Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spectrum vs Xfinity vs Optimum

It's official!  Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are part of Charter Communications.  And with the merger will come new marketing intended to forget the old brand and think only good thoughts of the new cable company.  And the name Charter has chosen to market cable, phone and data is Spectrum.  If you think you have seen that name before, you have.  The Flyers and Sixers once played in the Spectrum.  There once was a cable network called Prism (sounds like Spectrum a bit) and there is a company already called Spectrum Brands.

Of course the notion of renaming its services under a different brand name comes right from the cable playbook.  Comcast introduced us to their Xfinity brand while Cablevision started it with its Optimum brand.  Whether Altice decides to keep that name once it acquires Cablevision in the next month or so remains to be seen.  Still, the strategy has proved a successful one.  Many people have no idea that the brand and the company are the same.

Can Charter take the Time Warner Cable properties and upgrade them and thus help improve their service and reputation?   Current TWC customers, especially in California, hope so.  If cord cutting doesn't kill them first, an opportunity to regain consumer trust and build a world class operation could certainly be possible.  We will have to wait and see how Charter Communications takes on this acquisition and invests in its infrastructure. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Self Driving Cars To Combat Texting While Driving

With my son learning how to drive, I tend to say ad nauseum to watch out for the other drivers.  And it amazes me to watch how horribly others drive.  Sure, know one wants to start an accident, but I see daily drivers holding their cell phone by their wheel, looking down as they drive.  It makes their driving erratic and as my neighbor learned the hard way, caused an oncoming car to swerve into her lane and hit her.

The law may tell us to not text and drive and to keep our cell phone in our pocket, but the buzz and ring are Pavlovian, resulting in a desire to take them out and look at them.  We are all guilty.  It seems the current law may not be working no matter how many tickets the police may give or how many accidents are the result.

It may just be time to quickly embrace self driving cars.  If we can't control our impulses to text and drive, then we need our cars to be our friend and drive for us.  Uber without a driver.  For every life we save or accident we prevent, the better our self driving car experience will be.  For us and for others on the road.  But until all cars are self driving, put the cellphone away while driving and for your sake if not others, stop texting and driving.