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2018年10月23日 19:48:13 | 作者:美信息 | 来源:新华社
In the ed States, drones have interfered with aircraft trying to put out wildfires. They have buzzed dangerously close to jets taking off at airports and have irritated fans at sports events by hovering over stadiums.在美国,无人机已经干扰了用来扑灭山火的飞机。有时候嗡嗡轰鸣着,危险地逼近机场上起飞中的喷气机,还有的时候,它盘旋在体育场上空,令赛事观众们颇为不快。Now federal regulators, hoping to discourage mischief and negligence among drone pilots, are proposing a new system to require owners to register their unmanned aircraft.现在联邦监管者提出成立一个新系统,要求机主注册自己拥有的无人机,以此遏制无人机飞行当中的恶作剧与疏忽现象。At an event in Washington on Monday, the transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx, said the department had formed a task force to come up with the details for the registration process. The task force will be composed of more than two dozen representatives from the drone and manned aviation industries, federal government and other groups.周一,在华盛顿的一次会议上,运输部长安东尼·福克斯(Anthony Foxx)说,运输部已经成立专案组,制定这一登记程序的具体细节。该专案组由20多名成员组成,分别来自无人驾驶与有人驾驶航空业、联邦政府与其他组织。Mr. Foxx asked the group to deliver a report with its findings by Nov. 20, with the goal of putting them into place by December, an unusually speedy process for a new aviation rule with the potential to affect millions of drones. Mr. Foxx said the department was motivated to act fast because of growing reports of safety violations by drones, and because the devices are expected to be big sellers during the holiday season.福克斯要求这一小组在11月20日前递交一份报告,目的是于12月付诸实施,鉴于这项新航空规定可能会影响到数以百万计的无人机,速度快得非同寻常。福克斯说,运输部想做出快速反应,是因为部门接到的无人机影响安全的报告越来越多,而且一到假期,这种东西肯定会大卖。“We feel the level of urgency here is sufficient for us to move as quickly as we possibly can,” he said.“我们觉得这件事的紧迫性足以让我们尽快采取行动,”他说。Some drone makers were concerned, though, by the lack of detail about how the system will work and the speed with which the task force has been ordered to work out those particulars. Many questions about the regulation are unsettled, including exactly which drones are considered so harmless that they should be exempt from the new rules. The department said the regulations would not apply to toys and other small drones that posed low safety risks.不过,有些无人机生产者表示担心,因为这个系统如何运作,目前缺乏细节,而且专案组被要求很快制定出相关条文。关于这个规定,目前有很多问题都悬而未决,包括什么样的无人机应当被认为完全无害,可以排除在这些新规定里。运输部说,这些规定不适用于玩具无人机,以及其他低安全风险的小型无人机。“Whether a national drone registration system is workable and serves the purposes articulated by the secretary will depend on the criteria used to determine which drones are included, and the burden that is imposed on the public,” Brendan Schulman, vice president for policy and legal affairs at DJI, a leading Chinese drone maker, wrote in an email. “DJI is a strong supporter of drone safety initiatives, but the deadline announced today is extremely ambitious and surprising considering that the rule-making process for civilian drones has been in progress for a decade.”“全国无人机登记系统是否有效,能不能达到部长所强调的目的,关键在于对包含在规定中的无人机定义标准,以及该系统对公众所造成的负担,”中国顶尖无人机生产商DJI公司负责政策与法律事务的副总裁布伦丹·舒尔曼(Brendan Schulman)在电子邮件中说。“DJI非常持无人机安全倡议,但是鉴于为民用无人机制定规则的进程已经持续了十年,今天宣布的截止日期实在过于艰巨,令人吃惊。”It is not clear, for example, whether drones registered with the government will have to be physically labeled with the equivalent of a vehicle license plate — using a sticker, perhaps — or whether drones will be configured to electronically broadcast a unique registration number. A sticker could be useful if law enforcement officials are able to take possession of a drone after a crash. But it might not be as helpful if drone operators simply flew their devices away.比如,在政府登记的无人机是否应当悬挂和机动车牌照类似的实体牌照——可能会使用不干胶——又或者无人机是否应当配备具有独一无二的登记号的电子广播。这些目前都不清晰。如果执法人员能够在事故后得到无人机实体,不干胶可能有用。但如果无人机操作者让无人机逃掉了,那不干胶就没用了。Anyone who fails to register a drone could face civil fines up to ,500 and, if warranted, criminal penalties up to 0,000 or up to three years in jail, or both, according to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. He said the rule would apply to drones aly sold, not just new ones. Recreational fliers of drones do not have to be licensed, though there are stricter rules for commercial operators.联邦航空的发言人说,没有给自己的无人机作登记的机主可能会面临高达27500美元的民事罚款,如有必要,还会受到最高25万美元的刑事罚款,或入狱三年,又或二者兼有。他说,这项规定不仅适用于新的无人机,也适用于已经售出的无人机。宣传用的小型无人机不必登记,但对于商业运营者将有更加严格的规定。The registration proposal is just one of many measures that federal regulators are taking to open the skies to drones operated by civilians. The Federal Aviation Administration, which is part of the Transportation Department, has also introduced public education initiatives, including a “Know Before You Fly” campaign aimed at sping awareness about aviation rules among drone operators.这项规定草案是联邦监管者采取的众多措施之一,旨在向平民拥有的无人机开放领空。联邦航空隶属运输部,它已经发起了若干公众教育活动,比如向无人机操作者宣传有关航空规定的“飞前须知”活动。A “No Drone Zone” campaign uses signs showing a slash through a drone to let operators know where the devices are prohibited — near airports, for instance.“无人机禁飞区”活动使用了在无人机图案上画一道斜线的标识,让操作者明白,哪些地方是禁止无人机飞行的——比如说机场附近。“This isn’t riding your A.T.V. on your own property,” Mr. Foxx said. “This is going into space where other users are occupying that space. It’s a matter of responsibility that we take seriously.”“这和在自己家的地皮上开越野沙滩车不一样,”福克斯说,“你进入的空间里还有其他用户。这是我们要认真对待的责任。” /201510/405831By this time next year, we may have become disillusioned with the internet of things. The idea that every object — from toasters to street lights — could be connected to the internet and be communicating with us has been hyped for several years.等到明年这个时候,我们或许就会对物联网彻底幻灭。一切物品——从烤面包机到路灯——都可以连接到互联网与我们沟通的概念已经炒作了数年。It reached a peak this month at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where more than 900 companies exhibited connected products. Samsung, makers of products from fridges to phones, said that within five years all of its appliances would be able to connect to the internet.今年1月在举行的国际消费类电子产品展(CES)上,物联网的概念更是被渲染到极致,900多家公司展示了联网产品。制造商三星(Samsung)表示5年内旗下所有电器都将能联网,其产品涵盖了从电冰箱到手机等多种类别。The predictions for the number of objects that will be connected are big — from technology research company Gartner’s forecast of 25bn connected physical objects by 2020 to tech company Cisco’s more bullish 50bn forecast.据预测可联网物品的数量将非常庞大,技术研究公司高德纳(Gartner)预测至2020年将有250亿种联网物品,高科技公司思科(Cisco)更加乐观,给出了500亿的预测值。Cue the ennui. Just as the internet hype of 2000 led to disillusionment, the internet of things will struggle to live up to expectations in the short term.这开始令人觉得有点厌烦了。正如2000年对互联网的炒作导致了幻灭,物联网也难在短期内达到人们的期望。Companies, certainly, remain unconvinced by the business case. A survey by Gartner of 1,500 chief information officers last August found that only 22 per cent had deployed or were experimenting with the internet of things.当然,企业对物联网的商业应用前景仍表怀疑。去年8月高德纳对1500名首席信息官进行调查后发现,仅22%的人表示所在企业已经涉足或正在尝试涉足物联网。The remaining 78 per cent either thought it irrelevant or at the too-early stage.其余78%的人或认为物联网并不重要,或认为它还处于过早阶段。One problem is that the technology is still a little expensive, says Maurizio Pilu, partnerships director at Digital Catapult, a UK government organisation that helps support new projects.Digital Catapult主管合作事宜的毛里齐奥#8226;皮卢(Maurizio Pilu)表示,问题之一在于物联网技术还是有点贵。Digital Catapult是一家为新项目提供持的英国政府机构。The price of a simple wireless sensor will soon be as low as #163;1, a price point at which this could become a mass-market proposition. But other parts of the kit, including communications and battery modules, might still come in at #163;20 to #163;40, which, Mr Pilu says, is too high.一个简单的无线传感器的价格可能很快就会降至1英镑左右,在这一价位上该商品有可能进入大众市场。但包括通讯和电池模块在内的其余配套产品可能仍将维持在20英镑至40英镑的价位,皮卢表示这一价格仍然过高。“It needs to become closer to #163;3 to #163;4, [then] the business case begins to make sense,” he says.他说:“它的价位要接近3英镑到4英镑,(那时)应用到商业上才开始具有合理性。”Telecoms networks have to change to meet the requirements of billions of low-power devices that need to connect constantly to the internet to transmit small amounts of data. The cost of sending such data over the network will have to come down.电信网络必须作出改变,以满足数十亿个低功率设备的需求,它们需要持续联网发送少量数据。因此在网上发送这类数据的费用必须降下来。“It is not scalable for a low-cost device to pay several dollars a month just to have connectivity,” says Zach Shelby, director of technical marketing for the internet of things at Arm, the chip designer.芯片设计公司Arm的物联网技术营销总监扎克#8226;谢尔比(Zach Shelby)说:“每月光为了让一个低成本设备联网就要付好几美元,这是无法推广的。”Security will need to be improved to ensure that internet-connected objects cannot be hacked and hijacked. Physical attacks over the internet are happening. At the end of last year the German federal office of information security revealed thatmachinery at a German steelworks was severely damaged when hackers gained access to control systems via the internet.电信网络还需要提高安全性,确保联网设备不能被黑客攻击和劫持。现在已经发生了通过互联网发动物理攻击的事件。去年年底德国联邦信息安全办公室透露,黑客通过网络进入德国一家钢厂的控制系统,使该厂机器遭到严重破坏。When everything from traffic lights and cars to home heating systems are linked online, the potential for harmful hacks increases further. However, the simple, low-power devices used for the internet of things might not be able to handle heavy encryption, or may not be patched and updated if a security flaw is discovered.等到从交通指示灯、汽车到家庭供暖系统的一切都连接上网,遭到破坏性攻击的可能性将进一步增加。然而,用于物联网的简单、低功率设备或许无法处理高度加密,或当发现安全漏洞时,可能无法打补丁或更新。“There are big security holes and quite a lot of work needs to be done to fix them,” says Jim Tully, analyst at Gartner.高德纳的分析师吉姆#8226;塔利(Jim Tully)说:“电信网络存在很大安全漏洞,还需要做大量工作来解决这些问题。”Interconnectivity of devices is an issue that needs resolving. If your toaster cannot talk to your TV, or if the street lights are not on the same system as the rubbish bins, the networks will be less useful. Persuading all manufacturers to agree looks tricky, as a number of competing industry groups are each pushing their own standard.还有一个要解决的问题是设备之间的互联。如果烤面包机不能跟电视交流,或者路灯跟垃圾箱不在同一个系统里,物联网的用处就没那么大了。说所有制造商都同意互联似乎是个棘手难题,因为许多相互竞争的行业团体都在各自力推自己的标准。“Everyone says ‘yes, lets ensure interoperability — as long as it is my version of interoperability’,” says Mr Pilu.皮卢说:“人人都说‘好啊,让我们确保产品可以协同工作——只要按我的互操作标准来。’”The internet of things will raise privacy concerns, as it makes a fresh level of tracking and data collection possible. In the same way that companies and governments can follow what people do online — the websites they visit, what links they click — it will become possible to track almost everything an individual does in the physical world.物联网将引发隐私问题,因为它可能将跟踪和数据收集推上新的高度。同样地,企业和政府可以密切注意人们在网上做什么,比如他们浏览的网站,他们点击的链接,届时人们在现实世界中的所有行踪几乎都可以被掌握。Companies are interested in the marketing possibilities this presents. Yet public opinion will have to decide whether there should be limits on what can be monitored.企业对物联网呈现的营销前景很有兴趣。然而公众舆论将决定是否该对可监控对象设限。While these issues are being resolved, large-scale internet of things projects are rolling out slowly. The projects with the clearest business case have to do with saving money on municipal street lighting and bin collection. General Electric says San Diego will save 4,000 a year by replacing some 3,000 street lamps with an intelligent lighting grid where each individual lamp can be remotely monitored and adjusted. The system makes it easy to pinpoint lamps that need changing and switch off those not in use.随着这些问题一步一步得到解决,大规模物联网项目也在慢慢推出。具有清晰商业意义的项目涉及城市街道照明和垃圾收集的成本节约。通用电气(General Electric)表示圣迭戈通过将大约3000盏路灯换成智能照明网,每年将节省25.4万美元。智能照明网里的每盏路灯可以远程监控和调节。该系统方便准确找出需要换灯泡的路灯,以及关闭不使用的路灯。Philadelphia, meanwhile, was able to reduce its rubbish collection costs from .3m to 0,000 in part by fitting rubbish bins with sensors that were triggered when the container was full, eliminating unnecessary collection trips to half-empty bins.费城则可以将收集垃圾的成本从230万美元减少到72万美元,方案之一是给垃圾桶安装传感器,垃圾箱装满时即触发传感器,这样可以不用在垃圾箱半满时去收垃圾,减少不必要的往返。More complex projects are still in a development phase. Milton Keynes in the UK will this year fit parking spots with sensors that tell drivers when the space is free. Mr Pilu, who is helping to launch the project, admits that it will be difficult to measure the return on an investment like this.更复杂的项目仍处于开发阶段。英国的米尔顿凯恩斯(Milton Keynes)今年将在停车场安装传感器,当停车场有空位时传感器会通知驾驶员。皮卢正在协助开展这项计划,他承认像这样的投资很难衡量回报。Medical and research uses are being explored. Research from ATamp;T, the US telecoms multinational, for example, has partnered with 24eight, which makes pressure sensors that can be embedded into shoe inner soles. They have distributed slippers with an internet-connected chip to elderly people at a care centre in Texas, and are using the foot movement data they receive to diagnose health problems, such as the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease.物联网的医疗和科研用途正在探索中。比如美国跨国电信公司ATamp;T的研发部门与压力传感器(可嵌入鞋内底)制造商24eight达成合作。他们将内置联网芯片的拖鞋发放给德克萨斯州一家护理中心的老年人,利用所收到的足部运动数据诊断健康问题,比如阿尔茨海默氏病的初期阶段。“In the early stages of Alzheimer’s you might get up to make a cup of tea but for a moment forget where you were going. That small wandering pattern, which others might not initially notice, could be an early warning sign,” says Mr Tully.塔利说:“在阿尔茨海默氏症早期阶段,你可能起身泡了杯茶,但过一会儿就忘了自己要干什么。这种轻微的精神恍惚状态有可能是早期预警信号,但其他人可能一开始注意不到。”He believes some of the “wacky” personal items on display at CES may evolve into industrial-scale applications. Vessyl, a cup that identifies any liquid poured into it, might sound like a toy for those wanting to keep tabs on their drinks intake. But what about applying the concept to a car and monitoring that the right fuel is in the tank?他认为CES展上一些“稀奇古怪”的个人物品有可能发展成工业级的应用。Vessyl是一款能识别出倒入液体的杯子,听起来像是适合那些想监督自己饮料摄入情况的人使用的玩意儿。但假设将这一概念应用到汽车上,检测油箱里的汽油加得对不对呢?“We will see hundreds of little applications that will be eventually woven together to make a smart city,” says Mr Pilu. “I believe this will develop in an evolutionary way.”皮卢说:“我们将看到成百上千个小应用,它们最终将交织在一起,编织出一座智能城市。我相信这将以循序渐进的方式发展。”But do not expect the internet of things to do spectacular things just yet. For the time being, expect more internet-connected bins and street lighting, while businesses work out just what else these ecosystems can do.但是不要指望物联网马上就大放异。目前只能期待更多联网垃圾箱和路灯,然后等着企业想出这些生态系统还能做到什么。 /201504/369443

PayPal is on the hunt for international acquisitions to drive growth and fend off predators, as it prepares to separate from eBay and become an independent company in the first of several big technology split-ups this year.PayPal正在物色国际收购目标以推动增长并防止自己被收购。该公司眼下正准备脱离eBay成为一家独立的公司——这将拉开今年数家大型科技公司分拆的序幕。Chief executive Dan Schulmantold the Financial Times that acquisitions would be a priority, as PayPal uses the bn war chest that is a legacy of the split.PayPal首席执行官丹#8226;舒尔曼(Dan Schulman)向英国《金融时报》表示,收购将会是公司的优先考虑事项,因为此次分拆给它带来60亿美元的现金储备。“The balance sheet affords us the opportunity to look opportunistically where it makes sense to acquire,” he said. “I think there is a tremendous opportunity to look across the world.”他说:“当前的财务状况给我们带来了物色有价值的收购标的的机会。纵观全球,我们有着巨大的收购机遇。”The strong balance sheet would also support PayPal’s lending programmes, he noted.舒尔曼指出,强劲的资产负债表也将持PayPal的贷款项目。PayPal will pass a milestone towards independence today as pricing begins for its shares. Shareholders of eBay will get one share in PayPal per share they hold when the formal split takes place on July 17.今日PayPal将会启动股票定价,从而向成为一家独立公司跨出里程碑意义的一步。7月17日正式分拆时,eBay的股东每持有1股eBay股票将获得1股PayPal股票。The company’s enterprise value could be about bn, roughly two-thirds of eBay’s valuation, analysts at Wedbush estimated.Wedbush的分析师估计,PayPal的企业价值大约为400亿美元,大约是eBay估值的三分之二。PayPal’s rapid growth — revenues were up 19 per cent last year, with customers rising 13 per cent — has come increasingly from outside the eBay empire.PayPal的迅速增长——去年收入增长19%,客户增长13%——越来越来自eBay帝国的外部。Last week PayPal announced it would spend nearly bn to purchase Xoom, a growing international remittances company, which will leave about bn in net cash on its balance sheet.PayPal上周宣布,将斥资近10亿美元收购Xoom,这将让公司资产负债表上剩下约50亿美元现金。Xoom是一家正在成长中的国际汇兑公司。Other recent acquisitions include Braintree, which bolstered PayPal’s presence in processing software used in mobile apps. That deal included Venmo, a money transfer app for splitting the cost of meals or paying rent, which has seen total payment volumes quadruple in the past year.PayPal最近的收购还包括Braintree公司,后者让PayPal加大进军移动应用中的处理软件。该交易包括了Braintree旗下转账应用Venmo,该应用可用于分担餐费或者付租金。Venmo在过去一年里的付总额增长了3倍。Even as PayPal looks for acquisitions, it is considered a takeover target itself, particularly when cashed-up companies such as Apple and Google are trying to bolster their own payments businesses.就在PayPal寻求收购目标之际,它本身也被视为收购目标,尤其是在苹果(Apple)和谷歌(Google)等资金充沛的公司努力提升自己的付业务之际。 /201507/384363

No man — or woman — can serve two masters, says St Matthew. Not so, reckons Julia Stubblefield whose two bosses phone, text and email their daily instructions from opposite ends of the country.马太说,没有人(无论男人或者女人)能侍奉两个主人。朱莉娅#8226;斯塔布菲尔德(Julia Stubblefield)不这么认为,她的两位老板位于国内方向相反的两地,各自通过电话、短信和电子邮件向她传达每天的指示。“It makes my job fun. It’s certainly not boring,” says Ms Stubblefield, who gave up a 15-year career as an executive personal assistant to start a family. Now her children are at school, she has returned to work, using the same administrative skills she deployed in her former positions at the B, Siemens and Johnson amp; Johnson, but as a freelance “virtual assistant”, or “VA”.“这让我的工作很有意思。一点都不无聊,”斯塔布菲尔德说。之前15年,她一直担任高管的个人助理,后来为了组建家庭放弃了事业。现在她的孩子上学了,她重返工作岗位,使用的还是她以前在英国广播公司(B)、西门子(Simens)和强生(Johnson amp; Johnson)任职时学会的那套行政管理技能,只不过这一次她成为了一名自由职业的“虚拟助理”(virtual assistant,简称VA)。Ms Stubblefield works from her home in Maidenhead, Berkshire. One of her bosses is an investment manager in nearby London, the other a website designer in Newcastle. The tasks they outsource to her are a mix of the professional and the personal, including diary management, sending and chasing invoices, paying bills, booking holidays and even procuring a plastic turkey for a staff party.斯塔布菲尔德在位于伯克郡梅登黑德(Maidenhead, Berkshire)的家中工作。她的其中一位老板是伦敦附近的一名投资经理,另一位则是纽卡斯尔(Newcastle)的一名网页设计师。他们外包给她的工作既包括专业性工作,也包括私人任务,比如管理乳品,寄送和索要发票,付账单,安排假日行程,甚至是为员工派对采购一个塑料火鸡。Virtual assistants — mostly women — are increasingly being used as a way of keeping the modern workplace functioning amid a shift away from full-time support staff. Their emergence reflects a shift in female working practices as well as a general squeeze on spending.虚拟助理大多是女性。随着聘用全职持性员工的趋势逐渐衰减,越来越多的人选择了虚拟助理,作为维持工作正常运作的一种途径。虚拟助理的出现不仅显示出女性工作习惯的变化,也反映出企业出受到挤压的整体趋势。For the first time in the UK, mothers raising children are more likely to have jobs than women without young families, according to the latest UK figures from the Office for National Statistics. Employment rates among women with childcare responsibilities stand at 69.6 per cent, compared with 67.5 per cent for women without.根据英国国家统计局(Office for National Statistics)的最新数据,当前英国抚育孩子的女性比没有孩子的女性更有可能拥有工作,前者的就业率是69.6%,而后者的就业率为67.5%,这种现象在英国还是第一次出现。For some mothers, flexible secretarial work is an attractive option, as Barnaby Lashbrooke, founder of the Time Etc agency that farms out work to Ms Stubblefield and 250 other VAs, will testify. Mr Lashbrooke says he receives thousands of applications each month from mothers keen to work from home.对有些母亲而言,灵活的秘书工作是一个颇具吸引力的选项,正如虚拟助理派遣公司Time Etc创始人巴纳比#8226;拉什布鲁克(Barnaby Lashbrooke)所实的那样。他的公司将工作分派给斯塔布菲尔德和其他250名虚拟助理,他说公司每个月会收到几千份渴望在家工作的母亲提交的申请。“The profile of women sending us applications has changed in the last few years,” he explains. “They are now better qualified with proper commercial experience under their belt.”“过去几年,向我们提交申请的女性的简历发生了变化,”他解释道,“她们掌握了适当的商业经验,更符合职位要求。”He adds: “We usually meet them when their kids are off to school or nursery, and they want to#8201;.#8201;.#8201;.#8201;earn some extra money, so they re-enter the employment marketplace through us.”他补充道:“我们通常会在她们的孩子去上学或者去托儿所的时候面见她们,她们想要……挣一些额外收入,所以她们通过我们重新进入就业市场。”The growth in the use of virtual assistants is partly demand-led. Time Etc, whose clients pay #163;19-#163;27 per hour, has been offering its services since 2007 and has grown to a size that makes it something of a bellwether for this service sector niche, complete with a US arm.聘用虚拟助理的人数增长了,在一定程度上是需求推动的结果。Time Etc从2007年起开展这项务,客户每小时需要付19到27英镑。此后公司规模不断增长,现在已经是业内翘楚,拥有一家美国分公司。Mr Lashbrooke says that in the past month alone its client base has grown 10 per cent. He puts that down to the growing acceptance in the UK of virtual assistants by executives and entrepreneurs who are beginning to see them as more cost-effective than employing a PA on a permanent contract, with all the attendant costs.拉什布鲁克表示,仅仅上月,客户数量就增长了10%。他将这归因于英国国内高管和企业家对虚拟助理接受度逐渐上升。比起签订长期合同雇佣私人助理及其附带成本,他们开始认为聘用虚拟助理更划算。But some of the growth is supply-led too, by women who enjoy the work of being a PA, but not the lengthy commute or the long office hours. With email, internet and Skype at their disposal, there are few tasks that they did in the office which cannot be done remotely, on a self-employed basis and from the comfort of their home.聘用虚拟助理的人数之所以增长,还有一部分原因是供给推动,来自喜欢私人助理这份工作,但又不想进行漫长的通勤或者长时间待在办公室的女性。她们可以自由选择电邮、互联网和Skype,这让她们基本上可以作为自由职业者,在享受家庭的舒适环境同时,远程完成办公室里的任何工作。“It was the flexibility that attracted me,” agrees Fátima Malagueira, a VA who used to be a theatrical agent — with a couple of British soap stars among her clients — until she quit five years ago to start a family.“吸引我的是灵活性,”虚拟助理法蒂玛#8226;马拉盖拉(Fátima Malagueira)说。她曾经是演出经纪人,她的委托人中包括几个英国肥皂剧明星。5年前,她为了组建家庭辞去了工作。“I used to work 14- or 15-hour days and that’s not sustainable with a family. But my work as a virtual assistant can be fitted around my daughter and my commitment to her.”“我曾经每天工作14或者15个小时,这对有家的人来说是无法维持的。但虚拟助理的工作可以在我女儿身边完成,让我能够承担起我对她的责任。”That said, she does have to work during some evenings and weekends but she argues that this frees her to spend “quality time” with her daughter at a less busy moment. If she has to wait in a client’s house for a builder to arrive or a parcel to be delivered, she adds, most do not mind if her daughter comes too and settles down in front of some children’s television.尽管如此,她的确需要在某些夜晚和周末工作,但她认为,这让她能在不那么忙的时候和女儿度过“宝贵的时间”。如果她不得不在客户家里等待建筑工,或者等待收取快递,大多数客户并不介意她把女儿也带上,一起安静地看点儿童电视节目。Based in Cambridge, Ms Malagueira is co-founder of Room To Breathe, a small virtual assistant agency that looks after up to 15 clients, most of whom book her time in 10-hour blocks for #163;280.马拉盖拉是一家小型虚拟助理机构Room To Breath的联合创始人,公司位于剑桥,为多达15名客户提供务,大多数客户为10小时的务时间付280英镑。“At the beginning I worried that there was a risk of my career going backwards, but I now run my own business and create my own work. I’m not going backwards, I’m going forward.”“开始的时候,我担心我的职业生涯可能会倒退,但现在我经营自己的企业,创建了自己的事业。我没有倒退,我正在前进。”While her partner focuses more on administrative tasks, Ms Malagueira specialises in lifestyle needs. “A lot of my clients work long hours in the City and haven’t got time to sort out their home life, so they ask me to do the mundane things like sorting out their insurance, organising birthday parties and booking holidays,” she says.马拉盖拉的合作伙伴更专注于行政管理工作,而她本人则擅长处理一些生活相关的工作。“我的许多客户在伦敦金融城工作,工作时间很长,没有时间处理家庭生活,所以他们要求我处理一些日常事务,比如处理保险,举办生日宴会,安排假日行程,”她说。The outsourcing of such tasks reflects a new sensitivity around the use of full-time administrative staff, she suggests.她暗示,外包这类事务反映了一种关于指派全职行政员工的新的敏感性。“The number of executive PAs employed in the City has been cut and executives are having to share them with other people, so that makes them reluctant to ask their PA at work to buy a present for their wife. After the financial crisis, all eyes are on City workers, and that makes them nervous about using work resources for personal reasons.”“金融城里的高管私人助理被削减,高管们不得不和其他人共用助理,这使得他们不太情愿让他们的私人助理为自己的妻子购买礼物。金融危机之后,所有人的眼睛都盯着金融城的人,这让他们对出于个人目的使用工作资源感到紧张。”Many of Ms Malagueira’s clients are sole traders unwilling to take on a full-time personal assistant. Not all are male. “I’ve worked for a few women too, some with high-powered jobs and families who need someone to make up a short list of nannies or cleaners that they can interview.”马拉盖拉的许多客户都是个体商人,他们不愿意雇佣全职私人助理。并非所有客户都是男性。“我为几名女性工作过,有一些从事高级职位,她们的家庭需要有人列出保姆或者清洁工的候选名单,供他们选择面试。”Choosing a career as a virtual assistant does involve some sacrifice, admits Ms Stubblefield. “I don’t get paid as much now as I did when I was a PA, though I save on travel and food.”斯塔布菲尔德承认,选择虚拟助理这个职业的确牵涉到一些牺牲,“我现在的收入不如我原来任私人助理的时候高,不过我在旅行和食物上花销更少。”There is another downside to leaving the usual nine-to-five day behind. “Most of my communication is by email so I miss the banter and chat over coffee. But I don’t miss the office politics.”抛弃朝九晚五的传统生活还有一个缺点。“我大多数沟通都是通过电子邮件,所以我想念喝着咖啡和同事打趣闲聊的日子。但我不想念办公室政治。” /201503/362173

To visit Silicon Valley these days is to take a rocket ride into the future. The breathless talk is of another surge in technological innovation, the rapid development of virtual reality, driverless cars, 3D printing, robots, personalised medicines, the application of artificial intelligence to masses of data and of further disruption in almost every nook of the economy. 如今造访硅谷,就犹如坐上火箭快速穿越到未来。人们慷慨激昂地谈论着新一轮技术革新浪潮,虚拟现实、无人驾驶汽车、3D打印、机器人、个人化医疗的快速发展,人工智能在大数据上的应用,还有经济中几乎每一个角度所遭到的深刻颠覆。 It is an exhilarating, disorienting and at times downright scary experience. 这是一种令人兴奋、迷惘,有时又十分可怕的体验。 Turning on the television while visiting Silicon Valley, in a bid to catch up with the presidential election campaign, is to crash back to Earth with a thud. The talk is of income inequality, the collapse of the middle class, the banning of Muslim visitors and the building of walls to stop immigrants pouring into the US. 而假如你在硅谷时打开电视,想看看美国总统大选进行得怎么样了,你就会砰地一声跌回地球。电视上谈论的都是收入不平等、垮掉的中产阶级、禁止穆斯林入境以及建造隔离墙以阻止移民涌入美国。 The optimism of forward-looking West Coast entrepreneurs clashes with the pessimism of the backward-looking East Coast politicians. That coastal divide is particularly stark in the US but it exists metaphorically in many other countries, too. At its simplest, it is a tussle within ourselves, both as consumers and as citizens. 目光长远的西海岸企业家的乐观与保守的东海岸政客的悲观形成鲜明对比。两个海岸之间的这种分歧在美国尤其明显,但从隐喻意义上说,它也在其他许多国家存在。简单来说,这是我们自身内部作为消费者与作为公民这两层身份之间的斗争。 The techno-optimists of California promise a further bonanza for our inner consumer, largely powered by the supercomputer smartphones in our pockets. They aim to dissolve remaining inefficiencies in just about every consumer transaction, in the same way as Uber has revolutionised the taxi trade and Airbnb has challenged the hotel industry, throwing up new economic opportunities in the process. “You can become a driver in an hour. You can become a hotel owner in a day,” marvels one venture capitalist. 加州的技术乐观派认为,我们身上作为消费者的这一部分将迎来进一步繁荣,很大程度上借助于我们口袋里具有超级计算机功能的智能手机。他们希望消除几乎所有消费者交易中剩余的低效问题,与优步(Uber)革命性的出租车务交易和Airbnb挑战酒店业的方式如出一辙,并在该过程中带来新的经济机遇。一位风险资本家惊叹道:“你可以在一个小时内成为一名司机。你可以在一天内成为一个酒店业主。” By flying balloons, unmanned aircraft and satellites over the remoter parts of the world, Google and Facebook are also planning to connect everyone on the planet to the internet, creating the possibility of a global digital marketplace for products, services and ideas. “The fact that we may soon provide all human knowledge to the entire population of the world is a pretty big step forward,” says one tech executive. More excitable commentators predict the era of the mass production of ideas, of a “second renaissance”, of the flowering of a global civilisation. 通过在世界偏远之地发射气球、无人飞行器和卫星,谷歌(Google)和Facebook也在计划让地球上所有人都能接入互联网,从而有可能为产品、务和想法创造一个全球性的数字市场。一位科技业高管表示:“我们可能很快向世界所有人提供人类的全部知识,这是相当大的进步。”更为兴奋的员们则预测一个思想纷呈的时代,一个“第二次文艺复兴”、全球文明昌盛的时代即将来临。 But when the Silicon Valley crowd pause for breath, even they worry about some of the consequences of this technological turmoil: the impact on so many traditional jobs, the erosion of employment rights and the unequal distribution of the fruits of technology. 但是当硅谷人停下来歇口气的时候,就连他们也担心这种技术革命带来的一些后果:对众多传统工作职位的影响、对就业权利的侵蚀以及技术发展成果的不公平分配。 One long-time tech observer says Silicon Valley’s creative destruction will lead to a cruel world for many “throw-away citizens” in the US and Europe who cannot adapt. “Donald Trump has his finger on the lurking, deep-seated fear of the throwaway citizen,” he says. 一个长期关注科技行业的观察人士表示,硅谷的创造性破坏将让美欧许多无法适应的“一次性公民”(throw-away citizen)面对一个残酷世界。他说:“唐纳德#8226;特朗普(Donald Trump)明白‘一次性公民’潜在的深层次担忧。” Silicon Valley may have an image as a haven of libertarianism but some are surprisingly keen on the idea of greater social insurance — such as a “citizen’s” or “basic” income — to be funded by a digital dividend from tech profits. 硅谷可能有着自由主义天堂的形象,但令人意外的是,一些人非常赞成利用来自科技业利润的“数字红利”来加强社会保障(比如“公民的”或“基本的”收入)。 Darian Shirazi is one young tech entrepreneur who supports the idea. “We have a small technological aristocracy and a middle class struggling to catch up with the demands of a more efficient economy. Basic income can bring a baseline and offer freedom to those trapped by our new economy.” 达里安#8226;设拉子(Darian Shirazi)是一位持上述观点的年轻科技创业家。“我们有一小群科技新贵和一个很难满足更高效经济的要求的中产阶级群体。基本收入能够提供基本生活保障,解放那些被新经济所困的人。” Angry voters in rich societies clearly feel that politicians duped them about the gains of globalisation over the past 30 years. Although benefiting massively as consumers, many voters have lost out as workers, as jobs have shifted abroad and incomes have stagnated. The tech revolution only compounds the upheaval, threatening the second great disruption of our lifetimes. 富裕社会的愤怒选民们显然觉得,关于全球化的成果,30年来政客们一直在欺骗他们。尽管作为消费者受益匪浅,但许多选民作为劳动者却遭受了损失,因为很多就业机会转移到国外,而且收入也停滞了。技术革命只是加剧了这种动荡,有可能造成我们一生中的第二次大破坏。 James Manyika, co-head of the McKinsey Global Institute, suggests the picture is far more nuanced. He says each individual has at least five facets: as consumer, worker, citizen, investor and a moral being. “All these have largely worked in convergence before but these technological shifts are creating very different answers today,” he says. 麦肯锡全球研究所(McKinsey Global Institute)联合主管詹姆斯#8226;马尼卡(James Manyika)表示,实际情况要微妙得多。他说,每个人都至少有消费者、劳动者、公民、投资者和道德主体这5层身份。他表示:“所有这些身份过去基本上是保持一致的,但如今这些技术变化带来了截然不同的。” It would be a tragedy if the promise of technology was sideswiped by a neo-Luddite backlash. We need governments to understand these dizzying changes and devise smart regulation that encourages innovation rather than suppresses it. We also need the tech companies to acknowledge the disruption they cause and do far more to benefit all aspects of our lives. 如果技术可能带来的前景因为“新卢德派分子”的反弹而被殃及,那将是一场悲剧。我们需要各国政府理解这些令人目眩的变化,并设计聪明的监管法规,鼓励而非打压创新。我们还需要科技公司承认它们造成的破坏,付出更大努力让我们生活的方方面面受益。 /201603/431707

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