Earth Day Should Celebrate “Engines and Electricity”

By Viv Forbes – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Most chapters of human history are defined by the tools and machines that were used.

In the Stone Age, the first tools were “green tools” – digging sticks, spears, boomerangs, bows and arrows made of wood; and axes, clubs, knives and grinders made of stone. These were all powered by human energy.

Then humans learned how to control fire for warmth, cooking, warfare and hunting.

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Canada’s Climate Change Policies Are Affecting Its Economy When it Comes to Resource Development

By Pat Reilly – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Canada is a vast and rich country that has among its bounties the third largest known oil reserves in the world. The exploitation of these resources should be paying for our socialist leaning Liberal and Nation Democratic Party agendas with money left over much like Norway. Instead our governments are running massive deficits and spending money we do not have to try and maintain the façade that we can give away free social programs without worry. At the same time these governments are virtual signaling that Canadians are to blame for the Climate changing and we must have a price for carbon to pay for our sins.

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Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline Edmonton Yard

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Your Shopping Experience Is on the Verge of a Major Transformation. Here’s Why.

By Peter H Diamandis – Re-Blogged From Singularity Hub

Exponential technologies (AI, VR, 3D printing, and networks) are radically reshaping traditional retail.

E-commerce giants (Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba) are digitizing the retail industry, riding the exponential growth of computation.

Many brick-and-mortar stores have already gone bankrupt, or migrated their operations online.

Massive change is occurring in this arena.

For those “real-life stores” that survive, an evolution is taking place from a product-centric mentality to an experience-based business model by leveraging AI, VR/AR, and 3D printing.

Let’s dive in.

E-Commerce Trends

Last year, 3.8 billion people were connected online. By 2024, thanks to 5G, stratospheric and space-based satellites, we will grow to 8 billion people online, each with megabit to gigabit connection speeds.

These 4.2 billion new digital consumers will begin buying things online, a potential bonanza for the e-commerce world.

At the same time, entrepreneurs seeking to service these four-billion-plus new consumers can now skip the costly steps of procuring retail space and hiring sales clerks.

Today, thanks to global connectivity, contract production, and turnkey pack-and-ship logistics, an entrepreneur can go from an idea to building and scaling a multimillion-dollar business from anywhere in the world in record time.

And while e-commerce sales have been exploding (growing from $34 billion in Q1 2009 to $115 billion in Q3 2017), e-commerce only accounted for about 10 percent of total retail sales in 2017.

In 2016, global online sales totaled $1.8 trillion. Remarkably, this $1.8 trillion was spent by only 1.5 billion people — a mere 20 percent of Earth’s global population that year.

There’s plenty more room for digital disruption.

AI and the Retail Experience

For the business owner, AI will demonetize e-commerce operations with automated customer service, ultra-accurate supply chain modeling, marketing content generation, and advertising.

In the case of customer service, imagine an AI that is trained by every customer interaction, learns how to answer any consumer question perfectly, and offers feedback to product designers and company owners as a result.

Facebook’s handover protocol allows live customer service representatives and language-learning bots to work within the same Facebook Messenger conversation.

Taking it one step further, imagine an AI that is empathic to a consumer’s frustration, that can take any amount of abuse and come back with a smile every time. As one example, meet Ava. “Ava is a virtual customer service agent, to bring a whole new level of personalization and brand experience to that customer experience on a day-to-day basis,” says Greg Cross, CEO of Ava’s creator, a New Zealand company called Soul Machines.

Predictive modeling and machine learning are also optimizing product ordering and the supply chain process. For example, Skubana, a platform for online sellers, leverages data analytics to provide entrepreneurs constant product performance feedback and maintain optimal warehouse stock levels.

Blockchain is set to follow suit in the retail space. ShipChain and Ambrosus plan to introduce transparency and trust into shipping and production, further reducing costs for entrepreneurs and consumers.

Meanwhile, for consumers, personal shopping assistants are shifting the psychology of the standard shopping experience.

Amazon’s Alexa marks an important user interface moment in this regard.

Alexa is in her infancy with voice search and vocal controls for smart homes. Already, Amazon’s Alexa users, on average, spent more on Amazon.com when purchasing than standard Amazon Prime customers — $1,700 versus $1,400.

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, the future combination of virtual reality shopping, coupled with a personalized, AI-enabled fashion advisor will make finding, selecting, and ordering products fast and painless for consumers.

But let’s take it one step further.

Imagine a future in which your personal AI shopper knows your desires better than you do. Possible? I think so. After all, our future AIs will follow us, watch us, and observe our interactions — including how long we glance at objects, our facial expressions, and much more.

In this future, shopping might be as easy as saying, “Buy me a new outfit for Saturday night’s dinner party,” followed by a surprise-and-delight moment in which the outfit that arrives is perfect.

In this future world of AI-enabled shopping, one of the most disruptive implications is that advertising is now dead.

In a world where an AI is buying my stuff, and I’m no longer in the decision loop, why would a big brand ever waste money on a Super Bowl advertisement?

The dematerialization, demonetization, and democratization of personalized shopping has only just begun.

The In-Store Experience: Experiential Retailing

In 2017, over 6,700 brick-and-mortar retail stores closed their doors, surpassing the former record year for store closures set in 2008 during the financial crisis. Regardless, business is still booming.

As shoppers seek the convenience of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores are tapping into the power of the experience economy.

Rather than focusing on the practicality of the products they buy, consumers are instead seeking out the experience of going shopping.

The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and computation are exponentially improving the in-person consumer experience.

As AI dominates curated online shopping, AI and data analytics tools are also empowering real-life store owners to optimize staffing, marketing strategies, customer relationship management, and inventory logistics.

In the short term, retail store locations will serve as the next big user interface for production 3D printing (custom 3D printed clothes at the Ministry of Supply), virtual and augmented reality (DIY skills clinics), and the Internet of Things (checkout-less shopping).

In the long term, we’ll see how our desire for enhanced productivity and seamless consumption balances with our preference for enjoyable real-life consumer experiences — all of which will be driven by exponential technologies.

One thing is certain: the nominal shopping experience is on the verge of a major transformation.

Implications

The convergence of exponential technologies has already revamped how and where we shop, how we use our time, and how much we pay.

Twenty years ago, Amazon showed us how the web could offer each of us the long tail of available reading material, and since then, the world of e-commerce has exploded.

And yet we still haven’t experienced the cost savings coming our way from drone delivery, the Internet of Things, tokenized ecosystems, the impact of truly powerful AI, or even the other major applications for 3D printing and AR/VR.

Perhaps nothing will be more transformed than today’s $20 trillion retail sector.

Hold on, stay tuned, and get your AI-enabled cryptocurrency ready.

Join Me

Abundance Digital Online Community: I’ve created a digital/online community of bold, abundance-minded entrepreneurs called Abundance Digital.

Abundance Digital is my ‘onramp’ for exponential entrepreneurs — those who want to get involved and play at a higher level. Click here to learn more.

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Black Tuesday October 29th 1929 Revisited?

By Richard Lancaster – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Note: This article was originally posted October 29, 2002, when US stocks were in the midst of a severe market crash.  Appropriately, and in view US stocks have already fallen 10% during the first 3 months of 2018, we believe everyone should carefully review the present update as another CRASH may be brewing on the horizon in 2018.

“These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again.”
– John D. Rockefeller on the Depression in 1933

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Central Bankers Consider Dictating Climate Policy to Private Businesses

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

What is the difference between a centrally planned Communist economy, and an economy where Central bankers punish businesses which defy their investment directives?

Global Warming Is a Central Bank Issue

Ferdinando Giugliano, 13 April 2018, 3:30 PM

Last week, central bank governors from the U.K., France and the Netherlands met in Amsterdam to discuss how to adapt regulation to the risks posed by climate change. Together with five other institutions (from China, Germany, Mexico, Singapore and Sweden), these central banks have formed the “Network for Greening the Financial System” (NGFS). This group has two objectives: sharing and identifying best practices in the supervision of climate-related risks, and enhancing the role of the financial sector in mobilizing “green” financing.

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Has The Subprime Auto Bubble Burst?

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

It looks like the subprime auto loan bubble has popped.

Last year, we reported that the auto industry’s check engine light was on. Now it looks like the thing is totally breaking down. Small subprime auto lenders are starting to go belly-up due to increasing losses and defaults. As ZeroHedgenoted, “we all know what comes next: the larger companies go bust, inciting real capitulation.”

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Top 8 Reasons to Find the Emergency Exit Before this Fall

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort

The stock market was trading at an all-time high valuation of 150% of GDP this January. That was indeed the bell rung at the very top. Stocks have since started to roll over, but valuations are still at 140% of the underlying economy. And that is, historically speaking, way off the chart. The average of this metric was around 45% throughout the decades of the 70’s thru the mid-1990’s. Therefore, the market is screaming for investors to hit the sell button now while there are still ample bids left. But, if your complacency and procrastination prevent you from realizing the truly dangerous bubble in equities right now, here are eight of the most salient reasons why you’ll definitely need to find the nearest emergency exit before this fall.

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