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Here is your (almost) holiday reading list

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So we're approaching the end of 2013. Not much longer now.

Here's your (almost) holiday reading list for the business world.

It looks like the most recent quarter in the book was actually better than expected, according to this New York Times story. Growth of 3.6 percent is slow, but that's better than 2 percent. It's better than 2.8 percent. And it's better than 3.1 percent.

As painful as slow and steady might be, keep telling yourself the tortoise wins the race.

Then again, when you're growing the fastest you have in more than two years, maybe tortoise is the wrong word?

Ready for this next citation? This AP story on manufacturing.net citing the Institute for Supply Management says manufacturing in November grew the fastest it has in two and a half years.

For this next one, we're peering deep into the future, where robots fly around our skies dropping packages on people's heads. Yeah, you already heard about the Amazon thing. My take, it's a waste of energy because of the thousands of one- or two-package drones you'd need to make it work. And I'm sensing a massive fail rate on this thing.

But that's a knee-jerk reaction, and I don't have any facts on the efficiency — or lack there of — for drones versus human-driven package trucks, airplanes and trains. But if you know where I could find them, drop me an email.

However, here's a related Tech Crunch story about Google's gear-up to possibly enter the realm of robotics for manufacturing and logistics. Interesting. Question is: Will this be one of its free services, or the paid kind?

I don't know about you, but robots smell like cash to me.

Jim T. Ryan

Jim T. Ryan

Jim T. Ryan covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jimr@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JimTRyanCPBJ.

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