On a hot August afternoon in 2000, four Americans arrived for a secret meeting at the central London penthouse flat of an Indian billionaire drug manufacturer named Yusuf Hamied. A sixth person would join them there, a French employee of the World Health Organisation, who was flying in from Geneva, having told his colleagues he was taking leave. Hamied took his guests into the dining room on the seventh floor. The room featured a view of the private gardens of Gloucester Square, Bayswater, for which only the residents possess a key. The six men sat round a glass dining table overlooked by a painting of galloping horses by a Mumbai artist (Hamied has racehorses stabled in three cities). The discussion, which went on all afternoon and through dinner that evening at the Bombay Palace restaurant nearby, would help change the course of medical history. The number of people living with HIV/Aids worldwide had topped 34 million, many of them in the developing world. Hamied and his guests were … [Read more...] about Big Pharma’s worst nightmare
Two years ago, it seemed clear that a combination of factors would lead to increased calls to regulate technology companies, especially the big tech giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. When that happens, I argued at the time, regulatory policy would have to strike a sensible balance between mitigating the most harmful effects of technology and allowing tech companies to continue improving people’s lives. Now that day has arrived and achieving such a balance will be difficult. Having benignly neglected these companies for years, democratic governments are now producing a dizzying array of policies to regulate them. The risk is that the flurry of policymaking will overcorrect and do more harm than good, not least by unintentionally stifling innovation and competition. There are at least four separate regulatory policy issues that need to be addressed: privacy, market power, free speech and censorship (including inappropriate content), and national security and law … [Read more...] about Privacy, power and censorship: how to regulate big tech
Domino's Pizza stores in Australia and New Zealand have finally begun using an elaborate new employee monitoring tool to track employee performance. First announced in 2017, the DOM Pizza Checker was finally implemented at a number of Domino's stores in Oceania beginning this August, according to an investor presentation. The device is a high-powered overhead camera connected to machine-learning software that monitors employee performance as they make a pizza. The DOM Pizza Checker (pictured above) is a high powered camera and computer system that observes and evaluates employees as they make pizza. The camera matches a live image of the pizza being made to an image of the pizza that's been ordered. The algorithm evaluates the pizza as the employee prepares it, measuring the border of the crust, amount of cheese, evenness of 'spread,' proportion of ingredients, and even temperature. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next From Fitbit's Inspire to the Apple Watch Series 5, the … [Read more...] about Big Brother IS watching: Domino’s launches AI-powered camera system that alerts staff if they make substandard pizzas
In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up the first signs of a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians were being killed on American roads. That year, 4,302 American pedestrians died, an increase of almost 5% from 2009. The tally has increased almost every year since, with particularly sharp spikes in 2015 and 2016. Last year, 41% more US pedestrians were killed than in 2008. During this same period, overall non-pedestrian road fatalities moved in the opposite direction, decreasing by more than 7%. For drivers, roads are as safe as they have ever been; for people on foot, roads keep getting deadlier. Through the 90s and 00s, the pedestrian death count had declined almost every year. No one would have confused the US for a walkers’ paradise – at least part of the reason fewer pedestrians died in this period was that people were driving more and walking less, which meant that there were fewer opportunities to be … [Read more...] about Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?
High Street food chain Pizza Express is at risk of being the next eatery in the UK to collapse after the firm hired advisors ahead of talks with creditors. The chain, which was acquired by Chinese private equity firm Hony Captial in 2014, is set to engage in talks to save the business, which is in £655 million worth of debt. The popular restaurant is thought to have struggled with rising costs and a tough UK trading environment. It comes just months after the UK lost Jamie's Italian from the High Street and it is thought the Pizza Express chains are in debt of up to £1.6 million per eatery. It is thought the Pizza Express chains are in debt of up to £1.6 million per eatery (chain in Surrey pictured above) Langton Capital Limited tweeted out the update following the announcement on October 4, that the company had hired advisors. Langton had previously sent out a report to clients which highlighted the amount of debt the firm was in, and how each restaurant was … [Read more...] about Pizza Express calls in financial advisors ahead of talks with creditors over £665m debts – sparking fears restaurant chain will be next big name to disappear from Britain’s High Street