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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- Superintelligence Now
No matter if you are interested in the debate about artificial intelligence and its opportunities/risks or not, this is a brilliant text which I warmly recommend to read. It helps to sharpen and finetune one’s perspective on where we are heading.
- My 2.5 Star Trip to Amazon’s Bizarre New Bookstore
This week, Amazon opened its first physical bookstore, in the company’s hometown Seattle. Dustin Kurtz of New Republic went there to check it out. It is apparent that author dislikes what Amazon is doing to the book industry and thust that he did not go there with an open mind. But it is an interesting read no matter whether you share his position or not.
- The promise of the blockchain: The trust machine
My favorite quote from this piece: “The spread of blockchains is bad for anyone in the “trust business”—the centralised institutions and bureaucracies, such as banks, clearing houses and government authorities that are deemed sufficiently trustworthy to handle transactions.”
- The future of banking and the state of now
Pretty extensive and informative interview about how digital technology is and will change banking and the world of finance. Even in here I have a found a quote I especially like: “If things are operating in batch they’re not fit for the 21st century, 24/7 mobile internet.”
- Google vs. the German car engineer
One example for the big culture clash that Germany is facing during increasingly digital times.
- What Europe needs isn’t just a Digital Single Market, but a Multilingual one
In my opinion, Europe’s language fragmentation probably is the most significant obstacle on the path to a stronger, digitally more successful, more unified and geopolitical more self-confident Europe.
- The Autopilot is learning fast: Model S owners are already reporting that Tesla’s Autopilot is self-improving
The future, presented in one headline.
- You Can Now Hail A Car Ride Home With Slack
Slack is in an early phase of building a potentially very powerful platform for all tasks related to work.
- Context Collapse
An old article about a very relevant issue even today: How selective parts of online content can be separated from its original context to be spread and distributed to everywhere in the world, without providing the new audience with the context necessary to understand how this content was intended and experienced by its creator.
- Adele’s ‘Hello’ is the first song ever to sell a million downloads in a week
Who are these people that still buy digital song downloads?
- Startup Acquisition Announcement
One example for a common theme in tech: Whatever a startup promises to its users during the moment when it is acquired will automatically lose validity over time.
- Pepper.com is quietly building a hot – and global – social commerce empire out of Berlin
I have a thing for startups that are born out of very simple, minimalist ideas and that keep growing organically, without unhealthy hyper-expansion, over a long period of time to eventually become large players.
- To: Marc Andreessen
Silicon Valley kingpin Marc Andreessen is a very active Twitter user. He also seems to be active when it comes to blocking users who present him with different perspectives other than the ones he agrees with. To be fair, with 429.000 followers and a high engagement level, I can see why one would employ rather radical and aggressive strategies to reduce excessive noise. Still, to those who are being blocked and who do not fall into the category of “trolls”, this must come across as rather questionable behavior.
- Google slammed the brakes on its acquisition machine, with the lowest deal-making since 2009
Considering the size and maturity of Google, constantly buying startups and integrating them into the Googleverse must be challenging. This could be one reason why the giant has decreased its acquisition activity.
- Poll Finds Apple Watch Isn’t Even Popular Among Techies
It is a completely absurd emotion, but I almost pitty Apple for how little talk and excitement is left about the Apple Watch.
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