Weekly Links & Thoughts #42

Here is a weekly selection of thoughtful opinion pieces, interesting analyses and significant yet under-reported information bits from the digital and technology world. Published and commented every Thursday, just in time so you have something good to read during the weekend.

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  • Correlation, Causation, and Confusion
    I would call this an essential piece. Confusing correlation with causation is an extremely common mistake, and it can so easily mislead people. More than ever in today’s complex, polarized and attention-seeking media world.
  • Twitter, Snapchat, And Instagram Are Just Making Every Human Event Feel The Same
    My favorite quote from this spot on observation: “We’re all the same old people doing the same old shit the same old way. “
  • Microsoft’s Very Good Day
    Shortly after Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella took over in February 2014, the software behemoth started to experience some kind of positive momentum. Remarkably, this momentum does not fade but keeps increasing ever since. The incredible amount of positive media reactions towards this week’s product event is the best proof of that. This article explains the current state Microsoft is in.
  • Elon Musk’s sleight of hand
    Some speculative but quite convincing thoughts about Tesla’s long term goal of building a platform for on-demand self-driving cars. It really makes you wonder how Uber, Google (in addition to all the oldschool car manufacturers of course) will position themselves towards Tesla.
  • The Rise of the Outrageously Long Commute
    I have nothing to comment here except that it is in interesting read.
  • Almost every economist agrees: Uber makes us better off
    From a customer point of view, I have no doubts about Uber’s positive impact. The potential issue is more on the employment side. The gig economy (which Uber is a part of and to some extent the inventor) is taking away stability and social security from the working class. That will have an impact on the society at large, but it remains to be seen what kind of impact that exactly will be.
  • Google’s driverless car is brilliant but so boring
    This is for sure the future of driving: No more fun (except if you cruise along some beautiful nature, of course).
  • Volvo will accept liability for self-driving car crashes
    Since the unsolved question of responsibility in case of crashes is one of the major obstacles towards streets full of self-driving cars, this sounds like big move by Volvo, which probably will encourage other car manufacturers to follow.
  • The End of Safe Harbor and a Scary Path Forward
    The European Court of Justice has ruled that the U.S is not a “Safe Harbor” for data of European Internet users. The decision got a lot of praise. However, not everything is so simple. This analysis explains very well the current situation and the challenges ahead.
  • Apple Pay Faces Tough Crowd in First Year
    I had high hopes in Apple Pay. Even though the mobile payment service currently is only supported by 5 devices, I would have expected more traction. If Apple can’t get mobile payment off the ground, nobody can. However, patience might be a good advise. Since October 1, U.S. retailers have a huge incentive to change their payment terminals due to the credit card liability shift. That will lead to more terminals with Apple Pay support. At the same time, paying with chip+pin (or chip+signature) takes more time than paying with the magnetic stripe, so consumers might realize that Apple Pay or other mobile payment solutions can save them time.
  • Bros Funding Bros: What’s Wrong with Venture Capital
    You will find many different opinions about this but I think this headline describes an existing issue: Since there is such a lack of diversity among VCs, that easily creates a lack of diversity in regards to the companies and ideas that are being funded.
  • Why Jack Dorsey Is Ready to Save Twitter
    An excellent piece about the new, now official CEO of Twitter.
  • Startup Incubator Y Combinator Opens Research Lab to Tackle Big Problems
    This is great. First Kickstarter decides to focus on altruism over profit. Now Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley’s (and possibly the world’s) leading startup incubator, launches a nonprofit research lab to solve problems that are not tackled by startups.
  • You can have your ad blockers, I’ll stick with RSS
    Word.

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