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Recommended for You World’s First Cable-Free Elevator Zooms Horizontally and Vertically Using Maglev Tech The Unaffordable Urban Paradise New Model of Evolution Finally Reveals How Cooperation Evolves China’s Central Bank Has Begun Cautiously Testing a Digital Currency Tesla’s New AI Guru Could Help Its Cars Teach Themselves Google and Facebook are household names around the world. Baidu? Not yet. Ya-Qin Zhang, president of China’s leading search business, says Chinese companies can become worldwide Internet powerhouses too. One of the
Recommended for You World’s First Cable-Free Elevator Zooms Horizontally and Vertically Using Maglev Tech The Unaffordable Urban Paradise New Model of Evolution Finally Reveals How Cooperation Evolves China’s Central Bank Has Begun Cautiously Testing a Digital Currency Tesla’s New AI Guru Could Help Its Cars Teach Themselves Click image to enlarge. Cut off? Read unlimited articles today.
One perk of working for Melonee Wise’s startup Fetch is that if your feet are tired you can glide around the office on the back of a squat wheeled robot. More usually, she and her roughly 50 employees keep themselves busy designing, building, and selling the machines to work in warehouses or factories across the globe. The San Jose company’s machines are canny enough to work safely alongside people without requiring any changes to a facility—all they need is
Our economy is increasingly ruled by a few dominant firms. We see them everywhere, from established giants Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Walmart to fast-growing newcomers like Airbnb, Tesla, and Uber. There have always been large companies and outright monopolies, but there’s something distinctive about this new generation of what some economists call superstar companies. They appear across a broad range of business sectors and have gained their power at least in part by adeptly anticipating and using digital
An innovator I know—let’s call him Tom—had trained for a decade at the world’s top research institution to become an expert in materials science and engineering. He’d developed a new manufacturing technique for semiconductors with the potential to enable next-generation power conversion devices for lighting, EVs, renewable power, and defense applications. After demonstrating promising results and gathering enthusiastic feedback from industry experts, he was ready to take his technology to market. But how? I met Tom a year and
“The electric car seems inevitable. As oil resources dwindle, it will appear far more prudent to develop an automobile powered by electricity, charged by an already-in-place power generation system, than to invest in huge plants to produce synthetic gasoline. Electric automobiles would snuggle nicely into a large, unexploited niche in the electric economy by recharging at night when electric demand is low and power plant capacity idle. But as yet electric cars have proven abysmal technical failures. For example,
Peter Ting always had difficulty adjusting his eyes to dark light. But he never considered the reason was in his genes. That changed after Ting, a healthy 60-year-old retiree, got his genome sequenced. The results, which he received last year, revealed a genetic variant that turned out to be the cause of a rare, hereditary eye disease. Ting was part of what’s being call the first randomized study of what happens when seemingly healthy people get their genomes sequenced.
Late Friday, SpaceX launched a satellite into orbit from Florida using one of its refurbished Falcon 9 rockets. Then on Sunday, for good measure, it lofted 10 smaller satellites using a new version of the same rocket, which it launched from California. The feat is a sign that the private space company seems more likely than ever to turn its vision of competitively priced, rapid-turnaround rocket launches into reality. Recommended for You World’s First Cable-Free Elevator Zooms Horizontally and
The hackers are winning, so the market for cybersecurity insurance is booming. Today businesses accept that they are likely to be breached no matter how much they spend on defenses, and they’ve begun looking for someone to share the cost. Pricing the risk is difficult, however (see “Insurers Scramble to Put a Price on a Cyber Catastrophe”). And that has created a new opportunity for security companies confident enough to warranty their products. Companies will spend $7.5 billion on
Last week Jack Ma, the executive chairman of the online-commerce company Alibaba, went to Detroit to convince Americans that China and e-commerce could save small businesses. The Chinese billionaire paced around a huge stage, TED talk–style, trying to inspire U.S. entrepreneurs to strive for greatness. Alibaba is not known for subtlety or understatement, and the event did not disappoint. Charlie Rose and Martha Stewart appeared onstage, as did a group of drummers suspended in midair. Ma is right, in