Next level modulairity; exchange modules between products of different types.
“Boston Dynamics, though, was never folded into Google X and was instead put up for sale. After the division’s latest robot video was posted to YouTube, in February, Google’s public-relations team expressed discomfort that Alphabet would be associated with a push into humanoid robotics. Their subsequent e-mails were also published to the internal online forum and became visible to all Google employees.”
die heutige tageszeitung (taz) über den Abbau von Wolfram für Fairphone in einer Mine in Uganda.
Sehr interessant neben dem eigentlichen Thema auch eine Randnotiz im Artikel:
“Bisher konnte man die Fairphones nur über die Webseite des Unternehmens bestellen. Am 21. März jedoch will die Deutsche-Telekom-Tochter T-Mobile Österreich bekannt geben, wie sie die Geräte erstmals auf den Massenmarkt bringt.”
Interesting article about tungsten mining for Fairphone in Uganda. As a side note, the article also mentions that T-Mobile Austria is about to reveal how it will make FP2s available to the general market.
Update: The Fairphone–T-Mobile Austria deal is official now.
Ich war am Donnerstag bei dem Event wo es bekannt gegeben wurde (bzw war es aus der Einladung auch schon ersichtlich).
I really like this idea of advanced modularity and the possibility of interchangability of modules between different devices. It somehow reminds me of the of the history of “IBM compatibe” PCs - for which the modularity also was main part of the success story. And of my old box of LEGO bricks I used to play with - until some 25+ years ago.
APA (austrian press agency) press release - 21.3.2016 (in german):
Article about the Fairphone 2 in esperanto :flag_eo: : http://eo.mondediplo.com/article2342.html
Anyone here saw the game Burn The Boards before?
The player takes on the role of Arun, a villager who came to the big city with his wife and child to try his luck. Arun gets work in Chopra’s e-waste scrapyard, a small backyard factory where a dozen workers recycle electronic components. In order to feed his family, Arun has to recycle as many boards as possible, while toxic fumes will also poison him at the same time.
Some really good reads for the ones who want to sharpen their opinion on google:
The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism
Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?
Both in English and German:
I find this almost interesting enough to start a new topic to discuss the article. But for now I just add it here.
Edit: only now I see that @fp1_wo_sw_updates had already posted this. Oh well, just a reminder to read it if you haven’t already.
No worries, I have a few more cool-scary -“googly” ones for you
Google Cloud Speech API enables developers to convert audio to text by applying powerful neural network models in an easy to use API. The API recognizes over 80 languages and variants, to support your global user base. You can transcribe the text of users dictating to an application’s microphone, enable command-and-control through voice, or transcribe audio files, among many other use cases. Recognize audio uploaded in the request, and in upcoming releases, integrate with your audio storage on Google Cloud Storage.
Google Cloud Machine Learning provides modern machine learning services, with pre-trained models and a platform to generate your own tailored models. Our neural net-based ML platform has better training performance and increased accuracy compared to other large scale deep learning systems. Our services are fast, scalable and easy to use. Major Google applications use Cloud Machine Learning, including Photos (image search), the Google app (voice search), Translate, and Inbox (Smart Reply).
Maybe we should start a seperate topic for Google related links and articles.
A little over a year ago I saw this talk in Hamburg and it fits nicely in the series:
The Invisible Committee Returns with “Fuck Off Google”
“There will be people who resist adopting and using technology, people who want nothing to do with virtual profiles, online data systems or smart phones. Yet a government might suspect that people who opt out completely have something to hide and thus are more likely to break laws, and as a counterterrorism measure, that government will build the kind of ‘hidden people’ registry we described earlier. If you don’t have any registered social-networking profiles or mobile subscriptions, and on-line references to you are unusually hard to find, you might be considered a candidate for such a registry. You might also be subjected to a strict set of new regulations that includes rigorous airport screening or even travel restrictions.”
Here is a nice article about a new documentary: Blood Oil.
How our mobile phones and plastic toys help to prop up dictatorships
Leif Wenar’s Blood Oil skillfully reveals the link between the consumer goods we purchase and the violence with which their raw materials are obtained.
Anybody here already seen it?
Fairphone has (sort of) been mentioned in the ‘Foresight studies’ of the German Ministry of Education and Research. The third publication is called “Geschichten aus der Zukunft 2030” and essentially is a collection of short stories meant to give an idea of what life might look like 15 years from now.
There’s a story of Anna, a member of an environmental organization, who was one of the first to get a ‘fair smartphone’ and who remembers the lively debates back in that time about what actually characterizes such a fair smartphone.
Anna ist seit fünfzehn Jahren berufstätig. Sie pflegt einen umweltbewussten und nachhaltigen Lebensstil. […] Konsequenterweise benutzte Anna in ihrer Jugend als eine der Ersten ein „faires“ Smartphone. Sie erinnert sich heute teils amüsiert an die manchmal endlosen Debatten in den einschlägigen Foren, was denn nun genau ein faires Smartphone ausmacht.
In the following paragraph a situation is described where ‘fair production’ is not a side issue anymore, thanks to more and more consumers caring for how their stuff has been made. There is a larger transparency along the value chain, however there is also the risk that with larger companies getting envolved environmental and social standards might be lowered again.
Für viele Firmen gehen die immer komplexeren, globalen Lieferketten mit wachsenden Risiken einher. Firmen setzen daher teilweise auf faire Geschäftsbeziehung mit ihren Lieferanten, um eine bessere der Qualität der Beschaffungsobjekte zu erreichen und um politische und rechtliche Unsicherheiten in manchen Lieferländern zu vermeiden. Positiv werden auch die zusätzlichen Kontrollmöglichkeiten gesehen und die bessere Einhaltung von Umwelt- und Sozialstandards. Hier macht sich bemerkbar, dass in vielen Branchen eine größere Transparenz
über die Produktionsbedingungen entlang der Wertschöpfungskette zunächst von Konsumenten eingefordert wurde und dann auch entstanden ist. Weil dadurch viele Missstände nach und nach offengelegt werden konnten, hat sich die Konsumentengruppe, die faire Produkte bevorzugt, von einem Randphänomen zu einer recht breiten Bewegung gewandelt. […] In der Politik werden schwere Einkommensdisparitäten schon seit Jahren als Risikofaktor für die Weltwirtschaft betrachtet. Anna beobachtet in der öffentlichen Diskussion, dass soziale Kohäsion als Voraussetzung für ein nachhaltiges Wachstum und globale wirtschaftliche Stabilität zunehmend ernster genommen wird. Sie freut sich über die beginnende, europäische Regulierung von Gütesiegeln für faire Produkte. Sorgen macht ihr nur, dass die Standards für faire Wertschöpfung dabei verwässert werden könnten. Aber sie weiß schon, welche Register sie dann im Netz ziehen würde.
Looks like an advertisement to me I can only hope that Anna also knows a lot about greenwashing and that she will remember what roles the German “TUEV” and other German companies played in the old conflicts of her time. All she needs to do is looking at the old endless “debates” in the Internet … to figure out that business is mainly about money and consumers mostly act on feelings.
“Other German companies have also played a role in the conflict. When it reviewed the palm oil operations, employees at German sustainability auditor TÜV Rheinland deliberately played down the clearing of settlements in an earlier report for Wilmar. TÜV auditors now concede they acted incorrectly at the time.” Source: Spiegel, A Tangle of Conflicts: The Dirty Business of Palm Oil
Engineering knows the physical background and environmental costs … that’s not the main problem. Marketing/MBAs are. I’m sure Anna will also remember Volkswagen’s … unusual corporate culture. The VW engineers knew what they were doing.
“VW had this special culture,” he said. “It was like North Korea without labor camps,” he added, quoting a well known description of the company by Der Spiegel magazine. “You have to obey.” Source: NYT, The Engineering of Volkswagen’s Aggressive Ambition
A fair VDI publication should include those stories as well, so they will be remembered. If an auditor get’s hired by a company … he has to audit … those audits are seldom neutral. If an engineer cannot talk openly to his supervisors … VW will have to pay a lot of money … but not to the people that bought the cars or to the people that will loose jobs because of this. It would be nice if VDI fiction would point out those social and monetary dependencies as well. Just what comes to my mind after reading the chapter … for the “discourse”. I’m not against the publication at all!
But often I think … why did they do this or acted different? And normally from their perspective it’s just the choice about staying in business or not. A story that is often not told … because the market is about money and not so much about good ideas/transparency.
From the “Don’t ever trust the cloud + customer relationships + early adopters” department Google is shooting down nest (or at least one nest product?), thus bricking the devices. IoT yay!
If you wonder what nest is/was, here is a link to wikipedia.
If someone thinks: What has this to do with FP? This is off-topic! I think: It shows you something about cloud services and devices/people that depend on them. And also how big companies sometimes work. And how small tech start-ups with good ideas … can end quickly with the wrong partners.
Update: I tried to read a bit more about it, I’m not sure if the person that wrote the article was dramatizing a bit … only one Nest product (Revolv) will not be supported anymore, I’m not so sure about the rest. I will updated the link and will remove this if find out more!
Update: nest support twitters “We’re continuing to work w/ customers on a case-by-case basis to find the best resolution, including compensation.” also they tweet "We’re not ending support for Nest Aware or our other products, only Revolv as we move forward towards a Hubless solution."
If you search for “LG G5 & friends”, you’ll notice that it’s not just modular for repairability, but actually for customizability, so yes, DEFINITELY modular!
Cassetteboy vs The Snoopers’
Standard no-fun forum disclaimer: This is not what have really said. It’s a funny fake mashup.
Sad news. David J.C. MacKay died. He contributed to machine learning and information theory and also invented Dasher and did lots of other things.
But he also wrote an easy book about energy consumption and energy production. It’s important to do some math if you don’t want to get caught up in green washing. It’s not a perfect book, but a nice little project. If you don’t know it by now, please have a look.
I´m not sure if this link was already posted:
Fairphone 2 Review by The Verge (13.4.2016):