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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年09月16日 06:50:42
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THE reanimation of Americarsquo;s housing market has been a long time coming. Residential building last contributed positively to growth in 2005. Housing-construction employment has dropped 43% since then. Government efforts to resuscitate the market have flopped. Yet tantalising signs of a durable recovery are emerging at last. The National Association of Home Buildersrsquo; index of builder confidence rose for a fifth consecutive month in February, to its highest level since May 2007 (see chart). Sales of previously-owned homes rose 4.3% from December to January. The housing overhang is receding. The number of homes for sale dropped 21% in the year to January, to just over six months of supply;a ;normal; level.美国翘首以盼房屋市场复苏等得脖子都长了。房屋市场把最后的一点力量贡献给了2005年的经济增长,随后,房屋建造业的就业率就下降了43%。政府在拯救房屋市场的努力也懈怠了,好在耐用品市场最终显示出好转迹象。2月份房屋建造业协会的建设者信心指数迎来连续第5个月增长,达到了2007年5月份以来的最高水平(见图表)。1月份二手房销售比去年12月份上涨了4.3%,未售房产库存量也有所下降。今年1月份,待售房屋数量下降21%稍稍多于半年的房屋供应量;;一个;正常;水平。The recovery is an odd one by American standards, centred on the rental market. Though house prices sank 4% in 2011, rents posted a 2.4% increase, thanks to tumbling vacancy rates. Tight conditions are a side-effect of the housing bust. Construction hit a record low in 2011, surpassing a 2010 performance which itself displaced rsquo;s. The pressure from Americarsquo;s growing population is now showing. Builders are responding. The number of new building permits jumped 19% in the year to January. Approvals for buildings with five or more units, which are favoured by renters, soared by 61%.这一主要在房屋租赁市场的复苏现象以美国标准来看是比较奇怪的。虽然房价在2011年减少了4%,房屋租金却因为缩水的房屋闲置率涨了2.4%。房市泡沫的一个副作用就是用地紧张。房屋建造业自年成绩一路下滑,最后在2011年跌入谷底。美国人口增长的压力现在开始显现出来,施工人员回应道。今年1月份新房建造许可的数量上升19%。深受承租人青睐的有5个或更多单间的房屋建造许可数量一下蹿了61%。Meanwhile, adults who sheltered with friends or family during the recession are striking out on their own. A Goldman Sachs analysis reckons that growth in new households has been some 50% short of trend since the recession began, with over half of the shortfall coming from those aged 18-34. Goldman reckons the worst is over, and that the young should soon add to new housing demand.与此同时,在大萧条时期和家人或朋友一起住的人也开始搬出去自己住。高盛投资的一位分析师称,在大萧条时期开始后新家庭的增长速度下降了有一半,这50%中有超过一半是18-34岁之间的年轻人造成的。高盛称低潮已经过去,那些年轻人马上就有购买新房的需求了。Those rising rents make buying a bargain: as attractive as it has been for three decades, according to the National Association of Realtorsrsquo; index of housing affordability. Stocks of homes for sale are falling as investors snap up and convert vacant homes for renting out. Were it practical, mused Warren Buffett recently, he would buy up ;a couple of hundred thousand; homes.据国家房产经纪人协会的住房购买力指数显示,租金的上涨让购买新房相对便宜:可以说是30年来魅力不减。由于投资商抢购空房并转手出租,待售房库存量下降。最近沃伦bull;巴菲特思考道,这样做是否有效,因为他要把数十万的空房都买下来。Yet despite this good news, housing finance is frail as ever. Lending rose in the fourth quarter of 2011, but stuck at the lowest level since 2000 for the year as a whole. The market is still working off sickly loans. New delinquencies are down sharply from 2008, yet more than 0 billion in home loans became delinquent in the fourth quarter of last year. More trouble lies ahead. Over 10m borrowers owe more than the value of their home. Banks are wary of new mortgages;and losses;while prices are falling. The Federal Reserversquo;s Senior Loan Officer Survey suggests that lending standards remain higher than at the height of the recession.不过,撇开这个好消息,住房信贷依旧虚弱如前。虽说房屋贷款在2011年第四季度上涨,但以全年整体水平来看,却是自2000年以来的最低水平。更多的麻烦还在前面等着呢。超过1千万名贷款买房者欠下的债比他们的房子的资产还要多。在房价走低的时候,对新按揭;;和损失处理得小心翼翼。美联储高级信贷人员调查显示,借贷标准比大萧条时期达到的高点还要高。Washington remains behind the curve. Fearing for its finances, the Federal Housing Administration is increasing fees on mortgages it insures, which account for roughly a third of all new bank loans. A typical borrowerrsquo;s loan costs may rise by just a month, yet American Banker, a financial-services daily, suggests the rise could cut lending by billions of dollars. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is moving only slowly to pack foreclosed-on homes into bunches to be sold to investors for renting out. Thanks to those renters, the worst may be over. But it will be years before the mortgage market fully recovers.美国政府还没有跟上形势。因为担心现在的财政状况,联邦住房抬高了担保按揭贷款的费用,大约占新的贷款的三分之一。一个典型的贷款者每月需要还的房贷可能会上涨5美元,不过,金融类日报《美国家》称,还贷量增加可缩减数十亿美元的借贷。联邦住房金融署磨磨蹭蹭地把止赎房屋收回并卖给投资商,让他们转租出去。多亏那些租房者,最困难的坎儿似乎度过去了,但是想让按揭市场完全好转过来还需要很长时间。201203/173553

Immortality永生For ever and ever追求永生Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilisation.《永生:对长命百岁的追求及这是如何影响文明》IMMORTALITY is an age-old obsession. Plenty of literature deals with the subject, from the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamish to the poems of Homer and the writings of the Old Testament. The quest to live for ever has motivated medieval alchemists, modern techno-Utopians and mystics through the centuries.永生是人们亘古不变的追求。不论是苏美尔人的《《吉尔迦美什史诗》,还是荷马的诗歌,亦或是《旧约》,大量的文学作品都以此为主题。历经了数个世纪,人们都追求着永生,这种观点激励着中世纪炼金术士,现代的技术乌托邦主义者,神秘主义者。In his survey of the subject, Stephen Cave, a British philosopher, argues that man’s various tales of immortality can be boiled down into four basic “narratives”. The first is the simplest, in theory at least: do what the medieval alchemists never managed and discover an elixir to simply avoid dying. The second concerns resurrection, or coming back to life after dying, a belief found in all three of the Abrahamic religions. The idea of an immaterial soul that can persist through death dates back, in a formal form, at least to Plato, and forms Mr Cave’s third narrative. His fourth narrative deals with immortality through achievement, by becoming so famous that one’s name lives on through the ages.英国哲学家史蒂芬?凯夫在他对这一问题的调查中指出,关于永生的各种传说都可以归为四类“说法”。第一种在理论上至少是最简单的:完成中世纪炼金术士的遗愿,即发明一种长生不老药;第二种是复活,即死而复生,这种信仰普遍存在于三个亚拉伯罕宗教(基督教、犹太教和伊斯兰教)中;第三种是人们认为无形的灵魂能够穿越死亡,这种理念的正式形态,至少可以追溯回柏拉图时代。第四种是通过取得成就获得永生,即让自己名垂千古。For the aspiring undying, Mr Cave unfortunately concludes that immortality is a mirage. But his demolition project is fascinating in its own right. The section on the soul is an able attack on the related doctrines of “vitalism”, the soul and mind-body dualism—the intuitive and still widely held body of ideas that hold that living creatures are animated by some sort of supernatural spark, and that an individual’s personality or consciousness can survive death. The chapters on resurrection will interest Christians, as Mr Cave examines how the literal recreation, by God, of dead people’s bodies remains the doctrine of most branches of Christianity. The idea of one’s soul, as opposed to one’s body, ending up in heaven or hell is a subsequent embellishment.对向往长生不老的人而言遗憾的是,凯夫做出了一个结论:永生是种幻想。不过就事论事,他对此的的确很吸引人。调查中,关于灵魂的部分对与之相关的“生机论”教义做了有力的攻击,即灵魂与身心二元论——这是一种非常直接,且许多人都相信的思想,他们认为某种超自然的力量赋予了生物生命,一个人的人格及意识能够超越死亡而存在。基督徒会对凯夫探讨复活的章节感兴趣,因为他探讨了上帝重造已死者的肉体这一点是怎样一直做为各基督教派的教义保留下来的。人们认为,一个人的灵魂,不同于其躯体,它终会上天堂或是下地狱,则是在该思想(上帝可以重造肉体)之后才发展出来的一种修饰。If anything, ers might want more of Mr Cave’s crisp conversational prose. There could be more on living longer; Mr Cave barely has time to give even the briefest overview of the emerging science of life extension, which has allowed researchers to lengthen the lifespans of mice by a third or more in the lab.如果凯夫与其他调查有和不同的话,那便是读者也许想读到更多他的干净利索的对话式散文。有关延长寿命的章节可以再长一些,但凯夫几乎没时间对当今研究长寿的科学做一个最简洁的概述。这种科学使得科研者们将实验室里小白鼠的寿命延长了三分之一或更多。There are a few quibbles. Mr Cave’s repeated claim that the quest for immortality drives every human activity feels overdone. Others might dispute his definition of immortality itself. Mr Cave’s chief argument against the desirability of living for ever (even assuming it is possible) is the familiar one of boredom. As the uncountable billions of years tick away, the argument runs, even the most vivacious will come to realise that they have done everything there is to do, hundreds of times. With yet more billions of years looming ahead they will be struck down with a debilitating ennui.不过,凯夫的调查还是存在小瑕疵。他一直宣称,对永生的追求主导了人类所有活动,这未免让人觉得有些夸大。他对于永生自身的定义还存在争议。对于长生的好处(姑且认为这是可能的),凯夫最主要的辩驳观点是人们非常熟悉的:厌烦。该论点认为:随着数十亿年逐渐过去,即使是最有活力的人/永生者也会慢慢意识到自己已经做完了所有可做的事,而且每一件都做了不下数百次了。未来还有数十亿年要面对,这些永生者将会感到一种压倒一切的无聊感。That argument only applies if these notional immortals are also invincible, and therefore impervious to accident. But that is an odd definition, and not one that crops up very often, especially in scientific research into ageing. The holy grail there is simply to arrest the ageing process. Indeed, Mr Cave es an actuary who has estimated that the average “medical immortal” would persist for around 6,000 years before dying in a plane accident or a car crash or the like. And besides, boredom seems to be a non-problem: after all, if an immortal does ever get truly bored of his vastly extended life, there would be nothing to prevent him from ending it.只有在这些所谓的永生者也是所向无敌,因此不受任何事故伤害时,上述论点才能成立。不过这是个奇怪的定义,并非时不时冒出来的,尤其是在研究衰老的科研中。圣杯只是为了阻止衰老。的确,凯夫引用了一位精算师的话,据那位精算师估计,一个“医学上永生”的人平均大约可以活6000年,不过最终他会死于坠机,撞车等事故。另外,这种厌烦似乎不是问题:别忘了,若一个获得永生的人实在厌烦了自己没完没了的生命,什么也阻止不了他将其结束。201205/183793

  

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  FOR four years New York was adrift. When Eliot Spitzer, a crusading lawyer, became governor in 2007, his uncompromising ways caused political gridlock in Albany, the state capital. Just over a year later, he was caught frolicking with a prostitute and resigned. His successor, David Paterson, was affable enough, but too weak to push the state legislature to balance the books. When Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat like his predecessors, handily won the 2010 governorrsquo;s race on a promise to ;rebuild the government, restore competence, restore trust, [and] get the people of this state believing once again;, New Yorkers gave a cynical snort.近四年来,纽约的政局并不稳定。2007年,时任州长艾略特?斯皮策,他律师出身,作风凌厉,毫不妥协。这种做法曾让纽约州首府奥尔巴尼一度陷入政治僵局。且任职仅一年多,斯皮策就陷入招妓门事件,辞去了州长职务。民主党人大卫?帕特森继任,他亲和有余,力度不足,无力推动纽约州立法机构平衡财政收。同为民主党人的安德鲁?科莫,于2010年参加州长竞选,并轻松取胜。他承诺要;重建政府,重塑能力,重拾信任,让州民能够再次相信政府;。纽约民众曾对此不以为然。But Mr Cuomo has had an extraordinary year. In the first six months of his term he could point to three historic achievements. First, he balanced the budget: not only bringing spending under control;filling a billion hole and nudging the public-sector unions to make concessions worth 0m;but putting mechanisms in place to control spending in future. He even got the cantankerous legislature to agree. In June Mr Cuomo brought in a cap on property taxes, in a state which the Tax Foundation ranks as the sixth-most-taxed in the country. Robert Ward of the Rockefeller Institute called it ;the biggest change in New Yorkrsquo;s fiscal policy since the creation of Medicaid;, almost 50 years ago.但科莫继任一年来,政绩斐然,任期前半年便取得三大有历史意义的成就。首先,他平衡了纽约的财政收,填补了100亿美元的财政漏洞,并促使公共机构的工会做出了4.5亿美元的让步。此举不仅使当前的财政花销得到控制,而且使相关部门机构各司其职,以控制今后的花销。更为难得的是,他甚至征得了一向刁钻苛刻的立法机构的同意。六月,科莫引入财产税上限政策,此前按税务基金会的统计,纽约州的税收排名全国第六。洛克菲勒政府研究所副所长罗伯特?沃德称此项政策为继50年前;创立lsquo;医疗补助计划rsquo;后,纽约财政政策的巨变;。Then, also in June, Mr Cuomo signed a bill legalising same-sex marriage, having worked hard to drive the bill through the Republican-controlled state Senate. In December he got bipartisan backing to change the income-tax code, which he says will generate .9 billion in additional revenue for the state. It sets in place the lowest tax rate for the middle class in 58 years, while;according to Mr Cuomorsquo;s opponents and the Manhattan Institute;leaving the tax burden on the richest at its highest level since 1986.其次,科莫还于六月签署法案,将同性婚姻合法化,并全力推动该法案通过由共和党掌控的州参议院。十二月份,他获得两党持,修改个税法条款。科莫称此举将会为纽约州带来19亿美元的附加收入。新条款将中产阶级的税率降至58年以来的最低点。曼哈顿研究所和科莫的竞争对手们称,如此一来,课税负担便落在了富人肩上,富人的纳税金额将升至自1986年以来的最高水平。Still, most New Yorkers are not upset with him. Indeed, they rate him very highly. He learnt much about Albany politics at the knee of his father, Mario, a former governor. He is clever and determined. His most noticeable flaw is his arrogance, which he has tried to keep in check, but which slipped out in November when he remarked: ;I am the government.;但是大多数的纽约民众并没有因此对科莫不满,反而对他给予很高的评价。科莫的父亲马里奥?科莫是前纽约州长,科莫从小受父亲熏陶,谙熟奥尔巴尼政事。因此他更加机敏,更加坚定。他最明显的缺点是其傲慢的态度,虽然他竭力控制但还是在十一月的一次演讲中说漏了嘴,一句;我就是政府;令众人哗然。In that case, his cockiness was accurate. There is not much transparency in how he is getting the results, notes Gerald Benjamin of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Disappointingly, it is still three men (Mr Cuomo, the assembly Speaker and the Senate president) in a room making all the decisions.科莫的傲慢由此可见一斑。新帕尔茨纽约州立大学院长杰拉尔德?本杰明指出,科莫制定政策的透明度并不高。令人失望的是,做决定的仍然是州长、州众议员院长和州参议院议长三个人。 201202/170233Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.近来吧,到我的客厅来,蜘蛛对苍蝇说道。At least thats usually the way it goes. In most showdowns between spiders and flies, the odds weigh heavily in the spiders favor. Today, however, well look at a few species of fly that manage to turn the tables on their eight legged foes.至少这种情形经常发生。在蜘蛛与苍蝇的较量中,蜘蛛的胜算占多数。今天,我们将会观察几种苍蝇,看它们是如何成功反击,打败那八条腿的敌人?When many spiders capture a fly, they dont eat it right away. Instead, they poison the fly and wrap it in silk. They leave this silk-wrapped package for later consumption, just the way you store food in your pantry instead of eating it all right there at the supermarket.许多蜘蛛捕获到一只苍蝇时,并不立即把它吃掉。相反它们会给苍蝇注射毒液,吐出蛛丝将其团团围住。它们留着苍蝇包裹晚点再享用。正如你逛完超市后把食品储存在食品柜里,而不是立刻就吃掉一样。Imagine yourself as a fly passing a web full of these wrapped-up dead flies. You might imagine youd be frightened by the spectacle of your comrades, wrapped up like so many Hostess Twinkies. Not so for the Microphorus crassipes. This fly species sees a spiders larder as a golden opportunity. Indeed, it gets most of its food by stealing these silk-wrapped packages--very carefully of course--from spiders.假想自己是一只苍蝇,正飞过挂满这种死苍蝇包裹的蛛网。你也许会被同伴们壮烈的惨象吓到。但是对Microphorus crassipes而言,却并不会如此。这种苍蝇视蜘蛛的储物柜为绝好的机会。确实,它通过偷取这些包裹来获取大部分食物,当然它也会十分小心地提防蜘蛛。Another type of fly found worldwide, called Robber Flies, take this thieving concept one step further. Instead of just stealing the spiders food, certain robber flies go after the spider itself. Robber flies have been seen snatching a spider off of the ground, carrying it away, and eating it.世界上另一种苍蝇——食虫虻,更进一步地发扬了这种偷盗概念。它不仅偷取蛛网上的食物,还跟踪蜘蛛。有人见过食虫虻将蜘蛛打翻在地,将其拖走食之。Even worse news for spiders: Theres a whole family of flies--the Small Headed flies--whose larvae actually develop inside a spiders body. These fly larvae burrow into a passing spider, then proceed to eat the spider from the inside out. Spider or fly, fly or spider. Betting on the spider isnt always a sure thing. 还有更令人发指的消息:有一种小头苍蝇,它们整个家族的幼虫都是在蜘蛛体内发育成熟的。这种幼虫趁蜘蛛走过时钻入其体内,接着就一点点由内到外吃掉蜘蛛。蜘蛛还是苍蝇,苍蝇还是蜘蛛,赌蜘蛛赢也不见得总是对的。原文译文属! 201207/189235

  

  During the space shuttles third flight, back in nineteen eighty two, astronauts Jack Lousma and C. Gordon Fullerton saw something remarkable. Above the tail of the shuttle, where there should have been empty space, they saw a faint orange glow instead, flickering with ghostly light. Was the space shuttle haunted? What was going on?时光倒转回1982年,在宇航员杰克·洛思马和查尔斯·戈尔登·福勒顿进行第三次航天飞行时,他们看到了惊奇的一幕。在飞机尾部原应是空白的地方,出现了微弱的橙色辉光,诡异地扑闪着。难道航天飞机上也闹鬼?这到底是怎么回事?To understand this phenomenon, known as ;shuttle glow,; you should know something about the region of space where the shuttle orbits. NASA shuttles stay in low Earth orbit, which is generally about a hundred and seventy miles above the Earths surface. At that height, the atmosphere has tapered away to almost nothing--less than a billionth of the pressure it is at ground level--but there are still gasses there. Indeed, low Earth orbit is well within the ionosphere, a major part of our atmosphere.为了弄清楚“航天飞机辉光”这一现象,有一点你应该注意到,那就是航天飞机飞行轨道所在的区域。美航局的飞机飞行时,一般保持在近地轨道上,即距离地表一百七十英里的地方。在这样的高度,大气程锥形逐渐减少——大气压力比地表的十亿分之一还小——但这里仍然有空气存在。实际上,近地轨道基本被电离层覆盖。而电离层是大气的重要组成部分。The thin gasses of the ionosphere rush past the space shuttle at about five miles per second, forming a very fast, very thin wind. This wind is so thin youd never be able to feel it, even if you stuck your head out the space shuttle window the way a dog sticks its head out a moving car. The wind causes two things to happen.飞机以每秒5英里的速度驶过之后,电离层稀薄的空气就会形成一股快速流动的细风。人类无法感觉到这种细风,即使你将头伸到飞机窗外(像一样将头伸出飞速行驶的汽车)也感觉不到。这种细风会引起两件事情。First, it erodes the surfaces of some materials.The erosion is slight, but it can be significant for camera lenses or other sensitive equipment. Second, the shuttles surface can scoop up atoms from this wind, and these atoms can undergo chemical reactions. One reaction, involving nitrogen and oxygen, can produce a luminous orange glow. And thats what the astronauts saw. It wasnt a ghost--it was shuttle glow.第一,它会侵蚀一些材料的表面。这种轻微的侵蚀用照相机或者其它敏感的设备看很明显。第二,航天飞机的表面会从细风中捕获原子,并且这些原子能发生化学反应。有一种氮和氧的反应就能产生明亮的橙色辉光。这就是宇航员所看到的光。它不是鬼火,而是辉光。原文译文属!201209/200518

  Business商业E-ers电子书Turning the page翻开新篇章Microsoft and Barnes amp; Noble write their own love story微软公司与巴诺公司握手言和,共谱传奇LAST July Barnes amp; Noble gave a presentation to the antitrust division of Americas Department of Justice. In slide after slide, the bookseller laid into Microsoft. The software giant, it thundered, was guilty of ;anti-competitive behaviour; in demanding royalties from makers of mobile devices (such as the Nook, Barnes amp; Nobles e-er) that used Android, Googles open-source mobile operating system. The bookseller sniffed that Microsoft owned only ;trivial; patents and reminded the department of the software companys past trespasses against competition.去年七月,美国图书零售商巴诺公司为联邦司法部的反垄断局做过一次演讲。随着幻灯片逐张翻过,巴诺公司指责微软公司的意图也显露了出来。在指责中,软件巨头微软公司被认为通过;垄断性;战略强迫向移动设备制造收取版权税。使用了谷歌开源系统——安卓系统的产品都在受影响之列,其中就包括巴诺公司的电子阅读器Nook。不过这个图书零售公司也敏锐的发现微软公司持有的都是些;无足轻重的;专利,他们通过演讲让司法部门想起了微软公司过去竞争中表现出的侵略性行为。Nine months later, the bookworms and the geeks are the best of friends. On April 30th Barnes amp; Noble said it was creating a subsidiary, called NewCo for now, into which it would put Nook and its ;college; business, which has 641 bookshops on American campuses. Microsoft is putting up 0m for 17.6% of NewCo. People will be able to buy and e-books through a Nook application for Windows 8, a new incarnation of Microsofts operating system that is due to appear in a few months. Microsoft will pay NewCo an advance of 0m over three years for such purchases, plus 5m over five years to buy content and develop technology. The squabbles over patents have been settled: Microsoft is giving Barnes amp; Noble a licence for the Nook and will get royalties in return. For now at least, the Nook will remain an Android, not Windows, device.九个月之后,书虫和技术宅成为了最好的朋友。4月30号,巴诺公司声明正在创建一家子公司,并由其代行Nook销售业务以及校园业务。现在名为NewCo的这家子公司已经在美国大学中有641家书店。微软花3亿美元购买了NewCo公司17.6%的股权。不久的将来,人们将可以通过Nook应用程序在windows 8操作系统上购买并阅读电子书。Nook的windows版本即将于几月后推出。微软将向NewCo付1.8亿美元作为三年的购买费用,同时还付了1.25亿美元购买五年的内容和技术升级。关于知识产权的争端也得以解决:微软为巴诺的Nook阅读器提供授权,而巴诺则向微软付版权税。不过至少目前,Nook仍是在安卓设备上运行,而非windows。The agreement values NewCo at .7 billion, more than twice Barnes amp; Nobles market capitalisation before it was announced. The booksellers share price rose by 50% on the day of the deal—which tells you what investors think of the dead-tree end of the trade. The alliance should bring Barnes amp; Noble not only cash but also new ers of digital books and magazines, especially outside the ed States. In the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Tom Mainelli of IDC, a research firm, Barnes amp; Noble accounted for one-fifth of the 7m e-ers shipped in America—against a mighty three-quarters for Amazon, maker of the Kindle (see chart). But Barnes amp; Noble shipped no Nooks elsewhere, which helps explain why it had only 14% of the global market. Via the Nook app, non-Americans will also be able to leaf through Barnes amp; Nobles digital catalogue.NewCo的最终协议价格是17亿美元,比这个项目被宣布之前,巴诺的市值高出两倍还多。完成交易的当天,图书零售商的股价上升了50%,这足以说明投资者是如何看待这项老树开新花的交易的。联合的战略不仅将为巴诺公司带来现金,更将增加电子书与电子杂志的读者数量,在美国之外更是如此。根据市场研究机构IDC的Tom Mainelli所述,美国本土销售的7百万电子阅读器中,巴诺公司的产品占了1/5——与之相对的是亚马逊公司生产的Kindle阅读器:该产品的销售占了美国本土交易的3/4(见图表)。不过巴诺公司没有在其他地方销售Nook产品,这也解释了为什么该产品只占全球14%的市场。通过Nook应用程序,美国之外的用户也能够翻阅巴诺公司的电子目录。Microsoft is in effect buying a second bash at a market where it made an early but unsuccessful start. It launched its own e-er software all of 12 years ago. The deal with Barnes amp; Noble, bringing lots of content with it, may give people an extra reason to buy Windows 8 tablets (a likelier choice for e-ing than smartphones, laptops or desktops) when they appear.微软公司已是第二次涉足电子书市场,而它首次进入时并不成功。12年前,它曾经推广过自家的电子阅读软件。现在与巴诺公司达成的协议也充实了微软自家阅读器软件中的内容,用户们因此有更多的理由在windows 8平板面世后选购它们。与智能手机、笔记本和台式机相比,运行着Window 8操作系统的平板产品与电子阅读器的相似度更高。The bundling of Barnes amp; Nobles college business into NewCo indicates a hope that a fair few of these customers will be students. Allen Weiner of Gartner, another research firm, suggests that through campus bookshops Barnes amp; Noble could sell Windows devices pre-loaded with course material. Of course, others are after students dollars too. Apple recently started selling interactive digital textbooks for the iPad, far and away the biggest-selling tablet (among its publishing partners is Pearson, part-owner of The Economist). But Mr Weiner points out that Microsoft and Barnes amp; Noble have some advantages. Lots of students write notes and essays with Microsofts Office software, which is not available on the iPad. And although Amazon sells and rents a lot of paper textbooks, it has not done much with digital ones. The tie-up with Barnes amp; Noble makes three of a kind for Microsoft: cheap deals with struggling but established partners in markets where it is weak and sees a chance to do much better. In it struck an agreement with Yahoo! in online search. Last year Nokia became the prime conduit for Windows in smartphones. With Barnes amp; Noble it is having another stab at e-ing. Unlike the books on the Nook, this tale is still being written.巴诺公司在NewCo中大量捆绑自家业务的做法暗示了学生将占用户群中的很大一部分。另一家调研公司Gartner的Allen Weiner建议道,巴诺公司可以在校园内销售一些预装了教材的windows产品。当然,其他的阅读材料还是需要学生花钱购买的。苹果公司近期开始销售ipad上使用的数字互动教材,ipad是最畅销的平板产品。经济学人的持股人皮尔逊公司也是这些数字互动教材的发布方之一。但是Weiner先生指出微软公司与巴诺公司也有自己的优势。大量的学生利用微软的office软件书写笔记与,但是ipad却不能运行office软件。而尽管亚马逊借出并销售大量的纸质版教材,但是在数字产品上,他还远远落后于竞争对手。与巴诺公司的联合把微软公司拉到了与ipad,亚马逊同一起跑线的位置:在自身影响力不足但是未来前景广阔的市场上与一家比较成熟,但还有些小问题的公司廉价建立了联系。在年,微软公司成功与雅虎签订在线搜索业务方面的协议。去年诺基亚成为了让windows系统进驻智能手机的主要途径。而与巴诺公司的合作一定可以让微软公司在电子阅读器市场扎稳脚步。与Nook的故事不同,这段新传奇正被续写。 /201210/202877。

  Business.商业。Recruitment.人才招聘。Work and play.工作兼。The gamification of hiring.招聘游戏化。THE rules of Happy Hour are deceptively simple. You are a bartender. Your challenge is to tell what sort of drink each of a swelling mob of customers wants by the expressions on their faces. Then you must make and serve each drink and wash each used glass, all within a short period of time. Play this game well and you might win a tantalising prize: a job in the real world.游戏Happy Hour的规则看起来十分简单。你是一位酒保,你的挑战是察言观色,一群趾高气扬的黑帮客户进入酒吧,你需要根据他们的面部表情判断每个人要喝何种酒,然后斟酒擦酒杯。所有这一切都需要在短时间内完成,如果玩这个游戏表现出色的话,你诱人的奖励是在真实世界获得工作。Happy Hour, which will be unveiled to the public on May 28th, is one of several games developed by Knack, a start-up founded by Guy Halfteck, an Israeli entrepreneur. The games include a version of Happy Hour in which sushi replaces booze, Words of Wisdom (a word game) and Balloon Brigade (which involves putting out fires with balloons and water). They are designed to test cognitive skills that employers might want, drawing on some of the latest scientific research. These range from pattern recognition to emotional intelligence, risk appetite and adaptability to changing situations.由一位以色列企业家Guy halfteck新创始的公司Knack开发的众多视频游戏中的一款Happy Hour预计在5月28日发布。这一系列的游戏包含一个用寿司替代美酒的Happy Hour版本游戏,Words of Wisdom(一种文字游戏)和气球大队游戏(用气球和水去灭火)。这些游戏都是借助一些最新的科学研究,测试雇主可能比较注重的认知能力,如模式识别、情商、风险承受度和对变化环境的适应性。A pilot now under way with students at Yale combines the results of games with academic grades. As little as ten minutes of play can yield enough data to predict performance, says Mr Halfteck.这款游戏现在正在耶鲁大学的学生中进行试点,将其游戏的结果与学业成绩结合在一起。Mr Halfteck声称,只要玩十分钟就有足够的数据来预测个人的表现。Knack combines three fashionable trends: gaming, the use of massive amounts of data and the application of behavioural insights from science. According to Chris Chabris of the Centre for Collective Intelligence at MIT, a member of the Knack team, games have huge advantages over traditional recruitment tools, such as personality tests, which can easily be outwitted by an astute candidate. Many more things can be tested quickly and performance cant be faked on Knacks games, he says. The two biggest challenges, according to Mr Chabris, are ensuring the games are fun to play and convincing recruiters, who typically make no attempt to measure cognitive skills, to pay attention to these new data.Knack将三种Fashion的潮流结合在一起:游戏,大量数据处理以及科学角度的行为预测。麻省理工学院综合智能中心的Chris Chabri是Knack团队成员之一,他认为:游戏相比传统的招聘工具有非常大的优点,比如传统的个性测试,很容易被聪明的应聘者蒙混过关,而通过Knack游戏,很多方面能够快速的测定而且不可能作假。Chris Chabri表示最大的两个挑战来自于确定游戏足够好玩,并且能够说那些往往不对认知技能进行测试的招聘者把注意力放在这些数据上。Some firms seem to see the potential. The GameChanger unit of Shell, which seeks out new disruptive technologies for the oil giant, is about to test if Knack can help it identify innovators. Bain amp; Company, a consultancy, is to run a pilot: it will start by getting current staff to play the games, to see which skills make for a successful consultant. (The ability to charge a lot for stating the obvious is presumably not one of them.) ;If someone can materially improve our ability to select the best talent, that is worth a lot to us,; says Mark Howorth, a recruiter at Bain. And if not, at least the process will be fun.一些公司似乎看到了潜力。壳牌公司中为石油巨头寻找突破性新技术的GameChanger部门即将测试Knack是否能帮助它去发现创新者。贝恩咨询公司在这方面将启动一次试点:它将让现有职员参与去玩些游戏以帮助决定哪些技能是有助于去做一个成功的咨询者。(收取高昂的费用却说些显而易见的东西,这种能力大概不是其中一个);如果有人能显著提高我们挑选最好人才的能力,那么这对于我们是非常有价值的。;贝恩公司的招聘者Mark Howorth如是说。当然,如果不能,起码这玩意儿有点意思。 /201209/202432

  What Do Pupils Tell Us?The size of our pupils can give clues to our interest, emotions, attitudes, and thought processes.If you’ve seen a magician tell which card someone picked from a deck, you’ve probably been amazed. Well, the pupils often open up when the magician picks the right card,so one of the tricks they use is to look at the person’s eyes.The pupils tend to close in response to unpleasantness, and open in response to pleasure. For example, for those who find snakes loathsome, a picture of one will cause their pupils to close.For someone who likes snakes, the same picture will cause the pupils to open.The same thing happens to people with strong political preferences. A conservative’s pupils will close when shown a picture of a liberal.The liberal has the same reaction when shown a picture of a conservative. Their pupils open when looking at a picture of someone of their own persuasion. /201206/185224

  ONE of the unforgettable experiences to be had in California is to go whale watching in Monterey Bay. Nancy Black, a licensed marine biologist, is one of the scientists who lead these commercial outings, besides doing her own whale research. As Lawrence Biegel, her lawyer, tells it, one day Ms Black was in her research boat with assistants when killer whales attacked a pod of grey whales and killed a calf. Its blubber floated to the surface, and the killer whales were about to feed on it. Seizing this opportunity to film their behaviour, Ms Black thed ropes through some pieces of blubber, then lowered a camera underwater.来到加利福尼亚州,前往蒙特利海湾观赏鲸鱼是其中一个令人难忘的经历。南西bull;布莱克是一位获得执照的海洋生物学家,她是位在研究鲸鱼之余充当这种商业观光活动的导游的科学家之一。她的律师劳伦斯bull;比格尔说,有一天布莱克女士和助手正在研究船上,当时几头杀人鲸攻击了一群灰鲸并杀死了一只幼鲸。幼鲸的鲸脂浮上海面,而那些杀人鲸则打算以此果腹。为了乘机拍摄杀人鲸的生活习性,布莱克女士用绳将几块鲸脂串起来,然后将一部摄影机放入水下。For this, Ms Black might now face up to 20 years in prison and half a million dollars in fines, after a federal grand jury indicted her this month. Little about the charges makes common sense. The federal law in question is the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, which was intended to save dolphins, seals and whales from being killed and harassed. The law also banned feeding these animals, on the theory that doing so might compromise their ability to forage naturally in future. Feeding is what Ms Black is now accused of. She says she was using the protocols she had learned from the federal agencies that are now investigating her to observe a natural feeding that was aly in progress.为此,布莱克女士在本月遭到一个联邦大陪审团起诉,如今她可能面临最高二十年的有期徒刑及五十万美元的罚款。这些指控完全不合情理。与此案相关的法律是于1972年颁布的联邦法律《海洋哺乳动物保护法案》。此法旨在保护海豚、海豹、鲸鱼不被捕杀及骚扰;同时也禁止向以上动物喂食,理论依据是这样做会损害日后它们自行觅食的能力。布莱克女士现在被指控的就是向鲸鱼喂食。她说她当时观察鲸鱼捕食所遵循的标准正是从正在调查她的各联邦机构处获得的。Just as ridiculous, says Mr Biegel, is the accusation, increasingly common in federal cases, that Ms Black lied to the authorities, which carries its own prison terms. Ms Black always edits the commercial s of her whale outings to make them more interesting. When investigators demanded footage, she gave them one of these edited s. Prosecutors now claim that she had tampered with evidence.比格尔说,同样荒唐的是南西被指控对当局撒谎(这种指控在联邦诉讼案件中日益普遍),而单是这项罪名也能被判监禁。布莱克女士总是会对她拍摄的商用鲸鱼视频进行剪辑,好让它们更有意思。当调查方要求获得拍摄胶卷时,她交出了其中一个剪辑过的视频。现在检察官声称她篡改了据。To Harvey Silverglate, the author of ;Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent;, this is par for the course in Americarsquo;s federal justice system today. A couple of trends have combined to threaten justice and liberty. First, federal statutes are often so poorly written and so vague that they are in effect incomprehensible. This gives excessive discretion to bureaucrats and prosecutors, with their own career ambitions, who apply them haphazardly.在《一天三宗罪:联邦政府如何攻击无辜之人》的作者哈维bull;Silverglate看来,在当今美国的联邦司法体系中发生这种事实属意料之中。现已出现了两种趋势,对司法与自由都产生了威胁。首先,许多联邦法令行文拙劣、含糊其辞,以至于实际上难以理解。这就给了官僚和检查官们过度的决定权,这些各自怀有职业抱负的人会滥用这种权力。Second, federal law has been moving away from mens rea (;guilty mind;), a common-law tradition that suggests that a person who had no idea he was breaking a law should not be accused of doing so. With bloated federal legislation and without mens rea you can accuse most people of something or other, says Mr Silverglate. The question should be, he says, whether charges are reasonable when they run ;counter to all human instinct and experience;.其次,联邦法律已逐渐抛弃了;犯罪意图;(;犯罪心理;)这一概念。;犯罪意图;是习惯法的一种传统,意思是一个没有意识到自己犯了罪的人不应被起诉。Silverglate说,在名目繁多的联邦法律之下,没有;犯罪意图;这一概念,大部分人都可能因为这样或者那样的罪名遭到起诉。他说,问题应该在于:当指控与;人类所有的常识及经验背道而驰;时,它们仍是合理的吗?201201/168559

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