The single greatest instrument of change in today’s business world, and the one that is creating major uncertainties for an ever-growing universe of companies, is the advancement of mathematical algorithms and their related sophisticated software. Never before has so much artificial mental power been available to so many—power to deconstruct and predict patterns and changes in everything from consumer behavior to the maintenance requirements and operating lifetimes of industrial machinery. In combination with other technological factors—including broadband mobility, sensors, and vastly increased data-crunching capacity—algorithms are dramatically changing both the structure of the global economy and the nature of business.
It wasn’t long ago that the idea of a pre-IPO tech startup with a $1 billion market value was a fantasy. Google was never worth $1 billion as a private company. Neither was Amazon nor any other alumnus of the original dotcom class.
Today the technology industry is crowded with billion-dollar startups. When Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee coined the term unicorn as a label for such corporate creatures in a November 2013 TechCrunch blog post, just 39 of the past decade’s VC-backed U.S. software startups had topped the $1 billion valuation mark. Now, casting a wider net, Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists (full list here). And given that these companies are privately held, a few are sure to have escaped our detection. The rise of the unicorn has occurred rapidly and without much warning, and it’s starting to freak some people out.
Even better is the support Silicon Valley is showing for the movie which depicts the origins of the modern day computer and the math and science which has helped our industry evolve. The ad above shows quips from various tech executives, not movie critics.
Below Keira Knightley who stars in the movie describes private screenings of the movie in SV.
And for the last 25 years, fans of the franchise have been eagerly awaiting 2015, when flying cars, self-lacing shoes and — of course — hoverboards would be everywhere. Now that we've reached 2015, it's time to find out what the filmmakers got right — and wrong — about the future.
CES is best known as a consumer electronics showcase, but there's an increasing focus on products that can have an impact on the enterprise. Here's a look at CES product launches that could have business impact – including Makerbot which rolled out a new system that will enable more composite materials to be used to make things like hammers and wood products.
USA Today summary of TVs, drones, virtual reality, cars and other tech prominent in Vegas this week
“several companies, including LG, Sharp and Panasonic, showed off 8K prototypes, models with 16 times the resolution of standard HD.”
“There were more than 100 drone companies here at CES, showing every shape and size of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, with some lower prices than we've seen in the past, and potentially easier to operate.”
"This year, the (virtual reality) has surround sound and even more immersion"
"This year, some 20% more floor space was devoted to auto tech than last year. The driverless cars get the headlines."
The Mercedes F015 concept was introduced in Vegas this week
Dr Raman has made a material which reflects 97% of sunlight while itself radiating at a wavelength of between eight and 13 microns (or millionths of a metre), which is where the atmosphere is most transparent. Production of the material is made possible with modern manufacturing methods. It consists of four layers of silicon dioxide interspersed with three of hafnium dioxide. Each of these seven layers is of a different, precisely defined thickness, ranging from 13 to 688 nanometres (or billionths of a metre). It is backed by a layer of silver 200 nanometres thick, to act as a mirror.
The result, a sheet with a total thickness of less than two microns, is the photonic equivalent of a semiconductor: it does to light what a semiconductor does to electricity, namely manipulates its energy levels. Since, optically speaking, energy levels correspond to wavelengths, such an arrangement can be tweaked to reflect some wavelengths and preferentially emit others. And that, in choosing the layers’ pedantically exact dimensions, is just what Dr Raman and his colleagues have done.
Amazon is practicing one-hour deliveries with bike messengers in New York City and pressing regulators to let it test package drop-offs with drones as the e-commerce giant tries to narrow the gap between its warehouses and its shoppers.
Amazon has been holding time trials with messengers from at least three courier services to pick the speediest and most careful for the bicycle-based service, which is being referred to as Amazon Prime Now and is operating out of the company’s new Manhattan building, according to a person familiar with the test.
The trials could open a new means of cutting delivery times for a company that is already experimenting with options like using storage lockers, its own trucking network and even drones, which it recently began testing in the U.K.