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楼主:千龙助手 时间:2019年09月16日 00:16:22 点击:0 回复:0
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Last week, Jack Ma called for a new “e-WTO” with the aim of helping small businesses get on the Internet, as the best hope in the fight against poverty. This appeal came after Alibaba’s largest ever “Singles Day” a week earlier, with almost US.3bn of merchandise sold in 24 hours. Alibaba’s social media accounts even reported that Premier Li Keqiang called CEO Jack Ma to wish him a successful day. “Singles Day” is now the world’s largest shopping day,dwarfing even the ed States’ “Black Friday.”不久前,马云(Jack Ma)呼吁建立一个新的、旨在帮助小企业利用互联网的“电子世贸组织”(e-WTO),并将此作为消除贫困的最大希望所在。马云发出此番呼吁一周之前,阿里巴巴(Alibaba)在“光棍节”(Singles Day)当天24小时内销售了创历史新高的近143亿美元的商品。阿里巴巴的社交媒体账户甚至宣称,中国总理李克强也致电马云,预祝“双十一”取得成功。“光棍节”如今已成为世界规模最大的购物狂欢节,甚至连美国的“黑色星期五”(Black Friday)都相形见绌。These are the latest manifestations of a worrying obsession with e-commerce and the Internet in Asia’s largest economies. In March, Beijing announced its new “Internet Plus” plan to expand Internet connectivity. Premier Li, when describing it, brought up the “mobile Internet”, “cloud computing”, “big data”, “intelligent manufacturing” and the “Internet of Things,” in a manner similar to business leaders in America. Nor is this digital obsession restricted to China. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s headquarters received as much, if not more, media attention as his address on sustainable development to the ed Nations days earlier.From the almost breathless manner in which business leaders use words like “innovation”, “the sharing economy” and “maker spaces”, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish real analysis from wild speculation when talking about the Internet and e-commerce. The assertion is that digital expansion would allow countries to skip entire stages of development, such as investing in real infrastructure, preventing life-threatening pollution, managing resources carefully, and installing value systems in an increasingly ethically-challenged world. What the focus on e-commerce actually represents is the continued inability of the developing world to free itself from Western ideas about models for economic growth and definitions of modernity.这是亚洲大型经济体令人担忧地醉心于电子商务和互联网的最新表现。今年3月,中国政府宣布了新的“互联网+”(Internet Plus)计划,目的是扩大网络连通性。在描绘这一计划时,李克强总理以近似于美国商界领袖的方式提及了“移动互联网”、“云计算”、“大数据”、“智能制造”以及“物联网”等概念。这种对数字化的痴迷并不仅限于中国。印度总理纳伦德拉莫迪(Narendra Modi)在Facebook总部与马克丠克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)的会面,受到的媒体关注与他在联合国就可持续发展议题发表演讲时一样多——如果不是更多的话。在谈到互联网与电子商务时,从商业领袖嘴里不停冒出的“创新”、“分享经济”和“创客空间”中,有时很难分辨出是真正的分析还是疯狂的投机。有断言称,数字化扩张将使各国能够将一些发展阶段完全跳过——如对实体基础设施进行投资,防止危及生存的污染,审慎管理资源以及在道德日益遭到挑战的世界确立价值体系。对电子商务的关注实际上体现出,发展中国家一直不能摆脱西方关于经济增长模式的理念及对现代性的定义。The claim that the Internet will fundamentally transform development is unproven and untested. What is clear is that the Internet makes consumption easier, faster and more expansive than ever before. Analysts have thus looked to e-commerce and China’s Internet giants to help “save” China’s economic model from slowing down.互联网将从根本上改变发展模式的断言既未经实,也未经检验。当下明显的是,互联网使消费变得比以往任何时候更容易、更快、更无所不包。因此,分析师们开始指望电子商务以及中国的互联网巨头帮助“拯救”中国的经济模式免于陷入增长放缓。However, this is the last thing China and other developing countries need. The reality is that e-commerce reduces the private costs of consumption, but little, if anything, to reduce its overall social cost. Now, billions of locally-produced products have a massive carbon footprint, as they transported across large distances to faraway customers at a time when we need to be reducing our carbon emissions. In addition, internet retail relies on a growing global addiction to wasteful impulse-buying as driver of its business model —“Singles Day” and “Cyber Monday” are testament to that.但是,这是中国及其他发展中国家最不需要做的事。现实情况是,电子商务降低了消费行为的私人成本,但很少、甚至根本没有减少消费的整体社会成本。如今,正当我们需要减少碳排放之际,数十亿计地方制造的产品在跨越千里送到遥远的消费者手中的同时也产生了巨大的碳足迹。此外,网络零售依靠全球越来越着迷于浪费性冲动购物作为此种商业模式的推动力——“双十一”和“网络星期一”(Cyber Monday)即为明。Thus, e-commerce increases the divergence between what the individual pays and what society suffers. If one accepts that our economic model thrives on under-pricing goods and services to promote relentless consumption by externalising its true cost (such as greenhouse gases and carbon emissions), then e-commerce, by making goods cheaper, worsens the economy’s market failure. This will only lead to greater costs being placed on the majority due to the external costs central to underpriced consumption. The institutions society depends upon to draw the balance between consumption, protection and conservation—be they governments, watchdogs or international agencies—are put under enormous pressure as production and consumption become far easier and faster through the Internet.因此,电子商务加剧了个人出与社会成本之间的不平衡。如果人们接受并认为,我们的经济模式要依靠定价偏低的商品与务实现繁荣,而后者又通过将自身真实成本(如温室气体和碳排放)外部化来推动疯狂消费,那么电子商务就通过降低商品价格加剧了市场经济失灵。这只会让大多数人被迫承担更大的成本,因为价格偏低的消费的核心就是造成外部成本。随着互联网使得生产与消费变得更便捷、更迅速,社会所依赖的在消费、环境保护与节约之间保持平衡的机构——不论是政府、监管机构,还是国际机构——均面临巨大压力。The truth is that the ability to access Facebook or Alibaba is simply not a priority for a majority that has yet to fulfil their basic needs. How would “the Internet of Things” lead to real development outcomes for the global poor? How would the majority gain access to the rights of life—food, water, sanitation, healthcare, education—through e-commerce?事实是,能够访问Facebook或阿里巴巴对于大多数仍未满足自身基本需求的人而言根本不重要。“物联网”如何为全球贫困人口带来真正的发展成果?多数人又如何通过电子商务获得包括食物、水、卫生、医疗、教育在内的生命权?Hoping that the Internet, by supposedly unleashing consumption and entrepreneurship, will help the poor is merely another example of wishful economic thinking: where helping those at the top would hopefully trickle down to the poor. Even in the ed States, with its decade-long head start in digital connectivity, it has yet to be seen how e-commerce helps the lives of the unemployed and the working classes—if anything, it has taken jobs away. Part of the savings from e-commerce has come at the expense of labour, by providing fewer jobs with less job security and fewer benefits than traditional employment. This is not a model to be repeated in the developing world where millions are looking for a decent job and still lack secure access to basic needs as well as the social safety nets meant to be provided by the state.期待互联网——通过所谓释放消费和创业精神——能帮助穷人只是又一种一厢情愿的经济思维:顶层富人受益的同时可能向穷人下渗一些好处。即使在数字化连接领域领先了10年的美国,也尚未看到电子商务对失业者和工薪阶层的生活有什么帮助——如果说有什么影响的话,也是夺走了就业机会。电子商务带来的部分收益是以牺牲劳动者权益为代价的,因为其提供的工作岗位比起传统就业更少,工作保障和收入也更少。这并非发展中世界应该效仿的模式,发展中国家仍有数以百万计的人口正在寻找体面的工作,仍缺乏满足基本需求的有保障途径,而且本应由国家提供的社会保障网也不完善。To be fair to China, Beijing has yet to reveal the full details of the “Internet Plus” plan or its significance in its future development program. Over the next five years, China is currently predicted to spend about Rmb2tn, or 3bn, on the Internet — a large amount, to be sure, but dwarfed by the Rmb17tn, or .6tn, that China will spend on environmental protection.公平而言,北京方面尚未透露“互联网+”计划的全部细节或在其未来发展规划中的重要性。目前预计中国未来五年将在互联网领域投入约2万亿元人民币(合3130亿美元)——可以肯定,这是一笔巨额投入,但与中国将在环境保护上出的17万亿元人民币(约合2.6万亿美元)相比就很小了。However, the risk remains that Chinawill be distracted by a lop-sided view of the economic benefits of e-commerce. This risk is not limited to China. Prime Minister Modi has called for a national fibre optic network and pledged the construction of hundreds of “smart cities.” These goals seem outlandish given the very real development issues that plague India, such as the lack of consistent and adequate access to adequate sanitation and clean water. Funding the pipes that would carry the latter rather than optic cables would certainly make a great deal of sense, yet it is only the investment in Internet connectivity that attracts the attention and interest of politicians and investors.然而,风险依然存在:关于电子商务经济效益的片面观点将分散中国决策者的注意力。这种风险不仅存在于中国。印度总理莫迪曾呼吁建立全国光纤网络,并宣称要建设数百个“智能城市”。考虑到困扰印度的众多现实发展问题——如缺乏卫生设施和清洁水的持续充足供应,这些目标显得格格不入。显然,投资于输送清洁水的管道、而非光缆才是极为合理的,然而,只有网络连接方面的投资才能吸引政界人士和投资者的注意与兴趣。The issues faced by China, Indiaand the developing world have no precedent in human history, and seeking solutions via archaic economic models and technology fads is sheer folly. Their economic development has aly led to huge environmental degradation: China’s official news agencies now use the term “doomsday” to describe air pollution.中印以及整个发展中世界所面临的问题在人类历史上没有先例,通过过时的经济模型和技术风潮寻求解决方案绝对是愚蠢的。这些国家的经济发展已经带来了大范围的环境退化:中国官方新闻机构如今用“世界末日”一词来形容国内的空气污染。Billions of poor have yet to have their basic needs met, let alone share in prosperity. These are the people that those involved in “maker spaces” or “the sharing economy” conveniently ignore. After all, the poor don’t have anything to share in what so far is an “un-sharing” global economy typified by widening economic disparities. The Internet will surely not solve these problems, and more free-riding consumption is the last thingChina orIndia needs. Using the Internet as a crutch must not distract from the tough work of development.数十亿计的贫困人口仍未能满足自身的基本需求,更不用说共享繁荣。他们就是被那些参与“创客空间”或“共享经济”的人轻易忽视的群体。毕竟,在迄今仍为“非共享”且发展差距日益扩大的全球经济中,穷人没有什么可供分享。互联网必然无法解决这些问题,更多的搭便车式消费是中国和印度最不需要的。利用互联网作为拐杖不能影响为发展所要付出的艰难努力。By extension, China and India must have “dreams” that are bigger than the Internet. They need to take the lead in figuring out a new model of development for the 21stCentury that intelligently leverages science and technology, but without being seduced by musings about e-commerce that mask deep structural flaws of current economic models. Resolving those pressing issues should be the real “innovation” that lies at the heart of any development program.更进一步而言,中国和印度必须有比拥抱互联网更大的“梦想”。他们需要带头为21世纪找到一种新的发展模式——智慧地利用科学技术,同时不能因迷恋掩盖了当前经济模式深层次结构缺陷的电子商务而误入歧途。解决这些紧迫问题才是应该居于所有发展规划核心的真正“创新”。 /201512/415116The causes and consequences of the long-running inflation of profits by Toshiba reflect some uniquely Japanese cultural norms. So, inevitably, did the 2011 scandal at Olympus, where successive leaders covered up accounting manipulation.东芝(Toshiba)长期虚报利润的原因和后果,反映出日本一些独特的文化习俗。奥林巴斯(Olympus)2011年爆出的丑闻也必然如此。奥林巴斯曾有连续数位掌门人掩盖会计操纵的问题。But the genetic traces of those debacles are visible in plenty of other countries and companies. Self-satisfied boards of non-Japanese companies should examine the flaws that are common to all corporate cultures — almost certainly including their own.但是,这类溃败背后的基因痕迹在很多其他国家和企业都能看到。非日本企业洋洋自得的董事会应该对所有企业文化中常见的缺点进行检查——几乎肯定包括了它们自己的企业文化。After all, there are only so many ways of cooking the books, however varied the details of each case. In the introduction to his indispensable anthology of creative accounting, Michael Jones, a professor of financial reporting, identifies just four main strategies — increasing income, decreasing expenses, increasing assets and decreasing liabilities. Toshiba was doing the first, according to an independent report — but so, for example, was WorldCom, one of the most notorious US cases of accounting fraud, back in the early 2000s.毕竟,作假账的方式太多了,不过每种情况的细节有所不同。财务申报方面的教授迈克尔琼斯(Michael Jones)在介绍伪造账目方面不可或缺的选集时,指明了4种主要策略——增加收入、减少出、增加资产以及减少负债。据一份独立报告称,东芝使用的是第一种手法——不过,举个例子,世通(WorldCom)也是这么做的,它是21世纪初最臭名昭著的美国假账案之一。Control failings are one common theme. The audit committee at Toshiba includes executive directors — a red flag to UK governance purists. But directors, auditors and risk managers can succumb to capture or groupthink anywhere. It took the financial crisis to enshrine the idea that UK banks’ chief risk officers should be more independent, for instance.控制失败是一种常见主题。东芝的审计委员会中包含执行董事——这对英国的公司治理纯粹主义者来说是一个危险信号。但是,在任何地方,董事、审计员和风险管理者都可能会屈于群体思维,或者被监督对象所俘虏。只有经历了金融危机才能铭记住这类观点——比如,英国的首席风险官应该更加独立。As for lack of objective supervision, the UK principle that chief executives should be overseen by an independent chairman is widely ignored in the US. When boards do split the roles, it is often to give the former chief executive a stepping stone to retirement, an echo of the way former Toshiba and Olympus executives clung on to influence over their companies after they left. Even in the UK, companies are only one emergency decision or succession crisis away from appointing an executive chairman.至于缺乏客观监督方面,英国对首席执行官应接受独立董事长监督的原则,在美国被广泛忽略。当董事会的确让不同的人担任这两个角色,这通常是给前任首席执行官一块通往退休的垫脚石——这与东芝和奥林巴斯前首席执行官在离任后不愿放弃对公司影响力的情况相呼应。即便在英国,如果企业需要做紧急决定或是遭遇继任危机,也会任命一位执行董事长。Unwillingness to challenge authority, a trait attributed to employees at Toshiba and Olympus — and often given an “only in Japan” spin — is a recurring problem everywhere, from Royal Bank of Scotland under Fred Goodwin to Fifa under Sepp Blatter.不愿挑战权威——这被认为是东芝和奥林巴斯的员工身上的特性,而且常被贴上“只出现在日本”的标签——是世界各地反复出现的问题,无论弗雷德古德温爵士(Sir Fred Goodwin)执掌时的苏格兰皇家(RBS)还是塞普布拉特(Sepp Blatter)领导的国际足联(Fifa)都不例外。The assumption that non-Japanese companies benefit from the protection of more advanced governance codes is broadly true. But such armour can be paper-thin if not reinforced in practice. Enron was technically in line with US boardroom practice. Toshiba was itself held up as a model of governance. It started appointing outside directors to its board long before the Olympus fiasco prompted wider corporate reform in Japan.非日本企业受益于更先进的治理法范的保护——这种设想基本是正确的。但是,这种保护性的盔甲可能会形同虚设,如果没能在实践中加固的话。在法律层面,安然(Enron)与美国董事会的做法一致。东芝本身被树立为公司治理的典范。该公司任命外部董事进入董事会的做法,远早于奥林巴斯惨剧在日本引发全面企业改革。The most important lesson from Toshiba is about the malign impact of top-down pressure to meet unrealistic targets. Toshiba’s ex-chief executive denies having given direct instructions to staff to inflate profits. But the investigating panel said he told executives to “use every possible measure to achieve profitability” and added that Toshiba’s corporate culture did “not allow employees to go against the will of their superiors”.从东芝得到的最重要教训是,为达到不切实际的目标而由上而下施加压力,会带来不利影响。东芝前首席执行官否认直接向员工作出虚报利润的指示。但是,调查委员会称,他曾向高管表示“利用一切可能的手段来实现盈利”,该委员会还补充称,东芝的企业文化“不允许员工违背上级意愿”。Staff at target-chasing western banks before the credit crunch or at WorldCom ahead of its collapse in 2002 may recognise that picture. Bernie Ebbers, the telecoms group’s chief executive, “created, and the [then] board permitted, a corporate environment in which the pressure to meet the numbers was high, the departments that served as controls were weak, and the word of senior management was final and not to be challenged”, a WorldCom board investigation found in 2003.信贷紧缩前在追逐目标的西方业工作的员工、或者世通2002年破产前的员工,也许会觉得这画面似曾相识。2003年对世通董事会所做的一份调查发现,时任该电信集团首席执行官的伯尼埃伯斯 (Bernie Ebbers)“创造了(董事会随后允许了)一种企业环境——完成业绩数字的压力很大、承担控制职能的部门很弱、高管层的指示毋庸置疑,不会受到挑战”。If the Toshiba report were just a snapshot of how some Japanese companies are fossilised relics of what corporate governance used to look like elsewhere, the rest of the world could rest easy. But the rest of the world should not be so smug. A new survey suggests that internationally, 37 per cent of management accountants, who help companies seek out investments and control risks, have felt under pressure from managers or peers to compromise corporate ethics. The percentage has risen over the past three years in most places polled, including the UK and the US.如果这份关于东芝的报告仅仅揭示出,有些日本企业正是其他地方以往公司治理面貌的“化石遗址”,那么世界其他地方便可高枕无忧。但是,世界其他地方不应该如此安然自得。一份新调查显示,全球37%的管理会计师(负责帮助企业寻找投资并控制风险)已经感觉到来自经理或同侪的、让其放弃企业伦理的压力。在绝大多数接受调查的地区——包括英国和美国——这一比例在过去三年均有所上升。When aggressive targets, irresistible management pressure and weak controls coincide, misconduct can sp quickly. Rival companies see the inflated numbers and strain to match them. To suggest such weaknesses are confined to one corporate or national culture is a first step into dangerous complacency.当激进的目标、不可抗拒的管理压力以及控制薄弱同时出现时,不端行为便会迅速蔓延。对手企业看到虚报的数字,就会想方设法报出差不多的数字。认为这种嗜好为某一家企业或某种民族文化所独有,就是步入危险自负的第一步。 /201507/3896209 things you’ll love about iOS 9爱上iOS9的9大原因1.Proactive Siri1.Siri更主动Of all the upcoming iOS 9 features for the iPhone and iPad, the biggest updates are coming to Siri. Siri is going to become ;proactive,; predicting what you want to know before you even ask it. It’s a feature similar to Google Now or Microsoft’s Cortana. The new, proactive Siri will display relevant information based on your location, search history, emails, calendar and habits.在iPhone和iPad中所有iOS9即有的特点中,更新最大的当属Siri。Siri将更主动,甚至可以在你发问之前预测你的想法。这与Google Now和Microsoft的 Cortana类似。新型智能Siri将根据你的位置、搜索历史、电邮、日历和习惯呈现相关信息。2.Transit2.公交导航Finally, transit directions are coming to the Apple Maps app. It’s only in 12 cities to start, but Apple said it will expand its transit maps in the future. Transit has been a long time coming. The lack of public transit information is one of the many reasons Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for its subpar Maps app in 2012.公交导航终于出现在苹果地图APP中,仅在12个城市启用,但苹果公司表示,今后会扩展城市地图。公交导航经历很长时间才得以推出。公共交通信息缺乏是主要原因之一,苹果CEO库克曾在2012年为其低水准的地图APP道歉。3.News3.苹果新闻Apple’s new News app is a Flipboard-like personalized news er that will replace the oft-ignored Newsstand store. News will be powered by 20 publishers and 50 titles, including ESPN, CNN, Conde Nast, and The New York Times.苹果新型News APP是一款类似于Flipboard的个性化新闻阅读器,将取代之前备受忽略的Newsstand。News将得到20家出版社和50书刊杂志技术持,包括ESPN, CNN,康德纳斯特和《纽约时报》。4.Wallet4.苹果钱包Apple’s Passbook app is getting a new name (Wallet) and some welcome new features. IPhone users will be able to double-click the home button when their iPhones are locked to access the Wallet app.苹果的Passbook app更名为Wallet,并有一些新功能。锁屏时,iPhone用户可以双击home键直接进入Wallet app。5.Notes5.苹果笔记The Notes app is getting a big makeover in iOS 9, letting you draw sketches, drop in photos, maps and links and add items from other apps.iOS 9为笔记应用添加了一些新功能,包括绘画涂鸦、添加照片地图等,进一步向其他互联网笔记应用靠拢。6.Multitasking6.分屏多任务Soon, iPad owners will be able to run two apps at the same time on the same screen. With a split-screen function, picture-in-picture , a new app switcher and keyboard shortcuts, the iPad is getting closer to becoming a serious word-processing device.很快iPad用户可以在同一时间同一屏幕运行两个APP。分屏多任务、画中画视频、侧屏应用功能以及快捷键,将使iPad逐渐成为重要的文字处理器。7.Quicktype7.QuickType键盘In addition to multi-tasking, Apple is introducing gestures for the iPad in iOS 9, turning the keyboard into a trackpad. Using two fingers, iPad owners can select text and move the cursor like a mouse.除了分屏多任务功能,苹果为iOS9的iPad引入新的手势,将键盘变为触控板。iPad用户两个手指就可以选择文本并像鼠标一样移动光标。8.Better battery life8.持久续航Apple says iOS 9 will give iPhones and iPads up to an hour more battery life every day. It’s also adding a low-power mode to squeeze out three extra hours of juice.苹果声称iOS9将为iPhone和iPad每天多提供一小时电量,也添加了低功耗模式,可以挤出三小时电量。9.Public beta9.公测Excited about iOS 9? It doesn’t debut until the fall, but you’ll be able to get your hands on it early. For the first time ever, Apple will let anyone test out its new iPhone software -- before it gets released to the general public. In July, iOS 9 will go into ;public beta,; meaning anyone with an iPhone or iPad will be able to noodle around with iOS 9.为iOS9感到激动吗?但是秋季才会正式启用,但你可以早些接触到iOS9.苹果有史以来首次在正式发行之前,让人们测试新iPhone软件。7月,iOS9将进行公测,也就意味着任何iPhone和iPad用户将体验iOS9. /201506/380126Takata, the Japanese supplier linked to faulty airbags in millions of cars, widened the scale of potential recalls in the ed States on Tuesday to 34 million vehicles.周二,与数以百万计的汽车上的问题气囊有关的日本供应商高田公司(Takata),把美国市场上可能需要召回的汽车数量扩大到了3400万辆。The supplier made the announcement with federal safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which had been prodding the company since late last year to say that the airbags were defective. Takata had fought these demands, even asserting at one point that the agency could not force it to issue a recall.高田与国家公路交通安全局(National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)的联邦安全监管部门共同发出了这项声明。自去年底以来,安全局一直在敦促高田承认气囊存在问题。高田始终不愿遵从这些要求,甚至一度宣称安全局无权强迫它召回。Airbag inflaters made by Takata can explode violently when they deploy, spraying metal fragments into the passenger compartment. Six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to the flaw.高田生产的气囊增压泵在弹出时可能会猛然迸裂,导致金属碎片飞向车内。该问题被认为与六人的死亡、100多人的受伤有关。“From the very beginning, our goal has been simple: a safe airbag in every vehicle,” said Mark R. Rosekind, administrator of the safety agency since December. “The steps we’re taking today represent significant progress toward that goal.”“从一开始,我们的目标就很简单:每辆车都配有安全的气囊,”自12月起担任安全局局长的马克·罗斯金德(Mark Rosekind)说。“我们今天采取的举措,代表着我们朝这个目标迈进了一大步。”But the agency said it did not have a final breakdown yet of all the makes and models the expanded recall encompasses, and that it will not for several days until it coordinates with automakers. The final number of defective cars may shift downward as more tests are performed, Mr. Rosekind said. He acknowledged that the repairs could take several years to complete, but he said that consumers could still drive their cars in the meantime.但是,安全局表示,目前尚未最后敲定这次扩大的召回覆盖的所有汽车品牌和型号,而是需要几天时间来与汽车生产商进行协调。罗斯金德说,经过更多实验以后,问题汽车的最终数量可能会减少。他承认,修理工作可能需要几年时间才能完成,但他表示,与此同时,消费者仍然能够开车。“Yes, people need to drive their cars,” Mr. Rosekind said, adding that they should be checking with their dealers often “to ensure it gets replaced as soon as possible.”“对,人们需要开车,”罗斯金德说。他还表示消费者应该经常与经销商联系,“从而保能及时得到替换”。Even now, Takata and automakers continue to search for the root cause of the inflater defect, but it still remains unclear. But in new filings with the safety agency, Takata went further than it had previously in admitting wider, structural problems with its airbag inflaters.即使是现在,高田和汽车生产商也还在继续寻找增压泵问题的根本原因,但仍不清楚问题究竟在哪。不过,在提交给安全局的新备案文件中,高田承认其气囊增压泵存在更广泛的结构性问题,比以前的立场更进了一步。“Up until now Takata has refused to acknowledge that their airbags are defective,” said Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary. “That changes today.”“在此之前,高田公司一直拒绝承认旗下的安全气囊有缺陷,”运输部部长安东尼·福克斯(Anthony Foxx)说。“这种情况今天发生了改变。”In its filings, dated Monday, Takata said that the propellant in the airbag inflaters — the explosive material that generates the gases to inflate the airbag — could degrade over time if exposed to high humidity and changes in temperature, making it prone to “over-aggressive combustion.”在标注日期为本周一的备案文件中,高田公司称,气囊增压泵里的推进剂——产生填充安全气囊的气体的爆炸物——如果暴露在高湿度和温度波动的环境中,可能会在一段时间后降解,从而容易发生“过于剧烈的燃烧”。Former Takata engineers told The New York Times last year that they had raised concerns over a decade ago that the explosive material Takata uses — ammonium nitrate — was sensitive to moisture and temperature swings. But those concerns went unheeded, they said.曾受聘于高田公司的几名工程师去年对《纽约时报》说,他们十多年前就提出了对公司使用的爆炸物——硝酸铵——对湿度和气温波动过于敏感的担忧。但他们称,这些担忧没有引起重视。Takata’s patents also document how the company’s engineers for years struggled to stabilize the ammonium nitrate in its propellant.高田公司的专利文件的记录还显示,他们的工程师多年以来一直难以稳定推进剂里的硝酸铵。And for the first time, Takata also acknowledged problems with leaks in its airbag inflaters. Tests had revealed that some of its airbag inflaters were found to have leaks in the seals that are supposed to keep them air tight.这一回,高田公司还首次承认了气囊增压泵的漏气问题。测试显示,一些气囊的增压泵的密封垫有漏气现象,而这些密封垫本应该把气体严严实实地封住。Last week, a former Takata consultant said that tests he carried out on prototype Takata airbags in the early 2000s showed that they contained leaks. He urged the company to use a different leak testing method, one that he devised, he said, but his advice went unheeded.上周,高田公司的一名前顾问表示,他在本世纪初对公司的原型安全气囊进行的测试就显示,它们存在漏气现象。他敦促公司使用一种不同的漏气检测方法,也就是他设计的方法。但他说,自己的建议没有被采纳。In February, federal safety regulators began to levy a fine of ,000 a day against Takata because it had not cooperated fully in the agency’s investigation. The company disputed the claims. With the expansion of the recall, though, regulators said they would suspend that fine, which had reached more than million.今年2月,联邦安全监管机构开始对高田公司实施每天1.4万美元(约合8.6万元人民币)的罚款,原因是它没有充分配合该机构的调查。公司反驳了这些指责。不过,随着这次召回范围的扩大,监管机构称,他们将暂停对高田公司的罚款。这项罚金已累计超过了100万美元。 /201505/376283

A disruptive shadow looms over Tesla Motors’ giantNevada “gigafactory”—the threat of rapidly advancing battery technology. While plenty of hurdles face new battery tech, the emergence of a viable and significantly better battery in the next five years could turn Tesla’s billion facility for mass producing lithium-ion batteries into a giga-albatross.面对电池技术迅速发展带来的威胁,特斯拉设在内华达州的超级电池工厂(Gigafactory)笼罩在一片阴云之中。尽管新技术面临诸多障碍,但如果在五年内出现既实用又远好于现有产品的电池,特斯拉斥资50亿美元新建的建锂离子聚合物电池工厂就可能变成巨大负担。In January, Fuji Pigment Co. Ltd. (not affiliated with Fujifilm) announced that it had made a significant breakthrough in aluminum-air battery technology. Aluminium-air batteries have a theoretical capacity morethan 40 times greater than the lithium-ion cells Tesla will soon mass-produce, and Fuji Pigment has stated it will commercialize its innovation by the end of 2015. This means that the gigafactory’s products could aly be outclassed before its target 2016 opening—and long before the estimated 7-10 years of full production it could take to recoup the factory’s costs.今年1月份,富士色素株式会社(并非富士子公司)宣布,已在铝空气电池技术上取得重大突破。与特斯拉即将量产的锂聚电池相比,铝空气电池理论容量多出40倍以上。而且富士色素表示,将在今年底前实现项目商业化。这意味着,定于2016年投产的特斯拉超级电池工厂可能从一开始就处于落后位置,该厂预计还需要7-10年才能达到设计产能并收回成本。Battery innovation takes place within a rigid structure: every battery has two ‘sides,’ the cathode and anode, which react through an electrolyte medium to produce power. Analuminum-air battery generates electricity from the reaction of oxygen and aluminum, using water as an electrolyte. A standard aluminium-air reaction consumes the aluminum anode, which must be physically replaced rather than electrically recharged. But Fuji Pigment claims that, by adding strategically placed layers of ceramic and carbon, it has managed to suppress corrosion and reaction byproducts, creating an aluminium-air battery that can be recharged multiple times by simply adding water.电池领域的创新遵循的规律基本一致:电池都有阴极和阳极,靠阴阳极之间的电解质发生反应产生电流。铝空气电池以水为电解质,通过氧气和铝的反应产生电流。标准的铝-空气反应会消耗铝阳极,因此必须替换阳极,并不能简单充电了事。富士色素表示,通过在关键位置放置陶瓷和碳精片隔层,即可抑制腐蚀和副产品,这样铝空气电池只需加水就能多次充电。Dr. Mark Hersam, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, says that it would be “stunning” if Fuji Pigment hit their target for commercialization. Among other unaddressed issues, he points out that aluminium-air batteries physically contract as they discharge, which can lead to fracturing and make them difficult to integrate into fault-intolerant automotive systems.美国西北大学材料科学和工程学教授马克o赫尔萨姆指出,如果富士色素真能完成铝空气电池的商业化,“非常了不起”。不过他认为还有一些问题没有解决,比如铝空气电池的体积在使用过程中会缩小,可能出现破裂,因此很难集成到无法容错的汽车系统中。In an email, Ryohei Mori, Fuji Pigment’s lead researcher on the aluminium-air project, sounded a slightly more cautious note than the company’s January press release. “We are still at developing stage, and maybe in the near future . . . we can work together with large scale.”在一封电子邮件中,富士色素铝空气电池项目首席研究员森亮平的态度就略显谨慎,不似公司1月公告中那般乐观。他写道:“我们仍处于开发阶段,也许近期内可能大规模生产。”But Fuji Pigment is not the only company working on a better battery. Israel’s Phinergy is also pursuing the aluminium-air dream, while American startups Pathionand Sakti 3 are looking at an even more radical innovation—solid-state batteries that replace liquid electrolytes with ceramic or crystal. Sakti 3 has successfully demoed a battery that produces 1,000 watt-hours of energy per liter of battery volume, which in practice could more than double the driving range of a current Tesla. Pathion CEO Michael Liddle projects that solid-state battery technology will be market-y within two years.不过,苦心钻研先进电池技术的并不只有富士色素一家。以色列公司Phinergy也在追寻铝空气电池梦。美国初创企业PathionandSakti 3则着眼于更激进的创新,他们的想法是用陶瓷或水晶代替液态电解质,制造固态电池;该公司已成功展示了一种新电池,能量密度为每升1000瓦时,一旦启用可将特斯拉的行驶里程增加一倍以上。PathionandSakti 3首席执行官迈克尔o利德尔预计,固态电池技术可在两年内投放市场。Of course, the main point of the gigafactory is not to produce cutting-edge batteries, but to produce existing tech on a scale that will bring costs down—Tesla hopes to sell an electric sedan for ,000. But in this regard, too, both aluminium-air and solid-state batteries have a potential edge. Aluminum is far cheaper than lithium, and solid-state batteries could be ‘printed’ like computer chips, a much more efficient process than the layering and rolling of metal and gel that produces lithium-ion batteries.当然,特斯拉的电池工厂主要任务不是生产最先进的电池,而是采用现有技术并通过量产来降低成本。特斯拉理想的电动车售价为3.5万美元。在降低成本方面,铝空气电池和固态电池都有潜在优势。铝比锂便宜得多,固态电池则可以像计算机芯片一样“压制”出来,比起锂聚电池生产所需的金属分层和轧制工艺效率高多了。According to Dan Radomski, vice president for industry and venture development at the consulting firmNextEnergy, it would be very difficult for Tesla to pivot in response to these innovations. “It’s not too much different from us going from VHS to disc. It changes the entire supply chain.”据咨询公司NextEnergy负责工业及创新发展的副总裁丹o拉多姆斯基介绍,对特斯拉来说,针对新出现的创新调整非常困难,“这就和从盒式录像带转向光盘差不多,会改变整个供应链。”The demands of the automotive sector may buy Tesla some time. Cars are subject to high and low temperatures that have a significant impact on battery performance, and the standard for safety is understandably high. While lithium-ion batteries have shown some problems in responding to high temperatures, decades of testing have gone into gaining it acceptance for use in cars.不过,汽车行业的需求也许能为特斯拉争取一些时间。高温和低温对电池性能影响很大,相应的安全标准当然也很严格。虽然锂聚电池在高温环境下有些问题,但经历了几十年的考验后在汽车上使用已经问题不大。Tesla will also likely have some options for upgrading the gigafactory’s lithium-ion products. Researchers atNangyang Technological University have developed a fast-charging titanium dioxide anode, and Mark Hersam’s team at Northwestern has doubled the capacity of a lithium-ion anode by interlacing materials like graphene. Though cathode advances have trailed, integrating new materialswould not require a wholesale overhaul of the gigafactory’slithium-ion production process.特斯拉也可以选择改进超级电池工厂的锂聚电池。新加坡南洋理工大学的研究人员已经开发出可快速充电的二氧化钛阳极;马克o赫尔萨姆教授在西北大学的团队则通过加入石墨烯等材料,将锂聚电池阳极的失电子能力提高了一倍。尽管阴极方面已经落后,但特斯拉整合新材料应该不用彻底革新锂聚电池生产工艺。Ultimately, the biggest question mark for the gigafactory’slong-term viability are less technological than strategic. An innovation in a lab is not the same as a working product, and Pathion’s Michael Liddle says that the piecemeal nature of battery research has limited real-world advances. Many startups and researchers can produce a better cathode, anode, or electrolyte, but all three must work together perfectly to make a battery. The capital to bring the pieces together, and bring production of new batteries to scale, has been scarce.说到底,特斯拉的电池工厂长期维继的最大问题在于战略,而不是技术。毕竟,实验室里的创新和实用产品不是一回事。正如PathionandSakti 3首席执行官迈克尔o利德尔所言,电池研究处于“零敲碎打”状态,实际推进有限。许多初创公司和研究人员都可以制造出更好的阴极、阳极或者电解质,但三者得完美结合才能成为电池。一直以来,很少有资金用在结合三者并大规模量产新电池方面。But that’s likely to change with major manufacturers likeCadillac and BMW moving more aggressively into electrics. With range an ever more vital competitive point, increasing amounts of capital will be chasing the next big battery (GM is a major investor in Sakti 3). That could push the rate of change beyond what even Tesla CEO Elon Musk could have foreseen.随着凯迪拉克和宝马等主要汽车厂商更积极开拓电动汽车市场,局面可能改变。电池技术已成关键竞争点,花在新一代主流电池上的资金也不断增多(通用汽车就是PathionandSakti 3的主要投资者之一)。电池领域正飞速革新,未来很可能会超过特斯拉CEO埃隆o穆斯克的想象。 /201505/375631

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