Category Archives: Business

Largest ship to call US East Coast passes under Bayonne Bridge

A 13,200-TEU vessel that is the largest ever to enter the Port of New York and the US East Coast passed under the newly-elevated Bayonne Bridge Mondayafternoon.

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We Don’t Have Enough Construction Workers to Build Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

Bloomberg View Mar 1, 2017
The construction labor market at current wages is tight and has been tightening for the past several years. Last summer, when construction unemployment was at its seasonal low, there were only around 400,000 unemployed construction workers. This is around the lowest level we’ve seen for construction unemployment since the late 1990s. So if we’re going to get an unprecedented amount of construction employment growth, they’re going to have to come from other industries, outside the labor force, or abroad.
Immigrant labor, particularly undocumented workers, represent a significant proportion of the construction labor force. Bloomberg reported last week that up to 1.1 million construction workers in the U.S. are undocumented, so stepping up deportations would deplete an already-too-small construction labor pool.

Monsanto vs. Freedom of Information Act

Ralph Nader, who  I admire.  Me who hates Monsanto. gree on this.

ext year, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary as one of the finest laws our Congress has ever passed. It is a vital investigative tool for exposing government and corporate wrongdoing.

The FOIA was championed by Congressman John E. Moss (D-CA), who strove to “guarantee the right of every citizen to know the facts of his government.” Moss, with whom I worked closely as an outside citizen advocate, said that “without the fullest possible access to government information, it is impossible to gain the knowledge necessary to discharge the responsibilities of citizenship.”

All fifty states have adopted FOIA statutes.

As the FOIA approaches its 50th year, it faces a disturbing backlash from scientists tied to the agrichemical company Monsanto and its allies. Here are some examples.

On March 9, three former presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science—all with ties to Monsanto or the biotech industry—wrote in the pages of the Guardian to criticize the use of the state FOIA laws to investigate taxpayer-funded scientists who vocally defend Monsanto, the agri-chemical industry, their pesticides and genetically engineered food. They called the FOIAs an “organized attack on science.”

The super-secretive Monsanto has stated, regarding the FOIAs, that “agenda-driven groups often take individual documents or quotes out of context in an attempt to distort the facts, advance their agenda and stop legitimate research.”

Advocates with the venerable Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) do worry that the FOIA can be abused to harass scientists for ideological reasons. This is true; for example, human-caused global warming deniers have abused the FOIA against climate scientists working at state universities like Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University.

Read more about the Monsanto MONSTER

 

Five Ways Big Data, Analytics Are Transforming the Trucking Industry

1. Mobile Notifications

Using an open-architecture remote diagnostics system, truck drivers and fleet managers can receive mobile notifications about pending performance issues. The ability to predict issues before they happen helps avoid unplanned downtime. Notifications can be delivered via computers, email, cell phones and more, making it easier for drivers and fleet managers to receive and act on critical updates.

2. Over-the-Air Engine Reprogramming

Much like mobile phones, today’s engines benefit from frequent software updates and recalibrations, and will soon be able to receive these updates remotely via over-the-air reprogramming. Benefits like improved fuel economy can thus be achieved without having to schedule multiple service visits. Over-the-air reprogramming can potentially be used to recalibrate engines for new usage patterns, such as mountainous terrains or heavier loads, to optimize vehicle efficiency.

3. Truck Health Reports

Open-architecture remote diagnostics systems that work with a truck’s existing telematics systems pull diagnostic-related data from vehicles to create vehicle health reports. Using these reports to capture insights into the operational health of the vehicle, fleet managers can understand the severity of vehicle issues and identify the appropriate corrective actions, ultimately leading to increased uptime. By gaining advance visibility to potential maintenance issues, fleets can also schedule maintenance during planned downtime, avoiding service visits while the truck is scheduled to be in use.

4. Environment Tracking

Truck drivers’ on-time delivery is enhanced when mobile data is used to track emerging traffic and weather patterns, approaching truck stops, hotel locations and more. Real-time access to this information enables drivers to cut down on time spent fighting traffic, braving hazardous weather or searching for lodging. It can also speed drivers’ access to the right maintenance or repair facility for their needs, thus contributing directly to improved uptime

5. Fuel Economy

Analysis of vehicle data can pinpoint driver behaviors that reduce fuel efficiency, such as excessive idle time, harsh braking or rapid acceleration. Fleets will also be more empowered to select the right product features and other specifications needed to optimize their vehicles’ fuel economy. Tailored vehicle specifications will increasingly be relied on to address truckers’ emphasis on fuel economy, as well as other user needs.

Dropshipping and Drones – Today vs. Tomorrow

PenneyVanderbilt

The only drone developments that directly impact dropshipping in the USA  today are Amazon and Google  testing drones developed for delivering goods to customers.

E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. is developing aerial drones that it said could deliver products directly to consumers’ homes within the next five years. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the vehicles could deliver up to five pounds in a 10-mile radius of Amazon’s 96 warehouses within 30 minutes. Bezos said. “It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration would have to approve the use of drones, Bloomberg said. Congress has directed it to write regulations to allow such vehicles in United States airspace by 2015. Drones are currently used to deliver textbooks in Australia, and an experiment using them is under way in China. In addition…

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GE to establish energy firm combining several businesses

HARTFORD, Conn. — General Electric Co. has established an energy company that combines its LED, solar, energy storage and electric vehicle businesses and a software system to help customers improve efficiency.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based conglomerate said Wednesday the company, known as Current, will begin with more than $1 billion of revenue and build on the company’s energy businesses. It will be based in the Boston area and have a presence in California’s Silicon Valley, though exact locations weren’t provided.

Through its software GE will analyze energy consumption and provide customers with data detailing patterns of use and recommendations to improve efficiency.

GE says customers include Walgreens, Hilton Worldwide and JPMorgan Chase.

Current is expected to create about 200 jobs. Maryrose Sylvester, a former president and CEO of GE Lighting, will serve as CEO.

Algorithm Will Tell All UPS Trucks Where to Go

PenneyVanderbilt

A UPS driver has, on average, 120 stops to make each day. But what’s the most efficient route that driver can take?

The company is hoping its Orion (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) computer platform will solve this issue for its 55,000 US routes using an algorithm that examines travel costs, distance, and other factors to spit out not necessarily the optimal route, but the most reliably good one, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Customers and drivers like consistency,” a UPS senior director of process management tells the Journal. “Orion has to know when to give up a penny to make the results more stable.”

This efficiency has become paramount as UPS struggles to compete with FedEx, boost earnings growth, and figure out a way to optimize the many residential stops it now makes.

Rough Patches
The deployment of Orion isn’t always so smooth, though. That is where Mr. Levis

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