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Economist, Oct 25, 2018 (I)

发表于 11-5-2018 14:39:38 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
(1) Pig farms in China | Sows in the Cloud; As sow-rearing modernises, Chinese internet firms go into pigsties.
Chinese tech companies get into farming
NetEase and Alibaba find the field is ripe for disruption
https://www.economist.com/busine ... es-get-into-farming


"THE SLEEK offices of NetEase in Hangzhou [headquartered in Guangzhou] * * * seem an unlikely place to find a farmer. Yet the video-gaming company also runs a pig-rearing division. Ni Jinde launched Weiyang 味央 [CEO 倪金德], its swine affiliate, almost a decade ago, after a stint in its financial team. At a state-of-the-art farm in nearby Anji county 浙江省湖州市安吉县 [65km northwest of Hangzhou], Mr Ni oversees the rearing and slaughter of 20,000 organic free-range hogs a year [土黑猪: '慢养300天'], with the aid of tracking sensors, big-data analysis and soothing music. A second farm, to open in December, will raise another 150,000.

"China's 430m porkers [hogs] account for over half of the world's herd, and its $1trn industry * * * Yet pig-rearing [in China] remains remarkably inefficient. It has long been a family affair: nine in ten of an estimated 40m pig farmers are thought to raise fewer than 50 hogs a year.

"Large-scale experiments in pig-rearing are under way in the form of multi-storey farms. A complex on Yaji mountain in southern China has 13 levels, with 1,000 pigs to a floor. But these structures are pricey, partly because of the measures they require to prevent disease from tearing through the building.

Weiyang "prides itself on rearing its hogs for 300 days in clean and wholesome conditions before they are sent to slaughter, twice as long as the typical life of a Chinese pig. * * * JD.com * * * raises and sells 'jogging chickens' [跑步鸡: '每只鸡的脚上都有计步器' from the Web] that each take 1m steps before the chop, making the meat more succulent than that of sedentary fowl. In June the cloud-computing arm of Alibaba * * * unveiled an 'agricultural brain 农业大脑' that helps farmers monitor pigs in real time through visual and 'voice' recognition powered by artificial intelligence.  Alibaba's programme, which is undergoing tests in Sichuan province, picks up the squeal of a crushed piglet or the bleat of a sick sow, and alerts the farmer [and so on -- because it is experimental, there is no need to know more].

My comment:
(a) There is no need to read the rest, because I do not see what advanced technology Chinese firms apply to agriculture in general, and husbandry in particular. My view, like quite a few other commentators in the West, is Chinese firms and companies 不务正业 -- always.
(b) About quotation 3.
(i) 罗法/夏立民(路透社), 世界最高养猪大楼在广西. 德国之声, May 14, 2018
("广西扬翔股份有限公司 [1998- ] 是一家私有食品公司,现在拥有两栋七层楼的猪舍大楼,还有四栋正在兴建中,最高的一栋有13层楼,将成为养猪业中最高的猪舍。  年底前,这块在11公顷的空间就会容纳超过三万头猪,每年生产超过84万支小猪。 * * * 过去北边的养猪场是在13公顷内容那8千头猪。  扬翔公司养猪的地点接近 [广西壮族自治区] 贵港市 [where its postal address is]。 * * * [To European pig farmers] 虽然把猪舍盖高点可以节省土地成本,但是土木工程也要花钱,如何掌控卫生也都是一大考验。 * * * 养猪废水则由丫髻山当地的一座污水处理厂负责。废水加工处理之后,剩水会被浇在附近的森林,固体残渣做成有机肥料卖给附近的农家。  上述工程中,诸多设备都是进口的"
(ii) 丫髻山 usually looks like 丫髻. There are quite a few 丫髻山 in China, but I fail to find one in 广西 or 贵港市.
(c) Regarding quotation 4. The bleat is a noun or verb for goat and sheep, but can also means complaining or wailing for a human or an animal.

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 楼主| 发表于 11-5-2018 14:40:17 | 显示全部楼层
(2) Armoured vehicles | Bang for Your Buck; Mexicans and Brazilians buy bullet-proof cars for different reasons.


"Last year nearly 3,000 cars were armour-plated in Mexico, the world's second largest market * * * Most [Mexican] customers prefer to put protective glass and armoured plates on their motors, rather than buy a purpose-built bulletproof car. Installation takes over a month and costs up to $55,000

"Sales in Mexico correlate closely to the number of murders in the co8untry. Not so in Brazil, the world's largest market by far * * * 15,000 [vehicles] last year. * * *Most of those [sales] are in the capital, where the murder rate has declined by 90% over the past 20 years. * * * São Paulo state has a rate of robbery more than twice as high as Mexico City's.

"Mexican criminals usually carry heavier weapons than Brazilian thugs do; the 'Type IV' armour which repels bullets from guns like the AK-47 costs three timesas much as Brazilian armour and add 30% to a car's weight, obliging owners to replace the brakes every six months.

"Improving technology * * * Diamond Glass's [glass] panes are 22mm thick, half what was needed a decade ago. Firms are making lightweight armour that does [armour is 'mass noun' per Oxforddictionaries.com] not weigh cars down. Such advances will reduce prices, making armour affordable

My comment
(a) there is no need to read the rest.
(b) bang for the buck

is a phrase. The "bang" in the title, however, is double entendre
(section 2 Etymology)
(c) Diamond Glass is based on Leeds, UK.
(was a wool town; "Today, Leeds has become the largest legal and financial centre, outside London;" section 1.1 Toponymy)
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 楼主| 发表于 11-5-2018 14:40:51 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 choi 于 11-6-2018 17:01 编辑

(3) Artificial intelligence | Learning, Fast and Deep; New schemes aim to teach anyone to use AI.


"A branch of AI known as deep learning, which uses neural networks to churn through large volumes of data looking for patterns, has proven so useful that skilled practitioners can command high six-figure salaries to build software * * * The standard route into such these jobs has been a PhD in computer science

"That is changing. This month fast.ai [co-founders: Jeremy Howard and Rachel Thomas ('earned her math PhD at Duke * * * is a professor at the University of San Francisco': Fast.ai], an education non-profit based in San Francisco, kicked off the third year of its [online, free] course in deep learning. * * * The course and others like it comes with a simple proposition: there is no need to spend years obtaining a PhD in order to practice deep learning. Creating software that learns can be taught as a craft, not as a high intellectual pursuit to be undertaken only in an ivory tower. Fast.ai's course can be completed in just seven weeks.

"Fast.ai's is not the only alternative AI programme. AI4ALL [based in Oakland, Calif], another non-profit venture, works to bring AI education to school children in the United States * * * Andrew Ng, another well-known figure in the field, has started his own online course, deeplearning.ai.

My comment
(a) The subtitle should be "to learn coding AI."
(b) This article may be worth reading IF you intend to learn coding.
(i) .ai
(ii) "In 1993, [Gregory] Piatetsky started Knowledge Discovery Nuggets (KDnuggets) as a newsletter" which turns into a website with the emergence of Internet.  Wikipedia under his name.
(d) As for Jeremy Howard. Fast.ai is silent about his education. If you google his name with education, "Melbourne Grammar School" pops up. Can it be another person with the same name. Nye, that is him. See
Gregory Piatetsky, Exclusive: Interview with Jeremy Howard on Deep Learning, Kaggle, Data Science, and More. KDnuggets, January 2017
https://www.kdnuggets.com/2017/0 ... e-data-science.html
("Jeremy Howard * * * was a precocious child, receiving some of the highest scores on tests in Australia, but was bored in school. He began an entrepreneurial career at age 12, selling pirated computer games, and was hired by McKinsey at age 18, as a self-taught computer and data analysis wizard")
(e) Andrew Ng  吴恩达
(born in London in 1976; "His parents were both from Hong Kong. He spent [formative] time in Hong Kong and Singapore")
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