Archive for November, 2021

Back to the Future in 2022

As much as I look forward to attending the 2022 CES in person after last years’ hiatus, I find I enjoy it more when I reflect on where the tech industry was a decade previously. CES 2012 was more of an incremental type of show, however there were a few items of substantial importance and one of incredible impact.

This was the year of Tesla introducing the Model S, their first whole car of their own design and build … and my god, it was awful. The blog I wrote at the time is still available on this site. But, let’s just cut to the chase … it was a horrible car. The construction was pathetic and I kept wondering why on earth they would choose to show such “construction horribilis” in a world-wide exhibit that showcased their ineptitude.

(this is the actual original brochure from the show)

I wasn’t kind in my description at the time and that opinion still stands for their 2012 model … jump to 2021 and now I own one with two more on order. It’s the most fantastic car I’ve ever owned and I’ll never buy another gas-powered car again.

The CEO of Ford and Mercedes were at the 2012 show and I’m absolutely certain they weren’t impressed either … now the current CEO’s are freaking out over Tesla’s success and tech as they fall behind at an increasing rate daily.

Amazingly Nokia won “Best of Show” for their Lumina 900 phone. I doubt if any GenZ people even know who they are today.

Samsung showed their 1st OLED TV and promised it was going on sale shortly … they lied. They discovered they didn’t have the technical expertise that LG had and canceled production.

At CES 2012 they unveiled the “Eureka Park” section that highlighted only startup companies … this is my fav part of CES today, as it embodies what tech can do to improve lives and is where the actual future can be glimpsed. Of the 88 companies shown at that show, I’m not aware of even a single survivor however.

The top consumer electronics companies in the world were, in decreasing order, GE, Samsung and Sony. Apple was in 11th place and is first today with Samsung still in 2nd

Apple’s newest phone was the “4” … remember it? No? It was one of the last, smaller iPhones and was a huge improvement over the cool, but slow, 3GS model. I’ve always thought the 3GS was the first serious iPhone, and have one to this day in my collection. But the “4” displayed the true usefulness of a smart phone.

Tablets were new and Apple didn’t even release their first iPad until March … at the time of the show, Android tablets were the only choice and Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was the OS.

The TV manufacturers were unhappy with less than expected sales of 3D, backlit and smart televisions. While 3D is clearly gone, it’s almost impossible today to buy a large TV without the other two.

Basically, if you bought a camera that wasn’t a fancy model, it was a 16mp model for a couple of hundred bucks.

Of course, it isn’t CES without a few weird things … a company called Ecko Unltd showed a portable speaker that looked like a spray can and somehow, they thought that’s important.

I’m considering doing a 20-year anthology for future CES in addition to the ten-year edition … it really shows how our lives are not just different, but radically changed due to advancing tech … for better or worse. Tech, like essentially everything else, can advance the human condition (Tesla) or be a cancer eating away at people’s lives (Facebook) … it’s up to each of us to choose how we embrace the future. If you can’t look back, you’re blind as to what’s coming, and, if it’s actually valuable or damaging.

I’ve said it a thousand times …”tech waits for no one.”

360 degree headache

While at CES I always love using the 360 degree VR goggles and seeing the world in a whole new way. While you can use your mobile and sheets of cardboard to make them, it really ain’t the same. The CES demos are always impressive and have huge lines to experience the VR world through a purpose-made headset. The defacto VR standard is the now “not-a-start-up” Oculus brand. Started in 2012 and sold to perpetually privacy-stealing Facebook for 2.3 billion dollars. Forget the reviews you may see … here’s the truth.


As I got a good deal (I never use disingenuous “free, or on-loan items”) on the newest version of the Oculus headset, it seemed the time to try it in the wild, so to speak, rather than a one-off show model. The unboxing looked promising with a nice presentation after opening the box. It was all downhill after that. First, Facebook mandates you have an account with them to track EVERYTHING you do with it. Secondly, it’s mucho uncomfortable and heavy to the point that I got a headache from the figurately cinderblock weight pulling my head down/forward and the blurry images. There is zero adjustment for focus, which automatically guarantees bad viewing and eye strain. And blurry it is … it uses Fresnel lenses which mandate absolutely NO movement on your head to see anything in some fashion of focus. If the headband isn’t crushing your skull, it won’t stay where the lenses allow you to have a modicum of visual clarity. Ok, this isn’t quite what I expected.


The Advils had better be close after thirty minutes of squinting and straining … I couldn’t find a single free viewing source that wasn’t blurred to the point of pain. Many times I couldn’t tell what was going on in the video except for the sound. Additionally, there are times where what you are trying to watch is behind you and there’s no way to pivot it around to where it’s comfortable for you watch despite using the controls that say it will. If you wear glasses, it gets worse … I felt like my face was in a heated vice with a huge weight pulling down on my neck muscles.

There are so many flaws: weight, heat, poor controls, blurry images, information-stealing, high purchase price. It just get worse after you realize that essentially Facebook has turned a potential life-experience sharing device into a crappy gaming machine. There are almost a total dearth of experiences beyond stupidly expense and boring games. After a very considerable period of time I found a Mount Everest and Florence video. The one from Italy showed in glaring detail the absolute failure of its promise. Having been there so many times that I’ve lost count, watching the walking tour and using my memory to fill in the blurred images, I was transported to my seat on a balcony overlooking the entrance to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and watching the crowds … Zuckerberg unsurprisingly managed to turn something potentially truly amazing, into a unmitigated mess.

Brandon says China first at any cost

We are now seeing a boom market in the stock market (for BEV production) that has only been seen once in my lifetime … the “dot-com” craze. But, unlike, this probably isn’t stopping. As I write this, in the last two weeks, Tesla has jumped nearly $400 a share. All stocks related to any aspect of BEV’s are rising. From chips to batteries, these are the hottest stocks since Apple. And unlike Apple, they’re not running out of gas. BYD (world’s 2nd largest BEV maker), Xpeng, Nio and other Chinese companies are growing as GM, Ford, Toyota, BMW and other car companies are completely freaking out as their market shrinks. Toyota and BMW are actually saying that buying BEV’s are actually bad, as they can’t compete with Tesla. Legacy car makers are poised to be crushed by cheaper non-union Chinese cars even as Congress tries to punish the most American car-maker … Tesla. As of this point, the trillion-dollar Tesla company is worth more than the other nine largest car companies … COMBINED. Musk is publicly mulling selling a tiny bit of his stock due to taxes, which ironically could buy a 50% stake in Ford. I don’t think he needs a hobby, which is what Ford would be for him.

So clearly, he knows how to make a business work, unlike government.

Instead of supporting Tesla, the Democrat congress and Biden is literally doing everything it can to hurt Tesla by trying to prop up the shoddy build-quality, union jobs by offering a “union-made tax credit.”. By doing this, they actually help the Chinese car companies by damaging the only American car company capable of competing with them. Wait, doesn’t Biden and his family have substantial business interests with the Chinese government? I’ve wondered why Tesla just doesn’t buy the mostly Mexican, Canadian and Chinese made GM and Ford brands to combat this. Fire everyone there and turn the plants into building something more modern like the upcoming $25,000 Tesla auto. This cuts the legs out from under Biden political cash cow, punishes the utterly corrupt Dems and forces the new employees to build something more worthy of “Made in the USA” moniker.

Ah, we can dream …