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aries1988 : innovation   26

Inside Shenzhen’s race to outdo Silicon Valley

From a population of 30,000 in the early 1970s, the city has grown to over 10 million, with gleaming high-rises, a modern transport system, and world-class retail. The local government gives grants for filing patents and for starting maker spaces. Gentrification and rising rents have made it the most expensive city in China, as the factories that fueled its boom move steadily outward into the rest of the Pearl River Delta.

From Huaqiangbei the boxes are brought to the depots of global logistics companies and loaded onto airplanes and cargo ships. In the latter case they join 24 million metric tons of container cargo going out every month from Shekou harbor—literally “snake’s mouth,” the world’s third-busiest shipping port after Shanghai and Singapore.

Industrial design companies and independent design houses are the newest parts of a larger ecosystem of business services that includes incubators, coworking spaces, and fab labs such as the Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL), near the border with Hong Kong. SZOIL takes in foreign and Chinese makers alike, teaches them basic fabrication and prototyping skills, and connects them with design firms like Innozen.

key ways of reaching international audiences, like Instagram and Twitter, are accessible only from the mainland through virtual private networks, which the government is making increasingly hard to use. WeChat Pay and Alipay, meanwhile, require a Chinese bank account, making it hard to take payment from foreign clients. All this hampers Shenzhen-based businesses’ dreams of going global.

This isn’t just a China-US problem, but a global one of rising “technonationalism” that could dampen the rise of globalization.

The descendant of the selfie stick is the handheld gimbal stabilizer that, for as little as a hundred dollars, turns any camera into a semi-professional video platform. The hoverboard may have been a one-hit wonder fueled by social media, but scooters and balance boards are taking off as viable modes of short-distance transportation. The first toy quadcopters were little more than annoyances, but their bigger cousins, combined with specialized software, are transforming both filmmaking and surveying work.
reportage  shenzhen  today  innovation  chinese  technology  business  design 
26 days ago by aries1988
中国人真的缺乏“创新精神”吗?
由于创新本身是一种达到特定目的的手段,那么,之所以鼓励创新,是因为“创新带来的好处”,而不是真正喜欢创新本身。换言之,人们不是享受创新本身,而是看到了创新的功利性结果。这就跟读书一样,鼓励读书,是因为看到高学历能带来的名利地位,但不是喜欢读书本身。在现实中,不难发现很多中国人都带有强烈的主观愿望思维(wishful thinking),其行为、决策,都隐含着对未来的判断,越重大的越是如此,所有的创新、变化、折腾,归根结底都要有助于这个特定目的的实现。国内的很多论文也隐藏着这样的思维,往往太想推求结论,以致前面案例堆砌后面判断武断,缺乏中间的推导与思维逻辑。

这其实与其说是现代理念中的“创新”(innovation),倒不如说更多源自中国传统文化心理。源于近代西方的“创新”对应的是一种指向未来的线性时间观,强调的是打破既有的框框,无从生有创造新事物;但中国传统的变革,却是一种“权变”。
innovation  chinese 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
被浪费的危机 - 火枪与账簿

中国无法在晚明主动完成现代化变迁,不是由于某种难以量化的民族性或文化传统,也不完全是因为地缘政治环境带来的竞争性压力不足,更根本的或许是因为这一变迁本身与中国社会之间存在着某种结构性冲突,从而使得围绕着新技术的活动要么未能转化为力量,要么是阻碍而非促进了国家力量的发挥。
book  critic  china  ming  technology  invention  innovation  why 
july 2018 by aries1988
Apple and Shazam sing the same tune
The core audio-recognition software itself was created in Silicon Valley by Avery Wang, a specialist in digital signal processing with a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Mr Wang was sitting in a café in Palo Alto in 2000 when he came up with the breakthrough technique for identifying a song from recordings, even with low-quality phone microphones and background noise. 

His original patent, filed in 2001 jointly with his Stanford professor Julius Smith, for a “system and methods for recognising sound and music signals in high noise and distortion” remains a foundational part of Shazam’s technology and intellectual property portfolio. 

Mr Wang is the only one of Shazam’s four co-founders still working at the company. After he joins Apple, along with the rest of Shazam’s research and development team in Silicon Valley’s Redwood City, the iPhone maker will have fresh capabilities not only in music identification but the ability to recognise a wide range of audio signals, from TV and movies to the sound of people laughing or clapping.

“Apple isn’t buying Shazam for music. Instead, Shazam is an augmented-reality play,” Neil Cybart, an Apple analyst, said in his Above Avalon email newsletter on Monday.

US companies, he adds, have been more successful at commercialisation and scaling up a new technology than their British counterparts. “What we are really good at in this country is innovation and creativity. We should try to play to our strengths and be willing to partner or sell out to US companies.”
usa  uk  music  innovation  app  mobile  2017  apple  technology 
december 2017 by aries1988
Fermented food may be good for your gut, but does it taste good?

Anything that has undergone a form of chemical breakdown by bacteria, yeast or other microbes — from blue cheese to sourdough bread — is fermented.

To ferment, a food needs to be put in an airless environment (a sealed jar filled with liquid, for example) in which microbes are encouraged to feed off its natural sugars. The result is an acid that both kills off harmful bacteria and transforms the original food. Put cabbage in brine and the result is soft, tart sauerkraut. Ferment soy beans, as they do at Flat Three, and the result tastes a bit like a raisin.

Booth, who dedicated a chapter of his book, The Meaning of Rice, to the mould koji, calls the Japanese the kings of fermented foods. Miso soup is my go-to hangover cure, he says. I am totally convinced of the benefits of naturally fermented foods and I do think it is one of the reasons why the traditional Japanese diet is so good for you.
trend  food  restaurant  uk  asia  japanese  korean  innovation  health  body  microbe  fermentation 
november 2017 by aries1988
La « nouvelle ère » Xi, un défi pour le modèle occidental
Enfin, seul maître à bord, Xi promet à son 1,4 milliard de compatriotes un « développement en deux étapes » : d’ici à 2035, la Chine aura achevé sa modernisation, notamment en termes d’innovation et, en 2049, année du centenaire de la fondation de la République populaire, elle aura atteint le statut de leader planétaire, défendue par une armée « de premier rang mondial ».

Il lui manque toujours la reconnaissance d’un prix Nobel, les scandales de fraude sont encore trop nombreux et l’argent ne peut pas tout. Mais la taille compte. Avec 730 millions de personnes connectées, un usage du téléphone mobile plus avancé que celui des pays occidentaux et infiniment moins de barrières éthiques, la Chine aborde la bataille de l’intelligence artificielle avec de gros atouts.

Si « l’ère » est nouvelle, cependant, le modèle de la concentration des pouvoirs dans les mains d’un seul homme et de son parti, lui, est familier. Cela s’appelle une dictature. Son succès serait, pour le coup, une authentique innovation.
chronique  china  2017  future  politics  innovation  technology  comparison  ai 
october 2017 by aries1988
The West should stop worrying about China’s AI revolution
China has some big advantages in AI. It has a wealth of talented engineers and scientists, for one. It also is rich in the data necessary to train AI systems. With fewer obstacles to data collection and use, China is amassing huge databases that don’t exist in other countries. The results can be seen in the growth of facial-recognition systems based on machine learning: they now identify workers at offices and customers in stores, and they authenticate users of mobile apps.

The location of the institute is well chosen. From the office windows, you can see the campuses of both Peking University and Tsinghua University, two of China’s top academic institutions. Sinovation provides machine-learning tools and data sets to train Chinese engineers, and it offers expertise for companies hoping to make use of AI. The institute has about 30 full-time employees so far, but the plan is to employ more than 100 by next year, and to train hundreds of AI experts each year through internships and boot camps. Right now, roughly 80 percent of the institute’s funding and projects are aimed at commercializing AI, while the rest is focused on more far-out technology research and startup incubation.

The goal isn’t to invent the next AlphaGo, though; it’s to upgrade thousands of companies across China using AI.

“The titans of industry [in China] have seen fortunes made and fortunes lost all within their lifetime,” he says. “When you see the tech trends shift, you had better move quickly, or someone else will beat you.”
ai  china  list  entrepreneurial  company  internet  innovation  today  comparison  opinion  reportage  shenzhen 
october 2017 by aries1988
Getting business moving again
Hugo Mercier, a 25-year-old engineering graduate, shunned corporate life to launch Dreem, a headband that uses promising neurotechnology to improve deep sleep.
entrepreneurial  france  français  2017  industry  innovation  macron 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Jujitsu Master Turning an Ancient Art Into a Modern Science
Slight young men, they developed a system that relied on leverage rather than size or strength. Wrestling and judo prized pinning or throwing an opponent on his back. The Gracies realized that, in a real fight, the opposite is often more effective—control from behind, ideally with the opponent belly-down, so that he can be strangled into submission.

The sport has evolved technically as well, spawning hundreds, even thousands, of potential moves and countermoves. (The human body in motion is a complicated thing, and two of them in antagonistic combination exponentially more so.)

He rarely wears a coat in winter, which he explains by invoking the decimating French retreat of 1812: “If Napoleon’s troops could walk three and a half months through one of the worst Russian winters in history, in summer clothing, and a significant number of them returned, we shouldn’t have any problem.”
martial-arts  brazil  leader  idea  innovation  reportage  science 
july 2017 by aries1988
L’Estonie, perle balte du tout-numérique

L’Estonie est une société hyperconnectée, et cela commence dès l’école. Grâce à leur carte d’identité numérique (une carte à puce sécurisée) ou à leur mobile, les 1,3 million d’habitants font à peu près tout en ligne grâce à un portail gouvernemental : voter aux élections, déclarer les impôts, signer « numériquement » un contrat de travail et, même, renouveler une ordonnance auprès de leur médecin de famille. « Nous pouvons dire sans rougir qu’en matière de numérique, nous sommes des pionniers », se félicite Tea Varrak, la flamboyante directrice du centre d’innovation Mektory, sur le campus de Tallinn.

Mais, auparavant, il faudra rassurer les Européens sur la protection de leurs données personnelles. Vu de Paris ou de Bruxelles, la grande confiance des Estoniens envers les nouvelles technologies à de quoi dérouter. D’autant que les institutions du pays ont subi une cyberattaque massive en 2007.
baltic  numeric  government  innovation 
february 2017 by aries1988
大圣归来,不是祖国需要,是需要祖国
据杭州市统计局和人才办的数据显示,2013年至今,杭州累计引进海外精英专才2.3万人。

中国科技精英多年来源源不断流往西方的潮流正在发生逆转。中国与全球化智库和智联卓聘联合发布的「2015中国海归就业创业调查」报告显示,截至2014年,中国留学回国累计总人数逾180万,占出国人员累计总人数的51.4%,归国人数历史性首度超过出国人数。

北京、上海、深圳,仍是高端科技精英的首选,但越来越多优秀华人工程师们已经、正在、以及开始发现杭州这座1.5线小城里的大天地。在「硅谷帮」的「势力版图」上,杭州这匹黑马再次打破了北上广深的一线格局。
2016  hangzhou  china  talent  student  advertising  siliconvalley  innovation  it  future 
november 2016 by aries1988
First one up the drive | The Economist
A new sort of storage device gives lithium-ion batteries a run for their money
2014  innovation  batteries  electric 
november 2016 by aries1988
Out of the Master’s shadow

THE Master said, ‘I transmit rather than innovate. I trust in and love the ancient ways’. Those words from Confucius seem to offer a cultural explanation for why China is an innovation laggard.

how does he explain the rise of outstanding Chinese firms? Mr Fuller believes that ethnic Chinese, foreign-invested firms…are the hidden dragons driving China’s technological development. He argues that the best ones are only partly Chinese, with hybrid structures that allow access to capital and talent from outside the mainland.

talent from Hong Kong or Taiwan, who blend knowledge of Chinese culture with global sophistication.

Unlike those in established markets, they are quite forgiving of mistakes, which lets firms experiment, fail and learn quickly.
china  economy  innovation  book 
july 2016 by aries1988
Getting Steve Jobs Wrong
These men make for a poor comparison to Jobs because Jobs didn’t really “invent” anything — not in the sense that Industrial Revolution inventors did. Jobs understood technology but was not an engineer. He had profoundly exquisite taste but was not a designer.
http://www.instapaper.com/read/224797137
stevejobs  innovation 
august 2012 by aries1988
The Great Tech War Of 2012 | Fast Company
Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon battle for the future of the innovation economy.
http://www.instapaper.com/read/214580805
internet  innovation 
august 2012 by aries1988
On the Brink – Ericsson documentary explores the past, present,...
On the Brink – Ericsson documentary explores the past, present, and future of technology and connectivity, featuring Flickr founder Caterina Fake, Wired UK editor David Rowan, Soundcloud co-founder Eric Wahlforss, and other tech thought-leaders
technology  documentary  innovation  software  futurism  video  startup 
november 2011 by aries1988
The Kinect Effect – goosebump-inducing manifesto for imagination...
The Kinect Effect – goosebump-inducing manifesto for imagination in innovation, disguised as a spot for xbox   (via)
gesture  innovation  gaming  technology 
november 2011 by aries1988

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