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Archive for 15. September 2019

Tech firms think the home is the next big computing platform

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2019

Date: 12-09-2019
Source: The Economist

Many of the technologies needed to make smart homes work already exist

Film buffs will tell you that watching a movie on the big screen is a much more immersive experience than watching it at home. But if Matthew Ball gets his way, that might not be true for much longer. Mr Ball—who used to be head of strategy at Amazon Studios, the tech firm’s tv division—spends a lot of time thinking about the future of film and tv. He is especially interested in the possibilities offered by connected, computerised homes.

Imagine an action film, he says, in which a smart television, equipped with the sorts of gaze-tracking cameras already used in smartphones, can wait until it has a viewer’s full attention before showing a monster leaping out from behind a door. Or a horror film which commandeers a house’s lights and makes them flicker at the appropriate moment, or plays eerie sounds—even whispering the viewer’s name—from speakers in another room. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy’s Precarious Triumph Over Populism

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2019

Date: 14-09-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Alexander Stille

Reports of Matteo Salvini’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

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Matteo Salvini

Last month, Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s right-wing populist Lega party, attempted a Machiavellian power move. Hoping to take advantage of his soaring popularity, he brought down his own government, with the clear intention of forcing elections that would return him as Italy’s uncontested strongman. To his own and most Italians’ surprise, his jilted coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, turned around and formed a new government with the center-left Democratic Party (DP), until then the government’s principal opposition.

And so Salvini had transformed what appeared as a moment of historic triumph for the right into a major opportunity for the left. Salvini had committed what the Italians call an autogol, a soccer term for accidentally kicking the ball into your own net.

“The idea of saving our country from a swerve into dangerous populism based on hatred prevailed,” said Nicola Zingaretti, the secretary of the Democratic Party. When the new coalition was announced, many commentators breathed a sigh of relief that Italy had prevented what some feared would be the “Orbanization” of Italy, or the emergence of a far-right government, led by Salvini, that would follow the neo-authoritarian model of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe ponders how to avoid blame for no-deal

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2019

Date: 12-09-2019
Source: The Economist

As the courts are drawn into the argument, there is still no sign of an alternative proposal to the rejected deal

It is unusual for European diplomats to become obsessed with British constitutional niceties. But recently they have watched Westminster with rare attention—and growing concern. Some gloat over the chaos of Boris Johnson’s government, after it lost six Commons votes, its parliamentary majority, a clutch of Tory mps and two ministers. Yet many are also alarmed by Mr Johnson’s bullheaded insistence on leaving the eu on October 31st, “do or die”, meaning deal or no-deal.

One example concerns the new law requiring Mr Johnson to seek the eu’s agreement to extend the Brexit deadline rather than accept no-deal. His claim that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than do this is seen as a threat to the rule of law. A second is the early suspension of Parliament, which many believe was done solely to avoid further scrutiny of the government by the legislature. On September 9th Scotland’s highest court seemed to endorse this view by ruling that Mr Johnson’s advice to the queen to suspend Parliament so that he could prepare a new legislative agenda was unlawful—in effect, accusing the prime minister of misleading the monarch. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Joining the Technological Frontiers

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2019

Tej Kohli

Tej Kohli is a technology entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist, and founder of Kohli Ventures, a tech-focused venture capital firm.

Financial analysts recognize the massive growth potential of artificial intelligence and biotechnology. But, if anything, the likely economic impact of these sectors is being underestimated, because few have reckoned with the implications of what will happen when they are combined.

LONDON – Artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology are both on an exponential growth trajectory, with the potential to improve how we experience our lives and even to extend life itself. But few have considered how these two frontier technologies could be brought together symbiotically to tackle global health and environmental challenges.

Consider the pace of recent developments in both fields. Biotechnology, in cost-benefit terms, has been improving by a factor of ten every year. The cost of deciphering the human genome has dropped from $3 billion in 2001 to about $1,000 today; a process that took months ten years ago can now be completed in less than an hour. Likewise, based on current developments, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that AI’s contribution to global output will reach $15.7 trillion by 2030 – more than the current combined output of China and India.Yet, if anything, these predictions underestimate the economic impact. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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