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时间:2019年08月22日 11:33:59

The back of an iPhone proclaims that it is “designed in California, made in China”. That will not do for Swatch. The words “Made in Switzerland” are crucial to the appeal of timepieces, from 4,500 Omegas to 40 Swatches — leaving the company committed to manufacturing in one of the world’s most expensive countries.iPhone背面的文字宣称它是“加州设计,中国组装”。对斯沃琪(Swatch)来说,这样可行不通。“瑞士制造”的字眼是手表吸引力的重中之重,从4500欧元一块的欧米茄(Omega)手表到40欧元一块的斯沃琪手表都是如此,这让斯沃琪坚持在世界上成本最高的国家之一生产手表。Switzerland became even more expensive in January, when the Swiss National Bank gave up trying to contain the appreciation of the franc. Shares in Swatch have clawed back about half of the 20 per cent drop that followed that decision, helped by half-year results yesterday that beat forecasts. At about 16 times forecast 2016 earnings, the valuation is reasonable compared with past levels and peers such as Richemont, on 19.今年1月,瑞士央行(Swiss National Bank)放弃了遏制瑞士法郎升值的努力,这使瑞士的生产成本变得更为高昂。在瑞士央行做出这一决定后,斯沃琪的股价下跌了20%,不过斯沃琪昨日发布的上半年业绩数据超出预测,帮助其股价收复了大约一半的失地。按照2016年的预期盈利计算,斯沃琪的市盈率为16倍,相比其过去的估值和历峰集团(Richemont,预期市盈率为19倍)等同行业公司的估值,斯沃琪现在的估值较为合理。Currency movements knocked SFr56m off sales and pushed operating margins down to 18 per cent, but sales did at least grow, even in franc terms.汇率变动使斯沃琪的销售额减少了5600万瑞郎,致使其营运利润率降至18%,但即使按瑞郎计算,斯沃琪的销售额还是增长了。China is another headwind; it accounts for a third of sales. A clampdown on gifting had aly affected the company’s high-end brands. Recent turmoil in China’s financial markets might yet curb consumer appetite for mid-market watches, or the ability of Chinese to exploit regional price differentials for luxury goods by holidaying in Europe.中国是另一个不利因素;该市场占斯沃琪销售额的三分之一。中国政府对送礼的打击已经对斯沃琪旗下的高端品牌造成影响。最近中国金融市场的动荡可能还会抑制消费者对中档手表的兴趣,或者降低中国人到欧洲度假时利用地区差价购买奢侈品的能力。Swatch is responding sensibly. Although committed to increasing market share, it still managed to raise prices in Europe and has held them in China. It is introducing new products, expanding its retail network and sounded notably optimistic about the second half. Despite its expansion plans, inventories rose only modestly in the first half, suggesting the company is not struggling to sell merchandise.斯沃琪做出了合理的回应。尽管斯沃琪寻求扩大市场份额,该公司依然成功地在欧洲提高了价格,并保持了中国市场的价格。斯沃琪正在推出新产品、扩大零售网络,听上去对下半年也非常乐观。尽管有扩张计划,但今年上半年斯沃琪的库存仅小幅增加,说明该公司的销售情况不错。Investors are putting a lot of trust in the Hayek family, which holds key roles and keeps control via a two-tier share structure. Disclosure is patchy. But having weathered one storm at home, they appear well placed to deal with another overseas.投资者对哈耶克(Hayek)家族寄予很大信任,该家族通过双层股权结构控制斯沃琪公司,并在经营中扮演关键角色。斯沃琪的信息披露情况参差不齐。但安然渡过国内的一场风暴以后,这个家族似乎有能力应对海外的另一场风暴。 /201507/386344

Tech companies have spent years developing better, cheaper devices to immerse people in digital worlds. Yet they are still figuring out how to make virtual reality the kind of technology that people cannot live without.多年来,科技公司一直致力于开发更好、更廉价的设备,以便让人们沉浸在数字世界中。但它们依然不清楚,怎么让虚拟现实成为那种人们离了就无法生活的技术。So for inspiration, they are turning to science fiction.这些公司正在求助于科幻小说,寻求灵感。At Oculus, a leading virtual reality company, a copy of the popular sci-fi novel “Ready Player One” is handed out to new hires. Magic Leap, a secretive augmented reality start-up, has hired science fiction and fantasy writers. The name of Microsoft’s HoloLens headset is a salute to the holodeck, a simulation room from “Star Trek.”在领先的虚拟现实公司Oculus,新入职人员会收到一本颇受欢迎的科幻小说《一级玩家》(Ready Player One)。神秘的增强现实初创公司Magic Leap已经聘请了科幻小说和幻想作品的作者。微软(Microsoft)的HoloLens头显设备的名字,正是向《星际迷航》(Star Trek)中的模拟房间全息甲板(holodeck)的致敬。“Like many other people working in the tech space, I’m not a creative person,” said Palmer Luckey, 23, a co-founder of Oculus, which was bought by Facebook for billion in 2014. “It’s nice that science fiction exists because these are really creative people figuring out what the ultimate use of any technology might be. They come up with a lot of incredible ideas.”“和科技业的其他很多从业者一样,我不是一个有创意的人,”23岁的帕尔默·勒基(Palmer Luckey)说。他是2014年被Facebook用20亿美元收购的Oculus的联合创始人。“有科幻小说存在是件好事,因为它们的作者真的很有创造力,他们会想出任何技术可能会有的终极用途。他们想出了很多不可思议的创意。”Those ideas are especially relevant now, as some of the biggest technology companies are nearing a major push of a new generation of virtual reality products. In the next few months, virtual reality headsets from Oculus, Sony and HTC go on sale. Venture capital money is pouring into the industry.那些创意现在尤其重要,因为一些最大的科技公司即将大力推介新一代虚拟现实产品。接下来的几个月里,Oculus、索尼(Sony) 和宏达国际电子(HTC)的虚拟现实头显将纷纷上市。风投资金正在涌入这个行业。But how people will interact with the imaginary worlds remains largely unknown territory. And that is where science fiction comes in. Science fiction is shaping the language companies are using to market the technology, influencing the types of experiences made for the headsets and even defining long-term goals for developers.但总的来说,人们将如何与虚拟世界互动仍是一个未知领域。而这正是科幻小说的用武之地。科幻小说正影响着科技公司用来推销相关技术的用语。它们还影响着为耳机设计的体验类型,甚至决定着开发人员的长期目标。“Science fiction, in simplest terms, sets you free,” said Ralph Osterhout, chief executive of the Osterhout Design Group, which builds augmented reality glasses.“简单说来,科幻小说能让你自由,”生产增强现实眼镜的公司奥斯特豪特设计集团(Osterhout Design Group)首席执行官拉尔夫·奥斯特豪特(Ralph Osterhout)说。Perhaps no fictional work resonates more throughout the industry these days than “Ready Player One,” written by Ernest Cline and now being made into a movie by Steven Spielberg.如今,或许没有哪部科幻作品能比《一级玩家》在整个行业引起更多共鸣。由欧内斯特·克莱因(Ernest Cline)所著的《一级玩家》现在正在被史蒂文·斯皮尔伯格(Steven Spielberg)改编成电影。Much of the action in the book takes place inside the Oasis, a global virtual reality network. Characters in the network attend school, socialize and take part in a high-stakes treasure hunt. Through virtual reality, they can inhabit the perspectives of actors in classic movies.书中的大量活动都发生在一个叫绿洲(Oasis)的全球虚拟网络里。这个网络里的角色会上学、社交、参加高风险的寻宝活动。通过虚拟现实,他们能够处于经典影片里演员所处的那些景观中。The book was published in 2011, around the time Mr. Luckey began building an early prototype of the Oculus headset. Mr. Luckey said he appreciated Mr. Cline’s portrayals of characters controlling their avatars through full-body suits rather than plugging “Matrix”-style cables into their brains.该书2011年出版。勒基正是在该书出版前后开始开发Oculus头显的早期样品的。勒基说,他欣赏克莱因的描写,因为书中的人物是通过覆盖全身的衣,而不是在头上插入《黑客帝国》(Matrix)里那种线缆,来控制代表自己的角色的。“One of the things I like about ‘Ready Player One’ is all of the depictions in the book are pretty feasible,” Mr. Luckey said. “None of it is crazy, far-out tech.”“我喜欢《一级玩家》的一个地方是,书中所有的描写都相当可行,”勒基说。“没有一个地方说的是疯狂的,遥不可及的技术。”Oculus gave out 3,000 copies of the book to attendees of an Oculus developer conference last year. For good measure, Oculus named the meeting rooms at its headquarters after famous fictional versions of virtual reality, including the holodeck, the Oasis and the Matrix, from the movie of the same name and, before that, William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”去年,Oculus发了3000本《一级玩家》给出席Oculus开发者会议的人。此外,Oculus还用知名科幻作品中的虚拟现实系统命名其总部的会议室,包括全息甲板、绿洲和来自电影《黑客帝国》的母体,以及更早的一部科幻小说——威廉·吉布森(William Gibson)的《神经漫游者》。Mr. Cline said he wrote “Ready Player One” partly because he could not figure out why virtual reality had not taken off in the real world.克莱因说,他之所以会写《一级玩家》,有一部分原因是想不通为什么虚拟现实还没有在现实世界中流行起来。“I think that was the same impulse that drove Palmer,” said Mr. Cline, who has visited Oculus several times to speak to employees. “Growing up with ‘Neuromancer’ and Max Headroom, it had the same effect on me as a writer as it did on businesspeople.”“我觉得驱动帕尔默的也是这同一种力量,”克莱因说。他曾多次来Oculus,给这里的员工做演讲。“读着《神经漫游者》和看着《超级麦克斯》(Max Headroom)长大,对我这样一个作家的影响,和对商人是一样的。”Techies do not need any encouragement from their employers to or watch science fiction, long a pillar of geek culture. Throw a rock in Silicon Valley and you are likely to hit a software engineer who can cite how long it took the Millennium Falcon to make the Kessel Run in “Star Wars.” (Less than 12 parsecs, according to Han Solo, whose use of a term for distance — one parsec equals about 3.26 light-years — rather than time has been the subject of entire articles.) The genre has influenced many corners of technology, from smartphones to robotics to space exploration.科技人士压根不需要雇主鼓励他们阅读科幻小说和看科幻电影,长久以来,他们一直是极客文化的中坚力量。在硅谷,你随便扔出一块石子,都有可能砸中一个可以说出《星球大战》里的千年隼号(Millennium Falcon)用多长时间跑完克赛尔航程(Kessel Run)的软件工程师。(据汉·索罗[Han Solo]讲,这个时间是不到12秒差距——一秒差距约相当于3.26光年,他使用的是一个描述距离而非时间的词汇,这个在以前曾是一些文章整篇谈论的主题。)科幻题材的作品对各个技术领域都产生了影响,不管是智能手机、机器人,还是太空探索。But there is something unique about the interplay between science fiction and virtual reality, a technology that is essentially an instrument for fooling people into believing they are someplace — and often someone — they are not. Virtual reality is a medium, like television or games, that can borrow liberally from the virtual worlds experienced by fictional characters.但科幻作品与虚拟现实之间的相互影响,却有一些独特之处。虚拟现实技术实质上是一种欺骗人的手法,让人误以为自己置身其他某个地方,而且常常具有另一个身份。虚拟现实是一个媒介,就像电视或,可以从虚构人物所处的虚拟世界中任意借用各种元素。Magic Leap, based in Dania Beach, Fla., and which counts Google as one of its big investors, has gone even further than most companies by hiring three science fiction and fantasy writers on staff. Its most famous sci-fi recruit is Neal Stephenson, who depicted the virtual world of the Metaverse in his seminal 1992 novel “Snow Crash.”总部在佛罗里达州达尼亚滩的Magic Leap尝试的举动,比大多数公司都更进一步,该公司雇佣了三名科幻和幻想作家。这家公司的大型投资者中包括谷歌(Google)。该公司在科幻领域最著名的招聘举动就是雇下尼尔·斯蒂芬森(Neal Stephenson),后者在1992年的杰出小说《雪崩》(Snow Crash)中描绘了称作“超元域”(Metaverse)的虚拟世界。In an interview, Mr. Stephenson — whose title is chief futurist — declined to say what he was working on at Magic Leap, describing it as one of several “content projects” underway at the company.在一次采访中,担任“首席未来学家”职务的斯蒂芬森拒绝透露他在Magic Leap公司正在做些什么,只是说那是该公司进行的若干项“内容项目”中的一个。More broadly, Mr. Stephenson said science fiction books and movies are often useful within tech companies for rallying employees around a shared vision.斯蒂芬森比较宽泛地说,在科技公司里,科幻小说和电影常常有助于用一个共同的愿景凝聚员工。“My theory is that science fiction can actually have some value in that it gets everyone on the same page without the kind of expensive and tedious process of PowerPoint,” he said. But the influence of the genre within tech companies is “surprising and mysterious to me as well,” he added.“我的理论是,科幻小说实际上具有一定价值,因为它能让所有人都有一致的理解,而不必采用那种又费钱又枯燥的讲很多PPT的过程,”他说。但这种文学题材在科技企业内部的影响力,他补充道,“对我来说也是相当让人惊讶,相当神秘的。”There is a regular theme in science fiction that its fans in tech talk less about, though: the dystopian aspects of virtual reality. Addiction, disconnection from relationships in the real world and alienation from the environment are often side effects in narratives about virtual reality. It’s hard to make that into a selling point for the technology.但是科幻小说中一个时常出现的主题,在科技企业的粉丝当中谈论得却没有那么多:虚拟现实技术也有反乌托邦的特性。在关于虚拟现实的论述中,时常谈到的副作用有成瘾、疏离现实世界中的人际关系、与周遭环境相隔绝。企业很难把这些问题变成相关技术的卖点。“Entrepreneurs are optimistic and upbeat by nature, which is why I enjoy hanging around with them,” Mr. Stephenson said. “They’ve got an admirable ability to completely ignore the more dystopian elements you’re talking about and see the cool stuff and positive potential of where it might go.”“创业者天生就是乐观、向上的,所以我喜欢和他们打交道,”斯蒂芬森说。“他们具有一种让人羡慕的能力,可以完全忽视你谈的这些较为反乌托邦的元素,看到酷的东西和它未来走向的积极潜力。”Of course, authors and moviemakers get to overlook details of their own — like the tough technological challenges that real tech companies face.当然,作者和电影人自己也会忽略一些细节,比如真正的科技企业需要面对的艰巨的技术挑战。“You never have to reboot the damned thing” in sci-fi books, said Genevieve Bell, a cultural anthropologist who works at Intel and has written about the interplay between technology and science fiction. “The mechanics are less interesting to most science fiction writers than the experience.”在科幻小说里“永远都不需要重启那个破玩意儿,”吉纳维芙·贝尔(Genevieve Bell)说。“对多数科幻作家来说,原理机制不如那种体验有意思。”贝尔是文化人类学家,曾在英特尔(Intel)工作,撰写过关于科技与科幻相互影响的著作。Sometimes science fiction plants seeds in the minds of inventors that take years to sprout. The holographic chess game that Chewbacca played on a tabletop aboard the Millennium Falcon was pretty far-out in the 1970s, when Jeri Ellsworth saw it in the original “Star Wars.” It took several decades before technology caught up.有时候,科幻作品能在发明家头脑里植下种子,再经过很多年才能萌芽。1970年代,杰瑞·埃尔斯沃斯(Jeri Ellsworth)看到楚巴卡(Chewbacca)在千年隼号里的桌子上玩的全息国际象棋,当时还觉得相当超前。过了几十年后,技术才跟上。In 2013, Ms. Ellsworth’s start-up, CastAR, gave the first public demonstration of the company’s augmented reality glasses, which overlay digital imagery on the user’s view of the real world.在2013年,埃尔斯沃斯的创业公司CastAR首次公开展示了该公司的增强现实眼镜,它能在用户看到的现实世界之上覆盖一层数字图像。By now, the experience shown in the demonstration should come as no surprise — the glasses enabled the person wearing them to play a holographic chess game on a tabletop.现在,展示中提供的体验应该不会让人感到惊讶——戴上眼镜后,佩戴者就可以在桌面上玩全息象棋游戏了。“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about my entire life,” Ms. Ellsworth said.“这是我梦想了一辈子的事情,”埃尔斯沃斯说。 /201602/427031

Alibaba is being sued by the company behind luxury brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, which alleges the Chinese ecommerce group #173;encourages and profits from the sale of counterfeit goods on its platform.旗下拥有古驰(Gucci)、伊夫圣罗兰(Yves Saint Laurent)等奢侈品牌的法国开云集团(Kering)近日起诉了阿里巴巴(Alibaba),指控这家中国电商集团对其平台上销售假货行为起到鼓励作用并从中获利。Kering claimed Alibaba is complicit in the sale of fake handbags, watches and other items on its marketplace sites in a manner that constitutes “racketeering”, according to a lawsuit filed in New York on Friday.根据上周五在纽约提起的诉讼,开云集团宣称,阿里巴巴共谋参与其平台上以“诈骗”的方式销售假冒手袋、手表和其他商品的行为。The Paris-based group is suing on behalf of Balenciaga, the French luxury brand, and Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, both of which it owns, and alleges in the complaint that the services Alibaba provides to its marketplace customers actively encourage buyers to look for fraudulent goods. Search suggestions such as “replica” and “cucci” and “guchi” lead potential customers to fake products, the complaint alleges.总部位于巴黎的开云集团是代表旗下的法国奢侈品牌巴黎世家(Balenciaga)和意大利时尚企业葆蝶家(Bottega Veneta)提起诉讼的,它指控称,阿里巴巴向其市场上的顾客提供的务积极鼓励买家寻找假货。起诉中称,“同款”、“cucci”、“guchi”等搜索建议会将潜在顾客引导至假货卖家那里。“The Alibaba defendants facilitate and encourage the sale of an enormous number of counterfeit products through their self-described ‘ecosystem,’ which provides manufacturers, sellers, and buyers of counterfeit goods with a marketplace for such goods, and provides online marketing, credit card processing, financing, and shipping services that effectuate the sale of the counterfeit products,” lawyers on behalf of the company wrote in the complaint.该公司的代理律师在起诉书中写道:“被告阿里巴巴方便和鼓励了大量假货通过阿里巴巴自己所说的‘生态系统’销售,这一生态系统为假货的生产商、卖家和买家提供了买卖此类商品的市场,并提供在线营销、信用卡持、融资和发货务,使假货的销售得以实现。”Alibaba has rejected the claim, saying: “We continue to work in partnership with numerous brands to help them protect their intellectual property, and we have a strong track record of doing so.阿里巴巴否认了上述指控,称:“阿里巴巴集团一直与诸多品牌方携手致力于知识产权的保护,并且取得了良好的效果。”“Unfortunately, Kering Group has chosen the path of wasteful litigation instead of the path of constructive co-operation. We believe this complaint has no basis and we will fight it vigorously.”“遗憾的是,此次开云集团采取无用的诉讼手段,而没有选择与阿里巴巴开展建设性合作以推进解决此事。我们认为上述指责并无任何依据,将积极应战。” /201505/376107


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