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The song contest that matters, now more than ever
Once again, that great campfire is lit up. Saturday night is Eurovision night and Europeans cuddle together to watch in awe, and sometimes in horror.

»Created to unite a continent divided by war
The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was created in 1956 to help heal a continent divided by war and conflict. It was the brainchild of Marcel Bezençon, and based on the famous Sanremo Festival of Italy. Seven countries took part in the inaugurating show broadcast from Lugano, Switzerland.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had been founded only a few years earlier in Torquay in Great Britain. Ian Jacob from the BBC became the union’s first President, and he remained at the helm for a decade. Today, the EBU has 73 members, public service broadcasters from 56 European countries, and 34 associate members in Asia, Africa and the Americas. And it is still broadcasting the only live TV show watched in all European countries. In this year's edition, 42 countries take part in the two semifinals and the big final on Saturday night, and 200 million people or more are expected to watch the drama unfold.

»A Europe of diversity and inclusion
It’s often said that culture brings countries and people together. The Eurovision Song Contest is organized by an institution that has nothing to do with the EU, but that was born out of the same ideas and was realized in the same moment of European history. The symbolism of unity and shared cultural heritage is identical, but with the Eurovision Song Contest the EBU has perhaps succeeded in manifesting Europe's unity even better than its big brother.

»A European Campfire
Today the Eurovision Song Contest is an important common cultural reference; all Europeans, wherever you go, know about the contest, and everyone has an opinion about it. The Eurovision Song Contest is an important campfire in a colder Europe that is down but not out from Brexit, the conflict with Russia and nationalist movements once again showing their true colors. The contest has a role to play to keep the fire alive.

Yes, we might get slightly annoyed at times, by the fans hysterical flag-waving, by the retro disco, by a massive ballad overdose, by the occasional singing out of tune, or by countries' companion voting. The wrong song always seem to win, and yet; Europe wins. And maybe that’s what really matters.

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He made data sing
Hans Rosling has sadly left us today, leaving the wold one visionary, fact-loving statistician and explainer poorer.

"Statistician and development champion, whose gift for making data sing brought his innovative ideas to a worldwide audience."

"Given the timing, with all the talk about fake news, alternative facts, concern over misinformation and propaganda-by-numbers, Rosling stood for the exact opposite – the idea we can have debates about what could or should be done, but that facts and an open mind are needed before informed discussions can begin."

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Stopped by the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg briefly, and came out with a few C30 related objects.

Volvo C30 Electric
82 kW (111 bhp) engine, 24 kWh battery, range 150 km.
Photos of interior (note the gear lever) and engine compartment.

Volvo 3CC
EV concept with a unique two-plus-one configuration, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005, only one year before the C30 made its official debut.
Photos of front and rear (note the unmistakable C30 lines).

Volvo SCC
The Volvo Safety Concept Car was first shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit back in 2001. Most of the technical solutions actually made it into production, and the concept car heavily inspired the lines of the Volvo C30.
Photos of front (note the see-through A-pillars) and rear (the hatch design clearly borrows from the P1800ES, and the glass hatch from the 480ES).

Volvo 480ES
This C30 predecessor launched in 1986 was Volvo's very fist front-wheel drive model, a four seater sports coupe.
Photos front (note the long hood and the pop-up headlamps) and rear (ES through and through).

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An open source font for all languages
The font family called Noto, as in no "tofu", is intended to support all languages, from Arabic and Cherokee to Tibetan and Zhuang. Some of the languages supported have never even had a typographical tradition. Now they do.

It took Google and Monotype five years to complete the typeset. Watch the video to learn more about the challenges they faced, and how it was done.

Noto is available for download here:

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Clean Disruption: Why Energy and Transportation will be Obsolete by 2030
Keynote by Tony Seba based on his book "Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation" (

"Clean Disruption is a technology disruption. Just like digital cameras disrupted film and the web disrupted publishing, Clean Disruption is inevitable and it will be swift."

»Technology categories that are disrupting energy and transportation:
1. Energy Storage
2. Electric Vehicles
3. Autonomous Vehicles
4. Solar Energy

»Outcome of the Clean Disruption by 2030
- All new vehicles will be electric
- All new vehicles will be autonomous (self-driving)
- Oil, coal, fossil gas and nuclear will be obsolete
- >80% of parking spaces will be obsolete
- Individual car ownership will be obsolete
- All new energy will be provided by solar (and wind)

»Automotive industry takeaways
The winners in the industry will be the companies that can utilize both disruptive technologies and business models - not only going electric and autonomous but to "car as a service".

»About Tony Seba
Tony Seba, author and "serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur" is an instructor in Entrepreneurship, Disruption and Clean Energy at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. His work focuses on clean energy, entrepreneurship, market disruption, and the exponential technology trends, business model innovation, and product architecture innovations that are leading to the disruption of some the world’s major industries, such as energy, transportation, infrastructure, finance, and manufacturing.

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Disruptive Innovation - Call for speakers
Lindholmen Software Development Day is looking for speakers on the theme of "Disruptive Innovation - Opportunities and threats in a new business environment", a very interesting topic. Are you the one?

»Potential questions:
- What are the key enablers in disruptive innovation?
- How does disruptive innovations affect the software companies in positive and negative ways?
- How can software companies embrace and utilize the strength, innovation and creativity required in a disruptive business?
- How will technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality change the landscape? What other technologies are key enablers in disruptions?
- How do you use open source in your innovations?
- How important is it to own the platform?
- How can the established software business collaborate to increase value?
- How can traditional companies benefit from new innovative companies?
- New methods and tools for open innovation?

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"Green" C30
Spamming the group with another "sighting", this time of a C30 belonging to the company car pool. It's not electric but a 1.8F flexi-fuel version. Runs good on any type of gas or ethanol or mix thereof. Striped "green".

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A somewhat rare C30 Electric
The first electric C30 cars were built in 2011. This one is the updated 2014 model (yes, the regular C30 ended with the 2013 model, all 2014 C30's are electric).

Engine: 89 kW (120 HP), 250 Nm
Performance: 0-70 km/h (0-43.5 mph) in 5.9 s, top speed 150 km/h (93.2 mph)
Charging: Fully charged in 1.5 hrs with the 22 kW charger, or 8-10 hrs with a regular household socket, ten minutes to top up 20 km (12.4 mi) of range
Range: 164 km (102 mi)

Looks and feels like a regular C30, only more quiet and agile at low speeds. The regular gear stick is replaced with one similar to automatic geared cars. Only a few hundred were ever made, it was but a large scale test for Volvo. Many of them, like the one depicted here, belong to Sunfleet, Volvo's car sharing business. Most other cars were leased to government and private businesses. The C30 Electric isn't a too uncommon sight in Gothenburg, I suspect most of them are still in town.

Engine and charger from Siemens. Control systems developed in Gothenburg. Later hybrid models, including the new XC90 hybrid, owe a lot to this little car.

Disclaimer: I work for a supplier for among others Volvo, but I wasn't personally involved in the C30 Electric project. I drive a C30, but not the electric one.

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China investing more in renewable energy than Europe and the U.S. together
Ahead of COP21, data published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that global investments in clean energy projects for the first time was spent in emerging economies, and not in OECD countries.

Over the past five years, 40% of the world's total added renewable energy was generated by China. The country’s renewable energy investments exceeded the combined total invested by the U.S. and Europe.

"2014 brought further proof that clean energy activity is shifting inexorably from 'north' to 'south', from developed to developing countries", report states. Across 55 major non-OECD countries, including India, Brazil, China, and Kenya, clean energy investment reached $126bn in 2014, all time high and 39% higher than last year.

"The majority of the $126bn invested in Climatescope countries did not emanate from OECD countries. Rather, it was south-south investment within the 55 nations that accounted for $79bn of the total, with the balance ($47bn) represented by north-south flows." That means, it's not primarily the OECD countries that fuel investments in the emerging economies, they're still accounting for less than half of what they have promised, but it is China and the developing countries themselves that are investing heavily. OECD is lagging behind.

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Global day of action
"For years we’ve watched our climate change. We’ve watched glaciers melt, seas rise, and storms get fiercer. We’ve watched this new reality transform our lives while too many leaders just stood by."

"Now the time for standing by and watching is over – and on November 13—14, 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth brings the world together to let our leaders know. Join former US Vice President +Al Gore​, artists and influencers, and millions across the planet for a global day of action and music to celebrate progress across continents and send a clear message to world leaders: Take climate action now!"

"This is our moment. With the Paris climate talks approaching, a breakthrough is finally at hand. The stage is set and it’s time for our leaders to act. The world is watching. Join us."

#WhyImWatching #24HoursofReality
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