“So It’s quite possible mobile social will have lots of services indefinitely. This creates opportunities, but also a pretty basic challenge to Facebook. Partly in response, it paid first 1% of its market value for Instagram and now close to 10% for WhatsApp, taking not dominance but at the least two of the commanding heights of mobile social. That’s the right way to think about value, I think - not ‘OMG $16bn!”, but “is this worth 10% of Facebook?’ The deal values WhatsApp users at $35 each (very close to what Google paid for YouTube, incidentally), but the current market cap of Facebook values its MAUs at $140 or so.”—
Many many smart people already read Benedict Evan’s take on mobile stuff. His analysis of WhatsApp is a good reminder for me about the meaning of innovation - and for all the business and finance speak, that’s what Benedict talks about the most: the value of innovation.
And when I think about the financials of tech, what founders get on exit is one of the least interesting bits — it’s much more interesting to consider what the product — how people are using it, how often they come back, how they will use it in the future — is worth to companies that think in the future tense. In many cases, breaking it down to value per user gets closer to the point than the overall price tag.
"Renault doesn’t call the Kwid’s drone a drone, but instead opts for “Flying Companion,” that can help owners get a bird’s-eye view of traffic, find parking or use GPS technology to scout out destinations."
“The public debates about the government’s measures to prevent terrorism, the character assassination of Edward Snowden and his supporters, the assurances by the powerful that no one is abusing the massive collection and storage of our electronic communications miss the point. Any state that has the capacity to monitor all its citizenry, any state that has the ability to snuff out factual public debate through control of information, any state that has the tools to instantly shut down all dissent is totalitarian. Our corporate state may not use this power today. But it will use it if it feels threatened by a population made restive by its corruption, ineptitude and mounting repression. The moment a popular movement arises—and one will arise—that truly confronts our corporate masters, our venal system of total surveillance will be thrust into overdrive.”—Chris Hedges (via azspot)
“The car companies can’t do full autonomy yet, so they do it piece by piece. Every decade or so, they introduce another bit of automation, another task gently lifted from the captain’s hands: power steering in the nineteen-fifties, cruise control as a standard feature in the seventies, antilock brakes in the eighties, electronic stability control in the nineties, the first self-parking cars in the two-thousands. The latest models can detect lane lines and steer themselves to stay within them. They can keep a steady distance from the car ahead, braking to a stop if necessary. They have night vision, blind-spot detection, and stereo cameras that can identify pedestrians. Yet the over-all approach hasn’t changed. As Levandowski [from Google] puts it, “They want to make cars that make drivers better. We want to make cars that are better than drivers.””—
I’m a few weeks behind, but the NYer had an amazing x10 article on Google’s Autonomous Car Project. This is one of the parts of the near-future that I am most excited about.
There are tons of reasons I’m excited about driverless cars but the one I think about the most now is due to CitiBike: if the upside to one-way bike trips is so big, imagine the freedom that a driverless car can bring.
The first section suggests Klout is worthless unless you have a national audience. Too bad Klout doesn’t tell you that up front.
And telephones do replace face to face meetings?
"Hotels are now using this to identify guests upon check-in and award certain perks like an upgrade due to one’s Klout Score." Since I noticed a friends score was hand over fist higher than mine even though he is barely on 3 social networks and just started, with few followers and fewer posts, I still say there are some serious issues with this metric. ‘Tis somewhat Orwellian, when you consider I am on 15 social networks with thousands of followers and have been for the last 7 years.
Bitcoin is at once anonymous and completely public. You can follow transactions through the system in real time and see where large buys have taken place or, in this case, large transfers. See, after the fall of Silk Road the federal government transferred 26,000 BTC to a private wallet which, at..
Interesting developments and significant drop in value
“While corporations may engage in ruthless downsizing, the lay-offs and speed-ups invariably fall on that class of people who are actually making, moving, fixing and maintaining things; through some strange alchemy no one can quite explain, the number of salaried paper-pushers ultimately seems to expand, and more and more employees find themselves, not unlike Soviet workers actually, working 40 or even 50-hour weeks on paper, but effectively working 15 hours just as Keynes predicted, since the rest of their time is spent organising or attending motivational seminars, updating their Facebook profiles or downloading television series.”—The modern phenomenon of nonsense jobs — www.smh.com.au — Readability (via ario)
Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee.
It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. And that’s when he realized that the solution to his problem would also unlock the potential of what’s known as the “internet of things” (the idea that every object we own, no matter how mundane, is connected to the internet and can be monitored and manipulated via the internet, whether it’s a toaster, a lightbulb or your car).
The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter. It’s what Taylor calls a “second network”—an alternative to Wi-Fi that can cover 100 times as great an area, with a range of 3,200 feet, using relatively little power, and is either the future of the way that all our connected devices will talk to each other or a reasonable prototype for it.
A research firm predicts that while there will be more money in flexible displays, consumers will likely have to wait until 2016 to get their hands on a truly flexible product.
How many use cases can you really come up with for flexible screens? Because, remember the screen still has to be attached to something and those things usually aren’t flexible.
I think Tac has a good point, but the greater vision is that the whole world is a screen. When the walls and ceiling of every apartment are screens, wearable technologies will create a new layer of computing.
“The beginning of a new time period doesn’t necessarily have to be accompanied by dramatic events.”—The editor of Both Sides Now argues that we’re entering the Age of Aquarius, “Moving On into the New Era.” (via utnereader)
So it appears that the US government has been using our resources to develop and perform surveillance on the American people under the guise of counter terrorism.
They are now using data gathered from this surveillance in common criminal investigations that do not involve issues of national security. Soon this system of information will be used for resource management like minor statutory enforcement, health & welfare, socialized medicine, commerce, and virtually all forms of human interaction.
Surveillance’ ever watchful eye will keep us safe. In the Eye we trust. Always watching. Ever vigilant.