T-Mobile Stunts on Comcast; Car Chip Shortage Continues; Meta Doubles Down on Metaverse; Tech Moguls Push Return to Office

T-Mobile stunted in a cute way to draw attention to their 5G service and Comcast’s not-so-cheap service. According to the carrier rented a truck and drove it around Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia with the message ‘Make Xfinity your ex!’ Of course, that is a reference to Comcast’s branding of their service as Xfinity (which no one calls it but them.) T-Mobile is trying to lure customers to their 5G home internet service at $25 a month if you have a ‘qualifying voice line.’ Less you think T-Mobile is just clever and making a great deal available, there was a condition the government put on in their acquisition of Sprint…they had to promise to offer inexpensive wireless internet to half the US population by 2025. There’s further intrigue…Comcast’s wireless service runs on Verizon’s network! We might even riff on the old saying ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.’ In this case, be suspicious of any big business who claims they are here to help you…they are really just here to help themselves to some of your money!

As Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor rush to build out chip plants in the US, and with the passage of the CHIPS act last summer, you would think the automotive chip shortage might be easing. Nope. Not yet. Arstechnica.com reports that we are probably facing this situation through 2023. During the pandemic, as car sales dropped off a cliff, makers cancelled chip orders. Chip plants diverted those chips to other customers like internet of things device makers. Even with plants running at full capacity, there isn’t enough production, now that thing have swung back to a more normal situation. General Motors, for example, had planned to crank out 400,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2023…now that goal has been moved 6 months into 2024. 

It appears that the policy over at Meta of MMH…Make Mark Happy..will continue. Engadget.com says that Meta put out a blog post saying that 2022 was ‘harder than we expected,’ yet they are still planing to put 20% of the company’s total spending into Reality Labs in 2023…half of that going directly into augmented reality initiatives. That’s the same amount spent last year and about the same as the year before. In raw cash, it amounts to almost $10 billion dollars! Even though Reality Labs is a money pit right now, Meta believes it is building ‘foundational pieces of technology’ for the future. One big reason behind the push may be the concern that Apple’s AR headset that is coming out next year will be a major rival to the Meta Quest AR headset. Hey, when he has controlling stock votes, you gotta ‘Make Mark Happy!’

Despite the fact that so many people working from home over a couple of years of pandemic were able to be just as productive or more so than when they were toiling away at offices after a commute, more tech CEO’s are starting to demand that staff return to offices. TechCrunch.com notes that the leverage of the Great Resignation and Great Reset may be diminishing as some business leaders thing there will be a recession, which will provide them with leverage in the form of threatened layoffs if people don’t return to cubicles. A major driver of this seems to be Elon Musk’s demand when he took over Twitter that everyone return. Considering that there was never a drop in productivity, this strongly reeks of the need of executives to assert more control. With unemployment at such a low level, it remains to be seen if this will work, and folks will trudge back to offices, or if it will blow up in management’s face. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.


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