Category Archives: Finance


Forbes Names Scarlett Johansson As 2016’s Highest Earning Actor 

Scarlett Johansson topped Forbes annual list of highest grossing actors, with her films bringing in $1.2 billion worldwide.

2016 may have been the worst year for many, but Scarlett Johansson certainly made the most of it. The star topped Forbes annual list of highest grossing actors, with her films bringing in $1.2 billion worldwide.

Top-grossing actors of 2016:

1. Scarlett Johansson
2. Chris Evans
Robert Downey Jr. (tie)
4. Margot Robbie 

The magazine cited Johansson’s role as Black Widow in “Captain America: Civil War,” which grossed more than $1.15 billion worldwide. The star’s role in “Hail, Caesar!” also helped to earn her the top spot.

“Captain America: Civil War” costars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. tied for second place on the highest grossing actors list, as the blockbuster was the highest grossing movie of the year.

Johansson cemented her place in history as the highest grossing actress ever in June, when Box Office Mojo reported that movies featuring the star grossed $3.3 billion in domestic box office revenue.

Earlier this year, Johansson spoke about the gender wage gap that plagues the film industry, saying that she felt “a little obnoxious” discussing how the issue applied to her personally.

“I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I’m proud to be an actress who’s making as much as many of my male peers at this stage,” Johansson said in Cosmopolitan’s April issue. “I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I’m addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It’s part of a larger conversation about feminism in general.”

Source: Forbes Names Scarlett Johansson As 2016’s Highest Earning Actor

iPhone headphone jack – In memoriam: 13 tech products we lost in 2016

iPhone headphone jack

tech products killed 2016

Innovation made significant progress in 2016. We saw an Amazon drone make its first commercial delivery in the U.K. and a fleet of self-driving Ubers hit the roads in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

But the year wasn’t so good for all tech products.

Let’s recall the rise and fall of hoverboards and the ongoing saga of exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. Other products went more quietly into the night: The last ever VCR was manufactured in July.

Here’s a closer look at the tech products that hit the bucket in 2016.

iPhone headphone jack

Apple (AAPL, Tech30) killed off the jack in September in favor of wireless headphones. The move, which upset some of its loyal users, forced new iPhone 7 users to either use a dongle or invest in wireless headsets.

The company also encouraged users to buy its wire-free (and futuristic-looking) set of earbuds,, AirPods ($160)


The concept of wireless headsets might take time for a mass audience to accept, but it’s a part of Apple’s big effort to propel the audio market forward. In a few years, we’ll likely look back on how weird it was that we once wore wires dangling from our ears.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

samsung galaxy note 7 fire

Where do we even begin? Samsung faced a slew of challenges in 2016 but nothing hurt more than the nightmare that was the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

In October, Samsung (SSNLF) halted all production of the device following complaints that it burst into flames. This came after a badly mismanaged recall of 2.5 million Note 7s shortly after it launched.

Now, you can’t even bring one on a plane without being it taken away.

Analysts believe the Note 7 debacle will put a $9.5 billion dent in sales and eliminate $5 billion in profits.

Samsung also recalled 3 million of its washing machines this year due to an explosion risk.


vcr phased out

The last VCR manufacturer, Japanese company Funai Electric, ceased production of its video-cassette recorders in July.

At its peak, the company sold 15 million VCRs in a year, but those numbers significantly dropped as DVDs, Blu-ray discs and, ultimately, streaming services hit the mainstream. Even so, Funai Electric still managed to sell 750,000 VCRs just last year.

Considering the first VCRs were introduced in the 1960s, 50 years of production is still a solid run for any tech device.


hoverboard sales 02

Hoverboards were the holiday gift of 2015, but this year wasn’t quite as good to the self-balancing scooters.

After reports of burns caused by exploding devices, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed hoverboards unsafe. Retailers pulled them from stores, transportation agencies banned them from trains and buses, and, ultimately, more than 500,000 hoverboards were recalled.

The devices’ lithium-ion battery packs — the same battery found in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphones — were blamed for the incidents.

Although hoverboards received a slight resurgence later in the year — some manufacturers implemented more safety measurements — the Consumer Product Safety Commission continues issue recalls.


Pebble smartwatch

Pebble, once the darling of the smartwatch world, recently sold off its software division to fitness tracking company Fitbit. The news angered existing Pebble users — without software updates, their devices would become obsolete.

The deal, which cost $40 million, didn’t include Pebble’s hardware, but it appears the company won’t be making more wearables. Reports indicate Pebble is pulling production on its Pebble Time 2 watch, which recently wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign. Early backers will receive refunds in the near future.

Pebble was the first company to make a splash with smartwatches, long before the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear hit the market.

Fitbit (FIT) will likely use Pebble’s software assets to move beyond fitness tracking and into the smartwatch space.

Microsoft’s Sunrise app

Sunrise app

Microsoft’s Sunrise app was … well, sunsetted … in 2016.

The tech giant acquired the popular calendar app, known for its social features and sleep design, in October 2015. But less than a year later, Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) shuttered Sunrise and blended its features into Outlook, its email service.

The new integration brings map integration and makes it easier to set up meetings and Skype calls directly within Outlook.

Facebook’s Paper app

facebook app paper

Facebook’s Paper app — which launched in 2014 — was a unique, beautifully designed approach to displaying both articles and status updates in your news feed. Some even called it the future of reading news.

But the app failed to get a loyal audience.

Paper was best known for its Instant Articles feature, which allowed users to browse and download articles from popular media outlets directly to their phones. It was also a convenient place to check Facebook messages and your timeline without switching apps.

But due to low user numbers, Facebook (FB, Tech30) mostly used it as a testing ground to quietly roll out new features.

The social network shuttered the service on July 29.

Apple’s cinema displays

Thunderbolt Display

This summer, Apple (AAPL, Tech30) discontinued its Thunderbolt Display, the company’s only remaining standalone monitor.

It was a favorite among among graphic designers, gamers and anyone who needed to connect a Mac computer to a larger display. But considering it hadn’t received an update since 2011, the news wasn’t much of a shock.

Apple did, however, partner with LG to roll out 4K and 5K displays — a pricier but better quality alternative.

Google Picasa

picasa screen shot

In March, Google (GOOGL, Tech30) pulled the plug on its photo-sharing and storing service Picasa.

Google Photos debuted last year with a splashy launch, and running two similar services didn’t make sense. Plus, Google Photos is a far superior product.

Picasa attracted a loyal fan base over the years, allowing users to edit and organize digital photos long before the introduction of smartphone cameras.

Users weren’t happy about the service’s demise, but Google made the transition as easy as possible; existing photos and albums are still accessible after logging into Google Photos.


motorola logo

Lenovo (LNVGF) killed off the Motorola (MSI) name earlier this year.

The parent company now blends the two brands together under a “Moto by Lenovo” moniker.

Motorola, the company behind the first walkie-talkie and consumer cell phone, has had a rollercoaster-like few years. It’s been bought and sold twice since 2012. In the first deal, Google acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion, which kicked off the search giant’s step into the hardware business.

But sales of the Moto X smartphone were sluggish, and Google eventually sold the company to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

For now, Moto’s lineup includes smartphones, wearables and Bluetooth headsets.

Google’s Project Ara

Project Ara

Although Google’s modular Ara phone was expected to ship as early as the fall, the company is no longer bringing it to market.

Google’s experimental ATAP team spent more than three years developing the innovative concept that would allow people to design their own smartphones.

By using small bricks that look like LEGOs, pieces could be swapped, removed or attached based on your preferences.

But Project Ara, which underwent testing in Puerto Rico, was reportedly too costly and ran into a series of technical issues that kept it from hitting the mass market.

BlackBerry phones

blackberry tombstone

BlackBerry (BBRY, Tech30), known for its cellphones with physical keyboards, is no longer making its own devices.

The company announced in September that it will lean instead on partners to manufacture the phones, which will still resemble BlackBerry devices. Its main focus will be on developing software — an effort BlackBerry introduced several years ago amid slow phone sales.

Before the emergence of the iPhone, BlackBerry devices were so loved by their obsessed user base that they were nicknamed Crackberries. The phones were used by everyone from Kim Kardashian West to President Obama.


vine closed

Twitte (TWTR, Tech30)announced in October it was shutting down its beloved short-form video app, Vine — a move that upset its most loyal fans. But recently, the company announced plans to bring it back from the dead. Sort of.

The parent company is rebranding the app as Vine Camera, allowing users to take photos and short clips that can be saved to a camera roll or shared on Twitter. Features such as built-in chat, likes and comments won’t be included in the new version of the app.

Vine was acquired by Twitter in 2012 for $30 million. Although capabilities were limited, it played an integral role in capturing movements like Black Lives Matter and gave aspiring artists such as Shawn Mendes — now a bestselling pop artist — a place to promote their brand.

Eventually, with the growth of livestreaming apps and video sharing tools, Vine lost its novelty.

Source: iPhone headphone jack – In memoriam: 13 tech products we lost in 2016 – 

8 Paradoxical Habits Of Wildly Successful People

You know what they say about opinions — everybody has one. If you want to see that truth in action, just Google “characteristics of successful people.” Some of the results will undoubtedly point to the famous Marshmallow Study at Stanford, which demonstrated that the ability to delay gratification is a key component of success.

But that’s far from the only theory:

— According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, it all comes down to mindset. She conducted a series of experiments that demonstrated that, while the average person sees their abilities as fixed assets, successful people have, what she calls, a “growth mindset.” In other words, successful people focus on self-improvement and overcoming challenges rather than seeing their mistakes as the products of insurmountable personal flaws.
— In another study conducted by Penn State and Duke, researchers assessed the social skills of 700 kindergartners. Twenty years later, they followed up and discovered a strong correlation between social skills and success. The children with the best social skills were more likely to have earned a college degree and to hold a full-time job, while the kids who struggled with social skills in kindergarten were more likely to get arrested, binge drink, and apply for public housing.

And the list goes on and on. So what is happening here? Why are there so many different theories, complete with the science to back them up, about the traits that contribute to success? I think it’s because most wildly successful people are complex — so complex that many of their defining qualities are paradoxical.

Rather than an “either/or” set of static characteristics, they’re more likely to demonstrate both. This is a key to their success. Here are some examples of what I’m referring to.

1. They’re polite, yet completely unafraid to rock the boat.
Successful people are, what I like to call, “graciously disruptive.” They’re never satisfied with the status quo. They’re the ones who constantly ask, “What if?” and “Why not?” They’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, yet they don’t disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better. Still, they’re polite and considerate, and they don’t draw attention to other people’s mistakes just to humiliate them. However, that doesn’t mean they sit back and let people wander off in the wrong direction. They won’t hesitate to speak up when it’s time to change course.

2. They’re deeply passionate, yet rational and objective about their work.
Successful people are passionate about their work, but they don’t let it skew their thinking. They have the ability to step back and look at their work with a critical eye and to accept their mistakes. If it’s a disaster, they’ll admit it, because they realize that it’s better to try something different than to put out something subpar with their name on it. That sense of detachment also allows them to accept feedback from others without taking it personally.

3. They’re convergent and divergent thinkers.
Convergent thinking is what’s measured by IQ tests: rational thinking that typically results in a single right answer. Divergent thinking, on the other hand, is less precise. It’s about generating ideas and asking questions that have no solid right or wrong answers. Both are important. No matter how high your IQ is, you’re not going to be successful if you can’t think outside of the proverbial box. On the other hand, you need rational thinking skills to correctly judge whether your ideas have merit. That’s why this particular paradox is so important.

4. They’re both energetic and calm.
Successful people seem to have limitless energy when it comes to doing the things they’re passionate about, but they aren’t frantic. They can keep that energy under control. They work hard and focus on the task at hand with devoted concentration, but they’re so smooth that they make it look both easy and fun. Some people are so energetic that they’re hyperactive and unfocused and constantly bouncing from one thing to another. Successful people know how to harness their energy so that it works in the service of progress and doesn’t undermine it.

5. They like to work and play.
Successful people personify the often-repeated quote, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Because they love what they do, they find brainstorming, problem-solving, and grinding out tough projects thought-provoking, engaging, and deeply satisfying. And though they take their work very seriously, the enjoyment and gratification they derive from it blurs the common demarcation between work and play.

6. They’re ambiverts. Successful people are comfortable acting in ways that amplify their introversion and extraversion, depending on what the situation calls for. They can sit in the back of a conference room and silently listen to what’s going on, or they can go up on stage, grab a microphone, and engage a huge crowd—and they look just as comfortable doing one as they do the other.

7. They’re naïve and smart.
No one would argue that intelligence isn’t an important part of success, but many successful people also have a childlike lack of awareness (or maybe it’s a lack of respect) for the type of constraints that other people blindly accept. They’re not limited by what other people tell them is possible.

8. They’re both humble and proud.
Taking pride in your work is absolutely essential for success, but successful people know they wouldn’t be where they are without the people who came before them and those they’ve worked with along the way. They know that they didn’t achieve their success all on their own, and because they’re OK with that, they don’t have anything to prove. That’s why so many incredibly successful people end up coming across as grounded and humble when you meet them in person.

Bringing It All Together

The reason that there are so many different opinions on what traits are necessary for success—and the reason that so many of them contradict each other—is that successful people are complex. They have a wide variety of paradoxical skills that they call upon as needed, like a mechanic with a well-stocked toolbox.

What other paradoxical habits characterize successful people? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.





Source: 8 Paradoxical Habits Of Wildly Successful People

STEAM Fields Have Come A Long Way In 100 Years. This Is How We Got Here 



To say that the 20th century was the greatest for technological and scientific advancement is an understatement. What began without airplanes ended with the International Space Station in orbit, and all the while brilliant minds from science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) backgrounds pushed human progress forward. The contributions they have made in the past 100 years have taken us further than all the previous centuries combined.

In celebrating the accomplishments of the men and women who pushed STEAM fields to the next level, we often lose sight of the limitations, technological and otherwise, they had to overcome to succeed. What equipment was used to solve complex engineering problems before digital calculators? How were scientists able to map our planetary neighbors and nearby stars? How was it to work in an office without computers? We teamed up with Ford and traveled through time to take us into the future of STEAM fields.

Science Of Appliances

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When the first commercially available microwave oven was introduced by Raytheon in 1947, it changed the way households in the United States cooked their food. Unlike conventional ovens that take time to heat up, these devices use a magnetron to instantly convert electricity into microwaves that bounce back and forth inside the reflective walls of the food compartment, heating food in minutes where a normal oven may take hours. Since then, advances in science have paved the way for 3D food printers, which use macronutrients like proteins and starch to print a variety of foods like pizza and hamburgers (pictured). Eventually, NASA hopes to make 3D printers a standard feature in spacecraft, allowing astronauts to enjoy nutritious 3D-printed food during long-distance space expeditions.

Computing For Tomorrow

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Often considered the greatest engineering breakthrough of the 20th century, the invention of the computer is credited with unparalleled achievements in nearly every industry, from agriculture to zoology. The first commercial computer, the UNIVAC I (pictured) filled an entire room, featured 5,200 vacuum tubes and could perform 1,905 operations per second. Considering the high price of the UNIVAC I (over $11 million in today’s dollars), only government branches, corporations and academia could afford one. Modern computers are much, much smaller and cheaper than their predecessors, and more powerful, too, clocking in millions of operations per second. The increase in computing power has also allowed scientists to make big advances in a variety of computation-heavy projects like genome research and climate research.

Designing The Future

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In the 20th century, designers relied on blueprints and scale-model replicas to conceptualize their work for their peers to review. Thanks to modeling software and 3D printers, designers can now mock up their ideas, share them digitally using tablets and make accurate replicas in minutes, saving them time and money. What’s more, designers can use modeling software like NASA’s BLAST program to simulate hard-to-replicate environmental conditions, such as the surface of the moon (pictured), to test the robustness of their designs well before the prototypes are built.

Channeling A New Vision

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Although the first televisions appeared on store shelves as early as the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that viewers at home could tune in to television broadcasts in color. Engineers were able to create a color display by blasting three electron guns carrying red, green and blue signals at a screen coated with phosphors. The new technology transformed how viewers consumed content at home. Today, improvements in display tech are unlocking a new frontier of multimedia consumption, from 4K television sets that produce life-like viewing experiences (pictured) to virtual reality headsets that have the potential to train future astronauts.

Plotting The Way Forward

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Advances in math, GPS and gyroscopic technology have allowed hobbyist astronomers to simply point their phones at the night sky to determine what stars they are looking at ― a far cry from days of yore when you needed a telescope and a star chart to locate a star in the night sky. Using orbiting satellites to pinpoint the user’s location, applications like Sky Map (pictured), which plugs into Google’s vast database of stellar objects, give detailed information about objects in the night sky, above and below the horizon, something conventional telescopes can’t do. In the not-too-distant future, mapping technologies like Sky Map will be useful in providing cartographic information for the first Mars settlers who will rely on these geographic surveys to determine the best places to set up camp.

Now that you know how far STEAM fields have come in the past 100 years, visit the Ford STEAM experience to discover how Ford’s STEAM initiatives are inspiring the next generation of automakers and mobility shapers.





Source: STEAM Fields Have Come A Long Way In 100 Years. This Is How We Got Here

Airline cabins of the future: A new travel golden age?

By; Miquel Ros

Air travel photos from the 1960s show smartly dressed, champagne-sipping passengers in spacious airliner cabins.

Contrast that with today’s cramped seats and overcrowded airports and it looks like our flying experiences are getting steadily worse.
But is this based on reality?
The aviation industry has been investing massively to prove nostalgic travelers wrong.
Yes, aircraft may still look similar to those of the so-called golden years.
But every single aspect of the air travel experience is currently being overhauled — all driven by technology.
Right at the forefront are airplane cabins.
And key to their transformation is wireless connectivity.
With virtually every passenger toting a smartphone, tablet or laptop, inflight Wi-Fi is opening up new ways to engage with air travelers and redefine the flying experience.

Personalized inflight entertainment

Panasonic's Waterfront system allows passengers to use their mobile devices to control an aircraft's built-in entertainment.

Mobile tech already plays an important role in enhancing travel, from electronic boarding passes to last-minute bids on biz class upgrades.
Some airlines, such as KLM, have even started sending boarding passes and flight alerts through a dedicated airline Facebook Messenger chat bot.
But the one area where mobile can become truly transformative is inflight entertainment, with personal devices becoming gateways to a whole range of up-in-the-air services.
While built-in in-flight entertainment systems are unlikely to vanish, particularly on long-haul flights, they can work in tandem with the passenger’s own devices.
Earlier in 2016, Panasonic unveiled Waterfront, a system that allows the passengers to use their mobile handsets to control an aircraft’s built-in entertainment.
Aerospace companies Thales and B/E are also using mobiles to personalize passenger experiences.
By syncing with handsets, their seats know a passenger’s preferences and can even restart a movie at the exact place where they left it in the previous flight.
Some airlines are doing away with embedded entertainment systems altogether.
They’re opting for passenger’s handsets to deliver inflight entertainment — a move that crucially reduces aircraft weight and frees up cabin space.
No Internet connection is required, passengers just connect their devices to an in-plane network.

Captive audience

Thales and B/E's Digital Sky seats make use of larger, higher-res screens.

Netherlands-based AirFi is primarily equipping low-cost airlines that often fly short-haul single-aisle aircraft and don’t have entertainment systems.
The company’s portable wireless system beams pre-loaded content onto passenger devices.
The AirFi terminal behaves like a normal Internet router. It’s lightweight and can easily be installed in a luggage compartment.
AirFi CEO Job Heimerikx says it’s a cost effective and flexible way to provide quality inflight content to the short haul market.
“There are a customer service and a commercial angle to our system,” he says.
“Passengers can access a broad range of movies and other sort of entertainment, but they can also use it to order food or shop duty free.
“It’s like an evolution of the traditional inflight magazine, but just as it happens at online stores, you can make it really personal.”
This concept thrives on having a captive audience.
But would it still work if users had a full inflight broadband Internet connection?
Passengers might be more interested in binge-watching their favorite TV series instead of booking airport transfers or ordering an extra cup of coffee.

Virtual reality

AirFi offers a cheap alternative to inflight entertainment systems, streaming direct to phones and tablets.

“If airlines can’t stop the passenger from going to Amazon or zoning out on Netflix for three hours… and they can’t offer something at least equally interesting in terms of intuitive retail and custom content, they are missing a number of tricks” says Maryann Simson of Runway Girl Network, a leading aviation news website focusing on passenger experience.
It’s a theory that’ll get put to the test soon.
Aeromexico recently announced it would use Gogo’s 2Ku satellite-based Internet connection to offer Netflix-enabled flights.
“More than 80% of passengers are walking on the plane with their own device,” Gogo exec Ash ElDifrawi points out.
“Airlines can save the weight and maintenance costs of legacy seat-back entertainment systems and still provide differentiated experiences.
“For example, they can now create custom portals that create a unique brand and advertising opportunity for the airlines.”
Internet connections are only the beginning.
Both Transavia, a low cost subsidiary of Air France/KLM, and Australian carrier Qantas have been testing virtual reality technology as an alternative to traditional in flight entertainment.
VR could offer not only entertainment but also help calm those afraid of flying.
Transavia also sees virtual reality sets as a potential source of extra cash, perhaps offered as a premium service.
Daan Noordeloos, manager marketing and customer strategies for Transavia, says tests have so far proved positive.
“We are evaluating ways to continue it and make it part of our regular inflight offering,” he adds.

Perfect airline seat

Virtual reality is already a reality after trials by Qantas.

Qantas has already rolled out VR sets for first class passengers on some select flights between Australia and Los Angeles, with encouraging results.
New generation in-flight entertainment isn’t going to be enjoyable without a comfortable environment to experience it in.
Providing a nice, relaxing atmosphere in a cramped metal tube is always going to be a challenge, but moves are afoot to improve that.
LED lighting has already proven effective during night flights, even apparently reducing jet lag.
No wonder both Boeing’s next generation aircraft and the “Airspace by Airbus” cabin, rolled out on Airbus A330neo and A350 aircraft, make extensive use of LEDs.
Extra comfort is also coming from the constant accumulation of incremental ergonomic improvements.
These are the things that passengers barely notice on their own but put together make a difference between a good and a great travel experience.
Such as lavatories with anti-bacterial surfaces, or better designed overhead bins that reduce boarding time by making it easier to store hand luggage.
Many of the industry’s creative energies are being devoted to creating the perfect airline seat.
It may come as a surprise to those stuck at the back of the economy class cabin, but these are exciting times for the aircraft seating industry.
An increasing number of airlines are discontinuing first class, but those that keep it are making it way more opulent, such as Etihad with its Residence.
Discontinuing first has led many airlines to upgrade their business class, opening a gap for the introduction of premium economy services.

Cinema-style seating

Factory Design's twisting seat adapts to the body of its occupant.

Some carriers are pondering a more basic economy class, but does that mean radical proposals for standing-only planes will soon be realized?
Experts at passenger comfort innovators Zodiac Aerospace don’t think so.
They say certification costs and reputation risks may simply not be worth it, particularly when existing seats with pitches of 30 inches or less are already very efficient.
“I really can’t foresee this happening in the near future,” says Victor Carlioz, an advanced concept engineer at Zodiac Aerospace.
“Instead we’ll see a focus toward more innovative features in the economy class seat.
A compromise may be the flex-up seat proposed by Aviointeriors.
The Italian manufacturer is exploring a cinema-style seat for economy class that folds up vertically when unoccupied, allowing easier movement around the plane.
Ingo Wuggetzer, of Airbus, highlights how personalization is also becoming a thing in aircraft interiors.
The industry ideal is to create a seat that adapts perfectly to a passenger’s body.
In 2011 the European manufacturer unveiled its “Future by Airbus” concept that outlined, among other things, the company’s vision of the passenger cabin of 2050.
This included its own interpretation of the “smart seat” — one able to recognize and adapt to its occupant ergonomically and through entertainment preferences.
A first step in that direction may be the “twisting seat” concept proposed by London-based Factory Design.
Creative director Adam White says the flexible structure is based upon a careful anatomical study of the multiple positions that the back adopts while seated.

Sleeping rooms

Factory Design's Air Lair concept offers passengers their own personalized cocoon.

White is also behind Air Lair, a concept of sleeping pods that immerse premium travelers in a futuristic cocoon with adjustable light, sound and temperature.
Other designs envisage adding sleeping rooms in standard aircraft cabins.
Carlioz and his Zodiac Aerospace team, for example, see potential in using an aircraft’s cargo space and area between the stowage bins and fuselage to accommodate bunks.
“It’s simply a question of who has the ambition and willingness to invest into a project of this scale and truly break the mold,” says the company’s industrial designer, Matthew Cleary.
Sounds radical, but perhaps not so much once the likely evolution of current technologies and concepts are taken into account.
“Design houses really are competing fiercely for airline business and that means they are also pushing the limits of creativity,” says Runway Girl Network’s Simson.
“Designs are becoming more intuitive, fabrics more breathable and inner-foam materials are being developed to stay cooler (which adds to comfort).
“Increasingly, we see seat designers taking cues from the automotive industry too, with auto seat makers such as Recaro and Mirus having started successful aero divisions.”
Airbus’s Wuggetzer says there’s potential to develop powerful strategies to produce standout cabin features, even in economy class.
Transparency is key, he adds.
“The same way that travelers are used to comparing hotels and check reviews on TripAdvisor, innovation in the cabin experience could lead to more differentiation between the experience provided not just on different aircraft types, but on different airlines.”
The golden age of air travel may be just starting, after all…





Source: Airline cabins of the future: A new travel golden age?

Here’s a map for the largest company in every state by market cap 

The 2016 map looks a lot like the 2015 version, with a few exceptions.

The stock market has been in overdrive, with the S&P 500 SPX, -0.29%  and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.13%  poised for double-digit gains this year. But even as valuations surge and stocks trade at all-time highs, things rarely change at the top.

2016’s map of the largest company in each state by market cap from Broadview Networks looks much like the 2015 edition. Apple Inc.AAPL, -0.02%  is still the big cheese in California and ExxonMobil Corp.XOM, -0.10%   is king in Texas, while J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, -1.14%reigns supreme in New York.

There are a few notable changes though.

Ford Motor Co. F, +0.10%  relinquished its title to Dow Chemical Co.DOW, -0.11%   in Michigan, and Kraft Heinz Co. KHC, +0.62%  booted McDonald’s Corp. MCD, +0.73%   from its perch in Illinois. There were also changes of the guard in Alabama, Mississippi, South Dakota and West Virginia.

This is what the same graphic looked like in 2015:

Broadview Networks

With President-elect Donald Trump largely expected to espouse pro-growth policies via increased spending and large-scale infrastructure projects, it will be interesting to see what the map looks like in 2017.The 2016 map looks a lot like the 2015 version, with a few exceptions.

[A previous version of the map for 2016 contained an error for Colorado. The report has been updated with the correct map.]






Source: Here’s a map for the largest company in every state by market cap

Frigid weather could boost December apparel retail sales by $350 million

Colder temperatures should drive sales of coats and other winter gear.

Colder temps, and holiday-season snow, look to lift December apparel sales compared to last year, the latest projections from weather intelligence and analysis company Planalytics show.

Planalytics began sounding the alarm for cold weather on Dec. 1, first anticipating a $107 million sales increase between Dec. 4 and Dec. 10, then a $243 million weather-driven sales boost for the first half of the month.

Now the figure has been bumped up for the month.

“It looks like this December will be the coldest in at least four years,” said Evan Gold, executive vice president of global services at Planalytics. The colder winter comes after a warm November.

In the “buy now, wear now” society that we’re living in, “weather becomes the largest external driver of need,” Gold said. With winter weather setting in, shoppers are once again reaching for items like coats, gloves and scarves. Most of the $350 million that Planalytics forecasts will be generated on the East coast, according to Gold.

Moreover, necessity will prompt shoppers to pay a little more, generating higher margin sales.

“Winter isn’t coming. Winter is here,” said Gold. “Because we’re in a buy now, wear now mentality, customers will spend more money on a coat.”

Last year, was the warmest December on record, notes Gold. Many retailers, including Macy’s Inc.M, -0.15%   and Burlington Stores Inc.BURL, -0.48%   said the unseasonable weather hurt sales for the season.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. JCP, -1.32%   has said that it switched up its merchandise mix in order to move away from “weather-sensitive categories” like apparel.

Home improvement retailers Home Depot Inc. HD, -0.18%   and Lowe’s Companies LOW, -0.58%   said outdoor sales actually got a positive jolt from the warm weather.

The Weather Channel says it’s tracking Winter Storm Decima, which will cross the country bringing snow and perhaps even ice and sleet. While retailers want to see some seasonal weather come their way, they don’t want to take it too far.

“Retailers need enough snow to get in that winter mindset, but not so much that keeps people away,” said Gold. “It provides a helpful environment.”

Terry Lundgren, Macy’s chief executive, expressed a similar sentiment when MarketWatch spoke with him over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

“I can’t ask for complete perfection here, but if I could, it would be a light snow at night,” he said at the time.


National Weather Service Issues Winter Storm Warning

The National Weather Service has issued warnings for parts of the Great Lakes and the Northeast. Image: AP

With weather cooperating, analysts believe stores will move their inventory in a timely fashion.

“Overall Weather Trends International [WTI] believes retailers will be able to clear out winter merchandise at full price and will not have much leftover to sell into first quarter 2017, given a significantly colder winter,” wrote Cowen & Company in a note published Dec. 7.

Even if weather becomes prohibitive, there’s always e-commerce. But that’s not the answer to everything.

“[W]eather can still impact what customers buy thus leaving retailers exposed to potential post-season markdowns if their assortment doesn’t align with customers’ needs,” said Jared Wiesel, partner at Revenue Analytics. “Weather also plays a major role in the customer experience post purchase, as it can have a large impact on on-time shipping rates for goods bought online.”

WTI says “brick-and-mortar retailers with a strong e-commerce platform” will do well given the cold weather and precipitation. Based on this weather information, Cowen believes Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +0.22%   will be a holiday season winner.

Wal-Mart shares are up nearly 2% for the past month, and are up nearly 19% for the last 12 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.17%  is up 14.6% for the past year.

“WTI cautioned that mall traffic could suffer if there’s too much snow,” Cowen wrote. “In addition, WTI estimates that home heating bills could rise by 5% to 10% versus last year given a forecast of colder weather, though higher heating bills could mean less money in consumers’ wallet to use towards incremental purchases in early 2017.”






Source: Frigid weather could boost December apparel retail sales by $350 million