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Bleeding Edge Roundup

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Get read for High-Frequency Lawyers
By Noah Smith
Bloomberg

This may be our future: a whole economy of ultra-fast robots, negotiating, making agreements and adjusting incentives. Sometimes, just like their financial counterparts, the high-frequency lawyers will try to fake each other out. They will try to shirk, to disguise their lack of effort and corner-cutting, to save money at the purchasers’ expense, just like human contractors do now. The government will even have its own high-frequency lawyers, monitoring private-sector robots for regulatory violations. The economy will become a beautiful ballet of data and math, dancing to the beat of microeconomic equations.

Read the full article here.

Dyson could become next Tesla with its electric car
By Damian Carington
The Guardian

Dyson could become the next Tesla motors as it develops a new electric car, according to a leading industry expert. Filed patents show the Dyson vehicle may use solid-state batteries, which would see the car’s range stretch to hundreds of miles and also be safer than current batteries. In March, a UK government document revealed funding to help Dyson develop “a new battery electric vehicle”. The company declined to comment but in 2015 it said it planned to invest £1bn in battery technology and in October it bought solid-state battery company, Sakti3, for $90m, which founder Sir James Dyson said had “developed a breakthrough in battery technology”.

Read the full article here.

Hyperloop One Accelerates Toward Future with High-Speed Test
By Georgia Wells
The Wall Street Journal

Hyperloop technology this week is accelerating toward becoming a reality. On Wednesday in the desert north of Las Vegas, Hyperloop One Inc. conducted the first test of the propulsion system that is essential to the high-speed transportation invention when a sled zipped down a track for about two seconds and crashed into a pile of sand, as intended. All are milestones in the company’s plan to create a fully operational hyperloop system by 2020.

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SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENT

The US Can’t Afford To Keep Losing Honeybees Like This
By Katie Valentine
ThinkProgress

Cheerios are in trouble! Beekeepers are reporting a loss of over 40% of their colonies over the past year.  Scientists aren’t quite sure of what’s causing this yet, but some say their research points to a combination of pesticide use and a little parasite known as the varroa mite.  They are currently researching ways to stop the mite and Maryland now has a partial ban on neonics.

Read the full article here.

Cities and companies have pledged to fight climate change. Now what?
By Clayton Aldern
Grist

A lack of data transparency is making it difficult to hold, cities and companies accountable for pulling their own weight in the fight against climate change.  Clear reporting standards are needed to improve city-country coordination and move forward with solutions.

Read the full article here.

LABOR, TRADE, & ECONOMY

Uber Recognizes New York Drivers’ Group, Short of Union
By Noam scheiber and Mike Isaac
The New York Times

Uber announced an agreement with a prominent union to create an association for drivers in New York that would establish a forum for regular dialogue and afford them some limited benefits and protections—but that would stop short of unionization. The association, which will be known as the Independent Drivers Guild and will be affiliated with a regional branch of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, is the first of its kind that Uber has officially blessed, although Uber drivers have formed a number of unsanctioned groups in cities across the country. The agreement is Uber’s latest attempt to assuage mounting concerns from regulators and drivers’ groups about the company’s labor model, which treats drivers as independent contractors.

Read the full article here.

Transparent Data Will Make Workplaces Safer
By Chris Lu
US Department of Labor Blog

As part of the Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a final rule that increases data transparency by making information about workplace injuries and illnesses available online. Behavioral science indicates that publicly disclosing this kind of data helps reduce work-related injuries and illnesses. Why? Employers want to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers, and the broader public that their workplaces are safe and healthy environments.

Read the full article here.

World Labor Leaders Call for ‘Global New Deal’ to Combat Demagogues
By Daniel Marans
The Huffington Post

Dozens of senior European labor union officials gathered this week at the AFL-CIO, the largest US federation of labor unions, to trade ideas for fighting a xenophobic far right ascendant on both sides of the Atlantic. The conference illustrates the extent to which progressive movements across the developed world have begun to view the far right as a common, and urgent, threat.

Read the full article here.

GLOBAL CONFLICT & DEVELOPMENT

Yemen army to enter Sana’a if talks fail
Al-Arabiya

If the United Nations announces the failure of peace talks in Kuwait aimed at ending the year-long war in Yemen, Yemen’s internationally recognized government will launch a military operation to enter the capital Sanaa, the Saudi-led military coalition spokesman said on Tuesday. Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri defended the presence of coalition troops in Yemen, saying it was meant to protect the Yemeni people, not invade the country or take its resources.

Read the full article here.

Technology is transforming Africa
By Jonathan Ledgard
World Economic Forum

The year 2016 will be a defining one for Africa in its approach to advanced technologies, particularly as these technologies begin to converge and offer even bigger opportunities for change. In particular the “cloud” is accelerating businesses growth, and automated drones are making communities and nations more interconnected.

Read the full article here.

How to defeat extremism without becoming Egypt’s Microserf
By Colum Lynch
Foreign Policy

As it presides this month over the UN Security Council, Egypt has invited tech giant Microsoft to advise world powers on helping governments confront violent extremism. But the rare opportunity also puts the world’s most iconic software company in somewhat of a pickle: how to avoid serving as a prop for a country that has mercilessly cracked down on social media and other agents of free speech, from artists to journalists to novelists.

Read the full article here.

AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

Three Stories of How the Internet of Everything is Changing Transport
Sustainable Cities Collective

With the arrival of new and powerful technologies, and the declining costs of these technologies, some new possibilities are emerging for cities and their transport systems. For example, the Internet of Everything can benefit cities by connecting people, processes, data, and things as “everything” comes online. This is creating unprecedented opportunities for organizations, individuals, communities, and countries to realize dramatically greater value from networked connections—including economic growth and improvements to environmental sustainability, public safety, the delivery of public services and productivity. The potential here is for cities to become truly transformed.

Read the full article here.

Private Prison CEOs ‘Pleased’ Their Earnings Soared From Keeping Immigrant Kids In Detention
By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Revenues increased during the first quarter of 2016 for both the Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group, executives told shareholders on conference calls. CCA saw a revenue of $447.4 million, a 5 percent increase from last year’s first quarter. The company’s press release attributed much of that increase to a federal contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. “We are pleased with our first quarter financial performance, which exceeded our first quarter guidance…” CCA chief executive officer Damon Hininger said. “Our financial performance was driven primarily by stronger than anticipated demand from our federal partners, most notably Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

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DC Drafts 51st State Constitution
By Jen Kinney
Next City

Washington, DC, got one symbolic step closer to statehood Friday when DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser released a draft constitution for New Columbia, the proposed 51st US state. Bowser has been pushing for full statehood, reports the Washington Post, because she believes the lack of a vote in Congress makes it more difficult to solve the city’s major challenges, like fixing Metro public transit.

Read the full article here.

OIL IN AMERICA:  Too Rigged to Fail

OIL IN AMERICA: Too Rigged to Fail

FUTURE LEFT PODCAST EP. 2:  Climate Change Pessimism

FUTURE LEFT PODCAST EP. 2: Climate Change Pessimism