What's new in business news: June 30, 2014 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: June 30, 2014

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Anger over Facebook's 'creepy' secret study, 3G auction found to be corrupt but regulator urges don't do anything & rice pledging scheme replaced by loans to farmers. 

Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" depicts a person screaming after experiencing some unnamed anxiety which is exactly what many Facebook users did after learning that Facebook had been secretly studying their reactions in  research on "emotional contagion." (Source: Wikipedia)

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook under fire over 'creepy' secret study

AFP News agency

Facebook has revealed that it secretly manipulated the feelings of 700,000 users to better understand what happens during so-called "emotional contagion" during a research study for one week in 2012. Facebook tampered with the algorithm used to place posts into users' news feeds to study how this affected their mood, all without the explicit consent or knowledge of users. The researchers wanted to see if the number of positive, or negative, words in messages they read on Facebook affected whether users then posted positive or negative content in their status updates.

The study, conducted by researchers at Facebook, Cornell University and the University of California at San Francisco, appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full.pdf).  The study concluded that "emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks," the study concluded.

There were many angry reactions after the online magazines Slate and The Atlantic wrote about it on Saturday. "#Facebook MANIPULATED USER FEEDS FOR MASSIVE PSYCH EXPERIMENT... Yeah, time to close FB acct!" read one Twitter message. Others used words like "super disturbing," "creepy" and "evil" to describe the psychological experiment. Facebook told users that it did the research to improve service, to make content more relevant and engaging and to understand how people respond to different types of content, whether it's positive or negative in tone, news from friends or information from pages they follow.  The study had been approved ahead of time by an ethics review board

Read full story here

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

3G auction found to be corrupt but regulator urges caution

A subcommittee of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has concluded that the 2012 auction of 3G licences involved collusion among bidders at the expense of the state and has passed its conclusions to the NACC's board for further consideration. The national telecom regulator, the NBTC, however, is urging caution, claiming that scrapping the auction could lead to a 3G service disruption. An industry crisis could result, creating a domino effect in the telecom industry, causing legal disputes between customers and operators or operators and the regulator.

The 2012 bidding drew harsh criticism from academics and consumer protection groups that deemed the auction uncompetitive and underpriced. The spectrum sale fetched less than 3% more than the reserve price. Critics pointed to two mistakes in the design of the auction. First, allowing each bidder to bid for an equal amount of maximum bandwidth did not encourage competition. Second, setting the reserve price lower than the real value of the licences was highly damaging once the competition was determined to be lighter than it should have been. Only AIS, DTAC and True Move took part in the 3G auction. The NBTC has dismissed the allegations, insisting the auction was transparent under international competition rules and did not favour any particular operators.

Read full story auction" >here

AGRICULTURE

Rice pledging scheme replaced by B137bn in loans to rice farmers 

The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) is set to offer at least 137 billion baht in low-rate loans to rice farmers for this harvest year as part of the junta’s measures to help farmers cope with low paddy prices. As part of the loan program, 17 billion baht will be lent to rice farmers who have silos in the upper North and Northeast to encourage them to delay selling paddy, which should prevent the market price from falling further. Some 20 billion baht will go to agricultural cooperatives to buy paddy directly from farmers to process and pack milled rice into bags for sale. With the measures, the farm bank expected to slow down sales to 4.5 million tonnes of paddy.

The junta is ruling out cash subsidies such as the rice pledging scheme. The NCPO also plans to stabilise the paddy price for 25% moisture content at 8,500-9,000 baht a tonne, while its goal for Hom Mali fragrant rice is 13,000-14,000 a tonne. Paddy rice production for the 2014-15 second crop is estimated at 28 million tonnes, with 20 million tonnes due to be released to the market and 8 million tonnes for farmers’ consumption and rice breeding. This could put heavy pressure on the already sinking market price.

Lower rents for farmland and lower prices of chemical fertiliser, insecticide, rice seeds and rice harvesters could help cut farmers’ production costs by 432 baht a rai from an average of 4,787 baht a rai. If the low-interest loan programme is included, farmers’ production costs could drop by a combined 582 baht per rai. Farmers would then make a 30-35% profit if the paddy sales price stands at 8,500 baht a tonne, based on production costs of 4,787 baht a rai.

Read full story harvest" >here

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Vocabulary:

academic: someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job - นักวิชาการ

agricultural: of the science or practice of farming - ที่เกี่ยวกับเกษตรกรรม

algorithm: a set of rules that must be followed when solving a particular problem - ชุดของคำสั่งที่สร้างไว้ตามขั้นตอน, อัลกอริธึม

allegations: accusations - ข้อกล่าวหา

anxiety: an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future - ความวิตกกังวล

at the expense of: with loss or damage to somebody/something -

auction: a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most - การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด

awareness: knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing - การรับรู้, การทราบ, ความตระหนัก

bandwidth: the amount of information that can be sent during a period of time over a network or the internet; the capacity of a communications channel - ความกว้างแถบความถี่, แบนด์วิชท์

bid: to offer to buy or provide something at a specific price - ยื่นเสนอราคา

bidder: a person or company who makes an offer to buy/sell something at a specific price - ผู้ประมูล ผู้ยื่นเสนอราคา

bidding: offering to buy/sell something at a specific price - การยื่นเสนอราคา

board: a group of people who have the responsibility of managing important business or government activities - คณะกรรมการ

breeding: the producing of young animals, plants, etc - การผสมพันธุ์สัตว์เพื่อขยายพันธุ์

cash: money - เงินสด

caution: careful thought and lack of hurry in order to try to avoid risks or danger - ความระมัดระวัง

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

collusion: secretly working together to do something dishonest - การสมรู้ร่วมคิด

competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน

conclude: to decide that something is true after looking at all the evidence you have - สรุป

conclude: to decide that something is true after looking at all the evidence you have - สรุป

conclusion: a final decision - การสรุป การตกลงขั้นสุดท้าย

conduct: to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ

consent: to give permission to do something - ยอมให้ทำ, อนุญาต

consideration: giving careful thought to something before making a decision - การคิดพิจารณา

constitute: to be considered to be something - ถือว่า, เห็นว่า, ประกอบด้วย

consumer: someone who buys and uses goods and services - ผู้บริโภค

consumption: the act of using energy, food or materials; the amount used - การบริโภคพลังงาน, การใช้หมดไป

contagion: when something spreads or passes from person to person, so that more and more people are affected - การติดต่อ,การแพร่กระจาย

content: the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ

contents: what is inside something - จำนวนของสิ่งที่บรรจุอยู่

cooperative: a business or farm owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์

cope with: to deal successfully with a difficult situation or job - จัดการกับปัญหา แก้ปัญหา

creepy: scary, spooky in a way that makes you feel uneasy or disgusted - น่าขยะแขยง, น่ากลัว

crisis: an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation - วิกฤตการณ์

critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์

criticism: comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์

delay: causing to happen at a later time; happening at a later time than expected - การเลื่อน, ช้ากว่าปกติ

depict: to represent or show something in a picture or story - พรรณนา, บรรยายให้เห็นภาพ

dismiss: to refuse to accept that something might be true or important - ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ

dispute: a serious disagreement - การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง

disruption: a situation in which something cannot continue because of a problem - การขัดขวาง, การหยุดชะงัก

disturbing: making you feel extremely worried or upset - ที่ขุ่นเคืองใจ

domino effect: the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events (like a falling domino causing a whole row of upended dominos to fall) - ผลกระทบต่อเนื่อง

emotion: strong feeling such as anger or love, or strong feelings in general - อารมณ์

emotional: related to strong feeling such as anger or love, or strong feelings in general - มีอารมณ์

encourage: to cause someone to be more likely to happy - กระตุ้น

engaged: involved, paying close attention, trying to understand - ใส่ใจ, สนใจ

equal: having the same number, score, etc. - เท่ากัน, เสมอ

estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ

ethics: a set of principles to decide what is right or wrong - จรรยาบรรณ

evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน

evil: very bad or cruel - ชั่วร้าย

experience: to have something happen to you or to live through some event - ประสบ

experiment: a test of products, substances, new ideas, methods, etc. to find out what effect they have - การทดลอง

experimental: connected with scientific experiments; based on new ideas, forms or methods that are used to find out what effect they have - เป็นการทดลอง, เกี่ยวกับการทดลองทางวิทยาศาสตร์

explicit: clearly, done or written in a way that is clear and easy to understand - อย่างชัดเจน, อย่างแน่ชัด

express: to tell someone about a feeling, opinion, or aim by speaking or writing about it - แสดงออก (ทางความคิดหรือความรู้สึก) โดยใช้คำพูดหรือการเขียน, พูดออกมา

favour: to give an advantage to someone or something, often in an unfair way - เอื้อ, ช่วยเหลือ

feed: information or programmes that are sent from a central station to other stations in a network; the system of sending out this information or programmes -

feeling: an emotional condition or state that a person is in such as anger or happiness - ความรู้สึก, อารมณ์

fertiliser: a natural or chemical substance which is spread on the land or given to plants, to make plants grow well - ปุ๋ย

fetch: to be sold for a particular amount of money - ขายในราคาหนึ่ง

harsh: cruel, severe and unkind - กระด้าง, รุนแรง, ห้าว, เกรี้ยวกราด

harvest: the activity of collecting a crop, in this case a rice crop - การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต

indicate: to express or explain something - ชี้ชัด, ระบุชัด, ชี้บอก

influence: to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves or thinks - มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ

insecticide: a chemical used for killing insects - ยาฆ่าแมลง, ยากำจัดแมลง

insisting: keeping saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you - ยืนกราน

international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร

knowledge: all the facts that people know about a subject (example: medical knowledge) - ความรู้

legal: relating to the law or lawyers - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย

licence: an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต

loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้

manipulate: to control something or someone to your advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly - จัดการเพื่อหวังผลอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง

massive: very large in size, amount or number - ใหญ่โต

maximum: the most possible - ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด

measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ

message: a piece of written or spoken information that you send to someone, especially when you cannot speak to them directly - ข่าวสาร, ข้อความ

mill: to process something in a mill or factory -

mistake: something that you do that is not correct, an error - ความผิดพลาด, ข้อผิดพลาด,ความเข้าใจผิด

moisture: a small amount of water or another liquid in the air, on the surface of something, or in a substance - ความชื้น

mood: the way you feel at a particular time - อารมณ์

national: for the whole country - แห่งชาติ, ของชาติ

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC): An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)

negative: bad - ที่เป็นด้านลบ

offer: to say that you are willing to do something for somebody or give something to somebody - อาสา, แสดงความเต็มใจ

operator: a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ

pack: to put things into a container - บรรจุ, ใส่หีบห่อ, เก็บของใส่กระเป๋า

paddy: rice as it comes from the field after harvest - ข้าวเปลือก

painting: the art of making pictures of things by putting paint on a canvas or other surface - จิตรกรรม, การทาสี, การระบายสี

particular: specific - เฉพาะ, จำเพาะ, โดยเฉพาะ

positive: good - ที่ดี

positive: hopeful and confident, or giving cause for hope and confidence - ซึ่งมองในแง่ดี

post: to put a notice, etc. in a public place so that people can see it - ปิดประกาศ

pressure: (of a force) to press against something - กดดัน, อัด, บีบ

prevent: to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, กัน, กีดขวาง

process: a series of things that happen, especially ones that result in natural changes - ขบวนการ, ,การเปลี่ยนแปลง

production: the process of growing or making food, goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต

protection: the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง

reaction: the way something responds as a result of something that happens - ปฏิกิริยา การตอบสนอง, ปฏิกิริยาตอบโต้

regulator: an official who makes certain that the companies who operate a system work effectively and fairly - ผู้มีอำนาจควบคุม

release: the act of making something available to the public - การนำออกแสดง, การออกวางจำหน่าย

relevant: directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered - ที่เกี่ยวข้อง

research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย

researcher: a person who carriers out a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - นักวิจัย

respond: to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done - ตอบสนอง, ตอบรับ

result from: caused by -

results: what you get in the end when activity is completed (test results, research results, etc) - ผล

reveal: to let something become known - เปิดเผย

review: the process of studying or examining a situation, policy, or idea again in order to decide whether it is suitable or satisfactory - การทบทวน

rice pledging scheme: a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price, is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice - การจำนำข้าว

rule out: to stop considering something as a possibility - ประกาศว่าเป็นสิ่งที่เป็นไปไม่ได้

scale: the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something else - ขนาด, ระดับ

scrapping: giving up; stopping - ยอกเลิก   ยุติ

scream: to cry or say something loudly and usually on a high note, especially because of strong emotions such as fear, excitement or anger - กรีดร้อง

secret: things that you do not tell other people - ความลับ

silo: a tall round tower used for storing things such as grain, crops, and food for animals - ฉาง, ไซโล

sink: to (cause something or someone to) go down below the surface or to the bottom of a liquid or soft substance (past: sank) - จม

so-called: used for saying that a particular word is usually used for referring to someone or something - ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน

social network: websites or other services on the internet for communication with people who share your interests - เครือข่ายสังคม

spectrum: a range of something, in this case, frequencies available to telecommunications businesses -

stabilise: to reach a state where there are no longer any major changes or problems - กลายเป็นคงที่ (มั่นคง,สม่ำเสมอ,มีเสถียรภาพ) ตรึง

state: condition - สภาพ

state: government - รัฐบาล

subcommittee: a smaller committee formed from a main committee in order to study a particular subject in more detail - คณะอนุกรรมการ

subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้

tamper with: to try to change something that should not be changed - โน้มน้่าว  ให้สินบน

telecom: a business in the telecommunications industry - โทรคมนาคม)

tone: the quality of somebody's voice, especially expressing a particular emotion - น้ำเสียง, ลักษณะน้ำเสียง

transferrable: that can be moved from one place, person or use to another - สามารถโยกย้ายได้, สามารถเปลี่ยนแปลงได้

transparent: not keeping anything secret; open - โปร่งใส

uncompetitive: not competitive; not as good as others -

urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

value: how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged - มูลค่า

via: through - ผ่าน (ช่องทาง) ในที่นี้คือ ผ่านดาวเทียม

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