Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness

Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness

By Emily Esfahani Smith, AUG 1 2013, The Atlantic


For at least the last decade, the happiness craze has been building. In the last three months alone, over 1,000 books on happiness were released on Amazon, including Happy MoneyHappy-People-Pills For All, and, for those just starting out, Happiness for Beginners. One of the consistent claims of books like these is that happiness is associated with all sorts of good life outcomes, including — most promisingly — good health. Many studies have noted the connectionbetween a happy mind and a healthy body — the happier you are, the better health outcomes we seem to have. In a meta-analysis (overview) of 150 studies on this topic, researchers put it like this: “Inductions of well-being lead to healthy functioning, and inductions of ill-being lead to compromised health.”

But a new study, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) challenges the rosy picture. Happiness may not be as good for the body as researchers thought. It might even be bad. Of course, it’s important to first define happiness. A few months ago, I wrote a piece called “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy” about a psychology study that dug into what happiness really means to people. It specifically explored the difference between a meaningful life and a happy life. Read more of this post

Apple’s ‘Mission Statement’ Is Making People Worry That The Company Has Gone To Hell

Apple’s ‘Mission Statement’ Is Making People Worry That The Company Has Gone To Hell

HENRY BLODGET AUG. 3, 2013, 11:41 AM 16,896 34

Where are we headed, Tim?

A tech-industry insider sent us the note below highlighting what Apple’s web site is describing as the company’s “mission statement.” The executive’s reaction to this mission statement was not positive. He took it as a sign that Apple has changed fundamentally — and for the worse — since Steve Jobs died. I don’t know what Apple’s official mission statement was when Steve Jobs was alive – but I’d be shocked if it was this pathetic piece of generic corporate mumbo jumbo drivel. It’s almost as if Tim Cook hated Jobs. The “mission statement” the executive was referring to is the paragraph below, which can be found on Apple’s investor relations site and at the bottom of Apple press releases: What is Apple’s mission statement?

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

If that really is Apple’s “mission statement,” it is indeed pretty lame. It’s not a mission statement so much as a list of product lines. And it would be hard to imagine a less-inspiring, more prosaic description of what Apple is (or used to be) all about. Read more of this post

The future of TV; Netflix, Google, Apple, and Intel think they can remake the industry, but there’s a lot of money and brain-power standing in their way


Don’t Touch That Dial


Netflix, Google, Apple, and Intel think they can remake the industry, but there’s a lot of money and brain-power standing in their way.

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Netflix is having a good summer. The Internet streaming service garnered 14 Emmy nominations last month, including a Best Actor nod for House of Cards star Kevin Spacey. Four days later, the company announced that U.S. subscribers to its video-streaming service hit 30 million.

Netflix shares (ticker: NFLX) are up 170% on the year, making them the best performer in the S&P 500. But it’s the future of TV that investors are really excited about, and Netflix is not shy about putting itself in the center, declaring on its Website, “Over the coming decades and across the world, Internet TV will replace linear TV….As Internet TV grows from millions to billions, Netflix is leading the way.” Read more of this post

Is It Possible to Recover from Autism? New research says yes, but how to spark recovery remains a mystery

Is It Possible to Recover from Autism?

New research says yes, but how to spark recovery remains a mystery

By Jennifer Richler  | Monday, July 29, 2013 | 11

When I was training to be a clinical psychologist, telling parents that their child had autism was a regular part of my job. Now that I’m a parent, I understand better the pained expression that came over their faces as they contemplated this news. Among the many questions taking shape in their minds, I can imagine the one looming largest: Could their child ever be like other children?

A recent study, published in February in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests that for some people, the answer is yes. The researchers found that some individuals who had been diagnosed with autism as young children no longer had symptoms—such as difficulty interacting and communicating with others, rigid adherence to rituals and routines, and repetitive movements of their bodies and objects—when they were older. Read more of this post

Billions are being spent to pack business-class seats with engineering innovations and fancy features.

August 3, 2013

The Race to Build a Better Business Class


IN a confidential test lab in a remote office park near the Frankfurt airport, a small Lufthansa team holed up for five years, refining one of the German airline’s most closely guarded secrets. They called it the V concept. Six feet six inches long and almost two feet wide, the V concept is the German carrier’s latest weapon in the fierce competition among global airlines. It is designed to withstand shocks 16 times the force of gravity and comes with a cozy padded footrest. It is a new business-class seat, and if you are traveling round trip from Frankfurt to New York, it can be yours for about $5,000. “Business class is where competition really is serious,” says Björn Bosler, the airline’s manager for passenger experience design, business and premium, who led Lufthansa’s team of dozens of seat designers and engineers. Bob Lange, senior vice president, head of market and product strategy at Airbus, the European plane maker, agrees: “There’s an arms race going on among carriers.” Billions are being spent on research and development, architects, industrial designers and even yacht designers to pack seats with engineering innovations and fancy features. Just fabricating a single business-class seat can cost up to $80,000; custom-made first-class models run $250,000 to $500,000. Read more of this post

China’s third-party payment market had total transactions reaching US$1.127tn in the first half of 2013; China UMS is the leader in the nation’s third-party payment industry, taking a market share of 46.3%, followed by Alipay with 17.8%

Third-party payment market in China worth RMB7tn so far this year

Liao Kuei-ju and Staff Reporter


In the first half of 2013, China’s third-party payment market had total transactions reaching 6.91 trillion yuan (US$1.127tn), already achieving 66% of last year’s total, our sister paper Commercial Times reports, citing the China Electronic Information Industry Development Institute. The mainland is seeing slowing economic growth but its e-commerce industry has outperformed, with sales jumping more than 100% a year. To grab a slice of the pie, international credit card giant Visa in April began its certification program for third-party payment companies. On Aug. 1, Chinese third-party payment company Tenpay announced it will begin offering secure third-party payment services for international credit cards immediately. Read more of this post

Damned lies and statistics: Fraud generates RMB300bn (US$48.9 billion) a year in China

Damned lies and statistics: Fraud generates RMB300bn a year in China

Weng Lu-yi and Staff Reporter


Which industry is the most profitable in China? The answer is neither the financial sector nor real estate, but the cheating industry. The money earned through fraudulent means exceeds 300 billion yuan (US$48.9 billion) a year. In 2008, police cracked down on two illegal pyramid schemes in Hebei who swindled funds in excess of 100 million yuan (US$16.3m). In the same year, authorities in Shandong province also busted an illegal pyramid scheme involving tens of thousands of people across 20 provinces. The company had ended up defrauding victims out of 890 million yuan (US$145m) in total. Read more of this post

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