There are currently 2,208 billionaires in the world, twice the number since the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Most of them are from North America and Europe. They currently have more wealth than ever before, according to a new report from Oxfam International. The combined wealth of the richest 26 among these 2,208 billionaires reached US$1.4 trillion. This amount of wealth is equivalent to the total wealth of the planet’s 3.8 billion poorest people. That means that only 26 individuals have as much wealth as 3.8 billion people. Let that sink in.
Many decisions that affect your life are now dictated by the interpretation of your data profile rather than personal interactions. And it’s not just about advertising banners influencing the brand of the soap you buy—the same mechanics of profiling users and targeting messages apply to political campaigns and visa applications as much as supermarket metrics. When advertising looks like news and news look like entertainment, all types of content are profiled on the basis of your data.
Interestingly, the quarterly lobbying disclosure filings not only reveal how much the companies spent on their lobbying efforts, they also provide us with information on which issues these efforts are related to. Take Google for example: in the past quarter, the search giant spent $4.9 million on lobbying with respect to issues ranging from regulation of online advertising and immigration of highly skilled individuals to copyright law, tax issues and trade policy. For additional information please refer to the official database.
Save our minds by saving the world (John J.)
I have just returned from a two-week holiday in Tasmania with my family. One of the national park rangers on the Tasman Peninsula told us how 15 years ago he was a fisherman operating near Fortescue Bay catching a variety of fish including barracuda.
In the past 12 years most of the fish have disappeared because of habitat destruction – a 2 Celsius rise in the average seawater temperature has killed most of the giant kelp forest, which had provided the breeding grounds for many of the fish species.
A team of scientists led by the pharmaceutical company Cortexyme found “strong evidence” of a link between Alzheimer’s and Porphyromonas gingivalis, the key bacteria in gum disease, University of Louisville researcher Jan Potempa said.
In Yield10’s 2018 Field Tests, the C3003 Gen 2.0 yield trait was tested for the first time in canola. The best C3003 Gen 2.0 canola lines showed an increase in seed yield of 11% as compared to control plants, a statistically significant outcome. In C3003 Gen 2.0 canola plants, the weight of an individual seed (measured using 1000 seeds) was similar to control plants, an expected outcome using the Gen 2.0 version of the C3003 trait.
As the climate changes, scientists know that there will be more years of extreme weather. That means extreme droughts, followed by years of heavier than normal rainfall, will become more likely. Dr. Gentine and his colleagues wondered if those conditions would balance out.
Coming from a different approach, the startup BeeHero aims to help bees do what they do best by monitoring the health of the hive itself. The startup has partnered with three of the largest commercial beekeepers in the U.S. to put simple IoT sensors into beehives to monitor more than 25 different factors (humidity, Colony Collapse Disorder, no queen, and so on). This methodology can predict hive issues before colonies are destroyed.
Gold & Silver
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