Category Archives: Broadband

Lessons from Europe’s Fight Against Russian Disinformation

By Dana Priest – For Normunds Mežviets, Latvia’s news media is just as important as the country’s energy supply.

If Russia were to impede the flow of natural gas to the Baltic nations, their economies would tumble, which is the reason that Lithuania built a floating liquefied-natural-gas terminal off its coast, in 2014, and recently signed its first deal to buy natural gas from the United States.

Viewing the professional media as a strategic asset, the pipeline through which credible information travels, had never occurred to me in my thirty-five years as a reporter. But it is certainly the view of authoritarian governments and those transitioning to authoritarianism.

In every nation on Earth where the government is moving from a participatory to an authoritarian form of rule, seizing the information pipeline is a prerequisite for staying in power. As a strategic asset, the media in these countries serve the national interests as defined by their rulers.

Should professional journalism in the United States be considered a strategic asset, too?

Perhaps that is why the Founders gave the unkempt, sometimes inaccurate news industry special protections against government interference, under the First Amendment. more> https://goo.gl/29wkD2

Unlocking Engineering Data for Downstream Consumption is Now a Must

By Dave Opsahl – Thanks to their tools, manufacturers have been able to create fully annotated 3D models that include all of the product manufacturing information (PMI) necessary to define, manufacture and control a product.

However, it’s no longer enough to enable engineers to create a single master model. People need an efficient way to share that information downstream of engineering and have it be easily consumed by a wide range of audiences for a host of different uses — such as the machinists who are making the product, the suppliers who want to bid on supporting it, the technicians who will be servicing it, and so on.

Simply put: if you’re an engineering software vendor, making product information available for consumption outside of your application is now a critical part of your application’s value proposition —and it’s where customers will be won and lost. more> https://goo.gl/b56KzQ

All The Details On Tesla’s Giant Australian Battery

By Campbell Simpson – Tesla is building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia — an installation 60 per cent larger than any other large-scale battery energy storage system on the planet.

The battery pack’s 100MW/129MWh capacity will top the world in terms of its size, solidly beating out the world’s current largest installation — a 80 megawatt-hour substation at Mira Loma in Ontario, California also built using Tesla batteries. The 129MWh project in SA will also use Tesla’s PowerPack 2 commercial/utility-grade battery systems, and will be 60 per cent larger than the California installation, with the capacity to power 4000 homes in the region for an entire day in case of blackout.

It will be installed at the Hornsdale Wind Farm, a string of wind turbines stretching 8km and 24km north of Jamestown in South Australia. more> https://goo.gl/A5v5aV

To create economic opportunities, cities must confront their past — and look to the future

By Amy Liu – Cities are under pressure to deliver on a whole host of national priorities, including addressing the nation’s weak productivity growth, stagnant wages, and stark racial disparities.

That’s because Washington, D.C., has made clear that building an inclusive economy is not a top priority.

Health care and other supports for low-income, working families are on the chopping block. A robust federal economic growth agenda is missing.

And the Trump administration’s budget blueprint and policies indicate that state and local governments, along with the private sector, are expected to step up their investments in key domestic policy areas including infrastructure, basic and applied research, job training, and housing assistance. more> https://goo.gl/6T4UQM

Updates from GE

Smart Trains And Beyond: GE’s Jamie Miller To Talk Digital Disruption At Tech Confab

By Bruce Watson – Deutsche Bahn Cargo trains crisscross Europe daily carrying everything from coal and steel to cars and cabinets. If a train gets stuck or needs to be taken offline, it can cause problems for the entire system. Now GE digital technology is making the trains smarter and reducing downtime. By tapping sensors embedded on 250 of DB Cargo’s trains, GE will be able to collect several terabytes of data to help keep the trains running efficiently.

Digital transformations like this are the focus of Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech summer retreat this week in Aspen, Colorado. The idea behind Brainstorm is deceptively simple: Gather 600 of the world’s top business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the tech trends that are poised to transform the world. It’s an opportunity to feed innovation, discuss future trends and — in general — find a way to make disruption a little less disrupting.

Digital disruption isn’t only hitting the tech world. We’re seeing it in industry as well. In manufacturing, for example, digital innovations can lead to a difference of billions of dollars in productivity. more> https://goo.gl/DoqxoN

Why Every Leader Needs to Be Obsessed With Technology

By Lisa Kay Solomon – Digitization has moved beyond music and entertainment, and now many big retailers operating physical stores are struggling to stay relevant. Meanwhile, the pace of change is accelerating, and new potentially disruptive technologies are on the horizon.

More than ever, leaders need to develop a strong understanding of and perspective on technology. They need to survey new innovations, forecast their pace, gauge the implications, and adopt new tools and strategy to change course as an industry shifts, not after it’s shifted.

Nurturing curiosity is the first step to understanding technological change.

Becoming more technologically minded takes discipline and focus as well as unstructured time to explore the non-obvious connections between what is right in front of us and what might be. It requires a commitment to ongoing learning and discovery.

Whatever your strategy, the goal should be to develop a healthy obsession with technology. more> https://goo.gl/2ETU3m

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

BOOK REVIEW

The Divide: A Brief History of Global Inequality and Its Solutions, Author: Jason Hickel.

By Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk – A full three-quarters of people in major capitalist economies believe that big businesses are basically corrupt.

Why do people feel this way?

It’s because they realize—either consciously or at some gut level—that there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has a prime directive to churn nature and humans into capital, and do it more and more each year, regardless of the costs to human well-being and to the environment we depend on.

That’s what capitalism is, at its root.

What might a better world look like? There are a million ideas out there. We can start by changing how we understand and measure progress.

We can change that.

People want health care and education to be social goods, not market commodities, so we can choose to put public goods back in public hands. People want the fruits of production and the yields of our generous planet to benefit everyone, rather than being siphoned up by the super-rich, so we can change tax laws and introduce potentially transformative measures like a universal basic income. more> https://goo.gl/ntiMQr

Updates from Adobe

By Serena Fox – Imagine wearing the same shoes every day of your life. “For my sister, her wheelchair is an extension of her body,” says designer Ailbhe Keane. “Dressing her wheels is like putting on a new pair of boots.”

That’s the idea behind Izzy Wheels, an Irish company that aims to transform the wheelchair from a medical device into a form of artistic self-expression. Founded by Ailbhe and her sister Isabel Keane, the online shop sells colorful, easily interchanged wheelchair spoke guards that feature designs by illustrators and artists from around the world.

Their tagline, “If you can’t stand up, stand out!” was inspired by Isabel, who was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from her waist down. Growing up, she was frustrated by how little was available to personalize her chair. “I don’t want my chair to look like it was made in a hospital, I want it to look like a piece of fashion,” says Isabel, who today serves as brand ambassador and spokesperson (no pun intended) for the company that bears her name. more> https://goo.gl/URbUKg

Related>

The economy is more a messy, fractal living thing than a machine

BOOK REVIEW

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence, Author: George Zarkadakis.

By George Zarkadakis – Mainstream economics is built on the premise that the economy is a machine-like system operating at equilibrium. According to this idea, individual actors – such as companies, government departments and consumers – behave in a rational way.

Ever since the invention of the assembly line, corporations have been like medieval cities: building walls around themselves and then trading with other ‘cities’ and consumers.

The so-called ‘gig economy’ is only the beginning of a profound economic, social and political transformation. For the moment, these new ways of working are still controlled by old-style businesses models – platforms that essentially sell ‘trust’ via reviews and verification, or by plugging into existing financial and legal systems.

Blockchain technologies promise to replace these trusted third parties with a huge digital record book, spreading out organically across a network of computers that grows and changes but can’t be meddled with.

By getting rid of middlemen, they’re likely to radically reduce transaction costs, and accelerate the mixing of many different actors in the new economy who have been freed from the grip of leaders or institutions. more> https://goo.gl/Gs6f4B