There will be over 20 million devices designed to automatically relay information over the internet by 2022, according to Machina Research. For most of these "things," traditional wireless internet networks will be a pretty poor choice.
In the debate over why the U.S. has been so slow to emerge from the Great Recession, many have laid the blame on what's become known as the skills gap: Despite an abundance of workers, too many simply aren't qualified to fill the jobs available. Even now that hiring is running at its fastest clip since the late 1990s, business and industry groups such as the Chamber of Commerce continue to emphasize the damage the skills gap is doing to the economy. So do a lot of consulting firms.
Over the past decade, Chinese companies have built bulging order books in Africa, cutting their teeth in a part of the world where Western competitors, when present at all, have not brought their A team. The Chinese astutely calculate that the wealth they accumulate in Africa and the lessons they learn will serve them well as they push into bigger, richer, and tougher markets.
Boeing will build the biggest version of its 787 Dreamliner family exclusively in South Carolina at a nonunion plant it built five years ago. It's part of an effort to lower labor costs, but the company said organized labor had nothing to do with its decision.
There's an episode of The Office TV show involving a prank on a hapless colleague in which the victim's desk contents - his stapler, pencil cup, plate, even his wallet-are stashed inside the office vending machine. It does not occur to any of the sitcom's characters to turn these hijinks into a business model, but now someone has.
Since David Friedfeld took over ClearVision Optical from his father in 1985, he's seen most eyewear manufacturing move overseas. The 120-employee company, based in Hauppauge, N.Y., is bringing a small piece of it back. Last year, Friedfeld purchased an entry-level 3D printer for just under $3,000. He still does the bulk of his manufacturing abroad, but he can now print eyeglass prototypes in-house.
There's a custom in Washington that U.S. defense contractors don't talk trash about their competitors, at least not in public. After fiercely competing for multibillion-dollar Pentagon contracts, the winner often placates the loser with a piece of the action. When Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to build the F-22 fighter jet, it hired Northrop Grumman to build the plane's radar. Boeing won the contract to build the Air Force's KC-46 tanker plane and asked Northrop and Raytheon to contribute key components. Everyone ends up happy. It's how it’s always been done.
When TransCanada first proposed the Keystone XL pipeline in 2008, the company hoped it would be done by 2012 and begin carrying heavy crude from the Alberta oil sands in Western Canada down to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Six years later the pipeline remains in limbo, stymied by Department of State reviews, route adjustments, lawsuits, environmental and economic studies, and (most important) an Obama administration that appears truly divided on the issue. Last month the State Department announced that no decision would come until after November's midterm elections.