Supply-chain disruptions driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated control measures severely disrupted computer hardware production, creating strong demand for cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.
Good vision is critical for children’s development, which makes early diagnosis and treatment of eye-related problems important. But eye specialists are familiar with issues associated with testing young children’s vision as the charts can be hard to understand, especially for toddlers.
Single-vehicle collisions on remote roads late at night; a highway crash caused by a driver texting while driving; a truck that veered off the road at the end of its driver’s 12-hour shift. A single thread runs through these sad and familiar scenarios – driver inattention.
Diamonds are formed when carbon deposits deep within the earth are subject to high temperature and pressure – a process that can take aeons. The path from a rough gem dug out of the ground or dredged from the seafloor to glittering jewel on a wearer’s hand, neck or wrist is more rapid than the stone’s formation, but no less complicated.
Stocks, bonds and futures in everything from financial instruments, coffee to gold and hydrocarbons used to be traded in open-outcry exchanges – an apt name considering the organised chaos in the pits. Scenes of traders clad in bright jackets yelling bids amid a blizzard of ticker tape and order slips made for good news footage, but the business model was ill-suited to the digital age.
Robots have been making only a slow move from the factory floor into homes, shops and offices. This is because industrial robots have a narrow range of tasks while those operating in human spaces need to deal with open-ended situations.
Bestowing high praise on historians and biographers, British author Oscar Wilde said: “Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.” And renowned American science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once said: “A generation which ignores history has no past – and no future”.
Across the world authorities have imposed social-distancing restrictions and even lockdowns to reduce people’s chances of catching COVID-19 from a carrier they meet by chance in a workplace, restaurant or any other public area.
As with any biome, innovation ecosystems have crowded, intensively competitive spaces – “red oceans” – and wide-open spaces full of potential – “blue oceans” – where pioneers can potentially grow far and quickly.
As the COVID-19 outbreak scrambles every aspect of economies and businesses worldwide, the only certainty is uncertainty; the future belongs to small, nimble and agile players – a description which is often applied to Hong Kong, as well as start-up nation Israel.