Stanford Pair Win Nobel For Economic Ideas Driving Ebay, Cellphone Spectrum Sales

by Erik Sherman

Going once, going twice—the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences are two Stanford economists whose work lets the world make mobile phone calls, switch on a light, and buy and sell on eBay.

Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom, are famous for their groundbreaking work on auction theory. They took the 2,500-year-old practice of selling goods to the highest bidder and transformed how they worked and how the world looked at a result.

One of the major areas they developed was analysis of how the rules that govern auctions affect the efficiency of the outcomes—how bidders get the value they want, sellers maximize their income, and the process can happen more easily and quickly. Then they found ways to move beyond the fast-talking and gavel-banging stereotype of an auction and into many new types that new rules could enable.

“Sometimes the invisible hand of the

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PlayStation Creator Is Now Focused On Robotics, Autonomous Driving

The creator of the original PlayStation console is back to make new machines, though they probably aren’t what you’d expect. Ken Kutaragi has moved from video games to robots, and he aims to help human workers with factory jobs.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Kutaragi explained that as CEO of Ascent Robotics, a company founded in 2016, he is not receiving a salary and wants to solve problems caused by the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has turned the old argument about robots taking our jobs on its head,” he said. “It’s pretty clear now that if we want to arrive at a new normal, we need more and more robots in our daily lives.”

Increased automation has certainly been a concern across numerous industries, with machines taking the place of cashiers, assembly workers, and even cooks. With the pandemic putting peoples’ lives at risk, however, at least a temporary increase in automation

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A Look At The Innovators Driving Education Change In An Age Of Political Paralysis

While the political cyclone of 2020 continues to suck the air out of the proverbial room, the world of education innovation continues to engage in the all important task of responding to and iterating for the challenges of education worldwide. It’s astounding and inspiring to convene with the best in class entrepreneurs whose work is not only making a difference, but can help you forget the insanity we live in today. 

It’s hard to believe, but I had the chance to attend one such convening just last month, in Italy, no less! In full disclosure, the US-Italia Ed Innovation Festival, was the brainchild of my organization.  Our “modest” goal was to create a new education renaissance, so we set out to do so with this unique hybrid event. What’s most remarkable and

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Nissan Will Provide Automated Driving Technology in All Future Models

Self-driving: It’s not just for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) owners! Japanese automaker Nissan (OTC:NSANY) announced on Thursday that it will include automated driving features in all of its future models, regardless of price.

In an ambitious three-year plan, the company expects to roll out 20 new models by 2023, all of which will feature some level of automated driving capability. The move comes as competition heats up among automakers of all sizes to implement advanced technology like long-range batteries, automated driving, and heads-up displays. 

A concept rendering of an autonomous vehicle cockpit.

Image source: Getty Images.

Race to the top

Nissan, the ninth-largest automaker in the world by revenue, has had some success bringing technological innovations to market. It was the first carmaker to offer a mass-market battery-electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, in 2010. In 2016, the company introduced its ProPILOT 1 technology, which allowed a car to automatically follow the car in front of it while driving on the

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How California Wildfires Are Driving Energy Storage Beyond Lithium-Ion

California needs batteries. When California is on fire, it needs batteries that can keep a home, a hospital, a fire station, a senior center running longer than the four-hour standard of lithium-ion.

“What’s happened that’s brought this to bear has been the wildfires and the contingency issues we have in the PSPS (public-safety power shut-off) events,” said Mike Gravely, research program manager for the California Energy Commission.

“In November of last year over two million resident people in California were impacted by wildfire PSPS events” in which utilities shut down portions of the grid to prevent equipment from sparking fires during flammable conditions. “The average short outage was 11 hours, and some of it went as high as three to five days.”

During those

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These are the top bankers, lawyers, and capital providers driving the $40 billion SPAC craze

One of Wall Street’s most talked-about trends is the wave of special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, that have launched IPOs at such a torrid pace that they’re on track to raise more than triple last year’s totals.



a group of people walking in front of a building: One-hundred and twelve SPACs, aka "blank-check firms," have raised more than $40 billion so far this year. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson


© REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
One-hundred and twelve SPACs, aka “blank-check firms,” have raised more than $40 billion so far this year. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

One-hundred and twelve SPACs, aka “blank-check firms,” have raised more than $40 billion so far this year, according to the website SPAC Research. There are now 183 shell companies with $57 billion to spend on bringing other companies public, the data provider said.

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There’s an entire ecosystem of advisers, salespeople, and lawyers increasingly pitching blank-check companies to investment platforms and wealthy people. Asset managers like Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Capital Research are also increasingly participating in the market, lending an additional aura of respectability to what had once

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5 Tech ETFs Driving the Market Rally This Year

The technology sector has shown strong resilience amid the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, it has driven the bull market since the March lows and has been the best-performing sector so far this year with the S&P 500 Information Technology climbing more than 26%. In comparison, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index has gained 4.4% and 24.9%, respectively.

The gains were primarily driven by mega-cap companies, especially the FAANG stocks though these have bled lately on elevated valuation concerns. Notably, after an astounding surge since the March lows, these stocks are now selling at very rich valuations. Still, they are fundamentally strong.

This is especially true as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the global digital shift, which has accelerated e-commerce for everything ranging from remote working to entertainment and shopping. The resurgence in coronavirus cases lately and the prospect of lockdowns will continue to fuel demand for Internet (read:

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Tesla Model 3 scores poorly on European assisted driving tests

Europe’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) has released its second series of assisted driving grades, and despite having the best technology, Tesla’s Model 3 came away with a mediocre score. The reason? Driver engagement is a key factor and Tesla’s Autopilot system “encourages the driver to relinquish too much control,” according to the testers (via RoadShow).

The results from the test don’t show that Tesla’s systems are bad, in fact far from it. Tesla had the top score in vehicle assistance, meaning its automatic braking, lane-keeping and other systems all work well together. It also beat all rivals in the “safety backup” section, as it can handle things like a system failure, unresponsive driver and collision avoidance with aplomb — as we’ve seen before in viral Tesla videos.

According to NCAP, however, the problems lie within a category called “driver engagement.” Testers said that the marketing materials don’t line

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UW researchers driving around Seattle using Street View-style camera to study response to pandemic

In images of of the streets of Seattle, University of Washington researchers are using algorithms to help identify things such as cars, people and whether they are physically distancing in each frame of (University of Washington Photo)

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered life as we know it in Seattle, and a team from the University of Washington is conducting research using images from around the city to better understand just how much.

Since May, researchers have been driving around Seattle, scanning the streets with a car-mounted camera similar to Google’s Street View technology. Images capture a particular point in time and illustrate whether people are outside, how many cars are on the road, which business are open and so forth. According to UW News, researchers hope the massive data set will help answer questions about what makes a city resilient and how to better prepare for potential future pandemics and

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Global ADAS & Autonomous Driving Technology Market Report 2020: Covid-19 Impact Analysis & Long-term Forecast to 2040

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep 30, 2020–

The “Edition 2020, ADAS & Autonomous Driving Technology – Market & Industry Analysis, Forecast – 2020 – 2040” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

By the end of 2020, the global passenger vehicle demand is predicted to plunge by 11% due to Covid-19 pandemic and commercial vehicle industry is expected to witness a fall in the demand for the first time in the decade

All the major markets are estimated to witness sharp decline, while, the countries including the U.S., Italy, India, France, South Korea, Japan, China, United Kingdom, and Spain are expected to witness fall of more than 10%. From a more optimistic perspective, the year 2021 could see a positive growth- curve in terms of passenger cars demand; however, the auto industry would at least need minimum of 5 years’ time to regain the sales volumes of 2019.

The publisher predicts that passenger

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