David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Fitbit aims to topple smartwatch kings with feature-packed Ionic

    This article by David Nield for New Atlas may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Fitbit is having another crack at taking on the likes of Apple, Garmin, and LG with its newly unveiled Ionic smartwatch. The wearable packs in a bunch of tracking sensors, plus some useful extras like mobile payments, to make it the most advanced device yet to appear from the Fitbit stable.

    Fitbit is describing the Ionic as the company's "first ever smartwatch," which we find a little confusing as it launched the Fitbit Blaze last year, another device that straps around the wrist to tell the time and monitor various health and fitness metrics. Is that not also what you would describe as a smartwatch?

    Perhaps Fitbit just wants us to forget the Blaze ever happened, and whatever the nomenclature, the Ionic looks like being an upgrade in every department. What does distinguish it from its predecessor is support for third-party apps, so developers outside of Fitbit can build their own apps for the device. 

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    Draghi Says Protectionism Is a Threat to Global Economic Growth

    This article by Alessandro Speciale for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The euro extended its gains, as some investors had hoped Draghi would try to talk down the single currency amid fears it’ll undermine the euro-area recovery. The single currency had already climbed to the highest level against the dollar since January 2015, and was up 1 percent at $1.1923 at 3:24 p.m. in New York.

    The ECB chief also eschewed any comments that could be seen as prejudging the outcome of the Sept. 7 Governing Council meeting, when policy makers are planning to review their unconventional stimulus policies against the backdrop of strong growth but still-subdued inflation

     

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    Macron Tells Poland It's Headed for the 'Margins' of Europe

    This article by Mark Deen and Marek Strzelecki for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is section: 

    The specific issue being discussed is the use of “detached” or “posted” workers. Those employees typically are brought from low-wage eastern European countries to higher-cost ones such as France or Austria to perform tasks that would be more expensive to hire for locally.

    There are an estimated 300,000 such workers in France. For employers, the advantages are obvious. The minimum wage in France is about 1,480 euros ($1,740) a month. In Poland, it’s about 450 euros.

    Macron wants to reduce the length of working stays to one year in every two and increase cooperation to ensure that minimum wage and social charges are applied through cooperation between EU governments. He is seeking an agreement on the matter at an EU summit in October and said in Varna that he is confident an accord can be reached by year-end. The decision requires only a qualified majority of EU countries.

     

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    World's Cheapest Currency Has Goldman and BlueBay on Its Side

    This article by Constantine Courcoulas for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

     

    Appetite for lira assets remains strong among foreign investors chasing higher returns. The currency is the highest yielding among major liquid emerging markets, and when adjusted for volatility pays almost twice as much as the runner up, the Mexican peso.

    Offshore funds bought a net $5.4 billion worth of local currency government bonds this year, the most for the period since 2013. They also bought a net $3 billion of the nation’s stocks, helping fuel a 40 percent rally that pushed the benchmark stock index to a record high.

    Expectations that inflation will slow as the central bank holds funding costs at near a six-year high are fueling interest in the nation’s debt and helping the currency too, said Werner Gey van Pittius, the London-based co-head of emerging-market debt at Investec Asset Management Ltd.

    “The central bank is doing the right thing,” he said. “We are positive on lira.”

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    Dear iPhone: Here's Why We're Still Together After 10 Years

    This article by Brian X.Chen for the New York Times may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

     

    Many eyes are now on Apple’s 10th anniversary event for the iPhone, which is expected to be held next month. There, Apple is set to introduce major upgrades for the next iPhones, which could stoke our appetites again for the gadget. Or not.

    Chief among the changes for the new iPhones: refreshed versions, including a premium model priced at around $999, according to people briefed on the product, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Apple made room for a bigger screen on that model by reducing the size of the bezel — or the forehead and the chin — on the face of the device. Other new features include facial recognition for unlocking the device, along with the ability to charge it with magnetic induction, the people said.

    Here’s a look back at the last 10 years of why the iPhone still has us in its grip — so much that people keep coming back for more.

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    Thorium salt reactor experiments resume after 40 years

    This article by David Szondy for Newatlas.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

     

    Working in cooperation with the European Commission Laboratory Joint Research Center, NRG's SALt Irradiation ExperimeNT (SALIENT) is a multi-stage experiment aimed at turning Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSR) into an industrial scale energy source with commercial possibilities.

    According to advocacy group Thorium Energy World, the first phase of the experiment is focusing on removing the noble metals produced by the thorium fuel cycle. That is, the metals created in the steps in the nuclear fission process where the thorium transmutes into uranium before splitting to give off energy.

    Once this has been achieved, the next step will be to determine how well commonplace materials used in the construction of TSRMs stand up to the corrosive high-temperature salt mixture or to find alternatives to keep down maintenance and operation costs. These might include an alloy of nickel called hastelloy, or Titanium-Zirconium-Molybdenum (TZM alloy

    The ultimate goal is to create TMSRs that are modular and scalable to meet local energy demand, yet provides 24-hour power that is available year round. In addition, using molten salts mean that refueling can take place while the reactor is still in operation, drastically reducing downtimes.

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