Tag Archives: national

IBM Survey: Shoppers Poised to Dramatically Expand Purchasing Power Beyond the Store

One-third consider options other than the store for next purchase; Showrooming drives 50 percent of online sales

ARMONK, N.Y. – 15 Jan 2013: National Retail Federation Convention – A new IBM study of 26,000 global consumers released today at the 2013 National Retail Federation convention (#IBMNRF) found they are diversifying the way they shop for and acquire goods, becoming increasingly open to buying both online and in-store depending on their needs at time of purchase. While more than 80 percent of shoppers chose the store to make their last non-grocery purchase, only half are committed to returning there next time they buy.

IBM’s research finds that consumers are in a transitional state. According to the study, 35 percent are unsure whether they would next shop at a store or online. Nine percent are ready to commit to making future purchases online. Of all eight product categories tracked in the survey, the two most popular categories chosen by consumers for an online shift are consumer electronics and luxury items, including jewelry and designer apparel. (more…)

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IBM Social Sentiment Index Predicts New Retail Trend in the Making

Analytics points to the “Birth of a Trend,” steampunk aesthetic to pervade pop culture in 2013

ARMONK, N.Y. – 14 Jan 2013: National Retail Federation Convention – Based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicts that ‘steampunk,’ a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year.

Measuring public sentiment can help retail chief marketing officers customize incentives and services to be more in tune with what customers are asking for, using data to tailor their offerings to address fast-moving trends and real-time customer needs. (more…)

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In Financial Ecosystems, Big Banks Trample Economic Habitats and Spread Fiscal Disease

Like the impact of an elephant herd grazing on grassland, multinational banks shape the financial environment to an extent that far outweighs their small number. And like a contagious person on a transnational flight, when these giant, interconnected banks succumb to financial ills, they are uniquely positioned to infect wide swaths of the financial system.

Researchers from Princeton University, the Bank of England and the University of Oxford applied methods inspired by ecosystem stability and contagion models to banking meltdowns and found that large national and international banks wield an influence and potentially destructive power that far exceeds their actual size. (more…)

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Commentary: John E. Savage – Cybersecurity Needed in the Public Domain

President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. We asked John E. Savage, the An Wang Professor of Computer Science, to share his views on what can and should be done to ensure cybersecurity at the national level. Savage is active in cybersecurity from both a policy and technology point of view, having spent the 2009-10 academic year in the U.S. Department of State as a Jefferson Science Fellow.

In a major policy speech delivered last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta sparked a new discussion of cyberwarfare threats, warning that cyberattacks “could virtually paralyze the nation.” The three-part response Panetta outlined emphasizes new cyberwarfare capabilities in the Department of Defense, new policies and organizations across the federal government, and stronger partnerships between the government and international partners and domestic industry. (more…)

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Why Are Coastal Salt Marshes Falling Apart?

Too many nutrients can cause extensive loss of marshes

Salt marshes have been disintegrating and dying over the past two decades along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and other highly developed coastlines without anyone fully understanding why.

This week in the journal Nature, scientist Linda Deegan of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., and colleagues report that nutrients–such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic and sewer systems and lawn fertilizers–can cause salt marsh loss.

“Salt marshes are a critical interface between the land and sea,” Deegan says. “They provide habitat for fish, birds and shellfish, protect coastal cities from storms and take nutrients out of the water from upland areas, which protect coastal bays from over-pollution.” (more…)

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Microsoft Employees Raise $1 Billion for Communities Around the World

Microsoft commemorates 30th Employee Giving Campaign with CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman and Founder Bill Gates.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 18, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today commemorated its 30th Employee Giving Campaign and announced that U.S. employees raised $1 billion in cash since 1983 for approximately 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations around the world. CEO Steve Ballmer announced the milestone during a special town hall event at the Microsoft Redmond campus, which included Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire.

“Today, I’m thrilled to announce that since our Employee Giving Campaign started in 1983, Microsoft employees have donated a total of $1 billion to more than 31,000 nonprofits around the world,” Ballmer said. “I’m incredibly proud of our employees, and this is truly a time to celebrate, not just because we’ve raised a record amount of funds, but also because together with our nonprofit partners, we have impacted and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people.” (more…)

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In Blown-Down Forests, a Story of Survival

To preserve forest health, the best management decision may be to do nothing

In newscasts after intense wind and ice storms, damaged trees stand out: snapped limbs, uprooted trunks, entire forests blown nearly flat.

In a storm’s wake, landowners, municipalities and state agencies are faced with important financial and environmental decisions.

A study by Harvard University researchers, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and published in the journal Ecology, yields a surprising result: when it comes to the health of forests, native plants and wildlife, the best management decision may be to do nothing. (more…)

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Fingerprints for Financing: Removing Some Risk from Lending in Africa

ANN ARBOR — Some called it “witchcraft.” Others just watched in awe as their scanned fingerprints were used to pull up their records on a computer.

They were paprika farmers in Malawi participating in a new study that shows fingerprinting can help encourage borrowers to repay their loans.

Like many impoverished countries, Malawi lacks a national identification system. Most of the population lives in rural areas with few government services. Even ID as basic as a birth certificate is rare in the southeastern African nation. (more…)

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