Regarding the expanding capabilities and presence of systems like Amazon's Alexa/Echo and Google's Home, one MNB reader wrote:

We used both Echo and Home... And with a very clever 6 year old in the house the Home is far and away the better system today. We are constantly playing trivia. My wife and I are learning too. However, still worried about privacy and big government access since both retain some information. Google and Amazon would do us all good if after 30 seconds all information is erased on a regular basis. Why do they need more than name and address anyway except to gather info for marketing purposes and additional billings. My father would have never let these in the house!!

I get your point ... though I'm not sure I'd evaluate the potential success and efficacy of such systems based on what our parents would accept or reject.




On another subject, from another reader:

I am in Seattle for work and made it a priority to visit the Starbuck’s Reserve Roastery.  I absolutely loved the experience and sat in one of the coffee bar seats.  I don’t see myself paying $6.58 regularly for tall Pantheon blend coffee, but definitely willing to do it on this visit.  The baristas were extremely knowledgeable.  I watched and listened as one of the baristas was explaining the method he was using to prepare the coffee for a group of four.  He was sharing his knowledge and answering all of their questions.  I was impressed with his enthusiasm and also heard him tell the group that he was a drama major.  You could see that he really enjoyed being the center of attention and knowledge and really loved what he was doing.  Retail as theatre is definitely practiced at Starbuck’s Reserve Roastery.

Agreed.

And, as I say to every reader who goes to Seattle, make sure you go to Etta's. Go to the bar. Ask for Morgan. And tell him you read about him on MorningNewsBeat.




Regarding the use of sensors to track the movements and behavior of employees, MNB reader Leo Martineau wrote:

I'm with you on this one Kevin.  It smacks of "Big Brother" to me.  Remember the book entitled "1984" by George Orwell?

Remember it? "1984" has become a best-seller again because of concerns in some quarters about how it presages the current US political situation.

And, from another reader:

I would be willing to bet the farm that most employees have no clue!!

If so, that would really be reprehensible.