Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stories I Found Of Interest (weekly)

    • The world is currently witnessing a paradigm shift in mobility. Car companies are increasingly labelling themselves as mobility service providers, getting into new business models such as car sharing and providing on-demand solutions.
    • technological advancements lead to increasingly smart, integrated, intelligent transport networks, aimed at reducing emissions, accidents, and congestion in particular, while the automotive industry witnesses considerable growth regarding the connectivity of cars
    • In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed. The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled.
    • There's no diagnosis called disability.
    • back pain, mental illness -- are among the fastest growing causes of disability.
    • Part of the reason our unemployment rates have been low, until recently, is that a lot of people who would have trouble finding jobs are on a different program."
    • Once people go onto disability, they almost never go back to work
    • Two-thirds of all kids on the program today have been diagnosed with mental or intellectual problems
    • Daytime TV in many places is full of ads from lawyers who promise to fight the government and win the disability benefits you deserve
    • Somewhere around 30 years ago, the economy started changing in some fundamental ways. There are now millions of Americans who do not have the skills or education to make it in this country.
    • The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it does on food stamps and welfare combined; America’s two largest disability programs, including health care for disabled workers, costs taxpayers $260 billion a year
    • As of 2011, 33.8% of newly diagnosed disabled workers cited “back pain and other musculoskeletal problems” as their reason for being unable to work.  In 1961, the top reason for being disabled was “heart disease, stroke”
    • Joffe-Walt says disability has “become a de facto welfare program for people without a lot of education or job skills.”
    • his week the folks at Engadget dug up a patent around Google Glass using wireless connectivity to control connected devices in your home. The glasses could use any number of wireless methods — from RFID, to infrared, to Bluetooth to QR codes — to identify a connected device that could be manipulated, and then, presumably, to manipulate it
    • Essentially you’d just be moving the control function from the cell phone touch screen and your fingertips to the screen in front of your eye and either a facial gesture or hand movement
    • The typical accuracy of GPS when it’s performing well is around 10 meters, points out Huang. This means almost nothing when it comes to traveling down a road in a car, but 10 meters vertically in a building could mean a difference of 6 floors.
    • WiFiSLAM uses a combination of various methods to get better indoor locations. Obviously, WiFi and cell tower trilateration doesn’t work indoors. Instead, WiFi signals can be measured by any device to get an approximate location. In order for that location to be accurate, though, you have to use WiFi fingerprinting to get an idea of what the materials and construction of a particular building are going to do to WiFi signals. Enough scans in one place and you’ll have an accurate profile of a building that can be used to make a map.
    • The SLAM acronym? That stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. This encompasses WiFiSLAM’s way of gathering location and mapping information without recording any data at all and pairing with more traditional methods. To do this they record ‘trajectories’ from sensors on the phone including the accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers.
    • for the first time in a decade Apple (AAPL) will report that its income this quarter was lower than the same quarter the year before
    • it's what analysts call a "tough compare" in terms of gross margins -- a measure of the efficiency with which a company turns revenue into profits.
    • An Internet sales tax is inching its way closer to being the law of the land: The U.S. Senate supported a non-binding vote of approval, 75-to-24, for a law that would allow states to collect taxes from Internet retailers. If enacted as is, it would allow states to levy taxes on some online retail purchases from businesses with over $1 million in gross receipts.
    • worth noting that Vevo, an on-demand music video site, is the top video publisher on the web behind YouTube and Facebook
    • The record companies did not yet have systems in place to reliably distribute digital music files and metadata
    • The buzz is that Apple will soon introduce an on-demand music streaming service as will Google and other major media and electronics companies
    • Apple is looking to beef up the iPhone’s indoor location capabilities by acquiring WiFiSlam.
    • Using Wi-Fi signals, WiFiSlam determines a user’s location within buildings, which has implications for shopping, advertising and social networking. According to WiFiSlam, its technology can pinpoint a smartphone with 2.5 accuracy
    • Oracle is among the world's most savvy acquirers. Its 2005 takeout of PeopleSoft was the first in a wave of financially-motivated deals focused on recurring revenue.
    • we expect the other tech giants to begin accelerating their M&A activities. Accordingly, we believe the time has come for investors to reset their sights on attractive candidates.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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