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Robert Scoble
Works at Rackspace
Attended San Jose State University
Lives in Half Moon Bay, California, USA
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Rackspace's Futurist. Searching for world-changing technologies.
startups innovation future social media
  • Rackspace
    Futurist, 2009 - present
    Go find the future and report on it. Build relationships with startups and other tech industry innovators. Rackspace is the leading managed cloud company.
  • Microsoft
    Strategist, Evangelism, 2003 - 2006
  • NEC
    Sales Support, 2002 - 2003
  • PodTech
    Vice President, Media Development, 2006 - 2008
  • Fawcette Technical Publications
    Assistant Editor, 1997 - 2001
  • Mansueto Ventures
    Managing Director, Fast, 2008 - 2009
  • Winnov
    Vice President, Marketing, 1995 - 1997
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Half Moon Bay, California, USA
Cupertino, CA, USA - San Jose, CA, USA - Bothell, WA, USA - Saratoga, CA, USA
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620 Folsom Street San Francisco, CA
Rackspace's Futurist helps small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology.
Rackspace's Futurist searches the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology. 


As Futurist for Rackspace, the leading Managed Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people.


If you are looking to contact me, email is best: but my cell phone number is +1-425-205-1921.


Time: One of the top 140 Twitterers!
FT: One of the five most influential Twitterers!

I'm a geek who grew up in Silicon Valley (my dad was an engineer at Lockheed) and since 1985 I've been building online communities. In 2000 I started my technology blog,, and my life has been on a rocketship ever since. In 2003-2006 I worked at Microsoft as an evangelist and one of the five guys who started Microsoft's famous Channel9 video community.

I'm now working at Rackspace as its Futurist (I go around the world to study and make media about world-changing innovators). You'll also see my videos on but the best place to watch me now is on Facebook, on Twitter or on my blog. Our professional videos, done in studio, are on Rackspace's YouTube site.

The real-time streaming web is changing my life faster than I can imagine, and lets me keep in touch with thousands of technology and business innovators all around the world.

I'm also the father of three sons, Patrick, 21, Milan, 7, and Ryan, 5 (as of 2015). Lots of fun and they are all geeks in training too.

Anyway, visit some of my links to see more about me, especially my Wikipedia profile (I didn't edit any of it, that was done by people in the community) and feel free to drop me a line at anytime you need something or want to talk about being on one of my video shows.

Oh, and, yes, I do answer my own cell phone and I do include that number on the Internet for you to use: +1-425-205-1921 and have for several years. I live in Half Moon Bay near the Ritz and would love to meet up with geeks/entrepreneurs if you are in town and I'm available.


Some suggested lists you can put me in:

Technology enthusiasts.
Passionate about technology.
Startup lovers.
Tech journalists.
Long-time Silicon Valley residents.
San Francisco geeks.
Corporate storytellers.
Video shows.
Bloggers (especially geeky or tech).
Photo enthusiasts.
iPad crazies.
Gadget freaks.
iPhone enthusiasts.
Friends of entrepreneurs.
Cloud computing fanatics.
Web hosting experts.
Big data fan.
Rackspace employees.
Tech news curators.
Bragging rights
I shook Steve Jobs' hand.
  • San Jose State University
  • West Valley Community College
  • Prospect High School
  • Hyde Jr. High
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January 18


Robert Scoble

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The last word on Google+ from its most passionate fan? Wow. Sad to see this coming but I have seen the writing on the wall for two years now.
My take on the Mashable Google+ story.
Mashable has the top story out on Techmeme right now and it's about Google+ It paints a pretty negative picture of Google+ as a...
43 comments on original post
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So sad, we've had such a good time on Google + back in the days.
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Robert Scoble

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My 16th newsletter. Life and Tech: The disruption Continues.

Subscribe to this email newsletter here:

And with that I really am on vacation until August 5th.


This morning Rackspace announced a deal with Intel to work on OpenStack. This is significant, because both Intel and Rackspace are pouring new resources into OpenStack, which will mean good things for our customers.

Yesterday I visited Facebook to get a look at how Oculus Rift is going in an off-the-record meeting. But, what I saw yesterday showed me there is an infinite need for new software to be written by many companies around the world. Soon we’ll be playing and working together in virtual worlds and those worlds will need new things built for them. They won’t all run on Facebook’s datacenters (not to mention Valve, Sony, and Samsung, among others, who are working on competitors, as you know if you've been reading my recent newsletters).

Earlier this week I ran the closing session at AppNation’s IoT Influencers Summit, where a panel of VIPs wrapped up an interesting day talking about innovations from farming to jewelry.

Over the weekend I was at a camp hosted by the founder of Coral Group, Yuval Almog and Israel’s famous VC, Yossi Vardi (he funded ICQ).

What did we talk about? The innovation that is still to come and how scary it is. How we will deal with the jobs displaced by companies like Uber, who is changing work and could dramatically change it when self-driving cars arrive.

At the camp I talked with the team from Tapingo. Don’t know who they are? Of course not, unless you're a college student or an investor. At Santa Clara University, 70% of students’ food transactions are already going through its app. It lets you order, say, a latte while still in bed. It’ll tell you “your latte will be ready at 8:09 a.m., come pick it up.” You walk in, don’t wait in line, don’t touch anything or give anyone a credit card or cash. It works great and students love it because it saves them tons of time. But Daniel Almog, CEO/founder, told me he’s moving into new areas. He’s having students deliver to other students and they are paid in a virtual currency (done so they can avoid paying bank transaction fees).

Think about just how much cloud computing and technology is changing the world at this bleeding edge. It’s changing what we think of as a job, or as a reward. Is your company studying companies like Tapingo?

How are you pushing your company to stay up with the disruptions? Let me know, I’d love to feature the best examples in future videos with me and in future newsletters.


Robotics Conference coming up. I’ll be speaking at this very cool robotics and AI conference in Idaho on August 20th. You should be there, this is probably going to be the most bleeding edge of all the events I’ll visit this year and I’ll bring you tons of video, of course.


Drones face new PR challenges. Will drones be even more regulated due to people flying them over fires, which keeps emergency crews from flying their helicopters and saving property and potentially lives? I keep hoping that people will refrain from behaving badly, but it looks like new laws are needed to keep drone operators from interfering with emergency crews.


What do most Americans miss about China’s tech companies? Gary Rieschel, one of the top investors in China, tells me “don’t miss the speed.”


Mashable says Sony’s Project Morpheus VR headset has the best chance at winning the fight for your living room. I say it’s too early to decide on winners. Based on what I saw at Facebook yesterday this fight hasn’t even begun. But damn, is 2016 gonna be huge in consumer electronics.


Why I never brag about Rackspace’s security. Last year the PR team for Ashley Madison, a site that lets people cheat on their spouses, bragged to me that their security was best of breed. Turns out it wasn’t. This week it was disclosed that the site was hacked and the hacker is threatening to turn over customer info to the public on its 37 million users. For me? It’s yet another reason why I’m so public about what’s going on in my life (both good and bad). Turns out privacy is just not going to be easy to come by for human beings anymore. But it reminds me not to brag about security. Why? It invites bad karma. That said, security is everyone’s job, and we’d love to work with you to make your security better.


PayPal splits off of eBay. This is a big deal for eBay, but, watch PayPal run away with the show. It’s growing a lot faster than eBay is, and there’s a lot of future in it. eBay needs to be rethought and it’ll be interesting to see if it can shake the perception that it is an old company that the cool kids don’t use anymore. I'm wishing them luck in competing with Amazon, which has been out innovating eBay for some time now. I know how that feels, and it’s not fun, but Rackspace found a way to remain relevant, so I bet eBay can too.


Thank you. Inc Magazine named me #5 on a list of 30 Power Players in Tech You Need to Know. Very honored by that, but I have some unfair advantages thanks to working at Rackspace. We have 300,000 customers from tractor companies to TED. That lets me see the future in a way very few do, more fun to come.


Are you a member of the App Developer’s Alliance? Rackspace is. Here we meet up with Jon Potter, CEO of such. That helps 60,000 developers with education, advocacy, and more.


The smart home is here. Got a look at iControl’s use of Jasper. What is Jasper? It makes connectivity solutions for Internet of Things companies (it's used in things from vending machines, to GM’s connected cars, to iControl’s home security system, which you’ll learn about here).


Are you a photographer? Photographer and Rackspace customer Trey Ratcliff shows me the new bag he designed with Peak Design. Very useful.


Hackers have their way with a connected car. This stuff needs to be far more secure before consumers will trust a self-driving car. I’m seeing a new kind of fear of new technology. We aren’t good at figuring out real risk. Non-hacked cars kill 1.2 million people around the world every year, while I still haven’t seen a death from a car hacking, but it doesn’t matter. New technology scares us, the media takes advantage of that fear, and so the future will be slower to arrive than it otherwise should be. That said, we’re up to the challenge, I believe. I'm a technology optimist for a reason: it improves our lives more than it brings bad things into them.


Be back August 13th.

Today I’m leaving on vacation with my family on a road trip through Oregon’s coast. So, we’re going to take a few weeks off, I'll be back publishing August 13th. I really appreciate the many nice notes I’ve gotten from the first 15 weeks of my newsletter.

So, what were my favorite few interviews of the past 15 weeks since I started this newsletter?

1. Music promoter Claire Parr:

2. Second Life founder Philip Rosedale giving a talk about the future of VR: Philip Rosedale, Part I:

3. Talking tech and disruption with the guy who runs the Consumer Electronics Show, Gary Shapiro:

4. Talking about leadership with Mary Ann Davidson. She runs security at a huge Silicon Valley company:

5. Talking about the sharing economy disruption with friend Jeremiah Owyang. This is coming up in so many conversations, I know it touched a nerve:

6. Talking with the investor in Starbucks, Dan Levithan: He is one of the best investors in consumer tech companies and his insights are deep.

7. Scaling companies/databases with the guy who helps do just that at ScaleArc:

8. Inside the 7th most visited media company, Mode:

9. Visiting Microsoft Research and talking about Quantum Computing: Wow.

10. Talking about indoor mapping with the founder of Aisle 411:

11. A look at Augmented Reality glasses of future from ODG:

12. A look at Augmented Reality that’s here today from Blippar’s CEO:

13. How surgery is changing due to AR tech with cofounder of Vital Medicals:

14. A look at professional VR cameras for sports stadiums:

15. Augmented Reality in Children’s Coloring Books:

16. A look at how a famous music festival is using beacons:

17. Tim Draper (famous investor, he’s the “D” in DFJ) tells me how blockchain is changing how he does the legal “paperwork”:

18. Inside the world of casual gaming with President of SGN, Josh Yguado (they just announced a big funding round this morning):

19. My talk with drone lawyer, Brendan Schulman, about regulations that are hitting that industry:

20. Mark Allen showing me the flight simulator of the future:

Whew, what a year it’s been so far, much more to come!


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please share this newsletter on social networks and email. If you have gotten it from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:

Thank you to Hugh MacLeod, who does the fabulous art each week for my newsletter. You can find his work at

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+Robert Scoble nice to see you here anyhow...
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Robert Scoble

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This is my newsletter from last night, but think it's worth reprinting here today. Please subscribe at so you always have it. Sorry, today there won't be a Gillmor Gang because I'm in Jackson Hole (I might get a few videos up this weekend, though, and based on the people who are here, they will be worth watching).



Yesterday I sat down with friend and music promoter Claire Parr. But that’s way underselling her.

Claire helps build brands, music brands, and she’s studied under the best (her grandfather did this for MGM back in the early 1900s, and her father was an accomplished musician so this work runs in her blood).

If you've seen Southwest Airlines' “Live at 35” music on YouTube or other social media outlets, you’ve seen her work. She also does branding and music for all sorts of companies, from Aloft Hotels to CocaCola. And her concert series, , is amazing (I’ve been lucky enough to have attended several times).
We sat down in Napa where she and her team are preparing for another series of concerts. Funny that she doesn’t sell tickets to her main event, Live in the Vineyard. You have to win them, and every year, millions of people apply to win tickets to this exclusive concert series in Napa.

She talks to me in this 50 minute interview about talent and how to use music for brand building. 

What I took away from this fascinating interview is that businesses can use music to build remarkable brands (look at how GoPro used Glitch Mob’s music to build a brand in their Hero 2 videos, or how Beats sold headphones, largely based on getting popular musicians to wear their headphones on shows like American Idol). But, they should also proceed carefully, and they better have a real passion about music if they want to go down that route.

The other thing I got out of it is that she believes streaming has devalued music. She says it has radically changed the business and that the smart people change along with disruption like that.

That resonates with me as a public face at Rackspace. This week we announced that we’re providing Fanatical Support for Microsoft Azure and that’s an example of how we did the same thing.

“Find ways to marry music to new technologies coming down the pike,” she recommends. In Part III of the interview, she talks more about that philosophy while she talks to me about musicians that make millions from advertising on their YouTube channels.

Enjoy, this is a special one, and I know it’s long at about 50 minutes. I split it up into three pieces:

Part I:  Covers cool things that have happened in her career, changes in selling music. “Selling music is brutal.” She defends Taylor Swift.

Part II: Talks about her work for Southwest Airlines. Breaks down streaming services. Why the freedom to create is so important. “I had freedom to fail.”

Part III: Whether she thinks musicians should work for a label. How technology affects music. Why people should know what they are good at AND what they aren’t good at. How she’s measured by brands. And finally, how she thinks VR and 360-degree cameras will change the business. She finishes up with branding tips for companies.

Musician Roem Baur gives his opinion about streaming and the music industry at We had him on our videoconference system at Tech on Deck and he took a few minutes away from recording his latest album.

Neil Young yanks music from streaming (reflects Taylor Swift’s earlier choice, and what Claire says above):

++++++++++++++++ On stage with Flipkart at MobileBeat. The numbers that are hitting India’s #1 ecommerce company are obscene.
Convo, a collaboration tool that Techcrunch uses, just got some new features and the CEO shows them to me at:


Tech on Deck wrapup from SCOTTeVEST’s CEO/founder Scott Jordan. What a great week, he wraps it up well:

While we’re talking about Tech on Deck, here the founder of NorthFace, Hap Klopp, is on with Scott and I. It's a fun discussion about the future of wearable technology:

Rackspace and Google invest in security company:

Rackspace provides support for Microsoft Azure: We’re looking to help you build your company, service or product, even if you use someone else’s cloud. Google joins OpenStack. Wow. Are you a Rackspace customer? Here are some of our customers talking about their technology stories. We’d love to have you on. Rackspace’s CTO, John Engates, joins us on Tech on Deck and talks about our new plans to help customers build their businesses - whether they chose Rackspace’s own datacenters, or Microsoft Azure.


Google announces Eddystone beacons: Beacons are bringing cool new features to iPhones, but now Google jumps in for the other 80+% of people who use Android.

Philip Rosedale, Part I:

Part II:

She was in the room when Oculus Rift was first built:

VR Controller of the future:

This VR headset won’t make you sick:

VR Content Company Steven Spielberg joined:
Nvidia lays out why you need a high end graphics card and PC to power the best Virtual Reality systems like Oculus Rift:

I just started a new Facebook list of the best PR people in Tech, let me know if I’m missing your favorite, but I do expect these people to be public and active on Facebook:

Gillmor Gang, every Friday afternoon we get together to talk about the geeky stuff of the week. Here we discuss music, VR, and wearable technology:

Be careful with Facebook’s new “See First” feature:
I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!
Please share this newsletter on social networks and email. If you have gotten it from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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Robert Scoble

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It's not every day you talk about electronic toilets with Gary Shapiro who runs the Consumer Electronics Show.

It wasn't the only thing we talked about, though. Covered virtual reality, self-driving cars, cloud-connected devices, and more.

What a day on

The show continues tonight at 5:30 p.m. with musician Roem A Baur and then music promoter Claire Parr. Later we'll have a Cisco senior vice president on to wrap up the evening.

Tomorrow the fun starts with Jeremiah Owyang at 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time, talking about the disruption, opportunity, and troubles in the Sharing Economy.

Thank you Rackspace Hosting for encouraging me to make media about the future. NewTek for providing the video switching technology and Philip Nelson to run the NewTek TriCaster™ behind the scenes. Cisco for providing a ton of stuff including the amazing videoconference gear we were using to call Gary in. SCOTTEVEST from TEC for providing this stunning set (actually Scott's deck). Ustream for providing the live video streams.
Recorded on 7/7/15 - Robert Scoble, Futurist at Rackspace and Scott Jordan, CEO and Founder of SCOTTeVEST talk tech with Gary Shapiro. Topics today include; VR, the Evolution of Consumer Electronics, and Autonomous Automobiles.
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Come join us at -- starts at 7:45 a.m. Pacific Time.

Thanks +Thomas Hawk  for this awesome new photo made in +Scott Jordan's home, which is where we're doing Tech on Deck from.
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Good morning


لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۖ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ ( 72 ) 

They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَاثَةٍ ۘ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَٰهٍ إِلَّا إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۚ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُوا عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ( 73 ) 

They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ( 74 ) 

So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ ۖ كَانَا يَأْكُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ ۗ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الْآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انظُرْ أَنَّىٰ يُؤْفَكُونَ ( 75 ) 

The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.

قُلْ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا ۚ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ( 76 ) 

Say, "Do you worship besides Allah that which holds for you no [power of] harm or benefit while it is Allah who is the Hearing, the Knowing?"

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا أَهْوَاءَ قَوْمٍ قَدْ ضَلُّوا مِن قَبْلُ وَأَضَلُّوا كَثِيرًا وَضَلُّوا عَن سَوَاءِ السَّبِيلِ ( 77 ) 

Say, "O People of the Scripture, do not exceed limits in your religion beyond the truth and do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way."

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Reprinted: Life and Tech #6: Dubai and emerging markets set to roar

This email newsletter was sent out May 14th. Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here: 

Dubai is just like many other cities in the world: its government wants to make it a startup hub and is investing tons into making that happen (it is building several entrepreneurial cities, one aimed at Internet, another at healthcare). But there’s a bit of difference between Dubai and, say, Shanghai or Singapore: it has the tallest building in the world, the busiest airport, the nicest hotel, an indoor skiing resort, and an entrepreneurial set of leaders who have a “why not” attitude. Plus the 2020 World Fair will be here.

While there to speak at Terrapin’s Cards & Payments confab I met with many business leaders. Restauranteurs, a guy who is building skateparks and designing events for RedBull, another who builds very expensive Swiss watches, some tech geeks, startup leaders, people who are running another huge conference. and even visited one MIT fellow’s home where he showed me his extensive art collection. 

Immediately you pick up on how new this ecosystem is. Dubai residents point to pride the fact that almost the entire city has been built in the past 15 years. Yes, we talked about the fact that much of it was built with slave, at worst, or indentured servants, at best, labor. But those that focus on the negatives will miss that this city is the Las Vegas of the Middle East now. Do we care that the mob built Las Vegas? No. And neither will the world concern itself too much with human rights, although one woman executive I met who works in an ad agency told me it’s much tougher to be a female executive there than in other places in the world. “Why do you stay?” I asked. She said she loved the entrepreneurial attitude, the easier way of life, and the place Dubai is going to take on the world’s stage. All as she looked lovingly at the stunning skyline (she took me to an opening of a new posh restaurant on the 49th floor of one of the newer buildings). This is a place that is undergoing stunning change and she told me she is “leaning in” and actively working to change the culture and she sees a huge opportunity here (she sees Sheryl Sandberg as a huge role model for her and other new business executives in the Middle East). Leaders aren’t made in easy conditions and Dubai is forging new leaders in not just tough cultural conditions but explosive growth and markets.

One thing I picked up on is how few really innovative startups there are. But everyone wants them. I met with a venture capitalist and he listed the kinds of things he’s looking to invest in. Most will be great businesses but I didn’t hear anything really forward thinking like, say, a media company for Oculus Rift, or robots, or 3D printers, or any number of bleeding-edge IoT startups that you will see at Web Summit in Dublin. The “coolest” startup is one that does augmented reality from children’s books, and in the comments under the video I did of him you’ll see that the concept is similar to others who came before him. Which is what I hear from many here: the ecosystem isn’t ready to take real innovation risk. That will be built over the next decade. Investors here want to see entrepreneurs copy tried-and-true concepts from the West and maybe China and bring them to the Middle East. 

Uber is available here, but so is a local copy, , which is finding a nice market in conservative Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t allowed to drive. They outfitted cars with baby seats and are winning business from Uber because they more quickly adopt to local tastes and needs. That said, Uber isn’t your normal startup. While I was in Dubai it announced it was starting to take cash in India, which shows it, too, can change to serve local needs (many both in India and in the Middle East don’t use credit cards, I’ve learned, which makes using services like Uber difficult). Uber’s announcement: 

How does Dubai get to the place where it can really innovate? It has a lack of programming talent. Some of that could be lured here with the wonderful lifestyle and the economic riches of the nearby oil riches. Dubai, itself, doesn’t have much of an oil wealth, but does benefit from having major wealth nearby in Saudi Arabia and other cities. That is one reason why Dubai is more liberal (ex pats here say they get away with much of the same behavior that you would in Western cities, while that wouldn’t be true in nearby Saudi Arabia. Women here are often dressed like they do in San Francisco or San Antonio. Yes, you do see the more conservative ones, but Dubai has built an oasis that’s open for business to the rest of the world.

Which brings me to Obi’s founder, Neeraj Chauhan, . I met with him in Dubai as he traveled back from Africa. Obi is one of a bunch of new mobile companies (the most famous of which is Xaomi, run by former Google exec Hugo Barra) that are going after the developing market. 

This is where the new mobile wars are being fought. Let’s be honest. Apple already has the market share in the United States it’s going to get and the profits, too. But in places where Nokia once ruled the markets are wide open for disruption. He told me that in India alone a million smart phones are sold every day. Get one percent of that market and you have a nice business. 

He told me the role of Dubai, with its airport that is reachable from the rest of the world. You can take a non-stop here from San Francisco, thanks to Emirates airlines. He says that Dubai is the place you go to do business and that things like its 100,000 attendee GITEX tech show, in October, are the reasons why (he was here for a health tech conference last week). 

He says the markets are getting richer, which means they are looking for more upscale mobile phones. He’s about to introduce a $200 phone that is being designed in San Francisco. He’s making a big deal about that “designed in San Francisco, priced for the rest of the world.” Most people in the emerging markets he serves can’t yet afford the $1,000 iPhone 6+ I am holding. 

Anyway, where I’m going is the smart money in Silicon Valley travels to emerging markets. Look at the moves Zuckerberg has made at Facebook. Nearly everyone in this region uses WhatsApp. Look for more, many more, to follow his lead. Can’t think of a better place to start than Dubai. It’s ready to roar.

Oh, and when will we see a global brand come not from Silicon Valley or China, but from the emerging markets themselves. Payments provider Mpeso is dominant in places like Africa. It is the one I keep hearing about, so wonder if it will escape to the richer countries? Probably thanks to immigrants who are sending money back home.


While we are talking about mobile phones, did you miss how Samsung and other vendors are getting squeezed?

Apple is moving in on their turf on high end (which is where most of the profits are) and companies like Xiomi, Meizu, Obi are commoditizing nice phones on low end. Meizu is announcing a new phone in India here: Android is dominant in these emerging markets. But Samsung’s profits will likely continued to get squeezed. Why? On high end iPhones still have the best developer support and rich people around the world tell me that is why they are on iPhones (90% of the 200,000 customers of Coachella, world’s most influential music festival, are on iPhones). Even in Dubai, a market where most people have Android-based devices, the few developers I met were carrying iPhones. Why? They are hoping to get to the rich markets first. 

I sure am glad I don’t work at Samsung. I don’t see how it escapes this squeeze anytime soon. Better hardware isn’t going to change the market dynamic in a big way. 


In Dubai I had quite a few fun experiences in between meeting tons of entrepreneurs and speaking at two conferences. Some of the people I met (I list them here so you can build relationships with some of the leaders in Dubai and the Middle East).

Microsoft evangelist Mohamed El Shaekh, who took me around the world’s most luxurious hotel: 

Ritesh Tilani, who is a startup founder, working on a system to make airports more efficient with Bluetooth Smart Low Energy Beacons. He joined us on a trip around the waterfront in a yacht:

Met with journalist Farrukh Naeem Qadri and we talked about the startup ecosystem. Thanks for his help with this newsletter’s content. 

Rintu Mathew who is helping plan the 100,000 attendee tech conference GITEX. The details on the conference are at 

Dany D-fine showed me the coolest app I saw come out of the region: Colorbug, which augments reality and helps kids do something other than just stare at their iPad’s screen:

Akos Balogh traveled to Dubai to show me his new iPhone frame, Moscase, (looks like a case, but is packed with sensors and with a replaceable plate). Proves innovation isn’t done yet in the case market. 

Futurist David Passiak introduced me to tons of people and took me “dune bashing.” (Think rollercoaster on sand dunes, tons of fun).

Tina Yd came along. She runs a startup incubator in Dubai. 

Brad Kr came to promote skateboard events years ago and never left. Now he designs skateparks for the royalty here and does marketing work for RedBull and others. He was joined with Raj Kotecha, who has started several businesses, is a DJ in town, and took me to the exclusive 360 club that’s hard to get into. (Get it, I do 360 video, so had to go to the 360 club? Thought not. Heh. ). 

Former NextWeb CEO Zee Kane was one of the group that joined us on Sunday for a spectacular lunch. This shows why Dubai is attracting tourists from all over the world. The food is stunning and continued to be stunning during my entire trip. Others that joined? Obi’s Managing Director Amit Rupchandani, and Ahmed Sabti, who is trying to build a new social network. I gave him some ideas about how he could possibly have some success in that crowded space. 

Visited Sultan Al Qassemi. He’s a fellow at MIT Media Lab and has a spectacular modern art collection. I wish I had more time with him, definitely the most interesting person I met and quite outspoken, too. I hear he was first person to be verified by Twitter in the Middle East, too. 

Dominik Mazur, CEO of Camfind, showed me his visual search engine. I used it on Maximilian Buser’s wrist. He makes art watches in Switzerland that cost $95,000 and up. We talked about Apple Watch and he says it’s having zero effect on his business, but that he expects that Swiss manufacturers in the $300 to $1,500 price range will be hit hard by Apple. 

Whew, what a lot of meetings and fun to fit into four days. Thanks everyone who came out and taught me about the region.


I love traveling with my ScottEVest pants. It’s funny, but I note here that I like the pants better than the vest that gave ScottEVest its name. The pockets, which are extra long, keep my passport, wallet, and iPhone 6+ safe. I can’t imagine traveling without them anymore.


A new thing the Apple Watch does? Keeps you from being embarrassed on stage. I was being interviewed by Plamen Russev when my phone rang. Yeah, I know, I should have had it in airplane mode but I forgot. The watch let me reject the call in less than a second which means the phone didn’t even have a chance to ring. Plamen does the quite successful WEBIT series of conferences. Based on the quality of the audience he had here in Dubai I will try to visit his bigger events around the world.



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Robert Scoble

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Talking India and Android on stage with Punit, who runs product for Flipkart, India's largest eCommerce company.

The numbers blew me away.
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Robert Scoble

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So honored to be #5 on this Inc. Magazine list put together by John Rampton. As +Rackspace's Futurist I have a lot of advantages others don't (we have 300,000 customers in all sorts of businesses from tractors to sunglasses to TED videos so I get to see lots of stuff before others do).

I try to use my powers to help those building new things. Anyone building the future? Leave a comment!

Anyway today am headed over to Drew Ianni's conference about Internet of Things where I am on stage this afternoon.

Then Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble is taking us on a family vacation to Oregon for 10 days. When we get back I am speaking to the cable industry at CableLabs thanks to Phil McKinney, who runs that.

What a year! Oh, and while we were driving around Yellowstone a couple days ago Shelly Palmer, who has a tech newsletter with millions of subscribers that he's written since the early 1990s, was giving me tips about mine, that I'll put in play. First tip? Make it easier to find how to subscribe. Shelly, that's at But he gave me a ton of other tips, as well, that I'll work on when I get back from vacation.

See ya on Facebook at
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Robert Scoble

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My newsletter for this week. This was sent out last week to everyone who subscribed at and includes all the links to everything I've done over the past week. All my newsletters are up on LinkedIn at


What I learned in Sun Valley.

This week I’m in Sun Valley, Idaho. Why? Because Allen and Company has an annual event here where nearly every HUGE name in tech is attending. I’ve been hanging out with the press taking photos and I’ve seen Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Tim Cook and about 300 other huge names in tech and publishing.

For years Scott Jordan, founder and CEO of SCOTTeVEST (I wear his clothes almost every day) has been begging me to come up, hang out and network with the billionaires and the elite. That didn’t really interest me, after all, I’d rather hang out with startups since they usually show me something new. The big folks are far less likely to show me something really new that the rest of the world hasn’t seen yet.

So, instead of hanging out on the lawn with the rest of the press hoping for some scraps (I did some of that too, for instance, here’s Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, as he takes questions: ) we decided to hold our own event, called “Tech on Deck” where we are doing interviews on the deck of Scott’s home, as seen on (he and his wife have built a stunning home that looks right into the famous ski resort here).

What did I learn? Nearly every person talked about how hard it is to get attention, or get people to buy things, or get people to care. We’re being flooded in a sea of content, with social media quantity going up exponentially every year. Facebook is really changing the market here. Just listen to the media industry VIPs we had on Tuesday morning at (Samir Arora, who runs seventh-most-visited media company, Mode, along with Jim Louderback, founder of Revision 3 and Moshe Hogeg, founder of Yo, Mobli, and EyeIn). You can see how they all are having to pivot around Facebook, not to mention the move to mobile.

Look in on the interviews we held this week:
Leadership with Mary Ann Davidson, Chief Security Officer at Oracle:
The State of the Sharing Economy with Jeremiah Owyang:

Geek out your car with Automatic’s cofounder:
Look at Cisco’s videoconference quality with a senior vice president:

Talking gadgets with the guy who runs the Consumer Electronics’ Show, Gary Shapiro:

The musician’s point of view on music streaming services with musician Roem Baur:

Startups from around the world:

A look at the video switcher, Newtek Tricaster, that we use at Rackspace and for Tech on Deck:
We’re not done, either. Tomorrow I’ll post video from an amazing startup that’s going to change the face of Virtual Reality. Find me on Facebook at tomorrow, and I’ll be on Gillmor Gang at 1 p.m. Pacific Time to talk more about what I’ve learned this week.

Here’s some other stuff that caught my eye this week:


What’s the first day at Rackspace like?
Your email is being spied on. I love this new tool that blocks all email tracking: TrackBuster:


The vending machine of the future demonstrates how Internet of Things is changing tons of businesses:


Facebook doing sneaky stuff to app developers?


Leap Motion’s cool new augmented reality:


I give you social media tips in Mashable:


Google shows off its self-driving technology in a TED speech. If you haven’t seen this, you should watch:

Next week I’ll be in Jackson Hole at another exclusive event, meeting with some of the best entrepreneurs who didn’t get an invite to the Allen and Company event. Follow me on Facebook if you want to see it in real time, or see you next Thursday night with my email.

I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!
Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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Robert Scoble

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Our first "Tech on Deck."

Hey, Robert D. La Gesse thanks for funding me to do this on behalf of Rackspace Hosting -- we have hosted so many great media companies over the years, from YouTube to TED and many others. Really is an honor to do this on your birthday!

Thanks Samir Arora (CEO of seventh-most-visited media company, Mode), Jim Louderback (former CEO of Revision 3), and Moshe Hogeg (founder of The Official Yo App, Mobli, and EyeIn).

Wonderful conversation about the state of media.

Next up? Gary Shapiro (the guy who runs the Consumer Electronics Show). He'll be on at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. at ).

Thanks Scott Jordan for hosting us in your stunning home and to photographer Thomas Hawk for adding so much great media and conversations.
Recorded on 7/7/15 - Interviews include; Jim Louderback, Samir Arora, & Moshe Hogeg discussing the latest and greatest in technological breakthroughs, startups, and media. #techondeck2015
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Congrats +Robert Scoble
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Robert Scoble

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Join us! Here's the schedule for tomorrow at "Tech on Deck" and the intro video.

Join our event at and the main page at

All times Pacific Time.

Starts tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. Pacific Time (we'll put up a recording too). Scott Jordan, Thomas Hawk, and me will kick things off.
8 a.m. The changing world of media. Samir Arora, CEO of Mode. Jim Louderback, founder of Revision3. Moshe Hogeg, founder of The Official Yo App, Mobli, and EyeIn.

1 p.m. Gary Shapiro, CEO of Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Disruption and VR.

5:30 p.m. Roem A Baur, Independent Recording and Touring Artist (AKA "a musician"). He will be joined by Claire Parr at 6 p.m. Her firm produces the music for Southwest Airlines, Aloft Hotels, and quite a few concerts and brands. Music Disruption.

7 p.m. Rowan Trollope. Senior Vice President, Collaboration, Cisco. Then fun with Philip Nelson and all of us.

We will be doing a variety of unscheduled things during the day, too. There are a ton of tech industry leaders in town, so drop by early and often.

This is brought to you by Rackspace Hosting, SCOTTEVEST from TEC, NewTek, and Cisco. Live from Sun Valley, Idaho, where the Allen and Company event is going on.
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have fun +Robert Scoble​ ... sounds like great times !
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Robert Scoble

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Reprinted: Life and Tech #5: Augmenting our Reality.

This email newsletter was sent out May 7th. Every week I email out a newsletter named "Life and Tech." You can subscribe here:

(I'm now caught up, all in preparation for this week's "Tech on Deck" -- more info on that virtual event here: ).


Unless you have been living under a rock you know that Oculus Rift is coming in early 2016 thanks to its announcement this week (…/first-look-at-the-rift-shipping-q…/ ) along with fact Google has thrown a half billion into an augmented reality company, Magic Leap, and Microsoft, last week, got a ton of press for its HoloLens augmented reality demos. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are about to spring into the world in a big way and the hype knob is turning way up.

At the Collision Conference in Las Vegas this week there was one guy who is already benefitting from augmented reality technology: Blippar’s CEO Ambarish Mitra.

His technology is featured on the covers of cereal boxes from General Mills (they make a variety of breakfast cereals from Wheaties to Lucky Charms).

Today Blippar turned on a new visual search engine. It got quite a stir out of the audience at Collision when he brought two puppies onto stage. Pointed his mobile phone at one, and it properly identified the breed as a pomeranian. Whoa.

As he pointed his phone at a variety of other things, Coke cans, cereal boxes, and even fresh fruits, it properly identified them and then a circular menu popped out with details about the object you were aiming at. All even color matched with the object you were aiming at (carrots brought an orange background, for instance).

Backstage Mitra explained more about his technology. He has millions of images in his databases, thanks to his mobile app’s 50 million users. His team has built a deep learning system that learns new objects at a fast clip. He says the secret isn’t in the deep learning part of the technology but in gathering enough properly curated images of objects so that the system can learn the difference between, say, a box of cereal, a dog, or a can of Coca Cola.

Why are brands excited by this? For the first time they can have a real relationship with the buyer at the point of consumption. For instance, I was drinking a can of Diet Coke in the speaker room. Coke, before this, had no idea that can was even being distributed there. After all, we were standing in a temporary structure built just for the conference. But now Coke can build new experiences that spring out of the Blippar’s app. They get a ton of data they never could before about who their customers are, where they are, and what context they were interacting with the brand in the first place (which is another way they are ahead of Google and Microsoft’s Bing, amongst others: Blippar is a mobile first company and isn’t encumbered by having to keep old web users happy).

Mitra demoed a few of the augmented reality experiences brands have built for me. Some were simple, others were full 3D virtual experiences. You can put full games on top of a soda can, for instance, or make 3D models pop out of a magazine ad. Just by aiming your mobile phone’s camera at things.

Which gets me to the whole point of this newsletter. Our lives are about to be augmented. Someday we’ll be wearing glasses that tell us more about things in our world (which is why Hololens and Magic Leap have gotten such big investments, more on those in a second). Mitra’s Blippar is positioned to be the underlying technology and he’s already winning (he bought competitor Layar last year which lost to Blippar because Blippar’s focus on brands and not just on technology gave it a deeper war chest).

Let’s back up though and break down the virtual reality and augmented reality space. Blippar shows that there are already startups who are building software and positioning themselves to provide pieces of a new ecosystem of apps and technologies that will enable new consumer electronics gadgets.

I see them as two separate spaces that probably will combine in the future.

2016 will see a variety of virtual reality gadgets. Oculus Rift will be the best selling, but will be joined by Valve’s headset, HTC’s Vive, which will ship earlier, but is coming from a video game company, not Facebook, with its 1.44 billion users. Insiders are telling me that Oculus has some mind blowing stuff it hasn’t shown off yet, which shows how the hype is building. Also joining are a variety of mobile phone-based headsets, from Google’s Cardboard, to Merge VR’s foam-based set that takes an iPhone 6, to Samsung’s Gear VR, which costs about $200 and takes a Samsung phone to power it. I expect to see a number of big booths at next year’s CES show to be demonstrating these to lots of willing buyers (at this year’s show Oculus had a long line waiting to try its prototypes and most I talked to said something like “holy cow.” Well, it was Vegas so a few expletives might have been used. Heh. Point is that there’s a LOT of interest in Oculus).

In 2017 we’ll see the augmented reality glasses, like Microsoft’s Hololens, Meta’s SmartGlasses, and Magic Leap jump into the fray, amongst others. What are these and how are they different? Their screens let you look through them to the real world. Where Valve and Oculus only let you see virtual images painted on your screens (along with possibly images from a camera so you can see where in the room you are).

Augmented Reality will let you have glasses you can wear while walking around. Sort of like how Google Glass worked, but with much nicer screens. This is the world where Blippar will really take off. Why? Because our expectations are that you’ll look at something and be able to learn more about it.

Today Blippar showed off just how cool that world will be.


A few notes on the Collision Conference.

You might not have heard of it yet. But it’s part of the fastest growing series of conferences I’ve seen in my career. Four years ago founder Paddy Cosgrave was sitting in his bedroom begging people to come to Ireland to speak at his new conference, called “Web Summit.” He told me most turned him down until he got a huge break: he met rock star Bono in a Dublin restaurant. Got the courage to introduce himself and ask if he could come along to a pub crawl for geeks he was arranging. Then he called back all those who had turned him down “hey, I know you told me to get lost, but now Bono is joining us, want to go on a pub crawl through Dublin with Bono?”

That first conference had a few hundred people. That got me to join the next year. Why? Techcrunch’s Mike Butcher, and others, told me it was the best conference they had ever been to. The year I joined there were a few thousand attendees. Last November, that conference had 22,000 attendees.

So what does Collision have to do with Web Summit? It’s the same conference and expo run by the same team, but Paddy and his team believe that every country should have their own brand. They are also holding a Web Summit in Hong Kong, called “Rise.”

This is the most impressive startup and technology conference. And that’s saying something. I’ll see you at Web Summit in Dublin in November.


The Blockchain is going to change, well, nearly everything about business.

Here is legendary investor Tim Draper (he’s the “D” in DFJ, which invested in Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, amongst many other things) talking about how he’s getting rid of legal documents when funding startups by incorporating those agreements directly into Blockchain technology. What’s that? It’s a new kind of ledger, decentralized, built into the software underneath Bitcoin. Keeps track of all the owners and agreements that go into owning a piece of a company. Listen to Tim talk about it here:


A new cloud is coming, says CRV investor.

Devdutt Yellurkar is a venture capitalist at CRV and explained to me that he’s seeing a new “Cloud 2.0” taking shape. What’s that? A set of new companies like Qubole that are set to disrupt existing cloud vendors by taking away the most lucrative of their business assets: databases. I found this to be very interesting for us at Rackspace, since we provide service on top of so much of the cloud (just this week we announced support for Microsoft Office 360).


My first week with Apple Watch.

Lots of people have been asking me what I think of Apple’s new watch. So far it does what it needed to do: be better than the competition (by just doing that it will sell 90% of the smart watches sold this year since most of the people who can afford a $400 watch are already Apple customers). That said, it’s not a category redefinition like the first iPhone was to the mobile phone industry. It doesn’t bring much new beyond its “crown” which lets you scroll up and down through emails and notifications.

I find its real value is that it saves me time. How? Everytime someone calls I look at my watch. I get a lot of spam calls and calls from people who block their caller ID. I never accept those, and it saves me seven seconds every time I get one of those because I can decline the call right from the watch.

Sometimes my phone is in the next room on the charger while I’m watching TV, too. Maybe my boss is calling just to check on something. I can answer him right from the watch without getting off the couch. That’s happened a few times in the first week already and everytime it happens it makes me happy I have the watch.

That said I’ve already removed most of the apps and most of the notifications from my watch. Why? They aren’t contextual enough. When I am watching a movie I don’t want to get bothered by, say, Facebook or Twitter. That stuff can always wait. Messenger, on the other hand, I kept on because if a customer is trying to get an answer that’s worth walking out of a movie for. Same with texts and phone calls. They are worth keeping on the watch. The other stuff, not so much. App developers need to rethink the value they are delivering to the watch. I’ll try apps as they update and see if they get smarter about delivering only really key notifications to the watch.

I do like the map integration on the watch and when Apple Pay gets more ubiquitous I can see that paying from the watch will be nicer too. The health monitoring is nice, although people who are really serious about health, like marathon runners, find it isn’t rugged enough, nor is it water proof, so they find they prefer devices from Garmin and others that are made more for them.

So, do I recommend you buy it? Only if you can get enough value out of it by saving a few seconds here and there by not being asked to pull your phone out of your purse or pocket. Translation: rich people will probably get enough value. Busy sales people and execs probably will too. It isn’t the kind of thing that I am going to be highly evangelistic about, but I’m happy I have mine.


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please pass this newsletter around. If you have gotten it, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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On the VR/AR front, it is particularly useful while travelling abroad but that is when data is most expensive.

The company who solves the pre-caching problem well will beat the always connected guys even if their tech is not as good.

I just got back from Vienna and I had to give up using Google maps because it would have cost more than the flights on roaming.

Those maps should have been pre-cached on my home wifi, like I did with German language on Google translate.
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reviewed a year ago
Food: Poor - FairDecor: Poor - FairService: Poor - Fair
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Great Mexican restaurant and family. I love the Chicken Mole and the chips here.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
17 reviews
Great eye doctor. Reasonable prices.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Found this a bit by accident, but the home made Persian bread, alone, made the meal. They roll it and bake it right in front of you. We had a variety of meat dishes, including lamb, chicken, and beef kababs and they were all among the best I've had (my wife is Persian). The service was efficient, but not very personable, which is why I didn't rate them five stars (I save that rating for only the best restaurants that have the full package). It's a small place, but comfortable. A full meal (no alcohol) was £115 for six people, which gives you some idea of the pricing.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago