Author Topic: Does Google own the future? Who else does?  (Read 28317 times)

forummm

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2015, 09:16:16 AM »
I think it's a bit of a mistake to label Apple as a just a brand marketing company. They do everything they focus on extremely well. Brand marketing is certainly the most visible, but they are probably one of the best in supply chain management as well (if not the best). Their products are incredible and at their core, they may be more of a usability company than anything. It may be easy to think that people want them just because the marketing is awesome (which it is), but that's not the only reason. Everything about their products is through end to end, but at the core is making sure the products are more usable than anything else. They also do platforms extremely well. iOS is unquestionably the best mobile platform out there. Ask a mobile dev which platform they'd rather develop on and you'll get a consistent answer. This has created a network effect of increasing developers and users on iOS and has resulted in a handsome profit for Apple.

This is absolutely true. Design was Jobs's obsession. Design/usability is the reason they have the great brand and diehard followers.

There's also somewhat of a myth with first mover advantage.

Yes, like I mentioned with Xerox PARC, they created some breakthrough ways to interact with computers. But it was Jobs's insight that design and usability were crucial to making them something more than a hobby for techie nerds, and into something beautiful he could sell to millions. Being the first mover is really important for things with network effects. But your product has to be good enough that people will start to actually adopt it in order to take advantage of being the first mover. Myspace had a lot of people on it, but Facebook was a more attractive product to many people.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 09:20:36 AM by forummm »

forummm

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2015, 09:24:24 AM »
Another company that has huge potential: Über.

An incredible amount of focus for this company and they are absolutely relentless.

Some will raise eyebrows at their current valuation, but the numbers that I've seen that are public are crazy and make me realize they are not far off.

They have a crazy mission too. They want to make Über cheaper than owning a car. Who knows if they will be able to achieve that. However what would happen if Über was able to secure 1% of the personal transportation market? I don't know what that would equate to from a market cap perspective, but considering that Amazon owns about 1% of retail and Google owns about 1% of the total advertising market, it would be an undeniably large market cap.

The only way this happens is if Über is running self-driving cars. The only way they make that happen is by partnering with a much larger firm who can provide the cars.

Wolf359

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2015, 10:07:34 AM »

From our discussion so far I'm assuming both Apple and Samsung are out as far as creating the future.  A brand does not a future make.
...
Yeah,  I'm old enough to remember that Microsoft didn't even realize the internet was coming and basically ceded a lot of stuff it could have had to others.


Microsoft was obviously aware of the internet and much of its potential. Precisely because they wanted to be the gatekeepers of the internet, they infamously bundled IE with Windows and successfully crowded out Netscape. In fact, building a moat through aggressive tactics that many considered monopolistic was a key ingredient to both their success and eventual decline. Fortunately for them a few key products have held up, particularly in the business space, and continue to be cash cows.
In 1995, Microsoft launched "The Microsoft Network," or MSN.  Their objective was to take on AOL, the dominant online provider at the time, and be the service provider for business.  When asked why business would not use the Internet instead of paying for a subscription service, they were befuddled.  Bill Gates wrote his famous "Internet Tidal Wave" memo, and all Microsoft products suddenly started getting web enabled. MSN quickly morphed from being a dial-up service, to being an umbrella for Microsoft online products and services.

Microsoft, having been caught by surprise by the success of the web, had no web browser product.  They licensed the product from Spyglass, promising them a percentage of their sales.  They then gave the product away.  Spyglass got a percentage of 0.  By giving away the browser, Microsoft prevented Netscape from ever charging for theirs.  (All this came out in the Anti-trust trial and the Spyglass lawsuit)

So yes, I also remember when Microsoft didn't realize the web was coming.  They reacted quickly once they did, but their competitors were more nimble.

The lesson is that it is very, very difficult for technology companies to maintain dominance.  Leadership rotates.  Apple was a surprise because they dominated the personal computer field in the 70's, got unseated by IBM, and are now back in a leadership role as a dominant company.

It's fun to watch, but these days, I watch from the sidelines.  I don't place bets anymore.

skyrefuge

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2015, 10:08:45 AM »
Take AI for instance -   One day it won't be working so well and then "singularity" will be reached.  Within 24 hours the intelligence will go from equaling that of the entire human race to one million times that.   Amazing shit really.

Wait But Why recently published an excellent two-part article on this:

The AI Revolution

Yep, came here to post this link. One of the most eye- and brain-opening things I've read in the past year.

Essentially it shows that a bunch of smart people seriously believe that a world-changing, potentially humanity-destroying (or humanity-saving) dislocation is coming, probably within our lifetimes, whether we want it or not. It's something that could easily make all our long-term planning and saving utterly pointless, and a clear example of why Berstein believes that "depriving ourselves to boost our 40-year success probability much beyond 80% is a fool’s errand".

For any company that intends to own the future, I think they at least need to be aware of the concept of Artificial Super-Intelligence today.

Über also released ÜberPool in SF

What? It's "Uber". They're an American company, not a German one, nor are they a heavy metal band. No one says "I'm gonna take an Uueber".

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2015, 11:16:25 AM »


What? It's "Uber". They're an American company, not a German one, nor are they a heavy metal band. No one says "I'm gonna take an Uueber".

Heh, yeah sorry. No idea why I put an umlaut in.

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2015, 11:19:13 AM »

Another company that has huge potential: Über.

An incredible amount of focus for this company and they are absolutely relentless.

Some will raise eyebrows at their current valuation, but the numbers that I've seen that are public are crazy and make me realize they are not far off.

They have a crazy mission too. They want to make Über cheaper than owning a car. Who knows if they will be able to achieve that. However what would happen if Über was able to secure 1% of the personal transportation market? I don't know what that would equate to from a market cap perspective, but considering that Amazon owns about 1% of retail and Google owns about 1% of the total advertising market, it would be an undeniably large market cap.

The only way this happens is if Über is running self-driving cars. The only way they make that happen is by partnering with a much larger firm who can provide the cars.

Maybe. I guess it depends on whether or not self-driving is a feature or a product in and of itself.

My guess is the former rather than the latter. But I haven't done much research in this area and have not thought too much about how and why that would be the case.

forummm

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2015, 11:22:12 AM »
The lesson is that it is very, very difficult for technology companies to maintain dominance.  Leadership rotates.  Apple was a surprise because they dominated the personal computer field in the 70's, got unseated by IBM, and are now back in a leadership role as a dominant company.

It's fun to watch, but these days, I watch from the sidelines.  I don't place bets anymore.

It's a good lesson. These titans of industry--who created the industry really--can't see what the next big thing is, and lose out on hundreds of billions of dollars as a result. If they can't see it, how can you and I know which are the right companies to bet on? If I'd bet on Apple in the 80's or 90's, I wouldn't have been betting on the iPhone--that would have just been a nice surprise.

forummm

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2015, 11:26:42 AM »

Another company that has huge potential: Über.

An incredible amount of focus for this company and they are absolutely relentless.

Some will raise eyebrows at their current valuation, but the numbers that I've seen that are public are crazy and make me realize they are not far off.

They have a crazy mission too. They want to make Über cheaper than owning a car. Who knows if they will be able to achieve that. However what would happen if Über was able to secure 1% of the personal transportation market? I don't know what that would equate to from a market cap perspective, but considering that Amazon owns about 1% of retail and Google owns about 1% of the total advertising market, it would be an undeniably large market cap.

The only way this happens is if Über is running self-driving cars. The only way they make that happen is by partnering with a much larger firm who can provide the cars.

Maybe. I guess it depends on whether or not self-driving is a feature or a product in and of itself.

My guess is the former rather than the latter. But I haven't done much research in this area and have not thought too much about how and why that would be the case.

In order to get the service cheap enough and have ubiquitous availability and get people even more comfortable with it, it would need to be autonomous. You need to cut out the cost of the driver and the surge pricing (to some extent), and have the vehicles always out waiting for people. And I would be much more comfortable ordering one if there wasn't the human element involved. Maybe because I'm antisocial. Maybe because I'm paranoid. I paid more to drive myself and park at the airport when going out of town for a long trip because I didn't want to have some driver see me get in the car with a suitcase, clearly leaving my house empty. If it was automated, I wouldn't have that fear. There have been some limited issues with drivers committing crimes against passengers too.

theoverlook

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2015, 12:06:13 PM »

Maybe. I guess it depends on whether or not self-driving is a feature or a product in and of itself.

My guess is the former rather than the latter. But I haven't done much research in this area and have not thought too much about how and why that would be the case.

That's a great point.  The "self driving" part of the equation will be trivial for automakers to add to their existing vehicles, once the technology is ready for prime time.  Maybe the first gen of self driving cars will be a product in and of itself, but after that Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc will be making them in large numbers.

They might license a technology from Google or the like, but once the tech is out there, it won't be constrained to one manufacturer.

Kaspian

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2015, 12:10:18 PM »
Important note to everyone who thinks Google or Apple "own the future":  So did Atari, Commodore, Pitney-Bowes, Nortel, and Research in Motion. 

(If I wasn't an index investor, personally my money would be on Raspberry Pi owning the future.  ...At least for a little while.)

Bob W

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2015, 12:26:13 PM »
The future is most definitely not the past --  If it were, I would be consulting a dictionary every time I manually typed a letter, using correction fluid, before I mailed in these posts.   I would also be calling you up on my rotary dial party line at $5 per minute long distance.  (I survived these dark age times!)

Since tech is essentially an exponential thingy it is just damn near impossible to wrap ones head around.   The implementation is so much slower than the invention at this point that that adds another layer of fog.

Ear cartilage implanted phone/computers will be available in a few years.  But I see very few people actually using blue tooth ear phones at this point even though that has been with us over 12 years.     

Driverless cars and trucks probably safely feasible in 3 years but politically implemented when?

So if we have (and I'm sure we will) Super Duper Duper AI computing capability readily available on the cloud to any and everyone we might just see it being used for hologram porn 80% of the time.   

But without a doubt those folks who own the SDDAI at first will reap huge $ selling the access.   And then in 1 year everyone will have access to AI for like $25 a month.

Can you imagine what will happen with ISIS has AI in their pocket?   They'll be designing super microweapons on day one.  Biological and nano weapons of all sorts.

Shit I'm scaring myself now!   

Kaspian

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2015, 01:11:33 PM »

So if we have (and I'm sure we will) Super Duper Duper AI computing capability readily available on the cloud to any and everyone we might just see it being used for hologram porn 80% of the time.   


When they figure out "Super Duper Duper AI" I am dropping a huge wad of money to invest in RealDoll.

skyrefuge

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2015, 03:48:52 PM »
So if we have (and I'm sure we will) Super Duper Duper AI computing capability readily available on the cloud to any and everyone we might just see it being used for hologram porn 80% of the time.   

But without a doubt those folks who own the SDDAI at first will reap huge $ selling the access.   And then in 1 year everyone will have access to AI for like $25 a month.

Can you imagine what will happen with ISIS has AI in their pocket?   They'll be designing super microweapons on day one.  Biological and nano weapons of all sorts.

Shit I'm scaring myself now!   

You're scaring yourself, and I think you're still seriously underestimating "SDDAI" (Artificial Superintelligence, or "ASI", in the AI research community). If created, it's unlikely anyone will be able to "own" ASI, and it's just as likely to control/destroy/turn-into ISIS as ISIS is to control it.

Again, from the Wait But Why article (everyone should really read the entire thing):

(note: AGI=artificial intelligence as smart as a human, ASI=artificial superintelligence beyond human understanding)

There is some debate about how soon AI will reach human-level general intelligence—the median year on a survey of hundreds of scientists about when they believed we’d be more likely than not to have reached AGI was 2040—that’s only 25 years from now, which doesn’t sound that huge until you consider that many of the thinkers in this field think it’s likely that the progression from AGI to ASI happens very quickly. Like—this could happen:

It takes decades for the first AI system to reach low-level general intelligence, but it finally happens. A computer is able to understand the world around it as well as a human four-year-old. Suddenly, within an hour of hitting that milestone, the system pumps out the grand theory of physics that unifies general relativity and quantum mechanics, something no human has been able to definitively do. 90 minutes after that, the AI has become an ASI, 170,000 times more intelligent than a human.

Superintelligence of that magnitude is not something we can remotely grasp, any more than a bumblebee can wrap its head around Keynesian Economics. In our world, smart means a 130 IQ and stupid means an 85 IQ—we don’t have a word for an IQ of 12,952.

What we do know is that humans’ utter dominance on this Earth suggests a clear rule: with intelligence comes power. Which means an ASI, when we create it, will be the most powerful being in the history of life on Earth, and all living things, including humans, will be entirely at its whim—and this might happen in the next few decades.

If our meager brains were able to invent wifi, then something 100 or 1,000 or 1 billion times smarter than we are should have no problem controlling the positioning of each and every atom in the world in any way it likes, at any time—everything we consider magic, every power we imagine a supreme God to have will be as mundane an activity for the ASI as flipping on a light switch is for us. Creating the technology to reverse human aging, curing disease and hunger and even mortality, reprogramming the weather to protect the future of life on Earth—all suddenly possible. Also possible is the immediate end of all life on Earth. As far as we’re concerned, if an ASI comes to being, there is now an omnipotent God on Earth

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2015, 08:39:06 PM »
Important note to everyone who thinks Google or Apple "own the future":  So did Atari, Commodore, Pitney-Bowes, Nortel, and Research in Motion. 

(If I wasn't an index investor, personally my money would be on Raspberry Pi owning the future.  ...At least for a little while.)

Yeah anyone who's heavily invested in Apple alone (as opposed to heavily exposed through an index fund or sector ETF) might want to make sure they don't have their blinders on.  You could start with this rather interesting article:

I Quit: What Really Goes on at Apple[/quote]

Quote
Sixteen hour days are filled with meetings after meetings followed by more meetings. Whilst this is somewhat standard in most organisations, meetings at Apple wreaked of toxic agendas designed to deliberately trip people up, make fools of the less respected and call people out. Team spirit is non existent as ‘internal customers’ attack individuals and push agendas that satisfy their morning egos. Hours upon hours were wasted in meetings to prepare for meetings in preparation for other meetings to the point where little work actually got done.

Bob W

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2015, 09:23:13 PM »
Sid,   thanks for that link.    Seems like anyone working at Apple should be saving every penny and looking for other work.   They most pay really, really well.   Steve Jobs always seemed like a douche to me.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 07:33:32 AM by Bob W »

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2015, 10:48:44 PM »

Important note to everyone who thinks Google or Apple "own the future":  So did Atari, Commodore, Pitney-Bowes, Nortel, and Research in Motion. 

(If I wasn't an index investor, personally my money would be on Raspberry Pi owning the future.  ...At least for a little while.)

There are lessons to be learned from each of the companies you mention. If your argument is that Apple or Google is making the same mistakes as any of these companies, it would be great to hear your argument. From what I know of the companies that failed, I don't see either company making the same mistakes, but maybe I'm missing something.

Raspberry Pi isn't publicly traded, so not sure how you'd invest. Even if it were, I don't think it'd be a good investment. They are made of commodity components that could easily be replicated.

forummm

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2015, 07:17:58 AM »
Important note to everyone who thinks Google or Apple "own the future":  So did Atari, Commodore, Pitney-Bowes, Nortel, and Research in Motion. 

(If I wasn't an index investor, personally my money would be on Raspberry Pi owning the future.  ...At least for a little while.)

Yeah anyone who's heavily invested in Apple alone (as opposed to heavily exposed through an index fund or sector ETF) might want to make sure they don't have their blinders on.  You could start with this rather interesting article:

I Quit: What Really Goes on at Apple

Quote
Sixteen hour days are filled with meetings after meetings followed by more meetings. Whilst this is somewhat standard in most organisations, meetings at Apple wreaked of toxic agendas designed to deliberately trip people up, make fools of the less respected and call people out. Team spirit is non existent as ‘internal customers’ attack individuals and push agendas that satisfy their morning egos. Hours upon hours were wasted in meetings to prepare for meetings in preparation for other meetings to the point where little work actually got done.
[/quote]

Haven't read the article yet. But I think any large organization has too many meetings, and meetings to plan for other meetings. Internal competitiveness can vary a lot. I think the higher up you go in any large organization (and the farther away from people doing the actual work), the more meetings you have. People higher up are making decisions based on information, and perform coordinating activities. That requires some exchange among people.

Bob W

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2015, 07:38:36 AM »
This just in --- Apple came out with a watch today!      $300 - 17K.   

That is so weird because I don't know anyone who wears a watch?   

brooklynguy

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2015, 07:45:45 AM »
Wait But Why recently published an excellent two-part article on this:

The AI Revolution

Yep, came here to post this link. One of the most eye- and brain-opening things I've read in the past year.

Thank you Pedestrian and skyrefuge for posting and recommending this article.  I'm only two-thirds of the way through so far (because it immediately became obvious that this article deserves a proper, undivided-attention read, not a Smartphone Age multitasking-skim-read), but to say it is eye- and mind-opening is a gross understatement.  When I first learned about nanotechnology (and the fact that serious thinkers believe the possibility of realizing it is science fact and not science fiction) in college 15 years ago, the potential for humanity's achievement of true godlike powers in the relatively near future astounded and frightened me.  But the shit this article describes takes it to a vastly higher level.

We all like to think of ourselves as enlightened for having woken up from (or never having succumbed to) the consumerist Matrix that the rest of humanity in the developed world is still plugged into.  But this article really puts into perspective the shallowness of that outlook:  if the viewpoints described in the article (which happen to be held by some of the smartest people on the planet who are the most informed about this topic) are anywhere in the ballpark of being correct, then we're all walking around with our eyes shut to the true possibilities (and perhaps catastrophes?) on the horizon on an exponentially more fundamental level.

Manguy888

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2015, 07:59:14 AM »
This AI article is also blowing my mind, and has me evaluating just how linearly my thinking is. To link this back to early retirement, for planning purposes I generally guess that I'll live to be between 85-95 because that's what I see in my family tree plus 5-10% extra due to medical science magic.

But if something truly disruptive happens that allows us to regularly live to 100-150, all of my planning and Trinity study reading goes out the window. What's the safe withdrawal rate for a 100 year retirement?

arebelspy

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2015, 08:57:57 AM »
This AI article is also blowing my mind, and has me evaluating just how linearly my thinking is. To link this back to early retirement, for planning purposes I generally guess that I'll live to be between 85-95 because that's what I see in my family tree plus 5-10% extra due to medical science magic.

But if something truly disruptive happens that allows us to regularly live to 100-150, all of my planning and Trinity study reading goes out the window. What's the safe withdrawal rate for a 100 year retirement?

3% should last fairly indefinitely.  And if you start with a 4%, you'll very likely be under 3% at some point.  (Actually, I wonder if someone could calculate the odds on that).

But then you run into Berstein's "any success rate > 80% is basically meaningless" point.

With that much upheaval, does money even matter?  Who knows.  You may still be thinking too linearly.
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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2015, 09:32:16 AM »
This AI article is also blowing my mind, and has me evaluating just how linearly my thinking is. To link this back to early retirement, for planning purposes I generally guess that I'll live to be between 85-95 because that's what I see in my family tree plus 5-10% extra due to medical science magic.

But if something truly disruptive happens that allows us to regularly live to 100-150, all of my planning and Trinity study reading goes out the window. What's the safe withdrawal rate for a 100 year retirement?

3% should last fairly indefinitely.  And if you start with a 4%, you'll very likely be under 3% at some point.  (Actually, I wonder if someone could calculate the odds on that).

But then you run into Berstein's "any success rate > 80% is basically meaningless" point.

With that much upheaval, does money even matter?  Who knows.  You may still be thinking too linearly.

If I hadn't mentioned it already -- thanks to you arebelspy for originally referring me to wait but why which was the impetus for this thread.

Liner vs. exponential thinking is indeed the problem.   The world, economics, capitalism, production may be so drastically altered in the relatively near future that we can't presently understand it.   Who knows the concept of countries and political parties may evaporate in just a few months. 






arebelspy

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2015, 09:54:47 AM »
If I hadn't mentioned it already -- thanks to you arebelspy for originally referring me to wait but why which was the impetus for this thread.



Wait But Why has lots of other mindblowing and/or interesting posts as well.  Not in the same genre (AI), but still very worth reading.
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brooklynguy

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2015, 10:42:20 AM »
And if you start with a 4%, you'll very likely be under 3% at some point.  (Actually, I wonder if someone could calculate the odds on that).

I was thinking we could figure this out by using cFIREsim's "Retire Again & Again" spending plan as a crude tool, by setting the "Threshold for Spending Increase" to 33.33% (which is how much your portfolio would have to rise in order to bump you from a 4% WR to a 3% WR, all calculated in inflation-adjusted terms), and then counting how many lines in the graph get a spending bump at some point in their trajectory out of the total number of lines.

But I just did this (using cFIREsim's default settings for everything else), and it looks like only 1 out of 115 cycles got a spending bump.  The answer can't be that the historical odds of going from a 4% WR to a 3% WR are only 1/115.  I'm not sure if this is due to a flaw in my methodology, or a defect in cFIREsim (we already know that cFIREsim's "Retire Again & Again" calculation doesn't seem to be working properly, because it only ever generates one spending bump instead of ratcheting up every time the threshold is crossed, as discussed in this thread).

Manguy888

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2015, 10:51:42 AM »
my knowledge of cFIRESim is not great as I've only used it a few times. But doesn't it do simulations based on real world data from the past? If that's the case, there are not going to be many test cases that can be run realistically with a 100 year timeframe.

brooklynguy

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2015, 11:03:29 AM »
The cFIREsim run above was testing for the number of historical cases that went from 4% to 3% in a 30-year period, and it gives the same answer for longer periods (which makes sense, since it's reporting only a single historical case where this happened).  But I believe that answer must be wrong, so there must be a flaw either in the approach I'm using to answer the question or in cFIREsim itself.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2015, 01:57:16 PM »
A company nobody has mentioned that could do a lot with driverless transportation:  UPS.  They already have Orion, an AI to calculate efficient routes for deliveries.  Also maybe Nvidia, since GPUs are providing lots of efficient parallel computational power.  Maybe also Amazon, since they've got to be interested in cutting shipping costs, and maybe they can do it with automated [drone/car/truck/butler-bot].

In general, it sounds like AI is likely the next tech boom.  The phone and internet enabled faster and richer communication.  To enrich the physical world, I think robots, drones, driverless cars/trucks, etc. powered by AI will be the next big thing.

A lot of tech advancements has always given me the impression that it is taking on the roll of an automated servant that humans can buy once and then just feed them electricity.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2015, 02:12:10 PM »
This just in --- Apple came out with a watch today!      $300 - 17K.   

That is so weird because I don't know anyone who wears a watch?
You will soon. Every single model is sold out through June. That includes the gold one.


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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2015, 05:22:58 PM »
This just in --- Apple came out with a watch today!      $300 - 17K.   

That is so weird because I don't know anyone who wears a watch?
You will soon. Every single model is sold out through June. That includes the gold one.

Sheeple be crazy. We spend 20 years realizing that watches are stupid now that there are clocks everywhere and don't wear them anymore. Then Apple and their marketing tell us we gotta have one, even if we don't know what it does. It's Apple and therefore by definition is cool, so get out your Visa.

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2015, 05:50:19 PM »

This just in --- Apple came out with a watch today!      $300 - 17K.   

That is so weird because I don't know anyone who wears a watch?
You will soon. Every single model is sold out through June. That includes the gold one.

Sheeple be crazy. We spend 20 years realizing that watches are stupid now that there are clocks everywhere and don't wear them anymore. Then Apple and their marketing tell us we gotta have one, even if we don't know what it does. It's Apple and therefore by definition is cool, so get out your Visa.

It could be easy to dismiss if you think of it as just a watch whose only function is to tell time. However, if you think of it as a computer on your wrist with a display and a host of biometric sensors, linear actuators that can produce haptic feedback, a GPS, accelerometers along with an API that can be used by developers to create apps, then the reason someone might want one become a little more apparent.

The technology along with the we ability unlock new functionality and make existing use cases much easier:

Telling time
--------------
Current: pullout your phone and look at screen
Watch: look at wrist

Reading a Message
--------------
Current: Pullout phone, read message on home screen
Watch: Look at wrist

Meeting Notification
--------------
Current: Vibration on phone, pullout phone to view meeting location
Watch: Haptic vibration; look at watch

Monitor Steps
--------------
Current: Variable depending on device but most likely push a button to see step indicator
Watch: Use glance on watch or use haptic vibration

Navigate to a location
--------------
Current: Pull out phone, unlock screen or use Siri, pull up maps app, enter location, use map app with phone out to navigate
Watch: Tell Siri location. Look at screen to navigate or navigate entirely with haptic feedback

Payments
Current: pull out phone or wallet, use phone or items in wallet to make purchase
Watch: verify purchase on watch

These are everyday use cases. Is it necessary? No. Does it simplify the use cases? Absolutely. Each user problem it eliminates a step and makes it easier.

These use cases are for the default feature set (and there are more). Imagine what will happen when a developer community is unleashed on it. Great things will happen.

One of the best things about it I think is the haptic feedback. It will make the technology we use today more discreet. Haptic feedback will help enable this.

So, I don't think it's marketing alone, although it will certainly help. I think a lot of people will view the watch as making current user problems easier and more streamlined.

How will it be received? I don't think we know yet, but it will be interesting to watch unfold (no pun intended).

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2015, 06:24:01 PM »
I have this sneaking suspicious that Google tends to be a little too early with most of their tech. About a generation or lifecycle ahead of the curve when the timing just isn't right. I see this in robotics, in wearables, in the autonomous car too. Apple understands how important the product/market fit and timing are better than any other company out there. There's a great saying in investing that goes something like "being too early is often indistinguishable from being right".

Google is still 90%+ dependent on advertising and eyeballs which can change in a heartbeat. They've yet to prove that they can deftly move from one paradigm shift to the next whereas Apple has almost started all of them.

Where I think Apple is has an advantage is they view themselves as a "personal computing" company. They're not beholden to a particular form factor or function or platform, and have deftly navigated the evolution of computing from PC > Internet > Mobile Devices. And now we see them laying the groundwork for Healthcare, Fashion, Transportation, and Banking. While these industries have implemented technologies (getting on the web, using software to streamline operations, etc), "personal computing" has yet to really make inroads here.

There are opportunities for personal computing in Fashion and Healthcare (Apple Watch) that didn't previously exist. It's just starting to impact transportation (Uber, Maps, Autos), and same goes for Finance/Banking (ApplePay). We're seeing all these industries gently being pulled into the orbit of personal computing for the first time, and while Apple may not emerge as the sole victor, I cannot think of any company better positioned.

Just playing the odds, and I think Apple has the leg up. Not saying I'm guaranteeing it or anything, but if I had to bet on one company, it'd be Apple.

*disclaimer: I've worked for both Apple and Google

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #81 on: April 10, 2015, 06:33:44 PM »
^^ Great insights. Thanks!

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #82 on: April 10, 2015, 08:41:26 PM »
If I hadn't mentioned it already -- thanks to you arebelspy for originally referring me to wait but why which was the impetus for this thread.

Ah, thanks for pointing that out. Here is ARS's original post linking to the Wait But Why AI articles, with subsequent discussion, which is probably a better place to continue this line of conversation or learn more (I think I'd stopped reading that thread after the first page!):

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/robots-and-their-impact-on-the-future/msg541618/#msg541618

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #83 on: April 11, 2015, 11:39:29 AM »

Important note to everyone who thinks Google or Apple "own the future":  So did Atari, Commodore, Pitney-Bowes, Nortel, and Research in Motion. 

(If I wasn't an index investor, personally my money would be on Raspberry Pi owning the future.  ...At least for a little while.)

There are lessons to be learned from each of the companies you mention. If your argument is that Apple or Google is making the same mistakes as any of these companies, it would be great to hear your argument. From what I know of the companies that failed, I don't see either company making the same mistakes, but maybe I'm missing something.


That is my argument--you won't "see" them making mistakes.  None of the companies I listed saw their mistakes coming either.  ...Until they did. 

Raspberry Pi isn't publicly traded, so not sure how you'd invest. Even if it were, I don't think it'd be a good investment. They are made of commodity components that could easily be replicated.

I know.  I meant "my money is on" as in I think that they could be a winner.  (I was also being a little facetious.)  They also make an OS for their boards.  And they just became the biggest selling UK computer manufacturer ever.  My point was, Apple people could eventually switch to Raspberry and then say, "We knew it was the future all along.  It won't fail."  IT is completely unpredictable at this point.  Even Nintendo could have a huge comeback.  The Nintendo NES is really the only gaming system I can think of where people get tears in their eyes reminiscing about it.  Nintendo could come back someday on sentiment alone.  Sony for the moment has spanked Microsoft's bum in the gaming arena. (This is after people said years ago that Microsoft was clearly going to win the console wars.)   ...But they're still not making any money.  But maybe they will eventually?   Remember that Apple started with PCs, then went to nothing for a really long time, then to just music players, then back into everything else. 

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/17/raspberry-pi-sales-pass-5-million/
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 11:42:19 AM by Kaspian »

LordSquidworth

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #84 on: April 11, 2015, 11:58:18 AM »
I have this sneaking suspicious that Google tends to be a little too early with most of their tech. About a generation or lifecycle ahead of the curve when the timing just isn't right. I see this in robotics, in wearables, in the autonomous car too. Apple understands how important the product/market fit and timing are better than any other company out there. There's a great saying in investing that goes something like "being too early is often indistinguishable from being right".

Google is still 90%+ dependent on advertising and eyeballs which can change in a heartbeat. They've yet to prove that they can deftly move from one paradigm shift to the next whereas Apple has almost started all of them.

Where I think Apple is has an advantage is they view themselves as a "personal computing" company. They're not beholden to a particular form factor or function or platform, and have deftly navigated the evolution of computing from PC > Internet > Mobile Devices. And now we see them laying the groundwork for Healthcare, Fashion, Transportation, and Banking. While these industries have implemented technologies (getting on the web, using software to streamline operations, etc), "personal computing" has yet to really make inroads here.

There are opportunities for personal computing in Fashion and Healthcare (Apple Watch) that didn't previously exist. It's just starting to impact transportation (Uber, Maps, Autos), and same goes for Finance/Banking (ApplePay). We're seeing all these industries gently being pulled into the orbit of personal computing for the first time, and while Apple may not emerge as the sole victor, I cannot think of any company better positioned.

Just playing the odds, and I think Apple has the leg up. Not saying I'm guaranteeing it or anything, but if I had to bet on one company, it'd be Apple.

*disclaimer: I've worked for both Apple and Google

I think Google tries to do too many things at once, and they don't focus enough leaving openings for others to take their technology and one up them.

Compared to Apple who excels at taking other products and turning them into really great products. They're not always the first to something, they just do it better than everyone else.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2015, 12:01:54 PM »
Interesting and shows we really have no clue about the future:

Best selling PC of all time:  Commodore 64
Best selling game console of all time:  Sony PlayStation 2
Largest technology company by revenue: Samsung
Top-selling mobile phone of all time:  Nokia 1100


Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2015, 02:14:48 PM »


That is my argument--you won't "see" them making mistakes.  None of the companies I listed saw their mistakes coming either.  ...Until they

I know.  I meant "my money is on" as in I think that they could be a winner.  (I was also being a little facetious.)  They also make an OS for their boards.  And they just became the biggest selling UK computer manufacturer ever.  My point was, Apple people could eventually switch to Raspberry and then say, "We knew it was the future all along.  It won't fail."  IT is completely unpredictable at this point.

Maybe. I think asking if they saw it coming is a very different question than could they have seen it coming. Blackberry is a great example. Apple enthusiast sites were talking about rumors of a phone in 2005. They presented evidence such as patents filed, domain names registered and public job listings for wireless engineers. Did Blackberry see this? Could they have seen this? Did they have meeting to talk about "What if they do? What does that mean to us if they are right in their thesis?" I'm not sure. Could they have? Absolutely. I'm not arguing they should have seen it coming, or didn't see it coming, but rather, it would have been possible to have considered it at the time because there was evidence available.

With regard to Raspberry, there's a reason why they are the largest computer manufacturer of all time to come out of the UK. That's because the UK isn't known for manufacturing computers. They've sold 5MM units? Apple sold 10MM units of the iPhone 6 in the first weekend it was on sale.   One could argue that Apple already has a product similar to Raspberry Pi in small form factor: the Apple TV.  They sold over 10MM units in 2013 alone and generated over $1B in revenue from it (likely excluding ancillary media sales).

Samsung does have higher revenue, but when you look at net income, it's an entirely different story. Look at # of employees of Samsung vs. Apple as well. It takes a lot of employees to produce so many different product lines. If a company can focus on a few product lines and execute on them such that they can demand much higher margins, then your net income will be much higher than the company that executes on a different strategy.


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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2015, 02:51:23 PM »
Driverless cars and trucks probably safely feasible in 3 years but politically implemented when?

Driverless trucks in 3 years? LOL.

The Self-Driving Google Car May Never Actually Happen

Quote
MIT roboticist John Leonard [...] who does not expect a full self-driving car in his lifetime (he’s 49).

[...]

The mapping system isn’t the only problem. The Google car doesn’t know much about parking: It can’t currently find a space in a supermarket lot or multilevel garage. It can't consistently handle coned-off road construction sites, and its video cameras can sometimes be blinded by the sun when trying to detect the color of a traffic signal. Because it can't tell the difference between a big rock and a crumbled-up piece of newspaper, it will try to drive around both if it encounters either sitting in the middle of the road. (Google specifically confirmed these present shortcomings to me for the MIT Technology Review article.) Can the car currently "see" another vehicle's turn signals or brake lights? Can it tell the difference between the flashing lights on top of a tow truck and those on top of an ambulance? If it's driving past a school playground, and a ball rolls out into the street, will it know to be on special alert? (Google declined to respond to these additional questions when I posed them.)

[...]

Raj Rajkumar, director of autonomous driving research at Carnegie-Mellon University [...] adds that the Detroit carmakers with whom he collaborates on autonomous vehicles believe that the prospect of a fully self-driving car arriving anytime soon is "pure science fiction."

forummm

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2015, 03:52:37 PM »
Driverless cars and trucks probably safely feasible in 3 years but politically implemented when?

Driverless trucks in 3 years? LOL.

The Self-Driving Google Car May Never Actually Happen

Quote
MIT roboticist John Leonard [...] who does not expect a full self-driving car in his lifetime (he’s 49).

[...]

The mapping system isn’t the only problem. The Google car doesn’t know much about parking: It can’t currently find a space in a supermarket lot or multilevel garage. It can't consistently handle coned-off road construction sites, and its video cameras can sometimes be blinded by the sun when trying to detect the color of a traffic signal. Because it can't tell the difference between a big rock and a crumbled-up piece of newspaper, it will try to drive around both if it encounters either sitting in the middle of the road. (Google specifically confirmed these present shortcomings to me for the MIT Technology Review article.) Can the car currently "see" another vehicle's turn signals or brake lights? Can it tell the difference between the flashing lights on top of a tow truck and those on top of an ambulance? If it's driving past a school playground, and a ball rolls out into the street, will it know to be on special alert? (Google declined to respond to these additional questions when I posed them.)

[...]

Raj Rajkumar, director of autonomous driving research at Carnegie-Mellon University [...] adds that the Detroit carmakers with whom he collaborates on autonomous vehicles believe that the prospect of a fully self-driving car arriving anytime soon is "pure science fiction."

I agree this is far more than 3 years away. But unless Leonard is planning to die before 70, I would be surprised if he didn't see a car that was fully capable of driving itself. Whether it's legal to do so is a different issue.

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #89 on: April 11, 2015, 04:43:14 PM »
I'm also another skeptic of some timelines I've heard on driverless vehicles.

For the reasons mentioned, it would be difficult to handle a variety of driving conditions which would make tasks like interstate trucking difficult.

Solving many of the driverless car problems at scale could make it difficult to roll out for consumer and a variety of commercial use cases.

However, what about the use cases that don't have any of the aforementioned issues? Do these exist? What about driverless forklifts or something along those lines? They could work in a more controlled environment, which would eliminate the mapping issues. I have no idea if this would actually be feasible, I bring it up mostly to ask if there are other use cases that could be solved before everything has to be solved. My guess is it's possible.

Also, I'm not sure some of the other issues could be solved relatively easily. It's conceivable that an individual  could rely on other data collected by other cars and devices (phones and other devices with accelerometers) to aggregate and more accurately depict real time road conditions. Each time a connected device travels a road, the information about the road improves.

One issue I haven't heard a lot of talk about is liability. Who is responsible if there is a crash? What happens when a driverless car collides with a car with a driver? What happens when there is a death? What happens when there is a new update rolled out with a massive bug? How is insurance handled? Who is the insured? Is it the software company?

These problems aren't intractable, but they need to be worked through. My guess is that they will not be solved within the next three years.

However, if a use case can be identified where the problem set is smaller, we should see more rapid progress.

dang1

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #90 on: April 11, 2015, 05:50:47 PM »
Google is a really forward looking company; gets my vote, among tech companies, to affect most people's lives in the future. It aims for mass adoption of its products. Android is 80% of smartphones, enabling even more and more people, internet access. Google's moonshots keeps it on the bleeding edge. If Microsoft's Window's victory in personal computing enabled it to become the dominant tech company for decades, Android and Search will enable Google to stay in the forefront for years to come.

TheBuddha

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #91 on: April 11, 2015, 06:16:37 PM »

However, what about the use cases that don't have any of the aforementioned issues? Do these exist?

Currently some caravans of semi-automated trucks are being tested in wide-open states like Nevada, where the computer keeps them inches from each others' bumpers in order to cut wind resistance and improve fuel mileage.

(Sorry for the off-topic diversion, I know the thread is about specific companies.)

ValueIsWhatYouGet

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #92 on: April 12, 2015, 07:49:11 AM »
Google is a really forward looking company; gets my vote, among tech companies, to affect most people's lives in the future. It aims for mass adoption of its products. Android is 80% of smartphones, enabling even more and more people, internet access. Google's moonshots keeps it on the bleeding edge. If Microsoft's Window's victory in personal computing enabled it to become the dominant tech company for decades, Android and Search will enable Google to stay in the forefront for years to come.

None of these "moonshots" are even close to being in the public's hands at this point, let alone viable products. What if one of moonshots just becomes another commodity? It's hard to predict what will become the next trend, let alone which will become one that creates a Fortune 50 company. CD manufacturing was on the bleeding edge at one point, but no company made a killing off of it; it was simply a commodity product.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #93 on: April 12, 2015, 08:00:12 AM »
I'm also another skeptic of some timelines I've heard on driverless vehicles.

For the reasons mentioned, it would be difficult to handle a variety of driving conditions which would make tasks like interstate trucking difficult.

Solving many of the driverless car problems at scale could make it difficult to roll out for consumer and a variety of commercial use cases.

However, what about the use cases that don't have any of the aforementioned issues? Do these exist? What about driverless forklifts or something along those lines? They could work in a more controlled environment, which would eliminate the mapping issues. I have no idea if this would actually be feasible, I bring it up mostly to ask if there are other use cases that could be solved before everything has to be solved. My guess is it's possible.

Also, I'm not sure some of the other issues could be solved relatively easily. It's conceivable that an individual  could rely on other data collected by other cars and devices (phones and other devices with accelerometers) to aggregate and more accurately depict real time road conditions. Each time a connected device travels a road, the information about the road improves.

One issue I haven't heard a lot of talk about is liability. Who is responsible if there is a crash? What happens when a driverless car collides with a car with a driver? What happens when there is a death? What happens when there is a new update rolled out with a massive bug? How is insurance handled? Who is the insured? Is it the software company?

These problems aren't intractable, but they need to be worked through. My guess is that they will not be solved within the next three years.

However, if a use case can be identified where the problem set is smaller, we should see more rapid progress.

This is why I think Google will suffer from being too early. Autonomous cars will happen. It's just a matter of when. But I think people get too confident in their ability to predict future events. Like in investing, we simply do not know what the future will hold, and if/when a particular event will occur. We can make guesses, but they're only that. Google may well have the self driving car "figured out" in 3 years, but it may take another 20 to get the public, lawmakers, Dept of Transportation, infrastructure, etc to match. At that point, Google could be out of business for all we know.

There are now rumors of Apple getting into building a car and I see them taking a slightly different approach. Even though it seems a foregone conclusion that the self driving will be a reality some day, Apple doesn't know when this will be. So in the meantime, they just release this incredible electric car, with technological bells and whistles (think Tesla, but with tighter iOS integration, etc), that still requires a human driver. Apple can keep load the thing up with sensors and advanced technology so when the time is right for self driving cars, they just push out a software update. Sounds farcical? This is exactly what Tesla plans to do this summer.

This is why my money is still on Apple. They've proven they're great at skating to where the puck is going to throughout the movements and changes in the industry. Google skates to be right in front of the goal, hoping they'll get the chance to tap the puck in, but never really knowing if/when it will come to them.

I truly admire and respect Google for taking the big gambles, but I just fear they're too early most of the time.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2015, 08:57:50 AM »
The way our patent system works, it helps to be "too early."
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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2015, 09:22:05 AM »
...

However, what about the use cases that don't have any of the aforementioned issues? Do these exist? What about driverless forklifts or something along those lines? They could work in a more controlled environment, which would eliminate the mapping issues. I have no idea if this would actually be feasible, I bring it up mostly to ask if there are other use cases that could be solved before everything has to be solved. My guess is it's possible.



Google would be 20 years late on this type of factory automation...  Think Amazon's material handling system. Because it's so controlled, and processes don't change day to day, you can do much simpler systems where you bury wire in the floor or overhead. The complexity between an automated forklift going 5MPH in a factory and an automated car going 70MPH on a road is several orders of magnitude.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #96 on: April 12, 2015, 09:52:16 AM »
Intel anyone?

Thedudeabides

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #97 on: April 12, 2015, 10:34:59 AM »

Intel anyone?

No. Definitely not them.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #98 on: April 12, 2015, 11:01:00 AM »
I still think it's something biotech related, and will come from a company we haven't heard of yet. Some of the giant companies we've discussed may continue to exist for a long time and do lots of interesting stuff. But the true paradigm shifts are things no one was expecting. They seem to happen in very small firms.

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Re: Does Google own the future? Who else does?
« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2015, 12:22:26 PM »
If you're looking at biotech, there have been two breakthroughs recently regarding Alzheimer's, and both show a ton of promise to either slow the disease to a crawl, or even cure it outright. The patent holders of these breakthroughs could make enormous quantities of money if their treatments realize their potential.

As is, between that and 3D printing of organs, you could see (healthy, independent) lifespans extend well beyond 100 years on average.