Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Visual Illusion - "Silencing"

From Harvard Vision Lab, a new type of visual illusion that shows we are apparently very bad at noticing changes in a moving object. If, like me, you are too busy to read the paper just check out the amazing videos at the vision labs page and prepare never to trust your two lying eyes again (in the example below, the colors are still changing at the same rate when the object moves - but you can't see it, can you?).

Motion silences awareness of color changes from Jordan Suchow on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Back to plundering as usual?

From the NYT:
"This week, figures from a private research group, Income Data Services, showed that while pay raises for ordinary workers in 2010 had been about 2 percent — much less than the rate of inflation — average remuneration for chief executives at the country’s top 100 companies soared a staggering 55 percent. Many Britons are expecting the country’s bankers to award themselves billion of pounds in bonuses.
And while the squeezed middle is squeezed further, the columnist Simon Jenkins wrote in The Guardian, “the bankers have walked from the debacle scot free, with almost a trillion pounds of public money in their pockets.”
“As long as the government continues to tolerate this gross imbalance of pain,” Mr. Jenkins wrote, “people will howl, and they will be right.”"
And in the report issued by the IDS:
"IDS warn that and “the business as usual” approach of FTSE remuneration committees after 
such a short period of restraint risks upsetting shareholders.
Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS Directors Pay Report comments: “It seems the days of earnings 
restraint by FTSE-350 directors were short-lived. It is as though the recession never happened.”
“It stands in stark contrast to the coalition Government’s concerns about pay fairness and calls 
for senior executives in the public sector to accept pay cuts.”
IDS says that while some chief executives may argue that their pay was a result of rising share 
prices and improved company performance, shareholders are likely to ask whether the business 
improvement over the period warrants the scale of the increases.
While the FTSE-100 rose 14.5% on the year, bonuses were up by over a third, share option gains 
by over 90% and LTIPs by over 70%.
Despite the increasing scrutiny of shareholders, FTSE-100 chief executives received bonus 
payments averaging £701,512, up 34% from last year (based on a matched sample).
Steve Tatton comments: “The size of the rebound in incentives for top company bosses poses 
some questions for remuneration committees about the design of their incentives.”
“This time last year a number of companies actually reduced their bonus ceilings. Twelve months 
later it appears as if these measures have been reversed, with around 40 companies reporting 
higher bonus scheme maxima.”"