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Friday, 25 October 2019

Weekly Reading - Some Interesting Stuff


1) Studying English may be a better career option than science / engineering
There’s no denying that the typical computer science major makes more money shortly after graduation than the typical English major.
Contrary to popular belief, English majors ages 25 to 29 had a lower unemployment rate in 2017 than math and computer science majors.
That early STEM pay premium also fades quickly, according to research from Harvard. After about a decade, STEM majors start exiting their job fields as their skills are no longer the latest and greatest. In contrast, many humanities majors work their way to high-earning management positions. By middle age, average pay looks very similar across many majors.

2) Amazon starts making private label alcohol
Amazon is adding to its own-label product line with its first spirit brand in the U.K. called Tovess Gin. Amazon has been expanding its own range of goods, listed under “Our Brands”, which are created by Amazon or its partners and sold exclusively on the site. These benefit Amazon by offering better margins and can be used to help persuade big brands to cut prices. Tovess gin is the only alcohol product listed as an Amazon brand on the U.K. site, while other groceries include Amazon Brand Solimo coffee capsules, Presto! kitchen rolls and Happy Belly dried fruit and nuts.

3) McDonalds is using ML and AI to make you order more
The chain has digital boards programmed to market that food more strategically, taking into account such factors as the time of day, the weather, the popularity of certain menu items and the length of the wait. On a hot afternoon, for example, the board might promote soda rather than coffee. At the conclusion of every transaction, screens now display a list of recommendations, nudging customers to order more.
At some drive-throughs, McDonald’s has tested technology that can recognize license-plate numbers, allowing the company to tailor a list of suggested purchases to a customer’s previous orders, as long as the person agrees to sign away the data.
In March, McDonald’s spent more than $300 million to buy Dynamic Yield, the Tel Aviv-based company that developed the artificial intelligence tools now used at thousands of McDonald’s drive-throughs.
The deal “has changed the way the high-tech industry thinks about potential M&A,” said Liad Agmon, a former Israeli intelligence official who co-founded Dynamic Yield. “We’ll see more nontraditional tech companies buying tech companies as an accelerator for their digital efforts. It was genius on McDonald’s side.”

4) When Peter Lynch speaks, we listen
On the way to work, the amount of bad news you could hear is almost infinite now. So the question is: Can you take that? Do you really have faith that 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now common stocks are the place to be. If you believe in that, you should have some money in equity funds.
It's a question of what's your tolerance for pain. There will still be declines. It might be tomorrow. It might be a year from now. Who knows when it's going to happen? The question is: Are you ready—do you have the stomach for this?
More people have lost money waiting for corrections and anticipating corrections than in the actual corrections. I mean, trying to predict market highs and lows is not productive.

5) Nike goes hi-tech, gets a tech CEO for itself
Donahoe is currently the CEO of ServiceNow, a provider of cloud-computing services for global businesses. Prior to that, he served as CEO of eBay from 2008 to 2015, and also did a stint as CEO and managing director of the management consultancy Bain & Co. He may not sound like the most obvious choice to succeed Parker, who started at the company as a footwear designer and has deep knowledge and experience in sneakers. What Donahoe does understand is technology, something Nike has been investing in heavily. Last year it acquired the data-analytics firm Zodiac. This year it bought Celect, a company specializing in predictive analytics.

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