龙源坝中心卫生院有微创手术吗爱问网

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原标题: 龙源坝中心卫生院有微创手术吗39信息
Science and technology科学技术Supercomputing超级计算Deeper thought更深奥的思维The world has a new fastest computer, thanks to games多亏,让世界拥有了一台新的最快的计算机The ultimate games machine终极游戏机SPEED fanatics that they are, computer nerds like to check the website of Top500, a collaboration between German and American computer scientists that keeps tabs on which of the worlds supercomputers is the fastest.作为速度控,电脑迷们喜欢查看Top500的网站,该网站是由德国和美国的计算机科学家合办,记录世界上最快的超级计算机。On November 12th the website released its latest list, and unveiled a new champion.11月12日,该网站发布了最新榜单,揭开了新一任冠军的面纱。The computer in question is called Titan, and it lives at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee.获得冠军的计算机名为泰坦,居于田纳西州的橡树岭国家实验室,It took first place from another American machine, IBMs Sequoia, which is housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in California.它是击败了另一台美国的计算机-IBM的红杉而取得冠军的,红杉位于加利福尼亚州的劳伦斯利物莫国家实验室。These two machines have helped reassert Americas dominance of a list that had, in the past few years, been headed by computers from China and Japan.这两台计算机使美国重新在Top500榜单上获得优势地位,而在过去数年,中国和日本的计算机一直雄踞榜首。Titan is different from the previous champion in several ways.泰坦与之前的冠军在多个方面均有所不同。For one thing, it is an open system, meaning that scientific researchers with sufficiently thorny problems will be able to bid for time on it, in much the same way that astronomers can bid for time on telescopes.其一,它是一个开放的系统,意味着科研人员可以争取泰坦的使用时间来解决非常棘手的问题,与天文学家争取天文望远镜使用时间的方式差不多。Sequoia, by contrast, spends most of its time running hush-hush simulations of exploding nuclear weapons, and is therefore rarely available for public use.相比之下,红杉将其大多数时间用在绝密的核武器爆炸模拟上,因此很少用于公共用途。Titan has an unusual design, too.泰坦的设计也与众不同。All supercomputers are composed of thousands of processor chips harnessed together.所有的超级计算机是由成千上万个处理芯片连在一起组成的。Often, these are derivatives of the central processing units, or CPUs, that sit at the heart of modern, desktop machines.这些芯片通常都是由现代台式电脑的心脏-中央处理器,即CPU,衍生出来的。But Titan derives the majority of its oomph—more than 90%—from technology originally developed for the -game industry.但是泰坦的大部分性能源于最初由行业开发出来的技术。Half of its 37,376 processors are ordinary CPUs.泰坦有37376个处理器,其中一半是普通CPU,But the other half are graphics processing units, or GPUs.但另外一半是图形处理器,即GPU。These are specialised devices designed to cope with modern games, which are some of the most demanding applications any home machine is ever likely to run.GPU是用于处理现代的专业设备,其中一些要求最苛刻的游戏甚至都没有家用机能运行起来。Chinas TianHe-1 machine, a previous Top500 champion, was built in the same way, as are 60 other machines in the Top500 list.前Top500冠军,中国的天河1号也是采用同样的方式搭建的,Top500榜单中还有60台计算机也是用此方式搭建的。Parallel worlds并行的世界Broadly speaking, a CPU—which will be expected to run everything from spsheets to voice-recognition software to encoded —has to be a generalist, competent at every sort of mathematical task but excelling at nothing.从广义上说,一个CPU—被寄予运行一切事物的厚望,从电子表格到语音视频软件,再到解码视频—必须成为一个全能选手,要胜任所有类型的数学计算任务,但却无一精通。A GPU, by contrast, is designed to excel at one thing only: manipulating huge numbers of the triangles out of which all modern computer graphics are made.相比之下,GPU就是为专精一件事而特别设计的:操控大量的三角形,所有现代计算机的图形都是由这些三角形构成的。Several years ago researchers at Nvidia and AMD realised that many scientific problems which demand huge amounts of computing power—everything from climate simulations and modelling combustion in an engine to seismic analysis for the oil-and-gas industry—could be translated into a form that was digestible by their GPUs.几年前,英伟达及超微半导体的研究人员意识到许多需要大量运算能力的科学问题—从气候模拟及发动机燃烧方式建模到油气行业的抗震分析—都可以转译成GPU可以理解的形式。Soon after, supercomputer builders such as Cray began to take notice.此后不久,这开始引起了超级计算机制造商的注意,如克雷。Borrowing from the games industry in this way brings several benefits. One big one is efficiency.以这种方式借鉴游戏行业的技术带来诸多好处。最大的一个好处是效能。Titan is an upgrade of Oak Ridges existing Jaguar machine.泰坦是橡树岭现有的美洲虎超级计算机的升级版。Upgrading Jaguar with ordinary CPUs would have meant building a computer that sucked around 30MW of electricity when running flat out—enough juice to power a small town.如使用普通的CPU对美洲虎进行升级,则意味着升级后的计算机在全速运行时将会狂饮大约30MW的电力,这么多电力供给一个小镇都绰绰有余。Because GPUs are so good at their specialised tasks, Titan can achieve its blistering performance while sipping a modest 8.2MW.由于GPU非常擅长处理专门性务,泰坦在达到最高性能时只是抿掉8.2MW的电力,不算太多。It makes sense financially, too, says Sumit Gupta, head of supercomputing at Nvidia.使用GPU从经济上说也颇有意义,英伟达超级计算业务的负责人苏米特古普塔称。The chips that the firm sells to supercomputer-makers are almost identical to those it sells to gamers.英伟达销售给超级计算机制造商的GPU几乎与销售给游戏玩家的GPU完全相同。As Dr Gupta observes, The history of high-performance computing is littered with the bodies of firms that tried to build products just for the supercomputing market.据古普塔士观察,在高性能运算的历史上,遍布着那些只想为超级计算机市场提供产品的公司的尸体,By itself, its just too small a niche.就其自身而言,这个利基市场太过狭小了。It is not all upsides, though.然而使用GPU也有不利的一面。Machines like Titan achieve their speed by breaking a problem into thousands of tiny pieces and farming each out to a single processor.泰坦这类计算机是将一个问题打散为成千上万个小碎片,然后将每个小碎片分发给单独的处理器运算,从而达到其很高的运算速度。A helpful analogy, perhaps, is painting a house: one strategy might be to hire a single painter, but it is probably quicker to employ several people and give each a room to do.或许将其比喻为粉刷房子有助于理解:一种策略是只雇用一名粉刷工,但是多雇几个粉刷工,然后每人刷一个房间很可能会更快一点。Not all problems are susceptible to being chopped up in such a way, though.然而不是所有的问题都能以这种方式切分。The requirement to translate a problem into the sort of mathematics that a GPU can digest adds another barrier.而将一个问题转译为GPU可以理解的那中数学运算问题也是一个障碍。Dr Gupta gives the example of the models used to simulate how a car will react in a crash as one problem that has so far resisted what the industry calls the massively parallel approach.古普塔士举了模拟汽车碰撞的模型的例子,解决该问题目前仍需采用被行业称为大规模并行的方法。Clever programmers can sometimes find a way around such issues: ray-tracing, a high-quality, mathematically intense approach to computer graphics that aims to simulate individual light rays, was, ironically, long thought to be the kind of problem that a modern GPU would struggle with.聪明的程序员有时能够找到绕过这种问题的方法:射线追踪,是一种针对电脑图形的高质量,数学运算频繁的方法,目的是模拟单独的光线。但讽刺的是,射线追踪一直被认为是现代GPU难以处理的一类问题,Yet at a graphics conference in 2008, a group of researchers from Nvidia announced that they had, nevertheless, found a way to do it.但在2008年的一次图形大会上,一个来自英伟达的研究团队宣布,尽管这类问题很难,但他们还是找到了处理的方法。Oak Ridge and Nvidia plan to work with scientists wanting time on Titan to see if their algorithms can be tweaked in similar ways, to make them digestible by the new machine.橡树岭和英伟达计划和想要使用泰坦的科学家合作,来检查这些科学家的算法是否能够以类似的方式进行微调,使新计算机能够理解这些算法。Dr Gupta is bullish.古普塔士对其表示乐观。Even the recalcitrant car-crash simulations, he thinks, will yield to the new approach soon.他认为,即便是顽固的汽车碰撞模拟问题不久也会出现新的解决方法。But that is not to say that every problem can be made to work.但这并不是说所有的问题都能解决。And those scientists who find that they cannot tweak their code may find themselves struggling to take advantage of the ever-rising performance of the worlds fastest computers.对于无法对其编码进行微调的科学家来说,会发现他们很难去利用世界上最快的计算机们不断提升的性能。 /201401/27

Marc Rich马克里奇Marc Rich, king of commodities, died on June 26th, aged 78“原物料大王”马克里奇于6月26日去世,享年78岁A NEW employee once asked Marc Rich for advice on trading. He expected, perhaps, “Buy low, sell high”, or “Think long-term”. Or perhaps, given Mr Richs habit of going to the office at daybreak, “Up with the lark”. Instead, Mr Rich picked up a knife and ran a finger across the edge. “As a trader you often walk on the blade,” he said softly. “Be careful and dont step off.”曾经一名新职员向马克里奇寻求生意方面的建议。他期待的回答可能是“低价买进,高价卖出”或者“做长远思考”。或者考虑到里奇天一亮就去办公室的习惯,所以可能会说“早起床”。但是,里奇拿起一把小刀,一根手指放在刀刃上滑动,然后轻声说:“作为一个商人,经常会有走在刀刃上的感觉,所以要小心,不要让自己掉下来。”Few walked it more skilfully than Mr Rich. Obsessively, he scanned the globe to see crises coming, wars brewing, shortages looming. He bought before anyone else did, and was first there when countries began to look round for oil or zinc or nickel. On the eve of the Korean war, as a mere junior trader at Philipp Brothers in New York, he created a market in mercury, which the army needed for batteries. The price soared. From the late 1960s, somehow anticipating the Arab oil-export embargo, he began to create a spot market for oil. Previously, all crude was tied up by the big companies in inelastic long-term contracts. Starting in Tunisia, Mr Rich began to buy and sell it for immediate delivery, like any other commodity. When the embargo bit after 1973 he was swimming in oil when the majors were struggling, and was able to sell it at a mark-up of as much as a barrel. Some called that profiteering. Mr Rich called it a service charge. He could have demanded more, but that would have been “like taking candy from a baby”.没有人能走得比里奇更轻巧熟练。他观察世界各地,预见哪儿危机将要发生,战争将要爆发,商品将要发生短缺,尽情沉溺于这一切。当一些国家开始到处寻求石油、锌或镍时,他总是第一个买到这些商品的人,也是第一个去到那里的人。在朝鲜战争前夕,虽然只是纽约菲利普兄弟公司一个资历较浅的职员,里奇却开创了有关汞的市场。当时军队需要汞来制作电池,所以汞价格飙升。从20世纪60年代末开始,不知为何他预感阿拉伯会禁令石油输出,所以他开始创立了石油现货市场。在这之前,所有原油都被大公司以硬性长期合约的形式限制住了。里奇首次在突尼斯开始以立即交付的形式买卖原油,就像其他商品一样。1973年后,贸易禁令产生负面影响,当其他人深受其苦时,他却拥有着大量石油,这样他以每桶加价14美金的价格出售石油。一些人称这种行为是投机倒把。里奇认为这是务费。他本可以要价更高,但是那就“像从小孩手里抢糖果一样简单”。A free agent in this exhilarating new market, he went from strength to strength. Turning on his insistent, feline charm, he sought out buyers and sellers while his partner Pinky Green arranged shipping. It was a winning combination, forged at Philipp Brothers but soon outgrowing it. In 1974 the two of them, peeved that their bonuses were still so small, left to form Marc Rich + Co. The main office was in Zug in safe, secret Switzerland, no questions asked.在这个振奋人心的新市场中,作为自由代理人的里奇不断发展强大起来。靠着自己坚持不懈、猫科动物般的魅力,他不断找寻买主和卖主,而他的搭档平卡斯?格林则负责安排运输。这是成功的合作,他们在菲利普兄弟公司形成的,但是很快地他们不再需要依赖这个公司了。二人因不满自己的奖金仍是很少,所以在1974年都离开了这家公司,一起创立了马克?里奇+有限公司。总公司设在瑞士的一个叫楚格的地方,这里安全、神秘、不问理由。From there, with cat-like t, Mr Rich found his way round any political or moral obstacle. He sold Soviet oil to apartheid South Africa, despite a UN embargo, and between 1979 and 1994 made profits of around billion there. He sent Soviet and Venezuelan oil to Cuba in exchange for sugar, ignoring Americas ban on trade. He sold on the global market surplus Iranian oil that had flowed to Israel down a secret pipeline, and kept the arrangement going seamlessly despite the Iranian revolution of 1979, another embargo, and the American hostage crisis. The Iranians respected their contracts, he explained. They could not sell their oil, so he bought and sold it for them, using shell companies wherever necessary. Keeping well below the radar, as he always did, he was soon the worlds largest independent oil-trader, with a turnover in 1980 of billion.从这里开始,里奇发现他的路布满了各种形式的有关政治、道德的阻碍,他小心地走着。他将苏联石油卖到种族隔离的南非,尽管当时联合国颁布了贸易禁令。在1979到1994年期间,他就这样赚了将近20亿美元。他将苏联和委内瑞拉的石油输送到古巴以换取糖,全然不顾美国的贸易禁令。他把过剩的伊朗石油拿到全球市场上出售,伊朗石油曾沿着一条秘密管道流向以色列,并且把这一切进行得天衣无缝,尽管1979年伊朗发生了革命,尽管禁止跨国贸易,尽管爆发了美国人质危机。他解释说,伊朗人尊重他们的合同。伊朗人不能卖掉他们的石油,所以他先买下,然后不顾一切利用空壳公司替他们售出石油。在这种公司的保护下,正如以往一样生意顺利经营着,很快地他成为世界上最大的独立石油贸易商,1980年的营业额达到150亿美元。Then he stepped off the knife-blade. In 1980-81 he violated Americas domestic oil-price controls by relabelling Texas crude from old fields as new-found, jacking up the price by as much as 400%. He made profits of 5m and shipped them abroad, avoiding taxes of m. Once federal prosecutors were after him for that, they charged him with 64 other crimes, including racketeering and “trading with the enemy”. In 1983 he fled to Switzerland with his family, having also tried to spirit away two trunks of subpoenaed business papers.也就在这时,他从事业浪尖掉了下来。在1980到1981这段期间,他触犯了美国对国内石油价格控制的规定,原因是他把从德克萨斯旧油田开采的原油重新贴上标签变成新石油,从而将价格提高了4倍。他因此获益了1.05亿美元,并将这些钱运送到国外,逃脱了4.8千万美元的税款。正因为这样,联邦司法人员控告他,同时他被控的其他罪行达64项,包括诈骗和“与敌人贸易”。1983年他和家人逃到瑞士,当然他试图想要偷走两箱商业报告。The outsider局外人Thereafter he became a fugitive, a star of the FBIs most-wanted list. He remained—until 1994, when he sold his stake and his company became the vast, tentacular Glencore—the worlds biggest trader of metals and minerals, while darting between Spain, Switzerland and Israel, a citizen of all three. In Marbella or St Moritz, beside a .5m swimming pool or among his Braques and Picassos, with a fortune estimated at .5 billion, he reconciled himself to exile. His father died in America; he had to say kaddish down the telephone. You cry a little, you move on.因此,他变成了一个逃犯,也位列美国联邦调查局最想抓捕人犯名单之中。他一直是世界上最大的金属和矿物贸易商,直到1994年他卖掉了自己的股份,而他的公司成为嘉能可这个涉猎领域广的大公司。这段期间他在西班牙、瑞士和以色列这几个国家之间奔波,成为这三个国家的公民。在马尔韦亚或圣莫里茨,或者在9.5百万美元打造的游泳池旁边或者在他收藏的布拉克和毕加索的作品间,这个估计拥有25亿美元财富的人才会勉强承认自己被流放。他的父亲死于美国;他只能在电话里念着赞美诗《珈底什》。他认为,小段悲伤,然后继续前行。In his own mind he was shy, modest and innocent of everything. American embargoes, he maintained, did not apply to companies based in Switzerland. Bribes, such as the m he gave to Nigerias transport minister, were paid “in order to be able to do business at the same price as other people were willing to do the business”. Getting round the price controls on oil from old fields was something many of the oil majors had done, too; but only he was faced with criminal prosecution for it.在他自己心目中,他是害羞、谦虚和清白的。他认为,美国的贸易禁令不适用于总部位于瑞士的公司。而那些贿赂,比如他送给尼日利亚运输部长的1百万美元,这只是“为了能够做生意,就像其他人也会愿意以同样的价钱做这样的生意”。绕开对旧油田开采的石油的价格控制也是许多的大石油公司会做的事情;但是只有他为了这个事情而面临到刑事控诉。Why? Perhaps, he mused, because he was Jewish, always the outsider: the refugee boy from Belgium who changed schools so often that he had no friends and hardly talked to anyone. Perhaps because he loved Israel more than America, showering it with money for good causes, helping to airlift Jews from Ethiopia and Yemen, and giving Mossads agents contacts in Iran. Or perhaps just because he was making an awful lot of money. He always saw profit where others didnt care, or dare, to look; he got that from his father, who had started in business by peddling round Antwerp pieces of fabric and scrap metal that factories had thrown away.为什么?他沉思道,可能因为他是犹太人,从而总是局外人:这个从比利时逃难出来的男孩因为总是换学校而没有朋友,也几乎没跟任何人说过话。可能因为他爱以色列胜过美国,所以他提供大量金钱给以色列去做一些伟大事业,帮助空运那些来自埃塞俄比亚和也门的犹太人,安排了莫萨德在伊朗的特务据点。或者可能只是因为他赚了大量肮脏的金钱。他总是看到别人不在意,或者不敢去看到的利润;这一点遗传了父亲,他的父亲开始做买卖时靠的是在安特卫普走街串巷地兜售工厂丢弃的一块块布料和废弃金属。In 2001 Bill Clinton pardoned him, his hand pushed by the Israeli prime minister, the king of Spain, an ex-head of Mossad and Mr Richs ex-wife Denise, who had given generously to the Clinton library and to Democratic campaigns. The president later regretted his action, calling it “terrible politics”. Mr Rich, oblivious to politics, would have called it good business.2001年比尔·克林顿赦免了他,以色列总理、西班牙国王、莫萨德前负责人和里奇的前妻丹尼斯推动了这个结果。丹尼斯曾对克林顿图书馆和民主党竞选慷慨地捐赠过。后来这位总统为自己的行为感到后悔,称之为“政治祸端”。对政治没有意识的里奇肯定会说这是一笔好生意。 /201404/288730Ive seen just what South Africa really is, a world in one country.我已经看到正是南非真的是,世界上独一无二的国家。I thought I knew this place pretty well,我想自己十分清楚知道这个地方很好,but each of my four adventures has taught me and show me something completely new.但每四个冒险教会我,给我一些完全新的体验。They have an expression here, Muli, delu, saba, kilini.他们在这里有一种表达式,母力,得露,萨巴,克里尼。Dont take these lines bad, otherwise youll get beaten.不要认为条线路不好,否则你会被搞的很惨。Its too late for me.但对我来说一切已经太迟了。 201310/260865

Post-office banking邮政Put your money where your mail is邮件在哪儿,钱就在哪儿Americas postal service ponders a foray into financial services美邮政业或将涉足金融业WITH a workforce of just over 491,000 in 2013, the ed States Postal Service is second only to Walmart among civilian employers in America. But it still employed more than 200,000 fewer people last year than it did just nine years earlier—when it handled nearly 500m more pieces of mail and had almost 2,000 more retail offices. The rise of e-mail has left Americas massive postal service with far less to do, and it has been scrambling to find ways to raise revenue.2013年,美国邮政务公司雇员超过491000人,成为仅次于沃尔玛的美国第二大雇主。九年前美邮需要处理近5亿封邮件,拥有2000多个办事处,和那时相比去年还是减少了超过20万雇员。电子邮件的崛起导致美国大量的邮政务没什么业务可做,他们开始寻求其他的收入增长点。Earlier this year its inspector-general released a white paper suggesting that post offices should begin offering financial services, such as cheque-cashing, small loans, bill payments, international money transfers and prepaid cards to which salaries or benefits could be transferred. The reasoning is simple: a lot of Americans have scant access to banks and a lot of post offices have too little to do.今年初,美邮总监发布的白皮书显示邮政业要开始提供金融务,这些务包括票兑现,小额贷款,账单付,国际转账以及能够预的工资卡。这么做的原因很简单:许多美国人对的需求得不到满足而一堆邮局又无事可做。More than one-quarter of American households are unbanked or underbanked, meaning they either lack a current or savings account, or they have one but still use alternatives to banks such as cheque-cashers and payday lenders. That is an expensive habit: the average underbanked household has an annual income of only ,500 or so, yet spends around 9.5% of that on fees and interest charged by these banking substitutes.超过四分之一的美国家庭没有账户或者没有得到充足的金融务,这意味着他们没有这种倾向或者没有储蓄账户,也可能他们有账户,但选择如票承兑人或发薪日贷款人等替代方式。这是种代价很高的习惯:一般来说没有账户的家庭年均收入25500美元,而付给这种替代机构的费用和利息达到9.5%左右。High-street banks find it hard to make money serving poor customers, since they tend to have little money on deposit that the banks can lend out. Penalties such as overdraft fees are not always enough to compensate. Since 2008, 93% of bank-branch closings have come in areas where median household income is below the national average.大型为穷人提供务很难赚到钱,因为他们的存款太少,而要把这些钱贷出去。透费这种惩罚措施并不总是能够偿还成本。自2008年起,93%的行陷入这样的境地—家庭账户收入的中值低于国家平均水平。These are the distressed customers to whose rescue the USPS hopes to ride. Some 59% of its post offices are in places with either a single bank or none at all. In rural hamlets they are often one of very few commercial establishments; even in the postal services diminished state, there are still more than seven post offices for every Walmart in America. Post offices aly sell money orders and provide electronic remittances to nine Latin American countries; from 1911 to 1967 the USPS also held personal deposits. Providing small, brief loans at lower interest rates than payday lenders could save low-income consumers hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in interest and fees. The post office would compete not with banks, but with their more expensive stand-ins.正式这些贫穷的顾客点燃了美邮的希望。美邮59%的邮政所周围只有一家或者没有。在美国乡下,他们常常是为数不多的商业机构之一;即使是在邮政务日益萧条的州,邮政所和沃尔玛的数量比也大于7:1。邮政所造就开始向9个拉丁美洲国家卖邮政汇票并提供电子汇款务;1911年到1967年之间,美邮还有个人存款业务。提供利率比发薪日贷款人低的小额短期贷款,能为低收入客户节省数亿甚至数十亿美元的利息和费用。邮政局不是和竞争,而是在和比收费高的替代机构竞争。Some, notably the head of the committee of the House of Representatives that oversees the USPS, are unconvinced. They see the postal services expansion into financial services as government overreach, and a delay of the necessary “right-sizing” of a massive agency that does far less than it used to. Jennifer Tescher, who heads a charity focused on the underbanked called the Centre for Financial Services Innovation, notes that the USPS “has zero capacity, understanding or capability in this arena”. “The only asset they bring to the table”, she believes, “is distribution.” Even that is of limited value outside rural areas: Ms Tescher notes that just because a spot lacks bank branches does not mean it has no cheque-cashers and corner shops selling prepaid cards—many with longer and more convenient opening hours than the post office.众议院委员会负责人指出美邮的做法明显不具信力。他们把邮政业扩张到金融领域的行为视作政府的手伸的太长,认为这是在拖延这个远远低于过去功效的大型机构合理精简的步伐。一个专注于那些无法得到充分金融务的人的慈善团体—金融务创新中心的负责人詹妮弗说美邮不了解这一领域,既没资格也没能力。她相信美邮唯一的优势是渠道,即使这在农村以外地区基本没有价值。Tescher女士提到这些区域缺少网点并不意味着没有票承兑人和贩卖预付卡的小店—和邮局相比,他们的营业时间更长、更方便。Although turning the USPS into a part-time financial institution may seem outlandish in America, roughly 1 billion people in 50 countries rely on their postal systems for financial services, according to the Universal Postal Union, the ed Nations agency that helps the post arrive on time. The business models vary widely. In some countries post offices act as a payment centre, allowing people to receive remittances, pay bills and top up or tap money stored on their mobile phones. Some operate full-service banks: Japan Post, for instance, is one of the worlds biggest. In other countries, such as Brazil, commercial banks form partnerships with post offices; in Malawi private banks can rent space from post offices.根据万国邮政联盟,尽管美邮成为兼职的金融机构在美国看起来很奇怪,但世界上50个国家的10亿人依靠邮政系统提供的金融务。这种商业模式差别很大。在一些国家,邮局充当付中心的角色,人们可以接收汇款、付账单利用移动电话存取款。有一些则成为提供全面务的:比如日本邮政就是世界上最大的之一。在像巴西一类国家,商业和邮政成为合作伙伴;在马拉维,私人能向邮局租借场地。A World Bank study found last year that postal banks are likelier than conventional ones to provide accounts to those outside the financial mainstream. The bigger the postal network, the greater the ability to reach such people. That may not convince those who would like to see the USPS shrink, but for those who want to preserve it, it could help to justify its scale.去年世界研究发现,相对于传统,邮政更有可能为主流金融区域之外的人提供务。邮政网络越大,接触到这些人的能力就越大。这也许不足以说那些希望美邮精简的人,但对于那些想要保持它的人来说,这能帮助他们明美邮规模的合理性。 /201404/291901Business商业报道Law firms律师事务所Charging more, getting less标价更高,收益更少Lawyers biggest customers are discovering that they can haggle律师的最大客户们发现他们能与律师还价THERE were groans in big companies legal departments in the mid-2000s, when the fees of Americas priciest lawyers first hit 1,000 an hour.当美国最高的律师酬金达到每小时1000美元,20世纪中期,一些大公司的法律部门里开始抱怨连连。Such rates have since become common at firms with prestige.自此以后,这样的价格在名企变得普遍。A survey published this week by the National Law Journal found that they now go as high as 1,800.美国法律期刊刊登的一项调查表明,现在的律师费用已经高达1800美元/时,But the general counsels of large businesses are increasingly finding that they can ignore these extravagant rates, and insist on big discounts.但是那些为大公司效力的法律顾问却逐渐发现,他们忽视高额酬金,并坚持较大折扣。Price-discounting tends to be associated more with used-car lots than with posh law firms. There was a time when a lawyer could submit his bill and be confident of receiving a cheque for the same amount.价格折扣渐渐常见于二手车交易,并非光鲜的律师律师事务所。有一段时间,律师收到的票跟账单数目一样,并且,他们引以为豪。In banner years, some even got more, as grateful clients tipped them a little extra for a job well done.在收益相当的那些年,一些慷慨的客户还会给点小费,来奖励他们的良好表现,因此有些律师能得到更多。Since the financial crisis, however, the realisation of law firms—the proportion of their standard rates that they collect in practice—has been sliding.然,自金融危机,律师律师事务所的个人实现,即他们在实际中累积到标准价格的部分在下滑。Earlier this month Peer Monitor, a company that tracks the legal industry, said that the ratio in the ed States dropped from 92% in 2007 to an all-time low of 83.5% in 2013.本月初,一家跟踪报道法律产业的公司,Peer Monitor表示,在美国,价格比率已由07年的92%下滑到空前低值,13年的83.5%。British lawyers have seen a similar decline.英国律师界也有类似情况。Discounts are rampant, says Brad Hildebrandt, a consultant to law firms.折扣现象在蔓延。一家律师律师事务所的顾问Brad Hildebrandt如是说。The economic forces driving high-flying legal eagles into the bargain bin are no mystery.经济力量将这些高身段的律师界雄鹰打入廉价区,这已不再是秘密。Demand for corporate legal work on such things as mergers, takeovers and share and bond issues plummeted in the 2008-09 recession, and has yet to recover.在企业合并、收购、股票债券问题等的法律合作需求也在08-09年的经济衰退中减弱,至今没恢复。Simultaneously, the easy profits once earned in litigation departments have also dried up: the tedious task of reviewing mountains of documents, which law firms used to farm out to battalions of newly qualified associates, can increasingly be done by computers.同时,诉讼部的易得利润也枯竭了:枯燥的审核成堆文件工作,之前律师事务所都是承包给大批刚合格的伙伴,现也被电脑代替了。Putting up prices at a time of weak demand and fierce competition seems perverse.在需求小,竞争激烈的时候提高价格似乎有些悖于常理,Yet the industry has continued to increase its sticker prices by 2-3% every year—only to give back almost all the gain by offering ever-greater discounts.但是律师行业仍旧持续以每年2%-3%的速度提高标价—仅仅只是提供一个更好的折扣给顾客。One reason for this is that, as ever more big clients discover they can haggle, law firms have realised that the best way for them to start the negotiation is with the highest possible asking-price.原因之一在于,因为更多的客户发现他们能讨价还价,律师律师事务所意识到开始协商的最好办法就是给出最高索价。In this, lawyers now find themselves in the same boat as accountants and other professionals who have long been used to having to bargain with bigger customers.而如今,律师们发现他们跟会计以及其他职业的人一样,一直以来都在跟较大客户还价。Another reason is that sophisticated legal services are somewhat like luxury cars and handbags, in that a high asking-price is taken as a sign of quality.另一个原因是,错综复杂的法律务体系有点像豪车和高端手提包一样,高价意味着高质。No one wants to have hired the cheaper firm in a high-stakes lawsuit.没人想在一个赌注高的诉讼中雇佣一个廉价律师事务所来为自己工作。But perhaps the most important rationale for discounting is that it lets law firms charge different prices to different clients, depending on their willingness to pay.但折扣最重要的理论基础是,它使得律师事务所根据不同的客户收取不一样的费用,当然,这取决于客户的意愿。And even among business clients with big budgets, this varies markedly.甚至是与预算高的商业客户,价格也明显不同。Over the past 25 years some large companies have built up their in-house legal departments, so that these can now deal with outside law firms on an equal footing.在过去的25年中,大公司自己内设了法律部门,像外面的律师事务所一样处理相关问题。In-house lawyers know the market value of every type of service, and have sophisticated software that scrutinises invoices and queries anomalies.内部律师了解每一种务的市场价值,拥有完善的软件细查发票,质疑异常。Such clients no longer just take the law firms word for how many hours its lawyers spent on a job: if the bill looks padded, they will not hesitate to demand cuts.这样的商业顾客,不再完全听信律师事务所在某一案子上花费的时长:如果账单看上去有水分,他们将毫不犹豫寻求折扣。DuPont, a chemicals giant, has found plenty of scope for curbing its legal bills by becoming a cannier client.化学巨头杜邦发现变身为一个精明的客户,能有许多减少法律账单的机会。In the early 1990s it sp its legal work among 350 firms.在20世纪90年代,杜邦将法律事务分配给350个律师事务所,Now it uses only 38—including some smaller firms in smaller cities, which offer better value for money.现在,只委托38个—包括一些较小城市的小公司,这些公司把金钱的价值用到实处。DuPont has persuaded its remaining law firms to work together more closely.杜邦劝导现有的律师事务所加强合作。For routine work it insists on flat fees; for riskier cases it seeks no-win, no-fee agreements.对于常规事务,坚持统一收费,对于有风险的事务,寻求没有胜利就没有酬薪的宗旨。Above all, says Thomas Sager, DuPonts general counsel, We had to communicate that this is a new day, and you need to be as committed to our financial success as you are to yours.特别是,杜邦的总顾问Thomas Sager说:我们不得不相互传达‘今天是新的一天,你必须坚定的为我们的经济成功努力,就如同你对自己的那样的信息。Law firms profits would evaporate if they offered smaller and less sophisticated clients such attractive deals.如果将很完美的方案提供给较小的,不那么精明的客户,律师事务所的利润可能会减少很多。Fortunately for them, they have so far been able to get away with offering discreet, selective discounts.幸运的是,目前为止,他们能够避免供应谨慎,选择性折扣。There are still a few big clients around who do not realise what they are missing:仍有少数大顾客没有意识到错过了什么:If you increase the rate every year, some clients will make you take it back, but others will let you keep it, says Tony Williams, a former managing partner of Clifford Chance, one of Britains biggest law firms.如果每年都提高价格,一些顾客会让你收回该要求,但是另外一些会答应你的条件。高伟绅—英国最大律师事务所之一的总顾问Tony Williams如是说。 201401/273891Prohibition and drugs禁止和毒品Press down, pop up打压,弹出Cracking down on illicit drugs means they surface in another form打击非法毒品, 意味着他们会以另一种形式浮出BEFORE “Breaking Bad”, there was “Miami Vice”. The 1980s television show pitted detectives in white linen suits against drugs traffickers who used the Caribbean as their point of entry into Florida. The route, at least, is back in fashion. The proportion of cocaine imports entering the ed States via the islands is rising (see article), as clampdowns in Central America and Mexico push drugs gangs back to their old haunts.“迈阿密风云”先于《绝命毒师》。这部80年代的电视剧讲述了白衣警探对抗毒贩的故事。剧中的毒贩以加勒比海为入口进入佛罗里达,至少这条路线现在又流行起来了。通过群岛, 可卡因在美国的进口比例上升(见文章). 由于中美洲和墨西哥对贩卖毒品团伙严打,这些团伙又回到其回到其老巢。The revival in Caribbean drugs traffic is just the latest example of the “balloon effect”, in which squashing down on illicit activity in one place causes it to pop up somewhere else. Colombias war on drugs in the 1990s and 2000s is another: coca crops moved back to Bolivia and Peru, now the worlds biggest grower; cocaine-processing shifted next door, to Ecuador and Venezuela; Mexicos drugs gangs grabbed market share. A subsequent bloody clampdown on Mexican gangs diverted traffickers to Central America: Honduras became the regions largest entry point for airborne smugglers. With the shift back to the Caribbean, the trade has come full circle.加勒比海走私路线的复兴是“气球效应”的最新例。在一个地方打击非法活动,会迫使其转移到别的地方。1990年和2000年的哥伦比亚的毒品战争就是明: 古柯种植回到玻利维亚和秘鲁- 现在世界上最大的古柯种植地, 可卡因加工转移临近地区- 厄瓜多尔和委内瑞拉,墨西哥的毒品团伙抓住了此市场份额。随后墨西哥帮派的血腥打击,迫使这些团伙转移到中美洲: 洪都拉斯成为该地区最大的机载走私的入口。这些团伙重新回到加勒比海, 贸易也兜回来了。The balloon effect also operates among consumers. Cocaine and heroin usage is dropping in places like the ed States and Britain, partly because of educational campaigns, partly because of falling levels of purity. But consumption of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, ketamine and mephedrone is rising to compensate, in both developing and developed countries. Seizures of methamphetamines have tripled in Asia in the past five years. New ways of getting high proliferate faster than the authorities can keep tabs on. A report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says that 348 new psychoactive substances have been reported to the agency, most of them since 2008.消费者也受到了气球效应的影响。在美国和英国等地,可卡因和海洛因的使用减少, 一部分是因为教育起了作用, 还有部分原因是纯度水平的下降 (例如, 在欧洲, 可卡因通常用牛用抗寄生虫药物掺假)。在发展中国家和发达国家,合成毒品冰毒、氯胺酮和4-甲基甲卡西酮的使用却上升了。在过去五年里,在亚洲缴获的冰毒量翻了三倍。当局的密切关注赶不上制造毒品新方法的高增殖速度。联合国毒品和犯罪室的一份报告说, 该机构已报告的348种新刺激神经类物质, 其中大部分2008年以后才出现的。Prohibitionist drugs policies do have an effect. Traffickers are being inconvenienced; prices are raised. But the war on drugs surely aimed higher than merely altering the stuff people that take and how they get hold of it. It cannot count as a success if global consumption of illicit substances is going up, not down.禁止毒品政策确实奏效了。贩子们越来越难, 毒品价格也因此提高了。但是对毒品的战争不应只是改变人们吸食的物质,改变他们获得毒品的途径,而必然有更高的目标。如果非法物质在全球的消费上升了, 而不是下降,它也不算成功。Worse, the spillovers can be grave. Attacking gangs in one country does not just increase bloodshed there, it also exports violence abroad. Seizures of drugs create scarcity further down the supply chain, giving traffickers a greater incentive to use force. Researchers have estimated that Colombian interdiction policies may explain as much as half of the increase in drug-related homicides in Mexico between 2006 and 2010. The extraordinary homicide rates in Central America—Honduras is the worlds most murder-prone country—partly reflect the influx of narco-traffickers after Mexicos own crackdown. Once the gangs arrive, they are hard to dislodge entirely; the side effects, like corruption and extra weapons, outlast them.更糟糕的是,会产生严重的溢出效应。在一个国家,打击这些团伙,不仅增加该国的流血事件, 也会引发国外的暴力。癫痫药物的稀缺供不应求, 会给贩子更大的动力来使用武力。研究人员猜测,哥伦比亚封锁政策,正是为何在2006年和2010年之间墨西毒品相关的杀人事件增长了一半。中美-洪都拉斯的谋杀率为世界最高。这也反映出了墨西哥对毒贩镇压后,他们涌入洪都拉斯。一旦贩毒团伙来了, 他们是很难完全驱逐; 腐败和私藏的武器会让他们逃生。Consumer countries suffer, too.No one yet understands the long-term health effects of the new psychoactive substances that people hoover up, but some synthetic cannabinoids are clearly more dangerous than farmed marijuana. And production is more mobile, which means that the violence associated with supplying drugs is creeping closer to sources of demand. Meth labs are being discovered in the ed States and Europe on a daily basis.消费国也不好过。目前我们还不知道人们吸食的新型精神药物对健康有什么长期的危害, 但一些合成大麻类显然比种植的大麻更加危险。因为其生产更具移动性, 这意味着暴力与毒品供应正悄悄接近需求来源。在美国和欧洲每天都能发现冰毒实验室.Circular logicThis newspapers views on drugs are well known. Legalisation is the best way to prevent harm to users, and to shove the gangs aside.To work, prohibition requires an almost impossible sustained level of international co-operation and resourcing.The drugs war needs a rethink, not endless repeats.循环逻辑本报对毒品的看法是众所周知的。防止伤害用户, 并打击犯罪团伙最好的方法是合法化。禁毒工作, 需要一个持续水平的国际合作和资源分配。毒品战争更需要反思, 而不是无休止的重复。 /201406/306872

Woodpeckers puncture the bark of dead or dying trees,also known as snags, to find the wood-boring insects that makeup their diet, and some species also excavate cavities in thesetrees for their nests.啄木鸟啄破死树或垂死的树的树皮,觅得吃木头的昆虫为食。有些物种也会在这些树上筑巢。So where does the fungus come in?那么真菌是从哪来的呢?Well, scientists observed that the snags woodpeckersexcavate generally contain decayed wood, which is caused by wood-decay fungi.恩,科学家们观察到啄木鸟啄洞的断枝通常包含由木腐菌造成的蛀木。Right. And thisled them to wonder whether woodpeckers are attracted to certain types of decay, or if theyrethe ones actually sping the fungus that causes the decay.是的。而且这引起观察家们思考:是某些类型的腐烂吸引了啄木鸟,还是说啄木鸟实际上传播了引起腐烂的真菌呢?So what did come first?那么到底哪个在先?Well, it turns out that the relationship between the two is pretty complex.恩,事实明两者关系相当复杂。When woodpeckers puncture bark, they provide a way for airborne fungal spores to infect the wood.当啄木鸟啄树皮时,它们为空气传播的真菌孢子感染树木提供了方便,They also act as vectors, unintentionally picking up fungal spores and other microbes from onesnag and carrying them in their beaks to another.它们同时也是带菌者,无意中携带了真菌孢子和来自某根断枝的其他细菌,它们的喙载着这些细菌再传播给其他树木。And not surprisingly, species of woodpeckersthat nest in cavities carry a significantly larger number of these, which is synergistic, because the decay makes it easier for them to excavate.毫不奇怪的是,那些在树洞里筑巢的啄木鸟携带着更大量的真菌,它们是协同作用着的,因为腐烂使得啄木鸟啄洞更容易了。So even though we still dont know which came first, this also isnt merely an intellectual exercise.因此,即使我们不知道先有哪个,这也不仅仅是一种智力测验。Woodpeckers are pretty important ecologically because the sites they excavate are used forforaging, roosting, and nesting by many other species as well.从生态学的观点看,啄木鸟的角色相当重要,因为啄木鸟挖掘的树洞可以用于觅食,栖息,还可以被其他物种用来筑巢。And now that theres debate overwhether snags contribute to forest fires and should be removed, its especially important to studypotential ramifications.既然人们关于断枝是否会导致森林火灾而应该被移除争论不休,那么研究一下可能出现的后果就特别重要了。 201405/296982

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