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Posts Tagged ‘trends’

Silicon Valley high

August 13, 2017 Leave a comment

If you work in Silicon Valley and have ever wondered if what others are doing or saying is plain bonkers, there may be a (previously undisclosed) reason according to a recent article in 1843: A lot of people are doing LSD to “improve their productivity”. Although numbers are of course hard to come by, there are some clues in the article:

  • A group on Reddit now has 16,000 members, up from a couple of thousand a year ago indicating a ~8x jump
  • Apparently most of the billionaires without exception use LSD

Interesting read. Keep in mind when meeting that next Silicon Valley leader.

China’s rising star in AI

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Nice article in the Economist about China’s rising star in AI. A few points that caught my eye:

  • China has ~40% of the world’s trained AI scientists.
  • China has a leg up on data: It has more internet users (~700M) than any other country.

Worth a read.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,

A cool (dumb) phone for smartphone addicts

light phoneFor those who are constantly addicted to their smartphones help may be on the way in the shape of a $150 “dumb phone” from Light. The phone itself looks super cool and is designed to be minimalist: just calls, no texts, no tethering, no wifi, under 40 g, 3 day battery standby. The price includes 5 months of service (@ $5/month) built in. Who knows, this may even allow humans to speak to each other again.

Drones ≠ Delivery

Interesting long piece in the Economist about drones from last week.

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Key points that were interesting for me:

  • Commercial drones are taking off faster than military ones (see chart)
  • The US armed forces have about 11k drones, dramatically up from a few in 2001
  • Most of the interesting uses are not in delivery (despite all the hype in the popular press), but rather in imaging
  • The future of drones may be “multi modal” – i.e. drones that operate on the ground and fly rather than just do one thing

And if you are bored reading about this and want to watch some fun drone tricks, try this TED talk from a few years ago. It’s cool to watch.

Masters of the universe

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Interesting article  from the NYTimes on the people who run the world – a.k.a. the ~2500 billionaires. A few points that caught my eye:

  • Six of the top 10 billionaires made their money in technology
  • A new billionaire is created every three days in Asia(!), with 65 percent of the region’s billionaires in China. So much for communism not being the way.
  • 57 percent are self-made, and another 31 percent received an inheritance and grew it into billions.
  • Over half of all billionaires are worth between $1 billion and $2 billion. Go up to $5 billion and there are 2,101.
  • More of today’s billionaires went to Harvard than to any other school. Stanford was second.

Definitely worth the read.

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Hot temperatures lead to hot tempers

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

If you thought the public discourse on social media wasn’t civil now, there may be more bad news as the world gets hotter. MIT tech review published this in the latest edition and the data is apparently a study of over a billion tweets.

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Apparently there’s a correlation between profanity (at least in tweets) and the ambient temperature.  If you are looking for the original paper for more details it can be found here.

Categories: future, interesting Tags:

Escape plan for the tech 0.1%

January 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Reading this article in New Yorker about how the tech super wealthy have back up plans to escape doomsday scenarios made me sad.

escape

Don’t get me wrong. The article was really well written. It was the content that shocked me:

  • Apparently more than 50% of all tech billionaires have escape plans (some with planes / helicopters, gold coins, houses at the ready)
  • New Zealand seems like a favored destination. In the first few days after the recent election, the rate of people applying for residency climbed to 7 times the normal rate. Wow.
  • Another (more local) favored destination seems to be underground missile bunkers. e.g. One in Kansas called the Survival Condo Project was selling condos for $3M a pop. All of them are sold out (in case you were wondering).

I would have normally dismissed such extreme planning to paranoia. However, after a week of the clown show that we have seen in the new administration, I feel completely unprepared.

Categories: technology, trends Tags: ,