6 Changes That Will Make You More Imaginative; With some intentional shifts in how you go about your creative process, you can finally become as innovative as you want to be

6 CHANGES THAT WILL MAKE YOU MORE IMAGINATIVE

WITH SOME INTENTIONAL SHIFTS IN HOW YOU GO ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS, YOU CAN FINALLY BECOME AS INNOVATIVE AS YOU WANT TO BE.

BY MARTY NEUMEIER

Originality is fundamental to innovation and the key to building sustainable businesses and brands. However, in order to innovate, we must move from the known to the unknown–we must dream. Read more of this post

Immigrants from the future: Robots offer a unique insight into what people want from technology. That makes their progress peculiarly fascinating

Immigrants from the future: Robots offer a unique insight into what people want from technology. That makes their progress peculiarly fascinating, says Oliver Morton

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

SCHAFT, A BLUE-LIMBED robot, lifts its right foot to the seventh step of the ladder, its left foot to the eighth, and stops; it sways alarmingly in the strong Florida sea breeze. Of the 17 teams competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), a first-of-its-kind event held at a speedway track near Miami in December 2013, only two others got their robots this high up the ladder. One of those two then took a nasty tumble. Read more of this post

Japanese women and work: Holding back half the nation; Women’s lowly status in the Japanese workplace has barely improved in decades, and the country suffers as a result. Shinzo Abe would like to change that

Japanese women and work: Holding back half the nation; Women’s lowly status in the Japanese workplace has barely improved in decades, and the country suffers as a result. Shinzo Abe would like to change that

Mar 29th 2014 | TOKYO | From the print edition

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Japan’s consumption tax: The big squeeze; A tax goes up while recovery remains fragile

Japan’s consumption tax: The big squeeze; A tax goes up while recovery remains fragile

Mar 29th 2014 | TOKYO | From the print edition

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AS IN the rest of Japan, shopkeepers on Jizo-dori, the main street of Sugamo in north Tokyo, are nervously awaiting the effect of an imminent rise in the country’s consumption (ie, sales) tax, from 5% to 8% on April 1st. Keiji Kudo, the president of Maruji, a retail chain, has been devising ways to stave off a drop in sales of the shop’s most popular range, the red underwear which elderly customers buy for the colour’s supposedly health-boosting properties. Last week Mr Kudo began selling vouchers costing ¥2,700 ($26), which from April 1st may be exchanged for ¥3,000-worth of goods. It is the trick of a seasoned retailer, but Mr Kudo complains it will be harder to pull off next time. In October 2015 the tax is scheduled to go up again, to 10%. And Mr Kudo is under no illusion that will be the end of the rises. Read more of this post

On the antlers of a dilemma: The ambitions of Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s president, collide with popular suspicion of China

On the antlers of a dilemma: The ambitions of Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s president, collide with popular suspicion of China

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

THE fresh-faced good looks have been lined and drawn by the cares of office. His immaculate English is forsaken for the dignity of immaculate Mandarin. Patient replies to questions come wearily, as if said many times before. Yet, six years into his presidency, Ma Ying-jeou’s hair remains as lush and jet-black as any Chinese Politburo member’s. And, speaking in the presidential palace in Taipei, he remains as unwilling as any leader in Beijing to admit to any fundamental flaws in strategy. Read more of this post

India’s election: The country’s south will do much to shape the coming national election

India’s election: The country’s south will do much to shape the coming national election

Mar 29th 2014 | BANGALORE AND HYDERABAD | From the print edition

LICK your lips: mangoes are coming into season in Andhra Pradesh, piled up on roadside fruit stalls. Hyderabadis claim theirs are the country’s sweetest. So too are the bribes paid by the state’s politicians to get people to vote. Since early March state police have seized more money from politicians aiming to buy votes—590m rupees ($10m)—than the rest of India combined. An excited local paper talks of “rampant cash movement”, reporting that police do not know where to store the bundles of notes, bags of gold and silver, cricket kits, saris and lorry-loads of booze. Read more of this post

Politics in Taiwan: Manning the trade barriers; Students occupy Taiwan’s legislature in protest against a free-trade pact with China

Politics in Taiwan: Manning the trade barriers; Students occupy Taiwan’s legislature in protest against a free-trade pact with China

Mar 29th 2014 | TAIPEI | From the print edition

TAIWAN’S Legislative Yuan, the island’s parliament, is used to rumbustious scenes. But the occupation since March 18th of its main chamber by protesting students is unprecedented in the country’s nearly two decades of full democracy. The demonstrators, whose actions took many by surprise, want the government to scrap an agreement with China that would allow freer trade in services across the Taiwan Strait. They have displayed a large cartoon of President Ma Ying-jeou in the debating hall, portraying him as a Chinese pawn. The president is at the nadir of his popularity, while China struggles to win over public opinion in Taiwan. Signs of public sympathy with the students are growing. Read more of this post

A handful of banks are caught short by the Fed’s annual stress test

A handful of banks are caught short by the Fed’s annual stress test

Mar 29th 2014 | New York | From the print edition

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THE current mood in America’s financial markets is enthusiasm for companies that can receive investment now with the prospect of using it to make more in the future. The exceptions are banks, for whom the ability to return capital now rather than later is seen as a critical indicator of health. On March 26th the Federal Reserve disclosed the results of its “comprehensive capital analysis and review” determining which of the country’s 30 largest banks could increase their dividends and share buybacks. Read more of this post

Presidential libraries: Style and guile; The search for a home for Mr Obama’s library and museum has begun

Presidential libraries: Style and guile; The search for a home for Mr Obama’s library and museum has begun

Mar 29th 2014 | CHICAGO | From the print edition

“AT THEIR best, they are lively classrooms of democracy,” says Richard Norton Smith, a historian who specialises in presidential libraries. They are also something of a misnomer. People who wander in expecting to borrow “The Cat in the Hat” tend to find instead a museum, a replica of the Oval Office and many floors of documents. Read more of this post

Journalism in America: Digital resurrection; Some moderately good news in the news industry

Journalism in America: Digital resurrection; Some moderately good news in the news industry

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

IN FEBRUARY Vice, a media firm that caters to youngsters who like their news with a dollop of sass and hip-hop, toured the opulent residence of the ousted president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and posted the video online. “It looks like a weird dictatorship theme park,” the sardonic reporter told the camera. A new report by the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, finds that a third of Americans now watch news videos online, about as many as say they watch news on cable television. Among those aged 18-29, around half do. Read more of this post

A new fossil reptile is unlike anything previously found

A new fossil reptile is unlike anything previously found

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

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YUNNAN province, in China, is home to the Luoping formation, a trove of spectacularly preserved fossils of creatures that roamed the seas 240m years ago, during the Triassic period. The latest—and arguably most spectacular yet—is Atopodentatus unicus, described this week in Naturwissenschaften by Long Cheng, of the Wuhan Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources, and his team. Read more of this post

Synthetic biology: DIY chromosomes; The first synthetic chromosome for a creature with complex cells, designed on a computer and made from scratch in a laboratory, is being put through its paces

Synthetic biology: DIY chromosomes; The first synthetic chromosome for a creature with complex cells, designed on a computer and made from scratch in a laboratory, is being put through its paces

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

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THE science of synthetic biology took an important step forward this week with the announcement in Science, by a team from Jef Boeke’s laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, of the first completely synthetic yeast chromosome. This takes the field from the bacterial realm to that of creatures like man. Read more of this post

The outer solar system: Something new under the sun; A miniature planet sheds light on the extremities of the solar system

The outer solar system: Something new under the sun; A miniature planet sheds light on the extremities of the solar system

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

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MODERN telescopes can see things billions of light-years away, so it may seem surprising that there remains anything to be discovered in the Earth’s backyard. But there is. On March 27th, for example, in a paper published in Nature, Chadwick Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, in Hawaii, and Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science, in Washington, DC, announced that they have found a new member of the sun’s retinue, in a part of the solar system of which astronomers know little. Read more of this post

Pricing the surge: The microeconomics of Uber’s attempt to revolutionise taxi markets

Pricing the surge: The microeconomics of Uber’s attempt to revolutionise taxi markets

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

NEW competitors always ruffle a few feathers. The unique thing about Uber, a new taxi-market player, is that it seems to have annoyed some of its customers as much as the incumbent cabbies it threatens. The problem is its “surge pricing”, which can make the cost of Uber rides jump to many times the normal fare at weekends and on holidays. Gouging customers like this, critics reckon, will eventually make them flee, denting Uber’s business. Microeconomics suggests that although Uber’s model does have a flaw, its dynamic pricing should be welcomed. Read more of this post

Homeopathy: When a remedy contains medicine

Homeopathy: When a remedy contains medicine

Mar 28th 2014, 18:00 by C. H. | NEW YORK

HOMEOPATHIC remedies claim to cure all kinds of ills, from fever to depression. Exactly how they heal has always defied conventional scientific logic, as their “active” ingredient is present in such small amounts as not to be active—the more diluted the substance, according to homeopaths, the more powerful it becomes. American regulators allow the sale of homeopathic products, but do not require them to meet any standard for efficacy. That serves manufacturers well, as most homeopathic remedies consist of sugar or water. Read more of this post

Catholics in America: What crisis? Catholicism is thriving. This is good news for Democrats

Catholics in America: What crisis? Catholicism is thriving. This is good news for Democrats

Mar 29th 2014 | ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA | From the print edition

IN HIS eighth-floor office overlooking a snow-covered city, Father José Hoyos has just finished writing a book about faith and healing, his fourth on the topic. This one contains stories from cancer patients about the miraculous shrinking of tumours that had once seemed unstoppable. Father Hoyos (pictured) was born in Colombia but has been in Arlington, Virginia, for 25 years. On most Sundays he can be found in one of the diocese’s churches, healing by prayer or livening up services by getting worshippers to act out Bible stories. Read more of this post

Latin America’s economies: Life after the commodity boom; Instead of the crises of the past, mediocre growth is the big risk-unless productivity rises

Latin America’s economies: Life after the commodity boom; Instead of the crises of the past, mediocre growth is the big risk—unless productivity rises

Mar 29th 2014 | LIMA | From the print edition

ONE morning last month Louis Dreyfus, a big commodity-trading house, formally opened a new $10m storage depot in the Peruvian port of Callao. Two of its six bunkers were piled high with 55,000 tonnes of fine brown dust covered by white tarpaulins—copper and zinc concentrate, awaiting blending and shipment. The warehouse is “a bet that Peruvian mining will continue to be competitive,” says Gonzalo Ramírez, a Dreyfus manager. That looks like a sound wager. Blessed with high-grade ores and cheap energy, Peru’s output of copper—already the world’s third-largest—will more than double in the next three years (see article), thanks to the opening of several low-cost mines. Read more of this post

100 years after 1914: Still in the grip of the Great War; The first world war was the defining event of the 20th century. Thousands of books have been written about every aspect of it. More are on the way

100 years after 1914: Still in the grip of the Great War

The first world war was the defining event of the 20th century. Thousands of books have been written about every aspect of it. More are on the way

Mar 29th 2014 | From the print edition

WITH four months to go before the centenary of the start of the first world war, the bombardment of new books from competing historians is growing heavier. Unlike many of the young men who went off to fight in 1914, nobody thinks it will all be over by Christmas. Read more of this post

How Klout, Once Ridiculed For Its Social Rankings, Sold For Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars

How Klout, Once Ridiculed For Its Social Rankings, Sold For Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars

ALYSON SHONTELL TECH  MAR. 28, 2014, 12:20 AM

Late at night on Sunday, Feb. 9, Joe Fernandez sat alone in Klout’s 67-person office on 77 Stillman Street in San Franciso. A pile of paperwork lay on his desk.

It was a term sheet from Lithium Technologies. If Fernandez signed it, his startup would be acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars. If he didn’t, Klout would continue to run independently. “The overwhelming pro of staying the course was you remain in control and you chart your own path. That for any entrepreneur means a lot,” he says. Read more of this post

Digital v human: the new debate; ‘The dirty secret of the digital economy is that humans do not know how to fight back’

March 28, 2014 11:37 am

Digital v human: the new debate

By Gillian Tett

‘The dirty secret of the digital economy is that humans do not know how to fight back’

Acouple of years ago Brian Arthur, an academic affiliated with the Palo Alto Research Center, made a startling prediction. In the next two to three decades, western digital networks would end up performing functions equal to the size of the “real” US economy. Or, to put it another way, if you looked at all the work being done by electronic supply chains, robots, communications systems – and the humble bar code – then the digital economy would “surpass the physical economy in size”, Arthur wrote, on the basis of productivity and output calculations. Read more of this post

Investing in higher education; Student numbers are growing worldwide, but profiting is not easy

March 28, 2014 6:18 pm

Intellectual property: investing in higher education

By Adam Palin

Benjamin Franklin once said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. The structural shifts in higher education in particular, which are seeing new ways of delivering tuition as well as accommodation and finance, present opportunities as well as potential pitfalls for investors. Read more of this post

Video app threatens to shake up greeting cards market

March 28, 2014 3:30 pm

Video app threatens to shake up greeting cards market

By Dalya Alberge

Next Mother’s day, a British-American technology company is hoping consumers will forgo sending traditional cards, and ping a personalised digital greeting to their mother’s smartphone instead. Read more of this post

Apple, Facebook and Google aim to create and control the next crucial technological platform

March 28, 2014 5:38 pm

Technology: All eyes on the future

By Tim Bradshaw

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Apple, Facebook and Google aim to create and control the next crucial technological platform Read more of this post

Shrewd investors assess history’s threat to globalisation

Last updated: March 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Shrewd investors assess history’s threat to globalisation

By John Authers

History, it appears, has restarted. Back in 1990, after the Berlin Wall fell, Francis Fukuyama famously prognosticated that we were witnessing not just the end of the cold war but “the end of history as such”. Our ideological evolution, he said, was complete, with the universalisation of western liberal democracy as “the final form of human government”. Read more of this post

Conscious Uncoupling for Drug Makers

Conscious Uncoupling for Drug Makers

By ROBERT CYRAN

MARCH 27, 2014, 2:42 PM  1 Comments

Baxter International has put conscious uncoupling on pharma’s radar.

The $40 billion health care giant isseparating its biotech and medical products units. Baxter’s spinoff history suggests this latest move will create value for shareholders. This, and the success of Pfizer’s and Abbott’s recent splits, will encourage other pharmaceutical giants to follow. Read more of this post

Exclusive: Wal-Mart manager speaks out about his store’s ugly reality

MAR 25, 2014 08:30 PM MPST

Exclusive: Wal-Mart manager speaks out about his store’s ugly reality

From no time off, to working multiple roles at once, here’s what’s really going on at the mega-chain

JOSH EIDELSON   Follow

President Obama sparked a new round of big business ire this month, directing the Labor Department to reform rules that exclude salaried managers making over $23,660 a year from overtime protections. Read more of this post

The Next Problem: Too Much Profit? America’s profit-margin miracle has gone on for so long that rather than cheering it on, investors might want to ask what companies are actually doing to keep it going

The Next Problem: Too Much Profit

JUSTIN LAHART

March 27, 2014 4:05 p.m. ET

America’s profit-margin miracle has gone on for so long that rather than cheering it on, investors might want to ask what companies are actually doing to keep it going. Read more of this post

Google, Facebook, Twitter: Not Enough Dollars to Go Around; Given the size of the ad market, it will be nearly impossible for dot-coms to all grow into their market values

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014

Google, Facebook, Twitter: Not Enough Dollars to Go Around

By JACK HOUGH | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Given the size of the ad market, it will be nearly impossible for dot-coms to all grow into their market values.

GoogleFacebookTwitter, and a slew of other high-flying dot-coms are headed for a pie problem. Viewed individually, each seems to have endless potential to turn popular, free services into more revenue by grabbing a larger slice of the online advertising pie. But as a whole, online ad spending is growing at a fairly predictable pace, and won’t be large enough anytime soon to justify all of the high-flying valuations on dot-com shares. Read more of this post

Exact Sciences Moves Closer to Preventing the No. 2 Cancer Killer: Colon cancer

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014

Exact Sciences Moves Closer to Preventing the No. 2 Cancer Killer

By ANDREW BARY | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Exact Sciences could rise 50% if its colon-cancer test ramps up quickly. Short sellers are betting against that.

A new colon-cancer screening test got a big boost last week when a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended that the FDA approve the test. Called Cologuard, it will likely gain approval in the next few months and hit the market by the end of this year. Read more of this post

Here Comes $75 Oil; Lower energy costs will have a salutary effect on the U.S. economy. Not so Russia, where oil provides 50% of government income

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014

Here Comes $75 Oil

By GENE EPSTEIN | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Lower energy costs will have a salutary effect on the U.S. economy. Not so Russia, where oil provides 50% of government income.

The long-term outlook for global oil prices is lower, perhaps much lower, giving a strong boost to the U.S. economy while potentially crippling the economy of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Vast new discoveries of oil and natural gas in the U.S. and around the globe could drive the oil price to as low as $75 a barrel over the next five years from a current $100. Read more of this post

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