If you thought things were confusing enough with B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C markets, you can add the combinatorics of machine markets in there. So soon, we’ll inhabit a world with five additional types of markets: B2M, M2B, C2M, M2C, M2M. Your refrigerator might buy its own replacement compressor. Your vacuum might rent an attachment from the neighbor’s vacuum without telling you. Your friendly neighborhood snack machine might own itself and literally sell you a can of coke (M2C) and order more when it runs out from Coca-Cola (B2M).

Thanks, Venkat Rao, for these insights, found in this post on the place of computing in the grand sweep of human history.

Mesh networks: a short video about how Red Hook (Brooklyn) is creating its own, localized internet

Where policy, emerging markets, and data storage intersect–Brazil may take measures, in response to NSA activities, to ensure that certain data is stored locally. And, they are big enough for the market to take note.

The legislation, which is being written by a lawmaker in Rousseff’s Workers’ Party and is scheduled to be completed next week, would force foreign-based internet companies to maintain data centres inside Brazil that would then be governed by Brazilian privacy laws, officials said.

Internet companies operating in Brazil are currently free to put data centres wherever they like. Facebook Inc., for example, stores its global data in the United States and a new complex in Sweden.

Rousseff believes that the change would help shield Brazilians from further U.S. prying into their activities, and she is considering urging other countries to take similar measures when she speaks at the United Nations General Assembly later this month, a senior Brazilian official told Reuters.

“This would be a turning point for these companies,” the official said, naming Facebook, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. as examples, although they would not be the only companies affected. “If you want to work here, you will have to obey our rules.”

Here’s a Molly Wood (CNET) interview on NPR about the supposed value of non-ISP, "mesh" networks to protect citizens from surveillance.

Here’s a thoughtful response that explains why this won’t work, and which also provides some insight regarding NSA methods and aims.

Now consider yourself moderately educated on the subject (as I do).

From McKinsey:

"Fusing processes and devices

Markus Löffler: Most companies think of physical flows—meaning the flow of material components through the supply chain—as separate from information flows and then consider how and where to coordinate and synchronize them. After the fourth industrial revolution, there will no longer be a difference between information and materials, because products will be inextricably linked to “their” information." [emph. mine]

The Economist, on the relevance of the fact that privacy issues do not line up neatly along the right-left divide:

The fact that these issues don’t have a clear ideological colouration yet is important because they are among the most crucial issues of the 21st cen
tury. They are crucial because our identities and social selves, in this century, increasingly reside online. They are crucial because money, in this century, increasingly accrues to holders of intellectual property, particularly to those who control the ways we engage in online commerce—the very same companies (Google, Yahoo, Apple, Verizon) that hold the databases which the NSA accesses via PRISM. In this century, digital knowledge is the key to both property and power. Good algorithms and massive amounts of data are what you need to have in order to succeed in retail, to defend your country from attack, or to run a successful presidential campaign. 

Venkatesh Rao on the relationship between Silicon Valley and laughter:

Yes, and someone will come up with an app that measures body state to detect the optimal relaxation trough at which to present an incongruity input and then post the resulting jokes on a social site. There, ratings and rankings and machine learning will provide feedback as well as result in a constantly improving repository of jokes that is provably superior to traditional old-economy humor that still runs on Windows and alcohol. Metrics will be constructed based on measured laughter and information theoretic measures of surprisal between setup and punch line. Gamified learning models will be created to teach anyone to achieve higher L-rank than Lewis Black in just three weeks of 4-hour laugh hacking. Eventually there will be meetups, a humor-hacking movement, a Paul Graham essay soliciting humor-based UXes in product design, software that automatically suggests toppers, and VCs looking to invest only in growth stage humor genres that have provable laughter traction.

Worth thinking about, from a recent McKinsey report:

Pretty cool.


An interesting article about Chinese cyber-hacking makes some great points but also point to an American weakness that concerns me.

The following lines, specifically, point to the lack of moral creativity in the thinking of a comfortable elite in a longtime power, namely us:

The Internet, poorly secured and poorly governed, has been a tremendous boon for spying. Every major power has taken advantage of this, but there are unwritten rules that govern espionage, and China’s behavior is out of bounds.

Out of bounds of what? Oh, yes, the rules we wish to enforce, for our own good. I actually have no problem with that, but I think that we would get farther in our thinking/work on such problems if we acknowledged that we are not the bearers of a grand moral standard. In fact, we are protecting ourselves and our interests.

The writer has enough imagination to understand that the world looks different to the Chinese. He writes:  As one Chinese official put it in recent talks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “In America, military espionage is heroic and economic espionage is a crime, but in China the line is not so clear.

He may not understand just how different the world looks to the Chinese. Calling their actions ‘out of bounds’ is not likely to impress them. If the purpose is to get the American public agitated, well, then that’s a different matter.


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