Three Dot Lounge for December 31, 2014

Three dot lounge is a mostly-weekly collection of things that deserve more than a retweet. Stay tuned for fascinating opinions and pithy commentary. Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed for more interesting stuff.

6 Things I learned from riding in a Google Self-Driving Car

6 Things I learned from riding in a Google Self-Driving Car

I know people really want self-driving cars for themselves, but I think we (as a society) are starting into the end game of car ownership as a goal and personal advantage. Where I see the big advantage of self-driving cars is as the last mile solution for urban transit. Merge self-driving cars with an Uber-style request system that allows you to have one come and get you and move you around the urban region you’re in; if you need to travel longer distances, it takes you to a hub to a transit system that can move you between urban areas, or to a larger hub like an airport or train station for longer trips.

Also think of this kind of vehicle as a commercial transport/delivery type service. I know Amazon keeps making noise about using drones, but trucks that can haul goods from place to place is a much more realistic option, if you ask me.

As more viewers cut cable, what will happen to sports?

As more viewers cut cable, what will happen to sports?

I know a lot of people want Ala Carte buying instead of the bundling that Cable and Dish companies push on you, but if you think it’ll save you money, take a close look at some of the numbers in this article.

I do believe this is coming. I think the sports leagues are in good shape to make the transition because they’ve been putting streaming capabilities in place and selling packages that carefully don’t treat on the rights they’ve sold to more traditional media (where the money is today), but that tipping point is coming where it will make sense for them to offer these services directly and start cutting out the sports channels. One big thing holding it back in the U.S. is the poor shape of broadband speed/cost and the insistence on data caps by many of the carriers. At some point, that will all have to be dealt with for this to really push forward.

But it’s definitely coming. And the transition and disruption will be brutal.

DON’T BUILD IT UNLESS YOU HAVE TO

DON’T BUILD IT UNLESS YOU HAVE TO

Yup. that’s been my model for a while, to use the infrastructure and tweak as necessary rather than build it all from scratch. That’s why I’ve used WordPress and customized themes for years, and why I’m moving to Photoshelter as I mentioned in my 2015 plans. Custom is really nice, but brutally expensive and tough to maintain. The more you can outsource or leverage, the more time you have for what really matters — original content instead of maintenance of your infrastructure.

World’s Largest River Diversion Project Now Pipes Water to Beijing

World’s Largest River Diversion Project Now Pipes Water to Beijing

Keep a close eye on water. I expect the next big war will be about access to potable water. We’ve used too much badly, and there’s too little drinkable water in too many places now, and it’s one thing people are definitely willing to die for, because they’ll die without it.

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