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Alibaba is experimenting with a drone delivery service as the Chinese ecommerce group seeks ever faster ways to put its goods in eager consumers’ hands.阿里巴巴(Alibaba)正在测试无人机送货务,这家中国电子商务集团寻求以更加快速的方式,将商品送到急切的消费者手中。The service — using propeller-driven drones in three major Chinese cities — appears more a publicity stunt than a serious business model, but raises the question of whether using drones for short-hop logistics is viable on the mainland, where airspace is tightly controlled.这项在中国三大城市测试的、使用螺旋桨驱动无人机送货的务,似乎更像是一个宣传噱头,而不是一种正式的商业模式,但它提出了一个问题:在中国大陆使用无人机进行短途送货是否可行?中国存在严格的航空管制。Alibaba “aren’t hinting that drone-delivery service is ripe for commercialisation in [mainland China]”, the company said.阿里巴巴表示,该公司并不是在暗示无人机送货务(在中国大陆)的商业化时机已经成熟。It said the quadcopter drones were deployed in a “one-off test”, to last three days, launched in areas of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to whisk boxes of ginger tea to customers.阿里巴巴称,将在北京、上海、广州三地展开为期三天的“一次性测试”,测试中将使用四轴飞行器把盒装姜茶快递给客户。The drones would not be flown right to customers’ doors, but to central logistics sites where the “last-mile” delivery will be handled by human couriers, said Alibaba, whose online marketplaces account for about 75-80 per cent of the ecommerce in China.该公司表示,这些无人机不会直接飞到客户门前,而是会飞到物流站点,“最后一公里”的送货将由快递员负责。阿里巴巴的在线集市占据了中国电商市场约75%到80%的份额。The drones were deployed by logistics company YTO Express, a partner of Alibaba.阿里巴巴的合作伙伴、物流公司圆通速递(YTO Express)执行了这次无人机送货务。Companies the world over have begun to experiment with unmanned aerial vehicles as part of efforts to more easily and quickly reach more remote delivery addresses.全球各地的企业已开始测试无人机送货,以求更快捷地将货物送到较偏远的送货地址。But regulations in China are so onerous that few believe airspace will be freed up any time soon to widesp use of whirring and buzzing quadcopter drones.但中国的法规非常繁琐,以至于没什么人相信其领空不久之后就能开放给嗡嗡作响的四轴飞行器广泛使用。Last June, US artist Trey Ratcliff was detained and had his GoPro camera-equipped drone confiscated by police after he flew it over the Forbidden City in Beijing without permission.去年6月,美国影像艺术家特里#8226;拉特克利夫(Trey Ratcliff)在未经许可的情况下,操控装有GoPro摄像头的无人机从北京故宫上空飞过。拉特克利夫随后被逮捕,无人机也被警方没收。“Deciding to fly a drone over China is kind of like Luke Skywalker deciding to ride his landspeeder on the Death Star,” he wrote in a blog post about the incident. “Note to self: don’t mess with these guys.”拉特克利夫在一篇客中对此事描述道:“决定操控无人机飞过中国上空,有点像卢克#8226;天行者(Luke Skywalker)决定在死星(Death Star)上驾驶他的陆上飞艇(landspeeder)。自我提醒:别碰这些家伙。”In 2013, a Shanghai bakery scrapped plans to deliver cakes within 30 minutes, using drone couriers, blaming airspace regulations.2013年,上海一家面包店放弃了用无人机在30分钟内将糕点送到顾客手中的计划,并将原因归于航空管制。Even in the relatively liberal US, Amazon has had to navigate regulatory issues as it tries to set up drone delivery services. The company, which has drone Ramp;D testing centres in both the US and the UK, said last year that it was creating Amazon Prime Air, which aims to use pilotless flying vehicles to deliver packages to millions of customers within half an hour of orders being placed.即使在管制相对宽松的美国,亚马逊(Amazon)在尝试建立无人机送货务时,也必须小心应付监管问题。亚马逊在美国和英国都有无人机测试中心。去年该公司表示,正在创建Amazon Prime Air务,其目标是利用无人飞行器将包裹送到数百万顾客手中,顾客下单后最多等半小时包裹即可送到。However, founder Jeff Bezos has said the service could be delayed by red tape as US authorities have yet to approve proposals for commercial drone use. Tech commentators have dismissed the project as a marketing gimmick.然而,亚马逊创始人杰夫#8226;贝索斯(Jeff Bezos)已表示,这项务有可能因繁琐的审批手续而延迟推出,因为美国监管部门尚未批准使用商业无人机的方案。科技人士认为该计划是一个营销噱头、不必理睬。Racing against Amazon to get drones into regular commercial use, Google has opted for test runs in Australia, as aviation authorities have yet to allow any more than limited use in the US.在让无人机进入正规商用方面,谷歌(Google)正与亚马逊展开竞赛。谷歌选择在澳大利亚进行测试,当地航空管理部门对无人机使用的限制并不比美国宽松。 /201502/359209Wal-Mart Stores is teaming up with Alibaba to roll out the Alipay mobile payment service in China — its latest move to increase sales in a tough, but potentially lucrative international market.为了在中国这个形势严峻但潜在利润丰厚的海外市场提升销售额,沃尔玛迈出了新一步:它宣布与阿里巴巴合作,开始持付宝付款。Ant Financial, a financial affiliate of Alibaba, said on Wednesday that the partnership with the world’s biggest retailer would start with 25 stores in Shenzhen, including one of its Sam’s Club locations, and be accepted at all 410 Wal-Mart stores in China by the end of the year.阿里巴巴子公司蚂蚁金表示,沃尔玛在深圳的25家分店将率先参与这一合作,其中包括一家山姆会员店。今年年底,双方合作范围将扩大到沃尔玛在中国的全部410家分店。The tie-up with China’s leading e-commerce company comes as Wal-Mart looks to dramatically improve its performance in the world’s most populous country. Last quarter, Wal-Mart’s net sales fell 0.7%, while comparable sales, which strip out the effect of newly opened or closed stores, were down 2.3%.这场与阿里巴巴的合作来的恰逢其时,沃尔玛正急于快速提升在这个全球人口最多国家的业绩。上个季度,沃尔玛在中国的净销售额下降了0.7%;剔除新开和已关闭分店的影响,可比销售额下降2.3%。Wal-Mart has grappled with the perception in China that its prices are not the lowest, among other challenges.沃尔玛在中国面临的挑战之一就是,消费者认为其商品售价并不是最低的。Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon told investors in February that the company is “taking the right steps to solidify a foundation for long-term growth.”今年2月份,沃尔玛首席执行官董明伦曾告诉投资者,正“采取适当措施为长期增长奠定基础”。One of those steps has turned out to be working with China’s leading mobile payments service: last fiscal year, ended June 30, 2014, Alipay settled 8 billion in transactions, and had some 190 million active users for its mobile app as of last fall.显然,其中一项措施就是和中国主要的移动付务商合作。在截至2014年6月30日的财年中,付宝完成的交易金额达7880亿美元;去年秋季,其移动应用活跃用户数约为1.9亿。The Alipay deal won’t entail new capital spending by Wal-Mart. Its cash registers won’t need extra equipment to accept Alipay Wallet mobile payments, given that basic barcode scanning guns will do the trick. Customers will be able to check out by having their smart phones scanned.而且,与付宝合作不会增加沃尔玛的资本出。超市收银机自带的扫码就能完成付宝付,无需添加其他设备。消费者只需拿出智能手机,轻轻一扫就可结账。“Alipay will help us serve our customers better by allowing mobile payment in seconds. Increasingly, our customers want convenience,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Marilee McInnis told Fortune in an e-mailed message. This is all the more important given how prevalent mobile payment has become in a country with such limited credit card use.沃尔玛发言人玛丽莉o麦金尼斯通过电子邮件向《财富》杂志表示:“移动付几秒钟内就能完成,与付宝合作有助于我们更好地务消费者。顾客越来越希望享受便捷的体验。”这点特别重要,尤其在中国这样一个移动付格外流行,信用卡使用却非常有限的国家。For Alipay, working with the world’s largest retailer can help it increase adoption of the mobile payments service.对付宝来说,和全球最大的零售商合作则有助于扩大其移动付业务的覆盖范围。Last month, McMillon told journalists on a trip to Beijing that his goal was not to make Wal-Mart the biggest retailer in China, but rather the most trusted, eschewing a previous strategy anchored on aggressive store expansion. So the company is pulling back on the pace of store openings and in fact is closing many underperforming stores in China.董明伦上个月在赴北京途中向记者透露,他的目标并不是让沃尔玛成为中国规模最大的零售企业,而是最受信任的一家,不能再延续过去大量开分店的策略。所以沃尔玛正放慢设立新店的速度,实际上还关闭了不少表现欠佳的门店。The retailer, which first came to China in 1996, plans to open to open 115 new stores by 2017, which would bring its store count in China to 530 locations. By contrast, Wal-Mart has nearly 5,200 in the U.S. across its various banners.沃尔玛1996年登陆中国市场,计划到2017年再开115家新店,届时其在中国的门店数量将达530家。而在美国,沃尔玛旗下各子品牌分店已接近5200家。 /201505/375660

In the sci-fi film Sunshine, a spaceship’s crew goes insane after staring at the sun for too long. Those hoping for profits from solar power investments might also go mad. While healthy solar panel demand does catch the eye, prices have fallen more than a fifth during the past two years due to a glut of manufacturing capacity. 在科幻电影《太阳浩劫》(Sunshine)里,飞船上的宇航员因为盯着太阳看了太久而精神失常。那些渴望从投资太阳能发电而获利的人可能也会发疯。尽管对太阳能电池板的旺盛需求的确引人注目,但制造产能严重过剩导致过去两年里价格下降逾五分之一。 Solar installations should keep growing, another 40 per cent to 81.4 gigawatts before the end of the decade. Much of this expansion will come in the US, the second-largest solar market. One driver for panel demand there has been a federal investment tax credit for 30 per cent of the spend. Originally meant to end this year, a last-minute reprieve by Congress extended it for another three years — good news for panel makers. 太阳能发电装机容量应该会持续增长,在本十年结束之前新增40%,至81.4吉瓦。这一扩张有很大一部分将发生在全球第二大太阳能市场——美国。刺激美国市场太阳能电池板需求的一大动力是30%的联邦投资税收抵免。该计划原定今年截止,但美国国会在最后一刻将其延长了三年,这对太阳能电池板制造商来说是个好消息。 Yet volumes will still need to grow faster than solar panel prices are falling. Forward valuations for companies in the New York Stock Exchange’s Solar index have compressed; the index’s price/earnings ratio has dropped nearly a third this year to 18 times, suggesting the market does not yet believe that prices will stop falling. 尽管如此,太阳能电池板的销售量增长仍需要跑赢价格下跌。纽交所(NYSE)太阳能指数成分股公司的预期估值已经缩水,今年以来该股指的市盈率已下跌近三分之一,至18倍,似乎表明市场尚不认为价格将停止下跌。 Excess capacity in China is usually blamed. Worldwide, demand this year for solar panels at 66GW should still trail well behind capacity of 75-80GW, says renewables specialist BNEF. Most makers of the polysilicon for these panels lose money on every kilogramme they sell; spot prices now run at per kilogramme. News this year that polysilicon producers such as REC Silicon had closed US factories understandably improved spirits, lifting shares of US-listed Chinese silicon maker Daqo and Korea’s OCI. 这通常被归咎于中国的产能过剩。据可再生能源专家BNEF介绍,今年全球66吉瓦的太阳能电池板需求,仍将远远落后于75-80吉瓦的产能。用于太阳能电池板的多晶硅的多数生产商,每销售一公斤都在赔钱;目前的现货价格是每公斤13美元。难怪今年有关多晶硅生产商(如REC Silicon)关闭美国工厂的消息令人振奋,此类消息推高了在美国上市的中国多晶硅厂商大全能源(Daqo)和韩国OCI的股价。 Matters could still get worse, though. Norway’s Elkem, now owned by Bluestar Group, a subsidiary of ChemChina, can make polysilicon profitably even at current prices. Demand from China, the largest market for installations, is slowing and represents little of future growth, according to IHS. More heat and less light required. 然而,情况可能还会变得更糟。目前由中国化工(ChemChina)的子公司蓝星集团(Bluestar Group)所有的挪威埃肯公司(Elkem),即便以当前的价格生产多晶硅尚能盈利。据研究机构IHS表示,全球最大太阳能装机容量市场——中国的需求正在放缓,且未来增长预计将微不足道。显然这个市场需要多一点热度,少一点刺眼的光。 /201603/429598It is less than a quarter of an hour’s drive down Route 101 from the village-like campus of Stanford University to Mountain View, the Silicon Valley home of Udacity.从庄园般的斯坦福大学(Standford University)校园出发,沿着101号路,驾车来到Udacity所在的硅谷山景城(Mountain View),只需要不到一刻钟的时间。This was the journey Sebastian Thrun, the online education company’s chief executive and co-founder, made in 2012 when he cleared his desk at the computer science department to focus on a way of teaching business skills differently.这正是这家在线教育公司首席执行官兼共同创始人塞巴斯蒂安礠饲(Sebastian Thrun)在2012年走过的路。当时,他清空了在计算机系的办公桌,将精力集中于一种全新的传授商业技能的方式。His new life as a tech entrepreneur is about as different to his tenured faculty post as Udacity’s modern headquarters, in an office block next door to the sprawling car park of a Target hypermarket, is from the Spanish colonial architecture of Stanford.作为科技企业创业者的新生活,与他终身教职生活之间的区别,大约和Udacity的现代化总部大楼与斯坦福大学西班牙殖民时代建筑之间的区别差不多。Udacity的总部在一个办公大楼内,旁边是一家塔吉特(Target)超市的巨大停车场。While this new life among the tech industry’s elite may make some professors wince, the 48-year-old Mr Thrun, a German expat, looks every inch the Valley entrepreneur when we meet, with his shaved head, black T-shirt, jeans and flame red running shoes.这种在高科技产业精英中的新生活,可能会令某些大学教授望而却步。然而,在我们相见之时,现年48岁的德国人特龙,看起来却是一名十足的硅谷企业家。他剃着光头,身着黑色T恤、牛仔裤、以及一双火红色的跑鞋。“The beauty of Silicon Valley is that people are literally fearless,” Mr Thrun says, after we settle into one of the glass walled meeting rooms, named after characters in the Doctor Who and Transformers franchises.我们在一间玻璃墙面的会议室坐定之后,特龙说:“硅谷的美妙之处在于,这里的人们真正是无所畏惧。”这里的会议室都是以《神秘士》(Doctor Who)和《变形金刚》(Transformers)系列中的人物命名的。The belief that the education market is ripe for “disruption”, as it is put in the Silicon Valley vernacular, has led to a mushrooming in ed tech start-ups seeking to create new platforms for teaching. Downloadable s, known as Moocs (massive open online courses), for example, are now a tool for delivering learning to anyone with Internet access.用硅谷的流行语言来说,“颠覆”教育市场的时机已经成熟。在这种信念的影响下,一系列教育类科技创业型企业如雨后春笋般出现,试图建立新的教学平台。比如,被称为“大型网络公开课”(Massive Open Online Courses,简称“慕课”(Mooc))的可下载视频,如今已成为向所有互联网用户提供学习机会的工具。With Google X – a semi-secret facility dedicated to making technological advancements, including driverless cars and Internet-connected glasses -also on his CV, Mr Thrun is seen as the market’s most innovative thinker. He is credited with creating the first big Mooc hit, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, while he was still teaching at Stanford.曾在Google X工作的特龙,被视为这一市场中最具创新能力的思想家。Google X是一个处于半保密状态的部门,致力于开展包括无人驾驶汽车和互联网眼镜在内的高科技研发。特龙因开设了首门轰动性慕课——《人工智能导论》(Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)——而受到赞誉,当时他还在斯坦福大学教书。Udacity is one of the “big three” in the market, alongside neighbouring start-up Coursera and Boston-based EdX, which between them boast the largest collections of Moocs.Udacity是在线教育市场的“三巨头”之一。另外两大巨头分别是同为硅谷邻居的创业型企业Coursera,以及位于波士顿的EdX,这两家总共拥有的慕课数量是最多的。Although his presentations at the time were extremely low-tech, recorded on a digital camera in his living room, 160,000 people from 190 countries signed up to the course within days, including young men dodging attacks in Afghanistan.当时,他的课程使用的技术十分低级,是在他的起居室里用一台数码摄像机录制的。尽管如此,几天之内就有来自190个国家的16万人报名参加了这一课程,其中包括正在躲避袭击的阿富汗年轻人。The power of networks and sharing网络与分享的力量As Moocs evolved, however, it became apparent that as few as three per cent of students signing up to courses would complete them. So while others tried to copy Mr Thrun’s model, he was among the first to claim that Moocs were not actually the panacea to the market they had first appeared.不过,随着慕课的发展,人们发现,在报名参加慕课的学生中,似乎只有3%能完成课程学习。因此,虽然其他人也试图复制特龙的成功模式,特龙却较早提出,在线教育市场上最先出现的慕课,其实并不能一劳永逸地解决这个市场的所有问题。Instead, he created a model at Udacity based on supplying credentials, called nanodegrees, that cost a fraction of the cost of traditional programmes and are endorsed by employers.于是,他在Udacity创立了一种新模式,提供被称为微学位(nanodegree)的书。这种书所需成本只有传统教育项目成本的零头,并且得到雇主的认可。“We want to be the Uber of education,” Mr Thrun claims, following the start-up convention of comparing one’s business model to the current darling of the VC community.特龙声称:“我们想成为教育界的优步(Uber)。”这番言论沿袭了创业型企业将自己的商业模式与风投圈现在的宠儿相比拟的习惯。There is some justification for this metaphor given that both Udacity and Uber use a network of freelancers paid per piece of work they perform. In the case of Uber, this means taxi drivers, while Udacity uses the marking skills of academic staff, cross checking nanodegree students’ work through a process of peer review.这一比喻有一定道理,原因是Udacity和优步都使用了由自由职业者组成的网络,按照他们完成的每份工作付报酬。优步使用的是指出租车司机组成的网络,而Udacity使用的则是学术人员的打分技能,通过一种同行评议的过程,实现对微学位学员学习成果的交叉检查。The list of academics on Udacity’s books is now in triple figures, many of whom are retired computer science professors. “We have a guy in South Africa who makes ,000 a month,” says Mr Thrun.如今,Udacity账本上的学者名单有三位数之多,其中许多都是计算机科学领域的退休教授。特龙表示:“我们有一位老师在南非,每个月赚1.1万美元。”The selling points of such “sharing economy” models are not just that they provide work to professionals and enable companies to expand operations relatively easily, but that they create a network effect where the service gets better the more people get involved.这种“分享经济”模式的卖点,不仅仅是向专业人士提供了工作,令企业能够相对容易地扩大业务,还在于它产生了一种网络效应——参与的人越多,务越好。Mr Thrun’s premise is that the way people learn and the way companies are prepared to fund this has changed so dramatically that old models of teaching need to be replaced with more flexible techniques.特龙的假设是,人们学习的方式和企业准备为这一过程提供资金的方式已发生了极大改变,旧的教学模式必须由更加灵活的技术代替。Flexibility is key to competition灵活性是竞争力的关键The first of Udacity’s online courses, in web development and data analytics, was launched in September 2014 through a partnership with US telecoms provider ATamp;T. To date, some 5,000 people have enrolled on it with ATamp;T offering 100 paid internships to those completing the course. Some 20 other tech companies have since become Udacity partners, including Google, Salesforce and Cloudera.Udacity第一门在线课程是有关网络开发和数据分析的,该课程于2014年9月与美国电信务提供商ATamp;T合作推出。截至今天,已有约5000人注册了这一课程,ATamp;T面向完成这一课程的人提供100个带薪实习岗位。自那以来,包括谷歌(Google)、Salesforce、和Cloudera在内,已有另外约20家高科技企业成为Udacity的合作伙伴。“We get 90 per cent finishing rates on courses,” Mr Thrun boasts. However, he cannot afford to rest on his laurels as competition in the market is heating up (see sidebar). There is also a need to keep Udacity’s business model flexible, given that online teaching is still an evolving market, where the one certainty is that no one has yet gained a clear lead.特龙自豪地说:“我们的课程完成率达到了90%。”不过,在线教育市场竞争日益激烈,他也不敢躺在过往的成绩上睡大觉。此外,他还必须保持Udacity商业模式的灵活性,原因是在线教育是个仍在发展变化的市场,关于这个市场唯一确定的一点是还没有人明显领先。Rewards for educational innovation教育创新的回报Mr Thrun knows what he doesn’t want for his company; professors in tenure, which he claims limits the ability to react to market demands. “Android has over a billion users now, but you would be hard pressed to hear of a single college that provides courses in Android.”特龙知道他不希望他的企业有什么,那就是拥有终身教职的教授。他声称,终身教职会限制他们回应市场需求的能力。“目前,Android拥有逾10亿用户。但是,你很难听到任何一所大学提供有关Android的课程。”He is clearly keen to stimulate more blue sky thinking about solving the education challenge he has set himself.很明显,对于如何解决他自己提出的教育领域的挑战,他急于激发出一些更加天马行空的想法。“What I have done instead is hire some very young people. Almost 50 per cent female. Average age is 28.“我所做的是聘用一些非常年轻的人。其中将近一半是女性,平均年龄是28岁。“I want people with fresh ideas. People with a passion for it. What I do is just unleash their potential.”“我想要的是拥有新鲜观点的人,是对此充满热情的人。我所做的只是释放出他们的潜能。”Being in Silicon Valley’s heartlands, where working on a start-up is the norm, is vital for this reason, explains Mr Thrun. He claims it would be harder to develop such a business in another part of the world and certainly not in an existing academic institution. “People in education are risk averse,” he says. “They want to build Steinways. I like to think of us having the impact Ikea has.”特龙解释说,出于这个原因,把公司设在硅谷心脏地带至关重要,因为在这里为创业型企业工作是种常态。他声称,在世界其他地区发展这样的企业将更加困难,而在现有学术机构中发展这类企业则完全不可能。他说:“教育系统中的人都不喜欢冒险。他们想要打造的是像施坦威(Steinway)那样的百年老店。我则喜欢把我们视为与宜家(Ikea)有同样影响的企业。”One of Mr Thrun’s ideas to stimulate creative thinking in Udacity has been to reward suggestions with bottles of wine. In less than a month, he has given more than 12 away. “I want to make it almost mandatory what people can do without fear,” he says.在Udacity,特龙激励创造性思维的一个办法是,提建议就奖葡萄酒。在不到一个月的时间内,他已发放了不止12瓶葡萄酒。他说:“我想要把人们抛弃恐惧后可以做到的事情变成他们必须做到的事情。”Edtech competitors find partners to scale up教育科技业竞争者借合作伙伴扩大规模Down the road from Udacity, Coursera has been building partnerships with commercial organisations and the world’s top universities, including Stanford (photo of campus on left), to offer free courses online for the masses.在Udacity旁边不远处,Coursera已经和多家商业机构以及斯坦福等全球顶尖大学建立了合作关系,向公众提供免费的在线课程。NovoEd, also created by former Stanford professors, is building similar partnerships for online learning.同样由曾经的斯坦福大学教授创办的NovoEd,正在为在线学习建立类似的合作关系。These companies have considerable war chests to fund the competitive battle. Coursera has raised more than m for its effort, an increase on the m Udacity has raised since its launch three years ago.这些企业都坐拥大量资金,供他们开展激烈的竞争。Coursera已募集逾8500万美元用于竞争,超过了Udacity自三年前成立以来筹集的5500万美元。In his defence, Udacity co-founder and chief executive Sebastian Thrun says: “Taking on all of education is like boiling the ocean...My ambition is to make the experience of working at Udacity the best experience of people’s lives. But letting go of people [is] a liberation. I make them a task to find a new job. Many times I find people say thank you for firing me...It doesn’t always work but I think it works most of the time.这位Udacity的共同创始人兼首席执行官这样为自己辩护:“意图拿下全部教育市场无异于想要烧开整个海洋……我的志向是,令在Udacity的工作经历,成为人们生命中的最佳体验。不过,让人们离开是对他们的一种解放。我让他们把找到新工作当做一项任务。我曾多次遇到人们对我说,谢谢您解雇我……这种方式并不总是有效,但我认为多数情况下是奏效的。”“I have an ego but I don’t [say] I know everything. A lot of the decisions I have made were bad decisions,” he adds. “People in the Valley are both arrogant and extremely humble.”他还说:“我比较自信,不过我不会(说)我什么都知道。我所做的决策许多都很糟糕。硅谷人既自负,同时又极度谦卑。” /201509/399128

To watch the confrontation between the US’s most valuable company and its top law enforcement agency is to find oneself in a state of nearly permanent cognitive dissonance. 观察一下美国最有价值的公司与美国最高执法机构之间的对峙,你会陷入一种近乎永久性“认知失调”的状态中。 Apparently, America’s government agencies are both omnipotent and helpless. Omnipotent because, as this week’s batch of surveillance revelations from WikiLeaks suggests, they have no problems intercepting highly secretive communications between their European allies. Helpless because, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s bosses keep repeating, they need Apple’s co-operation in order to break into the iPhone of the shooter in the San Bernardino attacks. 显然,美国政府机构既无所不能,又很无助。之所以说无所不能是因为,正如上周维基解密(WikiLeaks)爆料的数起监控案例所表明的那样,它们在拦截欧洲盟友之间高度机密的通信内容方面神通广大。之所以说无助是因为,正如联邦调查局(FBI)的头头们屡次重申的那样,它们需要苹果(Apple)的合作,以解锁圣贝纳迪诺击案凶手的iPhone。 It gets worse. On February 9, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, boasted in his Senate testimony that “in the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.” Now we learn that such agencies cannot get into our smartphones … let alone our smart fridges. 更糟的还在后面。今年2月9日,美国国家情报总监(DNI)詹姆斯克拉珀(James Clapper)在参议院作时夸耀称,“未来,情报部门可能使用(物联网)来确认、监听、监控、定位以及定向招募,或者进入网络或者用户凭据”。现在我们知道,这些机构无法进入我们的智能手机……更别说我们的智能冰箱了。 Something in the government’s rhetoric does not add up. The FBI either has solid reasons to break into that phone — in which case it is not obvious why the mighty power of the National Security Agency and other government bodies has not yet been mobilised — or it is simply using the San Bernardino case as an excuse to redefine its relationship with Silicon Valley. 美国政府的某些言论并不能自圆其说。FBI要么有解锁那部手机的充足理由——如果是这种情况的话,美国国家安全局(NSA)和其他政府机构的强大能力不知为何没有被动用——要么只是以圣贝纳迪诺击案为借口来重新界定它与硅谷的关系。 Asked by a judge about its willingness to enlist the help of all the federal agencies in a similar case from 2015, the government responded that “federal prosecutors don’t have an obligation to consult the intelligence community in order to investigate crime.” 在2015年的一起类似案件中,当被一名法官问及是否愿意争取所有联邦机构的帮助时,美国政府回应称,“联邦检察机关没有咨询情报部门以调查犯罪行为的义务”。 And since very little is known about the true capabilities of America’s intelligence community, everyone involved in the current debate has to pretend that the world’s most powerful spying agency does not exist. 既然人们对美国情报机关的真实能力知之甚少,所有卷入当前辩论的人不得不假装,这个全球最强大的情报机构并不存在。 While the FBI’s defence has been that their request is extremely narrow — once Apple has facilitated access to that single phone, it is free to destroy the code required to do so — the broader political context in which this battle unfolds suggests that Apple’s stance will have far-reaching implications. 尽管FBI一直辩称,他们的要求极低——一旦苹果帮助解锁了那部手机,就可以销毁为此开发的代码——但这场争斗所处的更广泛的政治环境表明,苹果的立场将具有深远的影响。 First, the FBI’s request comes at a time when the US government is exerting immense pressure on America’s largest technology companies to join it in the fight against Isis. Both the state department and the Department of Defense have recently expanded their presence in Silicon Valley. 首先,FBI提出请求之际,正值美国政府对美国大型科技公司施加巨大压力,要求它们加入到打击“伊斯兰国”(ISIS)中。FBI和美国国防部最近都扩大了在硅谷的存在。 While many such requests are straightforward — removing jihadist propaganda from YouTube or Twitter, for example — there are concerns that such pressure might extend to modifying their algorithms in order to hide certain types of content from easily susceptible users. 尽管许多此类要求很直接——例如,消除YouTube或Twitter上的圣战宣传标语——但仍有人担心,此类压力可能延展至要求科技公司调整算法,以便向容易受影响的用户屏蔽某些类型的内容。 Google knows what is in your inbox; why should it not modify your search results to make you less of a terrorist? 谷歌(Google)知道你的收件箱里有什么;它为何不应调整你的搜索结果以便降低你发展成恐怖分子的可能性? Second, it is hard to believe that the San Bernardino case will be an isolated episode. Not only are there several similar cases aly pending in US courts but many prosecutors have aly indicated they have their own backlog of phones to unlock. 其次,很难相信圣贝纳迪诺击案会是一个孤立事件。美国法院已有多起类似的案件等待判决,而且很多检察官已表示,他们也有大量手机等待解锁。 Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance said recently that he would “absolutely ... want access to all those phones that are crucial in a criminal investigation.” 曼哈顿地区检察官塞勒斯万斯(Cyrus Vance)最近表示,他“肯定……希望破解所有在刑事调查中起关键作用的手机。” Even if Apple chose to destroy the code it writes to help the FBI on this occasion, it would need to rewrite it for a new request. Should it keep this code forever, it would be holding on to a magic key to its devices — a highly prized asset for any hacker. 即便苹果选择销毁这次为帮助FBI而编写的代码,以后再有新的要求时它还得重写。如果苹果永远保留这个代码,这将为其设备保有一把带有魔力的钥匙:这对于任何黑客而言都是一项十足珍贵的资产。 Given the publicity of the case, any terrorists would probably stop using Apple’s products anyway. The only people to suffer would be ordinary users, stuck with their iPhones and iPads. 鉴于此案的曝光度,所有恐怖主义分子恐怕都不会再用苹果产品。唯一的受害者将是那些离不开iPhone和iPad的普通用户。 Third, the FBI’s rationale in this case would make any other manufacturer of smart devices — including all those smart fridges and smart thermostats in your smart home — subject to similar requests. 第三,联邦调查局在此案中提出的理由将令所有其他生产智能设备的制造商(包括你的智能家居中的智能冰箱和智能恒温器)从类似的要求。 If Apple can be forced to modify security protocols on its phone, what stops the FBI from asking the manufacturer of the smart smoke detector to trigger a fake smoke alarm? Or asking the manufacturer of the smart car to drive suspects directly to the police station? 如果苹果可以被迫修改其手机的安全协议,那么还有什么能阻止FBI要求智能烟雾报警器制造商发出虚假烟雾报警?或者要求生产智能汽车的制造商让嫌疑人乘坐的汽车直接开到警察局? All of this would seem neat so long as the government agencies were competent and nobody else could take advantage of such vulnerabilities. 所有这些似乎都会安然无事,只要政府机构有能力,而且其他人无法利用这些脆弱性。 This is not so. The San Bernardino case — where the FBI had a chance to break into the phone but blew it by changing the suspect’s Apple password — suggests that the FBI’s technical competence does not yet match the NSA’s. 但情况并非如此,在圣贝纳迪诺击案中,联邦调查局曾经有机会破解那部手机,但在修改嫌疑人的苹果密码时搞砸了。这表明,联邦调查局的技术能力还赶不上美国国家安全局。 And it would be suicidal to force technology companies to weaken security at a time when institutions of all sorts are vulnerable to hackers demanding ransoms — earlier this month, a hospital in California paid the bitcoin equivalent of ,000 to hackers who had breached its computer network. 在各类机构容易受到索要赎金的黑客的攻击之际,迫使科技公司削弱产品的安全性无异于自杀。本月早些时候,加州一家医院向攻击其电脑网络的黑客付了价值相当于1.7万美元的比特币。 Apple’s proposed solution is the right one: America needs a comprehensive political debate on the issue — one that would bypass inter-agency squabbling. 苹果提出的解决方案是正确的:美国需要就这个问题展开一场全面的政治辩论,这场辩论将绕开机构之间的争吵。 Alas, given how little the current batch of presidential candidates seems to care, or even understand, these issues, this debate is not likely to happen. 唉,当前的各位总统候选人似乎都不太关心这些问题,甚至不太了解,因此这场辩论不太可能出现。 /201603/429552Hernando de Soto, the Peruvian economist whose work centred on the informal economy and property rights, has much to contribute to the dialogue raging in the so-called developed world about privacy and data.在所谓的发达世界,一场关于隐私和数据的对话正如火如荼地展开。主要研究非正式经济和财产权的秘鲁经济学家埃尔南多#8226;德索托(Hernando de Soto),可为这场对话贡献不少真知灼见。Mr de Soto showed how enabling individuals to own property legally would drive economic prosperity. Many credit him with the surge of wealth creation happening in some parts of Latin America.德索托阐释了,为何让个人拥有合法财产权能够推动经济繁荣。许多人认为,拉丁美洲一些地方财富创造大大加快就要归功于他。Meanwhile, US technology platform companies and the European Union are engaged in an arms race around privacy. The issue is not whether my data are private. We lost that battle a long time ago. As Scott McNealy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems said: “You have zero privacy#8201;.#8201;.#8201;.#8201;get over it.” The issue is over who owns my data and to whom the value accrues.与此同时,美国科技平台企业和欧盟(EU)正围绕隐私较劲。问题不在于我的数据是否隐私。这场战斗我们早已打输。如太阳计算机系统公司(Sun Microsystems)联合创始人斯科特 #8226;麦克尼利(Scott McNealy)所说:“你没有丝毫隐私……别纠结这个了。”问题在于谁拥有我的数据、这些数据的价值又属于谁。Google’s use of my data drives their business model and their multibillion-dollar market capitalisation. We get no economic benefit for that beyond free search and online stalking. My bank account does not benefit from its success.谷歌(Google)使用了我的数据,这推动其建立了商业模式,实现了巨额市值。除免费搜索和在线追踪之外,我们不从中获得任何经济利益。谷歌的成功不会让我的账户余额增加一分钱。I long thought an entrepreneur would develop a business model to incentivise individuals for the use of their consumer data. I found one such entrepreneur,John Paleomylites, who was running BeatThatQuote, a UK price comparison site that my firm Ariadne Capital advised.我早已设想过会有一位企业家,开发一种商业模式,激励个人允许别人使用自己的消费者数据。我曾发现过这样一位企业家,约翰#8226;帕莱奥米利提斯(John Paleomylites),他曾管理过一家英国比价网站BeatThatQuote,我的公司Ariadne Capital曾为这家网站提供过咨询。BeatThatQuote was providing cash back deals and discounts. Despite having less than #163;500,000 of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, it was sold to Google in 2011 for #163;37.7m, having articulated its strategic value (or threat) to its acquirer. Who says Goliath does not get scared?当时,BeatThatQuote提供返利和折扣。尽管这家网站的息税折旧和摊销前利润(EBITDA)还不到50万英镑,但在2011年,谷歌以3770万英镑的价格收购了它,因为它明明白白地展示了自己对谷歌的战略价值(或者说威胁)。谁说巨人歌利亚(Goliath)不会害怕?The battle is no longer about incentivisation. If we believe that my data — whether related to my finances, telecoms, health, transportation or property — are my data, than their use surely must accrue value to me.这场战斗已不再关乎激励机制。如果我们相信,我的数据——无论是关于我的财务、电信记录、健康情况、交通记录还是持有房产情况的数据——是属于我的,那么使用这些数据当然必须让我获益。Re-enter Mr de Soto. He changed the world for Peruvian farmers by establishing property rights for them. What if data were established as legal assets for everyone?再回到德索托。通过确立秘鲁农场主的财产权,他改变了这些人的命运(见上图)。如果数据被确认为每个人的合法财产,那会怎样?Those of us who have had property rights have the ability to build other assets on top of our property assets. If you are still securing your basic needs at the bottom of thepyramid described by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow — a model that features an individual’s survival at the bottom and their self-actualisation at the apex of the pyramid — then you advance more slowly and with less certainty, if at all.我们中已经拥有财产权的人,能够在我们的财产基础之上创建其他资产。美国心理学家亚伯拉罕#8226;马斯洛(Abraham Maslow)提出了需求层次理论,该理论认为人的需求呈金字塔形状,处于金字塔最底层的是生存需求,金字塔顶端是自我实现需求。如果你仍在努力满足处于需求层次底层的基本需求,那么你的进步速度会更慢、并面临更大不确定性,甚至根本无法进步。So if data are the new universal assets, instead of arguing about privacy, should we just argue about money?因此,假如数据是为人们普遍享有的新资产,那么我们是否应该仅争论钱的问题,而别再争隐私不隐私?If the starting point is “they are my data”, then there should be a corresponding accrual for their use in the financial accounts for any business whose model uses them. Data, and the cost of purchasing them, would become a “cost of sale” in transactions.如果以“那是我的数据”为前提,那么任何企业,只要它们的商业模式用到这些数据,那么就应该为使用这些数据向我们付相应的费用。数据,以及购买数据的成本,将成为一项“销售成本”。If a large bank or telecoms group opened up its customer data to start-ups for applications using that data and then sold those applications on, a percentage of the revenue would have to accrue to those customers, or be netted against any other monies they paid in. The value of what is owed to any one individual would be 1/N where N is the size of the customer base used.如果一家大型或电信公司向一些初创企业开发的应用开放自己的用户数据,供这些应用使用,并销售这些应用,那么就必须将所获收入的一部分交给那些用户,或者从用户缴纳的费用中扣除这部分金额。应付给每个用户个人的费用将为总收入的1/N,N为用户总数。At each point in history where power has shifted towards the individual from a hierarchy, power is forcefully taken. There is a net social gain for the common man and woman if their data are valued. Prosperity will rip across society if we set up the right data architecture for business.回顾历史,每次权力从特权集团转移到个人手中时,权力都被牢牢地抓住了。对普通民众来说,如果赋予他们的数据以价值,会为社会带来净收益。如果我们建立合适的数据商用结构,财富将迅速席卷社会各个阶层。The non-technology traditional business — whether retailer, bank, transportation company — has an ace to play. By engaging with entrepreneurs and embracing consumer data as a legal asset of the individual, the incumbents in all traditional industries could deliver singularly spectacular growth.无论是零售商、还是交通公司,各种非科技传统企业都有了一张可打的王牌。通过与初创企业合作,持让消费者数据成为个人的法定财产,所有传统行业的现有企业都能实现非凡的增长。This is a system-level challenge. A start-up is at best today a car — a revenue-generating algorithm — in need of a highway. What big companies have is distribution, audience and reach. They can be a very smart highway.这是一种系统级挑战。如今一家拥有能创造收入的算法的初创企业最多算一辆汽车,它们需要公路。大型企业有的是分销体系、听众和影响力。后者可能成为非常智能的公路。The judo move would be for large, traditional enterprises to recognise consumer data rights and proactively value them in their business models.关键的一步将是,大型传统企业承认消费者的数据权,主动在自己的商业模式中赋予这种权利价值。One can never win by playing by the rules of someone else’s game: you must change the rules of the game. Every successful entrepreneur knows this. It is time for the judo move.按照别人的游戏规则来玩,你永远不可能赢:你必须改变游戏规则。每个成功的企业家都明白这一点。是时候走出关键一步了。 /201505/374473

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