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          Re: This is the real, Americanized, nazi, Ukraine      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

WW-3, cannot be avoided. Those who understand that war is wrong should be able to see the hopelessness of the situation. Nations would rather buy weapons --wasting Trillions yearly-- than feed their people. Mankind is fundamentally flawed and cannot practice higher - more noble ethics - and is therefore doomed to destruction.

Trump is nothing but the white mans Obama. Americans do not protest or fight and therefore their rulers will abuse them. Americans are afraid to upset their masters, and want peace -at any cost- and therefore, they will be ruled by their Masters.


          NASA is about to 'touch' a star for the first time — here are the hellish conditions the Parker Solar Probe must survive      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

nasa parker solar probe plus sun mission illustration

  • NASA's Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to launch Saturday, August 11 around 3:33 a.m. EDT.
  • To "touch" the sun and study its weather, the $1.5-billion mission must survive hellish conditions.
  • Temperatures will reach a searing 2,500 degrees when the spacecraft zooms through the star's atmosphere at 430,000 mph.
  • Once the probe runs out of fuel, pretty much everything but its carbon heat shield will be destroyed.

Touching a star isn't easy. The sun is an enormous, searing-hot orb of plasma that generates a chaos of magnetic fields and can unleash deadly blasts of particles at a moment's notice.

But that is precisely what NASA plans to do — 24 times or more — with its car-size Parker Solar Probe (PSP). The goal of the $1.5-billion mission is to edge within 4 million miles of the sun, which is close enough to study the star's mysterious atmosphere, solar wind, and other properties.

Information gathered by the probe may help space weather forecasters better predict violent solar outbursts that can overwhelm electrical grids, harm satellites, disrupt electronics, and possibly lead to trillions of dollars' worth of damage.

The spacecraft is slated to launch from the Florida coast on Saturday at 3:33 a.m. EDT, should weather cooperate, though NASA has through August 23 to fire off its probe. PSP will reach the sun a few months after launch.

Here are some of the brutal conditions and tremendous challenges NASA's probe will have to survive to pull off its unprecedented mission.

The tricky process of touching a star

parker solar probe sun flybys orbits mission design venus earth map jhuapl

The first hurdle PSP needs to clear is Earth itself.

To make the trip, the probe will ride atop a Delta 4 Heavy rocket, which is one of the most powerful operational launch vehicles on Earth (though not quite as powerful as SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy system).

NASA chose the rocket because it's surprisingly hard to get to the sun, which is 93 million miles away.

Earth orbits the sun at a speed of 67,000 mph, and so does anything launched off of the planet. To fall toward the sun, PSP will have to slow down by 53,000 mph, NASA said in a video about its mission.

Three different rocket stages (one firing after the other runs out of fuel) in the Delta 4 Heavy will help considerably with boosting PSP toward that goal, but it's not enough to repeatedly fly the probe close to the sun.

Instead, the rocket will shoot the probe on a path toward Venus, a planet it will fly past seven times over six years. The world's strong gravitational field will help gradually absorb PSP's "sideways motion" imparted by Earth and direct it closer and closer to the sun.

The consequence of this orbital dance is that PSP will fall toward the sun faster and faster after each pass. On its first orbit of the sun in November 2018, the probe will be some 15.4 million miles from the sun. About 21 orbits later, in December 2024, it will sneak within 4 million miles of the sun, traveling at a speed of nearly 430,000 mph relative to the star.

Achieving such a velocity would make PSP the fastest a human object in space. It's nearly 120 miles per second — fast enough to fly from New York to Tokyo in less than a minute — and 3.3 times as fast as NASA's Juno spacecraft, which zips past Jupiter at speeds of 130,000 mph.

How to fly through hell and back

parker solar probe plus sun temperature wind heat shield withstand graphic jenny cheng business insider graphics

During its journey, PSP must withstand sunlight 3,000 times more powerful than occurs at Earth. Outside the spacecraft, in the outer fringes of the sun's corona or atmosphere, temperatures may reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to liquify steel.

The probe also must contend with a "solar wind" of charged, high-energy particles that can mess with electronics.

The key to protecting the probe, as well as its sensors for measuring the sun's magnetic fields and solar wind, is a special heat shield called the Thermal Protection System.

parker solar probe plus nasa sun mission carbon compsite heat shield KSC 20180627 PH_GEB01_0050_large

Made of 4.5 inches of carbon foam sandwiched between two sheets of carbon composites, the eight-feet-wide shield will absorb and deflect solar energy that might otherwise fry the probe. A water cooling system will also help prevent the spacecraft's solar panels from roasting and keep the spacecraft a cozy 85 deg F.

PSP's mission is to crack two 60-year-old mysteries: why the sun has a solar wind at all, and how the corona — the star's outer atmosphere — can heat up to millions of degrees. Both factors are key to understanding what leads to potentially devastating solar storms.

"That defies the laws of nature. It's like water rolling uphill," Nicola Fox, a solar physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, said during a NASA briefing in 2017.

"Until you actually go there and touch the sun, you can't answer these questions," said Fox, who's a project scientist for the new mission.

You can watch the Parker Solar Probe launch toward the sun on Saturday, August 11, around 3 a.m. EDT via NASA TV.

The probe's mission will end many years from now, after it runs out of the propellant it needs to keep its heat shield pointed at the sun. When that happens, the star's blistering heat will burn up "90% of the spacecraft," science writer Shannon Stirone said on Twitter — but not the heat shield itself.

"The heat shield will then orbit the sun for millions of years," she said.

SEE ALSO: NASA's $1 billion mission to Jupiter has taken years of stunning images — here are some of Juno's best shots

DON'T MISS: NASA's biggest-ever hunt for alien planets is finally underway — and the agency expects to discover 'strange, fantastic worlds'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The White House has a plan in case a solar storm wipes out our technology


          $1 trillion and beyond: Predicting Apple's next stock move      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tom McClellan, McClellan Market Report editor, breaks down when it pays to buy shares of Apple and where he thinks the stock is headed from here.
          NYT Effort to Fill the Insatiable Market for Financial Crisis Stories: William D. Cohen Edition      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Prior to the collapse of the housing bubble and the resulting financial crisis there was little interest in major news outlets in pieces warning about the bubble and the risks its posed to the economy. These days there seems to be a large demand for such pieces. Unfortunately, in choosing these pieces, news outlets seem little better informed today than they were in the years.

Today’s contribution comes from William D. Cohen and appears in the New York Times. The center of his story is corporate debt. The argument is that we have large amount of debt that has been taken on at very low interest rates. If interest rates go up, then many debtors will be unable to pay their debts and we will be back in the 2008 financial crisis.

To get the ball rolling, Cohen pulls off one of the best bait and switches I have seen for a long time. He tells readers:

“The $30 trillion domestic stock market seems to get all the attention. When the stock market sets new highs, we instinctively feel things are good and getting better. When it tanks, as happened in the initial months of the 2008 financial crisis, we think things are going to hell.

“But the larger domestic debt market — at around $41 trillion for the bond market alone — reveals more about our nation’s financial health.”

This is a great bait and switch because he uses the $41 trillion figure for the bond market, but the rest of the piece is essentially devoted to corporate debt. Most of the $41 trillion in bonds either comes from the federal government ($17 trillion), Fannie and Freddie ($6.7 trillion) and state and local governments ($3.1 trillion). The portion that is attributable to non-financial corporations, which is the focus of the piece, comes to $6.2 trillion.

Read More ...


          8/10/2018: The Business: Is Apple still worth a bite? Hungry for success      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Technology stock Apple has become the world’s first trillion-dollar public company but at US$207 ($310) a share does it still have more room to grow? Mark Devcich, head of Research & Portfolio Manager at Pie Funds, believes the answer is yes. Devcich,...
          Apple After $1 Trillion: How Far Can It Go?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Do You Have Too Much Debt?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

iStock It may seem normal to have debt. After all, total household indebtedness in the U.S. hit a record high of $13.21 trillion as of March 2018. While it seems like so many Americans carry debt, it may be hard to judge just how much debt is too much debt. There is no “right” amount … Continue reading Do You Have Too Much Debt?

The post Do You Have Too Much Debt? appeared first on MagnifyMoney.


          ASEAN members seek increase in bilateral investments with Qatar      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Malaysia's Ambassador to Qatar HE Dato' Ahmad Fadil Bin Shamsuddin expressed the interest of the embassies of the ASEAN member countries in increasing bilateral investments between Qatar and Southeast Asia through their business communities during the celebration of the 51st anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN held on Wednesday. 

The gathering hosted by the Malaysian Embassy as current chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Doha was attended by ambassadors and charge d'affaires of embassies of Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. It was graced by Deputy Director of Asian Department at Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rashid al Dehaimi and other diplomats of ASEAN embassies.

On the occasion, Ambassador Fadil underlined the impact of the state visits of the Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore last year. He added that the proposed high-level visits to Vietnam and the Philippines this year will further enhance opportunities for the development of partnership between Qatar and the regional bloc. Similarly, the Malaysian Ambassador conveyed the interest of the ASEAN to deepen its cooperation with international partners, including the GCC. ASEAN's official partnership with Qatar is through the GCC. Ambassador Fadil said Qatar plays an important role in connecting these two regions through its engagement in fostering synergies between ASEAN and the GCC. 

"On the economic aspects, the ASEAN-GCC Free Trade Area will become an important part for other areas in the future. Both organisations agreed to promote greater understanding with a view to forge closer economic cooperation and integration, including exploring the possibility of developing a trade and investment framework agreement. I believe that ASEAN and the GCC, in particular Qatar, stand to gain from each other's prosperity. Both groupings should now start a dialogue aiming to find an adequate balance between our interests," the Ambassador said. 

Ambassador Fadil also brought to the fore the impressive growth and remarkable progress of ASEAN economically. Last year, the ASEAN economy was the third largest in Asia and the seventh largest market in the world with a combined GDP exceeding US$ 2.6 trillion. ASEAN has registered a strong pace of 5.1 percent in 2017. For 2018, GDP growth rate is projected at 5.3 percent with positive trends observed across all ASEAN member states. Its population is currently at 633 million. "ASEAN was established with the main aim to maintain peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region. Throughout the past five decades, ASEAN has maintained its principles of 'respect, non-intervention and consensus decision-making'. These principles are the key to ASEAN's success and continuous stability proving to the world that close consultations and dialogue are the key foundations of an enduring partnership," Ambassador Fadil said.

source: Qatar Tribune

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          Bankrupt America: A Fragile Nation Grappling With Unprecedented Debt Problems      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt. 

Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House. 

We have been on the greatest debt binge in human history, and it has enabled us to enjoy our ridiculously high standard of living for far longer than we deserved.  Many of us have been sounding the alarm about our debt problem for a very long time, but now even the mainstream news is freaking out about it.  I have a feeling that they just want something else to hammer President Trump over the head with, but they are actually speaking the truth when they say that we are facing an unprecedented debt crisis.

For example, the New York Times just published a piece that discussed the fact that the bankruptcy rate among retirees is about three times higher than it was in 1991…

For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.

The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.

Infographic: Bankruptcy Surging Among Older Americans | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Overall, Baby Boomers are doing a whole lot better financially than the generations coming after them, and so this is very troubling news.

And here is another very troubling fact from that same article

Not only are more older people seeking relief through bankruptcy, but they also represent a widening slice of all filers: 12.2 percent of filers are now 65 or older, up from 2.1 percent in 1991.

The jump is so pronounced, the study says, that the aging of the baby boom generation cannot explain it.

Of course it isn’t just Baby Boomers that are drowning in debt.

Collectively, U.S. households are 13.15 trillion dollars in debt, which is the highest level in American history.

All over the nation, companies are also going bankrupt at a staggering pace.  This week we learned that the biggest mattress retailer in the entire country “Is considering a potential bankruptcy filing”

Mattress Firm Inc, the largest U.S. mattress retailer, is considering a potential bankruptcy filing as it seeks ways to get out of costly store leases and shut some of its 3,000 locations that are losing money, people familiar with the matter said.

Mattress Firm’s deliberations offer the latest example of a U.S. brick-and-mortar retailer struggling financially amid competition from e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

We have seen retailer after retailer go down, and it is being projected that this will be the worst year for retail store closings ever.

But it isn’t just retailers that are hurting.  Yesterday, I came across an article about a television manufacturer in South Carolina that just had to lay off “94 percent of their workforce”

A TV manufacturer based in South Carolina have blamed Trump’s trade tariffs for laying off 94 percent of their workforce.

Element Electronics now has just eight employees in their company after letting 126 members of staff go.

They said the tariffs imposed on goods from China mean they can no longer buy essential components for their TVs.

During this next economic downturn, I believe that we are going to see the biggest wave of corporate bankruptcies that this country has ever seen.

State and local governments don’t go bankrupt, but they are drowning in debt as well.  State and local government debt has ballooned to the highest levels on record in recent years, and one of the big reasons for this is because we are facing a coming pension crisis that threatens to absolutely overwhelm us

Many cities and states can no longer afford the unsustainable retirement promises made to millions of public workers over many years. By one estimate they are short $5 trillion, an amount that is roughly equal to the output of the world’s third-largest economy.

Certain pension funds face the prospect of insolvency unless governments increase taxes, divert funds or persuade workers to relinquish money they are owed. It is increasingly likely that retirees, as well as new workers, will be forced to take deeper benefit cuts.

Meanwhile, the federal government continues to engage in incredibly reckless financial behavior.  When Barack Obama was elected, we were 10 trillion dollars in debt, and now we are 21 trillion dollars in debt.

What that means is that we have been adding more than a trillion dollars to the national debt per year since 2008, and we continue to steal more than 100 million dollars every single hour of every single day from future generations of Americans.

And even though the Republicans have been in control in Washington, very few of our leaders seem to want to alter the trajectory that we are on.  But if something is not done, absolute disaster is a certainty.  At this point, it is being projected that our debt will reach 30 trillion dollars by 2028 if we stay on this current path.  It would be difficult to overstate the grave danger that we are facing, but nothing is being done to turn things around.  Here are some more projections from the Congressional Budget Office

In 2022, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of full funding. In 2026, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund follows. In 2032, the Social Security trust fund surpluses run dry, and all beneficiaries regardless of age or income level will face a 21 percent across-the-board benefit cut. Before 2030, we could have trillion-dollar annual interest payments. Interest rates have been low until now, but that is changing. As rates go up, we have to pay more on new debt and on all accumulated debt.

The amount we pay in interest on the debt is set to triple over the next ten years. But if interest rates rise just 1 point higher than expected, the government will owe an extra $1.9 trillion over 10 years.

On top of everything else, everyone else around the world has been on a massive debt binge as well.

Total global debt is well above 200 trillion dollars, and it has nearly quadrupled over the past 17 years.

Are you starting to understand why they call this a “debt bubble”?

Unfortunately, all debt bubbles must burst eventually, and the one that we are in right now is definitely on borrowed time.


          Amazon just hit an all-time high as it inches towards becoming a $1 trillion company      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Amazon could follow Apple in hitting a $1 trillion valuation. Shares hit an all-time high on Thursday...
          New national poll finds consumers still want financial regulation      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A decade ago, the entire nation suffered through a financial crisis that led to the brink of a global financial collapse.  While Wall Street reckoned with its risky practices, America’s families suffered lost wealth of nearly $2 trillion, half of it coming from communities of color who were targeted for high-cost and unsustainable mortgages. Now […]
          Comment on One Trillion: Is It Just a Number? by Bob      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Staying true to your customers should include fixing the Apple ID mess and allow your customers to shed multiple ID’s and merge all their accounts into one.
          8/10/2018: Your Turn: An apple a day …      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

This is with reference to the recent news that the company, Apple Inc. has become the world’s first trillion dollar company (“Apple hits $1 trillion stock market valuation”, Gulf News, August 4). The popular brand behind a major portion of computers...
          Comment on World Natural Gas 2018-2050: World Energy Annual Report (Part 3) by GoneFishing      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hah, hah. The OASDI has no debt, has huge investments and a surplus at the end of each year. All deficits are funded by multi-trillion dollar investments, so no debt occurs. Asset reserves are close to $3 trillion and yearly income is about $800 billion. Asset reserves are generally higher at the end of the year than the beginning. The US is being gaslighted by it's own citizens and by foreigners. Most citizens have no clue what the truth or reality is and they just hear the bullshit Total income 2017 was 825.6 billion dollars mostly from income taxes. Total expenditure was 806.7 billion dollars. Asset reserves at the end of 2017 was 2891.8 billion dollars. So no more bullshit about money that does not exist. It is sheer lies that stupid and agenda driven people spread around to satisfy their delusions and agendas.
          Comment on Open Thread, Aug 7, 2018 by islandboy      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
<a href="https://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-ferc-working-with-white-house-nsc-on-coal-and-nuclear-bailout/529762/" rel="nofollow">Report: FERC working with White House, NSC on coal and nuclear bailout </a> <i>In June, President Trump directed the DOE to devise a plan to keep the uneconomic generators online, saying their retirement could put national security at risk. The order came the same day as the release of the NSC memo, which argued the large plants are more secure than those fueled by natural gas.</i> <a href="https://www.utilitydive.com/news/an-offer-utilities-cant-refuse-the-low-cost-of-utility-scale-solar/529373/" rel="nofollow">An offer utilities can't refuse: The low cost of utility-scale solar </a> <i>Contrary to the word from Washington, D.C., utility-scale renewables are not "badly behaved coal plants" that threaten grid reliability and national security, Seb Henbest, lead author of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance New Energy Outlook, wrote July 25. "By 2050, we're painting a picture of an electricity system utterly reshaped around cheap wind, solar and batteries." Wind and solar were 8.2% of U.S. generation in 2017, with wind at 6.3% and solar at 1.9%, and U.S. grids are integrating record levels of renewables without disruption. Wind was 54% of Texas generation on October 27, 2017, and wind and solar together provided 64.6% of California's power on May 26, 2018. Investors say "phenomenally abundant" renewables could support a trillion-dollar U.S. market by 2030 and solar will play a key part, according to an April American Council on Renewable Energy survey. Utilities are seeing the opportunity and responding, according to the 2018 Utility Solar Market Snapshot released in July by the SEPA.</i> I cannot see how this is going to end well if the Trump administration's efforts to bail out coal and nuclear are even remotely successful.
          Indonesian, Australian central banks agree to extend swap agreement      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The central banks of Indonesia and Australia have agreed to extend their bilateral local currency swap agreement worth Rp100 trillion (AUS$10 billion) from December 2018 to December 2021. The bilateral cooperation is expected ...
          Sky’s The Limit for Military Waste: $717 Billion ’19 Budget      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

With near consensus from both sides of the aisle, congress just rubber-stamped a nearly three quarters of a trillion dollar spending plan for defense contractors. There is no limit on what we will spend on weapons, according to today’s guest

The post Sky’s The Limit for Military Waste: $717 Billion ’19 Budget appeared first on Keeping Democracy Alive.


          Re: NYT: The Big, Dangerous Bubble in Corporate Debt      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:10 pm

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/opin ... ssion.html



Thoughts? Can any fixed income bankers here confirm / deny this trend?



Fits nicely with the other recent thread about how Treasury bonds are the only bonds you need.


I think this quote is wrong?


“” wrote:Mr. Bernanke had a clever plan, what he called “quantitative easing”: The Fed would buy trillions of dollars of toxic securities that had marred the balance sheets of the Wall Street banks.



By creating artificial demand for these securities, where there had been virtually none, the Fed helped big banks cleanse their balance sheets, reassuring investors and creditors. But like anything else, bond prices are subject to the vagaries of supply and demand; the Fed’s gorging drove up not only the price of these particular bonds but also bond prices generally, lowering their yields. (When bond prices increaSe.”



As far as I know quantitative easing involved the fed purchasing treasuries and agency mortgage backed securities (which have no credit risk).



https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/wha ... chases.htm


“” wrote:What were the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchases?



In December 2008, as evidence of a dramatic slowdown in the U.S. economy mounted, the Federal Reserve reduced its target for the federal funds rate--the interest rate that depository institutions charge each other for borrowing funds overnight--to nearly zero, in order to provide stimulus to household and business spending and so support economic recovery. With short-term interest rates at nearly zero, the Federal Reserve made a series of large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs) between late 2008 and October 2014.



In conducting LSAPs, the Fed purchased longer-term securities issued by the U.S. government and longer-term securities issued or guaranteed by government-sponsored agencies such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The Fed purchased the securities in the private market through a competitive process; the Fed does not purchase government securities directly from the U.S. Treasury. The Fed's purchases reduced the available supply of securities in the market, leading to an increase in the prices of those securities and a reduction in their yields. Lower yields on mortgage-backed securities reduced mortgage rates as well.

          Salute to Excellence: Forward Times Wins Major Journalism Award at NABJ Convention in Detroit      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

ABOVE: Jeffrey L. Boney Photos By Vicky Pink For the second year in a row, the Forward Times was a huge winner at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) 43rd Annual Convention & Career Fair this past week in Detroit, Michigan. At the Salute to Excellence (STE) Awards event, NABJ gave awards in more than 100 categories across six segments including digital media, magazine, newspaper, photojournalism, television, and radio at the STE gala. NABJ recognized journalism that best covered the Black experience or addressed issues affecting the worldwide Black community during 2017. The competition was open to all media organizations and individuals involved in print, broadcast and/or online journalism media. Forward Times Associate Editor Jeffrey L. Boney was named a finalist in two new categories for the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards – for his Business article entitled Honoring A Trailblazing Woman in the Area of STEM: Dr. Reagan Flowers, and for his News: Single Story article entitled Hurricane Heartache: This is What 15 Trillion Gallons of Water Looks Like. Boney, who was up against several national mainstream publications, came away victorious with an honor for Best Business feature story, which highlighted the outstanding work that Dr. Reagan Flowers is doing in the area of S.T.E.M. “I am so honored to be recognized amongst my peers across the country, as being considered one of the nation’s best journalists,” said Boney. “Telling stories, reporting the news and providing information to our community is an extremely important responsibility that I have been entrusted with. I planread more

The post Salute to Excellence: Forward Times Wins Major Journalism Award at NABJ Convention in Detroit appeared first on Houston Forward Times.


          每周分享第 17 期      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

这里记录过去一周,我看到的值得分享的东西,每周五发布。

(图片说明:2018年6月的气温与1951-1980年平均气温的对比,来自推特@SimonLeeWx

今天夏天,全球高温创纪录。日本韩国都是史上最高温,西班牙葡萄牙接近48度的欧洲高温纪录,北纬71度的一个挪威城市32度。要知道,北极圈是北纬66.5度,这就是说北极圈里面也是高温。上图是今年6月的气温与40年前的平均气温比较,可以看到都是偏高的,尤其是南北极远远偏高。

全球变暖已经是活生生的现实。科学家估计,目前的年平均气温比工业革命前已经升高了1度。《巴黎气候协议》的目标是,气温升高控制在2度,但是成功的希望据说只有5%。如果学过统计学,你就知道,5%的机会在统计学上可以视作不会发生。

千万不要觉得,2度不算什么,《纽约时报》描述了后果。

  • 升高2度:热带珊瑚礁灭绝,海平面上升几米,波斯湾不适合人类居住。
  • 升高3度:北极的森林和大多数沿海城市被淹没。
  • 升高4度:欧洲永久干旱, 中国、印度和孟加拉国大部分地区变成沙漠,美国科罗拉多河接近干涸,美国西南部将不适合居住。
  • 升高5度:人类文明终结。

联合国气候官员称,如果不采取任何行动,目前乐观的估计是全球会升高3度。

气温升高的主要原因是,人类大量消耗化石能源,温室气体(主要是二氧化碳)排放急剧增加。所谓温室气体,就是这一类气体有温室效应,可以让阳光进入温室,但是阻止热量散发出去。火星为什么不适合人类居住?一个原因就是它的表面没有温室气体,留不住热量,导致温度过低。地球现在的问题是,温室气体过多。

现在的计算是,如果人类排放10000亿吨二氧化碳,地球就会升高2度,目前人类已经排放了6237亿吨。有一个网站实时显示目前排放了多少亿吨。

根据计算,2036年3月7日,人类将达到1万亿吨排放量。更热的日子还在后面。

新闻

1、中国的二氧化碳排放

《纽约时报》报道,一个美国教授认为,按照中国现在的二氧化碳排放水平,人类无法达到《巴黎协定》规定的减排目标,即全球平均温度比工业化之前上升不超过2摄氏度,除非中国的排放量大幅下降。

中国是世界最大的二氧化碳排放国。2017年,中国排放了117亿吨的温室气体,占世界总量的四分之一,其中包括92亿吨的二氧化碳,超过美国和欧盟的总和。按照现在的减排速度,中国的二氧化碳排放量最晚将在2030年达到峰值,到那一年,中国五分之一的能源将来自非化石燃料来源。

2、美国的贫富分化

美国经济研究所发现,美国的贫富分化一直在扩大,已经达到了1928年以来的最高点。

现在最富有的1%家庭获得全部收入的22%,只比1928年的23.9%低一点。美国人的年收入至少需要42.2万美元,才能跻身前1%的高收入者。这只是全国平均数,一些州的门槛要高得多,比如康涅狄格州的1%门槛为70万美元。

这就是技术革命的一个社会后果,贫富分化不断扩大,中产阶级消失,财富日益集中在少数富豪手里。

3、开放式办公室

Ruby on Rails 的创始人 DHH 公开抨击,开放式办公室是一个极其糟糕的坏主意。

有人说,开放式办公室可以增加合作。DHH 说实际情况是,开放式办公导致面对面的互动直线下降,因为人们这时需要通过耳机来集中注意力,交流变成依靠即时消息或电子邮件。最糟糕的情况是,同一房间有不同部门的数十个人,销售、营销、客服、管理者、程序员、设计师都混在一起,他们一定会互相打扰。

开放式办公实际带来的不是合作,而是压力和冲突,但它仍然是技术公司的默认配置。我们强迫绝大多数不喜欢开放式办公的人接受这种配置,这为了什么?因为管理层喜欢这样的配置?因为它在照片中看起来不错?还是因为它会给访问办公室的陌生人留下深刻的印象?

4、皮质醇贴片

斯坦福大学的科学家发明了一种皮肤贴片,可以实时测量汗液里面的皮质醇含量。一般来说,我们觉得压力很大的时候,皮质醇分泌就会增加。

以前的测量方法都无法实时得到结果。现在我们可以实时知道人体的感受了,甚至可以找出人群里面最紧张的人,这种传感器为以后更有趣的发明奠定了基础。

5、微型机器人竞赛

美国国防部高级研究局(DARPA)发起了一次微型机器人竞赛。现在大多数机器人都是模仿人类的外形,但是昆虫大小的机器人也有巨大的用处。DARPA 要求,这次参赛的机器人重量小于1克,体积小于1立方厘米。DARPA 为所有参赛者提供3200万美元资助,比赛可能在明年3月举行。

6、最古老的面包

考苦学家在约旦的沙漠里面,发现了一个石头砌的炉子,里面居然还有古人烤剩下来的面包屑。这是现存最古老的面包。

上图是显微镜下的面包屑,可以看到面包经过了充分发酵。

年代鉴定以后,所有人都大吃一惊,这个面包炉子距今14000年。那时人类甚至没有开始农业耕作,因此这个面包不是用小麦粉做的,而是来自野生的谷物。

7、代码搜索

微软的 Bing 搜索引擎新增了代码搜索功能,你问一个编程问题,现在可以直接给出示例代码。

8、机器狗 Spotmini

波士顿动力公司在成立16年后,终于要发售第一款产品了:一个类似小狗的四足机器人,高91厘米,重25公斤。这家公司以前的产品,都是供给美国国防部,这是第一款商业产品,预计明年上市。

这个机器人的功能非常惊人,可以自动识别道路,避开障碍,上楼下楼,跌倒还能爬起,机械臂可以拿起放下各种东西,请看视频

9、博士就业危机

加拿大媒体报道,该国的博士研究生只有五分之一能够找到教职。也就是说,80%的博士只能去企业界或转行,事实上确实有很多博士找不到工作,这篇报道里面就有博士改行当插花师或建筑工。

我想,这样的危机在中国一定更严重。因为中国的博士生规模世界第一,但是国内高校的扩张期已经过去了,现在想进高校当老师其实挺难的。如果转行的话,对个人和社会都是一种浪费。如果你有志攻读博士,一定要慎重。

10、AMD 游戏主机

上海的 ChinaJoy 展会上,AMD 宣布与中山小霸王公司合作推出新的游戏主机,CPU 是锐龙,GPU 是Vega,搭配 8GB GDDR5显存,性能将超过索尼 PS4 及微软 Xbox One 游戏机。

这台游戏机搭配 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD 硬盘,支持正版Windows 10系统,售价4998元,并有中文独占游戏 Onrush。由于没有自己的操作系统,这个所谓的游戏主机其实是一台 Windows 10 电脑。

11、AI 取得 Dota2 的胜利

OpenAI Five 与人类高级玩家的 Dota2 第一场比赛结束,AI 以 2:1 获胜。值得一提的是,AI 输掉的第三局是人类故意为它分配了能力较低的角色,而不是让它自己选择角色,AI 自己预估第三局的胜率只有2.9%。8月下旬将进行 AI 与职业团队的比赛。

12、一句话新闻

  • 随着手机支付的崛起,国内的 ATM 和 POS 设备制造行业大幅衰退,而二维码扫描设备制造业大幅成长。
  • Dart 语言发布2.0版。该语言的前途完全取决于谷歌的 Flutter 框架(Dart 是 Flutter 唯一支持的语言),如果谷歌大力推广这个框架,Dart 才有可能成功。
  • Android 9.0 发布,这个版本大量增加了 AI 支持,可以对每个用户提供更好的个性化服务。
  • Mozilla 浏览器计划取消 RSS 支持,原因是缺乏用户。

教程

1、如何使用 Node 优化图片?(英文)

本文教你使用 JS 的 imagemin 模块,压缩图片的大小。

2、DNS over HTTPS(英文)

DNS 查询都是基于 HTTP 协议的,即使是加密通信,网络服务商依然可以知道你想访问的网站。现在有多种解决方案,本文介绍如何在 Firefox 浏览器打开设置,使得 DNS 协议走 HTTPS 协议。

3、WebAssembly 的发展方向(英文)

WebAssembly 是浏览器可以执行的字节码,使得非 JS 编写的程序可以在浏览器运行。它现在的功能非常少,还处在 MVP(最小可用产品)状态。这篇文章介绍了一些很可能采纳的 WebAssembly 提案。

4、少子化和人口老龄化综述(英文)

全世界发达国家都有少子化和人口老龄化的趋势,这篇文章是我看过的最好的这方面的综述,有大量的数据和事实。除了非洲,其他大洲的人口都接近峰值了,将要开始下降,这意味着许多国家将不得不依靠移民,解决本国人力不足问题。

5、SVG 动画入门:以加载转子为例(英文)

本文手把手教你如何写一个最简单的 SVG 动画。

6、Hash 算法简介(英文)

Hash 算法的概念性介绍。

7、为什么飞机驾驶舱不使用触摸屏?(英文)

现在的飞机驾驶舱还是使用物理仪表盘,而不是触摸屏,这是为什么?主要的原因还是物理按钮会形成肌肉记忆,比操作触摸屏更快。

8、斐波那契数列的计算公式(英文)

如果不用递归,直接算出斐波那契数列的任意项,应该怎么计算?

9、如何通过 npm 窃取信用卡密码?(英文)

本文讲述了作者通过 npm 发布恶意代码的种种手段,非常值得一读。其中有一个技巧,就是package.js 与 package.min.js 的代码不同,恶意代码只放在后者。

工具

1、nouns

一个侦测用户眨眼的装置,让用户通过眨眼控制电脑,可以供霍金那样的用户使用。

2、模拟电路生成器

生成模拟电路的网站。

3、Zotero

管理各种论文和报告的免费桌面软件。

4、fnMatch

一个让对象进行选择性解构赋值的 JS 库。

5、jsinspect

软件项目中,同一段逻辑不应该有多个实现。jsinspect 就是用来查出重复代码的工具。

6、Malvid

一个构建 Web Components 的工具,并且能够自动生成文档。_ _

7、Glances

Glances 是一个用Python编写的跨平台系统监视工具。它自带 Web UI,可以远程监控。

8、Code with Mu

一个 Python 语言专用的代码编辑器。

9、diffconflicts

Git 的合并算法是三方合并(three-way),有人认为这种算法并不是最好的。这里是一个两方合并算法,有兴趣的人可以用它替换到 Git 的合并算法。

资源

1、机械键盘

这个网站收集各种各样的机械键盘。

2、Emulator 101

开源电子书,从零开始讲解如何写一个8080处理器的模拟器。

3、stackshare.io

收集各大网站使用的技术栈。

4、Meteor Wrongs

华盛顿大学维护的一个网站,收集各种假陨石的照片,并附上说明,讲解为什么某块石头不是陨石。

5、Byte 杂志

Byte 杂志是上个世纪很有影响的 IT 杂志,archive.org 提供免费下载。

文摘

1、幸存者偏见

二战时,英国决定要在轰炸机上加装防弹材料,减少被德国炮弹击中时的伤害。

他们按照平安返回的轰炸机被击中的位置,为其他轰炸机加装防弹材料。这种方法看上去正确,其实是错的,真正应该加载防弹材料的,恰恰是那些没有被击中的位置。因为这些轰炸机能返回,就说明它们被击中的位置不是很重要,那些被击中要害位置的轰炸机,都没有能够返回。

这就叫做幸存者偏见,人们过度重视那些幸存的个体,以为他们的特质就代表整个总体的特质。

举例来说,很多创业者总是向某些最成功的企业家学习,比如,比尔盖茨,理查德布兰森,史蒂夫乔布斯,马克扎克伯格,伊隆马斯克等等。殊不知他们可能只是特例,他们的经验不一定普遍适用。

上面这些企业家有一些共同特点。

  • 反传统,不走寻常的道路。
  • 承担巨大风险,有冒险家特质。
  • 极端主义者,他们不喜欢中间立场,有明确的爱和恨。

他们能够成功,并不表示拥有这些特点,你就能成功。很多同样拥有这些特点的人,可能都已经失败了。事实上,稳健经营更能帮助一家小公司生存下来。

2、第一条大西洋海底电缆

以下摘自奥地利作家茨威格的《人类群星闪耀时》一书。

1851年,欧洲大陆都已经连通了电报。但是,美洲一直被排除在世界电报网之外。

大西洋漫无边际,人们根本就不可能在海面上设立众多中间站,更加不可能用一根电线跨越两个大洋。人们不仅不知道海洋的深度,对它的地质结构也知之甚少,大洋底部的电缆能否承受住巨大的海水压力仍然无从得知。

即使从理论和技术上来说,铺设一条如此漫长的海底电缆行得通,但在当时还没有能负载铁铜电缆全部重量的巨轮,也没有一台发电机的功率能输送电流经过如此漫长的距离。就算轮船轻装上阵,也至少要耗费三个星期。并且在此期间,所有的电缆都必须妥善存放,不能露天放置。

英国政府提供了曾经的海战旗舰"阿伽门农"号,美国政府则"贡献"了当时吨位最大的二桅战舰"尼亚加拉"号。经过特殊的改造后,这两艘船都能容纳一半的海底电缆。

最后,同时也是最关键的问题,就是制造电缆。当时,制造一条连接两大洲的电缆需要非常精湛的技术:它既要有钢筋的坚硬而不易断裂的特性,又有非常大的柔韧性,也必须像丝线一样耐压耐磨而能随意弯曲,还必须实心而有一定的空间。总而言之,电缆必须结实、精密。对整个工程而言,电缆上任何一个微乎其微的磨损和坑洼都会破坏电流的传递。

要制造一条这样的电缆,整整需要整座橡胶林的橡胶汁。做一个形象的说明:到工程完工,电缆里使用的铜丝和铁丝长达367000海里,足足能将地球环绕13圈,甚至能将地球和月球连接起来。为此,工厂里的机器整整工作了一年。

下图是160年前第一代的大西洋海底电缆。

3、中美电影周的真相

以下摘自冯小刚的《我把青春献给你》。

中国电影周说穿了,就是由一两个美国穷人,打着热爱中国电影的旗号,从中国的制片厂免费拿到一些电影拷贝,在美国华人集中的城市转着圈的卖票放映,从中有利可图的个人行为。国内的电影制片厂也全无版权的概念,拷贝一撒手就是几个月,条件只不过是几张往返美国的机票。

"中国电影周"放映的电影院条件环境都很差,观众大部分是华人,也有少数闲着没事跟着起哄的白人,因为这些人有强烈的中国情结,看什么破片子都报以热烈的掌声,这些掌声与影片的质量无关,只能反映新老华侨的爱国热情。不明真像的导演误以为自己拍的影片多么伟大,回国后马上约记者采访,据此抱怨国内的发行公司和观众对他影片的冷落是不识货,吹嘘他的影片在美国放映引起轰动。其实也就是寄居美国的少数人自娱自乐的一个派对,主流媒体对此只字未提。

所谓的中美文化交流,说白了还是华人与华人的一次收费联谊会,跟美国大众八竿子打不着。

本周图片

1、2060年的世界人口大国

上图是2060年的世界人口预测。印度是人口最多的国家,17亿左右;其次是中国,13亿左右;后面是尼日利亚,美国,巴基斯坦,印尼,刚果,巴西,埃塞俄比亚,坦桑尼亚和墨西哥。

历史上,亚洲约占世界人口的70%,欧洲大约10%到20%,非洲5%到10%。2060年,非洲人口比重将激增,增加到世界人口的35%左右。

2、Java 的类

Java 语言以众多的类著称,但是你知道它一共有多少个 public Class 吗?

3、LED 街灯

随着 LED 产业的发展,街灯已经大量改成了节能的 LED 灯。传统的昏黄温暖的橙色灯光,变成了明亮的蓝色灯光。有人提出,蓝色的明亮灯光容易对人类造成影响,使得效率降低,失眠和焦虑增加。

本周金句

1、

每颗恒星都在不停燃烧,释放能量。如果宇宙是静止的,必然变得越来越热。幸亏宇宙在不停膨胀,把这个问题解决了。(比尔·布莱森《万物简史》)

2、

人一生最大的幸运,就是在年富力强时发现了自己的人生使命。(茨威格《人类群星闪耀时》)

3、

过去盖起的宫殿中,没有他的位置,他只好在宫殿的旁边,另起炉灶,搭起了一间偏房。问题是偏房越盖越多,越盖越大,越盖越高,渐渐成了一个院落,它就成了另一座宫殿。(刘震云《<我把青春献给你>序言》)

欢迎订阅

这个专栏每周五发布,同步更新在我的个人网站微信公众号语雀

微信搜索"阮一峰的网络日志"或者扫描二维码,即可订阅。

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文档信息


          Trump tax cuts are ballooning the deficit, so get ready for the GOP attack on Medicare and Medicaid      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Get ready for Republican screeching about cutting Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security (after the midterms, of course). Because a new Congressional Budget Office estimate showing how much the deficit has increased since they passed the tax scam law signals that it's time for them to pretend the deficit matters again.

The CBO says that the federal deficit increased by 20 percent in just the first 10 months of the 2018 fiscal year. Spending outpaced revenue to the federal government by $682 billion from October 1, 2017 to the end of last month, a $116 billion increase over the same period last year. While tax revenues from individuals rose (get that? Regular people are being taxed more) corporate taxes have fallen—a lot. That, combined with the spending bill passed in March which increased budget caps on both domestic and defense spending, has resulted in the deficit hike.

So that promise from Trump and the Republicans that a corporate tax cut would stimulate so much growth that the deficit would come down isn't happening. What a shock. The CBO doesn't see a turnaround in the situation, either, estimating a $793 billion deficit by the end of this year and more than $1 trillion in 2019.

A large deficit isn't in and of itself a terrible thing. If that deficit was a result of a surge in spending in people to increase employment, provide access to health care, cut higher education expenses, or any myriad other programs that could boost private income and spending and boost the economy, that would be one thing. But this one, built on massive corporate tax cuts being plowed back into said corporations for executive bonuses and stockholder enrichment? This one is bullshit.

And that bullshit is going to be used by Republicans—again—to try to decimate all the social insurance programs, whether it's food stamps or health care. And they'll probably try to do it after the election, in the lame duck session. They've set up the 2019 budget bill with a broad reconciliation instructions that require $302 billion in mandatory program spending cuts, mandatory programs being things like Medicaid and Medicare. That reconciliation would allow the Senate to pass the bill with a simple majority, preventing a Democratic filibuster.

So the next time you hear a Republican scream about the deficit, tell them this: It's your fault, and you're not going to use it to destroy the safety net.


          NY Times: Who Gets a New 20% Tax Break? The Treasury Dept. Speaks      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
New York Times, Who Gets a New 20% Tax Break? The Treasury Dept. Speaks, and Trump May Save: A new 20 percent tax break included in last year’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul could wind up benefiting President Trump’s real estate empire given how the Treasury Department plans to implement the...
          Demand Senate Republicans Fund Election Security After Successful Hack in Florida      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Exactly one week to the day after Senate Republicans blocked a bid to direct an extra $250 million toward bolstering election security ahead of November's midterm elections, Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) revealed that Russian hackers had successfully penetrated some of Florida's election systems.

"They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times

Senate Republicans may revel in the unintended help from Russian hackers, but Americans demand that the party in control of both chambers of Congress act to secure our election systems and protect our democracy from this ongoing cyberattack against the very foundation on which our country exists. 

There is not yet any indication of what the Russians are doing specifically, although if their intent is to undermine faith in the U.S. election system, the argument can be made that their cyberattack is already a success.

The announcement comes only weeks after special counselor Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign during the election. When Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he seemed to side with the former KGB officer, only to then walk back his comments after facing intense criticism from both sides of the aisle back home.

While the effort to bolster election security seems like a no-brainer, 47 GOP Senators decided that the money was unnecessary.

"It is far too early to add another quarter billion dollars ... when we don't know how the first $380 million has even been spent," said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).

Senate Republicans' decision to balk on funding election security is especially hypocritical given that 51 Republican Senators conveniently dropped their "budget hawk" façade just long enough to hand corporations a $1.5 trillion tax cut, pushing the national deficit ever closer to a record-breaking $1 trillion dollars.

Republicans have already proven that their convictions are about as steadfast as Trump's morals. This issue, however, goes beyond the implementation of their backwards agenda; Americans' faith in our democratic elections is essential to the future of this country.

Trump may be willing to allow his Russian counterpart to meddle in our affairs without fear of reprisal, but we, the undersigned, demand that our elected officials represent Americans and not the traitorous puppet currently occupying the Oval Office.

We demand that they put country over party. And we demand that they do it now, before it's too late.


          Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Apple will forever be entwined with Aug. 2, 2018 – the day it became the world’s first company to boast a market capitalization of $1 trillion...
          The 2 Lessons We Should Learn From Apple’s Success      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Apple has become the first U.S. company in history to attain a trillion-dollar valuation. Here are a few thoughts about the relevance of this to... Read More

The post The 2 Lessons We Should Learn From Apple’s Success appeared first on The Daily Signal.


          Equifax: Subprime Pullback Continued in Q1      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Subprime originations fell 4.5% from a year ago to 1.841 million in the first quarter, a period in which total outstanding balances topped a quarter trillion, the firm reported.
          Samsung Steps Up Investment for Future Growth, Takes Initiative to Build Innovation Ecosystem      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

According to a new press release, “Samsung announced plans to boost investments in businesses that will drive its future growth, committing to a KRW 25 trillion investment over the next three years, primarily led by Samsung Electronics, in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals. Samsung also announced a set […]

The post Samsung Steps Up Investment for Future Growth, Takes Initiative to Build Innovation Ecosystem appeared first on DATAVERSITY.


          Turkish agate trillion shape. 22 x 25.5 x 5 mm by Untwistedsister      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

22.00 USD

Turkish stick agate cut in a trillion shape. This is one I cut myself with attention to detail of the bevels and dome to make it easy to set. Great colors of all the sugars.....dark brown, light brown and white. Very distinctive and a nice size.
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22 x 25.5 x 5 mm
(25mm = 1 inch)
medium dome glassy polish front
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          Harry Potter politics      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The worrisome disconnect between Americans of differing views is far more than just a battle of ideologies. Increasingly, the issue is not merely Democrat against Republican, or liberal against conservative. The divide now appears to be reality vs. magical thinking.

America endures a $21 trillion national debt and adds to ...

          The Two Lessons We Should Learn From Apple?s Success      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
On 08.09.18 01:01 PM posted by Star Parker Apple has become the first U.S. company in history to attain a trillion-dollar valuation. Here are a few thoughts about the relevance of this to our country today. The story of Apple is the story of Steve Jobs. He co-founded the company in 1976 at the age 21, was fired from this same company at age 30, and then returned 11 years later, as it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, to restore it and set it on the path it has arrived to today. First thing to think about is that Jobs was born in 1955. His biological mother, an unwed graduate student, gave birth and arranged for his adoption. This was 18 years before abortion became legal in America by way of Roe v. Wade. If Jobs was conceived 18 years later, or if Roe v. Wade had become law of the land 18 years earlier, there is some chance that there never would have been a Steve Jobs. The life that would have become Steve Jobs could have been another in the vast sea of abortion...
          Buried in the Fine Print, Trump Rule Would Give $2.5 Billion Tax Cut to Big Bank Fat Cats      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Jake Johnson, staff writer
As Wall Street banks continue to enjoy record profits thanks to President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax scam, Trump's Treasury Department—headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin—quietly moved to hand big banks yet another major gift on Wednesday by hiding a $2.5 billion tax cut in the fine print of an "esoteric" new rule proposal.

          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Why does GOP fund ‘unlimited war’ but not Medicare program?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Why does GOP fund 'unlimited war' but not Medicare program?  USA TODAYDid Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say There's No Difference Between Billions and Trillions?  Snopes.comNeera Tanden The primaries don't show ...
          BPA-Free, but Not Toxic-Free      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The word is out about bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical that is commonly used in drinking containers, children’s toys, and other plastic products: it’s been linked to diabetes, asthma, cancer, obesity, and altered prostate and neurological development, among other illnesses. Unfortunately, the alternatives that industry is using are no safer, despite the “BPA-free” marketing ploys—but federal regulators continue to protect the chemical industry by refusing to ban these dangerous compounds. The chemical industry has, in response to consumer demand (and an FDA ban of BPA in plastic baby bottles), used bisphenol-S (BPS) to replace BPA. However, reports indicate that BPS is just as toxic as BPA. Studies have found that even small amounts of BPS—as little as one part per trillion—can disrupt cellular functioning and impair brain development. Studies have also shown that BPS causes breast cancer cells to aggressively multiply. BPS has also been linked to heart arrhythmia and endocrine disruption, causing puberty at a premature age in females. Despite this alarming data, nearly 81% of Americans have detectable levels of BPS in their urine.

          Hardly anyone wants to admit America is beating poverty      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hardly anyone wants to admit America is beating poverty
- Those on the right, meanwhile, have argued that the U.S. has spent trillions to no effect. In fact, poverty has declined significantly over the past 50 ...

          Trump tax cuts are ballooning the deficit, so get ready for the GOP attack on Medicare and Medicaid      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Get ready for Republican screeching about cutting Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security (after the midterms, of course). Because a new Congressional Budget Office estimate showing how much the deficit has increased since they passed the tax scam law signals that it's time for them to pretend the deficit matters again.

The CBO says that the federal deficit increased by 20 percent in just the first 10 months of the 2018 fiscal year. Spending outpaced revenue to the federal government by $682 billion from October 1, 2017 to the end of last month, a $116 billion increase over the same period last year. While tax revenues from individuals rose (get that? Regular people are being taxed more) corporate taxes have fallen—a lot. That, combined with the spending bill passed in March which increased budget caps on both domestic and defense spending, has resulted in the deficit hike.

So that promise from Trump and the Republicans that a corporate tax cut would stimulate so much growth that the deficit would come down isn't happening. What a shock. The CBO doesn't see a turnaround in the situation, either, estimating a $793 billion deficit by the end of this year and more than $1 trillion in 2019.

A large deficit isn't in and of itself a terrible thing. If that deficit was a result of a surge in spending in people to increase employment, provide access to health care, cut higher education expenses, or any myriad other programs that could boost private income and spending and boost the economy, that would be one thing. But this one, built on massive corporate tax cuts being plowed back into said corporations for executive bonuses and stockholder enrichment? This one is bullshit.

And that bullshit is going to be used by Republicans—again—to try to decimate all the social insurance programs, whether it's food stamps or health care. And they'll probably try to do it after the election, in the lame duck session. They've set up the 2019 budget bill with a broad reconciliation instructions that require $302 billion in mandatory program spending cuts, mandatory programs being things like Medicaid and Medicare. That reconciliation would allow the Senate to pass the bill with a simple majority, preventing a Democratic filibuster.

So the next time you hear a Republican scream about the deficit, tell them this: It's your fault, and you're not going to use it to destroy the safety net.


          [bart13] Gold Prices Are Soaring In Venezuela By Frank Holmes - Aug 07, 2018, 9:20 AM ...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Gold Prices Are Soaring In Venezuela

By Frank Holmes - Aug 07, 2018, 9:20 AM CDT

Last month in Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas, a cup of coffee would have set you back 2 million bolivars. That’s up from only 2,300 bolivars 12 months ago, meaning the price of a cup of joe has jumped nearly 87,000 percent, according to Bloomberg’s Café Con Leche Index. And you thought Starbucks was expensive.

But that was July. Prices in Venezuela are doubling roughly every 18 days. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now projects inflation to hit an astronomical 1 million percent by the end of this year. This puts the beleaguered Latin American country on the same slippery path as Zimbabwe a decade ago and Germany in the 1920s, when a wheelbarrow full of marks was barely enough to get you a loaf of bread.

Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolas Maduro—who only this past weekend survived an assassination attempt involving several explosive-laden drones—announced recently that the country plans to rein in hyperinflation by lopping off five zeroes from its currency. If you recall, Zimbabwe similarly tried to combat soaring prices of its own by issuing a cartoonish $100 trillion banknote—which in 2009 was still not enough to buy a bus ticket in the capital of Harare.

Without structural governmental reforms, a new bolivar is just as unlikely to steady Venezuela’s skyrocketing inflation or remedy its crumbling economy.

So where does this put gold? At some point, hyperinflation gets so ludicrously out of control that discussing exchange rates becomes pointless. But as of July 30, an ounce of the yellow metal would have gone for 211 million bolivars—an increase of more than 3.1 million percent from just the beginning of the year.



(Click to enlarge)

My point in bringing this up is to reinforce the importance of gold’s Fear Trade, which says that demand for the yellow metal rises when inflation threatens to destroy a nation’s currency—as it’s doing right now in Venezuela. A Venezuelan family that had the prudence to store some of its wealth in gold would be in a much better position today to survive or escape President Maduro’s corrupt, far-left regime.

In extreme cases like this, gold could literally help save lives.

Such was the case following the fall of Saigon in 1975. If not for gold, many South Vietnamese families might not have managed to escape the country. A seat on one of the thousands of fleeing boats reportedly went for eight or 10 taels of gold per adult, four or five taels per child. (A tael is slightly more than an ounce.) Gold was their passport. Thanks to the precious metal, tens of thousands of Vietnamese “boat people,” as they’re now known, were able to start new lives in the U.S., Canada, Australia and other developed countries.

Venezuela’s Once Prosperous Economy Destroyed by Corruption and Mismanagement

But back to Venezuela. Amid the corruption and mismanagement, the only thing helping the country pay its bills right now is gold. Two years ago, it had the world’s 16th largest gold reserves. Today it stands at number 26 as it’s sold off more than half its holdings since 2010. While countries such as China and Russia continue to add to their holdings, Venezuela has been the world’s largest seller of gold for the past two years.



(Click to enlarge)

It’s hard to remember now, but as recently as 2001, Venezuela was the most prosperous country in all of South America. Like Zimbabwe, the OPEC nation is rich in natural resources, home to the world’s largest oil reserves and what’s believed to be the fourth largest gold mine. Oil exports account for virtually all of its export revenue.

In 2016, Venezuela was the third largest exporter of crude to the U.S. following Canada and Saudi Arabia, but with output in freefall, this is changing rapidly. For the first time ever in February, Colombia sold more crude oil to the U.S. than its eastern neighbor did. And in June, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), informed at least eight foreign clients that it would be unable to meet supply commitments. According to GlobalData, production is on track to fall to only 1 million barrels per day by 2019, down from 3 million a day in 2011, meaning the petrostate might soon have nothing left to deliver.

President Maduro now has the ignoble distinction of reigning over an economic recession that rivals the very worst in modern history. Last month, the IMF forecast that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) would fall 18 percent this year—the third straight year of double-digit declines.



(Click to enlarge)

A mass exodus of young, working-age Venezuelans, many of them college-educated, is unlikely to help. Estimates of the number of people who have fled the country in the past two years alone range from 1.7 million to as high as 4 million.

Their escape is no easy task, as numerous international airlines, citing rampant crime and a lack of electricity, have canceled all flights in and out of Caracas. The only U.S. carrier still operating in the country is American Airlines, which offers a single daily flight from the nation’s capital to Miami. Just two years ago, there were as many as 40 nonstop American flights, not to mention those of rival carriers, between the two cities—a sign of just how dramatic and swift Maduro’s mismanagement has been in crippling Venezuela’s once-robust economy.

The Diversification Benefits of Gold

The gold bears were on top last week, with the metal trading as low as $1,205 on Thursday. That’s the closest it’s come to dipping below $1,200 since February 2017. Friday’s lower-than-expected jobs report gave gold a modest boost, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a fourth straight week of price declines.

In times like this, it’s important to remember that, according to gold’s DNA of volatility, it’s a non-event for the metal to close up or down 1 percent at the end of each session, 2 percent for the 10-day trading period. And guess what? The S&P 500 Index has the same level of volatility.

Ten days ago, gold was trading just under $1,230 an ounce, or 0.6 percent more than today. The math is sound.

It’s also worth remembering that gold has traditionally had a low to negative correlation with other assets such as equities. This is why many investors over the years have used it as a portfolio diversifier.

Case in point: On June 26, suffered its worst single-day decline since the company went public in 2012. Its stock plunged 19 percent, erasing some $120 billion in market capitalization—the most ever in history for a single trading session.

Gold, meanwhile, held relatively steady, slipping only 0.62 percent.

          The 2 Lessons We Should Learn From Apple’s Success      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
By Star Parker ~ Apple has become the first U.S. company in history to attain a trillion-dollar valuation. Here are a few thoughts about the relevance of this to our country today. The story of Apple is the story of Steve Jobs. He co-founded the company in 1976 at the age 21, was fired from […]
          One-to-One at Scale: The Confluence of Behavioral Science and Technology and How It’s ...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Consumer and business customers have increasing expectations that businesses provide products and services customized for their unique needs. Adaptive intelligence and machine learning technology, combined with insights into behavior, make this customization possible. The financial services industry is moving aggressively to take advantage of these new capabilities. In March 2018, Bank of America launched Erica, a virtual personal assistant—a chatbot—powered by AI. In just three months, Erica surpassed one million users.

But to achieve personalization at scale requires an IT infrastructure that can handle huge amounts of data and process it in real time. Engineered systems purpose-built for these cognitive workloads provide the foundation that helps make this one-to-one personalization possible.

Bradley Leimer, Managing Director and Head of Fintech Strategy at Explorer Advisory & Capital, provides consulting and investment advisory services to start-ups, accelerators, and established financial services companies. As the former Head of Innovation and Fintech Strategy at Santander U.S., his team connected the bank to the fintech ecosystem. Bradley spoke with us recently about how behavioral science is evolving in the financial services industry and how new technological capabilities, when tied to human behavior, are changing the way organizations respond to customer needs.

I know you’re fascinated by behavioral science. How does it frame what you do in the financial sector?

Behavioral science is fascinating because the study of human behavior itself is so intriguing. One of the many books I was influenced by early in my career was Paco Underhill’s 1999 book Why We Buy. The science around purchase behavior and how companies leverage our behavior to create buying decisions that fall in their favor—down to where products are placed and the colors that are used to attract the eye—these are techniques that have been used since before the Mad Men era of advertising.

I’m intrigued by the psychology behind the decisions we make. People are a massive puzzle to solve at scale. Humans are known to be irrational, but they are irrational in predictable ways. Leveraging behavioral science, along with things like design thinking and human-computer interaction, have been a part of building products and customer experiences in financial services for some time. To nudge customers to sign up for a service or take an additional product or to perform behaviors that are sometimes painful like budgeting, saving more, investing, consolidating, or optimizing the use of credit all involve deeply understanding human behavior.

Student debt reached $1.5 trillion in Q1 2018. Can behavioral analytics be used to help students better manage their personal finances?

What’s driving this intersection between behavioral science and fintech?

Companies have been using the ideas of behavioral science in strategic planning and marketing for some time, but it’s only been in the last decade that the technology to act upon the massive amount of new data we collect has been available. The type of data we used to struggle to plug into a mainframe through data reels now flies freely within a cloud of shared service layers. So beyond new analytic tools and AI, there are few other things that are important.

People interact with brands differently now. To become a customer now in financial services, it most often means that you’re interacting through an app, or a website, not in any physical form. It’s not necessarily how a branch is laid out anymore; it’s how the navigation works in your application, and what you can do in how few steps, how quickly you can onboard. This is what is really driving the future of revenue opportunity in the financial space.

At the same time, the competition for customers is increasing. Investments in the behavioral science area are a must-have now because the competition gets smarter every day and the applications to understand human behavior are simultaneously getting more accessible. We use behavioral science to understand and refine our precious opportunities to build empathy and relationships. 

You’ve mentioned the evolution of behavioral science in the financial services industry. How is it evolving and what’s the impact?

Behavioral science is nothing without the right type of pertinent, clean data. We have entered the era of engagement banking: a marketing, sales, and service model that deploys technology to achieve customer intimacy at scale. But humans are not just 1’s and 0’s. You need a variety of teams within banks and fintechs to leverage data in the right way, to make sure it addresses real human needs.

The real impact of these new tools has only started to be really felt. We have an opportunity to broaden the global use of financial services to reduce the number of the underbanked, to open new markets for payments and credit, to optimize every unit of currency for our customers more fully and lift up a generation by ending poverty and reducing wealth inequality.

40% of Americans could not come up with $400 for an emergency expense. Behavioral science can help move people move out of poverty and reduce wealth inequality.

How does artificial intelligence facilitate this evolution?

Financial institutions are challenged with innovating a century-old service model, and the addition of advanced analytics, artificial intelligence tools and how they can be used within the enterprise is still a work in progress. Our metamorphosis has been slowed by the dual weight of digital transformation and the broader implications of ever-evolving customers.

Banks have vast amounts of unstructured and disparate data throughout their complicated, mostly legacy, systems. We used to see static data modeling efforts based on hundreds of inputs. That’s transitioned to an infinitely more complex set of thousands of variables. In response, we are developing and deploying applications that make use of machine learning, deep learning, pattern recognition, and natural language processing among other functionalities.

Using AI applications, we have seen efficiency gains in customer onboarding/know-your-customer (KYC), automation of credit decisioning and fraud detection, personalized and contextual messaging, supply-chain improvements, infinitely tailored product development, and more effective communication strategies based on real-time, multivariate data. AI is critical to improving the entire lifecycle of the customer experience.

What’s the role of behavioral analytics in this trend?

Behavioral analytics combines specific user data: transaction histories, where people shop, how they manage their spending and savings habits, the use of credit, historical trends in balances, how they use digital applications, how often they use different channels like ATMs and branches, along with technology usage data like navigation path, clicks, social media interactions, and responsiveness to marketing. It takes a more holistic and human view of data, connecting individual data points to tell us not only what is happening, but also how and why it is happening.

You’ve built out these customization and personalization capabilities in banks and fintechs. Tell us about the basic steps any enterprise can take to build these capabilities.

As an organization, you need to clearly define your business goals. What are the metrics you want to improve? Is it faster onboarding, lower cost of acquisition, quicker turn toward profitable products, etc.? And how can a more customer-centric, personalized experience assist those goals?

As you develop these, make sure you understand who needs to be in the room. Many banks don’t have a true data science team, or they are a sort of hybrid analytical marketing team that has many masters. That’s a mistake. You need deep understanding of advanced analytics to derive the most efficiencies out of these projects. Then you need a strong collaborative team that includes marketing, digital banking, customer experience, and representation from those teams that interacts with clients. Truly user-centric teams leverage data to create a complete understanding of their users’ challenges. They develop insight into what features their customers use and what they don’t and build knowledge of how customers get the most value out of their products. And then they continually iterate and adjust.

You also need to look at your partnerships, including those with fintechs. There are several lessons derived from fintech platforms such as attention to growth through business model flexibility, devotion to speed-to-market, and a focus on creating new forms of customer value through leveraging these tools to customize everything from onboarding to the new user experience as well as how they communicate and customize the relationship over time.

What would be the optimum technology stack to support real-time contextual messages, products, or services?

Choosing the right technology stack for behavioral analytics is not that different than for any other type of application. You have to find the solution that maps most economically and efficiently to your particular problem set. This means implementing a technology that can solve the core business problems, can be maintained and supported efficiently, and minimizes your total cost of ownership.

In banking, it has to reduce risk while maximizing your opportunities for success. The legacy systems that many banks still deploy were built on relational databases and not designed for real-time processing, providing access via Restful APIs and the cloud-based data lakes we see today. Nor did they have the ability to connect and analyze any form of data. The types of data we now have to consider is just breathtaking and growing daily. In choosing technology partners, you want to make sure what you’re buying is built for this new world from the beginning, that the platform is flexible. You have to be able to migrate between on-premises solutions to the cloud, along with a variety of virtual machines being used today.

If I can paraphrase what you’re saying, it’s that financial services companies need a big data solution to manage all these streams of structured and unstructured data coming in from AI/ML, and other advanced applications. Additionally, a big data solution that simplifies deployment by offering identical functionality on-premises, in the cloud, and in the Oracle public Cloud behind your firewall would also be a big plus.

Are there any other must-haves in terms of performance, analytics, etc., to build an effective AI-based solution?

Must-haves include flexibility to consume all types of data, especially that which is gathered from the web and from digital applications. It needs to be very good at data aggregation—that is, reducing large data sets down to more manageable proportions that are still representative. It must be good at transitioning from aggregation to the detail level and back to optimize different analytical tools. It should be strong in quickly identifying cardinality—how many types of variables can there be within a given field.

Some other things to look for in a supporting infrastructure are direct access through query tools (SQL), support for data transformation within the platform (ETL and ELT tools), flexible data model or unstructured access to all data, algorithmic data transformation, ability to add and access one-off data sets simply (like through ODBC), flexible ways to use APIs to load and extract information, that kind of thing. A good system needs to be real time to help customers in taking the most optimized journey within digital applications. 

To wrap up our discussion, what three tips would you give the enterprise IT chief about how to incorporate these new AI capabilities to help the organization reach its goals around delivering a better customer experience?

First, realize that this isn’t just a technology problem—it will require engineers, data scientists, system architects and data specialists sure, but you also need a collaborative team that involves many parts of the business and builds tools that are accessible.

Start with simple KPIs to improve. Reducing the cost of acquisition or improving onboarding workflows, improving release time for customer-facing applications, reducing particular types of unnecessary customer churn—these are good places to start. They improve efficiencies and impact the bottom line. They help build the case around necessary new technology spend and create momentum.

Understand that the future of the financial services model is all about the customer—understanding their needs and helping the business meet them. Our greatest source of innovation is, in the end, our empathy.

You’ve given us a lot to think about, Bradley. Based on our discussion, it seems that the world of financial services is changing and banks today will require an effective AI-based solution that leverages behavioral science and personalization capabilities.

Additionally, in order for banks to sustain a competitive advantage and lead in the market, they need to invest an effective big data warehousing strategy. Therefore, business and IT leaders need a solution that can store, acquire, process large data workloads at scale, and has cognitive workload capabilities to give you the advanced insights needed to run your business most effectively. It is also important that the technology is tailor-made for advancing businesses’ analytical capabilities that leverage familiar big data and analytics open source tools. And Oracle Big Data Appliance provides that high-performance, cloud-ready secure platform for running diverse workloads using Hadoop, Spark, and NoSQL systems. 


          Can Cannabis Boost Sexual Health?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Cannabis-based sexual health products are quickly gaining market significance in the overall health and wellness sector.

The post Can Cannabis Boost Sexual Health? appeared first on Investing News Network.


          Smokey Topaz Earrings, November Birthstone Jewelry, Chocolate Brown Large Stone Dangle Earrings, Topaz Jewelry, Sterling Silver by MoonlightDesigns2      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

50.00 USD

Smokey topaz earrings wire wrapped in oxidized sterling silver.

A lovely pair of large smokey topaz faceted gemstones are hand wire wrapped by me in sterling silver wire and suspend from sterling silver ear wires. These smokey topaz dangle earrings are a nice large size with the stone measuring 14 mm, the earrings measure 7/8 inch from the bottom of the ear wires. These smokey topaz briolettes are trillion cut which means they come to a slight point in the back.

Your choice of either handmade regular French style ear wires or locking lever backs as shown in the photos.

Perfect for that November birthday or anniversary these smokey topaz earrings are fully faceted with lots of sparkle.

All sterling silver has been hand oxidized, lightly sanded to a silvery gray, cleaned and polished by me to enhance the beauty of these stones.

Arrives in a gift box securely packaged for shipping.

For more sterling silver earrings in my shop;
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonlightDesigns2?section_id=6710034

Please check here for important shipping and return policy information; http://www.etsy.com/shop/MoonlightDesigns2/policy

Thank you for visiting my shop and supporting handmade!
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          اپل با چه حقه‌هایی یک تریلیون دلاری شد؟!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

 

5 آگوست 2018

اپل

اپل که در حال حاضر ثروتمندترین شرکت جهان محسوب می‌شود و ۲۴۳ میلیارد دلار پول نقد دارد، باز هم در برخی موارد خساست‌های عجیب‌وغریبی به خرج می‌دهد. چند روز پیش ارزش این شرکت از مرز یک تریلیون دلار گذشت. با وجود اینکه این شرکت در هر فصل مالی حدود ۱۱ میلیارد دلار سود کسب می‌کند، ولی در مورد چیزهایی مانند سیم‌ها و کیبوردها صدای کاربران را درمی‌آورد. مطمئنا اپل به‌راحتی می‌تواند چنین مشکلات کوچکی را برطرف کند، اما مساله اینجاست که چنین مواردی برای این غول تکنولوژی چندان حائز اهمیت نیستند و به همین خاطر برای حل آن‌ها معمولا اقدامات قابل توجهی انجام نمی‌دهد.

محصولات اپل همچنان پرطرفدار هستند، زیرا گجت‌های این شرکت از مشخصات قابل توجهی بهره می‌برند و تجربه کاربری فوق‌العاده‌ای را برای کاربران به ارمغان می‌آورند. اما کاربران بعد از خرید، برای استفاده از مواردی که چندان به چشم هم نمی‌آیند، گاهی اوقات با مشکلات متعددی روبرو می‌شوند. درآمد اصلی اپل از سود زیاد حاصل از فروش انواع و اقسام آیفون‌ها به دست می‌آید و مطمئنا چنین خساست‌هایی درآمد هنگفتی را برای این غول تکنولوژی به ارمغان نمی‌آورد. اما حالا بعد از رسیدن به این ثروت فراوان، اپل می‌تواند با حل کردن چنین مشکلات کوچکی طرفداران خود را راضی‌تر کند.

۱. خرابی کابل‌های شارژ

خرابی کابل‌های شارژ

آیا اپل که محصولات گران‌قیمتی می‌سازد، از پس ساخت کابل‌های لایتنینگ و شارژرهای مک‌بوک برنمی‌آید؟ اگر از هرکدام از این موارد به مدت خاصی استفاده کنید، سیم‌های درون کابل لایتنینگ از درون این کابل بیرون می‌زنند و بخش انتهایی شارژرهای مک‌بوک هم معمولا خراب می‌شوند. هرکدام از کاربران برای حل این معضل و افزایش عمر این موارد راه‌حلی را عملی می‌کنند که از بین آن‌ها می‌توانیم به استفاده از چسب برق اشاره کنیم. قضیه خراب شدن شارژرهای مک‌بوک آن‌قدر وخیم شد که با شکایت گروه زیادی از کاربران، اپل ناچار شد شارژرهای جدیدی را در اختیار این کاربران قرار دهد ولی این حکم دادگاه سال‌ها پیش منقضی شده است. محصولات اپل از لحاظ کیفیت ساخت شهرت زیادی دارد، آیا وسایل جانبی آن‌ها هم نباید از چنین کیفیت ساختی بهره ببرند؟

۲. پیچیده بودن غیر فعال‌سازی اشتراک‌های آیتونز

پیچیده بودن غیر فعال‌سازی اشتراک‌های آیتونز

یکی دیگر از مواردی که با اعتراض زیاد کاربران محصولات اپل مواجه شده، سخت بودن فرایند غیر فعال‌سازی انواع و اقسام اشتراک‌ها است. معمولا در سرویس‌های مختلف چنین کاری به‌سادگی صورت می‌گیرد اما این موضوع برای اپل صحت ندارد. اول از همه باید بر دایره‌ای که جایگاه عکس پروفایل شما محسوب می‌شود، ضربه بزنید. در چنین مواردی معمولا باید گزینه‌ای مانند Manage Subscriptions (مدیریت اشتراک‌ها) را مشاهده کنید که البته چنین گزینه‌ای را نخواهید دید. در عوض باید بر View Apple ID ضربه بزنید. بعد از تایید هویت، تازه می‌توانید اشتراک‌های موردنظر را لغو کنید. اپل به‌راحتی می‌تواند این رابط کاربری را اصلاح کند که بنا به دلایلی این کار را انجام نمی‌دهد.

۳. کیبوردهای مشکل‌زا

کیبوردهای مشکل‌زا

مک‌بوک‌های اپل گجت‌های بسیار گران‌قیمت و قدرتمندی هستند، اما انباشت گردوخاک می‌تواند کیبوردهای آن‌ها را از کار بیندازد.این کیبوردها از مکانیزم پروانه‌ای بهره می‌برند که اپل در سال ۲۰۱۶ آن‌ها را ارائه کرد و انباشت حجم کمی از گردوخاک آن‌ها را خراب می‌کند و تعمیر آن هم کار چندان ساده‌ای به حساب نمی‌آید و کاربران در بیشتر مواقع برای تعمیر آن باید به تعمیرکاران حرفه‌ای مراجعه کنند. مشکلات مربوط به این کیبورد آن‌قدر بالا گرفت که اپل اعلام کرد به طور رایگان چنین کیبوردهایی را تعمیر می‌کند و این موضوع به معنای این است که کاربر موردنظر تا حداقل چند روز به لپ‌تاپ خود دسترسی نخواهد داشت.

۴. قطع درآمد تعداد زیادی از سایت‌ها

قطع درآمد تعداد زیادی از سایت‌ها

محصولات اپل طرفداران پروپاقرص زیادی دارد و به همین خاطر وجود هزاران سایت که به‌صورت اختصاصی به نرم‌افزارهای و سخت‌افزارهای اپل می‌پردازند، موضوع چندان عجیبی به‌حساب نمی‌آید. اپل هم به‌پاس این زحمات، هفته گذشته اعلام کرد که یکی از اصلی‌ترین منبع درآمد آن‌ها را قطع می‌کند. این سایت‌ها با معرفی اپلیکیشن‌های پولی اپ استور و گذاشتن لینک آن در سایت خود، به ازای هر خرید ۷ درصد کمیسیون از طرف اپل دریافت می‌کردند. اما این شرکت اخیرا فروختن تبلیغات در اپ استور را آغاز کرده و برای گرفتن تبلیغات بیشتر به رقیب این سایت‌ها بدل شده است. در نهایت، اپل هفته گذشته اعلام کرد که در ماه اکتبر این سیستم را غیرفعال می‌کند که این موضوع باعث می‌شود تعداد زیادی از سایت‌ها اصلی‌ترین منبع درآمد خود را از دست بدهند.

۵. مشکلات دانگل‌ها

مشکلات دانگل‌ها

اگر بخواهیم برای بی‌توجهی اپل‌ نسبت به تجربه کاربری یک نماد را مشخص کنیم، دانگل‌ها یک نماد ایدئال محسوب می‌شوند. برای تبدیل پورت تاندربولت ۲ به تاندربولت ۳ باید دانگل ۵۰ دلاری بخرید و اگر تبدیل جک هدفون به پورت لایتنینگ موجود در جعبه گجت را گم کنید، برای خرید آن باید ۹ دلار بپردازید. اپل‌ همواره گفته که به سمت آینده قدم برمی‌دارد و به همین خاطر مرتبا فناوری‌های قدیمی را کنار می‌گذارد و خیلی سریع به استفاده از فناوری‌های جدید روی می‌آورد. اپل با فروش مواردی مانند هدفون‌های بلوتوثی و شارژرهای سریع USB-C سود زیادی کسب می‌کند. همین عدم استفاده از پورت‌های USB باعث شده که کاربران برای انواع و اقسام استفاده‌ها، هزینه‌های بیشتری را متحمل شوند.

منبع: TechCrunch


          Current Affairs: Super industry goes under the spotlight at royal commission - 【時事報導】退休公積金成調查焦點      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Australia's multi-trillion-dollar superannuation industry has been thrown into the spotlight as round five of the banking royal commission's public hearings began in Melbourne.

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澳洲退休公積金機構將會在墨爾本召開的皇家調查委員會中成爲焦點,被受調查有關運作。


          Investors’ Reactions to Apple Reaching $1 Trillion Market Cap Vary Widely      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members what they thought about Apple Inc. (AAPL) trading at a $1 trillion market capitalization. We received a variety of responses. Approximately 17% of respondents say “good for them” or something similar, while 8% say they expected it to happen. Four percent regret not buying the stock […]
          Comment on Democratic socialism: sounds good, but is way too expensive, and not the future of the Democratic party by Nicolaas Stempels      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
And the remaining 1.3 trillion could have been used to go completely solar, greatly improving (ie. reducing) the export of fundamentalist Islam 😁
          Comment on Democratic socialism: sounds good, but is way too expensive, and not the future of the Democratic party by Nicolaas Stempels      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
And the remaining 1.3 trillion could have been used to go completely solar, greatly improving (ie. reducing) the export of fundamentalist Islam 😁
          NASA is about to 'touch' a star for the first time — here are the hellish conditions the Parker Solar Probe must survive      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

nasa parker solar probe plus sun mission illustration

  • NASA's Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to launch Saturday, August 11 around 3:33 a.m. EDT.
  • To "touch" the sun and study its weather, the $1.5-billion mission must survive hellish conditions.
  • Temperatures will reach a searing 2,500 degrees when the spacecraft zooms through the star's atmosphere at 430,000 mph.
  • Once the probe runs out of fuel, pretty much everything but its carbon heat shield will be destroyed.

Touching a star isn't easy. The sun is an enormous, searing-hot orb of plasma that generates a chaos of magnetic fields and can unleash deadly blasts of particles at a moment's notice.

But that is precisely what NASA plans to do — 24 times or more — with its car-size Parker Solar Probe (PSP). The goal of the $1.5-billion mission is to edge within 4 million miles of the sun, which is close enough to study the star's mysterious atmosphere, solar wind, and other properties.

Information gathered by the probe may help space weather forecasters better predict violent solar outbursts that can overwhelm electrical grids, harm satellites, disrupt electronics, and possibly lead to trillions of dollars' worth of damage.

The spacecraft is slated to launch from the Florida coast on Saturday at 3:33 a.m. EDT, should weather cooperate, though NASA has through August 23 to fire off its probe. PSP will reach the sun a few months after launch.

Here are some of the brutal conditions and tremendous challenges NASA's probe will have to survive to pull off its unprecedented mission.

The tricky process of touching a star

parker solar probe sun flybys orbits mission design venus earth map jhuapl

The first hurdle PSP needs to clear is Earth itself.

To make the trip, the probe will ride atop a Delta 4 Heavy rocket, which is one of the most powerful operational launch vehicles on Earth (though not quite as powerful as SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy system).

NASA chose the rocket because it's surprisingly hard to get to the sun, which is 93 million miles away.

Earth orbits the sun at a speed of 67,000 mph, and so does anything launched off of the planet. To fall toward the sun, PSP will have to slow down by 53,000 mph, NASA said in a video about its mission.

Three different rocket stages (one firing after the other runs out of fuel) in the Delta 4 Heavy will help considerably with boosting PSP toward that goal, but it's not enough to repeatedly fly the probe close to the sun.

Instead, the rocket will shoot the probe on a path toward Venus, a planet it will fly past seven times over six years. The world's strong gravitational field will help gradually absorb PSP's "sideways motion" imparted by Earth and direct it closer and closer to the sun.

The consequence of this orbital dance is that PSP will fall toward the sun faster and faster after each pass. On its first orbit of the sun in November 2018, the probe will be some 15.4 million miles from the sun. About 21 orbits later, in December 2024, it will sneak within 4 million miles of the sun, traveling at a speed of nearly 430,000 mph relative to the star.

Achieving such a velocity would make PSP the fastest a human object in space. It's nearly 120 miles per second — fast enough to fly from New York to Tokyo in less than a minute — and 3.3 times as fast as NASA's Juno spacecraft, which zips past Jupiter at speeds of 130,000 mph.

How to fly through hell and back

parker solar probe plus sun temperature wind heat shield withstand graphic jenny cheng business insider graphics

During its journey, PSP must withstand sunlight 3,000 times more powerful than occurs at Earth. Outside the spacecraft, in the outer fringes of the sun's corona or atmosphere, temperatures may reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to liquify steel.

The probe also must contend with a "solar wind" of charged, high-energy particles that can mess with electronics.

The key to protecting the probe, as well as its sensors for measuring the sun's magnetic fields and solar wind, is a special heat shield called the Thermal Protection System.

parker solar probe plus nasa sun mission carbon compsite heat shield KSC 20180627 PH_GEB01_0050_large

Made of 4.5 inches of carbon foam sandwiched between two sheets of carbon composites, the eight-feet-wide shield will absorb and deflect solar energy that might otherwise fry the probe. A water cooling system will also help prevent the spacecraft's solar panels from roasting and keep the spacecraft a cozy 85 deg F.

PSP's mission is to crack two 60-year-old mysteries: why the sun has a solar wind at all, and how the corona — the star's outer atmosphere — can heat up to millions of degrees. Both factors are key to understanding what leads to potentially devastating solar storms.

"That defies the laws of nature. It's like water rolling uphill," Nicola Fox, a solar physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, said during a NASA briefing in 2017.

"Until you actually go there and touch the sun, you can't answer these questions," said Fox, who's a project scientist for the new mission.

You can watch the Parker Solar Probe launch toward the sun on Saturday, August 11, around 3 a.m. EDT via NASA TV.

The probe's mission will end many years from now, after it runs out of the propellant it needs to keep its heat shield pointed at the sun. When that happens, the star's blistering heat will burn up "90% of the spacecraft," science writer Shannon Stirone said on Twitter — but not the heat shield itself.

"The heat shield will then orbit the sun for millions of years," she said.

SEE ALSO: NASA's $1 billion mission to Jupiter has taken years of stunning images — here are some of Juno's best shots

DON'T MISS: NASA's biggest-ever hunt for alien planets is finally underway — and the agency expects to discover 'strange, fantastic worlds'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The White House has a plan in case a solar storm wipes out our technology


          NASA is flying a $1.5 billion spacecraft into the sun — here's why      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NASA will soon launch its Parker Solar Probe on a mission that will take it closer to the sun than any spacecraft in history. The probe will fly straight into the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona, where violent storms erupt that could destroy our tech-driven way of life. If we want to avoid living like people did back in the Stone Age, we'll need Parker Solar Probe's data. Following is a transcript of the video.

NASA is about to go where no one has gone before. The Sun. That’s right. NASA is flying a 1.5 billion-dollar spacecraft into the hottest, most violent object in our solar system. All in the name of science.

NASA’s unmanned Parker Solar Probe will come to within 3.83 million miles of the solar surface. Now, that might not sound very close but it’s about SEVEN TIMES closer than any spacecraft has gone before. And puts the probe smack inside one of the sun’s most treacherous layers:  The corona. The outermost layer of the Sun.

Here, the temperatures fluctuate from 1 to 5 million degrees FahrenheitAnd solar flares exist that are so big they could swallow our planet whole. So, why are we going here, again? It turns out, the sun poses a major threat to our modern way of life. Powerful magnetic fields form near the sun’s surface. Where they sometimes spark violent eruptions called coronal mass ejections.

These ejections fire a surge of highly-charged particles into space that will fry any electronic circuits on impact. That includes circuits inside our satellites that control cell service, the internet, GPS, the stock exchange, and much more.

In 2014, for example, astrophysicist Daniel N. Baker explained what may happen if one of these powerful storms hit Earth directly, explaining that it could:

“cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

Such a strike could cost an estimated $2 trillion in damage — 10 times more than Hurricane Katrina. Now luckily, space is a big place, which makes Earth a relatively small and tricky target. In fact, the last time a powerful storm like this struck our planet was more than 150 years ago, back in 1859. But the risk is there. And NASA predicts there’s a 12% chance we’ll get hit within the next decade.

That’s where Parker Solar Probe comes in. The probe can’t prevent an ejection from happening. But it can study the corona so that we may better understand the warning signs of an impending storm. And with enough notice, we may be able to protect our satellites from harm.

In addition to spying on the sun, Parker Solar Probe has another very important job: Don’t. Melt.

To that end, NASA has prepped the probe with four highly-tuned sensors and an impressive heat shield that will protect the probe’s instruments. The sensors are there to make sure the shield stays directed at the sun at all times. The mission will involve not one, or two, but 24 dives into the sun. Which are scheduled to take place up through the year 2025.

Join the conversation about this story »


          Microwave Towers factory      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Hitler & Trump: "The Great Man" Theory Debunked      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Gerold via GeroldBlog.com,

We’re told that great leaders make history. Like so much of what we are taught, that’s a load of bunk. Yes, great leaders make it into the history books, but they do not make history. You make history. I make history. All we dirt people together make history. Government-run schools don’t teach us this because it makes us easier to control.

The “Great Man Theory” [Link] tells us that history can be largely explained by the impact of great leaders. This theory was popularized in the 1800’s by the historian and social commentator Thomas Carlyle  [Link] The Great Man Theory downplays the importance of economic and practical explanations. It is an appealing theory because its simplicity offers the path of least resistance. That should ring an alarm.

Herbert Spencer [Link] forcefully disagreed with the “Great Man Theory.” He believed that great leaders were merely products of their social environment. “Before he can remake his society, his society must make him.” Tolstoy went so far as to call great leaders “history’s slaves.” However, this middle ground still misses the mark.

At the other extreme is “history from below” [Link] aka ‘the people’s history.’ “History from below” takes the perspective of common people rather than leaders. It emphasizes the daily life of ordinary people that develop opinions and trends” as opposed to great people introducing ideas or initiating events.” Unfortunately, this too is only half the equation, and it is no surprise that it appeals to Leftist and Marxist agendas.

Having studied politics and history ever since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, I determined that although history is partly the environments and individuals shaping each other reciprocally, it is more than that. It is you and I who make history with every decision we make, every dollar we spend, everything we learn, every vote we cast and every opinion we voice. It’s even what we don’t do. It is mostly organic and cannot easily be explained in a simple, linear fashion the way the aforementioned political philosophers tried.

Great leaders are merely the right person at the right time and place. However, they do not lead so much as follow from the front. They stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind blows. They may be brutes, bullies or demagogues, but they are sensitive enough to understand the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and so, they adjust their message accordingly.

That is one reason Jimmy Carter was a failed President. He was a nice guy, but he did not get an accurate reading of the times. Instead, he acted on the wishful thinking that is characteristic of liberals.

One of the significant shortcomings of many political philosophers is their ignorance of human nature. That is why Collectivism in all its forms appeals to the downtrodden. “Share and share alike” is a beautiful ideal so long as you get other people’s stuff, but the flip side of the coin is not quite so appealing.

I heard a radio interview with a self-avowed Communist:

“So do you believe in ‘share and share alike?”

“Yes, I do.”

“And, if you had more than one house, you’d give them away and keep just one for yourself?”

“Yes. I would.”

“And, if you had more than one vehicle, you’d give them away and keep just one for yourself?”

“Yes, I would.”

“And, if you had more than one shirt …”

“Whoa, wait a minute! I have more than one shirt.”

I can’t remember the rest of the interview as I was laughing too hard.

The Great Man Theory is one extreme, its critics are somewhere in the middle and ‘the history of the people’ is at the other end of the spectrum. Despite this, we are still fascinated by great leaders. That is human nature. Whether we are slaves at heart, or lack self-confidence or some other explanation is endlessly debatable. However, the fact remains that we are fascinated by great leaders and our inability to understand them further disproves the accepted theories.

Adolph Hitler is the ultimate example of our fascination with a great man. According to Alex Ross’s “The Hitler Vortex,” [Link] tens of thousands of books have been written about Hitler. “Books have been written about Hitler’s youth, his years in Vienna and Munich, his service in the First World War, his assumption of power, his library, his taste in art, his love of film, his relations with women, and his predilections in interior design (‘Hitler at Home’).”

Tens of thousands of books failed to explain Hitler. Ross, too, does no better when he writes, “What set Hitler apart from most authoritarian figures in history was his conception of himself as an artist-genius who used politics as his métier. It is a mistake to call him a failed artist; for him, politics and war were a continuation of art by other means.”  WTF? Are we to believe Hitler was simply an artist who used the world as his canvas? Equally pointless is the notion that, “Hitler debased the Romantic cult of genius to incarnate himself as a transcendent leader hovering above the fray.”

Although he was a brilliant orator, Hitler’s failures are too innumerable to list.  [Link] He was certainly a failure as a painter and his General staff considered him an incompetent military strategist (fortunately for the Allies.) However, Hitler was merely the right man at the right time and place to achieve power. As Ross explains, Hitler was, “the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality.”  That sounds all too close to home, doesn’t it?

Enter Donald Trump; the right man at the right time and place. He’s a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base.

I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump.

John Feeley is the former U.S. Ambassador to Panama portrayed in The New Yorker magazine article “The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration.” [Link] After his first meeting with Trump, he wrote that Trump “saw every unknown person as a threat and that his first instinct was to annihilate that threat. ‘He’s like a velociraptor. He has to be boss, and if you don’t show him deference he kills you.'” 

Feeley fears that “the country was embracing an attitude that was profoundly inimical to diplomacy … ‘If we do that … we will become weaker and less prosperous.’” He is correct in that regard. China is building a large, new embassy at the mouth of the Panama Canal visible to every ship “as they enter a waterway that once symbolized the global influence of the United States.”

Feeley is also correct in warning that the Trump administration’s gutting the diplomatic corps will have negative repercussions. Throughout Latin America, leftist leaders are in retreat, and popular movements reject corrupt governance. Yet, Amerika is losing “the greatest opportunity to recoup the moral high ground that we have had in decades.” Instead, the U.S. is abandoning the region to China. Feeley calls it “a self-inflicted Pearl Harbor.”

China is replacing U.S. influence in Latin America and Chinese banks “provided more than a hundred and fifty billion dollars in loan commitments to the region … In less than two decades, trade between China and Latin America has increased twenty-seven-fold.”  Although that began long before Trump, “We’re not just walking off the field. We’re taking the ball and throwing a finger at the rest of the world.”

Feeley says that he felt betrayed by what he regarded as “the traditional core values of the United States.”  Sorry, Feeley, but Amerika lost its core values long before Trump was elected. Trump is not the cause; he is the symptom, the result of the declining Amerikan Empire.

Hunters know that one of the most dangerous animals is a wounded one. The same is correct about failing empires because they are a danger not only to others but to their own citizens as well. The elites are running out the clock in order to loot as much as they can before it hits the fan.

We dirt people will continue to suffer from stagnant wage growth while the so-called increase in national wealth goes to a tiny minority. [link]

Moreover, nobody wins a trade war that raises consumer prices even if Trump eventually triumphs.

The economy staggers under the weight of phony wars, fake finances, fake GDP, fake CPI, fake employment, fake pensions and fake everything. [Link] The national debt increases $1 trillion every year, consumer debt is at an all-time high [Link] while the tax cuts benefit only the ultra-wealthy. Also, the fake news tells us everything is wonderful. Don’t believe it. “If everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?” [Link]

It is said that every few generations, money returns to its rightful owners. That is what’s happening now.

Amerika emerged relatively unscathed from the Second World War whereas many other countries were bombed back into the Stone Age. The Marshal Plan helped rebuild countries that were to become both America’s future customers and its competitors. Amerika’s busy factories transformed from war production to consumer goods, the demand for which was created by “the Father of Spin” Edward Bernays’ marketing propaganda. [Link]

As well, the U.S. stole the gold that the Nazis had stolen from others, [Link]  and that wealth in addition to robust, productive capacity temporarily propelled the U.S. far ahead of other nations. However, it would not last. Eventually, the undeserved prosperity of the 1950’s and ‘60’s began to run out of steam as other nations rebuilt and competed with the U.S. President Nixon defaulting on the dollar in 1971 by “closing the gold window” signaled the end of Amerika’s good times. The subsequent debt creation now unconstricted by a gold basis helped to cushion the blow for several decades, but wealth was now flowing to Asia along with factory jobs.

For 5,000 years, China was a world superpower with only a short, two-century hiatus that is now ending as China again emerges as an economic superpower. Such a massive shift in wealth cannot be attributed to either leadership or the people below. It is a painful reversion to the mean. All the finger-pointing and wailing and gnashing of teeth … not even bombastic Trump and his tariffs can stem the tide and make Amerika great again as money continues to flow back to its rightful owners.

The USA is a declining, bankrupt, warmongering police state and most of its indoctrinated citizens think they live in a free, peaceful country.

China is a corrupt police state, but most of its citizens know it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. The future awaits.


          Rickards: U.S. Must Turn To Russia To Contain China      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

Vladimir Putin stands accused in the media and global public opinion of rigging his recent reelection, imprisoning his political enemies, murdering Russian spies turned double-agent, meddling in Western elections, seizing Crimea, destabilizing Ukraine, supporting a murderous dictator in Syria and exporting arms to terrorist nations like Iran.

At the same time, the country of Russia is more than Mr. Putin, despite his authoritarian and heavy-handed methods. Russia is the world’s 12th-largest economy, with a GDP in excess of $1.5 trillion, larger than many developed economies such as Australia (No. 13), Spain (No. 14) and the Netherlands (No. 18).

Its export sector produces a positive balance of trade for Russia, currently running at over $16 billion per month. Russia has not had a trade deficit in over 20 years. Russia is also the world’s largest oil producer, with output of 10.6 million barrels per day, larger than both Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Russia has the largest landmass of any country in the world and a population of 144 million people, the ninth largest of any country. Russia is also the third-largest gold-producing nation in the world, with total production of 250 tons per year, about 8% of total global output and solidly ahead of the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

Russia is highly competitive in the export of nuclear power plants, advanced weaponry, space technology, agricultural products and it has an educated workforce.

Russia’s government debt-to-GDP ratio is 12.6%, which is trivial compared with 253% for Japan, 105% for the United States and 68% for Germany. Russia’s external dollar-denominated debt is also quite low compared with the huge dollar-debt burdens of other emerging-market economies such as Turkey, Indonesia and China.

Under the steady leadership of central bank head Elvira Nabiullina, the Central Bank of Russia has rebuilt its hard currency reserves after those reserves were severely depleted in 2015 following the collapse in oil prices that began in 2014.

Total gold reserves rose from 1,275 tons in July 2015 to about 2,000 tons today. Russia’s gold-to-GDP ratio is the highest in the world and more than double those of the U.S. and China.

In short, Russia is a country to be reckoned with despite the intense dislike for its leader from Western powers. It can be disliked but it cannot be ignored.

Russia is even more important geopolitically than these favorable metrics suggest. Russia and the U.S. are likely to improve relations and move closer together despite the current animosity over election meddling and the attempted murders of ex-Russian spies.

The reason for this coming thaw has to do with the dynamics of global geopolitics. There are only three countries in the world that are rightly regarded as primary powers — the U.S., Russia and China. These three are the only superpowers. Some analysts may be surprised to see Russia on the superpower list, but the facts are indisputable.

More to the point, Russia is a nuclear superpower at least on par with the United States and well ahead of China, France, the U.K. and other nuclear powers.

All others are secondary powers (U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel, etc.) or tertiary powers (Iran, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.). This strategic reality sets up a predictable three-party dynamic.

In any three-party dynamic, whether it’s a poker game or a struggle for global control, the dynamic is simple. Two of the powers align explicitly or implicitly against the third. The two-aligned powers refrain from using their power against each other in order to conserve it for use against the third power.

Meanwhile, the third power, the “odd man out,” suffers from having to expend military and economic resources to fend off adventurism by both of its opponents with no help from either.

China is the greatest geopolitical threat to the U.S. because of its economic and technological advances and its ambition to push the U.S. out of the Western Pacific sphere of influence. Russia may be a threat to some of its neighbors, but it is far less of a threat to U.S. strategic interests.

Therefore, a logical balance of power in the world would be for the U.S. and Russia to find common ground in the containment of China and to jointly pursue the reduction of Chinese power.

One of the keys to U.S. foreign policy the last 50 or 60 years has been to make sure that Russia and China never form an alliance. Keeping them separated was key, but China and Russia are forging stronger ties through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – a military and economic treaty – and the BRICS institutions.

The BRICS analogs to the IMF and the World Bank, critical infrastructure, bilateral trade deals, bilateral currency swaps, arms sales, etc.

Meanwhile, the U.S. finds itself at odds with both Russia and China over different issues. Who’s on the losing end of that? Obviously, the United States.

This two-against-one strategic alignment of China and Russia against the U.S. is a strategic blunder by the U.S.

The United States has largely withdrawn from the Middle East while Russia has stepped in on Syria and elsewhere, China is expanding in the South China Sea, and Russia is expanding on its periphery. They have each other’s back, and the U.S. is the odd man out.

But the Russian/Chinese relationship can be exploited. China and Russia have a history of conflicting interests, despite the fact that they were both communist during the Cold War.

The two countries had a number of border skirmishes in the 1960s, and one in 1969 was particularly serious. According to a senior Soviet defector to the United States, “The Politburo was terrified that the Chinese might make a large-scale intrusion into Soviet territory.”

The Soviets even considered a preemptive nuclear attack on Chinese nuclear facilities. Soviet officials advised Washington of the possibility, but the U.S. response was firm, warning that any nuclear attack would possibly lead to World War III.

The point being, there are fissures in the Chinese-Russian relationship that the U.S. could exploit.

For another thing, the U.S. and Russia are the first and second largest energy producers in the world. Saudi Arabia is the third largest energy producer in the world. If you put the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia in a loose alliance, they dominate the energy markets. They can cut you off, they can supply, they can set prices.

Who needs energy the most? China.

China has very little oil or natural gas. It does have coal, but if you’ve been to Beijing lately, you know it looks black at noon because the air is so bad and you can’t breathe it. Pulmonary disease is becoming fairly common. They’re literally choking themselves to death. So, Russia, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia acting jointly have China completely at their mercy.

But the U.S. presently has no relationship with Russia to help back up our position against China. It’s two-against-one, and the U.S. is the odd man out — thanks to U.S. political dysfunction and the media.

In a three-handed poker game, if you don’t know who the sucker is, you’re the sucker. Trump will try to make China the odd man out. Very few people seem to get this.

As China’s power expands and as U.S. power is put to the test in Asia, it is likely that the U.S. will correct its recent strategic shortsightedness and find ways to work with Russia. Or at least it should. This will not be done out of wishful thinking about the true nature of Putin or his regime but as a simple matter of geopolitical necessity.


          Hitler & Trump: "The Great Man" Theory Debunked      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Gerold via GeroldBlog.com,

We’re told that great leaders make history. Like so much of what we are taught, that’s a load of bunk. Yes, great leaders make it into the history books, but they do not make history. You make history. I make history. All we dirt people together make history. Government-run schools don’t teach us this because it makes us easier to control.

The “Great Man Theory” [Link] tells us that history can be largely explained by the impact of great leaders. This theory was popularized in the 1800’s by the historian and social commentator Thomas Carlyle  [Link] The Great Man Theory downplays the importance of economic and practical explanations. It is an appealing theory because its simplicity offers the path of least resistance. That should ring an alarm.

Herbert Spencer [Link] forcefully disagreed with the “Great Man Theory.” He believed that great leaders were merely products of their social environment. “Before he can remake his society, his society must make him.” Tolstoy went so far as to call great leaders “history’s slaves.” However, this middle ground still misses the mark.

At the other extreme is “history from below” [Link] aka ‘the people’s history.’ “History from below” takes the perspective of common people rather than leaders. It emphasizes the daily life of ordinary people that develop opinions and trends” as opposed to great people introducing ideas or initiating events.” Unfortunately, this too is only half the equation, and it is no surprise that it appeals to Leftist and Marxist agendas.

Having studied politics and history ever since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, I determined that although history is partly the environments and individuals shaping each other reciprocally, it is more than that. It is you and I who make history with every decision we make, every dollar we spend, everything we learn, every vote we cast and every opinion we voice. It’s even what we don’t do. It is mostly organic and cannot easily be explained in a simple, linear fashion the way the aforementioned political philosophers tried.

Great leaders are merely the right person at the right time and place. However, they do not lead so much as follow from the front. They stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind blows. They may be brutes, bullies or demagogues, but they are sensitive enough to understand the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and so, they adjust their message accordingly.

That is one reason Jimmy Carter was a failed President. He was a nice guy, but he did not get an accurate reading of the times. Instead, he acted on the wishful thinking that is characteristic of liberals.

One of the significant shortcomings of many political philosophers is their ignorance of human nature. That is why Collectivism in all its forms appeals to the downtrodden. “Share and share alike” is a beautiful ideal so long as you get other people’s stuff, but the flip side of the coin is not quite so appealing.

I heard a radio interview with a self-avowed Communist:

“So do you believe in ‘share and share alike?”

“Yes, I do.”

“And, if you had more than one house, you’d give them away and keep just one for yourself?”

“Yes. I would.”

“And, if you had more than one vehicle, you’d give them away and keep just one for yourself?”

“Yes, I would.”

“And, if you had more than one shirt …”

“Whoa, wait a minute! I have more than one shirt.”

I can’t remember the rest of the interview as I was laughing too hard.

The Great Man Theory is one extreme, its critics are somewhere in the middle and ‘the history of the people’ is at the other end of the spectrum. Despite this, we are still fascinated by great leaders. That is human nature. Whether we are slaves at heart, or lack self-confidence or some other explanation is endlessly debatable. However, the fact remains that we are fascinated by great leaders and our inability to understand them further disproves the accepted theories.

Adolph Hitler is the ultimate example of our fascination with a great man. According to Alex Ross’s “The Hitler Vortex,” [Link] tens of thousands of books have been written about Hitler. “Books have been written about Hitler’s youth, his years in Vienna and Munich, his service in the First World War, his assumption of power, his library, his taste in art, his love of film, his relations with women, and his predilections in interior design (‘Hitler at Home’).”

Tens of thousands of books failed to explain Hitler. Ross, too, does no better when he writes, “What set Hitler apart from most authoritarian figures in history was his conception of himself as an artist-genius who used politics as his métier. It is a mistake to call him a failed artist; for him, politics and war were a continuation of art by other means.”  WTF? Are we to believe Hitler was simply an artist who used the world as his canvas? Equally pointless is the notion that, “Hitler debased the Romantic cult of genius to incarnate himself as a transcendent leader hovering above the fray.”

Although he was a brilliant orator, Hitler’s failures are too innumerable to list.  [Link] He was certainly a failure as a painter and his General staff considered him an incompetent military strategist (fortunately for the Allies.) However, Hitler was merely the right man at the right time and place to achieve power. As Ross explains, Hitler was, “the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality.”  That sounds all too close to home, doesn’t it?

Enter Donald Trump; the right man at the right time and place. He’s a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base.

I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump.

John Feeley is the former U.S. Ambassador to Panama portrayed in The New Yorker magazine article “The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration.” [Link] After his first meeting with Trump, he wrote that Trump “saw every unknown person as a threat and that his first instinct was to annihilate that threat. ‘He’s like a velociraptor. He has to be boss, and if you don’t show him deference he kills you.'” 

Feeley fears that “the country was embracing an attitude that was profoundly inimical to diplomacy … ‘If we do that … we will become weaker and less prosperous.’” He is correct in that regard. China is building a large, new embassy at the mouth of the Panama Canal visible to every ship “as they enter a waterway that once symbolized the global influence of the United States.”

Feeley is also correct in warning that the Trump administration’s gutting the diplomatic corps will have negative repercussions. Throughout Latin America, leftist leaders are in retreat, and popular movements reject corrupt governance. Yet, Amerika is losing “the greatest opportunity to recoup the moral high ground that we have had in decades.” Instead, the U.S. is abandoning the region to China. Feeley calls it “a self-inflicted Pearl Harbor.”

China is replacing U.S. influence in Latin America and Chinese banks “provided more than a hundred and fifty billion dollars in loan commitments to the region … In less than two decades, trade between China and Latin America has increased twenty-seven-fold.”  Although that began long before Trump, “We’re not just walking off the field. We’re taking the ball and throwing a finger at the rest of the world.”

Feeley says that he felt betrayed by what he regarded as “the traditional core values of the United States.”  Sorry, Feeley, but Amerika lost its core values long before Trump was elected. Trump is not the cause; he is the symptom, the result of the declining Amerikan Empire.

Hunters know that one of the most dangerous animals is a wounded one. The same is correct about failing empires because they are a danger not only to others but to their own citizens as well. The elites are running out the clock in order to loot as much as they can before it hits the fan.

We dirt people will continue to suffer from stagnant wage growth while the so-called increase in national wealth goes to a tiny minority. [link]

Moreover, nobody wins a trade war that raises consumer prices even if Trump eventually triumphs.

The economy staggers under the weight of phony wars, fake finances, fake GDP, fake CPI, fake employment, fake pensions and fake everything. [Link] The national debt increases $1 trillion every year, consumer debt is at an all-time high [Link] while the tax cuts benefit only the ultra-wealthy. Also, the fake news tells us everything is wonderful. Don’t believe it. “If everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?” [Link]

It is said that every few generations, money returns to its rightful owners. That is what’s happening now.

Amerika emerged relatively unscathed from the Second World War whereas many other countries were bombed back into the Stone Age. The Marshal Plan helped rebuild countries that were to become both America’s future customers and its competitors. Amerika’s busy factories transformed from war production to consumer goods, the demand for which was created by “the Father of Spin” Edward Bernays’ marketing propaganda. [Link]

As well, the U.S. stole the gold that the Nazis had stolen from others, [Link]  and that wealth in addition to robust, productive capacity temporarily propelled the U.S. far ahead of other nations. However, it would not last. Eventually, the undeserved prosperity of the 1950’s and ‘60’s began to run out of steam as other nations rebuilt and competed with the U.S. President Nixon defaulting on the dollar in 1971 by “closing the gold window” signaled the end of Amerika’s good times. The subsequent debt creation now unconstricted by a gold basis helped to cushion the blow for several decades, but wealth was now flowing to Asia along with factory jobs.

For 5,000 years, China was a world superpower with only a short, two-century hiatus that is now ending as China again emerges as an economic superpower. Such a massive shift in wealth cannot be attributed to either leadership or the people below. It is a painful reversion to the mean. All the finger-pointing and wailing and gnashing of teeth … not even bombastic Trump and his tariffs can stem the tide and make Amerika great again as money continues to flow back to its rightful owners.

The USA is a declining, bankrupt, warmongering police state and most of its indoctrinated citizens think they live in a free, peaceful country.

China is a corrupt police state, but most of its citizens know it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. The future awaits.


          Rickards: U.S. Must Turn To Russia To Contain China      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

Vladimir Putin stands accused in the media and global public opinion of rigging his recent reelection, imprisoning his political enemies, murdering Russian spies turned double-agent, meddling in Western elections, seizing Crimea, destabilizing Ukraine, supporting a murderous dictator in Syria and exporting arms to terrorist nations like Iran.

At the same time, the country of Russia is more than Mr. Putin, despite his authoritarian and heavy-handed methods. Russia is the world’s 12th-largest economy, with a GDP in excess of $1.5 trillion, larger than many developed economies such as Australia (No. 13), Spain (No. 14) and the Netherlands (No. 18).

Its export sector produces a positive balance of trade for Russia, currently running at over $16 billion per month. Russia has not had a trade deficit in over 20 years. Russia is also the world’s largest oil producer, with output of 10.6 million barrels per day, larger than both Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Russia has the largest landmass of any country in the world and a population of 144 million people, the ninth largest of any country. Russia is also the third-largest gold-producing nation in the world, with total production of 250 tons per year, about 8% of total global output and solidly ahead of the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

Russia is highly competitive in the export of nuclear power plants, advanced weaponry, space technology, agricultural products and it has an educated workforce.

Russia’s government debt-to-GDP ratio is 12.6%, which is trivial compared with 253% for Japan, 105% for the United States and 68% for Germany. Russia’s external dollar-denominated debt is also quite low compared with the huge dollar-debt burdens of other emerging-market economies such as Turkey, Indonesia and China.

Under the steady leadership of central bank head Elvira Nabiullina, the Central Bank of Russia has rebuilt its hard currency reserves after those reserves were severely depleted in 2015 following the collapse in oil prices that began in 2014.

Total gold reserves rose from 1,275 tons in July 2015 to about 2,000 tons today. Russia’s gold-to-GDP ratio is the highest in the world and more than double those of the U.S. and China.

In short, Russia is a country to be reckoned with despite the intense dislike for its leader from Western powers. It can be disliked but it cannot be ignored.

Russia is even more important geopolitically than these favorable metrics suggest. Russia and the U.S. are likely to improve relations and move closer together despite the current animosity over election meddling and the attempted murders of ex-Russian spies.

The reason for this coming thaw has to do with the dynamics of global geopolitics. There are only three countries in the world that are rightly regarded as primary powers — the U.S., Russia and China. These three are the only superpowers. Some analysts may be surprised to see Russia on the superpower list, but the facts are indisputable.

More to the point, Russia is a nuclear superpower at least on par with the United States and well ahead of China, France, the U.K. and other nuclear powers.

All others are secondary powers (U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel, etc.) or tertiary powers (Iran, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.). This strategic reality sets up a predictable three-party dynamic.

In any three-party dynamic, whether it’s a poker game or a struggle for global control, the dynamic is simple. Two of the powers align explicitly or implicitly against the third. The two-aligned powers refrain from using their power against each other in order to conserve it for use against the third power.

Meanwhile, the third power, the “odd man out,” suffers from having to expend military and economic resources to fend off adventurism by both of its opponents with no help from either.

China is the greatest geopolitical threat to the U.S. because of its economic and technological advances and its ambition to push the U.S. out of the Western Pacific sphere of influence. Russia may be a threat to some of its neighbors, but it is far less of a threat to U.S. strategic interests.

Therefore, a logical balance of power in the world would be for the U.S. and Russia to find common ground in the containment of China and to jointly pursue the reduction of Chinese power.

One of the keys to U.S. foreign policy the last 50 or 60 years has been to make sure that Russia and China never form an alliance. Keeping them separated was key, but China and Russia are forging stronger ties through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – a military and economic treaty – and the BRICS institutions.

The BRICS analogs to the IMF and the World Bank, critical infrastructure, bilateral trade deals, bilateral currency swaps, arms sales, etc.

Meanwhile, the U.S. finds itself at odds with both Russia and China over different issues. Who’s on the losing end of that? Obviously, the United States.

This two-against-one strategic alignment of China and Russia against the U.S. is a strategic blunder by the U.S.

The United States has largely withdrawn from the Middle East while Russia has stepped in on Syria and elsewhere, China is expanding in the South China Sea, and Russia is expanding on its periphery. They have each other’s back, and the U.S. is the odd man out.

But the Russian/Chinese relationship can be exploited. China and Russia have a history of conflicting interests, despite the fact that they were both communist during the Cold War.

The two countries had a number of border skirmishes in the 1960s, and one in 1969 was particularly serious. According to a senior Soviet defector to the United States, “The Politburo was terrified that the Chinese might make a large-scale intrusion into Soviet territory.”

The Soviets even considered a preemptive nuclear attack on Chinese nuclear facilities. Soviet officials advised Washington of the possibility, but the U.S. response was firm, warning that any nuclear attack would possibly lead to World War III.

The point being, there are fissures in the Chinese-Russian relationship that the U.S. could exploit.

For another thing, the U.S. and Russia are the first and second largest energy producers in the world. Saudi Arabia is the third largest energy producer in the world. If you put the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia in a loose alliance, they dominate the energy markets. They can cut you off, they can supply, they can set prices.

Who needs energy the most? China.

China has very little oil or natural gas. It does have coal, but if you’ve been to Beijing lately, you know it looks black at noon because the air is so bad and you can’t breathe it. Pulmonary disease is becoming fairly common. They’re literally choking themselves to death. So, Russia, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia acting jointly have China completely at their mercy.

But the U.S. presently has no relationship with Russia to help back up our position against China. It’s two-against-one, and the U.S. is the odd man out — thanks to U.S. political dysfunction and the media.

In a three-handed poker game, if you don’t know who the sucker is, you’re the sucker. Trump will try to make China the odd man out. Very few people seem to get this.

As China’s power expands and as U.S. power is put to the test in Asia, it is likely that the U.S. will correct its recent strategic shortsightedness and find ways to work with Russia. Or at least it should. This will not be done out of wishful thinking about the true nature of Putin or his regime but as a simple matter of geopolitical necessity.


          When the Resistance is Really the Assistance      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
When the Resistance is Really the Assistance
Authors
bruce Thu, 08/09/2018 - 19:45

We all learned in school that some countries have a single governing party. If you’re not in that party, you can’t be part of the government. The US has two government parties, Republicans and Democrats, both funded by the corporations and wealthy individuals who make up this country’s capitalist elite. If you’re not in either one of the government parties, you’re denied access to media and in many states, laws are passed specifically to keep you off the ballot.

While the two parties are funded by pretty much the same class of people, their social bases are different. Since the 1960s, Republicans have made it clear that they are the white man’s party, the party of war abroad and racist reaction at home. Democrats, for electoral purposes are obliged to stake a contrary claim. Since the election of Donald Trump Democrats have branded themselves “the resistance.”

This month the House and Senate passed the reconciled version of the 2019 Pentagon budget on to the White House. On TV and establishment media they call it a defense budget, but that’s branding too. The second world war which ended in 1945 killed 60 or 65 million people, after the first world war claimed 30 million only a generation earlier. This sort of gave war bad name. So in 1948 they changed the name of the US Department of War to the US Department of Defense. With the stroke of a pen, wealthy merchants of death as they were widely known, the war contractors, all became patriotic defense contractors. The US Secretary of War became the US Secretary of Defense, and the US war budget, by far the world’s largest, became the defense budget. And so it’s been for seven decades.

Early this month, the House and Senate passed the reconciled version of the US war budget to the president for signatgure. It’s the earliest in the budget cycle Congress has done a military budget since 1996 or 1997, when a Democrat in the White House and Democrats in Congress were anxious to assure Republicans that they were all on the same side.

They call this year’s atrocity the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act, worth a record $716 billion. This total doesn’t include the budget of the Afghan war, which lives somewhere else, or the budgets of several other known programs, and there are secret budgets for more or less secret programs as well. Nobody really doubts that actual US military spending has hovered around a trillion a year for several years now.

So how did the resistance perform? In the Senate the vote was 87 to 10, three not voting. Only 8 Democrats resisted. Among them Liz Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. Dick Durbin of Illinois also voted against the Pentagon bill. This is purest theater, because Durbin since 2005 has been Democratic Whip in the Senate, the man responsible for lining up the votes of his fellow senators. If this meant anything to him, why did only 7 other Democrats vote with their supposed leader?

In the House the vote was 351 to 66, with 139 Democrats voting yes, 49 voting no, and 5 not voting. So the resistance was really the assistance, voting almost 2 to 1 to continue spending as much on US wars around the world as the next nine or ten countries put together.

The Congressional Black Caucus was even more eager to assist the US posture of global war than Democrats as a whole, a pattern Glen Ford has called out repeatedly in recent years. CBC members voted 34 to 8 in favor of the permanent war budget, which includes Trump’s military parade, a new Space Force, and scores of drone bases in Africa that put almost the entire continent under US cameras and guns. Noted progresssive Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the only Muslim in Congress, abstained. The CBC members who found the spine to cast votes against the war budget were Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Barbara Lee, John Lewis (who does have a US Navy oiler named after him), Hakim Jeffires, Yvette Clarke, Karne Bass, Bobby Rush, and Hank Johnson.

The House Progressive Caucus did a little better, but still only 28, less than half its membership of 64 opposed the Pentagon budget. That’s what it means to be a progressive Democrat these days.

When most of the so-called progressives are pro-war we can legitimately say that the resistance is really the assistance.

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email notices of new content. Google and other social media continue to suppress our content in search results, so this is the only way you can be certain you receive fresh weekly news, commentary and analysis from the black left each week.

We invite you to join the discussion on this and other Black Agenda Report content on our Facebook page.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.


          Private Banks Are the New Hedge Funds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Bloomberg) Who needs hedge funds when a $2.4 trillion private bank is offering global macro trades to navigate late-cycle markets — mimicking fast-money strategies with leverage to boot. UBS Group AG’s wealth management arm, the world’s largest, is pitching just […]
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 26 Apr 2018 10:32:45 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Comment on Elon Musk Turns U.S. Capital Markets Into A Complete Farce by Michael Beilman      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dave, yes, many reasons FANGS and the rest of the leveraged speculative stocks are seen as setup for a 2018 wake up call! Leading analysts and traders such as yourself have never been more in agreement on the convergence of fundamental and technical points, aside from obvious signs like insider selling and foreign boycotts. When all is said and done, perhaps actual authenticity (counterfeiting etc.) of share issuance and custody, will by themselves scandalize the current exchanges beyond repair. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trillions-and-trillions-speculation-fuels-absurd-overvaluation-of-tech-stocks/
          eSentire and Secure Infrastructure Provider Cyxtera Partner to Bring Zero-Trust ...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

LAS VEGAS AND CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO (PRWEB)AUGUST 08, 2018

eSentire, Inc. , the largest pure-play Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provider, and Cyxtera Technologies , the secure infrastructure company, today announced a strategic partnership to bring customers comprehensive security solutions designed to secure today’s modern hybrid IT environment.

The partnership combines eSentire’s 24×7 MDR with Cyxtera’s AppGate SDP zero-trust network offering, delivering industry-leading prevention and detection capabilities across customers’ hybrid IT environments. The two companies will jointly go-to-market to maximize customer reach for this mid-sized enterprise offering.

“Digital transformation of our customers is accelerating the adoption of hybrid IT, fundamentally changing the enterprise perimeter and the methods required to secure it,” said Kerry Bailey, eSentire CEO. “Cyxtera and eSentire share a common vision that traditional security solutions and methods are challenged to secure the new highly distributed enterprise. With this partnership, our joint customers gain modern security solutions that were built specifically for modern hybrid IT environments that span prevention, protection, and detection and response capabilities. eSentire established and leads the MDR security category; our customers look for our continued innovation to help them operate securely now and into the future. Solutions like AppGate SDP deliver on our commitment to our customers and partners.”

eSentire MDR and its Security Operations Centers (SOC) investigate and respond in real-time to known and unknown threats that bypass its customers’ traditional security controls. eSentire MDR ingests mass amounts of security data, leveraging advanced tools, like machine learning, to detect threats and respond to them on the customer’s behalf. Customers can now include AppGate SDP with eSentire MDR service, delivering improved cloud policy enforcement, fine-grained user access controls, and better user behavior-based response capabilities.

“Our analysts leverage the richest data sets available to make fast, informed decisions on behalf of our customers,” said Bailey. “AppGate SDP enriches those toolsets with user behavior and access control data that extends our response capabilities.”

“Organizations understand the need to modernize their security programs to keep up with transformative IT initiatives,” said Manuel D. Medina, CEO of Cyxtera. “Cyxtera is committed to securing network access in a perimeter-less, hybrid environment. Our AppGate SDP solution combined with eSentire’s MDR services can significantly lower the risk of a security event. eSentire’s security analysts have the benefit of AppGate SDP’s fine-grained identity-centric access controls and dynamic policy enforcement a quantum leap over outdated, static IP-based access control methods so they can quickly detect and respond to threats.”

eSentire and Cyxtera are exhibiting at Black Hat USA, August 4-9, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV, and available to discuss the partnership: eSentire booth #2010; Cyxtera booth #244.

For more information on eSentire Managed Detection and Response, visit: https://www.esentire.com/what-we-do/managed-detection-and-response/ .

For more information on AppGate SDP, visit: https://www.cyxtera.com/secure-access/appgate-sdp .

About Cyxtera:

Cyxtera Technologies combines a worldwide footprint of 50+ best-in-class data centers with a portfolio of modern, cloud- and hybrid-ready security and analytics offerings providing more than 3,500 enterprises, government agencies, and service providers an integrated, secure, and cyber-resilient infrastructure platform for critical applications and systems. For more information about Cyxtera, visit http://www.cyxtera.com/ .

About eSentire:

eSentire is the largest pure-play Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service provider, keeping organizations safe from constantly evolving cyber-attacks that technology alone cannot prevent. Its 24×7 Security Operations Center (SOC), staffed by elite security analysts, hunts, investigates, and responds in real-time to known and unknown threats before they become business disrupting events. Protecting more than $5.7 trillion in corporate assets, eSentire absorbs the complexity of cybersecurity, delivering enterprise-grade protection and the ability to comply with growing regulatory requirements. For more information, visit http://www.esentire.com and follow @eSentire .

PR Contacts:


          EPF Expects Its Fund to Hit RM1 Trillion Soon, What Does This Mean For Account Holders?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The post EPF Expects Its Fund to Hit RM1 Trillion Soon, What Does This Mean For Account Holders? appeared first on WORLD OF BUZZ. By continuing publishing our materials, you have knowingly infringed our intellectual property and copyrights by reproducing WORLD OF BUZZ contents without any prior written consent from the media owner. This case will be escalated into a legal action should the content remains on this site.

Almost everyone in Malaysia has an account under the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) to save up for retirement or other big purchases in the future, and we often get a percentage of dividends the fund receives every year or so. Now, it looks like the fund could be hitting a big number in the future! […]

The post EPF Expects Its Fund to Hit RM1 Trillion Soon, What Does This Mean For Account Holders? appeared first on WORLD OF BUZZ. By continuing publishing our materials, you have knowingly infringed our intellectual property and copyrights by reproducing WORLD OF BUZZ contents without any prior written consent from the media owner. This case will be escalated into a legal action should the content remains on this site.


          Microsoft: Winning The Cloud Wars And Becoming A Trillion Dollar Company      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Apple Became World's Most Valuable Company Seven Years Ago Today, Two Weeks Before Steve Jobs Resigned as CEO      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Today marks the seventh anniversary of Apple passing U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil to become the world's most valuable company for the first time, with a market capitalization of around $341.5 billion at the time.


Apple achieved the milestone on August 9, 2011, just over two weeks before the late Steve Jobs resigned as CEO on August 24, 2011, the same day that he nominated then-COO Tim Cook to succeed him in the position. Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Apple dropped back below ExxonMobil a few times, and was briefly surpassed by Google parent company Alphabet in market cap at times in 2016, but the iPhone maker has been the world's most valuable company for the better part of the past seven years, and continues to hold that title today.

Apple becoming the world's most valuable company was a remarkable accomplishment given that it flirted with bankruptcy in the mid-to-late 1990s, until Jobs returned and streamlined its product lineup. Under his leadership, Apple introduced several hits, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Apple has continued its success under Cook, becoming the first publicly traded U.S. company worth a trillion dollars last week, shortly after reporting record-breaking $53.3 billion revenue in the third quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. Apple's stock has appreciated over eight percent since the results came out.

Apple will look to build upon its success by expanding its focus on technologies such as augmented reality, autonomous driving, and artificial intelligence, in addition to services like Apple Music and its upcoming Netflix competitor.

Tag: AAPL

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          NO ONE SAID DEMOCRACY WAS A CAKEWALK:      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Putin's Pension Headache: For the Russian President and his team, social security reform is no walk in the park. (Aaron Schwartzbaum, 8/09/18, American Interest)

There are currently 46.5 million pensioners in Russia, roughly a third of the country's population. Annual expenditures on pensions this year are set to total 7.35 billion rubles ($120 billion) compared to 16.5 trillion in budget spending. Suffice it to say, this is a large and expensive system. The key problem is a demographic one: Russia's working-age population, the tax base for the pension system, is decreasing as a proportion of the overall population. In 2010 working-age Russians made up 62 percent of the population. This year the figure is only 58 percent, and that number will only shrink over the next decade. This is not a case of Russia the "dying bear," as a familiar trope goes; the trend is occurring across Europe as a whole. But it nonetheless poses a particular problem for Putin.

When the Pension Fund of Russia (PFR) operates at a deficit, as it has in recent years, the federal government must transfer funds out of the budget to close the gap. That reduces the fiscal space available for key items such as Putin's bold spending plans for his current term. It is also a political legitimacy problem: Part of the social contract in Putin's Russia, at the very least until the economic crisis, was the exchange of political freedoms for prosperity.

There are two components of the pension reform, one of which has received significantly more news play than the other. First is a gradual hike in the retirement age: from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women. It bears note that the current retirement age was stipulated in 1932 and by modern standards is very generous, despite the actual pension benefits being fairly meagre.

Second is a change to the mandatory savings component of Russia's pension system--roughly equivalent to a 401(k). Under the most recent edits to Russia's pension code, workers could elect to divert up to 6 percent of the 22 percent payroll tax they face into individual savings accounts, the sort of "nest egg" concept that has been floated in the United States on occasion. The issue with this system was that these accounts were technically property of the state, and contributions to them were "frozen" starting in 2013: The government used these contributions to cover present pension needs instead. Under the new system, with a roadmap expected in the coming weeks, workers will contribute the whole 22 percent payroll tax to present pension needs and be able to save an additional 6 percent--likely on an opt-out basis, to the alarm of some. It is an unofficial mantra for local economy officials that if a policy can't be made to work on a market basis, rigid laws often do the trick.

A slew of public polling since pension reform was announced--particularly following the closing of the World Cup--shows warning signs for the Kremlin. According to the independent Levada Center, approval of the Duma sits at 33 percent, approval of the government sits at 37 percent, and approval of Prime Minister Medvedev is at 31 percent. Putin's approval rating is at 67 percent, low by his standards. Measures of protest potential--a gauge of how liable Russians are to take to the street--should worry the Kremlin as well. Pollster VTsIOM's protest index is presently at 43, the highest it has been since 2005 (more on that year shortly). Its accompanying measure of personal protest potential recently reached 36, a high since the mass protests that rocked Russia in 2011 and 2012. Another measure by Levada finds 41 percent of Russians believe protests over economic issues are "entirely possible" while 28 percent would personally take part: the highest level these figures have reached since Russia defaulted on its debt in 1998. It can be said that the current reform project has firmly put to rest the Crimean consensus, the massive boost in popularity enjoyed by officials after the annexation of Crimea. We're back to 2013.



          Comment on The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q2 2018 by Wolf Richter      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
So where is that money going to come from that the government gives out? The central banks prints it, right? Keen has some good ideas, but he is just nuts with his theory on this point. If you give $50,000 to each adult in the US -- in many cases not enough to pay off student loans, credit cards, etc.-- that amounts to about $13 trillion. That would be about four times the amount of QE. It would wreak four times the havoc that QE wreaked. This is just nuts.
          How and Why to Keep Innovation Management on Track      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

This article has been updated from a post originally published on February 26, 2018 and written by Steve Shapiro of CEB, now Gartner.

Most organizations don’t see it coming. Overall growth remains strong and performance metrics indicate smooth sailing ahead. Then comes the growth stall — not just a bad quarter, or even a bad year. Rather, a significant, sustained downturn in top-line revenue growth.

And yet, research by CEB, now Gartner, shows, 85% of growth stalls stem from factors that are avoidable — including a breakdown in innovation management that means investments in new products, services and business development aren’t achieving the desired returns.

93% of companies hit top-line growth stalls — stalls that destroy an average of 68% of the organization’s value

“Innovation management is the second most common driver of stall points since the Great Recession of 2008 through 2009 — behind companies failing to respond to emerging competition from emerging markets or changing customer preferences,” says Gartner practice leader Katie Camilli.

Our research shows 93% of companies hit top-line growth stalls — stalls that destroy an average of 68% of the organization’s value. In 2011, for example, $2.15 trillion in market value was lost to stalls. The research identifies 19 root causes of stalls, but shows a breakdown in innovation management accounted for a quarter of all stalls in 2011 in companies with over $1 billion in revenue.

Read more: How to Build an Innovation Culture

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3 tactics to guard against innovation management stalls

Innovation breakdowns most often stem from inconsistent funding, slow product development, and even over-innovating. Many companies overspend on incremental innovation at the expense of the future. And nearly 80% of R&D leaders reported pressure to scale down or kill breakthrough projects in favor of more immediate priorities.

Growth stalls don’t stem from uncontrollable factors; they result from flaws in corporate strategy or organizational design

The risk of an innovation breakdown has increased since the Great Recession, and while there are many reasons that innovation management can break down, there are three tactics companies can use to prevent this particular cause of stalls.

  • Compare the growth potential of the existing R&D portfolio to past results. Most senior leaders harbor unrealistic expectations based on their organization’s existing R&D portfolio, which leaves the company vulnerable to a stall. Instead, one chemical company categorized its projects as either transformational, next generation, or incremental, and compared forecast revenue with current performance to determine discount rates. This helped the company accurately determine the strength of its portfolio, expose potential shortfalls, and resolve risk factors.
  • Identify gaps between the existing portfolio and objectives to identify critical innovation projects. One major cause derailed innovation management is the diversion of R&D funding to fulfill short-term business demands. Business leaders need to identify gaps in the existing portfolio and take steps to fix them. For instance, one US-based technology and services company designed a portfolio review process that ensured both long- and short-term goals were adequately balanced. A review team examined how the new proposed portfolio was aligned to long-term financial goals to show any mismatch between investment selections and growth targets. This also invited a candid discussion about a project’s worth relative to overall objectives and other projects. Business leaders could also revisit the project list and make changes if gaps emerged.
  • Determine the link between business outcomes and portfolio changes. Senior leaders typically lack clarity on how changes to the R&D portfolio impact overall business growth. To really drive this point home, consider how one consumer products firm demonstrated the impact of portfolio changes. It modeled how shifting portfolio resources would impact key metrics and was able to illustrate how an increase in incremental innovation would jeopardize outcomes tied to next generational and transformational development.

Growth stalls don’t stem from uncontrollable factors; they result from flaws in corporate strategy or organizational design. The key is to be proactive and eliminate root causes like the breakdown in innovation management.

Read more: Quarterly Journal for Finance, Risk and Strategy (Fi|r|st).

The post How and Why to Keep Innovation Management on Track appeared first on Smarter With Gartner.


          Decentralized Web Summit      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/maxresdefault-276.jpg

Live From The Internet Archive


We are bringing together a diverse group of Web architects, activists, engineers, archivists, scholars, journalists, and other stakeholders to explore the technology required to build a Decentralized Web and its impact.


Speaker include: Mitchell Baker, Vint Cerf, Cory Doctorow, Brewster Kahle, Tim Berners-Lee


Join the conversation by Tweeting: #DWebSummit


Live Streaming & Video Production by: http://www.argushd.com


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Aneddotica Magazine - Collaborative Blog since 2012 https://www.aneddoticamagazine.com/decentralized-web-summit/
          Benefit Cost Increases Overwhelm Flat Wages for Most in US: Pew      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Today’s financial news reports and the bullish stock market generate headlines saying that the U.S. economy is riding high. President Trump forecasted in late July, “we are now on track to hit an average GDP annual growth of over 3% and it could be substantially over 3%,” Trump said. “Each point, by the way, means approximately $3 trillion and 10 million jobs. Think of that.” Indeed, unemployment is at its lowest rate in decades at 4%. Today, NASDAQ reported that, “the U.S. economy stays strong as the Fed holds steady.” For mainstream working people, though, even with a job in a high employment climate, wages have been quite flat for many years. That  real-people financial reality is discussed in a “Fact Tank” essay from the Pew Research Group, For most US workers, real wages have barely budged in decades. This has translated in benefit costs — particularly, health benefits — rising more quickly than peoples’ paychecks have kept pace. The first chart from the Pew discussion illustrates the rise of benefit costs vs. wage and salary growth, crossing lines around 2008 — when the Great Recession hit U.S. households. Then wage growth flattened for several years, until modest increases beginning in 2016. But the gap between benefits and pay remains even during America’s current positive macroeconomy. Underneath that wage story is the fact that adjusting for inflation, today’s average hourly wage is nearly equal to the purchasing power it had in 1978. Pew also calculated that median weekly earnings increased from $232 in the beginning of 1979 to $879 in 2018. But these two numbers, as far apart as they seem, actually spend equally — that is, $232 in 1979 is equal to $840 in terms of purchasing power. Purchasing power over time is shown in the second chart. Pew points out that there are many factors that may have caused this flat-lining personal economic scenario for the mass of Americans: the decline of labor unions which leveraged and negotiated workers’ financial interests upward; lagging educational attainment compared with some other nations around the world; more people in the gig economy and those not seeking jobs; and declines in manufacturing sectors with shifts toward service industries that pay lower wages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics told us last month that wage increases that have been paid to U.S. workers have accrued largely to the top earners in America — those at the 90th percentile which garner $2,223 per week (annually equal to $115,600 a year). The 50th percentile wage was $928 a week, or $48,256 annually. (As an aside, men at the 90th percentile earned $2,492 a week, and women, $1,890). Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Of course, one of the objectives of the Affordable Care Act was to help nudge healthcare toward affordability. The fact that wages have stayed flat for over a decade have effectively compelled employers, who wanted to provide for workers’ health insurance benefits, to stem wage growth in favor of sponsoring health insurance benefits. The third chart, a perennial favorite we use here on Health Populi and in our advisory work throughout the year and across lots of project types, tells that story of the wage/benefit cost tradeoff over the years. The Pew analysis recognizes this factor, citing the BLS statistic that total benefit costs for civilian workers have risen 22.5% since 2001, compared with a 5.3% wage and salary cost increase. That’s easy arithmetic to figure, that healthcare costs in terms of benefits have grown roughly four times faster than wage growth. So the challenge for mainstream working householders, shopping for value-priced groceries and managing utility costs and the price of filling a gas tank to get to that job — how to pay for health care? There’s new research published by NBER on how Americans don’t seem to shop around for a lower-limb MRI imaging service, asking the question, “are health services shoppable? There’s other evidence that people will “shop” for services that aren’t for trauma or un-shoppable, and would like to be able to find value-based healthcare based on their own healthcare objectives and consumer experience expectations. This is the challenge to the legacy healthcare system, and why more people are seeking alternative settings and service types to project manage health care, at a cost and service level that they demand. That is, if those patients-as-health-consumers can vote with their feet and pocketbook. As the patient is increasingly the payor, the financial experience is embedded into the patient experience, too. Women, who are generally the Chief Health Officers of their households, are feeling more acutely pinched by healthcare costs. I noted above that women earn less than men, even in the 90th percentile of highest incomes in America. Here’s evidence from a new Bankrate survey which had a question regarding women’s concerns about healthcare, shown in the table. More women know a family member who has avoided care due to cost, and more faced paying a medical bill that was higher than expected. This will make healthcare a voting issue for some women in the 2018 mid-term elections. Needless to say, as the third row of data demonstrates, most of both women and men are worried they might not have affordable health plans in the future, Bankrate found.

The post Benefit Cost Increases Overwhelm Flat Wages for Most in US: Pew appeared first on HealthPopuli.com.


           Nearly 70 Percent of Enterprises in India Affected by Industry Disruption       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A new study from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) reveals that industry disruption is already a reality for most enterprises in India, and US$1.8 trillion of enterprise value is at risk of displacement. However, the study also shows that disruption can be managed and harnessed for the next phase of growth. [Wired by: PressReleaseNetwork.com]
          International Trade For Small Business Owners      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

E-commerce Trade is Big Business for Small Business Owners The ability to do business online is creating a platform where businesses of all sizes are engaging in international trade. E-commerce is changing the market dynamics and the value of commerce on a global scale. Trillions of dollars are exchanged globally between businesses. This evolving global […]

The post International Trade For Small Business Owners appeared first on Your Broker Knows - Pacific Customs Brokers' Blog.


          Consumer Goods Companies Come Together in Colombia to Promote Healthier Lifestyles      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

 The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has brought together its members from across the region in support of promoting healthier diets and lifestyles to consumers in Colombia. Grupo Bimbo, Cencosud, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, The Coca-Cola Company, Grupo Éxito, Kellogg's, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Postobón and Procter & Gamble are all participating in the CGF’s Collaboration for Healthier Lives initiative that provides in-store education and advice to customers about nutrition, personal care, physical activity and informed purchasing decisions.

The “Give a Healthy Twist to Your Life” programme originally ran back in May 2017, reaching 12,000 customers across eight Carulla, Grupo Éxito, Jumbo and Metro stores in Bogotá. This new phase, however, hopes to reach more than 40,000 customers as it expands the programme to 37 Grupo Éxito and Cencosud stores in Bogotá and Medellín. With expert nutritionists onsite, as part of instore health stations, customers will be able to get the very best advice and information on how to enjoy a balanced diet, manage portions, ensure proper hygiene, understand food labels and stay active.

The Consumer Goods Forum is the only organisation that brings together consumer goods retailers and manufacturers globally, and its work to empower consumers to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles is a key strategic initiative. It brings together members to collaborate on key topics impacting the industry, addressing both global and regional challenges through knowledge and best practice sharing, and through action. This latest drive in Colombia is just one example of how CGF members are collaborating on the issue of consumer health, with successful programmes also being run in the US, Japan, Costa Rica and Turkey, with more in the pipeline.

"Our members continue to work together, as retailers and manufacturers, regardless of whether we are competitors, with a collective approach to promoting healthier and active lifestyles, and to learn from each other on how best to address public health issues in Latin America, " said Erika Rodriguez, Regional Manager, Latin America of The Consumer Goods Forum.

Points of Sale

  • Bogotá: Éxito La Colina, Éxito Gran Estación, Éxito Villa Mayor, Éxito Salitre, Éxito Calle 80, Éxito Norte, Éxito Occidente, Éxito Américas, Éxito Chapinero, Éxito Floresta, Carulla Street 140, Carulla Pepe Sierra, Carulla Country, Carulla Street 102 , Carulla Chía, Carulla Corner of the Hill, Jumbo Santa Ana, Jumbo Hayuelos, Jumbo 170, Jumbo Santafé, Jumbo Street 80, Jumbo Boulevard, Jumbo Chía Sabana, Jumbo Suba, Jumbo Titan.

  • Medellín: Éxito Bello, Éxito Colombia, Éxito Poblado, Éxito Laureles, Éxito Mayorca, Éxito Unicentro, Éxito del Este, Carulla Oviedo, Carulla Visitación, Jumbo Street 65, Jumbo Las Vegas, Jumbo Santafé, Jumbo Rionegro. 

-- Ends --

About The Consumer Goods Forum

​The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

Press Contact:

Erika Rodríguez
Regional Manager, Latin America
The Consumer Goods Forum
Cell + 57 302 339 09 33
e.rodriguez@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Lee Green
Communications Director
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com


          T. Rowe Price Releases 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Update      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

T. Rowe Price has released its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Update, which is available at troweprice.com/CSRreport. The firm publishes a full CSR Report bi-annually, and the 2017 Update offers new data to complement and update information previously reported in the 2016 – 2017 CSR Report.

Highlights from the 2017 Update include:

  • Achieved a perfect 100 score on the Corporate Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign.

  • 27% of the firm’s U.S. workforce are minorities and 44% of its global workforce are women.

  • Associates volunteered 43,000 hours in the community in 2017.

  • $22.4 million in total firm giving to charitable causes in 2017.

  • 4.3 million people were reached through the firm’s financial education program, Money Confident Kids, in 2017.  

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by -14.6% between 2010 and 2017. While the firm’s associate population grew by 57.5% during that timeframe, it reduced greenhouse gas emissions per associate by 45.8%.

QUOTE

Renee Christoff, head of Corporate Responsibility T. Rowe Price

“We are pleased to share our progress and how the firm is having a positive impact. Corporate Responsibility isn’t just a nice-to-do at T. Rowe Price—it is an integral part of how we operate as a global investment manager. Our client first philosophy attracts people who have a desire to serve others and that translates into how we invest for clients, our associates, and our communities.”   

ABOUT T. ROWE PRICE

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ-GS: TROW) is a global investment management organization with $1.044 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2018. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. For more information, visit troweprice.com or our TwitterYouTubeLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook sites.


          The CGF Sustainable Retail Summit Heads to Lisbon      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) will be hosting its annual Sustainable Retail Summit (SRS) in Lisbon, Portugal on 25th-26th October. The two-day event, now in its third year, has quickly become an influential addition to the FMCG calendar for those organisations looking to drive positive change and support sustainable business practices that benefit people and planet, as well as business. Bringing key industry experts and stakeholders together to explore solutions, share best practices and create global networks that are a force for good, the 2018 edition will see an even stronger focus on behaviour change, transparency, innovation and technology, and how these topics cut across all areas of sustainable business.

The SRS will once again provide insights into how organisations are working collaboratively to overcome today’s leading sustainability and health challenges, including food waste, deforestation, consumer health and forced labour. And, new to the agenda this year, solid waste and plastics. Never has this topic been more front and centre and you'll hear first‐hand how our industry is looking to do its part to protect the oceans and shift towards a circular economy. Delegates will also be treated to insights from the BBC's Blue Planet II team, who will be sharing their learnings from filming the award-winning TV programme. Discussions will also address how the CGF's newly-launched Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative is best-placed to support the development of socially and environmentally responsible supply chains and ensure trust in sustainability standards worldwide.

And, back by popular demand, the SRS’s interactive workshops return, as does the impressive list of CEO speakers who will ensure delegates understand what it means to drive positive change from the top down. There will also be ample networking time for delegates to get together and develop global networks of like-minded industry peers.

The event is open to both members and non-members of The Consumer Goods Forum and will take place at the Dom Pedro Lisboa. It will bring together 300 change agents from the private sector, government and civil society. Speakers include:

  • Fernando Manuel Ferreira Araújo, Secretary of State for Health, Portuguese Government

  • Hans Van Bylen, CEO, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

  • Mike Coupe, CEO, Sainsbury’s

  • John Ross, President & CEO, IGA, Inc.

  • Peter Freedman, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum

  • Alice Webb, BBC TV Executive and James Honeyborne, Executive Producer, Blue Planet II

  • Susana Correia de Campos, Head of Employee Relations & Internal Social Responsibility, Jerónimo Martins

  • Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer

  • Isabelle Grosmaitre, Alimentation Initiative Catalyst, Danone

  • Demir Aytaç, Chief Human Resources Officer, Migros Ticaret A.S.

  • Hugo Byrnes, VP Product Integrity, Ahold Delhaize

  • Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder of Futerra. Author of The Happy Hero - How to Change Your Life by Changing the World

  • Tiago Pitta e Cunha, CEO, Oceano Azul Foundation

  • Barry Parkin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, Mars, Incorporated

Peter Freedman, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum, said, “The Sustainable Retail Summit is a great example of what makes the CGF unique. Led by the industry’s CEOs, the CGF is all about collaboration to implement positive change at scale on issues that consumers care about. The SRS addresses the issues Millennials and younger consumers care most about – a healthy and sustainable future. It makes collaboration easier, by bringing together leaders, not just practitioners from multiple stakeholders for two concentrated days of inspiration and best practice sharing”.

Pedro Soares dos Santos, Chairman and CEO of Jerónimo Martins, said, “Today’s pressing challenges cannot be addressed by one company on its own. Plastics, waste, deforestation, forced labour, health through food and the role that digital tools can play in promoting a more sustainable use of our planets’ resources demand for a collective effort. Regardless of where we operate our businesses, we are all exposed to globalisation through our supply chains and therefore we need to be ready to embrace complexity and act together to make positive change happen in the world. This is exactly where the Sustainable Retail Summit becomes an unmissable opportunity to engage in transformational discussions and build a common roadmap for a better future”.

-- Ends –

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.

Press contacts:

Louise Chester
Communications Officer
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.chester@theconsumergoodsforum.com

Lee Green
Communications Director
The Consumer Goods Forum
l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com

/Journalists seeking accreditation for the event, including access to all sessions and networking events, should contact Lee Green, l.green@theconsumergoodsforum.com /


          Private Banks Are the New Hedge Funds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Bloomberg) UBS WM with $2.4 trillion touts relative value for late cycle Bank has issued more than 70 short-term structured notes Who needs hedge funds when a $2.4 trillion private bank is offering global macro trades to navigate late-cycle markets […]
          Comment on Empires, Past and Present by Richard Kline      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
". . . [W]ith a NIIP of -$7.8 trillion in 2015." That is a real shocker. What that number means is that the US has ceased to actually invest in assets or production abroad. Not actually, totally ceased, but that such investments have dropped to a non-meaningful share of net financial flows. One can see US actual investment in Latin America and Africa drying up, so that number jibes with some observables. There are many implications of that which require thought. One is certainly that American 'soft power' influence is certainly at its lowest levels in the post-war era. We don't own a lot, and don't put in money-to-stay. So we don't have many friends who are actually 'bought in long,' only mutual short term profiteers. Instead, we mint bitbucks, and swap them for our imports and transient ownership of financial assets abroad. Our buckchain technology is very stable at this time, so if it's all 'treasuries in the air' nobody wants to wake up from the daydream. Those bitbucks are everybody's convertible asset of choice, and given how we enforce their use through our ownership of the world' clearance system, their imposed asset of default. It's a great game so long as you're the only banker. This is really what almost all the jaw is about, internationally: staying the only banker. Where is the risk for the US in all this? The narrowness of our influence. It's lawyers, gunz, and bitmoney. We don't make friends. We're telling our long time partners that they are now demonted to debt peons, just ones with gold plated toilets, that's all, unlike the rest. We are abrogating leadership in international institutions, or simply ignoring them and acting unilaterally, losing the multiplier value that the institutions have to this point provided. The gunz aren't enough to stay on top, and when we cease to act through international institutions the lawyers' cease to present a meaningful threat. So US power really begins and ends with $ bonds, i.e. bitbucks. That isn't a comforting thought. Power-asset diversity would be a more rational goal, supposing that one wanted hegemony to continue. We have financialized our international power, in short. Everything we do internationally is about rents. Which are extracted for private capitalist gain, be it said, leaving the FedGuv to issue more bitbucks to cover operational expenses. It seems to have been decided tacitly that taxes need not be paid by the hegemonic class (true in the Roman Empire also). A stool that rests on one leg is prone to tip over in a shock, and the higher it is the further the fall . . . .
          Berto Jongman: Laurence Kotlikoff – “Is Our Government Intentionally Hiding $21 Trillion in Spending” [On Deep State Projects Including Secret Space and Underground Mind Control Facilities]?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Is Our Government Intentionally Hiding $21 Trillion In Spending? This column is co-authored with Mark Skidmore, a Professor of Economics at Michigan State University. In our prior column, Mark and I wrote about $21 trillion in unaccounted government transactions, primarily on defense. The DOD’s (Department of Defense) as well as HUD’s (Department of Housing and Urban …
          Over VNĐ96 trillion of G-bonds mobilised      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The State Treasury of Việt Nam has so far this year raised a total of VNĐ96.251 trillion (US$4.13 billion) via auction of Government bonds. – VNA/VNS Photo Viet Nam News HÀ NỘI — The State Treasury of Việt Nam has raised a total of VNĐ96.251 trillion (US$4.13 billion) via auctions of Government bonds at the […]
          Open Access and the Benevolence of Multinational Corporations      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

files/images/kid-size-submarine_resize_md.jpg

Dylan Burns, ACRLog, Aug 09, 2018


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On TWiT the other day I listened to them first discuss Apple's valuation at a trillion dollars US, and then right after, about minimum wage working conditions and the need for social supports. Of course at one point someone said "we can't afford all these entitlements, governments are not made out of money." I was listening on earphones but I exclaimed out loud, "You just finished talking about a trillion dollar valuation!" Clearly there's enough money for all kinds of programs but for some reason the choice is made to leave that money in the hands of corporations rather than in governments. This is why we find ourselves in the position discussed in this article where libraries have to depend on unreliable corporate largess in order to survive. At a certain point, though, an Elon Musk submarine is not enough.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]


          Walmart Is Currently The World’s Largest Retailer, But Alibaba And Amazon Are Closing In      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Global B2C eCommerce grew by 10% in 2017 to reach US$1.8 trillion, driven by online sales from brick-and-mortar stores and marketplaces. Marketplaces Grow Their Share Of eCommerce Fifty-six percent of global B2C eCommerce occurred via marketplaces in 2017 . As Amazon’s latest earnings report highlights, global retail marketplace performance is strong and isn’t showing signs […]
          Samsung invests $22 billion into future technologies, including 5G and AI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Yesterday, Samsung announced a staggering 180 trillion won ($161bn/£124bn) investment towards component research and capital expenditures over the next three years. $22 billion of that pool will primarily be taken up by Samsung’s Electronics division, as the company bolsters its efforts in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, electronic components for motor vehicles and biopharmaceuticals. Samsung recognises …
          Are College Costs Killing Love? Student Loan Debt Is A Primary Issue in One In Eight Divorces      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Student loans are a constant weight on those who have accumulated them, causing many to hold off on making major life choices — because what even is having money? Some people have even gone so far as moving back in with their parents after college, because they cannot afford to live on their own while paying off student loans.

But now it's becoming clear that the student debt crisis is also causing problems for young couples who would otherwise be starting their lives and families together. As Business Insider reports, student loan debt is causing about one in eight couples to divorce.

When one or both partners bring so much debt into the marriage, it can cause strain on the relationship (obviously) and eventually lead couples to have constant arguments about their marriage, their lifestyles and their financial values.

And, as CNBC notes, student loan debt is at an all-time high of $1.5 trillion — with three times as many borrowers owing more than $50K in debt for college costs. According to a recent survey performed by Student Loan Hero, the average student loan debt for the class of 2017 was $39,400, a six percent jump from the previous year. 

One of the main problems resulting from the arguments about loans, experts noted, is disagreement over who will take responsibility of the student loans after the divorce — does the couple continue to split it, or should each individual take responsibility for their own debt? And if someone's spouse helped pay down their partner's loans, should they be required to pay their partner back after divorcing?

Currently, there are no laws dictating how student loans should be split up after divorce, which is why many recommend that couples consider getting a pre-nuptial agreement to outline how debt and other financial issues will be handled in the event of a divorce, CNBC also notes.

All couples want to believe that their marriage will last, but the fact is, life (and student loans) happen, and in trying times like these, it's best to plan for the worst, and hope for the best


          The fab four that’s worth $3.5 trillion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
America's tech titans are powering a historic stock rally
          Lies, Damned Lies, And Heuristics      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ladies and Gentlemen, You are financing the greatest heist in American history. Of epic proportions. Currently, $8.6 trillion dollars of our money is sitting in the top 5 US banks. Let me remind you – these banks were actually rewarded for their malfeasance in 2008. They actually grew bigger with our government’s blessing. And, in … Continue reading Lies, Damned Lies, And Heuristics
          North Korea revives 'axis of evil' ties with Iran as denuclearisation talks falter      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

North Korea revives 'axis of evil' ties with Iran as denuclearisation talks falterThe arrival of North Korea's foreign minister in Tehran just hours after Donald Trump had reinstated sanctions against Iran was “no coincidence”, analysts believe, and is designed to send the message that Pyongyang is reinforcing its alliances as denuclearisation talks with the US stall. Ri Yong-ho held talks with Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, on Tuesday, the same day that economic sanctions went back into force against Tehran. The meeting was held at North Korea’s request, Iranian media reported, and the two officials used the two-day visit to express their “satisfaction” with existing bilateral relations and seek better ties in the future.  “The fact that they are meeting at all comes as no surprise, and of course the timing of these talks is no coincidence”, said Rah Jong-il, a former diplomat who previously served as South Korea’s ambassador to London and Tokyo.  The relationship between the two nations - described in January 2002 by President George W. Bush as two of the three states that made up the “axis of evil” - goes back to the Iran-Iraq war, when Pyongyang sided with Tehran and provided its forces with weapons. That subsequently grew into exchanges of increasingly more sophisticated weapons systems, including missiles, and nuclear technology, Mr Rah said.  Hidden trillions: What if North Korea’s economy opened up? And with talks with the US apparently deadlocked, Pyongyang looks to be returning to its historical allies to underline that it still has friends and will not be bullied, Mr Rah added, pointing out that the North’s foreign minister has also recently visited China, Russia and Cuba.  “The North Koreans were quite optimistic after Mr Kim [Jong-un] met Mr Trump in Singapore because they believed that he would be manageable and that they would be able to get what they wanted from him”, Mr Rah told The Telegraph.  That included rewards for phased denuclearisation and the lifting of sanctions, although the US has since stiffened its position and is demanding that the North completes the abolition of its atomic arsenal before sanctions are removed. “Now Mr Trump has put the sanctions back on Iran, the two countries find themselves in the same situation, so Mr Ri’s visit is likely to be an opportunity to coordinate on policies and emphasise their joint front against Washington”, Mr Rah said.  “It may also be an opportunity to exchange information on military hardware and technology,” he added. At a glance | US sanctions against Iran Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, agreed with that assessment, telling The Korea Herald that, “As North Korea does not hold many cards in negotiations with the US, it appears to be diversifying its diplomatic partners and strengthening its alli2ances with them to increase its leverage”.  The timing and content of Mr Ri’s visit to Tehran will not go overlooked in the US, however, and could serve to further stiffen Washington’s resolve to bring Mr Kim’s regime to heel. That, in turn, could provoke a backlash that negates any progress on the future of the Korean Peninsula made to date.  Yet Mr Rah believes that North Korea still sees Mr Trump as its best hope of being accepted as an equal by the international community and even, potentially, retainings its nuclear weapons.  “Mr Trump is the most favourable opponent they have faced in the White House”, he said. “They still believe they can make progress with him and even though Washington has been firmer recently, the North will be working out ways that they can manipulate him for their own purposes”. 



          Apple's Hires Ex-Tesla Engineer for Self-Driving Car Project      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Fresh from becoming the world's first trillion dollar company, Apple has taken a big step forward in its self-driving car project. The California-based company has announced that it has re-hired Doug Field, Tesla's former senior engineering VP who left Elon Musk's team back in July. Field worked for Apple's Mac engineering team until he moved to Tesla in 2013. His return to the company, however, will see him work on "Project Titan," Apple's electric and self-driving car program. Field's move to Apple is widely believed to show that Apple is ramping up the project, which had previously been reduced to an add-on for other cars. The car is set to hit the market in 2020 or 2021. Earlier this year, "Project Titan" suffered a set back after an ex-employee was arrested for stealing Apple's self-driving technology.

Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST


          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Client Advisor - Vice President - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Sat, 07 Jul 2018 12:26:15 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Wealth Management - Private Bank - Banker - Vice President or Executive Director - Milwaukee, WI - JP Morgan Chase - Milwaukee, WI      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. Is a leading global financial services firm with assets of more than $2.4 trillion, over 240,000 employees and operations in over 60...
From JPMorgan Chase - Thu, 26 Apr 2018 10:32:45 GMT - View all Milwaukee, WI jobs
          Nigeria:Nigeria Loses N3.6 Trillion to Poor Agribusiness Export      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[This Day] A recent report has indicated that Nigeria loses about N3.6 trillion to poor export opportunities and lack of storage facilities at the airports.
          Doug Field, former Tesla engineering chief, returns to Apple      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

By Stephen Nellis

The post Doug Field, former Tesla engineering chief, returns to Apple appeared first on One America News Network.


          China information industries to generate $876 bln per year in consumption by 2020      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
China is aiming to generate 6 trillion yuan ($875.90 billion) a year in annual consumption from its information industries by 2020, the government said on Friday, part of a wider effort to use new communications technologies to upgrade the economy.

          Sr. Big Data Developer, Hadoop, Spark, Investments      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
MA-Boston, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Senior Big D
          Mobile Developer, Investment Apps      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
MA-Boston, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Mobile Devel
          Front End Developer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
MA-Boston, Our client is a Boston-based financial investment firm that serves over twenty million customers. They employ tens of thousands of individuals and manage trillions of dollars in assets. With almost a century of experience, this financial services company is an industry leader, both nationally and globally. Our client is known for being a great place to work, and they are looking for a Front End De
          Is Walmart the Future of Wellness? Health Care & Retail Are Set to Collide      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Consumerization is hitting health care and med-tech in a big way, causing ripple effects across a $3 trillion industry.
          Municipal Bonds For The Retail Investor       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are over 50,000 different issuers of municipal bonds, resulting in over 1 million different issues outstanding in the U.S. In fact, as of 2017, the total value of all municipal bonds was almost $4 trillion.
          So as the saber rattling toward Iran increases, with the most extreme racists in the USA and israel (apartheid state) licking their chops over the thought of wiping out more Middle Eastern people,      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Foreign Power Meddling In American Democracy? Guess Which One? 
By Frank Scott
Americans schooled by films, comics, sitcoms and other forms of capital media might well believe Russia invaded the USA during our 18thcentury revolution and that’s why we’ve been enemies ever since. Actually, the USA and its future European lap dogs, along with Japan, invaded Russia in 1918 under various pretenses covering the need to destroy an uprising that had the gall to replace a holy family of royal wealth with some stupid ideals about ending poverty and promoting actual rule by a democratic majority.

That bloody foreign intrusion into a civil war which further wrecked an economy already near total destruction as a result of the First World War, saw Russia lose more lives than any other country involved and was a preview of more recent history; the present assault on its borders by NATO, all following in the same imperial footsteps to the current moment of reducing innocent Americans into a near frenzied psycho-neurotic mob over alleged horrors committed to our cherished democracy by evil Russians.

That religiously worshipped fictional system has never in  history existed nor produced one American president actually elected by a majority of the electorate. In fact, the image of a supposedly “brutal authoritarian thug” Putin, a description widely accepted by duped twits under merciless American mind management, received a much larger share of the Russian electorate’s voting support than either the despicable or deplorable lesser evil candidates in the last billionaire’s campaign we have been taught to call “our” democracy. This produced the frenzy of established power’s brain assault committed on a public with minds so reduced to pulp it may be too late for some to survive even with decent emergency treatment. Which they might only get in a foreign country given the private profit crazed madness in our alleged “health care” market. In fact, if paying a private insurance company before being able to acquire the services of a doctor or nurse is “health care”, then paying a pimp in order to acquire the services of a sex worker is “love care”. But away with logic and back to the supposed identity of a foreign force wreaking havoc with our cherished national perversion passing for democracy.
While hate crazed elders of the bureaucratic un-intelligence class formerly seen as enemies of the people take on the role of heroic fighters for the masses, the president elected by millions in the usual minority vote for bogus chief executive is treated as a treasonous, racist, homophobic, sexist, child molesting, bank robbing, unsafe driver and any other charge possible by almost all establishment voices. He certainly is a rich, arrogant, egomaniacal super twit, but his crude dim-witted honesty over-qualifies him for the job of CEO of a rich, arrogant, egomaniacal nation programmed to think itself god’s gift to humanity and what more regular presidential puppets of wealth have called the “essential” nation. And truthfully, what other giant of morality and intellect could spend trillions on war, billions on pets, and leave hundreds of thousands of its people living in the street? Such is the marketing fiction forcing insanity into the minds of near helpless consumers of commodified crap in diets leading to digestive and psychological disorders bordering on terminal social malfunction. These are usually diagnosed as personal problems needing therapy and drug cures, which bring massive private profits to a dwindling minority and massive public loss to an expanding majority.

Meanwhile, Trump’s alleged treasonous love affair with Putin occupies consciousness controllers and their near helpless consumers while Trump’s burying his economic face in Netanyahu’s political crotch attracts attention only from those long trying to wake the nation to its government falling under the control of a foreign power, Israel, where all manner of atrocities both moral and financial are excused under the banner of protecting the only democracy in the middle east. This lie is greater than the one sold here about our own minority rule cartel but helps perversely rationalize the need to slaughter, pillage, and destroy much of the Islamic world in pursuit of racial supremacy to be enjoyed by those who shout loudest that racial supremacy must be fought. Except when they practice it.

While the breast-fed-into-adulthood brigades swallow tales of Russian meddling in our billionaire financed minority perversion of democracy, Israel’s continued role in getting the USA to murder hundreds of thousands in the middle east increasingly moves to extend the fanatic bloodletting to Iran. Always in Israeli sights because it is totally disrespectful of European rule, given both its fundamental Islamic stance against much of modernity but mostly western values seen as immoral – because they frequently are – and its long history dating from ancient times of being both a global and more recently local power not given to taking guff from anyone. It has always been critical of the most blatant western invasion of the 20thcentury in the establishment of a euro-colony in Palestine and the total disregard for the people who’ve lived there since biblical times. How dare they disrespect the only other “essential” nation, along with the U.S.A. Are they crazy or what?

The perennially facing extermination mindset of the Israelis has dominated American politics since before that nation’s origins, officially in 1948 but pending since long before the days of Nazi Zionist partnership to make anyplace but Palestine the home for Jews seeking a separate and superior homeland. The later bloody Nazi assault, murders and ethnic cleansing inflicted on lower economic class European Jews who could not afford to buy their way out, as their one percent did, has become the most well known, publicized and often fictionalized assault on humanity ever recorded in global consciousness. This even after the facts of western murders of countless millions in colonializing much of the world, and especially here in the USA where entire nations of indigenous people were wiped out or ethnically cleansed and where American Jews, descended from immigrants, far outnumber American Indians, the horror of the European Jewish experience takes precedence over what was done to native Americans. And Trump, like every single president before him, has not only embraced every fictional foundation story to cover injustice, but unlike previous hypocrites who did it only for the money provided by the Israeli lobby, he probably believes it and thus may be even more dangerous.

So as the saber rattling toward Iran increases, with the most extreme racists in the USA and Israel licking their chops over the thought of wiping out more Middle Eastern people, the mind boggling idiocy of alleged Russian involvement in organized crime in America – the electoral system – approaches sending millions to a mental health crisis center, none of them able to afford the drugs needed to possibly calm their over stressed minds. And the leaders in this rush to further crisis for capital are not the usual right wing loonies who used to find commies under their beds, but what passes for sophisticated neo-liberals who unashamedly assume the role of the most demented force in American politics and one that can almost make the insect brain in the white house seem thoughtful by comparison. 

The idea that a nation which suffered more than any other with 25 million deaths in the two capitalist “world” wars, which saw its country invaded, bombed and reduced to starvation and cannibalism by this bloody experience, is a threat to America which by comparison lost less than half a million people – some .02% of the Russian total – is one that can only be placed into consciousness by creating a vast pool of unconsciousness. Americans with knowledge of material reality would not accept the dreadful drivel being poured into their heads, which is why rulers are pouring it on faster, and with more fury. If it truly is darkest just before the dawn, we are hopefully experiencing what will become the most shining burst of light imaginable. Hopefully non-nuclear.
This article was originally published by “Legalienate Blog –

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          Fantastic Vice Squad      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Star Online - Police arrest 14 alleged prostitutes, seize 18 condoms and 4 towels at hotel spa:




SERDANG: Police have arrested 14 women for alleged prostitution following a raid at a hotel spa at Seri Kembangan, south of Kuala Lumpur.

Serdang OCPD Asst Comm Ismadi Borhan said police raided the hotel following a tip-off on Thursday (Aug 9).

"We raided the hotel at around 2.15am and arrested 14 women and three men there.

"The women were believed to be masseuses working at the spa," he told reporters at the Serdang police headquarters on Thursday
.

"We believe the women were offering sex to their clients in 'special packages' (costing) between RM200 and RM500," he said, adding that the women aged in their 20s and 30s were from Indonesia (four), Thailand (four) and Vietnam (six).

He added that the suspects would be remanded to help with investigations.


Fantastic, our Vice Squad has done well.

I have five (5) questions, to wit:

(1) Were the condoms already used? To save and help reduce our national debt of RM1 Trillion, don't throw the used ones away as they can be re-cycled for re-use. Send them to the Finance Ministry to be re-cycled for distribution.

(2) Were the towels of 'Good Morning' brand?




If they were, clean them up and send to the Penang state government. Why? - please refer to my Kongsamkok post The 'rich' char koay teow boy for reason, wakakaka.

(3) Were any Malaysian politicians or/and 'holy-than-thou' men among the three men caught? Wakakaka.

(4) Were the 'special packages' still GST-ed? IF they were, report same to YB Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance who loves to dig into such illegalities.

See also MM Online - We are free from GST’s yoke, says Guan Eng with passing of Sales Tax Bill:


(5) Did JAIS (in full man-ly force) accompany the police? If not, why not as the men caught and the alleged prostitutes, in particular those from Indonesia and Thailand, could be Muslims.

Wakakaka.

p/s don't let looes74 know as he will get highly excited, wakakaka.


          15 Sweet Tweets Handpicked Just For You      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

1. Devastating

2. Thank you computer, well done

3. Well, I guess I gotta go watch all of ghost shark now

4. To do list: complete

5. 🤝

6. Fuck me, right?

7. Smash that mf like button so we can make another movie in this series and realistically a park section in Universal Studios

8. See me off into the void daddy

9. This is what the Internet is for fellas

10. This kid's gonna be alright

11. The stock costs $0.08 there's no better time

12. I'm sure we can reach some sort of agreement

13. I've fallen and I can't get up

14. Always Be Deteriorating

15. This is so sad can we hit 10 RTs


          AMDのハイエンドCPU「Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX」が5.1GHzのオーバークロックでCinebenchの世界記録を更新      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000
AMDが2018年8月6日にハイエンドCPUとして「第2世代RyzenThreadripper(Ryzen Threadripper 2000)」シリーズを正式発表しました。AMDによる性能検証では5.1GHzのオーバークロック(OC)に成功し、ベンチマークソフトCinebenchの世界記録が更新されています。AMD Threadripper 2000 Series (aka Threadripper 2) vs. Intel Core Xhttps://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-threadripper_2-vs-intel-core_x,37550.htmlLeo Says Ep. 25 - Threadripper 2, Apple Trillion, 28 Core Intel and mo 全文
GIGAZINE(ギガジン) 08月10日 14時00分


          IMF: 'India's economy is like an elephant starting to run'      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
India will remain the world's fastest-growing economy as the country begins reaping the rewards of the ongoing structural reforms, according to Ranil Salgdo, the IMF's mission chief for India. Solgado described India's $2.6 trillion economy as an elephant that is starting to run. Growth of the world's sixth-biggest economy is expected to soar to 7.3 percent in the current fiscal year, ending in March 2019, and 7.5 percent next year. The current pick-up reportedly follows a drop to 6.7 percent in the previous fiscal year. According to the Washington-based institution, India makes up 15 percent of the entire global growth. At the same time, the IMF called on governors of Asia's third-largest economy for action to curb inflation and increase the number of females in the workforce. The fund expects India to see a "broadly positive outlook" to "strengthening investment and robust private consumption," but expressed concerns over risks tied to higher fuel prices and the weakening national currency.
          Nigeria:Nigeria Loses N3.6 Trillion to Poor Agribusiness Export      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[This Day] A recent report has indicated that Nigeria loses about N3.6 trillion to poor export opportunities and lack of storage facilities at the airports. Reported by allAfrica.com 2 hours ago.
          House vows to restore obligations-based budget for 2019      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

THE House of Representatives will move for an obligations-based P3.7-trillion budget in 2019 from the cash-based appropriation, which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had recommended, “to reflect the realities of governance,” a House leader said on Friday. “We will revert to an obligations-based budget. This is not just what Congress wants. Members of [...]

The post House vows to restore obligations-based budget for 2019 appeared first on The Manila Times Online.


          UP set to become a trillion-dollar economy: Kovind      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Lucknow, Aug 10 (IANS) President Ramnath Kovind on Friday inaugurated the “One District One Product (ODOP)” summit in the state capital and expressed hope that ...
          Comment on Censorship Of Infowars Exposes Larger Problem Of Silicon Valley Bias by nickreality65      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Politics, money, peer pressure and the lying, fact-free, fake news media's censorship have completely corrupted science. Climate change has turned science/engineering/economics into full time bullshit factories. The Radiative Green House Effect theory contains a fatal flaw. For RGHE to perform as advertised requires the earth’s surface to radiate upwelling LWIR as an ideal black body, i.e. at 16 C, 289 K, 396 W/m^2. (TFK_bams09) The contiguous presence of atmospheric molecules participating in non-radiative heat transfers through conduction, convection, latent renders impossible such BB LWIR, the effective surface emissivity being 0.16, i.e. actual 63 W/m^2 / ideal 396 W/m^2. The LWIR upwelling 396 W/m^2 does not exist - the GHG energy loop “warming” the surface and atmosphere does not exist – and the global warming and climate changes that are attributed by the MSM to carbon dioxide do not exist. Could I be wrong? Well, sointainly. If I’m right, is that a problem? Well, no, it’s a global catastrophe. Three decades of careers, books, papers, research, seminars all go straight in the trash bin and the trillion-dollar climate change industry is instantly unemployed. No big deal, just some minor changes.
          Comment on Media Blame Climate Change For California Wildfires, Ignore Forestry Policy, Land Use Factors by nickreality65      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Politics, money, peer pressure and the lying, fact-free, fake news media have completely corrupted science. Climate change has turned science/engineering/economics into full time bullshit factories. The Radiative Green House Effect theory contains a fatal flaw. For RGHE to perform as advertised requires the earth’s surface to radiate upwelling LWIR as an ideal black body, i.e. at 16 C, 289 K, 396 W/m^2. (TFK_bams09) The contiguous presence of atmospheric molecules participating in non-radiative heat transfers through conduction, convection, latent renders impossible such BB LWIR, the effective surface emissivity being 0.16, i.e. actual 63 W/m^2 / ideal 396 W/m^2. The LWIR upwelling 396 W/m^2 does not exist - the GHG energy loop “warming” the surface and atmosphere does not exist – and the global warming and climate changes that are attributed to carbon dioxide do not exist. Could I be wrong? Well, sointainly. If I’m right, is that a problem? Well, no, it’s a global catastrophe. Three decades of careers, books, papers, research, seminars all go straight in the trash bin and the trillion-dollar climate change industry is instantly unemployed. No big deal, just some minor changes.
          California sees China impact, soft job growth but no sign of recession, say economists - CNBC      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

CNBC

California sees China impact, soft job growth but no sign of recession, say economists
CNBC
California's $2.7 trillion economy may face pain from the U.S.-China trade spat and show signs of slowing job growth but economists don't see a recession in the cards. The Golden State added a mere 800 new nonfarm jobs in June after picking up 7,200 ...

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          UP set to become a trillion-dollar economy: Kovind      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Lucknow: President Ramnath Kovind on Friday inaugurated the "One District One Product (ODOP)" summit in the state capital and expressed hope that the changing environment in Uttar Pradesh would make the state a trillion-dollar economy sooner than later.

Speaking at the inauguration session, the President said he can feel the excitement among the summit participants, which was reflective of how the mood and atmosphere in the state had changed in the recent past.

After inaugurating the summit the president also inspected the ODOP exhibition of all the 75 districts and by pressing a button gave loan worth Rs 1,006 crore to small-time businessmen.

Lauding the holding of such a summit by the state government, the President also remembered Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Kovind further said that Uttar Pradesh was a state with a lot of talent and added that the need of the hour was to harness it. He also congratulated Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for coming up with the idea of ODOP.

In his address, the Chief Minister said soon after the BJP took over the reins of the government in the state, the atmosphere had changed and now investors were making a beeline to invest here.

Through ODOP, he said, every year 5 lakh persons would be given employment in the state every year.

"We are promoting talent, business and for start-ups have earmarked a fund of Rs 250 crore in our budget," Adityanath stated.

"What we inherited from the preceding government in known to everybody and we have tried out best to turn it around," the Chief Minister said while also claiming a definite change in the law and order situation of the state.

There would be eight sessions in the summit covering sectors, like credit and finance, craft and tourism, agro and foods, and handloom and textiles and would discuss in detail the ways to improve marketing processes and ensure quality through use of technology, an official told IANS.



          Samsung plans $22bn spending on new tech      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


The investment is part of a 180 trillion won three-year plan to create jobs and secure fresh revenue...


          Comment on World Natural Gas 2018-2050: World Energy Annual Report (Part 3) by Peter      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Dennis asked what is a better way of assesing true global growth other than GDP. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gdp.asp On a simple level a Country GDP is like a person's income. A person earns £40,000 and spends all of that, his personal GDP is £40,000 per year. What Dennis has done, is bought into the government lie that borrowing does not matter and you can count all the borrowing each year as GDP. So for Dennis if a person earns £40,000 and also spends £4,000 on credits cards that they cannot afford to pay back. Dennis would say that person's GDP is £44,000 per year. For a while that person feels richer, he can pay people to clean his windows and maintain his garden but gradually the debt interest takes more and more of the person's future wages. Gradually he will be seen as a greater risk and the loans he gets will be high interest. At the moment the United States is borrowing $700,000,000,000 more than it gets from taxes. Where does this money come from? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIxhsF6JLEA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nBPN-MKefA It is simply brought into existence by a government issueing billions of promises that it will pay in dollars in dollars plus interest to those who buy them. So at the moment the American people due to government borrowing feel reasonably well off. The government borrows $800,000,000,000 to pay for over 20 million workers. Does anyone really think this debt spiral can simply carry on? If the United States goverment were to balance to budget the average working person would have to pay $8,000 more in taxes. There are some stupid economists who advise the government that debt does not matter. They remind me of the economists in the 1920s who said the only way for stocks to go is up. Some people never learn. It is not just governments that are in debt. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-10/global-debt-topped-247-trillion-in-the-first-quarter-iif-says If we take away debt from global GDP we get a better ideas of how well the world's economy is doing. The starck reality is the global economy has only grown on debt.
          T. Rowe Price Group Reports Preliminary Month-End Assets Under Management For July 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

BALTIMORE, Aug. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ-GS: TROW) today reported preliminary month-end assets under management of $1.07 trillion as of July 31, 2018. Client transfers from mutual funds to other portfolios, including trusts and separate accounts, were...


          Understanding TIPS: The Compelling Case For Rising Interest Rates And How To Benefit From Them      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As we head further into 2018, the case for rising interest rates is compelling, and it Really is All About Supply and Demand! On the demand side, those buyers of treasuries that are traditionally the largest are reducing their participation in the market, thereby reducing demand and leading to lower prices and higher yields. Specifically: The US Fed: After years amassing a total portfolio of $4 trillion of treasuries (mostly through ’Quantitative Easing’), the Fed announced at the end of 2017 that they will be letting these treasuries unwind. This means they will not be reinvesting in new treasuries as the ones they are holding mature. The Chinese Government: With holdings in excess of $1.2 trillion, China has been the second largest holder and buyer of US treasuries. However, on Jan 12, 2017, Chinese officials announced that they were curtailing purchases of US treasuries. Japan: The 3rd largest holder of treasuries, has steadily reduced their ...
          Oh, No, Not Another Security Product      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Let's face it: There are too many proprietary software options. Addressing the problem will require a radical shift in focus.

Organizations and businesses of all types have poured money into cybersecurity following high-profile breaches in recent years. The cybercrime industry could be worth $6 trillion by 2022, according to some estimates , and investors think that there's money to be made. But like generals fighting their last battle, many investors are funding increasingly complex point solutions while buyers cry out for greater simplicity and flexibility.

Addressing this problem requires a radical shift in focus rather than a change of course. Vendors and investors need to look beyond money and consider the needs of end users.

More Money, More Problems

London's recent Infosecurity conference included more than 400 vendors exhibiting, while RSA in San Francisco boasted more than 600. And this only includes those with the marketing budgets and inclination to exhibit. One advisory firm claims to track 2,500 security startups , double the number of just a few years ago. Cheap money has created a raft of companies with little chance of IPO or acquisition, along with an even greater number of headaches for CISOs trying to make sense of everything.

The market is creaking from this trend, with Reuters reporting mergers and acquisitions down 30% in 2017, even as venture capital investment increased by 14%. But the real pain is being felt by CISOs trying to integrate upward of 80 security solutions in their cyber defenses, as well as overworked analysts struggling to keep up. The influx of cash also has caused marketing budgets to spike, leading to a market in which it is deemed acceptable for increasingly esoteric products to be promoted to CISOs as curing everything.

All of this feeds into a sense of "product fatigue" where buyers are frightened into paying for the latest black box solution, only to see their blood pressure spike when they find that they don't have the necessary resources to deploy or support these tools. This situation does not benefit any of the parties ― the overwhelmed CISO, the overly optimistic investors, or the increasingly desperate vendors caught in limbo between funding rounds when their concepts weren't fully baked to begin with.

Addressing complex modern threats calls for sophisticated tools and products, but we cannot fight complexity with complexity. Security operations center teams cannot dedicate finite analyst capacity to an ever-expanding battery of tools. Fragmentation within the security suite weakens company defenses and the industry as a whole, and the drain on analysts' time detracts from crucial areas such as basic resilience and security hygiene.

Platforms, Not Products

The industry doesn't need more products, companies, or marketing hype. We need an overhaul of the whole approach to security solutions, not an improvement of components. Security should be built on platforms with a plug-and-play infrastructure that better supports buyers, connecting products in a way that isn't currently possible.

Such platforms should be flexible and adaptable, rewarding vendor interoperability while punishing niche solutions that cannot be easily adopted. This would lead to collaboration within the industry and create a focus on results for end users, rather than increasingly blinkered product road maps. Such platforms could act as a magnifying glass for innovation, providing a sandbox to benchmark new technologies and creating de facto security standards in the process.

This move from proprietary architecture to open modular architecture is a hallmark of Clayton Christensen's disruptive innovation theory, and it is long overdue within the security industry. Buyers will have greater control of their tech stacks, while vendors and investors will get to proof-of-concept faster, and see greater efficiency within the market.

One example of such a platform is Apache Metron, an open source security platform that emerged from Cisco. Metron has been adopted by a number of major security providers and provides a glimpse of what the future of security should look like.

Collaborating, creating industry standards, or making technologies open source does not mean that vendors can't make money; in fact, the reverse is true. Customers will be more willing to invest in security solutions that they know are future-proofed, that don't come with the dreaded "vendor lock-in," and that simplify rather than further complicate their architecture.

Like all of security, there are varying degrees of risk and reward, but this approach is starting to look like the only logical future in an increasingly frothy, confusing, and low return-on-investment field. There will be a correction in the security market, whether it is in a month or a year. The fundamentals that will cause this are already evident, so there is an excellent opportunity to learn the lessons in advance and minimize the pain by contributing toward the platforms of the future.

Related Content: 10 Open Source Security Tools You Should Know Secure Code: You Are the Solution to Open Source's Biggest Problem The Good News about Cross-Domain Identity Management
Oh, No, Not Another Security Product

Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable CISOs and IT security experts in a setting that is conducive to interaction and conversation. Click for more info .

Paul Stokes has spent the last decade launching, growing, and successfully exiting security and analytics technology companies. He was the co-founder and CEO of Cognevo, a market-leading security analytics software business that was acquired by Telstra Corporation. Prior to ...View Full Bio


          Tariffs and sanctions turmoil may overshadow EU, German growth data      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
U.S. tariffs and sanctions policies are likely to keep investors on their toes in the coming week as European politicians and policymakers continue their summer break, while economic data from Germany and the euro zone will also be in focus.Washingtons latest sanctions on Russia have battered the rouble, and Turkeys lira has been hammered by concern that Ankara is sliding into a full-blown economic crisis.U.S. President Donald Trumps determination to push ahead with sanctions on Tehran that also target foreign companies doing business with Iran has opened another battle front in addition to a much broader dispute over trade tariffs.German business associations have warned that companies are increasingly suffering from Trumps sanctions policies - including those against Iran - as well as the tariffs he is imposing in an escalating tit-for-tat trade conflict with China.In terms of geopolitics, the trade war between the U.S. and China could enter centre stage again next week, ING economist Carsten Brzeski said. Also, keep an eye on Turkey, where some kind of IMF involvement is getting closer.Turkeys lira has plunged to record lows on concerns about President Tayyip Erdogans influence on monetary policy and increasingly authoritarian rule, and about a diplomatic rift with Washington over Ankaras detention of several Americans including an evangelical pastor.On the data front, Germany on Tuesday will be the last of the large euro zone economies to publish an estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter.Analysts polled by Reuters expect the quarterly growth rate to pick up to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent in the first quarter, suggesting that Europes largest economy is humming along despite the uncertainty caused by U.S. tariffs and sanctions.RISING RISKSAlso on Tuesday, the euro zone will report its second estimate for GDP in April-June. Preliminary data last month showed economic growth in the 19 countries sharing the euro slowed to 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter.Eurostats preliminary figures for euro zone growth have often been revised up in the past, but weaker-than-expected June industrial output data from Germany and Spain have suggested this may not be the case this time.An upward revision would change little in economic terms, but could bolster perceptions of stable growth despite rising risks, Oliver Rakau from Oxford Economics said.The European Central Bank has said that risks to global growth are growing as the spectre of protectionism and the threat of higher U.S. tariffs sap confidence.Final inflation data for the euro zone due on Friday is likely to confirm that headline consumer price inflation accelerated to 2.1 percent year-on-year in July from 2.0 percent in June, mainly because of a spike in the cost of energy.The ECB wants to keep headline inflation below but close to 2 percent over the medium term.For the ECB all of this means that it can remain on track with its dovish tapering, INGs Brzeski said. The timing of a first rate hike, however, remains extremely uncertain.The ECB plans to wrap up its unprecedented 2.6 trillion euro stimulus programme known as quantitative easing (QE) by the end of the year and keep interest rates at record lows through the summer of 2019.Surveys suggest concerns over trade have already begun to dampen investment activity which could translate into meagre growth and moderate inflation rates in the second half of the year.All of that should not alter the ECBs QE exit plans, but it will keep all of us busy speculating about the first rate hike, Rakau from Oxford Economics said. RUETERS RHK PS 1656
          Goldman Sachs sees orderly Brexit with PM May getting deal through parliament      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Goldman Sachs sees Prime Minister Theresa May clinching a Brexit deal on access to European Union markets for goods and getting it approved by the British parliament, though it cautioned that a disorderly exit and national election remained possible.With less than eight months left until Britain is due to leave the EU, there is little clarity about how trade will flow as May, who is grappling with a rebellion in her party, is still trying to strike a deal with the bloc.Under the current timetable, London and Brussels hope to get a final deal in October to give enough time to ratify it by exit day, though Mays minority government faces a series of make-or-break moments in the Brexit process over coming months.Our own base case is for an orderly withdrawal, although the tail risks have admittedly increased, Goldman said in a research notes for clients. We see the UK and EU settling on a free trade deal covering goods but excluding most services.Ultimately, Goldman said, May will probably be able to get such a Brexit deal through the British parliament in December.While there may be no clear majority in parliament for any specific Brexit proposal, there is a majority to avoid the no deal outcome, it said.It forecast the pound would rise to $1.36 in a year with the euro at 0.92 pence in a year. Sterling is currently trading at $1.27, and at 89.9 pence per euro.Both opponents and supporters of Brexit agree that the divorce is Britains most significant geopolitical move since World War Two, though they cast vastly different futures for the $2.9 trillion UK economy and the worlds biggest trading bloc.Opponents say it is folly that will diminish Britains standing in the world, cost hundreds of billions of dollars in lost growth over the decades ahead and delay much needed reforms.Supporters of Brexit say there may be some short-term pain for the economy, but that long-term it will prosper when cut free from the EU, which some of them cast as a failing German-dominated experiment in European integration.But if May does not get the deal approved, then Britain could face a national election and the prospect of a Labour government, a scenario that could lead to extending Brexit negotiations or even stopping Brexit altogether, Goldman said.Although UK political dynamics have raised the likelihood of a no-deal scenario, we continue to believe it is relatively low, Goldman said.There is deep concern in boardrooms about the prospect of Britain leaving the bloc without a deal, or with a deal that would silt up the arteries of trade.Goldman said its base case saw UK growth and inflation justifying further gradual Bank of England interest rate hikes.It said gilts would rally if there were a no deal Brexit.A no-deal Brexit would be a risk-off event for global markets, causing Gilts to rally, Goldman said.While the Labour government would be unlikely to reverse course on Brexit, the combination of its softer position on Brexit and its domestic policy agenda would likely imply higher long-term yields.REUTERS YK PS 1512
          ODOP will change scenario of skill development in country: President      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
President Ram Nath Kovind has said that One District ,One Product(ODOP) scheme will change the scenario of the skill development in the country and appreciated the Uttar Pradesh government to promote small artisans in the rural areas through this scheme. Youths have to shed their mentality of rushing towards government and private jobs. Engaging themselves in some skill development would ensure their good livelihood, he said. The President suggested that the UP government promote the items of ODOP and go for product branding in other states to enable the people know how rich the states skill and its artisan are.People of the country should know the local skill of the artisans and hence UP government should hold exhibition for a fortnight of ODOP products in all the cities of the country and invite eminent personalities to these exhibition, he said, while adding that the country has to learn from some foreign country how to earn foreign exchange from hand made products.Addressing the function after inaugurating the first ever ODOP summit here on Friday, Mr Kovind appealing to all the people to support in the success of the ODOP scheme, claimed this scheme can change the scenario of 117 inspirational districts( backward districts) in which eight are in UP. These two -- Balrampur and Fatehpur in UP have already setting up food procession and bedsheet manufacturing units , he said.The President said that micro, small and medium enterprises are called the backbone of our economy. These enterprises are engines of inclusive development. After the agricultural sector, most people find employment in this sector. This sector generates more employment opportunities at a lower cost of capital. And the most important thing about this sector is that it creates jobs in rural and backward areas, he said. Claiming that development of the country cannot happen without the development of UP, he said former Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee always said that UP is an Uttam Pradesh and he wanted a fresh Discovery of the state. UP is a state of eminence potential and even in politics too a person elected from UP aspires to be the PM, he said. Referring that UP can easily become a trillion dollor economy as it has the largest number of MSME, the President said the state has the largest workforce in the country as of the total 22 crore population, 60 per cent of in the age of working class. MSME is always the backbone of the countrys economy and UP can lead it through ODOP as the state has the share of 44 per cent of the countrys handloom industry, he added. The President noted that industries such as handicrafts, food processing, engineering goods, carpets, readymade clothes, leather goods etc earns foreign exchange as well as provide employment. Therefore, this sector will play an important role in the development of UP. He expressed confidence that the One District One Product scheme will enhance skills of local people as well as increase the reach to products. And it will result in economic progress of artisans of UP. He said that skill development is not related to any religion or caste and there is no alternative of hard work and hence MSME has good potential to create job opportunities. Under the One District One Product scheme, the state government has set a goal of providing employment to 25 lakh people in five years through the financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 crores, he said while expressed hope that this scheme will create large number of employment opportunities for the youth and strengthen the inclusive and sustainable development of UP. The President also narrated how he felt after watching a stone item from Kane river of Banda in the exhibition. He also said that the coming Kumbh mela at Allahabad would be a big challenge for the government and said that the Kumbh event has turned into a big research work for the students. During his speech, the President lauded CM Yogi Adityanath for his pro-people schemes and termed that Ram Naik has been appointed the governor of the largest state due to be qualification and ability. UP Governor Ram Naik in his address said that it was a big day for UP as the ODOP summit was inaugurated by the President, who himself belongs to the state. UP will become a role model for other states in the country and the state will turn into a big economic power in coming days, he said. After promoting the agri sector , now the government has gone for promotion of of skill development and traditional small products which is a big thing, he said. Mr Naik said on his suggestion, the UP government started the states foundation day on January 24, when the ODOP programme was launched in 2018.UNI MB SB 1418
          Comment on America’s Militarized Economy, by Eric Zuesse      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The Zionist controlled U.S. gov is in the war business and has been ever since the Zionists took control of the U.S. via their privately owned money creation machine know as the FED and their IRS in 1913 so once they had the ability to create money out of thin air and the ability to tax Americans to pay for the debts that war incurred, the Zionists had control of America lock stock and gun barrel. All the wars that the U.S. has been in since and including WWI and right down to the war in Syria , have been Zionist banker created wars and all the millions of lives lost and the trillions in debt from these wars can be laid at the feet of the Zionists who control every facet of the U.S. gov, and as said by General Smedley Butler in his book War Is A Racket, and that is what war is a Zionist racket. In THE REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN it is laid out that the business of the U.S. is war and that war is good for business and war we shall have and so it is that we are a nation of war and as in Orwells 1984 the wars are not meant to be won, the wars are meant to be continual for the profit of the elites and we the proles are to suffer.
          Matt Currency Will Launch a Brand-new Revolution in Sports Industry      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The blockchain will bring new growth points to the trillion-level sports industry. According to the US News Agency, the market value of the global sports industry will reach 254.465 billion
          California sees China impact, soft job growth but no sign of recession, say economists      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
California&#039;s $2.7 trillion economy may face pain from the U.S.-China trade war and shows signs of slowing job growth but economists don&#039;t see a recession in the cards....(read more)

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          California sees China impact, soft job growth but no sign of recession, say economists      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
California's $2.7 trillion economy may face pain from the U.S.-China trade war and shows signs of slowing job growth but economists don't see a recession in the cards.
          UP set to become a trillion-dollar economy: Kovind      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

          Buried in the Fine Print, Trump Rule Would Give $2.5 Billion Tax Cut to Big Bank Fat Cats      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"It's never been more clear who the Trump administration is really working for."

As Wall Street banks continue to enjoy record profits thanks to President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax scam, Trump's Treasury Department—headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin—quietly moved to hand big banks yet another major gift on Wednesday by hiding a $2.5 billion tax cut in the fine print of an "esoteric" new rule proposal (pdf).

At first glance, the Trump administration's rule appeared to be little more than a mundane set of regulations aimed at providing owners of so-called pass-through businesses everything they "need to comply with the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," as Reuters put it.

But Capital & Main journalist David Sirota decided to take the radical step of actually reading the proposal in its entirety, and he found that the White House's rule also seeks to exclude banking from the "financial services" category—a move that would allow thousands of large banks to take advantage of the controversial tax cut for pass-through income included in Trump's tax bill.

As they were hashing out the details of their tax bill behind closed doors, Sirota notes, Republican lawmakers included a provision that prohibited businesses in the "financial services" sector from qualifying for the tax cut in an effort to counter "assertions that the bill could enrich big banks."

But, at the direction of bank lobbyists, the Trump administration's new rule asserts that "'financial services' don't include banking," thus allowing "hundreds of banks operating as S corporations—as well as their owners—[to] claim the tax cut," Sirota writes.

In addition to taking the side of bank lobbyists with its new rule, the Trump administration also explicitly "echoed their views" in the fine print of its proposal, Sirota points out.

"Banking industry lobbyists pushed for the interpretation—acknowledging that the bill generally blocked pass-through tax cuts for businesses in financial services, but arguing that 'financial services are, however, clearly something other than banking,'" Sirota writes. "The Trump Treasury Department not only sided with the lobbyists, but in the fine print of its new rule, which is now subject to a public comment period before it goes into force, echoed their views."

According Daniel Hemel, a tax law professor at the University of Chicago, the Trump administration's rule change would reward "roughly 2,000 banks around the country that qualify as S corporations."

"It's a safe bet that most of the S corporation shareholders benefited by today's decision will fall into the upper reaches of the top one percent—not many middle-class folks own a bank," Hemel told Capital & Main. "If you assume a return on assets of around one percent and S corporation bank assets in the range of $400 billion, then the move reduces the total tax liability of S corporation bank shareholders by $300 million per year for 2018 through 2025. We're talking about something like $2.5 billion total."

In response to the Trump White House's latest attempt to reward the wealthy—which comes as wages for most workers are declining—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote, "It's never been more clear who the Trump administration is really working for."

 


          Zimbabwe's New Currency: What you Should know      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
ZIMBABWE’S NEW 'CURRENCY': WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BOND NOTES

BY CONOR GAFFEY ON 11/28/16 AT 12:40 PM



A Zimbabwean woman shows off a new bond note outside a bank in the country's capital Harare, November 28. The Zimbabwean government has introduced bond notes in a bid to solve the national cash shortage. PHILIMON BULAWAYO/REUTERS

Zimbabwe has a new currency. Well...sort of.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released the first tranche of notes for a new pseudo-currency called bond notes on Monday. A $10 million batch of two and five dollar bond notes are now legal tender within the Southern African country, which has been hit by a crippling cash shortage that has seen long queues form outside banks.

For many Zimbabweans, however, the printing of new money brings back harrowing memories of the country’s hyperinflationary era of 2008-09, when inflation reached more than 200 million percent and the Zimbabwean dollar became worthless.

What are bond notes?

Bond notes are a parallel currency that Zimbabwe’s government, led by veteran president Robert Mugabe, has introduced to deal with a cash shortage and boost exports. According to the reserve bank, bond notes have an official exchange rate of 1:1 with the U.S. dollar, which has been the main currency used in Zimbabwe since 2009. The country already has several million U.S. dollars’ worth of bond coins, to which the notes will be added.

What currency does Zimbabwe use?

Following the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar, which was abandoned in 2009, the country switched to a multi-currency system. At least nine currencies are now legal tender in Zimbabwe: the U.S. dollar, the South African rand, the euro, the British pound, the Australian dollar, the Botswana pula, the Japanese yen, the Indian rupee and the Chinese yuan. Not all are accepted by Zimbabwean traders, however, with the U.S. dollar being the most widely-used currency. Bond notes are now being added to this confusing mix.

Why is the government introducing bond notes?

Zimbabwe is a net importer of goods—the country exported $2.5 billion worth of goods in 2014 and imported $6.25 billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of $3.4 billion. Consequently, U.S. dollars have been leaving the country at a greater rate than they’ve been coming in, resulting in a cash shortage. Zimbabwe cannot address the deficit by requesting a loan from international lenders, such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund—both institutions have suspended their lending plans to the country due to its failure to implement economic reforms aimed at clearing arrears.

The reserve bank is hoping to boost exports by offering a bonus of $5 in bond notes per $100 of exports. It is also limiting withdrawals to $50 per day and $150 per week in a bid to stop the pseudo-currency losing its purported 1:1 value with the U.S. dollar.



A man holds up a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note, in Zimbabwe's capital Harare, June 12, 2015. Opposition groups are concerned that the government's introduction of bond notes could herald a return to the failed Zimbabwean dollar.PHILIMON BULAWAYO/FILE PHOTO/REUTERS

What happened to the Zimbabwean dollar?

The introduction of bond notes has raised the specter of hyperinflation among many Zimbabweans, for whom the memory of the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar is still fresh. The currency collapsed in the mid-2000s after decades of economic mismanagement under Mugabe, whose policies including the forced redistribution of land from white farmers to black Zimbabweans with little agricultural training.

Inflation reportedly peaked at around 90 sextillion percent—or nine followed by 22 zeros—and the government redenominated the currency three times, lopping zeros off the end in a vain bid to stabilize the skyrocketing inflation. The price of daily essentials, such as a single egg or a loaf of bread, was north of 1 billion Zimbabwean dollars. Eventually, the government abandoned the currency in 2009, switching to the current multi-currency basket.

How have Zimbabweans reacted?

Some business groups in Zimbabwe have been positive about a new form of liquidity being introduced to the financial system. But opposition parties and civil society groups have loudly denounced the new pseudo-currency and are planning further protests against the new legal tender. Veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai wrote in Newsweek in October that Mugabe’s government was exacerbating Zimbabwe’s economic crisis by printing bond notes, which were being “rejected by the people.”

Source: News Week
          GOLD SLUMPS ON TRADE WAR FEARS / SPROTT THOUGHTS      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Sprott Gold Report: Gold Slumps on Trade War Fears

By Shree Kargutkar, Portfolio Manager, Sprott Asset Management LP

In late January, the 10% sell-off of the S&P 500 Index was caused by the prospect of a global trade war. Six months later, the U.S. equity markets have recovered but “trade war” headlines dominate the news. On June 1, the Trump administration launched its steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. New tariffs on Chinese goods followed and we are now in the midst of a growing global trade war.

Some market participants believe that the United States is insulated from the effects of a global trade war. Others are of the opinion that a full-blown trade war is unlikely, while some still believe that mutually beneficial trade agreements can still be brokered. Market participants have attempted to de-risk their portfolios by moving into the U.S. dollar and U.S. equities, which explains their recent strength. U.S. technology, healthcare and consumer discretionary stocks are now the most crowded trades while emerging market equities, bonds and currencies have been sold off. The move out of emerging markets, in particular, explains some of the recent strength in the U.S. dollar.

Commodities have been another casualty of the global trade war. Except for crude oil, whose strength is related to pressure on supply from Venezuela and Iran, virtually all commodities, including gold have been liquidated. The GLD ETF,1 which we use as a proxy for gold bullion, saw its value drop by 5.68% in Q2 of 2018 (year-to-date GLD has lost 4.04%). Gold equities have stumbled in line with the yellow metal; GDX2 has declined 4.00% year-to-date.

THE SILVER LINING?

For some time, we have highlighted silver’s value proposition relative to gold. For most of Q2, silver outperformed gold, although some relative gains were surrendered in late June. For the long term, we continue to see silver and silver equities favorably positioned to provide outsized gains relative to gold and gold equities. As of June 30, the gold/silver ratio was a steep 80:1, and we believe it is likely to return to its long-term historical average of 60:1.

WHY ISN’T GOLD DOING BETTER?

One of the most commonly asked questions of late has been: Why isn’t gold doing better? Admittedly, we have also been perplexed. Finance 101 teaches us that the market is an accurate discounting mechanism – unless uncertainty prevents the market from doing so. We see new forks emerge in the U.S. policy towards trade and geopolitics almost daily. The current Trump administration is currently engaged in a trade war with the European Union, Canada, Mexico and China.

Despite all the bluster, the monetary impact of the trade war remains quite small. Currently, $34 billion worth of Chinese goods are being hit with an import tax, for which China has retaliated in kind. Canada countered in early July after $12 billion worth of goods, primarily steel and aluminum, were slammed with a tariff. The U.S. – Canada trade partnership is worth almost $630 billion while the U.S. – China trade relationship is valued at nearly $650 billion. The U.S. currently trades approximately $2.3 trillion worth of goods with the world and the portion of goods affected by import tariffs is estimated to be $92 billion, or a mere 4%.

In the grand scheme of things, tariffs on a small portion of trade have had minimal impact. While Trump has threatened to tax the $500 billion of goods being imported from China and has even threatened local automakers from manufacturing cars in NAFTA countries, many investors remain hopeful that the trade disputes will be settled before an all-out trade war occurs. If the current trade “skirmish” leads to a full-scale trade war, we have the potential to see the emergence of a strong bull market for gold.

SEEKING SHELTER IN THE U.S. DOLLAR

The knee-jerk reaction for most market participants, when faced with the prospect of loss, is to seek shelter under the comforting shade of the U.S. dollar. The prospect of a global trade war has prompted investors to flee emerging markets, particularly those most exposed to potential trade war fallout and repatriated capital. This has placed a sizeable bid under the U.S. dollar, in spite of spiraling U.S. budget deficits. U.S. dollar strength has also been fueled by U.S. corporations that began repatriating cash held offshore for years. This repatriated cash appears to have been promptly deployed into share buybacks and not into capital projects as the Trump administration had hoped. It is little wonder that the U.S. dollar has appreciated relative to virtually every major currency, including gold.

Figure 1: The U.S. Dollar YTD Strength (Percent Gains YTD of U.S. Dollar versus 10 Currencies and Gold Bullion). Source: Bloomberg (Jan 1 – July 20, 2018).
 
Panic buying of the U.S. dollar and liquidation by frustrated holders of gold have led to a situation in which everything that could go wrong for the yellow metal has gone wrong, and sentiment in gold has never been weaker. This is easily evidenced by anemic futures positioning in gold. By contrast, gold equities have held up remarkably well. Gold equities generally lead gold bullion prices. With gold futures positioning near two-year lows, it leads us to believe that while commodity traders have liquidated their speculative positions, long-term oriented investors have encouragingly stood steadfast to gold.

Figure 2: Gold Futures Positioning at Two-Year Lows. The CEI1GNCN Index measures the Bloomberg CFTC CMX Gold Net Non-Commercial Futures Positions. Source: Bloomberg (January 2013 – July 24, 2018).
 
TRADE WARS OFTEN HURT THOSE THEY SHOULD PROTECT: LESSONS FROM SMOOT-HAWLEY
In the past, U.S. trade wars have often hurt those they were meant to protect: American consumers and producers. The automotive revolution in the 1920s resulted in massive job losses in the horse carriage industry. Grazing land was freed up for agriculture resulting in an agricultural boom. Record quantities of crops were produced. Eager to protect its farmers, U.S. lawmakers passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in June 1930. More than 3,200 goods were impacted. The pleas of the economists and even pushbacks from President Herbert Hoover did not result in a light-bulb moment for the Republican lawmakers in power. Unsurprisingly, America’s trade partners retaliated with their own tariffs. Three years later, U.S. imports had decreased by 66% while exports had decreased by 61%. Ironically, those most impacted by Smoot-Hawley was the group the Act meant to protect – the farmers.
 
WHIRLPOOL’S “POSITIVE CATALYST” IS A WASHOUT

Here is a more recent example.

Following the election of Trump, Whirlpool lobbied the administration to “even” out the playing field for washers and dryers. LG and Samsung had been dominating this segment in recent years. On January 23, 2018, the Trump administration imposed tariffs as high as 50% on imported washers and dryers. Whirlpool shares hit their 2018 YTD price high on January 26, 2018, closing at $183.20. As of July 30, Whirlpool shares stood at $132.37, down from $168.48 on January 2, representing a decline of more than 20%.

While craving protectionist measures, Whirlpool wasn’t ready for a trade war as rising costs of steel and aluminum led to increased costs. While washer-dryer prices have increased by 20% in the three months leading to June, Whirlpool’s profits are in decline and consumers are now paying more for their washing machines. In the meantime, Korea is not happy either as it is exporting fewer washing machines into the U.S. Trade wars are complex because the consequences of poorly thought out actions can be disastrous.

Figure 3: Whirlpool Corporation (WHR). Source: Yahoo Finance.


GOLD MAY PROVE TO BE THE ULTIMATE WINNER

Gold, however, may prove to be the ultimate winner given the most recent trade conflicts. Futures positioning in gold is at a trough. GLD options pricing seems to indicate a level of negativity, which has previously coincided with lows in gold. Recently, we have seen the producer price index (PPI) continue to climb as other American producers are seeing rapid cost inflation. The consumer price index (CPI) is now rising faster than wage inflation, which is likely to make the average American feel worse off than they did two years ago.

Figure 4: Inflation is Overtaking Wage Growth. AHE YOY% measures wage growth and represents the U.S. Average Hourly Earnings All Employees Total Private Yearly Percent Change SA. CPI represents the Consumer Price Index, and is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Source: Bloomberg (July 2015 – July 2018).

The expected 2018 $804 billion U.S. budget deficit represents a 17% increase over 2017. Surprisingly, despite a strong U.S. dollar, demand for U.S. Treasuries is near multi-year lows as measured by the bid-to-cover ratio. Perhaps sovereigns such as China and Japan who have traditionally recycled their U.S. profits into U.S. Treasuries are no longer choosing to do so. The lack of demand for U.S. debt at a time when U.S. fixed-income yields are higher than debt yields of other developed economies like Germany, France, Canada and Japan is quite striking. The structural takeaway for us is simple: The recent strength in the U.S. dollar is likely to prove to be short-lived.

Unfortunately, the trends we described above play out significantly slower than the speed of a Trump tweet. Fortunately, this allows investors plenty of time to position their portfolios appropriately. We are confident that the necessary elements are in place to provide the robust underpinnings for a durable bull market for precious metals and precious metal equities.
 
Shree Kargutkar is a Portfolio Manager at Sprott Asset Management LP, which is the sub-advisor for Sprott Gold and Precious Minerals Fund and Sprott Silver Equities Class.


           
1

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is an exchange-traded fund and is used as a benchmark to measure gold bullion prices.

2

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) tracks the overall performance of companies involved in the gold mining industry.

 

          Private Banks Are the New Hedge Funds      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Bloomberg) UBS WM with $2.4 trillion touts relative value for late cycle Bank has issued more than 70 short-term structured notes Who needs hedge funds when a $2.4 trillion private bank is offering global macro trades to navigate late-cycle markets […]
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by Jeff      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
That number only means something to the stock manipulators on Wall St. the stock valuation is not based in reality but in possible future sales and earnings. In reality Tim could finally screw up so bad that Apple could loose its darling status amongst consumers and Poof the company is only worth the assets they have - the dept. Maybe $300 Billion.
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by AAPL      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Why these stupid articles, it’s just Apple haters. If it was amazon, google or shitbook first to 1 Trillion they would have praised the company, but since its Apple they think it’s no big deal. Maybe at the end of the day it does not matter but come on why complain about it just because it’s apple
          Comment on How to disable My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing without erasing your photos by Yojimbo007      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
And Why The F should it be a convoluted spaghetti mishmash.. Its just file/asset management and sharing! iCoud and Apple ios file management paradigm is anything but user friendly and simple. ( actually it is stupid ) . Remember ‘Simple ‘ Apple?... its the MO u have been hammering in our heads and souls regardless of massive compromises in practicality ! what happened? U implement your MO where is not needed and dont where it is? Horrible.. inefficient, confusing , and a mess.. So many stupid obstacles and inefficiencies.. And its a simple file sharing issue! It’s been around since the get go and Apple has not figured it out yet. For those who may be interested: Why cant i make a song on ios device , lets say my ipad ( and lets say on GarageBand) and then add it to a playlist in my music liberies? Why am i forced to go to mac and convoluted iTunes on mac and bend backwards 3 times to get that done? Why cant i make smart playlists in ios? Why cant i gift individual songs on ios ( only full albums) yet i can on mac? ( massive money left on the table) Why do my ripped songs keep disappearing at their own whim? Why dont i have an easy way to see all my photos Everywhere.. including icloud. Why cant i delete photos as i want from any album on any device.. I have photots that seem to be permanently locked in.. i just cant delete them.. no matter what ios device i resort to.? Why am I forced to organize my photos according to how apple finds it to be the right way.. Why all this dictatoial idiosyncratic bullcrap. Simple.. ??? my Arrs!!! Tim, Craig, Phil..! ( forget Eddy .. he is one of the biggest culprits) I know.. i know.. lots of whining... but it is a mess and no one cares. Along with so many other fundamental issues that need care and major overhaul! ( like: spell check and predictive, contextual word recognition... search ... ai .. etc) .. but it seems they are all shoved under the carpet and forgotten .. no one cares that they suck! Hey Apple .. people are triping on the carpet already ...there is so much crap under there ! Dont just BS about simple.. Implement it.. And don’t be a dictator! Trillion dollar company!!!!
          Comment on Apple could be decisive bringing hyperloop to California by trondude      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Does this mean moonbeam will ditch the 16 trillion dollar high speed rail fiasco in lieu of hyperbole?
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by Rhys Eunson      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Paul Thurrott listed all sorts of companies who were more valuable in their time adjusted for inflation. In fact he even listed Microsoft as getting 'so close' at $930 billion at its peak when adjusted for inflation of course. Yet you can guarantee that when Amazon, Google and Microsoft pass the milestone, there will be none of this bullshit. Instead there will be endless articles on how Apple will soon be caught and passed by these companies.
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by Filosopete      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Gosh, I explained to a young guy that he pays about R9k in tax just to show off his iPhone 10. It was just a very rough guess, not even an estimate. Terrible to buy a gadget and fund a pothole in the road by doing so.
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by KenC      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
US prices don't include S Africa's 14% VAT. Also, I believe iPods, iPhones and the like have a 25% ad valorem and import duties. Lastly, the S African distributors buy Apple gear in dollars, and then buy forex contracts, in order to fix the price, to protect against the risk of foreign exchange fluctuations between the rand and dollar. That adds to the price. When you add it up, that's why you pay 50% more. NONE of that addition actually goes to Apple. Most of it is going to the S African gov't.
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by D      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Its sad actually. I would be closer to 2T if Tim could ship current computers.
          UP set to become a trillion-dollar economy: President Ramnath Kovind      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Speaking at the inauguration session, the President said he can feel the excitement among the summit participants, which was reflective of how the mood and atmosphere in the state had changed in the recent past.
          Friday Miscellanea      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tim Cook, CEO of the first trillion dollar company, Apple, worries about "the humanity being drained out of music." Here are some more thoughts:
“I couldn’t make it through a workout without music,” Cook says. “Music inspires, it motivates. It’s also the thing at night that helps quiet me. I think it’s better than any medicine.”
Dude, I worry that you are draining the aesthetics out of music. Ok, you work out to music, it quiets you down at night, it's inspiring and it's motivating and it's like a medicine. Is it also a bit like music? I get that it revs you up, it calms you down and it's medicinal. It just doesn't seem that there is any music in your music. The music that I think is music really doesn't do any of those things, or only secondarily. It worries me that a lot of people listen to music the way Tim Cook does.

* * *

This is cool: a workshop for people wanting to compose for film: Learning from Hollywood's best at a film scoring workshop.
My focus has been, for many years, trying to elevate or at least maintain the level of quality and respect for people who compose music for film and television and games,” said Richard Bellis, who has led the program for 21 years.
The 12 selected applicants spend a month in L.A. under the guidance of Bellis, Emmy-winning composer of the 1990 miniseries “It,” who crams in a year’s worth of education. Each attendee is assigned a scene from an existing film and given a week to write a piece of original score. They orchestrate the music, with insight they gain hearing from pro musicians, and work with established music editors on fitting the piece to film. They learn part preparation as their scores are prepared by JoAnn Kane Music Services, the best in the business.
They’re coached in the interpersonal skills needed for collaborating with directors, podium procedure and running a big-budget recording session. They also meet with music supervisors, concertmasters, agents, studio executives and A-list composers.
* * *

Ever since I began this blog several years ago, I have seen reports of the reconstruction of ancient Greek music. Finally, they all say, finally we have rediscovered what ancient music actually sounded like. And then you listen and it sounds like music from North Africa or modal fusion or, worse, something by Carl Orff from Carmina Burana. And so I read the latest claim without much hope: Ancient Greek music: now we finally know what it sounded like.
In 1932, the musicologist Wilfrid Perrett reported to an audience at the Royal Musical Association in London the words of an unnamed professor of Greek with musical leanings: “Nobody has ever made head or tail of ancient Greek music, and nobody ever will. That way madness lies.”
Indeed, ancient Greek music has long posed a maddening enigma. Yet music was ubiquitous in classical Greece, with most of the poetry from around 750BC to 350BC – the songs of Homer, Sappho, and others – composed and performed as sung music, sometimes accompanied by dance. Literary texts provide abundant and highly specific details about the notes, scales, effects, and instruments used. The lyre was a common feature, along with the popular aulos, two double-reed pipes played simultaneously by a single performer so as to sound like two powerful oboes played in concert.
Despite this wealth of information, the sense and sound of ancient Greek music has proved incredibly elusive.
The more I read, the more I suspected that these researchers and performers were on the right track. Here is a clip that explains their approach and demonstrates the results:


Still, all we have are a few fragments out of the whole corpus of Greek poetry, all of which was set to music. But these performances have an authenticity to them that is promising. And they sound nothing like North African music or Carl Orff!

* * *

It is never easy being an artist, but this seems a bit extreme, even in these benighted days: The Chinese Government Destroys Ai Weiwei's 'Zuoyou' Studio.
It's been just seven years since the dissident artist was arrested and incarcerated in a secret location for 81 days. (The government suspected him and other activists of trying to start a "Jasmine Revolution.") Ai also had his passport confiscated and was forced to pay a steep fine of $2.4 million after authorities charged him with tax evasion.
Now Ai has posted several Instagram videos of his "Zuoyou" studio being destroyed without warning over the weekend. As he explained in one video, he had worked in this Beijing studio since 2006. Ai tells NPR that some of his art was damaged in the process, as he had not been given any time to prepare.
* * *

Cellist Jinging Hu had an unfortunate experience flying with her cello even though she had purchased a seat for the instrument: Cellist ‘humiliated,’ kicked off American Airlines flight after buying ticket for instrument.
When Hu boarded her return flight to Chicago Thursday, she was told to get off the plane, WBBM reported.
Hu said flight staff told her that the cello was too big, and the aircraft was too small to hold the cello.
She said she was escorted off the plane by law enforcement, even though her instrument met the seat size restrictions.
I'll be purchasing a seat for my guitar on a flight to Toronto in December so I really, really hope this does not happen often. It is not easy traveling as a musician these days.

* * *

Deutsche Grammophon has signed a deal with Apple Music to have playlists curated by classical music artists. Sounds pretty interesting.
Deutsche Grammophon has signed a longterm deal with Apple Music to have classical playlists curated by major artists.
For today’s launch at Salzburg, the pianist Daniil Trifonov, tenor Rolando Villazón and cellist Peter Gregson curated Apple Music’s three main composer stations: Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.
The DG Playlist will be regularly updated to include videos by DG stars. Check it out here.
Further plans include the first full visual opera on Apple Music – Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette from Salzburg 2008 with Rolando Villazón, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin – along with a Salzburg video playlist, including the Mozart Gala in the composer’s 250th-anniversary year, featuring Anna Netrebko, Magdalena Kožená, Thomas Hampson, Daniel Harding and the Vienna Philharmonic.
* * *

Hey, we've all been there! A woman in Slovakia was arrested for playing Verdi loud to drown out a neighbor's barking dog: Woman detained in Slovakia for playing Verdi for 16 years. I played Stravinsky loud at 6am once to retaliate for a barking dog. Just once, mind you.
According to Hungarian news site Parameter.sk, the woman, identified only as Eva N, played a four-minute aria from Giuseppe Verdi's 'La Traviata' non-stop, in her house with on speakers full blast, from morning until night.
Parameter.sk says that the homeowner in the southern town of Sturovo played the music for years to drown out a neighbour's loud barking dog, and had simply continued doing it.
Residents poured out their anger to local media, furious that the high volume harassment had been allowed to go on for so long.
Police in Slovakia sure seem to take their time responding to noise complaints.

* * *

Wednesday night was Grigory Sokolov's Salzburg recital which I had put in my calendar back when I thought I might be attending this year. There was a thunderstorm, as often happens in Salzburg in August, and the sheer volume of rain caused a leak in the Grosses Festspielhaus:
At last night’s recital by Grigory Sokolov in the Grosses Festspielhaus at the Salzburg Festival, as Sokolov was into the trio of the final menuet of Haydn’s 49th sonata, nearing the end of an all-Haydn first half, water began to pour from the ceiling onto the patrons in the 5-8th rows, center.
I was sitting in the 1st row, directly in front of Sokolov, and was reluctant to turn around, not wishing to distract him…but of course the water was coming down loudly, as if from a large showerhead, pouring from one of the light fixtures high overhead, and it’s hard to believe he didn’t hear it. Nonetheless, I never saw so much as a glance or any other sign he was aware of the deluge – his commitment to the music was absolute – and his performance appeared in no way affected by the fact that roughly two dozen people had to get up right in front of him and quietly file out.
After a slightly longer than customary intermission, during which the leak was stopped, the floor mopped, and dry seat cushions provided for the affected patrons – several of whom did not return – the program resumed with a stunning Schubert D.935, plus the usual generous complement of wondrous encores, six in all. The fourth of these was – naturally – Chopin’s ‘Raindrop’ prélude.
* * *

Ross Douthat has a column at the New York Times about the battle between technocratic ambition and humanism. Spoiler: humanism is losing.
...in the end neither a Christian humanism nor any other has been able to withstand the spirit of Conant, the spirit of technocratic ambition, the spirit of truth-replaced-by-useful-knowledge, that rules today not just in Washington and Silicon Valley but in much of academia as well. 
...this trend is sharper among elite liberal arts colleges, the top thirty in the US News and World Report rankings, where in the early 2000s the humanities still attracted about a third of all students, but lately only get about a fifth. So it’s not just a matter of the post-Great Recession middle class seeking more practical degrees to make sure their student loans get repaid quickly; the slice of the American elite that’s privileged enough and intellectually-minded enough to choose Swarthmore or Haverford or Amherst over a state school or a research university is abandoning Hermes for Apollo at the fastest clip.
Douthat offers some thoughts on the deeper cause of the problem:
That problem is the one that Auden identified seventy years ago: In an Apollonian culture, eager for “Useful Knowledge” and technical mastery and increasingly indifferent to memory and allergic to tradition, the poet and the novelist and the theologian struggle to find an official justification for their arts. And both the turn toward radical politics and the turn toward high theory are attempts by humanists in the academy to supply that justification — to rebrand the humanities as the seat of social justice and a font of political reform, or to assume a pseudoscientific mantle that lets academics claim to be interrogating literature with the rigor and precision of a lab tech doing dissection. 
I have certainly noticed both these trends: on the one hand the continual invasion of the "diversity and inclusion" warriors and on the other, the pseudo-scientific attempts to explain how music works. From my point of view, music really doesn't need either of these remedies, but I guess I have a minority view.

* * *

Though I have posted about her before, I am really not that familiar with the work of composer Missy Mazzoli. The San Francisco Classical Voice has a nice article about her.
Mazzoli’s musical accomplishments include a notable performance career with her own ensemble, Victoire, and premieres of a variety of works with classical organizations from Opera Philadelphia (Breaking the Waves, 2018) to the L.A. Philharmonic (Sinfonia, 2014), as well as collaborations with more cutting edge performers and composers such as percussionist Glenn Kotche (Vespers for a New Dark Age, 2014) and cellist Maya Beiser (Salt, a “mini-opera,” 2012). Currently on the faculty of Mannes College of Music, Mazzoli makes for a new kind of role model, a working female composer who is creating works on her own terms and receiving prestigious commissions and high praise from top critics. Recently, Anne Midgette of The Washington Post dubbed her “less a black sheep than a sacred cow: the ‘it’ girl of the contemporary scene.”
* * *

 Let's listen to some of her music for our envoi today. This is the quite lovely Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) in its European premiere at the BBC Proms last year. The performers are the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Karina Canellakis.




          Will Republicans ruin the internet?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The internet is undoubtedly the most important invention of the last several decades. And no country has been better at commercializing the internet than America. Apple is unlikely to be the last trillion-dollar U.S. tech company.

It sure would be a shame to mess all that up over a loopy provocateur like Alex Jones.

But here we are. The social-media banning of the conspiracy-mongering, hate-spewing performance artist could push Republicans to ruin the internet.

Even before Apple, YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify purged the noxious content produced by Jones and his Infowars website, Republican lawmakers and pundits were attacking social media and internet companies for bias against conservatives. Among the supposedly persuasive bits of evidence: unfounded claims that Facebook was censoring pro-Trump video bloggers Diamond and Silk, and an errant Google search result that linked the California GOP with "Nazism." Then there's the political liberalism — or at least financial support of Democrats — of many tech CEOs.

Sen. Ted Cruz, like many of his fellow Republicans, claims to have connected the dots. As he said on a Breitbart podcast: "These tech companies are hard left. … They are suppressing the views of conservatives. They are blocking conservatives. ... That is invidious. It is invisible, and it is profoundly dangerous."

Of course, it was skillful use of social media that helped Donald Trump win the presidency, and right-leaning pages apparently have a bigger presence on Facebook than left-leaning ones. But the reality that too many GOP politicians care most about is getting their voters ginned up for the November midterm elections. Perhaps nudging along the perception that conservatives are being persecuted by Silicon Valley will do the trick. As one Republican campaign strategist told Politico, "It's something Trump has talked about repeatedly, it's a base motivator, you're not going to find conservatives who don't believe there's bias."

The banning of Jones, though perfectly justified, will make it even easier for Republicans to make a tribalist political case against Big Tech. More concerning, however, is if paranoid politics turns into policy. Cruz and some other Republicans have mused about taking away websites' immunity from liability for what their users post, as stated in Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Here's the actual language: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Many policy experts across the political spectrum have credited this legal shield with playing a major role in the internet's explosive innovation and continuing growth over the past two decades. Internet legal scholar David Post has argued that without the provision, it is hard to see how Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, or Amazon would exist today.

But some on the right see this provision as giving firms an unaccountable right to censor content of which they disapprove. Well, yeah, that's true in a way — if you ignore that these firms are accountable to their users. And that's kind of the point, too. One reason Section 230 was included was to encourage tech firms to remove or restrict access to "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable" material without being held legally liable. Given the internet's spectacular success, it would be hard to argue that Section 230 was a bad idea. Not that it should never be changed or altered in any way, of course. Congress recently narrowed the rule to fight sex trafficking, which all else being equal seem unobjectionable.

Yet the fear among tech activists is this small loophole will widen until platforms are liable for all sorts of content hosted on their platforms. And given what some GOP officials are saying, the concern hardly seems unfounded.

Established tech titans might well survive a new world of enhanced legal liability, but good luck to their unborn future competitors who won't have massive resources at their disposal. While Republicans are kvetching about the dominance of big tech companies — with some adopting the left's call to break up the most dominant — they may unwittingly be furthering it. This seems to be just what is unintendedly happening with Europe's new data protection regulatory regime.

So rather than undertake risky, poorly thought through regulations that could undermine the internet and the vibrant business ecosystem built around it, here's another option for the right: Quit whining and build. If it really thinks social media is oppressively hostile to Trumpian America, then there must be a huge market opportunity for Red America-friendly competitors. Use that can-do American spirit and build them. Just make sure your representatives in Washington aren't making it harder to do so.


          David Ihde: ‘Medicare for all’ based on rosy assumptions      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In response to Lia Kozatch’s letter touting the savings of Medicare for all as providing more for less and saving the country $2 trillion in the process over 10 years, this assumes Bernie Sanders’ claim of bringing all reimbursement claims rates down to the Medicare […]
          Weekend reading links      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
1. Ananth points to the stunning shift in the market for leveraged loans,
Right now roughly 78% of the more than $1 trillion in outstanding U.S. leveraged loans are cov-lite, compared to just 29% in 2007, at the peak of last credit cycle (and just before the financial crisis). Cov-lite loans place fewer restrictions on a borrower than do traditionally structured credits... the average discounted recovery rate on cov-lite loans undertaken before 2010 is 78%. That figure drops to 56% for cov-lite loans originated in 2010 and after...
2. As the 5G telecommunications spectrum auctions beckon, Mobius Philippose raises the inevitable questions around winner's curse,
The recommended price for the 5G spectrum on offer is over seven times of what was discovered in a recently held auction in South Korea for 3,500 MHz spectrum. 
At the recommended reserve prices, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) estimates the auctions would be worth over ₹5 trillion, or as much as $78 billion. Mobius feels that given their troubled balance sheets, the high reserve prices are likely to deter telecom providers from bidding for spectrum. 

I am inclined to agree with his view, but not the conclusion that keeping reserve prices high "shows that the regulator and the government don’t care much about the financial health of surviving telcos".

3. SEBI has a draft proposal to deepen capital markets in India by mandating corporates with outstanding long-term borrowing greater than Rs 100 Cr and with credit rating of AA and above to raise 25% of borrowings through corporate bond market. It is proposed for implementation from 1 April 2019, would be on a "comply or explain" mode for the first two years, and would have fines ranging from 0.2-0.3% of the shortfall.

Tamal Bandopadhyay has a nice article which highlights some of the concerns. 
According to a recent analysis by Care Ratings, as of March 2017, the credit limit of such borrowers was 1.5 times the amount of loans actually taken. The Care analysis finds that 106 large companies with over ₹ 10,000 crore credit limit in March 2017 sourced 47% of funds from banks and 16 of them have never entered the bond market. From a group of 42 companies with bank credit limit between ₹ 7,500 crore and ₹ 10,000 crore, 11 never raised money from the bond market...


In a rising interest rate scenario, companies prefer to borrow from banks where the cost is relatively lower than the bond market which reacts fast to rising rates. In the first quarter of current fiscal year, ₹ 66,997 crore has been raised from the market against little over ₹ 1.48 trillion in the year-ago quarter. The volume of gross issuance was ₹ 6.4 trillion in 2017 but dropped to ₹ 5.8 trillion in 2018 and will reduce further in the current year given the rising yields...
Currently, the bond market is dominated by AAA issuers and the issuances by A-rated entities are a measly 2%. The key reasons for the lack of appetite for the A and lower-rated companies’ papers (a bond is considered investment grade if its credit rating is BBB- or higher by Standard & Poor’s or Baa3 or higher by Moody’s) are that most of the investment regulations either do not permit investment in private corporate bonds with rating lower than AA and, even where it is permitted, discouraged through regulatory interventions.
4. Dani Rodrik makes the case to reform WTO to make it accommodate more diversity, 
Negotiated at a time of neoliberal triumphalism, WTO reached inside the border to constrain domestic policies in subsidies, health and safety and intellectual property. Any domestic regulation with an adverse impact on imports could now be treated as a trade restriction. Subsequent trade agreements went further, prioritising trade and foreign investment over domestic concerns. Western policymakers tend to think of today’s global trade rules as neutral and impartial, treating all participants fairly. But trade agreements are political documents, reflecting the interests of dominant coalitions. Multinational corporations, international banks and Big Pharma play a particularly important role in shaping them. It is no surprise that long-term concerns about development, or indeed labour rights and the environment, are given short shrift... When trade threatens to undermine domestic labour standards, fiscal systems, or investments in advanced technology, rich nations should be just as entitled to privilege these concerns over imports and foreign investment...  
If the WTO has become dysfunctional, it is because our trade rules have over-reached. A fair world trade regime would recognise the value of diversity in economic models. It should seek a modus vivendi among these models, rather than tighter rules.
The point being made is less about a justification of China as a case for flexibility within international  trade frameworks, but more about allowing the freedom for individual countries to respond to trends which are genuinely detrimental to their interests.

5. Global tourism has been growing at an explosive pace,
International tourism rose from fewer than 300 million trips in 1980 to some 500 million in 1995, before exploding to 1.3 billion trips in 2017—a number that’s expected to rise to 1.8 billion in 2030.
And China has been the main driver,
China also accounts for an estimated 80 percent of the growth in tourism spending over the past 10 or so years.
6. NYT chronicles Mawlynnong, the cleanest village in India.

7. One of the less discussed problem mounting up across the US and now UK (and elsewhere too) is the financial crunch faced by local governments and its impact on their ability to continue the delivery of regular civic and utility services. Sample this from UK,
Central government funding for local authorities has been reduced in real terms by 49 per cent between 2010-2011 and 2017-18, according to the National Audit Office, parliament’s spending watchdog. Nearly half of England’s 353 local authorities recorded real-terms falls in their reserves between March 2015 and March 2017, according to an FT analysis conducted earlier this year
With economic stagnation, declining or stagnant median incomes, widening inequality, rise of part-time jobs, and so on, cuts in important civic services and consequent pressure to pay for them could be adding fuel to the fire of discontent that feeds populist politics.

8. There is no bigger market failure than in the market for audit services. Talk about the illusion of competition and conflicts of interest in that market,
No fewer than 98 per cent of FTSE 350 constituents (the largest companies on the UK market) have their books vetted by one of KPMG, EY, Deloitte or PwC. In the US, the figure is 99 per cent for the S&P 500... Conflicts are often hidden discreetly beneath the surface. Accountancy firms are not required to be open about the consulting work they provide to companies, from pension and tax advice, to advising on pay policies or restructuring. These ancillary activities can often be much more lucrative than a plain audit contract (which, in addition to legal risk, also limits a firm’s ability to bid for non-audit business)... While situations where conflicts restrict large companies to considering at best two, or in some cases one, of the Big Four are rarely public knowledge, they are relatively routine.
And the conflicts can be egregious,
PwC was recently confirmed as the “delivery partner” to the regulator, Ofwat, for its next price review in 2019, This involves vetting industry business plans to determine appropriate prices. PwC undertook the previous price review in 2014, at a time when it audited or advised no fewer than nine of the UK’s 19 water companies. This time its role is more modest. But it remains statutory auditor to three firms, including the UK’s largest, Thames Water, and provides services to several more. Prem Sikka, professor of accounting at the University of Essex, said of the situation: “Such links will no doubt be exploited to attract clients and say that the firm will show you how to duck and dive and negotiate the regulatory environment. Firms can’t serve more than one master and must be banned from having their fingers in all pies.”
There are also more pernicious forces at work that deter smaller rivals from competing for audit contracts,
Across Britain’s largest listed companies, 61 of the 100 audit committee chair positions at the end of last year were held by Big Four alumni, according to Accountancy Daily. The ties that bind the Big Four to big business extend beyond the boardroom, to the worlds of politics and regulation. This creates a feedback loop that reinforces the giants’ dominance as their connections give them a powerful advantage when bidding for public or private work.
Wholesale break-up of the Big Four or separation of consulting and audit business or selection of the audit firm by a regulator, stock exchange or government are ideas under discussion to address the problem.

9. Finally, comparing China, India, and Vietnam,
“In China, the government can do everything; in India they can’t do anything,” says Huynh The Du, a lecturer at Saigon’s Fulbright University. “In Vietnam it’s somewhere in between: sometimes the government can’t do things because of the resistance of the people.”

          #fame - thisiscrowhorton      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          3 Key Factors That Led to Apple Becoming the World's First Trillion-Dollar Company      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Apple has never competed on price, yet it is the brand preferred by people across the wealth spectrum.
          Rough Deep Red Garnet Triangle Silver Ring Geometric Wide Unisex Band Romantic Crimson Color January Birthstone Trillion - Liebesrichtung by NangijalaJewelry      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

220.00 USD

Liebesrichtung (love's direction) is a romantic unisex design. A rough deep red garnet is bezel set atop a wide silver band. The gorgeous crimson gemstone was lovingly shaped by myself. The geometric shape and matte texture make for a modern yet rustic piece. Garnet is January's birthstone. Maybe it will point you in the right direction if you are looking for love 😊

I fabricated this ring from sterling and fine silver in my studio in Tucson.

The gemstone weighs 3.35ct and measures 11x7.5mm.

Ring Width: 8mm
Ring Thickness: 1.1mm

Size 8.5 or 58.5 or large 18.5 or Q 1/2 (cannot be sized)
nangijalajewelry.etsy.com
One Of A Kind Gemstone (I may be able to find other garnets for a similar ring)


          UP set to become a trillion-dollar economy: Kovind      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
          When Expectations Are Huge, the First Full Season for a Quarterback Helps Determine Their Fate      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The first year of a college quarterback's career is probably my favorite. There is a beautiful mixture of hope, optimism, and a dash of Baby Huey involved that can pretty much be summed up like "no no no no what are you doing for the love of GOD oh wait WAIT" and then your brain explodes because something you've never seen before just happened.

You know, like this:

We shrug off the fact that that was one of only seven completed passes Braxton Miller threw that day (and the touchdown alone accounted for almost half of his 89 total passing yards), because... who cares? It was an awesome, game-winning indicator that Braxton is cool and good and Ohio State football was going to be fun to watch with him at the helm.

We got some of that last season with Dwayne Haskins, via a Backup Steps Up to the Plate Against Michigan scenario that I feel like we've seen play out way too many times lately. With J.T. Barrett hurt, all Haskins did was lead Ohio State to a come-from-behind victory while completing six of seven passes for 94 yards.

It was a great performance and might've been the clincher that put him firmly ahead in the starting quarterback race for 2018.

but this article isn't about Dwayne Haskins' past. It's about his future.

Before we get to that, however, I should tell you about how once upon a time I used to deliver auto parts in the summer to make money for college. Rotors, mostly, but also brake pads and spark plugs and whatever else was lurking in our store room.

It was a pretty good job, and I liked it, but because this was southwestern Ohio and home to the agressively contrarian sports fan, I also worked with some guys who were all about Michigan.

This led to what was the absolute dumbest argument of my entire life (and I once had an hour long argument about whether tiramisu is cake or not. Which for the record it definitely is not, Gary), where a Wolverine-loving coworker and myself argued about which quarterback would end up putting a clamp down on the rivalry: incoming Ohio born golden boy Justin Zwick, or, incoming Cali born golden boy Matt Gutierrez.

If you're asking yourself "who the hell is Matt Gutierrez?" that's a valid question because he only threw 41 total passes for Michigan, made his way to Idaho State, and then after graduating somehow found himself in a couple of NFL games where he threw one pass in each. And completed them both! Good job, Matt Gutierrez!

You know Zwick's story, but the point here is that both of these guys made way for other players who would go on to define both The Game and their respective teams for years. An initial bout of excitement was quickly turned on its ear, despite some promising early results.

So that matters for us and for Dwayne Haskins is that he avoids that trap. He's an outstanding athlete with all of the tools necessary to be a legend at Ohio State. But this year, his first full year holding the reins of the Buckeye offense, will be the most important season of football in his life. In this case maybe the past can be instructive. So let's take a look at the first full seasons for new Ohio State quarterbacks, not so shiny and new, and burdened with the weight of expectations.

TROY SMITH, 2005

149/237, 62.9% completion rate, 2282 yards passing, 611 yards rushing, 16 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 11 rushing touchdowns

Troy Smith is a good example of why this exercise is always going to be a little odd. Smith took over for Justin Zwick as the starting quarterback in 2004, but wasn't really given full control of the offense until there were five games left in the season. He was extremely hot and cold in those five games, but showed a ton of potential, most notably in an upset win against Michigan where he had 386 yards of total offense.

2005 is where things get interesting. He was suspended for part of the Texas game to start the season, and when he finally got in he wasn't great. In fact, there were some weird stretches of the 2005 season where he wasn't great. In a loss against Penn State, Troy completed just over 50% of his passes and rushed 19 times for a Lydell Ross-ian 15 yards. Against Northwestern, he only had seven completions, zero touchdowns, and an interception.

But man, when the dude was on, he was on. In his final two games against Michigan and then against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, he accounted for almost 750 total yards, which included four touchdowns. He passed for 249 yards against Michigan State despite only completing 10 passes (paging, Ginn, Ted Ginn). He racked up over 350 total yards against Illinois.

It was obvious that despite some rough games he was a star in the making and that 2006 was going to be incredible.

TODD BOECKMAN, 2007

191/299, 63.9% completion rate, 2379 yards passing, 63 yards rushing, 25 passing touchdowns, 14 interceptions, zero rushing touchdowns

Boeckman only had one year as the main man under center, and whatever level of nostalgia one has for the Boeckman era is unfortunately probably appropriate.

Boeckman was fine. He had the tools to be a really good quarterback, and at one point in the 2007 season people were even talking him up for Heisman, but his biggest issue was decision-making. That hadn't become apparent during the 14 passes he attempted in the 2006 season, but by 2007 it was a glaring weakness in his game.

In the final three games of the 2007 season, Boeckman threw six interceptions, including three against Illinois in a Senior Day home loss that also happened to be my final game at Ohio State as a student, which I'm clearly not bitter about. He wasn't much better the next week at Michigan, scoring no touchdowns and only completing seven passes, and had serious gorilla/chainsaw issues in the BCS Championship against LSU, completing 57% of his passes and tossing a couple of picks.

This would not portend well for his future.

TERRELLE PRYOR, 2009

167/295, 56.6% completion rate, 2094 yards passing, 779 yards rushing, 18 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 7 rushing touchdowns

Controversy! And again, a bit of a fudge. Todd Boeckman was ousted as presumptive starter after a disastrous loss against USC only three games into the 2008 season. One could consider 2008 as Pryor's first full year as a starter.

But we won't, because 2009 is more fun and more relevant for Haskins.

I find Terrelle Pryor's 2009 season absolutely fascinating because it's blindingly obvious that Jim Bollman had absolutely zero idea what to do with him. He was a thing of beauty at times, especially in the Rose Bowl against Oregon, going 23/37 for 266 yards through the air with another 72 on the ground. Against Wisconsin, where I swear to you Ohio State had a total of 40 offensive plays the entire game, Pryor completed five passes and ran for 35 yards on 10 carries. Neat.

Imagine being Pryor through this. Against Indiana, you throw the ball 28 times. Okay, fair enough. Next week, you're asked to pass only 13 times against Wisconsin. The following week, a loss against Purdue, you heave it 31 times and are intercepted twice for your trouble. Despite being the most ridiculous physical specimen I've personally ever seen in my life, Pryor was being pulled in five different directions by a coaching staff that didn't know what they wanted the offense to look like and as a result wasn't as effective as he should've been.

2010 went much better, but that's the point: it took almost two years to figure it out.

Anything is possibllleeeeeee!

BRAXTON MILLER, 2012

148/254, 58.3% completion rate, 2039 yards passing, 1271 yards rushing, 15 passing touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 13 rushing touchdowns

2012 Braxton Miller is actually only really relevant as far as this exercise goes because of 2011 Braxton Miller.

2011 Braxton Miller, who split way, way too many snaps with Joe Bauserman, actually had more rushing attempts (159) than passing attempts (157). The offensive gameplan around him was nonsensical at best, as Luke Fickell and oh hey, Jim Bollman again attempted to fit an extremely round peg into a fastidiously square hole. That team lost seven games and Braxton completed more than ten passes in a game exactly twice, against Michigan and Florida. Ohio State lost both of those games.

2012 Braxton, with the help of a guy named Urban Meyer, went undefeated, scored 28 touchdowns, completed 10 or more passes in a game nine different times, ran for a trillion yards, etc. Funny how that works.

J.T. BARRETT, 2014

203/314, 64.6% completion rate, 2834 yards passing, 938 yards rushing, 34 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 11 rushing touchdowns

I actually didn't want to include J.T.'s 2014 season because it hurts my narrative, but I'll just point out that Barrett had only one (1) bad game the entire season. He was either good or very, very good in virtually every other game. Guys, he scored four touchdowns or more seven different times. Oh, and he still ran for almost a thousand yards. We probably won't see a quarterback do that in their first season as a full-time starter anytime soon, and especially not from a guy thrust into the spotlight the way he was.

A rare duck indeed.


So if history is any indicator, in the 2018 campaign it is likely that we will see Dwayne Haskins struggle, probably through a combination of inexperience and a necessary period of coaching adjustments. And that's okay! It's his first year with his treads a little worn down; we know he's talented, he just has to have the means to show it.

What will allow him success is a consistent gameplan that he can rely upon on a week to week basis, an offensive philosophy that plays to his strengths, and a coaching staff that's patient enough to allow him to be kind of crappy from time to time.

Given that, Haskins should be set up to do some serious damage in the Big Ten.


          Azure Cosmos DB      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

I started my sabbatical work with t he Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB team recently. I have been in talks and collaboration with the Cosmos DB people, and specifically with Dharma Shukla, for over 3 years. I have been very impressed with what they were doing and decided that this would be the best place to spend my sabbatical year .

The travel and settling down took time. I will write about those later. I will also write about my impressions of the greater Seattle area as I discover more about it. This was a big change for me after having stayed in Buffalo for 13 years. I love the scenery: everywhere I look I see a gorgeous lake or hill/mountain scene. And, oh my God, there are blackberries everywhere! It looks like the Himalayan blackberries is the invasive species here , but I can't complain. As I go on an evening stroll with my family, we snack on blackberries growing along the sidewalk. It seems like we are the only ones doing so ---people in US are not much used to eating fruits off from trees/bushes.


Azure Cosmos DB

Ok, coming back to Cosmos DB... My first impressions--from an insider-perspective this time-- about Cosmos DB is also very positive and overwhelming. It is hard not to get overwhelmed. Cosmos DB provides a global highly-available low-latency all-in-one database/storage/querying/analytics service to heavyweight demanding businesses. Cosmos DB is used ubiquitously within Microsoft systems/services, and is also one of the fastest-growing services used by Azure developers externally. It manages 100s of petabytes of indexed data, and serves 100s of trillions of requests every day from thousands of customers worldwide, and enables customers to build highly-responsive mission-critical applications.

I find that there are a lot of things to learn before I can start contributing in a meaningful and significant way to the Cosmos DB team. So I will use this blog to facilitate, speed up, and capture my learning. The process of writing helps me detach, see the big picture, and internalize stuff better. Moreover my blog also serves as my augmented memory and I refer back to it for many things.

Here is my first attempt at an overview post. As I get to know Cosmos DB better, I hope to give you other more-in-depth overview posts.

What is Cosmos DB?

Cosmos DB is Azure's cloud-native database service.

(The term "cloud-native" is a loaded key term, and the team doesn't use it lightly. I will try to unpack some of it here, and I will revisit this in my later posts.)

It is a database that offers frictionless global distribution across any number of Azure regions ---50+ of them! It enables you to elastically scale throughput and storage worldwide on-demand quickly, and you pay only for what you provision. It guarantees single-digit-millisecond latencies at the 99th percentile, supports multiple consistency models, and is backed by comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs) .

I am most impressed with its all-in-one capability. Cosmos DB seamlessly supports many APIs, data formats, consistency levels, and needs across many regions. This alleviates data integration pains which is a major problem for all businesses. The all-in-one capability also eliminates the developer effort wasted into keeping multiple systems with different-yet-aligned goals in sync with each other. I had written earlier about the Lambda versus Kappa architectures, and how the pendulum is all the way to Kappa. Cosmos DB all-in-one gives you the Kappa benefits.

This all-in-one capability backed with global-scale distribution enables new computing models as well. The datacenter-as-a-computer paper from 2009 had talked about the vision of warehouse scale machines. By providing a frictionless globe-scale replicated database, CosmosDB opens the way to thinking about the globe-as-a-computer. One of the usecases I heard from some Cosmos DB customers amazed me. Some customers allocate a spare region (say Australia) where they have no read/write clients as an analytics region. This spare region still gets consistent data replication and stays very up-to-date and is employed for running analytics jobs without jeopardizing the access latencies of real read-write clients. Talk about disaggregated computation and storage! This is disaggregated storage, computing, analytics, and serverless across the globe. Under this model, the globe becomes your playground.

This disaggregated yet all-in-one computing model also manifests itself in customer acquisition and settling in Cosmos DB. Customers often come for the query serving level, which provides high throughput and low-latency via SSDs. Then they get interested and invest into the lower-throughput but higher/cheaper storage options to store terrabytes and petabytes of data. They then diversify and enrich their portfolio further with analytics, event-driven lambda, and real-time streaming capabilities provided in Cosmos DB.

There is a lot to discuss, but in this post I will only make a brief introduction to the issues/concepts, hoping to write more about them later. My interests are of course at the bottom of the stack at the core layer, so I will likely dedicate most of my coming posts to the core layer.


Azure Cosmos DB
Core layer

The core layer provides capabilities that the other layers build upon. These include global distribution, horizontally and independently scalable storage and throughput, guaranteed single-digit millisecond latency, tunable consistency levels, and comprehensive SLAs.

Resource governance is an important and pervasive component of the core layer. Request units (allocating CPU, memory, throughput) is the currency to provision the resources. Provisioning a desired level of throughput through dynamically changing access patterns and across a heterogeneous set of database operations presents many challenges. To meet the stringent SLA guarantees for throughput, latency, consistency, and availability, Cosmos DB automatically employs partition splitting and relocation. This is challenging to achieve as Cosmos DB also handles fine-grained multi-tenancy with 100s of tenants sharing a single machine and 1000s of tenants sharing a single cluster each with diverse workloads and isolated from the rest. Adding even more to the challenge, Cosmos DB supports scaling database throughput and storage independently, automatically, and swiftly to address the customer's dynamically changing requirements/needs.

To provide another important functionality, global distribution, Cosmos DB enables you to configure the regions for "read", "write", or "read/write" regions. Using Azure Cosmos DB's multi-homing APIs, the app always knows where the nearest region is (even as you add and remove regions to/from your Cosmos DB database) and sends the requests to the nearest datacenter. All reads are served from a quorum local to the closest region to provide low latency access to data anywhere in the world.


Azure Cosmos DB

Cosmos DB allows developers to choose among five well-defined consistency models along the consistency spectrum . (Yay,consistency levels!) You can configure the default consistency level on your Cosmos DB account (and later override the consistency on a specific read request). About 73% of Azure Cosmos DB tenants use session consistency and 20% prefer bounded staleness. Only 2% of Azure Cosmos DB tenants override consistency levels on a per request basis. In Cosmos DB, reads served at session, consistent prefix, and eventual consistency are twice as cheap as reads with strong or bounded staleness consistency.

This lovely technical report explains the consistency models through publishing of baseball scores via multiple channels. I will write a summary of this paper in the coming days. The paper concludes: " Even simple databases may have diverse users with different consistency needs. Clients should be able to choose their desired consistency. The system cannot possibly predict or determine the consistency that is required by a given application or client. The preferred consistency often depends on how the data is being used. Moreover, knowledge of who writes data or when data was last written can sometimes allow clients to perform a relaxed consistency read, and obtain the associated benefits, while reading up-to-date data. "

Data layer

Cosmos DB supports and projects multiple data models (documents, graphs, key-value, table, etc.) over a minimalist type system and core data model: the atom-record-sequence (ARS) model.

A Cosmos DB resource container is a schema-agnostic container of arbitrary user-generated JSON items and javascript based stored procedures, triggers, and user-defined-functions (UDFs). Container and item resources are further projected as reified resource types for a specific type of API interface. For example, while using document-oriented APIs, container and item resources are projected as collection and document resources respectively. Similarly, for graph-oriented API access, the underlying container and item resources are projected as graph, node/edge resources respectively.

The overall resource model of an application using Cosmos DB is a hierarchical overlay of the resources rooted under the database account, and can be navigated using hyperlinks.

API layer

Cosmos DB supports three main classes of developers: (1) those familiar with relational databases and prefer SQL language, (2) those familiar with dynamically typed modern programming languages (like JavaScript) and want a dynamically typed efficiently queryable database, and (3) those who are already familiar with popular NoSQL databases and want to transfer their application to Azure cloud without a rewrite.

In order to meet developers wherever they are, Cosmos DB supports SQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Gremlin, Table APIs with SDKs available in multiple languages.

The ambitious future

There is a palpable buzz in the air in Cosmos DB offices due to the imminent multimaster general availability rollout (which I will also write about later). The team members keep it to themselves working intensely most of the time, but would also have frequent meetings and occasional bursty standup discussions. This is my first deployment in a big team/company, so I am trying to take this in as well. (Probably a post on that is coming up as well.)

It looks like the Cosmos DB team caught a good momentum. The team wants to make Cosmos DB the prominent cloud database and even the go-to all-in-one cloud middleware. Better analytic support and better OLAP/OLTP integration is in the works to support more demanding more powerful next generation applications.

Cosmos DB already has great traction in enterprise systems. I think it will be getting more love from independent developers as well, since it provides serverless computing and all-in-one system with many APIs. It is possible to try it for free at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cosmos-db/ . To keep up to date with the latest news and announcements, you can follow @AzureCosmosDB and #CosmosDB on Twitter.


My work at Cosmos DB

In the short term, as I learn more about Cosmos DB, I will write more posts like this one. I will also try to learn and write about the customer usecases, workloads, and operations issue without revealing details. I think learning about the real world usecases and problems will be one of the most important benefits I will be able to get from my sabbatical.

In the medium term, I will work on TLA+/PlusCal translation of consistency levels provided by Cosmos DB and share them here. Cosmos DB uses TLA+/PlusCal to specify and reason about the protocols. This helps prevent concurrency bugs, race conditions, and helps with the development efforts. TLA+ modeling has been instrumental in Cosmos DB's design which integrated global distribution, consistency guarantees, and high-availability from the ground-up. ( Here is an interview where Leslie Lamport shares his thoughts on the foundations of Azure Cosmos DB and his influence in the design of Azure Cosmos DB.) This is very dear to my heart, as I have been employing TLA+ in my distributed systems classes for the past 5 years .

Finally, as I get a better mastery of Cosmos DB internals, I like to contribute to protocols on multimaster multirecord transaction support. I also like to learn more about and contribute to Cosmos DB's automatic failover support during one or more regional outages. Of course, these protocols will all be modeled and verified with TLA+.

MAD questions

1. What would you do with a frictionless cloud middleware? Which new applications can this enable?

Here is something that comes to my mind. Companies are already uploading IOT sensor data from cars to Azure CosmosDB continuously. Next step would be to build more ambitious applications that make sense of correlated readings and use
          Re: Henderson proposes investment in teachers; Asa campaign scoffs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"...Real easy for liberals to spend other people's money..." Razor/Stu.

God, Stu, that comment takes the cake for Republican hypocrisy coming from a devotee of a president and a political party that has been throwing money around like it is going out of style, creating a trillion dollar deficit so far this year, which is an all-time record. Get real, man. You are ridiculous.
Posted by plainjim
          Re: BREAKING: Teachers fear Hutchinson administration has targeted LR teachers union and is pushing for more charters      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Trillions for military (not soldiers), shit for teachers, police and firemen.

Let's start there.
Posted by Earl
          Apple says it is monitoring Infowars app for content violations      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

By Paresh Dave and Stephen Nellis

The post Apple says it is monitoring Infowars app for content violations appeared first on One America News Network.


          Comment on Video: Man Breaks Legs after Scaling Border Wall by Tom      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hey! What's up with the points system? If I accumulate 5 trillion points, do I get a free order of fries? Or is that 10 trillion points to qualify for free fries? Hmmmm!
          What the rich need now is hate, sweet hate      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Humberto DaSilva
Riot police confront demonstration. Photo: looking4poetry/Flickr

In 2008 the Westworld economy crashed because for Wall Street moral hazard had become a board game. After blowing the biggest bubble ever enticing the guileless with mortgages they couldn't afford, stockbrokers sliced these loans into derivatives that sold like packaged bologna to guileless pension funds, RRSPs, mutual funds, and 401Ks. European banks bought this toilet paper because, though everyone knew it was a casino bet, if it kept going up, you made money. Then the bubble burst and the bailout began. After one little casino was allowed to symbolically collapse, the American usury houses got a trillion-dollar bailout as the last Bush left the building.

There was the briefest period of defibrillation stimulus to shock the economy out of its death rattle. Then Canada's proto-fascist prime minister turned Toronto into a police state for the 2010 G20 so he and his cronies could cook up some austerity. Yup, the reps for the rich decided poor people would backstop junk traders by surrendering pensions, public health programs, and public infrastructure. People heretofore encouraged to spend like sailors on shore leave got their markers called and downward mobility was the price of the binge at Goldman Sachs. Riot cops in shiny new gear always at the ready!

In the ensuing decade, surprisingly, the rich have gotten way richer, and the poor, strangely, way poorer. Inequality after the Great Recession is at levels unseen since right before the Great Depression. The kids are even flirting with socialism again, much to the chagrin of "opposition" parties like the American "Democrats" and the zombie remnants of "New Labour" in the U.K.

What to do, what to do?

Well, everything old is new again. Like Hollywood, when you are out of ideas, it's time for a remake. Everybody dying to return to Devil's Island in the new version of Papillon? Great. Because you are also going right back to the 1930s when it comes to somebody encouraging you to scapegoat minorities for your economic misfortune.

Extreme intolerance seems to be the 0.0001%'s new tack to ensure the energy of all the growing underclasses are not misdirected at them. This energy might be used for organizing against the root causes of the majority's declining fortunes: the misappropriation of wealth by the super rich through their oligarchy states. Now these states actually encourage outright civil hate. Across Europe, nationalist parties are flogging refugee hate to galvanize xenophobia in the masses. The Brits voted to leave Europe so Poles would stop stealing jobs already offshored to China. Italian nationalists want the arms embargo lifted on Libya so local forces there can kill migrants before they can board boats. Trump hates on Mexicans while paying their army and police forces to keep out Honduran hordes fleeing state violence flowing from the CIA coup d'etat there in 2009. Homophobia makes Russian toxic masculinity state policy.

None of this is an accident. It's a remake. And it's way cheaper than guaranteed basic income!

Sure, 70 years without fascism was nice. The New Deal was great while it lasted. Multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism, even a little socialism tempering the worst tendencies of capitalism made things better for a few for a little while. But for too long we thought the only way to go was up. We were told that a rising tide would lift all boats. It didn't. We were told that with the internet we could all be our own bosses. We just Uberized the costs of our own exploitation. We were told that economic disruption was good. But Amazon is just Walmart on steroids. We were told wealth would trickle down. It didn't. We were told that profit is supreme, the market never makes mistakes, the poor are the authors of their own misfortune.

Left to our own devices, the question might be: if Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, why are his employees relying on food stamps?

But we aren't left to our own devices. We are left with Facebook asking why refugees get free health care and veterans don't, why addicts get free needles but diabetics don't, why "illegal" immigrants get housed when there are homeless veterans everywhere. We are left with a data-gathering machine asking whatever question that Russian attack hackers/Ontario Proud/Proud Boys/Canada First/NRA polarizing memes want you to ask (and share if you agree).

And after you ask their question, maybe you should just reach out locally, and hate somebody.

Just whatever you do, don't ask who really made you poorer. Or the riot police will be called.

Photo: looking4poetry/Flickr

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          3 Key Factors That Led to Apple Becoming the World's First Trillion-Dollar Company      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Apple has never competed on price, yet it is the brand preferred by people across the wealth spectrum.

          Weekly India Business News from (4th August – 10th August )      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Weekly India Business News     Corporates:   Indian Oil is planning to invest ₹ 1.75 trillion for expansion which

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          Strategies: Vanguard Warns of Worsening Odds for the Economy and Markets      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The $5 trillion money manager says the probabilities are rising for more difficult times ahead. But many investors have not made any preparations.
          Re: BREAKING: Teachers fear Hutchinson administration has targeted LR teachers union and is pushing for more charters      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
"Teachers unions are one of the reasons children are not being educated to the high degree they deserve. "

Utter (but not unexpected) bull shit.

Union "decertification" is a tried & true tactic of our ruling elite. Who LOATHE public education & seek to replace it with a for-profit system of minimal rote learning & 'respect for authority' regimentation.

"Trillions for military (not soldiers), shit for teachers, police and firemen."

EXACTLY, for the "defense" department black hole, as Drumpf cuts the VA.

Soldiers, like every fireman, policeman & teacher, CHOSE their respective calling. A police officer & firefighter don't get to "choose" which incidents they respond to.

Soldiers get paid for their service.

Soldiers DO get SOME say in their postings, although not on deployments, where their pay is both higher & tax-free.

Soldiers can also leave the service after their term of enlistment is up & those with 20 qualifying years of service are entitled to DoD healthcare at age 60.

Veteran soldiers are entitled to medical benefits from the VA.

Bottom line is that soldiers, while subject to some unique situations (combat, obviously) due to membership in the armed services, are not at some level of second-class citizenship compare to police, firefighters or teachers.

AND are nor more OR less deserving of decent benefits.
Posted by tsallenarng
          Re: BREAKING: Teachers fear Hutchinson administration has targeted LR teachers union and is pushing for more charters      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Razor,

There was zero criticism of soldiers in my post. I grouped them with the others as getting screwed. They have an incredibly tough job, but once done they don't get a whole lot for their service. We are somehow able to allocate almost $1 trillion for military spending, higher that the next 7 nations combined. But, we cannot seem to find any money to fix our crumbling infrastructure, pay teacher a living wage, take care of veterans, etc. If we only had that wall!
Posted by Earl
          When Amazon Rules the Whole Wide World      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Guest post by Robert Stewart and Ted Malloch Purchase Ted Malloch’s latest book The Plot to Destroy Trump Do we need to de-fang the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) before it is too late? The stock valuation of these few companies alone exceeds $4 trillion dollars now. They dwarf the real economy and […]

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          Human Cell Atlas: we're funding scientists at six UK research institutes | Wellcome      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
wellcome.ac.uk
Wellcome is committing £7 million to the Human Cell Atlas, a global endeavour to map every single cell type in the human body. Dr Katrina Gold, from the Genetics and Molecular Sciences team, explains why Wellcome is backing this ambitious project.
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@figshare: We're giving a major new award to @humancellatlas - the global project to map all 37 trillion cells in the body to improve our understanding of health, disease & how life works. It'll be led by Sarah Teichmann from @sangerinstitute with teams across the UK wellc.me/2vQEaov pic.twitter.com/oIyX6Fe5WJ
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@McDawg: We're giving a major new award to @humancellatlas - the global project to map all 37 trillion cells in the body to improve our understanding of health, disease & how life works. It'll be led by Sarah Teichmann from @sangerinstitute with teams across the UK wellc.me/2vQEaov pic.twitter.com/oIyX6Fe5WJ
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twitter.com - Wellcome Trust
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@McDawg: We're giving a major new award to @humancellatlas - the global project to map all 37 trillion cells in the body to improve our understanding of health, disease & how life works. It'll be led by Sarah Teichmann from @sangerinstitute with teams across the UK wellc.me/2vQEaov pic.twitter.com/oIyX6Fe5WJ
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          Nudge      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein
Penguin Books, Revised & Expanded edition (2009) (public library)
Summarized by Erick Rabin

Nudge-cover.jpg

Introduction

Choice Architecture involves organizing any context in which people make decisions. Urinals, stairwells, alarm clocks, school cafeterias, retirement accounts—all of these can be made more efficient and conducive to health and wellbeing. Though no design can be perfect, choice architects are always faced with tradeoffs and must make a decision of some sort. Thus the question is not whether to go about engaging in choice architecture, but how best to do so.

Libertarian Paternalism is the answer to this normative question. Rather than choose randomly between different possible frameworks, or endeavor to track individuals’ pre-existing preferences as closely as possible, the authors advocate for a form of paternalism whereby choice architecture ought to strive to make people best off all things considered (“to make their lives longer, healthier, and better”). However, they also recognize free choice to be of fundamental importance, and so they insist that choice architecture must be as liberty-preserving as possible. The net result is a “relatively weak, soft, and nonintrusive type of paternalism” that refuses to prohibit or significantly burden people from exercising their free will.

Nudges provide the key to predictably altering peoples’ behavior without forbidding any course of action outright or significantly changing their incentive structures. Nudges are low-cost tools that alert, remind, or mildly warn people by exploiting human psychology, thereby molding behavior in powerful ways. Whereas classical economics conceptualizes man as perfectly rational (“homo economicus”), nudges are crafted in light of evidence from behavioral psychology suggesting that, in the real world, human beings are flawed in myriad ways. Examples abound, but among the most important is the status quo bias, which leads people to follow default options.

Part I of this book lays out in greater detail the behavioral psychology upon which the concept of choice architecture rests. Parts II-IV explore the application of this method in the spheres of money, health, and freedom, respectively. Part V rebuts potential objections and provides several of the authors’ own recommended nudges.

Application to Ethical Systems

This book applies cutting-edge insights from behavioral economics to several of our most important political and economic institutions. It makes a vital contribution to the ongoing debate about whether, when, and how we ought to use our growing knowledge of human psychology to maximize human well-being without undermining respect for human freedom. In just a few short years, it has had a vast impact on the way politicians and regulators in the United States and abroad think about their work, and it ought to be required reading for anyone interested in the intersection of psychology, economics, and the law.

Part I: Humans & Econs

Chapter 1: Biases & Blunders
The human mind is incredibly powerful, but it is also susceptible to a variety of systematic, predictable mistakes. We process information via two cognitive systems: System 1 is automatic, uncontrolled, effortless, associative, fast, and unconscious; System 2 is reflective, controlling, effortful, deductive, slow, self-aware, and rule-following. System 1 evolved earlier and is generally more powerful than System 2.

The interplay between these systems helps explain the great extent to which our thinking and behavior is influenced by experience-based, time-saving rules of thumb for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Classic examples of heuristics include:

  • Anchoring: In making estimations, we start with some known figure (the “anchor”) and then adjust in the appropriate direction. This results in bias when our adjustments are insufficient or when obviously irrelevant anchors creep into the decision-making process.

  • Availability: We assess the likelihood of risks by how readily examples come to mind: the more available the examples, the more salient the risk. This can lead us to overestimate the probability of recent or dramatic harms and to underestimate the probability of subtle or unfamiliar harms.

  • Representativeness: We judge how likely it is that A belongs to category B by thinking about how similar A is to our stereotypes of B. Biases creep in when things seem representative but are in fact infrequent, e.g. perceiving a basketball player to be “heating up.”

We also have a tendency toward optimism and overconfidence. Regardless of whether the stakes are high or low, people tend to have self-serving biases through which they focus on their strengths while overlooking or rejecting their faults. This protects the ego from threat and injury but also perpetuates illusions and error that can lead to unwise risk-taking, especially in the domain of risks to life and health.

When it comes to losses and gains, people are much more sensitive to the former than the latter—losing something makes people roughly twice as unhappy as gaining something of equal value. Loss-aversion makes people inclined to avoid making changes, even when it would be in our self-interest to do so.

The inertia we experience to preserve what we have is also explained in part by the status quo bias, which leads to the “yeah, whatever” heuristic, whereby we stick with our current situations rather than make changes. This tendency is due largely to lack of attention, and when combined with mindless choosing it can produce radically inefficient results. This helps to explain the great power of defaults as nudges.

Framing also makes a big difference to how we process information. People tend to be somewhat mindless, passive decision makers, so we react very differently to the information that “ninety of one hundred are alive” than to the information that “ten of one hundred are dead”—even though the content of the statements is the same.

Chapter 2: Resisting Temptation
Our preferences evolve over time and can be “dynamically inconsistent,” such that we prefer A>B at T1, B>C at T2, and C>A at T3. This is a useful way to understand temptation: we may be tempted by X in the moment, but also regard X to be not choice worthy in general. Self-control is difficult because of the hot-cold empathy gap: when we are thinking in a cold, calm, rational way, we fail to appreciate the extent to which our desires and behaviors will be altered by arousal.

This can lead to seriously bad outcomes, especially when combined with “mindless choosing” (e.g., people decide what to eat based on what is easily available, and how much to eat based on the size of the containers in which the food is presented).

While self-control strategies often fail, carefully designed precommitment plans can enable us to reign in our automatic System 1 responses. For example,

  • Clocky is an alarm clock that runs away and hides if you don’t get out of bed, making it impossible to groggily push the sleep button ad infinitum.

  • Casino Bans into which gambling addicts can self-enroll.

  • Non-Interest Bearing Savings Vehicles which force you to save, at the price of transaction costs, illiquidity, and near-zero returns.

  • Mental Accounting whereby we treat money as non-fungible and reserve some funds for rent, some for education, some for food, etc. – reduces temptation by providing bright-line rules for divvying up income and savings.

Chapter 3: Following the Herd
Social influences exert a powerful effect on human learning and behavior. Social forces can convey information as to what might be best for you to do or think or exert peer pressure to conform in order to curry favor or avoid conflict.

Because of the spotlight effect, we think that others are paying close attention to what we do and spend extraordinary effort conforming to social norms and fashions. Experiments reveal that people pay far less attention to one another than we think, but our misperception nonetheless leads to additional conformity.

Many experiments demonstrate how focusing on others’ thoughts and behavior can lead to conformity effects. For example, people are 20-40% more likely to err in a ridiculously easy visual perception tasks after watching a room full of their cohorts make blatant mistakes. These effects are mitigated when experiments call for anonymous answers, suggesting that people are especially likely to go along with group blunders if their reputations are on the line. Similar findings have been observed in tasks that involved more subtle errors as well.

Moreover these effects endure over time, helping to explain collective conservatism: the tendency of groups to stick to established patterns even as new needs arise. Knowing this, however, makes it possible to nudge people in a positive direction by initiating a bandwagon effect that changes information and behavior for the better.

Conformism also affects cultural and political behavior. Experiments reveal that people are more likely to, e.g., download a song if many other people have done so beforehand, suggesting that past popularity has powerful momentum—thus small interventions and coincidences early on can produce large variations in outcomes. Of course, this often occurs unintentionally (e.g., those who eat with one other person eat about 35% more than they do when they are alone; members of a group of four eat about 75% more; those in groups of seven or more eat 96% more). But this can be exploited, as when advertisements emphasize the fact that “most people prefer” brand X, and thus social nudges are a powerful resource for choice architecture.

Just like these social influences, priming also provides subtle influences that can increase the ease with which certain information comes to mind. For example, peoples’ conduct can be affected by the “mere-measurement effect,” whereby people will behave differently just in response to being asked, e.g., what they intend to do and how they intend to do it. Likewise, people can be primed by exposure to simple and apparently irrelevant cues: people become more competitive and less generous when they see objects characteristic of business environments, and more cleanly when they eat if there is a scent of all-purpose cleaner in the room.

Chapter 4: When do we Need a Nudge?
There are a variety of fraught choices that are prime candidates for nudges. Nudges can combat the tendency to avoid investment goods (with immediate costs and delayed benefits) and over-indulge in sinful goods (with immediate benefits and deferred costs). They can help us solve especially rare or difficult problems that we are likely to ignore or mishandle through confusion and lack of experience. They can increase feedback so as to improve our ability to learn from past experiences, and give us a better sense of how our preferences are likely to turn out in unfamiliar contexts where we have trouble translating the situation into easily comprehensible terms (e.g., choosing among mutual funds or health plans).

Unfortunately, markets are no panacea. Though competition generally helps to ensure that price reflects quality, sometimes there is insufficient competition, and companies are often incentivized to profit from human frailties rather than to try to minimize their effects. Thus there is a legitimate role for government the play in these matters, and nudges are powerful tools for doing so without imposing mandates or crowding out free choice.

Chapter 5: Choice Architecture
Designers strive to incorporate human factors into their work. Everything from doors to stop signs to stovetops can be designed in light of “stimulus response compatibility,” a simple psychological principle which holds that the signal you receive ought to be consistent with the desired action, as inconsistencies lead people to blunder.

Analogously, choice architects can improve our health, wealth, and happiness through thoughtfully designed NUDGES:

  iNcentives

  Understand mappings defaults

  Give feedback

  Expect error

  Structure complex choices

Incentives should be analyzed in terms of four crucial questions: Who uses? Who chooses? Who pays? Who profits? Free markets often address all of these problems, but incentive conflicts may sometimes arise, especially when choosers do not notice the incentives they face. Thus it is important for choice architects to help make incentives more salient—e.g., nudging people to reduce energy consumption via cost-disclosing thermostats may be more effective than increasing the actual price of energy.

Defaults are profoundly important in light of what has already been said about inertia and the status quo bias, and they are even more powerful when they appear to represent what is normal or recommended. Moreover, defaults are unavoidable because in any node of a choice architecture system – private or public – there must be rules for determining what happens to agents if they do nothing. They may be set to preserve the status quo ante, but this may lead to undesirable consequences. Alternatively, they can require agents to make a choice, but this may be perceived as a nuisance and may even be unfeasible when the decision is sufficiently complex. Not all defaults are selected to make the chooser’s life easier or better, but as a general matter the authors think they should be.

Feedback is the best way to help people improve their performance, especially if it warns agents when things are about to go wrong. However, this involves a delicate balancing act because giving too much feedback renders warning systems useless as agents begin to ignore the information altogether.

Errors are inevitable and should be anticipated in advance, yet some error-forgiving innovations are surprisingly slow to be adopted. One representative example is post-completion error: after finishing a task, people tend to forget things relating to previous steps. Thus some (but not all) ATM machines forces users to reclaim their cards before getting their cash; without this design feature, people often forget their cards in the machine. Likewise, Google Mail asks users “Did you forget your attachment?” when they mention the word “attach” in their message but fail to attach documents to the email. Similar thinking applies to “drug compliance” in health care regarding the optimal frequency with which patients are asked to take their medications, etc.

People are well equipped to analyze small numbers of well-understood alternatives, but as choices become more numerous and/or vary on more dimensions, social science research reveals that we adopt simplifying strategies that can get us into trouble. Choice architecture can step in and help people process their options—for example, consider how paint stores organize their products with color wheels, or how Netflix organizes movies by actor, director, genre, or collaborative filtering (which provides recommendations based on the preferences of other movie lovers). Likewise, the authors recommend mild government “RECAP” Regulations (Record, Evaluate, and Compare Alternative Prices) for products with complex, non-transparent pricing schemes, such as credit cards, mortgages, cell phone plans, and insurance policies.

Part II: Money

Chapter 6: Save More Tomorrow
Classical economics suggests that people calculate how much they will earn over the course of their careers and how much they will need after they stop working. Then, they save up just enough to enjoy a comfortable retirement without sacrificing too much while they are still working. While this provides excellent advice for how people should think about saving, it utterly fails to accurately describe how people do think and behave when it comes to financial planning.

This account fails to capture two crucial constraints. First, people have bounded rationality with respect to understanding and solving the mathematical problems involved in figuring out what to do. Second, people have bounded willpower with respect to implementing these plans. How can choice architects address the first part of saving for retirement, i.e. joining a plan and deciding how much to invest?

Most public social security systems provide defined-benefit plans that entitle participants to a benefit based on their salary and time worked under the plan. These are well designed in that they are forgiving of mindless human mistakes, requiring participants to decide only when to retire and when to start claiming benefits. The authors identify this as an ideal domain for nudging: because people have to make only one decision per lifetime, choice architecture can help them do a better job of weighing the relevant factors. They endorse automatic enrollment in savings plans unless and until participants decide to opt out. This can be augmented by a Save More Tomorrow program, which provides for automatic increases in contribution rates over time.

Chapter 7: Naïve Investing
How should we invest our money? The switch from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans gives us more control, options, and responsibility over this decision than ever before. Investors must first think rigorously about how much risk to take, and then revisit their decisions periodically based on past performance.

People make many mistakes in this domain, in part because they are unduly influenced by short-term fluctuations (thanks largely to risk-aversion), and in part because their decisions are likely to be based on rules of thumb that are inadequate to the task (e.g., “it’s a bull market,” “when in doubt, diversify”). Fortunately, a wide variety of nudges can help:

  • Public-spirited companies could default their employees into a Save More Tomorrow plan that sells their company stock over a period of time, with the proceeds directed into a diversified portfolio.

  • Defined-contribution plans could offer a set of model portfolios with varying degrees of risk, or plan sponsors could offer participants target maturity funds matched to their expected retirement date.

  • New enrollees could be defaulted into a boilerplate investment plan carefully selected by knowledgeable experts, and participants who want to be more involved could be offered a menu of plans commensurate with their level of sophistication.

  • Anticipating the common error of not revisiting pre-existing investments, automatic rebalancing plans could adjust peoples’ asset allocations.

Chapter 8: Credit Markets
Americans borrow more than they save, in part because of the natural tendency to value present benefits over future costs. Adding more options can make people better off, but only if they can successfully pick the loan best suited to their situation and preferences. Often it’s best to ask people to take care of themselves, but when people borrow, standard human frailties can lead to serious hardship. Government should respect freedom of choice, but with a few nudges people would be far less likely to choose badly.

Mortgage shopping is more complicated than ever before: there are a wide variety of fixed- and variable-rate loans, along with interest-only loans, teaser rates, prepayment penalties, miscellaneous fees, etc. Unsophisticated and uneducated shoppers are especially disadvantaged by this complexity, not only because of predatory lending and the higher interest rates associated with subprime loans, but also through the sheer difficulty of matching people to the appropriate mortgages.

In response, the authors recommend that lenders report lending costs by fee and by interest. All the different types of fees would be reported, but they would be added up into a single salient number. This would ensure that borrowers at least know what their payments will be when the teaser rate ends. Lenders would also have to provide this information to independent third parties who might then offer advice by comparing lenders in a sophisticated way. This would make it easier to shop for mortgages online and would make the mortgage market more competitive. (The authors also analyze problems with student loans and credit cards.)

Chapter 9: Privatizing Social Security: Smorgasboard Style
Using the Swedish privatization plan as a case study, it is clear that the combination of free entry, unfettered competition, and lots of choice seems great, but does not guarantee the best possible social security outcomes. Maximizing choice does not always maximize utility, and for this reason it is crucial to select the default social security fund carefully. The key here is to decide what should be in the default portfolio and whether its selection should be encouraged or discouraged by the government in light of what we know about the population of participants.

Part III: Health

Chapter 10: Prescription Drugs: Part D for Daunting
In 2003, Congress passed a version of President George W. Bush’s proposed Medicare overhaul, creating a half-trillion-dollar federal subsidy for prescription drug coverage called Part D. Part D offered a menu with lots of choices and has done a lot of good, but as a matter of choice architecture it failed by:

  • Placing most seniors into non-enrollment by default.

  • Giving participants little guidance to help them make the best selections.

  • Choosing random defaults for six million automatically enrolled people, while refusing to match people to plans based on their drug histories.

Random assignment is especially objectionable as it can cause random harm to unlucky people placed in the wrong plans, and it is inconsistent with the market-based philosophy that better products and services merit larger market share.

To make matters worse, the Medicare Part D website and associated information sources are very unfriendly to users, and because the prescription drug plans are constantly updating their drug prices, there is no guarantee that the best plan today will be the best plan tomorrow.

Part D is great as a matter of maximizing free choice, but it stands to benefit greatly from better choice architecture, beginning with the intelligent assignment of people and plans via a “RECAP” nudge that helps people to evaluate their own health plan needs in comparison with other possible options.

Chapter 11: How to Increase Organ Donations
The demand for organs greatly exceeds the supply. In the US, most states require explicit consent for people to donate their organs. This rule depresses the number of organs that are harvested each year to rates below peoples’ stated willingness to become donors: many who report interest in donating end up failing to check their driver’s license forms accordingly.

Presuming consent has been proved a very effective way to increase the supply of organs for transplant, and it is completely consistent with libertarianism in that everyone still has the ability to opt out of donating their organs post mortem. But because this is politically controversial in the United States, the second-best alternative is to mandate choice. This could be implemented through a simple addition to the driver’s license registration scheme requiring licensees to actively say “no, not willing to donate” rather than passively defaulting them to that answer.

Chapter 12: Saving the Planet
Governments the world over are concerned about protecting the environment from air and water pollution, pesticides and toxic chemicals, global warming, etc. In this domain, command-and-control regulations (e.g., technological mandates and across-the-board restrictions) have become the norm. While many on the right and on the left agree that such measures are perfectly appropriate, they go above and beyond the recommendations of libertarian paternalism.

It can be helpful to think about the environment as the outcome of a global choice architecture system that fails to align incentives and fails to provide adequate feedback on the environmental consequences of individual actions. Fortunately a wide variety of modest nudges can improve our ability to protect the environment, alongside or even in the absence of command-and-control measures:

  • Improve incentives by taxing greenhouse gas emissions and/or establishing cap-and-trade systems.

  • Improve feedback to consumers on the costs of pollution by implementing disclosure policies and hazard-communication programs—and because the media tends to target the worst offenders, such feedback can be the basis of an additional social nudge, namely a de facto “environmental blacklist” that current or potential polluters will strive to avoid).

  • Voluntary participation programs designed to assist companies in improving the environment (the idea being that, even in a free market, companies sometimes fail to use the latest, greatest products which might very well help save the environment while also saving them money).

Part IV: Freedom

Chapter 13: Improving School Choices
FDR’s notion of a right to a good education, while not in the Constitution, is a firm American cultural commitment. Though allowing vouchers with which to choose between competing schools is not a panacea, it has been shown to improve student performance. School choice can help even more when combined with the following nudges to help parents make sensible decisions for their children:

  • Providing fact sheets with better and simpler information about average test scores and acceptance rates, from highest to lowest, at schools available to a given child (this is effectively a version of the RECAP nudge).

  • Providing a suite of programs to nudge students toward college: requiring high school students to complete an application to the local community college, scheduling meetings with college counselors, allowing students to take standardized admissions exams free of charge, providing financial aid information, and offering tax consultations for parents.

Chapter 14: Should Patients Be Forced to Buy Lottery Tickets?
All healthcare customers in America have a right to sue their doctors for negligence, and this cost gets passed along and built into their medical bills. Many patients and healthcare providers would gladly enter into an arrangement according to which doctors, hospitals, or insurance carriers reduce the price of healthcare in exchange for a waiver of the right to sue for medical malpractice.

However, courts currently treat such waivers to be void as against public policy. The legal justification for tort liability in this context is that it deters negligence, but this argument is undermined by the fact that doctors pay the same premium no matter how many times they have been sued for malpractice. Moreover, most patients don’t sue even if their doctor has been negligent, and those who do sue often end up with favorable settlements even when they don’t deserve the money. Jury awards for pain and suffering tend to be erratic and unpredictable, as does the occasional awarding of punitive damages, making the right to sue look more and more like a “lottery ticket.”

Freedom of contract, alongside a few nudges, might work better in this context. If waiving the right to sue were the default, and retaining it would cost extra, most patients would probably waive. Alongside such waivers, states can also lower the administrative and litigation costs of medical malpractice by capping “noneconomic damages” (e.g., pain and suffering).

Chapter 15: Privatizing Marriage
Marriage confers many major material economic and non-economic benefits:

  • Tax benefits/burdens, especially if one spouse earns much more than the other.

  • Entitlements, e.g. employers must allow unpaid leave for workers to care for their spouses under the Family Medical Leave Act.

  • Inheritance and other death benefits, e.g. avoiding estate taxes.

  • Automatic ownership benefits.

  • Surrogate decision making, e.g. in cases of incapacitation.

  • Evidentiary privileges, e.g. a right to keep marital communications confidential and to exclude adverse spousal testimony.

People have an accurate sense that ~50% of marriages end in divorce in general, but because of the self-serving bias nearly all newlyweds believe that they are almost certain not to get divorced. Thus couples are reluctant to get prenuptial agreements, and it is essential to design good default rules to govern contractual arrangements between domestic partners. This helps give people a clearer sense of their rights and obligations and protects those most vulnerable, namely women and children. For example, such default rules might provide that special help will be provided to those who have been the primary caretakers of the children.

It is crucial that these rules be extraordinarily clear, because people have a tendency to think that objectively “fair” outcomes skew in their favor, especially in difficult or important negotiations like marital disputes. Unrealistic expectations lead people to hard bargaining, making disputes longer, more intense, and more expensive. These costs can be avoided by anchoring peoples’ expectations of the possible outcomes through a narrow range of possibilities within which a judge has discretion to consider other factors, akin to criminal sentencing guidelines. The best approach might be an explicit formula based on such factors as the ages of both spouses, their earning capabilities, the length of marriage, and so forth. Starting with the formula as an anchor, a judge could weigh other considerations such as the standard of living during the marriage, the health of the spouse seeking maintenance, the financial prospects of both sides, and other relevant factors.

Part V: Objections & Recommendations

Chapter 16: A Dozen Nudges

  1. Give More Tomorrow would give people the chance to give a small amount to their favorite charities starting sometime soon, then commit to increasing their donations every year. Opting out would be easy, but this device would help those who want to give in general but forget to make good on their good intentions.

  2. Charity Debit Cards would be issued by banks and accepted only by charities, making donating simpler and more attractive by making it easier to keep track of contributions for tax purposes. Accounts could also reflect non-monetary donations, and statements could be sent directly to the IRS so that the government could automatically process the appropriate deductions.

  3. Automatic Tax Returns for anyone who does not itemize deductions and has no income that is not reported to the IRS. To file, the taxpayer would need only to sign it and mail it (or, even better, go to a secure IRS Website, sign in and click). This is estimated to potentially save 225 million hours of tax preparation time and $2 billion a year in tax preparation fees.

  4. Stickk.com allows users to pre-commit to their goals. It provides them with a platform for publicizing their plans and, if they fail, it triggers automatic donations to charities they love—or, even more provocatively, charities they hate.

  5. Committed Action to Reduce and End Smoking is a savings program in which the participant opens an account with a minimum balance of $1. For six months, any money that would have gone toward cigarettes is deposited into the account. Then, the client takes a urine test and, if no recent smoking is detected, the money is returned. If the user fails, however, the account is closed and the money is donated to charity. Evidence shows that opening an account makes those who want to quit smoking 53% more likely to achieve their goal.

  6. Special licenses for motorcycle riders who don’t want to use helmets, requiring extra driving courses and proof of health insurance—less intrusive than a ban, more preventative than making helmets entirely optional.

  7. Gambling self-bans through which addicts can keep themselves from being admitted to casinos, collecting gambling winnings, etc.

  8. Destiny Health Plans incentivize people to make healthy choices by giving them “Vitality Bucks” when they do things that reduce the probability of medical bills (e.g., working out, getting good results on a blood-pressure check).

  9. Dollar A Day programs pay teenage mothers $1/day for each day they are not pregnant. Because young mothers often have additional babies within a year or two and often lack the resources to cover the expenses involved, these costs are frequently passed on to taxpayers, so such programs are promising and cost-justified.

  10. Red Light Alerts warning users that their air conditioners need new filters.

  11. No-Bite Polish allows users to plan ahead and discipline their Automatic System 1 responses by making nail-biting painful and unpleasant. Likewise, alcoholics can take Disultiram so that any future alcohol consumption, however slight, becomes nauseating.

  12. The Civility Check is a software program proposed by the authors which would detect rude email messages and warn the sender (e.g., “This appears to be an uncivil email. Do you really and truly want to send it?” or “This appears to be an uncivil email. This will not be sent unless you ask to resend in twenty-four hours.”).

Chapter 17: Objections

“Nudges are a slippery slope toward much more intrusive interventions.”

  • This ducks the question of whether the authors’ substantive proposals have merit in and of themselves.

  • These proposals are designed to retain freedom of choice, and libertarian paternalism opposes the most objectionable government interventions.

  • Often nudges are inevitable, so we might as well set them sensibly.

“What mechanisms will prevent evil nudgers / bad nudges?”

  • Always maintaining the possibility of opt-outs preserves free choice and provides an important check on planners’ control.

  • Raising awareness of the impact of choice architecture should make planners more informed and capable overall.

“We have the right to be wrong, and sometimes mistakes help us improve.”

  • Opt-outs protect peoples’ freedom to make mistakes.

  • There is little harm in providing special warnings for novices, unsophisticated parties, and people who are vulnerable to manipulation.

Forced redistribution is wrong; all exchanges should be private and voluntary.”

  • Sometimes the optimal level of redistribution is not zero.

  • We must balance protecting the unfortunate and encouraging self-help.

Nudges are insidious, empowering government to maneuver people covertly.”

  • Nudges should be constrained using Rawls’ Publicity Principle: government should not select a policy that it would not defend publicly to its citizens.

Why stop at libertarian paternalism?”

  • Slippery-slope concerns begin to have some merit with respect to mandates without opt-outs, especially if regulators are heavy-handed.

  • Some such measures may at times be appropriate, e.g. cooling-off periods in contexts where decisions are unusual and emotions are likely to run high.

Chapter 18: The Real Third Way
For too long, our political system has pitted Democrats against Republicans. Democrats’ distrust for private markets leads them to insist on rigid mandates that can be uninformed, counterproductive, and antithetical to citizens’ liberty interests. Republicans in turn have adopted a laissez-faire platform that too often leaves markets under-regulated and results in an absurd, dogmatic antipathy for healthy governmental interventions. The Third Way laid out in this book involves meaningful government involvement while also promoting freedom of choice. The complexity of modern life and the emergence of new and profound insights into behavioral psychology should strengthen both the principled commitment to freedom of choice and the case for the gentle nudge.

Visit the authors’ website to see reader-submitted nudges: www.Nudges.org.

 


          A little-noticed Trump rule would give $2.5 billion tax cut to big bank fat cats      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

As Wall Street banks continue to enjoy record profits thanks to President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax scam, Trump’s Treasury Department—headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin—quietly moved to hand big banks yet another major gift on Wednesday by hiding a $2.5 billion...

The post A little-noticed Trump rule would give $2.5 billion tax cut to big bank fat cats appeared first on Raw Story.


          Strategies: Vanguard Warns of Worsening Odds for the Economy and Markets      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The $5 trillion money manager says the probabilities are rising for more difficult times ahead. But many investors have not made any preparations.
          Samsung Plans Big Investments in Artificial Intelligence and Biopharma      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it plans to boost investments in businesses that will drive its future growth, committing to a KRW25 trillion (about US$22 billion) investment over the next three years, primarily led by Samsung Electronics, in the areas of artificial intelligence, 5G, automotive electronics components, and biopharmaceuticals. Samsung will open up its venture incubation program to both external and internal start-up projects and provide software training. In artificial intelligence, Samsung plans to significantly expand its
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by Mike      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
True that!
          Comment on Does Apple’s landmark $1 trillion valuation even matter? by Mike      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
There are few Apple naysayers here. There are those who criticize Apple for doing a poor job maintaining its product line, and there are those who still worship Apple and feel that everything they do is perfect, and there are some who only care about getting rich off AAPL. Nobody questions that if Apple wanted to be the best in any one thing, they could do so. The problem is lackluster leadership making Apple slow and unable to see future opportunities and challenges. To the main question: Do you check automobile company stock valuation when you go shopping for a new car? If the game stopped after 4 quarters of play, then we could all celebrate and go home. But business is not a finite game. Business continues tomorrow. Therefore, by definition, any one day's metric means little. Tomorrow will bring new entrants, products, customers, etc. Also you need to realize that other companies are playing to different metrics. Some wise companies establish a 50 year plan to establish excellence in stability and reliability, they don't goose their results for hitting quarterly records. Frankly, I think it is piss poor management to sit on piles of unused cash when you have a product line with major gaps, antique hardware, and relatively poor/limited software that ships fewer units than 4 other supposedly weak competitors. You know what computer platform I'm talking about.
          Spending On Interest Hits All Time High As Budget Deficit Soars To $684 Billion      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The US' spending problem is starting to become a major issue.

According to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement, in June, the US collected $225BN in tax receipts - consisting of $110BN in individual income tax, $91BN in social security and payroll tax, $4BN in corporate tax and $20BN in other taxes and duties- a drop of 2.9% from the $232BN collected last July and a reversal from the recent increasing trend...

... and in July, the 12 month trailing receipt total was barely higher compared to a year ago, up just 0.4% Y/Y after rising as much as 3.1% at the end of 2017.

Meanwhile Federal spending rose, up 9.9% from $275BN last July to $302BN last month.

... where the money was spent on social security ($83BN), defense ($49BN), Medicare ($24BN), Interest on Debt ($35BN), and Other ($111BN).

This resulted in a July budget deficit of $77 billion, in line with expectations, and a signification deterioration from the $43 billion recorded in July of 2017.

The July deficit brought the cumulative 2018F budget deficit to over $684BN during the first 10 month of the fiscal year, up 28% over the past year.

This is the highest 12 month cumulative deficit since May 2013; as a reminder the deficit is expect to increase further amid the tax and spending measures, and rise above $1 trillion as soon as next year.

Most Wall Street firms forecast a deficit for fiscal 2018 of about $850 billion, at which point things get... much worse. As we showed In a recent report, CBO has also significantly raised its deficit projection over the 2018-2028 period.

But while out of control government spending is clearly a concern, an even bigger problem is what happens to not only the US debt, which recently hit $21.3 trillion, but to the interest on that debt, in a time of rising interest rates.

As the following chart shows, US government Interest Payments are already rising rapidly, and just hit an all time high of $538 billion in Q2 2018. 

Interest costs are increasing due to three factors: an increase in the amount of outstanding debt, higher interest rates and higher inflation. Needless to say, all three are increasing; furthermore, a rise in the inflation rate boosts the upward adjustment to the principal of TIPS, increasing the amount of debt on which the Treasury pays interest, turbocharging the amount of interest expense.

The bigger question is with short-term rates still just around 2%, what happens when they reach the mid-3% as the Fed's dot plot suggests it will?


          Skomentuj Pence: USA powołają siły kosmiczne, szóstą formację sił zbrojnych, którego autorem jest krzych      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Wkleje tutaj i zostawie bez komentarza. •Flint doesnt have clean water •Detroit schools dont have heating or A/C •Puerto Rico doesnt have power •We're paying California prisoners $2/day to fight fire •1 in 6 American kids going hungry •Our infrastructure is a D+ •Our nat'l debt is $21 Trillion But...Space Force
          8/11/2018: Opinion: Letter-writer thanked      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I must thank W Phelps for picking up the error in my letter "Banking on defence". I got mentally ahead of myself when converting trillions to billions, something I tried to clarify because we have nowadays defaulted to the American version of trillion,...
          It’s Not Just That Apple Hit the $1 Trillion Mark, It’s How      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Fiscal third-quarter revenues topped $53 billion, and this wasn’t even the big selling period.
          每周分享第 17 期      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

这里记录过去一周,我看到的值得分享的东西,每周五发布。

(图片说明:2018年6月的气温与1951-1980年平均气温的对比,来自推特@SimonLeeWx

今天夏天,全球高温创纪录。日本韩国都是史上最高温,西班牙葡萄牙接近48度的欧洲高温纪录,北纬71度的一个挪威城市32度。要知道,北极圈是北纬66.5度,这就是说北极圈里面也是高温。上图是今年6月的气温与40年前的平均气温比较,可以看到都是偏高的,尤其是南北极远远偏高。

全球变暖已经是活生生的现实。科学家估计,目前的年平均气温比工业革命前已经升高了1度。《巴黎气候协议》的目标是,气温升高控制在2度,但是成功的希望据说只有5%。如果学过统计学,你就知道,5%的机会在统计学上可以视作不会发生。

千万不要觉得,2度不算什么,《纽约时报》描述了后果。

  • 升高2度:热带珊瑚礁灭绝,海平面上升几米,波斯湾不适合人类居住。
  • 升高3度:北极的森林和大多数沿海城市被淹没。
  • 升高4度:欧洲永久干旱, 中国、印度和孟加拉国大部分地区变成沙漠,美国科罗拉多河接近干涸,美国西南部将不适合居住。
  • 升高5度:人类文明终结。

联合国气候官员称,如果不采取任何行动,目前乐观的估计是全球会升高3度。

气温升高的主要原因是,人类大量消耗化石能源,温室气体(主要是二氧化碳)排放急剧增加。所谓温室气体,就是这一类气体有温室效应,可以让阳光进入温室,但是阻止热量散发出去。火星为什么不适合人类居住?一个原因就是它的表面没有温室气体,留不住热量,导致温度过低。地球现在的问题是,温室气体过多。

现在的计算是,如果人类排放10000亿吨二氧化碳,地球就会升高2度,目前人类已经排放了6237亿吨。有一个网站实时显示目前排放了多少亿吨。

根据计算,2036年3月7日,人类将达到1万亿吨排放量。更热的日子还在后面。

新闻

1、中国的二氧化碳排放

《纽约时报》报道,一个美国教授认为,按照中国现在的二氧化碳排放水平,人类无法达到《巴黎协定》规定的减排目标,即全球平均温度比工业化之前上升不超过2摄氏度,除非中国的排放量大幅下降。

中国是世界最大的二氧化碳排放国。2017年,中国排放了117亿吨的温室气体,占世界总量的四分之一,其中包括92亿吨的二氧化碳,超过美国和欧盟的总和。按照现在的减排速度,中国的二氧化碳排放量最晚将在2030年达到峰值,到那一年,中国五分之一的能源将来自非化石燃料来源。

2、美国的贫富分化

美国经济研究所发现,美国的贫富分化一直在扩大,已经达到了1928年以来的最高点。

现在最富有的1%家庭获得全部收入的22%,只比1928年的23.9%低一点。美国人的年收入至少需要42.2万美元,才能跻身前1%的高收入者。这只是全国平均数,一些州的门槛要高得多,比如康涅狄格州的1%门槛为70万美元。

这就是技术革命的一个社会后果,贫富分化不断扩大,中产阶级消失,财富日益集中在少数富豪手里。

3、开放式办公室

Ruby on Rails 的创始人 DHH 公开抨击,开放式办公室是一个极其糟糕的坏主意。

有人说,开放式办公室可以增加合作。DHH 说实际情况是,开放式办公导致面对面的互动直线下降,因为人们这时需要通过耳机来集中注意力,交流变成依靠即时消息或电子邮件。最糟糕的情况是,同一房间有不同部门的数十个人,销售、营销、客服、管理者、程序员、设计师都混在一起,他们一定会互相打扰。

开放式办公实际带来的不是合作,而是压力和冲突,但它仍然是技术公司的默认配置。我们强迫绝大多数不喜欢开放式办公的人接受这种配置,这为了什么?因为管理层喜欢这样的配置?因为它在照片中看起来不错?还是因为它会给访问办公室的陌生人留下深刻的印象?

4、皮质醇贴片

斯坦福大学的科学家发明了一种皮肤贴片,可以实时测量汗液里面的皮质醇含量。一般来说,我们觉得压力很大的时候,皮质醇分泌就会增加。

以前的测量方法都无法实时得到结果。现在我们可以实时知道人体的感受了,甚至可以找出人群里面最紧张的人,这种传感器为以后更有趣的发明奠定了基础。

5、微型机器人竞赛

美国国防部高级研究局(DARPA)发起了一次微型机器人竞赛。现在大多数机器人都是模仿人类的外形,但是昆虫大小的机器人也有巨大的用处。DARPA 要求,这次参赛的机器人重量小于1克,体积小于1立方厘米。DARPA 为所有参赛者提供3200万美元资助,比赛可能在明年3月举行。

6、最古老的面包

考苦学家在约旦的沙漠里面,发现了一个石头砌的炉子,里面居然还有古人烤剩下来的面包屑。这是现存最古老的面包。

上图是显微镜下的面包屑,可以看到面包经过了充分发酵。

年代鉴定以后,所有人都大吃一惊,这个面包炉子距今14000年。那时人类甚至没有开始农业耕作,因此这个面包不是用小麦粉做的,而是来自野生的谷物。

7、代码搜索

微软的 Bing 搜索引擎新增了代码搜索功能,你问一个编程问题,现在可以直接给出示例代码。

8、机器狗 Spotmini

波士顿动力公司在成立16年后,终于要发售第一款产品了:一个类似小狗的四足机器人,高91厘米,重25公斤。这家公司以前的产品,都是供给美国国防部,这是第一款商业产品,预计明年上市。

这个机器人的功能非常惊人,可以自动识别道路,避开障碍,上楼下楼,跌倒还能爬起,机械臂可以拿起放下各种东西,请看视频

9、博士就业危机

加拿大媒体报道,该国的博士研究生只有五分之一能够找到教职。也就是说,80%的博士只能去企业界或转行,事实上确实有很多博士找不到工作,这篇报道里面就有博士改行当插花师或建筑工。

我想,这样的危机在中国一定更严重。因为中国的博士生规模世界第一,但是国内高校的扩张期已经过去了,现在想进高校当老师其实挺难的。如果转行的话,对个人和社会都是一种浪费。如果你有志攻读博士,一定要慎重。

10、AMD 游戏主机

上海的 ChinaJoy 展会上,AMD 宣布与中山小霸王公司合作推出新的游戏主机,CPU 是锐龙,GPU 是Vega,搭配 8GB GDDR5显存,性能将超过索尼 PS4 及微软 Xbox One 游戏机。

这台游戏机搭配 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD 硬盘,支持正版Windows 10系统,售价4998元,并有中文独占游戏 Onrush。由于没有自己的操作系统,这个所谓的游戏主机其实是一台 Windows 10 电脑。

11、AI 取得 Dota2 的胜利

OpenAI Five 与人类高级玩家的 Dota2 第一场比赛结束,AI 以 2:1 获胜。值得一提的是,AI 输掉的第三局是人类故意为它分配了能力较低的角色,而不是让它自己选择角色,AI 自己预估第三局的胜率只有2.9%。8月下旬将进行 AI 与职业团队的比赛。

12、一句话新闻

  • 随着手机支付的崛起,国内的ATM 和 POS设备制造行业大幅衰退,而二维码扫描设备制造业大幅成长。
  • Dart 语言发布2.0版。该语言的前途完全取决于谷歌的 Flutter 框架(Dart 是 Flutter 唯一支持的语言),如果谷歌大力推广这个框架,Dart 才有可能成功。
  • Android 9.0发布,这个版本大量增加了 AI 支持,可以对每个用户提供更好的个性化服务。
  • Mozilla 浏览器计划取消 RSS 支持,原因是缺乏用户。

教程

1、如何使用 Node 优化图片?(英文)

本文教你使用 JS 的 imagemin 模块,压缩图片的大小。

2、DNS over HTTPS(英文)

DNS 查询都是基于 HTTP 协议的,即使是加密通信,网络服务商依然可以知道你想访问的网站。现在有多种解决方案,本文介绍如何在 Firefox 浏览器打开设置,使得 DNS 协议走 HTTPS 协议。

3、WebAssembly 的发展方向(英文)

WebAssembly 是浏览器可以执行的字节码,使得非 JS 编写的程序可以在浏览器运行。它现在的功能非常少,还处在 MVP(最小可用产品)状态。这篇文章介绍了一些很可能采纳的 WebAssembly 提案。

4、少子化和人口老龄化综述(英文)

全世界发达国家都有少子化和人口老龄化的趋势,这篇文章是我看过的最好的这方面的综述,有大量的数据和事实。除了非洲,其他大洲的人口都接近峰值了,将要开始下降,这意味着许多国家将不得不依靠移民,解决本国人力不足问题。

5、SVG 动画入门:以加载转子为例(英文)

本文手把手教你如何写一个最简单的 SVG 动画。

6、Hash 算法简介(英文)

Hash 算法的概念性介绍。

7、为什么飞机驾驶舱不使用触摸屏?(英文)

现在的飞机驾驶舱还是使用物理仪表盘,而不是触摸屏,这是为什么?主要的原因还是物理按钮会形成肌肉记忆,比操作触摸屏更快。

8、斐波那契数列的计算公式(英文)

如果不用递归,直接算出斐波那契数列的任意项,应该怎么计算?

9、如何通过 npm 窃取信用卡密码?(英文)

本文讲述了作者通过 npm 发布恶意代码的种种手段,非常值得一读。其中有一个技巧,就是package.js 与 package.min.js 的代码不同,恶意代码只放在后者。

工具

1、nouns

一个侦测用户眨眼的装置,让用户通过眨眼控制电脑,可以供霍金那样的用户使用。

2、模拟电路生成器

生成模拟电路的网站。

3、Zotero

管理各种论文和报告的免费桌面软件。

4、fnMatch

一个让对象进行选择性解构赋值的 JS 库。

5、jsinspect

软件项目中,同一段逻辑不应该有多个实现。jsinspect 就是用来查出重复代码的工具。

6、Malvid

一个构建 Web Components 的工具,并且能够自动生成文档。_ _

7、Glances

Glances 是一个用Python编写的跨平台系统监视工具。它自带 Web UI,可以远程监控。

8、Code with Mu

一个 Python 语言专用的代码编辑器。

9、diffconflicts

Git 的合并算法是三方合并(three-way),有人认为这种算法并不是最好的。这里是一个两方合并算法,有兴趣的人可以用它替换到 Git 的合并算法。

资源

1、机械键盘

这个网站收集各种各样的机械键盘。

2、Emulator 101

开源电子书,从零开始讲解如何写一个8080处理器的模拟器。

3、stackshare.io

收集各大网站使用的技术栈。

4、Meteor Wrongs

华盛顿大学维护的一个网站,收集各种假陨石的照片,并附上说明,讲解为什么某块石头不是陨石。

5、Byte 杂志

Byte 杂志是上个世纪很有影响的 IT 杂志,archive.org 提供免费下载。

文摘

1、幸存者偏见

二战时,英国决定要在轰炸机上加装防弹材料,减少被德国炮弹击中时的伤害。

他们按照平安返回的轰炸机被击中的位置,为其他轰炸机加装防弹材料。这种方法看上去正确,其实是错的,真正应该加载防弹材料的,恰恰是那些没有被击中的位置。因为这些轰炸机能返回,就说明它们被击中的位置不是很重要,那些被击中要害位置的轰炸机,都没有能够返回。

这就叫做幸存者偏见,人们过度重视那些幸存的个体,以为他们的特质就代表整个总体的特质。

举例来说,很多创业者总是向某些最成功的企业家学习,比如,比尔盖茨,理查德布兰森,史蒂夫乔布斯,马克扎克伯格,伊隆马斯克等等。殊不知他们可能只是特例,他们的经验不一定普遍适用。

上面这些企业家有一些共同特点。

  • 反传统,不走寻常的道路。
  • 承担巨大风险,有冒险家特质。
  • 极端主义者,他们不喜欢中间立场,有明确的爱和恨。

他们能够成功,并不表示拥有这些特点,你就能成功。很多同样拥有这些特点的人,可能都已经失败了。事实上,稳健经营更能帮助一家小公司生存下来。

2、第一条大西洋海底电缆

以下摘自奥地利作家茨威格的《人类群星闪耀时》一书。

1851年,欧洲大陆都已经连通了电报。但是,美洲一直被排除在世界电报网之外。

大西洋漫无边际,人们根本就不可能在海面上设立众多中间站,更加不可能用一根电线跨越两个大洋。人们不仅不知道海洋的深度,对它的地质结构也知之甚少,大洋底部的电缆能否承受住巨大的海水压力仍然无从得知。

即使从理论和技术上来说,铺设一条如此漫长的海底电缆行得通,但在当时还没有能负载铁铜电缆全部重量的巨轮,也没有一台发电机的功率能输送电流经过如此漫长的距离。就算轮船轻装上阵,也至少要耗费三个星期。并且在此期间,所有的电缆都必须妥善存放,不能露天放置。

英国政府提供了曾经的海战旗舰"阿伽门农"号,美国政府则"贡献"了当时吨位最大的二桅战舰"尼亚加拉"号。经过特殊的改造后,这两艘船都能容纳一半的海底电缆。

最后,同时也是最关键的问题,就是制造电缆。当时,制造一条连接两大洲的电缆需要非常精湛的技术:它既要有钢筋的坚硬而不易断裂的特性,又有非常大的柔韧性,也必须像丝线一样耐压耐磨而能随意弯曲,还必须实心而有一定的空间。总而言之,电缆必须结实、精密。对整个工程而言,电缆上任何一个微乎其微的磨损和坑洼都会破坏电流的传递。

要制造一条这样的电缆,整整需要整座橡胶林的橡胶汁。做一个形象的说明:到工程完工,电缆里使用的铜丝和铁丝长达367000海里,足足能将地球环绕13圈,甚至能将地球和月球连接起来。为此,工厂里的机器整整工作了一年。

下图是160年前第一代的大西洋海底电缆。

3、中美电影周的真相

以下摘自冯小刚的《我把青春献给你》。

中国电影周说穿了,就是由一两个美国穷人,打着热爱中国电影的旗号,从中国的制片厂免费拿到一些电影拷贝,在美国华人集中的城市转着圈的卖票放映,从中有利可图的个人行为。国内的电影制片厂也全无版权的概念,拷贝一撒手就是几个月,条件只不过是几张往返美国的机票。

"中国电影周"放映的电影院条件环境都很差,观众大部分是华人,也有少数闲着没事跟着起哄的白人,因为这些人有强烈的中国情结,看什么破片子都报以热烈的掌声,这些掌声与影片的质量无关,只能反映新老华侨的爱国热情。不明真像的导演误以为自己拍的影片多么伟大,回国后马上约记者采访,据此抱怨国内的发行公司和观众对他影片的冷落是不识货,吹嘘他的影片在美国放映引起轰动。其实也就是寄居美国的少数人自娱自乐的一个派对,主流媒体对此只字未提。

所谓的中美文化交流,说白了还是华人与华人的一次收费联谊会,跟美国大众八竿子打不着。

本周图片

1、2060年的世界人口大国

上图是2060年的世界人口预测。印度是人口最多的国家,17亿左右;其次是中国,13亿左右;后面是尼日利亚,美国,巴基斯坦,印尼,刚果,巴西,埃塞俄比亚,坦桑尼亚和墨西哥。

历史上,亚洲约占世界人口的70%,欧洲大约10%到20%,非洲5%到10%。2060年,非洲人口比重将激增,增加到世界人口的35%左右。

2、Java 的类

Java 语言以众多的类著称,但是你知道它一共有多少个 public Class 吗?

3、LED 街灯

随着 LED 产业的发展,街灯已经大量改成了节能的 LED 灯。传统的昏黄温暖的橙色灯光,变成了明亮的蓝色灯光。有人提出,蓝色的明亮灯光容易对人类造成影响,使得效率降低,失眠和焦虑增加。

本周金句

1、

每颗恒星都在不停燃烧,释放能量。如果宇宙是静止的,必然变得越来越热。幸亏宇宙在不停膨胀,把这个问题解决了。(比尔·布莱森《万物简史》)

2、

人一生最大的幸运,就是在年富力强时发现了自己的人生使命。(茨威格《人类群星闪耀时》)

3、

过去盖起的宫殿中,没有他的位置,他只好在宫殿的旁边,另起炉灶,搭起了一间偏房。问题是偏房越盖越多,越盖越大,越盖越高,渐渐成了一个院落,它就成了另一座宫殿。(刘震云《<我把青春献给你>序言》)

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微信搜索"阮一峰的网络日志 "或者扫描二维码,即可订阅。

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As Wall Street banks continue to enjoy record profits thanks to President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax scam, Trump's Treasury Department—headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin—quietly moved to hand big banks yet another major gift on Wednesday by hiding a $2.5 billion tax cut in the fine print of an "esoteric" new rule proposal (pdf).

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According Daniel Hemel, a tax law professor at the University of Chicago, the Trump administration's rule change would reward "roughly 2,000 banks around the country that qualify as S corporations."

"It's a safe bet that most of the S corporation shareholders benefited by today's decision will fall into the upper reaches of the top one percent—not many middle-class folks own a bank," Hemel told Capital & Main. "If you assume a return on assets of around one percent and S corporation bank assets in the range of $400 billion, then the move reduces the total tax liability of S corporation bank shareholders by $300 million per year for 2018 through 2025. We're talking about something like $2.5 billion total."

In response to the Trump White House's latest attempt to reward the wealthy—which comes as wages for most workers are declining—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote, "It's never been more clear who the Trump administration is really working for."

 


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“'Good News' From Venezuela…"
by Bill Bonner

POITOU, FRANCE – "Here at the Diary, we walk on the sunny side of the street, even at night. So today, we look at the bright side of bad news.

Accidental Healthcare: For example, yesterday we saw what a disaster the Nicolás Maduro government has made of Venezuela. Consumer prices may be rising at a million percent per year, which must be hard to measure, because there are so few consumer items to buy. The shelves are nearly empty. But did this ill wind blow no one good? Of course not.

Venezuela’s accidental healthcare initiative is a stunning success. As reported in Newsweek, last year, the average person in the country lost 24 pounds. That was after he shed 19 pounds the year before. This weight-loss program is extremely effective. But we caution Venezuela’s ruling elite to take a glance at our book, 'Hormegeddon'. In it, we demonstrate how the law of diminishing returns can apply to almost any aspect of society: politics, the economy, finance, etc. Push a good thing too far, we wrote, and the returns not only diminish, they reverse.

'Hormegeddon' explains why Maduro may not want to take things too far. It’s one thing to lose a little weight. It’s quite another to starve to death. Radical weight loss is something Americans can look forward to. We don’t know how long it will take to get there, but Venezuela shows us what a determined government can do. When bad politics takes over a good economy, it is just a matter of time until the shelves are empty and the fat comes off.

Huge Cost: You, dear reader, may point out that this weight-loss program comes at a huge cost. Government policies in Caracas have put 90% of the population on the poor side of the poverty line. And, of course, those are the people who lost weight. But the good news is… they are also the people who probably needed to lose a few pounds.

In America, too, a nationwide financial catastrophe would have its upside. The richest one percent has notoriously captured most of the income and wealth gains of the 21st century. On the income ledger, it had about 17% of national income going into the century. Now, it has about 20%. And on the balance sheet, household wealth was larded by some $60 trillion since 1999 – overwhelmingly going to the wealthy (who own stocks, bonds, and real estate).

Of that $60 trillion added since the dawn of the millennium, a disproportionate share has gone into the pockets of the wealthiest. Now, the “One Percent” owns about 40% of the entire stock market wealth of the country.

Does “inequality” bother you? More good news: You don’t have to worry about it… We will soon get “disaster relief.” Which is to say, the coming crash will take care of it. That’s the upside of the downside. Wrongs get righted. The mighty are brought low. The meek are lifted up. The rich in America were the unwitting, but very willing, recipients of the feds’ stolen goods. In the coming crisis, the poor may lose weight… but the rich will lose their ill-gotten gains.

One of the subtle scams of the fake-money system is the way it steals wealth from people without them realizing it. The poor feel like failures. The rich think they are geniuses. Both are duped by their own money system. The feds put in fake money. As Joe Withrow showed recently, the Fed has pumped more than $4 trillion – money created from nothing – into the system since 2008. This added nearly $20 trillion to stock market prices alone. But real wages and salaries remained the same. If you had financial assets, in other words, you got rich. But there are still only 24 hours in a day; so if you had only your time to sell, you got nothing.

Hell in a Handcart: The One Percent of Caracas has bank accounts in Miami. As Venezuela goes to hell in a handcart, the rich are protected. But America’s rich are stuck. Their wealth is in dollars… and in inflated U.S. stocks, bonds, and real estate. They won’t escape.

Which brings us to more good news: Donald Trump’s trade war. Of course, it is absurd and disastrous from an economic point of view. Here’s Harvard professor and conservative economist Robert Barro in The Wall Street Journal: "The underlying mercantilist view – that there is no downside to cutting off imports because our benefits from international trade arise only from what we sell – is, frankly, ridiculous.

Living without foreign-produced goods hurts Americans more than our trading partners. And the calculations only get worse when one factors in the inevitable retaliation. Foreign countries have already begun restricting U.S. exports. They are also entering into free-trade arrangements that exclude the U.S. It is hard to complain about Japan expanding trade with other Asian countries or the European Union, but this expansion comes partly at the expense of U.S. exports."

There must be an upside. But where? It is right there in front of us. The trade war – if pursued – is likely to bring the high-flying One Percent down to earth… and wreck the entire capital structure. The entire $60 trillion that was gained in the 21st century could get whacked.

Most to Lose: Wealth is relative. While everyone will end up poorer from a trade war, those who would lose the most are those who have the most to lose. What came so easily will go away just as easily. Remember, “money” is just a way of keeping score. Long-time Diary readers may remember this idea from our parking ticket explanation.

The rich grew rich “on paper”… They had more of a claim against the cars, houses, factories, land, furniture, and time of others – everything we regard as real wealth. Which is why most people might actually prefer a trade war. Even though it would make the country poorer as a whole, it would hit the rich harder than the poor, leaving the latter relatively less poor.

That is also why we argued that a real, serious trade war was unlikely. The One Percent stole its wealth fair and square. It won’t want to give it up. And it is among this One Percent that you’ll find both the Deep State and The Donald himself. When they realized what was at stake, we expected a clever insider would have a word with the president and clue him in. But now, we’re not so sure. Mistakes are made. Accidents happen, even those with surprising upsides. Trump is now threatening $500 billion worth of Chinese imports. The Chinese are vowing retaliation.

Mr. Barro continues: "At first I thought the president’s rhetoric about trade restrictions wouldn’t be translated into major action. But it is now clear that he, reinforced particularly by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is committed to a trade war. This policy constitutes a serious depression risk, analogous to that from the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of the 1930s. […]"

Mr. Trump doesn’t deserve to be impeached for his myriad instances of political incorrectness, but he may deserve to be impeached for his trade war. Our advice to the One Percent: Get out while the getting is good… Turn some of your “paper” assets into real assets while you still can."
https://bonnerandpartners.com/
Now imagine if your nearby WalMart and supermarkets looked like the graphic above.
What do you think will happen? I know, I know, "That could never happen here..."
You really believed that, too, didn't you? 

You might ask Turkey...
•"'It's a F**king Bloodbath' - Emerging Markets Collapse As Turkey Tantrum Spread"
•"Turkey Could Create A Larger Crisis Than Greece"
•"Why Turkey Is Doomed In Two Charts"
"'This Crisis Is Created By America': Turks Blame Trump For Economic Collapse"

And it's all completely interconnected globally. Think dominoes...
What goes around comes around...



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