Nitrous oxide is 300-times stronger than CO2… The greenhouse gas plays a major role in intensifying climate change. Quartz’s heat map shows where the worst emissions in the world are located.
I recently visited Korba, one of the regions profiled in this piece that has one of the world's highest NOx concentrations. The scene was tragic. Coal-fired power plants literally abut communities, which are exposed to hazardous pollutant levels. Although these communities are dependent on the coal economy
I recently visited Korba, one of the regions profiled in this piece that has one of the world's highest NOx concentrations. The scene was tragic. Coal-fired power plants literally abut communities, which are exposed to hazardous pollutant levels. Although these communities are dependent on the coal economy, that dependence is ultimately deadly for them. (Aside: electronic air pollution monitors in these communities were almost certainly inaccurate, displaying safe levels of NOx and SOx pollution. The satellite data here is an important tool to display the true picture.)
Satellites are getting so good at monitoring the planet, if you're emitting greenhouse gases you can run but you can't hide. Once regulatory regimes start turning the screws on high emitting firms, capital markets will pounce those that can turn off the faucet. Given the state of the climate talks, that
Satellites are getting so good at monitoring the planet, if you're emitting greenhouse gases you can run but you can't hide. Once regulatory regimes start turning the screws on high emitting firms, capital markets will pounce those that can turn off the faucet. Given the state of the climate talks, that will be a while. But it's more likely a "when," not an "if."
Carbon dioxide gets all the blame for climate change, but it's important to remember there are other gases that we emit that cause it, too. NOx gases are emitted anywhere there's burning—which has got to be huge, especially in Australia right now.
Netflix has hit a wall in the US, but its global outlook is much rosier. Netflix's fourth-quarter earnings beat Wall Street street estimates, and the stock is gaining after-hours despite weak domestic growth numbers and a softened first-quarter outlook. Toss a coin to your Witcher indeed.Quartz
Lebanon has a new government. Facing the worst economic crisis in decades, heavily indebted Lebanon has been without a government since October. The new prime minister, Hassan Diab, is a 60-year-old professor at the American University of Beirut.www.aljazeera.com
The spread of the Wuhan coronavirus
The first US case of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus has been confirmed. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a case of the dangerous new virus—that has already killed six in China—has been diagnosed in Washington State.CNN
No end in sight for Boeing's 737 crisis
Regulators say there is "no timeframe" for the 737 Max to return to the skies. Boeing shares cratered between four and five percent after news that the Federal Aviation Administration is still nowhere near giving Boeing's beleaguered jet the all-clear.CNBC
The flip side of the 737 Max issue is that airliners who didn’t buy the Max - JetBlue and Delta among them - are doing well as the supply constraint has boosted their revenue. And as travel is one of the first items to be cut in a recession, they could come out on top of any downturn consolidations down the road as a result.
Should Boeing rename the 737 Max? If not, Boeing could scrap the troubled jet altogether and develop an all-new replacement—leaving the door open to calling it whatever it chooses.Quartz
The 737 is forever linked to corporate failure. Despite its success Boeing trying to upgrade an old design is a repeat of Henry Ford trying to keep the Model T in production. Boeing should already have a new design in development . If it doesn't then Boeing will be in an abyss of its own making.
Boeing failed to go back to the drawing board when they discovered that it had huge design problems. Alternatively, they came up with a quick and flawed fix with the lame MCAS system. In the Boeing Exec Suite and Board Room, profit trumped basic safety and customer considerations. What a TOTAL disaster
Boeing failed to go back to the drawing board when they discovered that it had huge design problems. Alternatively, they came up with a quick and flawed fix with the lame MCAS system. In the Boeing Exec Suite and Board Room, profit trumped basic safety and customer considerations. What a TOTAL disaster on all fronts. It is embarrassing! It may be criminal! This will drag on and on. The FAA has egg on their face too and they will respond with a scorched earth system for re-certification for the MAX. And now, AND NOW, Boeing is planning to pay stock "dividends" to shareholders even while they are having to borrow an initial $10 billion to bolster the stock price and stay afloat. Greedy bastards!
Who's who at the World Economic Forum
There are nearly 2,800 attendees this year... Representing 117 different countries, the group includes world leaders, finance heavyweights, a smattering of women, and your perennial conference regulars. Don't take our word for it—here are some tables and maps instead.Quartz
...and we've obtained the full secret guest list... Sometimes the World Economic Forum keeps the list private and sometimes certain groups are strategically omitted. But this year, Quartz gained access to a guest list with an unprecedented level of detail.✦Quartz
...and this is how they're being divided... Delegates are slotted into categories numbered one to seven—an indication, of sorts, of how senior or perhaps important a delegate is to the business world. In all, 46% of this year’s participants are listed as ones, and 0.75% are sevens.Quartz
The climate at Davos
Trump trashed climate activists and boosted his own achievements. The US president's address during the World Economic Forum was a long list of what he’s done, whether true or not. He also found time to decry "prophets of doom" who bring a climate agenda to the conferenceQuartz
Greta Thunberg reminded attendees of the alarming numbers surrounding climate change, which show that the world is running out of time to reduce warming. The young Swedish activist said she would continue repeating the metrics until people start listening.Quartz
Greta Thunberg just finished speaking at Davos, one hour after Donald Trump gave a speech unremarkably light on climate-focused details and commitments. She reminded the assembled world leaders that she came to Davos last year and told them "our house is on fire." She ended her speech this year by saying
Greta Thunberg just finished speaking at Davos, one hour after Donald Trump gave a speech unremarkably light on climate-focused details and commitments. She reminded the assembled world leaders that she came to Davos last year and told them "our house is on fire." She ended her speech this year by saying: "Our house is still on fire."
It's also the world's most expensive business trip
Car rentals help push the administration's travel costs past $4 million. Car services alone for president Trump’s daughter and senior advisor over two days in Davos will cost US taxpayers $34,000, tacking onto the bill of Trump’s most-expensive trip to WEF.Quartz
The next level of gaming
A third of the world plays video games. As the global gaming industry grows, it’s influencing much more than how we spend our free time. This week’s membership field guide takes a look at the state of gaming and its impact on our lives from entertainment to government and health care. ✦Quartz
This article is an excellent walk-through of the evolution of the gaming industry and a future look-ahead.
Myself, I am a chess player-turned-a gamer, a gamer-turned-a game entrepreneur, and then became 1 of the very few female CEOs in this industry. The journey is so far the most rewarding, as well
This article is an excellent walk-through of the evolution of the gaming industry and a future look-ahead.
Myself, I am a chess player-turned-a gamer, a gamer-turned-a game entrepreneur, and then became 1 of the very few female CEOs in this industry. The journey is so far the most rewarding, as well as the most challenging among my 3 startup experiences. Besides the fact that gaming is the largest online economy (1/3 of all mobile app downloads and 74% of mobile consumer spending as the article states), I want to share that what games are to me and attempt to provide a peephole to a bigger picture.
- What turns a gamer?
It probably has lots to do with being an extreme introvert and my unusual childhood growing up in China as a migrant kid. My family's unexpected loss of hukou, a residence permit issued by the Chinese government forbade me from attending a school. Instead of me discovering chess, it was more of chess stumbling upon me during those years of absence from school. Chess became my only toy, game, and friend since 8. Becoming the youngest national champion didn't only offer me a path to receive school education later bypassing the residence permit requirement, but more importantly, the foundation to build upon my self-esteem, characters, disciplines, and social skills. It is much bigger than just a game.
As time passed by, I started my 1st year in school at 13 after competing internationally for our national team. 4 years later, I went to Columbia University to pursue my undergraduate study, and the only problem was I learned very little English. Keeping up with the intensity of Columbia's curriculums, making friends, or even having simple social interactions seemed extremely difficult to me.
The difficulties in life don't destroy people. The sense of loneliness, failure, and self-unworthiness do. I started to skip classes, shut myself in the doom and grew depressed. My parents had no idea of what happened across the Pacific Ocean. The pride and the fear of being judged kept me from opening up to anyone.
Just like chess stumbled upon me accidentally, this time, Starcraft did. During days of skipping classes. I started to spend 8-10 hours in the game. At a glimpse, yes, I looked like a teenager addicted to the game, and it greatly affected my school. In the root, my problem was not the addiction, but the deep unhappiness and depression in real life. The lack of friends, the sense of not being accepted, and accomplishing nothing were feelings I was trying to escape.
However, by playing Starcraft, for the 1st time since I arrived in the U.S, I made friends, friends from my game alliance, friends whom I coordinated and strategized together, friends whom I fought and achieved victories in battles together. Those game friends became my Facebook friends and later my real friends in life. After 16 years, some of them I still keep in touch until today.
- Gaming business from the perspective of a startup
In 2017, I sold my last startup, ai.Law and co-founded WafaGames with Joe, whom I met by playing Red Alert. It is extremely tough to raise funding as an early-stage studio due to the creative nature of game makings, therefore the highly risky and unsustainable side of a gaming startup. In fact, over 90% of the investments in the gaming industry flow to game publishers than game makers, to follow-up rounds and acquisitions of mature companies than startups. Gaming is possibly the most polarized industry.
It is also getting extremely expensive to make a game that stands a chance to compete with big boys like EA or Tencent. For instance, it cost us so far, almost 3 years and more than 3-million USD. The low cap of a budget to make a similar-genre game in big companies is likely to be around 10+ million USD per game. Publishing is even more expensive, averagely $5 to bring 1 android download and $10 for iOS for a mobile MMO game. It requires a minimum of 2000 daily downloads to break even.
Gaming is a highly competitive, risky, and polarized industry with a massive amount of money at stake.
- Besides money, what games are really about?
Games evolved from a nerds' 'sport' in the '80s to today's 'glorified' field in which world-class gamers are viewed as celebrities, top game companies the richest companies among all, and 'gamification' suddenly the most popular design term across all industries. But what games are really about? What makes them so charming?
It is about fairness and equality that we could hardly find in the real world. In a good-designed game, one's smartness, hardworking, and practices will be rewarded. As on a chessboard, if I am better, I will win. If I lose, I lose fair and square and will go back practicing more before coming back. One's genders, skin colors, or birthright privileges matter very little here.
It is about simplicity and transparency. When the rules are set, they are set for all. The path for growth and accomplishment can then be defined. There is little room for back-door tricks or under-table deals.
It is about sincerity and authenticity in building friendships. Many would disagree that the friends we make in games are sometimes far more real. It's intuitive and effortless to conclude that everything about a game is fake. How could it not be? But gamers are real, game makers are real, and our interactions can't be more authentic, and they cross nationalities, genders, and cultural differences. The things that are missing out in games are often prejudices, judgments, discriminations, and masks that we are forced to put on under social pressures. Sometimes, we can only be ourselves in a virtual world. Isn't that ironic?
I have a very personal story, the one I have never really shared with anyone. Last year my grandpa passed away from a sudden heart attack. I was thousands of miles from home, and my mom called me. I lost someone I care about deeply and close to my heart since I was a kid, and yet there was nothing I could do. At that moment, I remember sitting on the floor in the dark. Tears broke down and turned into sharp heart pains; I felt hopeless and numb. After many hours when the dawn was breaking, I reached out to my phone and started to play our game and chat with my alliance friends. Of course, they had no idea who I was and what I was going through. But I felt alive, better as if the real human connections in the visual game world provided me with an outlet, a safe escape.
We often criticize those who find their emotional comfort in the virtual world, don't we? We call them weak for avoiding real problems. But aren't we all sometimes need a little escape from a cruel moment, a desperate situation in this often too cold, too unfair world to cure our vulnerability, so we can continue to believe in dreams, beauty, and magic? Aren't we all wish to stay childlike and unpretending in our hearts?
- Excessive screen time as a social concern
I think this concern should first be addressed to game makers. It is first our responsibility to take pride in making games as a start-of-art intellectual quest and a meaningful interaction with players with respect, rather than a money-making tool to trick addiction, scheme human nature.
Chess is a beautiful game and very educational for both adults and children to train their thinking capacity and strategic minds. No one doubts that.
Good games ought to be the practice of thought discipline, the training of problem-solving skills, and fun. Games are not harmful. Bad games are.
Quartz Africa edition
The UK’s Africa summit was big on lofty promises but light on commitments. British ministers announced a smattering of trade deals to replace its EU agreements and $10.5 billion in investments and commerce—but UK-Africa trade continues to decline overall.Quartz
A Chinese super app is facing claims of predatory consumer lending. A new report by a US-based equity research firm claims OKash and OPesa, the Africa-focused consumer lending apps of Opera are offering loans on predatory termsQuartz
Our plant-based future
Starbucks inches closer to adding plant-based meat to its menu. However, the company declined to get into timelines or potential suppliers after CEO Kevin Johnson laid out a plan to make the coffee chain more environmentally friendly.Reuters
Bacteria could soon replace dairy cows and soy fields. Lab-grown food producers say they can reach cost parity with traditional agriculture by the end of the decade—while using less land and water and emitting less carbon and fewer pollutants.the Guardian
Check back soon
How YouTube shields advertisers (not viewers) from harmful videosQuartz
India drops 10 places in The Economist’s democracy rankings over Kashmir and citizenship lawQuartz India
Brexit has reversed a decades-long drop in the size of the UK’s civil serviceQuartz
India’s organised retailers and e-tailers hold up, while kirana stores face the brunt of slowdownQuartz India
Ola proved itself smarter than Uber in India’s food-tech spaceQuartz India
China funds more coal plants in Bosnia as residents protest some of the world’s worst air qualityQuartz
Despite $5 billion dues and Jio’s wrath, Airtel is not hanging up just yetQuartz India
Netflix has hit a wall in the US, but its global outlook is much rosierQuartz
The museum that defines the Instagram age wants visitors to ditch their phonesQuartz
Should Boeing rename the 737 Max?Quartz