Mobil is transforming rural India, providing opportunities for hundreds of millions

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6 Years ago I worked with an organization called Openworld and we were concerned with helping people in places like rural Africa and Asia gain access to relatively inexpensive mobile tech tools which help actualize human potential.

Now it is possible to access almost all human knowledge with a few taps on an iPod. Entire curricula can be accessed by isolated schools in the bush. People with the general aptitude can lean advanced mathematics in places where there is no running water. Schematics for motorcycles can be downloaded, same for water pumps. We are just seeing the beginning of this thing.

Mobile tech is as important as the printing press was when it emerged for a large part of the human family. It may be even more important.

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Chris Christie sells out to the car dealers and hurts consumers, blocks Tesla’s direct sales model

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Why in the world can’t I go to Toyota.com, pick out a new car, customize it, do the financing if need be, and then have it delivered to me in a couple of days? It would save me time, money, and hassle.

The answer: Car dealerships.

They don’t want you or me buying directly from the company even though the cost to me and you would likely be considerably lower. Dealerships make their money on the markup and they are not interested in just closing up shop even if their entire business model is completely outdated. So the dealers have gone to the state governments in an effort to ban direct sales. Sadly for us they have been successful in some places.

Take for instance the regulations New Jersey just approved.

(From The Wall Street Journal)

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission approved a rule change Tuesday that would require auto retailers to have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer to be granted a license to sell cars in the state.

Tesla owns its stores, selling directly to consumers, something that dealer groups in New Jersey and other states have fought, primarily through legislation.

A Tesla executive said the move amounts to a “death penalty” to its auto retail outlets in New Jersey and could encourage regulators in other states to follow suit.

The rule, which deals with the licensing of auto dealers, would require that a person have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer to be granted a license.

Tesla’s vice president of business development, Diarmuid O’Connell, said during a conference call Tuesday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration “abrogated” an agreement to hold off action on the proposal by the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission.

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Why A Decentralized, Digital Economy Is A Magnet For Innovation

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Decentralized, open sourced economic action is the way forward. Instead of the centralized and highly hierarchical economic models of the 20th Century, the 21st Century (or at least much of the 21st Century) will be defined by organic and evolving economic activity.
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How taxi cartels resort to desperate measures to kill innovation and save their crumbling industry.

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Despite this latest effort by taxi companies to exploit a tragic accident caused by an Uber driver, the people (aka the market) have spoken.
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Big Tech moves to counter the NSA on the lobbying front

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The fight for policy is often fought along K Street not in the Capitol or in the White House. In Gucci Gulch the future of industries is worked out. Who gets government largess, who does not. Who gets what contract, who does not. Who gets surveilled and…

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Obama’s Greatest Challenge: A Jobs Policy for the Tech Age

It’s not just Obama’s challenge, it’s a challenge for the country and for the world. As more and more jobs are automated how will we as societies handle this? Will we rush to restrict commerce and development? To kill ATMs to save bank teller jobs? Let’s hope not as that would be a recipe for stagnation at best, complete economic disaster at worst.

We are going to have to be more nimble as workers. Things will be less permanent. We must accept this reality or we will fall behind our potential as a country, as a planet. Going retrograde on the job front is not the answer.

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People and Technology for Prosperity, Sustainability, and Democracy