I see a whole lot of upside for Goldman, but minimal upside for consumers. If I want to park my money to obtain risk free interest, I’d just buy bonds or T-bills. What exactly is Goldman’s retail bank trying to achieve? Is there any way Goldman can partner with existing ATM networks? For those who might be interested, Fidelity Investments, for example, offers a cash management account with debit card that allows you to withdraw anywhere in the world for free (for currencies that are not of USD denomination, the rate is excellent.).
This is super cool! As with any new technology however, I wonder whether people would be afraid of it–especially something as personal as food that enters our stomach! Multiply Labs is facing similar challenges in addressing its target audience. As the first provider of customizable 3D printed supplemental pills, Multiply Labs not only has to convince customers that it is safe but also convince the relevant authority. The FDA, for example, has scrutinized its products for a long periods of time and approval is still pending.
Thanks for sharing, Pat! I did not ride UberMoto in Thailand, but I did in Vietnam. A couple thoughts during the ride:
(1) It felt a little dangerous, with motorists crisscrossing to fight human, bicycle, animal, other vehicle traffics. Based on some crude research, it also seemed that, given the same sample size, it is more significantly likely to get into an accident riding a motorcycle than it is riding a car–fatality also seems to be much lower in the latter.
(2) Because of the speed and the turns, it was necessary to hold onto the driver. In fact, the driver encouraged that I grab onto him so that I don’t fall off. The “intimacy” issue was a little uncomfortable and I wonder whether there is any way to address it.
“Utopia? No, this is Estonia.” Love this. With technology advancing and globalization in full force, the traditional notion of “border” and “country” is breaking down. As you rightly brought up, digitization carries risks that must be mitigated for the system to work. Something interesting I read recently pertains to chain-block technology, where a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of block records. This mechanism has shown to be resilient to tampering by hackers and may be the solution to transforming paper currency into digital currency?
Mid-18th to early-19th century saw industrialization–the process disrupted and replaced low-skilled labor with engineering might. With the development of artificial intelligence, more low-skilled labor will be inevitably replaced. In fact, bots now crawl data and generate financial news. For example, robo advisers are now helping us make investment decisions. Uber replacing its “partners” with robots is a matter of time. Whilst some posters have expressed concerns over ethics, we mustn’t underplay the number of lives that would be saved because of human error. Furthermore, companies are now combating these challenges by coming up with creative solutions. U.S. Patent No. 9,429,947 describes a mechanism allowing those outside the self-driving car to interact with the path of the car.
I tend to agree with the author that–although wind energy has the potential for further growth–its growth may be impeded without government mandate, especially given the recent low oil price. Off-shore wind farms may make sense in Denmark and Spain, where governments tend to be very supportive of such initiates. In the US, however, wind contributes only a mere 5% of all energy generated–this can be explained, in part, by the strong oil and gas lobbying presence in DC. According to a report compiled by Oil Change International and U.K. based think tank Overseas Development Institute: “[N]ational subsidies to oil, gas and coal producers amount to $20.5 billion annually in the U.S., with almost all of those being received in the form of tax or royalty breaks. Federal subsidies amount to $17.2 billion annually, while subsidies in a number of oil-, gas- and coal-producing states average $3.3 billion annually.” The figures are for 2015 and are expected to grow further in 2016 and onward.
It is much better for a few of these cloud companies to operate big data centers than for every company to operate a small cloud of their own. I agree that investments in energy storage techniques can potentially reduce power consumption. However, one alternative avenue for proceeding may be to carefully design the configuration of the setup of the data center. For example, Oracle, in U.S. Patent No. 9,301,432 (https://www.google.com/patents/US9301432), proposes using a combination of refrigerant, heat exchanger, retractable cap, uneven flooring tiles, and specific electronic component placement configurations to allow cooling whilst minimizing energy consumption. By pushing uneven air (cool and hot air) through the data center, the electronic equipment can be cooled using much less energy.
Thank you for sharing your insights into Hilton Worldwide. I tend to believe that more credit needs to be given to the hospitality industry in general (or, I guess, less fault should be assigned to the industry when it comes environmental issues). While sustainability and service are not necessarily mutually exclusive, it is important to note that service is generally given priority over the environment not because Hilton chooses, but because of the demand imposed by its customers. An important step the industry can take going forward is educating its customers–e.g., you do not need new sheets every day. Furthermore, the hospitality industry can also reduce its carbon footprint by examining human behavior. That is, we are generally satisfied with the default choice. By requiring that customers be explicit when it comes to obtaining new towels, new sheets, and bottled water (or else none of it would be provided), the demand for these tends to fall. Hilton shares some data pertaining to the operations I have just briefly described: http://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/content/NYCMLHH/media/pdf/NYCMLHH_WebGreen4.pdf.
What Jetblue is doing alone may not be sufficient to combat GHG emissions caused by the airline industry. According to IATA, commercial flights are expected to carry 3.6 billion passengers in 2016. The figure is expected to grow to 5 billion in 2020. There must be a push within the industry as a whole to move towards a greener future. Some solutions I believe may be warranted include:
(1) Pressuring airplane manufacturers (including Boeing and Airbus) to create more fuel efficient engines;
(2) Designing more efficient configuration of cabin and storage holding space;
(3) Reducing the number of low-cost carriers;
(4) Imposing additional government taxes on flight tickets to reduce demand; and
(5) Imposing maximum flight speed for commercial speeds.
I am in general agreement with the poster’s position as well as the comments that have already been made.
Some additional thoughts that came across my mind as I reviewed uberpool’s pricing and strategy:
(1) Uberpool journeys tend to last longer than direct trips, which may increase the overall carbon footprint than having separate trips;
(2) Uberpool’s low prices can alter consumer behaviors–some individuals who intended on taking public transportation may be enticed to, instead, take uberpool. This point leads to higher demand for vehicles, which leads to greater congestion, etc.
(3) Uberpool drivers may need to drive around in circles more frequently because their would-be passengers may be in another Uberpool driver’s car.