Digital Issues is a quarterly series (March, June, September and December) freely downloadable on www.annales.org, with a print version in French language.Focus of the series is on the issues of the digital transition for an enlightened, yet non necessarily expert, readership. Various viewpoints are being used between technology, economy and society as the Annales des Mines are used to doing in all their series.

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N° 7 - September 2019 - Mobility, logistics and digital technology: Between efficiency and freedom

Issue editor: Edmond BARANES


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Introduction :

Edmond BARANES

Montpellier Recherche en Economie (MRE), Universite de Montpellier

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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N° 6 - June 2019 - Digital technology and life in society

Issue editor: Alexandre TISSERANT

 


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Introduction: Digital technology for a better world

Alexandre TISSERANT

Directeur Général de Kinéis (CLS Group)

 

In 2014, an American TV series, Silicon Valley, waxed ironic about the entrepreneurial practices of the Californian startups in digital technology that, not content with defining a corporate strategy and developing a flagship product, were looking for a sense of “mission”, an ambition to, simply put, make the world a better place. Beyond the irony of the growing megalomania of some of the “founding fathers” in the Valley, this aspiration to use digital technology for a common good has been, and still is being, promoted, at least as a corporate value for recruiting dedicated talents. This ambition has recently shifted toward the idea of having a ”social impact”, as contests have been launched, like the one by Techstars, to assess the social impact of a firm’s business activities.

 

While the idea of creating and developing a firm with a business that serves the common good is attractive, why has it become a “must” to emphasize it? Are we to see this as a marketing strategy for gaining distinction? Or as a necessary change in response to wage-earners who want to work for a firm “with meaning”? Or as a sincere shift in corporate goals from making profit towards contributing to well-being? Or as a growing demand for firms to do more to cope with pressing social, economic or climate-related issues?

 

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N° 5 - March 2019 - Standardize digital technology?

Issue editor: Jacques Serris & Laurent Toutain

 


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Introduction :

Jacques Serris

Conseil général de l’Économie

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Laurent Toutain

IMT Atlantique

 

We cannot imagine living in a world without standards, where the positions of the brake and accelerator pedals would depend on the automaker, where a toaster would not have the same plug as a coffee-maker! Standards help boost the uses of consumer goods by making interactions easier. They might also be a way to control uses — a point well understood by the manufacturers of printers or razors.
A balance is necessary to preserve an open, neutral system with room for the market to develop but without creating dominant positions. This holds even more in telecommunications: since the Chappe semaphore system or the Morse code, two parties have to agree on a code in order to be able to exchange information.
The quest for this balance can be conducted in a specific market or country or on the whole planet. Even though information and communications technology (ICT) no longer acknowledges borders, worldwide standards may have local applications. In the 1980s, recommendation X.25 for the building of the first computer networks and Minitel allowed enough freedom for several profiles. At the time, French and German terminals were not compatible, and this industry was national. These standards have been brushed aside, replaced with the Internet and local networks which, by uniformizing protocols, allow travelers to connect via Wi-Fi from anywhere on the planet. The result: mass production and considerably lower prices (owing to a reduction of risks) since manufacturers’ offers are technologically compatible.

 

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