Things I read this week (5/19/2017)

  • California Leads U.S. Economy. Bloomberg.
  • The Boring Company FAQ was made available here. tl&dr; “To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels”. In order to make tunneling work, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10. Comparing tunnel pace to a snail, and saying a snail is currently 14times faster than their tunnel boring machine. Their goal is to defeat the snail in the race. Clear, ambitious goal. I wish more companies would be as clear and as ambitious.
  • Google I/O (developer conference) just concluded. The team has been busy. tons of updates. Notable:
YouTube living room watching time grew 90% YoY. 60% on mobile. Your cable company can’t be happy about this.
2b active android devices. Google drive has 800m users. People watch 1b hours of youtube videos a day. There’s no hope for humanity.
Google Assistance is now available (with limited functionality) on ios devices.
AI/ML: beefing up Google Lens allows software to be aware of its surrounding by leveraging the camera and AI/ML.
AI/ML: beefing up Google Photos. Suggests photo sharing by (again), leveraging computer vision. Apparently, 500m users are using google photos. Wow.
Standalone VR headset. Code name #daydream.
Another attempt at figuring out social, by building Google for Jobs. MSFT, watch out.
More here.
  • Gender Bias: Analysis of VC conversations, and How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs. Hbr. Tl&dr: “financiers rhetorically produce stereotypical images of women as having qualities opposite to those considered important to being an entrepreneur, with VCs questioning their credibility, trustworthiness, experience, and knowledge. Conversely, when assessing male entrepreneurs, financiers leaned on stereotypical beliefs about men that reinforced their entrepreneurial potential. Male entrepreneurs were commonly described as being assertive, innovative, competent, experienced, knowledgeable, and having established networks”.
  • OpenAI: building robots that can learn. Here.
  • Tencent Q1 financial results are here. Strong financial results. Some concerns around declining usage. Highlights: ~$7b in revenue (55% YoY), $2.7b in profit (44% YoY). 861m MAUs (-2% YoY!!), 678m mobile (no change YoY). Follow the link for more.
  • FB: facebook will stream MLB games live, leveraging their fb live video platform. Your cable company can’t be happy about this.
  • Amazon: Epic piece on why Amazon is eating the world in TechCrunch.
  • Toyota course-correcting from betting only on fuel-cell vehicles, and into electric cars. The fact that their CEO, Akio Toyoda is leading this initiative sends a strong signal how important electric cars are for Toyota. More here. FWIW, Elon Musk called fuel-cell technology “mind-bogglingly stupid” 3 years ago.
  • RIP Chris Cornell. Your voice was the soundtrack of my formative years.
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