In this slim volume by Klaus Schwab, founder of the organisation behind Davos, corporate-speak disguises a harsh realityMuch mirth ensued recently when Jeremy Corbyn’s crack publicity team issued a photograph of the dear leader with a compressed quote from his speech: “We now face the task of creating a New Britain from the fourth industrial revolution – powered by the internet of things and big data to develop cyber physical systems and smart factories.” Wait, what?One may be forgiven for suspecting that Corbyn had not a clue what he was uttering, but the “fourth industrial revolution” is an actual thing, at least according to some analysts. The first was steam-powered; the second electrical; the third the birth of the computer age; and the fourth – which some argue is just a continuation of the third – is the era of wearable gadgets, 3D printing, gene editing, machine intelligence and networked devices such as street lights full of electronic sensors, or smart fridges that order eggs when you’ve run out. The dream of networking ordinary objects with cheap processors and wireless communication comes under the rubric of “the internet of things”, which is (or ought to be) short for “the internet of things that should not be connected to the internet”

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Internet of Things