Wednesday, December 7, 2016

From The We’ve Come A Long Way Dept: Amazon Go Eschews Human Cashiers AND Traditional Self Checkouts

Amazon Go [Amazon]

Over there in Seattle, they’re testing something right out of The Jetsons, or perhaps right out of 1984 — or both.  It’s the Amazon Go grocery store, and for those who don’t like waiting in line, or can’t figure out those newfangled self-checkout machines, it might be a dream come true.

The technology involves a network of cameras, microphones and Amazon’s fleet of powerful servers which run its cloud services and digital factotum Alexa.  Essentially, it allows a shopper to walk into the store, grab stuff, and walk out — with all purchases automatically charged to an account.

Amazon filed a patent in 2014 which appears to be related.  It uses a whole lot of cameras and mics and operates in a similar manner to the systems which control autonomous vehicles:  customers entering the store flash their phone, on which the Amazon Go application is installed, in front of a scanner, which reads a QR code to identify them.  The system then tracks them as they move around the store, with cameras capturing images of where they stopped, what they picked up, and whether they kept it or put it back.  Quoth the patent:  “When the user’s hand is removed from the inventory location, one or more images may be captured of the user’s hand as it exits the inventory location. Those images may be compared to determine whether a user has picked an item from the inventory location or placed an item in the inventory location.”

The cameras could even recognize the unique skin tone of the person’s hand, which would be used to let the system determine that it was dealing with the right person:  “Image analysis may be performed on the first image to determine a skin tone color of the user’s hand and pixels including that color, or a range of colors similar to the identified skin tone color, may be identified to represent the user’s hand.”

Elsewhere, microphones would be employed to figure out where customers are by the noises they make (“Holy s**t, look at the PRICE of this prime rib!”) — even using triangulation between several mics for precise location.  Add infrared, load and pressure sensors on the shelves which can tell when items have been picked up or put back, and you have one powerful, processor-intensive and most likely expensive system — and that last part may be the key to whether this ever goes beyone the current testing phase.  Says analyst Brendan Witcher at Forrester, “The challenge is whether you can make it cost-effective.  Has Amazon come up with the secret sauce?”

A lot of industry insiders were betting that this sort of thing would be made possible by RFID tags, which send out a constant beacon allowing whatever they’re attached to to be tracked in real time.  So what’s the holdup in that department, then?   “They’ve come down in price, they’re now only about five cents each.  But it’s still pretty labor intensive to RFID tag everything,” says Witcher.

The Amazon Go system could also be of great benefit to retailers who like to keep track of what their customers are buying, and tailor ads, specials and other things appropriately (currently, loyalty cards are a big part of this).  Says David Hewitt at consulting outfit SapientRazorfish, “Think about turning on a digital display that markets to the person who’s in the aisle right then.  I know it’s a little Big Brother, but all this data is welcome if it makes the shopping process better.”

Eventually, Amazon might license its technology to other grocery retailers, which would be a double win:  not only would it make money on the hardware and tech, but also on the use of its AWS cloud services.

Currently, Amazon Go is available in test mode to the company’s Seattle employees.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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Scott’s Wednesday QuickPoll™: Festivus Music

Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron [Quotesgram]

So we hear that some radio broadcasting undertakings in some places have already flipped the gaily-decorated switch and gone with Christmas music 24/7, and I’m starting to get the odd festive tune request on Rockline.  It can be a bit of a balancing act deciding when to go with throttle up on reindeer-approved music.  And of course, it doesn’t matter what we think.  It’s what you think that counts.  Hence today’s QuickPoll.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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The Q’s Rockline Theme Thursday With Scott James 120816: Help The Homeless

Home [Yahoo!/Pinterest]

The Q’s annual Help The Homeless initiative returns Friday — Ed Bain and Cliff LeQuesne will take The Q Morning Show to the parking lot at Mayfair Shopping Center from 600 til 900, and we’ll all be there collecting donations for the less fortunate in and around Victoria — we hope you can spare a few minutes to drop by.  Complete Help The Homeless information is waiting for you right over here.

In light of all that, on tomorrow’s Rockline Theme Thursday, we’re going to be looking for songs with “home” in their titles.

If there’s a particular song you’d like me to play for you, send me an e-mail request, or join me at noon oh five and call or text me at 250 475 100.3 as we go where the heart is, on The Q’s Rockline Theme Thursday.

Fire up the audio player below to hear some musical selections which would get thumbs up from the Rockline Theme Thursday judging panel tomorrow.

Love, Dr. Scott “Be It Ever So Humble” James
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Cliff’s Call-December-07-2016

Cliff’s Call – December – 07 – Doctors Retiring.

The 2017 Grammy® Nominees

Grammys [India Today]

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Sunday February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles; James Corden will make his debut as Grammy host.  Here are the nominees, announced this morning:

Album Of The Year
Adele – 25
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Drake – Views
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Record Of The Year
Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Lukas Graham – “7 Years Old”
Rihanna Featuring Drake – “Work”
Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”

Song Of The Year
Adele – “Hello” (songwriters: Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin)
Beyoncé – “Formation” (songwriters: Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II)
Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself” (songwriters: Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran)
Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” (songwriter: Mike Posner)
Lukas Graham – “7 Years” (songwriters: Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp)

Best New Artist
Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Best Alternative Album
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
David Bowie – Blackstar
PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Best Rap Album
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody
DJ Khaled – Major Key
Drake – Views
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes – “Joe” (Live From Austin City Limits)
Beyoncé Featuring Jack White – “Don’t Hurt Yourself”
David Bowie – “Blackstar”
Disturbed – “The Sound Of Silence” (Live On Conan)
Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”

Best Rock Song
David Bowie – “Blackstar”
Radiohead – “Burn The Witch”
Metallica – “Hardwired”
Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”
Highly Suspect – “My Name Is Human”

Best Recording Package
Rihanna – Anti
David Bowie – Blackstar
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
Reckless Kelly – Sunset Motel
Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Best Rap/Sung Performance
Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty – “Broccoli”
Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream – “Ultralight Beam”
Kanye West Featuring Rihanna – “Famous”

Best Rap Song
Fat Joe & Remy Ma – “All The Way Up”
Kanye West Featuring Rihanna – “Famous”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Chance The Rapper Featuring 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – “No Problem”
Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream – “Ultralight Beam”

Best R&B Performance
BJ The Chicago Kid – “Turnin’ Me Up”
Ro James – “Permission”
Musiq Soulchild – “I Do”
Rihanna – “Needed Me”
Solange – “Cranes In The Sky”

Best Pop Solo Performance
Adele – “Hello”
Beyoncé – “Hold Up”
Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”
Kelly Clarkson – “Piece By Piece (Idol Version)”
Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey – “Closer”
Lukas Graham – “7 Years”
Rihanna Featuring Drake – “Work”
Sia Featuring Sean Paul – “Cheap Thrills”
Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”

Best Electronic Album
Flume – Skin
Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 1: The Time Machine
Tycho – Epoch
Underworld – Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
Louie Vega – Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Gallant – Ology
King – We Are King
Anderson .Paak – Malibu
Rihanna – Anti

Best Rock Album
Blink-182 – California
Cage The Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty
Gojira – Magma
Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor
Weezer – Weezer

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
Bridge Of Spies (Thomas Newman, composer)
Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone, composer)
The Revenant (Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams, composer)
Stranger Things Volume 1 (Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers)
Stranger Things Volume 2 (Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers)

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Miles Ahead
Straight Outta Compton
Suicide Squad (Collector’s Edition)
Vinyl: The Essentials Season 1

Love, Dr. Scott James
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Cliff’s Call-December-03-2016

Cliff’s Call – December – 06 – Donald Trump.


Good Morning America!
From Monday, December 5th to Thursday, December 8th play “Good Morning America” at 7:15AM to get into our draw for Hoops and Hockey for the Holidays! (trip for two to see the Vancouver Canucks and the Phoenix Suns play in sunny Phoenix, Arizona in January 2017!)
We will call one of our lovely neighbors down south of the boarder and ask them some trivia. If they get it right, the contestant will get into the draw and if they get it wrong, the vulture will get into the draw.
Win a pair of ticket to Guns N’ Roses this week! (Monday, December5th – Thursday, December 8th) by being caller number 50 when Ed rips a G ‘N R song between 5:30AM and 9:00AM.
gunsnroses_ig_1080x1080_vancouver_bc_02*** special note***
We will also be doing a draw for a pair of tickets from everyone who comes and makes a donation at our annual Help The Homeless Show.

Fridays at 8:40am, get into our pool to win the lottery.
Sorry! no win on the Friday December 2nd draw :(

The new Bobble Eds are here!

Should have used a twinkie.

I think these kids have what it takes!

Ditch boarding behind a horse in Vancouver.

Cliff’s Call-December-03-2016

Cliff’s Call – December – 05 – Social Media Jokes.

100.3 The Q! Welcomes: Guns N Roses – NOT IN THIS LIFETIME TOUR

With Guests.
Friday, September 1st at BC PLACE, Vancouver BC – Doors: 6:00PM, Guns scheduled to be onstage at 7:30 PM.
Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, on tour for the first time since the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1993… beauty.
Ticket prices: $35 up to $275 plus s/c and are available: Friday, December 9th at 10:00AM at LIVENATION.COM
*Sign-up for Q! Crew before midnight on Monday, December 4th to receive exclusive pre-sale information this week!*
Win a pair of ticket to the show from Ed Bain and The Q! Morning Show this week. (Monday, December5th – Thursday, December 8th) by being caller number 50 when Ed rips a G ‘N R song between 5:30AM and 9:00AM. 250-475-1003
*** special note***
We will also be doing a draw for a pair of tickets from everyone who comes and makes a donation at our annual Help The Homeless Show.

Win tickets to Blue Rodeo at SOFMC in January!

Iconic Canadian rockers Blue Rodeo with special guests Ron Hawkins and The Do Good Assassins will be hosting a spectacular evening of music in support of their new album 1000 Arms at Save On Foods Memorial Center on Thursday, January 26, 2017!

All this week (December 5 – 9) with My Favourite Song after 5pm, request your all-time favourite Blue Rodeo song. You could win a pair of tickets for the show.

Call or text 2504751003 your favourite Blue rodeo track, then find out if you’re the daily bonus prize winner.

Email your Blue Rodeo pick to

Tickets for the tour are available now, and with each ticket purchase you get a free digital download of the band’s new album! Find the details here.