Baillie Gifford’s Charles Plowden on 110 years of investing

“It is our contention that the investment industry may be experiencing a peak of its own, in this case the point of the maximum rate at which it extracts value from its clients’ assets. Let’s call it Peak Gravy.” That’s a recent quote from Tom Coutts, who is one of a few dozen partners at Baillie Gifford (See Arman Tabatabai’s profile here). It’s also typical of the provocative sentiments offered by this band of fund managers who are based in Edinburgh, but scour the world looking for opportunities.

In an effort to distinguish its world view, the firm has introduced the somewhat eyebrow-raising tagline, “We’re actual investors.” For many US technology observers, though, Baillie Gifford is known for its investments in unicorns. But as Extra Crunch’s executive editor Danny Crichton and I found out in a recent conversation with Charles Plowden (one of two senior partners and the overseer of the firm’s investment departments), there’s a lot more to the story and motivations behind this unique 110-year-old partnership that’s still going strong.

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Source:: TechCrunch – Startups

Coinbase Pro wiped its Bitcoin to USD market clean, suspended trade for hours

Coinbase Pro has wiped one of its Bitcoin markets clean after an undisclosed issue caused trade to be suspended for hours today. At approximately 6am PDT, Coinbase Pro reported it was investigating issues with its Bitcoin to US dollar market. Just six minutes later, the exchange warned it was necessary to cancel all live and pending orders. Live trade was said to have resumed almost two hours later, but anyone who had orders placed or pending would inevitably have to submit them again. Last December, Coinbase Pro’s Ethereum markets caused a stir, as the price of Ethereum suddenly “flash-crashed” from $100…

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Source:: The Next Web – Technology

CHEAP: PlayStation Classic for $30? Don’t mind if I do.

When Sony revived the PlayStation Classic, it was regarded by many in the gaming chattering classes as a lazy and transparent attempt to cash in on the retro gaming craze. Overwhelmingly, people’s complaints centered on one key issue: the games. The PlayStation Classic has a bunch of genuinely cracking titles, like the original Grand Theft Auto, Rainbow Six, Resident Evil Director’s Cut, and Tekken 3. It also includes some more obscure gems like Syphon Filer. The problem was there wasn’t enough of them – not for the original $100 asking price. There was also a curious mix of PAL and…

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Source:: The Next Web – Technology

MIT says we’re overlooking a near-term solution to diesel trucking emissions

Trucks lined up at a truck stop.

Enlarge / Interstate 55, Dixie Truck Stop, parking lot. (credit: Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

Transportation is one of the major causes of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for about a quarter of all transportation-related emissions. At present, semis and other long-haul trucks are mostly diesel-powered, so they emit nitrogen oxides and particulates that aren’t just bad for the climate; they’re bad for human health as well.

Tesla made a splash in 2017 when it introduced its all-electric semi truck, and announcements from other trucking companies followed. Daimler sold small electric delivery trucks and has an electric Cascadia in development, Nikola announced a hydrogen-powered fuel cell truck, and Siemens debuted a catenary system for freight. Yet two years later, trucking in the US is still driven by diesel-fueled, compression-ignition (CI), internal combustion engines.

Daniel Cohn and Leslie Bromberg, a pair of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published a paper with the Society of Automotive Engineers, suggesting that the best way forward is not to wait for all-electric or hydrogen-powered semis, but to build a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) truck with an internal combustion engine/generator that can burn either gasoline or renewable ethanol or methanol.

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Source:: Ars Technica