Gongol.com Archives: 2016 First-Quarter Archives
It's not conservatism he's selling; it's a lowbrow populism. And it's really just a vanity exercise intended to give him free publicity -- a marketing scheme in which the news media have been utterly complicit. The excuse that he's a serious candidate because people are talking about him is nonsense; even a modestly intelligent and informed interviewer with even the slightest determination to hold him to a Presidential standard could take him down like an Olympic wrestler. That no examples of that come to mind suggests that there aren't enough good interviewers in circulation, and that's a problem for the public good.
That, unfortunately, is causing the government to do things like revoking eligibility for the remains of women who served in a paramilitary role during WWII. That just doesn't sit well.
They are people just like any of us. Just people. Anyone who would diminish their humanity to score cheap political points ought to be ashamed.
Launched by the local independent ISP on Christmas Day to a pair of communities with a total of about 6000 people
Reuters may have triggered the announcement by pursuing a story that suggested that the Chinese government had intercepted the data of some users, though Microsoft says it doesn't have firm evidence that it was, in fact, a Chinese government incident. But they do say that "We will now notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an individual or group working on behalf of a nation state." Here's an interesting corollary question: What about groups like ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh, that have many of the trappings of nation-statehood but no formal recognition? As always, the use of strong passwords and two-factor authentication is recommended practice for anyone.
Ohio State University is testing a "meniscal implant" that could offer a substitute for knee surgery in patients who have damaged the meniscus of the knee
It certainly has its adherents among seniors
The bug definitely caused its share of confusion going into the end of 2015. It was probably due to a Unix date calculation bug.
And what a lot of people share with Facebook is...a whole lot.
Twitter shut down an account belonging to the wrong person -- thinking it was a terrorist they were blocking, they actually shut down a reform activist. And it's probably because someone just didn't read the names correctly.
If demonstrators in some foreign country had overrun our embassy, we would consider it a massive act of provocation. It is the same for the self-appointed "militia" that has taken over the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. It doesn't need to come to a shootout with them (nobody wins when that happens), but they've stepped outside the boundaries of political expression into outlaw behavior.
A young mother from Omaha and her 2-year-old daughter were killed, apparently by a boyfriend she feared, shortly after police showed up to check on her welfare. Something better needs to be done.
And his reviews can give a decent bump to book sales. If you're not reading 50 books a year (and most of us probably aren't), it's worth considering that Gates probably has a lot more on his plate than most of us do, and a lot less to gain financially from learning new skills. Also worth noting: He prefers print to digital.
Cornices are a beautiful architectural element, and so rarely acknowledged as such
All of the signs point towards the Chinese economy hitting the skids much more abruptly than the official figures show. Combine that with the imposition of new regulations on equities trading and the fact that a not-insignificant number of businesspeople have gone missing in China lately, and nobody should be surprised to see big shocks in the stock market there. It's long been less a matter of "if" than "when".
An attorney working for the City of Chicago has resigned after a judge found he misled a court case about a police shooting that happened in 2011. Whether or not the police officers were justified in the shooting, the importance of carrying out the legal process with transparency and honesty is paramount. If we don't have that, then any other purported civilian oversight of police work is meaningless. Process matters.
See a picture of the New York Times with an "offensive" story removed. It's jarring. But it apparently really happens when the paper is printed around the world and stories offend local sensibilities.
That's a huge investment -- part of which is intended to boost self-driving car development.
The world situation calls for seriousness. Anyone who continues to entertain the idea of voting for one of the unqualified nuts (from either party) should pay attention and straighten up. South Korea is worried, Japan is on edge, and the United States is the boogeyman for the Communist dictatorship. The real trouble is not so much the actual weapon (and whether or not it actually works) so much as the massive signal that the regime in Pyongyang intends to behave erratically and disruptively. Predictable opponents can lead to tension but at least remain stable. Unpredictable and irrational behavior is quite another thing. North Korea isn't just threatening Western notions of security with this test, it's also slapping China in the face.
The minimum wage probably should track along with inflation (like the cost-of-living adjustments applied to many other things, including government employee pay and many entitlement benefits). But the minimum wage is a terrible tool for alleviating poverty. It's poorly targeted and it quite likely creates not only additional unemployment but also a serious hidden cost. That hidden cost is in the form of a deficit of opportunities for young workers to get starting jobs. The longer we artificially obstruct young people from entering the labor market, the longer it takes for them to start accumulating the work experience and soft skills that permit them to rise up the economic ladder later on. It's a hidden cost -- but yet it's not. Any place that has relatively high youth unemployment is also likely to have relatively high rates of trouble with mischief and even crime among those young people. Put plainly, teenagers and young adults need productive things to do and a clear trajectory towards a rising standard of living. Those needs can be satisfied in a number of ways, including enrichment education, extracurricular activities like sports, volunteerism, and organized clubs. But there are plenty of young people for whom a job is just the right thing. It's conceited and myopic to think otherwise. While everyone is responsible for their own decisions and nobody has a right to pursue crime and chaos, a society has only itself to blame if it fails to provide adequate opportunities for young people to have something productive to do -- and then suffers any number of ills from truancy to rioting as a result. Most people are, by nature, good -- but they also need sufficient opportunities to be good. Anything that puts up artificial roadblocks to those opportunities (like the ridiculous notion that the minimum wage should be nearly doubled to $15 an hour) is an exercise in economic and sociological illiteracy.
Why they would try it in the short run is easy to see. That it's a really dangerous thing to try (and, if it continues, could make things much worse in the long run) should be equally obvious. Someone needs to introduce them to the economic concept of marginality -- much of the behavior we're seeing suggests that it's not understood.
Art is in the constraints. Take away the 140-character constraint, and Twitter may very well find itself consigned to the trash heap of history.
The longer this kind of thing goes on, the more obvious it becomes that the people trying to command the Chinese economy miss a fundamental point: Starting from a low base, an economy can gain a lot by industrialization. But its long-term growth will be capped severely if people are not free to think for themselves -- politically, economically, technologically, socially, or otherwise. Freedom of thought doesn't really know boundaries, and if people fear that they may "disappear" for publishing the wrong content, then they plainly do not have freedom.
That's a bit impractical
The hints are pretty hard to miss. 10,000 may be a high-side estimate, but it definitely looks like a serious plan is underway to increase the character limit. Art is in the constraints.
Seeing no future of victory against YouTube and others, they're cutting their losses
Things went very wrong in Cologne on New Year's Eve as large numbers of men sexually assaulted and harassed passing women. There's no guarantee that anyone can pass through a sufficiently large mob without being hurt, but there's also something to be said for defending yourself in such a way that the beaten pulp of one seriously injured attacker is left to serve as a warning to others.
Regrettably, though, it's dredging up feelings among some of his supporters that they shouldn't be proud to display
It doesn't matter so long as people understand that the market isn't the economy and the economy isn't the market. The marginal behavior of the stock market is erratic and irrational, but so long as people train themselves to think of the value of the companies they own through stocks and to generally ignore the price, there's no cause for actual alarm.
A stunning number of shootings and killings. And these things can be "contagious", in a sociological sense, which makes the problem worse.
The list of actual patent violations coming out of China would blow the minds of anyone willing to try comprehending it, but this is an unusually dramatic move. Things like these self-balancing "electric skateboards" are pretty silly on their own, but they do point towards big and useful improvements in technology down the road.
We should actually start the fight in the real world and use the virtual to supplement our efforts
That's not a cheap way to get to virtual reality, but it's new
A few countries, like China, are being left out. But much of the rest of the world can now stream content.
Small improvements add up over time.
You should only go for an IPO when you think your operation is at its peak valuation. This is either really stupid or hugely ominous for petroleum.
But if the money isn't there, it isn't there. A system with serious design flaws has met its reckoning.
AirBNB and other "sharing-economy" models aren't going to replace conventional hotels, but Hyatt probably deserves applause for takings steps to learn from them
Cruelty and inhumanity aren't exclusive to ISIS/ISIL. There are a staggering number of innocent people being harmed and killed in Syria right now, as they are attacked from all around.
The more people depend upon their devices, the more important it becomes for car companies to deliver the experience that consumers want
A certain vanity candidate for the White House is damaging his own brand. May he get the comeuppance he deserves.
Restrictions on foreign manufacturers depress the competitive drive that otherwise tends to deliver interesting new goods to the American consumer. Honda and Toyota are both rare among "foreign" manufacturers in that they build cars stateside, so Honda's new Ridgeline model may give the pickup market a kick in the pants.
In fairness, we may be in a protracted slow-growth period, but we may be due for a recession
Donald Trump knows terrifyingly little about the economy. He is a promoter and a marketing whiz, but not a brilliant economic or business thinker. Too many people buy the hype and don't see that what he promises is vaporware -- the things he says do not exist and will not exist, nor will they work the way he claims. Things are far more complex than he acknowledges, and what is most frightening is that he seems to believe his own nonsense. His candidacy is a grave threat to good sense, because he's a master at selling total nonsense to a willing audience of indiscriminate consumers.
It's telling that sometimes people refer not to the "War on Terrorism" but to the "War on Terror". Notwithstanding that you can't really conduct a war on a tactic ("terrorism" isn't a group, it's a method of fighting -- and it's been around for all of recorded history), we ought to think more deeply about the question of whether we are doing enough to eliminate needless terror and fear from the world. The more fear being experienced by ordinary people all over the globe, the greater the risk that those who use terrorism as a tool will exploit that fear. A less fearful world is a more open world, and more openness generally means more peace. But reducing fear and promoting openness may take some unconventional and strategic thinking. It's not enough to just put up a few accounts on Twitter.
Nice if you're buying gasoline. Not so nice if you're worried about the stability of countries that depend upon oil exports and that haven't done enough to develop alternative sources of income. With prices this low, the United States probably shouldn't be bothering to export petroleum, but should instead be looking for new ways to store it for the future...not for use in cars, but because fossil fuels are essential to agriculture.
Painting an entire generation with that broad of a brushstroke is a mistake -- but it's worth further examination whether it's a more prevalent view among Millennial workers than in generations past. Also worth examining: Is there just a certain subset of Millennials who think this way? (For instance, those who grew up in professional-class households who think they still have access to a family safety net?)
The Senator from Texas is very smart. But he also appears highly disingenuous. This is worrisome.
And now there are some real clowns taking shots at her. They are corrosive to principled, reform-oriented conservatism, no matter how "conservative" they claim to be.
Not red as in Communist, either. At least not predominantly. The country's drive to get rid of "corruption" isn't really about anti-corruption efforts (though they need them). It's almost certainly just an excuse for scapegoating and purges. The grain of truth that corruption exists does not change the fact that an authoritarian government needs to create fear and uncertainty among the people generally in order to stay in power. China is about to get wobbly, especially with an economic slowdown underway. This is just a symptom.
That's down from 81% in 2008
Technology isn't just about the possible -- issues like cultural expectations also play a role
They really should have just scooped them all up back when the team was still terrible -- but perhaps they just didn't have the cash to do it
There's very little that is more dangerous or more destabilizing than large populations of young people with nothing productive to do. Yes, it's a humanitarian issue. But it's overwhelmingly a security issue.
Economies of scale seem to be prevailing in wind and solar power. Now we just need to develop better energy storage.
It's just too good a tool to dispose of
If we can't cure the disease, we can at least mitigate the symptoms. A fantastic use of technology to make people's lives better.
Looking for a single sign that China isn't rapidly shifting into a slower economic gear? Keep looking. And that's going to have global consequences -- not just economically. Security becomes an issue, too.
The FTC has settled a case against the people who promoted the Lumosity "brain games" products, saying that the company used false advertising to convince consumers to pay up for products to enhance cognition, when those products weren't actually proven to have those effects. Three things are interesting about this case: First, the FTC statement on the settlement specifically notes that the company used not just mass media but specific Google AdWords to target consumers who were worried about things like dementia and Alzheimer's. The fact they used the notion of targeted advertising itself as part of their case should send some shivers down a lot of spines in Mountain View, California. That kind of government action could have a chilling effect on Google's core advertising product. Second, the FTC says it has suspended a $50 million judgment against the company "due to its financial condition after the company pays $2 million to the Commission". In other words, "We could bankrupt you, but we'll just take $2 million instead and leave you to bleed." Interesting. Third, there is a risk that an over-zealous application of the FTC's standard (that the company must "have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making future claims about any benefits") could have a serious chilling effect on future commercial development of these kinds of tools. In other words, just because one company overstated its case doesn't mean the concept itself is bogus -- but by putting the hammer down, the FTC might just be discouraging useful innovations that others might seek to commercialize. A not-insignificant number of scientists have indicated their general worries about this very effect. That doesn't mean the government shouldn't tamp down the hype artists -- but there are other consequences that need to be borne in mind, too.
American systems are likely to be highly vulnerable to cyberattack, too. This should be cause for serious alarm. The investigative work is complicated, but what was targeted (and how) points pretty clearly in the direction of Russian attackers.
Reusable launch technology has moved far and fast since commercial developers got involved
Well-run businesses try to make good use of machine uptime, but what about people's uptime? Putting a lot of people in a room has a meaningful cost, so there had better be a return on that investment.
Why? Probably just because they can. Other sports would probably be more fun to watch in VR mode.
These people are human beings first, regardless of where they live, what language they speak, or how they look. Once we adopt that stance, we need to empathize: What would we want others to do for us if we were in their shoes?
Mutual understanding and acceptance across cultures and religions would be ideal, but if we can't have that, we should at least insist on tolerance
Al Gore cashed out on Current TV at a good time, it would appear
A sterling example of using technology to make lives better
This is the kind of wonky bit of economic data that escapes attention from just about anyone -- but it's an important warning signal. If productive capacity isn't being used, the next question is whether inventories are rising. If both are happening, then stuff simply isn't moving through the economy like it might be expected to -- or capacity got over-built, which is also possible in a time of very low interest rates. Signs that corporate earnings may be falling are also unfavorable.
A reminder to America, generally: If you don't want to lose control, don't give up ownership. GE decided it wanted out...but this isn't the first sale of an "American" business to China -- and it definitely won't be the last.
110 people shot in the first ten days of the year. Something's wrong in a great city.
It hasn't happened a lot, but the small number seems to be growing
FDR surpassed them all -- by a long shot
It's not as outlandish a suggestion as it might at first appear. If people in developing countries don't feel secure in their ability to protect what is theirs, then they won't have a lot of investment in protecting the established order. In other words, if the little guy doesn't gain any of the benefits of the law, how legitimate is the law going to really be? But people who stand to benefit from peace and good government help to comprise a bulwark against bad things happening.
Word has leaked out of the chip manufacturer that people aren't buying computers at the expected rate in China. It's another signal that the economy there is slowing down with unexpected speed.
Every public problem has a capitalist solution
Debates undoubtedly play a storied role in our political tradition, and we don't have to do away with them. But they are assuredly not an effective means of really teasing out the information that voters really need in order to make an informed decision about any candidate, particularly not for something as complex as a Presidential race. And the obsession with trying to make use of the "new" in these debates -- via questions from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube -- has to be done in an effort to ask better, broader questions in the debates. Unfortunately, the YouTube "stars" clunkily inserted into the last debate didn't really edify anything. In a far better universe, we would have interesting and thoughtful interviews with the candidates conducted by intelligent interviewers with a solid grasp of the facts and a sense of fearlessness about pursuing lines of inquiry -- not the pandering lap-dog behavior we see all too often today. And in a truly ideal universe, we could put candidates through something like an Oval Office simulator -- though that would probably be impossible to conduct squarely. The next-best thing is probably to give preference to candidates who have served as state governors, which is likely the closest thing.
An astonishing number -- greater than the entire population of Nebraska
Why pay $200,000 to hear a canned speech?
Tools that shine more sunlight are valuable things
Better luck next time. But a really pyrotechnic video survives the latest attempt.
Fun while it lasted, the economic boom in China simply hasn't been designed to remain durable. The government still interferes far too much -- and the costs of failing to provide political freedom alongside (limited) economic freedom have been building. China hasn't been centrally planning its economy in a conventional sense, but with state ownership of enormous shares of the nation's total enterprises, it's a distinction without much of a difference. And when the real costs of holding back on political reform come due (and they will), things are going to get interesting in a hurry. Keep a close eye on developments like the political climate in Taiwan, where economic disappointment seems to have been translated into support for the pro-independence party. The mainland/Taiwanese rift has been a source of friction for a long time, but if the good times are no longer rolling, then that friction may turn into a spark. And Taiwan isn't the only place that it may become politically and economically costly for Beijing.
It's fine to run a deficit if it's smaller than the rate of growth in the economy. That's not the case here and now.
Too little has been said about the attack by Al Qaeda on a hotel in Burkina Faso, relative to what would have been said had the same attack taken place in Tokyo or Berlin or Cleveland.
Blessed with a resource bonanza, Norway was fortunate not to become entirely dependent upon it...which is a good thing, because current oil prices mean there isn't much kick left in the chili.
If the have/have-not gap is expanded by uneven access to communications technology, then the Internet might inadvertently make things tougher for people in some places
An example of a security risk that consumers can't do anything about
Whether we're talking about natural-gas pipelines, airports, levees, dams, water mains, or any other type of infrastruture, there's lots of evidence that we've been underinvesting for too long in maintenance, upkeep, and replacement. We are tremendously fortunate that many of these things were built long ago by people who spent the money and effort to make them last for more than a generation. But we've been on cruise control for a long time -- behaving as though these things represent a free endowment and that no further investment is required. That's a colossal mistake. When we build infrastructure, it typically requires a big up-front cost, followed by a long period of relatively low maintenance cost, followed by a period of rising maintenance/replacement cost until the infrastructure itself reaches a point of failure. We are morally obligated to treat at least the maintenance and upkeep as a pay-as-you-go expense. Just because something was incredibly well-built and then handed to us essentially for free does not give us license to treat it irresponsibly. That's a big cultural problem we need to face -- and it's not just our physical infrastructure that's been on the receiving end of under-investment; the same applies to our public and private retirement investment "infrastructure" as well as much of our educational "infrastructure". Keeping up means paying as you go. It's lazy and freeloading to skimp on upkeep. This is a crucial lesson in our time for both the left (who are too often inclined to think we can just "soak the rich" to pay for things) and the right (who too often resist paying for anything if it means higher taxes). Adults clean up after themselves. We need to behave like adults.
And if they don't, then the supply of oil produced by OPEC will continue to push downward on oil prices. That seems like a lot of fun in the short term (yay, $1.60/gallon gas!), but...people are underestimating the enormous geopolitical implications of an oil-price crash: Saudi Arabia can keep going long after everyone else drops like houseflies. That means they can use oil prices as a weapon against Iran, which can't compete with Saudi Arabia's minimal production costs. Destabilizing Iran is already a dangerous game, but you add in a volatile Russia (which also depends on oil money and also has higher production costs than Saudi Arabia), a Nigeria that could of course fall at any moment to pieces, and other already-failed states like Libya and Syria, and this is a brewing catastrophe of epic proportions.
Cruz is playing up simplistic representations of the world -- particularly one that says there's no room for compromise. And that's -- well, simply -- wrong. Nobody agrees with their own spouse or their own mother 100% of the time, so it's preposterous to think that we can only play brinksmanship games with politics: Compromise is, frankly, a non-negotiable requirement of the job of governing in a democratic society. Cruz seems to actively reject that idea, despite being clearly smart enough to know better. That makes him repellant.
He was working for an NGO, promoting "public-interest litigation" in the Communist state
Some of the most stable micro-economies in the country -- joining forces is probably a good idea
And it's a big one
There's zero reason to expect the assaults to end
Cheap, storable, clean energy is pretty much the best thing the world could work on right now
They have huge reserves, but these are huge moves, too.
Didn't know they were there? Almost everyone has them -- they're just not activated.
The round-and-round nature of communications industry consolidation looks more like a whole lot of horse-trading than real business-building
Everyone is of course welcome to have an opinion (preferably one that is well-informed and reasonable), but sharing it publicly makes the situation different. The exercise of free speech is guaranteed, but that's not a guarantee of freedom from consequences. And a police officer in a place with high tensions between the police and members of the local community (due to a police-involved shooting) ought to have the sense to avoid incendiary public speech -- like suggesting that people run down protesters.
Nobody should have sympathy for the people who were caught -- but was the process right?
His words: "[S]hould not every individual be required to display a 'license plate' on the digital super-highway?" While it probably wasn't intended as much more than a throwaway thought exercise, it does hint at a lack of understanding of how privacy and technology coexist.
For a small fee, of course
That is to ask: Is there any reason to believe that we won't still be talking about Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon ten or twenty years from now as the still-dominant players in consumer technology and the Internet? The honest answer is that they all have big war chests and strong market positions, but they also have to make a lot of right decisions to stay on top -- and long streaks of right decisions in technology aren't often made.
If the figures dredged up by one observer are correct, dead-tree editions of major metro newspapers are becoming a rare find
Now that's an aggressive vision
Roundtable sessions are happening. The big question is whether having the Vice President chase a subject is enough to catalyze real progress that wasn't happening already.
It's almost surely happened somewhere -- if such a thing is possible. After it emerged on Earth, life began showing a truly stupendous degree of robustness -- it always finds a way to fight its way into even the most inhospitable environments. Is the notion itself of wiping out all life on any planet even plausible, or will evolution always find a way?
In a not-altogether-unfamiliar way, he points out that the medium isn't as important as the people using it
As usual, everything is rumor when it comes to Apple
That might actually beat the recognition rates of a lot of credulous human beings
That's how badly Google wants to make sure its products stay in front of consumers
Streaming audio still has trouble going up against terrestrial or hybrid terrestrial/streaming competitors
If the two parties put forth crazy people, there may be a third lane available to an independent
It does seem like the kind of thing that should be acutely at the top of a person's mind before going through security, doesn't it? Isn't it pretty easy to run through a mental checklist (wallet, keys, phone, gun)?
It's not really that hard to increase the volume of one's reading; over the course of a year, even minor incremental increases stack up
Why governors should get the edge in a Presidential race, all else being equal
It's a strange thing; the world has achieved more useful things in the last couple of decades than can really be counted, yet there's anxiety all over
The economics of modern music favor live concerts, but the long view of history would like us to squeeze as many new creations as possible out of our greatest artists. Too bad nobody's looked hard to find a way to reconcile the two.
While we're fixing that, could we also do away with the whole "princess" paradigm? There are plenty of entries already in the canon, and girls deserve to see female characters depicted in a world free of hereditary monarchy
The decline was dramatic and, it appears, somewhat unexpected
A peculiar development, considering that Tyco has spent the last decade de-conglomerating itself
There have been a couple of thousand demolitions in the city since 2002 -- a worthy reminder that if we don't construct buildings to last forever, then perhaps we should be accountable (at the time of construction) for the cost to tear them down
Instead of asking people to forecast whether it will happen, a better approach to the story would ask whether the ingredients are in place
The blizzard didn't follow a tidy schedule, so why should people's entertainment choices?
A city official just got convicted on more than 20 counts of bribery and other corruption-related charges. With tens of millions of dollars on the line for the contractor, Chicago's unfortunate reputation for corruption got the best of things.
Smartphones have reached a near-saturation point among the economies where they are plausible and affordable. That forces Apple to look for "what's next", which is the curse of technology giants: It takes a lot of good decisions to stay in the lead, and it's very hard to build long streaks of good decisions when operating on the cutting edge.
That would be a terrific step forward to move from a paradigm built around "mental illness" to one of sustaining "mental wellness". That's where we ought to be -- treating mental wellness as something positive to be sustained as much as possible and promoted holistically, not as something only to be addressed when something has "gone wrong".
That's the trouble with having one genetic line become predominant
Hard to put it better than that.
White House cybersecurity strategist says we need better ways of developing software that are more rigorous than current standards
On the surface, it looks like they're just using it to pay for the cost of shelter and care. But that kind of confiscation most certainly will have a chilling effect on the interest of any wealthy or middle-class asylum-seekers in going to Denmark, which probably will have the opposite of the intended effect. If you have wealth and you know it will be taken away, you'll probably avoid going there (which means asylum-seekers with advanced skills will be weeded out). But those who don't have anything consequently have nothing to lose.
We should probably begin by knowing where South Sudan is and taking it seriously. A civil war that kills 10,000 people anywhere is a tremendous stain on humanity.
Everywhere the global manufacturer looks, it sees signs of pending or imminent economic trouble
If we misunderstand the basis of poverty, then it's going to be hard to get the solutions right. On the other hand, if we recognize that market economics are probably the best tool for creating the wealth that resolves poverty and then deliberately apply lessons for enhancing that growth, then maybe we can do better at eliminating poverty.
If the cost of shipping goods across the oceans is falling dramatically (and there's no sudden rush of new supply to explain the drop), then something is quite likely wrong with trade volumes
A picture is worth a thousand words, and it's worth re-considering the use of images that have been taken for granted for all too long
Public health is a great example of the kind of subject that government is uniquely equipped to address
Their proposed merger with Media General fell apart, but it doesn't hurt Meredith's bottom line to get that cash
What a bizarre circumstance and a pretty obvious violation of common sense
The Iowa Republican and Democratic parties got together to set up an accountable method of collecting caucus results -- it's unfortunate the campaign wants to opt out of a good-faith arrangement that shows the parties can actually work together.
And now in Japan, too. It's hard to think of anything that would do more to discourage saving than a negative interest rate.
Basically the same as the regular 737, but with a big boost to fuel efficiency
Government intervention only helps the traders -- real investors want volatility so they can take advantage of cheap prices
They're practicing to deliver Internet access to far-flung users
...but production is ramping up quickly anyway
You can still pay to get it
(Video) The national class clown has lots of ways to make himself look like a fool
Never forget that the foundations of all rocket-based space travel are shared with the foundations for intercontinental ballistic missiles. On a related note, China has just released some photos from the Moon.
Technology may not be able to biologically solve paralysis yet, but it may be able to give people adequate workarounds
There's no doubt that poverty and a sense of helplessness can incline some people towards extremism. Strategic global thinking would seek to eliminate the worst of poverty in order to choke off the flow of raw material (that is, frustrated people) to extremist movements.
That's no small change -- more than one person in every seven will be let go. The company's press release on the matter calls it "sharpening focus", but digging deeper they claim that they expect to save $400 million a year with the smaller staff.
(Video) In hilarious Taiwanimation
High-speed broadband Internet access just isn't finding its way into sparsely-populated areas, and that could end up permanently crippling rural areas.
Microsoft's decision to reduce the amount of free storage space offered through OneDrive is making people mad. But it's still a free product!
While that may be making it hard for Harley to sell new motorcycles, it's also a sign they need to find other, related things to produce
People have adapted their usage patterns for the two services to accommodate their relative strengths and weaknesses -- so while Twitter is fiscally vulnerable, it seems less vulnerable technologically
Alphabet had $75 billion in revenues in 2015, with $67 billion of that coming from advertising. Only $448 million in revenues came from "other bets" -- their category for Calico, Google Fiber, Google Ventures, Google X, and Nest -- and that category lost $3.5 billion. Turns out, it's expensive to lay that much fiber-optic cable. Why they don't just buy proven, profitable businesses and find ways to make them more profitable is a mystery. The "science projects" are sexy and headline-grabbing, but from an investment perspective, there may be smarter choices to be made.
Literacy comes in many forms: Conventional literacy with the written word, of course, but also numeracy...and functional literacy with science, technology, and economics. If we're sending 18-year-olds out into the world with high-school diplomas and not adequately preparing them for those "other" literacies, then we're in trouble.
Senator Ted Cruz may be making the most progress with them thus far...to the detriment of the health of the Republican Party.
Verizon is being kicked around as a possible buyer
And for what it's worth, they're not just a security issue. Massive changes in computing capacity and strategy could easily overturn some big business models -- like, for instance, Google's.
The cars will simply become Toyotas
If we don't reverse the direction of public budgeting, the country's going to pay in the not-so-distant future. Interest rates at all-time lows are simply buying us a short-term cushion from the pain.
They claim most were supporting ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh. The suspensions aren't necessarily a perfect idea -- there's reason to believe that by casting terrorist supporters off Twitter, the mainstream may be chasing them to places that are harder to watch. There's quite often more to the story when it comes to cyberwarfare.
And that's how you know it's nothing more than a stunt -- not a serious proposal. At $2 or $3 a barrel, directed specifically at subsidizing a next-generation energy future, virtually nobody could object. At $5 a barrel, it would be a tough sale, but might stand a chance given the right trade-offs. At $10 a barrel (when oil is barely above $30 a barrel), it's a punitive tax. Where they could easily have grabbed low-hanging fruit, the administration instead picks an unproductive fight.
And the great asset sell-off continues
Smuggled, possibly, on the person of a bomber posing as someone confined to a wheelchair
The human toll of the crisis in Syria and surrounding environs is of the greatest magnitude. Dealing with it humanely is a moral imperative. Failing to deal with it assertively could be politically fatal to the EU itself.
Parties don't break apart or collapse all that often -- but it does happen from time to time
The scientific origins of "RBF"
The majority owner of the Chicago Sun-Times now is the largest shareholder in Tribune Publishing, too
And Sen. John McCain wants Silicon Valley to enlist.
Super-cheap borrowing has created a perilous situation
The economy may not be in recession, but there are plenty of warning signs that things aren't good
Barbarity with no bounds
Targets of opportunity
It's not obvious. Except when it's being conducted by an authoritarian regime. Then it's pretty obvious what's up.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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]".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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".
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.
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.
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