Enjoy this weekly feed of inspiring, interesting and intellectual articles and news, with a focus on disruption!
We’re going to Mars!
On Tuesday Elon Musk was live from SpaceX, in a presentation called Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species. Now we wrote about these plans a few months ago after the great posts from Tim Urban on waitbutwhy (still highly recommended!), but now they are official! “The dream is real”, as Elon put it. Funding is still a possible issue but the basis for technology is there, now all that’s needed is further research and time. If/when this happens it will be the biggest moment in human history, period. And according to the plans unveiled by Elon yesterday SpaceX plan to send spaceships of some sort to Mars every two years, and the flights (potentially with humans) start in the year 2022!!
Spotify, UBER et al disrupting the economy?
The HSBC global economist James Pomeroy suggests that the lack of inflation, which is currently characterizing the UK and Swedish economies among others, is not a sign of slow economic growth. Instead, he suggests that it might be an effect of digital technology firms like Spotify, Uber and Airbnb radically increasing the efficiency of products and services, resulting in downward pressure on prices and inflation. There are several factors at play: digital subscription services such as Spotify allows people to consume multiple times as much content while spending less than they would purchasing CD:s. Moreover, pricing is becoming more transparent as customers can research prices online before a purchase, which keeps companies from increasing prices. Pomeroy also suggests there might be a measurement issue, “Because your traditional data on productivity is perhaps less applicable when a lot of your output or consumption data is virtual.”
Calling without telecom?
The Swedish founded company Terranet have developed a technology that makes it possible for mobile phones to communicate without using SIM cards or radio masts. Instead the network infrastructure is based on other mobile devices as masts. The technology, called proximal connectivity, can also be used to distribute movies and music in areas without internet access or allow vehicles to communicate with each other. This might put further pressure on (already pressured) mobile operators, heavily reliant on their immensely expensive networks of masts.