As evidence grows of southpaw supremacy, have we reached peak left-handedness?

In sport, a critical mass of right-handers are required to make left-handers look good.

Among persecuted minorities, left-handers stand out as distinctly stoic. They have been hounded by historic prejudice. The physical manifestations of right-hand bullying – the right-handed school desk and inkwell, the beatings given to innocent lefties whose handwriting sloped the “wrong” way, the psychological suffering that displaced left-handers suffered – all this is only part of the injustice.

The allegorical stigma runs even deeper. The Protestant world view had a special term for Catholics: “left-footers”. If lefties weren’t heretics, they were Satanists. In medieval woodcuts, the devil baptised his followers with his left hand.

Apart from the occasional counter-example – such as “left field”, which provides this column with a title – words associated with the left usually come with health warnings. (Disclosure: I write with my left hand, though I was a right-handed batsman.)

When my wife and I named our son Dexter, my university tutor asked if, for the sake of consistency, we planned to name a second child Sinister. In a cowardly move, we ignored the advice. For only when little Sinisters and Sinistras gambol happily around the playground can we say that the struggle for justice by left-handers in a right-leaning world is complete.

For left-handed readers – estimated at just over ten per cent of the population – I bring mixed news. The good news is that in certain professions left-handedness brings major benefits. The bad news, however, is that as evidence grows of current left-handed supremacy, it will rebound against lefties in the future. A forlorn possibility looms: are we witnessing “peak left-handedness”?

It has long been known that left-handedness offers a competitive advantage in some professional sports. But the extent is uneven across different sports. According to Florian Loffing, from the University of Oldenburg …read more

Source:: New Statesman

Theresa May is trying to hide the fact that Britain will stay in the single market for years after Brexit

Chuka Umunna Theresa May

Theresa May is refusing to admit that Britain will stay in the single market and customs union during transition, Labour MP Chuka Umunna tells BI.
The PM has insisted that Britain will leave both organisations on exit day in March 2019.
Yet new guidelines agreed by the other 27 EU countries suggest Britain will remain as de facto members for years after Brexit.

LONDON — Theresa May is not being honest with the British public about the reality of the Brexit transition period.

That’s the view of Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who in an interview with BI this week, accused the prime minister of misleading the public about the fact that, for at least two years after Brexit, Britain will effectively stay part of the EU single market and customs union.

“It was clear that certainly as far as transition is concerned, there was nothing else the EU could offer us other than transition on single market and customs union terms,” the former shadow cabinet minister told BI.

“There was never going to be a bespoke arrangement offered to us, not least because there just isn’t time to put in place an alternative to a single market, customs union transition.”

For Umunna, May’s attempts to obscure the reality that Britain is heading for a Brexit transition inside the customs union and single market is so strong that she is not even being willing to use the terms.

“The prime minister has used different words like ‘implementation period’ and said we’ll observe the same rules and regulations apply, without actually mentioning the phrases single market and customs union,” Umunna adds.

“But that’s exactly where [we] have landed.”

Ummuna’s view was this week given weight by the negotiating guidelines published by the EU Council following their decision on Friday to allow transition negotiations to begin.

It’s clear from …read more

Source:: Business Insider

It’s an ‘absolute inevitability’ that military drones will fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to its commanding officer

Captain Jerry Kyd HMS Queen Elizabeth

Military drones will fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to Captain Jerry Kyd.
He said the monster ship is “evolvable” and well placed to take advantage of new technology.

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier will soon be home to military drones, its commanding officer has told Business Insider.

Captain Jerry Kyd, the Royal Navy officer in charge of HMS Queen Elizabeth, described naval drone warfare as an “absolute inevitability” for his ship, and the British armed forces as a whole “in the near future.”

In an interview in the aircraft hangar of the new £3.5 billion ($4.6 billion) warship, Kyd described the Queen Elizabeth as an “evolvable” platform, which could easily accommodate drones, and that the Royal Navy is “looking very closely” at adopting the technology.

He told Business Insider: “What this ship is, is a platform. And she’s big, she’s evolvable, and absolutely we’re looking very closely at unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and drone technology.

“It’s an absolute inevitability that they’re going to be embarked on this ship in the near future.

“The Americans are well down the road of operating UAVs from their aircraft carriers – we operate UAVs in the Royal Naval fleet already.

“So I think: Look at the size and scale of this ship, and it doesn’t take much imagination to work out that she’ll be used in that area too.”

Kyd spoke to Business Insider two days before HMS Queen Elizabeth was formally commissioned into the Royal Navy by Queen Elizabeth II in a grand ceremony.

He referenced the close co-operation between the US Navy and the Royal Navy, which he said would increase with the return of British carrier capability (the Royal Navy has been without a carrier since HMS Ark Royal was decommissioned in 2011).

Kyd said: “But I think this ship ushers in an era of even closer co-operation with the United …read more

Source:: Business Insider

THE SMALL BUSINESS FINTECH REPORT: How fintechs are targeting small- and medium-sized businesses and pushing incumbents to fight back

US SMBS use of tech

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Fintechs have found a way to serve small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) while still making a profit, and now incumbents want in on the action.

SMBs have been historically underserved by financial services providers, but that’s starting to change as both fintechs and incumbents continue to roll out SMB-targeted services.

This report will look at the areas in which incumbents have failed SMBs when it comes to financial services provision — including credit, digital business services, and bank accounts — and give examples of where fintechs have successfully filled the gaps. It will also provide examples of incumbents that have introduced new SMB products in response, and our verdict on which type of supplier — fintech or incumbent — will dominate each area of the market for SMB-focused financial services products.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

SMBs globally have been underserved by financial services providers because they make less revenue than large corporates, yet demand more advanced services than most consumers. As a result, they’ve developed a reputation among legacy financial institutions for being unprofitable to serve.
Fintechs are now finding ways to serve even the smallest businesses, while still realistically expecting to turn a profit — and that’s changing the game in the SMB space.
Fintechs are filling the gap in service provision to SMBs in three main areas: provision of credit, access to critical business services, and provision of bank accounts.
Incumbent providers are fighting back with products of their own by partnering with fintechs or building in-house services. JPMorgan, Barclays, NatWest, and BBVA are just a few major banks leveraging new technology to better serve SMBs.
Some areas of the SMB market will continue to be dominated by …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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