輸入木材が「かつてない価格高騰」、新築物件への影響は

中国の需要増・米国の新築ブームで木材不足が深刻化、「ウッドショック」の声も

住宅用の輸入木材不足が深刻化している。中国の木材需要の急増や、コロナ禍で大規模な金融緩和策が取られたことなどから、米国を中心に新築住宅の建設需要が急増、供給がひっ迫した形だ。さらには新型コロナウイルスの影響による輸送費の上昇なども相まって、現在、住宅用木材は一部で「かつてないような価格高騰」(市場関係者)に直面している。一部では「オイルショックならぬウッドショックだ」との声も聞かれる。

不動産投資家の中には、木造アパートの新築を予定している人もいるだろう。木材不足や価格の高騰は建築費のアップにもつながり、利回りが低下する恐れがある。また木材不足により工期が延びれば、賃貸経営の計画が大きく狂う可能性も考えられる。現在、新築物件に影響は出ているのだろうか。そしてこの先の見通しはどうなっているのか。

Outdoor Space Is the Hottest New Office Feature

We are about to witness the most legendary game of tug-of-war this side of your local firehouse fundraiser. On one side, we have the workplace, with its spaces designed for optimal efficiency, concentration of coworkers allowing for easy collaboration and opportunities for socialization. On the other hand, we have the remote work arrangement, with its flexibility, tech industry new car smell, and promise of employees working from Bali or Cancun or, more likely, their beds.

Of course, for every true digital nomad sharing photos of the “view from their office,” you have a remote worker who for whatever reason just can’t make the working part of work from home work for them. And for every remote worker who wished he had an office to go to, there’s an office-bound employee who wishes she could see the sky while typing into Excel.

Unlike most tug of war games, there probably won’t be a clear resolution to the question of which side will win. Instead, we will have to find hybridized methods to bring the fun loving “work-from-anywhere” atmosphere to the professional setting. The best way to do this may be by creating more usable outdoor space. Why not? We already have recaptured the outdoors for almost every other kind of activity. The first outdoor music festival took place in the U.K. yesterday, for whatever that is worth. I have even seen a gym in my home town that has completely relocated its equipment onto the parking lot. Before you roll your eyes and tell me “big deal, I have that in my town too,” I should say that I live in Tuscon, Arizona, and as I write this I am looking at my thermometer as it breaks the 110° mark. But, you know, it’s a dry heat and all that.

Data, analytics, machine learning, and AI in healthcare in 2021

In 2020, few things went well and saw growth. Artificial intelligence was one of them, and healthcare was another one. As noted by ZDNet’s own Joe McKendrick recently, artificial intelligence remained on a steady course of growth and further exploration — perhaps because of the Covid-19 crisis. Healthcare was a big area for AI investment.

Today, the results of a new survey focusing precisely on the adoption of AI in healthcare are being unveiled. ZDNet caught up with Gradient Flow Principal Ben Lorica, and John Snow Labs CTO David Talby, to discuss findings and the state of AI in healthcare.

Leapfrogging — from pen and paper to AI
The survey was conducted by Lorica and Paco Nathan, and sponsored by John Snow Labs. A total of 373 respondents from 49 countries participated. A quarter of respondents (27%) held Technical Leadership roles. Here are some key findings, with additional insights from Lorica and Talby.

When asked what technologies they plan to have in place by the end of 2021, almost half of respondents cited data integration. About one-third cited natural language processing (NLP) and business intelligence (BI) among the technologies they are currently using or plan to use by the end of the year.

The office of the future is outdoors

Landlords and designers are adding more outdoor space to office buildings, so employees can actually work outside.

Office life is about to move outdoors.

In buildings across the country, new and renovated offices are being designed to include more options for workers to get away from their desks and go outside. According to designers, developers, and landlords, it’s an emerging trend that could shake up the way workplaces look and feel for years to come.

“Access to daylight, good fresh air—those kinds of things are really tangible to the tenants,” says Marc Fairbrother, vice president of the architecture firm CallisonRTKL. “We are headed in those directions where it’s more about the user experience than efficiency and the cost of the product.” …

CR Engineers Show a Tesla Will Drive With No One in the Driver’s Seat

After a fatal crash in Texas, we demonstrated how easy it is to defeat Autopilot’s driver monitoring

Consumer Reports engineers easily tricked our Tesla Model Y this week so that it could drive on Autopilot, the automaker’s driver assistance feature, without anyone in the driver’s seat—a scenario that would present extreme danger if it were repeated on public roads. Over several trips across our half-mile closed test track, our Model Y automatically steered along painted lane lines, but the system did not send out a warning or indicate in any way that the driver’s seat was empty …