It is far from clear that requiring payments for data makes sense


Should we get paid for our data?

Herein lies the insight: to the extent that having consumers not be paid for their data is an indication that they value the use of their data by the network, by forcing the network to pay for that data, the consumer can be made worse off because they can no longer just give the data to the network. Thus, the whole analogy with slavery or the supply of pure labour breaks down because the consumer may want to encourage the network to make use of more of its data. Requiring the network to pay subverts that process.

In order for the notion of regulating payments for data makes sense, you have to believe that consumers do not gain utility by giving additional data to networks. Some (and perhaps many) consumers do give their data freely to networks now. Thus, it is entirely possible that they will be made worse off it networks are required to pay them for that data because those networks may structure themselves to no longer make use of the data rather than pay for it.

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Joshua Gans — Digitopoly

Asian-Americans on being “likable” in the modern workplace


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On navigating racial stereotypes:

The stereotype that I run into the most with my own race is looking young. I was 27 and had just started a new job, and I was introduced to the team as a new person. One older woman said to me, “I don’t mean to sound ageist, but you don’t look like you’ve graduated from college.” It was like, what was the purpose of making that statement? I’m telling you that I have.The implication that I might be in school signals that I might be less than professional.

For Asian-American men, the leading stereotypes are being good at math and being good with computers. But when you narrow that down to East Asian men, you are also pegged as quiet, shy, and for many, socially awkward. I had a conversation with a friend who was categorized as being “stoic and unexpressive” even though I know him to be a very funny, likable person. If your communication skills are not that strong, it’s easy for people not to talk very much.

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PAVITHRA MOHAN AND ANISA PURBASARI HORTON — Fast Company

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Elon Musk’s Fall from Grace


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Will Musk come out of this?

The conflicts of interest certainly seem problematic—and not just for the shareholders. Consider the following: as the two companies, SolarCity and Tesla, were delaying operations and refusing to bargain with workers, Brad W. Buss received $4.95 million as a Tesla director in 2015 alone, on top of his $32 million as the Chief Financial Officer at the insolvent SolarCity. Antonio J. Gracias, founder and CEO of the private equity firm Valor Management, sits on Tesla’s board and owned 211,854 SolarCity shares at the time of the merger. Steve Jurvenston, another Silicon Valley venture capitalist, earned over $6 million as a Tesla board member in 2016 and owned over 417,450 shares of SolarCity during the merger. His investing firm, Draper Fisher Jurveston, put $18.9 million in SolarCity. Nancy Pfund, a venture capitalist at DBL investors, another equity firm, owned over 1.5 million shares of SolarCity at the time of the merger, and Pfund’s partner at DBL is Ira Ehrenpreis, who owns the map software firm MapBox and is also a Tesla director. (In 2015, he secured an agreement with the auto company to use his software, at a $5 million fee on top of sales.)

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Andrew Elrod — Boston Review

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Tears ‘R’ Us: The World’s Biggest Toy Store Didn’t Have to Die


Toys R US To Close 87 Stores

All stores will be empty by the end of June, but until then customers can stand in front of a “selfie banner featuring Geoffrey,” the retailer said in May. Soon after, Brandon and four other senior executives, now deemed nonessential, left the company. Brandon received almost $7 million in compensation in 2017, including a $2.8 million retention bonus paid just before the bankruptcy filing. He’s already started a consulting company. Former employees have started a Facebook page, Dead Giraffe Society. Some rallied outside the offices of Bain, KKR, and Vornado to protest losing their jobs without severance and occupied a soon-to-be-closed Toys “R” Us store in Union, N.J. Twenty miles away, the company began to liquidate its headquarters. Photos of what’s for sale, including a giant Sully from Monsters, Inc. posed next to a pool table, are available online.

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Bloomberg Businessweek

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How Alibaba is planning to counter Amazon and Walmart in India


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Price war!!!

Alibaba has earmarked $2 billion for Paytm Mall. SoftBank will put in additional money. Paytm Mall will suddenly be flush with cash like its larger rivals. Flipkart has got a $6 billion war chest, and Amazon has $2.5 billion left from Jeff Bezos’ announced commitment to the India market.

With all the money Paytm Mall has, Alibaba plans to make it a price warrior. “Product prices will be about 20-25% cheaper than what Amazon and Flipkart sell them for,” said the first executive. “With deep pockets we will win… In China, too, we offered the products at 25% cheaper than what competitors’ prices. That was the reason for our success.”

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Sunny Sen — Factor Daily

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It Costs $2.50 to Make Lipstick — Here’s Why You’re Charged So Much More


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Have you ever thought about this?

“Cosmetics are marked up so much because conglomerates aren’t just in the ‘sell you great makeup’ business. [Some of these] companies are in the lifestyle and brand business, and because cosmetics are so cheap to make, they use the opportunity to make 90% profit on the makeup they sell you in order to subsidize the rest of their business,” says Fredrickson. “Your lipstick is paying for everything from really expensive brand campaigns, to unprofitable designer clothes, to the profits for the retailer that sells the makeup to you.”

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Cheryl Wischhover — Racked

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Why Your Health Insurer Doesn’t Care About Your Big Bills


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Do insurers drive medical bills up or down? This is counter intuitive. As a result, “Tens of millions remain uninsured. And millions are in financial peril: About 1 in 5 is currently being pursued by a collection agency over medical debt. “

One line stood out — the cost of the implant and related supplies. Aetna said NYU Langone paid a “member rate” of $26,068 for “supply/implants.” But Frank didn’t see how that could be accurate. He called and emailed Smith & Nephew, the maker of his implant, until a representative told him the hospital would have paid about $1,500. His NYU Langone surgeon confirmed the amount, Frank said. The device company and surgeon did not respond to ProPublica’s requests for comment.

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Marshall Allen — NPR

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