Summary of “Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores”

JD and Alibaba both plan to sell their systems to other retailers and are working on additional checkout technologies.
At 120 of Walmart’s 4,700 American stores, shoppers can also scan items, including fruits and vegetables, using the camera on their smartphones and pay for them using the devices.
New start-ups are seeking to give retailers the technology to compete with Amazon’s system.
One of them, AiFi, is working on cashierless checkout technology that it says will be flexible and affordable enough that mom-and-pop retailers and bigger outlets can use it.
“There’s a gold rush feeling about this,” said Alan O’Herlihy, chief executive of Everseen, an Irish company working with retailers on automated checkout technology that uses artificial intelligence.
Retailers like Amazon could compile reams of data about where customers spend time inside their doors, comparable to what internet companies already know about their online habits.
Depending on how heavily retailers automate in the years to come, job losses could be severe in a sector that has already experienced wave after wave of store closings by the likes of Macy’s, Toys “R” Us and Sears.
Some traditional retailers are also skeptical about whether the sort of automation in Amazon Go can move to large stores.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Avoid a Renovation Nightmare”

Make sure you are working with a licensed professional on any home renovation job that costs more than $500. Because, as Ms. Salas cautioned, if you don’t hire a licensed contractor, “There are very few remedies.”
Home improvement contractors working in the five boroughs need a license from city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, while general contractors are licensed through the Department of Buildings.
Call the references and ask how they communicated with the contractor about their projects: Were there regular meetings or weekly progress reports? In addition, sit down with the contractor to gather information, Mr. Taddei suggested.
Will the contractor have multiple renovation projects happening at the same time? What type of insurance does he have? Which subcontractors will work on your project? Do the same due diligence on them.
Besides detailed information about the renovation, the contract should define how the architect, contractor and homeowner will communicate throughout the project.
Mr. Mansfield, the general contractor, said clients need to play an active role in the renovation process.
If you don’t know where to start, online services like Sweeten, Bolster and Homepolish can connect you with designers and contractors, and even help manage a renovation.
In recent years there have been some criminal indictments against contractors charged with defrauding homeowners trying to restore homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.David Ramroop, a homeowner in Amityville, on Long Island, said he hired Capstone Remodeling, a Smithtown-based contractor, to raise his house in 2015 to comply with federal regulations after Hurricane Sandy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Trouble in candy land: How Peeps, pensions and a lawsuit threaten to upend the American retirement system”

They are a pastel symbol of Easter joy, but behind the wax-eyed candy is a company at war with its union workforce over rising pension costs – an escalating legal tangle that could soon upend the retirement plans of 10 million Americans.
The 95-year-old company that makes Peeps, Just Born Quality Confections, wants to block new employees from enrolling in the multi-employer pension it has offered workers for decades, a retirement plan it funds along with roughly 200 other companies.
While many other companies facing similar pressures have left pensions in recent years, Just Born wants to bar new employees from the plan without paying a $60 million fee required under federal law, saying it must do so to remain competitive.
Candy production plummeted, workers said, but the company refused to budge.
The pension, which is administered by a group of labor officials and corporate executives from the 200 participating companies, has sued the company, alleging it improperly tried to stop enrolling new employees in the pension without paying the withdrawal fee.
In total, 10 million current and retired workers participate in multi-employer pensions, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
These pensions allow employees to move from one job to another within the same pension and carry their retirement benefits with them.
The pension had already sued Just Born, and now the company, the pension, and the union are all tangled up in lawsuits.

The orginal article.

Summary of “POPSUGAR Smart Living”

Newport shared how he manages to get a seemingly impossible amount of work done – including writing books, publishing academic papers, and teaching courses – all while leaving work by 5:30 p.m. and making time for his family and personal life.
5 Ways to Be More Productive at Work What is deep work?
Deep work boils down to the relatively simple idea that working distraction-free allows you to both improve your professional capabilities and produce higher-quality, more valuable work.
Deep work tackles this by saying you can reevaluate your habits to use your time more productively, create more meaningful work, and get better at what you do so you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
You probably spend less time than you realize getting down to work without interruption.
We can facilitate inspiration by setting aside time to work hard.
Stopping what you’re doing to answer every message that comes through makes it a lot more difficult and time-consuming to jump back into the task you were previously working on, even if you don’t realize it.
It’s not easy to make the changes that Newport lays out in Deep Work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Perception Is Reality”

One of the most important lessons I have learned from my mentor about working in large teams is this: People can only judge their perception of you.
Often, there’s a difference between perception and reality, right?
Based on my own mistakes, I told him what one of my mentors told me: Perception is reality, keep that in mind.
Change What People Perceive By now, you might wonder “How do I change other people’s perceptions?” The answer lies in the science of influence.
How does our behavior influence the behavior of others? How does other people’s behavior influence our behavior? I’ll give you an example.
My perception of one of our team members was that she lacked interest in our business.
No matter what you do, start applying the perception is reality mindset to your life, right now.
Listen If you want to hear more thoughts on why perception is reality; listen to my podcast episode about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The real threat to Facebook is the Kool-Aid turning sour – TechCrunch”

Then came the fake news, News Feed addiction, violence on Facebook Live, cyberbullying, abusive ad targeting, election interference and, most recently, the Cambridge Analytica app data privacy scandals.
The more benign leaks merely cost Facebook a bit of competitive advantage.
Policy-focused leaks have exacerbated the backlash against Facebook, putting more pressure on the conscience of employees.
As blame fell to Facebook for Trump’s election, word of Facebook prototyping a censorship tool for operating in China escaped, triggering questions about its respect for human rights and free speech.
A source close to several Facebook executives tells us they feel “Embarrassed to work there” and are increasingly open to other job opportunities.
If Facebook can’t internally discuss the problems it faces without being exposed, how can it solve them?
Facebook doesn’t have the same internal work culture problems as some giants like Uber.
Now Zuckerberg will have to figure out how to get Facebook to cautiously foresee the consequences of what it says and does while remaining an appealing place to work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Research: The Industrial Revolution Left Psychological Scars That Can Still Be Seen Today”

Today, millions of people live in such regions that once brought together large-scale coal-based industries, for example in the old industrial north of the UK and the so-called Rust Belt in the U.S. Given that these historical industries had dominated the economic and social life of these regions for such a long time, we wanted to explore whether they continue to influence the people currently living there.
Our study, an interdisciplinary collaboration between psychologists, historians, and economic geographers, examined whether people in former industrial regions in the U.K. and the U.S. demonstrated more markers of “Psychological adversity” than people in other regions.
To come to more causal conclusions, we needed to determine that a region’s industrial history is what caused residents to have these personality traits today, rather than regions with a certain personality structure attracting large-scale industries during the Industrial Revolution.
Even among these industrial centers – which are likely to have emerged owing to their proximity to coal, and not to any pre-existing personality trends – we observed lower well-being and more adverse personality traits, consistent with idea that a region’s industrial history affects its personality structure.
There are a couple reasons to think this: First, during the Industrial Revolution there might have been a certain “Genetic founder effect” at play – that is, the massive influx of a specific personality type into the emerging and quickly growing industrial centers.
Such a massive influx might have established an initial level of psychological adversity in these industrial regions during the Industrial Revolution, which would affect and shape the personality structure of subsequent generations in these regions.
When we compared people who grew up and stayed in old coal regions with people who grew up there but later left, we found that those who left scored lower in neuroticism and higher in conscientiousness and in aspects of extraversion.
While massive industrialization brought unprecedented technological and economic progress, it also left a psychological legacy that continues to shape the personality traits and well-being of people currently in these regions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Restaurants make big bucks off people who aren’t eating a thing”

Slammed by soaring costs for food, labor and rent, New York’s bars, restaurants and nightclubs are using a growing crop of third-party apps and services to rent out their dining rooms, coat-check areas and even their bathrooms to make extra cash.
Luluapp – a mobile app that, for a fee, promises to direct tourists and other assorted weak bladders to the nearest available bathroom – says it has already signed up more than 100 New York restaurants and bars ahead of its summer launch.
Instead, he decided to work with Bagbnb, a Rome-based luggage storage startup that claims to work with bars and restaurants in 60 cities worldwide, including 26 venues in the Big Apple.
Bagbnb, which splits its $6, per-bag fee with restaurants, has also expanded by offering commissions to tour operators, Airbnb hosts and hotels for suggesting its services to their lodgers.
“It can be a little hectic in the morning when you have 10 people lined up ready to drop off their bags,” said Chelsea Feldcher, a manager at Pennsylvania 6, a restaurant near Penn Station that started using Bagbnb a few months go.
“But obviously any extra revenue is great for us and we are introducing new people to the restaurant.”
KettleSpace, a six-month-old startup, has inked about half a dozen deals with restaurants and bars to open their dining rooms to freelancers and entrepreneurs during the off hours.
“KettleSpace is the cheapest alternative that I found,” said Bradley Orego, a graphic designer and professional dancer who was working at P.S. Kitchen, a restaurant off Times Square at 248 W. 48th St., on a recent afternoon.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Exactly Does a Librarian Do? Everything.”

Every job in a library depends on someone else’s to function.
Libraries are buzzing hives filled with extremely busy, frazzled, overworked people.
Staff and Librarians work together to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, which it NEVER, EVER DOES. Lots of different types of library work happens everywhere-new jobs crop up daily, thanks to evolving tech and shifting community needs-but there are some standard positions that remain eternal.
First of all, there’s the backbone of the library: technical services.
These are library employees who go home and drink a lot.
What I’m saying about library “Tropes” is that they apply to anyone who works in a library because you have to know how to do everyone else’s job.
Librarianship is the understanding that maintaining a library is a shared responsibility.
Libraries are community spaces for patrons as well as for library staff.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Professionals Rise Up, More Than Money Is at Stake”

Teachers in Oklahoma, who are threatening a walkout on April 2, have expressed similar frustrations, as have adjunct faculty members at a college in Florida and the recently unionized staff of The Los Angeles Times.
Shrinking budgets have left teachers and other government workers with fewer resources.
Cheryl DeFlavis, an adjunct sociology professor, said the main issue was “Exclusion from the policies that shape campus life.” For example, she said, she and her fellow adjuncts teach a significant portion of the classes on campus but have almost no say over textbook choice.
In some districts around the country, for example, teachers have been required to clock in and out each day on a computerized clock, in the tradition of factory workers.
Teachers across the country bemoan the rise of merit-based pay incentives and the growing use of standardized test scores for their evaluations.
Some of these frustrations boiled over into a tense, seven-day teachers’ strike in Chicago in 2012, which was widely seen as a flash point in the national debate over more businesslike approaches to managing schools.
Ed Allen, president of the local teachers’ union in Oklahoma City, said there were about 2,000 emergency certified teachers in the state, exempted from traditional certification requirements to fill staff shortages.
As teachers see it, he added, “This is just a symptom of a lack of respect for our profession.”

The orginal article.