1. Thus, it’s a mistake to think that Silicon Valley wants to rid us of government institutions. Its dream state is not the small government of libertarians – a small state, after all, needs neither fancy gadgets nor massive servers to process the data – but the data-obsessed and data-obese state of behavioural economists.

    — The rise of data and the death of politics

  2. in June, Microsoft struck a deal with American Family Insurance, the eighth-largest home insurer in the US, in which both companies will fund startups that want to put sensors into smart homes and smart cars for the purposes of “proactive protection”.

    An insurance company would gladly subsidise the costs of installing yet another sensor in your house – as long as it can automatically alert the fire department or make front porch lights flash in case your smoke detector goes off. For now, accepting such tracking systems is framed as an extra benefit that can save us some money. But when do we reach a point where not using them is seen as a deviation – or, worse, an act of concealment – that ought to be punished with higher premiums?

    — The rise of data and the death of politics

  3. the principle behind “algorithmic regulation” would be familiar to the founders of cybernetics – a discipline that, even in its name (it means “the science of governance”) hints at its great regulatory ambitions. This principle, which allows the system to maintain its stability by constantly learning and adapting itself to the changing circumstances, is what the British psychiatrist Ross Ashby, one of the founding fathers of cybernetics, called “ultrastability”.

    — The rise of data and the death of politics

  4. In addition to making our lives more efficient, this smart world also presents us with an exciting political choice. If so much of our everyday behaviour is already captured, analysed and nudged, why stick with unempirical approaches to regulation? Why rely on laws when one has sensors and feedback mechanisms? If policy interventions are to be – to use the buzzwords of the day – “evidence-based” and “results-oriented,” technology is here to help.

    — The rise of data and the death of politics

  5. Geeks can be forgiving when “the old model” becomes obsolete because they obsess about the technology, and in that sense new is often objectively better. But the public, who care more about the ends that technology as a means helps us to achieve, tends to expect more discussion and debate — and a discussion of ends is rarely objective. As the internet moved from the fringes to the center of popular culture, the chips and bits underpinning exciting new devices and apps faded in importance compared to the ways these items change how we interact. As Uber and others who are developing social innovations wrapped in technology have discovered, the technical challenges of building an app are matched if not dwarfed by attendant social, political, and legal issues.

    — Secluded innovation — Medium

  6. But if we imagine that the tinkerers are interested in devising new ways to relate to each other, to do business, to behave — to exist together! — when such ‘social innovation’ happens in seclusion, in a metaphorical garage, we have an entirely different word to use: we generally call that a cult. This is why projects like Google Glass and Soylent freak people out: their social implications far outweigh the technical ones. Glass asks us to accept a visually present, mysterious interloper now lingering between us and others, at all times, everywhere. It adds a new party to our daily routine, perhaps even our rituals. Soylent asks us to take a pass on the most basic and sustained of human rituals: eating together. Emerge from your garage with a new piece of technology and you can be an overnight commercial success, but emerge from your garage with a new model for living together and you’re likely to be run out of town, ridiculed, or at least gawked at.

    — Secluded innovation — Medium

  7. But the issue for Google isn’t just freedom of speech or freedom of the press. The “right to be forgotten” decision is calling unwanted attention to the easy-to-forget fact that–one way or another—fallible human hands are always guiding Google’s seemingly perfect search machine.

    — For Google, the ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Is an Unforgettable Fiasco | Business | WIRED

  8. Generally, technology businesses that are defensible have network effects, and network effects usually arise from products with significant software components.

    — Samsung’s predicament | chris dixon’s blog

  9. People look at Uber and the issues around it as specific to a single company. It is not true — drones, driverless cars, dynamic pricing of vital services, privatization of vital civic services are all part of the change driven by automation, and computer driven efficiencies.

    — With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility

  10. How does a big company like Google use the data that resides in various different databases — Nest, DropCam, Waze, Android, Google Maps, Google Mail and Google Search — in tandem?

    — With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility

  11. Technologies that are simultaneously familiar and alien evoke a sense of dread. In the same way, when our data doesn’t match our understanding of ourselves, the uncanny emerges.

    — With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility

  12. First problem Nate Silver’s site suffered from is ignoring measurement error in your data, otherwise known to researchers as “map is not the territory.” All measurements are partial, incorrect reflections. We are always in Plato’s Cave. Everything is a partial shadow. There is no perfect data, big or otherwise. All researchers should repeat this to themselves, and even more importantly, to the general public to avoid giving the impression that some kinds of data have special magic sauce that make them error-free.

    — Learning From @NateSilver538’s OMG-Wrong #Bra vs #Ger Prediction — The Message — Medium

  13. As Geoffrey Moore explained, the marketing of technology products needs to be varied as we get into different phases of the market. Innovators (first 2.5%) need to be sold on the premise of novelty itself. Early adopters (next 13.5%) seek status and exclusivity. Early majority (34%) seek acceptance and Late Majority (34%) seek pragmatic productivity. Laggards (last 16%) seek safety.

    — Late late majority |

  14. 4 July 2014

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    ThingsCon 2014 talks: Martin Spindler →


    Mind the gap, please. Connected products and their context. It’s self-evident that connectivity is coming to more and more devices. But what does that mean for individual products and product categories? How does longevity and complexity factor into the design process? Looking at the…

  15. it’s a watch that happens to be smart, instead of a watch that needs to scream to the entire world that it is smart and appears to have some sort of chip (ha) on its shoulder about never being taken seriously for being a smart thing. Because the Activité is a watch first that only just happens to have a three-axis accelerometer inside it that can measure your activity and wirelessly sync it with your phone. It doesn’t have a display. It’s just connected and smart.

    — Episode One Hundred and Eleven: If You Want To Make Products; Enterprise Driven Software Development; Odds