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CTR News 

 

by 

Henry Gide

 















May 2017:










Role of genes in how we smell things 


Fabio Papes, an author from the University of Campinas in Brazil, said: “It became clear that the role of genes, especially those that encode olfactory receptors in the genome, is very important in the construction of nasal tissue, but there was a very remarkable contribution of the environment, something that has not been previously described to this extent. We found the cellular and molecular construction of the olfactory tissue at a given moment is prepared not only by the organism’s genes but also by its life history." 
Neuroscience Journal 










April 2017:







Regulatory Requirements and Blockchain

Blockchain is used for recording the ownership of cryptocurrency bitcoin and some financial institutions are exploring it. This technology records the transactions "in a ledger of which every computer has an identical copy." It would be less costly and less time consuming. But the regulatory requirements to exchange goods are different in each country and cross-boarding Blockchain trades could face problems. Also apps and services built on bitcoin have been facing many privacy scandals. Blockchain is still controversial and it has many supporters and critics. 
 


Bitcoin has failed to be the payment system of the future 

Bitcoin has failed to be as a mainstream payment method for customers. The Securities and Exchange Commission has denied two applications for bitcoin- related funds. More than 90% of the global bitcoin trading took place in China in 2016. In other parts of the world it has not been successful and it hasn't fulfilled any of its goals that was announced in 2008 when bitcoin was introduced.



IMF Meetings in Washington 

Finance ministers and central bankers from 189 member countries meet with the agenda of steering the global economy toward stronger growth. The IMF has projected that global economic growth would pick up to 3.5% this year. 





Minecraft & its 55 million users
 
More than 55 million users are playing Minecraft at least once a month. And it is up 38% from active users reported in June 2016. Microsoft has not disclosed the game's financial account yet. But according to Superdata, this game generated over $230 million in digital revenue last year. It has been ranked as the 5th popular video game in the U.S. 
 



Is It a Good Idea for Adults to Take a Daily Multivitamin?

"Millions of Americans take multivitamins, though the supplements’ popularity appears to be fading. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October found that the use of dietary supplements of any kind remained stable between 1999 and 2012 at 52% of adults in the U.S. But only 31% of those surveyed in 2011-12 said they took a multivitamin/multimineral product, down from 37% surveyed in 1999-2000.That decline may reflect in part the release of several studies in the intervening years that questioned whether multivitamins had any benefit in preventing chronic disease. Dr Eliseo Guallar says: NO: They Do Little or No Good, and May Be Counterproductive. According to Dr Guallar, We know that the diets of many Americans are unhealthy and responsible for a substantial burden of disease. But recommending ineffective solutions to that problem won’t help, and multivitamins are ineffective. At best, they are unnecessary. At worst, they can be counterproductive.There is no clear evidence that multivitamins help prevent chronic disease or maintain health in populations where all the nutrients necessary for good health are available in the food supply. In addition to the difficulty researchers face in trying to separate the effects of supplements from the effects of many other lifestyle factors, few clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of multivitamins in large numbers of people. A recent broad review of the data from many studies concluded that there was no consistent evidence that multivitamins had a beneficial effect on the overall mortality rate or the incidence of cardiovascular disease or cancer in healthy individuals without known nutritional deficiencies.

The bottom line is that a balanced diet provides the vast majority of the vitamins and minerals that we need. Getting people to eat a balanced diet is hard, but multivitamins aren’t an easy fix for that problem. Any effect they have is likely to be small and inconsistent across populations. The unconvincing results of studies of multivitamin use aren’t the only reason these supplements have no clear value. It is also hard to make an airtight case for them biologically."

Source: WSJ




Digital Detox 

 

"Sylvia Hart Frejd’s mission is to help students balance tech time and face time (not FaceTime), training their eyes on fellow humans instead of smart screens. As founder of the nation’s first Center for Digital Wellness, housed in a Wi-Fi-proof room at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Dr. Frejd promotes 24-hour digital fasts and counsels students on how to “thrive in real life, not just in their digital lives.”Dr. Frejd, co-author of “The Digital Invasion: How Technology Is Shaping You and Your Relationships,” has been known to reprimand students who shuffle along in their digital bubble when she passes in the hallways. “One was really embarrassed and said, ‘It’s the digital wellness lady!’ ” she recalled. “I’ve also seen a guy looking down at his phone walk into the women’s bathroom. I said, ‘Look up!’ But I was too late.” NY Times





The Fingerprint Sensor on Your Phone Is Not safe

"New findings by researchers at New York University and Michigan State University suggest that smartphones can easily be fooled by fake fingerprints digitally composed of many common features found in human prints. In computer simulations, the researchers from the universities were able to develop a set of artificial “MasterPrints” that could match real prints similar to those used by phones as much as 65 percent of the time.The researchers did not test their approach with real phones, and other security experts said the match rate would be significantly lower in real-life conditions. Still, the findings raise troubling questions about the effectiveness of fingerprint security on smartphones." NY Times




10 steps for being digitally healthy


"1. IT’S NOT “I TWEET, THEREFORE I AM.” Think twice before you post, tweet, text, or upload it.


2. WATCH YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINTS, 
because they are permanent.

3. UNPLUG. Take a digital “fast” once a week or once a month.

4. INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS. Real people trump virtual ones.

5. ESTABLISH DIGITAL BOUNDARIES. Limit when you use digital devices and how much time you spend on them.

6. FIND THINGS YOU ENJOY DOING IN REAL LIFE and do them.

7. GET OUTSIDE. Take walks, feel the sun, and breathe fresh air.

8. POWER DOWN AND GET SOME SLEEP. Your brain can’t thrive without it.

9. CULTIVATE YOUR “GODSPACE” daily. Take time to be still and know that He is God.

10. BE A GOOD STEWARD. Use technology for God’s glory."

source: Liberty university 





The Brain's GPS

According to Stanford Neurosciences Institute researchers Neuroscientists’ discovery of grid cells, known as the brain’s GPS, was as a major discovery. But new results suggest the system is more complicated than anyone had guessed."Medial entorhinal grid cells display strikingly symmetric spatial firing patterns. The clarity of these patterns motivated the use of specific activity pattern shapes to classify entorhinal cell types. While this approach successfully revealed cells that encode boundaries, head direction, and running speed, it left a majority of cells unclassified, and its pre-defined nature may have missed unconventional, yet important coding properties. Here, we apply an unbiased statistical approach to search for cells that encode navigationally relevant variables. This approach successfully classifies the majority of entorhinal cells and reveals unsuspected entorhinal coding principles." New Science Journal 



Sleep & Health: how the digital obsession ruins health

"At the University of California, Berkeley, Matthew P. Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology and the director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory there, is working on direct current stimulation as a cure for sleeplessness in the aging brain. Dr. Walker is also sifting through the millions of hours of human sleep data.“Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body,” Dr. Walker of U.C. Berkeley said. “We have a saying in medicine: What gets measured, gets managed.”Sleep entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and beyond have poured into the sleep space, as branders like to say — a $32 billion market in 2012 — formerly inhabited by old-style mattress and pharmaceutical companies.

In Paris, Hugo Mercier, a computer science engineer, has invested in sound waves. He has raised over $10 million to create a headband that uses them to induce sleep. The product has been beta-tested on 500 people (out of a pool of 6,500 applicants, Mr. Mercier said) and will be ready for sale this summer. Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, who used to take a sleeping bag to work when he was a lowly computer programmer, has said that his eight hours of sleep each night were good for his stockholders.

“I’d like to have a survey done to show how many people are also reading their texts while they’re tracking their sleep,” Ms. Rothstein said. “If you want to improve your sleep, you have to make some changes. Your Fitbit and your Apple Watch are not going to do it for you. We’ve lost the simplicity of sleep. All this writing, all these websites, all this stuff. I’m thinking, Just sleep. I want to say: ‘Shh. Make it dark, quiet and cool. Take a bath.’”NY Times

Critics have expressed their concerns about the obsession with being digitally connected: the internet of things, the smart devices, smart TV, smart phones and anything that is distracting. Also they concern about the "outsider's intrusions" in WiFi zones that interrupts the sleep and a wifi free zone can be a solution.





Pokémon Go players disturbing the homeowners 
 
Disturbed homeowners complaining about Pokémon players and a federal judge is going to decide about a lawsuit alleging Pokémon Go violated trespass laws. Millions of players are searching for Pokémon characters on a digital map and they gain points when catching a monster that "superimposed into the real world through location tracking technology and augmented reality." The residents are complaining about the players trespassing on their land. Niantic "which spun out of" Google in 2015, have requested the judge to dismiss the case. Critics raised concerns about a game such as Pokémon and their players; the players waste lots of their time daily to catch imaginary digital characters while disturbing other people.
 



Researchers Identify Virus and Two Types of Bacteria as Major Causes of Alzheimer’s


"The worldwide team of senior scientists and clinicians have come together to produce an editorial which indicates that certain microbes – a specific virus and two specific types of bacteria – are major causes of Alzheimer’s Disease. Their paper, which has been published online in the highly regarded peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, stresses the urgent need for further research – and more importantly, for clinical trials of anti-microbial and related agents to treat the disease." Neuroscience website 





Algorithms and Video Games Used by Employers To get more out of employees 


"Psychologists and video game designers have long known that encouragement toward a concrete goal can motivate people to complete a task.“It’s getting you to internalize the company’s goals,” said a prominent video game designer who has spoken out against coercive psychological techniques deployed in games. “Internalized motivation is the most powerful kind.” Managers have been borrowing from the logic of games for generations, as when they set up contests and competition among workers. More overt forms of "gamification" have proliferated during the past decade. For example, Microsoft has used the approach to entice workers to perform the otherwise sleep-inducing task of software debugging.Perhaps the most prominent example is that such automatic queuing appears to have fostered the rise of binge-watching on Netflix. “When one program is nearing the end of its running time, Netflix will automatically cue up the next episode in that series for you,” “It requires very little effort to binge on Netflix; in fact, it takes more effort to stop than to keep going.” NY Times








Credit Suisse &Tax Probe by Five Nations 


Credit Suisse Group and its home country of Switzerland were surprised by a tax evasion and money laundering investigation that spans five countries from Australia to the U.K. and potentially involves thousands of account holders. Two people were arrested by Dutch authorities, who also seized a gold bar, paintings and jewelry and are still probing dozens more suspected of concealing millions of euros in Swiss accounts, the Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Service said Friday. Criminal investigations are also underway in France, Germany, the U.K. and Australia, and the roles of bank employees are part of the inquiries.“The sheer volume of data and its international scope makes this an exceptional case,” said a lawyer with Bonnard Lawson in Geneva.The probes could jeopardize Chief Executive Officer's efforts to focus Credit Suisse on wealth management and to boost capital depleted by fines for past misbehavior. The bank said its offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam were  contacted on Thursday by authorities in connection with client tax matters, and that it’s cooperating with the authorities." Bloomberg website 



Tough months for home buyers

"This year’s spring selling season promises to be the toughest for buyers in a decade, economists say, as rising prices and mortgage rates combine with inventory near 20-year lows." WSJ



 




March 2017:






One CEO Got Paid $46 Million in a Month, but the Rest of the Year Is a Mystery 

Johnson Controls took advantage of SEC loophole in pay-disclosure regulations

 
"Johnson Controls won’t say how much Alex Molinaroli made after September because companies don’t have to disclose how much top executives were paid by a firm that disappears or becomes a subsidiary in a deal." WSJ



Wearables and Privacy Issues 

"Personal health wearable devices that consumers are using to monitor their heart rates, sleep patterns, calories, and even stress levels raise new privacy and security risks, according to a report released today by researchers at American University and the Center for Digital Democracy. Watches, fitness bands, and so-called “smart” clothing, linked to apps and mobile devices, are part of a growing “connected-health” system in the U.S., promising to provide people with more efficient ways to manage their own health. But while consumers may think that federal laws will protect their personal health information collected by wearables, the report found that the weak and fragmented health-privacy regulatory system fails to provide adequate safeguards. The report, Health Wearable Devices in the Big Data Era: Ensuring Privacy, Security, and Consumer Protection, provides an overview and analysis of the major features, key players, and trends that are shaping the new consumer-wearable and connected-health marketplace." Center for Digital Democracy website 


Anti phishing working group 
 
Spear phishing is when phishers go after a specific person and trying to trick them to clicking a link or attachments that installs ransom ware  locking the victim's data  until they are paid. 96% of all cyberattacks start with phishing. Usually phishers send out thousands of emails hoping to trick some victims. 





Computer Scams
 
One of the most common scams is when a caller falsely impersonating representatives of well known technology companies and encouraging the victims to allow remote access to their devices in order to check for problems. Then the hackers charge fees to remove the electronic viruses.




Privacy Rule Suspended
 
 
FCC has suspended parts of privacy rules for internet service providers. According to the Wall Street Journal, many cable companies such as Comcast and wireless providers such as Verizon    have criticized the FCC, Federal Communications Commission, rules that they have been treated more strictly than online firms such as Google and Facebook. Consumers advocacy groups have expressed their concerns and reminded FCC of its obligations to protect consumers privacy.



Women in Technology & Magic Leap
 
Women in technology have feared that the virtual reality and AR development, video game development and tech industry in general have been male dominated. Campbell, a former Magic Leap voiced her concern and pointed out that some images and videos used in Magic Leap's marketing materials are not "what the product actually could do." But the Magic Leap executive have mentioned that those videos presented on their website and on the YouTube are mainly "aspirational" and not the facts. Also there have been many reports that have questioned the tech company's progress.



Use of Non-GAAP by Publicly Traded Companies 
 
Increasingly publicly traded companies are using non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) in their financial results and sometimes a negative figure is transformed into a positive one. Securities and Exchange Commission regulators have warned these companies including Valeant Pharmaceuticals International that use non-GAAP methods.




Art Market in London
 
The chief art houses in London: Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips have sold more than $900 million during two weeks of auctions.



Family Offices 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S.has 3,000 family offices with more than $1.2 trillion in assets. The family offices don't have to register and for people who have more than $250 million in assets, it has become the preferred vehicle for investing. Family offices provide the full control for the investors. "They don't have to register with federal regulators as long as they limit their investment advice to descendants of common ancestor within 10 generations, plus others such as key employees, adopted children and former spouses."


Rivals in the Cloud Computing Industry 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is facing " an uphill battle" against Microsoft and Amazon. The Amazon Web Services had more than $12 billion in cloud revenue last year and Microsoft's Azure cloud service had $2.50 billion and finally Google had less than $900 million. Those revenues don't include sales of cloud based tools such as Microsoft's Office 365 and Google's Gmail and Google Docs. Google is only included in one of 20 Microsoft's sales engagements. 




Oil companies putting their money into cheaper ventures 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, energy companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron corp are putting their money into cheaper and quicker ventures in Texas shale country, the Middle East and Brazil and currently are "squeezing more from existing projects worldwide."



Chinese Customs Frauds in the EU
 
Chinese Exporters Avoid Paying VAT in the EU
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the European Union's anti trust watchdog investigators have discovered that Chinese exporters avoided paying value-added tax in various European countries. The OLAF announced that the U.K. owed more than $2 billion after failing to charge enough customs on Chinese goods. The EU's antifraud office declared that the British officials haven't stopped Chinese customs frauds in which Chinese undervalued their goods in customs declarations.



Bacteria Resistant to Antibiotics Circulating Faster
 
According to a new genetic analysis of resistant bacteria found in patients at U.S. hospitals, the bacteria resistant to antibiotics are circulating faster than previously thought. According to the new research and findings, there is an urgent need to study and trace the source of the infections in hospitals. With the advances in DNA sequencing, the process has become cheaper and currently researches are able "to sequence the whole  genomes of bacteria for a fraction of the previous cost." Bacteria resistant to Carbapenems, a class of antibiotics that is prescribed at the last resort has currently been studied by the scientists and they are sequencing the genomes of those bacteria.



Organic Grain Imports Increasing 
 
Organic imports hit U.S. farmers who are fearing their harvests "are held to stricter standards than foreign raised corps.". Organic products are made without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified ingredients. In 2016, the price of organic corn had 30% reduction as the result of massive imports.
 


Eliminating Antibiotics on Poultry 
 
According to Jacob Bunge, Tyson Foods planning to eliminate use of antibiotics on poultry. This move is considered a victory for consumer health groups and other activists who have pressured the lawmakers, animal drug makers and meat companies for years to eliminate the use of antibiotics on farms. FDA has already called on the industry to stop using antibiotics for weight gaining purposes by the end of 2016, but consumer campaigns have called for the further measures because of growing concerns about health of the consumers. 




Commodity Bets Hit Record
 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bullish Commodity Bets Hit Record Highs as Investor Seize on Signs of Growth. Commodity prices are enjoying their best run in years, fresh evidence that investors are betting on a pickup in the global economy after years of sluggish growth and scant inflation.




Gold prices rose to their highest level in four months 
 
Gold for April delivery closed up 0.7% a troy ounce, the highest value since November price. Some analysts pointed out that continuing flow of money into exchange traded funds that buy golds predicted that the demand is growing. 
 










February 2017:






Human Gene Editing & support from Science Panels 

"the modification of human embryos to create genetic traits that can be passed down to future generations. This type of human gene editing has long been seen as an ethical minefield. Researchers fear that the techniques used to prevent genetic diseases might also be used to enhance intelligence, for example, or to create people physically suited to particular tasks, like serving as soldiers.The advisory group endorsed only alterations designed to prevent babies from acquiring genes known to cause “serious diseases and disability,” and only when there is no “reasonable alternative.” The report provides an explicit rationale for genetic research that the federal government has avoided supporting until now, although the work is being pursued in countries like China. Just over a year ago, an international group of scientists said it would be “irresponsible to proceed” with making heritable changes to the human genome until risks could be better assessed and there was “broad societal consensus about the appropriateness” of any proposed change. The advent of a powerful gene-editing tool called Crispr-Cas9 allows researchers to snip, insert and delete genetic material with increasing precision. But opponents of human germ line editing say that is not a reason to take a big step toward what they fear will be an inevitable push to engineer traits like strength, beauty and intelligence, perhaps eventually creating a dystopian social divide between those who can afford enhancements and those who cannot. In addition to social concerns, there are questions of safety and autonomy. While Crispr is generally precise, it can have “off-target” effects, cutting DNA at places where it is not meant to. What if a child produced through a gene-editing technique were hobbled in some unforeseen way?" Source: NYTimes





New Focus of Space Research 
 
According to Robert Hotz, space research now is focused on discovering what makes microbes more tenacious in space and the purpose of this study is finding the ways of keeping astronauts healthy during the long voyage to Mars. Bacteria in international space station growing faster and mutating more readily and as the result more resistant to antibiotics than on Earth.
 


Energy Stocks Down
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, a pullback in the price of oil dragging the S&P 500 lower. The energy companies falling 1.6% and the S&P 500 slipped 2.56 points. The S&P 500 hasn't posted a decline of 1% since October and it has been considered the longest stretch since 2006.





Uber & Google: the old allies and new rivals

According to the people close to the matter, Google and Uber were once allies, but now they are rivals and the current controversy about Uber has less to do with its culture than its rivalry with Google. According to the Uber employee, Uber's culture is nothing new and it is almost the culture of the most technology companies; but Google rivalry is new. Google is planning to expand a carpool service on its navigation app and this attempt put Google in direct rivalry with Uber and the current controversy in the social media is not unrelated to the matter.






One cybersecurity export tracked 61 million phishing in 2016

Phishing often happens via email, with malware links or attached files. Recently it is also happening to phones, text messages, WhatsApp, Facebook and search engines. If an email doesn't look right you should avoid clicking the links or opening the attachments. Always type the address into a browser because the known phishing websites are automatically blocked in the web browsers. Also don't use the same passwords for different accounts and use a complicated password and avoid the simple ones.



Buffet's bet

"Warren Buffett in 2007 bet $1 million that index funds would outperform hedge funds over 10 years. Now, it looks like he will win the wager. An extended bull market and subpar performance by many hedge funds since the 2008 financial crisis have helped his case." wsj



Growth stocks in 2017
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the growth stocks have made a comeback in 2017.  The Russel 1000 Growth Index is up 7.5% in 2017. The value stocks were out of favor in 2015 and 2016.
 


Scientists Say They’ve Discovered a Hidden Continent Under New Zealand


"Scientists say they have identified an underwater continent two-thirds the size of Australia — and they are calling it Zealandia. This newly proposed continent is about 1.74 million square miles in size and 94 percent submerged. But at its highest points, it protrudes above the ocean surface in the form of New Zealand and New Caledonia, according to a paper published in GSA Today, the journal of the Geological Society of America." NBC



Semiconductor industry domination 

According to the Semiconductor industry officials, Chinese plan to dominate the sector, while Chinese fail to grant U.S. investors access in China. Currently there is a $160 billion plan by Beijing to establish China as a global leader in semiconductor industry. And U.S. lawmakers are gearing up to expand CFIUS's legal mandate to demand greater access by U.S. investors into China.



Big Firms Reducing Property Holdings 
 
According to Peter Grant, some prominent real estate investors are currently reducing their holdings because they believe that eight-year bull market for U.S. commercial property is coming to a close. Also more selling could put stress on the market since the demand for property has started to flag. Currently U.S. Commercial property sector is $11 trillion. 



Cyberattacks crippled Tor Servers 

According to the Wall Street Journal, cyberattacks crippled web hosting provider named Freedom Hosting II that used anonymity software in particular Tor to cloak the locations of the users.
 



Hacker' attacks on WiFi and Cloud Connections 
 

According to the security experts, dozens of iPhone apps are at risk of being hacked especially when users send data from the phone to the cloud via Wi-Fi.

A range of apps have been identified as risky: banking apps, messenger apps and even an app that locates the car and lock it remotely. Will Strafach, CEO of Sudo Security Group warned that dozens of iOS applications were vulnerable to silent interception of data. These apps have a 'backdoor' which allows the hacker to carry out attacks when data was sent from the phone to the cloud. It is mainly a problem when the phone is connected to Wi-Fi. His advice: 'If you are in a public location and need to perform a sensitive action on your mobile device (such as opening your bank app and checking your account balance), you can work around the issue by opening "Settings" and turning the "Wi-Fi" switch off prior to the sensitive action.'




Wells Fargo Accord With Intuit
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wells Fargo has entered into a partnership with Intuit over sharing customer information with Mint, TurboTax and QuickBooks. Last week Intuit had a similar agreement with J.P.Morgan Chase. As the result bank customers are not required to share passwords while accessing bank information on the Intuit sites.
 



Pieces of metals in smokeless tobacco cans
 
Consumers of smokeless tobacco have found pieces of metals, some an inch in length and some sharp ones in their smokeless tobacco cans. Altria Group Inc spokesperson said that the cans were tainted in a "malicious act". Currently U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and Food and Drug Administration are conducting investigations about the matter. Nine million people aged 12 and up were using smokeless tobacco in the U.S. in 2015.




NASDAQ Composite

According to the Wall Street Journal, investors' retreat from U.S. technology, financial and drug companies hit the NASDAQ composite on Monday and as the result sending the index to its largest decline of the year.




Healthy Mediterranean diet a substitute for medication 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest research shows that Mediterranean diet helps depressed patients and in some cases, it has been much more effective than medication.The healthy Mediterranean diets according to the study published in the journal BMC Medicine diet change can be a replacement for traditional treatments for depression. Dietary changes is specially helpful for the people suffering from mild depression and people who don't like to go on medications because the variety of side effects.  Brain food such as leafy greens and  natural foods with vitamin B12, long chain omega 3 and magnesium can be much more effective than medications.






January 2017:





Apple redesigning iPhone 
 
Apple is preparing a significant redesign of the iPhone for its 10th anniversary. People familiar with the matter says that the redesign will be toward an OLED display and making all glass body designs.

 

Dow Above 20000
 
The Dow industrials closed above 20000 for the first time. As the result cheers erupted on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the market closed. The Dow took 100 years to reach 10000 in  March 1999.




Google Uses Its Search Engine to Hawk Its Products


A Wall Street Journal analysis found that Google often pushes its growing list of hardware products, from Pixel phones to Nest smart thermostats, in the top ad spot above its search results.



 

Creating Eyewear Giant
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, maker of Ray-Ban eyewear agreed to a merger with French optical lens maker Essilor International SA, placing its Italian founder "at the helm of a global company." Under this deal, the companies will have a combined market value of €48 billion.



Samsung Huge scandal 

 
According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors seeking the arrest of Samsung Group heir, Lee Jae-yong on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Prosecutors accused him of bribery related to Samsung's payments of about 44 billion Korean won.


Chinese stockpiling metals across the world

U.S. customs officials have seized $25 million worth of aluminum linked to a Chinese billionaire accused of stockpiling the metal across the world.






SpaceX data 

 
 
Internal documents reveal the aerospace company has growth in new rocket-launch contracts but a thin bottom line vulnerable when things go awry. SpaceX forecasts revenue from its planned satellite-internet business will eventually dwarf the rocket division and help finance future Mars missions.



Macy's closing dozens of stores 
 
Macy's will cut 10,000 jobs and close dozens of stores because of weak holiday sales. Part of the plan was announced last summer that will shutter more than 100 locations. Its latest store closing will result in a $250 million charge in the fourth quarter and reduce its 2017 revenue by about $575 million. Macy's hopes that closing results in annual savings of $555 million.



Amazon prime Credit Card launch

 

Amazon is trying to ring up more sales with a new credit card aimed at its most loyal customers. The card for Prime customers offers 5% back on all purchases made on its site.



Yahoo to Change Name to Altaba

Altaba is an unusual name "and it also happens to be close to “Al-Taba,” apparently manufacturer of scissors based in Pakistan." Verizon executives have said publicly that they are weighing their options, including potentially paying less than the agreed-upon $4.8 billion for concluding the yahoo deal.



Buying and selling bitcoins

Circle Internet Financial no longer offer buying and selling bitcoins for their customers. It is one of the most heavily funded bitcoins startup. Still bitcoin is a closely watched virtual currency and its value is increasing. The company's mobile app makes transfers in dollars, euros and pounds. 




Fintech in 2017


  • Fintech investment continues to grow. After landing at $19 billion in total in 2015, global fintech funding had already reached $15 billion by mid-August 2016.
  • The areas of fintech attracting media and investor attention are changing. Insurtech, robo-advisors, and digital-only banks are only a few of the segments making waves. B2B fintechs are also playing an increasingly prominent role in the ecosystem. 
  • It's not all good news for fintechs. Major hurdles, including customer acquisition and profitability, remain. As a result, many are becoming more willing to enter partnerships and adjust their business models. 
  • Incumbents are enacting strategies to ensure they remain relevant. Many financial firms have woken up to the threat posed by fintechs and are implementing innovation strategies to stave off disruption. The majority of these strategies involve some interaction with fintech firms." Business Insider



Lottery games

Americans spent $70 billion on lottery games in 2014, more than $300 per adult in the 43 states. Americans spent more on lottery tickets than they did on sporting events, movie tickets, books, video games, and music.



Sears stores closures 


Sears will close another 150 stores and sell its Craftsman tool brand for $900 million, as the cash-strapped retailer continues to shrink and battle slumping sales.



Amazon Air Cargo Operations 

Air Transport Services Group, one of the two providers to the fledgling Amazon.com air cargo operation, has acquired an aircraft maintenance business that could ultimately compete with Boeing in converting passenger planes for cargo use.



Crude oil prices
 
U.S. crude prices hit an 18-month high, boosted by optimism that production cuts agreed to late last year will help to drain global stockpiles.



SpaceX is preparing to resume rocket launches 

 

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing to resume rocket launches on Jan. 8, according to industry officials, using revised operational procedures developed in response to a fiery accident that occurred during routine ground preparations last fall.

















December 2016:





"Snap’s IPO Roadshow Message: We’re the Next Facebook, Not the Next Twitter"


When Snap Inc. markets its IPO, it will be touting more than its virtual-messaging service: Its bankers and executives also plan to portray its founder as a visionary who can evolve the service into a content powerhouse.





Amazon Echo

"The biggest surprise, though, continues to be the Amazon Echo — the family of smart speakers that, along with its Alexa voice assistant, has steadily put Amazon in a leading position within the Internet of Things and the burgeoning consumer market for artificial intelligence. According to the statista , the Echo only gained momentum in 2016. Device sales have more than doubled year-over-year, while the amount of “skills” third-party developers have built for Alexa has risen by thousands within the span of a few months. And because Amazon ties the device so tightly with its retail site, Echo buyers also tend to pump more money back into the company’s core business." Business Insider



U.S. Charges Three Chinese Traders With Hacking Law Firms

Indictment says the traders bought shares of at least five publicly traded companies before announcements that the firms would be acquired



"Three Chinese traders earned more than $4 million in illegal profits after hacking into the computer systems of two prominent U.S. law firms to obtain nonpublic information about merger and acquisition deals, according to a federal indictment.The traders bought shares of at least five publicly traded companies including pharmaceutical firms and chip makers before announcements that the firms would be acquired, according to an indictment from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office. In total, prosecutors say the seven firms were targeted on more than 100,000 occasions. In another of the allegedly illegal trades, the defendants made $841,000 from buying and selling stock in e-commerce company Borderfree Inc., which was in the process of being acquired by Pitney Bowes Inc.The SEC filed a related civil lawsuit against the Chinese traders. The agency said the traders got access to the deals by installing malware on the law firms’ computer networks, allowing them to download information from email accounts at the firms. Both law firms were infiltrated using unlawfully obtained credentials from law-firm employees, according to prosecutors." The Wall Street Journal 



Exports wouldn’t be taxed, but imports would be

"This has fueled speculation about how the economy and markets will respond. Economists say underlying trade deficits are set by consumption and saving patterns, not tax systems, so if a tax change makes imports more expensive and exports cheaper, the dollar will rise to offset this. Will the dollar really jump 20% to 25% to offset a new 20% tax on imports? almost certainly not. People often forget that domestic prices adjust in response to tax and currency changes. For example, imagine Home Depot can source lumber from a sawmill in Washington state or from one in British Columbia. The product is identical, except one is priced in Canadian dollars and carries an import tax, and the other doesn’t. Since the products are identical, competitive forces ensure that they will be sold at the same price to Home Depot’s customer, and Home Depot will seek the same profit margin on both. In Canada, the opposite happens. As returns to lumber decline, capital and labor will shift out of lumber into other sectors. Some lumber workers will be worse off. But relative costs in nonlumber industries should decline as supply rises, which leaves consumers better off. All of this is without any additional change in the exchange rate. If the Canadian dollar does decline against the U.S. dollar, then in Canada, capital and labor will move from lumber into other sectors that benefit from the lower exchange rate but aren’t affected by the tax, such as tourism." The WSJ





Swiss Gold Refiners

According to the Wall Street Journal, Argor-Heraeus and other Swiss gold refiners are starting to be held accountable for their industry’s alleged role in unlawful transactions and mining abuses.




The world's largest yogurt maker by sales

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal reporter in Paris, Emmanuel Faber, Danone CEO discussed his plans for the food company and his beliefs in social justice. He mentioned that the food industry has been successful over the last 50 years and the reason is its ability to simplify and standardize. He added a number of consumers and households are starting to consume and buy organic foods especially for their children. He pointed out that what makes the resilience of this business is the notion of social justice.



The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Is Building an Algorithmic Model From its Employees’ Brains

 
" Bridgewater wants day-to-day management—hiring, firing, decision-making—to be guided by software that doles out instructions. The project is the latest bid by founder Ray Dalio to perpetuate his unorthodox philosophy. Deep inside Bridgewater Associates LP, the world’s largest hedge-fund firm, software engineers are at work on a secret project that founder Ray Dalio has sometimes called “The Book of the Future.”" WSJ



Young Americans living with their parents at 75-year high


According to the Wall Street Journal more than 40% of young Americans were living with their parents, siblings or other relatives in 2015, the largest percentage since 1940, according to an analysis of census data by real estate tracker Trulia.




European market and money 

More money has left eurozone markets this year than at any time in the bloc’s history, helping drive the euro toward parity with the dollar for the first time in 14 years.


On-demand music service 

 

According to the latest surveys, last year 11% of 18 to 24 -year -olds, 8% of 25 to 34- year-olds and only 1% of above 45 customers paid for an on-demand music service such as Apple Music or Spotify.

 




Manipulating market by spreading fake news

 

"On Feb. 21, 1814, a man in uniform purporting to be Col. R. du Bourg, an aide to Britain’s ambassador to Russia, arrived at the Ship Inn in Dover, England, claiming that French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had been killed by Russian Cossacks. The man sent a horse and rider to bring the news to Adm. Thomas Foley, who decided to relay the message to the Admiralty in London by semaphore telegraph system, but couldn’t because there was too much fog. The man claiming to be du Bourg, meanwhile, set out for London, stopping at every inn along the way to spread the news. Meanwhile, three men dressed as French officers distributed leaflets in London announcing that Napoleon had been killed. The news sent the price of government securities on the London Stock Exchange soaring, until it turned out that Napoleon was still very much alive. In March 2000, Fred Moldofsy, a dentist-turned-day-trader in Houston, reposted a fake press release on a Yahoo Finance message board more than 20 times that said Lucent Technologies would miss earnings estimates. He was convicted of one count of securities fraud in 2001, paid a $4,000 fine and served two months in prison." SF Chronicle 




Publishers and their advertising revenues 

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, publishers increasingly looking to boost their revenue with in house advertising and content production. They are in a way taking the role of advertising agencies; they are doing variety of tasks such as research for companies and creating ads "that run outside their own websites. Branded content revenue has been growing." But  critics of branded content believe that it blurs the boundaries between editorial and advertising. At Washington Post, revenue from its BrandStudio branded content unit is growing and the division staff will increase to 65 next year.




Do microwaves make food unsafe?


"It is important to understand that a microwave oven prepares food in a very different way than any traditional cooking method. What all forms of cooking have in common is that they use heat to alter the molecular structure of food, which kills germs and makes it safer to eat. In many cases, it also improves the taste. A microwave oven cooks food in a radically different manner: The oven works by firing beams of microwave radiation into the food. This causes the water molecules inside the food to vibrate at a higher frequency than normal generating heat. This also alters the molecular structure of the food, but in a different way, resulting in food that has been cooked from the inside out." Naturalon






Personal space 

 Personal space is varied according to each country and culture

"Average comfort levels of personal space distance in the U.S.:
  •  
  • Approximately 0 to 20 inches for intimate couples
  • Approximately 1-1/2 feet to 3 feet for good friends and family members
  • Approximately 3 feet to 10 feet for casual acquaintances and coworkers
  • More than 4 feet for strangers
  • More than 12 feet for speaking to a large group."
Source: About.com





Voice recognition 


"Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and China's Baidu have embarked on a world-wide hunt for terabytes of human speech. Microsoft has set up mock apartments in cities around the globe to record volunteers speaking in a home setting. Every hour, Amazon uploads Alexa queries to a vast digital warehouse. Baidu is busily collecting every dialect in China. Then they take all that data and use it to teach their computers how to parse, understand and respond to commands and queries." Bloomberg 





Unsafe Headphones 

"The new analysis should be a wake-up call to parents who thought volume-limiting technology offered adequate protection, said Dr. Blake Papsin, the chief otolaryngologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.“Headphone manufacturers aren’t interested in the health of your child’s ears,” he said. “They are interested in selling products, and some of them are not good for you.”Half of 8- to 12-year-olds listen to music daily, and nearly two-thirds of teenagers do, according to a 2015 report with more than 2,600 participants. Safe listening is a function of both volume and duration: The louder a sound, the less time you should listen to it.It’s not a linear relationship. Eighty decibels is twice as loud as 70 decibels, and 90 decibels is four times louder." New York Times 


Personal space is shrinking in the planes

The seats in the flights are getting smaller and smaller and it would be a huge problem for people especially if they are claustrophobic. Airlines want to "optimize their configurations and maximize their revenue so they are increasingly reducing the space and redesigning ceilings panels. They are packing more people into each plane and it will make them more money and make the passengers more uncomfortable. 


Gerhard Richter abstract was sold for $34 million 

 

Sotheby's had sold Gerhard Richter abstract for $260,000 25 years ago. Now last week Sotheby's sold the same piece of art for $34 million. Heavyweight collectors such as 

Chicago's Stefan Edlis, Los Angles's Eli Broad and New York's David Ganek were present in

the house's York Avenue salesroom.




Google Cash Machine


"Over the 12 months ended in September, Google’s ad business accounted for 89 percent of Alphabet’s revenue, or $76.1 billion. As one ex-executive puts it, “No one wants to face the reality that this is an advertising company with a bunch of hobbies.” 


Googlers have a name for its ad business: the “cash machine."


The Cash Machine and the Other Bets

Google
Search, Android, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Cloud, Pixel phone
made $26.8b*

Nest
Smart-home devices: Thermostats, smoke detectors, security cameras

Verily
Google Glass, but for contact lenses

Access
Offers Google Fiber broadband services, now working on wireless internet access

X
Moonshots: Internet balloons, delivery drones, self-driving cars, etc.

Sidewalk Labs
Wi-Fi kiosks in New York City

Jigsaw
Tech incubator overseen by former CEO Eric Schmidt

DeepMind
Artificial intelligence software, including a bot for the board game Go

Calico
Trying to find a cure for death

lost $3.8b*

*operating income for year ended 9/30/2016"


Source: Bloomberg



Big Pharma outsourcing science 

 

"Drug giant Sanofi has formed an unorthodox partnership with a Harvard professor to seek new drugs in areas that have baffled scientists, one of a number of initiatives by Big Pharma to tap outside expertise. The cultures aren’t easy to merge, through, and the Sanofi project has churned through multiple CEOs." WSJ




"Surprise Bills" for patients

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the study by Yale university economists discussed the surprise bills that has caused patients uproar and increasing friction between emergency care doctors and insurers. Usually radiologists, anesthesiologists and ER physicians are employed by outside companies and these companies negotiating separately with insurers. As the result the patients complained that their medical bills have increased from hundreds to thousands.



Shell faces lawsuits 

Shell is fighting lawsuits over Nigeria. "The oil rich Niger Delta has generated  billions of dollars for Shell over the past 60 years." The company operations have been accused of theft and oil spills. Four Nigerian farmers and Friends of the Earth have successfully appealed a ruling in Hague. The ruling was in favor of Shell last year but Hague new ruling has allowed Friends of Earth to pursue their case against the company over environmental issues.



Autonomous Vehicles by Apple 


Apple took its biggest step toward acknowledging it is working on autonomous vehicles, writing to U.S. regulators offering feedback on proposed guidelines for the technology.





High Profile Investors in Theranos 

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, high profile investors who weren't part of ecosystem that backs startups had invested in Theranos Inc and currently may see their stakes wiped out. Theranos is a blood testing company that currently facing regulatory and technological problems. Some of the investors are high profile such as Rupert Murdoch and Riley Bechtel. Theranos in 2014 announced that Bechtel had become the director of the company.




Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.6%

 

"U.S. employers hired at a steady clip in November while the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in nine years, signs of enduring labor-market growth that will likely leave Federal Reserve officials on track to raise interest rates later this month."wsj




Part five:

 

Startup jargons:

 

17. Growth hacker: when the startup owner has a exceptionally creative idea for growth.

18. Green meadow: a market with no competitors.

19. Slack: a popular team messaging app.

20. Subprime unicorn: a company that once valued higher than a billion dollars, but now worth considerably less.








November 2016:





Workers' compensation 
 
According to the analysis by CompPharma LLC, Workers' compensation payers spent $1.54 billion on opioids in 2015 that was 13% of total U.S. spendings on opioids.


Part four:

 

Startup jargons:

 

13. Accelerator: in exchange for a cut in equity, the startups pitch themselves to investors.

14. Blueskying: optimistic promises to the investors.

15. MVP: the first commercial version of a software product.

16. Freemium: a free app that has a better paid version.




Google’s DeepMind AI can lip-read TV shows 

"Artificial intelligence is getting its teeth into lip reading. A project by Google’s DeepMind and the University of Oxford applied deep learning to a huge data set of BBC programmes to create a lip-reading system that leaves professionals in the dust.The AI system was trained using some 5000 hours from six different TV programs, including NewsnightBBC Breakfast and Question Time. In total, the videos contained 118,000 sentences. First the University of Oxford and Deep Mind researchers trained the AI on shows that aired between January 2010 and December 2015. Then they tested its performance on programs broadcast between March and September 2016." Newscientist.com




Part three:

 

Startup jargons:

 

9. Co working: sharing an office space with other startups.

10. Hockey stick: a graph when startup experiencing exponential growth.

11. Next level: the ultimate compliment.

12. Prezi: any presentation with any software design.




Acquisition by Symantec 

Symantec, the computer security software maker has announced the acquisition of LifeLock, a seller of identity theft protection service for the amount of $2.3 billion in cash. LifeLock has more than 4 million subscribers and last year the company agreed to pay more than $100 million for settling deceptive advertising charges "brought by FTC, the Federal Trade Commission.


Part two:

 

Startup jargons:

 

5.Pebcak: an acronym for problems emerging between chair and keyboard.

6. Devops: a DevOps engineer is a developer who works with software development team and operations team as well.

7. Puffer fish: trying to make a startup seem larger than really is.

8. Ninja: a word for praising a person's skills.






Manufactured Housing 

 

Home builders have often criticized manufactured or modular housing. In manufactured housings the entire floors are built in a factory, then trucked to a site and dropped into a place. In the U.S. Only 3% of recently built houses are manufactured, but in Sweden more than 40% of houses are built using off-site methods.

 



According to the Wall Street Journal, the entrepreneurial world has its own special language and the startups have their own specific jargons. The following are some examples:

 

 

Part one:

 

1. Space: it is the area of an industry that a company competes.

2. Customer Success Associate: a customer service rep at a startup.

3. Brogrammer: a software developer who behaves like a frat boy.

4. Demo day: the day when an incubator company pitches to a venture capital investor.




Global Entrepreneurship Week 


Global Entrepreneurship Week was celebrated by more than 200 companies. In eight years more than a million new companies "have gone missing from the economy." It means approximately 8 million people have lost their jobs. But still we see more and more startups emerging that is a positive factor for the economy.





Pokémon: new version 


"But there are now 801 Pokémon total, each with one or more of the 18 distinct elemental types, from Fire to Fairy to Fighting. That has meant that for the last two decades, playing the games has required either a lot of rote memorization of these strengths and weaknesses, or else having charts and Google handy while you play. For new Pokémon players, it's a mega-handy cheat sheet that makes it much easier to navigate the complexities of combat. For even more experienced players, it removes a lot of the homework involved in remembering each Pokémon's particular characteristics." Business Insider 




Oil Major Investment in Brazil

Oil major Shell plans to continue investing heavily in Brazil. It has decided to double its global deep water production by 2020.



Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years? Blame Apps

"The messaging app Snapchat allows motorists to post photos that record the speed of the vehicle. The navigation app Waze rewards drivers with points when they report traffic jams and accidents. Even the game Pokémon Go has drivers searching for virtual creatures on the nation’s highways.When distracted driving entered the national consciousness a decade ago, the problem was mainly people who made calls or sent texts from their cellphones. The solution then was to introduce new technologies to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel. Innovations since then — car Wi-Fi and a host of new apps — have led to a boom in internet use in vehicles that safety experts say is contributing to a surge in highway deaths."NYTimes



EU antitrust and Google negotiations 

The EU antitrust lodged formal charges against Google in 2015 has declared that the settlement option is still open; but pointed out that any fresh proposals should be substantially different from the earlier attempts. Google may face costs associated with legal battles against the EU for years.





Bill Gates express his concern about artificial intelligence
"Why some people are not concerned?"



When Gates was asked what personal computing will look like in 2045. He responded by asserting that the next 30 years will be a time of rapid progress."Even in the next 10 problems like vision and speech understanding and translation will be very good. Mechanical robot tasks like picking fruit or moving a hospital patient will be solved. Once robots get to a level of capability where seeing and moving is easy for them then they will be used very extensively." He talked about a Microsoft project known as the "Personal Agent," which is being designed to help people manage their memory, attention and focus. The response from Reddit users was mixed, with some making light of Gates's revelation and others sounding the alarm. "This technology you are developing sounds at its essence like the centralization of knowledge intake," a Redditor wrote. "Ergo, whomever controls this will control what information people make their own. Even today, we see the daily consequences of people who live in an environment that essentially tunnel-visions their knowledge." Shortly after, Gates was asked how much of an existential threat superintelligent machines pose to humans.The question has been at the forefront of several recent discussions among prominent futurists. Last month, the physicist, Hawking  mentioned that artificial intelligence "could spell the end of the human race." Speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October, Elon Musk referred to artificial intelligence as "summoning the demon." I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn't work out. Clive Sinclair has said he thinks artificial intelligence will doom mankind. "Once you start to make machines that are rivaling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it's going to be very difficult for us to survive, It's just an inevitability." After gushing about the immediate future of technology in his Reddit AMA, Gates aligned himself with the AI alarm-sounders. "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned." Washington Post







Secret Backdoor in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China

The NewYork Times

" For about $50, you can get a smartphone with a high-definition display, fast data service and, according to security contractors, a secret feature: a backdoor that sends all your text messages to China every 72 hours.Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages. The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence. International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software. But the scope is unclear. The Chinese company that wrote the software, Shanghai Adups Technology Company, says its code runs on more than 700 million phones, cars and other smart devices. One American phone manufacturer, BLU Products, said that 120,000 of its phones had been affected and that it had updated the software to eliminate the feature. Kryptowire, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability, said the Adups software transmitted the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server. The code comes preinstalled on phones and the surveillance is not disclosed to users, said Tom Karygiannis, a vice president of Kryptowire, which is based in Fairfax, Va. “Even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t have known about it,” he said.Security experts frequently discover vulnerabilities in consumer electronics, but this case is exceptional. It was not a bug. Rather, Adups intentionally designed the software to help a Chinese phone manufacturer monitor user behavior, according to a document that Adups provided to explain the problem to BLU executives. That version of the software was not intended for American phones, the company said. Kryptowire discovered the problem through a combination of happenstance and curiosity. A researcher there bought an inexpensive phone, the BLU R1 HD, for a trip overseas. While setting up the phone, he noticed unusual network activity, Mr. Karygiannis said. Over the next week, analysts noticed that the phone was transmitting text messages to a server in Shanghai and was registered to Adups, according to a Kryptowire report."





LinkedIn faces problems in Russia

According to the Wall Street Journal, a Moscow court upheld a decision to ban LinkedIn in Russia in order to enforce a personal data law which requires foreign and local companies to store personal data of Russian users within the country borders from September 2015. Last year Google began moving some of its servers to Russian soil in order to comply with that law. Facebook and Twitter have resisted to install data centers in Russia.




Educational Reform in Finland

 

“This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,” said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform program. There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills.Helsinki’s education manager – who will be presenting her blueprint for change to the council at the end of this month, said: “It is not only Helsinki but the whole of Finland who will be embracing change.“We really need a rethinking of education and a redesigning of our system, so it prepares our children for the future with the skills that are needed for today and tomorrow.“We would like to make Finland the leading country in terms of playful solutions to children’s learning,” said Olavi Mentanen, director of the PLC project,The eyes of the education world will be upon Finland as it opts for change: will it be able to retain or improve its showing in the PISA league tables published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development." Independent 






Global file sharing on private cloud

"Siemens has deployed secure file sharing across its Atos-based enterprise private cloud, powered by EMC and Syncplicity file synchronisation. Speaking at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona, an IT director responsible for management IT infrastructure service lifecycle management at Siemens, said the company has been on a journey, dubbed SmartStorage, as part of a wider IT transformation. The IT group supports 350,000 users along with providing a growing number of IT services for business partners. Siemens, like other large enterprises, is going through a large digitisation initiative, and the programme has focused on how IT can change to cope with the speed of innovation."Within IT infrastructure, we were responsible for €250m in savings,” he explained. One of the biggest parts of this modernisation programme is what he described as SmartStorage, where object storage is used to run next-generation, software-defined file services." CW



FCC Letter to AT&T
 

The Federal Communications Commission sent a letter to AT&T Inc. to express concerns over the telecom company’s practice of exempting its own streaming video services from data-usage caps for its wireless customers.



 

$1.9 trillion dollars of economic value could be created by the use of IoT devices 


"Using sensors, tags, and other IoT devices to track goods through the global supply chain is one of the fundamental use cases for the Internet of Things, and also one of the most impactful. Cisco and DHL, the world’s largest logistics provider, estimated last year that $1.9 trillion dollars of economic value could be created by the use of IoT devices and asset tracking solutions in the global supply chain and logistics sector.  The enormous potential value created by these asset tracking technologies is due to the incredibly broad array of benefits that companies can obtain from them. Asset tracking solutions can create fiscal savings for supply chain and logistics operators at almost every step in the supply chain journey including extraction, transportation, production, storage, and final delivery to the customer. They can also help with compliance reporting and result in new revenue opportunities for supply chain and logistics operators." BI



 

Dow hits records 

According to the WSJ, a selloff in government bonds picked up more momentum Thursday, spreading across the world as investors reacted to the prospect of increased fiscal stimulus under a Donald Trump presidency. 




 

Australia’s IFC Logistics virtualises storage to prevent further outages

"Australian transport supply chain services provider  IFC logistics had long had all its information technology bundled into a self-managed datacentre, but a series of serious outages led it to move to a fully virtualised and automated managed service." CW



2.5 trillion cigarettes 

 

More than 300 million people smoke in China and only last year they bought 2.5 trillion cigarettes. The litter and cigarettes butts have become a huge problem. As the result in one city in China, the officials decided to reward those taking part in the cigarettes cleanup and announced that those collecting 50 cigarettes butts would be rewarded a pack of 200 tissues. What happened? The people lined up as early as 4 a.m. and there was an stamped. 




Treatment for pregnant women 

 

Scientists have identified a potential treatment for Zika—one that might protect both pregnant women and their fetuses, who are at risk of severe birth defects that the virus can cause.




How smartphone light affects your brain and body


"There's something incredibly powerful about the blue lights that the designers of our smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens have been able to create. The lights in these screens glow so bright that we can see them even during a sunny day. At night, they're bright enough that they've been compared to a "little window" that daylight can peer through. That's why — hard as it might be to stop — looking at your phone at night is a terrible idea. Our bodies naturally follow a cycle that helps us stay awake and alert during the day and helps us get essential rest at night. But when we look at these screens as we're getting ready for sleep, our brains get confused. That light has a similar effect to the sight of the morning sun, which cause the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives your body "time to sleep" cues. By disrupting melatonin production, smartphone light can disrupt your sleep cycle like an artificially induced sort of jet lag. This makes it harder to fall and stay asleep — and potentially causes serious health problems along the way.

To combat this problem, app designers have created programs like f.lux and Apple Night Shift mode for iPhones, both of which adjust the light tones emitted by screens to remove bright blue light from the display at certain times of day. Many users swear by the effects of these apps and the orange tint they create does feel less harsh on the eyes. But while there are some researches indicating that the dimmer light may improve sleep, more study is needed on the topic in general. And even if there is some improvement, many of the other things we do with our phones are also not conducive to sleep. If you're trying to get ready for bed and a late night work email pops up, that might wreck your sleep even more than shutting down your melatonin production might." BI





Fitbit shares fell 30%


According to BI, Fitbit shares fell by as much as 30% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company cut its full-year forecast ahead of an anticipated slowdown in growth. 
The maker of fitness trackers said it now sees fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) in a range of $0.14-$0.18, far below analysts' forecast for $0.75 according to Bloomberg. It lowered its full-year revenue guidance to a range of $2.32 billion and $2.4 billion, but analysts had expected $2.6 billion. 





Solar Roof for car

"The Model 3 will use some of the same glass technology that Tesla is using for its solar roof shingles, CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday during a conference call regarding the financial details of a SolarCity merger, which shareholders will vote on November 17. Musk said that Tesla now has a special glass technology group and that the new division is focused on developing the technology for the solar roof Tesla unveiled with SolarCity last Friday. He added that the Model 3 will incorporate that same glass technology being used in the solar roof, but didn't elaborate further." BI






October 2016:







Smart cities

"Smart cities are cities that leverage IoT devices like sensors, smart lights, and smart meters to gather data that can be analyzed to gain new insights regarding their infrastructure, population, and public services.

Few cities around the world have actually grown into truly "smart" cities — most are still in the early phases of implementing some of these IoT devices, and have yet to data processing and analysis tools that can turn vast troves of data from millions of devices into a real-time view of a city's activity and operations." BI



New York against Airbnb

Governor Cuomo has signed legislation that impose a fine up to $7,500 on anyone who advertises a short term rental again a home sharing website. And Airbnb has sued to block the new law. Some residents of New York have welcomed the new law and have supported Governor Andrew Cuomo.


OPEC failed to finalize the plan


"A weekend marathon of talks between major oil producers failed to finalize plans to implement an output cut, threatening the viability of an agreement reached last month to reduce production between by as much as 2%." WSJ 



The FCC just passed sweeping new rules to protect your online privacy


"Federal regulators have approved unprecedented new rules to ensure broadband providers don't abuse their customers app usage and borrowing history, mobile location data and other sensitive personal information generated while using the internet. The rules, passed Thursday in a 3-to-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission, require Internet providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, to obtain their customers' explicit consent before using or sharing that behavioral data with third parties, such as marketing firms.Also covered by that requirement are health data, financial information, Social Security numbers and the content of emails and other digital messages. The measure allows the FCC to impose the opt-in rule on other types of information in the future, but certain types of data, such as a customer's IP address and device identifier, are not subject to the opt-in requirement. The rules also force service providers to tell consumers clearly what data they collect and why, as well as to take steps to notify customers of data breaches.“It's the consumers' information,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “How it is used should be the consumers' choice. Not the choice of some corporate algorithm.”In the near term, what consumers see and experience on the Web is unlikely to change as a result of the rules; targeted advertising has become a staple of the Internet economy and will not be going away. But the regulations may lead to new ways in which consumers can control their Internet providers' business practices. That could mean dialogue boxes, new websites with updated privacy policies or other means of interaction with companies."

Washington Post


Unpreventable hackers!

" A new kind of malicious software exploits a long-known vulnerability in those cameras and other cheap devices that are now joining up to what has become known as the internet of things. The advantage of putting every device on the internet is obvious. It means your refrigerator can order you milk when you are running low, and the printer on your home network can tell a retailer that you need more ink. Security cameras can alert your cellphone when someone is walking up the driveway, whether it is a delivery worker or a burglar. When Google and the Detroit automakers get their driverless cars on the road, the internet of things will become your chauffeur.But hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions, of those security cameras and other devices have been infected with a fairly simple program that guessed at their factory-set passwords — often “admin” or “12345” or even, yes, “password” — and, once inside, turned them into an army of simple robots. Each one was commanded, at a coordinated time, to bombard a small company in Manchester, N.H., called Dyn DNS with messages that overloaded its circuits.Few have heard of Dyn, but it essentially acts as one of the internet’s giant switchboards. Bring it to a halt, and the problems spread instantly. It did not take long to reduce Twitter, Reddit and Airbnb — as well as the news feeds of The New York Times — to a crawl.  That is where the internet of things comes in. Most of the devices have been hooked up to the web over the past few years with little concern for security. Cheap parts, some coming from Chinese suppliers, have weak or no password protections, and it is not obvious how to change those passwords. And the problem is quickly expanding: Cisco estimates that the number of such devices could reach 50 billion by 2020, from 15 billion today. Intel puts the number at roughly 200 billion devices in the same time frame. (Assuming the global population is around 7.7 billion people in 2020, that would be about six to 26 devices per person.)"NY Times


Buyout-Loan Strategy by Big Banks

According to the Wall Street Journal, Fed has questioned the buyout- loan by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG. The banks lend to risky companies, often during a takeover and then sell the debt in pieces to the investors. As the result the bank obtain huge gains. "Leveraged loans have been a bright spot for the Wall Street banks, which pocket fees when they sell loans to the investors." Also robust demands means banks run little risk of having to park unsold loans on their books.


Goldman and sharing the wealth

"Quarterly earnings were good at the investment bank and shareholders should benefit more.


 

Revenue from advising on mergers and acquisitions was down in the third quarter, but other major businesses, from underwriting to equities trading, all posted solid gains.This helped Goldman Sachs earn a healthy 11.2% return on equity.

But not all quarters will be so favorable. It is therefore somewhat disconcerting that, over the first three quarters of the year, the firm’s return on equity was a subpar 8.7%. To satisfy investors, banks generally need to show consistent returns of above 10%.

Cutting expenses and returning capital to shareholders are the keys to improving returns. Goldman could do better on both fronts. Over the first nine months of the year, compensation expenses fell, but not as fast as revenue. As a result, the ratio of compensation to revenue rose 1 percentage point to 41%.

Goldman’s buybacks and dividends also disappointed, says Brian Kleinhanzl,an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The bank bought back $1.3 billion worth of stock in the third quarter, less than in the previous few quarters. And it left its quarterly dividend unchanged at 65 cents a share. Analysts had expected a 70 cent payout, according to FactSet."

Wsj



Consumers want to know the story behind their food 

Consumers are increasingly want to know how their food that they consume was grown. They are looking for the less processed and simpler ingredients. So it has made the food companies try to use natural ingredients that consumers can understand. Certified organic labels attract many consumers, especially when they care about their health. According to Morgan Stanley survey, consumers who don't like to buy groceries online, mentioned that they like to pick their own produce, for example to pick their own ripe tomatoes. Produce in itself is not a big money maker but it draw consumers to the store to buy other products too.According a market research firm, U.S. Sofa sales fell for the 11th year in a row, but coconut water sales rose 30%. Also food producers increasingly replace the chemical Yellow 6 with natural spices such as turmeric for yellow color.

Founder of Panera Bread Co. in an interview with WSJ mentioned that there is a difference between what consumer think they should eat and what they really want to eat. On GMOs, he mentioned: "What we want is GMO labeling. For us it's a matter of transparency. According to the latest research on food industry, people are looking for the food produced with less intervention such as organic produce and cage free eggs and as the result companies facing new challenges to produce food with the healthier ingredients.






The 50 Highest Paying College Majors

1. Computer Science
Median Base Salary: $70,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Software Engineer, Systems Engineer, Web Developer

2. Electrical Engineering
Median Base Salary: $68,438
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Electrical Engineer, Systems Engineer, Software Developer

3. Mechanical Engineering
Median Base Salary: $68,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Mechanical Engineer, Design Engineer, Project Engineer

4. Chemical Engineering
Median Base Salary: $65,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Chemical Engineer, Process Engineer Project Engineer

5. Industrial Engineering
Median Base Salary: $64,381
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Industrial Engineer, Quality Engineer, Production Planner

6. Information Technology
Median Base Salary: $64,008
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Programmer Analyst, Technical Support, Systems Engineer

7. Civil Engineering
Median Base Salary: $61,500
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Field Engineer

8. Statistics
Median Base Salary: $60,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Data Analyst, Statistician, Data Scientist

9. Nursing
Median Base Salary: $58,928
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Registered Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Case Manager

10. Management Information Systems
Median Base Salary: $58,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Network Administrator, Help Desk Analyst, Business Analyst

11. Finance
Median Base Salary: $54,900
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Financial Analyst, Investment Banking Analyst, Accountant

12. Mathematics
Median Base Salary: $54,018
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Math Teacher, Software Engineer, Data Analyst

13. Biomedical Engineering
Median Base Salary: $52,814
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Biomedical Engineer, Service Engineer, Clinical Research Associate

14. Accounting
Median Base Salary: $52,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Accountant, Auditor, Financial Analyst

15. Economics
Median Base Salary: $52,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Financial Analyst, Management Analyst, Accountant

16. Physics
Median Base Salary: $50,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Physicist, Research Fellow, Computer Programmer

17. Biotechnology
Median Base Salary: $50,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Laboratory Technician, Quality Control Analyst, Research Associate

18. Architecture
Median Base Salary: $50,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Architect, CAD Designer, Project Designer

19. Fashion Design
Median Base Salary: $50,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Fashion Designer, Textile Designer, Stylist

20. Business
Median Base Salary: $47,850
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Account Manager, Marketing Manager, Market Research Analyst

21. International Relations
Median Base Salary: $45,880
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Marketing Associate, English Teacher, Research Assistant

22. Graphic Design
Median Base Salary: $45,846
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Art Manager

23. Marketing
Median Base Salary: $45,475
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Marketing Coordinator, Account Executive, Marketing Analyst

24. English
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: English Teacher, Editor, Copywriter

25. Political Science
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Law Clerk, Paralegal, Consultant

26. History
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Research Assistant, History Teacher, Teaching Assistant

27. Human Resources
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: HR Coordinator, Corporate Recruiter, HR Analyst

28. Journalism
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Reporter, Editor, Public Relations Coordinator

29. Advertising
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Account Executive, Marketing Analyst, Media Planner

30. Philosophy
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Teaching Assistant, Writer, Consultant

31. Environmental Science
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Environmental Scientist, Laboratory Technician, Safety Manager

32. Social Science
Median Base Salary: $45,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: HR Assistant, Management Consultant, Visual Manager

33. Spanish
Median Base Salary: $44,256
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Spanish Teacher, Translator, Project Manager

34. Communications
Median Base Salary: $44,190
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Public Relations Coordinator, Journalist, Content Marketing Manager

35. Interior Design
Median Base Salary: $44,098
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Interior Designer, Visual Merchandiser, Drafter

36. Chemistry
Median Base Salary: $44,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Pharmacy Technician, Chemist, Laboratory Technician

37. Music
Median Base Salary: $44,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Music Teacher, Audio Engineer, Media Sales Associate

38. Film Studies
Median Base Salary: $44,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Production Coordinator, Video Editor, Proposal Manager

39. Public Relations
Median Base Salary: $43,156
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Public Relations Coordinator, Account Executive, Event Planner

40. Sports Management
Median Base Salary: $43,156
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Personal Trainer, Sales Associate, Production Assistant

41. Education
Median Base Salary: $43,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Special Education Teacher, Elementary School Teacher, Language Teacher

42. Anthropology
Median Base Salary: $43,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Project Coordinator, Research Assistant, Administrative Assistant

43. Hospitality Management
Median Base Salary: $44,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Food and Beverage Manager, Front Desk Manager, Housekeeping Manager

44. Biochemistry
Median Base Salary: $42,672
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Research Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Chemist

45. Liberal Arts
Median Base Salary: $42,500
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Sales Manager, Receptionist, Teacher

46. Psychology
Median Base Salary: $42,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Case Manager, Mental Health Counselor, Sales Associate

47. Sociology
Median Base Salary: $42,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: HR Assistant, Account Manager, Administrative Assistant

48. Healthcare Administration
Median Base Salary: $42,000
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Medical Assistant, File Clerk, Office Manager

49. Social Work
Median Base Salary: $41,656
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor, Camp Counselor

50. Biology
Median Base Salary: $41,250
Popular Entry-Level Jobs: Lab Assistant, Paramedic, Tutor

Source: Washington post


Twitter faces a fresh test

Twitter was left at the altar on Friday after Salesforce.com walked away from pursuing a combination, all but extinguishing hopes for a near-term sale of the social-media company as it struggles to accelerate revenue growth.



Samsung sharp slash in earnings 


Samsung Electronics cut its preliminary third-quarter earnings forecast by one third due to its Galaxy Note 7 recall, reflecting the widening financial impact of the product-safety crisis on the South Korean technology giant. 

Samsung says stop using Galaxy Note 7


"Samsung’s recall of one of its most advanced smartphones descended further into confusion, as the technology giant told consumers to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 and halted its production and distribution, while investigators probed reports of overheating batteries." WSJ



August & September 2016:



Bitcoin exchange

Bitcoin exchange spreads losses of hack. Bitfinex that is the digital currency exchange has lost $65 million worth of bitcoins to hackers. So the price of Bitcoin fell 12%. It is the fifth biggest Bitcoin exchange.

Oil Price 

According to the Wall Street Journal, concern is again growing that the oil market could turn into a negative for stocks and bonds. uS crude for September delivery dropped below $40 a barr On Tuseday. Though the decline has been driven by a surplus of  crude but some still worried that tumbling oil prices erode sentiments and will spread to other markets.


"IBM has touted the rapid growth of its cloud-computing business. But a pair of recent industry reports drew sharply different assessments of whether it is running with or losing ground to rivals." WSJ


According to the Wall Street Journal Steinhoff International, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm.




Silicon Valley and Artificial Intelligence 

  "For more than a decade, Silicon Valley’s technology investors and entrepreneurs obsessed over social media and mobile apps that helped people do things like find new friends, fetch a ride home or crowdsource a review of a product or a movie.Now Silicon Valley has found its next shiny new thing. And it does not have a “Like” button.The new era in Silicon Valley centers on artificial intelligence and robots, a transformation that many believe will have a payoff on the scale of the personal computing industry or the commercial internet, two previous generations that spread computing globally. Computers have begun to speak, listen and see, as well as sprout legs, wings and wheels to move unfettered in the world." NY Times




Goldman agreed to pay $36.3 million to settle allegations that it misused confidential regulatory materials leaked from Fed.




Time Warner has paid $583 million for a 10% stake in Hulu, which is set to launch an online pay TV service. WSJ








July 2016:




Pinterest and image-search tools
 
A new Pinterest Inc feature tends to eliminate the question: "where did you get that bag?" It's image discovery app let users point their smartphone camera sat something and then the app immediately will search within its huge online showroom of 75 billion images for a "visually similar match of the items in the photo. The aim is to facilitate the link between the users and what they see in the real world and want to buy with links to retail sites. Currently it is in the final stages of the project. " If successful, Pinterest's camera-search technology could usher in a new kind of consumer shopping behavior. Pinterest said it is still months away from launch." Some critics expressed their concerns over the privacy issues of theses camera search technology that like face recognition technology, it has clear violation of privacy. WSJ

 



Bill Gates: the market's game of monopoly is coming to an end 
 

The game is ending, and some people haven't even yet figured out the rules, pretty much the conclusion in the latest investment letter from Janus Capital's Bill Gross. WSJ






Safety Debate over Cellphone 

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, cellphones are tested for safety based on the heading effects of RF radiation and each test produces a SAR score that is theSpecific Absorption Rate score and represents the amount of RF absorption in the body. FCC ( the Federal Communications Commission) says that even lower SAR isn't necessarily safer.
Last month, the National Toxicology Program released the results from $25 million study on rodents that found an association between RF radiation and cancer.





House prices
 
 House prices were back in June to near-record highs across the USA amid rising demand and supply constraints. It could be a sign that the housing market recovery of the past five years is obtaining some strength. After years of volatility, house prices have grown around 5% since early 2015. But overall sales volume and new construction remain below their pre crisis peaks.

 






According to the Wall Street Journal, a federal judge in Wyoming blocked an Interior Department rule setting stricter standards for hydraulic fracturing on public lands. The same judge last year signed a preliminary injunction blocking the rule until he made a final decision.







June 2016:







A French mayor has called for Brussels to ditch its use of the English language after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

English is one of 24 'official languages' of the EU while it is also one of the 'working languages' used to conduct every day business.

But Robert Ménard, the mayor of the southern French town of Béziers, believes English now no longer has 'any legitimacy' in Brussels in the wake of the Brexit vote.





According to the Wall Street Journal, Bank of America will pay $415 million to resolve SEC accusations that Merrill misused customer funds.






Airbnb in New York 


The bill, which was sent to Gov Andrew Cuomo on Friday to sign or veto, would make it illegal for hosts to advertise short-term rentals on Airbnb that violate New York City's multiple dwelling law. And the short-term rental advertisers could face up to $7,500 fine. 











FDA revealed:


WARNING:


144 Toxins in Tobacco Smoke 

Table 1.--Established List of the Chemicals and Chemical Compounds Identified by FDA as Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products and Tobacco Smoke

Constituent Carcinogen (CA), Respiratory Toxicant (RT), Cardiovascular Toxicant (CT), Reproductive or Developmental Toxicant (RDT), Addictive (AD)

Acetaldehyde

CA, RT, AD

Acetamide

CA

Acetone

RT

Acrolein

RT, CT

Acrylamide

CA

Acrylonitrile

CA, RT

Aflatoxin B1

CA

4-Aminobiphenyl

CA

1-Aminonaphthalene

CA

2-Aminonaphthalene

CA

Ammonia

RT

Anabasine

 AD

o-Anisidine

CA

Arsenic

CA, CT, RDT

A-α-C (2-Amino-9H-pyrido[2,3-b]indole)

CA

Benz[a]anthracene

CA, CT

Benz[j]aceanthrylene

CA

Benzene

CA, CT, RDT

Benzo[b]fluoranthene

CA, CT

Benzo[k]fluoranthene

CA, CT

Benzo[b]furan

CA

Benzo[a]pyrene

CA

Benzo[c]phenanthrene

CA

Beryllium

CA

1,3-Butadiene

CA, RT, RDT

Cadmium

CA, RT, RDT

Caffeic acid

CA

Carbon monoxide

RDT

Catechol

CA

Chlorinated dioxins/furans

CA, RDT

Chromium

CA, RT, RDT

Chrysene

CA, CT

Cobalt

CA, CT

Coumarin

Banned in food

Cresols (o-, m-, and p-cresol)

CA, RT

Crotonaldehyde

CA

Cyclopenta[c,d]pyrene

CA

Dibenz[a,h]anthracene

CA

Dibenzo[a,e]pyrene

CA

Dibenzo[a,h]pyrene

CA

Dibenzo[a,i]pyrene

CA

Dibenzo[a,l]pyrene

CA

2,6-Dimethylaniline

CA

Ethyl carbamate (urethane)

CA, RDT

Ethylbenzene

CA

Ethylene oxide

CA, RT, RDT

Formaldehyde

CA, RT

Furan

CA

Glu-P-1 (2-Amino-6-methyldipyrido[1,2-a:3',2'-d]imidazole)

CA

Glu-P-2 (2-Aminodipyrido[1,2-a:3',2'-d]imidazole)

CA

Hydrazine

CA, RT

Hydrogen cyanide

RT, CT

Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene

CA

IQ (2-Amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline)

CA

Isoprene

CA

Lead

CA, CT, RDT

MeA-α-C (2-Amino-3-methyl)-9H-pyrido[2,3-b]indole)

CA

Mercury

CA, RDT

Methyl ethyl ketone

RT

5-Methylchrysene

CA

4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone  (NNK)

CA

Naphthalene

CA, RT

Nickel

CA, RT

Nicotine

RDT, AD

Nitrobenzene

CA, RT, RDT

Nitromethane

CA

2-Nitropropane

CA

N-Nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA)

CA

N-Nitrosodiethylamine

CA

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)

CA

N-Nitrosomethylethylamine

CA

N-Nitrosomorpholine (NMOR)

CA

N-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN)

CA

N-Nitrosopiperidine (NPIP)

CA

N-Nitrosopyrrolidine  (NPYR)

CA

N-Nitrososarcosine (NSAR)

CA

Nornicotine

AD

Phenol

RT, CT

PhIP (2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine)

CA

Polonium-210   

CA

Propionaldehyde

RT, CT

Propylene oxide

CA, RT

Quinoline

CA

Selenium

RT

Styrene

CA

o-Toluidine

CA

Toluene

RT, RDT

Trp-P-1 (3-Amino-1,4-dimethyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole)

CA

Trp-P-2 (1-Methyl-3-amino-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole )

CA

Uranium-235

CA, RT

Uranium-238

CA, RT

Vinyl acetate

CA, RT

Vinyl chloride      

CA




117 Million LinkedIn Emails And Passwords hacked 

The hacker called themselves "Peace,” declared that the data was stolen during the LinkedIn breach of 2012. At the time, only around 6.5 million encrypted passwords were posted online and LinkedIn never clarified how many users were affected by that breach. And it was much worse than anyone could think. Peace is selling the data on The Real Deal that is the dark web illegal marketplace for 5 bitcoin. The Leaked Source which is a paid hacked data search engine declared that it has obtained the data. Both Peace and LeakedSource said: "there are 167 million accounts in the hacked database. Of those, around 117 million have both emails and encrypted passwords." Le figaro








$84 m Uber settlement with the lawyer
 
Boston plaintiff attorney Liss-Riordan's class action lawsuits against companies in the sharing economy such as Uber resulted in $84 million settlement. $21m will be her legal fees and the rest minus expenses will be for the drivers in Massachusetts and California. But the settlement has not approved by the Federal judge, Chen.
 



Internet Addiction & digital detox 
 
"Those who say they suffer from Internet addiction share many symptoms with other types of addicts, in terms of which chemicals are released into the brain, experts say. The pleasure centers of the brain light up when introduced to the stimulus. Addicts lose interest in other hobbies or, sometimes, never develop any. When not allowed to go online, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression or even physical shaking. They retreat into corners of the Internet where they can find quick success — a dominant ranking in a game or a well-liked Facebook post — that they don’t have in the real world, experts say."WP










May 2016:





Advances in Artificial Intelligence 
 
Google has created a new software set that dubbed Google assistant and will answer users questions and complete tasks such as pulling up movie reviews or making a dinner reservation. In fact , it will be computers that make decisions rather than following instructions. But the critics have warned that the rise of artificial intelligence could have a more anticlimactic outcome than most doomsday films would have you expect and rather than being violently wiped out by robotic beings, humankind may become 'eternally useless' due to the increasing capabilities of AI.


Microsoft developing services 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is developing services that behave intelligently based on data gathered by smartphones. Microsoft's voice activated digital assistant, Cortana, can book a hotel room or order pizza proactively based on a user's personal data and preferences.



$40 million blackboard 
 
Recently Sotheby's sold a squiggly chalk painting by Cy Twombly for $37 million during the auction of contemporary art in New York. It is a chalkboard gray canvas covered in waxy blue loops and is untitled.

 

Deal between two of the world's largest suppliers of crop seeds and pesticides 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bayer AG has approached Monsanto Co. About a takeover deal. The deal will be valued more than $42 billion. The combination of these companies could boast $67 billion in annual sales and create the world's largest seed and crop chemical company.



 

U.S. Steel Accuses China of Hacking

 

U.S. Steel is alleging that Chinese government hackers stole proprietary methods for making lightweight steel on behalf of Chinese steel producers seeking to supply a bigger share of the U.S. auto-making market.WSJ


 

Doubts over its accuracy 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, Theranos since launching in 2003, has claimed its invented device has revolutionized the blood testing industry and it can run the full range of lab tests on a few drops of blood pricked from a finger. But according to the former employees, Theranos did the majority of the 200 tests on the traditional lab machine and there is serious doubts over the accuracy of the small number of tests run on the company device. And now the Security and Exchange Commission is investigating whether the company mislead the investors and regulators.
 




Nothing is private once you put it online

A Canadian woman received a tough reminder that nothing is private once you put it online. Blanchard is fighting her insurance company after she lost her benefits because of some pictures she posted on Facebook.She is on long-term sick leave for depression but she posted some pictures on Facebook in which she appeared to be having fun. The company saw them and said they're considered as the evidence that she's no longer depressed. Blanchard said she was only following her doctor's advice, trying to have fun and now she is battling to get her benefits reinstated.



Uniquely Human

According to Hotz, many scientists are pursuing games because they are collecting new data very fast due to advances in gene sequencing and computing. Director of Wired Differently that organizes online volunteers for citizen science games such as EyeWire, said: "It is the Catch 22 of our era: researchers are drowning in data and don't have the resources to analyze it. Finally it is forcing researchers to share what they are doing with public." 

These crowdsourcing games highlight differences between human and machine intelligence. Sherson who helped to design Quantum Moves said:" All of these citizen science projects are like a snapshot of what is uniquely human."




Biosimilars prices

According to the WSJ, rival versions of biotech drugs which is called biosimilar are going to be released. Health insurers and the managers who benefit say that they expect them to cost as much as the the brand name originals did. The reason is that pharmaceutical companies have been raising prices for biotech drugs in order to obtain more revenue before the competition starts.



GM tests Self-Driving Taxis 

General Motors Co. next year will start testing a fleet of self driving Chevrolet Bolt electric taxis and challenges Silicon Valley Giants in a battle for reshaping the auto industry.




Biggest movie theater chain allows texting!


AMC Entertainment's new CEO Adam Aron declared the policy is outdated because turning off a phone, for a teen, is like 'cutting off your left arm above the elbow'!!!






April 2016:




                            The right to be forgotten and Google 

In two years since Europeans gained the right to be forgotten on the Internet, Google has passed judgment in 420,000 cases from people wanting links of certain search results to be removed. It has approved half of those requests, all behind closed doors. According to NY Times, Google’s total number of privacy judgments is double those of most of Europe’s biggest individual national authorities over the same period. "Despite a history of animosity toward the company, national regulators have handed over the review powers to Google with few complaints, saying they are merely following Europe’s complex data protection rules." Some privacy experts are not satisfied with that arrangement. They criticized "a for-profit company that relies on tapping into people’s digital lives" to make huge amount of money and "doing so in such a secretive manner." Google has not responded to requests, including an open letter last year from European and American academics, to explain how its review process works. Google "has declined to give any journalists access to its team of fewer than 50 employees,mostly lawyers and paralegals based at its Dublin offices, who review the demands."






Handwriting Power

According to Hotz, laptops and tablet notes may make pen and paper seem antique, but new studies show that handwriting boost learning and understanding that typing notes on a keyboard does not. Researchers at University of California found that students who take handwritten notes outperform students who type their notes via computer. They appear to learn better and keep information longer and also be able to think and grasp the ideas more clearly.



California and New York Sign $15 Minimum Wage



According to the Wall Street Journal, many of minimum wage workers in California and New York will begin getting raises next year after governors of both states signed increases into law.



McDonald Growth in China


McDonald Corp. is adding 1000 restaurants in China. It is betting the population growth and urbanization rates. Other  multinational companies especially in the entertainment, sports and dining sectors are doing the same. Now China market for McDonald is the third, behind U.S. and Japan. McDonald is seeking investment partner to build out its franchise business.


Gold's Gain: the biggest in decades


Gold price rose more than 16% in the first three months of the year, the biggest jump since1986. Gold started 2016 with the biggest gain in 30 years that shows there are still concerns about the economy and market. Policy makers signaled that they expect interest rate to stay low for the longer period. Usually the lower rate is associated with higher gold price.






March 2016:




Yahoo Taking Bids To Sell all or part of the company 

According to Wall Street Journal, Yahoo has set a deadline for when all bids need to be submitted to Yahoo for selling all or parts of the company. The deadline is April 11th.



$1 million computer mimicking the way the brain works


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is going to start testing a $1 million computer packed with 16 microprocessors that are designed to mimic exactly the way the brain works.







Microsoft apologize after Twitter chat bot experiment 

Microsoft Corp. apologized after Twitter users exploited its artificial-intelligence chat bot Tay, teaching it to spew racist, sexist and offensive remarks in what the company called a “coordinated attack” that took advantage of a “critical oversight.”“We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay." Microsoft said in a blog.



Shares rise as Oracle adds $10 billion to stock-repurchase plan


Oracle Corp. posted solid growth in its cloud computing businesses in the last quarter, even as it wrestled with the challenge of a strong U.S. dollar. wsj



Ex Apple executive, new co-CEO

Bridgewater Associates told clients it has hired Jon Rubinstein as its new co-chief executive as the world’s largest hedge fund fine-tunes its future leadership. wsj


Ransomware  for certain users of Mac Operating System 


Mac users with a certain file-downloading app could be getting ransom notes to unlock their computers, the first such attack on Apple products. About 6,500 users of Transmission software could potentially be affected; while small, the attack is one of first of its type on Apple machines.wsj




Fed eases the plan to limit big banks credit exposure to one another 


The Federal Reserve eased its plan to limit big banks’ credit exposure to one another as it continues to hone rules aimed at restricting financial ties that exacerbated the 2008 crisis.wsj






February 2016:







European media received Google funds 


128 news organizations in Europe received €28 million funds from Google last week. German and British media received  the highest amounts,€5 million and €3 million respectively. This fund is for the digital improvement, but some analysts expressed their concerns about the independent nature of journalism that may be influenced by the fund.




S&P 500 earnings have been far worse than advertised 


The gap between reported and pro forma earnings last year reached its widest level since the financial crisis. There has been a huge difference between companies advertised performance in 2015 and how they actually did in 2015.wsj




Samsung's S7 smartphone lacks showstopping features:


Samsung’s new flagship smartphone offers few new bells and whistles, in a sign of the challenges facing the South Korean technology giant in an increasingly saturated market for premium handsets.wsj


Concern over exposure to possible energy sector bankruptcies hits sector:


Global bank shares tumbled last week on investor fears about global growth, capital buffers and the effects of low and negative interest rates. But concern over energy-sector bankruptcies also hit the sector in Europe as the price of oil plummeted.wsj



Monsanto paying $80 million fine for accounting violations:

Monsanto  agreed to pay an $80 million fine to settle federal accusations of accounting violations related to a rebate program for the company’s trademark weedkiller Roundup.wsj



The initiative by France in cracking down on food waste:


France has decided to crack down on food wastage by becoming the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away unsold food and forcing them to donate it to the needy charities and food banks.

 

The new law was passed unanimously by the French senate and comes after a lengthy campaign from anti-poverty activists, calling for the government to put in measures to reduce food waste.




Hackers Are Tapping Into Mobile 

Hackers have been known to use all manner of remote access tools to break into mobile phones, often by finding vulnerabilities in an operating system like Android. It’s more rare to try and tap into the network infrastructure that routes these calls for mobile operators themselves. Yet new research shows that one nefarious kind of network surveillance is happening too, across the world.A survey of a handful of large mobile operators on each continent showed that hackers have been exploiting a key signalling protocol for routing cellular calls known as SS7, to track the location of certain mobile users and in some cases, listen in on calls. Forbes 


Crude oil price falls 

A renewed fall in crude prices and downbeat results from some of the world’s biggest oil producers sent stocks sliding, while investors bid up havens from government debt to utilities. 
Steep declines in the oil price have hit equity markets hard this year as investors fear it might signal slack in demand from the world’s largest energy consumers.wsj


Yahoo

 Yahoo CEO is expected to unveil a plan aimed at slashing the Internet company’s costs, including the closing of several business units and a reduction of up to 15% of its workforce.wsj













January 2016:



 

eBay drop in revenue 


eBay posted its fourth straight quarter of declining year-over-year sales and gave lackluster financial guidance in a troubling sign for the newly independent company.  eBay shares fall as online retailer issues weak outlook following separation from PayPal. Wsj
 



Future of Euro and 
Schengen

Juncker acknowledged that end of Schengen would face resistance from EU governments. Juncker said: “When we get to that point and make the proposal, we may once again be faced with the lack of will to distribute across Europe,I don’t have too many illusions about the year ahead. Everything’s going to be difficult. But I won’t give up, I reject the idea that somehow this is the beginning of the end,” An even greater sense of urgency was conveyed, meanwhile, by Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, who spoke of an imminent danger of Schengen breaking apart.“If Schengen fails today, and we are close to that, this isn’t a question of years,” he said in a news conference in Brussels, adding that “this is really a very complicated and threatening."wsj



Facebook Co-Founder Puts New Republic Up for Sale



"The New Republic, the once iconic liberal-leaning magazine, is up for sale, publisher and chairman Chris Hughes said in a letter posted on the digital publishing platform Medium on Monday. Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, bought a majority interest in the magazine in 2012. He said in the letter that he underestimated the difficulty in transitioning from an old and traditional institution into a digital media company."nbc


Takeover offer for Lucent

"Nokia has secured the go-ahead from France’s securities watchdog for its $17 billion takeover offer for Alcatel-Lucent, clearing the way for the integration of the two telecom-equipment suppliers."wsj


Business Spending & Profit 

"In 2015, the U.S. corporate landscape was dominated by activists, buybacks, currencies and deals. In 2016, the question is whether firms will shake off the weight of a strong dollar and lower commodity prices to expand profit growth." wsj












December 2015


 


Startups failed in 2015:


About 90% of startups fail. 
While the six on this list collectively raised nearly $400 million in venture capital, these startups are only a few of the high-profile startups that ended up failing in 2015: 1. Quirky was lunched in 2009, it was an invention platform where people could vote on product ideas they loved, and the company would turn them into products, like the much-loved Pivot Power strip. It also created a subsidiary internet of things business called Wink, which made hubs for the smart home. 2Homejoy offered on-demand homecleaning services. One of the first companies into the so-called "gig economy"; it offered low-cost cleaning and was using software to automate the process of boooking so it would be more efficient. 3. Zirtual provided on-demand virtual assistants. Instead of taking the "gig economy" model and using only contract workers, Zirtual differentiated itself by having full-time employees. 4. Secret was an app that allowed for anonymous posting of snippets of text, often rumors or confessions, that were shared with people. It was huge at SXSW and rose along with other anonymous apps like Whisper and Yik Yak. However, like many anonymous apps, Secret had problems with cyberbullying. 5. Grooveshark  launched in 2006, the users could upload the music for others to listen to it, but it ran into legal problems over concerns about copyright violations, and over the years, tried to sign contracts with one of the largest royalty companies. 6. Rdio, another music streaming company that was launched in 2010 with aim to compete with the big companies. Business insider.



Negative Interest Rate

 
 
Among other tactics the Bank of Canada is considering to take negative interest rates in the future. This is something central banks in Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden and — most notably — the European Central Bank have all put in place.
"The fourth unconventional monetary policy tool I want to cover is negative interest rates, which is something you have heard a lot more about recently," Poloz from Bank of Canada said in his speech given at The Empire Club in Toronto.
 


Businesses Investment:

"Businesses  in December 2015 appear reluctant to step up spending on the basic building blocks of the economy, such as machines, computers and new buildings, for reasons ranging from uneven consumer demand to preferring stock buybacks. But weak investment saps the economy’s future potential."




November 2015




Blue Origin VS SpaceX:

Jeff Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, is hitting back at Elon Musk's rocket company, SpaceX. Blue Origin says its rocket launch is as impressive as what SpaceX has accomplished — if not more so — despite the fact that Musk has been tweeting things to undermine Blue Origin's accomplishment.


Facebook Testing:

Facebook is trying out a feature that lets people send self-deleting messages.
If users tap an hourglass icon within the company's mobile Messenger app, the message they send will implode an hour after it is sent. Testing kicked off Friday in France.

Apple payment service in 2016:

According to Wall Street Journal, Apple Inc. is in discussions with U.S. banks to develop a mobile person-to-person payment service that would compete with PayPal's venom platform.




The latest hackers attack:

According to Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal and Barron's, hackers had intruded 
their networks, seeking contact and payment information for more than 3,500 consumers.










October  2015



Morgan Stanley's Bid:
Morgan Stanley’s bid to make its earnings less prone to market swings sputtered in the third quarter after drops in the trading and private-equity businesses led the New York firm to miss analysts’ estimates.

Tesla model S:

This week newly updated Tesla model S was to catch a glimpse of the auto industry’s plans to soon let cars drive us, rather than the other way around. $75,000 priced and equipped with what the company calls Autopilot ,a semiautonomous feature that allows hands-free, pedal-free driving on the highway under certain conditions. The car will even change lanes autonomously at the driver’s request (by hitting the turn signal) and uses sensors to scan the road in all directions and adjust the throttle, steering and brakes. But still it is not driven by human, and the possibility of the error isn't nil.


Restructuring of the social media:
Former Twitter employees are taking their anguish to the social media platform that laid them off. Some are even using the hashtag #TwitterLayoffs.Following a plan to restructure Twitter on Monday, the company sent out emails addressed from newly tapped CEO to 366 employees letting them to know that Twitter letting them to go.

The Apple News App: The Apple news app is no longer active in China that is Apple’s second-largest source of revenue after the United States, with sales of more than $13 billion in the third quarter. It means the company is taking a careful approach to delivering new content, like that on its news app, within this country.


California signed a legislation on Thursday that bans plastic microbeads, giving California state one of the country’s strongest laws against the abrasive used in exfoliators and other products.


Messaging Startup:

Google Inc. plans to invest in a new round of funding for Symphony Communication Services LLC that values the Wall Street-backed messaging company at about $650 million.



Apple plans to occupy the second spaceship campus in Silicon Valley:

Apple is said to have its sights set on occupying another iconic corporate campus in Silicon Valley. The tech giant inked a deal for a curvaceous, 777,000-square-foot campus in Sunnyvale, California, according to BizJournals.




Apple says it respects privacy:

Apple's CEO: "If you buy something from the App Store, we do know what you bought from the App Store, obviously. We think customers are fine with that. Many customers want us to recommend an app. But what they don't want to do, they don't want your email to be read, and then to pick up on keywords in your email and then to use that information to then market the things on different applications that you are using...we believe privacy is the fundamental human rights."







September 2015



Marketers can use email address to target customers:
 
Google will soon let marketers target ads to specific people using their email addresses when they use its search engine, Gmail or YouTube video platform.The tool will enable marketers to target ads to their existing customers and potentially to tailor messaging to them based on their purchase histories or other information.For example, if a consumer shares his email address with a clothing retailer when purchasing items in-store, the retailer can then upload that address to Google to identify him when he is using Google search or YouTube, and to target search or video ads to him for similar or complementary products, provided he signed in to Google with the same email address.


Tesla New Car:

Tesla is scheduled to deliver the first of its Model X crossover SUVs to customers next week. The startup carmaker will hold an event at its factory in Fremont, California, September 29, as the first "Signature Series" Model X vehicles roll off the assembly line.


France rejects Google's appeal:

France’s data-protection regulator has rejected Google’s appeal of its order to expand Europe’s “right to be forgotten” to Google’s websites world-wide.
 

First Electric Car by Apple:
 
Apple is accelerating efforts to build its first electric car, designating it internally as a “committed project” and setting a target date for 2019 to finalize the product.



UBER IN FRANCE FACES PROBLEMS:

Days after taxi drivers burned tires and snarled traffic across France in late June to protest Uber Technologies Inc., two lobbyists for the car-hailing firm walked into the offices of France’s top cop. Uber’s public-policy chief in Europe, said the company was willing to suspend its service, which relies on nonprofessional drivers. But he said the French government also should loosen rules on how to become a licensed driver for Uber’s other services. But French Interior Minister said "You have made a mockery of the French Republic.There can be no conditions whatsoever. There is simply the law to respect. Period.”
The strategy is typical Uber: Roll into new countries and cities around the world, offer consumers a slick, new alternative to taxis and traditional car services, and aggressively fight regulations that restrict the company. 







Fed Interest Rates Rise:

As Fed policy makers ponder whether and when to raise interest rates, an important factor in their decision will be whether to wait to see if recent market turmoil points to unanticipated trouble in the global economy.


Global Trade Growth Drop in 2015:

A sharp drop in global trade growth in 2015 is underscoring a disturbing legacy of the financial crisis: Exports and imports of goods are lagging far behind the pace during past expansions, threatening future productivity and living standards.

Stock Exchange Market:

Richard Grasso, chairman and chief executive of the NYSE from 1995 to 2003, said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday for the television show “Wall Street Week” that the market swings last month were a sign something was awry with the capital markets.

“A fast market is not necessarily a fair market, as evidenced by that Monday open,” he said in a clip of the interview viewed by The Wall Street Journal, referring to the tumultuous early trading on Aug. 24.



French fashion house is the new designer for Apple:
Designers at Apple and Hermès offer a look into the collaboration behind the new $1,500 Apple Watch Hermès.




Demandbase acquisition:

Demandbase has acquired whoToo, a Data-as-a-Service provider with extensive expertise in aggregating and segmenting complex data sets for marketers. 





Interest rate raise:

Federal reserve officials aren’t near an agreement to begin raising short-term interest rates heading into a crucial week of private discussions before their Sept. 16-17 policy meeting, according to their recent comments.
 



 



A little-known New York hedge fund run by a former Yale University math whiz has been buying tens of billions of dollars of U.S. Treasury debt at recent auctions, drawing attention from the Treasury Department and Wall Street. It 
has been buying tens of billions of dollars of U.S. Treasurys, becoming the largest purchaser in dozens of government-bond auctions in the past 10 months. 






August 2015
 
 

Reading paper books or reading on phones?
The number of people who read primarily on phones has risen to 14% in the first quarter of 2015 from 9% in 2012. And those reading mainly on e-readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, dropped over the same period to 32% from 50%. Even tablet reading has declined recently to 41% in the first quarter this year from 44% in 2014.The rise of phone reading is pushing publishers to rethink the way books are designed, marketed and sold with smaller screens in mind. There's also deep concern about whether deep, concentrated thinking is possible amid the ringing, buzzing and alerts that usually come with phones. Nothing can substitute for reading a good paper book.

French and Italian equity markets in 2015:
France and Italy lead Europe's gains in 2015 and as their economies catch up with Germany, their equity markets have been among the best performers in Europe, and Spanish equities had an earlier recovery.

Google Translate has added 20 extra languages, which can all be recognized using just the camera and don’t need internet connection; the app recognized seven languages, just by pointing a camera at text. But now the real-time voice translations are faster and the total languages has been increased to 27. But what about the quality? The same old problem: it lacks the reliability and the sensitivity that human translation can offer. 


July 2015


Top 10 highest paid careers in 2015:

1. Surgeon: $349,090
2. Psychiatrist: $ 203,052
3. Military General: $201,011
4. Public Relations Executive: $ 191,144
5. Physician: $177,213
6. Corporate Executive: $172,155
7. Dentist:$146,161
8. Petroleum Engineer: $ 132,258
9. Orthodontist:$129,114
10. Data Scientist: $124,149.

Technology & Business Translation 
 
Talking into your phone in some European languages and a Google app can now turn your words into a foreign language, either in text form or as an electronic voice. Skype, an internet-telephony service, claimed that it would offer much the same (in English and Spanish only). But claims that such technological marvels will spell the end of old-fashioned translation businesses are invalid because software can give the gist of a foreign tongue, but for business use is not enough.The business of translation, interpreting and software localisation (revising websites, apps and the like for use in a foreign language) generates revenues of 37 billion dollars according to a consulting firm. Technology, far from replacing humans, is a tool that helps them keep up with the increasing demand for high-quality translation. “Translation memory” (TM) was the first big useful tool. Since the 1980s translators have been able to use TM databases containing whole sentences that have already been translated in a given language pair, helping them in some repetitive work, such as translating instruction manuals. But it is naive and premature if we think machine can beat human in business translation. 
 
 
June 2015
 
 
Business of digital cooking

Technologists are also working on the mechanics of cooking. A couple of former Apple developers have created an oven called June which is supposed to recognize the food placed in it and cook it perfectly. The company claims that June is a “computer-based oven that thinks like a chef.” It’s also a step toward a kitchen that can cook by itself. Interesting! If you check their website you will find out that the founders and the rest of the employees cook their meals themselves!

 

Translation: an art or a math problem?
 
Recently there has been an article in the business journal about the subject. The author quoted Weaver, a founder of the disciplin: “No reasonable person thinks that a machine translation can ever achieve elegance and style." That is true, because the machine lacks the artistic side of the translation job. It is not in translating literature that a translator should use the artistic ability to convey the meaning faithfully. Even in the business translation, the translator needs the artistic ability in order to deliver the message in the target language faithfully.
Many of the algorithms used by Google and Skype Translator have been developed by university researchers. Recently a computational linguist who teaches at the University of Illinois  hosted the first Machine Translation Marathon in the Americas, a weeklong hackathon to improve the open-source tools without Google resources share.The marathon took place at a conference center attached to something called an iHotel. The center was a U-­shaped hallway lined by rooms named after virtues — the Leadership Boardroom, the Loyalty Room, the Knowledge Room, the Innovation Room and the Excellence Room. At the presentations, computer scientists with straight faces regularly made comments like “Paragraphs arguably should be coherent in topic” or “Grammatical structure can matter in a sentence.” Many computational linguists continue to claim that, they are interested only in “the gist” and that their duty is to find fast ways of trucking the gist across languages. But they have tried to draw a bright line where “the gist” ends and “style” begins. Human translators think it’s not that simple. The machinist’s attitude is that the machine translation is faster and cheaper and even it is more objective. But do we need the mere objectivity for a meaningful translation, after all? Or the matter is much more complicated and only an experienced, competent, reliable and honest translator who has the artistic gift as well will be able to accomplish the task?

 

Google recently released a real-time translator, while Microsoft-owned Skype is beta-testing its own. Both firms make claims about their unique services, and other smaller rivals offer alternatives, but there is one question: do they actually work? 

According to the latest research by the Economist newspaper, the language interpretation industry generates about $37bn (£24bn) worth of sales every year. Google Translate claims an average of 200 million users per day; Microsoft have steered customers toward Skype Translator. Skype Translator has unveiled phase two of it's preview allowing its 300 million users to volunteer to get in the line to try the live translation tech. 

 

French language and Business 

French is one of the world's most spoken languages. According to the translation agencies, French is one of their largest requests, thus it could have served Skype Translator very well to have input this language in the early stages of production. It is a very important language for the business, as half of Africa speak French and it is the second most taught language in European schools.

 

May 2015

The importance of Business Translation in the global market:
 
In the business world, the translation of business news is very important as it keeps both the company and the clients informed. This vital element allows a company to communicate 

information effectively and keep its activities transparent. The translation services has become essential when there is a need for information on current events and updates on business markets. Businesses have different motivations for translating the information about their products for international audience. The accuracy in the translation can facilitate the overseas business partnership and expand their market reach. 
 

Sweden April 25, 2015:

Lost in Translation:

The municipality of Helsingborg enlisted the help of translators to speak with Romanian migrants, so they could communicate with various officials and institutions like police and health care workers. 

Problem is, they chose the wrong interpreters -- who spoke Romany, which isn't a language Romanians know at all. It's a language with roots in Roma and Sinti culture. Romanian is derived from Latin.

"Romanians don't understand Romany any more than a Swede does," Lucian Bagiu, a Romanian language expert, said. "You could say that there are more similarities between Romanian and Swedish than between those two languages and Romany."


Educating Translators, Interpreters and Localizers in an Evolving World

March 28-29, 2015

The fourth MONTEREY FORUM will take place March 28-29, 2015, at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.



March 14, 2015 Toronto: Conference: "Translation and Interpretation in Transition; reflecting on the past and preparing for the future" At Glendon College, Toronto, Canada.




TheFirst International Virtual Conference: TRANSLATION OF LANGUAGES FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES (CIVTRALFE2015) will be held from March 9 through 15, 2015 : Seville, Spain.

Facultad de Filología de la Universidad de Sevilla 

 

c/Palos de la Frontera, s/n.
41004, Seville.

 

* Global market fuels translation business and some companies have increased their budgets for translation services in 2013.

 

*Despite of slowing down in the world economy, the translation industry has been growing steadily for some time; a 11% growth is anticipated for 2013.

*ATA Annual Conference on Translation will be held on November 2-5, 2016 in San Francisco.

*"We must believe in poetry translation, if we want to believe in World Literature." Thomas Transtromer, the Swedish poet and winner of Nobel Prize in Literature.

*The new book "French Business Law in Translation" is a unique collection of French rules and regulations in translating business texts. It includes 15 chapters and it is considered a very useful book for those who are involved in translating business in French.

 

***The followings are some funny examples of mistakes in the translation when it has been translated word for word and the cultural aspect has been ignored:

(In a restaurant in Norway): "Ladies are requested not to have childern in bar."

(In a restaurant in Nairobi): "Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager."

( In a Bangkok dry cleaner's): "Drop your trousers here for the best result."

( In an advertisement by a dentist inTokyo): "Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists."

(In a doctor's office in Rome): "Specialist in women and other diseases."

(On a South African hospital): "Mental Health Prevention Centre."

(In an Italian cemetery): "Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves."

( In a barbershop in Tanzania):"Gentlemen's throats cut with nice sharp razors."

(In a hotel in France): "Please leave your values at the front desk."

(In a hotel in Romania): "The lift is being fixed for the next day. During this time, we regret that you are unbearable."

(In a hotel in South Korea): "Choose twin beds or marriage size; we regret no King Kong size."

( In a hotel in Venice): "This hotel is renowned for its peace and solitude. In fact, crowds from all over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude."

(In a hotel in Qatar): "Please do not use the lift when it is not working."

 

***A research firm,CSA, estimates that worldwide language-services business is worth $36 billion and is growing very fast at about %18 a year.

**Some Tips on Legal Translations: language is the essence of the law; the law is formulated through language. Legal translation requires special precision and that is the fidelity to the source text; therefore it is essential that the legal translators have the knowledge of the law. Now, with 200 countries in the world, each with its own legal system, the legal translator should be aware of both the source language law and the target language law and consider these differences in the process of translating. Sometimes a legal translator comes across some foreign legal words and concepts that are difficult to fit into target language legal frame; some legal words seem impossible to translate. A translator needs several bilingual dictionaries in order to be able to perform the translation job. These dictionaries should be used with care and making sure that translation is an accurate and faithful one.

*Business translators should have access to translation memories, dictionaries of business terms ensuring that the translation is accurate and consistent in this challenging economic environment. Highly skilled business translators can provide consulting services with respect to the preparation of International marketing plans for each company and ensure that each business plan will work abroad.

***The inter-cultural communication and translation discussions raise the following questions:

What is the socio-cultural purpose of translation? What creative processes are involved in translating cultures? How do acts of translation influences communications among different cultures?

*Is translation an art or a science?

The role of a translator in the process of translation is not a passive one, and that is the reason it is called an art. And some believe that translation is a science.They consider translation as a process of transforming that needs a scientific skill and accuracy. Art or science or both? In the process of translation, a translator must be exact and accurate such as a scientist and in transfering the culture, the translator should be an artist to create the sentences in the target language in such a way that being understood by the audience and at the same time making a faithful translation. 

**Some tips from ATA to the translators: 

Finalize your text before starting the translation; tempting as it may be to get your translation project rolling as quickly as possible, having translators work from a draft-in progress will be more time-consuming, more expensive and even more frustrating than waiting for the final text to be ready. And even worse, the more visions you have, the more likely it is that errors will creep into the final version.

Professional translators are writers; they produce texts that read well in the target language. They are fluent in their source languages too. In fact, they are above all the bridges between the languages they work in. They render the message of the original text, with appropriate terminology and style, in their native language. But  being a bilingual and speaking two languages fluently does not necessarily makes the person capable of moving information between the two languages in writing; bilingualism is not a guarantee of the skill in translation.

Typography varies from a language to another; French has a space between a word and the colon that follows, and writes quotation marks " ". In Spanish and French, neither months nor days of the week take an initial capital. Even if each typesetting glitch is minor, the effect will be off-putting for foreign language readers. The translators should respect the typographical conventions of the languages they are working.

Do translators who live abroad lose touch with their native tongue? Professional translators and expert linguists keep their language skills up wherever they live.

Translation prices range from 6 to 11; it is a fact that high prices do not necessarily guarantee a reliable and high quality translation, but bear in mind that the cheap prices and below a certain level are unlikely to bring credits upon companies.Usually the companies choose the translation agencies who help them to promote their products or services in international market. The added value that a translation company offers has a price tag that can save their clients hours of work.
 

More examples of funny mistakes in the translation:

( a hotel in Tokyo): "Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not to read notis."

( a temple in Bangkok ): "It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man."

( a hotel lobby in Moscow): "You are welcome to visit the Cemetry where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday."

(In a Swiss restaurant): "Our wines leave you nothing to hope for."

(In a Czech tourist agency): "Take one of our horse driven city tours, we guarantee no miscarriages."

 

***"Aide aux traducteurs": Temporary residency grants for foreign translators is available in France that assistst those foreign translators who have at least one translated work published by a reliable publishing company.

                                     ***************************

Is Translation an art?

 

Translation is an art that has been since ancient times, languages keep changing and subsequently the translation changes as well. The demand for translation are different from what it had been years ago. In the past, translation was mainly for the academic purpose, but now business and commercial translations have become very important for companies around the world. Literary translation has always been important and will be, because it is a way of communicating among intellectuals and people from the various nations and cultures. Writers' atitudes towards translation varies: for example, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is in favor of literary translating, but Vladimir Nabokov was very opposed to it.There are about 333000 official translators in the world today.

Two important concepts in translation are fidelity and clearness. Some critics believe that it is almost impossible to keep these two concepts together in the high standard; the German critic, Schleiermacher was a supporter of "the fidel translation", he said that there are two types of translation: in the first type, the translation moves the writer towards the readers ; and in the second type, the translation moves the readers towards the writer. He was an advocate of the second type; he did not want the culture of the target language to overpower the culture of the source language. But we should consider that if a translation lacks clearness but is faithful to the source language, does not make sense, because the main objective of the translation is to convey a meaning from the source languge into the targert language.A good translator finds a way to create a translation that is both fidel to the source langusge and clear to the readers of the target language.

Legal translation is particularly important. The vocabulary of law is varied, even the small words, the translators are responsible for the complex and difficult task of translating documents such as appeals, copyrights, certificate and general law from the source language to the target language. Accuracy, clarity and speed are essential in translating the law texts. Some mistakes in the legal translation can have devastating and irreversible consequences for the client. The translation of the legal texts is usually target oriented while the legal translators must remain fidel to the source text. Didier believes that translation of legislation requires absolute literalness; he says that judgements can be translated more freely. Traditionally, a translator has been considered as a mediator between the source text producers and the target text receivers. Today all the authenticated texts of a legal instrument are equally authentic. To guarantee the underlying principle of equal treatment , the communication in the law is based on the presumption that all the authentic texts are equal in effect.

*************************************************************************************************************

Machine Translation:

Recently there has been some sort of a revival on Machine Translation research and it caused some controversial discussions over Machine Translation among translators and researchers. There are some translators who believe that it is wrong and ultimately will damage the translation industry and translators, whereas there are some companies who support the system and encourage their translators to use it when it is necessary to save time. 

Tomas Mosler in an article about machine translation argues that it leads to partially or fully replacing the human translators and suggests formation of a group called Machine Translation- resistant translators and predicts that Machine Translation will not succeed for a long time and is doomed to fail.

                           ************************************************

Literary Translation:

 

According to Prof. Schulte, it bridges the emotional connections between cultures and languages.In the process of literary translation, the soul of another culture becomes transparent and the role of the translators is to recreate the sensibility of foreign countries and the people through the linguistic, rhythmic aspects of the target language.

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