A Scuba Diver

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On November 18, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Medigram and the slow death of hospital pagers :

Great post, Anonymous! I have always been shocked by the lack of advanced technologies used by medical professionals as a result of HIPAA. In addition to pagers, my sister who worked at Dana Farber always had to use a fax machine to pass orders and other patient information instead of using email. As you rightly point out, there seems to be such reluctance to move online and make use of technologies that would actually improve communication among stakeholders in the medical community. It’s a shame that apps like Medigram are not catching on faster, but I can understand why hospitals don’t want to invest. Though my knowledge of the healthcare system is basic at best, it seems like the technologies and initiatives that have the best chance of adoption are those that mutually benefit both payers and providers and cut costs out of the system. If Medigram or a similar company could convince insurers that claims would go down as a result of better, real-time communication in hospitals, they might be willing to help convince hospitals to adopt or offer more favorable reimbursement rates or something to encourage hospitals to make the investment.

On November 18, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on The Verdict is still out – Will Square Survive? :

Great post, mc23! I’m a huge fan of Square and agree that it has potential to remain a viable payments player. The Square reader has been great for small merchants to be able to sell at outdoor markets and craft fairs, allowing them to charge much more than they would otherwise if people were only carrying cash in my opinion. Payments is such an interesting space, and no one has quite cracked this issue yet, despite so many different attempts – you have ApplePay, retailers and consortiums of retailers trying to create their own systems, banks, hardware like Square and PayPal’s mobile card reader all competing in this space with no clear winner yet. One concern I have for Square is how they’ve innovated given the iPhone 7’s lack of audio jack? (I’m sure they’re addressing this already, but would be curious what their response was) I was pretty surprised by the statistics around number of businesses in the US that don’t take credit card and the 48% of cash payments. I have definitely seen this cash issue in other countries that I’ve visited but would have expected credit cards to be more widely accepted based on my experience in the US.

On November 18, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on iPod to iRobot: How Our Loyal Devices Are Turning Against Us :

Great post, Will! I, too, touched on cyber security as it relates to IoT in my post on smart refrigerators. One thing that is particularly concerning to me in addition to what you’ve laid out in your post is the potential for amplification as more and more devices are connected. Years ago, if you got a computer virus, it was fairly contained to your PC. In today’s world, if you have many “smart” devices connected in your home, a Mirai attack could penetrate throughout many devices. This becomes particular concerning if you have devices related to medicine (e.g. monitors) in your home’s connected ecosystem. One of the biggest problems that hopefully Google and/or the technology provides will address in the immediate future is finding ways to make these IoT devices more secure and ensuring they always have the latest software updates to protect against known issues. If you have connected devices that you don’t access often, it’s likely that you’ll fall behind on software updates unless they can be pushed automatically. I’ll be very curious to see how this space evolves in the coming years, and agree that companies like Google should lead the charge here.

On November 18, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Making it rain…Chinese Red Packets :

Great post, Pippa! I love this idea – digital hongbao makes so much sense as the world continues to globalize and people don’t necessarily live near family and friends anymore. Being able to send and receive digitally is the perfect solution for families whose children have moved away and can’t be home for New Year celebrations. In reading about the various apps that offer digital hongbao, I was thinking of venmo and how it’s become a platform for friends to send very small sums of money (often less than a dollar) as a way of keeping in touch or making a joke. I wonder if this phenomenon will spread to digital hongbao; I could imagine people sending their friends silly new years messages along with very small sums of money through one of the apps. This could potentially be another way for apps like wechat to promote their brands via “word of mouth” and attract additional partnerships.

On November 18, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Bea-con and Carry On :

Great post, Sir Lunchalot! I was not very familiar with beacons before reading this post, probably because of the lack of penetration in retailers as you mentioned. I think you raise some good points about how retailers might be able to use this technology to engage with customers in the store. I also could see other advantages to retailers in being able to track customers’ shopping patterns within the store – which aisles did they shop, what did they look at but not buy, etc. Right now it seems retailers can only rely on POS data of what customers actually purchase, but beacons could help add a layer of granularity and additional analytics that retailers could use to understand how their customers are shopping. Combined with targeted messages and promotions to customers in the store, it seems beacons could be a great opportunity. I’ll be curious to see how this evolves and whether or not more retailers roll out this technology. I’m sure there are a bunch of use cases that have yet to be discovered.

On November 7, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Cashmere Catastrophe :

Great post, A.Pi!

The options you lay out for Kering to pursue are very thoughtful and raise several additional questions and thoughts in my mind. Option #1 seems to be the most logical and easiest to implement, but I would want to see Kering reinvesting in making cashmere sustainable because ultimately even with higher prices consumers would continue to demand cashmere. Option #2 could raise other environmental concerns potentially around disrupting natural breeding. I think Kering could be better off trying to support natural goat breeding and potentially introducing cashmere goats in new climates that are more suitable for them given climate change. Option #3 is also interesting but I’m not sure it totally solves the problem; as long as cashmere is on the market, many luxury consumers will demand the ‘real thing’ instead of a synthetic material. I believe Kering would be better off investing in goats and other sustainability initiatives rather than waste the R&D on an alternative product.

On November 7, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Ben & Jerry’s: If it’s melted, it’s ruined! :

Great post, Rachel! Totally craving ice cream now…

I had no idea that the non-dairy flavors that Ben and Jerry’s has introduced recently was actually an effort to help curb climate change. I assumed these non-dairy ice cream flavors were meant to target people with dairy allergies (which is how I originally heard about these new flavors, from someone who can’t eat real ice cream). I wouldn’t have made the connection between dairy and the cows that produce it to climate change, kudos to Ben and Jerry’s for doing such an in-depth review of their entire process.

Like Joanna, I too was wondering what Ben and Jerry’s actually does with the 10% carbon tax they charge internally. Would be very cool if they reinvested those tax dollars into future sustainability initiatives…

On November 7, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Cenosillicaphobia (Fear of an empty beer glass) is REAL! :

I second Joe’s comment – thank you for raising awareness about this very important fear 😉

Very interesting post – as you point out, it’s great that ABInBev is trying to lead the charge for the industry. The initiatives that you raise are all really positive contributions to combating climate change.

I am concerned about how well, if at all, the efforts of ABInBev can translate into craft brewers. With the craft brewing industry growing so rapidly today, there are so many more beer producers than ever before. Though each one has a much smaller footprint, in aggregate craft beer is definitely gaining share. It seems that many of the initiatives you raise are only possible due to ABInBev’s scale and financial resources and therefore wouldn’t be accessible to smaller independent brewers.

On November 7, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on Going bananas over climate change :

Great post, cranberryfarmer8 (also, love the alias!)

In reading this post I found it very interesting that there are both positive and negative consequences of climate change for banana production. It can be easy to focus only on the negatives of climate change, but I’m glad you also mentioned the opportunity. Being able to grow bananas in new areas that previously weren’t good for crops will open new revenue streams and food sources to populations that previously didn’t have them.

I am curious about what Dole is doing today – given the relative success of the trial they ran in 2013 in Costa Rica, have they rolled out some of the practices to other plantations? One of the challenges with these types of programs is how time and resource intensive running the trials are – Dole should try to find a more scaleable way to roll out improvement programs in the future to make a bigger impact.

On November 7, 2016, A Scuba Diver commented on The Death of the Ski Industry? :

Great post, Tiana!

I, too, am skeptical that environmentally friendly goals and policies at these resorts will be enough to affect real change. Unfortunately there are a lot of additional consequences of ski-related tourism that have much bigger impacts on climate change than anything the resort itself can influence. For example, many of these ski resorts are destinations; avid skiers will travel from far away either by plane or by car to reach the mountains. These cross-country flights and multi-hour drives have a very high carbon footprint. I don’t see a way that ski resorts can get around this, other than discourage people from coming to their mountain which would be counter-productive to their business. Perhaps ski resorts can do more to attract local visitors to minimize the travel requirements, but this will only have so much impact.

I understand the mentality of man-made snow seeming less appealing, but it seems to be the best alternative. Many of these resorts have built up great ski-towns with hotels, homes, restaurants, shops, etc. that all contribute to the overall experience in a positive way. I think a lot of people look forward to ski vacations for these other activities in addition to the snow, and will likely still choose a well-established mountain resort town over an indoor ski experience even if the snow isn’t quite as good.

The changing climate also may provide new opportunities for mountains that are located in areas that once were too cold or inaccessible; existing ski resorts like WB could maybe look into these opportunities for future expansion and hedging.