RIP BAT (For Now)
The controversial border adjustment tax (BAT) is being put aside for the time being, according to a joint statement from the “Big Six.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) released a statement confirming they’re putting it aside because of the “many unknowns associated with it.”
Our Take: The protectionist measure was proposed by the Trump administration to blunt off shore sourcing and help give U.S. manufacturers a competitive edge, but retailers said a 20 percent import levy in a global economy would cripple their businesses and ultimately harm consumers.
A Beautiful Machine
Scientists said last month they have used AI and machine learning algorithms to predict instances of schizophrenia. According to data published by IBM scientists and the University of Alberta, researchers used the technology to predict the severity of specific symptoms in schizophrenia patients with significant correlation, based on correlations between activity observed across different regions of the brain.
Our Take: Few things are more astounding than witnessing the rapid advancement technology can effect in medicine. With these models, doctors will be able to more quickly and accurately diagnose patients with complex health issues.
Happy Centennial Nikon!
Nikon is giving away $100,000 in college scholarships and choosing 100 Instagram photographers as part of its #Nikon100 social-media eff ort. To help mark the company’s 100th anniversary, Nikon will identify photographers on Instagram who “are creating inspiring work and telling amazing stories.” Throughout the 100-day campaign, one new photographer be highlighted each day on the Nikon Instagram channel with the hashtag #Nikon100.
Our Take: Nikon and Instagram are a millennial match made in heaven.
Lyft Makes Munchie Runs Official
Lyft is teaming with Taco Bell for one-click snack access. During a test period this summer, ride-sharers in California were able to officially add a Taco Bell stop to their Lyft ride using the in-app option. The Taco Mode also included a custom in-car menu, a “tricked-out” taco-themed car, and a free Doritos Locos Taco when visiting the drive-thru as a “ride-thru.” The option is expected to be rolled out to additional markets by the end of the year, with a nationwide rollout in 2018.
Our Take: College kids have it so easy these days.
Let’s Drink To The Smalt Of The Earth
Herb & Body, a California-based start-up, introduced what it’s hailing as the first “interactive centerpiece and smart salt dispenser.” In addition to dispersing measured amounts of salt via “shake,” “pinch” or “pour” gestures, the Smalt (yes, Smalt) also features a Bluetooth speaker and interactive color-changing lighting. The shaker has Amazon Alexa integration, enabling consumers to monitor their sodium chloride consumption via the accompanying app. The Indiegogo campaign pricing begins at $99 for early backers, and suggested retail will be $199.
Our Take: Single-purpose Bluetooth speakers are not long for this world.