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May 30, 2020

SpaceX finally succeeds in putting NASA astronauts into space



 
 SpaceX  Final launch 
Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA blasted two astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into orbit, marking the first human launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade and a new partnership between industry and government aimed at revitalising the country’s space ambitions.
This was SpaceX's second attempt to launch two NASA astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station . This is the first crewed spaceflight to take off from US soil in nearly a decade. This is an important milestone in space travel for three reasons 
1)This is first time that astronauts launched into space from US soil since 2011. 
2)This is the first-ever crewed mission for SpaceX. 
3)This is also the first time ever that a privately developed spacecraft launched humans into Earth's orbit. In an early interview with CNN in 2004, SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained how he could work with NASA and his vision for the future of space travel.


The Crew Dragon capsule, carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, is now flying free through Earth's orbit. The capsule uses tiny thrusters to stay oriented and help steer the spacecraft toward the International Space Station. It's a slow and precise journey. Behnken and Hurley will spend about 19 hours in the spacecraft as climbs toward the ISS, where they're expected to dock around 10:30 am ET tomorrow.

visualisation of global trade ,economic activity vs gdp growth



 
In today’s global economic system, countries exchange not only final products, but also intermediate inputs. This creates an intricate network of economic interactions that cover the whole world. Over the last couple of centuries the world economy has experienced sustained positive economic growth, and over the same period, this process of economic growth has been accompanied by even faster growth in global trade. In a similar way, if we look at country-level data from the last half century we find that there is also a correlation between economic growth and trade: countries with higher rates of GDP growth also tend to have higher rates of growth in trade as a share of output. This basic correlation is shown in the chart here, where we plot average annual change in real GDP per capita, against growth in trade (average annual change in value of exports as a share of GDP).1 Is this statistical association between economic output and trade causal? Among the potential growth-enhancing factors that may come from greater global economic integration are: Competition (firms that fail to adopt new technologies and cut costs are more likely to fail and to be replaced by more dynamic firms); Economies of scale (firms that can export to the world face larger demand, and under the right conditions, they can operate at larger scales where the price per unit of product is lower); Learning and innovation (firms that trade gain more experience and exposure to develop and adopt technologies and industry standards from foreign competitors)


Over the last couple of centuries the world economy has experienced sustained positive economic growth, and over the same period, this process of economic growth has been accompanied by even faster growth in global trade. In a similar way, if we look at country-level data from the last half century we find that there is also a correlation between economic growth and trade: countries with higher rates of GDP growth also tend to have higher rates of growth in trade as a share of output. This basic correlation is shown in the chart here, where we plot average annual change in real GDP per capita, against growth in trade (average annual change in value of exports as a share of GDP). 

RIP Globalisation: welcome Snowbalisation



RIP Globalisation : welcome Snobalization :


Even before the pandemic, globalisation was in trouble. The open system of trade that had dominated the world economy for decades had been damaged by the financial crash and the Sino-American trade war. Now it is reeling from its third bodyblow in a dozen years as lockdowns have sealed borders and disrupted commerce


The number of passengers at Heathrow has dropped by 97% year-on-year; Mexican car exports fell by 90% in April; 21% of transpacific container-sailings in May have been cancelled. The pandemic has already politicised travel and migration and entrenched an inward looking nationalism towards self-reliance which is bound to leave the economy vulnerable and spread geopolitical instability.


The world has had several epochs of integration, but the trading system that emerged in the 1990s went further than ever before. China became the world’s factory and borders opened to people, goods, capital and information


After Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 most banks and some multinational firms pulled back. Trade and foreign investment stagnated relative to gdp, a process which economist magazine called snowbalisation.


 
The flow of capital is also suffering, as longterm investment sinks. Chinese venture-capital investment in America dropped to $400m in the first quarter of this year, 60% below its level two years ago. Multinational firms may cut their cross-border investment by a third this year. America has just instructed its main federal pension fund to stop buying Chinese shares, and so far this year countries representing 59% of world gdp have tightened their rules on foreign investment. As governments try to pay down their new debts by taxing firms and investors, some countries may be tempted to further restrict the flow of capital across borders ( source : economist )

May 17, 2020

top 10 marketing noteworthy facts




  • George Washington survived smallpox, malaria (six times), diphtheria, tuberculosis (twice) and pneumonia.  source :She Cannot Tell a Lie BOOK REVIEW, PAGE 14 

• ReFrame, the largest drug-repurposing library in the world, houses 20 milligrams of nearly every drug that has ever undergone safety testing in people, whether or not it proved effective for its original use.
 
• A large plant of the weed garlic mustard can disperse 7,900 seeds that can lurk in soil for as long as 10 years. 

  • The overall collection of Funko Pops, those vinyl figurines with saucerlike eyeballs and oblong heads, includes 34 distinct figures of Conan O’Brien. source :Finally, Funkos for Female Directors ARTS & LEISURE, PAGE 12

  •  In air travel, zeppelins, not airplanes, were the first to offer passenger flights in Europe and the first to transport passengers across the Atlantic Ocean. ‘From Now On Our Place Is in the Sky!’ source BOOK REVIEW, PAGE 9

 • According to a 2019 YouGov survey, 45 percent of U.S. adults believe in ghosts. source Violating Spectral Distancing Rules SUNDAY STYLES, PAGE 6 

  •  Because of low interest rates, the payout on commercial annuities has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last 30 years. Dealing With the Dark Side of Low Interest Rates  source:SUNDAY BUSINESS, PAGE 5




December 17, 2019

looks who's talking : alexa vs google Assistant vs siri

Smart Speaker Market Share : 2018 vs 2019

US Voice Assistant User Share 


According to India Mobile Broadband Index report 2018, there has been an 270% increase  in growth of voice searches in India.With the consumers now taking to voice in a big way , voice is being seen as the new frontier of  digital marketing . A decade ago  it would have been impossible to imagine a world where a human being would be able to talk or converse with a machine on a device . As best this was restricted to science fiction. Today thanks to Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa , Apples Siri ,Microsoft's Cortona and Samsungs Bixby, a world of opportunities  has opened up, not only for tech companies who are looking to elevate their consumer experience but also for brands that needs to be present wherever consumers are in  a multi platform world.

The Global Speech and voice recognition market size is estimated to reach USD 31.82 billion by 2025 according to  a new report by Grand View Research Inc exhibiting a CAGR of 17.2% during the forecast period.According to emarketer ,it estimates that in 2019, 111.8 million people in the US will use a voice assistant at least monthly, up 9.5% from last year. This is equivalent to 39.4% of internet users and 33.8% of the total population. According to Dentsu Aegis Network exchange4media  digital report, Digital Ad spends stood at Rs 10,819 crore  and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 31.92% to reach Rs 24,920 crore by 2021. The report stated that the surge in digital ad spends will be lead by 3 main factors including voice based search technology , vernacular as well as video content . This growth is  further enhanced by engaging mobile experiences based on augmented reality ( AR ) Virtual Reality ( VR) Technologies . So how are marketers looking at Voice based search technology and where  are they at the implementation curve ? 

So the Question is Why Voice ?Voice enables  an intimate and conversational relationship between brands and people . In theory it helps brand communicate stronger bonds with their customers. To ensure it happens it has to support the brand purpose , solve a real and genuine problem for people and be something that is uniquely suited for voice. Successful voice marketing means understanding how people like to use voice  recognition technology  and catering  marketing to those habits . 

According to Google nearly 20% of the searches on Android devices are done through voice.On their part companies have also undertaken a 360 degree marketing blitz showcasing their benefits of using voice assistants from playing a song to checking the latest cricket score to setting the alarm.This has resulted in Amazons digital voice assistant Alexa becoming a household name  along with  Google Assistant.When it comes to the household  Amazon's Alexa rules  as America's most favored Artificial Intelligence based voice assistant which controls between 60-70% of the smart speaker segment   and has more integrations with third party smart home devices than either Google Home or Apples Home Kit Products . As such the majority of smart home consumer controls the majority of smart home functions via voice with Alexa despite the fact that nearly 100% of Alexa users have a smartphone with either Apple's Siri or Google Assistant on it.


However  when it comes to the car the story is a bit different . In the smart speaker segment  Amazon has the great advantage of being the first in the field  by about a year . Google has been playing catch up with its assistant and  devices since 2015, and Apple  has struggled to figure out which direction it wants to run  this race, despite the fact that Apple's Siri was technically the first voice assistant to break out in the market . But in the realm of the car voice assistant, both Google and Apple  have managed to successfully connect themselves to the automobile mobile experience. But despite  being behind Amazon is racing avidly for a crack at becoming the consumer's most favored navigator