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Consumers had few expectations and the barriers were extremely low. Start a search engine! Be the first to open an online store! Serve up amateur videos! Of course, that was then. Thirty years later, the internet feels saturated with apps, platforms, devices, and more than enough content to demand our attention for the next million years. Even if you could manage to squeeze in another tiny innovation, who would notice it among our miraculous abundance? But, but … here is the thing: In terms of the internet, nothing has happened yet! The internet is still at the beginning of its beginning.

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It is only becoming. Because from our perspective now, the greatest online things of the first half of this century are all before us. Because here is the other thing the graybeards in will tell you: Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to be an innovator in ? It was a wide-open frontier! You could pick almost any category and add some AI to it, put it on the cloud. Few devices had more than one or two sensors in them, unlike the hundreds now. Expectations and barriers were low. It was easy to be the first.

And then they would sigh. So, the truth: Right now, today, in is the best time to start up.


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There has never been a better day in the whole history of the world to invent something. Right now, this minute. The last 30 years has created a marvelous starting point, a solid platform to build truly great things. The things we will make will be constantly, relentlessly becoming something else. And the coolest stuff of all has not been invented yet. Today, truly is a wide-open frontier. We are all becoming.

It is the best time ever in human history to begin. You are not late. The increasing prominence of technology on the future of the global economy cannot be understated. Geometrically speaking, it is increasing in all directions: Vertically, Horizontally, increased cycle time, with massive future potential to expand into.

Horizontally — Other sectors are being forced to become technology companies and harness it as their key competitive advantage. Cycle Time — Technology is progressing exponentially, disruptions are coming faster and faster. Future Potential — The growth of technology is not an s-curve that will level off.

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Rather the disruptive technologies on the horizon will support its continued exponential pace. New technology is where a majority of future wealth creation will come from. This creates the critical role for startup ecosystems. If economic regions want a share of future economic growth they need a startup ecosystem. That however, is just the upside — the carrot, if you will. The downside or stick, of not having a startup ecosystem and not having a share of future economic growth will have very harsh consequences, as we will discuss in more detail in the next section.

The future growth of technology is poised to be very concentrated in specific regions like Silicon Valley, New York City and London. Additionally, this forecasted technological growth is expected to kill a massive number of industrial and service sector jobs through automation. So, while startups are creating a massive amount of future growth in the new economy, they will be killing massive amount of wealth in the old economy.

Failure to adapt to this future economic climate will spell a death sentence. The future driven by the technological progress discussed in Part 1 forecasts major waves of economic restructuring. While sectors and jobs linked to this technological future have bright outlooks, sectors and jobs that are not will experience major disruption. Whole regions may become economically irrelevant and experience massive poverty and social unrest.

This is great for information era aligned startup ecosystems and terrible for industrial and service sector economies that have not aligned themselves with the changing eras of the economy. In , a significant study was published entitled The Future of Employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerisation. The present study intends to bridge this gap in the literature. The management and business jobs that demand these skills are comparatively safe from automation; so are those of lawyers, teachers, researchers, doctors, journalists, actors and artists.

The jobs that demand the highest educational attainment are the least susceptible to computerisation. The divisions tearing America apart will only widen. It is the technology companies of today and the startup companies of tomorrow that will be creating the tools and services that destroy these jobs.

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Today, Amazon is disrupting many retail jobs, and Airbnb disrupting employment in the hotel industry. Even startups that today have provided a big lift in employment like Uber and Lyft, are actually moving things one step forward to be followed by two steps back — as they have clear plans to remove the need for drivers with self-driving cars. And not just those driving passengers, but freight too. Uber recently acquired Otto, a startup that wants to automated trucking, and they recently completed a mile driverless expedition of 50, cans of beer. That one technical breakthrough puts nearly two million long-haul trucking jobs at risk.

Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at M.

Internet for Everyone : Reshaping the Global Economy by Bridging the Digital Divide

Richard Florida has done great work on the changing composition of the American workforce. He lumps the jobs that we consider part of the information technology revolution into a larger category called the Creative Class. Here we see Manufacturing and Agriculture jobs declining rapidly as significant percentage of the workforce.


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The areas that were previously Manufacturing and Agriculturally oriented, have some of the hardest time adapting to the new times. Bottom 20 U. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. November 21, November 20, November 14, By The Sting's Team. November 13, By The Sting's Team.

October 9, By The Sting's Team. More iStings. RSS Twitter Facebook. Cultural and institutional constraints help shape how the gender digital divide manifests itself in a country. A one-size-fits-all approach to the issue will not be effective.

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The gender digital divide widens as technologies become more sophisticated and expensive, enabling more transformational use and impacts. Basic digital access and literacy are necessary but not sufficient conditions for women to meaningfully use ICTs. Use is not the same as ownership. The potential of mobile phones is under-realized. Despite its lower cost as compared to using a computer, the number of women using mobile internet remains substantially low relative to men.

Featured Stings Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? AI will drive the societies of the future. Does the West reserve the fate of Libya and Syria for others? Kevin Kelly, has a terrific little essay, The Internet Is Still at the Beginning of Its Beginning, foretelling while it might seem the current world is saturated in technology, the potential for startups creating new companies has never been greater.

Here is the excerpt:. Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to be an ambitious entrepreneur back in at the dawn of the internet? At that time, almost any dot-com name you desired was available. All you had to do was simply ask for the one you wanted. One-word domains, common names — they were all available. This grand opportunity was true for years. In a Wired writer noticed that mcdonalds.

The internet was a wide-open frontier then. It was easy to be the first in any category you chose. Consumers had few expectations and the barriers were extremely low.

Digital Divides - The Potential of the Internet for Development

Start a search engine! Be the first to open an online store! Serve up amateur videos! Of course, that was then. Thirty years later, the internet feels saturated with apps, platforms, devices, and more than enough content to demand our attention for the next million years. Even if you could manage to squeeze in another tiny innovation, who would notice it among our miraculous abundance?