Blog Posts by Stacy Curtin

  • Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said the U.S. is past the point of no return on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a policy ended in 2011 that had prohibited gay people from serving openly in the military.

    Appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos asked the former Texas governor if he would favor bringing back the policy, especially since he said in an ad for his 2012 presidential campaign that “there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

    More from Bloomberg.com: Greeks Head to Polls Divided on Vote to Chart New Course

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAJNntoRgA

    Perry, a former Air Force pilot, said it's too late to change course now. “I have no reason to think that that's going to be able to be done,” Perry said. “The horse is out of the barn.”

    On the Supreme Court decision last month legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, Perry said that he agreed with the

    Read More »from Rick Perry on Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 'The Horse Is Out of the Barn'
  • Big-box retailers from Carpetright to Ikea turn to high street

    Since moving from Carpetright's Croydon branch to a spruced-up "concept" store in Clapham, deputy store manager Atila Hasan has noticed a change in the way people shop.

    "Customers used to come in and get their carpet," he says, gesturing to the colourful rolls of carpet lining the walls. "Now they want to spend a bit more time in store. They want to enjoy the experience."

    The new look being trialled by Carpetright is partly designed to attract more affluent customers to a brand historically associated with value.

    It also reflects a trend among retailers to experiment with new, smaller store formats as they scramble to accommodate rapid shifts in consumer behaviour.

    Ikea, the Swedish retailer, will open a trial outlet on a retail park in Norwich this autumn that will be a tenth the size of its flagship Croydon store.

    "The UK consumer is demanding a very different way of shopping - they expect to be able to shop wherever and whenever they chose," says Gillian

    Read More »from Big-box retailers from Carpetright to Ikea turn to high street
  • The UN cultural agency Sunday designated Hamburg's historic maritime warehouse and business districts, boasting early 20th century German brick architecture, as World Heritage sites.

    The "Speicherstadt", the world's largest historic warehouse complex, is a district of connecting roads, canals and bridges dating from 1885 to 1927, lined with red-brick office buildings.

    Covering 26 hectares (64 acres) in the heart of the northern German city's bustling port area, its Gothic red-brick warehouses once stored high-value goods, such as coffee, spices and tobacco, UNESCO said.

    As well as its architecture, it has more recently become a centre for tourism in Germany's second biggest city, as well as a draw for innovative businesses or eateries.

    Opposite stands the "Kontorhaus" office district in Hamburg's old town, built in the 1920s and 1930s, which UNESCO also listed at its meeting in the German city of Bonn Sunday.

    It includes the "Chilehaus" which resembles a ship's bow and, according to

    Read More »from Hamburg's historic port warehouses win UN world heritage nod
  • European pharma groups paid $1.5bn to US doctors in 2015

    The biggest European drugmakers paid $1.5bn in fees to US doctors and teaching hospitals last year, according to official statistics that shine a light on the financial ties between pharmaceutical groups and the medical establishment.

    Pharmaceutical companies regularly pay doctors for consultancy services and for giving promotional speeches about drugs, while their sales representatives often pay for travel, meals and entertainment when pitching new medicines. Doctors and hospitals also receive fees for helping to run clinical trials for new drugs.

    European companies accounted for 23 per cent of the $6.49bn fees paid in total by the global industry, with Roche of Switzerland paying $435m - more than any of the big US groups, including Pfizer and Merck.

    Roche said about $250m of that was accounted for by royalty payments that its US subsidiary Genentech had to pay to City of Hope, a Californian hospital that holds patents relating to its blockbuster cancer drugs, Avastin

    Read More »from European pharma groups paid $1.5bn to US doctors in 2015
  • US renewables industry seeks tax breaks to compete with gas

    The US wind and solar power industries face a fall in investment in 2017 after tax credits expire, their trade body has warned as it appeals to politicians for more financial support.

    Plunging costs for wind and solar power have made them increasingly competitive against fossil fuels, but the American Council on Renewable Energy argues that the fall in the price of natural gas caused by the US shale boom means they still need additional tax breaks.

    Investment in both wind and solar power continues to grow and is expected to increase into next year, but is set to drop sharply in 2017, according to forecasts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    The tax credit for wind power expired at the end of 2014 but the impact has been delayed because projects that had started construction by the cut-off date remained eligible. Installations of new wind capacity are expected to drop 73 per cent, from 8.4 gigawatts in 2016 to 2.3GW the following year.

    With a reduction in the credit for

    Read More »from US renewables industry seeks tax breaks to compete with gas
  • YouTube’s head engineer reveals his ‘wildest dreams’ for the site

    Cristos Goodrow

    YouTube

    Cristos Goodrow

    Every minute, people around the world upload more than 300 hours of video to YouTube. Every minute

    The site has billions of videos — a wide range of content that includes surprised kittens, pop song parodies, and slam poetry, but also longer shows about cooking, video games, and crash courses in subjects you didn’t learn in school

    “We believe that for every human being on earth, there’s 100 hours of Youtube that they would love to watch,” YouTube’s engineering director, Cristos Goodrow, told Business Insider. “So, we start with that premise and then it’s our job to help viewers to find the videos that they would enjoy watching.”

    The secret sauce is a recommendation system that tries to figure out what any given person might love. YouTube wants any user to be able to visit the site’s homepage and instantly discover a bunch of videos that spark their interest. 

    wide range of signals influence YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, including video watch

    Read More »from YouTube’s head engineer reveals his ‘wildest dreams’ for the site
  • One of YouTube's engineering directors reveals his 'wildest dreams' for the site

    Cristos Goodrow(YouTube) Cristos Goodrow

    Every minute, people around the world upload more than 300 hours of video to YouTube. Every minute

    The site has billions of videos — a wide range of content that includes surprised kittens, pop song parodies, and slam poetry, but also longer shows about cooking, video games, and crash courses in subjects you didn't learn in school

    "We believe that for every human being on earth, there’s 100 hours of Youtube that they would love to watch," YouTube's director of engineering for search and discovery, Cristos Goodrow, told Business Insider. "So, we start with that premise and then it’s our job to help viewers to find the videos that they would enjoy watching."

    The secret sauce is a recommendation system that tries to figure out what any given person might love. YouTube wants any user to be able to visit the site's homepage and instantly discover a bunch of videos that spark their interest. 

    wide range of signals influence YouTube's recommendation algorithm,

    Read More »from One of YouTube's engineering directors reveals his 'wildest dreams' for the site
  • The Latest: Merkel, Hollande to hold Greece talks in Paris

    The Latest: Merkel, Hollande to meet in Paris to discuss Greek referendum outcome

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The latest from the bailout referendum in Greece (all times local):

    ___

    7:30 p.m.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Paris on Monday to discuss the outcome of the Greek referendum with French President Francois Hollande.

    Merkel's office said Sunday that she will fly to Paris in the evening for a "joint assessment of the situation after the Greek referendum and to continue the close German-French cooperation on this issue."

    Soon after polls closed, Hollande made a similar announcement, saying he would have a working dinner with Merkel on Monday evening to "evaluate the consequences" of the vote.

    Earlier in the day, the French economy minister said the German and French leaders had no disagreements when it came to dealing with the situation in Greece.

    ___

    7:20 p.m.

    The

    Read More »from The Latest: Merkel, Hollande to hold Greece talks in Paris
  • With fashionistas baking in a mascara-melting heatwave and Italy's Fendi set to raise hackles with an all-fur collection, Paris Fashion Week, which starts Sunday, may prove a tad too haute to handle.

    High-fashion designers will unveil their autumn and winter collections over five days in Paris that will kick off with shows by Russian couturier Ulyana Sergeenko and Dutch designer Ilja Visser.

    But the highlight of the extravaganza will be German fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld's collection celebrating his 50 years working for Fendi, which has hailed the "longest relationship between a designer and a fashion house."

    The show on Wednesday will be entirely "haute fourrure" or, couture fur -- a material the luxury fashion brand has never shied away from.

    French film icon and passionate animal activist Brigitte Bardot has already shown her disapproval by writing a letter to Choupette Lagerfeld, the designer's pampered feline companion.

    Bardot appealed to the cat -- who has become famous with

    Read More »from Fendi facing haute furore at Paris Fashion Week
  • Dartmouth contests showcase computer-generated creativity

    Dartmouth contests showcase computer-generated literature, poetry, music sets

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Can an algorithm pass for an author? Can a robot rock the house? A series of contests at Dartmouth College is about to find out.

    Dartmouth is seeking artificial intelligence algorithms that create "human-quality" short stories, sonnets and dance music sets that will be pitted against human-produced literature, poetry and music selections. The judges won't know which is which.

    The goal is to determine whether people can distinguish between the two, and whether they might even prefer the computer-generated creativity.

    "Historically, often when we have advances in artificial intelligence, people will always say, 'Well, a computer couldn't paint a sunset,' or 'a computer couldn't write a beautiful love sonnet,' but could they? That's the question," said Dan Rockmore, director of the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth.

    Rockmore, a mathematics and computer

    Read More »from Dartmouth contests showcase computer-generated creativity

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