Where the Digital Economy Is Moving the Fastest

Harvard Business Review recently published an article titled ‘Where the Digital Economy is Moving the Fastest’. The following is from the article. Link to article at bottom of post.

The transition to a global digital economy in 2014 was sporadic – brisk in some countries, choppy in others. By year’s end, the seven biggest emerging markets were larger than the G7, in purchasing power parity terms. Plus, consumers in the Asia-Pacific region were expected to spend more online last year than consumers in North America. The opportunities to serve the e-consumer were growing – if you knew where to look.

These changing rhythms in digital commerce are more than a China, or even an Asia, story. Far from Silicon Valley, Shanghai, or Singapore, a German company, Rocket Internet, has been busy launching e-commerce start-ups across a wide range of emerging and frontier markets. Their stated mission: To become the world’s largest internet platform outside the U.S. and China. Many such “Rocket” companies are poised to become the Alibabas and Amazons for the rest of the world: Jumia, which operates in nine countries across Africa; Namshi in the Middle East; Lazada and Zalora in ASEAN; Jabong in India; and Kaymu in 33 markets across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Private equity and venture capital money have been concentrating in certain markets in ways that mimic the electronic gold rush in Silicon Valley. During the summer of 2014 alone $3 billion poured into India’s e-commerce sector, where, in addition to local innovators like Flipkart and Snapdeal, there are nearly 200 digital commerce startups flush with private investment and venture capital funds. This is happening in a country where online vendors largely operate on a cash-on-delivery (COD) basis. Credit cards or PayPal are rarely used; according to the Reserve Bank of India, 90% of all monetary transactions in India are in cash. Even Amazon localized its approach in India to offer COD as a service. India and other middle-income countries such as Indonesia and Colombia all have high cash dependence. But even where cash is still king, digital marketplaces are innovating at a remarkable pace. Nimble e-commerce players are simply working with and around the persistence of cash.

To understand more about these types of changes around the world, we developed an “index” to identify how a group of countries stack up against each other in terms of readiness for a digital economy. Our Digital Evolution Index (DEI), created by the Fletcher School at Tufts University (with support from Mastercard and DataCash), is derived from four broad drivers: supply-side factors (including access, fulfillment, and transactions infrastructure); demand-side factors (including consumer behaviors and trends, financial and Internet and social media savviness); innovations (including the entrepreneurial, technological and funding ecosystems, presence and extent of disruptive forces and the presence of a start-up culture and mindset); and institutions (including government effectiveness and its role in business, laws and regulations and promoting the digital ecosystem). The resulting index includes a ranking of 50 countries, which were chosen because they are either home to most of the current 3 billion internet users or they are where the next billion users are likely to come from.

The image below is self-explanatory.

HarvardBusinessReview_Digital commerce

Link to Harvard Business Review article.

Another paypal email scam making the rounds

Another fake PayPal email scam is making its way around the Internet, as today I received yet another scam email seeking PayPal user response. The subject heading in my phony email is: Important: We noticed unusual activity in your PayPal account (Ref #PP-765-263-398-495)

Your email subject may be different.

There is a web site page with information on PayPal scams; https://computersavvy.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/scam-watch-paypal-scam-explained-example/


Economic facts fail Harper’s boasting of economy

Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are running the most poorly performing economy the country has seen since the end of the Second World War according to a new report by Unifor, Canada’s largest private union.

Stephen Harper has been boasting publicly of how well his government has controlled the economy. Such ads on TV are a regular staple and just one example of Harper misleading the Canadian public during his stay in politics.

The Conservatives are pinning their re-election bets on selling Harper’s reputation as a strong fiscal manager, but the latest economic indicators show the Canadian economy contracted in the first quarter of 2015.

Nonetheless, the prime minister says Canadians have a “very simple choice” when they head to the polls on Oct. 19.

He said “instability in the world” is no reason to ditch an economic plan that he insists is working.

“Analysts are predicting good growth for this economy into the future as long as we stay on track,” he said.

“It is a time to stick to our plan, make wise investments, control our spending, lower taxes and make sure our fiscal situation is balanced and strong.” (quoted from CTV news at http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/harper-still-optimistic-economy-will-rebound-1.2500089  )

Never one to let the facts get in the way of a good political line, Harper’s boasting bubble pops when punctured with truth about his economic governance.

Harper loses econony

The report examined 16 indicators of economic progress, including job creation, real GDP growth, export growth, household debt and real personal incomes.

“The Harper government ranked last or second last in 13 of the 16 indicators,” Stanford said.

He said when all the categories are added up to give a cumulative score, Harper grabbed an 8.05 out of nine. Nine is the worst possible score.

Brennan and Stanford included extensive lists of data used for their rankings, so skeptics can see the information for themselves.

Economist Mike Moffatt of Ontario’s Mowat Centre, an independent think tank, reviewed the report and said it holds up to scrutiny.

Moffatt said the figures in the report are accurate, but more context would help explain why the economy has performed poorly.

“They were kind of selective in what they chose to report,” Moffatt said, suggesting the authors could have analyzed more categories favourable towards the government, like household wealth. “That’s a mild issue with it, but overall a lot of the more obvious economic indicators have been rather poor over the last eight or nine years, which this report points out.”

Moffatt added the number crunching and raw data in the report was “fantastic.”

Read full article here.


Hitchbot destroyed in Philadelphia

HitchBOT, a friendly hitchhiking robot that became famous on social media during its travels through Canada and Europe has been destroyed while on a trip across the United States.

“Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia,” the robot’s creators said in a statement on Saturday. “Sometimes bad things happen to good robots.”

HitchBOT was designed by a team of Canadian researchers as a social experiment to explore the relationship between humans and technology.

McMaster University’s David Smith and Ryerson University’s Frauke Zeller said they created the robot in an attempt to answer the questions: “Can we trust robots?” and “Can robots trust human beings?”

Smith and Zeller would soon find out.

In 2014, hitchBOT set out from Halifax on a cross-Canada tour that ended in Victoria, B.C. Though there were fears hitchBOT would be destroyed or kidnapped along its unaccompanied trek, the robot reached the West Coast relatively unscathed, thanks to the kindness of strangers who provided rides and sometimes, lodging.

Apart from a tune-up in Toronto and a small crack in the clear plastic part of its head, no medical care was required.

The robot couldn’t move by itself, with the exception of its hitchhiking arm and finger, and was therefore dependent on the goodwill of strangers, Zeller told CTV News Channel in 2014 interview.

Designed to be a talking travel companion, hitchBOT could toss out factoids and carry limited conversation. The robot would automatically snap a photo every 20 minutes to document its travels.

The robot proved quite popular, with dozens of photos of people posing with the robot emerging on social media.

Full story and pictures here.

Threesome word puzzles ebook for Amazon Kindle

My Threesome word puzzles ebook is now available for Amazon Kindle devices in Japan, Mexico, America, Brazil, India, Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries served by Amazon.

Threesome cover

threesome cover

The object of “Maintain Your Brain Vocabulary Builder Threesome Edition” is to find the same 3 letters which either begin or end a selection of words in a grid. Each puzzle is a 3×3 grid with 3 partial words in the first and last columns. You solve the puzzle by determining which 3 letters fit at the end of the words on the left column, and which also fit at the beginning of the words on the right column. The 3 letters in your solution cannot be switched around to solve the puzzle.

Maintain your brain with my Threesome edition; A great game for building and testing your vocabulary. A great bargain at US$0.99

North America http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011J6ARL0

France http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B011J6ARL0

Germany http://www.amazon.de/dp/B011J6ARL0

United Kingdom http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011J6ARL0

Japan http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B011J6ARL0

Italy http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Estonia http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Netherlands http://www.amazon.nl/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Brazil http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Canada http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Mexico http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

India http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B011J6ARL0

Threesome ebook links for Apple iTunes worldwide

Here are the Apple iTunes links to my latest word puzzle ebook titled ‘Threesome”.

100 word puzzle games for US$0.99. (Threesome is also available at other leading ebook outlets)

Threesome cover

threesome cover

Argentina: http://itunes.apple.com/ar/book/isbn9781927418253
Australia: http://itunes.apple.com/au/book/isbn9781927418253
Austria: http://itunes.apple.com/at/book/isbn9781927418253
Belgium: http://itunes.apple.com/be/book/isbn9781927418253
Bolivia: http://itunes.apple.com/bo/book/isbn9781927418253
Brazil: http://itunes.apple.com/br/book/isbn9781927418253
Bulgaria: http://itunes.apple.com/bg/book/isbn9781927418253
Canada: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/isbn9781927418253
Chile: http://itunes.apple.com/cl/book/isbn9781927418253
Colombia: http://itunes.apple.com/co/book/isbn9781927418253
Costa Rica: http://itunes.apple.com/cr/book/isbn9781927418253
Cyprus: http://itunes.apple.com/cy/book/isbn9781927418253
Czech Republic: http://itunes.apple.com/cz/book/isbn9781927418253
Denmark: http://itunes.apple.com/dk/book/isbn9781927418253
Dominican Republic: http://itunes.apple.com/do/book/isbn9781927418253
Ecuador: http://itunes.apple.com/ec/book/isbn9781927418253
El Salvador: http://itunes.apple.com/sv/book/isbn9781927418253
Estonia: http://itunes.apple.com/ee/book/isbn9781927418253
Finland: http://itunes.apple.com/fi/book/isbn9781927418253
France: http://itunes.apple.com/fr/book/isbn9781927418253
Germany: http://itunes.apple.com/de/book/isbn9781927418253
Greece: http://itunes.apple.com/gr/book/isbn9781927418253
Guatemala: http://itunes.apple.com/gt/book/isbn9781927418253
Honduras: http://itunes.apple.com/hn/book/isbn9781927418253
Hungary: http://itunes.apple.com/hu/book/isbn9781927418253
Ireland: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/isbn9781927418253
Italy: http://itunes.apple.com/it/book/isbn9781927418253
Japan: http://itunes.apple.com/jp/book/isbn9781927418253
Latvia: http://itunes.apple.com/lv/book/isbn9781927418253
Lithuania: http://itunes.apple.com/lt/book/isbn9781927418253
Luxembourg: http://itunes.apple.com/lu/book/isbn9781927418253
Malta: http://itunes.apple.com/mt/book/isbn9781927418253
Mexico: http://itunes.apple.com/mx/book/isbn9781927418253
Netherlands: http://itunes.apple.com/nl/book/isbn9781927418253
New Zealand: http://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/isbn9781927418253
Nicaragua: http://itunes.apple.com/ni/book/isbn9781927418253
Norway: http://itunes.apple.com/no/book/isbn9781927418253
Panama: http://itunes.apple.com/pa/book/isbn9781927418253
Paraguay: http://itunes.apple.com/py/book/isbn9781927418253
Peru: http://itunes.apple.com/pe/book/isbn9781927418253
Poland: http://itunes.apple.com/pl/book/isbn9781927418253
Portugal: http://itunes.apple.com/pt/book/isbn9781927418253
Romania: http://itunes.apple.com/ro/book/isbn9781927418253
Slovakia: http://itunes.apple.com/sk/book/isbn9781927418253
Slovenia: http://itunes.apple.com/si/book/isbn9781927418253
Spain: http://itunes.apple.com/es/book/isbn9781927418253
Sweden: http://itunes.apple.com/se/book/isbn9781927418253
Switzerland: http://itunes.apple.com/ch/book/isbn9781927418253
USA: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781927418253
United Kingdom: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9781927418253
Venezuela: http://itunes.apple.com/ve/book/isbn9781927418253

Canadian embassy used as safe haven during Ukraine uprising, investigation finds

According to an article by the CBC Canada’s embassy in Kyiv was used as a haven for several days by anti-government protesters during the uprising that toppled the regime of former president Viktor Yanukovych.

Anti-government protesters fleeing riot police in Kyiv were camped in the main lobby of the Canadian embassy for at least a week during the Maidan uprising in January 2014. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press)

Anti-government protesters fleeing riot police in Kyiv were camped in the main lobby of the Canadian embassy for at least a week during the Maidan uprising in January 2014. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press)

The Harper government never fully acknowledged — during the upheaval or since — the depth and extent of the security breach, which has had far-reaching implications on how Canadians are perceived in the region.

The Canadian Press has spent months piecing together the events surrounding the extraordinary incident, which started on Feb. 18, 2014 and occurred at the height of the violent crackdown against pro-European protesters.

​It began, according to multiple sources in Kyiv and Ottawa, when one of the protesters being chased by riot police waved a Canadian passport at embassy security. Once the door was open, the individual was quickly followed by other demonstrators armed with sticks and paving stones.

Roman Waschuk, the current Canadian ambassador in Kyiv, confirmed the account in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

“I understand there was a Canadian passport holder associated in some way with the group,” said Waschuk, who replaced Troy Lulashnyk as ambassador in Kyiv last year.

He acknowledged the protesters were camped in the main lobby for at least a week, which is something neither Foreign Affairs nor the Harper government has ever publicly stated.

Read the full article on the CBC website here…. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-embassy-used-as-safe-haven-during-ukraine-uprising-investigation-finds-1.3148719