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Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men
Sub-Saharan Africa faces far more frequent droughts than other tropical regions as a result of global climate patterns, the continent’s shape, the position of mountain ranges, and other accidents of geography.15 It’s one of the ironies of modern finance that the tools that could most help the poor are least readily available to them. A stark illustration of drought-as-trigger is the recent war in Niger, Chad’s western neighbor in the bone-dry Sahel. Niger is home to the pastoralist Tuareg ethnic group. The car company Volkswagen appropriated their name for a highly successful crossover SUV, but the tribe itself hasn’t been so lucky. Their herds were devastated by a series of ever deeper droughts in the 1970s and 1980s.16 Initially, the Tuareg responded to the loss of livelihood by migrating north in large numbers to Algeria and Libya in search of better living conditions, defusing the imminent threat of conflict. They didn’t find a warm welcome in their new homes either and by the late 1980s many thousands were repatriated to Niger, just in time for another round of severe droughts in 1989 and 1990.
The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology (Voices That Matter) by Golden Krishna
Airbnb, computer vision, crossover SUV, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, impulse control, Inbox Zero, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, QR code, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator, Y2K
If you watch an older man carry something to the trunk of his car, it’s clear to see that his arms are full. His feet are free. He’s carrying something heavy. He doesn’t want to put down the heavy object, pull out his smartphone, tap and swipe, put away his phone, and then potentially throw out his back trying to pick up the heavy object again. Not too good news for our app makers. I didn’t make the observation. The Ford Escape design team did. In the “crossover SUV market awash with new models,” Ford was hoping to create something that would distinguish its SUV from the others.6 Did they make an app with bigger buttons? Add voice commands so that their customers can stand in a parking lot shouting random commands at their trunk? Nope. They put a set of sensors under the bumper that can read a foot kick—a simple and easy action that works within the typical process of carrying something heavy to the trunk.
Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business by Ken Auletta
Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, corporate raider, crossover SUV, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, Google Glasses, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, NetJets, Network effects, pattern recognition, pets.com, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, éminence grise
With that much data on its users, Facebook can target hundreds of thousands and even millions of users—“at Facebook we call it personal marketing at scale,” Everson says. “The definition of creative advertising has changed. It’s not just Don Draper creating ads.” Targeting and the technology that allows it becomes part of the creative recipe. By way of illustration, she recounted how Lexus launched a new Lexus NX model, a crossover SUV, in a thirty-second ad for the 2015 Super Bowl, and also made this part of a larger campaign by creating unique video ads targeted to individual Facebook users. Instead of a single TV or print ad, working with Facebook Lexus produced a thousand different online advertisements. If you were a male living in Silicon Valley, or a female surfboarder living in Los Angeles, or a golfer, or you were a past Lexus owner, or planned to buy a car in the next three months, Facebook merged its anonymous user data with Lexus’s, along with so-called third party data they purchased.
Faster, Higher, Farther: How One of the World's Largest Automakers Committed a Massive and Stunning Fraud by Jack Ewing
1960s counterculture, Asilomar, asset-backed security, Berlin Wall, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, crossover SUV, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, hiring and firing, McMansion, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs
Volkswagen was also strong in Latin America, with a local manufacturing network that included three large car factories in Brazil. Volkswagen was a leading player in all of the world’s largest car markets except for the United States, where the VW brand was struggling. Sales were down 2.5 percent so far that year in an otherwise booming U.S. market. Winterkorn did not mention any of that. But he made it clear that Volkswagen was not ready to give up on the United States. The company planned to produce a new crossover SUV at its factory in Chattanooga, addressing the American fondness for four-wheel drive vehicles. “Volkswagen is staying in the driver’s seat,” Winterkorn said. FOUR DAYS LATER, on September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency held a press conference and issued a so-called notice of violation accusing Volkswagen of using software “that circumvents emissions testing for certain air pollutants.”
Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson
Ada Lovelace, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, bitcoin, blockchain, cloud computing, coherent worldview, computer vision, crossover SUV, cryptocurrency, defense in depth, demographic transition, distributed ledger, drone strike, easy for humans, difficult for computers, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, life extension, microbiome, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, planetary scale, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, short selling, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, Turing test, Works Progress Administration
To the extent that the project had succeeded, it had only made her real identity that much more enigmatic. Under that cover, she had, with Corvallis, raised three children in weirdly normal urban-soccer-mom style. They had never made a decision that he’d work full-time and she wouldn’t; it had just developed along those lines. Under a pseudonym, she had maintained, for three years, a blog called “Luxury Crossover SUV as Prosthesis” in which she reimagined the elite-mom lifestyle as a centaurlike existence in which one’s body, and hence identity, effectively merged with the vehicle in which one spent several hours a day stuck in traffic between various child-related errands, or spiraling up and down immense multilevel parking structures while absorbed in podcasts or engaged in Bluetooth-mediated telepathy with other such persons.
She had pursued a thread originating in Greek mythology, according to which centaurs were in some cases benevolent nurturers linked to the healing arts. The blog was witty but a little too unsparing and scary-smart to attract a wide audience—she had maybe ten thousand followers at peak, but they had a tendency to age out as their kids got into their teens. Anyway, the era of the awesomely huge gleaming luxury crossover SUV was coming to an end. Like Tolkien’s elves fading away and going into the west, they were dissolving into the used market as many families were downsizing their fleets in favor of ride-sharing services, and then fully autonomous vehicles that were owned by no one and everyone. So by the time Maeve’s and Corvallis’s kids were in the nine to twelve range, she had stopped writing the blog and, intellectually/artistically, gone dark for a decade.