America has always had an underground sex trade, and for decades most pimps followed the same general script: they’d recruit sex workers on the street, in bars and in strip clubs.But over the past 20 years, the internet has become the major marketplace for the sex trade, with online advertisements and recruitment through social media sites greatly expanding the reach and enhancing the elusiveness of pimps.
So, there I was shuffling along a rickety plank spanning two tower blocks when the well-meaning Stanford professor urged me to jump. Like a fool, I did so and felt myself plummeting to the ground. I braced for the impact, but there was none.Virtual reality may be great at tricking the senses but it cannot rewrite the laws of physics. I was still standing in the middle of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab with a VR headset strapped to my face.
El futuro de las empresas pasa por saber lo que quiere el consumidor antes de que él lo sepa. Es lo que se llama comportamiento predictivo, una metodología que a partir de los algoritmos de las redes sociales rastrea las preferencias del usuario e identifica lo que puede necesitar. La migración de las empresas a este nuevo escenario de la economía digital requiere de los llamados STEM (siglas en inglés de Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), titulados universitarios en ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas.
“Hoy el mundo de la empresa confluye con las ciencias puras; ya no se puede entender sin saber matemáticas”, señala Iñaki Ortega, director de programas de Deusto Business School y autor del libro Millennials, inventa tu empleo (UNIR). El cofundador de Google Sergei Brin se graduó en matemáticas y el fundador de WhatsApp Jan Koum es también experto, apunta. “Si quieres estar en la parte de los que van a hacer cosas, tienes que ser especialista en una de estas disciplinas”.
A report this week has exposed online businesses who supply ‘research guides’ for students. Here, a writer explains what it’s like to churn out essays on demand
Students who buy essays online are being ripped off, according to a report published this week by exam regulator Ofqual. The work they purchase is written by “relatively competent writers”, but who have an “almost universal ignorance of the scope of the work” and an “utter lack of in-depth analysis”. This is completely true. I worked for two of these companies, both from home and “in-house”, which at one point saw 15 of us crammed into the boss’s attic.
Ofqual’s researchers paid up to £220 for essays, but only a fraction of that money goes to the actual writer, who can earn as little as £24 for every 1,000 words. To earn a reasonable rate, a writer needs to finish at least an essay a day. Writers quickly learn the first rule of paid essays: abandon all aspirations to quality, right now.
Despite the fees, the companies contend that they don’t produce “essays” to be handed in at all. Clients buy “research guides” to inspire their own work, in the same way that your Amsterdam souvenirs say “For Tobacco Use Only” on them. But it covers the company: if you hand in your “2:1 Guaranteed” essay and it gets a 2:2, you have already breached your contract by submitting it. There is nothing you can do.
That means for the writer, the game is to hit the word count as quickly as possible. As long as it looks like an essay, the actual words matter very little. Take every shortcut. Rephrase Wikipedia. Always give the counterpoint, no matter how weak: the words “on the other hand” are your new best friend. If you don’t have time to check citations, make them up! If the client can’t be bothered to read a book, he’s not going to check your page numbers.
Quality-checking would vary. One company hired full-time quality staff, but it’s hard to cover every subject area in every discipline, so “quality checks” were rarely more than proofreads. At another company, if you could write on one subject, this qualified you to write on anything. A law graduate would end up doing revision notes on Chinese political history, eventually writing a PhD proposal for an economics student and wondering how they got there. I once wrote a Market Research BA dissertation in two days and heard nothing more of it.