There’s an implicit unsaid followup to many of the questions about the debut of Maps and Apple Music, which goes something like this: In what specific ways are the lessons learned from the launch of these products impacted the development and preparations for the introduction of the next big thing, whatever that may be? In the vein of the attributes that define Tim Cook’s Apple, I’m confident that attention to detail at an unprecedented scale is something they’re getting better at, though not to a great enough extent that it feels fully managed yet.
Imagine yourself a game developer in the era of Twitch, the livestreaming platform on which hundreds of thousands of viewers at a time, sometimes millions, gather to watch other people play games. For you, the developer, it’s been two years or more of extreme effort and/or self-recrimination. Now, finally, the game is available; the streamers are live; and you are granted a rare experience.
It was my friend Patrick Ewing who alerted me to existence of this experience. He worked on the acclaimed game Firewatch and earlier this year, on the day of its release, he sent me a message. “The gates opening and the sudden flood of thousands of live-streamers experiencing your game in real time,” he wrote, “commenting on it and making new media on top of it that they are sharing with THEIR audience in realtime. This feels like a New Thing.”
The rest of the text about No Man’s Sky is just beautiful.
Starting today, developers can embed IFTTT within apps and enable users to connect the hundreds of apps that the service supports. That means that the world of apps is about to get a bit more like the web. Just as any website can link to any other website, apps will readily exchange info with other apps.
The self-service version of IFTTT is still around, and CEO Linden Tibbets says it will continue playing an important role. But the new platform could help the service reach infinitely more people—and generate revenue by charging developers to embed IFTTT’s technology.
This is going to be a longish post, in which I’ll dive into lots of the detail around what’s really happening in the US pay TV market. But the headline here is that cord-cutting continues to accelerate, a trend that’s been fairly consistent for quite some time.
So, how does a radical drivable bridge that costs (according to initial estimates from 2010) $75 million or so save money? By making it possible to not spend about ten times that much building a subway system. (…)
We see there that the bus is using hub-mounted motors for propulsion. This, of course, makes a lot of sense, as it allows the drive train to be highly modular, redundant, easy to swap/service, and eliminates the need for a separate steering mechanism, since wheel motors on each side can be varied in speed to allow for a sort of skid steering type of setup, like that used on tanks, and, maybe more closely, Mars rovers like Curiosity, which use (much smaller) wheel hub motors as well.
This week Sony Music reported a 39% year-on-year rise in digital streaming revenue to $25 million a week or $3.3 million per day. Universal reports earning just over $4 million per day and Warner Music logs in at about $2 million a day in revenue from audio and video streaming. That totals just shy of $10 million a day being paid by Spotify, Apple, Google, Deezer and others to the 3 dominate music groups.
Assuming that independent music companies* are logging similar revenue, and several stats that we’ve seen show that indies are experiencing in faster growth in streaming revenue, they are earning more than $5 million per day from streaming revenue.
Collectively, the music industry is now earning more that $15 million every 24 hours or almost half a billion $’s per month from music and music video streaming.
I would not assume independent music companies make a comparable amount to their market share in streaming revenue. The negotiation situation between majors and streaming providers (the former hold all the cards, the latter none) and the data that leaked over the last few years (like that Spotify contract some months ago that finally made the upfront fee public) all point to one obvious and unsurprising result: The majors made sure they get more than their appropriate share from the streaming market.
And so the verification policy gives Twitter—a corporation whose purpose it is to maximize shareholder profit—the ability to play kingmaker. By verifying a 17-year-old kid whose funny Vine posts have gotten him thousands of followers or a press mention or two, the company is making a determination that this is a person is worthy of the special privileges—and features—that such status entails. And when Twitter denies a freelance writer or a professor such privileges, the company assists the existing stratification inherent to these professions.
While it builds out its factory, Tesla is racing against a global ramp-up in lithium-ion battery production. China’s BYD has poured billions into its own battery cell technology that will likely match Tesla’s battery production capacity by 2020, reports market research firm IDTechEx, while LG Chem of Korea, which supplies General Motors with battery packs for its Volt, expects to exceed this by manufacturing 50GW of cells by 2020.
This competition is already sending battery prices tumbling. The average lithium-ion battery pack has plunged to $150 per KWh from $1,200 per kilowatt hour in 2010, says MIT’s Keith. Musk predicted on Tuesday that the Gigafactory could reach $100 per KWh by 2020, beating industry projections by about five years.
The Gigafactory is this revolution’s home base, its command center. The company literally moved mountains—excavating parts of the Nevada foothills to fit its massive footprint. Right now, the Gigafactory (which is called that because it will eventually produce many gigawatts of energy storage) covers a space of about 14 football fields. When it’s done, at about 6 million square feet, it’ll have the largest footprint of any building in the world. It will have a larger footprint than Vatican City, which is about 4.7 million square feet. It will cover 107 football fields; Musk said it will fit “50 billion hamsters.”
There’s a reason Tesla is slowly dropping the “Motors” from the company name. In fact, 50 billion reasons, as it turns out.
African fintech is not disrupting the existing financial service providers. This is because, in many areas of the continent, there is nothing to disrupt, with large swathes of the low and lower middle income segments unserved or under-served when it comes to formal financial services.
Across most of the continent, there is no formal banking or financial infrastructure in rural areas, due to the high cost of rolling out banking infrastructure. Even those in urban areas are priced out of more developed financial services such as credit and insurance.