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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2018年12月17日 11:02:21
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On November 11, Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, joined China’s Singles Day celebration for the first time, hoping to sell 1.2m apples from Washington State in 24 hours.11月11日,华盛顿州苹果委员会(Washington Apple Commission)主席托德弗莱霍弗(Todd Fryhover)头一次参加中国双十一“光棍节”活动,希望能在24小时之内卖掉120万个来自华盛顿州的苹果。To help him out was the marketing juggernaut of Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company, where Washington apples are sold through branded website Tmall, one of a number of foreign food brands that are finding a y market in China amid health scares over domestic produce.帮他排忧解难的是营销巨头阿里巴巴(Alibaba)。华盛顿州的苹果在这家中国电商公司旗下的“天猫”(Tmall)网站销售。在中国消费者对国内农产品存在健康担忧的情况下,许多外国食品品牌找到了现成的市场,华盛顿的苹果正是其中之一。Singles Day, which began as a student celebration of singledom in the early 1990s, was reinvented by Alibaba in 2009 as a mass festival of conspicuous consumption, and more and more foreign companies are joining, hoping to use the holiday as a marketing exercise to get their brands out to the Chinese public.“光棍节”起源于上世纪90年代初学生们庆祝单身的活动,2009年被阿里巴巴重新定义为疯狂消费的大众节日。越来越多的外国公司开始加入这一盛事,希望利用该节日进行市场推广,向中国公众推介自己的品牌。Mr Fryhover wants everyone in China to have “a repeatable, wonderful experience on Washington apples”. China is number six on the list of 60 countries that import apples from Washington’s 450 growers, but he thinks it will be number one by next year.弗莱霍弗希望每个中国人都对“华盛顿州的苹果有可重复的、奇妙的体验”。在华盛顿州450家种植园所种苹果的60个出口国名单中,中国位列第六,但弗莱霍弗认为明年中国将跃升至第一位。He may be right. By midnight, as a billboard in Alibaba’s Beijing auditorium showed, .3bn of merchandise had been bought via Alibaba’s platforms in 24 hours.或许他是对的。午夜时分,阿里巴巴北京礼堂的大屏幕显示,24小时内通过阿里巴巴各平台售出的商品总值达到143亿美元。Western companies are increasingly turning to online commerce, a cheaper and faster way to get to market than setting up store chains or penetrating the opaque retail market in China.为了进入中国市场,越来越多的西方企业正在转向电子商务,这是比开设连锁店或者落户中国难以把握的零售市场更快、更廉价的方式。To do this they are learning to love China’s internet conglomerates, informally known as BAT — Baidu, the search company, Alibaba and Tencent, the social media and gaming company. The three have begun to dominate economic life in China with amazing speed, doing everything from retail to finance to transportation, and moving into healthcare and even agriculture.为了实现这一点,它们正学着爱上中国互联网三巨头——人称BAT的阿里巴巴、互联网搜索公司百度(Baidu)、以及社交媒体及游戏公司腾讯(Tencent)。它们已经开始以令人惊叹的速度主导中国的经济生活,提供从零售、金融到运输等各种务,并且正在进入医疗保健甚至农业。In just a few years, the BAT conglomerates has been able to monopolise every aspect of daily life that could conceivably be put on the web and sold to the public. “They all want to own the customer, they want to be with them every second of the day, when they watch a , chat to their friends, buy groceries, or go to a restaurant” says Chris DeAngelis from the Beijing-based Alliance Development Group.短短几年间,三巨头成功地垄断了日常生活中所有可以被放到web上、面向公众销售的方面。“它们都想占有这些客户,时时刻刻与他们在一起,无论客户是在看视频、与朋友聊天、买菜、还是去餐厅吃饭,”北京安联思商务顾问公司(Alliance Development Group)的克里斯迪安杰利斯(Chris DeAngelis)称。China’s internet giants are becoming what analyst Anne Stevenson-Yang of J Capital Research calls “tech Keiretsu”, referring to the national champions that dominated the Japanese economy in the 20th century with interests in multiple industries. “When companies are this big in China, the difference between public and private is not that important,” she says. “For all intents and purposes these companies have become the ministry of the internet.”中国的互联网巨头正逐渐发展为美奇金投资咨询公司(J Capital Research)的分析师杨思安(Anne Stevenson-Yang)所称的“科技系列企业”(tech Keiretsu)。这类企业是指20世纪主导日本经济、插足多个行业的国家冠军企业。“当企业在中国发展到如此大的规模时,公私差别不再那么重要,”她称,“在现实意义上,这些企业成了互联网部。”But fierce competition means foreign sellers have many options for courting Chinese middle class buyers who are looking to buy imported goods abroad due to concerns about home-made counterfeit goods.但是,激烈的竞争意味着,外国商家在招揽中国中产阶层买家时有很多选择。由于担心国产假货,这些消费者热衷于购买进口商品。Alibaba offers a number of options for sellers, including the free eBay-like platform Taobao, which is basically an online flea market. Most big brands set up on Tmall, which resembles an Amazon market place, a platform where big brands can set up stores and have more control over their sales and supply chains. Tmall’s first store from a fortune 500 company was Procter amp; Gamble, launched in 2008, which has grown 100 times since then, according to Pamp;G vice-president Jasmine Xu.阿里巴巴为卖方提供了很多选择,其中包括与eBay类似的免费平台淘宝(Taobao)——基本上就是一个网上跳蚤市场。多数大品牌的店都开在类似于亚马逊(Amazon)的天猫上,让这些品牌更好地控制其销售和供应链。宝洁(Procter amp; Gamble)是首家进驻天猫的财富500强公司。据宝洁副总裁Jasmine Xu称,自2008年进驻天猫以来,该公司在该平台上的销售额增长了100倍。This year on Singles Day Ms Xu says that Pamp;G made its first Rmb100m (m) in six minutes, compared with eight hours last year. “[Tmall] is a key platform to drive brand building in addition to sales,” she says.Xu称,在今年的双十一“光棍节”,宝洁在6分钟内就完成了1亿元人民币(合1600万美元)的销售额,而去年用了8小时才达到这一销售额。“除了加大销售外,(天猫)还是推动品牌建设的关键平台,”她称。Some merchants have been loath to list on Alibaba, however. It gets vast online traffic, but the pressure to discount and the prevalence of fakes means it is “hard to protect a brand on Tmall,” says one consultant.然而,也有一些商家不愿意进驻阿里巴巴。阿里巴巴带来了庞大的在线客流量,但一名咨询顾问称,打折的压力以及泛滥的假货意味着“很难在天猫上保护品牌”。But there are plenty of alternatives. JD.com, Alibaba’s rival, which is increasing its market share, has attracted a number of brands to its online store.不过,它们还有其他很多选择。京东(JD.com)——阿里巴巴的竞争对手,其市场份额正日益扩大——吸引了众多品牌进驻。Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Tencent’s social media app WeChat, which has more than 500m users and is growing rapidly. Fearful of flooding the app with advertising and products, Tencent has been holding back on “monetising” WeChat.与此同时,腾讯的社交媒体app微信(WeChat)正伺机而动。微信拥有逾5亿用户,发展迅速。由于担心广告和产品泛滥引起用户反感,腾讯迄今搁置这款app的“货币化”进程。But advertising on WeChat is just one way of getting attention, and many companies have found they can win huge marketing success simply by using WeChat for word-of-mouth marketing.但是,在微信上做广告只是吸引注意力的方式之一。很多企业发现,单单利用微信进行口碑营销就可以获得巨大的市场推广成功。Fans of English country living, for example, can join a WeChat group devoted to Aga cookers, the iconic English oven brand, watch s about cooking on an Aga, swap messages about it, and, thanks to the software which embeds the store in the chatroom, even buy one on impulse.例如,热衷英国乡村生活的粉丝可以加入英式烤箱标志性品牌A的微信群,观看使用A烹饪的视频,交换有关产品的信息,甚至一时冲动买下一台烤箱——借助在聊天室嵌入商铺的软件。“WeChat is unusually versatile; its better than Facebook, better than WhatsApp for marketing,” says Jim James, head of EastWest Public Relations in Beijing, which designed the Aga WeChat group.“微信的用途异常广泛;就市场营销而言,它比Facebook更好,也比WhatsApp更好,”北京易思闻思公共关系咨询公司(Eastwest Public Relations)董事长金宝(Jim James)称。该公司设计了A的微信群。“China in many ways is more switched on to the internet than other countries which have had it for longer.”“相比其他一些接触互联网时间更长的国家,中国在很多方面更加融入网络。” /201512/417446

As she plucks the weeds ensnaring a nascent crop of honeysuckle, farmer Yang Xinfeng makes an unlikely pioneer in the global renewable energy revolution.正在为金银花幼株除草的农民杨新凤(音译),出人意料地成了全球可再生能源革命的先锋。This year China will overtake Germany to become the world’s biggest installer of solar panels but as companies increasingly struggle to secure the vast land banks they need for solar farms, they are turning to an innovative solution: growing everything from plants to hairy crabs underneath the solar cells.今年,中国将超过德国,成为全球太阳能电池板安装量最大的国家。然而,由于各企业越来越难以获得修建太阳能发电厂所需的巨大土地库存,它们正转而采取一种创新解决方案:在太阳能电池板底下发展各种种植养殖业,包括养殖毛蟹。This helps them to get around government restrictions on the conversion of agricultural land, win the support of local farmers and generate an extra income stream.此举帮他们绕开了政府对变更农业用地用途的限制,赢得了当地农民的持,并带来了额外的收入流。“This makes a lot of sense as solar can be incorporated into agricultural land pretty effectively and non-invasively,” says Charles Yonts, an energy analyst at stockbroker CLSA in Hong Kong.香港券商里昂券(CLSA)能源分析师杨立志(Charles Yonts)表示:“这种做法非常合理,因为它能将太阳能发电非常有效地整合进农业用地,不会侵占农业生产的空间。”At the Xicun power plant in Yunnan province, Hong Kong-listed CLP has teamed up with local farmers to grow honeysuckle, which is used in traditional medicine, below the solar cells that sprawl over hill after hill in this mountainous region.在云南省的西村发电站,香港上市公司中电集团(CLP)已经与当地农民合作,在太阳能电池板底下种植传统中药材金银花。在这个多山地区,一块块太阳能电池板铺满了一个个山头。“It’s not easy to look after this crop because I didn’t know about it before but I’m making much more money now,” says Ms Yang, whose earnings have trebled to Rmb3,000 (3) per month since she started working for the honeysuckle contractor brought in by CLP. “In the past I had to take on extra jobs to survive but now I’m more secure and I’m planning to buy a new sofa and refrigerator.”杨女士表示:“过去我对这种作物不了解,照看它们并不容易。不过,如今我赚的钱多多了。”自从杨女士开始为中电集团引进的金银花承包商工作以来,她的收入已经增长两倍,达到每月3000元人民币(合473美元)。“过去我得再打些工才够生活,如今我不那么担心生活了。我还打算买新沙发和新电冰箱。”As it doubles the capacity of the Xicun plant to 100MW, enough to power thousands of homes in the nearby city of Dali, CLP is also working on a similar project in another part of China where it will rear hairy crabs, an expensive delicacy, in ponds under its solar panels.中电集团将西村发电站的装机容量扩大了一倍,达到100兆瓦,足以为附近大理市数千个家庭提供电力。目前,该集团还在中国另一个地方建设类似项目,在太阳能电池板下的池塘里养殖特色水产毛蟹。“Solar plants take up a big area and one of the hardest challenges we face is obtaining land near major population centres,” says Roger Yang, the company’s director for new energy in China. “Integrating food production helps us to convince the farmers to lease the land at a reasonable price and get local government support.”中电集团中国区新能源高级副总裁杨明才(Roger Yang)表示:“太阳能发电站需要占用很多土地,我们面临的一大挑战就在于如何获取靠近主要人口聚集地的土地。将食物生产整合进来,能帮助我们说那些农民以合理价格将土地租给我们,并能得到政府的持。”With the price of solar panels having collapsed because of massive oversupply, a growing number of Chinese companies see an opportunity to make money while also earning political brownie points by helping the government meet its ambitious renewable energy targets.随着太阳能电池板因供应过剩而价格暴跌,越来越多的中国企业看到了机遇——在赚钱的同时,通过帮助政府实现其宏伟的可再生能源目标获得政治上的加分。Market research group IHS predicts that China will add a record 17.3 gigawatts of solar panels this year, slightly less than the total installed capacity of Italy, the world’s fifth-biggest generator of power from the sun.市场研究集团IHS预计,今年中国太阳能电池板新增装机容量将达到创纪录的17.3吉瓦,略低于全球第五大太阳能发电国意大利的总装机容量。Even after this breakneck expansion, China will only be producing 1 per cent of its power output from solar but it will be far and away the world’s biggest generator.即使是在这样迅猛的扩张之后,中国的太阳能发电量也仅将占到其总发电量的1%。不过,中国的太阳能发电量仍是全球第一,并且远远把其他国家甩在身后。While China has vast expanses of available land in its western desert regions, it lacks the high-voltage transmission lines to bring electricity to its main cities and such a network would require billions of dollars and years of planning to build.尽管中国在其西部荒漠地带有广阔的土地可用于发电,但中国缺乏将电力输送至主要城市的高压输电线。这样的电网不仅需要花费数十亿美元,还需要多年的规划才能建成。A government drive to solve the problem by putting more “distributed” solar cells on the roofs of houses and factories has stalled because of the lack of a smart grid system that allows people and businesses to feed power into the grid and get paid easily.由于缺乏能让个人和企业较容易地向电网馈电并获得酬劳的智能电网,政府通过在房屋和工厂顶部安装更多“分布式”太阳能电池的解决方案也遇到了阻碍。In the meantime, more companies around China are launching integrated agriculture ventures, with plans to grow everything from mushrooms to animal feed in the shadow of solar cells.与此同时,中国各地的更多企业正在推出与农业结合的光伏项目,打算在太阳能电池底下发展各种种植养殖业,包括蘑菇种植。While CLP, which is part-owned and chaired by Hong Kong billionaire Michael Kadoorie, has long experience of building conventional and renewable energy plants around Asia, many of the other Chinese companies expanding into solar have a less impressive track record.中电集团由香港亿万富翁米高嘉道理爵士(Sir Michael Kadoorie)持有部分股票并担任董事长。尽管中电集团拥有多年在亚洲各地建设常规能源电站和可再生能源电站的经验,但其他许多将业务拓展至太阳能领域的中国企业则没有这么亮眼的经历。Recent entrants include Evergrande, a property developer, China Oceanwide, a finance group, and Huiyuan, China’s largest private juice maker. Controversial solar panel maker Hanergy regularly appears at promotional forums for greenhouse-mounted solar panels.最近进入该产业的公司包括地产开发商恒大(Evergrande)、金融集团中国泛海(China Oceanwide)、以及中国最大的民营果汁生产商汇源(Huiyuan)。争议较大的太阳能电池板制造商汉能(Hanergy),则时常出现在推介安装于温室上的太阳能电池板的论坛上。As in most countries, solar plants in China can only turn a profit because of government subsidies but it can currently take a year or more for new plants to win the necessary approvals before they receive their first payments.和多数国家的情况一样,中国的太阳能发电站只有在得到政府补贴的情况下才会盈利。然而,新电站目前需要花费一年甚至一年以上的时间,才能获得必要的批准、收到头一笔付款。Frank Xie, a solar analyst for IHS in Shanghai, says those with strong financial backing or international businesses can ride out the subsidy delay but some weaker companies will struggle to complete their projects, particularly given the wider slowdown.IHS驻上海的光伏产业分析师谢锋(Frank Xie)表示,那些资金实力雄厚、或有国际业务的企业有能力挺过补贴发放延迟期,而部分较弱的公司却难以完成自己的项目——尤其是考虑到整体经济放缓的背景。Mr Yonts of CLSA says that despite the potential for financial problems in the short term, China’s huge solar investment will transform the industry globally by driving down costs, which are currently about 60 per cent higher than coal-fired power.里昂券的杨立志表示,尽管短期内存在出现资金问题的可能性,中国对太阳能产业巨大的投资会降低成本,从而改变全球太阳能产业的面貌。目前,太阳能发电的成本比火电高大约60%。“That will make solar particularly attractive for countries like India and Indonesia,” which both suffer from damaging electricity shortages, he says.他说,“这会令太阳能发电对印度和印尼这样的国家尤其有吸引力”,这两个国家都存在困扰经济的电力短缺。 /201511/407172

  

  ARE women necessary?有必要有女人吗?Not with Ava around.有了爱娃(Ava)就不用了。Even without hair on her head or flesh on her legs, Ava has enough allure and cunning to become a classic film noir robot vixen.即使头上没有头发,腿上没有血肉,爱娃也有足够的诱惑力、足够狡猾,可以成为经典黑色电影(film noir)里的机器毒妇。Despite being a plastic and mesh gizmo locked in a glass cell, she can enmesh men with frightening ease.尽管她只是一个塑料和网布包裹的机器,关在玻璃房间里,但是她却能手到擒来地引诱男人。Ava is the appealing heroine, or apocalyptic villainess, of “Ex Machina,” a stylish sci-fi thriller set in the near future, written and directed by Alex Garland, a 44-year-old Brit who wrote the 2002 zombie hit “28 Days Later.”爱娃是《机械姬》(Ex Machina)里诱人的女主角,或者说是末世的女性大反派。这部高水准的科幻惊悚片里的情景发生在不远的未来,编剧和导演都是亚历克斯·加兰(Alex Garland),2002年的僵尸大片《惊变28天》(28 Days Later)也是由这个44岁的英国人编剧的。Critics are divided over whether “Ex Machina” is a feminist fable or misogynistic nightmare. Like Quentin Tarantino with violence, Garland has it both ways: He offers a mocking meditation on the male obsession with man-pleasing female sex robots while showing off an array of man-pleasing female sex robots.《机械姬》到底是女性主义寓言,还是仇视女性的噩梦,影评人莫衷一是。就像昆汀·塔伦蒂诺(Quentin Tarantino)对待暴力的方式一样,加兰也有些“两头都占”:他对男性偏执于取悦男性的女体机器人做了一番充满嘲讽意味的思索,同时又对很多取悦男人的女体机器人进行了炫耀。Ava, played with a delicate edge by the Swedish actress and dancer Alicia Vikander, is far more than a “basic pleasure model,” as some female replicants in “Blade Runner” are known. She has wiles that are a lot more potent than the weaponized breasts of Austin Powers’s fembots.瑞典演员和舞者艾丽西亚·维坎德(Alicia Vikander)细腻地饰演了爱娃的角色。《银翼杀手》(Blade Runner)里的一些女性复制人被形容为“用来愉悦的基本模型”,但爱娃远远超出了这个程度,她的诡计远远比《王牌大贱谍》(Austin Powers)里那些胸部变成武器的“女机器人”(fembot)要厉害。Her Dr. Frankenstein is an abrasive Steve Jobs-type named Nathan, played by a hypnotic Oscar Isaac.创造她的科学怪人名叫内森(Nathan),是一个史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)式的粗暴人物,由迷人的奥斯卡·伊萨克(Oscar Isaac)饰演。“Is it strange to have made something that hates you?” Ava icily asks Nathan.“造出一个东西,她却恨你,是不是感觉很奇怪?”爱娃冷冰冰地问内森。Nathan has a peach-fuzz coder in his firm, Caleb, fly to his hideaway in Alaska to test whether the curvy artificial-intelligence machine can outwit a nerdy human. It quickly becomes clear that Caleb, in the great film noir tradition of love-struck saps, is going to have a tough time with this silicon femme fatale. Nathan devilishly confides that Ava has a sexual “opening with a concentration of sensors” and admits that he modeled her appearance on Caleb’s online porn history.内森让公司里一个稚嫩的程序员凯勒布(Caleb)飞到他在阿拉斯加的藏身处,来测试这个玲珑有致的人工智能机器人,会不会比人类书呆子更聪明。很快,剧情就告诉我们,凯勒布沿袭着黑色电影的经典套路,成为了痴恋的傻瓜,他会与这个硅胶做成的危险女人度过一段惊心动魄的时光。内森用魔鬼一般的口吻透露,爱娃体内有一个用于性行为的“开口”,“密集地装了很多传感器”,他还承认,爱娃的容貌是根据凯勒布在网上看过的色情电影设计的。Garland has said that it’s “tricky” to assign gender to robots because it raises questions about whether sexuality is a component of consciousness, and he has called Ava’s femininity purely external. But, given how much her looks and charms drive the movie, he told me that it feels “oddly wrong” to call Ava “it.”加兰表示,给机器人加上性范畴有些“棘手”,因为这会引出一个问题:性是不是意识的一部分?而且他还形容,爱娃的女性特质纯粹是外在的。不过,考虑到她的容貌,以及在电影中展现出的魅力,他对我说,如果用“它”来指代爱娃,会感觉是一种“怪异的错误”。Indeed, he confesses to having “a sort of crush” on his creation, and answers “No” a bit too quickly when I ask whether we should assume that Nathan, who lives alone in his glass house with his android Galateas, has had sex with Ava.的确,他承认对自己的作品“有一些喜爱”。我问他,我们是不是应该认为内森与爱娃发生过性关系——内森与他的机器人美女居住在同一个玻璃房子里——加兰的否定回答来得有点太快了。Does that notion make him jealous?这个念头会让他嫉妒吗?“Maybe,” he concedes. “That’s not an unreasonable thing to say.”“或许吧,”他承认。“这样说也不是不合理。”Asked if he would want a sex robot, the married father of two replies: “Could I imagine falling in love with a robot that was sentient and attractive to me? Well, sure, I could. But do I want a complicated version of a vibrator? No, I don’t. Some people might. I’m not judgmental about it.”在被问到他会不会想要一个性爱机器人时,已婚且有两个孩子的加兰回答:“我能想象自己爱上一个有感知力、有魅力的机器人吗?那肯定可以。但我想要一个复杂版本的振动棒吗?不,不想。有些人或许会想,但我不会就此评价别人。”I ask if the movie will enhance the fear of some women that guys are more into the porn stars on their phones than the girls on their arms.我问他,这部电影会不会加剧一些女性的恐惧,她们担心男人更着迷的是手机上的色情明星,而不是怀里的姑娘。“The thing we desire and think we can’t have we can now shape exactly to the specification of how we want it,” he says. “There’s something incredibly scary about how unstoppable it feels.”“那些我们渴望得到但认为我们得不到的东西,我们现在可以按照自己的想法原原本本塑造出来,”他说。“这样的事谁能阻挡得了呢,想想都毛骨悚然。”“Ex Machina” arrives in theaters amid a raft of stories about the swift advance in robotics, with everything from investment-banker bots that make stock picks to blueprints for spider-shaped bots that can potentially spy or assassinate.《机械姬》上映之际,有关机器人技术飞跃的消息正纷至沓来,其中有会挑选股票的投资机器人,还有可以执行监视或刺杀任务的蜘蛛形机器人的设计方案。Some visionaries — Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak — warn that humans will be superseded by robots, who will soon be smart enough to redesign themselves to become exponentially smarter.一些有远见的人物——史蒂芬·霍金(Stephen Hawking)、埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)、史蒂夫·沃兹尼亚克(Steve Wozniak)——曾警告我们,人类会被机器人取代,它们很快将具备重新设计自己的智力,进而以惊人的速度变得越来越聪明。“Will we be the family pets?” Wozniak fretted to The Australian Financial Review.“我们会不会成为家养的宠物呢?”沃兹尼亚克忧心忡忡地对《澳大利亚金融报》(Australian Financial Review)说。Garland is not alarmed because he views robot superiority as inevitable. He suggests that we view androids not as our competitors but as our progeny — or “mind children,” as robotics expert Hans Moravec, who believes they will be their own species, calls them.加兰不为所动,因为在他看来机器人取得优势地位是不可逆转的趋势。他建议我们不要把机器人当作竞争对手,而是当成我们的后代——或者如机器人专家汉斯·莫拉维克(Hans Moravec)所说,是我们的“头脑子女”(mind children),他认为机器人会成为一个独立的物种。Garland talks about all the things, including government programs, that would run more smoothly with an A.I. in charge. Can he can envision an A.I. president, even more sleek and less emotive than the one we have now?加兰无所不谈,包括说到政府项目如果由人工智能来控制,会运转得更顺畅。他能否想象出一个甚至比我们现在这位更光鲜,更缺少情感的人工智能总统呢?“There could be an A.I. president; there could,” he replies.“可能会有人工智能总统;可能的,”他答道。Talking about Ava being programmed to Caleb’s porn preferences, I tell Garland that this is a scary scene, given all the Julian Assanges of the world who are eager to spill our most private exchanges. He says he’s more worried about surreptitious humans than sentient robots and noted that Nathan’s “dude-bro” speak is a metaphor for how tech companies lure us into divulging our lives.爱娃的程序是根据凯勒布的色情偏好编写的,我对加兰说这可真是个吓人的情况,尤其是考虑到世界上有那么多朱利安·阿桑奇(Julian Assange)这样的人,迫不及待地想把我们最私密的交流泄露出去。他说,比起产生意识的机器人,他更害怕偷偷摸摸的人类,内森那种整天称兄道弟的说话腔调,隐喻了试图引诱我们将私人生活曝露在外的科技公司。“It’s like your hipster best friend that you aspire to, which is often how these companies market themselves,” he says. “They’re your mate, your buddy. ‘Now let’s go to this club; let’s hang out.’ And a sense that the familiarity of that is just pulling your attention away from the fact that they’re going through your address book and recording everything in there. And every now and then, pulling a dollar bill out of your wallet and going, ‘Dude, hey.’ ”“就好比你有个让你艳羡不已的潮人朋友,这些公司就是这么包装自己的,”他说。“他们是你的伙伴,哥们。‘咱们去这个夜店吧;咱们出去玩。’这种熟络的感觉吸引了你的注意力,让你意识不到他们正在翻你的通讯录,把里面的一切都记录下来。时不时从你钱包里抽出一张钞票,说‘没事儿吧,哥们’。”As we part, I ask Garland what will end humanity first, zombies or robots?谈话最后我问加兰,率先终结人类的会是僵尸还是机器人。“Neither,” he says. “We will. We’re going to manage that perfectly without any help from zombies or robots.”“都不是,”他说。“是我们。我们可以把这事办得妥妥的,不需要什么僵尸或机器人的帮助。” /201504/372534。

  In March of this year, BuzzFeed News told you that Apple had a new Apple TV in the pipeline and planned to unveil it in June at its annual Word Wide Developers Conference. Two months later we told you the company scrapped that plan, delaying the device to do a bit more work on it. It opted instead to focus its keynote-address attentions on its next generation operating systems and Apple Music streaming service。今年三月,BuzzFeed就报道过苹果正在筹备Apple TV的面市,并且打算在六月的世界开发者大会上发布。三月份之后的两个月,苹果却改变了计划,延迟发布AppleTV,为的是再打磨一下产品。在主题演讲里,苹果公司把注意力集中在了下一代操作系统和苹果音乐流媒体务。Now, as Apple heads toward its annual fall event, the successor to its superannuated set-top box is once again top of mind and at last headed to market — and for real this time。现在,苹果公司正着力准备其一年一度的秋季活动。新产品也将取代之前老旧的机顶盒,这一次这个机顶盒又成了焦点,并且最终要面市了——这次是真的。Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell BuzzFeed News that the company intends to announce its next-generation Apple TV in September, at the same event at which it typically unveils its new iPhones. The device itself is pretty much as we described it to you in March, sources say, but “more polished” after some additional tweaks. Expect a refreshed and slimmer chassis and new innards; Apple’s A8 system on chip; a new remote that sources say has been “drastically improved” by a touch-pad input; an increase in on-board storage; and an improved operating system that will support Siri voice control. Crucially, the new Apple TV will debut alongside a long-awaited App Store and the software development kit developers need to populate it。据熟悉苹果计划的消息来源,苹果公司打算在今年9月份发布下一代Apple TV,而这个时间段也正是苹果发布新iPhone的时间。Apple TV和我们今年三月份报道中的描述相差无几,但是消息称其在打磨之后“更完美”了。全新和外壳和内置;苹果芯片的A8系统;触控输入使得遥控性能“大大提高”;机载内存提升;持Siri声控系统。最重要的是,随Apple TV发布的还有让人等待已久的应用商店,以及开发者用来普及该产品的软件开发工具箱。It’s a significant overhaul of the diminutive set-top box, which hasn’t seen a material refresh since 2012, and one that Apple hopes will inspire a big upgrade cycle through the annual winter holiday consumer binge, setting the stage for the subscription internet-TV service Apple’s been trying to get off the ground for years. While that service is most certainly in the offing, sources tell BuzzFeed News that Apple does not currently plan to announce it alongside the new Apple TV。这应该是这个小小机顶盒的一次大翻新。自2012年以来,机顶盒并没有实质性的改变。苹果也希望通过这次Apple TV的发布,能够趁着一年一度的冬季消费热引发一场设备大型的设备的更新。这样也能为之后苹果努力已久的互联网电视订阅务打下基础。消息称,虽然订阅务的发布近在咫尺,苹果公司并没有打算和Apple TV一起发布。While launching new Apple TV hardware apart from a new subscription TV service might seem counterintuitive, it does make strategic sense if Apple doesn’t yet have the deals in place to field such a service. Certainly, Apple doesn’t need to debut the two things together. By rolling out the new Apple TV and SDK ahead of the service, Apple is giving developers some lead time to develop compelling apps for the device — and taking good advantage of a holiday shopping season that will likely drive sales, further growing the Apple TV installed base to which it will someday sell streaming service subscriptions。有点违背直觉的是,这次要发布的是Apple TV这么一个硬件,而不是全新的电视订阅务。然而,苹果在无法落实订阅务之前,这样的策略也是可以理解的。当然,苹果也没有必要非得让Apple TV和订阅系统同时发布。在订阅务发布之前,通过先发布Apple TV和软件开发工具包,苹果也给了开发者一些前置时间,用以为该设备开发更优秀的应用。同时也可以利用假日消费季刺激销量,进一步普及Apple TV,从而等待某天流媒体订阅务的到来。Apple declined comment。苹果公司未表态。 /201508/390201

  Xiaomi Inc launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Mi 5, on Wednesday at a press conference in Beijing, with founder Lei Jun saying the company plans to focus this year on making ;exciting; products and winning consumers#39; hearts and wallets.在上周三北京的发布会上,小米公司正式推出了其最新旗舰智能手机小米5。创始人雷军表示,公司计划在今年集中打造“令人兴奋”的产品,以赢得消费者的青睐。Analysts warned, though, that the new device wasn#39;t distinctive enough to help the Beijing-based company regain sales momentum in a hotly competitive market.尽管如此,分析家们却警告称,这款新机器并不能直接帮助这家总部位于北京的公司赢回在竞争激烈的市场上的热销势头。In 2015, Xiaomi shipped nearly 70 million smartphones domestically, up about 14.5 percent from the previous year, retaining the No.1 position in China#39;s smartphone market with a 15 percent share, according to a report issued by US-based market consultancy Strategy Analytics in late January.根据美国市场研究公司策略分析1月下旬发布的报告显示,2015年小米智能手机国内出货量近7000万,较上年同期增长约14.5%,并以15%的市场份额的优势稳居中国智能手机市场销量第一名。However, Xiaomi#39;s shipments in 2015 fell significantly short of its target and raised doubts over the prospects of the Chinese tech start-up in a cut-throat battleground. The company had aimed to ship 80 million to 100 million handsets last year.然而,2015年小米的出货量在还未达到制定的目标时就出现大幅度下跌,这不免引起了人们对中国科技初创企业在激烈的市场中前景的质疑。去年该公司的目标是销售8000万至1亿部手机。By contrast, domestic rival Huawei Technologies Co, which woos consumers around the world with both high-end and low-cost models, disclosed in early January that it had shipped 108 million smartphones globally in 2015, up 44 percent from 2014.相比之下,该公司的国内竞争对手华为技术有限公司,面向世界各地出售高端低成本智能机,赢得了消费者的广泛持。2015年1月初该公司已向全球出货1亿800万部智能手机,同比2014年增长了44%。Liu Dingding, an industry analyst with Beijing-based market research firm Sootoo, wasn#39;t very optimistic about the prospects of the Mi 5. ;The new smartphone is ?well-spec#39;d but shows no distinctive differences from its domestic comparatives,; Liu told the Global Times on Wednesday.北京市场研究公司速途网的行业分析师刘丁丁表示,他并不看好小米5的发展前景。刘先生于周三接受环球时报采访时表示:“尽管新的智能手机配置很好,但它与国内同类商品相比较并无明显差异”。Xiaomi will confront a tough year in 2016 in the face of increasingly strong Chinese competitors with respect to specifications and prices, Liu noted.刘丁丁指出,2016年将是小米最艰难的一年,它将面对因技术和价格优势而日益强大的中国竞争对手。Wang Yanhui, head of the Shanghai-based Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Mi 5#39;s product positioning is almost the same as that of the Mi 4, so the new model is unlikely to fare much better than the Mi 4 in the market.总部位于上海的手机中国联盟负责人王艳辉周三对环球时报表示,小米5的产品定位几乎与小米4一样,所以这一新的设备不可能比小米4销售得更好。The 5.2-inch Mi 5 model is priced at 1,999 yuan to 2,699 yuan, available both on its own online marketplace and at more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores of domestic home appliance retailer Suning Commerce Group Co in March.5.2英寸的小米5售价为1999至2699元,3月份将在自己的网上市场和1000多家国内家电零售商--苏宁商务集团有限公司的实体店出售。 /201603/428850

  

  Apple and China UnionPay announced a partnership on Friday to bring Apple Pay, a mobile payment solution provided by the US tech giant, to its Chinese customers next year.星期五,苹果公司和中国银联宣布合作,将于明年在中国推出“苹果付”--美国科技巨头为其中国用户提供的移动付解决方案。According to the company#39;s statement, users do not have to download an app or push display on their smart device in stores. With the innovative NFC antenna design, iPhone users can simply hold their phones near China UnionPay#39;s QuickPass-enabled POS terminals with their fingers on Touch ID to pay.根据该公司的声明,在商店使用苹果付购物不必打开一款付APP,甚至无需唤醒屏幕,付可以简单到通过手指的触摸在一瞬间完成。通过突破性的NFC天线设计,用户只要将iPhone靠近持银联云闪付的POS终端,同时将手指放在Touch ID上即可完成付。;With Apple Watch, just double click the side button and hold the watch face up to the contactless er to make a purchase right from your wrist,; said the statement.声明还说,“如果使用Apple Watch,只需连按两下侧边按钮,然后将表盘贴近非接触式读卡器,便可直接在手腕上完成购买。”According to the company, Apple Pay will roll out to China UnionPay cardholders as soon as early 2016 after relevant tests and certification required by Chinese regulators, with the service itself in compliance with the applicable national mobile payment and financial industry standards in China.据苹果公司称,Apple Pay相关产品和技术严格遵循中国国家和金融行业移动付标准,并将按照中国监管部门的要求完成相关检测和认,预计最快2016年初将正式向中国地区的银联卡持卡人开放此项务。China UnionPay cardholders will be able to add their bank cards to Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad to enable the function.持有中国银联卡的用户可以将卡与iPhone,Apple Watch或者iPad绑定来启用付功能。;Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad,; said Eddy Cue, Apple#39;s senior vice-president of Internet Software and Services. ;China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and with support from 15 of China#39;s leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience.;“通过iPhone、Apple Watch以及iPad,苹果付已经革新了数百万用户日常消费的付方式。”Apple互联网软件与务高级副总裁Eddy Cue 说,“对于苹果而言,中国市场的重要性不言而喻。通过携手中国银联以及15家中国主要的持,中国的用户即将可以享受便捷、私密和安全的付体验。” /201512/416819

  

  What’s going to happen to the tech world in 2016? While of course no one really knows for sure, it’s possible to make a few semieducated guesses. Here are 10 predictions for the biggest tech trends for the coming year — from the blindingly obvious to the wildly speculative.2016年科技界会有什么样的新发现?没有人可以给出肯定的答复,但这并不妨碍我们作出一些简单猜测。以下是2016年十大科技动向,其中有的是板上钉钉,有的只是大胆推测。1. Apple will unveil a new Watch and a new iPhone 苹果公司将发布新一代Apple Watch和iPhoneThis is the easiest prediction in the world, which is why we started with it (guaranteeing that at least one of these will be right).这是铁定的事实,也是我们之所以把它放在开头的原因(至少能保这十大预测有一个是真的)。Apple is expected to release Apple Watch 2.0 sometime this spring, we hope with an improved interface and a lot more apps. And next fall will see the release of the iPhone 7, which (if rumors are to be believed) will include a fingerprint sensor on the screen, wireless charging, multiple cameras, and a USB-C port instead of power or headphone jacks.苹果有望在明年春发布Apple Watch 2.0,届时其界面或许能有所改进,应用数量也能有所增加。iPhone 7将在明天秋发布,据传其在屏幕上增加了指纹传感器,还具备无线充电功能,配有多摄像头,并用USB-C接口取代了原有的电源和耳机接口。2. Apple’s dominance of tech culture will decline 苹果的统治力将有所下降Since the Second Coming of Jobs in 1997, interest in all things Apple has been climbing at a steady rate, going into hyperdrive with the release of the iPhone (2007) and then the iPad (2010). Lately, though, the products coming out of Cupertino have been less than magical and life-changing.1997年乔布斯重回苹果公司后,苹果渐渐开始吸引大众的目光,后分别于2007年和2010年推出iPhone和iPad,引起了巨大轰动。而如今虽然苹果产品层出不穷,其创意和影响力却不比当年。And for all of Tim Cook’s many fine qualities, he can’t generate a reality distortion field the way his predecessor could. Until Cook manages to pull another rabbit out of his iHat — an Apple Car? a fully integrated smart home? — the Apple mystique has clearly peaked. Nowhere to go but down.尽管库克也推出了许多优秀产品,但他却不具备前任乔布斯那样的“现实扭曲力场”,除非他也能变戏法般地弄出个Apple Car或是一体化自能家居什么的来。苹果的创意已经达到上限,现在只能走下坡路了。3. Virtual reality will finally be real — and most people will go ‘meh’ 虚拟现实或将成真,而消费者只能望洋兴叹After nearly four years of teasing us, the Oculus Rift VR headset will finally reach consumers this year, probably some time in the early spring. HTC’s Vive and Sony’s Playstation VR (formerly Morpheus) will likely appear a few months after that. And no matter how awesome they are — and odds are they will be pretty awesome — very few people will buy them.放了四年鸽子,Oculus Rift虚拟现实眼镜终于要问世了!发售时间为今年或是明年春初。HTC的Vive和索尼的Playstation VR(原名Morpheus)也将在之后的几个月问世。这都是些使人眼前为之一亮的产品,但不管这些设备多酷多棒,只有很少一部分人会选择购买。Why? They’ll likely be expensive, require vast amounts of computing power, and be limited mostly to games and porn (ewww). The fact is, after four years of hype, VR headsets can’t possibly live up to expectations. And then there’s the whole after-15-minutes-you-feel-like-puking factor (10 minutes if you’re watching porn). VR will find a niche audience, at best, for a long time to come.究其原因,这些设备主要用于游戏和色情音像(呃),拥有强大的计算能力,其价格可能会高得离谱。而另一方面,这些虚拟现实眼镜被热炒了四年,最终可能难以达到大众的期望值。这种眼镜戴上15分钟就让人忍不住想吐(如果看的是色情片只要10分钟),可想而知,在未来的很长一段时间内,这顶多只能是一种小众产品。4. AR will beat up VR and steal its lunch money 增强现实将与虚拟现实争夺市场While the world oohs, ahhs, and hurls over VR (but doesn’t buy it), Augmented Reality (AR) will infiltrate all kinds of industries, from design and engineering to architecture, education, and medicine. Why? Being less immersive — you can actually see the world around you, as well as virtual objects — makes AR much more practical.当世人还在惊叹于虚拟现实产品(但又不买)的时候,增强现实技术已开始渗透到各个领域,从建筑设计、建造,到教育行业,再到医疗行业。这是因为增强现实技术的仿真度要相对低些,人们可以获得真实的感官体验,还包括虚拟物品。这大大增强了技术的实用性。Microsoft just released a new version of its HoloLens and will begin shipping ,000 HoloLens development kits this spring. Google Glass will also emerge from the rock it’s been hiding under since its ill-fated debut, most likely aimed at industrial use.微软刚刚推出一款全新的全息眼镜,并将于明天春推出价值三千美元的开发套件。而谷歌眼镜首次问世反响不佳,在雪藏了一段时间后也将重出江湖,很可能是面向工业用途。5. Comcast will try to acquire Netflix — or possibly vice versa 康卡斯特或将收购网飞公司,亦或是被网飞公司收购Whether or not you’re a cord-cutter, streaming media is the future of entertainment — and nobody streams bigger than Netflix, which accounted for nearly 40 percent of all Internet traffic last year. Since big cable can’t beat the streamers at this game, the only thing left is for it to join them by acquisition; Comcast (2 billion valuation) and Netflix ( billion) are the most logical candidates for an arranged marriage. While it stands to reason that the larger company will swallow the smaller one, it’s not inconceivable that the reverse will happen — not unlike AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner 15 years ago, but perhaps with better results.不管你是否承认,流媒体都将是业的发展趋势。而在这方面没有谁比网飞公司做得更大了。去年网飞公司就占据了网络总流量的百分之四十。强强争斗没有结果,唯有收购这一条出路。现在康卡斯特(价值1920亿美元)和网飞公司(价值420亿美元)最有可能走到一起。虽然一般情况下是大公司吞并小公司,但也不排除相反的情况——15年前美国在线就曾收购时代华纳。但与之相比,康卡斯特和网飞的合并或许会有更好的结果。6. Antidrone technology will rise 反无人机技术将出现The only thing people love more than ing about drones is hating them — witness all the cheering when a Kentucky man blasted one out of the sky with his shotgun last July. (Not to mention all the animals that love to attack drones.) Look for companies to come up with antidrone technology that use nonballistic methods of ridding the flight zones of these pests. Let the games begin, and let the odds be ever in the antidrones’ favor.虽然人们对无人机技术充满兴趣,但却抑制不住对无人机的厌恶之感。今年七月,肯塔基州的一名男子开打下了一架无人机,引起了围观者的欢呼(更别说还有很多动物也喜欢攻击无人机了)。现在有的公司正开发反无人机技术,这种技术不用弹,而是采用了一种挤占无人机飞机空间的方法。好戏就要开始,希望这项技术真能派上用场。7. Facebook will continue to eat the world Facebook将继续主宰世界The Facebook juggernaut will continue, though most of its membership growth will be overseas. However, expect a public backlash as Facebook assumes just a bit too much control over the media it arbitrarily delivers to everyone’s feeds. How many autoplay s of bacon, egg, and cheese bboats can one person watch?随着海外用户的增加,Facebook将继续主宰世界。然而人们现在抗议Facebook管得太宽,人们不得不被迫看一些自己不想看的视频。可以统计一下,现在每个人要在Facebook上看多少次培根、鸡蛋和芝士面包的自动播放的视频?8. Cyberterrorists will attack the Internet 网络恐怖主义来袭We’ve seen targeted hack attacks on a massive scale, and we’ve seen state-sponsored cyberespionage. In 2016 we will see them converge, with a direct attack on the Internet infrastructure motivated by politics, not greed or misplaced juvenile aggression. Time to back up your data, encrypt your hard drives, and stock up on beef jerky and tinfoil.我们目睹过大规模的黑客攻击,也见识过国家持的网络间谍活动。在新的一年里它们将结合起来,在政治目的的驱动下直接对网络基础设施展开攻击,而不再是愤青们的盲目行为。所以,是时候备份数据,加密硬盘,囤积好牛肉干和锡纸了。9. There will be an Uber for friends朋友出租务将上线Need a date for a party or someone to hang with at a ballgame? Just share someone else’s. Frog Design predicts the rise of “friendship as a service” in 2016. We liked that prediction so much we decided to borrow it. Isn’t that what the sharing economy is all about?想参加聚会、想打球但却苦于找不到伴吗?完全可以从别人那租一个来!据青蛙设计公司(Frog Design)预测,“朋友出租务”将于2016年上线。有需求就可以租,这和“分享型经济”不是同一个道理吗?10. Your next boss may be an algorithm老板也许会是机器人Artificial intelligence will continue to be baked into an increasing number of devices and services. More than that, though, entire companies may be built around self-running programs, with business decisions made without any human intervention. Think we’re joking? The first decentralized organizations are aly being developed for the Ethereum Frontier network. We have met our robotic overlords, and we’d like a 10 percent raise and more flex time, please.人工智能技术将运用到更多的产品和务中去。甚至整个公司都有可能实现自动运作。通过编排程序,商业决策或许不需要人的参与。这可不是开玩笑,以太坊(Ethereum)的Frontier平台就在实行分散性运作。这么说我们的老板也许会是机器人。那么请给我加薪百分之十再给我更多的弹性时间吧,老板! /201601/420999

  

  One of the most unsettling workplaces I have ever come across was a pub in the English Midlands I visited 12 years ago. It was nothing to do with the licensee of the Pig amp; Truffle in Rugby, an enterprising man called Mike Trow, who brought in some fine real ales.12年前,我去过英格兰中部的一家酒吧,那是我见过的最令人不安的工作场所之一。这家位于拉格比的酒吧名叫“猪与松露”(The Pig amp; Truffle),老板叫迈克#8226;特罗(Mike Trow),是一个很有进取心的人,卖一些上好的传统酿造啤酒。他并不是我感到不安的原因。Instead, the uneasiness I felt stemmed from something lurking in his cellar. Attached to the pipes that sent beer up to the bar was spy equipment introduced by Punch Taverns, a company whose flotation I was covering. Punch was both renting the pub to Mr Trow and selling him all his beer at above-market rates.实际上,他地窖里的某些东西才是不安的来源。往上输送啤酒的管子上安着Punch Taverns的监控设备。我当时正在报道这家公司上市的消息。Punch一方面将酒吧租给特罗,另一方面以高于市价的价格向其独家供应啤酒。The kit measured how much lager and bitter was flowing through the Pig amp; Truffle’s taps to ensure that he was not breaking this onerous exclusive supply deal by buying from a cheaper wholesaler: something that could have led to Mr Trow’s family being booted out of the pub and their home.这个设备是用来检测“猪与松露”的龙头流出了多少淡啤和苦啤,以防特罗违反这个义务繁多的独家供货协议,从价格较低的批发商那里买酒:违反协议可能使特罗和他的家人失去这间酒吧和他们的家。There was something odd about the bottles of Holsten Pils too: instead of the usual green top, they had a red one. This was another way Punch exerted Big Brother-style control over its publican “partners”, who bore most of the day-to-day trading risk. The Pig amp; Truffle would have been in trouble if it had been caught selling cheaper green-top Holsten.那里售卖的Holsten Pils啤酒的瓶子也有奇怪的地方:和平常的绿盖不同,这些瓶子上是红盖。这是Punch对它的“伙伴”酒店老板施加“老大哥”式控制的另一种方式,承担大部分日常运营风险的也是这些酒店老板。如果“猪与松露”被发现售卖更便宜的绿盖Holsten Pils啤酒,就会有麻烦。I’ve been thinking of Mr Trow recently — and the way his story ties in with broader workplace trends — because of a surprising development in the pub sector. British MPs last month voted to undo the “beer tie”, the legal quirk that permits such a lopsided landlord-tenant arrangement.由于酒吧业的一个惊人发展,我最近一直在思考特罗的故事,他的故事契合了一种更广泛的工作场所变化趋势。英国议会上月投票取消“啤酒捆绑令”(Beer Tie,译注:大酒吧公司向租入酒吧的店主独家供应啤酒的安排),正是这种奇怪的法律造成了如此不平等的租赁协议。The reform, allowing more publicans to buy cheaper beer from third parties, still has to be passed into law but it has aly hit the share prices of some in the sector. For example, Vianet, which installed the Pig amp; Truffle’s beer flow monitor for Punch, suffered a 16 per cent share price decline in the two trading days after the vote.这项改革使更多酒吧老板能从第三方购入更便宜的啤酒,虽然还未通过变成法律,但已经冲击了一些酒吧业内企业的股价。比如,为Punch在“猪与松露”酒吧安装啤酒流量监控器的公司Vianet,在议会投票后的2个交易日内股价下跌了16%。The sudden stiffening of parliamentary resolve after years of inaction is fantastic news, even though it has come too late for Mr Trow, who quit the pub trade years ago and now runs a mobile catering outlet. Punch, meanwhile, is a shadow of its former self and has had to renegotiate the debt it took on during its go-go years.在多年毫无动作后,议会突然坚定了决心,这是一个极好的消息,尽管对特罗来说来得太晚。几年前他就已经放弃了酒吧生意,现在经营着一家流动餐饮店。与此同时,Punch也好景不再,不得不对其繁盛时期欠下的债务进行重新谈判。But as desirable as it might be, the dismantling of spy equipment in pub cellars up and down the country would be somewhat at odds with the spirit of the age. Offices, in particular, are becoming havens for monitoring equipment with varying levels of intrusiveness.尽管这件事似乎值得一做,在全国上下的酒吧地窖拆除监控设备的行动却与时代精神有点格格不入。尤其是,办公室正变成各种侵入性程度不一的监控设备的安身之所。My colleague Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco wrote a terrific feature earlier in the year about the likes of Sociometric Solutions, which puts sensors in name badges to discover social dynamics at work, monitoring how employees move around the office, who they talk to and even what tone of voice they use.今年早些时候,我在旧金山的同事汉娜#8226;库赫勒(Hannah Kuchler)写了一篇关于Sociometric Solutions那类公司的好文章。Sociometric Solutions在企业客户的员工姓名牌上安装传感器,以了解员工工作时的社交活动,监测员工在办公室里的走动路线、交谈对象,甚至说话的语气。Another US manufacturer she profiled, Steelcase, puts sensors in office furniture and argues that the technology is now so cheap that it can be deployed “practically everywhere”.她概述的另一家美国制造商Steelcase,在办公家具上安装了传感器,称这种技术造价非常低廉,所以“基本上任何地方”都可以采用。I’ve recently been contacted by a thriving UK-headquartered company calledCondeco Software, whose products include wireless “workplace occupancy sensors” that track movement to assess how much desks and meeting rooms are being used.最近,一家总部设在英国的企业Condeco Software联系到了我。这家企业正在蓬勃发展,产品包括无线“工作场所占用传感器”,能够追踪人的移动情况,以估算有多少桌子和会议室正在使用。Its promotional for the product carries a whiff of sci-fi dystopia, showing the black gadgets stuck on the underside of desks like clunky bugging devices (or malign air fresheners), although I guess the aesthetics should improve under a new partnership it is set to agree with a manufacturer that would embed the sensors inside desks.该产品的宣传视频有一丝反乌托邦科幻小说的味道,视频里固定在桌子底部的黑色部件看上去像是笨重的窃听器(或者看上去不怀好意的空气清新器)。不过,这家公司即将和另一家制造商达成新的合作关系,我猜之后他们应该会提升产品美感,把传感器嵌入到桌子里。But Paul Statham, Condeco founder and chief executive, makes a strong case for why such technology is a good thing for companies, and maybe even staff.但Condeco的创始人兼首席执行官保罗#8226;斯泰瑟姆(Paul Statham)阐述了强有力的理由,说明为什么这种技术对企业是一件好事,甚至对员工来说也可能也是如此。The rise of flexible working has left some companies with unproductively configured space: perhaps too many old-fashioned rows of desks and not enough lounge areas and quiet zones to cater for homeworkers popping in.弹性工作制的兴起使一些公司的空间配置失去了用武之地:要吸引在家工作的人,公司有太多一排排的老式桌椅,休息区和安静区也不够。Condeco’s clients, who include Barclays and General Electric, are not interested in using the technology to monitor whether someone steps away for too many cigarette breaks, says Mr Statham: “It is not a time and motion study. This is not about monitoring people.”Condeco的客户包括巴克莱(Barclays)和通用电气(General Electric),对使用这种技术来监控员工出去抽烟休息的次数是否太多,这些客户并不感兴趣,斯泰瑟姆说:“这不是时间和移动研究。这与监控人无关。”There is an argument that the wave of office monitoring devices may not much alter the balance of power between employee and employer, given how easy it is to track internet and smartphone use aly.还有一种主张,称办公室监控设备的潮流或许不会从根本上动摇雇员和雇主之间的权力平衡,因为现在追踪互联网和智能手机的使用非常简单。Inevitably, though, there will be managers who use sensors as a cynical command-and-control tool. In such cases, investors should bear in mind that it is a second-rate company that has to spy on its allies to make its business model work — as the sorry saga of Punch has shown.然而,不可避免地会有经理把传感器作为一种体现怀疑姿态的命令和控制工具。在这种情况下,投资者应该记住一点,正如Punch令人遗憾的故事展现出来的那样,需要监视合作伙伴才能让商业模式运作的是二流企业。 /201502/360786

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