February 19, 2016

For years manufacturers around the world have taken advantage of the efficiency and speed of robotic labor. But these mechanical monstrosities aren’t polite or funny like the droids in a Star Wars movie. Instead, industrial robots are big, clunky pieces of equipment that have no regard for humans. As a result, most factories have separate rooms for robots that people are prohibited from entering. Many countries have even passed laws requiring the separation of automated and human labor. After all, Continue reading

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February 17, 2016

At big tech companies like Google and Facebook, employees enjoy a range of benefits that have become almost as famous as the companies themselves. From free smoothies and snacks to complimentary massages, these perks are meant to fulfill the basic needs of staffers so that morale and productivity remain high. In fact, tales of these benefits have reached so far that many workers today would prefer them to increased wages. According to a recent survey by job-listings website GlassDoor, 79 Continue reading

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February 15, 2016

billsIn a perfect world, buying cable TV or a smartphone wouldn’t require customers to parse through a mess of different contracts and “special” deals. But unfortunately that’s not how it works in reality. A confusing collection of regional offers, options and add-ons often confronts people who are looking to upgrade their media services. The whole tangled process can leave customers wondering whether they landed on a good price or ended up paying too much. In many cases, the latter is Continue reading

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February 12, 2016

alphabetIn October 2015 Google underwent a thorough restructuring and emerged as Alphabet, a multinational corporate parent for the tech giant’s many enterprises. After all, Google has explored a variety of different fields in its 18-year history, including recent forays into self-driving cars and home automation. As these projects stacked up, however, managing them all under the Google name became difficult both for operational and marketing reasons. Now, separate companies working under Alphabet’s umbrella manage all these outside ventures. For instance, Continue reading

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February 8, 2016

Aside from being an exciting night for Denver Broncos fans, Super Bowl 50 didn’t exactly provide viewers with much entertainment on the field. In fact, the 63 commercials that aired nationally during the big event may have generated more online conversation than the game. But the impact of this year’s ads can’t be attributed solely to some sloppy play on the gridiron. After all, many brands now hype their ads with the same gusto as the NFL’s pregame festivities.

For Continue reading

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February 5, 2016

In Silicon Valley’s immensely competitive entrepreneurial environment, many startups end up failing shortly after they launch. But among these many fallen firms stand a few “unicorns,” or private tech companies with valuations worth more than $1 billion. At these lucky startups, the strategy is to increase the firm’s value as much as possible until it can be sold to the highest bidder. Not only does such a sale grant enormous payouts for founders and investors, it can also enrich regular Continue reading

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February 3, 2016

For almost a decade, the Brooklyn chocolate company Mast Brothers seemed to embody the New York borough’s newfound artisanal spirit. Touting their product as handcrafted “bean-to-bar” chocolate, founders Rick and Michael Mast took center stage in marketing campaigns that celebrated their candy’s quality and authenticity. Dressed in antiquated suits and sporting long Civil War-era beards, the pair soon became just as famous for their appearance as their $9 candy bars. But this meticulously crafted image may have been spoiled for Continue reading

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February 1, 2016

For many inventors, creating a machine that’s functional as well as popular can feel like striking gold, even if the actual material reward for their work isn’t exactly golden. That’s the situation Shane Chen found himself in since inventing the “hoverboard,” a two-wheeled, Segway-like vehicle that doesn’t quite float but has nevertheless been flying off the shelves. Unfortunately for Chen, many consumers are buying hoverboards from companies that have not paid him for his patented design. Instead, consumers are taking Continue reading

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January 29, 2016

Chipotle enjoyed years of rapid growth thanks in part to its heavily marketed commitment to fresh ingredients. However, that established image has crumbled over the last few months as the burrito chain grapples with a major E. coli outbreak at its restaurants. Chipotle’s problems began in summer 2015 when customers began falling ill in California and Washington. Attention then shifted across the country to more than 140 Boston College students who received food borne noroviruses from a local Chipotle. By Continue reading

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January 25, 2016

In 2014 more than three hundred million Indians were regular users of the Internet, representing nearly a quarter of the country. With that number expected to double by 2020, India is the fastest growing online market outside of China. However, there’s a crucial difference in the way these two Asian nations use the Web. While China’s government prohibits foreign digital services like Facebook from setting up shop, India welcomes them.

At least that’s the way it works in theory. After Continue reading

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