There Is A World Championship For Excel, PowerPoint, And Word

The New York Post and the Verge wrote about the world championship for Microsoft Office: People who

Hello Stoner Valley

Silicon Valley owes its fortunes to the Technology industry. For Detroit it was the automobile indus

The Markets Will Be Stable Before The Nuclear Apocalypse

Nuclear war with North Korea may be imminent. But the stock market seems relatively stable. Alex Tab


Both Drivers And Passengers Are Gaming Uber’s Surge Pricing

August 3, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Cara McGoogan wrote that there’s very little honour when it comes to Uber’s surge pricing:

  • Uber drivers organize with each other on forums to co-ordinate signing off from the app at the same time to trigger surge pricing.
  • The coordination is mostly seen in urban centers like New York or London.
  • Meanwhile passengers have been found to do things like cross the street to enter an area without surge pricing.
  • Or they’ll simply wait a couple minutes for a new, hopefully lower surge price to trigger.

Read more on The Telegraph.

We May Soon Have Pet Translators

August 1, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

In the future you may be able to hear your dog’s perspective on life wrote Sarah Butler and Hannah Devlin:

  • Prairie dogs – which are rodents not dogs – have been found to have a sophisticated language to describe predators and colours.
  • Some think that other mammals – including pet dogs and cats – may have similarly complex language systems.
  • The same algorithms that have substantially improved human voice recognition could be used on animal noises to see if clear patterns emerge.
  • Others are skeptical. Dog barks can be context specific – but most people are pretty good at figuring out already if a dog’s bark is angry or happy.
  • It might be helpful for young children. They often incorrectly think that a dog baring its teeth is smiling and would like a hug.

Read more on The Guardian.

Pandering To Your Base Is Bad For Elections

July 31, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Sahil Chinoy wrote about political theory:

  • In a study of elections to America’s lower house of parliament, researchers found that candidates with ideologically extreme positions were less successful than moderates.
  • It was long thought that ideological extremists are effective because they energize the base and increase voter turnout for the candidate.
  • However they also alarm the opposing party so much that their turnout goes up – effectively wiping out any gains.
  • The effect holds true for both Democrats and Republicans.
  • A lot of planning is going into America’s next set of Congressional elections in 2018 – the party that aims for moderation is most likely to be successful the authors conclude.

Read the study here.

How Standup Comedians Decide What To Wear For Specials

July 28, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Caitlin Cruz wrote about the fashion choices of standup comedians:

  • A TV standup comedy special can be a comedian’s magnum opus – it can make or break their career and it’ll never disappear. A lot of thinking goes into the onstage presence.
  • It’s important to standout. TV audiences decide in the first five minutes if they want to watch an hour long comedy special. Clothes drive the first impression.
  • Dark shoes are recommended. Lighter ones reflect stage lights and can distract the audience from the comedian’s face – where most of the comedy comes from.
  • For women more casual dress is suggested. Become too fancy and the audience might be more focused on the comedian’s look rather than her words.
  • Clothes can be used to set a tone. Trevor Noah is most frequently associated with the suit he wears for The Daily Show. In his standups he dresses more casually to create a distinction between his roles.
  • Comedians are spoiled for choice. If they’re popular enough to be filming TV specials then designer brands will be throwing free stuff at them in the hopes of free publicity.

Read more on Racked.

Japan’s Elderly Are Redefining Luxury

July 27, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Chris Cooper and Keiko Ujikane examined Japan’s rising luxury market:

  • Japan’s population is ageing and that means a lot of retirees with pensions saved up.
  • The country’s frugal culture means that the average retiree starts with a parting bonus of $210,000.
  • Finally free of a taxing work schedule and family responsibilities the old are looking to have some fun.
  • One company launched a luxury sightseeing tour bus (pictured above) so the aged can visit landmarks in comfort.
  • Another set up in the very heart of Tokyo and started drilling into the earth to build an artificial hot spring.
  • Luxury cruise ships that tour the world over several months can charge as much as $230,000 for a cabin and are selling out immediately.
  • And a 10-carriage sleeper train speeds around Japan with Michelin-starred chefs and a lounge pianist onboard for its 34 passengers.

Read more on Bloomberg.

The Economics Of Beyoncé

July 26, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Beyoncé is the highest paid musician in the world. Amy X. Wang looked into what that meant:

  • In 2016 Beyoncé made an estimated $62.4 million.
  • Almost 90% of this came from her tours.
  • “Just” $1.9 million – 3% – was driven by streaming.
  • This underscores how musicians increasingly have to become good live performers, more than anything else, to make the big bucks.

Read more on Quartz.

Surprise Weddings Are A Thing

July 25, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Alix Strauss wrote about surprise weddings:

  • Instead of going through the pain of planning a wedding some couples surprise guests at their engagement party by telling them it will also be their wedding.
  • On the bright side a lot of money is saved on planning and a lot of stress avoided.
  • Some of the monetary savings are cancelled out by the lack of wedding gifts.
  • The couple may also miss out on experiences like bachelor or bachelorette parties, and bridal showers.
  • But those that have tried it note that it’s a way to get the audience to feel the overwhelming emotion and happiness that the couple to be feel as well.

Read more on The New York Times.

Via: Marginal Revolution

You Can Get Groping Insurance In Japan

July 24, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Channel News Asia wrote about Japan’s subway system:

  • Japan’s rush hour trains are notorious for incidents of sexual harassment.
  • The trains are so packed that it’s hard to know who the true perpetrator is – leading to the potential for the wrong person to get accused.
  • Enter the insurance industry. One company sells a ¥6,400 (US$ 57) “false groping accusation benefit” insurance plan that’ll pay the accused’s legal fees.
  • Use of the policy recently spiked, with the company behind the policy receiving hundreds of claims in the past month.
  • Other attempts to reduce incidents of sexual assault include women only carriages during busy periods.

Read more here.

Forget Fidget Spinners The Next Big Thing In China Is Mini Flame Throwers

July 20, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Neil Connor wrote about the latest fun craze in China: flamethrowers!

  • Small cigarette shaped flamethrowers are being marketed to women as anti-harassment devices.
  • They’re able to generate a stream of fire half a meter long burning at 1,800 degrees Celsius.
  • The pocket devices can cost as little as $12 and are often bought online.
  • The police have made clear that they believe the devices to be illegal. That hasn’t deterred people much.
  • Concerns about personal safety may. It’s possible for them to accidentally become activated in people’s pockets.

Read more on The Telegraph.

Via: Marginal Revolution

The Economics Of Netflix Password Sharing

July 19, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Sharing is caring. Unless you care about the bottom lines of streaming services wrote Ashley Rodriguez:

  • 12% of American adults who use streaming services say they’ve used the password of someone outside their household.
  • Those most likely to do so are between 18 and 24.
  • Using some assumptions, if Netflix cracked down on password sharing, it could make about $391 million more a year.
  • With annual revenues of $8.8 billion this would represent 4.4% growth.
  • Given that Netflix has been growing 20% a year it’s likely not worth it for the streaming service. But if growth slows it’s possible Netflix executives will start looking into it.

Read more on Quartz.