March 23, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Kevin Clark wrote that players in the NFL are increasingly divided into two categories:
- On the face of it it’s a great time to be an NFL player. The salary cap in 2017 is $167 million. A $12 million increase from last year, and almost a $50 million increase since 2011.
- But wealth is increasingly being concentrated in a few elite superstar players – at the expense of the average player.
- The lack of negotiating power is partly due to larger training camps and practice squad rosters – increasing the supply of players while holding demand constant.
- A rookie salary scale which reduced the income of newcomers – in an effort to direct money towards older players – had anchoring effects that changed how much money players expected to receive when they could freely negotiate pay.
- Teams have started including “injury splits” in their contracts for non-elite players. Players don’t get paid if they’re injured. This is estimated to have cost players $28 million in 2015.
- Per game bonuses are a different way to achieve the same goal.
- If a team knows that they’ve made the playoffs, some have started keeping those earning per game bonuses on the bench to save money.
Read all the details on The Ringer.
Via: Marginal Revolution
March 22, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
According to a study reported on by Beth Mole, Doctors – they’re just like us!
- The study found that mortality rates at hospitals decreased by 1.5% during weeks that inspectors that accredit hospitals conducted routine inspections.
- At major teaching hospitals – that have more of a reputation at stake – it was a much starker 5.9% decrease.
- If the gains at elite hospitals could be annualized for an entire year, that’d mean 3,600 fewer dead patients.
- There’s no one single reason for the decrease. It seems like people are just more careful and do a better job overall when someone is watching.
Read ArsTechnica’s full report on the study here. Find the study here.
March 21, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
South Sudan joins Venezuela in struggling with inflation wrote The Economist:
- Last year hyperinflation in South Sudan peaked at more than 50% a month.
- Oil used to produce 99.8% of the world’s newest country’s export revenue – and after prices collapsed the government printed money to pay its debts.
- Food is mostly imported from neighboring countries, and prices have massively jumped contributing to a “near-famine situation”.
- Despite its citizens needing all the help they can get, the government’s latest revenue measure is to raise the cost of work permits for foreign aid workers from $100 per person to $10,000.
Read more on The Economist.
March 20, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
TV writers could do well in the ad industry writes Jessica Wohl:
- In a 2013 episode of the hit show Mad Men, the lead is responsible for creating a marketing campaign for Heinz ketchup.
- Instead of showing the iconic bottle or logo, the fictional character depicted food like French fries and burgers with the tag “pass the Heinz”.
- 2017 is the tenth anniversary of the premiere of the show, and executives thought the idea was worth bringing to life.
- Billboards with photos like the ones above will go up around Times Square, and will be shown in magazines like the New York Post.
- While Heinz wasn’t involved in the making of the show, it got permission from Lionsgate before running the campaign.
Read more on Ad Age.
March 17, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Automated facial recognition is used to tag our social media posts. It could soon make everyday life for international travelers easier, wrote The Economist:
- Currently travelers can be held up in queues waiting to show their passports in five spots: check-in, security, outbound immigration, boarding, and inbound immigration.
- Japan is looking to use facial recognition technology to automatically waive people through in its airports by the time it hosts The Olympics in 2020.
- After France introduced new security measures due to terrorist attacks, airport queues doubled. The country is looking for ways to ease the congestion as well.
- There’s still some ways to go. In 2012 Japan found that the technology failed to identify passengers correctly almost 20% of the time. Though algorithms has made massive strides since then.
- The bigger challenge could be passengers objecting on privacy grounds. But that hasn’t stopped other security measures.
Read more on The Economist.
March 16, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Tkasang and Rodionos delved into publicly available data on American visas between 1997 and 2015:
- The data reflects the international landscape as the US sees it. 82% of Cuban visas were rejected in 2015, while all visa applications from Lictenstein, Monaco, and San Marino were approved.
- It also reflects trends over time. Visa rejections from traditional US allies like Canada and Norway have shot up as the world has become more closed.
- On the other hand Poland’s visa rejection rate decreased by 21% – likely because it joined the European Union.
- In 2015 the United States received a total of 13.5 million visa applications and approved 81% of them.
- The country still earned money from application fees on the visas it rejected. In 2015 this totalled $411 million.
- Mexico and India were responsible for a significant chunk of the rejected visa revenue, bringing in $60 million and $48 million respectively.
Read more on GitHub.
March 15, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Allie Jones looked at what winners and losers of shows like The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette, do after their run comes to an end:
- Contestants of the show aren’t paid for their appearances.
- To capitalize on their nascent star power they have to get moving while the show is on the air, and before a new set of contestants takes away the limelight.
- The first step is to get Instagram. Audiences may not remember your name but they will know your face.
- At the same time you don’t want to seem too eager for fame. After all your primary purpose to be on the show was to find true love.
- Next up is to find brands who will pay you to post photos of yourself with their products. It’s possible to make up to $7,000 a photo this way.
- Feel like your profile is fading after a while? You can keep the reality TV flame burning by getting a spot on Dancing With the Stars, which will even pay you a six figure salary.
- Winners who find their soulmate on the show have other money making opportunities. The most common is to televise the wedding. The couple from the first season of the show earned $1 million this way.
- After that? Televise sessions from couple’s therapy! Two couples have done that. In one instance the therapy show started filming just three months after the wedding.
- Five couples have stayed together long enough to produce children, who look set to become budding social media stars of the future.
Read the full, fascinating article on New York Magazine.
March 14, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Peter Pomerantsev wrote about Russian classes at “Geisha School”:
- In Russia multiple academies have sprung up to teach young attractive women how to become the mistress – ore more – of an oligarch.
- The teachers – who have MBAs – remind students the importance of understanding demand. They encourage the women not to talk about themselves on dates, and instead learn what the other party likes, and change themselves accordingly.
- But how to get a date in the first place? Wear the right clothing, and stand with a map looking lost. Wait for someone in the right type of car to offer you help.
- When you get that date make sure you don’t wear any jewelry and arrive in a beat-up-car. It’s important to make the target feel like they can rescue you, protect you, and give you the world.
- Make sure you never slip up and let them hear the lingo. Men are “Forbeses” – on the Forbes rich list, or sponsors. Girls are “tiolki” – cattle.
- The courses are expensive and can cost $1,000 a week.
- But there are alternatives. Demand for this kind of training is supporting a mini-industry, including self-help books.
- And then there are fixers – glorified pimps – who help buyers and sellers get in touch. One is even a TV celebrity.
Read more on The Daily Beast.
March 13, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Indicators suggest that the launch of the Nintendo Switch has so far been moderately successful. Cassie Murdoch looked at one of the more unconventional ones:
- On Friday, March 3rd, the day of the console’s release, traffic from self-identified gamers to one adult website dropped 15%.
- The next day, Saturday, it dropped 17%. And on Sunday it was down by 13%.
- Moreover searches for adult themed videos of Link and Zelda – the protagonists of the most successful game on the console – were up 164% and 102% respectively.
- Even though the console didn’t launch with a Mario title, searches for the Italian plumber were up, boosted by an overall halo effect for Nintendo characters.
Read more on Mashable.
March 10, 2017 in Daily Bulletin
Morgan Stanley wrote about second hand cars:
- After falling for years there has recently been an increase in deaths from traffic accidents as there are more people using their phones on the road.
- This is likely to accelerate the release of new safety features in cars such as automatic lane alerts and auto-braking, which noticeably reduce accident rates.
- Such snazzy features typically add less than 1% to the price of a car so they could very quickly become the industry standard.
- The used car market is worth about $7 trillion and prices would probably crash as safety conscious consumers gravitate away from cars without common protection features.
- Driving a car without those features could begin to incur insurance penalties, further making such vehicles unattractive.
- Whereas before used cars might drop 20% in price, an industry wide shift on standard features could see them fall by up to 50%.
- This will have knock-on impacts on industries built to serve the second-hand car market such as loan financing and vehicle servicing.
- On the bright side there’ll be less death.
Read more on Morgan Stanley.