Category: Uncategorized

Concrete Printed Houses Are a Thing

This was a fun story for me to do. At first, I thought 3D printing of concrete was a technology in search of a use. But New Charity has an interesting funding model that allows it to explore pricey, leading-edge technologies for social good. And they are doing great work.

How One Nonprofit Is Scaling a Cheap and Well-Built Concrete 3D-Printed House

Local Disasters and Donor Fatigue

My assignment: find out whether Northern California’s fires, which followed Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, were attracting donations that usually went to local charities. The answer: mostly no, or at least not yet.

Here’s how local orgs keep their donors inspired.

The State of Local Giving

 

 

Consumers and Autonomy: State of the Industry

I just returned from covering the Consumer Telematics Conference in Las Vegas. This conference brings together automakers, suppliers, tech startups and investors. The annual meeting is a good way to take stock of how things have changed.

My biggest takeaway is that connected-car data–rather than autonomous driving–was the most important topic. With self-driving pilots underway and most automakers firm in their autonomous development cycles, the energy is now directed toward making the immense amounts of data generated by connected cars usable.

Winning the Race for Consumer Confidence and Data

 

Why Virtual Reality on the Web Is Important (and cool)

VR demo at Mozilla HQ
VR demo at Mozilla HQ

Seems like virtual reality is about to blow up. Mozilla and Google plan to implement browser APIs that will let VR developers make their virtual worlds accessible via the browser. Users still will need headsets, however.

Virtual Reality Comes to the Web — Maybe for Real This Time

Postcard from Detroit

detroitI’m a big fan of the Motor City. If I wasn’t so settled in Berkeley, I’d definitely move there. I occasionally do some lifestyle/culture writing and this was a fun piece.

I didn’t choose the title; Detroit is much cooler than Oakland.

The photo is by Jesse Welter, who leads photo expeditions all over the city.

http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/Oakland-Magazine/October-2014/Detroit-As-An-Oakland-Doppelganger/

Insurance Telematics: What’s Working Around the World?

Insurance telematics is a great idea: A driver installs a device in the car that tells the insurer how she drives. Selling this to consumers is the first battle. This podcast with Frederic Bruneteau, managing director of Ptolemus Group, has intensively studied various products — and failures — in Europe and North America.

The industry calls this technology “usage-based insurance” or UBI.

In this podcast, we discussed the few success stories and the danger that insurers without a telematics offering might end up with the worst drivers as customers.

Telematics and Market-Specific UBI Solutions with Frederic Bruneteau