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Internet of People Observatory - Issue #5

This week: Licenses eat the world – That Botnet Attack – Silicon Consolidation Feel free to forward t
November 2 · Issue #5 · View online
The VUCA Observatory
This week: Licenses eat the world – That Botnet Attack – Silicon Consolidation
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With that announcement comes a peculiar proviso in their End User Licence Agreement: you can’t rent out your self-driving Tesla to Uber or other Fleet Management firms – only to Tesla. Which of course sparks a debate about the impact licenses have on post-sale use of goods that were so far unencumbered by licenses. I believe that is a debate that will increase in importance: As Software is Eating The World, as Marc Andreessen famously reckoned, so do practices that have evolved around software. To wit: Licenses and Liability Waivers. I had a quick look back and first found myself using the term “The Internet of Things you don’t really own.” 4 years ago, foreseeing this complication. But Tesla’s push might bring this into the limelight anew.
And this comes off the heels of the DMCA §1201 exemption for vehicles finally took effect. It is now legal, for two years, to tinker with the on-board electronics of vehicles even if they’re encrypted. (USA only, laws in your jurisdiction may vary.)
The big story of the last two weeks was of course that DNS attack. The in-depth analysis (technical) is enlightening, especially the geographic spread. And of course there’s calls for regulation. I’ve taken the liberty to project how progressive state intervention might look like.
Oh, and it turns out at least parts of that botnet are for hire, though the manufacturer of the majority of devices hijacked into this botnet started a recall.
This is one of those warning shots across the bow.
Chip consolidation
It turns out that ever more abundant, powerful, and cheaper chips don’t just turn the wheels on incumbent industries – there’s consolidatory pressure in the silicon market. To wit:
Qualcomm agrees to buy NXP for $47bn. NXP itself was spun out of Philipps only 10 years ago, because Philipps didn’t know what to do with it. NXP specialises in embedded systems mainly for automotive.
But it’s not just cars that are changing the chips industry: AI is pushing more firms into custom silicon as well. 
On that occasion, I’d wholeheartedly recommend a re-read of Steve Cheney’s “Apple’s Platform Advantage”. Spoiler alert: It’s chips all the way down.
Bits and Pieces
A UK car insurance was floating the idea of using facebook posts for car insurance rates. It didn’t last long, Facebook shot down their API access. But more insurers will try these things, to no avail. For a longer treatment, see my previous post on The Insurance Data Conundrum.
Renewables constituted >50% of net energy capacity additions last year.

That’s it.
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