Saturday, September 23, 2023

Customer Helper Aisle Robots Help Catch Shoplifters


From the article Costco, Lowe's, Best Buy, and Tractor Supply are winning the battle against retail theft in a strikingly similar way by Dominick Reuter (Business Insider, Sept. 23, 2023):

All four retailers prioritize having knowledgeable, helpful staff and have high levels of customer engagement.

"We just have more employees in our stores and they just do an exceptional job of watching out over our stores," Barrie said of Best Buy.

Meanwhile, a typical Tractor Supply location may have as many as eight people working in a relatively small, 20,000 square-foot store.

For Ellison at Lowe's the best investment was simple: "Having spent my entire adult life in retail at every level, the one thing that I understand clearly is that the greatest deterrent for any type of theft activity is effective customer service."

Yet another Economics


Eventually, helpful human staff will be assisted by helpful Customer Helper Aisle Robots (CHAR) that will roam the aisles. Customers just speak to the robots, and via artificial intelligence, the robots will provide assistance in human voice. The robots also have a screen that can show customers the layout map of the store, information about the products, and of course, promotions. Oh, and the robots also have cameras to detect shoplifting. The robots calmly inform the shoplifters that they better put the items back. If the shoplifters insist on concealing the stolen items, the robots inform the store security, follow the shoplifters, and even hinder their exit - all these actions, if done by humans, can expose the staff to violence.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Let's Have A Primary For the Democrat Vice President


From the article Biden Is a Dangerous Choice for Democrats by Karl Rove (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 6, 2023):

The poll is particularly brutal for Mr. Biden. When asked if he is “mentally up for the job of president,” 60% said no, 36% yes, and by an overwhelming margin—73% to 22%—they think Mr. Biden “is too old to run for president.”

Yet another Politics


Poll after polls say that an overwhelming of Americans think that Mr. Biden is too old for the presidential job. However, by tradition and calculation, no mainstream Democrat will mount an intra-party challenge to Mr. Biden, which would expose the shortcomings of the current Democrat agenda. There is an alternative. Mr. Biden is the quarterback, and quarterbacks get hurt all the time: Good teams will have a backup ready to pick up the game. The problem is not Mr. Biden, but Mr. Biden's vice-president. Many Americans who think Mr. Biden is too old, will accept Mr. Biden if he has a good vice president to pick up the job in case he becomes incapacitated. Is Ms. Harris, the current vice president, good? The polls say she has an even lower rating than her boss.

"Than her boss" is the gist of the problem. A vice-president in the U.S. is picked by the presidential candidate and then works for his or her president-"boss" if their ticket wins. Mr. Biden should change this arrangement for his second bid for the White House. Is Ms. Harris good? Let the voters decide. Instead of having a primary election for the presidency, Democrats should have a primary election for the vice presidency. It would be very lively, with Democrat candidates of presidential caliber vying for the vice-president job (and the 2028 presidential nomination since by law, Mr. Biden cannot run again). Mr. Biden would accept whoever came out winning as his vice president, but this person would be his understudy and sounding board, not his underling. If something were to happen to Mr. Biden, American voters would feel secure that they were still in good hands. Such a Biden-headed ticket would not be too bad.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Justin Fields Needs His Own Coach


From the article Justin Fields plans to play less ‘robotic,' be himself in clear indictment of Bears' coaching staff by Josh Schrock (Bears Insider, September 20, 2023):

When asked what led to him playing "robotic" Sunday in Tampa, Fields softly pointed the finger at a coaching staff that is so focused on its coaching points that it bogs him down on Sundays. Fields appreciates the game-week information but needs to trust his prep and cut loose on gameday instead of spending so much time trying to do things exactly how the staff wants.

Yet another Sports


Does the Chicago Bears coaching staff include a quarterback coach? If there is one, tey (singular they) is probably hired by the front office, the head coach, or the offensive coach. How about letting Justin Fields propose his own quarterback coach to be hired - one that understands Fields' playing style and with whom Fields is comfortable working? This quarterback coach will represent Fields within the coaching staff.

Come to think about it. Tennis players and golf players at the highest level hire their own coaches. Why can't quarterbacks?

Monday, September 4, 2023

Can Public Trains Be A Return-To-Office Perks?


The article Train Wi-Fi Can Be Terrible. Operators Are Looking High and Low for Solutions by Isabelle Bousquette (Wall Street Journal, Aug 30, 2023) talks about improved Wi-Fi on board trains, using either 5-G networks or low-earth-orbit satellites.

Yet another Economics


Let's offer the improved Wi-Fi on board trains as an incentive for Work-from-home (WFH) aficionados to return to the office (RTO). The start of their RTO days will be when they board the trains, not when they swipe their badge to enter the buildings. With the enhanced and secure Wi-Fi, once on board, they open their laptop and start working. Likewise, they can leave earlier at the end of the day and finish their work on the train. Assuming one hour on the train each way, they will gain two hours each day - not bad for RTO.

The train operators may offer special carriages for RTO workers, such as dedicated Wi-Fi, tables for laptops, and even privacy enclosures. The operators will charge extra of course, and companies will cover the extra charges for their employees as an RTO benefit.