Category Archives: Technology

Chinese Billionaire Moving Manufacturing to the U.S. to Cut Costs

While it has been said for a long time that the U.S. is bleeding manufacturing jobs overseas, particularly to China, some businesses have been moving operations the other way round.

And now, the head of a leading Chinese glass maker making the same move has openly questioned if his country really is such a lucrative destination for offshore factories, reports Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post.

Overall speaking, the tax burden for manufacturers in China is 35% higher than in the U.S., Cao Dewang told China Business Network. He added that a combination of cheap land, reasonable energy prices and other incentives means that, despite higher manufacturing costs, he can still make more money by making glass in the U.S. than by exporting Chinese-made panes to the U.S. market.

© Wang Zhou-Imaginechina
Cao Dewang, center, Chairman of Fuyao Group and Chairman of Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co., is interviewed as he arrives at the Great Hall of the People to attend the opening session for the Fourth Session of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) in Beijing, China, 3 March 2016.

His company, Fuyao Glass, has invested over $1 billion stateside, according to the Post, the most significant move of which is opening its U.S. factory in the Ohio town of Moraine, a suburb of Dayton, back in October. The glass maker is re-purposing the town’s former General Motors assembly that had been standing empty since late 2008, as the Dayton Daily News reports.

According to Ohio TV station WDTN, the plant now employs a workforce of almost 2,000, and Cao expects that the fully operational facility will employ up to 3,000 workers.

Wage and transportation costs are getting higher in China, Cao says. Compared with four years ago, labor wages [in China] today have tripled, he told China Business Network. Meanwhile, transportation in the U.S. costs the equivalent of less than one yuan ($) per kilometer, while road tolls [in China] are higher, he added, pointing out that some mid- and small-sized Chinese enterprises have already started moving to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Cambodia for cheaper wages and materials.

Fuyao is not the first Chinese business making the move across the Pacific in recent years. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese companies invested over $20 billion in the U.S. last year -from a practically nonexistent total investment back in 2006.

And yet, it would probably be mistaken to write off the world’s second largest economy as a manufacturing powerhouse once and for all. As Fortune reported in early December, the latest data indicates that China’s manufacturing sector is in its strongest position in some years, buttressing the country’s economic growth along the way.

Written by Kevin Lui – – December 22, 2016

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Boston Light and Flying Santa


One of our favorite lighthouse traditions is the story of a man who showed uncommon respect for the Light Keepers and their families. Capt. William H. Wincapaw, known as an adventurous and skilled Airman, unknowingly began a tradition in 1929. He was just a guy who wanted to bring holiday cheer to the lighthouse keepers along the East Coast by dropping packages of toys, coffee, shaving supplies, and snacks around Christmas time. He soon became known by the Light Keepers as the Flying Santa. Over the decades the planes and pilots changed, but except for a break during World War II, the practice continues today, now by helicopter.

Frank wanted to pay respect to the tradition and special tribute to the new Airman in the family, his grandson Griffyn. So, the 30” x 24” acrylic on wood panel painting was produced and added to Frank’s lighthouse series. The lighthouse seen in this painting is the Boston Light. This is the site of the first lighthouse built in the United States, dating back to 1716, with the current one in the painting built in 1783. This painting honors those who have shown special care and concern for the all-important Light Keepers, as well as remote Coast Guard outposts.

We thank all those who bless and protect us with their courage.

World Wide Web Inventor: “It’s time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right.”

Manish Sain

New Delhi, December 11, 2014

Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee

With internet censorship and government surveillance on the rise, WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee has said that it is time to recognize access to the web as a basic human right.

While releasing the Web Index annual report in London, Berners-Lee said, “It’s time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right. That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of Web users regardless of where they live.”

The Web Index, which measures the state of World Wide Web in 86 countries, is prepared by the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization founded by Berners-Lee in 2009.

The data revealed in the report suggests more countries are trying to control the internet and putting in place measures to monitor web users. According to the report moderate or extensive web censorship has been seen in 38 percent of countries this year, which marks an increase considering in 2013 this figure was 32 percent.

Internet Cafe
Internet Cafe

The Index ranks countries on the basis of how they are using the Internet. The countries that top the list are gaining most social and economic benefit from the web while the countries with poorer ranks are either misusing or not gaining by the use of it.

The list is topped by Scandinavian countries. Denmark with 100 points is at the top. Ethiopia, on the other hand, with zero points is at the bottom of the list.

India, is somewhere in the middle, although it scores lower than the global average of 46.30.

According to the report, India scores 44.06 points for universal access to the web, 57.42 for freedom and openness of internet and 40.41 for social and economic empowerment. With a total of 44.60 points, India is ranked 48 in the Web Index.

The neighboring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh lag behind with a global ranking of 76 and 63, respectively.

The Foundation calls for more uniformity in how people across the world use the web. “The richer and better educated people are, the more benefit they are gaining from the digital revolution. This trend can and must be reversed,” said Anne Jellema, CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, and the lead author of the report. “Extreme disparities between rich and poor have been rightly identified as the defining challenge of our age, and we need to use technology to fight inequality, not increase it.”

The report also highlights the lack of legal protection that the majority of people across the world have against web surveillance. “Laws preventing bulk mass surveillance are weak or non-existent in over 84 per cent of countries, up from 63 per cent in 2013,” notes the report.

Berners-Lee says that he believes the web can be a force for good. “In an increasingly unequal world, the web can be a great leveler – but only if we hardwire the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, affordable access and net neutrality into the rules of the game,” he concluded.


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Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo

Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo
Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo

Margaret Hamilton was the lead software engineer for Project Apollo.

It had long been tradition that operating calculating machines was “women’s work”; it was thought to be just keypunching, like typing. Women programmed and operated the punchcard machines to produce calculations for the Manhattan Project. Despite the tendency of the project physicists to minimize their contribution, this was demanding work, much more than just moving cards from slot to slot — they were usually given requirements from the tech people, but often designed the approach and set up the calculations themselves.

The bias that “women do the mere programming” extended into the early days of the computer, and it meant that many of the earliest and most pioneering programmers were women, learning hands-on to do things that had never been done before. We all know about Amazing Grace Hopper, who wrote the first compiler.

Margaret Hamilton earned her BA in math from Earlham College, but obviously learned about programming on the job—there was no other way. In the photo above, she is standing in front of the printouts of the code for the Apollo guidance system, a lot of which she wrote and which she oversaw.

She was all of 31 when the Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the moon, running her code. (Apollo 11 was able to land at all only because she designed the software robustly enough to handle buffer overflows and cycle-stealing.)

She’s now a tech CEO and won the ‘86 Lovelace Award and the NASA Exceptional Space Act Award.

The engineers weren’t all boys with crew-cuts, short sleeve oxford shirts, and narrow black ties.

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ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment

Live HD Feed from the International Space Station. It may take two clicks to get it going. The feed is from alternating views of 4 different cameras (if screen is black, then the Station is on the dark side of the Earth). If you mouse over “Live” in the right bottom corner of the screen you will see a full screen toggle option.

What makes this so much more compelling to watch than an ordinary satellite feed is that you know there are humans up there with these cameras. The International Space Station travels in orbit around Earth at a speed of roughly 17,150 miles per hour (that’s about 5 miles per second!). This means that the Space Station orbits Earth (and sees a sunrise) once every 92 minutes!

For more information on where exactly the ISS is at this moment, go here:

The Dark-side of Social Networks

It is clear we have a long way to go in the development and use of social networks. Our sense is that our desire to be happy will lead to new social networking venues, more personalized to our individual needs.  As Douglas Adams put it in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “…And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.”

MIT Technology Review          August 29, 2014

Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects.

A study of 50,000 people in Italy concludes that online social networks have a significant negative impact on individual welfare.

Italy online

Online social networks have permeated our lives with far-reaching consequences. Many people have used them to connect with friends and family in distant parts of the world, to make connections that have advanced their careers in leaps and bounds and to explore and visualize not only their own network of friends but the networks of their friends, family, and colleagues.

But there is growing evidence that the impact of online social networks is not all good or even benign. A number of studies have begun to find evidence that online networks can have significant detrimental effects. This question is hotly debated, often with conflicting results and usually using limited varieties of subjects, such as undergraduate students.

Today, Fabio Sabatini at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy and Francesco Sarracino at STATEC in Luxembourg attempt to tease apart the factors involved in this thorny issue by number crunching the data from a survey of around 50,000 people in Italy gathered during 2010 and 2011. The survey specifically measures subjective well-being and also gathers detailed information about the way each person uses the Internet.

The question Sabatini and Sarracino set out to answer is whether the use of online networks reduces subjective well-being and if so, how.

Sabatini and Sarracino’s database is called the “Multipurpose Survey on Households,” a survey of around 24,000 Italian households corresponding to 50,000 individuals carried out by the Italian National Institute of Statistics every year. These guys use the data drawn from 2010 and 2011. What’s important about the survey as that it is large and nationally representative (as opposed to a self-selecting group of undergraduates).

The survey specifically asks the question “How satisfied are you with your life as a whole nowadays?” requiring an answer from extremely dissatisfied (0) to extremely satisfied (10). This provides a well-established measure of subjective well-being.

The survey also asks other detailed questions such as how often people meet friends and whether they think people can be trusted. It also asked about people’s use of online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

This allowed Sabatini and Sarracino to study the correlation between subjective well-being and other factors in their life, particularly their use of social networks. As statisticians they were particularly careful to rule out spurious correlations that can be explained by factors such as endogeneity bias where a seemingly independent parameter is actually correlated with an unobserved factor relegated to the error.

They found for example that face-to-face interactions and the trust people place in one another are strongly correlated with well-being in a positive way. In other words, if you tend to trust people and have lots of face-to-face interactions, you will probably assess your well-being more highly.

But of course interactions on online social networks are not face-to-face and this may impact the trust you have in people online. It is this loss of trust that can then affect subjective well-being rather than the online interaction itself.

Sabatini and Sarracino tease this apart statistically. “We find that online networking plays a positive role in subjective well-being through its impact on physical interactions, whereas [the use of] social network sites is associated with lower social trust,” they say. “The overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative,” they conclude.

That’s an important result because it is the first time that the role of online networks has been addressed in such a large and nationally representative sample.

Sabatini and Sarracino particularly highlight the role of discrimination and hate speech on social media which they say play a significant role in trust and well-being. Better moderation could significantly improve the well-being of the people who use social networks, they conclude.

Facebook, Twitter, and others take note.

Original Source Here:

What makes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Work?

We are all publishing houses.

What’s in your publishing house?

Read the article below to consider how and why you publish, and view where the publishing world it headed.

Why The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is A Social (And Financial) Blockbuster

Written by JOHN DEIGHTON  –  Previously published by Forbes    

August 20, 2014

In 2009, technology researchers at Forrester published a report entitled We Are All Media Companies Now, that looked at how publishing firms were dealing with the shift from a distribution paradigm to one based on consumption. By 2014, the paradigm is being experienced not just by companies but increasingly by individuals. People who use Facebook and Twitter TWTR -0.07% are for all practical purposes running little media houses, and face the problem of their much larger brethren, where will the next story come from? Originality is too time-consuming: emulation is inevitable. Fads ensue.

What gets emulated? Anything that can contribute to social capital. The content must be easy to create but not as easy as photographing one’s morning cappuccino. For example, someone in Toronto snapped a selfie with the controversial mayor Rob Ford, and overnight hunting Rob Ford became a Toronto sport, and your face next to his became social currency across Canada.

It’s easy to write off these fads as simple stunts of digital narcissism, but they matter to marketing because they carry incidental meaning. It was not lost on Ford’s reelection team that media coverage on Facebook was as good as, perhaps better than, press coverage. Selfies with Ford carried the incidental meaning that he was one of the people, a fun-loving regular guy. He began to make himself selfie-friendly.

Brands too ask how they can become incidental props in these viral stunts. The challenge brands encounter, however, is that their involvement could come off as merely jumping on the bandwagon because spreadable stunts tend to carry no meaning beyond the stunt itself. Take “planking” for example. An early Facebook fad, planking is the act of lying face-down in an incongruous place. It is the epitome of digital narcissism and any hint of motive other than ‘look at me,’ just clouds the picture.

By contrast, the ALS ice bucket challenge offers an example of a brand harnessing the energy of a narcissistic fad on social networks in service to the brand itself. The usual elements are there, an act that is incongruous, not easy to do and screams ‘look at me.’ Yet here, the incidental meaning is not at all dissociated from the personal meaning. I’m making myself uncomfortable for ALS. I’m recruiting the anti-ALS cause to enhance my personal capital. Alas for marketers looking for low-cost market impact, few commercial brands enhance personal capital. Few are as powerful as cause brands.

How has it worked?  As of Wednesday, August 20, The ALS Association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period  (July 29 to August 20) last year.

This remarkable increase in their fundraising potential is largely due to the snowball effect of cause marketing coupled with a social medial fad. Celebrities are jumping in on the action. Sports teams are not far behind. In fact, almost everyone who is challenged by a friend, co-worker, or family member joins in. If ice buckets can help fund research to shed light on a terrible disease, such as ALS, more power to them, and may their tribe increase.

John Deighton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

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What are you publishing?

Thank you very much for stopping by our publishing house…back to the top.

Ethiopia: World’s Poorest Have Least Access to Safe Water – UNICEF

Ethiopia: World’s Poorest Have Least Access to Safe Water – UNICEF

Almost four years after the world met the global target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water was a human right, over three-quarters of a billion people, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity, UNICEF said to commemorate World Water Day.

Estimates from UNICEF and WHO published in 2013 are that a staggering 768 millionpeople do not have access to safe drinking water, causing hundreds of thousands of children to sicken and die each year. Most of the people without access are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums. UNICEF estimates that 1,400 children under five die every day from diarrheal diseases linked to lack of safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene.

“Every child, rich or poor, has the right to survive, the right to health, the right to a future,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene program. “The world should not rest until every single man, woman and child has the water and sanitation that is theirs as a human right.”

The MDG target for drinking water was met and passed in 2010, when 89 per cent of the global population had access to improved sources of drinking water — such as piped supplies, boreholes fitted with pumps, and protected wells. Also in 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right, meaning every person should have access to safe water and basic sanitation. However, this basic right continues to be denied to the poorest people across the world.

“What continues to be striking, and maybe even shocking, is that even in middle income countries there are millions of poor people who do not have safe water to drink,” Wijesekera added. “We must target the marginalized and often forgotten groups: those who are the most difficult to reach, the poorest and the most disadvantaged.”

According to UNICEF and WHO estimates, 10countries are home to almost two-thirds of the global population without access to improved drinking water sources. They are: China (108 million); India (99 million); Nigeria (63 million); Ethiopia (43 million); Indonesia (39 million); Democratic Republic of the Congo (37 million); Bangladesh (26 million); United Republic of Tanzania (22 million); Kenya (16 million) and Pakistan (16 million).

Ethiopia is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal target related to water-62 per cent of the population should access improved sources of drinking water by 2015 against the MDG target of 57 per cent. More than half of the households (54 per cent) have access to an improved source of drinking water, compared to 35 per cent in 2005 and 25 per cent only in 2000 (EDHS 2011).

However, the country is lagging behind on sanitation targets. While the MDG target for access to improved sanitation facilities is 51 per cent, only 8.3 per cent (EDHS 2011) of the population has access to improved sanitation. Children in school are especially vulnerable as the National Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Inventory data shows that only 33 per cent of school have improved sanitation facilities for students and teachers, and only 31 per cent have access to water.

“While the theme this year is the inter-linkage between water and energy, we should focus on women and children as the primary beneficiaries of water in Ethiopia,” said Samuel Godfrey, Chief of WASH in UNICEF Ethiopia.

Huge disparities in the quality of water and sanitation infrastructure lie between the urban and rural area. In most rural areas across Ethiopia, water scarcity, inferior water quality, lack of sanitation facilities and inappropriate hygiene behaviors threaten the well-being of communities. There is also an urgent need to address the issue of separate sanitary facilities. Girls are often reluctant to use facilities, even if they are clean, because toilet blocks and hand washing facilities (important for menstrual hygiene) rarely provide the level of privacy and security they require.

“It is vital that girls should not feel marginalized and lose their self-respect due to lack of WASH facilities in schools. We need to foster an environment where girls maintain their dignity and focus on their school attendance and achievements,” stresses Mr. Godfrey.

In order to harmonize the WASH efforts in the country, the ONEWASH program has been launched in 2013, bringing together four ministries: Water Resources; Health; Education; and Finance & Economic Development. ONEWASH attempts to modernize the way water and sanitation services are delivered; improving the health situation, decreasing the drop-out rates of children in schools, and making financing for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) more effective. Above all, the program contributes significantly in meeting both the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets.

This week, UNICEF launched a global social media campaign to demand action for the 768 million people without access to safe water. Followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be asked to discuss what water means to them through the use of photography and the hashtag #WaterIs to help raise awareness of what it means to live without access to safe drinking water.

School sick days could be reduced with safe drinking water

School sick days could be reduced with safe drinking water

Sat, 15 Mar 2014

Providing free drinking water in schools could be key to helping people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Research published today shows that schools providing clean water report fewer children off sick. It is the first study to investigate whether providing drinking water in schools can reduce absenteeism.

Safe Water
Safe Water

Researchers looked at absentee rates in eight schools in Cambodia – half of which received treated drinking water, and half of which did not. The 26-week study period spanned two terms – one in the country’s dry season and one in the wet season. The absentee records of 3520 children were taken into account.
They found that during the dry period, children without access to clean water were about 2.5 times more likely to be absent from school than children where water was provided.
Prof Paul Hunter from UEA’s Norwich Medical School said: “We focused our intervention on local communities that have poor access to clean drinking water. Each participating school was given a 20-litre bottle of clean drinking water per class each day.
“We found lower absenteeism in the schools that received the free clean water – however this association was only seen in the dry season. During the wet season, absenteeism increased in all eight schools, which is explained by children being kept off school to help in the fields.
“Education is one of the most important factors that enables children to fulfil their potential later in life and reduce poverty. Better education is also associated with substantial health gains – especially for child health in future generations and in reducing child mortality. However, even when schooling is available, absenteeism rates can be high. Clearly reducing student absenteeism is vital to improve educational attainment and alleviate poverty.
“As well as helping to reduce waterborne infectious disease, providing free drinking water helps combat dehydration. Even mild dehydration in children may be associated with poor health, and previous studies have shown that keeping well-hydrated improves cognition and energy levels in children. So providing free water in schools would improve children’s general wellbeing and learning experience.
“The overall cost of the scheme equated to $1.4 USD per child per year – a very modest cost compared to the potential educational benefits and subsequent life potential,” he added.
The research was carried out by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with French water charity 1001 Fontaines, its Cambodian partner Teuk Saat 1001, the University of Lorriane in France, and the Mérieux Foundation which is dedicated to fighting infectious diseases.
‘Impact of the Provision of Safe Drinking Water on School Absence Rates in Cambodia: a quasi-experimental study’ is published in the journal PLOS ONE on March 15.

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