I am intrigued by the potential that connectivity and sensors can offer municipal governments. There are lots of opportunities to make cities more efficient, and there is also a tremendous amount of data that could really upset the status quo (The deep dive on Palantir’s work in New York City is a good example of this.)
Cities also represent a messy environment to sell systems. The buyers are very cost-conscious and may not be as sophisticated about data rights and ownership as other customers, and there are usually many competing organizations involved in a system installed at scale.
When Capitalism Fails When you think of unfettered, destructive capitalism and the developing world, you might think of Dow Chemical and Bhopal, or Shell Oil and Nigeria. But as this devastating Foreign Policy report from Zimbabwe details, the worst characteristics of unabated profit extraction are on full display by largely unregulated companies operating out of China, Russia, and other emerging market economies, including in Africa. The abuses and corruption echo the worst practices of early western capitalism, and the research left us wondering: What can be done about it? Because these companies answer to no one, the truth is: Not much.
Maybe We Should Call It The Internet of Everything Interested in what the future looks like? Our editor in chief John Battelle sees an “Actuated Internet” on the horizon that goes far beyond current depictions of an Internet of Things. Battelle travels to the Valley and goes deep with Android founder Andy Rubin’s new project to create the next biggest thing.