Surge Pricing Comes To The Restaurant Industry

An elite London restaurant is experimenting with surge pricing wrote Richard Vines: The Bob Bob Rica

People Are Using Ubers Instead Of Ambulances

Brad Jones wrote about an unexpected healthcare cost reduction method: Getting into an ambulance can

Why Have A President When You Can Have A Monarch?

Leslie Wayne wrote about today’s monarchists: The International Monarchist League argues that


Samsung Would Love To See The iPhone X Succeed

October 11, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Apple’s arch-rival in the mobile world, Samsung, is hoping Apple’s $1,000 offering will succeed wrote Timothy W. Martin and Tripp Mickle:

  • Samsung supplies several components – such as screens and memory chips – for Apple’s devices.
  • In fact, Samsung makes more money from Apple’s iPhones than it does from Samsung’s own flagship, the Galaxy S8.
  • Half of Samsung’s operating profit – which totals $25.6 billion a year – is thought to be driven by Apple’s business.
  • Samsung has put safeguards in place to avoid conflicts of interest. It has three CEOs which helps create a firewall between the component and Galaxy business. The latter buys parts from the former as if they were separate entities.
  • Apple is looking to reduce its reliance on its rival by diversifying its suppliers.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal.

Airports Are Outsourcing Their Control Towers

October 10, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist wrote about the control tower outsourcing business:

  • Instead of having an elevated air traffic control tower some airports are opting to install cameras that transmit video to a low-rise office building several hundreds of kilometers away.
  • The system can boost safety. Cameras including infrared ones allow operators to see what typical control towers can’t. And remote centers can do things like zoom on video or project augmented reality displays with distance approach counters.
  • The system cuts costs. Airports no longer need to build elevated tower structures. And a single remote center could control multiple airfields.
  • Some regional airfields don’t have any kind of landing control. Instead pilots keep a sharp eye and state their landing plans to other planes in the area on an open radio line. Such airfields could now afford to have air traffic control.
  • Nordic populations scattered across isolated settlements have been the primary benefactors of the system.
  • But other, larger airports are being targeted. Operators initially make inroads by selling it as a contingency tower in case of emergency.
  • There are fail safes if the remote towers ever go offline. In the future a network of them could act as each others’ fail safes.

Read more on The Economist.

Why Steve Mnuchin And Gary Cohn…Struggle To Sell The Republican Tax Plan

October 9, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Daniel Gross suggested an intriguing explanation for why President Trump and the Republican Administration have struggled to sell their tax plan:

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn played a key part in developing the tax plan and are now explaining it to the American people.
  • They…haven’t done the best job selling it.
  • Both previously worked at Goldman Sachs and the problem might just be that they weren’t senior enough.
  • CEOs are the public face of a company, and need to be charismatic in the face of hostile questions from investors, regulators, journalists, and other stake holders.
  • Previous Goldman Sachs CEOs – like Robert Rubin who served under Clinton, and Hank Paulson who served under Bush Jr., did a lot better, probably because they had more experience dealing with a skeptical public.
  • Mnuchin and Cohn were more behind the scenes dealmakers at Goldman and so didn’t necessarily develop the charisma their roles could use.

Read more on Slate.

What Happens When The President Takes An Interest In Your Band

October 6, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

In 2015 a largely unknown band found that they had made the cut for President Obama’s summer Spotify playlist. Alex Garofalo chronicled what happened next:

  • There was a sudden surge of interest as journalists asked to interview the band.
  • On Spotify the band saw a 18,113% surge in listening.
  • Yet there were few tangible outputs. There was no bump in album sales. And no noticeable increase in live show attendance.
  • The increased Spotify attention is great for the pockets of record companies…typically less so for the actual band.
  • It did earn the band a short meeting with the President though.
  • And it might’ve resulted in at least one extra sale – Obama asked the band to let him know when they release their next album.

Read more on Thrillist.

Threat Of Nuclear Incineration Apparently Puts A Damper On Olympic Ticket Sales

October 5, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The 2018 Winter Olympics are set to be held right next to the North Korean border wrote Steve Mollman:

  • North Korea’s recent nuclear showmanship seems to coincide with moments when their actions will receive maximum attention – during international conferences or American long weekends.
  • What better way to get noticed than to engage in mischief during the winter Olympics – to be held in a border town of South Korea, just 80km from the heavily militarized line of control.
  • Alarmingly it doesn’t look like North Korea will send any athletes to compete – erasing a major disincentive to threaten military strikes during the event.
  • The games were awarded to South Korea back in 2014, when things on the peninsula seemed more stable.
  • The tickets didn’t go on sale until recently though – and early sales have been disappointing. Only 230,000 have been sold – and organizers are starting to get creative with discounts.
  • Organizers prefer not to think about athletes potentially pulling out due to safety concerns.

Read more on Quartz.

The Economics Of American Football Injuries

October 4, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

The injuries borne by players of American football have attracted the scrutiny of economists wrote Gina Kolata:

  • Researchers found that without contact football there would be 50,000 fewer injuries in college alone. In high school the number would be 600,000.
  • High school athletes have more injuries because there are a greater number of them, they’re less skilled, and they have less experienced coaching staff supporting them.
  • College injuries cost society at least $1.5 billion a year, while high school ones cost $19.2 billion.
  • This includes the direct costs of the injury – indirect ones like living with long-term pain because of ligament damage, or the heightened risk of arthritis aren’t included in the estimate.
  • Insurers are starting to take note and have begun driving costs up so high that many schools are considering abandoning the sport entirely.
  • There is an increasing number of parents who wouldn’t want their child participating in a sport where television producers on the professional level use parabolic mikes to capture the sound of heads cracking.

Read more on The New York Times.

Via: Marginal Revolution

Twitter Needs Donald Trump More Than The Reverse

October 3, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Trump relies on Twitter. But not as much as Twitter relies on the President according to an analyst covered by Jeran Wittenstein:

  • Twitter currently has a market capitalization of $12.5 billion.
  • According to one analyst $2 billion of that is because Donald Trump is on the platform.
  • If he were to leave the concern isn’t an exodus of users – it’s the free advertising that would stop once journalists stop covering – and mentioning – his Twitter posts.
  • As it stands the company hasn’t made the best use of the attention – it still has fewer users than the younger, Trump-less Snapchat.

Read more on Bloomberg.

Costume Predictions For Halloween 2017

October 2, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Pinterest delved into the photos its users were saving to predict this year’s most popular Halloween costumes. Marc Bain reported:

  • With both the Academy Award winning La La Land, and the live action Beauty and The Beast prominently featuring yellow dresses, expect gold to be the colour of the season.
  • But Halloween is meant to be about horror, and the success of Stephen King’s It is expected to bring multitudes of clowns on the streets.
  • For something a little less frightening expect costumes from Netflix’s Stranger Things – the second season of which will drop on October 27.
  • Wonder Woman might bring DC it’s most significant Halloween mindshare since The Dark Knight’s Joker took the season by storm a decade ago.
  • Yet another strong Game of Thrones season is expected to drive many couples to dabble in incest themed Westerosi fashion.

Read more on Quartz.

Legalized Marijuana Is A Boon For Fast Food Restaurants

September 29, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

There’s a whole new meaning to happy meal wrote Cynthia Salarizadeh.

  • A study found that in states where marijuana has been legalized (it remains a federal crime) 43% of buyers went onto visit a McDonald’s afterwards.
  • Taco Bell was the next most popular destination with 18% going onto visit one.
  • These rates are significantly higher than the general population.
  • Marijuana is known to create food cravings.
  • McDonald’s is probably the most popular destination due to its ubiquity.

Read more on Green Market Report.

Toy Stores Are Doing Just Fine Thank You Very Much

September 28, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection. Ironic since, if done right, operating a profitable toy store is child’s play wrote Abha Bhattarai:

  • Neighbourhood toy stores are seeing steady growth even as the big players are floundering.
  • Smaller stores offer a more intimate experience and have toys strewn about that kids can try and play with.
  • They hold community events and competitions which can make a visit to the toy store a playground like social experience.
  • Since kids aren’t always old enough to use computers shopping from places like Amazon doesn’t appeal to them.
  • Niche toy stores train their staff better. Some are amateur child psychologists – parents will tell them that their child hates to lose, and the attendant may recommend co-operative games.
  • Smaller industry players can, paradoxically, have a wider selection. Some toymakers refuse to sell to industry giants, and exclusively sell to boutique stores.

Read more on The Washington Post.