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Issue #8

EU bans forced labor products, Ferrari promises ‘emotional’ EV, U.S. is serious about moon economy, and more.

News from March 14 - March 21, 2024 

EU Bans Forced Labor Products

The European Union has agreed to ban products made with forced labor from entering its single market. The policy mandates all EU member states to identify and ban products from companies exploiting forced labor. 

The bans would be enforced on goods made outside the EU by forced labor and on products manufactured in the EU with parts made abroad by forced labor. 

Belgium’s Economy and Labor minister: “With this regulation, we want to make sure that there is no place for their products on our single market, whether they are manufactured in Europe or abroad.”


Netflix: AI Won’t Replace Creatives

On a SiriusXM podcast, Netflix’s CEO asserted AI will aid creators rather than replace human creativity.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s CEO: “I think that the creators who learn to use these tools better than everyone else are gonna win… there’s something about the authenticity and the reality of human experience that people see, and they can also see when it’s inauthentic.”

He continued: “I think that people will try to use AI to do shortcuts for the human experience, and the truth is, there is no shortcut for the human experience.” Using Netflix’s Squid Game as an example, Sarandos explained that the authenticity and specificity of the Korean show are what made it a global hit. The series is still the streamer’s most-watched of all time. That, Sarandos argues, is not something that AI will be able to replicate.

However, Sarandos does see a version of Netflix where users may be able to use AI on the platform to generate their own content, possibly by marrying two movies together to create an entirely new one.


China Plans Rail Gun To Launch Planes

Chinese engineers are crafting a hypersonic rail gun to launch space planes, potentially transforming space exploration. This has been a goal of NASA since the 1990s, but the U.S. has had insufficient funding and technical difficulties.

The Chinese project aims to catapult a 50-ton aircraft using electromagnetic forces for an initial boost. The aircraft would then separate from the track, ignite its engine, and enter near space at seven times the speed of sound.

The goal is to reduce reliance on fuel-heavy rockets, decreasing the cost of sending humans and cargo into space.

Scientist: “Electromagnetic launch technology provides a promising solution to overcome these challenges and has emerged as a strategic frontier technology being pursued by the world’s leading nations.”


Bulletin Board

  • U.S. Is Serious About Moon Economy. The U.S. is advancing its ambitious plans to establish an economy on the Moon. To make this vision a reality, a key government agency is addressing needs for lunar living such as energy and communication. While direct funding for these proposals has yet to come, the steps mark a decisive move towards actualizing the concept of a lunar economy. (Source)
  • Ferrari Promises ‘Emotional’ EV. The CEO of Ferrari has reassured consumers that the carmaker's future electric vehicle (EV) will not be silent like Teslas but will roar with “emotion.” CEO Benedetto Vigna: “Electric cars are not silent. If you know the technology, you know you can do a lot of things also with electric cars. When we talk about luxury cars like our cars, we are talking about the emotion that we are able to deliver to our client, so we are not talking about functional cars like other EVs that you see on the road.” Ferrari plans to start delivering its first fully electric vehicle by the end of 2025. (Source)
  • New QR Codes Are Invisible. Researchers have developed the smallest QR code to enhance security and offer a dynamic experience, drawing inspiration from the camouflage of leafhoppers, making it invisible without infrared vision. This QR code, less than 2% of an inch, utilizes nanostructures enabling objects to be concealed in plain view under certain light conditions. The innovation stems from leafhoppers' "magic" structure, brochosomes, used to create a cloaking effect against predators. Lead scientist: “With this technology we have the power to disguise how objects are displayed on an infrared camera. Hypothetically, if we laid the brochosome pixels accordingly, we could paint a patrol car to appear as a delivery van to infrared security.” (Source
  • Fibers May Replace Harmful Plastics. Supermarkets in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg are testing cellulose fiber packaging for foods like yogurts, cheeses, fruit juices, and biscuits to cut plastic waste. These fibers, which come from wood or other plant materials, will be featured in 30 to 60 stores across the three countries, covering 13 types of food by the end of this year. This effort is part of the R3PACK project, aiming to replace significant amounts of plastic packaging with fiber-based alternatives by May 2025. The project, a collaboration among retailers, food producers, and packagers, seeks wide adoption in thousands of stores to address Europe's annual 420 pounds of packaging waste per person. (Source
  • France Cracks Down On Fast Fashion. France's lower parliament passed a bill targeting fast fashion companies like Shein for their environmental impact, imposing fines up to ten euros per item and banning their advertisements. This legislation aims to mitigate the fast fashion industry's environmental damage, characterized by rapid production and disposability that encourages impulsive buying and a continuous desire for newness, leading to adverse effects. Shein countered, claiming their model satisfies demand with minimal waste and warned that the bill might diminish French consumers' purchasing power amid rising living costs. (Source)

Disclaimer: This blog offers insights into international business and global events for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment or business advice. WeavePay is not liable for any decisions made based on the content provided.

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