New new world
Welcome to the Programmable World: In our houses, cars, and factories, we’re surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about how we live and what we do. Now they are beginning to talk to one another. Soon we’ll be able to choreograph them to respond to our needs, solve our problems, even save our lives. More here.
Why 3D Printing Can Make the World a Better Place: Would you like to build your own gun? There are plenty of ways to do so, legal and otherwise. A group called Defense Distributed recently published instructions for creating a plastic firearm using a 3D printer. One guy even fired a real bullet with one. More here.
Faster, slower—or both at once? The first real-world contests between quantum computers and standard ones. More here.
Google Buys a Quantum Computer: Google and a corporation associated with NASA are forming a laboratory to study artificial intelligence by means of computers that use the unusual properties of quantum physics. Their quantum computer, which performs complex calculations thousands of times faster than existing supercomputers, is expected to be in active use in the third quarter of this year. More here.
Welcome to Google Island: I awoke aboard a boat, just before daybreak, which was weird. The last thing I remembered was being in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, wrapping up a four-hour Google I/O keynote liveblogging session. My last recollection was of Google CEO Larry Page taking questions from the audience and promoting a vision of a utopia where society could be free to innovate and experiment, unencumbered by government regulations or social norms. More here.
In Search of the Next Big Thing: Marc Andreessen knows both sides of the start-up game. As freshly minted university graduates in the 1990s, he and his partners went hat in hand to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to fund their new project, the breakthrough web browser Netscape Navigator. Within 18 months the enterprise had gone public and Andreessen had become a symbol of the internet generation. Now he’s a cofounder and partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a Menlo Park venture capital fund that’s trying to make smart bets on tech start-ups in a climate much icier than the one during the dot-com boom. In this edited interview with HBR’s editor in chief, Adi Ignatius, Andreessen talks about the complex challenges entrepreneurs now face and an investment opportunity that slipped away. More here.
It’s Your Job To Improve Your Team: At this year’s NVCA meeting, my partner Jason Mendelson (who was the chair of the event) interviewed Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter. Dick is an awesome CEO, awesome human, and awesome interviewee. Among other things, he’s hilarious, and PandoDaily wrote a fun summary of the interview in their post What CEOs could learn from comedians. More here.
Nokia’s real innovation is happening on Asha, not Windows Phone: The Lumia 925 is a fine-looking device and it successfully answers criticisms levelled at the plasticky 920 and 928. However, it’s very similar to other high-end Nokias. The company’s real “wow” moments happen at the low end. More here.
The reason they call it a browser : Over the last ten years, the amount that we buy online has gone up. So have the number of ads we click on every day. We’re all clicking around, browsing and sometimes buying. But, while these interactions and transactions have been growing, the amount of time we spend online and the number of pages we visit have gone up dramatically faster. Mobile multiplies this. More here.
I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet: I was wrong. One year ago I left the internet. I thought it was making me unproductive. I thought it lacked meaning. I thought it was “corrupting my soul.”It’s a been a year now since I “surfed the web” or “checked my email” or “liked” anything with a figurative rather than literal thumbs up. I’ve managed to stay disconnected, just like I planned. I’m internet free. More here.
Six Numbers Reveal the Booming Business of Auto-Analytics: For millennia people have run by feel, an “art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain,” says Christopher McDougall in his anthropological study of the topic. More here.
8 Myths About India’s Growth: On closer inspection, the Indian miracle turns out to be pretty ordinary after all. Is India different? Last month, India’s finance minister confidently declared that nothing could stop his country from becoming the world’s third-biggest economy. He may well be right, but size alone does not make India a special case. Its growth has been fast, but it is no trailblazer. Here are eight popular myths about India’s growth, all of which are easily debunked. Read more.
North Korean cyber-rattling: AMERICANS have grown accustomed to North Korean nuclear petulance. Now they are learning to live with its cyber sabre-rattling. Earlier this month the Department of Defence delivered a report to Congress accusing the hermit kingdom’s expanding army of “cyber-warriors” of using foreign infrastructure, such as broadband networks, to launch cyber-attacks on American allies, most notably South Korea. More here.