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What we’re reading: Self Driving Cars, Starbucks wallet, Bots, distraction and more


Statistically, self-driving cars are about to kill someone. What happens next?
One hundred million. That’s the number of miles, on average, that it takes a human driver to kill someone in the United States. Read it here

One month in: What CNN has learned from Facebook Messenger bots
“Our vision is to be the worldwide leader in mobile and video news storytelling. Messaging apps are in many ways as important a growth platform as mobile has been,” said CNN svp and chief product officer Alex Wellen. Read it here

Starbucks Cards Hold So Much Money The Company Could Be A Midsize Bank
Starbucks is holding on to more than a billion dollars of customer money that hasn’t been spent on drinks or desserts or overpriced coffee paraphernalia — it’s just sitting there. In the first quarter of 2016, Starbucks was keeping about $1.2 billion for its customers between money pre-loaded onto cards and the company’s app, the coffee giant told The Wall Street Journal. Read it here

Forget Doomsday AI—Google Is Worried about Housekeeping Bots Gone Bad
Tom Murphy graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a PhD in computer science. Then he built software that learned to play Nintendo games. Read it here

Four Key Takeaways From Summer Davos
1.We all want to stop the world and slow things down but underlying forces will not co-operate
At Davos the backdrop was the stock market decline in China that spread to other markets combined with a collapse in oil prices which tinged the proceedings and this time it was Brexit. Read it here

The media planner is more powerful and influential than ever before: Prasanth Kumar
As media platforms multiply and fragmentation takes root, media planners need to look at their jobs holistically rather than plan in silos, Prasanth Kumar tells Sangeeta Tanwar Mindshare India has bagged a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions 2016 for its ‘6 Pack Band’ campaign (India’s first transgender pop group) for Brooke Bond Red Label Tea. The campaign was big on digital media and music apps. Read it Here

Blendle: A radical experiment with micropayments in journalism, 365 days later
Back then most newspapers and magazines in our tiny little country assumed we wouldn’t make it until today. After so many failed attempts by publishers worldwide to make money online, a lot of them thought there was no other online future for journalism but clickbait and cat videos. Read it Here

“At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction,” the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, in 1839. Those were the days. Read it here

Former Telecom Minister Prasad’s Claims On BSNL’s Success Exaggerated, Wrong
“In one year and eight months, we have brought Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) on par with private players. Under National Democratic Alliance (NDA), BSNL, for the first time, had an operative profit of Rs 672 crore,” former Minister for Communication and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said in May 2016 when the NDA government was about to complete two years in power. Read it here

The Forrest Gump of the Internet
To a certain kind of nerd, Ev Williams is the Forrest Gump of internet media. Williams helped write the software that made us call blogs blogs. He founded a podcast company years before most people listened to them. Read it Here

SoftBank faces US inquiry over alleged Nikesh Arora conflicts
US regulators are examining SoftBank Group Corp. over allegations about Nikesh Arora’s activities before he resigned as president last week, according to people familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) office in Los Angeles is looking into whether Arora had conflicts of interest or engaged in questionable behaviour as well as SoftBank’s disclosures to investors, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter isn’t public. Read it here

Stop teaching Indians to copy and paste
My eight-year-old son came home from school disappointed last week. When asked the test question “How can we save the environment from pollution?”, he had tried to write the answer in his own way. Read it here

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