Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

It probably just costs a few dollars to administer a test like the TOEFL

July 26, 2014

“Standardized English exams like the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) that almost every foreign student who has ever wanted to study in the U.S. has to take are a big business and essentially operate like monopolies.” Here is the first startup to take these standardized tests on directly. And this startup delivers an almost free language learning service. “It probably just costs a few dollars to administer a test like the TOEFL but because these companies are essentially monopolies, they can charge huge markups”
Source: http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/23/duolingo-launches-its-language-certification-program/

the sad memory of Fantine from Les Miserables is back

June 25, 2013

Struggling against the crisis in Spain, some women sell their hair to supplement their income.

A bitter taste of deja vu where the sad memory of Fantine from Les Miserables is back.

Victor Hugo was inspired by the news items of his time.

In a country like Spain where the painful dreams of Providence disintegrate in front of the unfulfilled promises of liberalism, one can find an echo of the indictment of the writer concerning the inheritance of poverty and women.

As if replaying the same story in the heart of our liberal democracies, the same tragedy that combines social law and moral law in a bad way, extends its shadow again.

The same misery of all time, forces women to sell shares of themselves.

Source
http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-sur-les-docks-champ-libre-11-%C2%AB-pelos-histoires-de-cheveux-%C2%BB-2013-06-24

Insecure mopeds

January 3, 2013

exposure to road risk (as a victim of an accident) per km depending on the mode of transport. example of the city of Grenoble, France. Motorcycle: 17 times riskier than the car. moped: 39 times riskier than the car. Cycling: 5 times riskier than the car. pedestrian: 2 times riskier than the car.

the human body cannot endure shocks at speeds above 30 km per hour. Its elasticity deteriorates with age.

Source Technicit├ęs dec 2012

French cities: insecure for elders

January 3, 2013

in France, 350 pedestrians were killed in accidents in urban traffic in 2011. the majority was more than 65 years old. People over 75 years old represent almost 41% of deaths. a lower speed when crossing the street and reduced reflexes due to aging are at the origin of this mortality.

solution among others: reducing speeds by revising the roads. but we must anticipate because remaking the roads takes 60 years.

Source Technicit├ęs dec 2012

Personal data collection as the heart of net economy: a French tax will take it into account

December 27, 2012

‘Companies that make use of personal data “without informing users” could be penalized by a heavier taxation.

This new tax would therefore take better account of the value of the data collected by Internet companies.

French government asked 2 experts to work on this new tax.

The experts (Colin/ Collin) seems to have identified personal data collection as the heart of the economic model of net companies. One way to tell that value is not immune to economic regulator.’

Source Zdnet

Christmas logistics.

December 22, 2012

when a Western company seeks a subcontractor in China, it frequently involves an intermediary based in Hong Kong. This intermediary is related to a referent on production sites. this referent is responsible for selecting the final manufacturers. selected manufacturers outsource in cascade. thus the multinational company that own the toy brand receives, a few weeks before christmas, containers filled with Batman figurines or Nancy dolls. if the delivered toys do not conform to the specifications, the multinational company returns the merchandise. otherwise, it accepts the merchandise, but without knowing where and how the toys were manufactured. the multinational toy company does not have the same concern of traceability that automakers.

Source Que choisir, dec 2012

NSA is the US leading employer of mathematicians

December 16, 2012

the U.S. is not producing enough mathematically competent workers. That can be a national security concern because the National Security Agency is the country’s leading employer of mathematicians and relies on them to analyze intelligence data.

Source Sciam: http://t.co/t4xrdBnw