College enrolment

Boom times

Nov 12th 2009 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

The recession drives young Americans back to learning

A BUSINESS that jacks up its prices during a recession is usually asking to lose customers. Not so America’s colleges, which are simultaneously raising tuition fees and experiencing record levels of enrolment. The Technical College System of Georgia, for instance, whose 28 campuses teach everything from power-line maintenance to dental hygiene, has sharply raised its fees, yet the number of students is up 24% from a year earlier. Campus parking lots are so full that “we got them parking in cow pastures,” says a spokesman.

Six Sigma

Nov 6th 2009

A popular way for managers to put quality management into effect

This is an approach to quality improvement based on the statistical work of Joseph Juran, one of two American pioneers of quality management in Japan. Sigma is a Greek letter used in mathematics to denote standard deviation, a statistical measure of the extent to which a series of numbers or readings deviates from its mean. One Sigma indicates a wide scattering of the readings. If the mean is the required quality standard of a particular process or product, then One Sigma quality is not very good. The higher the number, the closer the readings come to total perfection. At the Six Sigma level, there are only 3.4 defects per million.

India’s gold purchase

Adornment and investment

Nov 5th 2009 | DELHI
From The Economist print edition

India is eager for the IMF’s bullion

Video games move online

A giant sucking sound

Nov 5th 2009
From The Economist print editio

The internet swallows another media business, but spits out some hope

Now you can steal cars online, with your friends



The unrepentant chocolatier

Oct 29th 2009 | LAUSANNE AND VEVEY
From The Economist print edition

The world’s biggest food company is betting on an emerging class of health and nutrition products to spur its growth. But risks abound

IT IS a curious blend of kitchen and laboratory. From one room wafts the bittersweet smell of chocolate being gently heated and stirred by chocolatiers. Around the corner it is all science. A double row of cubicles contains human guinea pigs who sniff and taste from little tubs, scoring each on criteria such as sweetness or bitterness to produce complex flavour charts. Down the corridor, women in comfortable chairs talk about how chocolate makes them feel. Cameras and microphones record their most minute gestures for the scrutiny of psychologists and anthropologists




Jangling nerves

Oct 22nd 2009 | BAGHDAD
From The Economist print edition

As the Americans prepare to go and an election looms, anxiety is rising again
美军撤离 选举在即 忧虑又生


[2006.12.13][business] Anti-corruption measures: Too little, too late?

Anti-corruption measures
Too little, too late?

Dec 13th 2006 | FRANKFURT
From The Economist print edition

Siemens belatedly wakes up to reputation risk

IT IS a dense, dramatic account of police raids, arrests and the investigation into allegations that at least euro200m ($265m) was siphoned out of secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland. A page-turning airport thriller? No, the 20-F filing submitted by Siemens, a German conglomerate, to the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC on December 11th. At the same time, the firm restated its earnings to take account of uncertainties over transactions being investigated by state prosecutors in at least three countries.

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[2007.2.10][Leaders]Digital music : Music wants to be free

Digital music

Music wants to be free
数字音乐: 音乐要走向自由

Feb 8th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Everyone will benefit if digital music is sold without copy-protection

IT IS not often that the company that dominates an industry, and is thus most wedded to the status quo, calls for the rules that govern the business to be changed. But that is what happened this week when Steve Jobs, the boss of Apple—which dominates digital music with its iPod music-player and iTunes music-store—published an essay on his firm’s website under the unassuming title “Thoughts on Music”.
  一家处于行业霸主地位的公司通常是最想保持现状的,所以我们很少见到一位行业霸主呼吁改变行业规则。但以iPod数字音乐播放器称霸数字音乐领域的苹果电脑上周就这么做了--苹果总裁斯蒂夫.钱伯斯( Steve Jobs)上周在公司网站上发表了一篇名字平实的文章,叫《关于音乐的一些思考》。

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[2007.3.15]Evidence-based ethics: Logical endings

Evidence-based ethics

Logical endings

Mar 15th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Computers may soon be better than kin at predicting the wishes of the dying

IN 1947 a psychologist called Theodore Sarbin made a controversial suggestion to a medical conference. He proposed that a doctor is really just a machine whose purpose is to make actuarial judgments about the best treatment for a patient. And not a very good machine, at that, for Sarbin also suggested that medicine would benefit if “we could replace [the doctor’s] eyes and brain with a Hollerith machine”.
在1947年的一次医学大会上,心理学家西奥多•沙宾(Theodore Sarbin)的意见引起了争论。他提出,医生不过是一台机器,其目的是为了对患者获得最优治疗方案作出保险精算的判断,而且还不是一台很好的机器。沙宾指出,如果“我们能够用一台霍勒里斯机器换掉(医生的)眼睛和大脑”,医学才会让人获益。

继续阅读“[2007.3.15]Evidence-based ethics: Logical endings”