We’ve Reached the End of Global Trade

By Rana Foroohar – Globalization is usually defined as the free movement of people, goods and capital. It’s been the most important economic force of modernity.

Until the financial crisis of 2008, global trade grew twice as fast as the global economy itself. Yet, thanks to both economics and politics, globalization as we have known it is changing fast.

The question is: Have we reached peak trade?

“If you think about globalization in traditional terms, in terms of old-line trade in goods, for example, then yes,” says McKinsey Global Institute research director Susan Lund.

“But if you think of it in terms of the flow of digital data and ideas, then no—it’s actually increasing.” Indeed, the cross-border flow of digital data—e-commerce, web searches, online video, machine-to-­machine ­interactions—has grown 45 times larger since 2005 and is projected to grow much faster than the global economy over the next few years. more> https://goo.gl/5xcMO5

The Pirates Who Stole Netflix

By Elaine Ou – Friday’s (Oct 21) attack was a Distributed Denial of Service, an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with junk traffic from multiple sources. Attackers amass their armies by scanning the internet for devices protected by default passwords and dropping malicious software into them. Infected machines become “bots” that can be controlled remotely, without their owners’ knowledge, and used to go after any target. This most recent attack used a botnet estimated to be millions of devices strong.

For many Americans, disabling Netflix on a Friday evening is about as close as it gets to an act of war . But what does a cyberwar look like?

During the rise of seaborne trade, the East India companies sailed merchant ships full of gold and jewels across the Indian Ocean while Spanish treasure galleons carried silver between Latin America and the coast of Spain. The inability of European powers to secure their shipping routes led hundreds of thousands of sailors to seek lucrative careers as pirates. more> https://goo.gl/S8m7O4


Updates from GE

GE’s New Aviation Plant In The Heart Of Europe Will Build Engines With 3D Printed Parts For Next-Gen Cessna Denali

By Tomas Kellner – GE and the Czech government announced today (Oct 20) plans to build a new factory outside of the city focused on the development and production of the world’s first turboprop engine with 3D printed components.

The plant, which will double as GE Aviation’s first aircraft engine headquarters outside the United States, will employ 500 people. It is scheduled to open in 2022.

GE is spending $400 million to develop the engine, which the company calls Advanced Turboprop — or ATP. It will first power the Cessna Denali, Textron Aviation’s next-generation business aircraft.

3D printing allowed designers to consolidate 845 parts into just 11 components. Although the engine still has hundreds of parts in it, the reduction in complexity will help speed up production, reduce fuel burn by up to 20 percent, achieve 10 percent more power and lower the engine’s weight.

The engine will be powerful and efficient enough to reach Chicago from Los Angeles or Miami from New York.

“The physics is simple,” says Milan Slapak, a turboprop program manager at GE Aviation in Prague. “The more metal you have in the air, the more money you need to spend on the material itself and on the fuel to keep it flying. Also, an engine with fewer components reduces the number of parts you need to design, certify, inspect and make or order. 3D-printing really is the game changer and it will totally change the way traditional supply chains operate and simplify them massively.” more> https://goo.gl/BdLU3w

Time Warner to spin off AOL on December 9

By Yinka Adegoke (2009) – Media conglomerate Time Warner Inc said on Monday it will spin off its AOL unit to shareholders on December 9, nine tumultuous years after one of the most disastrous corporate mergers in history.

Based on the closing price of Time Warner’s stock at $32.35 and its 1.17 billion outstanding shares, the ratio would effectively value AOL’s market capitalization at around $3.44 billion.

When AOL’s plan to merge with Time Warner was announced in January 2000, the Internet company was valued at $163 billion.

The combination was meant to herald the future of content distribution via the Internet, but the promised benefits were never achieved and Time Warner executives gradually regained control of the business. more> https://goo.gl/yfnFS1


  • SEARCH: time warner
  • How the AT&T-Time Warner Merger Could Hurt Consumers, David Z. Morris, Fortune
  • Time Warner plans cable spinoff, Kenneth Li, Reuters
  • Time Warner Sells Music Unit for $2.6 Billion, David D. Kirkpatrick, nytimes.com
  • AT&T-Time Warner deal sparks calls for scrutiny in Washington, Julia Edwards and Diane Bartz, Reuters
  • Failure to Adjust


    Failure to Adjust, Author: Edward Alden.

    By Edward Alden – Americans know that something has gone wrong in this country’s effort to prosper in the face of growing global economic competition. The vast benefits promised by the supporters of globalization, and by the U.S. government, have never materialized for most Americans.

    Failure to Adjust is the story of what went wrong, and how to correct the course. It is a compelling history of the last four decades of U.S. economic and trade policies that have left Americans unable to adapt to or compete in the current global marketplace.

    There is achievable common ground on issues such as fostering innovation, overhauling tax rules to encourage investment in the United States, boosting graduation rates, investing in infrastructure, and streamlining regulations. Alden argues that the federal government needs to become more like U.S. state governments in embracing economic competitiveness as a central function of government. more> https://goo.gl/UpE5Zd

    User behavior


    Hooked, Author: Nir Eyal.
    Addiction by Design, Author: Natasha Schüll.

    By Michael Schulson – By 2015, it’s a platitude to describe the internet as distracting. We casually talk about digital life in terms of addiction and compulsion. In the 2000s, users nicknamed the first mainstream smartphone the crackberry. In conversation, we describe basic tools and apps – Facebook, email, Netflix, Twitter – using terms otherwise reserved for methamphetamine and slot machines.

    he internet is not a predetermined experience. It’s a system of connections and protocols. There’s nothing about a global computer network that necessitates addiction-like behaviors.

    So should individuals be blamed for having poor self-control? To a point, yes. Personal responsibility matters. But it’s important to realise that many websites and other digital tools have been engineered specifically to elicit compulsive behavior.

    A handful of corporations determine the basic shape of the web that most of us use every day. Many of those companies make money by capturing users’ attention, and turning it into pageviews and clicks. They’ve staked their futures on methods to cultivate habits in users, in order to win as much of that attention as possible. more> https://goo.gl/i0HrSf


    Updates from Georgia Tech

    Study Finds “Lurking Malice” in Cloud Hosting Services
    By John Toon – “Bad actors have migrated to the cloud along with everybody else,” said Raheem Beyah, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The bad guys are using the cloud to deliver malware and other nefarious things while remaining undetected. The resources they use are compromised in a variety of ways, from traditional exploits to simply taking advantage of poor configurations.”

    Beyah and graduate student Xiaojing Liao found that the bad actors could hide their activities by keeping components of their malware in separate repositories that by themselves didn’t trigger traditional scanners. Only when they were needed to launch an attack were the different parts of this malware assembled.

    “Some exploits appear to be benign until they are assembled in a certain way,” explained Beyah, who is the Motorola Foundation Professor and associate chair for strategic initiatives and innovation in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “When you scan the components in a piecemeal kind of way, you only see part of the malware, and the part you see may not be malicious.”

    In the cloud, malicious actors take advantage of how difficult it can be to scan so much storage. Operators of cloud hosting services may not have the resources to do the deep scans that may be necessary to find the Bars – and their monitoring of repositories may be limited by service-level agreements. more> https://goo.gl/hiLHXk


    The Curse of Cash


    The Curse of Cash, Author: Kenneth S. Rogoff.

    By Kenneth S. Rogoff – The world is drowning in cash—and it’s making us poorer and less safe.

    Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for?

    The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy.

    The Curse of Cash offers a plan for phasing out most paper money—while leaving small-denomination bills and coins in circulation indefinitely—and addresses the issues the transition will pose, ranging from fears about privacy and price stability to the need to provide subsidized debit cards for the poor. more> https://goo.gl/QRtRgz


    Innovating Education and Educating for Innovation

    OECD – As in all sectors, innovation will be essential to bring about qualitative changes in education, as opposed to the quantitative expansion seen so far. These changes are needed to increase efficiency and improve the quality equity of learning opportunities.

    Education has not managed to harness technology to productivity, improve efficiency, increase quality and foster equity in the way other public sectors have. At the same time education can also foster innovation in society at large by developing the right skills to nurture it. These skills, including critical thinking, creativity and imagination, can be fostered through appropriate teaching, and practices such as entrepreneurship education.

    Governments should develop smart innovation strategies for education with the right policy mix to give meaning and purpose to innovation, including creating an innovation-friendly culture.

    The “digital divide” has become a skills gap between the haves and have-nots. Digital skills generate a significant return in terms of employment, income and other social outcomes for those who have them, but set up barriers to better life opportunities for those without.

    The introduction of digital technologies in schools has not yet delivered the promised improvements of better results at lower cost. There is only a weak, and sometimes negative, association between the use of ICT in education and performance in mathematics and reading, even after accounting for differences in national income and socio-economic status.

    Gaps in digital skills of both teachers and students, difficulties in locating high-quality digital learning resources and software, a lack of clarity over learning goals, and insufficient pedagogical preparation on how to blend technology meaningfully into teaching, have driven a wedge between expectations and reality.

    Schools and governments must address these challenges or technology may do more harm than good. more> https://goo.gl/Npz7S0

    Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs


    The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, Author: David Graeber.

    By David Graeber – In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would have advanced sufficiently by century’s end that countries like Great Britain or the United States would achieve a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right.

    In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more.

    In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed.

    Rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations.

    And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones. more> https://goo.gl/I9Q8Qh