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Curating the Internet: Business and leadership micro-summaries for October 17, 2019

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remlaps-lite
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26 days ago5 min read

TV debates have little impact on voter decisions; Temple Health System doubles profits with support from state supplemental payments; SpaceX applied to launch 30,000 additional satellites; Google exec says Nest owners should advise guests that they might be recorded; and a Steem essay on redefining the self


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  1. Vote Choice Formation and the Minimal Effects of TV Debates: Evidence from 61 Elections in 9 OECD Countries - This Harvard Business School working paper summary reports on work by Harvard's, Vincent Pons. That work involved reviewing "200,000 observations from repeated survey data in 61 elections and 9 OECD countries since 1952". The work found that votes typically converge towards final decisions during the last two months before elections, with the change driven by changing beliefs about particular candidates. In contrast, individual policy preferences remain stable. The work also reports that TV debates have minimal influence in shaping voting decisions, but instead voting decisions are shaped by continuous synthesis of newly received information about the candidates. Unfortunately, the link to the full paper is currently broken, so it's not possible to read more than the Abstract. Update: The link to the paper is not broken any more.

  2. Temple Health System's profit nearly doubles. Here's what's driving its bottom line. - Supplemental payments from the state of Pennsylvania grew from $224 million to $262 million, accounting for $38 million of the health care provider's $200,000 revenue increaase. Other increases came from $80 million in grants for newly recruited "top notch practitioners and researchers", rebuilding the organization's organ transplant program, and a newly established network of 10 multispecialty centers and ambulatory care units outside the city of Philadelphia.

  3. SpaceX just filed a request to run 30,000 more Starlink satellites in orbit - The company already has approval for 12,000 satellites, and now submitted 20 new filings for 1,500 satellites each. The satellites would orbit in low Earth orbit, at altitudes from 204 to 360 miles. SpaceX says that the submissions are done so that the company is ready to scale with demand as cheap Internet becomes available around the world, especially in places where Internet is currently unavailable, unreliable, or expensive. From the date of filing (assuming approval), a company has 7 years to launch a satellite and keep it in orbit for at least 90 days. The article cites a number of people who say that it's hard to understand the company's need for so many satellites and who express concern over the possibility of congestion that could cause collisions with other satellites or interfere with manned space flight missions.

  4. Google exec says Nest owners should probably warn their guests that their conversations are being recorded - Google's Nest is a smart device with a microphone, video camera, and recording capability. According to the article, it is listening at all times. The microphone can sense loud sounds, the camera can sense sudden movements, and it might begin recording at any moment. For this reason, Google's "devices chief", Rick Osterloh, conceded in an interview with BBC that proper etiquette probably requires owners to advise all guests of the device's presence. Device settings can adjust settings to disable recording, but it can't be done "in the moment." The easiest way to prevent it from recording is probably just to unplug the device.

  5. STEEM Redefining the Self - In this post, @jagged describes the transition from employment to self-determination, detailing the process of learning to live on less and to take advantage of the new possibilities for use of time. Some of the self-learned lessons that the post includes are: pace yourself and actively manage your life tempo, seek new opportunities to replace boredom, and venture out of your comfort zone. (A 10% benefit has been assigned to this post for @jagged.)


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