Reynolds Center http://businessjournalism.org ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Thu, 24 May 2018 12:30:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.6 What to Know When Covering International Graduates http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/covering-international-students/ Thu, 24 May 2018 12:30:05 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94721 It’s the height of college graduation season nationwide, and what follows for these soon-to-be graduates is finding a job. But for international students, looking for a job is a bit

The post What to Know When Covering International Graduates appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

The number of foreign graduates staying and working in the country after graduation is increasing, according to an analysis from the Pew Research Center. (Photo credit: Pixabay user image Chantellen)

It’s the height of college graduation season nationwide, and what follows for these soon-to-be graduates is finding a job. But for international students, looking for a job is a bit different. International graduates have to decide whether to stay in the U.S. to look for a job or head back home.

About 1.5 million foreign college graduates in the U.S. have been allowed to stay and work after graduation, according to an analysis from the Pew Research Center. The same report states the number of students with STEM degrees authorized to work in the U.S. has increased by 400 percent since 2008. India, China and South Korea make up more than half of these graduates.

The increase in foreign college graduates staying and working in the U.S. indicates a need for innovation and growth. These numbers are only part of an ever changing landscape in America’s college campuses.

As more international graduates with degrees in STEM related fields leave college towns and take their skills to bigger metros such as San Francisco and Boston, the loss of these talented graduates can leave a dent in local economies. Nearly a million international students are studying in the U.S., and as more of these students graduate from American universities a host of stories are awaiting to be covered.

Job programs helping foreign graduates

The Optional Practical Training program, or OPT, is a federal program that gives foreign graduates authorization to work and remain in the U.S after graduation. The Pew Research Center found approvals for OPT outpace H-1B visa approvals in recent years. The majority of OPT participants graduated with a STEM degree in the U.S. This opens the door for young entrepreneurs moving into a robust U.S. economy. Some universities such as the University of Massachusetts are implementing a global entrepreneur-in-residence program, or EIR, which allows foreign graduates to stay in the U.S. and gives them resources to incubate their own ideas while serving as part-time mentors for the university. Find out what your local university is doing to foster talent from international students.

States offering incentives to workers

College graduates are more likely to move to big cities that offer better career opportunities. With tech and business hubs attracting young talent, this leaves many small towns across the U.S. with job shortages. In Grant County, Ind., people who choose to relocate there will receive a $5,000 toward buying a home. The employment rate in small towns and mid-size towns is decreasing, which is important to watch out for because of the economic disparity from big metros to small towns across America. What is your local town or city doing to retain workers?  

How international college students help with tuition

The Institute of International Education found enrollment for international students was lower than previous years. Public universities who rely on international students can take a hit from this decline because international students help finance the cost of public universities and domestic students. Not only do they help pay the bill for college, international students play an important role in the tech industry. With more than 53 percent of foreign graduates specialized in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, the U.S. can gain from top talent among international students to be competitive with other countries. How is your local state budgets impacting international college students?

Reporter takeaways

  • More than half of foreign college graduates authorized to work are going into STEM related fields. Are there certain job programs your local university offers to retain young entrepreneurs?
  • Investigate what your local town or city is doing to retain young talent, whether it is through incentives such as credits toward buying a house or paying off student loans.
  • How is your state dealing with international student tuition? Figure out how rising tuition costs will impact the enrollment of international students.

The post What to Know When Covering International Graduates appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
The Lurking Danger of Medical Device Hackers http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/the-lurking-danger-of-medical-device-hackers/ Wed, 23 May 2018 12:31:23 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94705 The hacking of medical devices is a huge concern due to its potential to harm patients and wreak havoc on health systems. On April 14 at the Association of Health

The post The Lurking Danger of Medical Device Hackers appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

As more and more technology is integrated into medicine, health care has become one of the most hacked industry. (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com user rawpixel)

The hacking of medical devices is a huge concern due to its potential to harm patients and wreak havoc on health systems. On April 14 at the Association of Health Care Journalists health journalism conference at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, a panel including an industry consultant, academic expert, and physician addressed the risk of medical device hacking to patient safety.

Historically, medical devices weren’t susceptible to remote attacks because they did not have network connectivity. Now, network connectivity is pervasive, and the threat of hacks and malware are significant, both in terms of patient health and the cost of recalls, says Roman Lysecky, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona. Just last year, The FDA recalled half a million implantable pacemakers due to security vulnerabilities “which could result in patient harm from battery depletion or administration of inappropriate pacing.”

In best case scenarios, says Lysecky, white or gray hat hackers find and report these vulnerabilities, the device manufacturers develop a fix and disclose the vulnerability, the healthcare providers facilitate the fix, and the patient uses the updated or replaced device. But the worst-case scenario might involve black hat hackers finding the vulnerability and publicly disclosing it, demanding ransom, or even harming patients—in which case, the device manufacturer won’t learn of the vulnerability until after an attack.

Developing and deploying appropriate fixes can take months to years, so attackers have a head start. That’s why Lysecky and others are researching ways to address security and privacy throughout the product lifecycle and looking at ways to build resilience into devices. Medical devices can be built to detect threats such as hacks, breaches or malware, and automatically mitigate those threats. It could switch to a “safe” mode providing only essential functionality.

May Wang, CTO of IoT security solution Zingbox, points out that healthcare is the most hacked industry. The main challenges are inventory, security, and operations. Unfortunately, most hospitals don’t have a good handle on their inventory or know how many devices they have, who is in charge of those devices, and which are connected to a network. Wang says one of the biggest culprits accounting for 41 percent of security issues in medical devices is user practice issues such as rogue applications or browser usage: think people using hospital devices developed strictly for medical usage, such as X-ray computers, to surf the web or play Pokémon Go.

Outdated operating systems are also an issue, as well as people not downloading security patches and updates. Three device types, Infusion pumps, imaging systems, and patient monitors, account for the vast majority of security issues. The dominant vulnerability is different for each type of medical device. For much more information, see Zinbox’s medical devices threat report, and the Health Care Cybersecurity Industry Task Force report: https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/CyberTF/Documents/report2017.pdf.

Jeff Tully, M.D., resident anesthesiologist at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, pointed out that hackers aren’t just targeting medical devices or trying to steal personal information, but are also targeting entire system to try to affect hospital operations and patient safety. This can lead to reduced patient confidence, delays in emergency care, increased mortality, and, of course, cost expenditures.

Tully participated in a collaborative conference with CyberMed Summit last June. The conference includes clinical simulations to raise awareness and education of medical device hacking, among other things. Another CyberMed Summit will be taking place this December.

The post The Lurking Danger of Medical Device Hackers appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
The Impact of Automation and Artificial Intelligence: Part 1 http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/impact-ai-automation-part-1/ Tue, 22 May 2018 12:10:26 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94691 Automation has already shaken up many blue collar industries, but it’s set to change white collar industries as well. Revenue from artificial Intelligence software will grow from a $644 million

The post The Impact of Automation and Artificial Intelligence: Part 1 appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

As technology continues to grow, here are some ways you should start thinking about how automation and artificial intelligence will impact local businesses. (“Robot Artificial Intelligence” by Pixabay user “geralt” CC0 license Public Domain)

Automation has already shaken up many blue collar industries, but it’s set to change white collar industries as well.

Revenue from artificial Intelligence software will grow from a $644 million in 2016 to nearly $39 billion in 2025, according to IBM.

As this technology grows, there are many chances for technologists to implement AI into many facets of our lives and careers.

We’re already used to virtual assistance like Siri and Alexa, and with more sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence these virtual assistants will be able to give us direction on how to get to the store, while also telling us to get better exercise and other life tips.

As this technology continues to grow, here are some ways you should start thinking about how Artificial Intelligence will impact local businesses.

Banking and financial services

The banking industry is finding many uses for Artificial Intelligence, which will allow for a wide range of enhancements both for how the customers interact with the bank, and for how the bank handles its risk and investments.

AI is able to parse through massive amounts of data faster than any human. Investment management firms like BlackRock are using AI to find patterns within data that human eyes wouldn’t normally catch.

AI may not be calling all of the shots, but banks are using this technology to help them a great deal. It will be interesting to observe how this will impact the number of employees banks and financial services companies have on hand as AIs start to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

See how the banks in your beat plan to use AI, and if they are preparing for this disruption. Competition among banks may heat up to as some banks try and catch up with their AI technology.

Legal industry

AIs are good at analyzing data, and in what better industry would this be useful for than in the legal industry. Programs can help attorneys during document production to find the most important information in a case.

Lawyers will still have to do their due diligence in checking on the AI’s work, but this is just the first step towards a wider future of AI in the legal industry.

This field of research could be a great aide for lawyers, saving time and money during research.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats are major concerns for companies, and deploying AI can help companies fight back threats in a time where there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity roles at companies by 2025.

By having machine learning protocols built into a firm’s systems, the computers can use data from previous cyber threats to combat new and emerging cyber attacks.

AI is able to follow a playbook during a cyber attack, and it won’t make any mistakes as it carries out this routine like a human might. There is much work to be done in this area, and humans will still need to work hard to protect their systems, but AI will continue to play a big role in cybersecurity as companies further rely on automation.

The impact on jobs

AI can be lumped in with automation at times as these technologies learn to do repetitive tasks much quicker than any human.

The medical field can deploy AI to verify insurance for a patient. High paying jobs like compensation & benefits managers, accountants, loan officers and credit officers are at risk of being replaced by computers, along with many low paying jobs.

In a time where the typical career could be disappearing in lieu of automation, it’s time for you to start examining how artificial intelligence will impact your local communities. How many of your industries rely heavily on these types of jobs (jobs with repetitive tasks like reviewing spreadsheets, or handling money)?

Even with the risk of many jobs disappearing with the advent of AI, more jobs could be created in the process. Only time will tell if there’s a balance of jobs lost and jobs created.

It will be important to help your readers understand just what might happen to their fields and industries as this technological advancement continues to take shape. AI is an interesting place where thinkers and industrial leaders debate its future. Elon Musk, for example, says it is far more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Bill Gates, on the other hand, says we shouldn’t panic.

The post The Impact of Automation and Artificial Intelligence: Part 1 appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
Business Stories of the Week: May 18, 2018 http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/business-stories-of-the-week-may-18-2018/ Fri, 18 May 2018 22:17:43 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94727   Trump misses deadline to fix NAFTA Negotiations to set new trade rules for the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, have diminished, reports Quartz. House Speaker Paul Ryan

The post Business Stories of the Week: May 18, 2018 appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

Mortgage rates have risen to levels not seen since 2011, ending an era of low-cost borrowing. (Photo Credit: Pixabay user under paulbr75)

 

Trump misses deadline to fix NAFTA

Negotiations to set new trade rules for the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, have diminished, reports Quartz. House Speaker Paul Ryan gave a deadline of May 17 for the Trump Administration to notify Congress of any deal. This missed deadline gives Democrats, if they win one or both houses of Congress come this year’s midterm elections, the opportunity to revise NAFTA in the future, which could impact the chances of President Trump’s deal to be approved by Congress. If Congress decides to look at a deal past the deadline, it will take a significant amount of time to review and enact new trade rules.

Special discount for Amazon Prime customers at Whole Foods

Amazon announced this week it will give customers 10 percent off items at Whole Foods, Reuters reports. The move comes as Amazon hopes to gain a competitive lead in the grocery price wars between Walmart and Krogers. “Given how important it is for Amazon to provide value for their customers, and customers value lower prices, I would think they’d be comfortable operating Whole Foods at a lower margin while experimenting with the operating model,” said Tom Furphy, former vice president of consumables and AmazonFresh, and now chief executive of Consumer Equity Partners. Some Prime members still need convincing to buy everyday products at Whole Foods, with its reputation as “Whole Paycheck” coined from expensive items at the store.

Online sales grow for Walmart

Exceeding analysts’ expectations, Walmart, the biggest multinational retailer, has seen a 33 percent increase in online sales during the first three months of 2018, the New York Times reports. The company is under pressure to compete with Amazon and other online retailers. It is offering customers different services, from an easy-to-use website to a fast home delivery. Analysts are saying Walmart needs to find new customers, and the retailer is doing that by catering to younger online shoppers Amazon has branded to for years. “A big question facing Walmart… is how much e-commerce sales are cannibalizing transactions that would have otherwise been made in its stores,” writes Michael Corkery, the author of the article.

Mortgage rates climb to highest level since 2011

Up to 4.61 percent this week from 4.55 last week, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage rate has continued to grow rapidly, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mortgage rates have spiked after being down so long following the financial crisis, with rates as low as low as 3.31 percent in late 2012. Economists are concerned higher rates will stop homeowners from trading up to get better deals on better properties. Coupled with higher home prices, economists believe first-time and moderate-income borrowers could be affected the most. “The problem in today’s market is there aren’t many affordable homes on the market. Buyers have less wiggle room,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin.

British businesses benefit from Royal Wedding

The financial impact of the royal wedding is big for Britain’s tourism industry, reports NPR. VisitBritain said the royal family is crucial to the tourism industry, with about $6 billion spent annually by people who go to the U.K for its culture and heritage. Mike Drummond, who works at a London souvenir shop, said, “For our business, they’re absolutely essential.” Many businesses are expecting to cash in during the royal wedding by selling trinkets and other things like commemorative plates, kitchen towels and key rings, which sell for $16 and $4 each respectively. The most popular memorabilia is said to be a mug with a picture of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The post Business Stories of the Week: May 18, 2018 appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
Researching Fraudulent Organizations in Health Care http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/researching-fraudulent-health-care-organizations/ Thu, 17 May 2018 12:30:15 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94689 When Charles Piller, an investigative correspondent at Science magazine and contributing writer at Stat, started investigating Proove Biosciences, it was before the company sold off its assets as the CEO

The post Researching Fraudulent Organizations in Health Care appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
new health and wealth data

Investigative writer Charles Piller and Christopher Robinson, professor of law and University of Arizona associate dean for research and innovation, spoke about the science of genetic testing at the Association of Health Care Journalists health journalism conference in Phoenix. The panel offered a blueprint for uncovering and reporting on fraudulent organizations. (Photo Credit: Flickr user Images Money. CC BY 2.0)

When Charles Piller, an investigative correspondent at Science magazine and contributing writer at Stat, started investigating Proove Biosciences, it was before the company sold off its assets as the CEO departed under a criminal probe in August 2017. Piller’s first article about Proove, published October 2016, looked at its dubious gene test for addiction, which Piller said exploited fear surrounding opioids. He’d also written about the lab offering doctors $144,000 a year to push these questionable tests.

Piller, along with Christopher Robinson, professor of law and University of Arizona associate dean for research and innovation, spoke about the science of genetic testing at the Association of Health Care Journalists health journalism conference in Phoenix. The panel offered a blueprint for uncovering and reporting on fraudulent organizations.

Look for eyebrow-raising claims

What piqued Piller’s interest was a claim that seemed to prey on national anxiety about opioids—the company said it could predict who would become addicted to opioids with 93 percent accuracy. Delving into similar credulous claims might prove fruitful.

Examine the science

Lightly regulated industries are prime fodder for investigation. In Piller’s case, the company’s own scientific advisor disavowed the science behind the product, leading experts called it “hogwash,” and the CEO had a bit of a history—he sold supplements based on genetic tests through spas and got in trouble for it.  In this instance, Proove was only testing for 12 out of hundreds of genetic variations—and although there are important genetic elements to addiction, the problem is socio-environmental as well as genetic.

Piller recommends looking up studies at clinicaltrials.gov. The site is run by the National Institutes of Health, and anybody conducting human experiments must register on the site and describe the experiment. This allows reporters to glean information on the type of study at play.

Look for evidence of misconduct

Examples of things you might uncover include “pay to play” clinical trials, coercive tactics used to test every patient, doctors, and employees from all levels saying the tests were not useful, internal documents showing contradictory test results, and more. Interviews with employees, doctors, and patients come into play, but Piller offers a word of caution: sources sometimes have their own motives, so it can be a good idea to seek out sources rather than relying on ones that come to you. It’s also smart not to reveal sources to one another. This can help protect you from someone promoting a hidden agenda.

Look for financial conflicts of interest

Physicians often take money from drug and device companies, in the form of royalties, consulting, speakers bureaus, board service, and sometimes even kickbacks, Robertson explained. (Only the latter are illegal, under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.) These payments were made public due to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, part of the Affordable Care Act. ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs database includes payments made from August 2013 through December 2015, so users can see which physicians received payment, and from whom. The amounts tend to be substantial.

For more information on the causal effect of financial relationships between companies and health care professionals, see Robertson, et al.’s 2012 paper in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-720X.2012.00678.x

Look beyond regulation

The FDA may check to see whether tests do what they’re supposed to be doing and that a lab implements it according to instructions, but Robertson points out that the regulation for some categories of medical devices leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Even if a test or device is FDA-approved, individuals can still be given an inaccurate test, or the test could be interpreted improperly.

The tests may not be good value for the money. Many types of tests or devices do not require external review and do not require the reporting of adverse events. Often the FDA does not address clinical validity or impose standards for quality in manufacturing. And, of course, there is the possibility that someone along the line is doing something untoward; for example, using tests that are only cleared for research/investigatory purposes diagnostically.

Fact-check your reporting

Make sure to validate leaked documents, fact-check your own work ruthlessly, and test all of your assumptions. Once you’ve done so, talk to the subjects of the investigation and test the assumptions you have about what’s going on. Be sure to be able to show your work.

Because businesses can sometimes be litigious, make sure to have a lawyer review your reporting before publishing.

The post Researching Fraudulent Organizations in Health Care appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
What Business Journalists Should Know About Quantum Computing http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/what-business-journalists-should-know-about-quantum-computing/ Wed, 16 May 2018 12:24:39 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94712 Google is at it again with another innovation, and this time it’s on the hardware end of quantum computing, which could disrupt just about everything. Now could be the time

The post What Business Journalists Should Know About Quantum Computing appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

Quantum computing could potentially impact a number of industries, from medicine to finance. Here’s what you should know about this technology. (Photo: Pixabay.com user RemazteredStudio)

Google is at it again with another innovation, and this time it’s on the hardware end of quantum computing, which could disrupt just about everything. Now could be the time to start figuring out how you’ll start to cover this breakthrough technology.

The Silicon Valley giant believes it has developed a quantum computing chip that can achieve quantum supremacy, meaning that our computers based around ones and zeros are just about obsolete.

Quantum computers use qubits instead of bits (the transistors on a computer chip that make everything happen through a state of ones and zeros). Qubits exist in this state of both zero and one at the same time, which means it can store much more information and do many more tricks than computers today.

This type of subatomic computing gets a lot more complicated too, but the gist is that quantum computers can parse through data a lot faster than normal computers.

Google isn’t the only company diving into this wacky world. Firms like Intel, IBM and Microsoft are researching in quantum computing, but now Google is the most advanced after it developed a 72-qubit processor. IBM has the next fastest, having created a 50-qubit processor.

Quantum computing can be used for many different things and has been researched for so long that one expert has said  Quantum Computing is the solution looking for a problem.

Now that we’re closer than ever, people are looking into how Quantum Computing can be used for artificial intelligence, medicine research, financial services and supply chain & logistics.

Just how will these industries be impacted? In the medicinal world, cancer research could be revolutionized. The co-founder of D-Wave, the company that created the first commercially available quantum computer, says that quantum computing with machine learning can design drugs that could start treating patients in the next ten years.

Experts have been saying that we are at the limits of computing with classical computers that use silicon chips, and so quantum computing is the next way to speed things up. And with that, quantum computing gives companies new ways to parse through their large treasure troves of data for a variety of uses. Just think of what a company like Facebook could with its data by way of the quantum computer.

With great uses comes great risks, naturally.

This level of computing poses cybersecurity risks. Encryption can be based around the mathematical factoring of large numbers, and a quantum algorithm by Peter Shor that can calculate the prime numbers of large factors much more easier than our basic computers poses a risk for encryption practices.

This algorithm’s success depends on a quantum computer that’s powerful enough, but if we’re close to achieving quantum supremacy than this obstacle could be hurdled. The advent of quantum computing will not only cause security trouble for governments, but this will be another world for companies that will have to start developing new cybersecurity protocols.

Cybersecurity is already a huge cost for companies, so who knows what the world of quantum computing could mean for businesses and the world at large.

With society on the verge of this breakthrough, it could be time to start evaluating how universities are researching quantum computing, how local companies plan to use it and what this means for everyone and everything.

The post What Business Journalists Should Know About Quantum Computing appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
Business Angles for Covering Summer Concerts http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/business-angles-covering-summer-concerts/ Tue, 15 May 2018 12:30:37 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94646 With summer approaching, today’s biggest stars like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, U2 and the Foo Fighters are gearing up to go on tour. The music industry is expected to bring in

The post Business Angles for Covering Summer Concerts appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

With summer just around the corner, here are some story ideas you can use to cover the biggest concerts that come to town. (Photo Credit: Pixabay user Free-Photos)

With summer approaching, today’s biggest stars like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, U2 and the Foo Fighters are gearing up to go on tour. The music industry is expected to bring in over $10 billion this year. That number is projected to continually rise over the next three years. Given that people are willing to spend extra money for their favorite artists, here are some different angles to cover when reporting on concerts.

Concert Security

With the threat of terrorism and mass shootings, concert security is a major concern. Usually tour promoters and the venue where the event is held are responsible for getting the security for concerts. The cost of armed and unarmed security guards can be estimated on thumbtack. Outdoor music festivals and concerts make security costs and liabilities even more expensive, now to the point where promoters don’t want to risk it, says Kevin Lyman, founder of the Van Warped Tour, in this billboard story about concert security.

Ticket Sales

Whenever big stadium tours like Bruno Mars, or T-Swift come to town, a great story to report on can be ticket sales. Over the years new audio and visual technology allow stars to push their creativity to the limits. This along with other reasons, like stars wanting to pocket more of the profit brought average ticket prices from $25 in 1990 to nearly $80 today. On the higher end of things there are the mega stars like Beyonce, whose average ticket price of her 2016 Lemonade tour was $176. It may be worth investigating why some of the lowest priced tickets for a concert is $80. How are ticket prices affecting local fans and their decision to attend a show? Wanderu did a study finding what ticket prices average in different regions.

Scalpers and the secondary market

You see scalpers selling tickets outside of events and holding up signs searching for people in need of tickets. Ticket scalping is legal in Arizona, which means if you’re outside Talking Stick Resort Arena and see scalpers, they’re allowed to be there. Some people think scalping improves the welfare of concert goers, but a 2007 study done by the Federal Trade Commission was inconclusive on whether that is true. Check on the laws in your state. Doing a story on a veteran ticker scalper, or a group of scalpers can be a great way to tell a story that doesn’t get told often. Are extremely high prices on the primary market a way to deter scalpers and brokers? A good investigative piece would be figuring out the total annual loss in ticket revenue that the music industry faces to the secondary market sales.

BOTS

In December 2016 President Obama signed into law a bill that would make it illegal for bots to dodge security measures on websites in order to buy up tickets and resale them. The Better Online Ticket Sales act, or BOTS, is designed to target people who have super computer programs and systems that allow them to make mass purchases of tickets at once. Business journalists can use large or medium sized concert events that are high in demand to investigate whether this legislation has helped the sale of tickets on the primary market.

Report on the Rig

More fun business stories can be done on the rigs that acts lug around the country. When U2 came to town with their 360 tour, you could expect them to bring over 30 semi-trucks filled with steel trusses, sound, lighting and video equipment. This colossal rig is said to be almost 30 million in U.S. dollars. More equipment for bigger experiences can drive up the price of concerts. Stage directors love to brag about the size and amount of equipment their show has. With the right connection, it could make for a great story.

The post Business Angles for Covering Summer Concerts appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
9 Facts on Mining Cryptocurrencies http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/94644/ Thu, 10 May 2018 12:30:37 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94644 In 2009 Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to hit the market. Coinmarket.com shows all of the existing cryptocurrencies today, with the most popular one, Bitcoin valued at the most. Ethereum,

The post 9 Facts on Mining Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

One of the major stories in the world of cryptocurrencies is how they are mined. With their popularity on the rise, here are facts you should know when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies. (Photo via Pixabay.com user Make-someones-day)

In 2009 Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to hit the market. Coinmarket.com shows all of the existing cryptocurrencies today, with the most popular one, Bitcoin valued at the most. Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin are other popular virtual currencies that miners are profiting from. Cryptocurrency mining can be a good business story for journalists to tie in with computer technology.

Mining Cryptocurrencies

Mining is becoming the thing to do for people wanting to make money in cryptocurrency without necessarily buying it. What miners do is essentially find cryptocurrency transactions and verify them. Mining is made possible with 2 pieces of hardware; through GPU mining or ASIC mining. A GPU is a graphics processing unit and ASIC is short for application specific integrated circuit. This is the hardware needed for mining to acquire the speed needed to find transactions and verify them to be added to the block chain.

GPU Mining

You may have heard of the term CPU (central processing unit). Every computer has a CPU that essentially carries out the computer’s functions. CPUs are not sufficient enough to run cryptocurrency mining operations on a computer, which is why GPUs are used. A GPU, or graphics processing unit is a small component generally inside a graphics card that in contrast to CPUs, processes only graphics information and does it a lot faster than the CPU because it only has one job.

ASIC Mining

ASIC, or application specific integrated circuit essentially does the same thing as a GPU but is designated for the specific purpose of mining for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and does a much better job than GPUs. Advancements in technology like ASICs have made crypto mining more efficient, but unfortunately still consumes lots of energy.

Blockchain

Blockchains are a que of all cryptocurrency transactions in chronological order. Blocks, which miners look for, are added to the chain when a transaction is completed. The miner that gets to the block first and verifies the transaction, gets paid (in the currency that the person is mining) for his or her services.

Mining Spaces

People like Dustin Pennington, the owner of rekt mining, are tackling the crypto currency craze by another angle. Since mining can get costly and running mining rigs radiate a lot of heat, selling space with the necessary electrical infrastructure to miners is another way to make money. In this instance miners pay a host a rate per Kilowatt(kwh) hours to do their mining in the facility rather than at home. Rekt mining is an example of a host selling space for miners.

Cloud Mining

Cloud mining is when clients purchase a certain amount of hash power for a fee. Hash power, or hash rate is defined as the amount of power it takes to run a currency’s networking.

Energy Usage in Mining

As cryptocurrency mining grows in popularity, energy consumption is sure to be a highly reported topic. Energy consumption is already creating a stir in some places, for example, in Iceland, where an influx of miners are taking their operations and causing a shortage of power.

GPU Market

PC gaming has exploded in the last few years and has overtaken console gaming, giving Xbox and PlayStation a run for their money. Although gaming and crypto mining are different, both highly demand the coveted graphics processing units and other processing hardware. Given the explosion of people getting into mining, the price of graphics cards and processing units has risen. Some brands like Intel and Nvidia and have seen rises in stock. NVIDIA stocks doubled in value since the beginning of 2017 and bitcoin’s value never went above $1500 until May of the same year.

The post 9 Facts on Mining Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
Questions to Ask When Covering Health Care and Artificial Intelligence http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/questions-ask-covering-healthcare-artificial-intelligence/ Wed, 09 May 2018 12:20:31 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94571 Artificial intelligence is a big buzzword in discussions about the future of healthcare, as well as other industries. In fact, just this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved the

The post Questions to Ask When Covering Health Care and Artificial Intelligence appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

Things like algorithms and computer learning are changing health care. There are major implications to the increased use of medical technology and a number of questions reporters should keep in mind. (Photo credit: Pixabay.com user Free-Photos)

Artificial intelligence is a big buzzword in discussions about the future of healthcare, as well as other industries. In fact, just this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first AI software that can interpret images and determine whether a patient has diabetic retinopathy without the assistance of a physician.

While AI has the potential to revolutionize modern medicine, there are challenges as well. A 2017 Stat investigation found that Watson for Oncology fell far short of the expectations IBM set for it.

At the Association of Health Care Journalist’s 25th conference in Phoenix last month, Barrow Artificial Intelligence Center director Igor Barani, law and bioethics professor Pilar Ossorio, and Stat national correspondent Casey Ross offered some key takeaways for journalists in a panel moderated by Stat managing editor Gideon Gil.

Pay attention to how algorithms are trained and what kind of data sets they’re trained on

Getting health care data out of a system isn’t easy for a variety of reasons. Hospitals are concerned about following regulations and protecting the privacy and confidentiality of their patients (and rightly so). There are technical concerns as well: different systems personalize or tailor software for their own use, or may use electronic health records in different ways. Data siloing is problematic, but combining different data sets can have its own issues as well.

An algorithm can struggle with the problem of overfitting, when it learns so well on one dataset that it doesn’t perform as well on a new set of data. When algorithms that artificial intelligence relies on are trained using only one data set or on limited data sets, that can lead to racial or gender disparities.

One example of this is in machine learning predicting the starting dose of warfarin, a medication used as an anticoagulant. Warfarin has a narrow window of effectiveness: it’s ineffective if too little is used, but patients can bleed out if the dose is too high. Research found that machine learning not only didn’t predict the starting dose any better than a simple clinical algorithm, but actually predicted it worse for African American patients. That’s because the algorithm was trained on data sets from the Midwest and had very little information on African Americans.

A 2015 study in Blood, the peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Society of Hematology, shows that “the influence of known genetic variants on warfarin dose differs by race.” The race of the population set a machine is trained on is important.

Cleaning data can introduce bias

Ossorio pointed out that problems can arise when data are cleaned prior to training the algorithm. For example, sometimes records of people who don’t have enough touches within the healthcare system are dropped to speed up the algorithm.

But because people who are poor have fewer consistent touches with the health care system, this seemingly innocuous decision could be systematically dropping out data from poor people and exacerbating systematic patterns in the data used to train algorithms. It matters what kind of data the algorithm is trained on, and what decisions are made to clean that data — and that’s something business journalists should be asking questions about.

Algorithms can find misleading information

Even if algorithms are trained in a technical way, they can still find information that is misleading without further analysis. For example, an algorithm showed that people who have asthma who get pneumonia are less likely to die. However, research shows that people who have asthma and lung problems actually have a higher risk of dying. The algorithm did not account for the fact that doctors are more likely to give intensive treatment to patients with asthma who are having breathing problems, thus lowering their risk of death. This level of granular detail and causal information is simply not available in a single algorithm.

In addition to asking about how algorithms are trained, what kind of data sets they’re trained on, and ow the cleaning process changes the data set from the original, Ossorio recommends asking other questions that get at these details: How many times did you train the algorithm? What kinds of variability did you find? What unexpected things did you find? How do you envision the intended user? How do you plan to communicate the intended uses or to the intended user?

The FDA struggles to keep up with emerging tech

The FDA needs to be aware of how algorithms are trained, too. Ossorio and Moss both raised questions about whether the FDA has the staff or capacity to even grasp what it needs to understand in order to guide or oversee the marketing of healthcare algorithms. If the FDA can’t even distinguish between safer and more dangerous AI algorithms, it’ll be difficult for it to determine where to put its oversight focus, said Ossorio. And Moss agreed that recent FDA guidance failed to answer big questions about whether artificial intelligence is safe and effective.

The business questions

Barani pointed out that finding operational efficiencies in healthcare systems is most fertile ground for artificial intelligence. It’s the most likely application and is less dangerous for patients. Diagnosis, he said, will be more challenging.

Casey Moss found that it’s often difficult to find out how much hospitals are paying for artificial intelligence, which is always worth digging into, especially for business journalists. Whether the tools are valuable is another open question.

When hearing about the value of new AI technology, it’s worth asking how the machines are better than the old system. While Moss found that providers are often more than willing to discuss any glitches with the systems and how difficult they are to use, he recommends being open to the benefits of this technology as well.

The post Questions to Ask When Covering Health Care and Artificial Intelligence appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>
What You Should Know About 3-D Printing http://businessjournalism.org/2018/05/what-to-know-about-3d-printing/ Tue, 08 May 2018 12:28:57 +0000 http://businessjournalism.org/?p=94641 Polymer-based 3-D printers have been around for a while, being made available at libraries for STEM projects and businesses for prototyping. But the technology is starting to find use as

The post What You Should Know About 3-D Printing appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>

3-D printing is already changing a number of industries. Here’s what you should know to cover this technology on the business beat. (Photo via Pixabay.com user mebner1)

Polymer-based 3-D printers have been around for a while, being made available at libraries for STEM projects and businesses for prototyping. But the technology is starting to find use as research for metal-based 3-D printing advances. 

If you cover the manufacturing, aerospace & defense, automotive, and even the construction industries then you could start finding 3-D printing stories that are beyond prototypes on your local beat.

3-D printing and additive manufacturing

Crafting metal parts with 3-D printers, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, can create a variety of parts for aircraft, cars, manufacturing facilities and more. 

3-D printing brings in many benefits for manufacturers. In aircraft, lighter parts can be created, which can save money on fuel costs for businesses. For some parts that are 3-D printed even perform better than the those traditionally manufactured.

These 3-D printed parts can also be designed in ways that typical machine processes can’t replicate, which opens up a world of opportunity for customizable parts. A part that would have taken months to produce through machining can now be created in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost.

Parts can also be combined. One housing in an aircraft that may consist of multiple different parts can now be printed as one cohesive part. 

Parts that aren’t available anymore can be produced quickly as well. Porsche is supplying rare parts for its classic cars through 3-D printing. These parts can’t be found anywhere else and would take a lot of time and money to create the facilities needed for their replication. Customizing those parts would also be extremely expensive, but 3-D printing makes it easily available. 

Engineers are also able to design new types of materials, since 3-D printing allows them to mix materials. This world of research around additive manufacturing is giving engineers a better understanding of alloys as they try to create their own materials. 

With 3-D printing, new types of engineers will be needed in the future, as well as new types of technicians who will need to know how to use these machines during the manufacturing process. 

Additive manufacturing isn’t without its problems, but this technology is quickly finding its way into manufacturers hands as Honeywell and General Electric strive to bring the future of this technology to the world. 

Building with 3-D printing

Printing houses sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s actually been done.

One company, ICON, unveiled a 3-D printed home at SXSW. The house only costs $10,000. 

ICON is also working with a charity organization to build affordable houses in just a day.

3-D printing is providing homes for the developing world, but this technology can also be deployed for affordable housing in a time when the U.S. is facing a housing crisis. 

Companies across the world are diving into 3-D printing with a variety of concepts. This technology can be automated and be done much cheaper than current building practices too.

Questions to consider

As you dive into the 3-D printed realm, here are a few questions to consider as you unravel this technology for your community:

• Will the implementation of 3-D printing replace any jobs?

• What kind of job training/technicians will be needed for 3-D printing implementation?

• Is 3-D printing saving industries money?

• How easy has it been finding engineers and technicians to operate these machines?

• Will businesses be able to start printing their parts instead of ordering them from vendors?

The post What You Should Know About 3-D Printing appeared first on Reynolds Center.

]]>