges moved to shut down a $2 billion system to connect the state’s courts — in March 2012 — a process that only took 19 months. So is it really all that surprising that the federal government has similar problems?
Signs of the Apocalypse: The thought of the NSA reading all those tweets is mind-boggling, but we’re happy for the security anyway. TV newspeople — who all look alike to us anyway — are getting doppelgängers. Microsoft is getting into the women’s fashion industry. The US government still uses 3.5-inch floppy disks.