I love the smell of bitcoins in the morning… via Instagram http://ift.tt/1dxXEAW
There’s something very odd about a world in which it’s easier to imagine a futuristic technology that doesn’t exist outside of lab tests than to envision expansion of a technology that’s in wide use around the world. How did we reach a state in America where highly speculative technologies, backed by private companies, are seen as a plausible future while routine, ordinary technologies backed by governments are seen as unrealistic and impossible?
Why do we have corporations, anyway?
Economist Ronald Coase, who died in September at the age of 102 (!) and still working (!!) answered that question in The Nature of the Firm. Matthew Yglesias explains at Slate:
> Economists talk a lot about markets and about how markets are structured and about participants in the markets. But those participants are often firms_ —companies, universities or hospitals, professional associations, etc.—that pool the labor and economic resources of large numbers of people. If I look around me right now I’m sitting in a starbucks and out the window I can see a Nissan truck and a Ford sedan and then across the street there’s a Toyota parked in front of the Whole Foods. And you can see that the market transactions between myself and Starbucks or between the Ford’s owner and the Ford dealership are in a sense trivial in scale compared to the nonmarket transactions happening between the Whole Foods employees or the entire Starbucks team and their regional manager or the whole group of people at Toyota who came together to design and build and market the Camry._
Firms exist because getting big jobs done require a lot of cooperation. And somebody needs to be in charge.
> Which is to say that even in a market economy, the most successful practitioners aren’t going to be organized along market principles. Instead they’re little islands of central planning. And the islands themselves operate along different principles—the phrase “corporate culture” is often invoked. Some firms are more communitarian, while others are more command-and-control. Some firms contract-out lots of functions and some firms bring more things in-house. And the boundaries are always changing.
The issue of contracting is an intriguing one, Yglesias notes. All firms contract some things — let the market take care of it — and handle other things in-house. Microsoft„ for example, used to focus on software and let other companies handle hardware. Nokia did both. Then Microsoft bought Nokia. But it’s not just Microsoft. No company does everything. Every company relies on contractors.
Over the past few years, jellyfish populations along South Korea’s coastline have risen to the point where they are adversely affecting the fish populations and marine industries in the area
A team led by Associate Professor Hyun Myung of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology however may have a solution with the JEROS (Jellyfish Elimination RObotic Swarm), a series of autonomous robots that work together to track down jellyfish in the ocean and grind them.
JEROS may also be utilized for other purposes including marine patrols, prevention of oil spills and waste removal in the sea.
Students Win Seed Money To Make Flour From Insects
Mohammed Ashour has a big order to fill: By March 2014, he has to deliver 10 tons of grasshoppers to customers in Mexico.
He and four other MBA students at McGill University in Montreal have a plan to farm insects in poor countries and turn them into flour that can be used in everything from bread to corn tortillas. And on Monday, former President Bill Clinton handed them $1 million to make it happen.
The team, which includes Ashour, Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein, Zev Thompson and Gabe Mott, received the for social entrepreneurs at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. The seed funding will go to their project, , which aims to make insect-based food products available year-round to people living in some of the world’s poorest slums.
The project is launching at a time when a lot of people are looking to spice up the idea of eating super-nutritious insects, which some are calling “mini-livestock.” From the , insects are inspiring restauranteurs, entrepreneurs (check out the ) and researchers. As The Salt in May, the United Nations agricultural arm released a supporting iron- and protein-rich insects for dinner because of their nutritional, environmental and economic appeal.
It’s part of Midtown in Motion, an initiative to feed information from lots of sensors into New York’s traffic management center. A spokesperson for the New York Department of Transportation, Scott Gastel, says the E-Z Pass readers are on highways across the city, and on streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, and have been in use for years. The city uses the data from the readers to provide real-time traffic information, as for this tool. The DoT was not forthcoming about what exactly was read from the passes or how long geolocation information from the passes was kept. Notably, the fact that E-ZPasses will be used as a tracking device outside of toll payment, is not disclosed anywhere that I could see in the terms and conditions. When I talked to the E-ZPass Inter-agency Group — the umbrella association that oversees the use of the pay-toll-paying tags in 15 different states — it said New York is the only state that is employing this inventive re-use of the tags. … ‘If NYDOT can put up readers, says [the hacker], ‘other agencies could as well.’
Documents published last year by WikiLeaks obtained from the US intelligence contractor Stratfor, show that in 2011 Jared Cohen, then (as he is now) Director of Google Ideas, was off running secret missions to the edge of Iran in Azerbaijan. In these internal emails, Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice President for Intelligence and a former senior State Department official, describes Google as follows:
“Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do…[Cohen] is going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose Google’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and Google is left holding the shit-bag”
In further internal communication, Burton subsequently clarifies his sources on Cohen’s activities as Marty Lev, Google’s director of security and safety and… Eric Schmidt.
WikiLeaks cables also reveal that previously Cohen, when working for the State Department, was in Afghanistan trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases. In Lebanon he covertly worked to establish, on behalf of the State Department, an anti-Hezbollah Shia think tank. And in London? He was offering Bollywood film executives funds to insert anti-extremist content into Bollywood films and promising to connect them to related networks in Hollywood. That is the Director of Google Ideas. Cohen is effectively Google’s director of regime change. He is the State Department channeling Silicon Valley.
That Google was taking NSA money in exchange for handing over people’s data comes as no surprise. When Google encountered the big bad world, Google itself got big and bad.
Drones are avatars of the the political process: they are instantiations of a set of ideologies and beliefs, made visible by their reification in electromechanical systems. When we talk about drones, we are really talking about the politics that demand, shape, and deploy them, and the politics which are made possible by them. This politics reflects the drones themselves: it is a politics of violence, of obfuscation, of radical inequality of sight and action, and it is sustained by that obfuscation and that inequality.
i can’t get over the preset aesthetics of these powerpoints.
Glendale school officials have hired a Hermosa Beach company to monitor and analyze public social media posts, saying the service will help them step in when students are in danger of harming themselves or others. After collecting information from students’ posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, Geo Listening will provide Glendale school officials with a daily report that categorizes posts by their frequency and how they relate to cyber-bullying, harm, hate, despair, substance abuse, vandalism and truancy.