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CEA CEO Gary Shapiro at an NVTC event last month. Source: NVTC

RESTON, Va. — Could the cure be worse than the disease?

Gary Shapiro, the outspoken president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, warned that the massive government spending programs the Obama administration has steered through Congress pose a greater threat to the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy than the financial meltdown they were designed to reverse.

Speaking here at the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), where Shapiro serves as a board member, he sounded the alarm about rampant “panic spending,” and called for government restraint in bailing out failing companies and intruding into the tech industry.

“Spending our way out of the current economic crisis is not sound policy,” he said. “I submit to you that innovation and technology will be our best hope for jobs and economic recovery.”

Shapiro’s talk comes amid gathering speculation that Congress might undertake a second stimulus bill, fearing that the $787 billion package enacted in February won’t be enough. Though the first stimulus bill allocated hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the consumer electronics industry that Shapiro represents and billions for broadband deployment — a cause CEA champions, he said the bill was deeply troubling. Of particular concern was the lightning pace with which it passed through Congress.

“We’ve dug ourselves in a pretty deep hole, and we did so with very little discussion,” he said. “If there are more stimulus packages, they deserve hearings and public vetting,” he added, echoing many Republicans who complained they were forced to vote on the bill before they had a chance to read it.

“We’re borrowing from our children,” Shapiro said, citing economic forecasts that have projected that the national debt will exceed U.S. gross domestic product by 2023. “Mark my words, this debt will threaten our way of life.”

Lobbying for tech

Under Shapiro’s direction, CEA, whose members include companies like Apple, Google and Cisco, is mounting an aggressive lobbying effort on Capitol Hill. Square in the group’s sights is a bill that would establish a stronger position for unions in industries like IT that have traditionally resisted organized labor.

The Employee Free Choice Act, often referred to as the Card Check Act, would unionize a company’s workforce if more than 50 percent of the employees voted to organize. Critics claim that it would rob employees of the secret ballot by allowing employers to see who signed the union cards.

The bill’s supporters dispute that charge, which has become the central talking point for the opposition, and maintain that company-controlled voting often undermines the democratic process.

Barack Obama was an original sponsor of the bill, which stalled in the last Congress. The bill was reintroduced in both chambers last week.

Even worse for Shapiro than the voting process is the fate of a company in the event that negotiations with the union stall. Under the bill, if the company and union are still at an impasse after 120 days, a government arbitrator would step in to mediate. That idea is anathema to free marketeers like Shapiro, who said the bill would result in “coerced unionization.”

“Can you imagine the absurdity of this in a technology company trying to be competitors to market?” he said.

“Imagine how this would work in a tech company,” he added. “Successful tech companies are flexible. They ramp up and they ramp down quickly.”

So far, CEA and NVTC are the only tech trade associations that have publicly opposed the bill.

Shapiro also put in a plug for expanding the caps on visas for foreign workers, known as H-1B visas. The present cap of 65,000 H-1B pushes talented workers into the waiting arms of U.S. competitors, critics say.

“If you put up walls, you hurt American companies,” he said.

To help focus CEA’s lobbying efforts, the group has developed a business-card-sized “innovation checklist.” CEA is asking lawmakers to treat the six points on the list as a litmus test when they evaluate every bill that arrives in their office.

The card asks, “Does this bill: Create jobs? Spur new technology? Encourage the best and brightest to come to the U.S.? Reward risk taking? Promote exports? Help deploy broadband?”

The card has boxes to check for “yes” or “no” next to each question.

“If we focus on exports, avoid further debt and don’t lose on card check, we will come out of this recession with a strong, technology-driven economy,” Shapiro said.

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Will Aging It Workforce Increase Gov. Outsourcing?

An aging IT workforce, along with continuing budget tightening, will push an increasing

number of state and local government agencies to outsource their IT work, according to a new

study.

But the outsourcing largely will stay within U.S. borders because of political pressure to

bolster the American IT workforce, coupled with security concerns.

”The opportunity to outsource non-core government competencies in information technology is

becoming increasingly attractive to state and local government within the current economy,”

says Jim Krouse, manager of state and local market analysis at Reston, Va.-based Input, a

government market IT research firm. ”The growth will become dramatic as retirements outpace

the ability of governments to staff important technical, functional areas.”

Input research shows that state and local government IT outsourcing will jump from $10

billion in fiscal 2003 to more than $23 billion by fiscal 2008. Those numbers are showing a

compound annual growth rate of 17 percent over the next five years.

But Krouse says the increase in outsourcing is not expected to start for another year.

”At a 30,000-foot view, I would not anticipate seeing much growth in the next year based on

a languishing economy and the fact that we’re approaching an election cycle,” explains

Krouse. ”Next year’s growth will be moderate and then serious economic growth is

anticipated by 2005.”

After that, says Krouse, several factors are expected to move into place.

”There is a serious number of retirements coming in the government sector and that means

there will be a serious limitation of seasoned government IT workers by 2008,” he adds,

noting that the current glut of out-of-work IT workers should largely be employed again by

then. ”The people retiring are the ones familiar with legacy systems and historic

government operations. You’ll see more acceptance, politically, of outsourcing. And part of

it will be forced necessity.”

Outsourcing, particularly offshore outsourcing, is a hot button of debate these days. With a

large number of American IT workers out of a job, shipping corporate jobs overseas is

raising a lot of ire within the workforce and that is spilling over into the political

arena.

But Krouse says there will be a twist to the outsourcing game once more and more workers

begin to retire. Once a government IT manager, for instance, accepts his gold watch and

retires, he can go work for an outsourcing firm and do the same type of work he was doing

before — possibly making more money at it.

”We’ve seen that government entities can lock in certain costs if they can lock in terms

for three years or as long as 8 years. That’s a powerful tool,” says Krouse. ”At the same

time, with the erosion of the workforce, the outsourcing people are looking for skilled

workers and people who are familiar with government contracts. What better place to look

than at the retired worker community? It’s a shell game with some of these highly skilled

retired workers.”

And when it comes to government agencies, Krouse says he doesn’t expect to see any major

upswing in offshore outsourcing.

”It’s all about lost jobs and security — those two factors,” he adds. ”It’s hard enough

for state officials to outsource because there’s the perception of lost jobs in their own

agency. But when you start talking about lost jobs nationally, that’s a lot more political.

I don’t think government agencies will want to get into that fire storm. And they won’t want

to outsource any work overseas that could cause security concerns. That’s a big stigma.

Krouse also notes that in the future IT workers may be more apt to find themselves working

for an outsourcing company than for a government agency.

How Is Python Helpful For Electronics Engineering?

In this article, we’ll look at how the Python programming language can help people who are studying electronics engineering.

Do you want to know how Python can aid electronics engineers? You’ve come to the right place; keep reading to learn more.

In today’s fast− changing world, the IT business is always a trending market. Programming is one of the many skills required to be successful in the IT industry. There are numerous programming languages that are used for a variety of purposes.

Python is a trendy programming language that is known for its versatility and can be learned and deployed by anyone, regardless of field. Error detection is simple, code reuse is possible, and the readability is very clear.

What? Electronic engineers require Python as well. Yes, that’s correct. As an Electronics engineer, using a programming language makes a big impact.

As an Electronics engineer, using a programming language makes a big impact. A bit of coding logic with a good control system makes the subject more exciting and interesting.

Even if you’re an Electronic engineer, you’ll be learning VHDL, a programming language for working with integrated circuits. A programming language provides a greater understanding of logical, structured, and ordered thinking. Do you want to know how? Let’s get started.

Reasons Why Electronics Engineers Should Learn and Use Python

There are numerous languages available, but why choose Python? Listed below are a few benefits of utilizing Python in your projects for enhanced performance and business growth.

Power and Control

Python has memory management that keeps track of the correct amount of allocated and de− allocated memory. This is all done in the background with no manual intervention/operations.

Python on hardware and circuits, as well as analysis, gives you good control over the software mechanism and may help you get better outcomes.

Simple and Flexible

As an Electronics engineer, Python brings up a world of possibilities such as file parsing, design automation, data science, and so on. You will be flexible enough to learn about databases, web servers, multiple libraries, and so on.

Easy Implementation

There are a number of Electronics projects that are both easy to maintain and successfully meet their needs with the help of Python.

Adaptable

Python is platform − independent and may be run on any editor. When compared to Java, there are fewer topics and very less lines of code. Python is a programming language that is designed to address a wide range of problems and will be the most effective in increasing a company’s productivity and overall revenue.

Better Outputs

The way it works is that you simply write scripts to test the sensors and then attach them to the controllers; after a full detailing, it displays any errors to fix. In this manner, when you show your client a test, it may be done as a demo, and the product can be delivered ahead of the deadline.

The Battery Charge Curve is another application. You can determine the battery life of your product using Python. Isn’t that awesome? Yes,  Many applications can be made with Python that are really useful.

Conclusion

If you are interested in programming, don’t feel like you are deviating from your chosen subject; instead, learn them and discover how you can apply logic programming thought to your real field.

Working on circuits and microprocessors will be simple if you are familiar with programming languages and can develop and comprehend logic on your own. I understand that programming is quite different from hardware and networking analysis, however, the basic logic of the same concept or theme stays the same.

The 3 Rs Of Consumer Shopping Behavior

The traditional shopping experience is growing more complex, thanks to the proliferation of digital customer touch points that yield an unprecedented level of customer- and product-specific data. Retailers that analyze this information to understand consumer shopping behavior in the increasingly interconnected world can more expertly address their customers’ shifting expectations.

Omnichannel retailing is blending online and offline experiences more than ever before, a move that has conditioned shoppers to expect to seamlessly “channel hop” across a brand throughout their path to purchase. With more customer touch points at their customers’ disposal, retailers have a plethora of information about how their consumers shop, and the patterns and rationale behind their decisions. The key to success is to apply consumer buying habits data to processes that intimately engage with and empower shoppers, streamline the overall experience, encourage repeat visits and drive sales. These efforts are commonly defined as the “three Rs of retail.”

1. Research: Consumers’ intensifying love affair with digital technology, along with the increasing volume of available information flowing through these devices, has undoubtedly upped the ante when it comes to researching their purchase decisions — a key reason why shoppers are often more informed than store associates when entering a retail location. Consumers are so attuned to doing their homework prior to making a purchase that analysts expected 64 percent of consumers to research merchandise and retailers before they made an in-store purchase in 2024, a jump from 49 percent in 2014, according to “On the Couch: Researching Consumer Shopping Behavior,” a report from Deloitte University. This trend is especially evident across the electronics (62 percent) and home furnishings (59 percent) categories, where destination shoppers outnumber those who merely browse in store before deciding what to buy, from Deloitte’s report “Navigating the New Digital Divide: Capitalizing on Digital Influence in Retail.”

While user-generated content isn’t always positive, retailers must learn how to use this information to maintain a connection with shoppers throughout the path to purchase. That said, some brands feature locations on their sites that encourage customer discussion and feedback. Another option is to analyze customers’ on-site browsing habits and social graph data to make tailored product recommendations. In fact, 45 percent of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations, according to an infographic from Invesp.

3. Returns: Returns are an unavoidable cost of doing business. Returns stem from customer dissatisfaction, a damaged product or poor product evaluation either during or post-purchase. As omnichannel retailing heats up, it is imperative to streamline the returns process. For starters, retailers must establish transparent returns policies that transcend channels, making it seamless for shoppers to get rid of unwanted merchandise. While unlimited return windows can be unrealistic, policies should support realistic, generous time frames that give shoppers the opportunity to return merchandise in their preferred channel. Meanwhile, they should integrate returns management systems enterprise-wide to further optimize the process. Those brands that offer the most user-friendly returns processes are positively differentiating themselves in the marketplace.

Omnichannel has paved the way for many more competitors in the retail landscape, but it’s the companies that present a user-friendly path to purchase that will succeed. Brands focusing on the three Rs — research, recommendations and returns — will not only drive sales but drive the loyalty needed for longevity in the industry.

Learn more about retail technology solutions that can give your business an edge with customers.

History Of Consumer Psychology: Early Years To Post World War Ii

Since the 1960s, consumer psychology has been the subject of hundreds of research contributions and has become a significant area of research. The field has grown significantly, especially since 2006, with research focusing on psychology, business, and the social sciences, with topics extending to cultural and gender differences. However, consumer psychology and psychology are still developing, and many topics remain undeveloped. Consumer behavior and psychology continued to emerge in the 1940s and 1950s as a distinct sub-discipline within the marketing field. In the late 1950s, two significant reports criticized marketing for its lack of methodological rigor, especially its lack of application of mathematically oriented behavioral science research methods.

Development After World War II

During the 1940s and 1950s, marketing was dominated by the so-called classical school of thought that was highly descriptive and relied heavily on case study methods with the unusual use of interviewing methods. Often. In the late 1950s, two significant reports criticized marketing for its lack of methodological rigor, especially its lack of application of mathematically oriented behavioral science research methods. The stage is set for marketing to become more interdisciplinary by adopting a consumer behavior perspective.

In the 1950s, marketing shifted from economics to other disciplines, including the behavioral sciences, sociology, anthropology, and clinical psychology. This has led to a new emphasis on the customer as the unit of analysis. As a result, new insights have been added to the marketing discipline, including ideas like thought leadership, referral groups, and brand loyalty. Market segmentation, especially demographic segmentation based on socioeconomic status (SES) and household life cycle indices, has also become in vogue. With the addition of consumer behavior, marketing principles have shown increasing scientific sophistication in experimental and theoretical development processes.

Contributors to the Field

Ernest Dichter and George Katona were the two persons who worked hard to develop the subject as an independent branch of study.

Ernest Dichter

Ernest Dichter (1907-1991) is best known as a marketing researcher who pioneered “engineering,” an approach to consumer marketing that seeks to understand and nurture the intangible nature of the world—knowledge and irrationality of consumer motives. Specific productive environments shaped Dichter’s views on motivation: Karl and Charlotte Buhler first trained in psychoanalysis in his native Vienna before moving to the United States to work in the field. Field of market research with Paul Learfield.

Dichter has developed a range of techniques, including focus groups and in-depth interviews, to provide insight into consumers’ subconscious motivations when marketing goods. To readers of this blog, Dichter may already be familiar with Vance Packard’s review of Hidden Persuaders, a 1957 exposition of marketing strategies that target consumers’ unconscious desires. Famously, Packard saw Dichter’s efforts to nurture consumer desire through techniques as a form of brainwashing with noticeable harmful effects on the subject’s liberties.

Dichter’s recent and lesser-known works on management training are less well-studied but less attractive. In the late 1960s and 1970s, his consulting firm applied the same psychoanalytic principles and insights about motivation, which he had honed through years of marketing research, to the motivations of his clients—leaders of American corporations. As a result, the company held a series of “Top Man” motivational workshops and published a series of promotional materials titled “Managers/Motivators.” As the title suggests, Dichter defines managing others as motivating people to work.

According to Dichter, the ability to motivate others begins with self-motivation. It involves various techniques, including self-directed quizzes, “mood barometers,” and “psychological calendars.” to track his thoughts, feelings, and moods. These “self-technologies” – practices by which individuals are required to know and monitor themselves – are an integral part of motivational training.

George Katona

Katona, along with Likert, Campbell, and others, founded the Michigan Bureau of Business Investigative Research and became the behavioral economics program director. His pioneering achievement is the application of consumer psychology to economic forecasting. Contrary to current economic theory, which relies heavily on actual demographics (e.g., income, purchasing power), Katona believes that consumers’ willingness to buy, as indicated by attitudes and Consumer expectations (his view of consumer sentiment), is an important economic indicator.

Katona authored numerous articles during her lifetime and published more than a dozen books, including The Powerful Consumer (1960) and Massive Consumer Psychology (1964). Furthermore, easy to operate. Katona’s most enduring legacy is launching the University of Michigan Institute of Social Research’s Consumer Attitude Survey, now used as a leading indicator of step-by-step economic stability.

Conclusion

In The ‘Interest Of Consumer Protection’, Binance And Ftx Make This Move

Two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and FTX, recently announced limits on high-risk leverage trading on their platforms. Both companies cited consumer protection as the motive behind these restrictions.

The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, had announced earlier on 19 July that they were introducing a 20x leverage limit for new users. Now, as per a tweet by CEO Changpeng Zhao on Sunday, Binance Futures was preparing to apply the same limit for existing users soon.

.@binance futures started limiting new users to max 20x leverage last Monday, Jul 19th, 7 days ago. (We didn’t want to make this a thingy).

In the interest of Consumer Protection, we will apply this to existing users progressively over the next few weeks.

Stay #SAFU. 🙏

— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 26, 2023

The futures trading platform, which was launched in 2023, had initially allowed investors to open leverage positions at a maximum limit of 20 times their investment. Only two months back, Binance Futures had announced that it will support BTC/USDT contracts for up to 125x margin, meaning that an investment of $100 could turn into a bet for $12,500.

The crypto billionaire cited the exchange’s efforts to “encourage responsible trading” as the reason behind this move. He elaborated on how even though leveraged trading was not a significant part of the exchange’s overall volume, it caused significant troubles with regard to volatility. Estimating that the average open margin position on FTX is leveraged by roughly 2x, he stated:

“We also don’t think it’s an important part of the crypto ecosystem, and in some cases, it’s not a healthy part of it… Again, this will hit a tiny fraction of activity on the platform, and while many users have expressed that they like having the option, very few use it. And it’s time, we think, to move on from it.”

Binance’s association with this high-risk trading is one of the main reasons behind regulators around the world issuing warnings. Since June, the exchange faced increased scrutiny from financial regulators in the US, Britain, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Italy, Poland, and Thailand among others. Most of them have been critical of its high-leverage derivatives offerings. Amidst increasing regulatory scrutiny, Binance had also discontinued earlier this month, a new product line introduced this year, which offered stock tokens for companies like Tesla and Apple.

Another crypto exchange, Huobi global had made a similar move in mid-June limiting derivatives trading for its new and existing users. The exchange had dropped its allowable leverage from 125x to less than 5x citing the hostile regulatory environment in China.

While community reactions regarding these moves were mostly positive, some argued that the margin should be reduced further as the current limits continued to remain high risk. Nevertheless, users on Twitter appeared joyous about the announcements, while shunning high-risk trading as a bane to the crypto space.

Popular crypto analyst DonAlt expressed his respect for the move, tweeting:

Respect the hell out of that

No one needs a leverage casino, even the ones that think they do don’t.

— DonAlt (@CryptoDonAlt) July 25, 2023

Another analyst by the handle of Dark Crypto Lady thanked CZ for the move:

Thank you sir, this is a right thing to do because in my humble opinion, too many retail traders have no idea how leverage work and they often get rekt’d without understanding why.

Binance might take a small hit in the short run, but this is a win for everyone in the long run!

— 💎🙌🚀 Dark Crypto Lady 💎🙌🚀 (@DarkCryptoLord) July 26, 2023

Lastly, Anthony Pompliano made a prediction about other exchanges following suit, one of which unsurprisingly came true after Binance’s announcement.

FTX has decided to remove all leverage over 20x from their platform.

— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) July 25, 2023

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