Hello HomePod. So Long Sonos & Bose

Sonos founder John MacFarlane’s vision of a connected speaker that could wirelessly stream music was too seductive to resist for a broadband and connectivity junkie like me. Even before the product evolved from a concept to design, I was sold on the idea of Sonos and what it represented. For years, the company’s speakers have been the preferred way of listening to music in my tiny apartment. But it is time to say goodbye to Sonos — though, not for the reason you might think.

Yes, most of my Sonos gear is over a decade old and needs an upgrade. And I’m told their new speakers look nicer and sound better than ever (of course, they only need to sound as good as the high-def stream on Spotify). But I am not going to be upgrading with Sonos. This has nothing to do with their core product. The problem is that they are bundling the speakers with voice assistants, specifically Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Yes, you have to turn on these features and enable them for use, but I remain highly suspicious of what can be done surreptitiously. You can blame it on a growing mistrust of the big tech, and their decision making processes.

A letter from Om

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Is (Amazon) Prime Day losing its premium?

Despite the hype and extended time, however, social data indicates that consumers — at least those who use Facebook  — are steadily losing interest in Prime Day. Compared year over year, this could be a sign that consumers are growing tired of the promotions, the advertising, and the hype. Their attention is also likely thinned out. What was once a 24-hour flash sale is becoming a multi-day affair of marketing and promotion.

My social feeds, my RSS reader, Apple News and pretty much all my information resources are full of mentions of Amazon Prime Day stories and lists of items available from Amazon. I am not in the market for anything, so I am happily ignoring the hype.

What to read this weekend

How João Gilberto’s Music Sparked An Aesthetic Revolution.The Brazilian pioneer of bossa nova passed away earlier this week, and NPR has a wonderful tribute to the king of the new cool.

A fascinating bromance existed between Steve Jobs and Ross Perot, who passed away earlier this week. This is a great read from someone who was in the know.

Climate change threatens the future of the Internet(‘s infrastructure.)

Human beings have a way of ruining natural habitats. Look no further than Florida, where invasive species are wreaking havoc.

The Rise and Fall of Toronto’s Classiest Con Man.” Great read from The Walrus.

This first appeared on my weekly newsletter dated July 14, 2019. If you like to get this delivered to your inbox, just sign-up here, and I will take care of the rest

A letter from Om

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Wow. It has been thirteen years since that fateful day when I sent out a tweet, accidentally launched the company and became part of the social media revolution. A lot has changed since then. For starters, it is not Twttr. Twitter is much less intimate, more intense, and much more significant. And because of some weird loyalty to the service, I continue to use it every day, even though it causes ambient stress. Have a great Sunday.