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Internet of People - Issue #3

Hi, and welcome to the Internet of People Observatory, where we document the network transformation.
October 12 · Issue #3 · View online
The VUCA Observatory
Hi, and welcome to the Internet of People Observatory, where we document the network transformation. In between a family holiday, and the family falling ill upon return, this weeks issue unfortunately is both late and short. But those circumstances gave me lot’s of time to reflect on “homes”, so we’ll focus on that for this week.

Welcome Home
Google’s Home appliance is sparking predictable privacy panics. Given Google’s track record, that might be a thing to at least ponder. But the trade-off between privacy and AI availability will become ever more pronounced.
And as, as the FT maintains, Security is the new bling in luxury phones, privacy itself, as I’ve been saying for a while now, will become more of a luxury product as well. Given Google’s presumed strategic shift towards devices as platform touchpoints for AI, as covered in this excellent Ben Thompson piece, we’re going to see more competition along those lines between those two dominant providers of Operating systems.
And while we’re at Smart Home assistants, we should not forget that homes don’t map easily to Computer Science notions of shared use.
Cars, again
Germany is apparently debating a ban on internal combustion engines, following Norway’s lead.
And Tim Harford looks the problems of humans and autopilots.
There’s increased scrutiny on concentration effects in digital markets – as software eats the world, we’ll see more network monopolies.
Bruce Schneier again, on IoT’s effect on network security - hint: it’s not good.
The Ethereum community slowly comes to realize that self-executing contracts without institutions might not be so utopian after all. The money quote: “We never thought about this attack vector[.]”
End Note
That’s it for this week - thanks for reading. And if you think someone might find this interesting, please feel free to forward this newsletter.
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