Sunday, October 25, 2015


Israeli technology is everywhere.

Israeli technology is everywhere. Powerful video by Calcalist כלכליסט

Posted by START-UP NATION on Thursday, October 22, 2015

What After Smartphone?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Marc Andreessen Excited About Payday Loans

Liberty Street Economics
Except for the ten to twelve million people who use them every year, just about everybody hates payday loans. .... their “unconscionable” and “spiraling” fees and their “targeting” of minorities ..... the typical brick-and-mortar payday lender charges $15 per $100 borrowed per two weeks, implying an annual interest rate of 391 percent! ...... payday lending is very competitive ......

payday lenders outnumber Starbucks

as if they—payday lenders, not Starbucks—were a plague upon the land ..... each additional payday firm per 1,000 residents in a given Zip code was associated with a $4 decline in fees (compared with a mean finance charge of about $55). ...... fixed operating costs and

loan loss rates do justify a large part of the high APRs charged

.” ...... a 36 percent cap eliminates payday loans altogether. ..... payday lenders tend to locate in lower income, minority communities .....

contrary to tenets of classical economists, not all people always act in their own best interest

; they can make systematic mistakes (“cognitive errors”) that lower their own welfare. If chronic rollovers reflect behavioral problems, capping rollovers would benefit borrowers prone to such problems.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Gene Editing (@Wadhwa)

Secondary structure image for CRISPR-DR6 (RF01...
Secondary structure image for CRISPR-DR6 (RF01319). Nucleotide colouring indicates sequence conservation between the members of this family, with the red end of the spectrum labelling highest conservation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences
Scientists — and countries — with less noble intentions could again try to build a race of superhumans...... The DNA of every single organism — every plant, every animal, every bacterium — is now fair game for genetic manipulation. We are entering an age of backyard synthetic biology that should worry everybody. And it is coming about because of CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats....... CRISPRs use an RNA molecule as a guide to the DNA target. To set up a CRISPR editing capability, a lab only needs to order an RNA fragment (costing about $10) and purchase off-the-shelf chemicals and enzymes for $30 or less........... Because CRISPR is cheap and easy to use, it has both revolutionized and democratized genetic research. Hundreds, if not thousands, of labs are now experimenting with CRISPR-based editing projects...... changing the human germ line is incredibly risky without much better knowledge of how our DNA actually works...... until recently, scientists thought that much of our genetic material was useless and served no purpose. They called it “junk” DNA...... research is emerging showing that junk DNA plays a key role in regulating genetic expression .....

What if a well-intentioned researcher develops a cure for one of these diseases and shares it with thousands of sufferers before realizing that the cure is far worse than the disease and that the side effects are painful — or even deadly — and easily spread from person to person?

..... in the hands of evil biohackers, these powerful and simple tools are a cause for alarm.

A smart biohacker could alter the influenza genome, for example, to make it more potent, setting off an epidemic that kills hundreds of millions of people.

Though a nuclear weapon can cause tremendous long-lasting damage, the ultimate biological doomsday machine is bacteria, because they can spread so quickly and quietly........ No one is prepared for an era when editing DNA is as easy as editing a Microsoft Word document. The government does not have any regulations on editing human DNA. The ethical concerns have not been fleshed out. There is no centralized risk-management inventory, listing which labs are doing what with CRISPR. It’s all rather terrifying...... the stakes in the case of CRISPR are so high that I believe a blanket moratorium is the only course..... such a moratorium could be as effective as the global moratorium on the cloning of humans has been: at the least, scientists such as those who engineered the human embryos in China would become international pariahs rather than being celebrated for publishing papers in prestigious publications.

Vivek Wadhwa: The Smartest Dude In Silicon Valley

Vivek Wadhwa, me saying you are the smartest dude in Silicon Valley...

Posted by Paramendra Kumar Bhagat on Wednesday, October 7, 2015