Suited avatars and digital offices: traders and bankers embrace VR

LONDON (Reuters) – Once the preserve of gamers, virtual reality (VR) has been seized on by the financial sector as a way of enlivening home working for lonely traders or isolated executives and replicating real-world sales, networking or training events.

FILE PHOTO: A visitor wears virtual reality glasses during the Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

With 90% of employees at some of the world’s biggest financial firms now working at home due to a resurgence in coronavirus infections, more and more companies are experimenting with VR.

Some practices could stick beyond the pandemic, particularly as home working becomes more widespread.

At investment manager Fidelity International, executives experimented with a VR auditorium, taking questions from colleagues and even walking up and down the aisles.

“Working from home has massively accelerated the interest in virtual/online spaces,” said Stuart Warner, head of technology at

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Greater coordination and strategic planning needed for Malaysia to fully embrace an innovation-driven growth model

KUALA LUMPUR, November 19, 2020 — Strengthening support for Malaysia’s public research organizations (PROs) and universities is crucial to revive growth which is innovation-driven to weather the current global crisis and achieve Malaysia’s aspirations of becoming a high-income nation, a new World Bank report finds.

The report, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Public Research Institutions: Fostering Knowledge Linkages and Transferring Technology in Malaysia” draws its findings from a new survey, which analyzes the levels of knowledge and technology transfer in the country. While research and development (R&D) funding, and improvements to policy have expanded in Malaysia over the years, more can be done as the it transitions to the league of high-income countries  like Singapore, Japan, South Korea in the region and others like Germany, France and the US.

Malaysia has seen rapid growth in the number of scientific publications, but without a corresponding increase in quality. According to data from

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Here’s why businesses should embrace flexible pay options

By Joe Korngiebel, executive vice president, chief product and technology officer, Ceridian

Even before the onset of COVID-19, the average American was living paycheck-to-paycheck. Today, approximately 51 million additional Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic. According to a recent Ceridian survey of those Americans still employed, one-third said an unexpected expense of $500 would make them unable to meet their financial obligations. The numbers make it impossible to ignore the fact that people are financially stressed.

Beneath all of this lies a systemic issue that attracts fewer headlines than workforce financial topics, like minimum wage, but is equally important: how and when people receive their earned wages. Most employers currently pay their employees in arrears on a bi-weekly or semi-monthly, or even monthly basis. This means that employers retain earned wages, and employees are effectively providing interest-free financing to their employers.

This long-standing practice places

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Smart Leaders Like Elon Musk Embrace the Rule of Low Expectations. Here’s Why It Works, and When to Use It

I live in a suburb outside New York City, but I spend a fair amount of time in rural New Hampshire.

My wife’s parents live there, and we love visiting. It’s a beautiful place, lots of opportunity to experience nature and awe.

But, there’s one one practical problem: internet connectivity. 

It’s so rural that it’s hard to get really reliable, fast, consistent broadband. That makes it difficult for people like me to stay up there for long periods of time, since nearly 100 percent of my work requires a fast internet connection.

I’ve explored lots of stopgap solutions, and of course, I’m not alone in this quandry. A study in 2018 found about one quarter of Americans who live in rural areas can’t get reliable high-speed Internet.

That’s why I’ve been watching with high personal interest as Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite Internet service begins to roll out. I’m on the

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Why big-box chains’ embrace of in-store click-and-collect leaves money on the table — ScienceDaily

Researchers from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Tilburg University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explores the rise of click-and-collect services and examines their most appropriate settings.

The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, is titled “Navigating the Last Mile in Grocery Shopping: The Click and Collect Format” and is authored by Katrijn Gielens, Els Gijsbrechts, and Inge Geyskens.

Big box stores have spent years developing technology capabilities to compete with Amazon and other digitally savvy competitors. While no one could have foreseen Covid-19, these chains’ investments in click-and-collect technology allowed them to cash in when the coronavirus pushed sales online.

Order fulfilment is a costly and difficult challenge that must be mastered for online grocery success. The rise of click-and-collect services help overcome this roadblock by having shoppers help fulfill the goods by placing orders online and picking up the goods themselves.

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Why big-box chains’ embrace of in-store click-and collect leaves money on the table

Grocery Shopping
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Tilburg University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explores the rise of click-and-collect services and examines their most appropriate settings.


The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, is titled “Navigating the Last Mile in Grocery Shopping: The Click and Collect Format” and is authored by Katrijn Gielens, Els Gijsbrechts, and Inge Geyskens.

Big box stores have spent years developing technology capabilities to compete with Amazon and other digitally savvy competitors. While no one could have foreseen COVID-19, these chains’ investments in click-and-collect technology allowed them to cash in when the coronavirus pushed sales online.

Order fulfilment is a costly and difficult challenge that must be mastered for online grocery success. The rise of click-and-collect services help overcome this roadblock by having shoppers help fulfill the goods by placing orders online and picking

Read More

Art Auctions Embrace a Future of Socially Distant Bidding

This article is part of our latest Fine Arts & Exhibits special report, which focuses on how art endures and inspires, even in the darkest of times.

It’s no surprise that art auctions aren’t what they were before March.

What’s unexpected, though, is the pace and scope of the pandemic transformation, in terms not only of how sales are conducted but also in every facet of the process — and how technology has enabled these changes.

“It’s been an opportunity to transform the industry,” said Bruno Vinciguerra, the chief executive of Bonhams auction house. “It was bound to happen over years, and it only took a few months.”

He added: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Online auctions have been a growing part of the business for years, and potential buyers have long been able to send in a bid online or by phone, but in-person live

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Bitcoin Surges to Highest Since July 2019 After PayPal Embrace

(Bloomberg) — Bitcoin surged past $13,000 for the first time since July 2019 after PayPal Holdings Inc. announced it will allow customers to use cryptocurrencies.

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The largest digital coin increased $950, or 8% during tradition trading hours in New York. It climbed another 2% to $13,119 in early Asian trading. Gains among so-called alt coins were even bigger on Wednesday, with Litecoin jumping more than 13% and Bitcoin Cash surging more than 9%.

PayPal customers can buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin from digital wallets, as well as use the virtual money to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network. Shares of PayPal jumped 5.5% to $213.07, the biggest increase since May.

Mike Novogratz, who runs Galaxy Investment Partners, on Twitter called it “the biggest news of the year in crypto,” adding that banks will embark on a race to

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