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Business this week本周经济要闻In its biggest acquisition yet, Apple agreed to pay billion for Beats Electronics, a specialist in pricey headphones and music-streaming. The growth of streaming services has posed a threat to music sales on Apples iTunes. As part of the deal the co-founders of Beats, Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, will join Apple.在迄今最大的一笔收购中,苹果公司斥资30亿美元收购了一家专门经营昂贵的耳机和音乐流媒体务的专业公司——Beats Electronics。流媒体务的增长已经威胁到苹果旗下Itunes的音乐销量。作为收购协议的一部分,Beats联合创始人吉米·艾尔文和安德烈·罗米尔·扬也会加入苹果公司。Pfizer, an American drugs company, has conceded defeat, at least for now, in its pursuit of AstraZeneca, a British competitor. The proposed 70 billion takeover would have created the worlds biggest drugs firm. The deal was opposed by some politicians on both sides of theAtlantic. British MPs voiced worries over potential job losses in research centres, while inAmerica the concern was Pfizer avoiding taxes. AstraZenecas board rejected the offer, saying it undervalued the company. Under British takeover rules, Pfizer must wait six months before it can make another approach.美国制药公司辉瑞已经承认,至少目前还未能成功收购英国制药商阿斯利康。这笔打算以700亿英镑成交的收购原本将创造世界最大的药品公司。但是大西洋两岸的一些政治家们却极力反对这笔收购。英国的下院议员们表示他们担心这可能会造成各研究中心出现失业情况,而在美国人民担心辉瑞公司会借此逃税。阿斯利康的董事会拒绝辉瑞的报价,认为其市价被低估。而根据英国的收购法规,辉瑞公司只有等到6个月后才能实施其他方案。Google unveiled its latest driverless car. It plans to build 100 prototypes from scratch, rather than modifying others vehicles as it has done in the past. The car has no steering wheel or pedals, only a “stop” and a “go” button. The two-seater electric vehicle can travel up to25mph and the firm hopes to pilot it on Californian roads within two years. However, there remain significant regulatory and legal barriers to its sp.近日谷歌发布了最新款的无人驾驶汽车。谷歌计划从零开始,生产100原型车,而非像以往那样改造其他车型。这款车没有方向盘和脚踏板,仅仅只有“停止”按钮和“启动”按钮。这款双座电动汽车时速可达25英里,谷歌希望在两年内在加州的公路上进行试驾。然而,该车的推广还会面临巨大的规章和法律的障碍。A delicate truth脆弱的真相The Financial Times says it has found flaws in the data used in “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, the bestselling analysis of inequality by Thomas Piketty. The paper said it had uncovered transcription errors and flawed formulae in spsheets and that some of the data appeared to be cherry-picked. Mr Piketty responded that the FT was wrong to suggest that this casts doubts on his conclusion that inequality is becoming more entrenched.《金融时报》称其发现了托马斯·皮克提的《21世纪资本论》中用于销售分析的数据有漏洞。报道称书中的报表有录入谬误并运用了错误的公式,此外的一些数据似乎是刻意挑选的。皮克提则回应称,《金融时报》错误地质疑了自己“世界变得越来越不平等”的结论。GlaxoSmithKline, a British drugmaker, is being investigated by the UKs Serious Fraud Office. The exact nature of the investigation is not known, but two weeks ago China charged three of the firms executives with corruption, alleging that GSK had bribed doctors to prescribe its medicines. The firm said it intended to co-operate fully with the SFO.英国制药公司葛兰素史克正受到英国反严重诈骗办公室的调查。虽然此番调查的具体性质尚不明晰,但是两周前,中国已经指控该公司的三位高管的腐败行为,称该公司贿赂中国医生在处方中使用其药品。该公司则称将全力配合SFO的调查。The battle for control of Club Méditerranée, a French holiday firm, continues. Last year, Fosun, a Chinese conglomerate, and Ardian, a French private-equity firm, launched a joint bid to take Club Med private. Some shareholders took the matter to the French courts, arguing the bid was too low and lacked transparency. Now it seems a rival bidder, the Bonomi family from Italy, may attempt a takeover of its own. Club Med has been successful at attracting Asian tourists to its all-inclusive resorts.争夺法国度假酒店集团——地中海俱乐部的战斗仍在继续。去年,一家中国企业集团复星国际和一家法国私募股权公司阿迪安联手竞标,欲将地中海俱乐部收入囊中。一些股东将此事告到了法国法院,认为这个竞标价格太低且缺乏透明度。如今,另一家竞标者——来自意大利的诺米家族可能会成功完成收购。地中海俱乐部一贯以全方位务的度假村成功吸引亚洲游客。Coming in from the cold摆脱孤立BP signed a deal with Rosneft, a state-owned Russian oil company in which it owns a 20% stake, to explore for hard-to-reach shale oil in the country. The agreement comes despite American sanctions against Igor Sechin, Rosnefts boss, relating to Russias intervention in Ukraine. The deal was signed at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russias answer to Davos, which many Western firms boycotted.英国石油公司与俄政府旗下的俄罗斯石油公司签署协议,将持有后者20%的股票,并开采该国的深层油页岩。尽管美国因俄罗斯干涉乌克兰而对俄罗斯石油公司的掌门人伊戈尔·谢钦进行了制裁,但是该协议仍顺利达成。协议在圣彼得堡国际经济论坛上签署。Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, provided some hints on how it intends to tackle the threat of deflation when its governing council meets in June. In a speech he suggested that, along with interest-rate cuts, there will be an attempt to boost credit in southern Europe by providing long-term funding to banks on the condition that they deploy it to expand business loans.欧洲央行行长马里奥·德拉吉透露了些许消息,即理事会在6月份碰头时将如何应对通缩带来的威胁。他在最近发表的一次讲话中表示,除了要削减利率以外,还会通过向提供长期融资以刺激南欧的信贷,条件是南欧国家将这笔资金用于扩大商业借贷规模。Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said that banks have been too slow to reform themselves following the financial crisis. Ms Lagarde said that some banks are still too big to fail and would pose a systemic risk if they got into trouble. In a subsequent speech, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said that growing inequality was undermining trust in capitalism.国际货币基金组织主席克里斯蒂娜·拉加德表示,在金融危机爆发后,各大进行改革的节奏太慢。她还表示有些尾大不掉,一旦陷入困境,将会给体系带来风险。在接下来的讲话中,英格兰行长马克·卡尼称越发严重的不平等现象正在破坏人们对资本主义的信任。Rio Tinto agreed on a billion deal with the government ofGuinea to mine iron ore. The Simandou project had seen a decade of wrangling over who owns the concession to mine the site. The firm will also build a650km (400 mile) railway and a deepwater port to service the mine.力拓矿业集团与几内亚政府达成价值200亿美元的协议以开采铁矿石。十年来,关于西芒杜开采项目特许权拥有者的问题一直纷争不断。此外,力拓还将修建650千米的铁路和一个深水港来务该开采项目。Soldier, spy士兵,间谍Unconfirmed reports suggested that China has told state-owned companies to stop working with American consulting and technology firms, for fear of industrial espionage. It has also reportedly told some banks to stop using IBM servers. The tit-for-tat move, if true, comes afterAmerica indicted five Chinese army officers of cyber-spying on American companies, including Alcoa and US Steel.未经实的消息报道称,中国已经通告国企中断与美国咨询和技术公司的合作以防范行业间谍活动。据称,部分中国还被告知停止使用IBM的务器。此前,美国起诉5名中国军官通过网络监视包括美国铝业公司和美国钢铁公司在内的美国企业;如果报道属实,中方此举就是在报复美方的指控。 201407/309315。

Business商业报道Technology and luxury goods科技时尚单品Catwalk credentials优雅融合Why Burberrys boss is a perfect fit for AppleBurberry老板与苹果如此合拍,秘密何在?AMONG stewards of big luxury brands Angela Ahrendts, the boss of Burberry, is probably the geekiest.Burberry的老板Angela Ahrendts可能是所有的大型奢侈品牌管理者中最不招人喜欢的。Her main achievement has been to make the 150-year-old British company the most technologically savvy of its peers.他的主要成就就是使这所150年历史的英国老牌企业成为同行中的技术型企业。Burberry plans to be the first luxury company that is fully digital end to end, she boasts.她夸口说Burberry计划成为第一家完全数字化的奢侈品企业。But what can she do for Apple, which on October 14th said it would poach her to run its retailing operations?但是苹果于10月14日宣称会插手她的零售业务,对此她又能有什么办法呢?Probably the opposite: revive a sense of style at a tech firm that has lately looked a bit dowdy.也许相反,在一家科技公司恢复一种风格有点过时。Many purveyors of luxury fret about cheapening their wares by selling them online.很多奢侈品供应商担心在网上销售会降低商品价格。Of the 100 biggest luxury brands just 56 have transactional websites, according to Exane BNP Paribas, an investment bank.据Exane BNP Paribas ,一家投资称100家顶级奢侈品牌中只有56家有网上交易平台。Ms Ahrendts, an American who took over Burberry in 2006, had no such hangups.Ahrendts女士,这位于06年接管Burberry的美国人不这么认为。Not content with flogging calfskin trench coats online, she has deployed every platform, device or bit of software she could think of to romance customers and spark collaboration among employees and suppliers.不满足于仅在网上出售皮制品,她已在各个平台全面铺开,用所能想到的一切设备吸引顾客,希望与顾客擦出火花。iPad-wielding salespeople in Burberry stores can look up what customers have aly bought, and suggest what might take their fancy next.Burberry的店员手持IPAD随时记录顾客的购买信息,并预测他们的可能喜好。Ms Ahrendts should add pizzazz to Apples bricks-and-mortar shops, which are the most profitable in America measured by sales per square foot.Ahrendts应该投入更多精力在美国每季度盈利最多的苹果实体店上。But that seems a small job for a woman who last year was the highest-paid chief executive of a company in the FTSE 100 share index.但对于一个进入去年福布斯百位收入最高企业高管的女士而言,这似乎是小事一桩。At Apple, from next spring, she will merely be a senior vice-president.至于苹果,从下个春季开始她就仅仅是一个部门副主席So the odds are that her brief will go well beyond managing Apples stores. She can help it crack the Chinese market, where its iPhones are also-rans in the race against cheaper smartphones from Samsung and local manufacturers.所以很有可能她的表现会比在苹果时更好。她能帮助苹果打开竞争激烈的中国市场,这竞争来自于三星和中国国产智能机对IPHONE的竞争。Burberry earns more than a third of its revenue in Asia compared with Apples 28%.较苹果的28%,Burberry的亚洲市场盈利超过其总盈利的1/3。A bigger job will be to y Apple for the coming fusion of fashion and technology.苹果已经准备好了面对即将到来的时尚与科技融合的浪潮。The most talked-about new devices are wearable.现在被广泛谈及的新设备都是可戴式的。Googles Glass smuggles a smartphone into a pair of spectacles.谷歌眼镜将智能机植入眼镜。Samsungs Galaxy Gear squeezes some smartphone functions into a wristwatch.三星是能表将智能手机与手表融合。Apple is also keen to surf the wearable wave.苹果也想赶上这一穿戴式科技浪潮。An iWatch, which Apple may launch next year, would pull it towards Ms Ahrendtss home turf, since it would compete with fashionable timepieces like Burberrys.苹果可能会明年推出iWatch,鉴于可能与时尚腕表比如Burberry展开竞争,他可能会推向Ahrendtss女士的主场。Apple has long been something of a fashion house.苹果现在已成为时尚工厂。Its product launches are choreographed like catwalk shows.他的项目都是精心设计的就像时装秀一样。But its glamour has faded since the death of Steve Jobs, its founder, in 2011.但是自从创始人乔布斯在2011年死后他的魅力正在逐渐削减。His successor, Tim Cook, is striving to regain it.而继任者Tim Cook则在努力重获魅力。He recently hired Paul Deneve, the boss of Yves Saint Laurent, a French fashion house.最近他雇了法国时尚工厂Yves Saint Laurent的老板Paul Deneve。Sir Jony Ive, Apples design guru, now oversees the look of software as well as hardware. Ms Ahrendts brings another eye for beauty, and a knack for seducing consumers.Jony Ive苹果首席设计师如今不仅要负责软件也要负责硬件外观。Ms Ahrendts则从另一个角度带来美,吸引顾客。 /201310/261550。

Accounting fraud会计造假Gotem, Gotham抓住他们!哥谭The company-accounts detectives collar another suspect公司财务侦探们抓到了另一位嫌疑犯JENARO GARCiA was an eloquent cheerleader for Gowex, helping to propel the Spanish Wi-Fi firm to European startup stardom. When investors asked detailed financial questions of its founder and boss, however, he would clam up. Short-sellers, who bet against companies by selling borrowed shares, in the hope of buying them back more cheaply later, began to act on this reticence early this year. But the killer blow was a report by an opaque outfit called Gotham City Research, alleging that Gowex had far fewer wireless hotspots than it claimed and that 90% of its sales were bogus. On July 6th, five days after the reports publication, the firm said it would file for bankruptcy and that Mr Garcia had resigned after admitting to fiddling the accounts for at least four years.赫那罗·加西亚,这位口才十分了得的Gowex掌舵人,正推动着这家西班牙Wi-Fi公司成为欧洲一颗冉冉升起的明星。然而,当投资者们想要对公司创始人以及老总的财务细节进行质询之时,他便开始沉默不语。“做空者”,指的是一批在金融投资领域中,由于不看好市场前景而向券公司借股票先卖掉以后,接着在未来等股票价格跌倒一定水平再买回来的人,他们在今年早些时候就开始对上述的“沉默”做出反应。但其最致命的一击还是来自别的地方—一份来自隐秘机构Gotham City Research的报告,宣称Gowex公司旗下的无线热点远比自己公布的要少,并且该公司90%的销售额是伪造而成的。6月6号,正是这份报告公布的五天后,Gowex公司宣布自己将申请破产,并且加西亚先生在承认进行了至少四年的会计造假后,也随即辞职。Gowexs dramatic collapse marks one of the biggest victories for a relatively new breed of company-accounts “detectives”: small, independent research-and-investment outfits that revel in unearthing alleged book-cooking. Having focused largely on Chinas fraud-filled market until now, they are branching out. Gotham is a secretive group linked to Daniel Yu, a trader whose motto is, “It is not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us.” Other firms with which it has locked horns include Quindell and Ebix, two software providers. Both deny wrongdoing.Gowex公司戏剧般的坍塌,标志着一次公司财务“侦探”相对来说的新生,标志着一次新生以来最大的胜利:小型、独立、调查与投资业务并存的机构,在搜索疑似财务造假案当中如鱼得水。现在,这些机构正扩展着自己的针对范围,此前他们一直都将大部分精力放置于充满着虚假财务数据的中国市场当中。Gotham是一个与交易员Daniel Yu相关联的秘密组织,而这位仁兄的座右铭是“我们到底是谁并不重要,而是我们所做的一切才真正定义了我们!”。还有一些别的公司也被Gotham锁定为嫌疑目标,其中包括两家软件供应商Quindell和Ebix。这两家公司均否认自己存在财务造假。Gothams approach is to short and shout: it takes a negative investment position, then noisily publicises its findings. It is cut from the same cloth as Muddy Waters, which is run by Carson Block, a former self-storage entrepreneur. His biggest scalp to date is Sino-Forest, which went bust in 2012 after Muddy Waters accused it of overstating its forest holdings in China.Gotham手段就是制造舆论与关注,使得目标陷入混乱:它会对目标进行消极的投资,进而大张旗鼓地公布自己的所有发现。它与浑水公司是一路货色,而后者是由卡森·布洛克所运营的,一位之前专注于自助式仓储的企业家。布洛克迄今为止最大的战利品莫过于嘉汉林业,一家于2012年破产的企业,其缘由正是浑水公司指控这家企业夸大自己在中国森林资源的储量。Another such outfit is Citron Research, whose leader, Andrew Left, prides himself on never having been successfully sued for defamation. A few hedge funds like to kick up a similar stink—most notably Bill Ackmans Pershing Square, which is out to prove that Herbalife, a nutritional-supplements firm, is a pyramid scheme.Their lineage can be traced back to the successful shorting of Enron in 2001 by James Chanos, another hedge-fund manager.同种类的另外一家机构Citron Research,其领导人为安德鲁·莱福特,他有一点十分自豪,那就是别人从未成功地因诽谤而将他告上法庭。一些对冲基金也想加入到他们的队伍当中——其中最瞩目的莫过于比尔·阿克曼的潘兴广场,它将对营养补充品公司康宝莱进行调查,指控后者为金字塔式非法传销公司。这些基金公司的财务调查史可以追溯到2001年另一位对冲基金经理詹姆斯·查诺斯对安然公司造假案的成功揭露。Gotham spent eight months studying Gowex, amassing far better information than investment-bank analysts, most of whom were still recommending the shares when it buckled. Gotham spotted that Gowex used a little-known auditor (a classic red flag: see the Bernard Madoff case), whose fees were unusually low, as if they were based on revenue far smaller than Gowexs books stated. Often, the sleuths comb the books for ratios that are hard to manipulate. Gotham also noted, for instance, that Gowexs revenue per employee was implausible compared with rivals—while the revenue could be inflated, it was harder to fake the headcount.Gotham耗费了8个月的时间来调查Gowex公司,收集了远比其他投行分析师更庞大的数据。事实上,大部分投行分析师在Gowex公司崩溃时,仍在推荐该公司的股票。Gotham发现了Gowex公司聘请了不太知名的审计师,审计费用也异常地低廉,就像是Gowex公司是在一个远比账面价值低的利润基础上经营。通常情况下,侦探们都会在账本里梳理出不容易操控的财务比率。例如,Gotham也发现了Gowex公司里每位员工的平均利润与竞争对手相比呈现不合理的情况—虽然利润容易被拉高,但职工总数是很难造假的。Legwork also helps. Muddy Waters analysts visit target companies, their suppliers and clients to verify claims about production, staff levels and so on, sometimes posing as prospective business partners. Chinese firms with advance warning of visits by analysts have been known to rent workers and stock to deceive them.四处奔走调查也是一个好方法。浑水公司的分析师们会对一些公司进行拜访,其中包括目标公司的供应商和客户,以辨别该公司的产品反馈、员工水平之类的数据,有些时候还会冒充成潜在商业合作伙伴以进行探访调查。中国公司在得到事先预警的情况下,会在调查人员来临之时租借工人和存货,从而达到欺骗的目的。Courageous crusaders勇猛的征战者Gothams declaration after Gowexs downfall—“May truth, justice, restoration and redemption prevail”—was somewhat bombastic. But a bit of bravado is justified: taking a big short position requires courage, especially in a rising stockmarket. Since shares have a floor but no ceiling, the upside for short-sellers is more limited than the downside.在Gowex公司破产后,Gotham发布了如下宣言—“愿真相、正义、恢复与救赎恒久于人间”,而这听起来挺浮夸的。但这种小小的虚张声势确实是合理的:做空头寸需要勇气,尤其是在这样一个行情看涨的股票市场里。由于股票有下限而没有上限,对于做空投资者来说,坏的一面会压过好的一面。There have been cases of short-sellers seeking to profit by sping false alarms, but they probably detect real fraud more often than auditors, regulators and bankers combined. In catching fiddlers while they are still tiddlers, Gotham and its kind are sparing investors Enron-sized nightmares. Nevertheless, market regulators often eye them with suspicion: Spains at first reacted to Gothams report by investigating its publisher, not Gowex. China has cracked down on shorts, even imprisoning the writer of one negative report.虽然许多案子当中,都是做空投资者在对市场散播虚假警报以期获得利润,但他们也很有可能调查到真实存在的假账,且其数目要比审计师、监管者和家加起来所查出的总数都要多。在这场抓假账的游戏里,Gotham和同类的公司是小鱼,但他们确实免除了投资者要去面对像安然公司如此庞大造假噩梦的疑虑。尽管如此,监管者也在用怀疑的眼光密切留意着这些财务侦探们的动向:西班牙当局对近期Gotham报告的回应并不是着手调查Gowex公司,而是率先找出这篇报告的出版者。中国政府目前正全面封杀唱空者,甚至会把任何书写消极报告的作家扔进监狱里。Even so, China will remain fertile territory. Muddy Waters latest quarry there is NQ Mobile, the head of whose audit committee resigned abruptly on July 4th. Mr Block is also said to be sniffing around in Africa, where investors are chucking money at little-known firms. Citrons Mr Left reckons corporate fraudsters “cant bullshit [investors] the way they used to,” because “theres so much more accessible information online, in public records, and so on,” with which to disprove their claims. True, but the temptation to give it a try, faced with so many naive punters hungry for fat returns, seems undiminished.尽管如此,中国依旧是一片充满“机遇”的土地。浑水公司最新的调查对象是秦网手机,后者的审计委员会主席在7月4号突然请辞。当市场投资者们对各类小知名度的企业掷下重金之时,布洛克先生在非洲观望着经济态势发展。Citron的莱福特先生认识到,企业行骗者已经不能像从前那样行事了,因为现在人们有更多的手段可以查到网络资讯以及公共记录等等的数据。上述资料都能用以揭穿投资者们的各种声明。诚然,但同时也充斥着太多天真的赌徒,总在期盼着天上能掉下来几块馅饼,而他们总会不厌其烦地想要给予风险家们一次机会。Gerard Zack, the author of “Financial Statement Fraud”, a textbook, reckons that perhaps two-thirds of cases involve improper revenue recognition. New global accounting rules announced in May seek to curb one common ruse, booking sales prematurely, for instance on long-term contracts. But sometimes the revenues are simply invented, often by getting a related party to pose as a customer. Sometimes very closely related: Gotham said in its report on Gowex that it had evidence the firms biggest customer “was really itself.”据财务教材《Financial Statement Fraud》的作家Gerard Zack估计,或许在三分之二的财务造假案当中,都涉及到不恰当的利润确认的问题。五月,新颁布的国际会计准则设法限制一个常用的造假伎俩—提前确认的账面销售额,例如在长期合同里销售额。但一些时候利润也就是简单地凭空创造出来,比如公司往往会令关联企业伪装成自己的客户来增加销售额。还有些时候,则直接“关联”到自己身上去了:Gotham在报告里表示自己拥有据,明Gowex公司最大的客户其实就是“Gowex自己”。Such tricks can be used in any industry: think of the massive fake sales at Parmalat, an Italian dairy firm. But verifying that accounts match reality is often harder in technology businesses, making them “easier candidates for fraud”, says Michael Jones, editor of another book on “creative accounting”. In fast-growing tech industries there is a temptation to exaggerate revenues, to persuade the world that you are the “next big thing” and create enough momentum for truth to catch up with the hype. If this turned out to be the motive with Gowex, it would be no surprise.这样的把戏在各行各业中都能找得出:大家可以联想到意大利乳制品公司Parmalat的巨额虚假销售案。另一本“创意会计”方面的书籍编辑Michael Jones提到,在辨别出科技企业业务当中的会计猫腻要比别的行业困难得多,这也导致了科技企业更容易陷入“假账候选人名录”当中。在快速成长的科技领域,各家企业都在充满着夸大利润诱因的环境中经营,希望令世界相信自己的公司才是那“一下代巨人”,同时也为了创造出足够的社会信任度,与自己铺天盖地的宣传相得益彰。如果这真的是Gowex公司造假因由的话,想必也不会引起多大的震撼。 /201407/312938。

Science and technology科学技术Solar-powered flight太阳能动力飞行Its moment in the sun日间时刻An attempt to fly around the world in a solar-powered plane尝试驾驶太阳能飞机环游世界A REVOLUTIONARY solar-powered aircraft touched down recently at Moffett Airfield, in the heart of Silicon Valley.一架革命性的太阳能飞机近日在硅谷中心的墨菲特联邦机场着陆。No champagne corks were popped, however, for it arrived disassembled in the belly of a 747 cargo jet.可却没有香槟酒庆贺,因为这是一架由波音747喷气式货机运输的解体飞机。The aircraft will be reassembled by the end of March and then begin flight tests.它会在三月底重新组装,继而进行飞行测试。If all goes well, by May it should be y to fly across America, stopping in four cities before landing in New York.万事顺利的话,它将在5月底横越美洲,途径四座城市,最终抵达纽约。However, this aircraft is just an experimental prototype for a much bigger exploit.然而,人们希望利用这架供以实验的原型机实现更加宏伟的目标。The team behind the project, called Solar Impulse, are using their prototype to learn what will be required to build a second aircraft capable of circumnavigating the globe using only the power of the sun.作为此次计划的执行团队—太阳驱动,通过研究该原型机,获得了一系列能使太阳能飞机实现环球飞行的参数。After carrying out a number of successful test flights of the prototype from their base at an airfield in Payerne, Switzerland, construction of their second aircraft began.团队成员在位于佩耶纳某一机场的总部对原型机进行了一系列成功的飞行测试后,便开始着手建造第二架太阳能飞机。But last July the Solar Impulse project suffered a big setback.但就在去年七月,太阳脉冲团队遭受了一个巨大的挫折。The second aircraft failed a critical safety check.第二架飞机的一项关键性安全检查不达标。Its main wing spar, the backbone of any aeroplane, broke during structural tests.在结构测试中,撑飞机的主翼梁发生了断裂。There is always a risk of pushing technology too far when doing something new.不切实际地尝试新技术总会留下隐患。Bertrand Piccard, one of Solar Impulses founders, had been in the same situation before and knew that success comes by learning from mistakes and moving on.太阳驱动的创始人之一—伯特兰·皮卡德也曾深陷此境,他深知技术的推进只能是吃一堑,长一智。In 1999 he co-piloted Orbiter 3, the first balloon to circumnavigate the globe.1999年,皮卡德曾担任轨道飞行器3号的副驾驶,这是第一个实现环球飞行的热气球。It was when he landed in the Egyptian desert with just 40kg of propane left from the 3.7 tonnes he had taken off with 20 days earlier that Mr Piccard decided his next challenge would be to repeat the flight using no fuel at all.在飞行了20天以后,气球在埃及的沙漠中着陆,此时原本携带的3.7吨丙烷就只剩下40千克,这激发了皮卡德向无燃料环球飞行发起挑战。He teamed up with Andre Borschberg, a fighter pilot and engineer, to form the Solar Impulse project.于是他与战斗机飞行员兼工程师—安德烈·尔施伯格通力合作,共同发起了太阳驱动计划。Mr Piccard comes from a line of adventurers.皮卡德来自探险之家。His grandfather, Auguste, was the first to fly a balloon into the stratosphere.他的祖父,奥古斯特,是驾驶气球飞入平流层的第一人。His father, Jacques, plunged to record depths in a deep-sea submersible.而他的父亲,雅克,专注于深海潜探,并创造了下潜深度的历史记录。Making the most of it万般皆有用The problem with the wing spar has set back the team a year.这个团队花费了一年时间来解决翼梁故障。Making a new one, completing the second aircraft and waiting for suitable weather means that the round-the-world flight is now scheduled for 2015.在实现环球飞行之前,他们必须制造一架新飞机,完成第二架飞机的组装,在适宜的天气下试航,所有这一切都要在2015年才能完成。In the meantime, the team decided to make the best of their enforced delay by flying their prototype across America.与此同时,尽管受客观条件制约,团队成员还是决定利用此次机会驾驶原型机飞跃美洲。This will provide more valuable operating experience and help with the development of the technologies they will need.此举不仅能提供更多弥足珍贵的操作经验,还能推动所需技术的改良。Plus, if anything goes wrong, it is easier to land on dry land than the ocean.再者说,如果飞行遭遇意外,陆地着降总要比海面着降轻松许多。Solar-powered aircraft are not new.太阳能飞机由来已久。One of the earliest, Solar Challenger, flew across the English Channel in 1981.早在1981年,太阳挑战号就成功飞越英吉利海峡。It was built by the late Paul MacCy, an American aeronautical engineer.这架飞机由已故美国航空工程师保罗?麦卡克莱迪建造。Its 14.3-metre wing was covered in photovoltaic cells.其14.3米长的机翼上布满了光生伏打电池。These powered two electric motors, which in turn drove a single propeller.推动唯一螺旋桨发动的两台电动机正是由这些电池供电。The Solar Impulse project is a very different beast.然而太阳驱动计划却开辟了一片新天地。The prototype aircraft which will fly across America has a wingspan of 63.4 metres, which is as big as a jumbo jets.飞越美国的原型机翼展宽达63.4米,与巨型喷气式飞机同宽。Yet its fuselage is as slender as a gliders and its single-person cockpit is cramped.而其机身却与滑翔机一般大小,窄小的驾驶舱只能容下一名飞行员。The wings are covered in almost 12,000 photovoltaic cells, which can simultaneously run its four electrically driven propellers while charging four packs of lithium-polymer batteries.机翼覆盖着12000块光生伏打电池,在为四组锂聚合物电池充电的同时,还能一同撑四个电驱动螺旋桨运转。The batteries are needed because the aircraft has to be able to fly through the night.之所以携带电池,是因为飞机需要在晚间飞行。The second aircraft will have to do that non-stop for five-to-six days at a time.第二架在建的环球航行飞机需实现一连5、6天不间断飞行。The plan is to take off in an easterly direction and land on every continent that touches the Tropic of Cancer.飞机将于东部地区起飞,随后在北回归线附近的每一块陆地降落。This will involve long flights across oceans.期间包括漫漫的洋面飞行。With only as much power as a motor scooter, the planned aircraft will cruise at just 70kph.按计划飞行动力与小型托车一般,因而只能以70km/h的速度匀速行驶。Its ultimate range will be limited by the physical ability of the pilot to remain alert, with little room to move or to store much food and water.狭小的机内空间,加之有限的食物与饮用水,飞机的最大航行距离就完全取决于飞行员自身的身体素质。With current technology, the team reckon, a two-person solar plane would be too heavy.团队成员认为,以目前的技术,双驾驶太阳能飞机负重过大。To give Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg room to exercise and lie down, the next aircraft will be about 15% bigger than the prototype, which tips the scales at just 1,600kg.为了给皮卡德和尔施伯格足够的空间移动和躺卧,新的飞机将比原型机大15%,总重达1600千克。Weight is the critical factor.重量是关键性问题。The wing spar that broke had been redesigned with an ultralight carbon-fibre process to shed the grams.先前破损的翼梁用超轻型碳纤维材料重新打造以降低克重。But we went too close to the limits, confesses Mr Borschberg.尔施伯格不得不承认,这已是我们所能之极限。There is little scope for a full autopilot system, and it would weigh too much.完整的自动驾驶系统会使飞机不堪重负。However, Altran, an engineering consultancy based in France and one of the projects supporters, is developing a partial system.不过项目持商之一的法国Altran工程咨询公司,部分解决了自动驾驶问题。In calm weather, it will keep the aircraft pointing in the right direction.风和日丽之时,这套系统会帮助飞机沿着正确的方向前行。And if turbulence causes a wing to dip by more than five degrees, a cuff on the pilots right or left arm will vibrate to tell him which way to correct course.如若飞机机翼受气流影响下沉角度超过5度,它就会通过振动驾驶员某一膀臂上的袖带来指引正确的行驶方向。He must react quickly to keep control.驾驶员的反应速度决定着飞机平稳与否。This system will be tried out on the prototype flight in America.这套系统将在横越美洲的原型机上试用。The ground crew can monitor both the flight and the pilot with telemetry.地勤人员可以通过遥测装置对飞机和飞行员进行监控。When circumnavigating the globe the pilot will be able to lower a seat to lie down and take catnaps of up to 20 minutes.在环球飞行时,飞行员可以将座位调低,这样便可以躺在上面小憩20多分钟。That is enough, the team calculate, to ward off some of the effects of sleep deprivation.团队成员通过计算认为这些时间足够抵御睡眠不足带来的不利影响。The pilot must not be too groggy if he has to swing suddenly into action.当飞行员突然驾驶时,他一定不可以过于疲劳。This procedure has been tested in a flight simulator for 72 hours non-stop, and seems to work.这套流程已在模拟飞行器中进行了72小时不间断测试,效果卓著。A typical flight involves taking off in the early morning, when winds are light, and ascending to 10,000 metres to stay above any stormclouds.普通的飞行包括在风速平稳的清晨起飞,随后上升至10000米的高空以躲避暴风云层。At this altitude, though, the air is thin and an oxygen supply is needed.由于海拔较高,空气稀薄,必须提供足够的氧气。The pilot has to wear an oxygen mask because pressurising the cockpit, as an airliner does with air from its jet engines, is not possible.飞行员只得佩戴氧气罩,因为太阳能飞机无法像普通大型客机那样利用喷气引擎的气流保持驾驶舱的气压平稳。Nor do the team want to carry heavy oxygen cylinders.氧气瓶也因为过于沉重而不切实际。As an alternative Air Liquide, an industrial-gases firm, is developing a solar-powered system to generate oxygen.与法国液化空气公司类似的一家工业用气公司正在研制如何利用太阳能产生氧气。At night the pilot descends slowly, carefully using up the power until dawn.夜晚时,飞机缓缓下降,在黎明前用尽所有燃料。Once the sun returns the batteries can recharge in three hours as the plane ascends again.当太阳升起时,电池会在三个小时内充满,然后飞机便再次起飞。Landings are also left until the early evening, when winds are light.同起飞一样,降落也挑选在风速平稳的傍晚。The flight across America will give the teams meteorologists an opportunity to see how their weather models stand up.飞越美洲的航行也可以验团队中气象学家的天气模型是否成立。Sometimes it is necessary for the pilot to delay a landing to wait for optimum conditions.有时,飞行员必须延迟降落时间以寻求最佳时机。Mr Piccard and Mr Borschberg have learned an interesting technique to do that.皮卡德和尔施伯格用一种有趣的方式进行观察。Flying slowly, they turn the nose into a headwind, which can make the aircraft fly backwards.他们会逆风缓慢飞行,这样飞机就会受气流影响向后移动。It is not the sort of thing to try in a jumbo jet.而这在巨型喷气式飞机上是不可想象的。 /201309/258577。

By the early 1950s, it was becoming apparent that a growing number of elderly Americans had no economic protection from the increasing cost of health care. 一直到19世纪60年代早期的时候,很明显的是,随着医疗保险费用的增加,越来越多的美国老年人没有经济保障。Most people over 65 had very low incomes and few owned private health insurance of any kind. Congress began a years–long debate on this issue of national health insurance for the elderly. 大部分超过65岁的人有极低的收入来源,而且很少会有人有任何一种私人医疗保险。国会关于老年人医疗补助的事儿展开了为期多年的讨论。Critics in Congress feared Medicare would lead to substandard and overpriced care, and felt that it should serve only the indigent. 国会上引发的那些争论可能会引发低标准却费用过高的医保,而且还有一点让人担忧的是它可能只受益于穷人。They also predicted that, with growing numbers participating, it would eventually bankrupt the federal Treasury. 他们也在预测,随着越来越多的参与度,联邦财政部最终可能会破产。The legislative compromise that became the final Medicare Act – officially known as the ;Social Security Amendments of 1965” – was part of President Lyndon Johnsons ;Great Society; program. 立法认为,最终的医疗保险法案将正式被称为“1965年的社会安全修正案——林登·约翰逊总统的“伟大社会”项目的一部分。Today it protects more than 40 million Americans from the high cost of hospital care. 现今它使得超过4千万的美国人都享受到了医疗保险,免除了就医的高昂费用。Much of the programs costs are covered by payroll taxes paid by workers. 项目的大部分费用都是工人的工资税。Yet costs quickly started to exceed expectations, and as Americans life expectancy increased over the years, the Medicare program became even more expensive. 然后这些费用很快就都超出了人们的预期,正如这些年来,美国人的预期寿命在上涨一样,医保也变得越来越昂贵。It has become a matter of national debate and a financial issue for every Congress and President since. 自此这已经变成了一个国内争论的焦点问题,每个国会和总理的财政问题。Today it is still one of the fastest growing items in the federal budget. Nonetheless, Medicare remains a popular program, and a well–established part of the federal governments role in our society.如今在政府预算中医保还是一个快速增长的款项。除此之外,医保还是一个很受欢迎的项目,还是联邦政府中相对完善的一部分。原文译文属!201307/248115。

Governing partnerships管理合伙人制Electing the boss选举新老板Deloitte prepares to vote for a new CEO德勤准备选举新任CEOEVER since the inception of the corporation, the “principal-agent” problem has bedevilled shareholders. The partnership structure that prevails at consulting, accounting and law firms is supposedly free of the risk of executives acting in their own interest at the ownersexpense. As the businesses belong to the employees, the incentives of managers and proprietors should be aligned. But leaders there must pay greater heed to the views of their worker-shareholders than do corporate bosses, who need only answer to boards selected by proxy votes that are rarely contested, and can simply issue orders to staff.自公司成立以来,“委托代理”问题一直困扰着股东们。这种合伙制结构在咨询公司、会计师事务所和法律公司当中非常盛行,它被认为能够避免这样一种风险,即高管用所有者的资金从事跟自己利益相关的活动。虽然公司业务是由雇员经手,但是管理者的目标应该与企业所有者的利益一致。但领导人必须更加注意他们的同时也生为公司股东的员工们的意见,而不是公司老板们,因为他们只需要向精选出来并很少提出质疑的董事会回答问题、只需要简单地命令员工就行了。This distinction is never more apparent than when the head of a partnership steps down. They will be dusting off the ballot boxes at Deloitte, the biggest of the “Big Four” global accounting firms. On August 15th Joe Echevarria, the boss of the American arm, said he would be leaving the firm. Rather than summon an executive-search agency to do some discreet recruiting, Deloitte will hold a leadership election.然而当其中一位合伙人下台时,这样的差别对待就更加明显了。他们将准备在德勤重新使用投票选举。8月15日,德勤美国CEO乔埃切瓦里,说他要离开公司。此次,德勤决定举行领导人选举而不是通过猎头谨慎招聘来产生新任CEO。The firm does not disclose the mechanics of the process. But most partnerships form a nomination committee on their executive boards to assess candidates on both their visions for the firm and how much support they command from peers. After a series of informal consultations with fellow partners, the committee delicately advises likely losers to bow out gracefully. If these “soundings” yield a clear-cut heir apparent, the firm may proceed straight to a coronation vote where the new leader is rubber-stamped.虽然德勤没有披露选举过程中的机制,但大多数采用合伙制的企业都会在董事会形成一个提名委员会,通过对公司未来的计划以及同行持率等指标来评估候选人。在与合作伙伴进行一系列非正式磋商之后,委员会委婉地建议可能的失败者退出竞选。如果这些“声音”能够产生一个明确的候选人,那么公司可以不再进行评估和审核,而直接授权这位候选人。If there are a few strong contenders, the process starts to resemble a political campaign. Candidates often write manifestos outlining their plans, and occasionally address the electorate at annual partnersmeetings. Behind the scenes, horse-trading abounds, as the candidates promise juicy posts to influential partners who can deliver a block of support from colleagues. Each partner usually gets one vote, regardless of their equity stake.如果竞选中出现了多个强有力的竞争者,这个竞选过程就开始变得像一个政治运动。候选人经常写下竞选宣言提出他们的计划,偶尔也会在每年的合作人会议上强调选举事宜。但是在幕后,交易比比皆是,因为候选人会向具有影响力的能带来同事持的合伙人承诺以丰厚的回报。每个合伙人无论股权多少都只能投一票。The race to succeed Mr Echevarria is likely to be hotly contested. Under his stewardship since 2011, Deloitte has grown impressively. In the first two years of his term, revenues at its American arm rose from .9 billion to .9 billion. The other members of the Big Four—EY, PwC and KPMG—sold their consulting arms after the Enron scandal and have since had to rebuild them from scratch. Deloitte stayed in consulting and Mr Echevarria has pushed that side of the business.想要从埃切瓦里先生手里拿下接力棒也不是件容易的事。自2011以来,在他的领导下,德勤的业绩是非常惊人的。在他任期的前两年,其所在的美国分部收入从119亿美元上升到139亿美元。而四大的其他成员,安永、普华永道和毕马威,现在不得不重新建立他们在安然事件中出售的咨询分。德勤仍然保持着咨询业务,这也是埃切瓦里先生努力的方向。Since consultings profit margins are fatter than for auditing, Mr Echevarrias strategy has surely inflated partnerspaypackets. But it carries a greater risk of conflicts of interest, given the temptation for accounting firms to cut their clients slack on audits and compliance work in order to retain lucrative consulting business. On August 18th New Yorks regulators fined PwC m for watering down a report on sanctions-busting transactions with Iran at a Japanese bank; they punished Deloitte for a similar violation last year. The leaders of the Big Four have customarily come from the auditing side. If Deloittes partners vote for a consultant, it will leave little doubt that the firms roots in bean counting are being left further behind.由于咨询的利润率比审计要高,埃切瓦里先生的策略肯定已经让合伙人的荷包膨胀了许多。但同时,考虑到如果要保持咨询业务的丰厚利润,它就需要削减审计和合规业务的客户,因此德勤也面临着更大的利益冲突的风险。8月18日,纽约监管机构因为普华永道淡化了日本违反制裁伊朗禁令的报告而对其处以2500万美元的罚款;他们在去年也对德勤类似的违规行为做出了惩罚。四大的领导人通常来自审计方。如果德勤合伙人投票给咨询顾问,那它就是毫无疑问地向外界表示,该公司的审计业务会落得更远。 /201408/324725。