Recommended reading

5 comments on Recommended reading
1 minute

๐Ÿ’ป Television writer Ken Levine tells a lovely story about Shari Lewis, who was a very well known TV puppeteer and ventriloquist in the 1960s and 1970s. If you’re of a certain age, you remember. Read Weekend Post

In front of the flower shop
Yashica TL Electro X, 50mm f/1.7 Auto Yashinon-DX, Kodak Max 400, 2021

๐Ÿ’ป Nick Gerlich predicts the robotic future at your favorite restaurant. Read May I Take Your Order?

๐Ÿ“ท I have a bit of a soft spot for the cameras Sears sold under its various house brands. Eric Enrico Jason reviews one, a TLR called the Tower Reflex III. Read Sears Tower Reflex III

๐Ÿ“ท Stephen Dowling reviews a 35mm point-and-shoot that might be easy to come by in Europe and the UK, but is rare in the US: the Ricoh FF-9. Read Ricoh FF-9 review

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5 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Nick Gerlich has an interesting take on the robotic restaurant, but can’t say I always agree with his logic. This is yet another article where he sort misses the point, “glossing over” the living wage thing, saying we can argue about it forever, but see how money saving robots can be? He always tosses out unvetted information like “slim margins of restaurants”, but the types of places that might use Robots, like McDonalds, made 4.7 Billion USD profit (that’s with a “B”), in 2020, unfortunately down from over 6 billion USD in 2019 before the pandemic. Just a quick back of the envelope calculation says ear-marking only 1 Billion of that profit to their lowest store employees would result in a raise of a couple of grand a year per person, and maybe the ability to hire “better” employees. Unfortunately, it drops their profit to a measly 3.7 billion USD!

    BTW, he states the restaurants in his area may have to pay 12 bucks an hour in this pandemic economy, but the indie coffee shop down the block from me pays 22 bucks an hour, and that’s in a city where the average household income is about 10K under national average. Where’s he living?

    Anyone who has been involved in retail marketing and advertising in the last decade or more, will certainly be aware of the concept that many corporations know there’s a “sweet-spot” between paying premium wages for premium service people, and paying nothing and dealing with the employee you get, even if it results in a loss of customers. Somewhere in there, there’s a spot where you can retain “x” amount of customers, turn a profit, and not have to pay better money. Robotic service industry employee are just going to add another layer on to that. Robots may be coming to my favorite restaurant, but it won’t be my favorite restaurant any more. Just a reduction of another reason I would GO to a restaurant!

  2. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Very interesting looking back at the enormous market power the department stores like Sears obviously had in their heyday. Not so much in my part of the world. Now of course that power resides with the big tech companies, and society is possibly not better off as a result!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Sears was the Amazon of the 20th century.

  3. tbm3fan Avatar

    I also have been interested in re-badged cameras from Sears. They used all kinds of suppliers so it helps to have the link to their extensive list of cameras over the years. The last one I bought was the M35 Autofocus by Ricoh.

    As to robotic staff in a restaurant it will be a cold day in hell before they ever see me walk in through their doors! If it means no longer dining out then so be it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I would totally do a robotic McDonald’s. But other than that, I’d think the whole experience would lose its charm.

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