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US Economy, The Grid, Math App

Dated: 22 Oct 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Categoiry: Technology, Uncategorized

US Economy: In the face of the recent market pullback, the deceleration of the BRICs, and global volatility, the US economy is showing signs of strength and currently at a crossroads.  With economic bellwethers Alcoa and GE posting impressive quarterly results, unemployment claims at 14 year lows, and a revival of the manufacturing sector (work week averages of factory workers at levels not seen since WWII), some investors are beginning to move back into the market.  Furthermore, among major world economies, the U.S. is less reliant on export demand from overseas, which will reduce headwinds if the global markets do not improve. Exports account for only about 14% of U.S. gross domestic product—the lowest for any developed nation—well below the 51% for Germany or 26% for China, according to the World Bank.

The Grid: Fear that utility companies remain vulnerable to hackers, terrorists and natural disasters has the Pentagon pushing construction of independent power grids at military bases across the U.S.  One such base, which is using a system of small power plants, solar panels, batteries and diesel generators, is already saving $10 million a year in energy costs.  Indeed, solar is providing additional cost savings elsewhere: “solar panels have become almost as common on bases as flagpoles. Photovoltaic panels provide nearly a quarter of the electricity at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. The panels already save the base about $1 million a year, said Jeffrey Blazi, base energy manager, and a proposed expansion would double the output”.

Math App: A newly unveiled app, PhotoMath, for iOS and Windows Phone uses your smartphone’s camera to scan math equations and not only solve them, but show the steps involved.

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