I think the answer for rural NZ is also fibre, but probably community owned (& built) networks, run as co-operatives (the farmers favourite business model) and run on open access principles.
The banks are terrified of Google, Facebook, Apple, or Microsoft waking up and deciding that they could provide financial services to the world in a more effective and profitable way than the banks can. It costs around $25M to start an international bank, and each of those organizations could do it many times over (and do a much better job wrt. customer service). Bitcoin-like technology could remove droves of middle-men that vampire off money for very little value-add.
Governments are trying to get financial services into the hands of the people that aren’t a priority for the banks, that is the worlds underbanked and unbanked. Mobile services like M-Pesa are making great inroads, and many of the people that don’t have bank accounts or access to financial services actually do have Internet access and a mobile phone. These people are not a priority for banks because they’re not profitable, but they are a priority for organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations, and many local governments. One of the ingredients in the recipe to get people out of poverty is to provide a mechanism that allows people to save for the future (banking services), but the banks aren’t really motivated to provide these services.
So, the financial industry is feeling pressure to reinvent themselves or risk an evolutionary dead end. They’re feeling this pressure from the technology industry, government, and their customers. No one likes their bank as much as they like their favorite technology company.
And like other threatened incumbents from taxis to Hollywood, the first port of call is the State. Banks, oligopolitical of late, will emphasise their value in maintaining economic stability (Jesus wept, the State will believe this) but even more appealing is the degree of surveillance AML, KYC, CFT etc et al offers to the State. Protect us cry the banks, and we will let you spy on anyone…
Nevertheless the games are afoot, wallets everywhere, in Amazon’s case, nothing but loyalty cards in them… iBeacon, Square…
Love the headline too.
The main reasons NZTA got this so wrong are: it has an intensely narrow fixation on roads; it is deeply reluctant to concede that per capita road use is dwindling in New Zealand and other developed countries; and it understands little about the urban development imperatives that make great cities.
Moreover, it is a bully. It threatened to withdraw other transport funding if the city council didn’t drop its opposition to the flyover. With Councillor Andy Foster playing the pivotal role, the council ended up backing the flyover.
- Rod Oram’s Sunday Star-Times column for July 27th, 2014
A team from the University of Washington (UW) envisioned Vive, a wearable wristband that would help prevent sexual assault. Vive allows groups of friends who are going out to sync their bands together; when Vive detects that one of the friends is too dehydrated or intoxicated to make sound decisions, all of the friends are alerted.
But Vive goes beyond just being a safety device. According to UW team member Gwenyth Hardiman, it was essential that Vive also be fun to use. Consequently, Vive can be used to make friends with new acquaintances; users can tap their bracelets with strangers to connect with each other.
The news has resulted in many folks being up in arms. They feel invaded, manipulated, spied-upon or otherwise violated. This always happens with this kind of news though. A large degree of technical ignorance pervades our society which, when occasionally punctured by a meme like this, tends to react from the hip. The naturally Orwellian among us foresee terrible futures. The professionally outraged seize their chance to explain why the news is yet another tech industry travesty. Where some data scientists manipulated an algorithm and saw users respond with a couple of grouchier posts than normal, those who fear the worst see the worst and cry havoc.
For their part, the girls I grew up with whom I once so admired, seem to think it’s their right — ney, their political duty — to fashion their innumerable dissatisfactions into novel complaints designed to shame, humiliate, and blame these sorry-ass losers for everything, while at the same time blindly investing them with qualities (ambition, purpose, and fidelity to name just a few) that the guys themselves would be ashamed to lay claim to. Ten years ago these tendencies seemed sexy and strong. These days they just seem vain and ugly.
"Being a vendor online is just like owning or managing a business—the only difference being that the government decided that what we do is illegal."
Prohibition has never worked. It didn’t work with alcohol and it doesn’t work with drugs. People should make their own choices. I’m not here to judge people for what they do, I just want to make sure that if they make that choice, they get it safely, at a fair price, and that they know what’s in it rather than buying cocaine from some random guy that turns out to be laundry detergent. There’s no doubt that drugs can be dangerous, but sometimes the lengths that people are forced to go through to get their drugs are more dangerous than the drugs themselves.