Links for 8th January 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. “Google Energy” Subsidiary: What’s Google Up To?

    "Google has no plans to become an energy seller but that the creation of Google Energy is an attempt to proactively address hurdles it could face in its plans to go carbon neutral. Given the legal permission to act as a utility — basically buying and selling clean energy (it owns a large rooftop solar project at its headquarters) — Google could help offset its carbon emissions that result from its large power needs." Not to mention getting its toe in the door of what promises to be a very high-stakes market indeed…

    Tagged with: Googleenergybrokerageapplicationbusinessmodel

  2. Memo to TechCrunch: Augmented Reality and Virtual Worlds Are Complementary, Not Mutually Exclusive Technologies

    "The reason augmented reality is generating so much excitement now is not because interest in virtual worlds is waning; rather, it's because there's finally consumer-friendly devices which make augmented reality feasible for mainstream use. Namely smartphones, especially the iPhone. However, the thing about augmented reality is you need content to, well, augment your reality. That will require costly new software graphics packages, or retrofits of existing 3D graphics platforms. Including, of course, Second Life."

    Tagged with: augmented-realitymetaversesecond-lifevirtuallayeringtechnologyadoption

  3. Post-Underwear-Bomber Airport Security

    "It's magical thinking: If we defend against what the terrorists did last time, we'll somehow defend against what they do one time. Of course this doesn't work. We take away guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We take away box cutters and corkscrews, and the terrorists hide explosives in their shoes. We screen shoes, they use liquids. We limit liquids, they sew PETN into their underwear. We implement full-body scanners, and they're going to do something else. This is a stupid game; we should stop playing it.

    But we can't help it. As a species we're hardwired to fear specific stories — terrorists with PETN underwear, terrorists on subways, terrorists with crop dusters — and we want to feel secure against those stories. So we implement security theater against the stories, while ignoring the broad threats." Bruce Schneier.

    Tagged with: Bruce-Schneiersecurityaircraftterrorismtheatreriskstrategypsychologypolitics

  4. Cory Doctorow: Close Enough for Rock ‘n’ Roll

    "… even without overinvestment, the gap between rock 'n' roll and the orchestra is narrowing. Technology is giving us the organizational equivalent of a really kick-ass synthesizer, one that can allow a one-man band to sound like a whole firm. It may be that we'll never get to a point where you could build Disneyland today for one tenth of what Disney has spent since 1955. But I'm pretty sure that in my lifetime, you'll be able to build an 80 percent Disneyland (you could call it "Disneyla") for maybe 30 percent of the capital sunk into the Magic Kingdom.

    This is one of the great conundra of our era: the spectre that haunts every executive, every government, every powerful person who owes her stature to her command of an empire that enjoys its pride of place thanks to the prohibitive cost of replicating it."

    Tagged with: cory-doctorowtechnologyprofessionalismbusinessoverinvestmentbubbleinnovationeconomics

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