Week of August 6, 2018

A few things from around the Internet this week…

Time

For all the hype around autonomous vehicles I think this is going to be one of the biggest benefits: reclaiming lost time.

For Kyla’s grandmother, who isn’t in the program, it would be a bargain to be able to pick up her grandson from school and spend time with him rather than worrying about the road.

Teamwork

Robot: “Americano for John, ready at the bar!”

I think this is a great idea for mass-market coffee shops like Starbucks and Luckin but good baristas and bartenders are irreplaceable.

There are no baristas to be seen at a coffee shop called Ratio in downtown Shanghai – and no cash desk queue. To get their caffeine fix, people perform a ritual that has become increasingly common across China: whip out their phones, scan a code at the entrance, place an order, and then pay via their mobile.

Genius

What these people were able to accomplish in the early 90’s is mindblowing. They were truly ahead of their time.

Steve Jarrett: They all look at each other and one of them says, “Honto desu ka?” which is “Can it be true?” The other guy just kind of shrugs his shoulders. Then they immediately just start yelling at each other in Japanese. One of them jumps up and grabs the telephone that’s in the room and yells down the phone. They ask us to stop and wait.

Tony Fadell: Just then the boss, Nagasawa-san, comes into the room and sees this activity. And as this happens, the loudspeaker goes, “Beep beep beep,” and we are like, “What is that?” And somebody says, “Oh, there is a typhoon warning. We all need to leave before noon, because we need to get home because the typhoon is coming.” I go, “Really?” and they go, “Yeah, but we are going to keep working.”

Steve Jarrett: Five minutes later, guys in all these multicolor factory jumpsuits show up and fll the room. And then they say, “Tony, again, please. Please describe your architecture.” So Tony gets to the part and he says, “Well, this is where there’s no modem because we’ve done it entirely in software.” The one guy grabs his head in his hand and just hits his head on the table. I said, “Is everything okay?” The guy who organized the meeting says, “You have just obsoleted Kato-san’s division.”

Pure

Come for the deep dive into ultra-pure silicon, stay for the tale of corporate greed and hubris.

Intel’s first commercial chip, released in 1971, contained 2,250 transistors. Today’s computer chips are often packed with transistors numbering in the billions. Those tiny electronic squares and rectangles are the brains that run our computers, the Internet, and the entire digital world. Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, the computer systems that underpin the work of everything from the Pentagon to your local bank—all of this and much more is based on sand, remade as silicon chips.

Cruel

How does one self-talk themself into believing that these type of petty mind games are alright? How Trump radicalized ICE:

Two minutes later, an officer with a shaved head, a black Under Armour hoodie, and a gun on his belt leaned his body through the door to stare intently at Ismael. “Why have you been working?” he asked. “We know you’ve been working.” It appeared to be an annoyed response to the lawyer’s resistance, hurled without evidence, perhaps in the hopes of provoking a self-incriminating response. It seemed of a piece with the fraught atmosphere in the waiting room. Earlier, there had been an announcement that a car was parked illegally outside and needed to be moved. Ismael’s lawyer had leaned over to tell me that this would be widely presumed to be another trick: Many immigrants under ICE scrutiny are not allowed to drive.