Energy & Commodities

Tech’s New Frontier? Oil and Gas

According to a new report from Lux Research, the oil companies of the future may resemble the tech companies of today. Moreover, if these companies fail to adapt to the changing digital landscape faced by all industries, they could be left behind.

In the new report, The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas, Lux analysts make a strong case for oil and gas companies to embrace the global economy’s shift toward a more digital-friendly way of doing business.

“No industry is immune to the rapidly shifting digital landscape, including very traditional ones such as oil and gas,” said Harshit Sharma, analyst at Lux Research and the lead author of the report. “If the world’s major oil and gas producers don’t embrace these changes and implement systems and processes that will help them scale digitally, they very much risk failing to meet the needs of their global customers, and they will likely lose market share to their counterparts that do adapt.

Not unlike the continually evolving landscape of Silicon Valley, Lux predicts that these changes will be swift, and that leaders at the helm of oil and gas companies will have to move quickly and efficiently.

“The companies that do this right and meet the challenges and opportunities posed by the digital age will have to be leaders in innovation,” said Sharma. “Like their peers in other industries that have undergone these changes, the leaders who continually push the envelope and force their operations to keep evolving will likely be most successful.”  CLICK for complete article

Seoul Is Putting Solar On All Public Buildings and 1 Million Homes

In Seoul, South Korea, every public building and 1 million homes will have solar panels by 2022. South Korea, the world’s fourth-largest coal importer, is making a concerted effort to shift to green energy after public pressure to do so and aims to generate 35% of its electricity from renewables by 2040.

South Korea is Asia’s fourth-largest economy, and it currently relies on nuclear, gas, and coal for power. The government had originally planned to retrofit 20 of its 60 coal plants with anti-pollution gear when they reached 30 years of age, but this idea has been abandoned, as it’s not cost-effective. According to a June Reuters article:

“To have more renewable power, we can make coal power plants run lower,” said Kang Seung-jin, energy professor at Korea Polytechnic University, who is helping to map out the 2019 plan.

According to the World Economic Forum:

The World Economic Forum’s Energy Transition Index, which benchmarks countries’ energy systems and supports them as they move to cleaner power sources, ranks South Korea 48th out of 115 nations surveyed. Its capital wants to lead the transition.

In November 2017, the capital city’s government announced the 2022 Solar City Seoul Plan, in which it said it would add 1 GW of solar capacity by 2022. This has already cut more than 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions…CLICK for complete article

6 Technology Trends Revolutionizing The Transportation Sector

The transportation industry boasts this inglorious claim to fame: It’s responsible for nearly 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Of that, cars and trucks alone are believed to be responsible for nearly one-fifth of all U.S. emissions.

It’s not profit loss. It’s how much Americans lost on average every year due to traffic congestion.

Americans have lost an average of 97 hours a year due to congestion, which costs them roughly $87 billion, or an average of $1,348 per driver, according to 2018 INRIX National Traffic Scorecard.

And it’s about to get worse.

The market now is all about doing two things at once: cleaning up and getting out of traffic. The tech advance that makes both possible wins on all levels.

Here are the 5 cleanest modes of travel right now…CLICK for complete article

How Video Game Stocks Perform Heading Into The Holiday Shopping Season

Video game stock performance in the two months heading into the holidays has given investors about an even shot at gains and losses over the last decade, historical price data show.

Unless you include Microsoft Corporation.

When looking at six video game stocks’ performance during October and November each year since 2009, Microsoft (which also makes plenty of other consumer goods that holiday shoppers buy) skews the data quite a bit.

Shares of Microsoft have gone up during the two-month period in eight out of the last 10 years.

The other five video game stocks aren’t as sure of a play in the fall. Stocks in the sector fell during the two months slightly more often than they rose….CLICK for complete article

Canadian Cyberattack Prevention Firm Working On US & Canadian Defense

Privately owned Plurilock Systems in Victoria BC is quietly becoming a key player in the ever-growing anti-cyber attack security space. Recent contracts with the US Department of Homeland Security and Canada’s Department of National Defense will see the company at the forefront of machine-to-machine anomaly detection technologies. Plurilock in the only Canadian company to receive funding from DHS’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program.

“Our behavioral, anomaly detection, and AI capabilities, give us a head start in developing machine-to-machine authentication tools,” says Plurilock CEO Ian Paterson. “We think this technology will become more and more critical as the ‘internet of things’ era matures, so we’re excited to continue to collaborate with the Silicon Valley Innovation Program. Obviously, DHS and SVIP are world-class partners to work with.”

The Canadian DND contract tasks Plurilock with advancing state-of-the art, real-time cyber-attack detection and advanced persistent threat (APT) prevention.

“It’s hard to overstate the need for real-time threat detection and response in today’s critical systems,” says Paterson. “Plurilock will significantly enhance this capability, and we’re excited to be able to demonstrate our leadership across multiple kinds of security-driven anomaly detection in our work for DND.”

Plurilock began in the research labs of the University of Victoria with breakthroughs in biometric identity verification. This early “behavioral-biometric” science was applied to the movements involved in computer use—mouse and keyboard activity to start—and a new, advanced form authentication for computing systems was born.

10 Reasons Why Productivity Is Declining

Economists debate whether the decline in productivity is real. It is real, let’s investigate 10 reasons why…

Facebook a Productivity Killer

Google searches are indeed a time-saver. But what the hell is “produced” by them. And where do the searches and Facebook playing take place?

At work perhaps. After discussing the above Brookings did come to this conclusion: “In large part, the productivity slowdown—and the associated productivity paradox—are real.”

It never explained why. Rather Brookings remains puzzled: “While recent research suggests that mismeasurement, although sizable, does not explain most of the observed decline in productivity, it must be noted that there remain unknowns and gaps in data.”

Real or Imagined

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) asks Is the U.S. Productivity Slowdown a Mirage?

Labor productivity in the United States—defined as total output divided by total hours of labor—has been increasing for over a century and continues to increase today. However, its growth rate has fallen. One explanation for this phenomenon focuses on measurement difficulties, in particular the possibility that current tools for measuring economic growth do not fully capture recent advances in the goods and services associated with digital communications technology.

One reason some analysts believe that labor productivity is understated is that price inflation may be overstated for digital goods and services.

As with Brookings, the NBER concludes there is some mismeasurement but fails to figure out why.

As an aside, the NBER group is the official arbiter of recession dates in the US….CLICK for complete article