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27 марта, 22:41

What If the Health-Care Collapse Saves Trump's Presidency?

Despite the damage done to his reputation, the defeat may liberate him to pursue the agenda his voters support—not the one the Republican establishment favors.

27 марта, 22:33

Uber Resumes Self-Driving Car Program In San Francisco After Crash

By Gina Cherelus (Reuters) - Driverless vehicles operated by Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] were back on the road in San Francisco on Monday after one of its self-driving cars crashed in Arizona, the ride-hailing company said. Uber’s autonomous vehicles in Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, remained grounded but were expected to be operating again soon, according to a spokeswoman for the company, who refused to be identified. “We are resuming our development operations in San Francisco this morning,” she said in an email. Uber’s San Francisco program is currently in development mode. It has two cars registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, but is not transporting passengers. The spokeswoman said because of this, the company felt confident in putting the cars back on the road while it investigates the collision in Arizona. On Friday, Uber suspended its pilot program in the three states. A human-driven vehicle “failed to yield” to an Uber vehicle while making a turn in Tempe, Arizona, said Josie Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the city’s police department. “The vehicles collided, causing the autonomous vehicle to roll onto its side,” Montenegro said in an email. “There were no serious injuries.” Two “safety” drivers were in the front seats of the Uber car, which was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, Uber said on Friday, a standard requirement for its self-driving vehicles. The back seat was unoccupied. Photos and a video posted on Twitter by Fresco News showed a Volvo SUV flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other, slightly damaged cars. Uber said the images appeared to be from the Tempe crash scene.   (Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Dan Grebler) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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27 марта, 21:24

Standard Chartered верит в цены на нефть, но прогнозы ...

Пол Хорснел, глава товарных исследований из Standard Chartered, сообщает, что банк в сторону понижения скорректировал свои прогнозы по ценам на нефть марки Brent: Прогноз на 2 квартал пересмотрен с 65 до 61 до… читать далее…

27 марта, 20:41

Donald Trump Is About To Undo Obama's Legacy On Climate Change

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday rolling back Obama-era policies to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday. In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said the order will be called the “Energy Independence Executive Order.” It is expected to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature program to deal with climate change, the Clean Power Plan, which limited greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  “We have made tremendous progress on our environment. We can be both pro-jobs and pro-environment,” Pruitt said. “The executive order will address the past administration’s effort to kill jobs throughout the country through the Clean Power Plan.” The executive order will likely take other measures to protect the coal industry, such as instructing the Department of the Interior to lift a temporary ban on coal leasing on federal lands that the Obama administration put in place last year. The order is also expected to scrap federal guidances instructing agencies to factor climate change into policymaking, and to disband a team tasked with calculating the “social cost of carbon.”  Undoing The Clean Power Plan Trump’s executive order will likely kneecap the federal government’s most important policy for reducing carbon emissions. Doing so would also hamper U.S. efforts to meet the commitments made more than a year ago in the 195-country Paris Agreement ― the first global climate deal to include the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest polluters.  The long-expected order would give teeth to Trump’s America First Energy Plan, a vague policy outline he issued after his inauguration to eliminate Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Obama’s plan, launched in 2013, set a strategy for combating climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The utility sector accounts for the greatest portion of the U.S. carbon footprint, producing 30 percent of all emissions, according to 2014 data from the EPA. That’s largely because coal, by far the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel, has long served as the country’s primary source of electricity. The core of Obama’s initiative was the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping EPA rule that aimed to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels. The policy set new standards for new natural gas-burning power plants, and put stricter limits on coal-fired, steam-based plants. By implementing the plan, the U.S. hoped meet its emissions reduction goals as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. (The failure of previous global deals, such as the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, hinged partly on the United States’ refusal to implement emission cuts.)  The president’s elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, convinced the president to remove language from his new order that was critical of the Paris accord, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s unclear how the U.S. can meet its commitments without the Clean Power Plan in place.  Last year, a coalition of Republican-controlled states ― led by Pruitt, who was then Oklahoma’s attorney general ― filed a lawsuit to stop the emissions rules, prompting the Supreme Court to grant a stay suspending implementation. Pruitt launched at least 13 lawsuits against the EPA before he became the agency’s administrator last month.  Yes, you can cut programs and you can go about it with your fiscal authority to try to change policy, but in order to modify regulations, you have to be able to withstand an arbitrary-and-capricious standard. Pete Fontaine, environmental lawyer Repealing those rules could prove expensive and deadly, costing the U.S. economy up to $600 billion by removing critical incentives to increase energy efficiency, according to the research firm Energy Innovation. The CCP’s repeal could lead to billions of tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere, which in turn could contribute to more than 120,000 premature deaths, according to a writeup of the study in Forbes. Still, another Supreme Court decision may hinder the Trump administration’s efforts to completely scrap the plan. In 2007’s Massachusetts v. EPA, the court ruled that greenhouse gas emissions constituted pollution, requiring the EPA to take action. Plus, courts work both ways: Environmental groups are widely expected to sue over attempts to stop cutting emissions.  “In order to make policy change, it’s going to need to be supported by the science, and that’s where I think ultimately the effort is going to founder,” Pete Fontaine, a veteran environmental lawyer who worked at the EPA, told The Huffington Post. “Yes, you can cut programs and you can go about it with your fiscal authority to try to change policy, but in order to modify regulations, you have to be able to withstand an arbitrary-and-capricious standard.”  Such standards, which can be used to overturn previous court rulings, would need to stand the test of climate science, Fontaine said.  “Facts will not be changed by people expressing beliefs in an alternative set of facts,” he said. “The science is well settled on climate change, and that science is based on literally more than a century of scientific inquiry and the laws of physics, which are going to govern here no matter what people say is contrary to their beliefs.”  Yet a battle appears to be brewing in the Trump administration over the future of the endangerment clause, policy that spawned from the Supreme Court’s ruling categorizing carbon dioxide and methane emissions as a public health threat. David Schnare, an appointee from the EPA transition team, quit suddenly earlier this month in part because Pruitt refused to take on the clause, Politico reported.  “The backstory to my resignation is extremely complex,” Schnare told E&E News, an energy and environment news wire. “I will be writing about it myself. It is a story not about me, but about a much more interesting set of events involving misuse of federal funds, failure to honor oaths of office, and a lack of loyalty to the president.” King Coal’s Decree By lifting the temporary moratorium on coal leasing, the Trump administration is ending a policy aimed at lessening the environmental impact of mining and increasing the government’s yield on investment. The current rules grant coal companies the right to apply to schedule leases at times favorable to them, as well as to design the tracts and control the terms on which they’re offered. Critics say the standards are lopsided, giving coal producers above-market-value cuts of revenue generated from mining. The government levies an 8 percent cut of revenue from underground mining and takes 12.5 percent from surface mining, which includes environmentally destructive techniques such as mountaintop removal and open pit mining. That money is split between the federal government and the state where the coal is mined.  But Dan Bucks, former director of revenue for the state of Montana, a major coal producer, said the leasing program is “essentially broken,” with more than 90 percent of leases awarded without real competition.  “Lease payments, for those of us who have examined from outside can determine, have failed the market value standard test,” he said. “The American people have been shortchanged on the leasing side as well as the royalty side.” “The Obama administration wanted to fix that,” added Bucks, who is not aligned with either Democrats or Republicans. “They wanted to update the leasing program so public issues, namely environmental issues and climate change, could be taken into account before leases were offered.”  Trump vowed to resuscitate the coal business by axing environmental rules that he and the industry blame for years of decline and thousands of layoffs. Those promises won him big victories in coal country. But shrinking market demand has actually played a bigger role in coal’s decline. Cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas has devoured coal’s share of the electricity market over the past decade. In response, coal companies have bet big on continued demand from China. But Chinese demand peaked in 2012, and has since plummeted due to the country’s slowing economy and a move to suspend the construction of coal-fired power plants in favor of renewable energy.  A War On Environmental Protections Trump has put numerous other environmental regulations on the chopping block since his inauguration. He and many Republican lawmakers argue that these rules created unnecessary and at times pricey hurdles for corporations and small businesses. Last week, the White House proposed slashing the EPA’s budget by nearly one-third, a move that would eliminate popular programs like Energy Star and environmental justice initiatives, and would cripple the agency’s enforcement division. The EPA scrapped a rule earlier this month requiring oil and gas drillers to report leaks of methane, a greenhouse gas 40 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  Last month, after House Republicans voted to overturn a rule protecting waterways from coal mining pollution, Trump signed an order instructing the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to overhaul the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, which expanded federal control over wetlands and other waterways by 3 percent. The rule essentially provided guidelines on whether anti-pollution laws would apply if, for example, a farmer dams a stream to make a pond for livestock or a developer fills in a marsh to build a new house. But in the view of the country’s top environmental policymaker, the pendulum swung too far in the direction of environmentalists under the previous administration, and course correction is needed. “We need a pro-growth and pro-environment approach for how we do regulations in this country,” Pruitt said on Sunday. “For too long, we have accepted a narrative that if you’re pro-growth, pro-jobs, you’re anti-environment.” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58d15a56e4b00705db532117,58cc4ad5e4b0ec9d29dc23bb,58c993d9e4b0be71dcf104b1,58c87c64e4b01c029d773c19,58c2e96be4b0ed71826c70ef -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 марта, 20:41

Donald Trump Is About To Undo Obama's Legacy On Climate Change

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday rolling back Obama-era policies to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday. In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said the order will be called the “Energy Independence Executive Order.” It is expected to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature program to deal with climate change, the Clean Power Plan, which limited greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  “We have made tremendous progress on our environment. We can be both pro-jobs and pro-environment,” Pruitt said. “The executive order will address the past administration’s effort to kill jobs throughout the country through the Clean Power Plan.” The executive order will likely take other measures to protect the coal industry, such as instructing the Department of the Interior to lift a temporary ban on coal leasing on federal lands that the Obama administration put in place last year. The order is also expected to scrap federal guidances instructing agencies to factor climate change into policymaking, and to disband a team tasked with calculating the “social cost of carbon.”  Undoing The Clean Power Plan Trump’s executive order will likely kneecap the federal government’s most important policy for reducing carbon emissions. Doing so would also hamper U.S. efforts to meet the commitments made more than a year ago in the 195-country Paris Agreement ― the first global climate deal to include the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest polluters.  The long-expected order would give teeth to Trump’s America First Energy Plan, a vague policy outline he issued after his inauguration to eliminate Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Obama’s plan, launched in 2013, set a strategy for combating climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The utility sector accounts for the greatest portion of the U.S. carbon footprint, producing 30 percent of all emissions, according to 2014 data from the EPA. That’s largely because coal, by far the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel, has long served as the country’s primary source of electricity. The core of Obama’s initiative was the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping EPA rule that aimed to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels. The policy set new standards for new natural gas-burning power plants, and put stricter limits on coal-fired, steam-based plants. By implementing the plan, the U.S. hoped meet its emissions reduction goals as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. (The failure of previous global deals, such as the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, hinged partly on the United States’ refusal to implement emission cuts.)  The president’s elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, convinced the president to remove language from his new order that was critical of the Paris accord, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s unclear how the U.S. can meet its commitments without the Clean Power Plan in place.  Last year, a coalition of Republican-controlled states ― led by Pruitt, who was then Oklahoma’s attorney general ― filed a lawsuit to stop the emissions rules, prompting the Supreme Court to grant a stay suspending implementation. Pruitt launched at least 13 lawsuits against the EPA before he became the agency’s administrator last month.  Yes, you can cut programs and you can go about it with your fiscal authority to try to change policy, but in order to modify regulations, you have to be able to withstand an arbitrary-and-capricious standard. Pete Fontaine, environmental lawyer Repealing those rules could prove expensive and deadly, costing the U.S. economy up to $600 billion by removing critical incentives to increase energy efficiency, according to the research firm Energy Innovation. The CCP’s repeal could lead to billions of tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere, which in turn could contribute to more than 120,000 premature deaths, according to a writeup of the study in Forbes. Still, another Supreme Court decision may hinder the Trump administration’s efforts to completely scrap the plan. In 2007’s Massachusetts v. EPA, the court ruled that greenhouse gas emissions constituted pollution, requiring the EPA to take action. Plus, courts work both ways: Environmental groups are widely expected to sue over attempts to stop cutting emissions.  “In order to make policy change, it’s going to need to be supported by the science, and that’s where I think ultimately the effort is going to founder,” Pete Fontaine, a veteran environmental lawyer who worked at the EPA, told The Huffington Post. “Yes, you can cut programs and you can go about it with your fiscal authority to try to change policy, but in order to modify regulations, you have to be able to withstand an arbitrary-and-capricious standard.”  Such standards, which can be used to overturn previous court rulings, would need to stand the test of climate science, Fontaine said.  “Facts will not be changed by people expressing beliefs in an alternative set of facts,” he said. “The science is well settled on climate change, and that science is based on literally more than a century of scientific inquiry and the laws of physics, which are going to govern here no matter what people say is contrary to their beliefs.”  Yet a battle appears to be brewing in the Trump administration over the future of the endangerment clause, policy that spawned from the Supreme Court’s ruling categorizing carbon dioxide and methane emissions as a public health threat. David Schnare, an appointee from the EPA transition team, quit suddenly earlier this month in part because Pruitt refused to take on the clause, Politico reported.  “The backstory to my resignation is extremely complex,” Schnare told E&E News, an energy and environment news wire. “I will be writing about it myself. It is a story not about me, but about a much more interesting set of events involving misuse of federal funds, failure to honor oaths of office, and a lack of loyalty to the president.” King Coal’s Decree By lifting the temporary moratorium on coal leasing, the Trump administration is ending a policy aimed at lessening the environmental impact of mining and increasing the government’s yield on investment. The current rules grant coal companies the right to apply to schedule leases at times favorable to them, as well as to design the tracts and control the terms on which they’re offered. Critics say the standards are lopsided, giving coal producers above-market-value cuts of revenue generated from mining. The government levies an 8 percent cut of revenue from underground mining and takes 12.5 percent from surface mining, which includes environmentally destructive techniques such as mountaintop removal and open pit mining. That money is split between the federal government and the state where the coal is mined.  But Dan Bucks, former director of revenue for the state of Montana, a major coal producer, said the leasing program is “essentially broken,” with more than 90 percent of leases awarded without real competition.  “Lease payments, for those of us who have examined from outside can determine, have failed the market value standard test,” he said. “The American people have been shortchanged on the leasing side as well as the royalty side.” “The Obama administration wanted to fix that,” added Bucks, who is not aligned with either Democrats or Republicans. “They wanted to update the leasing program so public issues, namely environmental issues and climate change, could be taken into account before leases were offered.”  Trump vowed to resuscitate the coal business by axing environmental rules that he and the industry blame for years of decline and thousands of layoffs. Those promises won him big victories in coal country. But shrinking market demand has actually played a bigger role in coal’s decline. Cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas has devoured coal’s share of the electricity market over the past decade. In response, coal companies have bet big on continued demand from China. But Chinese demand peaked in 2012, and has since plummeted due to the country’s slowing economy and a move to suspend the construction of coal-fired power plants in favor of renewable energy.  A War On Environmental Protections Trump has put numerous other environmental regulations on the chopping block since his inauguration. He and many Republican lawmakers argue that these rules created unnecessary and at times pricey hurdles for corporations and small businesses. Last week, the White House proposed slashing the EPA’s budget by nearly one-third, a move that would eliminate popular programs like Energy Star and environmental justice initiatives, and would cripple the agency’s enforcement division. The EPA scrapped a rule earlier this month requiring oil and gas drillers to report leaks of methane, a greenhouse gas 40 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  Last month, after House Republicans voted to overturn a rule protecting waterways from coal mining pollution, Trump signed an order instructing the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to overhaul the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, which expanded federal control over wetlands and other waterways by 3 percent. The rule essentially provided guidelines on whether anti-pollution laws would apply if, for example, a farmer dams a stream to make a pond for livestock or a developer fills in a marsh to build a new house. But in the view of the country’s top environmental policymaker, the pendulum swung too far in the direction of environmentalists under the previous administration, and course correction is needed. “We need a pro-growth and pro-environment approach for how we do regulations in this country,” Pruitt said on Sunday. “For too long, we have accepted a narrative that if you’re pro-growth, pro-jobs, you’re anti-environment.” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58d15a56e4b00705db532117,58cc4ad5e4b0ec9d29dc23bb,58c993d9e4b0be71dcf104b1,58c87c64e4b01c029d773c19,58c2e96be4b0ed71826c70ef -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 марта, 20:37

Republicans learn to love a regulation

For their next rollback of an Obama-era rule, the GOP wants to tighten up on a new kind of retirement savings plan.

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27 марта, 20:12

Террорист в Лондоне протаранил толпу на скорости 122 км/ч

Британские журналисты узнают все новые подробности о теракте на Вестминстерском мосту. Издание Evening Standard сообщило о том, с кем и о чем говорил террорист-одиночка за несколько часов до нападения

27 марта, 19:01

Merkel welcomes surprise state poll win

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday welcomed a surprise state poll triumph by her party as “encouraging” for a September general election, as hype around her main rival fizzled in its first test. With

27 марта, 19:01

United slammed for ruling on leggings

United Airlines has run into a social media storm after it barred two teenage girls from boarding a flight in Denver because they were wearing leggings. Another girl who was also wearing leggings was

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27 марта, 18:59

BoE’s FPC sounds warning on implementation of global standards

FPC cautions on global co-operation around regulatory standards; follows plans for deregulation in the US and tit-for-tat threat from German regulators

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27 марта, 18:57

Trump's Tax Plan And America's New 'Scholarship Moms'

BY THOMAS W. CARROLL -- The federal government needs to keep its nose out of imposing national standards and curricula guidelines on local schools.

27 марта, 18:37

Robots are Taking Our Jobs, and That is a Good Thing

Via The Daily Bell Robots are going to take all our jobs, and it doesn’t matter. We should actually be thrilled about the prospects of automation, because it means freeing up economic resources, including arguably the most valuable resource, time. One analysis says as many as 38% of U.S. jobs could be automated by the 2030’s, and another puts the number at 47% by 2033. As always, many worry about what effect the loss of jobs will have on the economy. But lately, as technology has become more sophisticated, the drumbeat of worry has intensified. “What’s different now?” asked Leigh Watson Healy, chief analyst at market research firm Outsell. “The pace of technology advancements plus the big data phenomenon lead to a whole new level of machines to perform higher level cognitive tasks.” Translated: the old formula of creating more demanding jobs that need advanced training may no longer hold true. The number of people needed to oversee the machines, and to create them, is limited. Where do the many whose occupations have become obsolete go? “I don’t think we have a good handle on this,” said MIT researcher Matt Beane. “The end game scenarios seem kind of severe. From here on in, it’s really, really, really going to change and it’s going to change faster than we can handle.” But economics hasn’t changed because technology has advanced. Labor won’t go away, it will just move around. There is of course a human element to this; for certain individuals it may be difficult to find a new job, or learn different skills required for employment. But why would you want to work in a redundant industry anyway? Should candle makers have boycotted light bulbs because they lost their jobs? As Henry Ford (might have) said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” I think people should take pride in their work, and always be striving to maximize the use of their time. Think of the possibilities of a Modern Renaissance. More Free Time for Humans If you could buy a robot for a thousand dollars that did all your household chores, would you be disappointed that you were saving 10 hours a week on cooking and cleaning? No! You would either find something productive to do with that time, which is essentially creating more wealth, or you would use that time for leisure, basically increasing the standard of living (though I have plenty of criticisms for how some people spend their free time, but that is neither here nor there). Obviously when it comes to a job, you wouldn’t directly benefit from being replaced by a robot, as you would when it comes to household chores. But the same principle applies: now your time is free to do something literally more productive. So in a sense you benefit personally by being forced to find a way to create value with your time. As an effect on the overall economy, this means more people trying to solve problems, more inventions, and innovative new products and services. There could be a Modern Renaissance on the horizon when automation accelerates, with advances in health, travel, comfort, production, even entertainment and art. And it’s not just low level unskilled jobs being replaced by machines. Should a doctor keep wasting hundreds of hours doing work that could be accomplished better by a machine? IBM’s Watson, well known for its stellar performance in the TV game show Jeopardy!, has already demonstrated a far more accurate diagnosis rate for lung cancers than humans — 90 percent versus 50 percent in some tests. The reason is data. Keeping pace with the release of medical data could take doctors 160 hours a week, so doctors can’t possibly review the amount of new insights or even bodies of clinical evidence that can give an edge in making a diagnosis. This increases the standard of living by helping diagnose disease more accurately, which means earlier and more targeted treatment. And it’s not like the doctor won’t be able to find something productive to do with his time. Doctors with free time mean more advancements in medicine, maybe a more one on one experience with a family doctor, or more resources for preventative care. There is a guy who was unemployed, and now makes money as a paid walking partner for people who like to get out for walks, but don’t have anyone to go with, or just need someone to talk to. I don’t know what he was doing before, but it probably wasn’t as enjoyable as walking around outside all day offering companionship. He found a unique niche market to fill, and created a valuable service. A robot can now build a house in two days, which eliminates the backbreaking work of brick laying, and also means homes can be built for ridiculously low prices.     Lower Cost and/ or Higher Quality Goods and Services Because of automation, goods and services in the sectors served by robots will become less expensive. Labor is not cheap, and as a result of lower manufacturing costs, prices will fall. This means it takes less income to afford the same lifestyle. So the displaced workers may not have to spend as much money to live, and there will also be extra wealth floating around. The people whose jobs have not been replaced will have extra money that can be invested, or spent on different and new goods and services. It is likely that as time goes on, people will have the option of working fewer hours for the same standard of living (or the same number of hours for a higher standard of living). A job that one person does currently for 40 hours a week could be split between two people working 20 hours a week, because automation has made the cost of living dramatically lower. What will people do with their free time? Some will seek out more entertainment and luxury, which means more opportunities to provide entertainment and luxury. Many people will pursue productive activities that they enjoy, but didn’t have time for previously. Vegetable gardening, volunteering for charities, educating others about a cause they believe in, building a website or app, and creating their own products are all activities that would increase with the more free time people have. And these would further lower the expense of living, if for instance, furniture was produced at home. This could also expand trade economies at a community level. People would still be specializing in their respective fields, but it wouldn’t be for survival, it would be for luxury. The fear of poverty would be removed from the equation, which would mean it is harder to gain an exploitative advantage in economic transactions. Instead of having to labor eight to ten hours a day to make ends meet, you could build a beautiful oak table and chairs you are proud of, and trade it to your neighbor in exchange for a rock pond built as the centerpiece of your herb garden. These are each things that would require a week worth of labor in a typical job to afford. But now you won’t have to waste money paying taxes on that income before you can spend it, or driving to work and paying taxes on the gas, or being forced to eat fast food because you lack the time to plan your lunches. The quality of goods and services in this scenario would also increase, as people choose to use their extra economic resources, whether that be time or money, to acquire healthier food, sturdier furniture, custom clothing, and artistically designed everyday tools. So ironically, automation could inadvertently bolster the local trading economy for artisan goods and services. Higher Standard of Living, More Luxury, More Innovation, Unless… Of course all my bright predictions could be destroyed by government. They have a history of keeping people in unproductive forms of labor by bailing out industries which are failing, forcing society to waste money on things which would otherwise have been replaced with something better, or cut out due to lack of demand. Government jobs will surely be the last to be automated, despite the clear advantages in, say, police work being done by computers. Already the police are solving a smaller percentage of murders, and the industry would be a perfect fit for automation, if the government didn’t stand in the way. America’s homicide clearance rate—the percentage of solved crimes that lead to arrest—has fallen considerably in the past 50 years, from around 90% in 1965 to around 64% in 2012, according to federal statistics. This means more than 211,000 homicides committed since 1980 remain unsolved… Charles Wellford, a criminologist at the University of Maryland, also notes that murders of police officers are nearly always solved, anywhere. Perhaps, he suggests, “any homicide can be solved if you put the time into it.” The Affordable Care Act was another way the government attempted to force people to keep working in old world style labor systems. If you get a full time job, you get health insurance. If you make money in a freelance style, or only require a part time job to live, you then have to go out and spend all this money on health insurance, or be fined. Then there are property taxes which require income just to subsist on a piece of land. So the only thing that could derail the bright future of automation is government intervention. But likely even government services will eventually be out-competed by better alternatives. Tell us if you agree that automation will only improve the economy, or if you think there are societal upsets to fear from robots replacing humans.

27 марта, 17:47

5 Signs You Care Way Too Much What Other People Think

It's natural to want people to like you. But when you worry too much what others think, you can end up losing yourself in the process.

27 марта, 17:32

The Marine Photo Scandal and the Cost of Indifference

Americans may finally be ready to confront the dehumanizing horrors facing women service members

27 марта, 16:30

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Opus Bank, Civista Bancshares and CNB Financial

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Opus Bank, Civista Bancshares and CNB Financial

27 марта, 16:28

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Bank of America, Comerica, Sterling Bancorp and Preferred Bank

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Bank of America, Comerica, Sterling Bancorp and Preferred Bank

27 марта, 16:10

Ericsson & SoftBank to Initiate Advanced 5G 28GHz Trials

Ericsson (ERIC) and SoftBank are taking their 5G trial one step further, with more advanced tests.

27 марта, 16:00

Collaboration Overload Is a Symptom of a Deeper Organizational Problem

Many leaders are now aware of the dangers of collaboration overload and collaboration-tool overload in the workplace. The evidence continues to mount that, for many organizations, the costs associated with meetings, emails, IMs and other forms of workforce collaboration now exceed the benefits. But what can get lost in the eye-popping statistics around excess email and meetings is this: Collaboration overload is almost always a symptom of some deeper organizational pathology and rarely an ailment that can be treated effectively on its own. Attempts to liberate unproductive time by employing new tools (for example, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Box) or imposing new guidelines and meeting disciplines will prove fruitless unless steps are taken to deal with the underlying organizational illness. Companies that have successfully combatted the excesses of overload have done so by focusing on the root causes of unproductive collaboration—and not merely the symptoms—in devising the cure. Meetings, emails, IMs and other workplace interactions don’t just happen; they are a by-product the company’s organization. They reflect attempts by managers and employees to get work done within the confines of prescribed structures, processes, and norms. In our experience, unhealthy collaboration most often stems from two underlying organizational maladies: organizational complexity and a “collaboration for collaboration’s sake” culture. Organizational complexity As companies grow, they naturally add new dimensions to their organizations. A single-product enterprise, for example, might add new products, focus on new customer segments, or even enter new geographic markets. Each of these additions necessitates more interactions between stakeholders in order to make and execute critical decisions. Complexity increases geometrically with the number of new functions, products, customers, geographies or other nodes added to an organization. Adding a new geography to an organization, for instance, will require that managers in this new territory coordinate with representatives from various functions, product teams, and customer support groups to get work done. In short order, the number of nodes involved in decision making and execution explodes, resulting in more meetings, more emails, more IMs and more hours devoted to collaboration. Calls for fewer meetings and emails—even from the very top—will do little to stem the tide of interactions brought about by organizational complexity. A “collaboration for collaboration’s sake” culture On its face, more collaboration is a laudable goal. After all, two heads are almost always better than one. But left unchecked, calls for greater collaboration can lead to a culture of “collaboration for collaboration’s sake,” undermining productivity. Take meetings, for instance. If meetings become the norm for how work gets done in an organization, an individual employee can do very little. If an individual employee is invited to a meeting—particularly by his or her boss—he or she has little choice but to attend or risk offense. Over time, meetings become a status symbol—that is, the more meetings to which an executive is invited, the more important he or she is assumed to be. Even worse, meetings can become a substitute for effective leadership communication. Rather than taking the time to share the specifics discussed in a meeting with subordinates who did not attend, some leaders opt to invite an army to every meeting. As bosses fail to cascade vital information following important meetings, employees come to believe that they need to attend every meeting or risk missing out. So, what starts out as a well-intentioned drive for inclusiveness turns into a downward spiral of more meetings and wasted time. No attack on collaboration overload can be effective unless it addresses cultural norms such as these head-on. Addressing the root causes But it doesn’t have to be this way. Bain research, conducted with the support of the Economist Intelligence Unit, found that the most productive companies—namely, the top quartile in our study’s sample of 300 large corporations worldwide—lose 50% less time to unnecessary and ineffective collaboration than the rest. The best companies save more than half a day a week for all of their employees (vs. less productive counterparts) by reducing organizational drag – all those factors that slow the organization down. But they don’t drive workforce productivity by attacking the symptoms of collaboration overload. Instead, they take steps to address the underlying causes: Simplify the operating model. A company’s operating model encompasses its structure, governance, accountabilities, and ways of working. It determines how many nodes need to be activated in order to make and execute critical decisions. A complex operating model produces too many nodes and collaboration overload; a built-for-purpose operating model significantly reduces unproductive collaboration, liberating organizational time. When Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008 to form AB InBev, it dramatically reduced the number of executives involved in making key decisions. The firm removed several layers of management, flattening the organization. And it established new ways of working in which all senior executives at AB InBev work around a common conference table. Supply chain leaders are expected to interact with marketers, for example, to solve complex problems in real time rather than rely on armies of subordinates and hours of review meetings. By streamlining the operating model, AB InBev dramatically reduced the number of interactions required to get work done, reducing costs and accelerating decision making and execution. Align the organization. Even when an organization’s structure is lean by most accounts, it can be misaligned. As a result, it may take more interactions than it should to get work done. In technology, for example, sales can be highly complex, involving generalist sales makers, product specialists, technicians and the like. If each of these groups is organized differently, then the number of interactions required to make a sale can balloon. Dell Technologies is a case in point. When leadership examined the number of interactions required to make a typical sale at Dell, it found that 11 people were typically involved, representing generalist account executives (organized by industry vertical), product specialists (organized by product) and technicians (organized by product and geography). Two nearly identical sales to similar types of customers in the same region who are buying similar products could involve completely different teams of individuals, making it challenging for teams to grow accustomed to working together. By moving to a geographic structure for sales makers, product specialists, and technicians, Dell cut the number of interactions required to make a customer sale by half (on average) and increased the percentage of familiar teams, further bolstering sales productivity. The company accomplished all of this without sacrificing account coverage in any way. Set a zero-based time budget. One discipline that we have seen work to reduce the number of unnecessary meetings is to create a fixed meeting time bank in which all new meetings are funded out of the current bank. To start, determine the total amount of time currently dedicated to meetings by level in your organization. Then place a ceiling on that total. Now, for every new meeting an executive requests to schedule, ask (or require) him or her to remove some other meeting of equivalent (or greater) time. At the very least, this approach will highlight the total time devoted to meetings in your company. Over time, it may enable your organization to lower the ceiling and liberate countless hours of unproductive time. Require business cases for new initiatives. When a company makes a major capital investment, senior management nearly always demands some form of business case—that is, an explicit statement of the expected benefits from making the investment weighed against the costs. New initiatives often demand hours of senior leadership time and can involve hundreds of meeting hours each month for the organization. Yet time investments of this sort are rarely held to the same standard as those involving financial capital. As a result, initiative overload is a common complaint at most companies. Perhaps more insidious, initiative overload can be a leading factor contributing to collaboration overload. By requiring that concrete business cases be developed for all initiatives that demand the time of senior leadership, an organization can slow the growth of new initiatives and winnow the existing set of initiatives to those that demonstrate clear benefits in excess of their organizational cost. Provide real-time feedback. In some instances, it is possible to modify an organization’s cultural norms by providing its leaders with real-time data on the load they are placing on their teams as a result of the emails they send and meetings they schedule. Microsoft Workplace Analytics and other applications now make it possible to provide executives with regular feedback on the (often unintended) costs of collaboration. Over time, executives can modify their own behavior in response to this feedback—for example, eliminating unnecessary meetings, reducing the number of attendees at meetings, shortening meetings, reducing the use of “reply all” in email. Such self-policing can save thousands of hours each year, reducing collaboration overload. There is much to like—and dread—about collaboration in the workplace. We have all grown weary of the needless meetings, unnecessary emails and other unproductive interactions associated with collaboration at work. Excess collaboration saps energy and leaves employees with too little time to complete their work during the day, forcing too many workers to spend time playing catch-up after hours and on weekends. But it is possible to capitalize on the benefits of collaboration while reducing its ill effects. Doing so requires examining the whole organization—its structure, processes and cultural norms—and treating the root causes of collaboration overload and not merely finding new, inventive ways to manage the symptoms.

27 марта, 15:09

VWR Corp Acquires EPL Archives, Improves Customer Service

VWR Corporation (VWR) recently acquired the international biorepository services organization, EPL Archives, Inc.

27 марта, 14:49

Supply Side Health Care Reform

We fight over health care policy because we focus on demand and redistribution. We could reach greater agreement if we focused on supply and innovation. What are the key areas where agreement is likely? 1) Cancer kills both Republicans and Democrats so more spending on medical research is likely to reach broad agreement.  As I said in Launching: […] The post Supply Side Health Care Reform appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

23 июня 2014, 14:12

Standard & Poor.s: каковы основные риски для российской экономики

Невыплата долгов "Нафтогазом" не будет считаться дефолтом всей Украины. Тем не менее, страна может официально стать банкротом в ближайшие год - два. Такой прогноз озвучил Моритц Краемер - он возглавляет группу суверенных рейтингов Standard & Poor.s. Поможет ли Украине МВФ, что ждет российские госкомпании и как ответить на обвинения в политической ангажированности?