By Lena Deros – The Chinese as people have proven to be very creative and have given the world many things that we use today, including silk, gunpowder, porcelain, and other more specialized items were initially produced in China.
There is also a rumor in some theoretical historical and political analyses that the Chinese have never tried to conquer or take over other nations as other countries have done in the past.
But how true is that theory?
Our research, based on a comprehensive new data set, shows that China has extended many more loans to developing countries than previously known. This systematic underreporting of Chinese loans has created a “hidden debt” problem – meaning that debtor countries and international institutions alike have an incomplete picture on how much countries around the world owe to China and under which conditions.
In total, the Chinese state and its subsidiaries have lent about $1.5 trillion in direct loans and trade credits to more than 150 countries around the globe. This has turned China into the world’s largest official creditor — surpassing traditional, official lenders such as the World Bank, the IMF, or all OECD creditor governments combined.
Despite the large size of China’s overseas lending boom, no official data exists on the resulting debt flows and stocks. China does not report on its international lending and Chinese loans literally fall through the cracks of traditional data-gathering institutions.
Credit rating agencies, such as Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s, or data providers, such as Bloomberg, focus on private creditors, but China’s lending is sponsored by the Communist Party, and therefore off their radar. Debtor countries themselves often do not collect data on debt owed by state-owned companies, which are the main recipients of Chinese loans. In addition, China is not a member of the Paris Club (an informal group of creditor nations) or the OECD, both of which collect data on lending by official creditors. more>
Posted in Banking, Business, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, How to, Media, Net
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, China, Debt, Government, Internet, Skills
How governments can solve layer 3 network complexity
What if government agencies could monitor and analyze their IP networks to ensure peak efficiency and service continuity—all while trying to modernize the network, balance cost, performance, and resiliency? Jim Westdorp, Ciena Government Solutions’ Chief Technologist, explains how this is possible.
By Jim Westdorp – Do you know what your layer 3 network is doing?
The dynamic nature of IP networking makes it virtually impossible to know at any point in time how traffic is traversing your networks. Troubleshooting problems by issuing pings and router CLI commands, scanning log files, and manually correlating the results is imprecise and inefficient. Many government networks disable services like Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), which makes these inefficient tasks impossible. The results can impact service delivery, the agility of the network, and mission.
Traditional management tools have several limitations. For example, they can’t:
- Provide real-time visibility into routing paths across the network
- Provide unique alerts for Layer 3 technologies related to: state changes, pathing, performance, and the availability of the network elements to route packets
- Show and model how routing errors and changes impact service delivery
- Understand the resiliency of the network
- Correlate routing events with performance metrics of network services to assure service performance
- Compute and provision transport paths to deploy new services
- Provide unified visibility and analysis for multi-vendor, multi-layer networks
Think about all the things you’d like to be able to do with your network, and ask yourself a few questions:
- What if you could get a graphical view of all the IP flows in your network and gain deeper insights into traffic patterns, flows, and congestion?
- What if you could drill deep into specific flows to understand the detailed route and particular pieces of network equipment those flows traversed?
- What if you could troubleshoot your network using DVR-like functionality to see the exact state of the network at the time of an event, even if it was days in the past?
- What if you had automated analytics to help identify the best paths to route traffic through your network?
- What if your cyber team could utilize the same platform to be alerted to conditions indicative of external interference with a government?
Often, “what-ifs” are hypotheticals. Not in this case, with Blue Planet’s Route Optimization and Analysis (ROA). This technology has been field-proven for more than a decade with government entities that have strategic imperatives to monitor and analyze their IP Networks to ensure peak efficiency and service continuity—all while trying to modernize the network, balance cost, performance, and resiliency. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, CONGRESS WATCH, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, How to, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Skills, Technology
To emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, companies should start reskilling their workforces now
Adapting employees’ skills and roles to the post-pandemic ways of working will be crucial to building operating-model resilience.
By Sapana Agrawal, Aaron De Smet, Sébastien Lacroix, and Angelika Reich – Imagine a crisis that forces your company’s employees to change the way they work almost overnight. Despite initial fears that the pressure would be too great, you discover that this new way of working could be a blueprint for the long term. That’s what leaders of many companies around the globe are finding as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Consider the experience of one pharma company with more than 10,000 sales reps. In February, it switched from an offline model to a 100 percent remote-working one. As the containment phase of the crisis gradually recedes, you might expect remote working to fade as well. However, the company now plans to make a 30 percent-online–70 percent-offline working model permanent, thus leveraging the freshly developed skills of its sales reps.
Even before the current crisis, changing technologies and new ways of working were disrupting jobs and the skills employees need to do them. In 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers—or 14 percent of the global workforce—would have to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 because of automation and artificial intelligence. In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87 percent of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem.
The coronavirus pandemic has made this question more urgent. Workers across industries must figure out how they can adapt to rapidly changing conditions, and companies have to learn how to match those workers to new roles and activities. This dynamic is about more than remote working—or the role of automation and AI. It’s about how leaders can reskill and upskill the workforce to deliver new business models in the post-pandemic era.
To meet this challenge, companies should craft a talent strategy that develops employees’ critical digital and cognitive capabilities, their social and emotional skills, and their adaptability and resilience. Now is the time for companies to double down on their learning budgets and commit to reskilling. Developing this muscle will also strengthen companies for future disruptions.
In this article, we offer six steps leaders can take to ensure that their employees are equipped with the skills critical to their recovery business models. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Financial crisis, Health, Internet, Jobs, McKinsey, Pandemic, Skills, Technology
Interactive Tool Helps People See Why Staying Home Matters During a Pandemic
By Brittany Aiello – Social distancing has become one of the most impactful strategies in the battle to contain the spread of COVID-19, and a new interactive modeling tool can help people understand why it is so important to “flatten the curve.” Known as VERA, the artificial intelligence (AI) application was developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology to raise awareness about why it matters that individuals distance themselves during an infectious disease outbreak.
Led by College of Computing faculty members Ashok Goel and Spencer Rugaber, and Design & Intelligence Laboratory graduate researchers William Broniec and Sungeun An, the VERA Epidemiology project uses AI techniques to empower users to build their own visual models that simulate the impact of social distancing. The project evolved from earlier National Science Foundation-supported research on a virtual ecological research assistant that enables researchers to explore “what if” experiments about complex ecological phenomena.
The beauty of VERA is that users do not need a background in complex mathematical equations or computer programming to explore it. A high school student interested in finding out what it looks like to “flatten the curve” can log in to VERA and investigate. A parent handling middle school science lessons from home can log in to VERA and demonstrate the reason that it is important that they do lessons from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. more>
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Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, How to, Nature, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Earth, Georgia Tech, Health, Internet, Skills