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‘Humans aren’t broken. They’re never broken,’ says Hugh Herr, the man on the frontier of prosthetic invention, including his own legs.

July 12, 2013, 6:31 p.m. ET

The Weekend Interview With Hugh Herr: The Liberating Age of Bionics

‘Humans aren’t broken. They’re never broken,’ says Hugh Herr, the man on the frontier of prosthetic invention, including his own legs.

JOSEPH RAGO

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‘It’s extraordinary that we live in this day and age with all our wonderful modern technology, and still we have shoes that give us blisters,” says Hugh Herr, with more than a little incredulity and perhaps even fresh anger at this lack of progress. “Shoes are one of the oldest devices that exist across the human timeline and it is juststaggering that we haven’t figured out that problem.” It’s a remarkable observation, on reflection, in more ways than one. Footwear and its discontents are more or less inevitabilities most of us take for granted. Also, Dr. Herr lacks biological legs below the knee. He is fitted with bionic prosthetics of his own invention, known as BiOMs, with his trousers rolled to display what he calls their “machine beauty.” Dr. Herr (pictured nearby) is the director of the Biomechatronics Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and a world leader at the frontiers of limb replacement and rehabilitation. Read more of this post

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The hidden costs of investing

July 12, 2013 5:43 pm

The hidden costs of investing

By Lucy Warwick-Ching

Hidden Costs

Picture the scene. You’ve splashed out on the latest Aston Martin. But as you climb into the driver’s seat you’re asked to pay a fee for the key to the car and another charge for its manual. Then, just as you’re about to drive off the dealer’s forecourt you’re hit with yet more charges – an exit fee for leaving the garage, followed by separate charges for the leather seats and passenger door. Most of us wouldn’t keep silent if this scenario happened in real life, so why do so few investors complain about the percentage of their money that goes on charges? “Confusion about charges on investment funds and pensions has left most investors in the dark about how much they are paying,” says Gina Miller of SCM Private, a wealth manager, who is spearheading a“True & Fair Campaign” to encourage better disclosure of investing costs. Read more of this post

Restoring NCR’s Ka-ching! Under William Nuti, 129-year-old NCR has become the leading seller of ATMs and other digital point-of-sale devices. From the Bronx to the boardroom

SATURDAY, JULY 13, 2013

Restoring NCR’s Ka-ching!

By DYAN MACHAN | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Under William Nuti, 129-year-old NCR has become the leading seller of ATMs and other digital point-of-sale devices. From the Bronx to the boardroom.

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Even by the rough-and-tumble standards of the Bronx, William Nuti was a clever and resourceful kid. As a nine-year-old newspaper boy in New York City’s northernmost borough, Nuti would work his way up an apartment building until he got to the roof. Then he would leap to the roof of the adjacent building, and work his way down again. Nuti’s Batman-like days might be over, but the same problem-solving instincts have served him well in the corporate world. As chief executive since 2005 of NCR (ticker: NCR), he has helped reinvent the company once known as National Cash Register, or “The Cash,” for the digital-commerce age.  Read more of this post

Rooting for Mother Teresa

July 12, 2013

Rooting for Mother Teresa

By ADA CALHOUN

POPE FRANCIS last week approved two of his predecessors for sainthood — John Paul II and John XXIII — fast-tracking the latter in spite of his having only one miracle to his credit rather than the usual two. Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, has not been given the same exemption (she also has just one miracle) and remains merely beatified.

Having volunteered for a time with Mother Teresa, I find myself rooting for her cause as if for the home team. And on principle I’m disappointed by the message sent when two men with complex legacies outpace a woman who devoted herself completely to serving others. Read more of this post

Momentum investing is bad for your wealth; Managers should focus on companies, not prices

July 12, 2013 5:46 pm

Momentum investing is bad for your wealth

By Paul Woolley

Managers should focus on companies, not prices, says Paul Woolley

The role of the finance sector is to channel savings into productive investment. Those of us who invest directly in shares can form their own views on how best to do that. Everyone else is reliant on the industry to do it for them. Institutions such as pension funds fulfil this role, acting as the collection point for savers’ capital and setting the terms for how it is allocated. We innocently assume that our capital is directed to those sectors and companies with the best earnings potential. That way we receive the highest returns and the economy flourishes. The sad truth is that isn’t how it works in reality. The bulk of investment is now conducted without reference to economic value. There are only two basic strategies for managing equity portfolios in particular: fundamental investing – based on expected future cash flows – and momentum investing, or trend following, which considers only short-run price changes and disregards value. Fundamental investing calls for patience. Investors must wait either for prices to reflect the full value of the underlying business, or earnings to crystallise as dividends. Momentum investing delivers quick gratification – or not, depending on how long trends last. Read more of this post

The Courts CEO who’s a little bit of a maverick

The Courts CEO who’s a little bit of a maverick

At 17, he dropped out of school to work. At 20, he got married and became a father four years later. And by 32, he was Managing Director of electronics and furniture retailer Courts Singapore.

BY NEO CHAI CHIN –

15 HOURS 30 MIN AGO

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At 17, he dropped out of school to work. At 20, he got married and became a father four years later. And by 32, he was Managing Director of electronics and furniture retailer Courts Singapore. Mr Terry O’Connor, the Chief Executive of Courts Asia today, has not achieved the milestones in his life in the most conventional timeline or order. So it is rather appropriate that the latest feather in his cap, a pacey and engaging book that chronicles his adventures and that of the company, is titled: Why Not? The Story of a Retail Maverick and Courts. Launched this month, the first print run of 2,500 has already sold out. Read more of this post

Make Moments Of Clarity Turning Points For Your Life

7/12/2013 @ 3:57PM |3,723 views

Make Moments Of Clarity Turning Points For Your Life

By Marc Miller, Next AvenueContributor

We’ve all had it happen. Some major shift happens in life, maybe someone dies or becomes ill, you lose a job or you get a divorce. Alternatively, the event could be something positive like the first day of your dream job. Either way, it completely alters your perspective on life for a moment. The future you saw for yourself changes and suddenly you can’t believe that the niggling issues that have been plaguing you – the ding on your car, your annoying co-worker – bothered you so much.

What Moments of Clarity Teach Us

I call these times Moments of Clarity. For a brief period, you see what’s really important in life. You may even resolve to change your habits or thinking to reflect your newfound perspective. Trouble is, many people let these moments fade. When that happens, your former concerns reassert themselves and once again you get preoccupied by the ding on your car. But if you instead embrace your light-bulb moments and commit yourself to learn from them, even years after the actual perspective shift takes place, the result can be life changing. You may find yourself at the cusp of an entirely new career. Read more of this post

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