OK a couple random things.
Yesterday I did a focus group for VOIP (if you don't know what it is, look it up), which was cool. They basically surveyed how I would normally respond to the product, purchasing and installing it. I ripped Best Buy's customer service a few new holes...they had it coming.
I am one of the few that subscribe to the notion that basically everything in our lives should be computerized (call me Borg, if you must). When I wake up in the morning, it shouldn't be my alarm clock, it should be my computer waking me up, in a soothing, motherly, "its time to get up" voice. The water should be turned on in the shower to my optimal temperature, and when I get out of the shower, the bathroom fan should switch off, and I should hear the sound of NPR in the background as I begin to shave. My bedroom fan should switch off after I've finished sitting on the bed to put my shoes on, and as I'm leaving the house, the radio shuts down, the alarm arms itself, and the computer wishes me a nice day. When I get home at night, the alarm de-arms, the computer tells the phone to stop forwarding home calls to my cell phone, and the heat/ac re-acclimates the house to my preferred conditions. The computer asks me how my day was, reminds me of the 2 bills I need to pay and the memo I phoned home to remind myself to blog about later, and then asks me if I'd like to have dinner ordered out.
Point is, there are a ton of ancillary technological devices in my home that should either be a) eliminated or b) synched with my computer to become one with the home experience. So I welcome VOIP with open arms (and I seek to put Best Buy at the bottom of a river at the same time - see HC's comments on the recent WSJ article that outlined their seemingly ridiculous new consumer strategy, here).
Met a gal from Venezuela on the commute back to the 'boken from the focus group. Her contract with EOC (the gas company) comes up on the 15th of this month, and she doesn't really know what she's going to do for work. She seemed incredibly articulate, albeit having a (very) slight lack of fluidity with the English language. Said she had an undergrad and an MBA from her studies back home. Mentioned how much foreign countries don't really give those due credit in the job interviewing process.
I couldn't help feeling bad for this girl. Not only was she really looking for someone just interested in talking with her (I had originally asked her when the train came, we ended up talking about our siblings by the time we were on the train), but she was noticeably brilliant, and held back by the fact that she was foreign. When she found out that I worked for Macy's, she told me she was thinking about applying for a sales job on a store floor. Just from our brief conversation I could tell that she could easily manage a planning division in our company.
I think this is fairly conclusive proof that we're rapidly approaching the Terminator scenario.
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