Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

What technology can do for Africa

Posted by hkarner - 17. November 2017

Date: 16-11-2017
Source: The Economist

Technology in Africa is making huge advances, says Jonathan Rosenthal. But its full benefits will be reaped only once basics like power supplies and communications are widely available

TO FLY NORTH from Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), is to look down on a country that has become hell. The dark shadow cast by the UN helicopter passes over mile after empty mile of green, fertile land. The few signs of former habitation—a homestead on top of a hill, the remains of a once-ploughed field—have been burned to the ground or overrun by bush. After an endless succession of conflicts, almost all the people have fled to refugee camps guarded by the UN.

There are many reasons why the CAR is in such a wretched state, but high among them is that it is Africa’s most remote country, with almost no connections to the outside world. Even ideas struggle to cross its borders. Fast internet and mobile-phone reception is available only in and around Bangui. Its people are largely illiterate. It is, in short, a country that technology has skipped over. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Technology can make scarce medical resources go further

Posted by hkarner - 17. November 2017

Date: 16-11-2017
Source: The Economist
Subject: Doing more with less

How to get smarter health care

AT THE END of a long row of benches where young mothers wearily try to soothe their squirming babies is a clue to both the enormous challenge involved in reducing infant mortality in Africa and the huge potential for doing so. Perched on the edge of an examination table in the only clinic offering care in a community north of Nairobi is a small silver-coloured horn that looks a bit like a trumpet. Known as a Pinard horn, it is used to check the heartbeat of a baby in the womb. In the rich world the device, invented in 1895, was long ago replaced by doppler ultrasound machines, which do a much better job. Yet in many parts of Africa it remains in widespread use because it is cheap and does not need electrical power. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Upgrade Myth

Posted by hkarner - 16. November 2017

Tony Rothman

Tony Rothman’s latest book is The Course of Fortune, A Novel of the Great Siege of Malta. He teaches physics at NYU.

We are encouraged to believe that the newest technology is also the best. But, at a time when functionality and marketability are valued more highly than simplicity and durability, adopting the newest technology can be a recipe for frustration and misery.

NEW YORK – From the pocket calculator to the Prius, I’ve always been what they call an “early adopter.” I was a technology enthusiast, a lover of progress, eager to move into the future. No more. With the wisdom of age, I now concede the maxim of the occasional software engineer: motion is not progress.

Marketers tell us that endless iterations of word-processing software or smartphone apps are taking us forward, by “adding new features” and “improving the user experience.” More often than not, each new update and upgrade represents little improvement over the last. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Big Tech Meets Big Government

Posted by hkarner - 3. November 2017

In an ideal world, major tech companies would recognize and adjust to their growing systemic importance in step with external actors, including governments and consumers, thereby striking the right balance between innovation, consumer benefits and protection, and national security. But this is not an ideal world.

SINGAPORE – Impressive quarterly results from the biggest technology companies show that they are nowhere near saturating their consumer markets, exhausting their innovation cycles, or reaching growth maturation. Dig a little deeper, and those reports also illustrate the sector’s substantial and growing systemic importance. Yet, for the tech sector, there is a distinct downside to this development.

With increased systemic importance often comes greater scrutiny. And, indeed, today’s prosperous and innovative tech giants now face the prospect of redoubled efforts to regulate and tax their activities. The longer it takes for these companies to recognize their systemic importance, the greater the likelihood of a more powerful backlash by governments and the public, hurting the companies and undermining their ability to continue producing innovations that genuinely boost consumers’ wellbeing. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why we need a 21st-century Martin Luther to challenge the church of tech

Posted by hkarner - 31. Oktober 2017

Date: 31-10-2017
Source: The Guardian by John Naughton

It’s 500 years since Martin Luther defied the authority of the Catholic church. It’s time for a similar revolt against the hypocrisy of the religion of technology

A new power is loose in the world. It is nowhere and yet it’s everywhere. It knows everything about us – our movements, our thoughts, our desires, our fears, our secrets, who our friends are, our financial status, even how well we sleep at night. We tell it things that we would not whisper to another human being. It shapes our politics, stokes our appetites, loosens our tongues, heightens our moral panics, keeps us entertained (and therefore passive). We engage with it 150 times or more every day, and with every moment of contact we add to the unfathomable wealth of its priesthood. And we worship it because we are, somehow, mesmerised by it.

In other words, we are all members of the Church of Technopoly, and what we worship is digital technology. Most of us are so happy in our obeisance to this new power that we spend an average of 50 minutes on our daily devotion to Facebook alone without a flicker of concern. It makes us feel modern, connected, empowered, sophisticated and informed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 31. Oktober 2017

Date: 31-10-2017
Source: NewsWeek

The Nazis knew secret communication was the key to world domination. Their prize technology was the electromechanical Enigma machine, an encryption device that allowed German tank divisions, embassies and even submarines to send scrambled radio messages to the Reich during World War II. They believed their system was unbreakable. It was—until a young British mathematician named Alan Turing realized that the signal could be unscrambled if he could create a machine to systematically try thousands of key combinations that would eventually hit upon an intelligible message.

The result was the world’s first computer. Britain’s ability to read Germany’s secret codes was a crucial factor in the Allies’ victory.

Now, thanks to a technology called quantum encryption, the dream of perfectly secure communication is real. It could help free the world from online fraud and identity theft, hacking attacks and electronic eavesdropping. It could also enable terrorists and criminals to communicate with absolute secrecy—and governments to hide their secrets without anyone ever finding out. In a world of unbreakable encryption, all human electronic communication could become entirely private—with mind-boggling consequences, both good and bad, for cybersecurity. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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As tech companies get richer, is it ‚game over‘ for startups?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2017

Date: 21-10-2017
Source: The Guardian

Young firms struggle to compete as deep-pocketed companies like Facebook and Amazon clone products and consolidate their power

The leading tech companies are making it harder for startups to attract investment.

Facebook has been breathing down the neck of the group video-chat app Houseparty for over a year. The app, developed by the San Francisco startup Life On Air, has been a hit with teenagers – an audience Facebook is desperate to woo.

After months of sniffing around its tiny competitor and even inviting the team to its headquarters last summer, Facebook launched its own group video chat tool within Messenger in December 2016. In February, it invited teens to its headquarters to quiz them, in return for $275 Amazon cards, on how and why they used video-chat apps. By July, Facebook was demonstrating a Houseparty clone, Bonfire, to employees and by early September the app launched in Denmark. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The missing link: Technology is revolutionising supply-chain finance

Posted by hkarner - 18. Oktober 2017

Date: 17-10-2017
Source: The Economist

Squeezed suppliers and big corporate buyers stand to benefit

IN 2015 Kiddyum, a small company from Manchester that provides frozen ready-meals for children, won a contract from Sainsbury’s, a big British supermarket chain. Jayne Hynes, the founder, was delighted. But sudden success might have choked Kiddyum’s cashflow. Sainsbury’s pays its suppliers in 60 days; Ms Hynes must pay hers in only 30.

In fact Kiddyum gets its cash within a few days. Once approved by Sainsbury’s, its invoices are loaded onto the supermarket’s supply-chain finance platform, run by PrimeRevenue, an American company. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) picks up the bills, paying Kiddyum early. Kiddyum pays a fee which, Ms Hynes says, is a small fraction of the cost of a normal loan. Sainsbury’s pays RBS when the invoice falls due. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hit by Chinese Hackers Seeking Industrial Secrets, German Manufacturers Play Defense

Posted by hkarner - 25. September 2017

Date: 24-09-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Smaller German companies that help power the country’s export-driven economy are vulnerable, prompting the government to extend support

Deutsche Telekom said it had detected more than 30,000 cyberattacks from China so far this month. Above, CEO Timotheus Höttges on a screen during the company’s annual news conference earlier this year.

BERLIN—A wave of attacks by Chinese hackers on Germany’s cutting-edge manufacturers is raising alarm in Berlin and prompting the government to step in to defend the country’s competitive edge.

The small and midsize companies that make Germany an export powerhouse have landed in the crosshairs of foreign hackers attracted to the firms’ valuable but often poorly protected intellectual property, German intelligence officials warn. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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2040 könnten in Deutschland 3,3 Millionen Fachkräfte fehlen

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2017

Date: 30-08-2017

Demografie und Digitalisierung könnten Fachkräfte in Deutschland schon bald zum knappen Gut machen: Bis 2040 drohen 3,3 Millionen von ihnen zu fehlen, warnen Forscher – und fordern Gegenmaßnahmen.

Bereits im Jahr 2030 könnten in Deutschland bis zu drei Millionen Facharbeiter, Techniker, Forscher und medizinische Fachkräfte fehlen. Zehn Jahre später, 2040, könnte diese Zahl sogar auf 3,3 Millionen steigen, wie aus aktuellen Berechnungen des Basler Forschungsinstituts Prognos hervorgeht.

Damit erwarten die Arbeitsmarkt- und Bevölkerungsforscher von Prognos nicht mehr ganz so viele fehlende Fachkräfte wie noch vor zwei Jahren. Damals kamen sie in einer Studie für die bayerische Wirtschaft noch auf eine mögliche Lücke von 3,9 Millionen fehlenden Fachkräften im Jahr 2040. Inzwischen wurden aber die Bevölkerungsprognosen korrigiert, es wird nun ein weniger starker Rückgang erwartet, was auch die Situation auf dem Arbeitsmarkt etwas entspannen dürfte. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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