Miscellany

Miscellany

THE ‘Smartphone Effect’ is weakening

The rush to upgrade smartphones may be ebbing, prompting economists to dial back the outlook for Asian exporters.

Early indications, including signs of disappointing orders, point to a mixed reaction to the latest iPhones, hurting the share prices of Apple Inc.’s Asia-based suppliers. Given that smartphone improvements help power demand for electronics components from supply-chain powerhouses such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, a weaker upgrade cycle would have macro-economic implications too.

Millionaires’ wealth reached record $63.5 trillion globally in 2016: study

The number of millionaires in the world rose by nearly 8 per cent last year to an all-time high of around 16.5 million people, with record total wealth of $63.5 trillion, according to a report by global consultancy firm Capgemini.

The wealth of high net worth individuals (HNWI) — which Capgemini defines as those with investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding the primary residence, collectibles and consumables — rose 8.2 per cent on the year in 2016 and is on track to surpass $100 trillion by 2025.

Apple iPhone X facing production delays due to 3D sensors

Apple Inc is facing production delays to its top-of-the-line iPhone X due to problems with the 3-D sensor manufacturing process, according to a series of news reports.

Makers of the components, used in facial recognition, are struggling to reach adequate production levels, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the process.

Musk plan to girdle earth with satellites hits turbulence

Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to surround the Earth with thousands of internet-beaming satellites is encountering turbulence from regulators concerned about interference with competing systems.

SpaceX, the rocket startup Musk runs, filed for permission for its constellation of refrigerator-sized satellites late last year. Selling broadband from orbit is a key part of how SpaceX plans to make money beyond its original rocket-launching service.

Nooyi, Kochhar, Sharma on Fortune’s most powerful biz women list

Two Indians – Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma – have made it to the rankings of most powerful women in business outside the United States drawn up by the Fortune magazine while Indra Nooyi featured in the top 3 on the US edition list.

The most powerful women in business outside the US list, which was topped by Banco Santander group executive chairman Ana Botin, placed ICICI Bank’s Kochhar at the fifth spot while Axis Bank’s Sharma has been ranked 21st.

Facebook control move hits investors’ block

Silicon Valley spent more than a decade finding ways to give company founders more control. When Facebook Inc. tried to follow suit, shareholders pushed back.

Google started it with a 2004 initial public offering that gave co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin voting rights well beyond their economic stakes in the search giant. Groupon Inc., Zynga Inc. and Facebook did it too, and this year Snap Inc. sold stock with no voting rights at all.

The waste-collecting cyclists who caught the UN's eyes

Putting an end to the unnecessary burning of biodegradable waste, one restaurant at a time has become the forceful mission of a team of French cyclists. Their creative initiative, which relies largely on volunteers, has even impressed the United Nations.

La Tricyclerie, a neat play on the French words for sorting out rubbish, recycling and biking, turns vegetable, coffee, and other organic waste into compost.

CoordinatorValentine Vilboux, 29, travels on her electric bicycle to restaurants in the western city of Nantes, collecting peelings otherwise destined for the bin.

New tool can help measure people’s wisdom

Scientists have developed a new tool that can measure a person’s wisdom – a trait believed to be governed by specific regions of the brain. Studies suggest that wisdom may be defined by six specific domains and that these domains are linked to distinct regions of the brain, based upon neuroimaging and other scientific evidence.

For example, the domain of prosocial attitudes and behaviours, such as empathy, altruism and social cooperation, is facilitated by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), located in the front part of the brain and responsible to complex executive functions.

Technology can spot warning signs before extreme events

MIT scientists developed a new algorithm that can predict extreme events that are likely to occur in the real world, by spotting instabilities that may affect climate, aircraft performance or ocean circulation.

Many extreme events - from a rogue wave that rises up from calm waters, to an instability inside a gas turbine, to the sudden extinction of a previously hardy wildlife species — seem to occur without warning.

Pages