John Schloendorn is distributing “open source” plasmids, giving away proteins that normally cost biotech startups thousands of dollars per milligram, ready to be inserted into bacteria and reproduced at will, without any royalties.
"Peck’s work at Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio has led to the development of Sprites, fully functional spacecraft each weighing less than a penny. You can think of a Sprite as a spacecraft on a chip without any constraints from onboard fuel."
“Amazon’s phone could be doomed for the same reasons that Google and Facebook had problems: making, and selling, hardware comes with unfamiliar challenges for companies that are used to running Web sites. Then again, Amazon has some things going for it that Google and Facebook don’t. For one thing, it controls what is, by some measures, the biggest store in the world.”—
Ultimately what can be the goal of this kind of anti trust like behavior? I find myself thinking it is a mere luxury, or status symbol. Sure the phones could be around for the next 20 years, but eventually it will fade away. I’m thinking of Hughes finally selling DirectTV after all those years.
“The report is all about carbon monoxide, a seemingly rare killer that’s actually the lead cause of poisoning deaths in America. Until now, it’s been hard for the government and safety experts to estimate how often CO leaks happen, because these events are self-reported by homeowners (who usually don’t report them). But using data culled from its army of Protects—anonymized, of course, to protect user privacy—Nest has revealed something surprising: CO events aren’t all that rare. In fact, .65 percent of users experienced a carbon monoxide event during the five months that Nest analyzed. Now, that doesn’t seem like very much; it’s less than one percent. But overall, Nest estimates that about .9 percent of households are exposed to high CO, which translates into 1.4 million households in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. That’s roughly the population of Philadelphia. “Nest Protect’s built-in sensors provide the ability to detect additional pieces of environmental data, run algorithms to determine the level of danger, and report that data in real time to further enhance our understanding of these events,” explains the company.”—
“Not only did we not expect it to end up in a museum design store, we didn’t plan on a business, or even a proper product. We launched NeoLucida because we were inspired by David Hockney’s book, Secret Knowledge. He used an antique camera lucida to see how great masters of art might have seen the world. So to give our students this experience, we decided to make an inexpensive camera lucida so more people could experiment. But when we received nearly 3000% over our goal, and 11,406 people backed the project, we found ourselves designing for the marketplace instead of making a simple, small scale experiment. So being part of the Kickstarter @MoMA collection is a thrill, but far from where we thought we would be last year.”—
Pablo Garcia on making the NeoLucida, and how it ended up in the MoMA Design Store. (via kickstarter)
"we found ourselves designing for the marketplace instead of making a simple, small scale experiment”
As big disruptive shifts hit the workplace we all get taken out of our comfort zones. Whereas once we felt in control, the stakes are evolving rapidly and our ability to adapt is falling behind. If we consider the recent gallup poll results that indicates that only a mere 30% of the workforce is actually committed to doing a good job, engaged, it really drives home the point that we may need to take a deeper look at the skills we have today, map them against the various trends that are impacting the workplace, and derive a view to the skills we will need moving forward.
A recent report published by the Institute for the Future (IFTF), does an outstanding job of identifying the key work skills and capabilities needed in the next few years (and arguably needed now).
“A bill that would require craft brewers to sell their suds to a beer distributor and make them buy it back to sell at their own breweries has cleared a Senate panel.
The measure (SB 1714) has so infuriated craft brewers and beer enthusiasts that some on Twitter have christened it with the hashtag “#growlergate.” The Community Affairs committee approved the bill Tuesday.
Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, was so incensed at the idea of craft brewers having to pay someone else to sell their own product that he likened it to a mobbed-up racket. Latvala has championed the microbrewery cause.
The requirement is similar to paying “protection to ‘Vinnie’ in New York,” he said.
The bill also is favored by the Big Beer lobby, which is feeling the heat from craft beer’s competition.”—
“The Internet is different. With so much information, hyperlinked text, videos alongside words and interactivity everywhere, our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all — scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly. This is nonlinear reading, and it has been documented in academic studies. Some researchers believe that for many people, this style of reading is beginning to invade when dealing with other mediums as well. “We’re spending so much time touching, pushing, linking, scrolling and jumping through text that when we sit down with a novel, your daily habits of jumping, clicking, linking is just ingrained in you,” said Andrew Dillon, a University of Texas professor who studies reading. “We’re in this new era of information behavior, and we’re beginning to see the consequences of that.””—Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say - The Washington Post (via infoneer-pulse)
“Finally, money could also be created by gift. Digital coins could be issued to volunteers, charities, open source software firms, ecological and social justice organizations, and other people and organizations deserving support. So much important, socially necessary work goes unrewarded today. Issuing an alternative currency via such groups could remove some of their financial hardship once the currency becomes well-established. The recipients of newly issued money could be crowd-selected by the existing user base or some other voting system.”—
“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.