business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday MNB took note of a New York Times analysis of the Amazon Echo, described as a "screenless, voice-controlled household computer" that "brims with profound possibility."

One MNB user responded:

My Echo arrived just yesterday, and I already love it.   This morning Alexa was reading a book to me while I was making my lunch.   When my old can opener annoyed me for the 10th and last time,  I said “Alexa, order a can opener.”  She replied with a brand/model and price that sounded good.  I said, “Yes.” She confirmed the order and resumed reading the book where she had left off.   It took about 12 seconds – which will soon start to feel like an unbearably long time, I’m sure.

We wrote yesterday about a Politico report that "Starbucks is urging its US employees to vote in both the primaries and the upcoming presidential election, and 'will be using TurboVote to make it easy for all U.S. employees to register to vote from both computers and mobile devices'."

I commented:

In a country where not everyone shares the belief that we ought to make it easier for more people to vote, it is nice to see Starbucks doing its part. It'd be nice if we changed our entire approach to elections ... we ought to begin the voting on Saturday mornings at 12:01 am eastern time, and end it on Sunday at 11:59 pm eastern time, providing the entire nation with 48 hours during which they can vote. (It'd also be nice if the candidates started talking about issues rather than body parts, but that's probably more than anyone can reasonably ask for.)

One MNB user responded:

How about two weeks to vote?  Yes 48 hours is better than 12 hours, but let’s make this easy.  

Hey - how voting on-line and really make this easy?  Let’s try to pull all barriers down.


And MNB user Rebecka Rivers wrote:

Sorry, can’t relate to your wanting 48 hours to vote. Here in Oregon we vote by mail and I take at least a week (sometimes two) researching all the issues before marking (okay, sometimes erasing and re-marking) my ballot. Oregonians get a chuckle from of the out-of-staters that try to call us on voting day to sway us on the issues, not realizing they should have called us weeks ago to have a meaningful conversation. Having the extra time also sparks great conversations around the dining table.

Ah, Oregon.

On another subject, MNB reader Ron Birkinbine wrote:

Noted your update on the e-commerce initiative at Lunds & Byerlys.  I’m a 25 year technology veteran with the last 10 years at Supervalu (disclosure: L&B is a highly valued Supervalu customer).  Next week I’m moving from Idaho to an apartment building right next to the Lunds & Byerlys on France Avenue in Edina, MN.  One of the reasons I chose that apartment complex was the availability of a Lunds & Byerlys right outside my door, and this new e-commerce initiative just makes that choice all the better.

Guaranteed I’ll be giving their e-commerce a try and have already put a reminder on my calendar to send you an update in three months.  Looking forward to learning a lot, both as a customer as well as a tech geek.  And thanks for your excellent newsletter – always try to find time in my day to give it a read.  A real win-win when I can learn about my business (and so much more) while getting a good laugh or two.

My pleasure. And yes...keep us updated.
KC's View: