When is Black Friday 2020 and everything you need to know to take advantage of online discounts | Showcase

For some years November has become the month of great discounts thanks to the celebration of Black Friday. A custom that was born in the United States to encourage consumption after the celebration of Thanksgiving and that, progressively, has spread throughout the world. Today it is an event that serves to anticipate Christmas gifts or benefit, in general, from important offers. As it is linked to the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday is not always celebrated on the same date, but to fix it, the last Friday of November is taken as a reference. That’s why Black Friday 2020 will take place, this time, on November 27.

Without a doubt, 2020 it will be the year of shopping online, since they make it possible to avoid large crowds in establishments and facilitate home deliveries, complying with hygiene and safety recommendations. According to the Black Friday 2020 study conducted by the outlet online Privalia, 51% of Spaniards intend, this year, to make their purchases over the Internet due to the coronavirus. It is estimated that the e-commerce it will represent 89% of purchases and that the mobile will be the preferred tool to carry out purchases.

What stores join Black Friday?

Nowadays practically all stores offer discounts during this day. Many businesses even begin to reduce their products several days or weeks before. It is the case of Amazon, which has already advanced to the date of November 27, reducing more 4,000 products in the categories of computing, image and sound, home or Amazon devices. For the day of Black Friday, in addition, the company has announced discounts of up to 40%.

Along with Amazon we must highlight other large platforms e-commerce like eBay, AliExpress or the retailers Fashion. But this time it will also be especially interesting to consult the stores online from specialized stores or promotions of small businesses that have been adapting to the needs of the pandemic. By sectors, according to the data collected in the site Think with Google, the most demanded by consumers will be fashion (with 32%) and electronics (with 26%).

Tips to take advantage of all the offers

In THE COUNTRY Showcase We will do a special coverage to bring our readers the most attractive discounts in categories such as technology, home, fashion, beauty, and we will a live follow-up of the best Black Friday deals. In addition, to get the most out of this day, experts recommend following a series of guidelines:

  • Plan purchases so as not to fall into last minute impulses. A very simple resource that can help in this regard is to create a list with the things we need, for example, for Christmas gifts. You can also sign those items after what takes a while and that we do not decide to buy until they present a reduced price. In this way we focus on what is important and do not get carried away by the whirlwind of discounts.

  • Assess the budget margin that we have. The psychologist Maiana García, from the center of coaching and emotional intelligence Emotium, among the tricks to avoid losing your head with purchases, make an assessment of the monthly expenses item. “In this way you can determine how much you can allocate to purchases. Within your possibilities, Black Friday discounts can be the opportunity to give yourself the whim you want at a more affordable price, ”says García.

  • Compare prices. Am I really buying this product at its lowest price? To solve this question, organisms such as TO FATHER (the Organization of Consumers and Users) have, for example, their own price comparators. There are also applications for the mobile phone that analyze the evolution of the price of an item and if it has reached its minimum historical price during the sales day.

What to consider when buying online

As the director of communication and institutional relations of the OCU reminded EL PAÍS Escaparate, we must not forget that “In electronic commerce, the same regulations must be followed as in physical stores. If the word discount is used, or an offer with a price reduction is offered, the old price must be included, so that the consumer can get an idea of ​​the amount of the discount ”. These are some questions to consider to avoid unwanted situations:

– Review the purchase conditions. As with store purchases, it is important to be aware of the rights we acquire as consumers. Therefore, we must look at the return policies and terms in case they could undergo changes. It is also advisable to check the Shipping costs and of course, keep the purchase receipt or the invoice to be able to claim if necessary. “When shopping online you have 14 days to regret it and return the product without giving explanations,” they explain on the OCU website.

– Take care of security and transactions. Before starting to buy from your computer, tablet or smartphone we must take a few minutes to verify that minimum guarantees of reliability are met. To avoid scares, it is advisable to buy in well-known stores or that have user reviews and ratings that allow you to get an idea of ​​what we are going to find. In shopping online it is usually a good option to resort to secure payment services like Paypal or use a prepaid or credit card. We can also note that the address of the web page appears a padlock, a sign that the payment gateway used is encrypted so that it cannot be intercepted.

The favorite products of Showcase readers on Black Friday 2019

To be inspired by Black Friday 2020 purchases and to make the list of products to be purchased, we collect here the products preferred by the readers of EL PAÍS Showcase during the 2019 edition.

Set of three pans BRA

Buy for € 37.99 on Amazon

256GB SanDisk Ultra microSD card

Buy for € 46.99 on Amazon

5TB WD Elements Portable Hard Drive

Buy for € 139.28 on Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite

Buy for € 129.99 on Amazon

Auriculares sin cables SoundPEATS Truedot

Buy for € 19.99 on Amazon

Philips Shaver, 9000 Series S9711 / 32

Buy for € 159.99 on Amazon

Helly Hansen short chaqueta

Buy from € 118.98 on Amazon

Amazon Fire TV Stick con Alexa

Buy for € 39.99 on Amazon

Freidora Princess Aerofryer XL

Buy for € 99.15 on Amazon

Take a look at the best Black Friday advance offers on ‘top’ selling products from EL PAÍS Showcase.

* The recommendations so that deliveries of online orders can be carried out with total security for distributors and customers indicate that direct contact between the two should be avoided, maintain a safe distance and wash hands after opening the package. All deliverymen are instructed to exercise extreme caution.

* All purchase prices included in this article are current as of November 12, 2020.

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Old cities, new mobility: the private car must be dethroned | Trends

J gets up just in time to get to the first business meeting of the day. Call a taxi on your mobile while taking the last sip of coffee. After tomorrow’s day, and taking advantage of the good weather, he uses an electric scooter to get to the restaurant where he is meeting a friend. Bike back to the office – there was no carsharing by hand – and, at the end of the day, he decides to return home with a VTC, which at that moment is at a good price due to low demand.

Any given day for any person can involve many mobility decisions, using various means of transport without owning any of them. It is also a data exchange trail, and in the 21st century data is very useful. Collected by sensors, interpreted by machines, managed in the cloud and placed at the service of cities and citizens, the data promises us better mobility, cleaner air, and better quality of life. Compared to classical mobility, based on the ownership of a vehicle, they allow the so-called mobility as a service (MaaS, mobility as a service), that is, choosing between several options to go from A to B using companies of all kinds. And data also drives smart cities, which will not only collect garbage better and regulate public lighting more efficiently: they will also reduce temporary distances through intelligent management of spaces and vehicles.

Pedestrians walk along the Paseo de la Castellana, in Madrid, which was closed to traffic in May.

And it’s just the beginning: the deployment of 5G networks will bring the development of autonomous cars even closer, fully connected to their environment thanks to the Internet of Things. They will not emit polluting gases, because the future is electric motors. The development of smart electrical distribution networks and home self-generation using solar panels will make them much more competitive.

We lived in that future, with a growing supply of mobility services, until the demand drastically changed. The fault was a virus. We stayed locked in the house and, very little by little, we began to go out. And we discovered, suddenly, that life could be lived on foot, one kilometer from home; that private vehicles, almost unused week after week, took up too much public space; that spending two hours a day in the car to go to work was, on many occasions, unnecessary. Miracles happened: It was raining and the city smelled of dirt, not carbon dioxide. There was the chirping of birds, not the honking of cars.

We lived in that future until a virus forced us to return to the past. And now the demand for mobility may not be exactly what it was. If 50 years ago we cut down trees and destroyed boulevards to make room for the car, the symbol of modernity and status, now we want wider sidewalks and pedestrianized walkways. And we need more square meters for bikes and electric scooters. But not all is good news for air quality: distrust of crowds is a threat to public transport, essential to combat pollution; The logistical challenge of the e-commerce boom also raises sustainability issues.

When the mobility of the 21st century struggled to prevail over the urbanism of the 20th century, based on the use of the private car, the pandemic came to change our view. The model is being defined, and technology offers all kinds of alternatives. It will be the societies who choose how they are organized, and the mobility of the future depends on that decision.

King car wobbles

April was ending, masks were still in short supply and the Minister of Transport and Mobility, José Luis Ábalos, appeared before Congress to give details of the then imminent de-escalation. “The private car is not a sustainable solution for the future, but in this parenthesis and in these circumstances it is an option,” he said, causing the stupor of environmentalists. Some executive in the sector remembers it with surprise several months later. Although Ábalos is still haunted by the phrase, at least he spoke of “parenthesis.” It is not entirely clear if this parenthesis due to the pandemic is definitely closed, but it is clear that the design of the mobility of the future, over and above ideologies and differences between countries, has much less space reserved for the private vehicle.

Like tobacco

The pandemic has reinforced that idea that the car should no longer be king. So much so that Jesús Herrero, general secretary of ATUC, the Association of Urban and Interurban Public Transport, even sees parallels between the change in perception towards tobacco in past decades and what is happening now with the private car. “The current mobility model is unsustainable”, he says, and not only due to environmental problems: “We have 85% of the public space dedicated to the car, four square meters most of the time standing on the road or, many times, with a single person circulating ”. According to data from the European Commission, vehicles are parked 92% of the time, and effectively only 5% circulating, with an average occupancy of 1.5 people per trip. “Mobility by car is the option that takes up the most space and wastes the most space, as well as the most harmful to the environment”, sums up José Carpio-Pinedo, university professor and consultant specialized in sustainable mobility.

To counter this trend, the motor industry has been pursuing two qualitative leaps for years: the electrification of motors and autonomous driving. The first phenomenon is already beginning to be a reality: according to data from Anfac, the employer’s association for car manufacturers, in the first nine months of 2020 sales of fully electric cars grew by 32%, almost the same as those of vehicles fell of gasoline and diesel, 38%. They still represent very little for the market as a whole – 1.67% – but the National Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate 2021-2030 foresees a fleet of five million electric vehicles within ten years, which would mean around 15% of the total. Energy companies are already taking positions on the electrification of the car. It requires a significant adaptation of their network, which has to be superimposed on the mobility network, as explained by Juan Ríos, Director of Planning and Regulation of Iberdrola i-DE, the former Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica. “We have to start generating a public vehicle recharging network even before there is demand. And we already have mobility control centers that allow us to know patterns of use that we need to plan more efficiently ”, he says. But the big change will be the arrival of autonomous driving: “I have no doubt that it will be a reality in 2030”, predicts Begoña Cristeto, partner in charge of automotive at KPMG Spain.

Thanks to the deployment of the 5G network and sensorization ubiquitous on public roads, cars will not need a driver and services like carsharing, whose profitability is currently hampered by the need for operators who eventually move vehicles from one point to another, will become even more widespread. “The vehicle is going to become the least valuable thing in the mobility industry. Manufacturers know and are concerned. If they don’t sit well, they will simply be the producers of the carcass. And they do not want to be the ones who deploy an infrastructure so that later it will be others who make it profitable, as has happened in other businesses, “explains Cristeto.

The double side of teleworking

The car was one of the losers from confinement: teleworking proved that it is not an essential tool in working life, and when we started to go out on the street we realized all the space it occupied, a public space that we could not enjoy as pedestrians or on the terraces. “Teleworking is good news in terms of the most environmentally unsustainable transport, but it is bad news for those who have to be financially sustainable,” says Carpio-Pinedo. Fewer travelers, less tickets sold by public transport and more problems for the public coffers, which will not go through good times.

A history of technology, mobility and dirty streets

In August 2013, a new comprehensive contract for the cleaning and maintenance of public spaces in Madrid came into force, with a term of eight years. The City Council, then headed by Ana Botella (PP), presented it as a great advance, since it meant a reduction of 300 million euros for municipal coffers, thanks, it was explained, to the fact that the use of technology would allow dedicate fewer staff to these tasks. However, the deterioration in the quality of service was immediately apparent. Madrid began to have a problem of dirt in its streets that, like the contract, survives, and the unrest of the workers led to a strike that plagued the city with garbage for 13 days that November.

Inés Sabanés, now a deputy in the Más País Congress, inherited that contract in 2015 when Manuela Carmena appointed her as delegate for the Environment and Mobility of the Madrid City Council, with responsibility for urban cleaning. In his opinion, this contract is a good example of the limits of technology to solve the big problems of cities: “That failed because they forgot that it is labor intensive work. Technology is a tool, a complement. The fundamental thing is to have a city strategy ”.


How wildlife and humans coexist in the coldest place in Greece | Science

One of the white wolves from the Arcturos sanctuary. In the video, a brief tour of the trip with images of the animals of the region.

The journey west from Thessaloniki (Greece), is made by a road surrounded by a landscape of mountainous reliefs and lonely houses, cornered by half a dozen thermal power plants. The road leads to two refuges that protect wildlife. There, near a town called Aëtós, It is possible to meet a wolf in the corner of a farm or wake up having lost part of the harvest after the passage of the brown bear. What is most striking about this region, the coldest in the country, where there are two other towns, Agrapidia (home of the wolves), and Nymfaio (the area of ​​the bears), is the silence. At the foot of the hills, about twenty meters from a cemetery, is a veterinary center where live, between electrified barriers, six bears who are not afraid to look at each other.

These animals come from zoos in Georgia and Bulgaria and are not fit to live in the wild. The team of the Arcturos association, which was born in 1992 and has been supported in different phases by the European Commission with more than 5.7 million euros, takes care of them, heals their wounds, teaches them again to function in their habitat natural and analyze its behavior over several months. When they are “ready”, they assure in the association, they put a collar to monitor them and they release them in the sanctuary of five hectares, which is a kilometer and a half from Nymfaio, through which 55 bears have already passed.

Manolis, one of the bears in the sanctuary near the gate.

Manolis, one of the bears in the sanctuary near the gate. Arcturos

Andreas, whose photo adorns the wall of the association’s offices, was rescued after spending 25 years on the street as a “dancing bear.” This abuse of wildlife is an illegal practice since 1969 that really ended in the 1990s, according to Panos Stefanou, Arcturos’ communication manager, on the occasion of a trip organized by the European Commission to which EL PAÍS has been invited. At that time, the bear population was between 100 and 200. Stefanou explains that nobody cared and that there was a clear lack of awareness about what this abuse, which had become fashionable, implied. “If it weren’t for Arcturos [que se creó por esta razón] there would probably be no bears left in the area [ahora hay unos 500]”, Add. Andreas murged in May 2013 with 50 years after becoming an icon of the sanctuary of Nymfaio.

Another current project focuses on the rescue of orphaned cubs as young as three or four months old. The first night, after discovering the calf, the team puts it in a wooden box in the hope that its mother will return. If that doesn’t happen, they take him away and educate him for a year before inciting him to walk away again. Last May, they released, in two distant places, two little ones who had grown up together in the center. They lived six months by his side before meeting again to hibernate. For Alexandros Karamanlidis, biologist at the University of Thessaloniki and scientific coordinator of Arcturos, it is very curious to see how the bear is able to reintegrate into the wild and survive without its mother. Now the association is in charge of Bradley Y Cooper, two cubs wandering around the center hoping to be released soon.

The she-wolf Elisabeth trapped in a portal on the outskirts of Thessaloniki.

The she-wolf Elisabeth trapped in a portal on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. Arcturos

The fragmentation of the habitat is one of the problems that is being tried and managed to alleviate. In this area where there seems to be no one and where traffic is scarce, the Egnatía Odós highway threatens the reproduction of bears. Until 2003, this barrier imposed by human activity caused between 5 and 10 accidents per year where only animals died, never people. That year, the Government, pushed by numerous requests, added underground zones to the infrastructure to allow the natural genetic exchange of the species. Understanding the behavior of bears was no easy task, says Karamanlidis. “We had to implement a methodology that required a large settlement and high cost,” he explains. The researchers focused on the behavior of the bears. As the animal rubs against the trees leaving its hair behind, it was possible to reveal the DNA. “We recognize race thanks to genetics. We can understand how it travels and what obstacles stand in the way of its development ”, explains the expert.

A little further from the veterinary center, on a hill very close to the town of Agrapidia, after crossing a bridge and climbing some wooden stairs, the visitor comes across an immense thick grid that cuts through the natural landscape. Two Arcturos employees are dedicated to reinforcing it while, in the sky, some crows sing. On the other side, an innumerable amount of bloody bones are scattered on the ground. Three white wolves raise their heads and flee with a piece of meat between their teeth. The seven-hectare enclosure has welcomed 60 wolves in total, the time to recover before being released again and currently 10 coexist. The last to arrive was Elisabeth, a she-wolf of about seven years old that was found this Wednesday on the outskirts of the city of Thessaloniki with the spike of a portal piercing one of its hind legs. She has been rescued, healed and displaced. Experts estimate that in a month he will be able to return home.

The Arcturos team healing the wolf this Wednesday.

The Arcturos team healing the wolf this Wednesday. Arcturos

Between 800 and 1,000 wolves live in Greece and are mainly concentrated in the north of the country. The figure dances without materializing due to the incessant migration of these animals to neighboring countries. Vassilis Fourkiotis, recognized by the European Union as the protection project “hero”, has always lived surrounded by wolves. “Since I was little, I have seen them approach my father’s farm. They are incredible. I like them much more than bears, ”he says. The 30-year-old expert, with long hair and a thick beard, insists that the nature of wildlife must be respected. “It is impossible to be friends with a wolf. You have to protect them, yes, but not want to tame them. The most important thing, to take care of them, is to protect the farmers and teach them how to preserve their assets. It is finding a balance to allow coexistence ”, he explains.

The key to living together

The region is a sweet home for bears and wolves for a variety of reasons. Since the 2000s, the country’s rural area has suffered depopulation, according to the scientist Karamanlidis. “The areas were left uninhabited, leaving space for nature to reestablish itself,” he explains. “It is a region with a lot of wild terrain and dominated by humans,” he adds. But the bears do not dislike this presence, on the contrary. Close to the villages, they are protected and also find food in the crops. The wolves are more elusive What they are interested in are the cattle and the pile of garbage they can put their snouts in. What most surprised the expert is the ability of these canines to adapt, understand human activities and find food sources.

One of the bears from the sanctuary in the north of Nymfeio.

One of the bears from the sanctuary in the north of Nymfeio. Arcturos

The key to understanding with humans are dogs. At the entrance to the Agrapidia sanctuary, 17 purebred Greek sheepdogs start barking as soon as someone looks out. The wolf lover explains that those in the center are only dedicated to reproduction and thus be able to sell to the inhabitants who need to protect themselves. Dogs reproductive They spend their whole lives there, in an open-air cage of about five square meters, but Fourkiotis ensures that they go out for walks often. Arcturos has already distributed a total of 1,500 puppies throughout Greece who are now looking after livestock and property.

Three wolves in the Agrapidia sanctuary among the bones of the food provided by Arcturos.

Three wolves in the Agrapidia sanctuary among the bones of the food provided by Arcturos. Arcturos

Stiliadis Vaggelis has 10 dogs to handle his 100 cows. The farmer explains that since then he has not suffered any problems. “Dogs face wolves. They are not afraid of them. They prevent them from getting closer than 300 meters ”, he says. The shepherd inherited his grandfather’s farm and has been working on it for 20 years. There was a time when they didn’t have dogs. “I have heard many stories about wolves. One of my grandfather’s donkeys was eaten by one ”, he says. Two or three dogs weren’t enough either. “The bears don’t care,” says Vaggelis, who lost a dog, killed by the claw of a bear. Despite this, the 42-year-old man assures that he is not afraid of wildlife. “We are from the same world,” he concludes. Karamanlidis recalls the biological importance that these two predators have in the ecosystem and the role they play for biodiversity. “The rehabilitation of wildlife is a natural phenomenon. The human being does not have to be scared. We have to get involved in it and make a profit ”, he asserts.

The bus with journalists drives away along the highway that divides the habitat of these wild animals in two. The sun is leaving a reddish blanket on the tops of the mountains. The bears are still sleeping, waiting for the temperature to rise in the coldest part of Greece. It is very likely that tonight, like many others, the inhabitants will hear the wolves howl.


Simeone: «Luis Suárez wanted to be here and is showing it»

Diego Simeone, Atlético de Madrid coach, was not surprised by Luis Suárez, because he “found the footballer” who “heard on the phone” when his signing was just an option and who “at all times wanted to be here, wants to be here and he’s showing it, “as he remarked before the Champions League game with Salzburg, which he warned of his difficulty.

Four goals in six games reaffirm the Uruguayan striker in his new adventure in the rojiblanco team, while his doubt arises for the starting line-up in the duel this Tuesday, because he had an individualized session as a precaution in training this Monday afternoon in the Sports City of Majadahonda.

«I have found the footballer that I have heard on the phone when we communicated in that first talk to see if there was the possibility of getting to be with us. And at all times he wanted to be here, he wants to be here and he is showing it. And that is the greatest virtue that a footballer can have with the career and hierarchy that Luis has, “emphasized the coach, who hopes that the ‘9’ will continue to give the team” the best he knows how to do: the goal. “

He also spoke of Joao Félix, who “since the season started has played very good games.” “The one from Granada, the one from Huesca, the one from Villarreal despite having been tired, the other day in Munich, who played the whole game having various dangerous situations and many assists, and the other day when he entered 25 minutes and the team he had a much better speed and lucidity from the midfield forward, ”the coach quoted during the press conference.

«I am happy with his work. We need him to keep improving and hopefully we can have him on the line he’s been showing, except for those minutes with Celta that weren’t among the best at the start when he entered. We always look for a situation to find Joao. He is in a good moment, like many colleagues “, he valued.

And he defended the wings, in the focus of criticism in recent games. “Both Trippier and Lodi are doing a good job. It gives me the feeling that we have had enough assists that we may not have been able to complete some, but many with a search for what each of them has, for their precision, to find the empty spaces to be able to reach … “, he highlighted .

Salzburg’s ‘game identity’

While he assumes the specialty of this course, with such concentrated games, with a short preseason and with the calls of the national teams, and understands that you have to be “prepared to carry out” the “circumstances”, that “no excuses”, Simeone insists in “trusting the good” your team is “doing”.

“I consider that the team is well, I trust the footballers and I see above all in the enthusiasm and intensity of their game the desire to improve and do better,” stressed the coach, who spoke of the importance “of finding spaces” who wants to “search” against Salzburg and “play a game” that “is going to require a great effort.”

Because there will be an opponent in front, as he analyzed, “with very good records, especially seeing the Champions League that he played last season, where he competed very well with Liverpool and Napoli until the last date.”

«It is a fast team, with absolutely clear ideas, with a very important playing identity, with enormous speed in its two forwards, which works very well from defensive positioning to be able to take advantage of the spaces with midfield players with a important step. It is what we are going to face, “he warned.

At the same time, he addressed an insistent issue since the departure of Thomas Partey through the termination clause: whether or not there will be a signing. And in what position. “Andrea (Berta, Atlético’s sports director) is already handling it with Miguel Ángel (Gil Marín, CEO),” he said.

“From the need that all teams may have, we have spoken with them several times and in consideration of what is useful for the team and for the club, they will seek or not find someone to join,” explained Simeone.


To the fitness club for tax deduction – Business – Kommersant

Russians who go in for sports in fitness centers and gyms will be able to receive over 15 thousand rubles. per year in the form of a deduction for income tax – the government approved the corresponding amendments. But for the mechanism to work, officials have yet to develop a list of types of physical culture and health services, which will be subject to the benefit.

The government approved the possibility of introducing a deduction for personal income tax (PIT) for those involved in physical culture and sports. As Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin explained, the maximum amount of the deduction (13% of the amount of 120 thousand rubles), subject to refund to the taxpayer, may be 15.6 thousand rubles. per year: “Amendments to the legislation will create additional opportunities for Russians to actively engage in sports in fitness centers and gyms.”

According to the President of the National Fitness Community (NSF; unites 1.7 thousand clubs) Elena Silina, the Ministry of Sports is initiating the introduction of the definition of “fitness and health services” into the legislation.

«This will make it possible to concretize the very broad concept of ‘physical education’ and will allow the clients of fitness clubs to take advantage of the tax deduction, ”says Ms. Silina.

According to her, this will happen in the coming weeks. The Ministry of Sports clarifies that in order to launch the mechanism, it is necessary to approve the list of types of sports and health services, which will be subject to the tax deduction.

According to the NSF, about 7 million people go in for sports in Russia, and there are 13 thousand specialized facilities throughout the country, including 3.5 thousand multifunctional fitness clubs.

Amendments to the Tax Code, providing for a deduction for citizens involved in sports, were submitted to the government by the Ministry of Finance at the beginning of 2019. This year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, various industry alliances have encouraged the authorities to step up the adoption of the amendments. For example, the NSF in letters to President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin motivated the need for tax deductions for citizens by the fact that restrictive measures due to the pandemic had a serious impact on the health of citizens.

The industry union cited the results of a survey of 10 thousand Russians aged 25 to 65, living in 45 regions of the country. So, 80% of respondents said that they gained excess weight during the lockdown, 65% complained about a decrease in functional abilities and strength indicators.

The Ministry of Sports has also actively promoted the idea of ​​tax deductions, since this will help achieve the target indicators specified in the federal project “Sport is the norm of life” (included in the national project “Demography”). According to the document, the share of residents of Russia who are systematically engaged in physical culture and sports by 2024 should be 55%, and by 2030 – already 70%.

The tax deductions for those who play sports will especially help the operators of the fitness industry.

The latter have repeatedly stated that due to the loss of clients, half of the clubs face bankruptcy, which will inevitably lead to negative consequences, including for the country’s budget.

According to NSF estimates, in the event of bankruptcy of 50% of the players in the fitness industry, the total losses of the state and counterparties of club operators will reach 190.477 billion rubles by 2023. Direct budget losses could amount to RUB 47.4 billion, including lost payments on the unified social tax (RUB 21.55 billion), personal income tax (RUB 12.75 billion), VAT and payments under the simplified taxation system (13.2 billion rubles). In addition, government spending on unemployment benefits for workers in the industry may amount to 17.8 billion rubles.

Khalil Aminov


Green and digital revolution, keys to economic recovery | Trends

Facing the crisis caused by COVID-19 will require the development of reconstruction plans of an unprecedented magnitude. With them not only will recovery be facilitated, but they could also become an opportunity to transform our economy, making it more modern and more solid, more internationalized and more competitive.

Extreme weather conditions and, currently, crises such as the pandemic we are experiencing, have demonstrated the benefits of digitization. Just one example: in the case of Iberdrola, the investments made in recent years have allowed it to keep operations and projects underway during the state of alarm, while guaranteeing the safety of its employees and collaborators. They also explain how the digitalization process of the electrical networks in Spain allowed to restore service to 300,000 customers in one hour, during the DANA that devastated Murcia and the Valencian Community just a year ago.

Digital transformation, however, is not possible without a cultural change that promotes new ways of working and new tools. This was evident in the last Digital Summit recently organized by the company, which had the participation of representatives of leading institutions and companies in digitization such as MIT, Google, Microsoft, IBM, LinkedIn, TikTok (ByteDance), Twitter and EVO.

Investment and work

Nor is it possible if there is no purpose and, in this sense, it is necessary to orient innovation to the customer and the citizen to respond to their needs and be more efficient. In short, maximize the use of technology in those business areas that add value, either by improving processes and the productivity of its assets or by achieving more efficiency in activities.

To get out of the crisis, there is only one recipe: investment and work. And in this context it is also time to raise the ambition to combine the green and digital revolutions as key pieces of the economic recovery. Accelerate the energy transition, but also the electrification of transport, the residential segment and industry to make change possible and leave a more sustainable world for new generations. And in this field, digitization plays an essential role.

Iberdrola is a reference in how technology, resources and capabilities can be oriented to lead the digital transformation of the energy sector and turn it into a competitive advantage. The company has managed its electricity generation assets digitally for years and has transformed its networks into smart ones with digital tools and artificial intelligence.

Likewise, it applies the latest technologies in all its activities:

  • Blockchain for operations trading of energy, certificates of origin of ‘green’ energy, certification of documents and intra-group financing agreements, among other applications;
  • Robots Y drones to support risky actions or in hard-to-reach locations for the inspection of blades in wind farms, hydroelectric plants and high-voltage power lines or for fraud detection;
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality in training activities and actions on the ground, on power lines and infrastructures;
  • Internet of things, applied to initiatives such as Iberdrola’s Smart Home, which provide clients with information for greater management and decision-making capacity regarding their energy consumption;
  • Digital cufflinks, With which the virtual recreation of products and services is carried out that allow the company to anticipate and prematurely solve future incidents.
  • Big data and analytics, with which it develops, for example, advanced wind prediction systems or detects electrical fraud;
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) y machine learning with which it applies algorithms to different processes, such as the identification of anomalies in photovoltaic plants, the prediction of natural disasters or the personalization of personalized offers to different customer profiles; etc.

Innovation is Iberdrola’s main tool to guarantee its sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness. For this reason, the company has allocated 2,000 million euros in the last decade, after having increased resources in this area by 115% annually in the last ten years. These activities have made it the utility most innovative in Spain and the third in the world for investments in R & D & i, according to the European Commission.

Global Center for Power Grid Innovation

Iberdrola is at the forefront of the use of digital technologies and is preparing to face a new era in which disruptive tools will be key in all businesses. As an example of this bet, the company has just announced the launch of its Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub, a center located in Bilbao that will act as a driving platform for innovation, combining its technological capacity with that of suppliers, collaborators and startups of all the world.

It is hub It will start in the spring of 2021 and has already identified more than 120 innovation projects for future implementation worth € 110 million. The lines of work, of an international scope, will allow the development and deployment of innovative solutions for Iberdrola’s electricity grid activity around the world.


Santander’s global blessing may be a virus curse | Opinion

Ana Botín’s geographic strength could turn into weakness. Santander posted a strong rebound in earnings in the third quarter, helped by strong growth in Latin America, which is the focus of its bank’s global turnaround. However, you may end up getting a sting from Covid-19.

Botín reiterated on Tuesday how Santander’s diversification in Europe and America supports “high quality results.” The third quarter added some evidence: Net profit rose to 1.8 billion euros after huge losses in the previous three months due to 12.6 billion in endowments for the pandemic.

Excluding the latter, underlying net income continues to drop two-fifths to € 3.7 billion in the first nine months of the year. But lower-than-feared loan losses give Botín the confidence to project an underlying net profit of € 5 billion for the full year and propose a cash dividend of 10 cents per share in 2021, payable once it is settled. lift regulatory restrictions.

Their emboldening is underlined by the boom in loan volumes in Latin America. Loans in the region, which represent 41% of the group’s net profit, grew 17% year-on-year, including double-digit increases in all markets.
Low interest rates caused mortgages in Brazil, Botín’s single largest contributor of income, to more than double during the quarter. The consequent increase in credit income allowed Santander to reduce the drop in its underlying profit in the region to one tenth compared to 2019, compared to a drop of 44% in Europe.

Still, optimism can turn into presumption. The International Monetary Fund projects that Brazil’s economy will contract nearly 6% this year. And Santander obtained more than half of the net benefits in five countries (Brazil, the United States, Spain, Chile and Argentina) in which Covid-19 infections have jumped above 20,000 per million inhabitants, according to the World Health Organization. New lockdowns could cause some of those loans to go bad.

Botín’s forecast of a return on underlying tangible equity of 7.5% this year implies that the shares should trade at around 70% of tangible value, assuming a 10% cost of equity. The fact that they are trading at less than half of tangible value, even after a 4% rise in the share price, suggests that shareholders should remain cautious.

To close that gap, Botín will have to show that Santander’s loan boom in Latin America has been done with due care.

The authors are columnists for Reuters Breakingviews. Opinions are yours. The translation, of Carlos Gómez Down, it is the responsibility of Five days


How to know if someone is spying on your mobile and what to do about it | Trends

Jorge Coronado founded the computer expertise company Quantika14 in 2013. And since then, he has not stopped seeing an increase in cases of gender violence on the Internet. “Every year there are more cases,” he says. It receives women who want to authenticate WhatsApp messages, ranging from insults to death threats, to use as evidence in legal proceedings, and it also receives women who have been the victim of intrusions on their mobile devices through a spy application. In the latter case, the attackers are not hackers and do not need particularly advanced technological knowledge. A Google search is enough to find different commercial applications that allow you to snoop on other people’s phones, read whatsapps and emails, access photos and files, install applications, know the location of the device or activate microphones and cameras.

But the app it is not the only way. Coronado has also seen cases in which stalkers give the victim a mobile phone previously configured by them, so that they have the opportunity to install the spy application or simply associate the device with their email accounts. “And of course, with this they have total control,” says Coronado. Knowing these tactics is key to be able to detect when there may be a third person accessing our communications.

First symptoms

“What people say that they hear interference or things like that is false,” begins the IT expert. The first signs that we are under surveillance are given by something much simpler: information. Alerts must be activated when it appears that the other person knows details that they could not have had access to in a way that did not imply access to our phone.

Aroused suspicions, it is advisable to study the activity of the device. Does it download fast despite not showing active applications? Are you spending more data than usual? Coronado usually recommends charging the mobile to 100% before going to sleep and deactivating all the applications that are running. If the next morning the battery level has dropped more than usual and there has been significant data consumption, something strange may be happening.

Capture of the WhatsApp Web open session management space

Open sessions are another key clue. Services such as WhatsApp Web, Google or iCloud allow you to check the registry of devices that are accessing them at a certain time. It is convenient to review them from time to time to ensure that we recognize all the computers that appear active and close the own sessions that we are not using.


Coronado’s main recommendation is to take preventive measures. The first step so that a stalker does not have the possibility to access our phone and install applications on it is not to leave the phone unattended. Since this is not always possible, different mechanisms should be established to safeguard the mobile from unwanted access. A antivirus should be able to detect and block most of the applications of this type – although there are more sophisticated developments capable of circumventing this software and even supplanting it.

In addition, as in other aspects of digital security, the establishment and good management of passwords is essential. The expert recommends establishing patterns or numerical codes to access the phone and even to authorize the installation of new applications. In addition, in the event that the other person manages to access passwords from other platforms, it advises to enable two-factor authentication. “Another important thing is the entire data protection part that we upload through these applications. People create users and then delete the application and stay so calm. But their accounts are still there, registered in a database forever, “he adds.

Why is spying so easy

Since we know the existence of these spy applications and the extent of the damage caused by their use, why is there no greater control over their distribution? According to Jorge Coronado, the key is in the costumes. “If you want to have a company that is dedicated to making spy applications you are not going to put that in the title of the web. What you put is parental or employee control and thus you end up completely whitewashing the final objective.”

What to do

If it is certain that the phone is being spied on and the goal is to take legal action, it is best to do nothing and take the phone to a computer expert center where they can confirm what is happening and ensure that the content of the device can be used as proof during the process. “It is difficult to advise what to do. Throughout the day I see so many cases of so many types that I cannot give you a closed answer. Each person is different and each situation is totally different,” admits Coronado.

In any case, if you choose to get an expert report, it is best not to give the spy clues. “Sometimes we recommend turning off the mobile until delivery. In other cases we tell them to follow a normal life so as not to raise suspicions and that this erase or make it difficult to take the evidence,” explains the expert. Outside the scope of espionage, when the attack occurs, for example, by sending messages, it is also important that the victim does not delete anything. “In many cases, due to the impact and damage that it generates, they eliminate that message and make it very difficult to demonstrate that in a trial.”

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This is how devices that read and modify the brain to enhance human capabilities work | Trends

When technology can heal the brain, if it can, the golden age of skill enhancement will come. The use of devices will then be extended to have more memory, concentrate more easily or be able to think about several things at once. Also of those that will allow us to connect to the Internet with our mind or handle devices without touching them.

That is the forecast of the scientific community, which understands that the development of brain-machine interfaces and the evolution of artificial intelligence are the key to achieving healthy humans with improved abilities. The scenario opens up multiple ethical and philosophical questions, some of them disturbing: to what extent can we intervene in our brain and remain who we are? Will all people be able to access those advances that will increase our capacities or will they be the privilege of an improved caste of humans?

Read minds

It is important not to lose sight of these debates, although today they seem like science fiction. The brain-machine interfaces mentioned by experts are devices that can read brain wave activity and also write new information to them. It can be an electrode that is placed on the skull or a microchip that is inserted directly into the brain. These sensors collect data on neuronal activity and send it to a computer, where the algorithms process and interpret it: this way we can get to know what is encoded in our neurons. It also works the other way around: the computer can introduce new information into the brain by modifying its activity.

“Let’s say that the sensors are microphones that allow neurons to hear and the algorithms have to translate the information that is collected, which can be emotional, cognitive, motor or sensory”, explains María López, CEO of the Bitbrain company, specialized in developing sensors that detect brain activity and software that analyzes the data. “Since everything we do goes through the brain, if we can translate that information we can use it for whatever we want, such as improving cognitive abilities.”

It’s what the Vodafone Giants esports team did last year. In collaboration with Bitbrain, they measured the brain waves of the players and obtained information about their concentration through headbands with electrodes. “We use a technology that is capable of improving certain areas of the brain that are involved in cognitive abilities. We see that their working memory, sustained attention and speed of thought increase, ”explains Javier Mínguez, co-founder of Bitbrain, in a video where he tells the project.

To achieve these goals, players learn which areas of the brain to stimulate. They wear a headband that reads their brain waves and transfers them to a computer. Meanwhile, they have a screen in front of them where they are seeing a square that turns red when they are focused and blue when their thoughts wander. It could be said that they can change the color of the square with their mind, but not by thinking red or blue, but by concentrating or de-concentrating.

In this case, the brain-machine interface reads and deciphers the encrypted information in our brain waves and, by giving us feedback About how we are using the brain, we can learn to reinforce the connections that we want to improve. “You do not need to stimulate the brain by inserting a device, it is you who, through training, you are strengthening the connections that interest you,” explains López. This way of developing mental skills is based on plasticity, that is, on the idea that the brain reinforces the connections that are used the most.

But there is another way to do it: we can write new information in our neurons and improve the skills we choose through an order that the computer sends to the microchips that users have implanted. That is, in addition to reading the brain, you can also write on it.

Write to the brain

The computer can send signals to the chips that, when in contact with brain waves, can modify them to alter or readjust them. “It is one of the most innovative lines of research, but it is also the furthest. By stimulating these brain waves, you run the risk of altering other nearby signals, ”explains María López, CEO of Bitbrain.

The most ambitious projects in this regard propose implanting microscopic chips that, today, are being designed to treat diseases but that could also be used to improve capacities. “Right now, there are brain-machine interfaces focused on recovering the memory of patients with neurological problems, but the memory of users who do not have problems could also be increased,” explains José Carmena, co-founder of the Californian Iota Biosciences and one of the creators of neural dust, wireless implants that can monitor muscles, organs and nerves deep within the body.

One of the most innovative advances that Carmena highlights in the use of this technology is to write sensations in the brain that the person is not feeling. For example, it is useful in a patient who is learning to operate a robotic arm and wants to feel through the arm. In that case, it has to be done artificially: it consists of encoding that information in neurons, writing that sensation in the brain.

This advanced technology is already being applied in animals. “In mice, not only are neurodata being deciphered and their visual perception interpreted, for example, but it is also being manipulated. Researchers make them see things they are not seeing, altering their brain waves ”, explains Rafael Yuste, promoter of the international BRAIN project and professor at Columbia University, who is in contact with experts from around the world who are leading research in neurotechnology. .

Business appetite

These advances have attracted the attention of big technology companies, which in recent years have started to develop tools based on brain-machine interfaces. Notable among them is Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk, which seeks to increase the capabilities of users by implanting microscopic threads in the brain that allow different areas to communicate with each other and with the outside through artificial intelligence.

“In the last year, companies like Facebook and Microsoft are each investing 1,000 million dollars in this technology,” says Yuste. Right now the most advanced project is that of Mark Zuckerberg’s company. They call it thought to text [de pensamiento a texto] and uses a device that allows you to type without typing. “The idea is that the iPhone ends up being a non-invasive brain-computer interface. You will be able to communicate with the network both to send data and to receive it using only your brain activity ”.


Brain-machine interfaces. Devices that collect detailed information from brain waves and send it to a computer, which processes and interprets the data. It can also work in the opposite direction: the computer can send signals to devices that, when in contact with brain waves, can modify them to alter or readjust them.

Bioelectronics. Discipline that is responsible for studying how electronic signals can be used to stimulate the nervous system and cure diseases. It is the foundation on which brain-machine interfaces are based.

Brain plasticity. It is the ability of the brain to reorganize and adapt to functional and structural changes. When we stop using a series of connections (for example, if we have not done a division with decimals for a long time), the brain understands that it is not relevant information for us and will use those neural networks so that we can learn something else.

Electroencephalogram. It is a study that detects the electrical activity of the brain. To do this, electrodes are attached to the scalp that are capable of reading the nerve impulses that are transmitted between neurons. This information can be used to detect irregularities in brain waves and even, with the appropriate technology, to decipher thoughts.


What does science have to say about the Apocalypse | Science

The end of the world is always personal, sometimes social, and only once literal. However, the irrefutable experience that everything is born to decay is usually transferred to the cosmic order and the idea of ​​the Apocalypse is omnipresent in human societies. The universe is usually found between a creation where everything was good and an end, often close, that will come because with our clumsiness and wickedness we corrupted the gifts that were given to us. Don Quixote recalls before a group of goatherds the vision of classical Greece when he speaks of some happy centuries “whom the ancients called the golden ones”, a communist utopia in which “those who lived in it ignored these two words of yours and Own”. Now, after several degradations, we are in the Iron Age and the situation is going to get worse. Something similar tells the Hindus, for those of us who live in the Kaliyuga period, an era of strife and hypocrisy that is also the last before some kind of cataclysm purifies the planet.

The same tendency of humans to make analogies that confuse the cycle of life and that of the world can make you despise the fear of a disaster of planetary dimensions. If so many ancient peoples believed the end was near and erred miserably, it is easy to dismiss the heralds of the Apocalypse without regard. That is what should be done, for example, with the scientists of the Atomic Scientists Bulletin, that last week they advanced their metaphorical clock of the end of the world and left it just one hundred seconds from the end of the world. However, situations are not always comparable and in recent centuries humanity has increased its ability to cause planetary disasters and also to predict them.

The Spanish flu, one of the largest known pandemics, wiped out only about 6% of the world’s population

The end of the world clock was created, fundamentally, to warn of the risks of annihilation of human civilization if the Cold War, which for decades faced the United States and the Soviet Union, turned into an atomic conflict. Today, however, many more risks are being assessed, such as uncontrolled artificial intelligence or biotechnology and, as physicist Lawrence Krauss, a member of the doomsday clock council of scientists, has written, “This multiplication of threats has raised the feeling of alarm ”. “The doomsday clock is closer to midnight today than during the Cuban missile crisis (there it was seven minutes compared to 100 seconds today), when the world was really on the brink of a nuclear holocaust,” he added in an article published in The Wall Street Journal where he doubted the validity of the instrument.

Not all threats are the same, nor are cataclysms the same dimensions. As Krauss himself commented, climate change associated with industrial activity, one of the supposed great threats to the continuity of civilization, will probably have “devastating effects”, but these will be felt in the long term and will not be the same at all the world. María José Sanz, director of the Basque Center for Climate Change, affirms that an increase of more than two degrees in the average temperature of the planet “can cause very important damage to human societies, which will have difficulties to adapt to a frequency of climatic phenomena extremes never seen before ”. But that does not mean that the Earth is going to become a hostile planet for life like Mars or that a species like humans, which already has more than 8,000 million individuals and an overwhelming technological capacity, is going to see its continuity.

Sanz points out, however, some dangers difficult to foresee. “Beyond the progressive increase in temperature, the climate system has certain turning points,” he explains. The amount of ice from the poles, the tropical monsoon system or the north-south current, which makes New York much colder than Madrid being at the same latitude and has to do with the amount of fresh water that is poured into the oceans and in turn is related to the ice of the poles, are mechanisms that regulate the planetary climate and can change suddenly. “If those points are exceeded, there can be very abrupt changes and that is what cannot be predicted. We know that they are there, that the path to these turning points is accelerating, but we do not know what will happen if they are overcome or what consequences there will be ”, he adds.

As the success of the zombie genre makes clear, infectious diseases are also a source of apocalyptic terror. And in this case, fear is not supported only by possible future suffering but by millions of deaths. For much of history, when it was not known what caused infectious diseases, some microbes could decimate the population they infected. The historian Eric Hobsbawm estimates that only 6 to 7% of the English sailors killed between 1793 and 1815, during the wars against Napoleon, were killed by the French. “80% was due to illness or accident,” he writes. Dirt, faulty medical facilities, or poor hygiene were far more fearsome enemies than the guns of their enemies.

During the Napoleonic wars, 80% of the dead died from illness and accidents and not from enemy weapons

It is estimated that the Black Death, caused by bacteria, wiped out a third of Europe’s population. The Spanish flu killed up to 20% of those infected and wiped out 6% of the world’s population. Although it did not completely exterminate them, for many of the inhabitants of pre-Columbian America, viruses caused a kind of doomsday. “In the colonization of America, the main soldier was viruses,” says Víctor Briones, professor at the Complutense University of Madrid.

“For an infection to endanger the continuity of a species is very difficult, although there have been cases in which it has almost happened with sometimes trivial diseases, such as scabies in the Pyrenean chamois. And rinderpest created such a death toll in Europe that it led to the founding of veterinary faculties ”, continues the expert in Animal Health from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Madrid university. In humans, the Spanish flu of 1918 “depopulated the rural areas” and the plague of Justinian in the 7th century may have had an influence on the end of the Roman Empire. “It reduced the population in such a way that there were no arms to cultivate the land and no people to defend the border. The social order was altered ”, says Briones, who concludes that although he does see the possibility that a disease causes a great death, he sees the extinction of humanity in this way as very difficult.

Even if there is no extinction, some diseases that fail to attract public attention in developed countries kill hundreds of thousands of people. HIV, tuberculosis and malaria alone kill around two and a half million people each year, the majority in poor countries. “In cities like Jakarta, Dar es Salaam or Cairo, where most of the population does not live in buildings made of glass and steel but made of sheet metal and tin, where there is massive immigration, poor waste management and little access health resources, there are diseases that cause great mortality, “says Briones. The hecatomb there is not a diffuse fear in the future but everyday life.

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