Employers&apos confidence within the United kingdom economy hits cheapest level since Brexit election

Employers’ confidence within the United kingdom economy has sunk to the cheapest level because the Brexit referendum based on the latest survey by recruiters.

In September 33 percent of employers believed the problem was failing, while only 26 percent believed it had been improving, based on the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

The resulting internet balance of -7 percent was lower from -3 for that previous month and was the cheapest because the June 2016 referendum.

However, the total amount of respondents reporting positive hiring and investment decisions was steady at +10 percent in September, with 28 percent expecting a noticable difference versus 18 percent expecting a degeneration.

“Employers are showing a lot of resilience because they still hire despite an increasing number losing belief within the direction the economy is heading. The political climate isn’t enhancing the situation. Companies need clearness to be able to plan effectively and to date the Brexit negotiations haven’t resolved the core issues,” stated Kevin Eco-friendly, REC leader.

“An early agreement around the settlement of EU nationals already employed in the United kingdom will be a part of the best direction. Most EU nationals surviving in the United kingdom come here to operate making a valuable contribution to the economy.” 

Dwindling employers’ confidence

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The REC’s JobsOutlook survey involved 600 employers and business proprietors.

The newest official data around the work market demonstrated a unemployed rate of just 4.3 percent, the cheapest since 1975.

The REC survey also discovered that 60 percent of employers regard agency workers as vital in enabling them to consider growth possibilities, up from 46 percent within the same duration of 2016. 

However, 36 percent anticipate finding lack of temps to satisfy their demands, with concerns most elevated within the construction sector.

Employers happen to be alarmed through the leak of the Office At Home paper suggesting that an infinitely more restrictive immigration plan might be implemented when the United kingdom leaves the EU in March 2019.

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White-colored House seriously views abandoning some tax cuts for that wealthy

To create their tax plan work, Republicans eye a popular blue-condition break]

The White-colored House and Republicans leaders remain dedicated to lowering the corporate tax rate and delivering tax cuts for that middle-class, the 3 people stated.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), a vital negotiator within the talks, stated Tuesday the plan as of this moment is “basically not cutting taxes greatly for that wealthy.”

“Yeah, I believe they would like to perform a middle-class tax cut — a minimum of that is what everyone has stated to date,” he stated.

Trump has searched for to reframe the tax discussions in an effort to help companies and also the middle-class instead of just the wealthiest Americans. He faced critique after information on an early on form of the tax effort recommended that almost all the advantages would go to the rich, a switch in the populist economic rhetoric Trump frequently deploys.

The reconsideration of major points from the proposal, only a week before Republicans leaders have stated they’ll unveil a plan, also suggests there might be a flurry recently changes and reversals.

Trump continues to be consistent in the push to reduce tax rates but has stated he is flexible around the details, prepared to accept whatever can acquire the most political support. He met with plenty of Democrats a week ago because he attempted to lure centrists aboard a large sticking point for many Democrats was that any tax cut plan ought to be centered on enhancing the middle-class within the wealthy. Trump’s advisors, a lot of whom are playing central roles in assisting write the home and Senate tax bills, happen to be more supportive to requires cutting taxes around the wealthiest Americans, also it remains seen how and whether or not they can change their approach.

In Congress, Senate Republicans leaders take steps that will permit them to eventually pass a sweeping tax cut plan with only 51 votes, nine less than normally required to pass legislation.

They hope to do this by crafting a Senate budget resolution that enables these to cut around $1.5 trillion in taxes over ten years, people briefed around the negotiations stated. To sway lawmakers who are squeamish about adding much money towards the federal debt, the White-colored House and Republican leaders are anticipated to make use of rosy economic-growth projections which have nothing you’ve seen prior been utilized by the Congressional Budget Office or even the Joint Committee on Taxation, two physiques lengthy viewed as Congress’s independent scorekeepers.

Cutting taxes with that much would result in a huge boost in economic growth, the White-colored House and Republicans leaders will argue, offsetting the outcome associated with a lost revenue.

When the House and Senate pass matching budget resolutions, they can enact tax changes with most votes and never the 60 votes typically required to proceed. Republicans control 52 votes within the 100-seat Senate, and passing a financial budget resolution will give them more versatility during negotiations.

In April, the White-colored House released a 1-page blueprint of their tax plan that will have repealed the estate tax, eliminated the choice-minimum tax and cut the very best individual tax rate from 39.6 to 35 %. These changes yet others would function as a huge windfall for that wealthiest Americans, budget experts found. The Tax Policy Center believed that roughly half of all of the tax changes would help the top 1 % of earners, with every part of that group receiving a typical tax cut of $175,000.

Senior White-colored House officials for several weeks defended the requires tax cuts that will help the wealthy, saying they were necessary to help individuals invest throughout the economy and hire more workers. But Trump a week ago mentioned the tax plan wouldn’t, on internet, lessen the taxes for wealthy Americans, and that he predicted that some may even pay more.

Americans pay earnings taxes on the tiered system, and you will find seven tiers. Upper-earnings Americans pay a 39.6 % rate on all earnings above $418,400. They pay a 35 % rate on all earnings between $416,700 and $418,400. Plus they pay a 33 percent rate on earnings between $191,650 and $416,700. You will find four other tax rates for earnings earned below that quantity.

The White-colored House had suggested collapsing these seven brackets into three brackets, using the new top bracket sitting at 35 %. Whether it decides to help keep the very best bracket at 39.6 % and make two new brackets, it might still give everybody a tax cut but decrease the size of that cut for that wealthy.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) stated that whether or not the top tax rate was preserved, the Trump tax plan would still largely help the wealthiest Americans, which was “just absurd” to think otherwise. He stated, for instance, the White-colored House planned to create large reductions in tax rates compensated by small companies that will effectively lower the tax rate for a lot of wealthy Americans.

“In almost all these items where they’re going out, they will use the presidential megaphone to state this is for that middle-class, it will not be for that wealthy, however people much like me start studying the small print, and all sorts of you need to do is see are these big gifts towards the wealthy and couple of,” he stated.

The White-colored House and Republicans leaders are intending to provide more details in a few days regarding their tax push, though they might omit key details because they still negotiate with people of Congress. The White-colored Home is wishing a tax cut plan could be performed by the finish of the season, and support from a couple of Democrats may help to achieve a contract sooner.

Because the White-colored House and Republicans leaders continue hashing out details, Senate Republicans aspire to coalesce around a financial budget resolution within days. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has stated the tax cut plan most likely wouldn’t increase the government’s debt, however the current budget resolution would acknowledge the tax cuts might cost around $1.5 trillion in revenue over ten years.

This marks an impressive shift from past years, when Republicans blasted the Federal government because of not doing more to chop the deficit. Many Republicans think that large tax cuts will spur economic growth and these benefits tend to be more important than contributing to the government’s $20 trillion debt.

The Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday inched toward announcing an offer on the budget resolution that may create a goverment tax bill that will cost you a trillion dollars or even more in tax revenue. In a Tuesday morning meeting in McConnell’s office, deficit hawks and devotees of supply-side financial aspects could achieve an agreement, stated Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a financial budget Committee member and monetary hawk.

Corker stated the offer could create committee action when in a few days. Also, he signaled your budget resolution might make it seem like the tax plan would finish up contributing to the deficit, but he stated in the view the money would finish up being recouped rapidly due to the economic growth the tax plan would create.

“At the finish during the day, when it is all stated and done, no deficit increase,” Corker stated. He added later, “I’m likely to wish to have confidence in me that we are likely to be lessening deficits, not growing deficits.”

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) stated Tuesday he was hopeful that Republicans would cut greater than $1.5 trillion in taxes, a sentiment shared by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

“I don’t believe which has been for sure established yet,” Toomey stated. “I’d want to see a larger number than that.”

“We’re certainly pleased to go greater,” Scott stated.

Ryanair fiasco: More proof that United kingdom airlines are becoming worse?

It’s been professing within the last couple of many years to be ‘Always Getting Better’ however it hasn’t been a great handful of days for Ryanair regardless of its slogan.

A mismanagement of pilots’ annual leave allocation because of a choice to maneuver the vacation period to some twelve months from the financial one, might cost it €20m (£17.6m) in compensation, along with a further €5m in costs, if it’s forced to spend to passengers whose flights were cancelled.

A vital element in the problem continues to be their agreement with pilots to allow them maintain their continuous four-week block of holiday, something common in the market. This has meant a bulge of leave demands because of the truncated holiday year, which ends up in December instead of March, departing the air travel lacking the necessary crews to pay for its flights.

The air travel attempted to obtain back on the leading feet, highlighting that just about 2pc of their 2,500 daily flights could be cancelled every day for six days. Additionally, it claimed that this could improve punctuality. Leader Michael O’Leary apologised to passengers affected but reiterated 98pc of passengers wouldn’t be hit.

The combative leader accepted the debacle had broken their status. However, he think it is easier to cancel a small amount of flights than attempting to conserve a full schedule after which suffer large figures of delays.

Various additional factors were also blamed for exacerbating its woes – all the way in which from thunder towards the equally foreseeable phenomena of French air traffic control strikes. Both easyJet and Vueling came unstuck this past year due to strikes over the Funnel and thus it’s arguable this will happen to be predicted and mitigated.

RBC transport analyst Damian Maker ignored the claim concerning the cancellations being designed to improve punctuality like a “football manager excuse”.

“These appear like compounding issues to too little staff planning – that risks over-buying and selling when there is little slack in the system for that unpredictable, or…lack of flight deck crew with other low-cost carriers like Norwegian,” he stated.

Norwegian states have hired 140 pilots from Ryanair previously year

The Scandinavian rival, that has introduced the reduced-cost model towards the lengthy-haul market, claims it’s hired 140 pilots from Ryanair this season alone, possibly take into consideration which has brought to issues for that Irish company. Mr O’Leary recommended the particular figure was under 100 and predicted a number of individuals would go back to the Irish carrier soon.

Mr Maker stated there might be “reputation damage past the direct cost” with the opportunity of future bookings to become deferred.

“History is not kind to low-cost carriers that can’t deliver – for example we still discover that Vuelling maintains its low skytrax ratings  and we feel it must discount hardest where it faces competition to be able to sell its product,” he added.

The United kingdom air travel industry continues to be beset by questions of declining quality. British Airways has removed food on its short-haul flights, citing customer demand but cost-cutting can also be a problem because it fights to compete with low-cost rivals. Meanwhile, the ability surge which caused a significant IT meltdown and grounded a large number of passengers is anticipated to cost it roughly €65m.

Major travel disruption was caused at Heathrow after British Airways’ systems unsuccessful in May

Airhelp, an internet business that helps air travel passengers to get compensation to acquire part of the payment, rated Ryanair 83rd from 87 airlines in the global winter 2016/2017 rankings. United kingdom-based rival Monarch Airlines came in one location below. Norwegian and easyJet were placed 71st and 73rd correspondingly, dragging lower britain’s overall rankings.

One of the reasons Airhelp rated Ryanair so low was since it considered it the worst in the 87 airlines with regards to processing compensation claims. Again Monarch was directly on its tail with scoring just .8 from 10.

Within the last annual study through which? of United kingdom customer preferences for brief- and lengthy-haul airlines, Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines came top within the particular groups.

Ryanair was third from bottom by having an overall score of 50pc, with simply IAG-owned Iberia and Vueling behind it on 49pc and 41pc.

The shake-on the continent where both Alitalia and Air Berlin have collapsed into administration could create ripple effects within the United kingdom. Across Europe, there is excess seat capacity meaning airlines frequently need to use affordable prices to draw in customers, which squeezes profits.

Monarch Airlines is reviewing its strategy. Reports have recommended it might seek some pot venture deal for its short-haul operations, departing the carrier to target more fully on its more profitable long-haul offering.

The move comes roughly annually following the air travel guaranteed a £165m save package brought by its controlling shareholder Greybull Capital and plane maker Boeing.

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United kingdom startup raises millions for driverless parking system

A British tech start-up aims to boost millions of pounds to construct an entire map of parking spaces to permit driverless cars to locate a place and set wardens bankrupt.

AppyParking, founded in 2013, has elevated £2.25m from two initial phase investors when preparing for an even bigger funding round the coming year.

The first cash injection originates from Aviva Ventures, the insurer’s tech arm, that is already a shareholder, and Breed Reply, a professional investor in so-known as Internet of products start-ups.

AppyParking founder and leader Dan Hubert stated the cash is needed purchase a laser survey of Britain’s kerbsides to produce accurate maps of where parking can be obtained.

The organization aims to collect nationwide data that it may target the kind of Google, Uber, Ford along with other carmakers within the race to autonomous vehicles. Mr Hubert stated tech giants was without the lack of ability to build the required relationships with councils that AppyParking intends to use becoming a seamless parking system.

Mr Hubert stated: “Some councils generate losses on parking enforcement.”

Key Questions Driverless cars

Drivers and driverless vehicle passengers covers parking digitally using a push of the dashboard button, he stated, removing the requirement for wardens along with other enforcement measures. AppyParking is piloting this type of system in Westminster, with sensors baked into parking spaces to identify when they’re occupied and permit instant cashless payment.

The machine also depends on the mobile network connections which are being suited to new vehicles, and put into existing commercial fleets.

AppyParking’s primary current service for motorists is really a smartphone application that gives info on parking limitations and tariffs.

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Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls

On a muggy, late spring evening, Tuan Pham awoke to the police storming his house in Hanoi, Vietnam.

They marched him to a police station and made their demand: Hand over your Facebook password. Mr. Tuan, a computer engineer, had recently written a poem on the social network called “Mother’s Lullaby,” which criticized how the communist country was run.

One line read, “One century has passed, we are still poor and hungry, do you ask why?”

Mr. Tuan’s arrest came just weeks after Facebook offered a major olive branch to Vietnam’s government. Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, met with a top Vietnamese official in April and pledged to remove information from the social network that violated the country’s laws.

While Facebook said its policies in Vietnam have not changed, and it has a consistent process for governments to report illegal content, the Vietnamese government was specific. The social network, they have said, had agreed to help create a new communications channel with the government to prioritize Hanoi’s requests and remove what the regime considered inaccurate posts about senior leaders.

Populous, developing countries like Vietnam are where the company is looking to add its next billion customers — and to bolster its ad business. Facebook’s promise to Vietnam helped the social media giant placate a government that had called on local companies not to advertise on foreign sites like Facebook, and it remains a major marketing channel for businesses there.

The diplomatic game that unfolded in Vietnam has become increasingly common for Facebook. The internet is Balkanizing, and the world’s largest tech companies have had to dispatch envoys to, in effect, contain the damage such divisions pose to their ambitions.

The internet has long had a reputation of being an anything-goes place that only a few nations have tried to tame — China in particular. But in recent years, events as varied as the Arab Spring, elections in France and confusion in Indonesia over the religion of the country’s president have awakened governments to how they have lost some control over online speech, commerce and politics on their home turf.

Even in the United States, tech giants are facing heightened scrutiny from the government. Facebook recently cooperated with investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the American presidential election. In recent weeks, politicians on the left and the right have also spoken out about the excess power of America’s largest tech companies.

As nations try to grab back power online, a clash is brewing between governments and companies. Some of the biggest companies in the world — Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alibaba among them — are finding they need to play by an entirely new set of rules on the once-anarchic internet.

And it’s not just one new set of rules. According to a review by The New York Times, more than 50 countries have passed laws over the last five years to gain greater control over how their people use the web.

“Ultimately, it’s a grand power struggle,” said David Reed, an early pioneer of the internet and a former professor at the M.I.T. Media Lab. “Governments started waking up as soon as a significant part of their powers of communication of any sort started being invaded by companies.”

Facebook encapsulates the reasons for the internet’s fragmentation — and increasingly, its consequences.

Graphic | Global Reach

The company has become so far-reaching that more than two billion people — about a quarter of the world’s population — now use Facebook each month. Internet users (excluding China) spend one in five minutes online within the Facebook universe, according to comScore, a research firm. And Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, wants that dominance to grow.

But politicians have struck back. China, which blocked Facebook in 2009, has resisted Mr. Zuckerberg’s efforts to get the social network back into the country. In Europe, officials have repudiated Facebook’s attempts to gather data from its messaging apps and third-party websites.

The Silicon Valley giant’s tussle with the fracturing internet is poised to escalate. Facebook has now reached almost everyone who already has some form of internet access, excluding China. Capturing those last users — including in Asian nations like Vietnam and African countries like Kenya — may involve more government roadblocks.

“We understand that and accept that our ideals are not everyone’s,” said Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy. “But when you look at the data and truly listen to the people around the world who rely on our service, it’s clear that we do a much better job of bringing people together than polarizing them.”

Friending China

By mid-2016, a yearslong campaign by Facebook to get into China — the world’s biggest internet market — appeared to be sputtering.

Mr. Zuckerberg had wined and dined Chinese politicians, publicly showed off his newly acquired Chinese-language skills — a moment that set the internet abuzz — and talked with a potential Chinese partner about pushing the social network into the market, according to a person familiar with the talks who declined to be named because the discussions were confidential.

At a White House dinner in 2015, Mr. Zuckerberg had even asked the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, whether Mr. Xi might offer a Chinese name for his soon-to-be-born first child — usually a privilege reserved for older relatives, or sometimes a fortune teller. Mr. Xi declined, according to a person briefed on the matter.

But all those efforts flopped, foiling Facebook’s attempts to crack one of the most isolated pockets of the internet.

China has blocked Facebook and Twitter since mid-2009, after an outbreak of ethnic rioting in the western part of the country. In recent years, similar barriers have gone up for Google services and other apps, like Line and Instagram.

Even if Facebook found a way to enter China now, it would not guarantee financial success. Today, the overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens use local online services like Qihoo 360 and Sina Weibo. No American-made apps rank among China’s 50 most popular services, according to SAMPi, a market research firm.

Chinese tech officials said that although many in the government are open to the idea of Facebook releasing products in China, there is resistance among leaders in the standing committee of the country’s Politburo, its top decision-making body.

In 2016, Facebook took tentative steps toward embracing China’s censorship policies. That summer, Facebook developed a tool that could suppress posts in certain geographic areas, The Times reported last year. The idea was that it would help the company get into China by enabling Facebook or a local partner to censor content according to Beijing’s demands. The tool was not deployed.

In another push last year, Mr. Zuckerberg spent time at a conference in Beijing that is a standard on the China government relations tour. Using his characteristic brand of diplomacy — the Facebook status update — he posted a photo of himself running in Tiananmen Square on a dangerously smoggy day. The photo drew derision on Twitter, and concerns from Chinese about Mr. Zuckerberg’s health.

For all the courtship, things never quite worked out.

“There’s an interest on both sides of the dance, so some kind of product can be introduced,” said Kai-Fu Lee, the former head of Google in China who now runs a venture-capital firm in Beijing. “But what Facebook wants is impossible, and what they can have may not be very meaningful.”

This spring, Facebook tried a different tactic: testing the waters in China without telling anyone. The company authorized the release of a photo-sharing app there that does not bear its name, and experimented by linking it to a Chinese social network called WeChat.

One factor driving Mr. Zuckerberg may be the brisk ad business that Facebook does from its Hong Kong offices, where the company helps Chinese companies — and the government’s own propaganda organs — spread their messages. In fact, the scale of the Chinese government’s use of Facebook to communicate abroad offers a notable sign of Beijing’s understanding of Facebook’s power to mold public opinion.

Chinese state media outlets have used ad buys to spread propaganda around key diplomatic events. Its stodgy state-run television station and the party mouthpiece newspaper each have far more Facebook “likes” than popular Western news brands like CNN and Fox News, a likely indication of big ad buys.

To attract more ad spending, Facebook set up one page to show China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, how to promote on the platform, according to a person familiar with the matter. Dedicated to Mr. Xi’s international trips, the page is still regularly updated by CCTV, and has 2.7 million likes. During the 2015 trip when Mr. Xi met Mr. Zuckerberg, CCTV used the channel to spread positive stories. One post was titled “Xi’s UN address wins warm applause.”

Fittingly, Mr. Zuckerberg’s eagerness and China’s reluctance can be tracked on Facebook.

During Mr. Xi’s 2015 trip to America, Mr. Zuckerberg posted about how the visit offered him his first chance to speak a foreign language with a world leader. The post got more than a half million likes, including from Chinese state media (despite the national ban). But on Mr. Xi’s propaganda page, Mr. Zuckerberg got only one mention — in a list of the many tech executives who met the Chinese president.

Europe’s Privacy Pushback

Last summer, emails winged back and forth between members of Facebook’s global policy team. They were finalizing plans, more than two years in the making, for WhatsApp, the messaging app Facebook had bought in 2014, to start sharing data on its one billion users with its new parent company. The company planned to use the data to tailor ads on Facebook’s other services and to stop spam on WhatsApp.

A big issue: how to win over wary regulators around the world.

Despite all that planning, Facebook was hit by a major backlash. A month after the new data-sharing deal started in August 2016, German privacy officials ordered WhatsApp to stop passing data on its 36 million local users to Facebook, claiming people did not have enough say over how it would be used. The British privacy watchdog soon followed.

By late October, all 28 of Europe’s national data-protection authorities jointly called on Facebook to stop the practice. Facebook quietly mothballed its plans in Europe. It has continued to collect people’s information elsewhere, including the United States.

“There’s a growing awareness that people’s data is controlled by large American actors,” said Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, France’s privacy regulator. “These actors now know that times have changed.”

Facebook’s retreat shows how Europe is effectively employing regulations — including tough privacy rules — to control how parts of the internet are run.

The goal of European regulators, officials said, is to give users greater control over the data from social media posts, online searches and purchases that Facebook and other tech giants rely on to monitor our online habits.

As a tech company whose ad business requires harvesting digital information, Facebook has often underestimated the deep emotions that European officials and citizens have tied into the collection of such details. That dates back to the time of the Cold War, when many Europeans were routinely monitored by secret police.

Now, regulators from Colombia to Japan are often mimicking Europe’s stance on digital privacy. “It’s only natural European regulators would be at the forefront,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer. “It reflects the importance they’ve attached to the privacy agenda.”

In interviews, Facebook denied it has played fast and loose with users’ online information and said it complies with national rules wherever it operates. It questioned whether Europe’s position has been effective in protecting individuals’ privacy at a time when the region continues to fall behind the United States and China in all things digital.

Still, the company said it respected Europe’s stance on data protection, particularly in Germany, where many citizens have long memories of government surveillance.

“There’s no doubt the German government is a strong voice inside the European community,” said Richard Allen, Facebook’s head of public policy in Europe. “We find their directness pretty helpful.”

Europe has the law on its side when dictating global privacy. Facebook’s non-North American users, roughly 1.8 billion people, are primarily overseen by Ireland’s privacy regulator because the company’s international headquarters is in Dublin, mostly for tax reasons. In 2012, Facebook was forced to alter its global privacy settings — including those in the United States — after Ireland’s data protection watchdog found problems while auditing the company’s operations there.

Three years later, Europe’s highest court also threw out a 15-year-old data-sharing agreement between the region and the United States following a complaint that Facebook had not sufficiently protected Europeans’ data when it was transferred across the Atlantic. The company denies any wrongdoing.

And on Sept. 12, Spain’s privacy agency fined the company 1.2 million euros for not giving people sufficient control over their data when Facebook collected it from third-party websites. Watchdogs in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere are conducting similar investigations. Facebook is appealing the Spanish ruling.

“Facebook simply can’t stick to a one-size-fits-all product around the world,” said Max Schrems, an Austrian lawyer who has been a Facebook critic after filing the case that eventually overturned the 15-year-old data deal.

Potentially more worrying for Facebook is how Europe’s view of privacy is being exported. Countries from Brazil to Malaysia, which are crucial to Facebook’s growth, have incorporated many of Europe’s tough privacy rules into their legislation.

“We regard the European directives as best practice,” said Pansy Tlakula, chairwoman of South Africa’s Information Regulator, the country’s data protection agency. South Africa has gone so far as to copy whole sections, almost word-for-word, from Europe’s rule book.

The Play for Kenya

Blocked in China and troubled by regulators in Europe, Facebook is trying to become “the internet” in Africa. Helping get people online, subsidizing access, and trying to launch satellites to beam the internet down to the markets it covets, Facebook has become a dominant force on a continent rapidly getting online.

But that has given it a power that has made some in Africa uncomfortable.

Some countries have blocked access, and outsiders have complained Facebook could squelch rival online business initiatives. Its competition with other internet companies from the United States and China has drawn comparisons to a bygone era of colonialism.

For Kenyans like Phyl Cherop, 33, an entrepreneur in Nairobi, online life is already dominated by the social network. She abandoned her bricks-and-mortar store in a middle-class part of the city in 2015 to sell on Facebook and WhatsApp.

“I gave it up because people just didn’t come anymore,” said Ms. Cherop, who sells items like designer dresses and school textbooks. She added that a stand-alone website would not have the same reach. “I prefer using Facebook because that’s where my customers are. The first thing people want to do when they buy a smartphone is to open a Facebook account.”

As Facebook hunts for more users, the company’s aspirations have shifted to emerging economies where people like Ms. Cherop live. Less than 50 percent of Africa’s population has internet connectivity, and regulation is often rudimentary.

Since Facebook entered Africa about a decade ago, it has become the region’s dominant tech platform. Some 170 million people — more than two thirds of all internet users from South Africa to Senegal — use it, according Facebook’s statistics. That is up 40 percent since 2015.

The company has struck partnerships with local carriers to offer basic internet services — centered on those offered by Facebook — for free. It has built a pared-down version of its social network to run on the cheaper, less powerful phones that are prevalent there.

Facebook is also investing tens of millions of dollars alongside telecom operators to build a 500-mile fiber-optic internet connection in rural Uganda. In total, it is working with about 30 regional governments on digital projects.

“We want to bring connectivity to the world,” said Jay Parikh, a Facebook vice president for engineering who oversees the company’s plans to use drones, satellites and other technology to connect the developing world.

Facebook is racing to gain the advantage in Africa over rivals like Google and Chinese players including Tencent, in a 21st century version of the “Scramble for Africa.” Google has built fiber internet networks in Uganda and Ghana. Tencent has released WeChat, its popular messaging and e-commerce app, in South Africa.

Facebook has already hit some bumps in its African push. Chad blocked access to Facebook and other sites during elections or political protests. Uganda also took legal action in Irish courts to force the social network to name an anonymous blogger who had been critical of the government. Those efforts failed.

In Kenya, one of Africa’s most connected countries, there has been less pushback.

Facebook expanded its efforts in the country of 48 million in 2014. It teamed up with Airtel Africa, a mobile operator, to roll out Facebook’s Free Basics — a no-fee version of the social network, with access to certain news, health, job and other services there and in more than 20 other countries worldwide. In Kenya, the average person has a budget of just 30 cents a day to spend on internet access.

Free Basics now lets Kenyans use Facebook and its Messenger service at no cost, as well as read news from a Kenyan newspaper and view information about public health programs. Joe Mucheru, Kenya’s tech minister, said it at least gives his countrymen a degree of internet access.

Still, Facebook’s plans have not always worked out. Many Kenyans with access to Free Basics rely on it only as a backup when their existing smartphone credit runs out.

“Free Basics? I don’t really use it that often,” said Victor Odinga, 27, an accountant in downtown Nairobi. “No one wants to be seen as someone who can’t afford to get online.”

After single payer unsuccessful, Vermont starts a large healthcare experiment

Doug Greenwood lifted his shirt to allow his physician probe his belly, damaged from past surgeries, for tender spots. Searing abdominal discomfort had arrived Greenwood within the er a couple of days earlier, and he’d come for any follow-up trip to Cold Hollow Family Practice, a large red barnlike building perched around the fringe of town.

Following the appointment was over and the bloodstream was attracted, Greenwood remained to have an entirely different exam: of his existence. Anne-Marie Lajoie, a nurse care coordinator, started to pre-plan Greenwood’s financial sources, responsibilities, transportation options, food sources and social supports on the piece of paper. Another picture started to emerge from the 58-year-old male patient dealing with diverticulitis: Greenwood had moved home, with no vehicle or steady work, to look after his mother, who endured from dementia. He rested inside a fishing shanty within the yard, having a baby monitor to monitor his mother.

This more expansive checkup belongs to a pioneering effort within this Colonial condition to help keep people healthy while simplifying the normal jumble of public and private insurers that will pay for healthcare.

The actual premise is straightforward: Reward doctors and hospitals financially when people are healthy, not only when they are available in sick.

It’s a concept that’s been percolating with the health-care system recently, based on the Affordable Care Act and changes to how Medicare will pay for some types of care, for example hip and knee replacements.

Vermont is setting an ambitious objective of taking its alternative payment model statewide and putting it on to 70 % of insured condition residents by 2022 which — whether it works — may ultimately result in fundamental alterations in how Americans purchase healthcare.

“You help make your margin from keeping people healthier, rather to do more operations. This drastically changes you, from thinking of doing much more of a particular type of surgery to attempting to prevent them,” stated Stephen Leffler, chief population health insurance and quality officer from the College of Vermont Health Network.

Making lump sum payment payments, rather of having to pay for every X-ray or checkup, changes the financial incentives for doctors. For instance, spurring the state’s largest hospital system to purchase housing. Or making more roles like Lajoie’s, centered on diagnosing issues with housing, transportation, food along with other services affecting people’s well-being.

Critics, however, worry that it’ll produce a effective tier of middlemen billed with administering health-care payments without sufficient oversight. Individuals middlemen account Care Organizations, systems of hospitals and doctors that actually work to coordinate care and may be part of the rewards if providers can save health-care costs, but remain responsible if costs run excessive. In Vermont, the aim would be to limit the development in overall annual healthcare spending to three.five percent every year.

It’ll place a new burden on primary care doctors to help keep people healthy — potentially punishing providers financially for patients’ deep-rooted habits and behaviors. And also the core concept of growing outreach to high-risk patients, though sensible on its surface, might not control health spending one study found the approach was unlikely to yield internet savings.

“I think this sort of model is quite good if it is implemented the proper way. There is a big question on whether it will likely be implemented the proper way,Inches stated Amy Cooper, executive director of HealthFirst, a connection of independent physicians in Vermont.

The present initiative is Vermont’s second make an effort to transform healthcare. It had been the very first condition in the united states to embrace a government-financed universal health-care system but abandoned the program at the end of 2014 due to concerns over costs.

To listen to Al Gobeille, a restaurateur switched Vermont human services secretary, tell it, having to pay for insurance policy is among the large problems facing the American health-care system. Another, difficult the first is lowering the underlying cost — and that’s what Vermont is attempting to tackle.

In 2015, any adverse health insurance policy cost you a family $24,000 in premiums, Gobeille stated, by 2025, that’s forecasted to develop to $42,000.

“There’s likely to be a calamity. No family will probably be in a position to afford that,” Gobeille stated. “So it’s vital that you proceed to a method that aligns more carefully towards the development of our economy.”

This season, 30,000 State medicaid programs patients — like Greenwood — have transitioned in to the experimental model via a pilot operated by the accountable care organization OneCare Vermont. The machine uses software to flag individuals with complex medical needs and chronic health problems and also to coordinate care and support for individuals considered at high-risk. Rather of billing for every overnight stay or medical scan, hospitals get an upfront payment per month to handle the concern for each patient allotted to them, and first care practices receive payments to assist using the outreach work.

“It’s developing a situation in which the physicians and hospital leaders along with other clinicians in Vermont seem like they’ve enough support and structure around them that they’ll essentially pursue alterations in their clinical models as well as their business models,” stated Andrew Garland, v . p . of exterior matters and client relations at BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont. “It has all of us rowing within the same direction.”

Garland stated BlueCross is within discussions to maneuver a segment of their people — including individuals and small companies who buy plans through its Affordable Care Act exchange — in to the new payment model the coming year.

Other states are starting similar efforts to chop health-care spending, on sides from the partisan divide.

Arkansas’ State medicaid programs program has collaborated with private insurers to shift payments around discrete “episodes of care” — for example bronchial asthma and congestive heart failure. “By getting State medicaid programs and Blue Mix on a single page, we’ve got the providers’ attention,” stated William Golden, medical director from the medical services division in the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

In 2014, Maryland began giving hospitals an upfront plan for the entire year, to incentivize providers to help keep patients healthy.

“The real magic here’s when you are getting the payers — Medicare, State medicaid programs and also the commercial payers, saying exactly the same factor towards the delivery system. Vermont is attempting to get it done one of the ways . . . Arkansas is attempting to get it done with increased coordination between State medicaid programs and Blue Mix,” stated Christopher Koller, president from the Milbank Memorial Fund, a basis centered on improving health. “States like Maryland, Vermont are actually looking to get in the underlying cost.”

As Vermont retools the way it will pay for healthcare, the system is already evolving — with a focus on services that fall far outdoors the standard domain of drugs.

Vermont’s major hospital system has set up the cash to permit community partners to purchase and refurbish housing, building off earlier success of purchasing blocks of nights for temporary stays in a motel operated by the Champlain Housing Trust. After 3 years, costs for hospital stays came by $1.six million, supported with a large stop by readmissions.

That brought the College of Vermont Clinic to place in the cash this season to allow the housing trust to purchase and convert a roadside motel in Burlington right into a landing place for patients who don’t have to be inside a hospital, but do not have a appropriate spot to return.

A medical facility-owned family medicine practice in Colchester provides “health-care share” day on Thursdays, when families can select up a box of vegetables prescribed by their loved ones physician.

Kari Potter, 34, stated the farm share has altered how her family eats. She makes her own sauces, she stated, loading a bag of veggies and 2 chickens into her vehicle, and also the weekly delivery helps the children learn how to appreciate healthy snacks, simply thinly sliced cucumbers.

Many of these changes appear sensible, plus they might even improve patient health. The issue is going to be whether or not they cut costs over time. In Vermont, you will find fears that just the greatest hospital systems which have the wiggle room to visualize risk and sustain financial losses can survive.

It’s also unclear how patients will react, because the pilot is expanded beyond State medicaid programs recipients.

Throughout his appointment, Greenwood was firm he didn’t have real complaints about his existence and didn’t think he needed any particular support.

“Any issues with depression or anxiety?” Lajoie requested. Greenwood stated no and Lajoie lightly attempted to prod him to learn more — “meaning it’s not necessary any sadness feelings?”

“No,” Greenwood stated. “If I actually do, they ain’t bad.”

When she requested if his health ever got when it comes to visiting buddies, he chuckled.

“I don’t visit with buddies,” Greenwood responded. “Just watch soap operas.”

Lajoie made notes to revisit his eating tobacco habit and discover if he needed additional support inside a month. The secret for this job is locating the ways that they’ll support people, which might not necessarily be apparent — towards the care coordinator in order to the individual.

“We’re not here to evaluate them or anything. We sometimes don’t know very well what we are able to really enable them to with,” Lajoie stated. “It’s a learning factor, together.”

Electricity eyes tighter rules on Google and facebook as concern grows

Whenever a television station sells a political ad, an archive is joined right into a public file saying who bought the advertisement and how much cash they spent.

In comparison, when Facebook or Google sells a political ad, there’s no criminal record of this purchase. That scenario is of accelerating concern to politicians and legislators in Washington as digital advertising becomes an more and more central a part of American political campaigns. Throughout the 2016 election, over $1.4bn was put in internet marketing, which symbolized a 789 percent increase within the 2012 election.

Internet marketing is anticipated to get much more essential in the 2018 midterms and also the 2020 presidential election. However, while rules governing television, radio and print ads are lengthy established, there’s little oversight in position for digital political ads. Broadcast television and r / c are legally mandated to record who bought political ads and just how muchthey spent. But online, political ad buyers they are under no such obligations – so the public are flying blind. It makes sense a landscape that certain operative when compared with “the wild west.”

it had been says a Russian influence operation spent over $100,000 on Facebook throughout the 2016 election. As Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia cautioned lately, this expenditure might be “the beginning.”

The thought came because the growing influence of major tech companies has turned into a subject of bipartisan concern in Washington Electricity, and voices on Capitol Hill are becoming louder about the requirement for more oversight from the digital giants’growing role in American politics.

Even though some around the left have lengthy elevated concerns about the possible lack of competition for businesses like Google and Amazon . com, the Trump administration has ushered inside a new number of right-wing officials who’re skepticalof these businesses. Former White-colored House aide Steve Bannon contended in support of controlling Google and facebook as public utilities, and White-colored House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave a pointedly muted response after Google received an archive fine in the Eu. “I do not have anything for all of us to wade in on the private company,” she stated in June.

Large information companies such as Google have come under fire from voices on the right and the left Large information companies for example Google came under fire from voices around the right and also the left Photograph: Shaun Chiu/AP

It has been became a member of around the left by more and more vocal comments by prominent progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who cautioned inside a speech this past year that major digital the likes of Google and Amazon . com were “trying to snuff out competition.” This acquired more attention in August once the liberal New American Foundation fired a scholar who’d contended Google would be a monopoly. The organization, whose Chief executive officer Eric Schmidt would be a prominent Clinton supporter, had donated heavily towards the nonprofit.

This scrutiny is beginning to increase towards the role of internet advertising in American politics. The FEC has reopened a remark period on its rule on disclaimers for online political advertising. However, it’s unclear whether this can result in any alternation in its rules, which presently grant most internet marketing the best from rules that need disclaimers, all the facts stating who compensated for the ad, on “electioneering communications.”

Oren Shur, the previous director of compensated media on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign told the Protector, “you have everybody on the planet buying political ads online now. It’s where things are least transparent.”

Like a Democratic digital operative noted towards the Protector, “all advertising on tv and radio could be linked to an FEC filing report. Essentially the press and also the public can understand who’s buying advertising for that purpose of the election, in a fundamental level you … can easily see who’s spending things to influence an election and that’s simply not true with Google, YouTube Twitter and facebook.Inches

Regulations in place to track political television ads, like this one broadcast in January, 2016, simply don’t exist for online media Rules in position to trace political television ads, such as this one broadcast in The month of january, 2016, simply don’t exists for online media Photograph: Jamie-James Medina for that Protector

Google and facebook now constitute roughly 70-75% of political digital advertising sales, the answer real question is whether there’s in whatever way to effectively implement an approach to disclosure which makes transparency a real possibility. Jason Rosenbaum, the previous advertising director for that Clinton campaign, recommended these businesses adopt a voluntary system of disclosure. He noted that cable companies, which aren’t specifically controlled through the FCC had lengthy carried this out. Rosenbaum noted that legislative and regulatory solutions both face significant political obstacles which was difficult to picture a technological method to track advertisements.

Rather, he thought a voluntary option wouldn’t only help the public but be great for platforms because it would assist them to sell more advertising that they noted is “what these businesses do.” If your campaign knows an adversary has bought advertising with an online platform, it is more probably to reply in kind and try to match the buy.

Meanwhile, with no solution, skeptics of major tech platforms havewarned from the effects.

Luther Lowe, v . p . for public policy at Yelp along with a vocal critic of Google, told the Protector, “This isn’t standard monopoly abuse.” Lowe added, “When a dominant information firm abuses its monopoly, you receive exactly the same unwanted effects of reduced choice and greater prices as with other monopolies, but democracy and freedom of expression will also be undermined since these firms now control how details are utilized and just how it flows.”

As Lowe noted, the concerns within the dominant role of Google and Facebook aren’t restricted to the world of political advertising. Previously week, Yelp filed an anti-trust complaint against Google, alleging that it’s wrongly scraping Yelp’s content, and Facebook originates under attack for allowing advertisers to focus on happy to users thinking about topics like “Jew Haters.” However the potential that the foreign government used these platforms to help the 2016 election looms over the many other topics.

Google and Facebook Face Critique for Ads Targeting Racist Sentiments

Google and Facebook, the world’s greatest sellers of internet advertising, faced sharp critique on Friday for allowing advertisers to direct ads to users who looked for or expressed a desire for racist sentiments and hate speech.

As a result of two separate news reports exposing the problems, both companies stated they’d change how their systems labored.

The critique started on Thursday following a report from ProPublica, a nonprofit news site, says Facebook enabled advertisers to search out self-described “Jew haters” along with other anti-Semitic topics. The organization responded by stating that it might restrict how advertisers targeted their audiences around the social networking.

On Friday, articles from BuzzFeed reported how Google permitted the purchase of ads associated with racist and bigoted keywords, and instantly recommended more offensive terms included in that process. By mid-day, Google stated it might continue to work harder to prevent offensive ads.

The occurrences put into an increasing understanding of the complicated — and effective — automated advertising systems which have switched Google and facebook into two world’s best companies. The businesses have discovered how you can maximize remarkable ability for connecting any size advertiser to highly tailored groups of people that use their professional services every single day, collecting vast amounts of dollars along the way.

However the potential misuse of individuals tools has turned into a national concern previously year, particularly after Facebook disclosed a week ago that fake accounts located in Russia had purchased greater than $100,000 price of ads on divisive issues within the lead-to the presidential election.

“It’s shocking because it’s illustrating the quality of targeting that’s possible,” stated Eli Pariser, the writer of “The Filter Bubble: The way the New Personalized Web Is Altering What We Should Read and just how We Believe.Inches “But I believe the critical bit of context is that this is going on whenever we realize that overseas used targeted Facebook ads to help opinion around an election.”

He added: “Before all this, you can begin to see the rise of targeted advertising, you can begin to see the rise of social politics, however the conjunction of these two in this manner feels new.”

Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform permitted advertisers to direct ads towards the news feeds of approximately 2,300 individuals who stated these were thinking about anti-Semitic subjects, based on the article by ProPublica. Facebook’s algorithms instantly generated the groups from users’ profiles.

Reporters from ProPublica tested Facebook advertising groups to determine whether or not they could buy ads targeted at individuals who expressed curiosity about topics like “Jew hater,” “How to lose jews,” and “History of ‘why jews ruin the planet.’” The reporters compensated $30 to advertise ProPublica posts to folks associated with the anti-Semitic groups to make sure these were real options, based on the analysis, which noted that Facebook had approved the posts within fifteen minutes.

Facebook stated inside a statement that users had joined the terms underneath the “employer” or “education” fields on their own profiles. Doing this violated their policies, the organization stated, and brought for their appearance around the ad-buying tool.

The organization stated it might remove targeting by such self-reported fields “until we’ve the best processes in position to assist prevent this problem.Inches It added that “hate speech and discriminatory advertising don’t have any put on our platform.”

Following the ProPublica report, BuzzFeed conducted an identical test on the internet, where ads are ordered according to potential search phrases. The website reported that upon entering terms like “why do Jews ruin everything” and “white people ruin,” the robotic voice recommended lengthy lists of offensive “keyword ideas” like “black people ruin neighborhoods” and “Jewish parasites.” After that it permitted purchasing a few of the terms for ads.

Google stated it informed advertisers when their ads were offensive and rejected, which not every recommended keywords were qualified for sale.

“In this instance, ads didn’t run against most these keywords, but we didn’t catch each one of these offensive suggestions,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior v . p . of ads, stated inside a statement. “That’s not adequate enough, and we’re not making excuses. We’ve already switched off these suggestions, and then any ads that managed to get through, and can continue to work harder to preclude this from happening again.”

The Daily Animal noted on Friday that Twitter seemed to be allowing individuals to target ads according to some racial slurs. However the greater scrutiny is on Google and facebook, given their sheer size and dominance from the internet marketing business, that can bring each company many vast amounts of dollars in revenue annually.

A week ago, Facebook representatives briefed the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, that are investigating Russian intervention within the election, about ads on the website. The organization told congressional investigators it had identified greater than $100,000 price of ads on hot-button problems that were tracked to a Russian company with links towards the Kremlin.

The ads — about 3,000 of these — centered on divisive topics like gay legal rights, gun control, race and immigration, plus they were associated with 470 fake accounts and pages that Facebook subsequently required lower, based on its chief security guard. Facebook hasn’t released copies from the ads towards the public.

Last fall, Facebook received fire after ProPublica reported that advertisers can use its targeting to exclude certain races, or exactly what the social networking known as “ethnic affinities,” from housing and employment ads, a possible breach from the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and also the Civil Legal rights Act of 1964. Facebook, which assigns the updated term “multicultural affinity” to particular users according to their interests and activities on the website, no more enables so that it is utilized in ads for housing, employment or credit.

These number of issues with advertising make the organization look unprepared to handle power its ad system, stated Benjamin Edelman, an affiliate professor at Harvard Business School.

“They’ve produced a really complicated ad platform — it’s all sorts of options and doodads and things working instantly and by hand, plus they have no idea the things they built,” Professor Edelman stated. “The machine includes a mind of their own.”

Mr. Pariser stated the kinds of targeting reported now designed a strong argument for elevated disclosure from the funding behind political ads online, especially on Facebook. The Government Election Commission voted on Thursday to find public discuss disclosure needs around online political ads, which advocates hope can result in rules requiring more disclaimers revealing who compensated for online content.

“This is drawing a brand new degree of awareness to how targeted advertising may be used to manipulate and affect politics and political conversation with techniques that didn’t was once achievable whatsoever or easy,” Mr. Pariser stated.

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

SAN FRANCISCO — We expect a lot from our computers these days. They should talk to us, recognize everything from faces to flowers, and maybe soon do the driving. All this artificial intelligence requires an enormous amount of computing power, stretching the limits of even the most modern machines.

Now, some of the world’s largest tech companies are taking a cue from biology as they respond to these growing demands. They are rethinking the very nature of computers and are building machines that look more like the human brain, where a central brain stem oversees the nervous system and offloads particular tasks — like hearing and seeing — to the surrounding cortex.

After years of stagnation, the computer is evolving again, and this behind-the-scenes migration to a new kind of machine will have broad and lasting implications. It will allow work on artificially intelligent systems to accelerate, so the dream of machines that can navigate the physical world by themselves can one day come true.

This migration could also diminish the power of Intel, the longtime giant of chip design and manufacturing, and fundamentally remake the $335 billion a year semiconductor industry that sits at the heart of all things tech, from the data centers that drive the internet to your iPhone to the virtual reality headsets and flying drones of tomorrow.

“This is an enormous change,” said John Hennessy, the former Stanford University president who wrote an authoritative book on computer design in the mid-1990s and is now a member of the board at Alphabet, Google’s parent company. “The existing approach is out of steam, and people are trying to re-architect the system.”

The existing approach has had a pretty nice run. For about half a century, computer makers have built systems around a single, do-it-all chip — the central processing unit — from a company like Intel, one of the world’s biggest semiconductor makers. That’s what you’ll find in the middle of your own laptop computer or smartphone.

Now, computer engineers are fashioning more complex systems. Rather than funneling all tasks through one beefy chip made by Intel, newer machines are dividing work into tiny pieces and spreading them among vast farms of simpler, specialized chips that consume less power.

Changes inside Google’s giant data centers are a harbinger of what is to come for the rest of the industry. Inside most of Google’s servers, there is still a central processor. But enormous banks of custom-built chips work alongside them, running the computer algorithms that drive speech recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence.

Google reached this point out of necessity. For years, the company had operated the world’s largest computer network — an empire of data centers and cables that stretched from California to Finland to Singapore. But for one Google researcher, it was much too small.

In 2011, Jeff Dean, one of the company’s most celebrated engineers, led a research team that explored the idea of neural networks — essentially computer algorithms that can learn tasks on their own. They could be useful for a number of things, like recognizing the words spoken into smartphones or the faces in a photograph.

In a matter of months, Mr. Dean and his team built a service that could recognize spoken words far more accurately than Google’s existing service. But there was a catch: If the world’s more than one billion phones that operated on Google’s Android software used the new service just three minutes a day, Mr. Dean realized, Google would have to double its data center capacity in order to support it.

“We need another Google,” Mr. Dean told Urs Hölzle, the Swiss-born computer scientist who oversaw the company’s data center empire, according to someone who attended the meeting. So Mr. Dean proposed an alternative: Google could build its own computer chip just for running this kind of artificial intelligence.

But what began inside data centers is starting to shift other parts of the tech landscape. Over the next few years, companies like Google, Apple and Samsung will build phones with specialized A.I. chips. Microsoft is designing such a chip specifically for an augmented-reality headset. And everyone from Google to Toyota is building autonomous cars that will need similar chips.

This trend toward specialty chips and a new computer architecture could lead to a “Cambrian explosion” of artificial intelligence, said Gill Pratt, who was a program manager at Darpa, a research arm of the United States Department of Defense, and now works on driverless cars at Toyota. As he sees it, machines that spread computations across vast numbers of tiny, low-power chips can operate more like the human brain, which efficiently uses the energy at its disposal.

“In the brain, energy efficiency is the key,” he said during a recent interview at Toyota’s new research center in Silicon Valley.

Change on the Horizon

There are many kinds of silicon chips. There are chips that store information. There are chips that perform basic tasks in toys and televisions. And there are chips that run various processes for computers, from the supercomputers used to create models for global warming to personal computers, internet servers and smartphones.

For years, the central processing units, or C.P.U.s, that ran PCs and similar devices were where the money was. And there had not been much need for change.

In accordance with Moore’s Law, the oft-quoted maxim from Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, the number of transistors on a computer chip had doubled every two years or so, and that provided steadily improved performance for decades. As performance improved, chips consumed about the same amount of power, according to another, lesser-known law of chip design called Dennard scaling, named for the longtime IBM researcher Robert Dennard.

By 2010, however, doubling the number of transistors was taking much longer than Moore’s Law predicted. Dennard’s scaling maxim had also been upended as chip designers ran into the limits of the physical materials they used to build processors. The result: If a company wanted more computing power, it could not just upgrade its processors. It needed more computers, more space and more electricity.

Researchers in industry and academia were working to extend Moore’s Law, exploring entirely new chip materials and design techniques. But Doug Burger, a researcher at Microsoft, had another idea: Rather than rely on the steady evolution of the central processor, as the industry had been doing since the 1960s, why not move some of the load onto specialized chips?

During his Christmas vacation in 2010, Mr. Burger, working with a few other chip researchers inside Microsoft, began exploring new hardware that could accelerate the performance of Bing, the company’s internet search engine.

At the time, Microsoft was just beginning to improve Bing using machine-learning algorithms (neural networks are a type of machine learning) that could improve search results by analyzing the way people used the service. Though these algorithms were less demanding than the neural networks that would later remake the internet, existing chips had trouble keeping up.

Mr. Burger and his team explored several options but eventually settled on something called Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or F.P.G.A.s.: chips that could be reprogrammed for new jobs on the fly. Microsoft builds software, like Windows, that runs on an Intel C.P.U. But such software cannot reprogram the chip, since it is hard-wired to perform only certain tasks.

With an F.P.G.A., Microsoft could change the way the chip works. It could program the chip to be really good at executing particular machine learning algorithms. Then, it could reprogram the chip to be really good at running logic that sends the millions and millions of data packets across its computer network. It was the same chip but it behaved in a different way.

Microsoft started to install the chips en masse in 2015. Now, just about every new server loaded into a Microsoft data center includes one of these programmable chips. They help choose the results when you search Bing, and they help Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing service, shuttle information across its network of underlying machines.

Teaching Computers to Listen

In fall 2016, another team of Microsoft researchers — mirroring the work done by Jeff Dean at Google — built a neural network that could, by one measure at least, recognize spoken words more accurately than the average human could.

Xuedong Huang, a speech-recognition specialist who was born in China, led the effort, and shortly after the team published a paper describing its work, he had dinner in the hills above Palo Alto, Calif., with his old friend Jen-Hsun Huang, (no relation), the chief executive of the chipmaker Nvidia. The men had reason to celebrate, and they toasted with a bottle of champagne.

Xuedong Huang and his fellow Microsoft researchers had trained their speech-recognition service using large numbers of specialty chips supplied by Nvidia, rather than relying heavily on ordinary Intel chips. Their breakthrough would not have been possible had they not made that change.

“We closed the gap with humans in about a year,” Microsoft’s Mr. Huang said. “If we didn’t have the weapon — the infrastructure — it would have taken at least five years.”

Because systems that rely on neural networks can learn largely on their own, they can evolve more quickly than traditional services. They are not as reliant on engineers writing endless lines of code that explain how they should behave.

But there is a wrinkle: Training neural networks this way requires extensive trial and error. To create one that is able to recognize words as well as a human can, researchers must train it repeatedly, tweaking the algorithms and improving the training data over and over. At any given time, this process unfolds over hundreds of algorithms. That requires enormous computing power, and if companies like Microsoft use standard-issue chips to do it, the process takes far too long because the chips cannot handle the load and too much electrical power is consumed.

So, the leading internet companies are now training their neural networks with help from another type of chip called a graphics processing unit, or G.P.U. These low-power chips — usually made by Nvidia — were originally designed to render images for games and other software, and they worked hand-in-hand with the chip — usually made by Intel — at the center of a computer. G.P.U.s can process the math required by neural networks far more efficiently than C.P.U.s.

Nvidia is thriving as a result, and it is now selling large numbers of G.P.U.s to the internet giants of the United States and the biggest online companies around the world, in China most notably. The company’s quarterly revenue from data center sales tripled to $409 million over the past year.

“This is a little like being right there at the beginning of the internet,” Jen-Hsun Huang said in a recent interview. In other words, the tech landscape is changing rapidly, and Nvidia is at the heart of that change.

Creating Specialized Chips

G.P.U.s are the primary vehicles that companies use to teach their neural networks a particular task, but that is only part of the process. Once a neural network is trained for a task, it must perform it, and that requires a different kind of computing power.

After training a speech-recognition algorithm, for example, Microsoft offers it up as an online service, and it actually starts identifying commands that people speak into their smartphones. G.P.U.s are not quite as efficient during this stage of the process. So, many companies are now building chips specifically to do what the other chips have learned.

Google built its own specialty chip, a Tensor Processing Unit, or T.P.U. Nvidia is building a similar chip. And Microsoft has reprogrammed specialized chips from Altera, which was acquired by Intel, so that it too can run neural networks more easily.

Other companies are following suit. Qualcomm, which specializes in chips for smartphones, and a number of start-ups are also working on A.I. chips, hoping to grab their piece of the rapidly expanding market. The tech research firm IDC predicts that revenue from servers equipped with alternative chips will reach $6.8 billion by 2021, about 10 percent of the overall server market.

Across Microsoft’s global network of machines, Mr. Burger pointed out, alternative chips are still a relatively modest part of the operation. And Bart Sano, the vice president of engineering who leads hardware and software development for Google’s network, said much the same about the chips deployed at its data centers.

Mike Mayberry, who leads Intel Labs, played down the shift toward alternative processors, perhaps because Intel controls more than 90 percent of the data-center market, making it by far the largest seller of traditional chips. He said that if central processors were modified the right way, they could handle new tasks without added help.

But this new breed of silicon is spreading rapidly, and Intel is increasingly a company in conflict with itself. It is in some ways denying that the market is changing, but nonetheless shifting its business to keep up with the change.

Two years ago, Intel spent $16.7 billion to acquire Altera, which builds the programmable chips that Microsoft uses. It was Intel’s largest acquisition ever. Last year, the company paid a reported $408 million buying Nervana, a company that was exploring a chip just for executing neural networks. Now, led by the Nervana team, Intel is developing a dedicated chip for training and executing neural networks.

“They have the traditional big-company problem,” said Bill Coughran, a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital who spent nearly a decade helping to oversee Google’s online infrastructure, referring to Intel. “They need to figure out how to move into the new and growing areas without damaging their traditional business.”

Intel’s internal conflict is most apparent when company officials discuss the decline of Moore’s Law. During a recent interview with The New York Times, Naveen Rao, the Nervana founder and now an Intel executive, said Intel could squeeze “a few more years” out of Moore’s Law. Officially, the company’s position is that improvements in traditional chips will continue well into the next decade.

Mr. Mayberry of Intel also argued that the use of additional chips was not new. In the past, he said, computer makers used separate chips for tasks like processing audio.

But now the scope of the trend is significantly larger. And it is changing the market in new ways. Intel is competing not only with chipmakers like Nvidia and Qualcomm, but also with companies like Google and Microsoft.

Google is designing the second generation of its T.P.U. chips. Later this year, the company said, any business or developer that is a customer of its cloud-computing service will be able to use the new chips to run its software.

While this shift is happening mostly inside the massive data centers that underpin the internet, it is probably a matter of time before it permeates the broader industry.

The hope is that this new breed of mobile chip can help devices handle more, and more complex, tasks on their own, without calling back to distant data centers: phones recognizing spoken commands without accessing the internet; driverless cars recognizing the world around them with a speed and accuracy that is not possible now.

In other words, a driverless car needs cameras and radar and lasers. But it also needs a brain.

The greatest trouble with Soft Brexit is the fact that it isn’t attainable

In the very first of two extracts using their new book, Liam Halligan and Gerard Lyons repeat the generally held thought that Britain are the best off within the single market and customs union is misconceived

There’s been much talk of “Hard Brexit” versus “Soft Brexit”. Such labels are ubiquitous over these Article 50 negotiations – used freely through the broadcast media – yet they’re partisan and deeply misleading. Hard Brexit makes departing the Eu seem extreme and damaging, suggesting isola­tion along with a bleak economic future. Soft Brexit, on the other hand, conveys an appropriate, ongoing relationship using the EU, with Britain still “part from the club”.

Departing the only market and also the customs union is easy Brexit – whether or not the name is deliberately created to seem painful. It’s just Brexit. Remaining within the EU’s two primary legal constructs, meanwhile, isn’t a harmonious Soft Brexit. It amounts, rather, to some deliberate and cynical failure to apply the 2016 referendum result.

Government wins vote on EU Withdrawal BillGovernment wins election on EU Withdrawal Bill 00:42

A political narrative is promoting that Britain would clearly be much better off remaining within the single market and customs union. As a result, anybody attempting to really implement Brexit, by departing both, is viewed to become obsessed just with sovereignty and immigration – and eager for that economy to suffer, as lengthy because they obtain way.

Remaining part of the only market and/or even the customs union, in comparison, is presented being an enlightened “Soft Brexit” compromise, an account balance between your Leave side’s “hard” ide­ology and turn into campaigners’ good sense. Fundamental essentials the UK’s Brexit debate, as viewed by a lot of our political and media class once we go into the fall of 2017 which EU negotiations warm up. Yet they’re wrong on every level.

Soft-headed

Many Parliamentarians say they “respect the referendum result” but want “Soft Brexit”. Trying to negotiate this kind of outcome, though, would seriously damage the United kingdom, the EU and also the vital ongoing relationship together.

Soft Brexit could leave Britain inside a harmful midway house. Within the single market, the United kingdom would be a “rule-taker” – still susceptible to rulings from the highly politicised European Court of Justice. We’d be bound by huge limitations on the economic and political freedom, but unable to election on or influence individuals rules, even when these were altered to Britain’s disadvantage.

And, obviously, single market membership means ongoing multi-billion pound annual payments to The city and “freedom of movement”. This isn’t Brexit ­­– and could be viewed by countless voters being an affront towards the referendum result.

The economic advantages of single market “membership” are, anyway, extremely overstated and might be negative. Membership means all United kingdom firms – such as the 95pc that do not export towards the EU – must adhere to frequently unnecessary and costly EU rules. Also, the only market in services barely exists, despite much rhetoric on the contrary. Many EU nations won’t drop barriers to imports of certain services – which seriously penalises the United kingdom, the world’s second-largest services exporter.

Pm Theresa May Credit: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

We don’t have to be “in” the only sell to do business with the EU. The United States conducted almost one fourth of the trillion dollars of EU exchange 2016 from outdoors – without accepting ECJ jurisdiction, freedom of motion or making large annual payments. The United kingdom can perform exactly the same. If Britain cuts an EU free-trade agreement, tariff-free trade can continue.

Otherwise, we are able to do business with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, having to pay relatively low tariffs – along with the united states, China, Japan and each other major non-EU economy.

Since 1999, the proportion of United kingdom do business with the EU has fallen from 61pc to simply over 40pc. When the single marketplace is so great for that United kingdom, so why do we trade less using the EU compared to all of those other world? Exactly why is our EU trade shrinking and our non-EU trade expanding? So why do there exists a large deficit on the EU trade, however a significant surplus on the trade outdoors the EU?

Being within the EU’s customs union can also be wrongly presented as economic nirvana. Membership means the United kingdom must charge tariffs on non-EU goods. So British shoppers are having to pay more for a variety of imports, including food, frequently to defend uncompetitive producers in other EU states from cheaper global prices.

And since 80pc of those tariffs are delivered to The city, and also the United kingdom does more non-EU trade than every other EU member, Britain makes up about an unfairly high share from the EU’s combined tariff revenues. Again, this burden is shouldered by consumers.

The United kingdom does more non-EU trade than every other EU member Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Customs union membership also prevents Britain from striking trade handles nations outdoors the EU – countries comprising four-fifths from the global economy. This can be a serious disadvantage for that United kingdom, given our deep cultural and historic links with a multitude of nations. Because the global center of economy gravity shifts decisively east, it is essential for that our future success that Britain engages more using the world’s fastest-growing and many populous markets.

Outdoors the customs union, the United kingdom is not area of the EU’s trade handles various nations – frequently presented like a huge sacrifice. Within the six decades because the EU began, though, The city has unsuccessful to chop an offer with the world’s top economies. The EU doesn’t have trade agreement using the US, China, India or Japan. (The current, very preliminary agreement with Tokyo, japan was nothing more than an announcement). The EU’s 50 approximately trade deals cover under 10pc from the global economy, being mostly with small countries.

The EU isn’t in a position to barter trade contracts, containing numerous member states, frequently with conflicting objectives. The deals it’s struck also have generally preferred French farming and German manufacturing exports, instead of United kingdom services. Nations acting alone – for example Europe, Singapore and Columbia – have guaranteed much more important trade deals, covering an even bigger share from the global economy, than has got the EU.

In 2013, Europe struck a trade cope with China after 3 years of talks – the United kingdom can perform exactly the same. Not even close to being “at the rear of the queue”, Britain is well-placed to achieve a contract using the US. And India has proven curiousity about a United kingdom trade deal. The significant nations which do have EU trade contracts – including Mexico, Nigeria and Columbia – also have indicated they need United kingdom-equivalent contracts, supplying an chance for Britain to change existing contracts to the advantage.

Chopper's Brexit Podcast Episode 21Chopper’s Brexit Podcast Episode 21 46:09

While Soft Brexit is frequently presented as liberal and progressive, the only market promotes the interests of producers over consumers while entrenching the benefits of large corporations – that are much better able than smaller sized rivals to handle complex regulation. Freedom of motion rules provide big firms having a ready stream of cheap, easily exploitable work, while suppressing the wages from the UK’s most financially insecure workers. The only market also facilitates large-scale corporate tax avoidance.

The customs union, meanwhile, is really a bad deal for United kingdom consumers. On the top of this, the EU’s tariff wall, particularly on farming goods, combined with ghastly Common Farming Policy, seriously hinders the introduction of most of the world’s poorest countries.

Possibly the greatest trouble with Soft Brexit is it is unobtainable. In December 2016, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier stated: “The single market and it is four freedoms are indivisible – cherry-picking isn’t an option.” Yet this is exactly what the Soft Brexiteers try, breaching EU rules by seeking single market membership plus a special dispensation from freedom of motion that not one other country has.

That is why “Soft Brexit” will really finish up being “Messy Brexit”. Pushing with this outcome puts the United kingdom in direct and absolute conflict using the EU’s core concepts – which, if seriously breached, could tear the bloc apart, as others demand exactly the same deal. Probably the most likely Soft Brexit outcome will be a diplomatic stand-off, together with chronic uncertainty for citizens, investors and companies, risking serious economic and political damage.

A professional-Brexit demonstration outdoors parliament Credit: Charlotte now Ball/PA Wire

In late This summer 2017, this time is made with devastating clearness by Fabian Zuleeg, an insurance policy analyst carefully from the European Commission.

“What is missing during these discussions is indeed a appreciation from the view from sleep issues from the Funnel,” stated Zuleeg. “Allowing cherry-picking of advantages would behave as an indication to other people that the Europe à la carte is accessible, opening the Pandora’s box of disintegration.”

That’s why Theresa May did the best factor in her own Lancaster House speech in The month of january 2017 – confirming in the start that Britain really wants to leave both single market and customs union. We refer to this as approach “Clean Brexit”.

This enables the United kingdom rapidly to seize control of sensitive issues associated with our borders, laws and regulations and trade – because we’re not negotiating over such issues inside a bid to remain inside any EU legal construct. Knowing we are outdoors both single market and customs union in the start also gives Britain time for you to prepare in front of March 2019 whenever we leave the EU – creating new facilities for mix-Funnel customs clearance, for example.

By staying away from cherry-picking, Clean Brexit is much better for Britain, the EU as well as their broader relationship – using the United kingdom not attempting to upend EU rules, growing the likelihood of ongoing United kingdom-EU co-operation across a variety of headings. Soft Brexit, in comparison, trying to downside single market membership against freedom of motion rules, would maximise “cliff-edge” dangers and business uncertainty – and could cause a disastrous diplomatic stalemate, while risking a systemic crisis.

A powerful hands

Despite prevalent negativity, the United kingdom includes a strong hands to experience during these Article 50 negotiations. Our £69bn EU trade deficit represents profits and jobs across thousands of EU firms. Germany ran a United kingdom goods surplus of £32bn in 2016. Effective business interests cash to get rid of if Britain imposes tariffs on such exports. The BDI German employers’ union states it might be “very, very foolish” for that EU to impose high trade barriers from the United kingdom. BDI represents around 100,000 companies, employing one fifth from the workforce.

France may also be portrayed as attempting to “punish” the United kingdom for departing the EU. President Macron has described Brexit like a “crime”, vowing to consider an uncompromising method of deter other member states from “killing the ecu idea”. Yet, for French maqui berry farmers and winemakers, the United kingdom is a big market. Numerous French firms, and also the French government itself, have strong commercial interests in great britan, with investments across sectors including transport, automotive manufacturing and nuclear power. Holland may also desire a zero-tariff cope with Britain so Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, remains a United kingdom trade hub.

While European president Jean-Claude Juncker beats his chest and issues fiery rhet­oric, influential business groups are going to limit trade limitations between your United kingdom and also the Continent. By declaring Clean Brexit, maintaining we’ll be outdoors the only market and also the customs union, Britain advantages of effective EU business lobbies advocating their governments to strike a favourable United kingdom trade deal, know­ing they’ll otherwise face reciprocated WTO tariffs.

European president Jean-Claude Juncker Credit: Environmental protection agency/OLIVIER HOSLET

Ideally, the United kingdom will agree what Theresa May has referred to as a “deep and comprehensive” EU free trade deal throughout the Article 50 period. Yet, settling an intricate, multi-sector agreement with 27 governments, which must then be ratified by national parliaments and also the European parliament, is most likely impossible in front of March 2019. That is why the United kingdom must prepare to trade under WTO rules, reoccupying our seat in the Geneva-based trade court and adopting our very own tariff schedules.

Trading under WTO rules is frequently portrayed like a disaster. Yet most trade around the world is carried out largely under WTO rules. The United States along with other leading economies do business with the EU about this basis, with every side having to pay tariffs which are generally really low. As a result, it’s in no way required for the United kingdom to strike a totally free-trade agreement using the EU in front of March 2019. Neglecting to grasp this comes down to a significant proper error.

“No deal really is preferable to a poor deal.” The United kingdom should condition this clearly and frequently. “No deal” only denotes we don’t strike an EU free trade agreement before March 2019 – which really brings benefits. Under “no deal”, Britain’s EU trade deficit would generate substantial internet tariff revenues, that could be employed to compensate United kingdom exporters.

More essentially, negotiating facing a tough deadline means the relation to any resulting agreement, which we have to accept for a long time, could be far worse than the usual deal settled under a shorter period pressure – when the Article 50 deadline has transpired. Unless of course “no deal” is viewed as a possible option, though, britain’s negotiating hands is going to be seriously undermined – so that all formulations should be made how to trade under WTO rules.

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WTO rules are portrayed as “crashing from the EU” to pressure the United kingdom to simply accept an unfavourable trade deal before Article 50 expires. Yet “no deal” is definitely an entirely coherent position and acceptable outcome for Britain. Buying and selling under WTO rules will give you a platform to strike a much better lengthy-term EU trade agreement, on the terms as well as in our very own time, after Brexit has happened. The EU has more incentive to achieve that than Britain, given its large United kingdom trade surplus.

Accepting “no deal” on trade is totally different from “just walking away” – meaning neglecting to settle administrative issues like the mutual recognition contracts on products which facilitate trade. Nobody is promoting this. It’s unthinkable that existing and uncontroversial EU protocols granted to numerous other non-EU people wouldn’t affect the United kingdom, most famously once we leave the EU fully compliant. For The city to deny Britain such legal rights would breach both WTO and EU law, while incensing EU companies and voters by threatening vast amounts of euros of profit and numerous EU jobs.

The United kingdom will, obviously, still trade and collaborate using the EU ex­tensively after Brexit. Complaints that we’re “cutting ourselves off” or “pulling in the drawbridge” are infantile and absurd. Having a hung parliament, though, and also the Conservatives vulnerable within the Commons and also the Lords, the Soft Brexiteers sense this really is their moment.

Not even close to “respecting the referendum result”, they’re promoting an unobtainable outcome and sowing parliamentary chaos. Their purpose is certainly not under to turn back June 2016 referendum and, by doing this, topple the federal government.

‘Clean Brexit – Steps to make successful of departing the EU’ by Liam Halligan and Gerard Lyons is printed by Biteback Publishing at £20.00. To buy your copy visit books.telegraph.co.united kingdom