That may be one of the nerdiest post titles yet, but here we go …
As Google Fiber rethinks its approach to rolling out ubiquitous, high-speed internet access, it seems a good time to take a look at what technology options are out there aside from Wi-Fi given the current limitations of that technology. Visible light and interscatter communications are both new technologies that are showing promise for a variety of reasons, although when I first read about VLC I have to admit I had a second of “but the lasers will melt my eyes.” Perhaps I shouldn’t have watched all of Stranger Things this last week.
The Boston Globe (Go Red Sox!) had a great article this week on staying ahead of technologies curves; the article is more about who is keeping us on track when it comes to staying on the right side of technology versus the nefarious side and the Office of Technology Assessment.
Have you ever thought about how trust affects economic prosperity? I mean, there has to be a belief in the strength of the dollar to keep us away from hyper-inflation as we moved away from the gold standard decades ago. It makes sense that part of the reason why the developed world has been sustainable is because we trust the strength of those economies, while the failure of Brazil, Russia, India, and even China to take off to the extreme expected in that famous Goldman Sachs BRICs report might be because we, as a world, don’t trust those countries governments. Tim Hartford explores trust in the Airbnb age and what it means with regards to prosperity.
One would expect that given Amazon’s dominance of eCommerce over the past fifteen years that the data collected from all those transactions would fuel an AI beast never before seen. True, but their newest AI, DSSTNE, has only been in use since 2014 and holds much more promise given how successful Alexa has been and while the drones are coming, it appears they might be delivering pizza first.
Did you know that Uber lost $1.27 billion dollars globally in the first half of 2016? And while Uber had a profitable first quarter in North America, in its quest to corner the ridesharing market, it lost $100 million domestically in the second quarter. This is driven by steep price discounts and promotional fares for consumers that are subsidized by Uber’s investors as it tries to dominate the market (and drive Lyft out of it) while it figures out a business model. What’s clear is that the current ride-sharing model isn’t sustainable, the question is can we get to autonomous vehicles fast enough for either company to survive.
Speaking of autonomous cars, there’s two articles this week of interest: one about how the co-opting of dedicated radio airwaves that would enable vehicle-to-vehicle communications, technology that has the potential to greatly reduce the number of accidents and deaths caused by them on an annual basis and another on how automakers are approaching a “fork in the road” when it comes to autonomous car design. Curious about how the radio spectrum is auctioned off and how economists saved it from anarchy when it first become an open market? Read about it here.
Curious on “what’s next” from an innovation standpoint? MIT Technology Review profiles 35 of the top innovators under 35 in this article. It runs the gamut from robotics to sweatbands that monitor your health. Oh, and there’s also their ranking of the 50 smartest companies for 2016.
Just as we learn more about how AI is being used at Apple, the Wall Street Journal walks us through how China is ramping up and investing in AI.
I posted a couple of articles by Alex Danco last week; here are the follow up articles on the paradigm shift machine (driver culture to car culture and in a world of energy mainframes). Oh, and along those lines, there is no tech industry.
Ever heard of Fordlandia? If so, you can explore other lost cities here. If like me you hadn’t, check out the story behind it here.
I’ve posted a few articles about how individuals can use social engineering to both hack into your home system or steal your identity, but the reality is there are completely legal ways for someone to find out who you are and exploit that information that don’t involve breaking the law to that point. There’s a series of videos on YouTube where a user does exactly that, and this interview discusses where those holes are. One of the first things you can do is set up a virtual private network (VPN), which is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. PC World has a good step-by-step guide to help you set one up or you can use a site like hide.me.
I feel like a broken record on blockchain, but this week’s TED talk from Don Tapscott does an excellent job of breaking down the technology and clarifying how it works. Tapscott has authored or co-authored 15 books about various aspects of the reshaping of our society and economy. Give it a watch.
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