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Sep 20, 2017 | 2 min read

Economy

This Week in GAFAnomics, September 20th

“This Week in GAFAnomics” features top articles from FABERNOVEL’s internal Slack discussions. Get your weekly dose of curated news about the Network Economy here.

Joachim Renaudin

Project Analyst


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GAFAnomics [ga-fɑː-nom-iks], noun: A modern, networked, economic system spurred by the eponymic GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) but also encompassing Unicorns, Chinese tech giants and all other companies changing our lives through computer technology.

#The week of September 20th

So what happened this week in GAFAnomics ?!

Your next Mercedes will be electric

Source: Pixabay

Last week, Mercedes announced it would be electrifying its whole car lineup within the next 5 years. Full ranges of electric models are becoming the standard in the automotive industry: Volvo has set the same goal for 2019 and many more are expected to do so in the upcoming months.

This news follows an announcement from the Chinese government which plans to eventually ban the sale of fossil fuel cars in China. France and the UK have committed to stop fossil fuel cars by 2040.

But it’s also a sign that Tesla has succeeded in its mission: “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport”. By proving that there was an actual demand for electric cars, Tesla pushed rival carmakers to scale up their electric car productions.

Can Amazon trick artificial intelligence with Physics?

As artificial intelligence algorithms become increasingly smart, some bots are able to defeat CAPTCHA (tests to determine whether you’re human online) tests and pretend they’re a human. Recognizing letters, door numbers, or traffic signs has become a common way to check if a user is a human. In order to solve this threat to online security, Amazon has filed a patent for a new type of CAPTCHA: a physics tests.

Humans are incredibly smart compared to computers when it comes to solving newtonian physics issues implying notions like gravity, because they are highly intuitive for them.

So next time you try to log into a new website, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to determine if a stone would fall from a cliff or fly into the sky?

Source: Pixabay


2-thirds of the world are connected through mobile devices

According to GSMA, two-thirds of the world’s population have access to the internet through mobile devices: that’s more than 5-billion people with a mobile subscription. As mobile is already the main access point to the internet in Europe or the US, most of the growth in users comes and will continue to come from developing countries. This striking figure highlights the rise of the mobile and smartphone markets, but also announces the rise of the digital economy. Newly equipped users can connect to digital services and mobile apps, and increase the potential market for every digital company in the world. In the digital economy, your potential market now represents billions of people.

Toys’r’us files for bankrupcy: yet another Amazon victim

This Monday, toys and games retailer Toys”r”us  filed for bankruptcy. The company owns 1,600 stores in 38 countries, most of them in the US. The company’s filing comes just two months ahead of the holidays, a literally magical time of year in which the company makes 40% of its revenues. The company certainly was facing debt issues and wrestling with poor management choices, but that’s not the most of it: the increasing competition from Amazon is lethal.

Because it’s a platform that aggregates sellers, Amazon benefits from an almost endless selection (5-million Toys & Games items compared to 100,000 for Toys’r’us), a lighter cost structure and millions of existing customers coming to buy anything in the Amazon One-stop shop.

Amazon’s network effects will keep breaking brick and mortar retailers in the coming years. Until someone breaks the monopoly?

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