时间:2017年12月16日 13:25:55

Burning cash has become alarmingly fashionable among Chinese internet companies, many of whom have taken to paying customers massive subsidies to use their services in hopes that their competitors go out of business before they run out of money. 中国的互联网公司极其流行“烧钱”,已到了令人担忧的程度。很多公司都习惯了向用户付高额补贴,以吸引用户使用它们的务,指望在它们花光钱之前,竞争对手们会先破产。 One start-up, Emao.com, which aims to be an online platform for car dealerships, has based its entire marketing strategy around losing money. “We burn cash from our investors to win the hearts of car shoppers,” a recent ad says. 初创公司一猫汽车网(Emao.com)希望打造一个汽车经销商的在线平台,其整个营销战略都是围绕着赔钱建立的。“烧投资人的钱,买车人的心”——该公司近期打出这样的广告词。 Travis Kalanick, chief executive of Uber, boasted earlier this year that the ride-sharing app’s China affiliate was losing more than bn a year, in part because of the subsidies it was paying to grab market share. A local car hailing app, Didi Kuaidi, is waging a fierce price war against Uber in several cities. 优步(Uber)首席执行官特拉维斯#8226;卡兰尼克(Travis Kalanick)今年早些时候吹嘘,这款共乘应用的中国分一年亏损逾10亿美元,部分原因是付补贴以抢占市场份额。本土叫车应用滴滴快的(Didi Kuaidi)正在多个城市与优步大打价格战。 Uber’s competitors have made it clear they will not be outspent. Jean Liu, Didi’s president, said in September that “we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for burning cash”. The company’s chairman, Cheng Wei, said the company spent bn last year in what he called “market fostering”. 优步的竞争对手们表态说,它们在花钱上不会落于人后。滴滴快的总裁柳青(Jean Liu)去年9月表示:“不烧钱我们走不到今天这一步。”该公司董事长程维表示,去年滴滴快的花费40亿美元进行“市场培育”。 Executives from another rival carhailing app, Yidao Yongche, said last month that they are “entrapped in a cash burning vortex”. Zhou Hang, the chief executive, said recently: “We have prepared at least Rmb3bn-Rmb5bn of ammunition for the year.” 另一家叫车应用易到用车(Yidao Yongche)的高管们上月表示,他们“卷入了烧钱的漩涡”。该公司首席执行官周航近期表示:“我们为今年准备了至少30亿到50亿元人民币的‘弹药’。” “Burning cash” may not sound like a viable business model, but these young companies argue that paying customers to use their services is necessary to build their brands and achieve the scale needed to compete. This is especially true in China, where a shift from an investment-driven to a consumption-led economy, which the government insists is under way, makes the goal of buying Chinese consumers — in hopes that one day they will buy your wares — look appealing. “烧钱”听起来可能不像是一种可行的商业模式,但这些创立不久的公司主张,为了建立品牌,获得与人竞争所需要的规模,付钱让用户使用它们的务是必不可少的。在中国尤其如此,中国正在从投资驱动型经济转向消费拉动型经济——政府坚称转型正在进行中——这使“收买”中国消费者的目的——即希望有一天他们会购买你的产品——显得很有吸引力。 At least some see it this way. Others claim the Chinese internet fad for burning cash heralds the top of an internet bubble. Just as Silicon Valley companies convinced investors that profits no longer mattered during the 1990s dotcom bubble, China’s internet companies have made a fetish out of losing money. 至少有一些人是这么看的。还有一些人则认为,中国互联网行业热衷烧钱的风气预示着互联网泡沫快胀到头了。在上世纪90年代的网络泡沫时期,硅谷公司说投资者,利润不再重要,如今中国的互联网公司也一样迷上了亏钱。 “A lot of these companies will be forgotten when the money runs out,” said Ma Jihua, founder of Datareal consulting, who estimates that as much as Rmb50bn a year is being poured into subsidies aimed at connecting Chinese consumers via their smartphones to taxis, massages and car washes. “钱用光后,很多公司都会被遗忘,”达睿咨询(Datareal)创始人马继华表示。他估计,为了吸引中国消费者通过智能手机使用打车、和洗车等务,互联网公司每年用在补贴上的资金多达500亿元人民币。 But he concedes that companies have little choice. “In this market, if you don’t burn cash you won’t get market share which means you won’t get funding, consequently meaning you won’t stand a chance against competitors that do burn.” 但他也承认,企业别无选择。“在这个市场上,如果你不烧钱,你就无法获得市场份额,这就意味着你吸引不到投资,结果是你在烧钱的竞争对手面前毫无机会。” ‘A big party for consumers’ “消费者的盛宴” Funded largely by venture capital and private equity firms, along with larger — and profitable — internet companies like Tencent and Alibaba, most of the subsidies are going into apps that aim to be the Uber of massages or the Airbnb of car washes. These “online to offline” services, or O2O, are the hottest investment theme in China’s internet sector. 投资主要来自风险资本公司、私募公司,以及腾讯(Tencent)、阿里巴巴(Alibaba)等规模更大并且盈利的互联网公司。大部分补贴投向各类应用,它们都希望成为务业的优步,或者洗车务业的Airbnb。这些“线上到线下”(O2O)务是中国互联网行业时下最热门的投资主题。 The potential benefits to the market leaders help explain why they are so willing to spend: according to HS, China’s O2O sector is a Rmb10tn market that is only 4 per cent penetrated, and grew 80 per cent year on year in the first half of 2015. HS estimates that in five years the “profit pie” in the industry would be worth Rmb26bn. 市场领军者的潜在利益有助于解释它们为何如此乐意花钱:根据汇丰(HS)的数据,中国O2O市场有10万亿元人民币规模,而目前渗透率只有4%,这个市场在2015年上半年同比增长了80%。汇丰估计,这个行业的“利润蛋糕”在5年内将达260亿元人民币。 “O2O right now is a big party for consumers,” said Meng Xing, CEO of Helijia, a health and beauty app, in an interview last month. “We have no plans to make profit in the near future, because the VCs are still offering money.” 健康美容应用河狸家(Helijia)首席执行官孟醒上个月在一次采访中表示:“眼下O2O对消费者而言就像一场盛宴。我们没有在近期实现盈利的计划,因为风投还在提供资金。” Over the past year, his company has “burnt several hundred million renminbi,” he said, though he has cut back on subsidies after his main competitor went out of business. “That’s just how the Chinese internet is, it’s too popular. There are so many VC and [private equity] companies that are willing to fund these wars.” 孟醒表示,过去一年他的公司“烧掉了几个亿的人民币”,不过在最大的竞争对手倒闭后,他已经降低了补贴。“这就是中国互联网的情况,太火了。有很多风投和(私募)公司愿意为这些战争提供资金。” Start-ups are busy raising funds from investors at ever more dizzying valuations, only to plough them back into subsidies. Recent funding rounds have valued Didi Kuaidi at bn, up from bn last July. Uber China was valued at bn in a January funding round, while the merger of Meituan and Dianping, the two largest food delivery and group discount sites, was valued at bn-bn in November. 各家初创公司都在忙着融资,它们的估值一次比一次惊人,筹得的资金大多用于补贴。滴滴快的去年7月估值为150亿美元,在最近几轮融资中已达到200亿美元。中国优步(Uber China)在今年1月的一轮融资中估值为70亿美元。去年11月,中国最大的两家美食外卖和团购网站——美团(Meituan)和大众点评(Dianping)合并,估值为150亿-170亿美元。 Many of these companies do not publish financial statements, so it is impossible to see what the true scale of cash burn is. Mr Zhou estimates that Rmb20bn was burnt by car-hailing apps like Yidao, Uber and Didi Kuaidi on rider subsidies in 2015, while Meituan Dianping, the biggest seller of restaurant reservations and cinema tickets in China, put out a cryptic press statement in February that said it had “saved food lovers Rmb58bn” in 2015. 这些公司大多没有公布财务报表,所以外界无法得知它们实际的烧钱规模。周航估计,2015年易到用车、优步和滴滴快的等打车应用在乘客补贴上烧掉了200亿元人民币。美团大众点评在2月份发布了一份含糊的新闻稿,称2015年“为吃货节省了580元人民币”,该公司是目前中国最大的订餐及电影票销售网站。 Last year, 84 O2O companies went bankrupt, but the sector also attracted huge headline investments. Alibaba and its payment affiliate, Ant Financial, announced they will each invest Rmb3bn to develop a food delivery service called Koubei, while search engine Baidu has said it would invest Rmb20bn in Nuomi, a group discount and food delivery app. 去年中国有84家O2O企业倒闭,但该行业也吸引了大量引人瞩目的投资。阿里巴巴及旗下付公司蚂蚁金(Ant Financial)宣布将各自投入30亿元人民币,发展送餐务“口碑”(Koubei)。搜索引擎百度(Baidu)则表示将向旗下团购和送餐应用“糯米”(Nuomi)投入200亿元人民币。 JP Gan of Qiming, a venture firm that is funding the Helijia app, says there is method to the subsidy madness. “Most sophisticated venture capitalists are looking at the same model — you buy users, you buy service providers, you scale up the platform to 100 cities or 200 cities, and you build up a concentrated workforce to provide services to the parts of the cities where there are customers,” he says. 启明创投(Qiming)是投资河狸家应用的风投公司之一,该公司的甘剑平(JP Gan)表示,这种狂热的补贴行为是有章法的。他说:“多数资深的风险资本家都在盯着同样的模式——你买用户,买务提供商,把平台扩展到一二百个城市,召集大量人手,向城市中消费者集中的区域提供务。” But the pitfalls are obvious in a sector where the providers are fragmented and the services closely resemble each other. Ken Xu of Gobi Capital, a VC firm in Shanghai, says the problem is that “the user has no loyalty to anybody in these sectors; they only go for the apps that have the subsidies. In car-hailing apps, everybody is starting to realise they are subsiding the same group of people who either use Uber or Didi Kuaidi, depending on who is paying them more.” 但是O2O行业的缺点也是显而易见的,比如供应商分散,务同质性很高。上海风险投资公司戈壁创投(Gobi Capital)的徐晨(Ken Xu)表示,问题在于“用户对这些行业的任何企业都没有忠诚度,他们只使用有补贴的应用。在打车应用领域,所有人都开始认识到,他们补贴的是同一群人,这群人既用优步也用滴滴快的,谁补贴多就用谁”。 ‘Last man standing wins’ “最后还站着的人就赢了” The O2O model has been subjected to scrutiny elsewhere, especially in the US, where many apps that form the basis of the “gig economy” have failed after venture funding dried up. That experience has spawned worries in China about whether the same will happen once the era of “VC welfare” ends. 在其他地方,O2O模式已经遭受过审视,尤其是在美国,许多组成“零工经济”(gig economy)基础的应用都在风险资金枯竭后失败。这些经验在中国引发担忧:一旦“风投福利”时代终结,是否也会发生同样的情况? One difference between the US and China, however, is that the offline shopping and services are so much farther developed in the US that “business is not desperate for the internet to make it more efficient or attractive”, says Duncan Clark, head of Beijing technology consultancy BDA and author of a forthcoming book on Alibaba. In China, bricks-and-mortar commerce is often overpriced or simply dismal, he says, so investors are betting that the internet will be the primary way that Chinese connect to services in the future. 不过中美之间有一个区别,就是美国的线下购物和务要成熟得多。北京达克咨询公司(BDA China)的董事长邓肯#8226;克拉克(Duncan Clark)表示:“美国企业并不渴望用互联网来提高效率或增加吸引力。”邓肯写的一本关于阿里巴巴的著作即将出版。邓肯表示,在中国,实体商业往往产品定价过高,或者不能提供愉快体验,因此投资者相信未来互联网将成为中国消费者与务“连接”的首要方式。 “In the west, we’ve had efficient retail for a long time,” Clark adds. “In a sense China is leapfrogging the west.” “在西方,我们的零售长期以来是高效的,”克拉克补充称,“在某种意义上,中国正在超越西方。” Another advantage for China’s high tech economy is a distinctly low-tech factor: labour costs. Couriers are 10 to 20 per cent the cost of what they are in the US. 中国高科技经济的另一个优势是一个低技术含量的因素:劳动力成本。中国快递成本是美国的10%至20%。 Hans Tung, a managing partner at GGV Capital, said that cheap labour and urban population density in China are among the main reasons why the O2O services are economic, compared with the US, where the sector has struggled. “In the US there has been uneven uptake of this so-called gig economy because consumers are more sp out, delivery cost is higher, usage frequency is lower,” he says. “It is harder, besides Uber and Airbnb, for start-ups in this category.” 纪源资本(GGV Capital)的管理合伙人童士豪(Hans Tung)称,廉价劳动力和城市人口密集是O2O务在中国具有经济效益的两个主要原因,而在美国,这个行业发展困难。“在美国,由于消费者更加分散、配送成本更高、使用频率更低,这种所谓的零工经济发展不均衡,”他称,“除了优步和Airbnb外,这一类的初创企业是比较艰难的。” In China these factors are all flipped in favour of the industry. “The costs of delivering O2O services are lower, urban population is denser, and therefore, the fundamentals of the sector can be better once there is consolidation around category leaders,” he says. 在中国,这些方面的因素都有利于O2O行业的发展。“O2O务的配送成本更低,城市人口密度更大,因此,一旦行业领头羊出现整合,行业的基本面可能更好,”他称。 But it is clear that subsidies still play a defining role. 但显而易见的是,补贴仍然起着决定性作用。 Companies are giving massive discounts to tempt consumers. At Rmb99 on the app goodchef.com, it is cheaper to invite a chef over to your house to cook a five-course Sichuan meal than to go to a restaurant, where the same meal might set you back Rmb200. Taking an Uber ride a short distance for Rmb8 is two-thirds the price of a ride in a licensed taxi, whose fares are aly held low by government fiat. 企业以极低的折扣来吸引消费者。在“好厨师”应用上,只要99元人民币就可以请一名大厨上门做5道川菜,而去餐厅吃同样一桌菜可能要破费200元。用优步短途出行只需要8元人民币,是乘坐有牌照出租车的价格(已经被政府法令压低了)的三分之二。 A driver for both Uber and Didi, who gave his name only as Mr Guo, says both companies pay subsidies that often amount to two to three times the cost of the ride. 一名只透露自己姓郭的优步兼滴滴司机称,两家公司付的补贴通常相当于行程成本的两到三倍。 “Subsidies are an essential part of the income. Because of the competition, the fare is very low,” says Mr Gou. “Without subsidies, the fare is not enough to cover the gas — it wouldn’t pay off.” “补贴是收入中必不可少的部分。由于竞争,车费已经非常低了,”郭先生称,“如果没有补贴,车费还不够油钱——划不来。” The ultimate viability of this business model depends on what happens when the money stops, as it inevitably will, say analysts. 分析师称,这种商业模式最终的可行性将取决于停止烧钱——这是不可避免的——后会发生什么。 Last year, there were aly signs that investors have had enough of “cash burn”. Pressure from investors was thought to be behind the merger last year of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, two reigning taxi apps, who no sooner had solved their cash burn problem than Uber appeared on the scene. Later in the year, Meituan and Dianping merged, only to be confronted with search engine Baidu’s competing platform Nuomi. 去年已经出现了投资者受够了“烧钱”的迹象。来自投资者的压力,被认为是去年滴滴和快的合并背后的原因。这两家领先的打车应用刚解决了烧钱的问题,优步就登场了。去年末,美团和大众点评合并,只是为了对抗搜索引擎百度旗下的平台糯米。 “That’s the story of the Chinese internet — the last man standing always wins. And sometimes when there are two last men standing they will merge,” says Mr Gan of Qiming. “这就是中国互联网的故事——最后一个站着的人总会赢的。有时,如果最后还站着的是两个人,他们会合并,”启明的甘剑平称。 Brian Viard, an economist who teaches at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, says platforms like Uber and Airbnb depend on large numbers of customers and sellers to achieve a critical mass, which drives down costs. But he said the fundamental model of “burning cash” is more about optimism than economics. 在北京长江商学院(Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business)授课的经济学家布赖恩#8226;维亚尔(Brian Viard)称,优步和Airbnb这类平台依赖于大量的消费者和商家来形成足够大的规模,从而拉低成本。但是他称,“烧钱”的基本模式更多与乐观有关,而不是成本效益。 “A lot of these companies have one thing in common — their perceptions of the odds of success are higher than they actually are,” he says. “这些企业大多都有一个共同点——他们心目中的成功几率高于实际情况,”他称。 /201604/437709

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are feared by many in Europe and the US, with scientists warning of mass unemployment. But in Singapore, where restrictions on foreign workers have left many companies struggling for staff, service sector businesses are increasingly finding automated solutions to their workforce crunch.人工智能领域的快速进步让欧美的许多人感到担忧,科学家们警告称,这可能导致大规模失业。但在新加坡,务行业的企业越来越发现机器人可以解决它们人手紧张的问题——新加坡限制外国工人就业让许多公司很难招到员工。From restaurants to hospitals, robots are being rolled out in a government-backed push to help businesses survive a tight labour market.在政府为帮助企业在供应紧张的劳动力市场存活下去而推出的举措下,从饭店到医院,多种机构均出现了机器人的身影。Louis Tan, chief operating officer of Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Novena hospital, said: “The government is clamping down on foreign workers — there is difficulty in hiring even skilled workers. Technology has turned out to be one of the solutions.”新加坡伊丽莎白诺维娜医院(Mount Elizabeth Novena)首席运营官Louis Tan表示:“新加坡政府正在限制外国工人——哪怕雇佣熟练工人也很困难。事实明,技术是解决方案之一。”The hospital, a private medical facility run by the Parkway Pantai group, has turned to IBM’s Watson technology as an automated “nurse” to monitor patients’ vital signs in its intensive care unit.这家医院借助IBM的“沃森”(Watson)技术推出了机器人“护士”来监护重症病房中的病人的关键体征。伊丽莎白诺维娜医院是百汇班台集团(Parkway Pantai)运营的私立医疗务机构。The AI technology combines information from indicators such as blood pressure and heart rate, and uses a predictive algorithm to calculate the risk of a patient’s condition getting worse.人工智能技术结合血压、心率等指标信息,并使用预测性算法来计算患者病情恶化的风险。“In the past that required human integration and interpretation,” Mr Tan said. “And now we are using data analytics to help drive this.”Louis Tan表示:“在过去,这需要人类加以整合和解读。现在我们使用数据分析学来帮助解读。”The pilot, which was launched this year, has improved patient safety, Mr Tan added.他补充称,今年推出的试点项目让病人更加安全。He said: “It doesn’t mean nurses are absolved of responsibility. It just means they have another aid. It’s more efficient and safer for the patients.”他说:“这并不意味着护士无事可干了。它仅仅意味着她们又有了一个助手,提高了她们照顾病患的效率和安全性。”At Chilli Padi Nonya café, a restaurant serving a hybrid Malay-Chinese cuisine near the National University of Singapore, dirty dishes are gathered by a robotic waiter that trundles between tables chirping: “Could you help me to clear your table?”在辣椒香娘惹餐厅(Chilli Padi Nonya),穿梭于桌子间的机器人侍者收拾着脏碟子,还能用清脆的声音问道:“你能帮我收拾下桌子吗?”该餐馆位于新加坡国立大学(National University of Singapore)附近,提供马来菜和中国菜。The machine lacks the ability to pick up cups and plates itself. Instead customers place their used crockery in a tray it carries back to the kitchen.这种机器人无法自己拿起杯子和碟子。顾客们将他们用过的餐具放到托盘上,然后由机器人拿回厨房。Kannan Thangaraj, the restaurant’s manager, said: “In Singapore it’s very difficult to get manpower from overseas, so it’s very helpful to get a robot. The customers are coming back because of the robot. They like to see it.”餐厅经理卡纳安#8226;坦加拉贾(Kannan Thangaraj)表示:“在新加坡,从海外招募人手非常困难,因此使用机器人非常有帮助。顾客们因为机器人而成为回头客。他们喜欢看到机器人。”So far, only a handful of restaurants are involved in trial usage of the robots. One deterrent is cost: the company which makes the machines, Singapore-based ech Mechatronics, sells them for S,000 (US,340).迄今为止,只有少数几家餐馆在试用机器人。成本是一个障碍:总部位于新加坡的机器人制造公司ech Mechatronics对机器人的定价在4.7万新元(合3.434万美元)。The government provides a subsidy of nearly 70 per cent of the robot’s cost for the restaurant trial, the company said.该公司表示,新加坡政府为试用机器人的餐馆提供近70%的成本补贴。Also in Singapore, a research and development centre for MasterCard has designed the first payment application for SoftBank Robotics’ humanoid robot Pepper. 同样在新加坡,万事达(MasterCard)的一家研发中心为软银机器人(SoftBank Robotics)的仿人机器人Pepper设计了首个付应用。Outlets of Pizza Hut in Asia will use the robot to take some customer orders and process card payments in a trial expected to take place this year. The goal is to free waiters for more complex interactions with customers.亚洲的必胜客(Pizza Hut)门店将有望在今年试用Pepper接受一些顾客的订单并处理卡付。目标是让侍者解放出来,处理与顾客的更为复杂的互动。In this year’s budget, Singapore’s government announced plans to spend more than S0m over the next three years to back the deployment of robots, with a focus on providing affordable robotics to small and medium-sized enterprises.新加坡在今年的预算中宣布,计划在今后3年斥资逾4.5亿新元持企业配备机器人,重点是向中小企业提供它们负担得起的机器人。But the push to innovate has not been universally welcomed; in one Singapore restaurant piloting a robot dish-collector, the machine was smashed to pieces by a member of staff.但这种创新举措并未普遍受到欢迎;在新加坡一家试用机器人收拾盘子的餐馆里,一位员工将机器人打得粉身碎骨。While there has been a global boom in the use of industrial robots, with 248,000 units sold in 2015 according to research by the International Federation of Robotics, sales of service sector robots have lagged behind.尽管全球范围内已经在大量使用工业机器人——国际机器人联合会(International Federation of Robotics)的调查显示,2015年工业机器人销量为24.8万台——但务业机器人的销量要少得多。Sales of service robots rose to about 24,000 units in 2014 compared with just under 22,000 the year before.2014年,务业机器人的销量升至约2.4万台,而2013年还不到2.2万台。Analysts predict that the worldwide market for service industry robots is poised to take off, as technical advances allow robots to perform more complex tasks and work in more unpredictable environments.分析师预计,随着科技进步使得机器人能够执行更加复杂的任务并在更加不可预测的环境中工作,全球范围内务行业机器人的销量将会飙升。In Japan, where robots are widely used in manufacturing, the government has launched a push to increase their use in services including healthcare and nursing homes.在制造业广泛使用机器人的日本,政府出台措施,推动包括医疗保健和居家护理在内的务行业增加机器人的使用。 /201609/467906

SpaceX last Saturday launched a shipment of supplies for the astronauts living at the International Space Station (ISS), carrying for the first time an experiment independently designed by China.上周六,美国太空探索技术公司为生活在国际空间站的航天员发送了一批补给,首次携带了由中国自主设计的实验项目。The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off on the Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 pm from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.当天下午5时7分,该公司的“龙”货运飞船搭载“猎鹰9”火箭从佛罗里达州肯尼迪航空中心升空。Among the cargo is a 3.5 kg device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that sought to answer questions like ;Does the space radiation and microgravity cause mutations among antibody-encoding genes and how does it happen?;飞船携带的货物中有一个来自北京理工大学、重3.5公斤的装置。该装置试图回答“太空辐射和微重力是否会导致抗体编码基因的突变以及它是如何发生的?”等问题。The Chinese payload was first reported in 2015, when an agreement was reached between the institute and NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that offers services for the commercial utilization of the space station.2015年,北京理工大学与纳诺拉克斯公司达成协议,这个中国载荷首次被报道。纳诺拉克斯公司总部位于休斯顿,是一家提供国际空间站商业利用务的企业。Under the agreement, NanoRacks will deliver the device to the US side of the space station and astronauts there will conduct studies using the device in about two weeks, data from which will be sent back to the Chinese researchers.根据协议,纳诺拉克斯将把该装置交付至空间站的美国部分,那里的航天员将使用该装置进行约两周的研究,研究所获数据将回传给中国研究人员。NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton confirmed to Xinhua that there is a Chinese experiment that is launched on this mission.NASA发言人凯瑟琳·汉布尔顿已向新华社实,有一个中国的实验项目在此次发射任务中启动。;NASA complied with all legal requirements to notify the Congress of this activity, and all of the ISS partners approved the inclusion of the experiment,; Hambleton said in an email.汉布尔顿在一则邮件中表示:“NASA在遵守所有法律要求的前提下向国会告知这了一活动,并且已经取得了所有国际空间站合作伙伴就该实验的批准。” /201706/514009

Carlo Montemagno is seen with a foam bioreactor for carbon capture in Edmonton on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.2017年1月6日星期五,在埃德蒙顿,Carlo Montemagno和碳捕获的泡沫生物反应器在一起。Dr. Montemagno has engineered a new way to capture CO2 from industrial-gas emissions.Montemagno士已经设计了一个新方法从工业排放的气体中进行碳捕获。What if carbon-dioxide emissions could be transformed from a liability into an asset?当二氧化碳排放量从负债转化为资产会怎么样呢?That’s the -million question behind the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize, a global competition to create technology that converts CO2 into valuable products.这就是加拿大油砂创新联盟(COSIA)和NRG能源所设立的2000万美元的碳清洁技术奖(XPrize)所提出的问题,这是一项全球性的关于将二氧化碳转化为有价值的产物的科技竞赛。“In energy and climate, few ideas are as potentially transformative as the idea of turning the economics of CO2 and climate change on its head,” said Marcius Extavour, director of technical operations for the prize.本次奖项的技术实施负责人Marcius Extavour表示:“在能源和气候领域,没有什么点子能在变革型的潜力上和转化二氧化碳和改造气候相提并论。”Nine Canadian companies are among the 27 teams that have advanced to the semifinals.有9家加拿大公司所属的27队伍入围了半决赛。Ten finalists will be announced in 2018 and a winner will be revealed in 2020.2018年将决出进入最后决赛的十强队伍,冠军则将于2020年公布。Here’s a look at some of the Canadian semifinalists.以下是一些入围的加拿大队伍:Ingenuity Lab, Edmonton来自埃德蒙顿的;心灵手巧实验室;Ingenuity Lab director Carlo Montemagno has engineered a new way to capture CO2 from industrial-gas emissions. His technology harnesses photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert carbon dioxide into chemical energy using light.该实验室负责人Carlo Montemagno已经设计了一个新方法从工业排放的气体中进行碳捕获。他的技术是利用光合作用,通过使用光照射植物将二氧化碳转化为化学能。The technology mimics the biochemical reactions of photosynthesis in non-living materials to generate the energy to transform the carbon dioxide into valuable products. It takes the CO2 from flue gas and builds the carbons up into long chains, with the result being that 47 different specialty chemicals can be produced.这项科技模拟了光合作用的在非生活物质环境中的生化反应,以产生能量将二氧化碳转化为有价值的产物。Dr. Montemagno added that plants require a significant amount of energy to grow, so they’re not very efficient at sequestering carbon to produce value-added chemicals. But in his technology, no energy has to be spent to keep an organism alive, so all the output can go toward the products that one wants to create.Montemagno士补充道,由于植物需要大量能量才能生长,这样它们在进行碳封存以制造具备附加值的化学品时效率就不是很高。但是在他的技术里,无需任何能量就可以保有机体存活,这样所有的能量产出就将用于制造目标产物。“This efficiency is game-changing, opening up new opportunities for the sustainable production of products we all need from waste,” he said in an e-mail.他在一份Email中表示:“这个效率是颠覆性的,为我们生产从废物里回收的所有我们所需的可持续产品打开了新的机会之门。”Terra CO2 Technologies, Vancouver来自温哥华的“地球二氧化碳科技公司”Terra CO2 Technologies is developing a technique to transform acid rock drainage and carbon-dioxide emissions – two damaging byproducts of mining – into a stable substance.该公司正在开发一项科技以转化矿山酸性排放以及二氧化碳排放量——两个由于采矿所带来的具有破坏性的副产物——成为一种稳定物质。Acid rock drainage refers to the acidic water that results when sulphide minerals are exposed to air and water and produce sulphuric acid, which is harmful to wildlife if it leaks into waterways. Mining companies must use costly methods to contain the drainage, including treating it with lime and storing it in large tailings ponds.矿山酸性排放指的是含有硫化物的矿物暴露于空气、水中时,将产生硫酸,硫酸如果泄露到水体里将成为对野生动物造成危险的酸性水。矿业公司必须使用价格不菲的方法来控制排放,包括使用石灰来处理或者将其储存于大型尾矿池中。Terra CEO Dylan Jones said the company aims to solve the environmental threat of acid rock drainage and save mining companies money. Their technology treats the drainage through an electrochemical process that separates the sulphur from the mineral.公司负责人Dylan Jones表示,公司的目标是解决矿山酸性排放所导致的环境威胁,并节省矿业公司的开。它们的技术将排放物通过一个电化学装置以将硫化物从矿石中分离出来。The company uses a common iron-sulphide mineral called pyrite or “fool’s gold” as an example. It pulls CO2 out of the air and combines with the iron to make an iron carbonate, which is stable in normal atmospheric conditions and doesn’t produce any acid.公司使用一种常见的硫铁矿物,即黄铁矿,亦称“愚人金”作为示范。它将空气中的二氧化碳抽出,并和铁结合生成铁的碳酸盐,这个产物在自然空气中可以稳定存在,而且不再产生任何酸类物质。“Our application for the technology is huge for the mining industry,” Mr. Jones said. “We’re looking at it as a cost-saving technology.”Jones先生表示:”我们的应用科技对于矿业公司而言意义重大,我们将其视为一项节省开的技术。“Carbicrete, Montreal来自蒙特利尔的”碳凝土“Cement produces a great deal of greenhouse gas emissions – about one tonne of CO2 for every tonne of cement.水泥生产产生大量的温室气体排放——差不多每生产一吨水泥就会排放一吨的二氧化碳。That’s why Carbicrete invented a way to make concrete without using cement.这就是为什么这家公司发明了一个新方法,即不使用水泥的情况下来制作混凝土。Instead of using cement to bind together the concrete, the company uses steel slag, a byproduct of the steel-making process that mostly ends up in landfills. In doing so, it avoids the CO2 emissions associated with cement.这家公司使用钢渣来取代混凝土中的水泥,钢渣是炼钢过程中产生的副产物,大部分时候都被当垃圾填埋了。这么做的结果就是避免了因生产水泥而产生的二氧化碳排放。Mehrdad Mahoutian, who originally invented the technology at McGill University, added that precast concrete products are normally cured with heat and steam, but Carbicrete cures its concrete with CO2 gas, which permanently sequesters the CO2 and keeps it out of the atmosphere.在McGill大学发明这项技术的Mahrdad Mahoutian补充道,预制的混凝土产品一般来说都是通过热源和蒸汽来加工,但是公司使用的是二氧化碳来构造混凝土,其永久性的将大气中的二氧化碳封存起来。In effect, the product is carbon-negative concrete.结果就是,这个产物就是无碳的混凝土。“We’re taking garbage, and we’re turning it into a valuable product and solving climate change all in one step,” CEO Chris Stern said.负责人Chris Stern表示:”我们拿走了垃圾,一步就将他们转化成了具有价值的产物,而且同时还解决了气候变化问题。“CarbonCure Technologies, Dartmouth, N.S.来自新斯科舍省达特茅斯市的”碳加工科技公司“Nova Scotia-based CarbonCure Technologies has also developed a way to use CO2 to make better concrete.坐落于新斯科舍省的该公司也是通过开发了一个新方法来将二氧化碳变成更好的混凝土。The company takes CO2 from any industrial source – a power plant or a refinery, for example – and injects it into concrete, where it is sequestered and turned into a solid. The process reduces the carbon footprint of the product by taking CO2 out of the air and turning it into a solid material, which happens to make concrete stronger, and also cuts down the concrete producer’s costs.这家公司从任何工业来源,比如发电厂或者冶炼厂,获取的二氧化碳注入混凝土,然后二氧化碳就被封存起来变成了固态。这个过程通过将二氧化碳从空气中剥离并转化为一种固态物质以实现碳封装,这种固态物质还能让混凝土的强度变大,同时可以降低混凝土制造商的成本。There is more concrete manufactured on the earth than any other material, so this technology has the potential to reduce significant quantities of CO2, vice-president of sustainability Jennifer Wagner said.负责可持续发展的副主管Jennifer Wagner表示,在地球上,混凝土生产得比其他材料多得多,所以此项技术有潜力减少大量的二氧化碳。“The technology makes concrete stronger, greener and less expensive to manufacture.””这项技术让混凝土的强度变大、更环保也让生产变得更便宜。“ /201701/487674

Nonverbal Communication 美国人的肢体语言 The boy and girl glance around the crowded room. Their eyes meet. Embarrassed, they look away. Nervously, they steal glances at each other, averting their eyes when they see the other one looking back. The boy acts cool, crossing his legs and affecting a casual air-even though his heart is beating wildly. The girl, obviously smitten herself, is afraid the boy will see her looking at him. A few seconds pass. He looks at her again. She starts to blush. He nervously looks at the ceiling and whistles softly to himself. They continue their cat-and-mouse game for a seemingly inter-minable period of time. Will they ever talk to each other? 那个男孩和女孩瞥视那拥挤的屋内。他们的视线相遇了。不好意思,又把视线挪开。惴惴不安地,他们互相偷看着,当发现对方也在回望自己时,又转移视线。男孩表现得很酷,交叉着双腿,装着一副漫不经心的样子--虽然他的心正狂野地跳动着;女孩,显然地已坠入情网,很怕男孩看到自己在看他。几秒钟过去了,他再度看她;她的脸红了起来。他紧张地看着天花板,自己轻吹着口哨。他们似乎没完没了地玩着这个猫捉老鼠的游戏。他们到底会不会交谈呢? The fact is, they have aly communicated a lot, without ever saying anything. Nonverbal elements form a major part of any communication interchange. Some people would say it's the most important part. According to one study, words convey only 7 percent of a person's message. Intonation and voice quality communicate 38 percent, and nonverbal cues transmit a whopping 55 percent. That means people pick up more from nonverbal communication than from the words a person says. When studying about a foreign culture then, it just makes sense to pay attention to how people use nonverbal cues. 事实上,他们没说一句就已经沟通过了。非语言之要素在任何形式的双向沟通中占了很重要的一部份。有些人会认为那是最重要的一部份。根据一项研究,言语只传达了百分之七的讯息。语调及音色传达了百分之三十八,而非语言的暗示传递了极大的百分之五十五。这就表示了人们从非语言沟通中领悟到的比从说出来的话语中的还多。所以,在研习一个外国文化时,注意人们如何使用非语言暗示是很有道理的。 Gestures comprise a major form of nonverbal communication. In contrast to sign language, used by deaf people to communicate elaborate messages, gestures function as visual icons which represent a single idea. But often these gestures are embarrassingly culture-bound. For example, when the Maoris of New Zealand stick out their tongue at someone, it is a sign of respect. When American schoolchildren make the same gesture, it means just the opposite. Also, Americans often indicate "OK" with their thumb and forefinger touching to form a circle. The same gesture means "money" to the Japanese, "zero" to the French and a vulgarity to Brazilians. For that reason, people in a foreign culture must use gestures with caution. 手势是非语言传达中很重要的一环。与聋人用来沟通复杂讯息所使用的手语不同的是,手势的功能就像是视觉上的图像,它代表的是单一的意念。而往往这些手势极受文化限制,甚至造成尴尬的误解。例如,当纽西兰的毛利人对某人伸舌头,这是尊敬的表象。当美国学童作同样的动作时,它表达的意思正好相反。还有,美国人通常用大拇指及食指环绕起一个圆圈表示「没问题」。同样的手势对日本人是「钱」的意思,对法国人是「零」的意思,对巴西人是极低俗的手势。因此,处在外国文化中的人必须小心地使用手势。 /200803/32557

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