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Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy

Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy

Should people be off on Fridays? 1 February 2013Last updated at 01:13 GMT By Vanessa Barford BBC News Magazine The Gambia has shortened the work week, making Friday a day of rest. Is this the perfect pattern for a working week? In the tiny African nation of The Gambia, public sector workers will now clock in at 8am and clock out at 6pm, Monday to Thursday. They'll still do a 40-hour week but have the luxury of Friday off. President Jammeh wants the extra rest day to "allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture". In the dark days of the 19th Century, many workers in industrialised nations considered themselves lucky if they got Sunday off. But some have tried to go further. In 2008, about 17,000 government officials in the US state of Utah started working four 10-hour days in a bid to cut costs. Other US states have also toyed with the idea. A four-day week for the good of the country? But what is the ideal working week, and could the four-day week become more widespread?

Rumour research can douse digital wildfires The metaphor ‘digital wildfire’ — one of numerous threats to society identified this week by the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks report — is well chosen. The image highlights the risks of the rapid spread of uncontrollable and destructive information — risks that are made possible by an ever-growing worldwide web of communication channels. Many digital wildfires start as rumours, and social psychologists have long studied how rumours spread. The results of this research can therefore help in the prevention of and response to digital wildfires. Why is this important? Research on rumour has come up with four concepts that may be applicable to digital wildfires: motivation, situation, narrative context and trust. The spreading of rumours is an act of goal-oriented communication, often motivated by a desire to find out whether they are true. Situation matters, too. The most powerful ingredient, however, could be trust. “Greater trust dampens perceptions of threat.”

Talented People Leave Great Britain 2013 January 27 Sunday Talented People Leave Great Britain Brain drain from Britain. Office for National Statistics figures obtained by Mr de Bois show that in the ten years to 2011, a total of 3,599,000 people permanently left the UK. A small percentage were retirees. The Labour Party's leader apologizes for being too easy on immigrants. Ed Miliband has suggested he could limit foreigners’ rights to benefits in the UK as he apologised for Labour’s failures on immigration. It is very reasonable and entirely moral to want to regulate who gets to immigrate into a country. America's immigration policy is unlikely to improve. Return to your ancestors country of origins and defend it against liberalism/leftism. The US is sure to follow. Switzerland isn't as good as it used to be. Randall, The Brits emigration issue has been going on for years, and the remnants of the old Empire (the Anglosphere) are the recipients of such talent. @Horspool - Sorry to hear about Switzerland. Or boring. Black Death,

Is Inequality Holding Back Economic Recovery? Is Inequality Holding Back Economic Recovery? Left-leaning economist Joseph Stiglitz has an opinion piece in the New York Times: Inequality Is Holding Back the Recovery. You might scoff at this argument. But it just dawned on me: He's right at a very high level. What holds us back? An unfair inequality of ability. So I have a complaint for Barack Obama: Why haven't you closed the IQ gap by boosting everyone up to 140 IQ? He's probably right in a strictly numerical sense, too.

China to push compulsory insurance for polluting industries Peer-to-peer rental: The rise of the sharing economy LAST night 40,000 people rented accommodation from a service that offers 250,000 rooms in 30,000 cities in 192 countries. They chose their rooms and paid for everything online. But their beds were provided by private individuals, rather than a hotel chain. You might think this is no different from running a bed-and-breakfast, owning a timeshare or participating in a car pool. What’s mine is yours, for a fee Just as peer-to-peer businesses like eBay allow anyone to become a retailer, sharing sites let individuals act as an ad hoc taxi service, car-hire firm or boutique hotel as and when it suits them. Rachel Botsman, the author of a book on the subject, says the consumer peer-to-peer rental market alone is worth $26 billion. Such “collaborative consumption” is a good thing for several reasons. For sociable souls, meeting new people by staying in their homes is part of the charm. Peering into the future Incumbents are getting involved too.

Volvo: 'Car trains will happen' Road trains will be a feature on Europe’s roads by the end of the decade, according to Volvo’s senior safety engineer. Thomas Broberg said closed-road trials had already successfully got two cars attached to a road train and revealed that Volvo will be conducting field trials in Sweden by the end of the year. Road trains feature a lead vehicle setting a pace on motorways that other cars can communicate with and connect to, leaving the speed and steering to the lead vehicle. Small fees are likely to be paid to the lead vehicle, said Broberg. “Road trains allow a driver to use their time better, drive safer, reduce congestion and improve the environment,” he said. Read more on road train technology Broberg believes road trains are a step towards fully autonomous cars, technology that Volvo is also researching. He conceded there were legal and social issues surrounding road trains and autonomous vehicles, but added: “Until you try it, you cannot grasp these issues.” Mark Tisshaw

Horse "Passports" Proposed in Europe as Meat Scandal Gallops On As the horsemeat-dressed-as-beef scandal continues to rock Europe's food industry, a number of organizations are calling on stricter European regulation, including an EU-wide horse passport register. The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) said creating a centralised record of horse passports would prevent the issuance of duplicate passports, thereby curbing the risk that horses banned from slaughter enter the food chain. There is no evidence that eating horsemeat in itself poses any health risk, but veterinarians give horses drugs which are banned from human consumption. "A main reason for deciding to exclude a horse from being consumed as food is that this allows the animal to be treated with a wider range of veterinary products", the group said in a statement. Following tests, the UK's Food Standards Agency found traces of the drug phenylbutanzone, or bute, in eight dead horses, three of which may have entered the food chain in France. Horses in their stalls via Shutterstock.