Severe Global Crisis Looms For 2013

Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun. The crisis originates in this summer’s extreme weather.

Almost 80% of the continental United States experienced drought conditions. Russia and Australia experienced drought as well. The drought has ruined key crops. The corn harvest is expected to drop to the lowest level since 1995. In just July, prices for corn and wheat jumped about 25% each, prices for soybeans about 17%. These higher grain prices will flow through to higher food prices. For consumers in developed countries, higher food prices are a burden — but in almost all cases, a manageable burden. But step outside the developed world, and the price of food suddenly becomes the single most important fact of human economic life. In poor countries, people typically spend half their incomes on food — and by “food,” they mean first and foremost bread.

When grain prices spiked in 2007-2008, bread riots shook 30 countries across the developing world, from Haiti to Bangladesh, according to the Financial Times.   A drought in Russia in 2010 forced suspension of Russian grain exports that year and set in motion the so-called Arab spring.


And if food prices surge again? China is especially vulnerable to food cost inflation. In just one month, July 2011, the cost of living jumped 6.5%. Inflation happily subsided over the course of 2012. Springtime hopes for a bumper U.S. grain crop in 2012 enabled the Chinese central bank to ease credit in the earlier part of the summer. Now the Chinese authorities will face some tough choices over what to do next.

The Arab Spring of 2011 is sometimes compared to the revolutions of 1848. That’s apter than people realize: the “hungry ’40s” were years of bad harvests across Europe. Hungry people are angry people, and angry people bring governments down.

Are you ready for the global crisis that may befall us next year? Do you think it will cause more uprisings? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: CNN

Image: The Daily Beast

Apple Blocking Nexus Sales To Make Way For iPhone5?

As you might have heard, Apple is claiming that the new Nexus phone from Samsung and Google infringes on some of its copyrights. Specifically, the way that Google’s Jelly Bean OS displays search results on one screen, pulling the information in from multiple sources. Doesn’t make sense to me, either.

Samsung is fighting back of course, and asked the judge in the case to lift the ban on the sale of the Nexus in the U.S., but was rejected. The iPhone 5 will be coming out soon, and I have no doubt that it will once again reinvent the way we think about mobile phones, just like the first one did. After the next iteration of the phone comes from Apple, I’m sure that companies like Google and Samsung will again go to the old drawing board to come up with their next version.


I see this whole copyright case as nothing more than an expensive game of block-and-tackle, though. Apple gets to block the release of one of the best, if not the best, phone and OS combinations, and gets to release its next-gen version with a clear runway. It’s business, but it sucks for consumers. If the Nexus did catch on with some people, it would most definitely cause some disruption in Apple’s plans, which is what competition is all about. Instead, sending this all to a court for litigation limits everyone else’s opportunity to truly innovate.

If Apple wants to protect its IP, that’s fine, and that’s America. If Apple wants to be the best, it should just focus on making the best, and let the consumers decide.

Let the battle of the smartphones begin anew! Do you agree that the more Nexus is banned, the more people want to have it? Which brand do you prefer — Apple or Samsung?

Source: Digg

Image: Phillihp’s Tech Blog