Thanks Maria! This is an interesting topic, and obviously something you know a lot about (sweet combine btw). ^ Vincent, to your point, I can see your concern about delaying the upgrade, but it might make sense to make backwards-compatible tech for Deere machines if the cost of developing the tech isn’t too high, as it can establish really important goodwill between the farmers and Deere, then when their machines’ lives end, they will be certain to use Deere machines going forward. The added benefit is the short-term reduction of waste that Maria mentioned. But this is pure speculation, as I know very little about the industry.
This is a really cool use case for drones. Thanks for writing about it. I’m glad that you mentioned that while there are a high number of value-add use cases for drones, that the digital innovation has also introduced a new host of risks (terror related). But I think as medical supply drops, or other life-saving uses are implemented globally, it should be an innovation where the positive effects and lives saved by technology will vastly outweigh the risks. When do we get our Section B Drone?
Thanks for writing on this topic! I find it really interesting. Last year I participated in a conference that had two security startups, and I found it interesting that the vast majority of hacks occur through social hacking – having people on the inside of the company reveal information that they shouldn’t. It’s no longer necessary to penetrate a company by forcing your way through a firewall. In fact, as the digital age has shifted banking to different platforms, it’s almost certain that those platforms will have new vulnerabilities that can be breached. By focusing now on putting up walls around those systems, it’s almost too late. Two of the most interesting companies I talked to at the conference were Pindrop (https://www.pindrop.com/) – a company that attempts to stop social hacking by providing a phone-based security system, and Tanium – a company that provides almost instantaneous notifications about the status of every endpoint on a network (https://www.tanium.com/).
Before Tanium came along, if you asked Citibank how many computers they had on their network, they probably would have given you a range of 100,000-500,000 or something similar (not to pick on Citibank in particular). So you can imagine it’s pretty difficult to manage your internal security system when you don’t even know what the available endpoints are for hackers. Tanium can tell them exactly all the nodes on their network, and the security update status of all these machines.
Maybe rather than trying to develop security systems internally, these behemoth banks should quickly form partnerships with the new cyber security startups coming out of Silicon Valley in order to stay one step ahead of the game.
Great post! It seems like absolute madness that so much of the country’s power is generated from nuclear, and that the facilities are so dilapidated and ancient. The only concern that I have with the digitalization of nuclear power plants is the increased threat of losing control of the system – either due to a bug, or bad actors (hackers). Especially after we saw how devastating the Stuxnet virus was to the Iranian nuclear program, it seems like digital innovation can bring massive new efficiencies but also a new series of risks.
Thanks for the post! I had no idea there was so much innovation going on in the world of cow farming. One thing I always wonder about when people start investing in new technologies is whether or not they’re missing the forest for the trees. In this case, I wonder if maybe the investments in digitization, tracking, etc. are going to be in vain, if petri-dish meat or lab-created milk finally reaches scale.
Wow! I was very surprised to hear that every year the equivalent of a BP spill is dumped into the oceans by these ships. But I suppose it makes perfect sense.
As we looked at a shipping investment several years ago, it was made clear to us by the hedge funds we talked to that the emerging technologies from South Korea – more eco-friendly ships – are the preferred ships for companies going forward. Since the fuel costs are typically passed through to the customer, many prefer the more stable ships, and appreciate the cleaner operations.
Some ports such as Tokyo have even started rewarding eco-friendlier ships who enter. Hopefully going forward this industry can clean up its act.
Thanks Sam – as usual, a very analytical look at a complex subject. Good work!
One interesting point a colleague related to me at an energy conference, was that in Southern California while the uptake of solar products has increased dramatically, the net carbon emissions and pollution from the city has increased! The reason is that the city’s energy grid has very low demand during the day as the solar cells are running, but then demand spikes in the evening, requiring high emission backup generators to fire up in order to accommodate the spike. Perhaps if the solar technology installed had better battery storage for overnight demand (like the SolarCity products), the emissions would be decreasing. Hopefully over time as the storage capabilities of solar continue to improve, the increased consumer uptake will have an even more positive impact on emissions.
To Aviad’s point about how to influence consumer behavior and encourage them to use more eco-friendly delivery methods, maybe UPS could institute an ‘environmental charge’, or something similar as a separate line-item. There may be an equilibrium point where consumers are dissuaded from unnecessarily using high GHG methods, but UPS’s profit margins aren’t hit. I’m not sure how this could be implemented in reality.
Thanks for the interesting article, Chris! After reading your article, I’m wondering if the global warming trend would actually help the US military. Now that the US is the world’s largest producer of petroleum products, and given the prevalence of their nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, I’m wondering if the negative impacts of climate change would further solidify the US military’s dominance – especially at sea. Perhaps it is enough to rely on their current strong position globally to adapt better than adversaries, rather than try to build capabilities for a problem they are not yet facing. I liked the article, and the novel approach to an old issue. Good work!
Thanks for sharing this piece. It’s a really interesting new field with great potential. But I think the most interesting part of the discussion is the ethical question about whether using gene drives to eradicate a species such as mosquitoes, or alter the genetic code of a species such as salmon, is something that we should be doing? This article from Science magazine argues for the technology to be used (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/10/gene-drive-workshop-shows-technology-s-promise-or-peril-remains-far), but what are the ethical downsides of using the technology?