Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Posted by CAMACOL at 9:12 AM
The renewable-energy boom is here. Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That's according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 2040.
Here are six massive shifts coming soon to power markets near you:
The price of solar power will continue to fall, until it becomes the cheapest form of power in a rapidly expanding number of national markets. By 2026, utility-scale solar will be competitive for the majority of the world, according to BNEF. The lifetime cost of a photovoltaic solar-power plant will drop by almost half over the next 25 years, even as the prices of fossil fuels creep higher.
Solar power will eventually get so cheap that it will outcompete new fossil-fuel plants and even start to supplant some existing coal and gas plants, potentially stranding billions in fossil-fuel infrastructure. The industrial age was built on coal. The next 25 years will be the end of its dominance.
With solar power so cheap, investments will surge. Expect $3.7 trillion in solar investments between now and 2040, according to BNEF. Solar alone will account for more than a third of new power capacity worldwide. Here's how that looks on a chart, with solar appropriately dressed in yellow and fossil fuels in pernicious gray:
|Rooftop (small-scale) solar in yellow. Renewables account for about two-thirds of investment over the next 25 years|
4. Global Demand Slows
Yes, the world is inundated with mobile phones, flat screen TVs, and air conditioners. But growth in demand for electricity is slowing. The reason: efficiency. To cram huge amounts of processing power into pocket-sized gadgets, engineers have had to focus on how to keep those gadgets from overheating. That's meant huge advances in energy efficiency. Switching to an LED light bulb, for example, can reduce electricity consumption by more than 80 percent.
So even as people rise from poverty to middle class faster than ever, BNEF predicts that global electricity consumption will remain relatively flat. In the next 25 years, global demand will grow about 1.8 percent a year, compared with 3 percent a year from 1990 to 2012. In wealthy OECD countries, power demand will actually decline.
This watercolor chart compares economic growth to energy efficiency. Each color represents a country or region. As economies get richer, growth requires less power
5. Natural Gas Burns Briefly
Natural gas won't become the oft-idealized "bridge fuel" that transitions the world from coal to renewable energy, according to BNEF. The U.S. fracking boom will help bring global prices down some, but few countries outside the U.S. will replace coal plants with natural gas. Instead, developing countries will often opt for some combination of coal, gas, and renewables.
Even in the fracking-rich U.S., wind power will be cheaper than building new gas plants by 2023, and utility-scale solar will be cheaper than gas by 2036.
Fossil fuels aren't going to suddenly disappear. They'll retain a 44 percent share of total electricity generation in 2040 (down from two thirds today), much of which will come from legacy plants that are cheaper to run than shut down. Developing countries will be responsible for 99 percent of new coal plants and 86 percent of new gas-fired plants between now and 2040, according to BNEF. Coal is clearly on its way out, but in developing countries that need to add capacity quickly, coal-power additions will be roughly equivalent to utility-scale solar.
The shift to renewables is happening shockingly fast, but not fast enough to prevent perilous levels of global warming.
About $8 trillion, or two thirds of the world's spending on new power capacity over the next 25 years, will go toward renewables. Still, without additional policy action by governments, global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will continue to rise until 2029 and will remain 13 percent higher than today's pollution levels in 2040.
That's not enough to prevent the surface of the Earth from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius, according to BNEF. That's considered the point-of-no-return for some worst consequences of climate change.
Posted by CAMACOL at 6:33 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Career community website Glassdoor recently released its Employees' Choice Awards for the Highest Rated CEOs in 2015. Here are the top 10 in tech.
How much you like your job often depends heavily on the leadership at your company. Feeling like the CEO is piloting the company in the right direction and you're apart of something bigger than yourself can make your work much more rewarding.
Technology companies are known for the eccentricity and guile of their CEOs. Whether in a three-piece suit or a hooded sweatshirt, tech CEOs often have the ability of attracting top talent based on the way they express their vision.
Recently, career resource site Glassdoor released its Employees' Choice Awards for the Highest Rated CEOs in 2015 and many of the top spots were held by CEOs of technology companies. The results were gathered from employee reviews submitted between April 2014 and April 2015, and CEOs were given a percentage approval rating by employees of the company.
Here are the top 10 tech CEOs that made the list.
Larry Page, Google - 97%
At 97% approval, Google's Larry Page was also no. 1 on the list of CEOs overall. A co-founder of the company with Sergey Brin, Page was initially the CEO early in the company but stepped down in 2001 amid pressure from investors. On April 4, 2011, he resumed the role of CEO at Google. Last year, Page took the 10th position on the list with a 93% approval rating.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook - 95%
The hooded sweatshirt-clad Mark Zuckerberg is the archetypal young tech CEO in Silicon valley. His 95% approval lands him at no. 4 on the overall CEO list from Glassdoor. Often referred to as a programming prodigy, Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004 where he remains its chairman and CEO.
Scott Scherr, Ultimate Software 95%
In 1990, Scott Scherr became the president and CEO of Ultimate Software, a company that provides human capital management (HCM) software tools for businesses. In many of the company reviews, Scherr was described as "down to earth" and as having a "people first" approach. His 95% approval puts him at no. 5 on the overall CEO list.
Tim Cook, Apple - 94%
Tom Cook succeeded Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011, a few months before Jobs' death. Cook was originally recruited by Jobs to work for Apple in 1998 and he has previously served as interim CEO when Jobs took a medical leave in 2009. During Cook's tenure, Apple's charity donations and sustainability efforts have increased. At 94% approval, he is no. 10 on the overall list.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia - 94%
Originally born in Tehran, Iran, Dara Khosrowshahi has served as the CEO of travel deals site Expedia since 2005. Khosrowshahi sits at no. 11 on Glassdoor's overall CEO list with 94$ employee approval. In 2013 he received the Ernst & Young Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn - 93%
Taking the no. 12 spot on the Employees' Choice Awards CEO list is Jeff Weiner of professional networking site LinkedIn. While he received a 93% approval rating on this list in 2015, he actually dropped seven percent from his previous position, meaning he received a 100% approval rating and the no. 1 spot on the 2014 list by Glassdoor. After serving as LinkedIn's interim president in 2008, he became CEO in 2009.
Marc Benioff, Salesforce - 92%
Marc Benioff is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Salesforce.com, which he founded alongside Parker Harris in 1999. He is no. 21 on the list with a 92% approval rating and is known for his outspoken nature in leading the company. Benioff is also known for his philanthropy, both personally and through his company. He organized Salesforce.com in a way that it donates 1% of profits, 1% of equity, and 1% of employee hours to charity.
Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp - 91%
Number 22 on the list with a 91% approval rating is Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman. He is an original member of the PayPal Mafia and founded the company in 2004 alongside Russel Simmons, after receiving an initial investment from Max Levchin. After turning down an acquisition offer from Google, Stoppelman filed for an IPO to take the company public in 2011.
Frank D'Souza, Cognizant Technology Solutions - 91%
Francisco (Frank) D'Souza was part of the founding team of Cognizant Technology Solutions in 1994 and has served as its CEO since January 2007. He was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but has lived in nine different countries. He has won numerous awards for entrepreneurship and he received a 91% approval, landing him at no. 33 on the overall CEO list.
Thomas E. Richards, CDW - 91%
Rounding out the top 10 tech CEOs is CDW's Thomas E. Richards, who got a 91% approval rating and holds the no. 34 spot on the overall CEO list. Richards joined CDW as president and COO in 2009, but became president and CEO in 2011. Many Glassdoor reviews praised the company's culture and benefits for employees.
Posted by CAMACOL at 6:26 AM
Monday, June 22, 2015
YULIN, CHINA: Campaigners protesting China's annual dog meat festival, which sees thousands of canines butchered and eaten, were forcibly dispersed by unidentified men Monday as they attempted to rally outside a government office.
About 10 animal rights activists unfurled banners outside the Yulin government headquarters, before a group of 20 men came and chased them off.
The city holds an annual festival on the summer solstice devoted to the consumption of dog meat, in defiance of an increasing backlash from animal rights activists.
The campaigners held signs reading "Crack Down on Illegal Dog Meat Trade" and "Punish Illegal Dog Transport", but the banners were quickly torn out of their hands by the unidentified group of men.
The slogans are an attempt to appeal to local government officials to enforce existing laws on health and administrative grounds, as there are no rules banning the consumption of dog meat.
The majority of "meat dogs" in the country are stolen pets and strays, according to an investigation published this month by Hong Kong-based charity Animals Asia, though eating dog is unusual in most parts of China.
A dog vendor carries dogs in a cage on his bicycle in Dashichang dog market on the day of local dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Autonomous Region. (Reuters Photo)
Meanwhile, in another part of Yulin, traders openly sold dogs off the back of scooters as hundreds gathered at a market. Many dogs were kept in tightly packed cages.
Activists, who say the festival is cruel, have in the past travelled to the city to hold demonstrations, sometimes buying dogs to save them from the cooking pots.
One animal lover, Yang Xiaoyun, reportedly paid about 7,000 yuan (US$1,100) to save around 100 dogs in the southern city of Yulin on Saturday.
Posted by CAMACOL at 7:54 AM
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
El gobierno tiene la impresión de que ahora sí es posible que el Mercosur salga de su inoperancia y aislamiento y cierre un acuerdo con la Unión Europea (UE) que le permita finalmente ampliar sus horizontes comerciales, tan restringidos recientemente.
Rousseff y Vázquez ayer luego de la cumbre en Brasilia. Foto: O Globo / GDA
JUAN PABLO CORREAvie may 22 2015
Dilma Rousseff, presidente de Brasil, el "líder natural" como lo llamó ayer el ministro de Economía, Danilo Astori, le dejó bien en claro a Tabaré Vázquez en Brasilia que el acuerdo es una prioridad para su gobierno y quiere que se cierre este año.
Vázquez realizó ayer un viaje relámpago a Brasilia con Astori, el canciller Rodolfo Nin Novoa y la ministra de Industria, Carolina Cosse. Compartió un almuerzo y un brindis con Rousseff y volvió sobre las 20.30 a la Base Aérea N° 1. En la reunión se conversó de varios temas bilaterales aunque el punto central es la posibilidad cierta de que finalmente las conversaciones con la UE salgan del letargo de los últimos 20 años. Vázquez no habló con la prensa a su llegada a Montevideo y delegó en sus ministros la tarea de informar sobre la reunión con Rousseff.
Nin Novoa no ahorró adjetivos para describir la importancia del claro pronunciamiento brasileño: dijo que era "una gran noticia", una "novedad absoluta" y que "estamos muy reconfortados, muy satisfechos". Especificó que Uruguay ya tiene definido que ofertará abrir a la competencia europea la gran mayoría de los ítems arancelarios, más del 92%.
En este tema Brasil, Uruguay y Paraguay "están exactamente en el mismo rumbo", aseguró Astori. Argentina "no va a quedar afuera, no queremos que quede afuera", complementó Nin Novoa, pero la forma en que se sumará será objeto de discusión. Por lo pronto, la modalidad de la participación de Argentina será objetivo de reuniones bilaterales entre ese país y Brasil. Y Argentina ya planteó que pretende contar con un período "de gracia" de ocho años para postergar la exposición de algunos de sus sectores de actividad a la competencia europea. De esta forma, se aceptaría el tantas veces mencionado concepto de las "dos velocidades" que de hecho la UE ya aceptó cuando cerró un acuerdo con la Comunidad Andina. Se quiere "respetar los tiempos de Argentina", explicó Nin.
Hace una década Brasil vetó la posibilidad de que Uruguay tuviese flexibilidad para acordar con Estados Unidos, pero ahora todo cambió. La administración Rousseff sí tendría interés en este momento en que el Mercosur se abra más al mundo porque su cancillería y la clase empresarial brasileña habrían percibido que ni el mercado interno ni la región alcanzan para sustentar un crecimiento vigoroso.
Cuando nació el Mercosur, Brasil, pese a la renuencia uruguaya, insistió para que existiese un Arancel Externo Común alto, o sea una muralla defensiva contra las importaciones de fuera de la región.
Ahora Astori, que lleva años criticando el Mercosur y pidiendo que se abra más al mundo, considera que la postura brasileña "es la flexibilidad que tanto reclamamos". Un eventual acuerdo con la UE sería "fundamental para concretar otros acuerdos". Además servirá para acumular información que pueda ser útil a la hora de negociar el acuerdo de liberalización del comercio de servicios, el polémico TISA. Es que las tratativas con la UE, se preocupó de explicar Astori, incluirán no solamente bienes sino también servicios. Uruguay determinará "intereses defensivos", o sea que definirá algunos sectores a los que preservará de la competencia europea. Seguramente, algunos de ellos serán la refinación e importación de combustible y la telefonía básica que en Uruguay son un monopolio del Estado. La definición precisa de las características de la oferta corresponderá a equipos técnicos ministeriales que se reunirán en las próximas semanas.
Históricamente, Europa ha buscado preservar de la competencia a sus agricultores que serían los que tendrían más para perder por la competencia de los eficientes productores agropecuarios latinoamericanos.
Astori dijo a El País que ahora hay indicios de que la UE está dispuesta a flexibilizar esa posición. "Ahí va a ser fundamental lo que haga Francia", señaló, en referencia a que ese país ha sido históricamente el abanderado del proteccionismo agrícola. El ministro reconoció que también la industria latinoamericana tendrá que estar dispuesta a adaptarse.
Lo que más entusiasma a los ministros es que parece haber un cronograma para el proceso. El 11 de junio, se reunirán los cancilleres de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (Celac, que incluye obviamente al Mercosur) en Bruselas y quizás allí se pueda determinar con más precisión la voluntad de acordar de las partes.
El 17 de julio, en Brasilia, habrá una cumbre de los presidentes del bloque que también puede marcar un hito en este proceso con el que Brasil ahora parece haberse comprometido fuertemente.
Vázquez quiere que la oferta de la propuesta del Mercosur a la UE se presente en la mencionada reunión de Bruselas. Su visión crítica del Mercosur quedó ayer bien clara. "Tenemos que rescatarlo, reanimarlo, fortalecerlo y colocarlo al servicio de sus países y, fundamentalmente, al servicio de nuestros pueblos. Si nuestros pueblos no sienten que el Mercosur sirve para mejorar la vida cotidiana, para poco servirán nuestras mejores intenciones", sostuvo en Brasilia.
El principal exportador europeo a Uruguay es Alemania, país de fortísima industria, del cual provinieron en 2014 el 4,1% de las importaciones locales. Ningún país de la UE figura entre los cinco principales destinos de las exportaciones uruguayas. El primero es Alemania, en el lugar siete. Recibió en 2014 el 3,4% de las exportaciones uruguayas.
Un 80% de las ventas de la UE a Uruguay son productos manufacturados (químicos, maquinaria, vehículos). La UE importa principalmente productos primarios desde Uruguay, en especial carnes (30%), cueros (10%) y soja (10%). También compra madera, pescado, arroz, lana y cítricos. El 25% de sus exportaciones de carne van a la UE. Uruguay tiene una cuota de alta calidad (la Hilton, de 6.300 toneladas anuales).
LO QUE SE CONVERSÓ EN BRASILIA.
UE: Brasil pone su peso en la búsqueda de un acuerdo.
En 1995 comenzaron en Madrid las conversaciones para un acuerdo Mercosur-UE que desde entonces languidecieron. Pero el bloque europeo negocia ahora con Estados Unidos. Y la posibilidad de que las empresas brasileñas queden en desventaja frente a las estadounidenses en el mercado europeo también debe haber contribuido al viraje en la estrategia norteña. El Mercosur no ha cerrado recientemente acuerdos de relevancia.
Autopartes: Plantearon mayor apertura a Brasil.
La ministra de Industria, Carolina Cosse, planteó 10 puntos a las autoridades brasileñas. El principal de ellos es que Uruguay pretende el acceso irrestricto de sus autopartes a Brasil libres de aranceles. Uruguay y Brasil tienen un acuerdo automotor a través del cual las exportaciones de vehículos sin aranceles desde el país norteño al mercado local generan una cuota de libre ingreso de autopartes uruguayas al país norteño.
Energía: Inédita compra de electricidad uruguaya.
Brasil comunicó a Uruguay que a partir de ayer habilitó la compra de energía eléctrica de origen uruguayo a través de la conexión de extra alta tensión San Carlos-Presidente Médici. Sería la primera vez que Brasil compraría energía a otro país, destacó Cosse. Por otra parte, en el encuentro presidencial se acordó que ambos países construirán un nuevo puente sobre el río Yaguarón y será reparado el puente "Barón de Mauá".
Posted by CAMACOL at 5:41 AM
Monday, June 15, 2015
A tactical victory for Exim's Senate supporters was achieved yesterday.
A test vote on the Senate bipartisan reauthorization bill was conducted with a move to attach the bill to the NDAA by amendment. The vote was 65 to 31 in favor of Exim reauthorization. The amendment was tabled by Exim proponents after Senate positions were made public.
This "show vote" will strengthen an actual attachment vote at a later date. The problem remains that an attachment vehicle will not come up for vote before June 30, so we are faced with a charter lapse of indeterminate length. That's why we and your customers can't succumb to fatigue, and pressure on Congress with continued messages and tweets to representatives must continue.
Exporters Association of United States of America
Posted by CAMACOL at 6:27 AM
Friday, June 5, 2015
American tourists are coming. For airlines and ferry services, it will be the 1950s all over again
|Varadero Beach, Cuba. Just imagine all the sunburned American tourists.|
Posted by CAMACOL at 7:04 AM
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Not all charging is equal. If your smartphone (or tablet) is low on battery and you only have a limited amount of time to charge it, here’s how you can get the most juice possible.
These tips should work for practically anything that charges via USB, including cameras, peripherals, and any other device you might have.
Don’t Charge From Your Computer’s USB Ports
You can connect smartphones and tablets to your computer via a USB cable and they’ll charge. But they won’t charge as fast as they would if you plugged them into a proper, dedicated charger. In the USB 1.0 and 2.0 specifications, a standard USB port is capable of delivering up to 0.5A. USB 3.0 increases this to 0.9A on typical ports, while a dedicated charging port can offer up to 1.5A. USB 3.1, which is intertwined with (but not the same as) the new USB Type-C standard, supports up to 3A.
For example, Apple’s iPhone 6 ships with a charger that offers up to 1A. If you’re charging an iPhone 6 from a typical USB 3.0 port, you’re only getting 0.9A. if you’re charging it from an older USB 2.0 port, you’re only getting 0.5A. Modern Android phones and other devices will likely be capable of taking more power than a typical computer’s USB ports can provide, too — check your phone or tablet’s specifications to see what it’s capable of drawing. Skip your computer’s USB port and plug your phone or tablet into a dedicated charger.
A high-power USB port on a recent computer may be good enough depending on your device, but it’s better to rely on a dedicated charger if you’re in a hurry.
Use a More Powerful Charger
Rather than simply using the charger that came with your device, you can sometimes charge it faster by upgrading to a more powerful charger. For example, Apple’s iPhone 6 phones ship with a 1A (5W) charger, but they can charge faster when plugged into Apple’s 2.1A (12W) iPad charger. If you want to charge your iPhone 6 faster, plug it into an iPad charger instead of its normal charger.
Not every device will be capable of charging faster when plugged into a USB charger that can output more power. It depends on the device itself. USB charging is fairly standardized you should be able to plug any device into any USB charger and nothing will explode or catch fire. Instead, the device just draws as much power as it can from the charger. Some devices may only be capable of drawing the exact amount their included charger provides, while others can draw more power and charge faster when connected to a charger that can provide more amperage.
Feel free to use a more powerful charger — nothing should go wrong, but the phone or tablet may charge faster.
Use a Good USB Cable
Not all USB cables are equal, either. For best results, use the cable that came with the device.Cheap USB cables you buy afterwards can’t necessarily transmit the full amount of power, and may charge your phone or tablet much slower.
Put Down the Phone
This one may seem obvious, but it’s true. Consuming power while the phone is charging will slow down the process. If you’re waiting for your phone to charge and playing a demanding game on it, that game will cause your phone to consume more power and slow down the charging process.
Some people recommend putting your phone into airplane mode or even shutting it down entirely, which could help a little bit in an emergency — but is very inconvenient if you actually want to stay connected.
Use an External Battery Pack (or Car Charger)
No, an external battery pack won’t actually make your phone or tablet charge faster. But, if you need to race out the door with your phone, you can pick up an external battery pack and use it to charge your phone on the go.
Some external battery packs are even designed to function as cases you can fit around your phone to charge it without having an additional device in your pocket. If you frequently find you need to recharge your phone quickly before heading somewhere, just be sure to have an external battery pack around.
Or, if you’ll be driving somewhere in your car, get a universal car charger and charge your phone or tablet while driving.
Some modern devices support “Quick Charge,” which is actually a Qualcomm feature — but Qualcomm chipsets are part of many modern Android phones and tablets. Quick Charge allows a phone or tablet to charge much more quickly from empty, slowing down when the battery becomes more full. This could allow you to get above 50% battery capacity in half an hour. To use this, you’ll need a device with Quick Charge technology built in and a dedicated Quick Charge charger, which may not actually be included with your phone or tablet, but may be a separate accessory.
In the future, similar features will ideally spread to other manufacturers, chipsets, and devices, becoming more standardized. For now, you’ll find it on many high-end Android phones and tablets.
Posted by CAMACOL at 9:10 AM