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Data deficit means we’re in the dark about the digital divide

 

Data deficit means we're in the dark about the digital divide

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Cellphones are everywhere in Africa – but that doesn’t mean the digital divide is closing. Legnan Koula/EPA

Courtesy of Alison Gillwald, University of Cape Town

Digital concerns underpin many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Gender equality, good health, quality education, industry innovation, smart and sustainable cities: these all require strong information and communications technology systems to become a reality.

For all of this to happen, developing countries will have to overcome the “digital divide”. This refers to the gap between those who are connected – first to voice and now to Internet services – and those who aren’t.

But there’s a problem. We simply don’t have the data in developing countries, and in global statistics, to know what the status quo is or whether the digital divide is being closed. So we don’t know if information and communications technologies are contributing to the achievement of the SDG targets.

There is some supply side data provided by operators and collected by regulators. This is fed into the UN statistical system. It’s then used as the basis of multiple digital indices that now exist. But this has many limitations for policy or planning in developing and emerging economies.

For example, it can’t be used to measure several basic indicators – like gender, age and income levels – in the predominantly prepaid mobile markets of the Global South.

The AfterAccess Survey, which was run across 16 countries in the Global South in 2017, fills some of these data gaps. The survey tells us who has access to and uses mobile phones for what purposes. It also reveals data about Internet users and non-users, and the reasons that people aren’t online – usually, because Internet enabled devices are too expensive.

All this allows us to compare digital indicators from a range of countries and to see patterns among countries. It shows us that in large populations like Nigeria, India and Bangladesh, irrespective of their distribution of wealth its a struggle to get people connected.

It enables better comparisons on outcomes between countries with similar size economies. We can also…
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Humanity under threat from antibiotic-resistant infections

 

Humanity under threat from antibiotic-resistant infections

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There already exist some promising new antibiotic therapies, and more are in the pipeline. However, our economic model prevents researchers from moving them out onto the market. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Gerry Wright, McMaster University

I grew up believing in the forward trajectory of progress in science and medicine – that human health would continue to improve as it had for hundreds of years. As I progressed through my own career in health sciences, I continued to be optimistic.

Now I have serious doubts.

Science is still working well, but deadly obstacles are blocking the way between research and progress in the field where I work: Antibiotics.

The threat to humankind is grave and growing worse by the day, but for reasons that escape my colleagues and me, there appears to be shockingly little collective will to do much about it.

This week (Nov. 12-18) is World Antibiotic Awareness Week. We need to talk about this threat. We need to develop models of public-private co-operation — to incentivize, fund and invest in antibiotic drug discovery and development.

Penicillin led to complacency

Here’s the problem: about 75 years ago, science brought penicillin into public use, opening a new era in infectious disease control, much as sanitation had done before that. Infectious diseases such as pneumonia and strep, which had commonly been fatal even in my grandparents’ day, were tamed — at least for a time.

Wendy Gould holds the cremated remains of her late husband George Gould at her home, in Aldergrove, B.C., in May 2018. George contracted a drug-resistant infection in a Vancouver hospital and died in an isolation unit at age 58. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

In the generations that followed, life expectancy leapt by 25 years and infectious disease tumbled from its No. 1 one spot among all causes of human death, where it had consistently ranked higher than bullets and bombs — even during the World Wars.

With cheap, abundant and effective antibiotics at hand, people in…
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What Are Your Thoughts: Something Big is Coming

 

What Are Your Thoughts: Something Big is Coming

Courtesy of 

Michael Batnick and Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management play their favorite game, What Are Your Thoughts – featuring special guest star Ben Carlson of A Wealth Of Common Sense and Animal Spirits fame.

In this episode:

* Michael picks his desert island news subscription

* Which mean reversion is more likely to disappear – international stock outperformance or value vs growth?

* Josh has a funny feeling something big is about to happen

* Could another Great Depression happen again?

* Investors in for a rude awakening when they see their SALT deduction go away

* Amazon gets $1.5 billion and $573 million respectively from NYC and Virginia to build their new headquarters

What are your thoughts on any of these topics? Let us know in the comments here!

Be sure to subscribe to our channel so you never miss an update

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New Compound theme song by Amerigo Gazaway





Climate change and wildfires – how do we know if there is a link?

 

Climate change and wildfires – how do we know if there is a link?

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A firefighter runs after trying to save a home in Lakeport, California, suffering its biggest fires ever. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Courtesy of Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Once again, the summer and fall of 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere has brought us an epidemic of major wildfires.

These burn forests, houses and other structures, displace thousands of people and animals, and cause major disruptions in people’s lives. The huge burden of simply firefighting has become a year-round task costing billions of dollars, let alone the cost of the destruction. The smoke veil can extend hundreds or even thousands of miles, affecting air quality and visibility. To many people, it has become very clear that human-induced climate change plays a major role by greatly increasing the risk of wildfire.

Yet it seems the role of climate change is seldom mentioned in many or even most news stories about the multitude of fires and heat waves. In part this is because the issue of attribution is not usually clear. The argument is that there have always been wildfires, and how can we attribute any particular wildfire to climate change?

As a climate scientist, I can say this is the wrong framing of the problem. Global warming does not cause wildfires. The proximate cause is often human carelessness (cigarette butts, camp fires not extinguished properly, etc.), or natural, from “dry lightning” whereby a thunderstorm produces lightning but little rain. Rather, global warming exacerbates the conditions and raises the risk of wildfire.

Even so, there is huge complexity and variability from one fire to the next, and hence the attribution can become complex. Instead, the way to think about this is from the standpoint of basic science – in this case, physics.

Global warming is happening

To understand the interplay between global warming and wildfires, consider what’s happening to our planet.

The composition of the atmosphere is changing from human activities: There has been over a 40 percent increase in carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil fuel burning since the 1800s,…
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Trump’s new Iranian oil sanctions may inflict pain at home without serving strategic objectives

 

Trump's new Iranian oil sanctions may inflict pain at home without serving strategic objectives

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Iran’s OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, center. AP Photo/Anis Belghoul

Courtesy of Gregory Brew, Southern Methodist University

The Trump administration has formally imposed new sanctions on Iran aimed at hindering Iran’s oil exports – a move that had been in the works for six months.

The U.S. government has also made a second, more surprising, announcement: It’s granting eight countries waivers that will let them keep on buying Iranian petroleum.

Since I’m a historian of energy and U.S.-Iranian relations, I’ve been monitoring how the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran has affected global oil markets. I believe that these new sanctions do not serve U.S. energy interests because they may spark price increases that would punish American consumers. More generally, this move illustrates what I see as the incoherence of Trump’s energy policies and international diplomacy.

Taking aim at oil exports

Since Iran first became a major oil producer in the 1930s, its government has depended on oil and gas revenue for most of its budget. When the Obama administration imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran in 2012, to force Tehran to the nuclear bargaining table, the Middle Eastern country’s exports declined sharply.

The U.S. lifted those sanctions after Iran agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an international agreement that placed restraints on Iran’s nuclear program. As a result, its overseas oil sales shot up in 2016 and 2017.

But now President Donald Trump, who has derided the agreement since his electoral campaign, is bringing the hammer back down.

Shortly after withdrawing from the nuclear deal in May 2018, the administration announced that it would re-impose sanctions and attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero.”

Trump’s team also vowed that it would retaliate against any countries that kept buying Iranian oil after Nov. 5. Iran’s oil exports then slid from 2.6 million barrels per day to about 1.7 million by September.

Panic over prices at the pump


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Neuroscientists identify a surprising low-tech fix to the problem of sleep-deprived teens

 

Neuroscientists identify a surprising low-tech fix to the problem of sleep-deprived teens

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A good night’s sleep comes down to a comfy place to rest your head. Marisa Harris/Unsplash, CC BY

Courtesy of Adriana Galván, University of California, Los Angeles

Healthy sleep leads to healthy brains. Neuroscientists have gotten that message out. But parents, doctors and educators alike have struggled to identify what to do to improve sleep. Some have called for delaying school start times or limiting screentime before bed to achieve academic, health and even economic gains.

Still, recent estimates suggest that roughly half of adolescents in the United States are sleep-deprived. These numbers are alarming because sleep is particularly important during adolescence, a time of significant brain changes that affect learning, self-control and emotional systems. And sleep deficits are even greater in economically disadvantaged youth compared to more affluent counterparts.

Research from my developmental neuroscience lab shows one solution to the sleep deprivation problem that is deceptively simple: provide teens with a good pillow. Because getting comfortable bedding does not involve technology, expensive interventions or lots of time, it may be particularly beneficial for improving sleep among underresourced adolescents.

Consistency over quantity

Studies in my lab have shown that seemingly small differences in the quality and duration of sleep make a difference in how the brain processes information.

Sleep acts like a glue that helps the brain encode recently learned information into long-term knowledge. It also improves focus in school because sleep helps dampen hyperactive behavior, strong emotional reactions and squirminess. This means that students who are normally dismissed from the classroom for disruptive behavior are more likely to stay in class if they’re not sleep-deprived. More time in the class leads to more learning.

My colleagues and I originally hypothesized that the number of hours asleep was most important for healthy brain development over time. But when we tested this idea with a study, the findings surprised us. Instead, adolescents whose sleep is inconsistent across the school week, varying by as much as 2.5 hours from one night to the next, exhibited…
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Pittsburgh trauma surgeon: ‘Stop the Bleed’ training saved lives after shooting, but stopping the need must be next

 

Pittsburgh trauma surgeon: 'Stop the Bleed' training saved lives after shooting, but stopping the need must be next

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A SWAT team arriving at Tree of Life synagogue, Oct. 27, 2018. Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo

Courtesy of Matthew D. Neal, MD FACS, University of Pittsburgh

I am a trauma surgeon who cared for many of the critically wounded victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. As we raced to find the source of blood loss in one of the most severely injured patients, one of my trauma surgeon partners, a U.S. Army veteran of multiple tours, joined me in the operating room to assist.

His first comment upon seeing the injuries that we were managing struck me. He said he last saw such destruction from military weaponry when he was serving in Afghanistan.

Two doors down, a second badly injured patient arrived to the operating room with extensive injuries to multiple extremities from a burst of gunfire.

Although the patient’s blood pressure was perilously low, the bleeding had been stopped prior to surgery by tourniquets applied to the limbs. Additional victims arrived, again with potentially life- and limb-threatening injuries rendered by an assault rifle, but all had received lifesaving care even prior to arrival at the hospital.

Some of this is due to an approach called tactical emergency care, where specially trained teams of physicians and emergency medical service practitioners respond and provide care along with law enforcement. A brave team of providers entered Tree of Life under active fire, along with the SWAT team. The early identification of injured victims allowed for rapid transport from the scene to our trauma center, providing the opportunity to save lives that would have otherwise been lost.

While all of the patients who arrived at our trauma centers in Pittsburgh are alive today, the sense of accomplishment and pride associated with this is blunted and seemingly selfish in the face of the carnage that occurred. No one will say “it could have been worse,” because the magnitude of this massacre that impacted the world and my hometown of Pittsburgh is incomprehensible.

Nonetheless, many of the surviving victims who will live to amplify and strengthen…
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Testy Tuesday – Painting the Bounce Lines Red

Image result for trump red queenWe're painting the bounce lines red

That's not a good thing but, when the Mad Queen is your President, you just have to go wtih the flow and deal wth the daily mood swings.  This weekend, to honor Veterans Day, Trump dissed the veterans on several occasions and pissed off our allies in the process and then he blamed poor management for the forest fires in Malibu – which is a beach, not a forest.  

Meanwhile, it was a wake-up call to investors to see Trump walk out of a G20 conference and then pull a complete no-show at the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which is practically a holy day in Europe as it maked the end of a very bloody conflict in World War I.  Trump is too busy trying to start World War III to take time out to honor the victims of World Wars I and II.  

Meanwhile blood is being spilled all over our bounce lines as they cascade back to red:

  • Dow 24,300 with a weak bounce at 24,800 and a strong bounce at 25,300
  • S&P 2,640 with a weak bounce at 2,710 and a strong bounce at 2,780
  • Nasdaq 6,870 with a weak bounce at 7,080 and a strong bounce at 7,230


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NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEET THE KGB SPIES WHO INVENTED FAKE NEWS





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Visualizing China's Belt And Road Investment Map

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The fifth anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was recently marked in Beijing.

This 900 billion U.S. dollar transcontinental development project was launched in the autumn of 2013 when president Xi Jinping proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – the two main segments of the ambitious economic cooperation campaign. ...



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Phil's Favorites

Data deficit means we're in the dark about the digital divide

 

Data deficit means we're in the dark about the digital divide

Cellphones are everywhere in Africa - but that doesn’t mean the digital divide is closing. Legnan Koula/EPA

Courtesy of Alison Gillwald, University of Cape Town

Digital concerns underpin many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Gender equality, good health, quality education, industry innovation, smart and sustainable cities: these all require strong information and communications technology systems to become a reality.

For all of this to happen, developing countries will have to overcome the &ld...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Party Like 1999 & 2000 or respect bearish divergences?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

This 4-pack looks at the DJ Home Construction, Banks, Junk Bonds and the S&P 500, highlighting that bearish divergences took place in 1999 and 2007 at each (1). These assets were sending bearish topping messages “BEFORE” the tops in 2000 & 2007.

Looking at this year, each asset has been creating bearish divergence since early 2018 at each (2).

Are each of these assets sending an important Risk/Reward message again or will it be different this time?

Just the Facts Ma’am– The majority of stock indices remain above respectiv...



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Insider Scoop

28 Stocks Moving In Tuesday's Pre-Market Session

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Globus Maritime Limited (NASDAQ: GLBS) rose 34.9 percent to $10.59 in pre-market trading following Q3 results. Globus Maritime reported third-quarter earnings of 0.08 per share, up from $(0.05) in the same quarter of last year. Sales came in at $4.861 million, up from $3.982 million year-over-year.
  • Avenue Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATXI) shares rose 33.4 percent to $5.55 in pre-market trading after InvaGen announced plans to acquire 33.3 percent stake in Avenue Therapeutics, a Fortress Biotech company.
  • Pyxis Tankers Inc....


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Members' Corner

NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEE...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 11, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

This past week was saw another positive move up by bulls – especially in the Dow and S&P 500; the NASDAQ was not quite as enthusiastic.   Wednesday’s rally was on the legs of an election that was seen as market friendly or at least not as bad as it could have been.   Essentially – paying people a lot of money to get nothing done the next 2 years – woo hoo!

The market is interpreting Wedneday’s result as insuring that “no big things will get done,” in Washington between now and 2020, Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital told MarketWatch. “The market appreciates the relative certainty of the slow legislative agenda.” he said.

“As President Trump plans his 2020 reelection campaign, a gridlocked Congress is unlik...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern - but it may be a price worth paying

 

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern – but it may be a price worth paying

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

Bitcoin recently turned ten years old. In that time, it has proved revolutionary because it ignores the need for modern money’s institutions to verify payments. Instead, Bitcoin relies on cryptographic techniques to prove identity and authenticity.

However, the price to pay for all of this innovation is a high carbon footprint, created by Bitc...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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