Economist Bytes – May 6th week

  1. Data economy demands right antitrust laws
    • In a world, where data is the oil of the digital era, antitrust laws have to be upgraded so that few giants like Apple, Fb, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, which collectively earned 25bn$ in profit in 2017 Q1, don’t dominate the industry and stifle competition.
    • 1st way – Previously laws were made keeping size of the company in mind. But now the extent of the firm’s data assets should be considered as well. The purchase price(for example fb buying whatsapp for 19bn$ which had no revenue) of an incumbent buying a nascent threat should raise red flags.
    • 2nd way – Sharing of data accessible by third parties, transparency in how much data the firm holds and how much revenue they are making from it should be considered.
    • Flipside – Privacy may be at risk with increased sharing.
    • Either way, Governments should act soon if they dont want data economy to be dominated by a few giants.
  2. Synthetic Biology or cell-free biology
    • A new approach to benefit from nature with out the hassle of life
    • Protiens are constructed in labs, some think its like “playing God” but consider the 3 benefits of it
      • Its efficient (by only producing whats needed), Insulin used to be harvested from pig carcasses, now its being produced in vats by genetically modified yeast or bacteria. The natural bacteria use valuable nutrients to produce a host of other proteins for survival besides insulin, which is of no use to humans. But now , more of those nutrients can be used to make insulin synthetically
      • Living creatures are inherently fragile with the possibility of falling ill,
      • Live stock farming could be reduced giving way to growing more food.
      • Animals suffer, synthetic biology is a better alternative
  3. Saudi women – a captive market for Uber and Careem
    • Women are barred from driving in Saudi Arabia with non-existent public transport
    • They no longer need to rely on husbands, brothers or fathers to get around their own city
    • Local male participation in the gig economy improves, more women can get out and go to work or run their business
    • In fact, the ride sharing companies are directly backed by government, indirectly allowing women to be in company of strangers, which makes conservatives uncomfortable

Other interesting articles

  1. New contraceptive in Africa to be used by women that protects from HIV and pregancy
  2. Financial crisis – it’s been 10 years. How do the banks feel in the wake of Trump administration? Can banks retain millenials at work place?
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