Economist 8/7/14

  1. The traditional approach to tracking involves sending a tracking code, stored in a small file called a “cookie”, to a web browser when a website is first visited. Marketers have therefore developed cleverer ways to store the tracking code using so-called “evercookies, which hide the code in various virtual nooks and crannies that exist in modern web browsers. If a user deletes a cookie, an evercookie script can then recreate it. The latest variety of evercookie exploits the “canvas” element, a feature of modern web browsers that enables them to display complex graphics, images and type.
  2. Above all, the web will do more to make prostitution safer than any law has ever done.Personal websites mean prostitutes can market themselves and build their brands. Review sites bring trustworthy customer feedback to the commercial-sex trade for the first time.Prohibition, whether partial or total, has been a predictable dud. It has singularly failed to stamp out the sex trade. Although prostitution is illegal everywhere in America except Nevada, old figures put its value at $14 billion annually nationwide; surely an underestimate. More recent calculations in Britain, where prostitution is legal but pimping and brothels are not, suggest that including it would boost GDP figures by at least £5.3 billion ($8.9 billion).The failure of prohibition is pushing governments across the rich world to try a new tack: criminalising the purchase of sex instead of its sale. Sweden was first, in 1999, followed by Norway, Iceland and France; Canada is rewriting its laws along similar lines.
  3. Recreational scuba enthusiasts stay above depths of about 30 metres, and technical divers using helium mixtures are limited to about 100 metres. For extreme depths, divers need an Atmospheric Dive Suit (ADS), a human-shaped submarine in which the operator is protected from water pressure by a hard shell.But rather than hands, they still have lobster-like claws called prehensors; the dexterity and freedom of movement of the human hand has been impossible to maintain under the enormous pressures of the deep.Now Bhargav Gajjar, of Vishwa Robotics in Brighton, Massachusetts, has demonstrated the Vishwa Extensor, an underwater grasper for ADSs that gives divers true underwater hands, thanks to a complex arrangement of actuators specially adapted to the pressures of the deep.Now Bhargav Gajjar, of Vishwa Robotics in Brighton, Massachusetts, has demonstrated the Vishwa Extensor, an underwater grasper for ADSs that gives divers true underwater hands, thanks to a complex arrangement of actuators specially adapted to the pressures of the deep.
  4. In July 2013 Spike Lee set about raising $1,250,000 on Kickstarter to make “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus”—a film that has yet to be released.Mr Lee exceeded his goal, raising over $1.4m from over 6,000 backers in 30 days.
  5. Barack Obama  argued that bosses have not given him due credit for running the economy well. The president’s strongest card is macroeconomic policy (see chart). Mr Obama points to such measures as high stockmarket values, record corporate profits and job growth.The main complaints from business are threefold. First, Mr Obama rarely misses a chance to cast them as the bad guys.The second element is more personal. In face-to-face meetings, the White House’s starting point is contempt.The third complaint is over-regulation. Businesses moan that the White House has become a red-tape machine.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s