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Business Unusual
It has not been a good year for rubber

It has not been a good year for rubber

12 August 2020 7:27 PM

We made a mistake with rubber that may prove difficult to erase. We make too much of it in the wrong place and don’t appreciate just how big a problem it will be if the industry collapses.

Guest: Colin Cullis/ Correspondent at money show 

Image credit: Greg Hume - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

More episodes from Business Unusual

Business Unusual- Smart Homes

9 September 2020 7:28 PM

The cost and benefits are making home automation easy and affordable

There are two parts to this look at what smart homes will look like in the future.

The first part relates to making it more convenient for home living the second how our homes can become part of managing the national grid system in a more sustainable way.

Image credit: Daniil Peshkov

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How the Dow Jones Industrial Average tracks the state of the US stock market

2 September 2020 7:25 PM

Almost a century after it began the last original stock is removed from the index

In 1928, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was expanded to list 30 stocks, 92 years later there are still 30 stocks that make up the index, but on 1 September 2020 the last original stock, ExxonMobil was removed. This is the story of how the index came about, how it helped investors better understand the market and if it still can.

Image credit: QuoteInspector

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Mining of the future could help spare the planet or ruin it

26 August 2020 7:29 PM

Minerals are synonymous with wealth but they are finite and we need more

5 000 years of ever increasing mining activity with bigger and bigger mines blasting and digging to incredible depths is starting to make the effort to find minerals too expensive. To find more we have begun investigating where they all came from in the first place - the undersea volcanoes that power the tectonic plates.

image credit: Koelle, Wikipedia - a ploy metallic nodule from the ocean floor

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Epic battle royal between Apple, Google and Fortnite

19 August 2020 7:27 PM

Here are some of the arguments that will form part of the discussion around the upcoming court case to determine if Apple and Google have to change the fees policy or if Epic will be made to take it or leave it. The implications are significant for more than just the three companies involved.

Image credit: Yael Weiss

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A warning for the future, we do not think enough about our actions

5 August 2020 7:25 PM

Despite being one of the few animals that think about the future, we don’t think far enough

It seems unlikely that the world will ever forget the disruption of Covid-19, yet most did not think we would see something like this in 2020. Odds are you had not even heard of the Spanish flu of 1918 even though now you know lots about it. 

For those that lived through it, the expectation was that so much had been written and recorded about it that it would serve as a warning to never let it happen again. But it did.

Image credit: Gustavo Frazao

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How social media became a dumpster fire and what to do about it

29 July 2020 7:26 PM

The internet was funded by the US military and developed by the academic community to provide a place to openly and easily share information. It was supposed to be a place to test ideas, to contest theories and to challenge views.

Now that you can, it does not work quite as intended.

Image credit: Bill Ward - Flickr


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What the Twitter hack says about us

22 July 2020 7:24 PM

For what much have seemed like forever on Wednesday 15 July neither Twitter nor 130 verified accounts were being controlled by their owners.

The accounts had been taken over by hackers that posted a slightly tweaked crypto scam and after about four hours once the accounts had been secured, millions had seen the hacked tweets, with hundreds having sent bitcoin resulting in over R1,5 million paid to the scammers. 

Worse than the loss of money was the loss of control but rather than it being a failure of technology it was a failure of understanding how we work.

Guest: Colin Cullis/ Business Unusual correspondent on The Money Show 

Image credit: Twitter

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When business, technology and politics collide

8 July 2020 7:28 PM

A business and its staff might have an ambition to take over the world and most would think that it was a fair ambition. For a country or political party to adopt a similar ambition, it is a very different story.

What should companies and the people that work in them do when faced with political changes that don’t align with their values?

The short answer for most of history has probably been - too little too late.

Image credit: Hong Kong

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Drug profits - a neccessary evil or something that needs to change

1 July 2020 7:25 PM

Using profit to solve health issues does not work in a pandemic, perhaps at all.

This is a really complex issue. How should we fund the research for more effective drugs to treat conditions that may affect millions, knowing that many will not work and then determine how to price those that do work to cover the costs not just of the drug that did work, but the research for those that did not.

The cost to produce the drug has components that include the search for the potential candidates, the development of the tests on animals and then humans and the ongoing monitoring to determine its effect.

The mechanism to do this has been to have for profit companies get patents for their discoveries and then get a period between 5, 12 and sometimes over 20 years to be able to exclusively supply the drug and set its price.

There is no question that the system can be better. The question is how and despite many attempts by those that have practical alternatives, it does not appear enough has changed to make medicine more accessible.

Could the Covid-19 pandemic provide the public support to overcome the financial resistance that those that benefit from the status quo?

Image credit - Pexels

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