Russian Car Production Comes to Screeching Halt

November 2, 2022

Western sanctions brought Russia’s car industry to a screeching halt earlier this year, writes The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 1, 2022). As it restarts, it is emerging smaller, technologically backward and more isolated—a foreshadowing of what could be in store for the rest of the embattled Russian economy.

Within weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most Western car companies curtailed operations in the country. Sanctions cut off the supply of parts and, one after another, Russian car plants stopped production, with car production down 97% compared with a year ago. But as some Russian plants are now reopening, the restart features cars that were a far cry from prewar models, lacking air bags, anti-lock braking-system sensors or electronic stability-control technology, an industry standard.

Continue reading

What is ACH Payment Processing?

October 20, 2022
What’s ACH?

ACH, or Automated Clearing House, is the technology that processes electronic financial transactions between all banking and financial institutions throughout the U.S. and is governed by Nacha. Within the network, ACH payments are composed of two electronic payment types: ACH debit (e.g., bill payments) and ACH credit (e.g., direct deposits such as refunds, government benefits and more).

These payments originated in the late ‘60s as a response to bankers’ concerns that previous technology wouldn’t be able to keep pace with the volume of paper checks being processed. Eventually, the network was developed to more efficiently process paper checks using the account and routing numbers. By 2001, ACH payments had expanded to the internet (WEB) and phone (TEL), enabling consumers and businesses to pay bills and make other payments electronically.

Continue reading

Robots Replacing Scarce Workers

October 17, 2022
A new wave of robots is arriving—and, in a world short of workers, businesses are eager to welcome them. A combination of hard-pressed employers, technological leaps (like vision systems) and improved cost effectiveness has fueled this rapid global expansion. A half-million “industrial robots” were installed globally last year, an all-time high. There are now 3.5 million in use.. This amounts to a titanic shift in the way things are made, transported and even consumed, ushering in a “roboconomy,” states The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 15-16, 2022) In the future, says WSJ, we will depend on robots to grow our food, make our goods, care for our elderly and continue to grow the global economy.
Tesla just unveiled its humanoid robot called Optimus that it plans to sell for less than $20,000 and use in car production. “It will, I think, turn the whole notion of what’s an economy on its head, at the point at which you have no shortage of labor,” said Elon Musk.

Continue reading