Good morning.

I watched the vice presidential debate last night in hopes that these two sober and centrist politicians might have an intelligent conversation about economic policy. No such luck. Instead, they both spent most of their time attacking the top of the other ticket. If you missed it, consider that 90 minutes better spent. You can get a sufficient taste by watching our two-minute version here.

Meanwhile, Google yesterday made its entry into the voice-controlled smart device sweepstakes, unveiling Google Home, a $129 circular device intended to compete with Amazon’s Echo. You can start your day by asking the device to tell you what’s on your calendar, what’s in your email box, what sort of weather or traffic you can expect, or to give you a news briefing from a source of your choice. Both Google and Amazon are betting such voice-activated assistants, backed by ever-improving artificial intelligence, will be the tech wave of the future, eventually replacing mobile phones in their dominance.

“Computing will be universally available, it will be everywhere in the context of the user’s daily life,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said. “People will be able to interact with it more naturally and seamlessly than ever before. And above all else, it will be intelligent.”

More news below.

Alan Murray