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During virtually the entire history of civilization, one of the prerequisites for carrying out a theft has been the presence of the offenders at the scene of the crime. The stolen objects were always part of the physical world — gold bars, paper money, equipment, jewels, vehicles — and there was always an objective value associated with them. The thieves had to have a plan to access the object, a way to remove it from its original location, and the means to transport it to a new location. …


In a progressively more connected world, the expansion of the Internet and the falling price of sensors are making it possible for everything and everyone to have an address on the web. While the benefits of this architecture are obvious, with increases in efficiency, access to information, and convenience, the risk of hacks on online systems has never been so great.

We know that in the 1980s, large company systems were already being targeted by hackers such as Ian Murphy. To reduce his telephone bill (at the time, the only way to connect to other computers was over phone lines)…


The word hack (the root of the word hacker) was already a few hundred years old before it became associated with attacks on computer systems. Back in the thirteenth century, in German (hacke) and Nordic languages such as Danish (hakke), the precursors of the English word were associated with cutting something up in a rough way, with many strikes from a sharp object. …


The inexorable advance in connectivity, linking equipment used daily by billions of people, has led “Information” to the top of modern society’s value chain. Data is the raw material of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the most precious commodity that individuals, universities, industries, governments, and organizations possess. As we have previously discussed, we are moving towards a future in which the production, transmission, and storage of a growing volume of data is unavoidable.

Companies exchange information daily about processes, patents, inventions, surveys, customers, markets, strategies, layoffs, and promotions. Our digital DNA — passwords, preferences, purchase history, favorite shows, financial situation…


The primary objective of big data technology is the extraction of recommendations based on a vast sample set. Sometimes all samples available are taken into consideration; in others, just a subset is used. Imagine a traffic engineer needs to analyze traffic patterns in a certain part of a city between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Using traditional techniques, samples of routes taken by a few vehicles would be used to support planning for any prospective actions. But with big data, the routes taken by all vehicles can be analyzed. In statistics this is known as n=N. …


The originally French word routine comes from the word route (meaning road). Literally, routine means the road normally taken, and, figuratively, it is the habit of doing something in the same way. So, both literally and figuratively, a routine is a repetitive behavior in our lives. This repetition — our habits — creates a structure within which we feel security and familiarity and can become automatic in our minds within just a few weeks. In 2006, researchers at Duke University reported that approximately 45% of our daily behavior is a repetition of some type.

In an age where we leave…


In 1979, American historian Elizabeth Lewisohn Eisenstein (1923–2016) published a book titled The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. She proposes that its invention by German-born Johannes Gutenberg (1400–1468) in the fifteenth century created the necessary conditions for the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution — which, together with the First Industrial Revolution, could be considered as the origins of modern society. According to Eisenstein, between 1453 and 1503 approximately eight million books were printed — more than all the written material produced in the nearly 5,000 years of civilization up until then. And the speed at which more data…


The volume of information created at any given moment, as we have previously discussed, continues to grow at a fast pace — and everything points to an ever-increasing speed. In the time it takes for you to read this article, more than 10 million searches will have been made with Google, about a million new tweets will have been published and almost one thousand hours of video will have been uploaded to YouTube. According to IBM, every single day more than 2.5 quintillions of bytes are produced — the equivalent of 2.5 million terabytes. …


Non-stop data generation is without a doubt one of the greatest characteristics of the widely-connected and integrated world to which we are heading. According to estimates from Cisco, between 2017 and 2022 Internet data traffic is going to grow 26% per year — from 122 exabytes per month to nearly 400. It is estimated that, counting only mobile devices, data traffic will see a sevenfold increase by 2022, representing an annualized growth of 46%. Devices that communicate directly among themselves, with no human intervention — a modality known as machine to machine (or M2M), accounted for just over 6 billion…


Every four or six years, the General Conference on Weights and Measures (Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, CGPM) takes place in Sèvres, about ten kilometers (six miles) from Paris. On this occasion, Member State delegates analyze all aspects of the metric system, present as it is in the daily lives of the majority of the world’s population (the only countries that do not officially use it are Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States). The first meeting took place in 1889, targeting only the meter and the kilogram. …

Guy Perelmuter

Founder at GRIDS Capital, Award-winning author of “Present Future: Business, Science, and the Deep Tech Revolution”, Twitter @guyperelmuter

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