Not many startups have spent a decade fine-tuning their tech platform prior to launch. But not many startups are trying to radically rethink the structure of the internet.
UK-based MaidSafe, which has been building an alternative, decentralized p2p network since before Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone, is finally — finally! — gearing up for a tentative launch — flicking the switch on its first alpha test network today.
Great news! These guys worked very hard to create a truly decentralized, private, safe and democratic Internet. Hopefully this grand vision will unfold to its fullest in the coming couple of years.
Sharing isn’t new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club — these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new, in the “sharing economy,” is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money.
In this book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, explains the transition to what he describes as “crowd-based capitalism” — a new way of organizing economic activity that may supplant the traditional corporate-centered model. As peer-to-peer commercial exchange blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, how will the economy, government regulation, what it means to have a job, and our social fabric be affected?
There is a rise of O2O (online to offline) services, in which users are using their cellphones to get their cars washed, make last-minute restaurant reservations, find discounted deals, order prescription medicine, and more. Cellphones are becoming a "remote control" for the physical environment around us. O2O’s rise has been rapid in China, because of its high population density. On a recent trip there, I shot this sequence of eight videos to give viewers a sense of this rise of O2O
One day in the future, we’ll look back in wonder at how our physical objects used to be singular, disconnected pieces of matter.
We’ll be in awe of the fact that a car used to be just a piece of metal full of gears and belts that we would drive from one place to another, that a refrigerator was a box that kept our food cold — and a phone was a piece of plastic we used to communicate to one other person at a time.
That’s because the future we’re rapidly moving towards is one where physical items become intelligent and interconnected — and as a fascinating result, their functionality changes.
There is probably no better example of this trend than the cell phone. The mobile phone used to be just that — a mobile phone. Now it’s your flashlight, your bank, your TV, and your funny, yet kind of dumb personal assistant. The cell phone — or really, more accurately, the hand-held computer — has become mostly a gateway to all the mobile services we use on it.
And those services are constantly morphing and improving, changing what our smartphones can do without requiring the physical phone itself to change all that much at all.
Human-level intelligence is familiar in biological hardware – you’re using it now. Science and technology seem to be converging, from several directions, on the possibility of similar intelligence in non-biological systems.
Ahead of today's historic "in/out" vote for Britain, it has emerged the EU wants to introduce laws specific to robots that could give them civil rights regulations of they own, and see limits on how many jobs they could replace from humans.
In scenes that could have come from the sic-fi novels of Isaac Asimov nearly 70 years ago, a recommendation of the European Parliament to the EU Commission has suggested in the future sentient AI robots could need their own rights and responsibilities, and strict laws banning them from taking over too many jobs across the Continent may become necessary.
In the 1950s Asimov predicted robots would eventually have to adhere to laws, because the potential of what could develop from a combination of sophisticated mechanism, androids with human features, and artificial intelligence (AI) was too dangerous.
But, it appears Brussels bureaucrats fear this fiction will become a reality and the report has even considered including a "new robot category next to natural and lawful people: the electronic person".
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