Month: January 2012

The universal bot – with SmartPhone

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The Xybot turns an ordinary iPhone into a mobile avatar. A phone docked into the robot streams video of the person controlling it using an app running on another iPhone.

Xybotyx of Littleton, Colorado, which makes the robot, was founded by two engineers who met while working on NASA’s Phoenix Mars rover. The Xybot will be released in March at a price of $111.11.

Helluva lot cheaper than a presence bot. Another example of the ubiquity of the SmartPhone making computing / networking / etc effectively free.

Cartels Are an Emergent Phenomenon, Say Complexity Theorists – Technology Review

Newtons_cradle_animation_new

… in a population of a million agents over time period of a billion iterations and more.

… It turns out that a crucial factor is the speed at which buyers and sellers react to the market. When buyers react quickest, sellers are forced to match the best possible value for money and prices tend to drop.

By contrast, when sellers react quickest, they are quick to copy others offering poor value for money. This reduces the number of sellers offering good value for money in a vicious cycle that drives prices as high as possible. 

This is the emergence of a cartel and it happens in these guys’ model without any collusion between sellers. Instead, it is an emergent property of the market place that happens when the sellers outperform buyers in the way they react to market conditions. 

Cool result from computational economics. I wonder if similar things occur throughout the dynamics of new product adoption.