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On November 20, 2016, Fabian commented on Oilfield Services Industry: Downturn to Digital Transformation :

Great post, EK. I agree that due to the current market situation in Oil&Gas those players need to invest in digital capabilities to stay competitive. You mentioned various ways to do so, like communication, information and training. However, from my experience I know that security is one of the main issues in this industry. Do you know any examples of firms that used digital devices to improve the security of workers? There must be great potential.

On November 20, 2016, Fabian commented on Salesforce is Stealing Einstein’s Thunder :

My main concern with the entire Salesforce offering is privacy. Yes, the data is stored in highly secured data centers, but that doesn’t hinder Salesforce or its customers to actually sell end-customer profiles to 3rd parties. Adding data from IoT devices makes privacy issues even more severe. In most cases, the end-customers do not know what type of data is actually stored and who as access to it. Providing this visibility, would be one measure Salesforce could take to improve in this area.

On November 20, 2016, Fabian commented on Coursera – Quality Education for All :

Great post, Mary! I like the idea of Coursera and agree that incentivizing students to finish the courses is the major challenge. In summer I signed up for 5 courses but did not finish one of them. I think one problem is the accreditation of the courses. Even if someone pays for a certificate, it does not mean anything for the majority of universities and employers. They should work even more with leading schools and companies and create agreements that increase the value of a certificate, e.g. by offering actual credit points at a university or by being a mandatory requirement for certain jobs.

On November 20, 2016, Fabian commented on Amazon: Born from Customer Obsession and Digital Innovation :

Great post, Walter. I agree that Amazon did a great job in disrupting the retail business and offering a complete new experience for the customers. Leveraging machine learning to even better understand the customer is the right direction. However, one move I don’t understand is the opening of brick and mortar stores, which you probably heard of. They plan to open 100 stores in the US (http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-big-expansion-retail-pop-up-stores-2016-9) but isn’t that against their core strategy of being digital and available everywhere? They might wanna follow the idea of an Apple Store, but I don’t see Amazon as a hardware provider that needs to show/explain its products to customers.

On November 20, 2016, Fabian commented on Can Cellphones be the New Bank for the Unbanked? :

Great article, Daniela! I really like the model of Millicom, which enables basic banking service in the emerging markets. I wonder though, how they are dealing with international FinTech competition such as Transferwise and Braintree. These firms provide similar services already across the globe and offer additional features. Is their possession of the infrastructure enough to hinder the competition from entering?

As Satoshi highlighted, I think its a great idea to think about changes in the actual cultivation process. Mars focus seems to be too limited on reducing emissions, which will only change the situation in long-term. In short-term, they should try to plant additional trees in existing areas, find suitable alternative spots to grow the trees (might be now possible due to the climate change), and consider greenhouse growing areas to be independent of the climate.

On November 6, 2016, Fabian commented on Nissan LEAF, green enough? :

I really like the combination of electric cars with the self-driving technologies. Currently the biggest barrier of even more electric car sales is the battery life and the long charging time. When the majority of cars is self-driving this can be optimized with a surplus of cars. However, it will take a lot of time until there is a really broad coverage of electric cars and until then I still see problems with the current infrastructure. There are around 150,000 gas-stations in the US but only around 800 of Teslas super-chargers (https://www.tesla.com/supercharger). Is Nissan developing in similar technologies to make the charging process more convenient? While 200,000 cars might be a lot in the electronic-car segment, it still competes with around 1.2bn traditional cars (http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1093560_1-2-billion-vehicles-on-worlds-roads-now-2-billion-by-2035-report). Convenience could be one factor to improve this ratio.

On November 6, 2016, Fabian commented on Samsung Electronics : Green & Eco Management :

Great article Christian! While I agree with Haibo that it is necessary to make devices more energy-efficient, I doubt that there is a great impact of it, due to two reasons.

First, the majority of Samsung products are end-consumer devices which get more sophisticated. With each additional feature they require more energy. Considering smartphones for example: Vendors develop better batteries with every generation, but the actual battery life does not increase. Every phone needs to get charged every day. Both, battery improvements and additional features have a limit so the changes will be less substantial in future. However, I think the battery life itself and thereby the charging frequency won’t change.

Second, consumers use more and more different devices and spend more time with them. As addition to smartphones, PCs, etc. many people use wearables and other connected gadgets that require energy.

On November 6, 2016, Fabian commented on TESLA: THE CHANGE IS…NOW? :

Great article Iryna. I definitely agree with you that only with external help (i.e., by the government) it will be possible to reach adoption levels that have a great impact on the climate. For example in the car nation Germany only 0.7% of vehicle registrations are electric cars (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/24/this-country-has-hit-a-major-milestone-for-electric-cars-heres-how.html) although the popular brands (e.g., VW, BMW, Audi) all provide several models. Car drivers are still resistant due to the long load-times but short distance.

Furthermore, I think governmental initiatives need to be drastically. Current subsidies provided by the German government have only a marginal impact on sales (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/28/germany-subsidy-boost-electric-car-sales). A real change could be reached by limiting the amount of non-electric car registrations or high dues for driving them.

Very interesting article, Jodie. While I agree with Alan that the re-engineering would be a significant amount of work, I wonder how to motivate real-estate owners to actually change the existing systems in the first place. The more environmentally products release less HFC/CO2 but do they require less energy? Only if there are significant cost advantages of using them I would assume an actual change.

Another direction to improve the carbon footprint of the industry is to target the users of the systems. With smart thermostats and remote control via smartphone they actual runtime of heating and cooling products can be optimized. The article by Peffer, et al. (http://eec.ucdavis.edu/files/How_people_use_thermostats_in_homes.pdf) highlights that there are still many issues with programmable thermostats and that they are not used to their full potential.