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Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica compares the early PARC innovations in personal computer technology to Google's autonomous vehicle group, Waymo.

By 1975, PARC had produced a futuristic personal computer called the Alto. It had a bitmapped display, a mouse, and a graphical user interface. Xerox researchers developed a word processor with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface. Now-standard operations like "cut," "paste," and "undo" were pioneered by PARC researchers, and the Alto had powerful networking capabilities.

It's a really informative piece - not just the cool Silicon Valley history, but also some ideas on what Google needs to do, in order to bring autonomous to market. Because at the end of the day, innovation for innovation's sake is not really innovation.

-- Scrib

Here's a hint of optimism among the doom-and-gloom of this bear market. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Uber has countered Lyft's S1 filing, with a filing of its own. More important for the overall market, though, was this little tidbit:

Based on the pipeline of potential IPOs, which includes data-mining company Palantir Technologies Inc., Slack Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., 2019 could be a record-breaking year for market debuts in terms of dollars raised. It could top the high-water mark reached in 2000, when tech companies raced to cash in on lofty valuations at the height of the dot-com boom.

This bodes well for the market and I'm pretty confident that we will see new all-time highs in 2019, so I think these companies have chosen a wise time to file their S1's. Would you invest in Uber? The WSJ says that Toyota got in at a $76B valuation and that they could go public at $120B. They're burning through cash faster than Tesla, which surprises me.

-- Scrib

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

The $11.2-billion loss includes a $826-million write-off in March from government investments in the “Old GM” before the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, the report said. The U.S. government spent $49.5 billion to bail out GM, and after the company’s bankruptcy in 2009, the government’s investment was converted to a 61 percent equity stake in the company. The Treasury gradually sold off its stock in GM, selling its last shares in December 2013.

...continue reading "General Motors Bailout Cost Taxpayers $11.2 Billion"

Difficult to see how the two year-old residual value of these cars is going to support this program, but it sure looks like a good deal for the consumer.

Leases under Care by Volvo start at $650 a month for 24 months for the XC40 T5 Momentum...The service lets users drive up to 15,000 miles per year...The monthly fee covers maintenance and wear coverage, 24/7 concierge service and roadside assistance, plus insurance.