Category Archives: Prosperity

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on the markup and they are not interested in just closing up shop even if their entire business model is completely outdated.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.

Click here for the article.

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.
Continue reading How taxi cartels resort to desperate measures to kill innovation and save their crumbling industry.

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…

Continue reading Big Tech moves to counter the NSA on the lobbying front

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.

Click here for the article.

Bitcoin is here baby! And it mystifies many

Relatively early days.
Relatively early days.

I was talking with my wife the other day about how Bitcoin only 3 years ago was an obscure experiment engaged in by cyber-punks and anti-central bank people. It was really an anarchist effort (in the good sense of maximum freedom, not in the bad sense of throwing Molotov cocktails.) Totally on the fringes. It was $3 a Bitcoin back then. Now it’s $758.
Continue reading Bitcoin is here baby! And it mystifies many

Forget Mega-Corporations, Here’s The Mega-Network

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Yes the brain implants are coming. One had better get used to this fact. But it probably won’t be put there by tech developed by a megacorporation. It is more likely that the chip will be developed by a small company working in some cases with other relatively small companies.

Giant corporations are slow to move and for the wealth associated with such firms (currently) smaller firms with access to capital and know-how, via networks, are a much more viable model in the dynamic economic ecosystem which envelops the world.

Of course then there’s Google.

Continue reading Forget Mega-Corporations, Here’s The Mega-Network

“One day a computer will fit on a desk” (Video from 1974)

I can remember walking with my father in the early 1980s through what were then considered “super computers.” And he said the same things that this fellow does in the video.

How amazing is the human mind? How amazing is technology? What fantastic things wait for us in the coming year? What new solutions? What new opportunities for achievement and mind expansion?

Of course there’s a flip side to all this but for the moment I’ve decided to focus on the positive.

Continue reading “One day a computer will fit on a desk” (Video from 1974)

Quantum Computing Takes a Big Step Forward

I remember quantum mechanics from college. We learned about Schrodinger’s and his cat (I remember something about a cat being both alive and dead inside of the box at the same time.) And we learned about the ‘uncertainty principal” which holds that the more information one knows about one subatomic particle the less one knows about the other bits of both that particle and other particles within a particular atom (I think.) For 80 years subatomic physics has basically been a cosmological game of “whack-a-mole” with no chance of ever hitting the mole.

But we may be getting closer to getting one of those moles. Scientists at Yale have developed a method for observing subatomic particles. The science I know nothing about. It involves things called qubits. I leave the rest to the article.

From the sounds of it though, quantum computing may be about to make a well, quantum leap. Things could get real powerful, real fast, real soon. We’ll see.

Click here for the article.