Four great articles we read today, plus one standout e27 community contribution

Kevin McSpadden
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We spend a lot of time reading every day, so why not share the articles that stood out?

The Walt Mossberg Brand

For people in Asia interested in Western tech happenings, there is no better thought leader than Stratechery’s Ben Thompson. Living in Taiwan, Thompson is able to offer insightful and knowlegable insights with a global perspective that comes from living in Asia.

So when a giant of tech media, Walt Mossberg, announced he will retire over the weekend, it was our go-to place to read a thoughtful, respectful and poignant reflection on how Mossberg’s writing impacted the tech community. We were not dissapointed, and for anyone who does not know who Mossberg is, this post is a great place to get educated.

No, Uber Drivers Are Not Entrepreneurs

The legal talk is hyper-focussed on the US, but the argument is global. Uber (and companies like Uber) like to promote the gig economy as “personal entrepreneurship” and getting on that side-hustle. As the author points out, the argument is fraudulent.

While most people are fairly aware that Uber drivers are simply contract workers, nobody has called bullshit on the marketing strategy that brands drivers as entrepreneurs. Once drivers are treated like contract workers, the gig economy companies can be pushed to treat their workers with respect.

Sean Parker’s cancer institute may have found a blood test to see if patients will respond to treatment

It looks like Silicon Valley’s first bad boy, Sean Parker, is doing a whole lot of good in the world. This is not a cure for cancer, but it is the institutes first major breakthrough and a sign the money is going somewhere.

Parker doesn’t get much international attention for his efforts, but in Silicon Valley he is pulling his connections (and money) in one direction with his cancer research center.

Hong Kong Developers Dance to Their Own Tune

Hong Kong’s real estate catastrophe is a larger problem in society, but the industry’s woes are also a scourge on the startup industry.

For cash-strapped companies with little support, shelling out ridiculous sums for basic rent can be a death-knell for would-be success stories. If the Hong Kong government wants to support Singapore’s model to support startups, it might have to have a different focus.

Instead of a broad ‘support for innovation’ like in the Lion City, Hong Kong government support should focus on subsidising rent while allowing the private markets to support the entrepreneurs.

Innovative cognitive services are the new oil, and we have only begun realising the impact on our lives

In this e27 guest post, Jan Daniel Semrau, draws upon years of experience to offer perspective on the age of artificial intelligence. He reminds us that, just a few years ago, fingerprint ID was a ‘futuristic’ feature we only imagined. Now, it is something we take for granted.

With this logic, there are certainly developments coming that in 2020, we will have to remind ourselves were non-existent in 2017. Semrau is bullish on how AI can benefit society, and breaks down his reasons in this e27 contributor post.

Photo courtesy of Gratisography.

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