Tech: Links for 8th October, 2019

  1. “What we are doing is creating selfies, documenting moments with family, and snapping photos of food and latte art. We aren’t even trying to build a scrapbook of those images. It is all a stream — less for remembrance than for real-time sharing. In other words, we have changed our relationship with photography and photographs. It used to be that, photos served as a portal to our past. Now, we are moving so fast as we try to keep up in the age of infinitesimal attention spans. A minute, might as well be a month ago.”
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    The excellent Om Malik on cameras, art, servers and obsolescence.
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  2. “Around the world, governments are setting timeframes by which all cars are to be electric. Norway is requiring all cars to be zero emission by 2025—and more than 50 percent of its cars today are electric. However, China is winning the race in terms of units, with more than 1 million EVs sold in 2018. The U.S was the second largest market, with 361,000; Norway had 73,000. China and the U.S. are at 4.44 percent and 2.09 percent market penetration, respectively, so there is lots of room for growth. China is stimulating growth with public policy: It aims to have 2 million in annual EV sales by 2020 and to outlaw the internal combustion engine sometime before 2040. France has also committed to a ban by 2040 and the UK by 2050. Governments are seeking to accelerate uptake through a potpourri of incentives, ranging from tax breaks to free parking to fees on conventional cars in low emission zones.”
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    A useful (to me, at any rate) overview of the EV market in the years (decades) to come.
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  3. “In a new book, Mr. Smith makes the case for a new relationship between the tech sector and government — closer cooperation and challenges for each side.“When your technology changes the world,” he writes, “you bear a responsibility to help address the world that you have helped create.” And governments, he writes, “need to move faster and start to catch up with the pace of technology.””
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    On Microsoft’s middle path. I come from a generation that simply could not have predicted this.
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  4. “A new priest named Mindar is holding forth at Kodaiji, a 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. Like other clergy members, this priest can deliver sermons and move around to interface with worshippers. But Mindar comes with some … unusual traits. A body made of aluminum and silicone, for starters.Mindar is a robot.”
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    In a sense, unsurprising. But still: religion, rituals and… robots?
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  5. “Christine Figgener, a marine biology grad student aboard the boat, filmed with her phone as a colleague tried to yank some sort of tube from the turtle’s nose. At first, Figgener thought it might be a worm. Then she saw it was a piece of plastic. “Is that a freaking straw?” she exclaimed, outrage blooming in her voice. Indeed, it was. In time, the straw was plucked from the turtle’s nose and the sad, green fellow liberated. But Figgener—who’d been researching turtle behavior in pursuit of her Ph.D. and had seen marine life tormented by plastic junk countless times before—could not stop fuming as the boat returned to shore. It was, if you will, the last straw.”
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    On technology and… straws.
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Author: Ashish

Prof at Gokhale Institute, Pune, Blogger at econforeverybody.com, Podcaster at anchor.fm/backtocollege

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