5G, politics, and the future of Western Civilization
The U.S. government has appealed to its allies to “just say no to Huawei” (the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer) when it comes to choosing 5G infrastructure partners. It seems that the U.K. is warming up to the idea of Huawei being a supplier to “edge” portions of its 5G network, despite chidings from the U.S. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: The race to 5G is a battle between the U.S. and China. Why is it so important? Economically, the first economy to deploy 5G will have a strong technical advantage in business and, ultimately, defense. 5G will be an enormous economic and jobs driver as a flood of connected everythings will be developed and deployed. Data associated with the use of just about everything will be stored on the cloud and data security will be more important than ever. The companies that most successfully deploy 5G will likely enjoy fat contracts for the next half-dozen years. Nations around the globe face the choice of following Trump’s admonitions against a not-secure, Chinese government subsidized Huawei, or enjoying the rock bottom prices it offers for inrastructure contracts.
New smart glasses that you might even want
Focals, a new line of smart glasses from North and backed by Intel Capital and Amazon, cost nearly $1000 (with a prescription) but are stylish and easy to wear. The glasses accommodate prescription lenses, project a holographic image onto one lense, and require a joy stick controller on a small ring on your finger to navigate. They are Alexa compatible. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: I am not quite ready to buy smart glasses, but these provide similar functionality as a smart watch and are the first smart glasses that don’t scream “nerd.” Focals provide a glimpse of what smart glasses will be and how we will begin to expect text messages, calendar reminders and navigation reminders to pop up on our lenses. These glasses are almost ready for prime time.
Zoom and Pinterest are out of the gates and onto the public markets. Zoom Video has zoomed past Lyft and increased over 75% since its debut on April 18th, while Lyft has dropped 16%. Next tech giants out of the gates are Uber and Slack. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: 2019 has been a bumpy ride for tech offerings, but Zoom Video is a rare unicorn that it is both profitable and high growth — its profit doubled last year. Wall Street seems to be treating the latest tech companies a lot like non-tech companies — rewarding those that are profitable and not so much those that are just big. As the market watchers are talking of economic slowdown this year, it seems that investors are again prizing profits over size.
SpaceX and its launch accident
This weekend SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, had another setback (last week it lost a rocket that had landed on a floating pad when the pad capsized) when a Dragon rocket firing test went badly and the craft exploded. While not much has been disclosed about the incident, no one was hurt. Wired
dis-rup-shun: The three big international races of this decade are artificial intelligence, 5G and space travel. Since NASA quit building space craft, the U.S. is dependent on Russians who are still shuttling Soyuz rockets to the international space station, and private space industry. NASA is relying heavily on SpaceX and needs the company to be successful to keep the USA in the race. Other private rocket builders include Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the late Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch, among others.