Weekly Links & Thoughts #51

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 annotated every Thursday, just in time so you have something good to read during the weekend.

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  • Tesla is copying Apple’s business model
    Comprehensive analysis. No need for me to summarize more, as the headline says it all. Definitely an interesting read, especially for those who struggle to grasp the phenomenon Tesla.
  • Imagining the Driverless City
    I favor the car-free city over the driverless city, but in both cases, cities will transform and look much better. Good times ahead for people living in cities!
  • The $5 Computer
    You know you are witnessing a computer revolution when computers can be purchased for §5.
  • It’s Okay To NOT Learn How To Code
    On the one hand I could have written this piece, sharing most of the described sentiment. On the other hand, while it of course is okay to not learn how to code, it could lead to regrets in 10 or 20 years. However, there are those who say that in the future, software will be smart enough to improve itself, making most human programming obsolete. But I would not count on that, either.
  • Learn to Code, It’s Harder Than You Think
    No, I actually think it is as hard as I think it is :)
  • Access Denied
    In-depth piece describing the profound change that is happening in an era in which people and organizations of public interest do not need journalists anymore to spread their messages. The process is still unfolding, so it is still unclear where all this leads. But the fallout can already be witnessed.
  • Lessons from the PC video game industry
    What can the media industry learn from the PC video game industry, when it comes to adjust to the new digital environment and to tap new revenue sources? Turns out, a lot.
  • Going Public Isn’t Selling Out, It’s The Best Way To Stay Alive
    For fast-growing, maturing tech startups, it has become common to postpone the IPO as long as possible into the future. Instead, companies try to repeatedly take in massive amounts of external funding, increasing their assumed valuation towards extraordinary levels. This post explains why this is risky behavior and why becoming a public company often should have higher priority.
  • Offices and smart cities will drive uptake of the Internet of Things, claims report
    The Internet of Things has been talk of town for many years, without having experienced a broad breakthrough yet. The point this article makes seems legit to me: Offices and smart cities might become the driving force behind pushing connected things into the mainstream, with consumers (and smart homes) following at a later stage.
  • Hardly Anyone Is Using Apple Pay
    The headline is typical clickbait, exaggerating the consumers’ lack of interest in mobile payment services and the alleged failure of Apple Pay. However, the text has a clear message: Most consumers still don’t care about being able to pay with their smartphones. Maybe, just maybe, the (for the tech industry uncomfortable) truth is that current payment means are actually being perceived as superior over the “smartphone wallet”?!
  • Eric Schmidt on How to Build a Better Web
    Despite challenges, the former Google CEO remains optimistic about the future of the web.
  • Robots expected to run half of Japan by 2035
    Japan is at the forefront of this, but many other countries will follow suit quickly.
  • Swedes predict death of smartphone in five years
    But what comes next? I am not convinced that the smartphone will disappear that fast.
  • The First Quantified Brain
    I am generally not very fond of self-quantification of body functions. The thought of tracking my brain on the other hand is quite appealing to me. Interesting experiment.
  • Automation Is a Job Engine, New Research Says
    Sounds counter-intuitive, but yes, that’s how it is. However, research based on past data has limitations when it comes to forecasting the future.
  • How Finland’s Exciting Basic Income Experiment Will Work—And What We Can Learn From It
    I am a big supporter of the idea of a Basic Income. However, like anyone else, I cannot know whether my assumptions about positive effects would turn out to be correct. Thus I am extremely happy that Finland will conduct such a large-scale experiment. The results will be a reality-check for supporters and skeptics alike.
  • Lyft, Didi, Ola And GrabTaxi Partner In Global Tech, Service Alliance To Rival Uber
    Maybe this is the beginning of alliances akin to the ones in the airline industry.

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