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2019年02月22日 10:23:57 | 作者:快乐典范 | 来源:新华社
As voters the world over know, political campaign promises can fly out the window when they hit cold hard reality. So it is in Greece: Just look at the major port of Pireaus, which has served as Athensshipping harbor since the ancient Greeks ruled the seas 2,500 years ago.全世界的选民都知道,政客在竞选时的承诺是没法当真的,一旦碰上残酷的现实,那些甜言蜜语就飞到九宵云外去了。希腊就是这样:只要看看比雷埃夫斯港的命运就可以了。早500年前,当古希腊统治海洋的时候,它就是雅典的主要货运港口。Sadly, the glorious Greek Empire is long gone. And now its descendants in power in Athens are close to selling off Pireaus Port to a current-day imperial giant: China.悲哀的是,辉煌灿烂的古希腊早已湮没在历史的长河中。如今的雅典执政者正打算把比雷埃夫斯港卖给当今世界的强国之一——中囀?The sale, if it goes through as expected, would be a stunning political about-face. It would reverse one of the key promises of Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprasleft-wing Syriza party, which won the Greek elections back in January, partly by vowing to halt the sale of Greece’s strategic assets—one of the biggest being Piraeus Port—as part of his party’s defiance against austerity demands from international creditors. For months since, Greek officials have been loath to admit that their campaign promise will be impossible to keep; Economy Minister George Stathakistold reporters in late February that the port would “remain permanently under state majority holding…as we made clear from the first day.”如果这笔交易成功达成,它将是一次令人震惊的政治大变脸。今月份,总理阿莱克斯o齐普拉斯领衔的希腊左翼同盟之所以成功赢得大选,部分原因就是左翼同盟曾向选民誓称,绝不靠出卖国有战略资产向国际债权人还债(其中最大的一笔资产就是比雷埃夫斯港)。大选后的几个月,希腊官方仍不愿坦承他们不可能遵守当初的承诺。希腊经济部长乔治o斯泰撒基月曾对媒体表示,比雷埃夫斯港“将永远处于国家多数控股下……就像我们一开始就阐明的那样。”But what is much clearer now is that the Greek government’s control over their major port is about to end. As part of Syriza’s deal last month with the IMF, European Commission and the European Central Bank to repay about EUR240 billion (4 billion at the current rate) that Greece borrowed back in 2010, Tsipras was compelled to leave Piraeus Port up for sale.但现如今,局势已变得分外明显:希腊政府对比雷埃夫斯港的控制权即将终结。根据左翼同盟政府上个月与国际货币基金组织、欧盟委员会和欧洲央行达成的协议,希腊政府需偿还它于2010年借贷400亿欧元债款(以当前汇率来算约为2540亿美元)。在这种情况下,齐普拉斯几乎是不得不出售比雷埃夫斯港来筹措债款了。For China, that is excellent news, since its state-run shipping behemoth, COSCO Group, is in pole position to snap up the 67% of Pireaus Port the Greek government controls. Back in 2008, COSCO leased one of two Piraeus terminals in a 35-year operating lease worth about EUR490 million. For Greece, the infusion of money was a godsend. And for China, the deal brought advantages it has sought in Europe for years: A role in operating Europe’s infrastructure as a partner.对于中国来说,这是一个绝好的消息,因为国有航运公司中国远洋运输集团极有可能拿下希腊政府控制的67%的比雷埃夫斯港股权。早008年,中远集团就曾以约4.9亿美元的价格租下了比雷埃夫斯港两个集装箱码头中的一个,租期5年。这笔钱对希腊政府来说不啻于雪中送炭。另一方面,这笔交易也为中国提供了一个它已经苦苦寻找多年的机会,即在欧洲的基础设施领域扮演一个运营伙伴的角色。In fact, Pireaus is key to far bigger plans China has for Europe, including huge new trade with some of the E.U.’s fastest growing markets. “There was speculation that a massive investment in Pireaus might open a whole new entry point into Europe from the South,Alan Murphy, CEO of SeaIntel, a maritime consultancy in Copenhagen, tells FORTUNE. That investment, he says, will be supported by “growth markets in central and Eastern Europe.”事实上,中国有一个更加庞大的欧洲计划,而比雷埃夫斯港正是一枚关键的棋子:中国可以利用这个重要港口,与欧盟的一些经济增长最快的国家开展巨额贸易。哥本哈根航运咨询公司SeaIntel的CEO艾伦o墨菲对《财富》表示:“有一种推测认为,对比雷埃夫斯港的巨额投资,将会打开一个从南方进入欧洲的新大门。”他还表示,这笔投资将会受到“中东欧增长型市场的持。”China’s Greek plans are aly evident: Huawei now runs a logistics center in Pireaus Port, and a Chinese-built rail link is being constructed to connect Pireaus with Central Europe—a route that could trim several days off the regular journey container trucks and freight trains take from Europe’s three major ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Antwerp. “Look at the map: Greece is really strategically placed,says BlankaKoleníková, Senior Analyst for the region’s economy for the consultancy IHS, by phone from London. ”It’s the gateway between Middle East, the Balkans, the E.U., so from the Chinese point of view it’s a really good entry point. To have more leverage in Greece it would be highly desirable for China.”中国布局希腊的计划已经相当明显:华为公司已经在比雷埃夫斯港建立了一个物流中心。此外,中资企业铺设的连接比雷埃夫斯港和中欧地区的铁路目前正在施工,这条铁路将为来自欧洲三大港口(汉堡、鹿特丹、安特卫普)的货车和货运客车节省几天的时间。咨询公司IHS的欧洲经济高级分析师布兰卡o库伦尼科瓦在伦敦接受电话采访时表示:“看看地图就知道,希腊的战略位置非常重要。它是中东、巴尔干和欧盟之间的咽喉。所以从中国的观点看,它是一个极好的进入点。中国要想在希腊取得更大的影响力,比雷埃夫斯港就将是非常重要的。”Since COSCO took control of Piraeus’s Pier II, the company has been massively upgrading the port’s outdated crane system and it has built a new deep-water dock capable of accommodating today’s giant new container ships. As a result, traffic in Piraeus has rocketed to about 3 million containers a year. COSCO says it aims to double that by next year if it wins the bid to operate the rest of the port. If it succeeds, Pireaus could feasibly become as big a container port as Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp, all of which sit across the continent.自从中远集团接入比雷埃夫斯港号码头以来,该集团已对该码头老旧的吊装系统进行了大规模升级,并且新修建了一个深水船坞,用来停泊现代化的新型巨轮。因此,比雷埃夫斯港的年吞吐量已经飙升至300万只集装箱。中远集团表示,如果该集团成功收购了比雷埃夫斯港的其它部分,它的吞吐量明年将有望再翻一番。一旦实现这个目标,比雷埃夫斯港的货运能力将不亚于欧洲三大港,而后者均座落于欧洲大陆的另一端。But that is only part of the story. In fact, Piraeus’s bifurcated operation has become a study in contrasts between two worlds: China’s hyper-efficiency and the deep management problems that beset cash-strapped Greece.不过这仅仅是其中的一方面。另一方面,比雷埃夫斯港这几年“一港两制”的经历也展现了两个世界的鲜明对比:中国的效率超高,而缺乏资金的希腊存在严重的管理问题。On the one side of the port stand the two quiet piers, still in Greek government hands. On the other is COSCO’s operation, which has become a magnet for monster ships needing state-of-the-art loading gear to move millions of containers. “We are simply twice as fast,COSCO’s Piraeus chief executive, Chinese Navy captainFu Cheng Qui, told the German magazine Der Spiegelthis week. “We can complete 36 container movements per hour, and time is money. Look, Pier I is almost empty,he told the reporter, looking out the window at the Greek-run side of the port. “That is very sad.”在比雷埃夫斯港的那一边,还有两个静静的码头仍处于希腊政府的控制下。与那边的安静不同,中远集团的码头仿佛是吸引巨型货轮的磁铁一般,每年使用先进的吊装设备忙碌地装卸数百万只集装箱。中远集团比雷埃夫斯港负责人本周对德囀?明镜周刊》表示:“我们的速度是他们的两倍。我们每小时可以装卸36个集装箱。时间就是金钱。你看,1号码头那边差不多是空的。”他隔着窗子,看着希腊控制的那个码头,对记者说:“太可怜了。”Sad indeed, as much of Greece’s dire situation is. Since being elected, Tsipras and his key ministers have been in constant motion in Brussels, Paris, Moscow—and Beijing—attempting to forge agreements, and to plead for enough time to stave off bankruptcy, and so avoid Greece’s exit from the Eurozone. On Thursday Greece repaid a EUR450 million loan to the IMF with just hours to go before defaulting.的确是太可怜了,希腊的总体情况也是一样。自从当选后,齐普拉斯和他的部长们整天在布鲁塞尔、巴黎、莫斯科和北京之间穿梭,试图订立协议,争取更多时间避免破产,同时也避免希腊被欧元区“开除”。上周希腊政府刚刚向IMF偿还了一.5亿美元的贷款,当时离这笔贷款违约只剩下几个小时。But there are far more debts to be paid, and Greece’s public deficit is currently about 175% of its GDP. For Tspiras, warding off total bankruptcy has become a lot more urgent—and doable—than implementing the anti-austerity program that catapulted his Syriza party to power. If that means selling Greece’s prized assets to Beijing, it now seems worth ditching his statement that he would hold on to the country’s strategic assets. He would not be the first politician, nor the last, to break his election promises.当然,等待希腊偿还的债务还要多得多,而希腊的财政赤字目前已经达到了GDP75%。对于齐普拉斯来说,目前更紧迫也更实际的任务,是如何让希腊避免破产,而不是竞选时用来邀买民心的反紧缩政策。如果这意味着希腊不得不把宝贵的资产卖给中国,那么齐普拉斯丢掉“保卫国有资产”的豪言壮语也是值是的。毕竟违背竞选誓词的政客,他不是第一个,也不会是最后一个 /201504/371657The Obama administration has set the stage for a fierce debate over a US ban on crude oil exports by allowing more overseas sales of lightly processed oil as it grapples with the consequences of cheap crude.奥巴马政府为围绕美国原油出口禁令展开激烈辩论做好了准备。为应对廉价原油所带来的影响,美国将允许将更多轻加工石油出口到海外。Last week’s decision will push the US’s 40-year-old export ban up the political agenda as environmental concerns over shale production crosscut with rising tensions between US producers and Saudi Arabia over the falling price of oil.上周的这项决定将把美国保0年之久的出口禁令提上了政治议程,在一些人对页岩油生产的环境影响感到担忧之际,美国生产商与沙特阿拉伯围绕油价下跌所产生的紧张关系日益加剧。Critics of the crude export ban including oil industry executives and some Republicans say it is a 1970s anachronism that should be scrapped as the US faces a glut of shale oil, which has undercut the global market by reducing US import needs.批评原油出口禁令的人士(包括石油行业高管以及一些共和党人)表示,这一上世0年代的一禁令已经过时,应该取消,因美国面临的是页岩油的供应过剩,这削弱了国际市场的需求,因其减少了美国对石油的进口。The benchmark Brent crude price has more than halved since June to under per barrel and now threatens the economic viability of some US shale production.自去月以来,油价基准布伦Brent)原油价格已下跌逾一半,至每桶不8美元,这正危及美国一些页岩油生产的经济前景。Stephen Myrow, a former Treasury official now at Beacon Policy Advisors, said the Obama administration was seeking to achieve two goals by encouraging more exports of a product called oil condensate, which has been processed through a basic distillation tower, but not announcing a formal policy change.前美国财政部官员、现供职于Beacon Policy Advisors的斯蒂芬#8226;迈洛(Stephen Myrow)表示,奥巴马政府正试图实现两个目标:鼓励扩大“凝析油”(通过基础蒸馏塔加工)产品的出口,但不宣布正式的政策转变。Ending the export ban could encourage more shale investment or at least offset the discouraging effects of the low oil price. But environmentalists worry that global warming is being exacerbated by leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from shale sites.取消出口禁令可能会鼓励更多页岩投资,或者至少会抵消低油价所带来的负面影响。但环保主义者担心,甲烷气泄露正加剧全球变暖,页岩矿区会产生这种强烈的温室气体。President Barack Obama is ting carefully on the issue because he wants to make action on climate change part of his legacy, but has also celebrated the shale boom for spurring economic growth and reducing US dependence on foreign oil.美国总统巴拉#8226;奥巴Barack Obama)在这个问题上行事谨慎,因为他希望在气候变化方面采取措施,但也一直称赞页岩热潮推动了经济增长并减轻了美国对外国石油的依赖。来 /201501/352211

Scientists at North Carolina State University are using Microsoft’s Kinect camera for something very different than games. The insects, which seem able to withstand anything, may one day soon be helping emergency first responders navigate disaster wreckage. Because the bugs are so small, they can get through nooks and crannies that neither rescue dogs nor people can navigate. Researchers have been using Kinect, the same camera technology in Xbox 360 and PCs, to create a remote control that will enable people to guide the insects like a remote-controlled car. The cockroaches can be equipped with miniature cameras and can be sent in before dogs and humans, which allows emergency personnel to get a first look at the situation.北卡罗来纳州立大学(North Carolina State University)的科学家正在使用微软(Microsoft)的Kinect摄像头,不过并不是用它来玩视频游戏,而是另有其他用途。昆虫似乎能够承受任何灾难,或许很快就将成为现场急救人员的得力助手,帮助他们在灾后废墟中展开搜救。由于昆虫小巧的体形,它们可以穿过搜救犬或搜救人员无法进入的角落缝隙。研究人员一直在使用Xbox 360和电脑上使用的摄像头技术Kinect,来研发一款远程控制装置,使人们可以像遥控汽车一样控制昆虫。配备微型摄像头的,可以在搜救犬和搜救人员抵达之前,被派往灾难现场,帮助急救人员及时获得现场情况的第一手资料。“For years, roboticists have been trying to mimic insects when building centimeter-scale robots,said Dr. AlperBozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “We came up with the idea of building a partnership with insects rather than trying to mimic them, similar to riding horses before our motorcycles and cars took over the streets. Roaches were the most easily accessible insects and are very robust walkers.”阿尔珀o兹库尔特士是北卡罗来纳州立大学电气与计算机工程学副教授,曾参与发表了一篇与仿生机器人有关的论文。他表示:“多年以来,机器人专家们在设计厘米量级机器人时,一直在尝试模仿昆虫。而我们提出了一种新的理念,即与昆虫合作而不是模仿它们,类似于我们在托车和汽车占领大街之前骑马一样。是最为常见的昆虫,也是非常强壮的爬行昆虫。”The interface that controls the roach is wired to the roach’s antennae and cerci. The cerci are sensory organs on the roach’s abdomen, which are normally used to detect movement in the air that could indicate a predator is approaching causing the roach to scurry away. But the researchers use the wires attached to the cerci to spur the insect into motion. The wires attached to the antennae send small charges that trick the roach into thinking the antennae are in contact with a barrier and steering them in the opposite direction.控制的连接装置通过线缆连接到的触须和尾须。尾须是腹部的感觉器官,正常情况下被用于探测空气中的运动,示意有捕食者靠近,帮助它提前逃脱。而研究人员利用连接到尾须的线缆,刺激昆虫移动。连接到触须的线缆会发送少量电荷,使误以为接触到障碍物,引导它向相反的方向移动。Bozkurt’s team wanted to build an automated test platform where they could objectively assess whether they could turn an insect into an insect biobot. One criterion was to run the experiments in the dark, so they started to use a Kinect camera’s depth sensor to find the insect without any ambient light.兹库尔特的团队希望建立一个自动化测试平台,客观评价能否将昆虫转变为昆虫生物机器人。其中一项标准是在黑暗中进行实验,因此他们开始使用Kinect摄像头的深度传感器,在没有环境光源的情况下找到昆虫。“The Kinect camera knows the path that needs to be followed by the insect,said Bozkurt. “Then it divides this route into multiple waypoints and moves the insect from one waypoint to another. It detects the insect from its specific shape and it sends necessary waveforms to the backpack the insect is wearing. This backpack applies microvolts of impulses to the insect’s sensory organs, which helps us to steer the insect. It’s similar to riding a horse with reins.”兹库尔特表示:“Kinect摄像头获取了需要昆虫行走的路径。然后摄像头将路线划分成多个路径点,将昆虫从一个路径点移动到下一个。摄像头会根据昆虫的具体外形找到昆虫,并向昆虫佩戴的背部装置发送必要的波形。该背部装置会向昆虫的感觉器官发送微伏脉冲,帮助我们操控昆虫。原理类似于用缰绳骑马。”The program also uses Kinect to collect data on how the roaches respond to the electrical impulses from the remote-control interface. This data will help the researchers fine-tune steering to control the roaches more precisely. The team will employ Microsoft’s new Kinect 2.0, which debuted with Xbox One, to further push this experiment forward.此外,该项目还使用Kinect来收集对远程控制接口发出的电脉冲如何响应的数据。这些数据将帮助研究人员调整操控方式,以更加精确地控制昆虫。研究团队将使用微软的最新款Kinect 2.0来进一步推进实验。Kinect 2.0随Xbox One同步上市。“The advanced audio processing on the sensor could also lead to some interesting scenarios when we try to make the insects move toward a sound source,said Bozkurt.兹库尔特说道:“当我们尝试着促使昆虫向声源移动时,先进的传感器音频处理技术也会带领我们进入一些有趣的场景。”Having performed very successful demonstrations in the laboratory environment, the team (which includes NC State professors Edgar Lobaton and MihailSichitiu) has received funding from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Physical Systems program to bring this technology into real-life scenarios. The goal is to accomplish this within three to four years.该项目在实验室环境下的演示非常成功,研究团队(包括北卡州立大学教授埃德加o洛巴顿和米哈伊尔o斯契提尤)已经获得了美国国家科学基金National Science Foundation)信息物理系统(Cyber-Physical Systems)项目提供的资金,以尽快将该技术用于现实情境。团队的目标是在三至四年内实现该技术的实际应用。“We are hoping that the swarm of insect biobots will be able to sweep the rubble from one end to another in a very short amount of time, while letting first responders hear any calls for help coming from the victims buried under the rubble, or let them know about the potential hazards such as gas leakages,said Bozkurt.兹库尔特表示:“我们希望大群昆虫生物机器人可以在极短时间内横扫废墟,帮助现场急救人员搜寻废墟中掩埋的受困人员的呼救,或使急救人员了解潜在的危险,如燃气泄漏等情况。”According to Bozkurt, one of the most efficient methods in engineering has been “biomimetics,where researchers have looked at nature, learned from the existing biosystems and applied different engineering principles to mimic these when solving real-life problems. Despite several inventions and explorations, humans are still limited in their understanding and ability to mimic the relatively more complicated properties of biological machines.据兹库尔特透露,工程学中最有效的方法之一是“仿生学”,即研究人员从大自然中寻找灵感,向现有的生物系统学习,应用不同的工程学原理模仿生物,解决实际问题。然而,尽管出现了一些发明和探索,对于生物机器相对更复杂的特性,人类的了解和模仿能力仍非常有限。“As engineers performing research on biological organisms, we are often fascinated by the complexity and operational efficiency of these systems and demonstrate this appreciation through an amplified respectful attitude towards these organisms,said Bozkurt.兹库尔特表示:“作为研究生物有机体的工程师,我们经常会被这些系统的复杂性和运行效率深深吸引。当我们利用技术重现它们的惊人技能时,心中满怀尊重和感激之情。”One day soon, the sight of cockroaches will be a relief to disaster victims thanks to game technology. And we may think twice before trying to stomp out cockroaches the next time we cross paths. After all, they were deigned to live through just about anything that mankind can throw at them.凭借视频游戏技术,在不久的将来,将出现在救灾第一线,为灾民送去慰藉。以后,当我们与狭路相逢时,踩一脚之前或许应该三思。毕竟,不论人类怎样对付它们,它们总能坚强地生存下去 /201408/319405

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