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If you find the subject of mergers and acquisitions interesting, this book won't dull your feelings -- but prepare for a long slog.
Interesting enough company to keep for listening in the car, provided you aren't offended easily by someone dismissing faith and don't hav any children in the vehicle with you.
Live on WHO Radio at 9:00 pm Central Time
Microsoft and Facebook are teaming up to build an undersea cable between Virginia and Spain to transmit Internet content at 160 terabits per second -- a pretty wide thoroughfare for data. Microsoft is investing because it's investing full-tilt in the cloud computing market. Construction is to begin this August with completion by October 2017.
At age 96, he uses his technique to directly save a life for the first time
Scam after scam after scam keeps popping up, and it's all because people are too loose with their "friend" requests
Nissan took a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors after Mitsubishi's market price plunged because of a massive misstatement of fuel economy ratings for its vehicles. Nissan is run by Carlos Ghosn, who seems to be very, very good at turnaround situations.
They're pretty obnoxious birds
As the President visits Hiroshima, nuclear weapons return to the front pages (at least for a little while). A few worries: The nuclear arsenals of the world (and the command-and-control structures surrounding them) are old and may not have been adequately maintained. There are plenty of weapons in places where political leaders (and military ones) may not be adequately grounded in reality. Imprecise tracking of fissionable material may make it too easy for non-state actors to make weapons of their own. And even if the prospect of all-out nuclear attack seems altogether improbable, nobody can really certify that an "oops" engagement is an impossibility (that is, given the right resources and the right set of conditions, we can't be sure that a weapon might not be engaged in a way that could be made to look accidental). These are real worries.
In the long run, it's important to do a couple of things. First, government can do well simply to draw a line somewhere -- a clear line -- so that the market can respond by allocating the costs of the damage done by wayward robots. Cutting the check isn't the same as paying the price, so it doesn't matter quite so much whom the law saddles with liability. What matters is establishing the rule itself so that the costs can be allocated efficiently by the marketplace. (Think of real-estate agent fees: The seller "pays" the agent, but the cost comes from the sale price, which is ultimately paid by the buyer. The agent's commission comes partially out of both the seller's and buyer's pockets, even if only one of them technically cuts the check.) What's also important is that the benefits of automation (which tend to be diffuse, or spread out across lots of people who each benefit a little bit) don't get overwhelmed by the concentrated costs (like those of the people who might be injured by faulty robotic systems). In other words, we have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, even if there end up being terrible, high-profile stories of people injured or killed by malfunctions. The aggregate gain to society will still be enormous, even if some people pay a very high price. That may very well indicate that a case ought to be made for a national insurance pool for such errors -- otherwise, the cost of private insurance may be prohibitive if the potential costs of liability appear to be unlimited.
And good for her. Trump's behavior is erratic, nonsensical, and wildly unbecoming a candidate for President of the United States. His continued attacks on members of the Republican Party are petty and unprincipled and only further serve to reveal him not as an authentic Republican, but as a virus that has infected the party.
It's practically everyone's favorite tech rumor, and Morgan Stanley now boards the train, arguing that Apple's recent investment in a ride-sharing company in China is indicative of a serious focus on transportation.
Launching three products at once: Pebble Core (a cellular-enabled super-compact computer aimed at runners who don't want to carry their phones and at developers who want something tiny to hack), Pebble 2 (a $99 next-generation black-and-white smartwatch), and Pebble Time 2 (with a big color display for $169).
Lenovo bought the phone-maker from Google in 2014 and that was after it collapsed in value by about 75% under Google's control.
It's disappointing to see them discussed like some abstract concept (especially when it's by people who only want to say awful things about them). They are real human beings living real human lives under terrible circumstances, and like people all over the world, the vast majority -- probably 99% -- are good and decent.
A story that might almost be funny if it didn't mean other people's lives were at risk -- including other guests at the same hotel and the couple's children. Behavior like this is wonton negligence and cries out for a very firm intervention by law enforcement.
They may very well be enjoying one another's company, but they also may be trying too hard to obtain their self-esteem from the approval of people outside the relationship looking in
UNI is a great university, but the system surrounding it is creating artificial problems
They plan an all-summer effort to crack down on "speeding, failure to obey traffic control devices, improper use of lanes, texting while driving and failure to utilize seat belts"
The county-by-county data isn't as rosy as it could be
It's inevitable that data usage will increase -- unless some very significant changes are made to the way that content is delivered, and there's little chance of that happening anytime soon, at least not at the same pace as new usage escalates.
Better to make the upgrade when you've set aside a couple of hours to manage it than to wait for it to be thrust upon you
Five girls are graduating together from high school, much better off than when they arrived
The perils of international business
The imperial Presidency is a pox on American civilization, and it needs to be stopped before the next President. Our options aren't looking good, and whomever is inaugurated in January 2017 needs to be restrained by the law much better than recent Presidents have been. Never take powers while in office that you wouldn't want your opponents to have when they're in charge.
Not the worst idea that could happen. If there's going to be an extensive welfare state, perhaps it makes sense to apply it with the maximum degree of individual autonomy and self-control possible -- and a guaranteed income may be the way to do it. Or perhaps not. Much depends on whether there would be an adequate support structure in place to ensure that people knew what to do with their guaranteed incomes.
Both companies have recent experience with disastrous amounts of debt...and this new arms race is only going to end in a debt disaster, too.
Taller turbines may give them a better chance to capture stronger, more sustained winds at higher altitudes
It's a real thing. A real and awful thing.
The week in making money and having fun
The week in trends, tips, and technology
But if "human flypaper" is part of a broader scheme to make vehicles safer for everyone, then so be it
And the more it cedes that line to Microsoft, the worse Google's future is going to look
So says a study from January, saying discrimination against African American renters shows up both in prices and in the agreement to even make a deal.
The scramble to get AI integrated into people's lives will have interesting effects on how we perceive what thoughts are our own and which ones we share with a digital surrogate or adjunct.
Reviews of the meeting seem to suggest that it went down exactly as expected: The site's perceived political bias against conservatives appears to be a problem for the business model, so it will be corrected not out of political motivation but out of the pursuit of profits.
A recently-retired British general has published a book saying he thinks Russia might go after Latvia as soon as next year. The book's online description says the nuclear deterrent won't work. When reviewers skewer the writing but then say, "for all the clumsy writing, it is of profound importance when a former Nato deputy commander is screaming at us that the alliance's high readiness task force is a sham", then attention must be paid.
Security flaws let hackers figure out how to unlock doors integrated with the Samsung platform. The hackers, fortunately, were researchers at the University of Michigan and Microsoft, but the proof of concept is enough that it should put on ice the ambitions to connect everything everywhere in the "Internet of Things". Hacking an entire home (or office) is an attractive proposition, so it's best not to be the very first adopter. One of the main problems the researchers identified is "overprivilege", or the granting of too much power to programs and applications to achieve what they're advertised to do.
"Allo" will be their next-generation chat application, with an AI assistant built-in. Duo is to be a 720p HD video chat service.
And they're killing off the Time Warner name. They claim to reach 25 million customers in 41 states.
It's the Truman Show come to life. It's not an unequivocally bad thing that people can now live-stream anything they want to Facebook -- think, for instance, of the deployed soldier who can be shown a live stream of a major family event -- but it's also not an unmitigated wonder of the world, either. People make bad decisions, and it's hazardous to let them make bad decisions in front of what is -- at not even the click, but just the hover of a mouse -- a global audience that could easily include lots and lots of people with mal-intent. We should not be in the least bit surprised when a Gresham's Law of sorts swallows up "Facebook Live" -- bad purposes, bad actors, and bad audiences will drive out the good.
A great deal about the story seems incongruous, doesn't it? It's certainly not an organic outcome (that is, it wouldn't have happened spontaneously), but the United States is too attractive a market for investors around the world to resist, and China has a lot of money to put to use. And if that manifests itself in a Chinese company pursuing and winning a bid to build cars for the CTA, and the contract includes a "Buy Chicago-made" provision, then what is organically or spontaneously unlikely becomes possible. Rival bidder Bombardier protests, saying "Buy American" is all that should have mattered, not "Buy Chicago".
The online media outlet, which has been an openly pro-Trump mouthpiece for much of the 2016 campaign, turns a foul attack on Bill Kristol. Shame on them.
As one of CNN's premier political journalists, Tapper is in an important role -- one that most of his peer group has failed to execute with enough vigor. Too many of them have treated the rise of Donald Trump as "good television", but haven't acted like bulldog journalists. Good for Tapper for stepping up his questions.
The idea of distributing a marquee semi-nightly program via an on-demand service may not be new, but it hasn't really been tried on quite this level before
Important messages need to be delivered well -- and in ways that our brains are capable of processing efficiently
A matter of grave concern for the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Not only is the country economically important (as a major producer of oil), but it also has the potential to create a lot of disturbance. And, critically, there is an enormous human cost of suffering that has been building under the country's profound mismanagement by a corrupt and mindless government.
Yet it is in Iran, where women are being harassed by the authorities for posting pictures of themselves without head coverings
The photographs aren't vintage -- just the livery. His campaign is using a plane bearing the markings of the once-defunct, now-revived heritage airline
One newspaper publisher tries to ensnare another with a higher bid for its stock
When humans identify the recyclable products inside a waste stream and robots do the physical picking, the process goes much faster and more effectively than either humans or machines alone can achieve
And there's no way to make up a tenable alliance between his vision of America and the unmitigated, inarticulate goulash of false promises that is Trumpism
This is no way to conduct a democracy
& Those are the words of Vladimir Putin
The escalation from the plain old "thumbs up" to the multi-dimensional reactions may be nice as an expression from friend to friend, but it also gives a lot more potential information to those who aggregate data about Facebook users for commercial purposes
With links to the podcast
With links to the podcast
The company is wise to start investing beyond its core business
If security becomes impossibly slow, it makes air travel less and less useful
Adding bubbles to the water at the bow of a ship could permit the rest of the vessel to pass through the water with less friction
Tested successfully over a very short track for a very short time this week, it may be in line for real implementation in the future
Yahoo may be so vastly under-priced that even the notoriously tech-averse Berkshire has to give it a serious look. It would probably only participate in a deal that leaves Berkshire in the role of investment bank (with someone else responsible for any ongoing operations), but with the right deal, anything is possible.
They may be old and less fuel-efficient than newer jets, but fuel costs so little that they may still be economical to fly
Their new logo and application icons depend heavily on gradients, which are pretty passe in the design world today. The new look really isn't all that new-looking.
Mostly a human process, mostly dependent upon what's being covered by a handful of widely-known sources
The St. Paul Pioneer Press is being "harvested" for parts
...you're not the driver who harassed a cop on I-235, got pulled over in the Valley High School parking lot, and found yourself arrested for flashing a weapon
Suicides and other personal tragedies are showing up as people stream their experiences live to the Internet. How can and should the service providers react? Immature young people are making bad decisions with these streaming tools, too. This issue is only going to become more important as the options become universal: Facebook Live is now available to everyone in the US.
Chips don't make a lot of difference to security without PINs. And nobody's using that part of the card yet.
Microsoft is killing off the "Sunrise" app
They want to deliver the videos upon which YouTube heavily depends
Definitely one of the items that people should have been disabling when setting up Windows 10
A major-party Presidential candidate who is all but certain to carry his party's nomination into the general election seems neither to understand the consequences of inflation nor the devastation that would result from a failure to keep the central bank independent. An independent authority over the money supply is a non-negotiable condition for a large, stable economy within a free political system.
2-and-20: 2% of assets every year, plus 20% of returns year-over-year. That's a huge cut being taken by people who on average are not delivering excess performance.
Clarity and legibility aren't matters just for graphic designers. They matter to public policy.
The problem is that the Libertarian Party has far too long been identified with some of its more counter-cultural issues, like the legalization of drugs. The real opportunity right now is for a party in the center of a normal distribution of the population and its political views -- not from some corner of the map of the "world's smallest political quiz". As the parties have drifted apart, they haven't stranded the extremes -- they've stranded the center.
A failure to standardize in a way that crosses over to pure online content has really held back the field
The prefer YouTube and Instagram over Facebook
A fantastic use of UAV technology. Why should people place themselves in harm's way if the machines can go there for us and get a better view?
Facebook is putting them in your face
That takes longevity to a whole new level.
That's the rumor now
Possibly not, at least in the voting booth
We're at war with innumeracy
There are plenty of people willing to sensationalize and exaggerate in the interest of getting more followers
A good step
Lots of copying disincentivizes innovation
They're going to finish in sections so battery production can begin before the building is complete
The chief of the Kansas City bank worries that the political climate is ripe for bad policy
Live on AM 1040 starting at 1:00 pm Central Time, or streamed via iHeartRadio
"There is absolutely no sign that it will erupt anytime soon, but the data we collect tells us that the volcano is still very much alive [...] Over the last 8 weeks, there have been over 130 earthquakes formally located by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and many more earthquakes too small to be located. Earthquake rates have been steadily increasing since March..."
Withholding endorsement of Donald Trump
The company says Windows 10 is now running on 300 million devices, and that the free upgrade offer for Windows 7 and 8 users will expire on July 29th -- after which, upgrades will cost $119. Still not a terribly high price, but why pay if you have the option to get it free?
An exceptional political moment. The prospective Republican nominee is no more a Republican than his expected Democratic opponent.
A state that really isn't going to be in play for anyone but the Democratic Party may be a very good place for someone to run up an alternative gambit
That's why it won't happen wholesale -- the self-driving car will arrive one piece at a time. But it will arrive eventually.
A well-backed startup lasted just nine weeks
Such as it is
An academic suggests that it would mean fewer TV campaign ads. Equally self-serving is the argument on behalf of small states that the Electoral College should stay in order to keep us from being steamrolled by the bigger states. But then again, that's exactly why the college takes the form it does.
Iowa's most left-wing county will provide a small-scale experiment for the rest of the state to watch
Canadian wildfires truly stun the viewer
Warren Buffett obliquely criticizes Grinnell College for its endowment largesse (largely a result of his own work as a trustee) but its failure to make college more affordable with that wealth. The core problem in college costs isn't necessarily funding -- it's the management and administration of higher education. What other industry could behave with such disregard for efficiency?
A strong argument against funding the financial industry
Warren Buffett reiterates his argument that the minimum wage is a bad instrument by which to really improve the lives of the working poor. It's not a philosophical argument; it's a practical one. In practice, a higher minimum wage may make a marginal difference to the lives of some adult workers who earn it. But about half of people at minimum wage (48%) are under age 25. Raising the wage by too much will reduce the number of entry-level working opportunities available to them -- which reduces their ability to acquire things like the soft skills and job experience that put them on the ladder to future, higher-quality jobs. Raising the minimum wage to track inflation -- or even just a modest boost -- aren't bad ideas, necessarily, but they aren't real systemic fixes for the deeper issues. Targeted assistance like the Earned Income Tax Credit is probably more efficient at helping the true breadwinners who are at low wages, and ultimately the broader solution is a matter of job training and education. Of all people at or below minimum wage, only 16% have at least an associate's degree. In the long run, we need to fix the training and educational system so that workers have higher market value that places them well above the minimum wage as a market-clearing rate.
That doesn't usually happen, apparently
Is it "crayfish" or "crawfish"? Depends on where you live.
Regrettably, that crazy person is running for President
The economics of the newspaper business have never favored anything other than natural monopoly, anyway -- but high production and distribution costs in a time of digital media are enough to topple almost any duopolies that remain
The over-aggressive ground cover is spreading everywhere
The Metis, historically identified as the offspring of native or "First Nations" peoples and the French fur traders who arrived later, have long had trouble obtaining legal recognition. Part of the problem, naturally, is that the mixed ancestry of the Metis meant they didn't form a well-defined group. The definition part of the process isn't going to be simple, but the legal recognition is long overdue.
Their military weapons are improving, and it's hard not to suspect that cyber-espionage against the US defense sector has played a role
Investors who care about voting control might need to pay attention
At some point, Castro Communism has to fall. Will accelerating tourism and economic exposure help hasten that downfall? On a related note, the cruise is being conducted by a Carnival-owned startup cruise line promising that people can take a seven-day cruise and "transform lives". Seems like a stretch.
Some quick math: $44,000 for 90 minutes is a rate of $29,333 an hour. At 40 hours a week times 50 weeks per year, that's an annualized rate of just a little shy of $60 million a year. There aren't a lot of people whose time is legitimately valued at that rate, nor is it easy to stomach the idea that a mere speaker could deliver that rate of value to a tourism conference. Seems like a case of spending other people's money on yourself, which Milton Friedman warned usually doesn't result in restraint.
A true human disaster
Three members of a family got attacked out of the blue in a street in Thailand
DNA is, after all, just a means of biological data storage. Whether it can be used synthetically for the same purpose but on a very large scale? That's what Microsoft wants to figure out.
...so Apple is trying to pivot harder into service businesses
Which makes it intriguing that the Alphabet (that is, Google) team took a pass on so doing this year
He wants the US Armed Forces to have "the capability and credibility to assure our allies and partners, deter aggression and overmatch any potential adversary"
Comcast, once just a simple cable company in Tupelo, Mississippi, has gone full-bore for content creation since becoming majority partner in NBCUniversal in 2011. The deal is being spun as a way to get stronger in "family" programming -- though Comcast carefully calls it "the highly competitive kids and family entertainment space". If it weren't "highly competitive", they might face tougher odds gaining regulatory approval. Of course, Disney bought Pixar, and arguments are made that Pixar is the better studio.
Figuring that the preponderance of the world's population lives close to the ocean, they're trying to figure out how to deliver things like cloud computing without taking up valuable landside real estate
Stock markets can be terribly irrational sometimes. The tech industry is a brutal marketplace. Together, it adds up to a highly un-enviable spot for Yahoo.
That's not a recreational trip -- it's a show of force
On this issue, at least, he's a supply-sider
Deposits from people who open savings accounts give them financing that makes the regulators happy
When the family business is in trouble, someone in the family either needs to step in or find someone who can. It doesn't look like that's happening at VW.
The one-time dominant phone maker is out of that game entirely, and now looks at wearables as a growth industry
Sure, there are plenty of circumstances under which people might want to use natural language in order to interact with a firm or organization. But there are also plenty of times when the scope of what a person can actually do with such an organization are fairly narrow and the exchange is best conducted with something like an interactive contact form instead.
And the company is dependent upon iPhone sales, so that shrinks the revenues to the company
Let it not be forgotten that the disaster at Chernobyl was predominantly the result of human error, compounded by a system that couldn't handle mistakes well
Potentially trailing back for 25 years
Another sign of rough roads present and ahead for the agricultural economy
To get it from where it's produced to where it's consumed requires lots of transmission lines -- and there are political costs to overcome
The fact it's not unusual to do that in the Midwest is a cultural strength that becomes a business advantage. As noted here in 2010, reputations are highly valuable and much too important to risk in even the largest of Upper Midwestern cities. That keeps people generally on their best behavior.
Gannett, freshly off a split from its electronic-media properties, is right back to the behavior that got it into trouble in the first place: Unbridled acquisition. The deal would include a massive pile of debt over at Tribune. Bloomberg estimates that Gannett 12% of the nation's daily newspaper circulation, and Tribune has 5%.
Literally -- the ruins of buildings that once housed the functions of the British Empire
An interesting perspective on the durability of Donald Trump's following
Beware any government that would shut off the flow of knowledge
The appalling consequences of the diffusion of responsibility
It may start in school, but it's a terrible idea to let it end there
Always beware mandates like this one: Ordering everyone to do the same thing in the same way, even on a scale as small as a city, leaves no room for the subtle variances in life that make things that can be seemingly sensible turn into total disasters. Today's solar panels are better than yesterday's, and tomorrow's will almost certainly be better still. Requiring people to install technology that is in the middle of a rapid evolution can backfire: What if all houses in 1990 had been required to include giant satellite dishes, or all cars of the same time required to be equipped with bag phones? And what of flexible circumstances -- like a house that's always in the shade, due to hills, trees, or tall surrounding buildings? It's not like San Francisco is a place of cheap real estate to begin with -- it's already preposterously expensive. Mandates only compound that effect, raising the cost of living for people who already may be finding it hard to get by.
Words like "never" can be costly when you're trying to get people to pay for things you're selling
People watching "The Americans" can be forgiven if they feel a tinge of nostalgia for the Cold War. "Ivan" might have been terrible, but he also didn't have a particular interest in dying. Today's foes aren't always quite so attached to their own skins, and that makes them unsettling in a way that Soviet nuclear weapons never really could be.
A radio play-by-play announcer quits with an online posting. There are so many mistakes made here: The announcement includes misspellings and takes place in a public forum while burning all bridges along the way. These things persist, you know. Something like this becomes the #1 search result in your next job interview. To anyone who doesn't know the back story, this looks like sabotage is your M.O.
Due to printing problems, the Des Moines Register isn't distributing an April 16th printed edition. As pointed out by a former staffer, printing problems used to activate backup plans -- today, it would appear, the answer is to just tell people to access the online edition for free. But if they're really equivalent substitutes for one another, then why go to the trouble of printing and distributing the print edition at all? And if they are not equivalents, then shouldn't a press failure be important enough that some kind of emergency plan can be rolled out? Either the print copy matters or it does not. This response seems to suggest that, institutionally, the latter belief is in the driver's seat.
The presence of a candidate who has treated the entire Presidential race like a game of Mario Kart has brought out the worst in a lot of people
They expect to get there by the end of the decade, putting Iowa light-years ahead of everywhere else
We're looking at you, Iran and North Korea
New competition has tightened the rocket-launch market
Public debt is now at nearly unsustainable levels -- and when that triggers a reaction, things could get ugly in a hurry
It would be a good thing if all citizens thought about science more often, but "citizen scientists" is a clever title to offer people for participating in an NYU study of baby sleep patterns. The study asks parents to record their baby's sleeping patterns in a widely-used smartphone app -- something many parents were doing with the app already, but by aggregating the data, they can turn it from micro-information (used by the parents) into a macro-study with far more data points than the researchers were ever going to get by handing out paper surveys.
In the long run, a chip-and-PIN system ought to be highly secure for in-person transactions. But in the short run, the inconsistencies in their rollout and use are driving people crazy at the cash register.
It's one thing to show off, and it's another to provoke. This behavior teeters dangerously close to the latter.
We think of social-engineering attacks as a modern online phenomenon, but they've been around forever. And it helps nothing at all when IT people use techniques that are indistinguishable from those of the attackers.
Technology alone doesn't and can't fix problems with education, but viewed as a useful tool, technology may be able to help. The less teachers have to be IT people and the more they can simply use their tools, the better.
They want more artificial intelligence and more artificial reality
Not that today's seats aren't absurdly small and uncomfortable, but legislation isn't the way to fix it -- especially not if people are given the option to pay for bigger seats (and don't)
Fundamentally indistinguishable from organic diamonds, they don't come with any of the ethical baggage and offer creative cutters options they didn't have before
Crooks are trying to break into Netflix accounts not because they want to mess with your ratings, but because they want login information. They can get enough information to trick people using social engineering into giving away credit-card info, and it's also likely that any passwords people use on Netflix are in use elsewhere, too.
Another hit from The Onion
The Boston Globe looked into its crystal ball to see a Trump Presidency and they saw something awful
It's a practice that shouldn't have been threatened in the first place -- more states should follow Nebraska's lead on this and divide their Electoral College votes by Congressional district, with the statewide winner getting the two remaining votes
He's putting his foot down on the idea of being named as some kind of unity candidate. He's needed in Congress now, and almost certainly to an even greater degree after the results of this coming November. The primacy of the Executive Branch needs to be reeled in a bit, and Speaker Ryan is the right person for the job on the Legislative Branch's side of things.
They are at long last changing the format of most of their reports to conventional sentence case, rather than the ALL CAPS format that had been in place since the teletype days. The practice was a technological artifact -- it was necessary when there wasn't sufficient means to send mixed-case messages. But now there is, and since sentence-case messages are easier to read and comprehend, this is a good change.
For those times when it's not just enough to feel like you're there, but also to get serious motion sickness in the process
They would use private-equity money to form a new company, but the essence of the deal would still be the same: An old-media company buying a new-media company to give both a shot at survival.
A very clever metaphor for the technologies that will eventually accumulate and lead to self-piloted cars for everybody -- but that in the shorter term will at least ensure higher levels of safety by overriding the stupid decisions and slow reactions of human drivers.
The rail industry is already pretty well-consolidated, so further consolidation may be hard to achieve.
It's a sign that an economy is healthy if people who leave the workforce need to catch up a bit when they return. That means things are changing and improving. Thus it's smart to have ways to help people rejoin the workforce quickly, and "returnships" may be part of the answer.
The over-the-road freight trucks of the future won't always have individual drivers. Testing is taking place right now in the EU, where trucks use automation to communicate with one another to drive in closely-packed series that move more efficiently and use less road space than individual trucks. It's also supposed to save fuel. Pilot testing is underway in Europe.
Tim Miller has a very clever way of looking at things and framing the politics around them. His take on the Presidential race right now is worth a solid 45-minute listen.
It's not a non-profit, and it's not a charity. Users would be wise to keep that in mind.
The effect it has on the incarcerated students tells us some important things about education -- and about what we should seriously consider doing to fix our criminal-justice system
When the Treasury Department issues a special statement announcing that they weren't targeting anyone in particular with a brand-new set of rules (that happen to have a serious impact on a high-profile event), it doesn't take all that much cynicism to suspect that the lady doth protest too much.
The product is "sticky" enough that it's hard to imagine a lot of people quitting their subscriptions over $2 a month
Some of the best strategies for saving the gorillas may also be very good ways of helping human beings, too
We leave way too much human potential unfulfilled
Telling signs about the world economy at large -- if shipping costs (as tracked by the index) are very low, then that's a symptom that goods aren't moving on the high seas
Video circulates showing people being attacked in hotels in China as bystanders just let it happen
Someone needs to be the hawk at the table -- even if, on balance, the Fed still probably needs to be dovish
A bunch of people grandfathered into cheap streaming plans are going to have to pay a couple of extra dollars a month
Google has gotten pretty good at creating products, demonstrating market demand, and then pulling the plug. Yahoo should try harder to be a fast follower.
People who are invested -- even just a little bit -- in their local civic institutions are probably less likely to fall for the siren song of a candidate who wants to blow up everything about civic society.
This is why we need technologically literate adults everywhere, but especially in the halls of Congress
When you see freight shipments declining at the biggest railroads (as they are now), you need to question whether all is well in the economy at large
Seems like a bargain, and the NFL says it wasn't the highest bid. But it does put the NFL in the middle of the preeminent real-time events service on the Internet, while giving Twitter something new entirely to attract new users. An interesting gamble all around.
They managed to launch and then land a rocket, vertically, on a floating platform in the ocean. It was the fifth try and its success means this has been a very, very good week to be Elon Musk. The landing as viewed from the chase plane is downright surreal.
A bunch of staffers at Mashable just got laid off abruptly. They work in the public eye, and reports have it their e-mail accounts were shut down as part of the sudden layoffs. People who are (or might be) in the public view need control over their public-facing image, and it doesn't get more public-facing than the Internet.
But the White House doesn't want him (or people like him) saying anything out loud
In theory, a fiduciary rule should apply -- but whether the government should be the party imposing the rule (instead of consumers simply have the requisite knowledge to know what to demand of their service providers) isn't an open-and-shut case. Among other things, it's not enough just to require that the adviser have good intentions -- consumers also need to be able to discern when they're getting bad advice from well-meaning people.
A Boston Globe editor asks his associates to ponder: "If a wealthy individual was to give us funding to launch a news organization designed to take on The Boston Globe, what would it look like?" And that's exactly the right question. All sympathies and sentimentality aside, the value of a company is what it's going to be able to produce in the future. From that perspective, what exists today isn't as important as what an organization would build if starting from a blank sheet of paper.
Google may be considering a bid, too
A customer of a home-automation product acquired by Google is mad because the product -- acquired by Alphabet subsidiary Nest -- is being bricked on May 15th. Is it Google/Alphabet's prerogative to do so? Yes. Does it reflect badly on the company? Yes. Does it undermine the company's reputation for customer support? Yes.
It's one thing to bring in a "guest editor" to put together a special edition of a magazine. But it's quite another thing to let someone apart from an editorial staff take over the Twitter account of a publication. The New Republic just learned that the hard way.
Senator Bernie Sanders knows how to whip up a movement, but he's not showing an adequate grasp of his own policies to be able to implement them. That lack of seriousness is not trivial.
Not a huge amount, but not zero, either
Who's voting where, for whom, for what reasons -- in a very bizarre Presidential campaign
It all boils down to the need for critical supplies and a shortage of safe and reliable transportation options. One may recall the scene from the late "West Wing" episode in which the retiring CJ Cregg responds as follows to an offer of a $10 billion philanthropic grant: "Highways [...] It's not sexy. No one will ever raise money for it. But nine out of ten African aid projects fail because the medicine or the personnel can't get to the people in need. Blanket the continent with highways and then maybe get started on plumbing."
Businesses are using artificial intelligence to provide customer service without the human customer-service reps
The Internet is now just the internet
Several key methods of meeting seem to be missing from the data (like "mutual interests"), so the graph itself is suspect. But it still seems to strike a lot of people as true.
Once again raising the question: Do we need a dedicated military branch or agency dedicated to cyberwarfare?
There's a point at which people substitute a lot of dignity for impressions of status. Some tech startups exploit that.
High-income, high-education people turn to the Internet for lifelong learning. People with lower incomes and less education don't as much.
A lot of fields reject self-taught" authorities on a subject. Computer programming does not.
Man stops to film tornado from his attic. It turns and obliterates his home before he can make it downstairs.
A sad prospect -- Nebraska is one of the only states to allocate electors by Congressional district, which is actually a sensible practice that more states should follow. Let the overall state winner take the two statewide electors.
Tracking the minimum wage to some kind of inflation-related index? Probably reasonable. But large jumps do run the serious risk of causing employers to take drastic measures, like automating or leaving the affected jurisdictions.
Their original bid was 489 billion yen -- and the actual sale price is about 100 billion yen less than that. That's not the direction these negotiations usually go. Japanese news reports reveal a whole lot of resentment at Sharp over the outcome. The buyer is Taiwan's Hon Hai (better known as Foxconn).
An electric car with a price tag starting in the mid-$30,000 range
A great city with a huge problem
They happen to be attorneys for the ACLU, so that's not likely to end well for the bar
That's a huge decline, largely tied to the drop in commodity prices. Lower prices mean less cash flow, and when the outputs don't justify the cost of the capital (here, that capital is land), the market price of the capital is bound to fall.
A deceptively simple and addictive game called Guess the Correlation reveals just how bad we human beings are at recognizing statistical correlation -- even when it's right in front of us
And where is the shame that should shadow the fact that 69 people have been killed in a terrorist bombing -- but because it happened in Pakistan, it isn't making the same kind of headlines as an equivalent attack in a city in Europe?
It's been in current hands for just three years. This is "trader" capitalism. While not immoral or unethical, per se, it isn't the same as constructive or productive capitalism that depends upon transforming things of lower value into things of higher value. It's also not the same thing as proprietor capitalism, in which a person proudly owns his or her business for what it creates. Again, this doesn't make trader capitalism evil or wrong -- but we need to be very careful about celebrating the cowboy antics of trader capitalism. Trader capitalism tends to be a zero-sum game, or close to it. The other forms are decidedly non-zero-sum: They deliberately turn out something better at the end than what was put in.
Thus we all can think of a town that has lost a factory to "outsourcing" -- but many people would find it hard to quantify how much trade benefits them personally. This tempers how people understand trade, since it means we overweight the costs and underweight the benefits -- even though the benefits overall far outweigh the costs. Sensitivity to those concentrated costs is important, though: If we benefit at-large, then we need to tax at-large as well in order to help the people who are directly hurt by the effects of trade.
Niall Ferguson says it's best viewed as a true network and best opposed as such
The site that built its reputation on still pictures now says "you'll soon have the flexibility to tell your story in up to 60 seconds of video". That doesn't quite make it YouTube, but it's a change of position.
Hospital databases are natural targets for the depth and scale of the data they collect. It's been reported that 15,000 patients have been notified about the Iowa City attack alone -- that's the population of a small town.
How to protect yourself? Don't open attachments from people you don't know. Use webmail services instead of putting an e-mail client on your desktop. Run antivirus software. Keep your computer at the lowest level of access allowed (in other words, don't log in as an administrator unless necessary). And keep backups of your data -- update the backups frequently and keep more than one backup approach in use (in other words, go ahead and use a cloud backup, but use a portable hard drive as a backup-backup).
Both companies are testing projects to deliver Internet access from very high altitudes -- above normal commercial air traffic. But they're running into complicated rules on the way there, as well as some hassles with the lack of clarity about the rules that apply to air traffic at such high altitudes. Also, there's the sticky issue of flying across borders.
Netflix, Intel, Sony, and Samsung also make the top ten list. That likely says something not necessarily about technology-oriented companies being inherently more reputable than others, but about how high levels of consumer scrutiny and very low barriers to customer switching helps to keep these companies on their toes.
This is exactly the kind of thing that technology should be doing: Creating new ways for people to be responsible for their own safety, even when circumstances might not otherwise permit it. Imagine the bravery required to turn in your father as he's driving drunk with you in the car. It's hard to imagine it happening via a voice call, but a text message provides a safe alternative. The value in technologies like this isn't how often they're used -- it's in whether they allow people to call for help in circumstances when they might not otherwise have the choice. If that's a non-zero number, then it's certainly worth further examination.
Syria is only one of many highly complex situations on the world stage right now -- and anyone who tries to argue that they have simple answers or a monopoly on the solutions is a reckless bozo.
How do you say "Oorah!" in binary code? It's still unclear whether it makes more sense for each branch of the military to have its own cyberwarfare operations, or whether we should seriously consider spinning up a dedicated branch, agency, or corps dedicated to the purpose. The comparable case is probably the Coast Guard, which has a definite mission serving a specific type of territory, but which also executes its role well within the nation's borders -- something that the Army, for instance, isn't supposed to due because of the posse comitatus rule. But because cyberwarfare is often about criminal behavior rather than nation-states bearing arms against one another, cyberwarfare often (but not always) is better described as an act of law enforcement rather than martial defense. Of course, this is the kind of debate that should be dominating the Presidential race, but it's not. Not by a long shot.
The problem of unoccupied, un-maintained houses that start to deteriorate and "bring down the neighborhood" is a serious issue, since so many people have large shares of their net worth tied up in their housing stock.
They didn't need Apple to corrupt its own security after all. Now, will the FBI tell Apple how they did it so that Apple can fix the problem?
They'll provide the keyboard and a 14" screen in a laptop-like unit. Users will provide the smartphone that will act as the "brains".
One thing that may be happening without sufficient attention is that the forces that cause the white-collar classes to work exceptional numbers of hours and to spend much of their free time in activities that also pass as career networking may also be the forces that serve to pull apart important civic organizations. It seems hard to find people with valuable skills who have the time and inclination to support civic institutions with their time and talents -- especially if they're spending time doing things like toting kids around to league sports.
The government authorities probably don't mind if Baidu keeps up this kind of work
They're still higher than comparable products in the same class, but the company certainly appears to be trying to get more consumers in the door of the Apple ecosystem. The iPhone SE clocks in at $399, the new iPad Pro 9.7" costs $599, and the entry-level Apple Watch is now $299.
The Onion lands another smashing satire. It's just close enough to reality to be disturbing.
Miitomo involves "Mii" avatars who go out and live a virtual life for you, "interacting" with those of your friends
Two police officers, one prisoner, and the opposing driver were all killed
Canal passage fees are higher than the cost for extra fuel in some cases
A little bigger than the Surface
What in the world is that time displacing? It's not all just "found" time that was otherwise spent in line at the grocery store -- it's coming from the time budget for something else. And the authors found that high levels of use were correlated with symptoms of depression. Correlation isn't necessarily causation, but it is a relationship that is cause for concern and further analysis.
...the company might help some other party to buy it out. Microsoft apparently makes decent money from its partnership with Yahoo and doesn't want to kill a productive arrangement.
As long as data limits remain both low and in effect, video streaming over wireless networks is going to be a source of conflict. This is (probably) just a short-term ploy by Netflix, but one that may be enough to tweak some of the wireless carriers into raising data limits. It certainly isn't leading to good feelings.
He's needed -- badly -- as the Speaker of the House, virtually no mater who gets elected in 2016, and it's hard to think of anyone better to fill his current role
We can't have nice things, in part, because people can't seem to resist digital vandalism. Microsoft tried to launch "Tay", but unfortunately it would appear that exposing it to social media only turned it into an idiot.
Raspberry Pi is a super-cheap computer processor, and Amazon is giving out instructions to make something of it
Stunningly terrible misfortune
The perpetually high rate of improvement in chip power is going to ease back a bit
An FOIA request by a group hostile to her finds emails from February 2009 that appear to acknowledge her recognition that her BlackBerry and e-mail use were going to raise questions
If physically getting the news on a dead tree is no longer a defining characteristic for a news organization, then the rivalry could severely disrupt the classic monopoly model enjoyed by major metropolitan newspapers
Arriving in stores next week (3/31), it shares a chip with the iPhone 6S, has a 12-megapixel camera, and is in a relatively compact 4" size. $400 for the 16 Gb entry-level edition.
Starboard Value LP is launching a proxy fight. With just 1.7% of the company's stock, they don't have enough to call the shots, but in their letter to shareholders, they indict the current board and management for failing to turn around the company operationally or get it sold.
Very few family businesses survive intact, it would seem
Donald Trump's session with the editorial board of the Washington Post is a stunning example of word salad. It's understandable that lots of people are angry at the political system, but working for his election is like trying to get Ronald McDonald hired as the executive chef at a French restaurant because you don't like their pastries.
Corn is one of Iowa's greatest products
Only the actor. Dos Equis is planning to reboot the campaign.
Once you see what's wrong, you won't be able to un-see it
TV reporter gets kicked out of city hall for asking uncomfortable questions
The middle classes are feeling discontent
Marine commandant: "[W]e don't have enough airplanes to meet the training requirements for the entire force"
Well ahead of the voluntary mutual pact to have them on all new US cars by 2022
The symbiosis between Donald Trump and the news media is very bad for civilization, even if it's "good" TV
The privacy-rights group argues there's no alternative to the mathematics of absolutism when it comes to encryption
It doesn't matter if the cycle is only 15 weeks long; the campaign process is continuous
He is more hype-man than legitimate business success
OSHA changed measurement and reporting requirements and it turns out more people are getting hurt on the job than the old data suggested
But no real revolutions at the latest product launch
Honestly? Raising the future economist may be the best move of all.
Words matter. Now if only we could settle on what to call the perpetrators.
What built "Futurama" is about to become free
With so many people in the Baby Boom generation headed into their senior years, don't be surprised by an intense focus on the diseases associated with aging
Killing off the brand but keeping the products
India's probably producing more, and China's producing less
That's a lot of money for the Westin, Sheraton, and W chains
Not that long ago, really
Bipartisan agreement on at least one thing
The rollout is going to be a three-year project
Might be a mismatch between high demand and low supply in a metro area like Des Moines
Parents are proud of their children and want to share that pride. They also look for help and the Internet can provide a community level of response. But kids also deserve to control their digital identities, and it makes sense to default on the side of caution -- especially given the permanence and universal reach of the Internet.
Literally millions of refugees -- each a person, with a personal experience of this massive human disaster
Drivers are specifically being advised to keep vehicle software up to date and to use caution when integrating third-party apps with their vehicles
The country can survive a bad President or two. But we shouldn't be willing to try.
But as a class, analysts have generally proven to be far too credulous when they should have been skeptical, and often too pessimistic when they should be seeing potential. Investors and other observers should reach their own judgments accordingly.
The Speaker of the House is one of the most prominent "adults in the room" in the GOP right now, and his presence is needed more than ever
20 automakers have agreed to "make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars" by 2022. Almost all new cars sold in the US should be included. Note that the government itself admits that this voluntary agreement "will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process". That says something rather disappointing about the pace of regulatory standards, but it's pleasing to see that they're willing to circumvent their own policy in order to get to a desirable goal sooner.
Lyft drivers (starting in Chicago, then likely rolling out elsewhere) will be able to rent a GM car for $99 a week. The program will let people who don't currently meet Lyft's vehicle standards still get paid to drive. Chevy will offer its mid-$20,000-range Equinox SUV for $99 a week, or around a fifth of the cost of the vehicle per year -- including insurance and maintenance. GM is already a major investor in Lyft, to the tune of half a billion dollars. On a related note, a research paper says that Uber drivers are much more efficient than taxi drivers, when efficiency is measured by the amount of time passengers are actively being carried somewhere for a fare. The model would tend to bear this out: Uber and Lyft don't rely on their drivers having to hunt for customers -- they're actively being hailed by prospective passengers who aren't visibly waiting on street corners. The cab industry really blew a huge opportunity by not adapting faster to the Internet. Notably, too, higher efficiency means the prospect of lower rates for passengers, since higher productivity pays off faster for drivers.
It isn't entirely unreasonable to think that we're close to a time when biometric identification will suffice for a lot of transactions, rather than passwords. Because of the huge number of passwords most people need to keep, the wide range of characteristics that apply (some sites require the use of special characters, for instance, while other sites don't accept them at all), and the inconsistency of practice around factors like the frequency with which passwords must be changed, the whole concept of passwords may not be fatally flawed but it certainly isn't optimal. But the leading problem with biometrics may likely be that many people inherently distrust them and distrust any institution that would record their biometric identifiers.
Google parent company Alphabet reportedly doesn't see robotics turning a profit soon, so they're looking to get rid of the division, which develops some amazing products and only became part of the larger company a hair over two years ago.
In his recent discussion on Reddit, Bill Gates said, "I think very few people take the extreme view that the government should be blind to financial and communication data but very few people think giving the government carte blanche without safeguards makes sense." The government isn't necessarily wrong to try to get its hands on data, nor is Apple wrong to resist. By the same token, the government isn't necessarily trustworthy to have access to people's private data, nor is Apple perfectly patriotic and flag-waving in resisting cooperation with the government. Rather than polemic from people who don't understand what they're talking about, these kinds of issues demand attention from sober people with technical knowledge.
At least six Iowa towns already have it.
Company founder: "[W]e are moving very, very fast" to integrate systems. The path to the self-driving car is going to be more incremental than not -- lane assistance, automatic braking, and the like -- but it can't come fast enough. Eliminating human error from the roadways would save tens of thousands of lives a year.
They know that there are things they don't know -- and that is a special form of consciousness
Only further evidence that the future of "television" may very well be delivered predominantly via the Internet
They need to be programmed to recognize when users need help but don't know how to ask for it -- like when they are suicidal, depressed, or otherwise in need of human help (but brokered by artificial intelligence)
The war has now lasted so long that children are reaching kindergarten age having never seen peace. Some 400,000 to 500,000 people have died in the course of the war.
Very important reading. The manufacturing sector in the United States is actually doing well right now -- but there are specific groups of workers who are falling behind. Instead of blowing up the systems of international trade that make modern prosperity possible, we need to think about ways we can help the affected individuals recover and come back even better.
Seeing the flow of international trade aboard the ships on the high seas is actually a very helpful way to see how the world is interconnected. Trade is, on balance, a good thing. It leads to peace.
This is a serious problem for the Midwestern economy generally. If farmers get into cash-flow trouble, that affects the implement dealers and seed reps and other primary resource providers...and then it spills over to Main Street.
And with that, William S Paley rolls over in his grave. There are 117 radio stations in the group.
Technology is doing amazing things
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is one of the most important "adults in the room" in politics right now. His voice is badly needed at a time when a major candidate in the Presidential race seemingly cannot tell the truth under any circumstances and addresses women with pathological disrespect.
The government is blaming "Kurdish militants", which may or may not be true. It certainly would fit a narrative being pursued by the government, so independent and objective study of the evidence is required. Whoever is responsible, it's a large attack and a tragic display of destruction.
"[T]he final product of a dwindling bloodline that his proud forebears fought relentlessly to advance even before the dawn of history, decided to spend his free time after work watching the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy film The 'Burbs."
Microsoft has been hinting pretty clearly for some time that a move like this was forthcoming -- but it still seems a bit aggressive
A Chinese insurance firm is spending $6.5 billion to buy a batch of luxury hotels in the United States. That's one way the cash that has been leaking out of the United States to China (in the form of trade deficits) comes back home -- through asset sales.
A recent student doesn't see the value in what he earned
That's the structure of a Federal program to subsidize Internet access for the poor and those who live in places with limited options for access. But $9.25 a month doesn't really cover the full cost of access, and it may be a moot point in many places where there really isn't a good service available at all. This is an important public issue because the people who are caught without reliable Internet access are and will increasingly be at a substantial economic disadvantage to those who have it. And the people who don't have access now are likely to already be fighting an uphill battle economically. There ought to be a debate about the best way for public policy to address the problem, but there should be no mistaking the fact that the "digital divide" presents a serious hazard, and one that is only likely to deepen if not addressed. This should not be a case of debating whether there is a problem, but of how public policy ought best to be used to address it. There may be very market-friendly ways of so doing, and there are definitely government-overbearing ways of so doing. The debate itself, though, needs to begin with acknowledging the problem and addressing it thoughtfully so that the permanent consequences aren't as costly as they will be if the problem is ignored.
It may look like a victory for "net neutrality", but there's a strong case to be made that the worries people have about the approach actually resemble strongly the worries people once had about AOL -- and that the AOL worries crumbled easily on their own once people got a taste for Internet access
But you have to be using Opera to get it. Opera is a very distant also-ran in the browser market, but this may raise their profile. The company claims it delivers pages around 40% faster than the competition once those ads are scooped out. One might wonder how website publishers are going to respond to this, given that it's the equivalent of building an automatic commercial-skipper into a television set.
The agency is proposing that Internet service providers be limited in what records they can keep on what individuals do with their Internet access
When asked to name America's largest cities, more people overlook San Jose than any other -- relative to the fact it's the 10th largest individual city (not metro) in the country and one of only ten to have more than a million residents. But San Jose seems to be eternally in the shadow of its neighbor San Francisco, which is in fact meaningfully smaller in population.
Donald Trump's incapacity to acknowledge that the iron-fisted response by the Chinese government to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests is yet another sign that he has authoritarian instincts that belong nowhere near the White House. Ohio Governor John Kasich deserves credit for highlighting that problem.
Tiptoeing towards totalitarianism: The argument now is that they want to track vehicles carrying hazardous waste and buses carrying kids. But how to stop it before they start tracking every car?
Sooner or later, we'll have batteries that render the problem of battery life entirely moot
Just $1,000 exchanging hands between parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, and uncles appears to be what keeps a lot of people out of calamity
Several critical. More than one requires a restart.
Android and iOS now, Windows 10 Mobile soon.
Their reluctant embrace of Senator Rubio is understandable. Governor Kasich is better-qualified, but his campaign organization itself doesn't look like it's built to win. Their case against the two Democrats for their "distance from economic reality" is positively dead-on.
Bill Gates says he doesn't want to run for President. The fact he doesn't -- a fact that also applies to a lot of highly-qualified individuals we should like to see in high government office -- says something unflattering about the way we pick our leadership. If the process is faulty, then we're only lucky if it yields positive results.
When something is good in general and on balance (like free trade) but injures certain specific parties (like people who lose their jobs to outsourcing), then we see the extraordinary need for leaders who can explain the benefits and enact the kinds of accomodative measures needed to help those injured parties adjust. We shouldn't hold back on things like free trade that, on balance, leave us vastly better off as a civilization. But when we don't do enough to capture the social benefits and funnel them to the parties who are hurt by it, then in the long run we're likely to face populist backlash (like Trumpism). To regress and give up the benefits of trade by turning to absurd policies like prohibitive import tariffs would be to set the whole of civilization back.
The idea that the capital environment is so backwards that people willingly pay to put their savings someplace is hard to comprehend
$150 for the color-screen edition, $200 for the fancier round design in color. That's well below $550 for the Apple Watch or $350 for the entry-level Apple Watch. Competition is a beautiful thing, and technology price disinflation is pretty astonishing.
Strange, considering how important educational achievement for minority students can be
An Apple engineer says so
A foreboding sign for the global economy
Still a long way to go for equality between males and females
Perhaps a symptom that both parties have work to do to satisfy many voters. Just look, for instance, at the almost total absence of Democrats up the middle of the country. It's sparsely-populated territory, for sure, but shouldn't there be some appeal from both parties?
The ambitions of ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh and its long propaganda reach combine to create a risk for the West. There most likely will be attacks again in the future -- terrorism is a tactic, not an organization -- and when they occur, we will want competent leadership in charge of our government and those of our allies.
It turns out that the shameless self-promotion of a 2016 Presidential candidate doesn't reflect actual performance.
Androids are coming, but they're going to look creepy for a while
Even despite the rising risk that Donald Trump will capture the Republican nomination, which would be a terrible thing for the party
Called "Project BLAID", it's worn around the neck and is supposed to give the wearer information about the surroundings that aren't available through a cane or a seeing-eye dog. Of course, better visualization and feedback to the user have some useful applications in developing safer cars, too.
The history of the textile industry might actually be the best lens into American industry of all
Not every technology survives
Explaining the hair on top of the Orange Menace's head
Immediately it turns into a propaganda mouthpiece. And Turkey wants to join the EU.
Getting that right makes a big difference to getting outcomes that reflect the people represented. Sound, non-partisan, rule-based districting is of enormous importance to a healthy democratic republic.
A key to the long-term health of civilization and the economy
Innovation prizes are a great way to induce progress using market-friendly thinking, and using them to find ways to make capitalism itself work better is like a double helping of good thinking.
Technology has a role to play, but anyone who thinks there's some kind of magic that can be performed just by flipping some kind of switch is bound to be disappointed. Technology can make the job of fighting terrorism both easier and harder at the same time.
As tools like crowdsourcing find their way into academic research, people are facing an interesting question: If that work then leads to a paper, should the contributors be cited by their natural names or can they use their online pseudonyms (usernames) instead? To some, the pseudonym may be a more valuable and descriptive identity than the natural name.
The state of Iowa has an initiative in place to let schools offer classes that they cannot afford or otherwise manage to offer in-house. The Iowa House just unanimously approved a bill to let schools look online for options when that process doesn't work out.
Especially by the people who are inclined to agree with them. It's probably a greater service to the world to keep your own team honest than to bark across the aisle (though that has its own merits, too). Fortunately, some people are calling out some of the more egregious examples in the 2016 Presidential campaign right now.
American companies are thought to have lost $2 billion in the last year from fraud involving spoofed messages that appeared to come from the CEO
Facebook can only really grow if the billions of people who don't have reliable Internet access become Internet users and join the site, so the company has a vested interest in expanding Internet access all over the world. In order to do that efficiently, they need to know where the people are. Thus the company is working on taking artificial intelligence and applying it to known data about the world (like satellite imagery) to come up with much more granular detail about where people can be found. They're having the Earth Institute at Columbia University review the data for quality, and Facebook then says it will make the data available on an open-source basis later this year. Facebook estimates that about 3 billion people worldwide have Internet access, and 4 billion don't. The population maps are mainly useful to Facebook when seeking to decide where to use wireless hotspots, where to use cellular-type service, and where they might have to turn to satellites or UAVs to deliver connectivity. It's estimated right now that 95% of the world's population is within reach of mobile phone service, but if those estimates are based on faulty data, then it may impede the necessary infrastructure investments to expand access. That's where better population-density mapping has a role to play. Of course, the research is being done with Facebook's private benefit in mind, but the spillover benefits from better mapping have the potential to do a lot of social good, like aiding in disaster planning and recovery.
The bookstore touts itself as a refuge from connectivity overload, but isn't the idea of a bookstore fundamentally to connect people with access to more information than they could possibly ever want to use? Maybe it makes people feel better, but disconnecting isn't necessarily a better way of life.
Google took billions of photos that included location data and fed them into a database. They then turned that database into a system that tries to identify the locations shown in new pictures based upon what it already knows about the rest of the world. Naturally, it's working better in places like tourist destinations that are well-documented than in remote areas, but it's apparently generally much better than human beings are at the same test. The Google system was able to at least get to the right continent about half of the time.
Mercedes is replacing robots in some of its plants with human workers, because it's easier to give a person detailed instructions than it is to reprogram the robots. Mercedes is trying to deliver more customized vehicles right off the assembly line, and people are their most efficient choice for now. This is actually a lesson learned long ago by Honda, which emphasizes the value of using people to do work because people can improve and innovate while automation cannot. There's a role for both, of course. We're better off when machines augment or supplement human work, labor, and thinking.
It's time to stop celebrating ignorance. As Ben Franklin said, "Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn."
Relitigating the Civil War may be one of the stupidest pursuits out there. Trump's only philosophical loyalty is to expediency, and that appears to be attracting some pretty shameful political bedfellows. It's also creating friction with our friendly neighbor, Mexico, where a former president has flatly rejected the idea that a Trump administration could somehow force Mexico to build and pay for a border wall.
You can't build a coalition around an extremist-leaning populist movement that lacks a philosophical core
The flood of money available to real-estate speculation has incentivized the construction of some super-tall towers in New York City. People around the world are looking for investments and finding little that seems attractive, so it's spurred a bubble in skyscrapers. And, regrettably from a visual-aesthetic standpoint, the availability of materials that permit very tall, very narrow buildings is making that the design of choice for some of these new projects. These big, inelegant towers aren't remotely as appealing to the eye as the classic tapered skyscrapers designed to suit setback requirements.
A new plugin for weblogs and sites using the WordPress publishing tool will create parallel sites that cooperate with Google's "AMP" project to accelerate the delivery of pages on mobile devices. WordPress and Google share a common interest in keeping people on the public Internet rather than behind "walled gardens" like Facebook.
It's a lonely place for the women
What Google has, Facebook wants
He seems surprisingly uninspired by the idea of big inducement/innovation prizes to advance the subject, but perhaps they're just icing on the cake to a much larger market anyway
A motley crew
What medical science can do to save tiny lives is awesome
They can be submerged (IP68) and go back to accepting MicroSD cards. Samsung killed that feature in the Galaxy S6, so its revival is welcomed.
Wyoming, West Virginia, Alaska, and North Dakota are in recession, according to Moody's Analytics
We don't need a strongman who bullies his rivals
It didn't go far as a concept
Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites are hoping the second-generation spacecraft will get them on track again to offer private space flight
They're going to borrow $12 billion to buy back stock at interest rates starting at 1.3% for one year and rising to 4.65% for 30 years. It's a little nuts to try to forecast Apple's market position 30 years from now -- remember that 31 years ago, Steve Jobs was fired, and he was reinstated at the company just 19 years ago. But in the short term, borrowing money at 1.3% in order to consolidate the ownership position of existing stockholders is pretty sound policy.
The exceptional capitalist says the socialist candidate is right about one thing: It's bad for society to have a lot of people who are kept downtrodden. Koch, of course, differs strongly with Sanders about exactly how to fix that problem -- but that's why it's long past time to find advocates to speak up more openly about the many capitalist solutions that are available to us. Denying that problems exist isn't the way forward: Acknowledging that they do exist, and finding solutions that fit within a thoughtful and sustainable framework is.
Broadly speaking, the idea of police-worn body cameras is attractive. Eyewitness testimony is utterly unreliable, even when it comes from trained witnesses like the police -- so the more actual documentary evidence we have from crime scenes and contested events, the better for justice. But it's not an idea without consequences and drawbacks: Someone has to be responsible for acting as custodian of the video evidence, and that's an area where some police departments have played games when seeking to protect their own when their own have done wrong. Moreover, there are complicated matters of access to the documentary evidence (and whether it becomes public record) as well as questions of civilian privacy (especially for children caught up in events, situations of domestic violence and abuse, and access to police informants) that require thoughtful policies and oversight.
Boris Johnson is a politician with real star power, so this could make things complicated since his own party's leadership is campaigning to stay in. Johnson is a role model for politicians in at least one way: He writes a weekly column for a major newspaper, which is where he announced his opposition to remaining. Imagine how much better-off we all would be if our elected officials were all expected to be thoughtful and regular writers. The act of writing forces a person to clarify their own thinking -- and seeing who can write and elucidate their thoughts clearly, as opposed to who cannot, would be a valuable tool for voters.
Where is the game theory in Washington?
As China sends more non-military ships into the sea, the de facto rules that have applied to encounters between ships of the Chinese and US navies won't necessarily be regarded -- and that raises the odds of misunderstandings and unintended conflicts. That's a serious problem. We're being gamed, hard, on what's happening in the South China Sea: America is appearing to lose an epochal battle without a shot being fired, and it's not as though there's any recourse to be found by appealing to some kind of higher authority. That's the problem with being the solitary superpower in a world where rising powers aren't interested in playing by conventional rules. Someone in Washington needs to get to work on a comprehensive game-theory review of the situation so we can start anticipating the next steps rather than just reacting. As one observer notes, "this is about strategic posture", and it doesn't matter much if the UN laws of the sea say that China's misbehaving -- they're moving forward at flank speed regardless. That means the only way for us to reach an acceptable outcome is to comprehend what the likely next moves are based upon incentives, costs, collaboration, and conflict (or, in other words, game theory), and to start playing this game of real-world chess several steps ahead.
People who got the glass on their iPhones fixed by non-Apple technicians got something called "Error 53". Apple says it was intended to prevent people from bypassing the fingerprint lock, but now they're changing the software to keep the repairs from bricking the phones. The threat of a class-action lawsuit probably didn't hurt.
Des Moines, regrettably, won't get the headquarters operation of the intended agriculture spinoff, but it supposedly won't lose any jobs either
They're setting up an independent committee to figure out what to do next
Psychographics meet politics
The most valuable thing government can do is defend the defenseless. That didn't happen here, and someone needs to figure out why.
The effects of low commodity prices don't stop at the grain elevator
People who try to over-simplify the case are going to do harm to our public policies -- it requires nuance to address privacy issues like whether a phone-maker should let police agencies get a back-door skeleton key to the data stored on those phones. Regrettably, media attention is gravitating towards the reaction of one simplistic, reductionist, un-curious bozo running for the Presidency, and that's turning the debate over the issue into a disaster.
Starving the beast is one way to defeat it -- but don't be surprised if the beast lashes out when it's injured
Timing a recession is really hard to do, because they usually depend upon unpredictable triggers. But there are lots of conditions currently in place that should give us concern that a recession could happen.
When even the people inclined to side with you say your assumptions (like growth in excess of 5% a year even under greater burdens of regulation and taxation), then it's time to stop playing Santa Claus and get real about causes and effects. You can promise some things under socialism -- but ultra-fast growth rates are decidedly not among them.
It's mostly an academic or diplomatic conflict at this stage -- but there's plenty of dry tinder waiting to ignite into a conflagration. Time is running out.
An incredibly important takeaway: "Forty-two percent of Millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism, but only 16 percent of Millennials could accurately define socialism in the survey." As a cohort, they're not necessarily alone in their economic illiteracy -- but we as a country should be ashamed that we haven't gotten better over time at teaching people the fundamentals of economics. That's exactly the type of thing that we should be getting better at teaching all the time -- and it would appear from the outcomes that we're actually getting worse.
And there aren't any jobs, especially now that oil prices are crashing and the government is running out of ways to subsidize employment. This is potentially a nightmare scenario for extremism -- nothing is more destabilizing than lots of young people with nothing worthwhile to do. The Saudi government may very well find itself extinguished by the curse of oil wealth. Resource bonanzas are a terrible thing if they aren't managed wisely in the boom years.
Cyberwarfare is everywhere
The three were rejected from a party around the Grammys because the bouncer didn't recognize them. The look on Beck's face is hilarious.
Some of the possible factors feeding into the frenzy for Presidential candidates who don't make any sense. Make no mistake about it: We're in dangerous times when more than a third of Trump supporters identify with white nationalist views.
As creators of art, which makes it interesting. Some humans will complain that computer-generated art lacks something about the soul, and they could be right about that. But there's so very much bad art already in the world, created by human beings, and we can hardly be sad about it if that crappy art gets driven out of the market by comparably better computer-generated art. On balance, isn't that a good thing for human civilization? Wouldn't a world in which computer-generated art and good human art both flourish be a more beautiful world?
A test of a civilization's health is how it treats the most vulnerable. Veterans calling a suicide hotline really couldn't be much more vulnerable.
The laudable wordsmith and popular actor finds the environment just too hostile to continue engaging with it
Another airstrike on a hospital. Millions of people displaced. Tens or hundreds of thousands of children running for their lives rather than living in security and going to school. The consequences are going to be profound.
Vertical farms are the next logical step -- but only if the cost of transportation rises or the cost of electricity falls. Those are the most likely triggers for making vertical farming economically feasible on a large scale.
Rioting and protests have been happening, and not everybody is a fan of mass assembly
If the Fed raises interest rates, that could touch off trouble for companies that have borrowed too much, and that could put the hit on their stocks
They're installing a bunch of solar panels and customers are buying shares to cover the installation price in exchange for credits on their power bills
The Chicago Transit Authority is dealing with pension payments that executives could start collecting in their 40s
The airframe, which has been in the air since 1968, has undergone incremental improvements over time that mean it goes farther, faster, on less fuel today than previous generations. That's the value of incremental improvements accumulated over time. Revolutions come from time to time, but continuous improvement is far more powerful than people generally acknowledge.
The "pro" argument would say that the risks of terrorist attack are so great that the government needs to have backdoor tools to get in. But the "con" argument would remind us that it's never wise to demand powers when you're in control of government that you wouldn't want your opponents to have when you're out. And the power to have special access to break encryption is a very, very significant one. It's also worth noting that putting back-door access into legitimate software will do nothing to control access to illegitimate software. Bad guys can write code, too.
He recognizes the hazard correctly: There's very little that's more dangerous or destabilizing than lots of young people (particularly males) with nothing productive to do. But as with so many of his socialist schemes, Sanders only makes vague promises that he'll offer some kind of benefit without ever explaining how. And that's a critical flaw, because the default mode of socialism is actually to put people out of work. As a general rule of thumb, the more government regulates and seeks to manage employment, the harder it becomes to both hire and fire -- which makes it much harder for young, low-skill workers to enter the labor force. The burden is on Sanders to explain how he's going to do what he promises, and how his plan would escape the built-in anti-employment traps of socialism.
It's not a ban on putting sales taxes on things purchased on the Internet, just a ban on taxing the Internet access itself
The editor of the UK's "The Independent" writes an editorial basically saying "We had to kill it [the print edition] in order to save it [the institution]".
We can't win cyberwarfare by accident
Sure, you want to avoid hurt feelings or undue burdens. But you also can't escape the corrosive effect on social cohesion and trust when we nix everything always instead of finding workarounds. There are real costs, even though they're hidden.
Reasonable people don't want to see anyone cheat their way into dominance of the Internet, but banning Facebook's offerings in the name of "net neutrality" seems like it goes too far
Times are brutal for newspapers everywhere
It's probably just a threat -- doing so would probably nuke their chances of joining the EU, but the situation has to be taken seriously. Turkey is dealing with more than 2 million refugees right now -- a population the size of New Mexico.
Tesla's strategy of aiming for the high-end market first certainly looks wise; they were able to turn electric cars into an aspirational item while spending whatever they needed to spend in order to make the cars work. Now, they can take what they learned and move it down-market.
Smuggling entertainment content into North Korea via USB drives may be a powerful way to undermine a criminally authoritarian regime -- one that just executed its army's chief of staff
A Canadian think tank proposes that possibility
In a week, according to an international agreement. If true, it could be great news.
A pro-Sanders economist claims that imposing socialist policies along the lines proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders would result in economic growth rates of 5.3% a year. That's truly just making it up as they go along. The United States hasn't been anywhere near that kind of a sustained growth rate for a long, long time. Are there things that could be done to raise the rate of growth? Absolutely. Could we raise it up to a real rate of 4% or 5%? Maybe, though it would require sustained improvements in worker productivity that are much larger than what we've been able to do for a while. Is there any chance on God's green Earth that those kinds of growth rates could be produced by imposing massive new government taxing and spending? No. Absolutely not. Massive new deficit spending plus massive new taxation of the types touted by Sanders are a recipe for much higher interest rates on the nation's debt (remember -- just like households, nations pay higher interest rates when it looks like they're over-stretching their capacity to pay their debts). Moreover, beware any plan that claims to deliver high rates of growth without explaining what path the private sector will take to those higher rates. Just spending a lot of money isn't the same thing as growing the economy -- any more than a person becomes rich by running up a huge credit-card bill. Economics can't be run via myth and fantasy.
Google has a vested interest in people staying on WWW pages, not within "walled gardens" like the Facebook app. So, acknowledging that people are doing a lot of their Internet use from mobile devices, Google is pushing its "Accelerated Mobile Pages" project to encourage fast website delivery using their tools.
In a letter to Google, the agency basically agreed to call the self-piloting system a "driver", equivalent to a human driver. Ultimately, the less humans control about our cars the better. Everyone thinks they're better than average behind the wheel -- but the almost 10% increase in traffic deaths in the first 9 months of 2015 and the fact that humans are responsible for well over 90% of crashes suggests otherwise. We are the weak link in the chain.
In theory, an attractive idea. Private accounts for retirement savings are in general a favorable goal. But the idea should be taken with a lot of caution -- Iowa's existing state-run retirement program for public-sector workers is already under strain: According to its own annual report, IPERS is about 15% under-funded right now. The idea is worth further examination, for sure, but caution is definitely in order.
A companion bill made its way through a House committee. Now the two need to be approved by the full Senate and House.
As rightly he should -- they don't have to pass through borders and aren't subject to the kind of scrutiny we can place on known foreign terrorists. And it should also be noted that domestic terrorists can come from any racial, ethnic, or religious background and have a wide variety of political motivations. Terrorism is a method, not a philosophy.
A deficit smaller than the rate of real growth in the economy can be sustainable -- 3.3% is absolutely not
Senator Chuck Grassley, acting as Judiciary Chair, sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense asking for clarifications on his use of personal e-mail to conduct Defense Department business. As a country, we are way behind the curve on getting to grips with making sure our leadership has the right access to secure means of communications wherever they need it.
Iowa is way ahead of the pack when it comes to wind-energy generation
Kinect can measure with more accuracy than human beings can observe
A loan program for Federal agencies to upgrade their IT infrastructure
This is one of the most significant events in a generation, and reading just one article from The Economist will leave you with a sensible understanding of the situation. In an election year, it's not too much to ask.
The dynamics of mobile-phone manufacturing collide with international relations
The Obama Administration's proposed oil tax is huge -- a 30% tax or more. Anyone who thinks the oil companies will simply absorb that kind of tax on their own without passing it along is either delusional or ignorant. The party that cuts the check isn't necessarily the one that pays the price.
$199 million in stock is a huge amount for Alphabet to pay the CEO running Google. For perspective, the US spent about half that amount chasing loose nuclear fuel from Russia about a decade ago.
Almost 400 have died trying to get out of Syria, Iraq, and other troubled places so far this year. These are human lives -- and they're dying in numbers that are on a scale that would shock the world if these were plane crashes. If a Boeing 747 crashed with 400 souls aboard, it would dominate the news. The story is no less significant when it occurs in a slow drip. Refugee lives are just as valuable as everyone else's.
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