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  • We demonstrate that black hole evaporation can be modeled as a process where one symmetry of the system is spontaneously broken continuously. We then identify three free parameters of the system. The sign of one of the free parameters governs whether the particles emitted by the black hole are fermions or bosons. The present model explains why the black hole evaporation process is so universal. Interestingly, this universality emerges naturally inside certain modifications of gravity.

  • Intended as an economic and development hub, the Hengqin Cooperation Zone aims to foster collaboration and integration between mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao, serving as a platform for economic development and innovation among the three regions. The zone's development has increased demand for financial services, often offered through fintech. There is, however, a lack of interoperability between the fintech services currently used in Macao and Hengqin. This may hinder Macao users' adoption of the technology. Thus, our research objective is to identify the factors determining Macao residents' adoption of fintech services in the area and provide insights for service providers, developers, and policymakers. A framework based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was used for this purpose. The responses of 103 Macao residents provided evidence that ease of use significantly and positively impacts the usefulness of the technology. This in turn influences attitudes towards fintech usage. Subjective norms and perceived behavioral control positively impact fintech adoption intentions. The fintech industry and the governments of Macao and Hengqin can work on improving technology's ease of use and usefulness. They can also promote them to Macao users, and provide the resources required for better access to fintech in the zone

  • Under Macau Arbitration Law (MAL, art 64.1), an award shall be made in writing and shall be signed by the arbitrator or arbitrators. Furthermore, the law provides that in case of arbitral proceedings with more than one arbitrator, the signatures of the majority of all members of the arbitral tribunal shall suffice, provided that the reason for any omitted signature is stated (MAL, art 64.2).

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are living up to their claims as consumers choose them more frequently. The increasing demand for sustainable vehicles translates into the global need for specific components, materials, and infrastructures and drives the regulatory frameworks in each country. While BEVs offer environmental benefits and global business opportunities, the technology has not yet gained mainstream acceptance. Thus, this work aims to investigate the characteristics of BEV users and their role in the diffusion of products to larger segments, as this may vary from country to country. For this purpose, a survey based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 (UTAUT-2) (Venkatesh et al., 2012) framework and structural equation modeling (SmartPLS) was adopted. The results indicated that, except for the constructs of effort expectancy (EE) and social influence (SI), the predictors in the model performed well in this context. Current users are satisfied with their vehicles and are supportive of BEVs in the future. The analysis also revealed that in addition to the availability of financial resources, early adopters are attracted by new technologies in a way that leads them to make decisions outside of the traditional influence of the other members of society. It is suggested to leverage the perceived benefits of status, differentiation, or uniqueness motives, to appeal to those seeking to appear trendy and tech-savvy in society. Companies and policymakers should acknowledge the peculiarities of early customers in their communication strategies to reach a wider audience around the globe and encourage the adoption of BEV technology.

  • Objective: This study highlights the potential of an Electrocardiogram (ECG) as a powerful tool for early diagnosis of COVID-19 in critically ill patients with limited access to CT–Scan rooms. Methods: In this investigation, 3 categories of patient status were considered: Low, Moderate, and Severe. For each patient, 2 different body positions have been used to collect 2 ECG signals. Then, from each collected signal, 10 non-linear features (Energy, Approximate Entropy, Logarithmic Entropy, Shannon Entropy, Hurst Exponent, Lyapunov Exponent, Higuchi Fractal Dimension, Katz Fractal Dimension, Correlation Dimension and Detrended Fluctuation Analysis) were extracted every 1s ECG time-series length to serve as entries for 19 Machine learning classifiers within a leave-one-out cross-validation procedure. Four different classification scenarios were tested: Low vs. Moderate, Low vs. Severe, Moderate vs. Severe and one Multi-class comparison (All vs. All). Results: The classification report results were: (1) Low vs. Moderate - 100% of Accuracy and 100% of F1–Score; (2) Low vs. Severe - Accuracy of 91.67% and an F1–Score of 94.92%; (3) Moderate vs. Severe - Accuracy of 94.12% and an F1–Score of 96.43%; and (4) All vs All - 78.57% of Accuracy and 84.75% of F1–Score. Conclusion: The results indicate that the applied methodology could be considered a good tool for distinguishing COVID-19’s different severity stages using ECG signals. Significance: The findings highlight the potential of ECG as a fast and effective tool for COVID-19 examination. In comparison to previous studies using the same database, this study shows a 7.57% improvement in diagnostic accuracy for the All vs All comparison.

  • Critical thinking (CT), as a form of higher-order thinking, is intended to help individuals form reasonable reflection and judgment to deal with increasingly severe employment situations. As the primary workforce in the labor market, undergraduates must possess a strong critical thinking disposition (CTD) to make better use of CT. Despite extensive research on components of CTD from the perspective of educational practices, there is limited emphasis on investigating the components and their relationships of CTD in the labor market and the impact of gender differences. Therefore, this study presented an analysis of 1535 Chinese undergraduates (Mage = 20.89; SD = 1.43) using the Employer-Employee-Supported Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (2ES-CTDI), aiming to explore the CTD that undergraduates should possess before entering the labor market. The relationships among the components were examined using SmartPLS4.0 in conjunction with Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM). Additionally, a multigroup analysis (PLS-MGA) with a measurement invariance (MI) test was conducted to validate the moderating effects of gender. The findings indicate that (a) self-efficacy has a significant negative effect on habitual truth-digging, and boys are more affected than girls, instant judgment plays a competitive partial mediating role in this relationship; (b) self-efficacy has a significant positive effect on instant judgment, and boys are more likely to make instant judgments than girls; (c) instant judgment significantly positively affects habitual truth-digging. These findings highlight the dynamic equilibrium among the internal components of CTD in the labor market and call for increased attention from educators to the importance of gender differences in the cultivation process.

  • The Revenue Management (RM) problem in airlines for a fixed capacity, single resource and two classes has been solved before by using a standard formalism. In this paper we propose a model for RM by using the semi-classical approach of the Quantum Harmonic Oscillator. We then extend the model to include external factors affecting the people’s decisions, particularly those where collective decisions emerge.

  • Abstract The Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci's teaching on the goodness of human nature in The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven represents the fruit of the first encounter between Catholicism and Confucianism. This article will consider the Thomistic and neo‐Confucian sources in Ricci's enunciation of the Catholic doctrine on the goodness of human nature in this Chinese catechism. It will illustrate that Ricci developed his teaching, which is fundamentally Thomistic, with the help of terminology borrowed from the Chinese philosophical tradition. His distinction between the good of nature and the good of virtue leads to prioritising the cultivation of human nature. Ricci's teaching reflects the early modern Jesuits’ appreciation of human freedom. It also displays a Catholic reaction to the sixteenth‐century neo‐Confucian intellectual trend that ignored the importance of moral cultivation.

  • The design thinking methodology is a problem-solving approach that involves empathising with end-users, (re)defining problems, brainstorming solutions creatively, and experimenting with prototypes and testing. It has been widely adopted in education to help students develop critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills in design. On the other hand, text-to-image artificial intelligence is a method used to generate images from natural language descriptors (usually referred to as prompts). Design thinking methodology can teach students to think creatively and critically about real-world problems when applied in the classroom. In the context of design teaching at the University of Saint Joseph, Macao, students use the design thinking methodology to develop innovative proposals for furniture design solutions. Combining design thinking methodologies with text-to-image artificial intelligence can further enhance the learning experience by allowing students to generate visual representations of their ideas during the ideation phase. The authors developed a systematic approach to generate images for ideation on furniture design based on prompting text-to-image (PTI). The analysis related students’ results who applied the design thinking methodology without using AI tools and the results generated using a standard text-to-image programme. By combining both methods, teachers can help students develop critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, while also allowing them to generate visual representations in a different paradigm and, by so, being able to communicate their ideas with the most appropriate support for them.

  • What strategies did educators use to cultivate a sense of belonging, self-competence, and agency among students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)? Did educators face any challenges in implementing these strategies? Were the findings of this study specific to the inclusive school in Macau, or can they be generalised to other educational settings? This study brings to light educators' inner perspective of students' sense of belonging, self-competence, and agency. Specifically, it aims to uncover the academic and emotional needs of students with SEN and the importance that these may have in promoting a positive educational experience. By gathering the perspectives of educators in an inclusive school in Macau who work side-by-side with these students daily, we can understand how essential these elements are in contributing to their overall development. The purposive sampling approach was used in this study to further investigate various experiences and perspectives of educators within an inclusive classroom setting. The educators interviewed provided insight into an inclusive classroom with students with SEN in full-time attendance. The educators sampled in this study facilitated the search for strategies, challenges and support systems to cultivate a sense of belonging, self-competence and agency, among students with SEN. Findings showed educators' understanding of the importance of students with SEN's sense of belonging, self-competence and agency. The educators' awareness of their students' interactions with peers, and the educators themselves, was prominent, revealing how the sense of belonging for students with SEN affected these relationships. Regarding students' sense of self-competence, according to educators, students with SEN had opportunities to showcase their confidence in specific classroom areas and to exercise independence in the classroom, within the set curriculum and lesson plans. In the findings, educators illuminated the importance of agency in students with SEN. However, they were apprehensive about changes in lesson plans, cultivating a fully independent classroom setting and providing choices to students with and without SEN. The study's implications highlight the educational practices and policies that effectively supplement students with SEN's academic and social environments. The findings of this study aim to guide curriculum developers, educators and parental figures in fostering positive learning experiences for students with diverse learning needs

  • By discussing various aspects of family functioning, including the intricate nature of family functioning, family dynamics’ impact on adolescent growth and lifelong development, and the COVID-19’s effects on family relationships, it reveals the importance and necessity of assessment instruments in the field of family counselling. And concerning the gap between family research and clinical practice as well as the absence of a singular tool capable of evaluating various family functions comprehensively in the Macao context, the study introduced the Basic Family Relations Inventory (BFRI; or ‘Cuestionario de Evaluación de las Relaciones Familiares Básicas’, CERFB), a self-reported questionnaire based on Linares’ Basic Family Relations Theory. This valuable tool consists of 25 items, assessing simultaneously the quality of family relationships in two basic dimensions—marital and parental functioning. This study aimed to develop the Chinese version of the BFRI and investigate its psychometric properties in the context of Macao. By employing a quantitative research approach, it evaluated the normal distribution, exploratory factor analysis and reliability of the BFRI in a non-clinical snowball and convenience sample of 165 participants with at least one biological child from 12 to 18 years old. In the exploratory factor analysis, the initial factor extraction resulted in four components, reflecting both marital and parental items. This suggested potential overlap and interconnectedness between the marital and parental subsystems. Subsequent analysis identified a three-factor solution, separating marital, negative parental, and positive parental components. This aligned with the factor structure of the original Spanish version of the BFRI. A two-factor solution was also explored, replicating findings from the previous Italian and Portuguese validation of the BFRI despite some inconsistencies in item alignment. The EFA results revealed that the three-factor structure of the Chinese version of the BFRI was the best fitting model for the Macao population. Reliability analysis, assessed through Cronbach’s alpha, indicated satisfactory internal consistency of the scales. The results of the analyses demonstrate promising psychometric properties, supporting the tool’s effectiveness in assessing marital and parental relationships in a Macao population. The study contributed to the development of the valuable family assessment instrument. It suggested that the Chinese version of the BFRI could serve as a useful instrument to concurrently assess the quality of marital and parental relationships and systematically collect the data of family functioning in both dimensions. It’s also believed that this instrument could benefit the evaluation of family dynamics and comprehension of family relations not only in family research studies, but also in counselling intervention and clinical therapy, preventing risks to the health of children as well as promoting healthy family contexts in Macao

  • This study investigates career trajectory and work locations of doctoral students trained in Macao and analyses how their career paths are shaped by perceived macro-level factors. Respondents from four applied disciplinary areas were selected for semi-structured in-depth interviews. Research results show that doctoral students who graduated from Macao higher education institutions enjoy good career prospects in Mainland China. Their competitiveness in the research-related job market benefits from having a multi-level support system and a training mode that promotes government–university–industry collaboration. Policies and demand from industrial sectors are involved in students' learning experience through channels such as financial support, project collaboration and networks. Doctoral students in Macao are strategic planners and actors in leveraging their human capital. As Macao becomes an emerging destination for cultivating high-level research labour, findings from this study capture a model of human capital formation in China's cross-system context.

  • Muslim community is one of the minority groups in Macau SAR China. Muslims are an interesting group in terms of research because of its diversity in respect to language, nationality, social status, and education level. Groups of people migrate for various reasons such as religion, politics, economy, and education. Individuals experience the age in between nineteen and twenty-four, which fall in the category of youth. Studies of Muslim youths have gained more attention in scholarship, statistical data, and research. The study seeks to understand Muslim students’ life and the needs of this minority group and explores how Muslim students perceive Islam and their own ability to cope with school related cultural pressures through qualitative, phenomenological approach, and focuses on exploring the common experiences of Muslim students in this city. This study used a conceptual framework based on critical race theory (CRT). We use in-depth interviews of five Muslim youth, ages between 19 and 24, to investigate their school life experiences and Islamic practices. We also administered questionnaires and field note to understand their social mobility, social capital and to gain a deeper understanding of their daily lives. A thematic analysis of the interview data produced the following themes: 1) Social mobility; 2) Social capital Relationship with friends; 3) Discrimination and micro-aggressions; and 4) Religion Identity. The study found that the Muslim status of the participants did not have a significant impact on their school experience, as they were able to find accommodation in their practice of religion and school life. However, the multiple identities of the participants as Macau citizens and their ethnic backgrounds did affect their social capital and sense of belonging. The study also examined the experiences of the participants within Macau society, including social factors such as racism. The results indicated that language and ethnicity were factors that hindered their integration into the community. In addition to the original themes, the analysis of the participants' stories in this research revealed two counter-narratives that challenge prevailing narratives. These counter-narratives include the deconstruction of oppressed Muslim women's narratives and the influence of local mainstream religious schooling on Muslim students' religious loyalty. These alternative narratives provide new insights into the lives of Muslim youths and challenge conventional stories. The findings of this study have important implications for educators, academics, and members of both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. By allowing youth to establish broader connections with society and increasing their motivation to participate in and contribute to the community, this study highlights the need for inclusive educational environments that support the diverse identities of students. Furthermore, the study provides young Muslims with a voice in society, empowering them to challenge dominant narratives and promote counter narratives that reflect their experiences and perspectives to meet critical race theory ethos of ongoing active struggle

  • The extent of citizens' trust in government determines the success or failure of e-government initiatives. Nevertheless, the idiosyncrasies of the concept and the broad spectrum of its approach still present relevant challenges. This work presents a systematic literature review on e-government trust while elaborating and summarizing a conceptual analysis of trust, introducing evaluation methods for government trust, and compiling relevant research on e-government trust and intentional behavior. A total of 26 key factors that constitute trust have been identified and classified into six categories: Government trust, Trust in Internet and technology (TiIT), Trust in e-government (TiEG), Personal Beliefs, Trustworthiness, and Trust of intermediary (ToI). The value added of this work consists of developing a conceptual framework of TiEG to provide a significant reference for future in-depth studies and research on e-government trust.

  • An increasing number of countries have launched their central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in recent years, but the economic impacts of CBDC adoption are underexplored. To empirically assess how CBDC adoption influences regional economic integration, this paper investigates the Greater Bay Area, where China carried out one of its first digital renminbi pilot programs. The Greater Bay Area provides a good example because the growing acceptance of digital renminbi in the area can potentially mitigate transaction costs and risks due to the exchange rate volatility of the Chinese renminbi, Hong Kong dollar, and Macao pataca. CBDC adoption can lead to greater real and financial integrations by facilitating cross-border trade in goods and services. This paper evaluates deviations from uncovered interest rate parity, purchasing power parity, and real interest rate parity across Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao based on monthly interest rate and price data from January 2016 to December 2022. The time series have mean values near zero, which validate the parity conditions and indicate high degrees of financial, real, and economic integrations. The Markov regime-switching regression model identifies three regimes: (1) pre-Covid, (2) post-Covid, and (3) post-CBDC. The Covid-19 outbreak brought lower integration and stability, but the launch of the CBDC restored some of the pre-Covid integration and stability. Regimes 1 and 2 are persistent, and transitions from Regime 3 back to Regime 1 are probable. Hence, this study finds evidence that CBDC adoption improves regional economic integration in the short and long run.

  • The UTAUT-2 offers the most comprehensive assessment of individual acceptance and use of technology to date. In particular, the theoretical additions of “hedonic motivation”, “price value”, and “habit”, made the model suitable for studying technology in a consumer context. However, a review of the literature revealed that the construct of habit has been dropped from a large number of studies. There are several reasons for this, including that the technologies examined were relatively new for the respondents to form a routine behavior. Therefore, this study aims to explore whether the construct can be used as a key predictor of future intention to use an innovation rather than an acquired practice among technology users. For this purpose, a conceptual model based on the theoretical additions to the UTAUT-2 is proposed and analyzed with structural equation modeling (SmartPLS). Our results showed significant relationships between the predictors and the behavioral intention to use battery electric vehicles (BEV) technology, and, in particular, depicted the construct of habit as the strongest factor in the decision to adopt the technology. In light of our findings, the construct of habit (HT) should be used in research together with the other UTAUT-2 predictors to assess individuals’ perceptions of possible future habitual behaviors.

  • Macau, Macau Business, MAG, MB, MB Featured, Opinion | Macau Business | December 2023 Keith Morrison – Author and educationist

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