Stephen E. Arnold: Steve Ballmer Does Good — USAFacts

Stephen E. Arnold

USAFacts Centralizes Access to Data on Government Spending

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s recent project was inspired by his wife, Connie, who wished him to practice more philanthropy. Wouldn’t it help to know what our government is already doing  with its (our) money, he wondered? Out of this question has sprung USAFacts, a website that serves up “federal, state, and local data from over 70 government sources.” I appreciate the presentation, which ties data to four specific directives embedded in the Preamble to our Constitution. For example, the heading Establish Justice and Ensure Domestic Tranquility leads to stats on Crime and Disaster, Safeguarding Consumers and Employees, and Child Safety and Social Services. Tying such information to our founding document will prompt many to consider these data points in a more thoughtful way.

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Stephen E. Arnold: China Is An Innovation Gold-Mine

Stephen E. Arnold

China is a gold mine for innovation, says head of Chinese robot firm

“I’ve been to the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and Israel, and the opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in China are just as good — in some respects it’s actually better,” Yu told CNBC. That’s because China is already a pretty tech-savvy place and firms continue investing in R&D, according to Yu, who added that the country’s giant manufacturing machine means everything can happen in one place.