Business

COVID: why working from home leaves the lowest paid at more risk of infection

Taking orders. Shutterstock/PattyPhoto Helen Collins, Liverpool John Moores University; Patricia Jolliffe, Liverpool John Moores University, and Susan Helen Barry, Liverpool John Moores University The latest directive from the UK government that people should work from home has led to concerns about the impact on businesses in the run up to Christmas. But it is also likely to have a devastating …

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We invited an AI to debate its own ethics in the Oxford Union – what it said was startling

‘51 million wiki pages down, 3 million to go …’ Allies Interactive Dr Alex Connock, University of Oxford and Professor Andrew Stephen, University of Oxford Not a day passes without a fascinating snippet on the ethical challenges created by “black box” artificial intelligence systems. These use machine learning to figure out patterns within data and make decisions – often without …

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China’s long-term problems are forcing it to rethink the whole economy

Stuck in first gear. Yannes Kiefer/Unsplash Kent Matthews, Cardiff University The People’s Bank of China is encouraging Chinese banks to lend more to businesses and consumers by cutting the proportion of deposits that they have to hold as reserves by 0.5 percentage points to an average of 8.4% from December 15. It follows a similar cut in July, and is …

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The thousands of vulnerable people harmed by Facebook and Instagram are lost in Meta’s ‘average user’ data

Mark Zuckerberg’s company says the kids are all right, but the data it presents is only about how the average social media user is doing. AP Photo/Eric Risberg Joseph Bak-Coleman, University of Washington Fall 2021 has been filled with a steady stream of media coverage arguing that Meta’s Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram social media platforms pose a threat to users’ …

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The euro is plunging – and probably won’t bounce back soon

E as in ebbing. kentoh/Shutterstock Keith Pilbeam, City, University of London The euro has weakened against the US dollar since the beginning of 2021, from around US$1.23 to its current exchange rate of US$1.13. That’s a fall of about 9%, which is significant, especially since these are the two major currencies of the world. The drop has also intensified in …

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Newcastle United: buying a football club can still be lucrative – with the right business tactics

Shutterstock/Michael715 Christina Philippou, University of Portsmouth Many Newcastle United fans cheered the announcement on October 7 that their club had finally been sold for £305 million. The sale, to a consortium headed up by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, adds to a long list of clubs bought by the mega-rich, including Manchester City (owned by Sheikh Mansour), Arsenal (Stan Kroenke) …

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How to turn confrontation about Africa’s biggest hydropower dam to cooperation

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia. Photo by Gallo Images/Orbital Horizon/Copernicus Sentinel Data 2020 Hisham Eldardiry, University of Washington Since Ethiopia announced the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011, there have been disagreements between Egypt and Ethiopia on the filling and operation of the dam. With turbines of about 5100 MW it has more than two …

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Paella given official cultural recognition – what this new status means for the iconic dish

Elena Eryomenko / Shutterstock Enrico Bonadio, City, University of London and Magali Contardi, Universidad de Alicante Paella – the iconic Valencian rice dish made with fish, meat or vegetables – has been officially recognised for its cultural importance. In October, the local government in the Valencia region of Spain declared paella an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest. The decree of …

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