November 22, 2016

With 43.5 million Americans expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year, drivers will likely have to deal with more traffic jams and slowdowns than usual. Then again, at least these dedicated travelers will be making their journey by car rather than on horseback. But while this preference for pedals seems like a no-brainer today, the situation was much different a century ago when automobiles were new and confusing to many consumers. This video shows how carmakers marketed these Continue reading

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November 15, 2016

TimParkinsonFrom a young age Americans are taught to keep a close eye on their Social Security number. After all, this unique code acts as an identifier for everything from bank accounts to medical records. If it falls into the wrong hands, all of your personal information could become compromised. To prevent this from happening, the government requires companies to keep Social Security numbers private while advising individuals to reveal it only to trusted parties.

But in today’s digital age there’s Continue reading

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November 10, 2016

When a group of Australian special effects artists were having trouble finding work, they decided to pool their resources together and create their own animatronics company. Most had planned to return to working on movies and television once they’d made a splash with their enormous, lifelike representations of dinosaurs and monsters. But Creature Technology wowed the world with their creations, leading to the bustling and almost magical workshop shown in the video below.

Questions:

 

  1. Why must Creature Technology keep Continue reading
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October 25, 2016

MicheleM.FIsraeli entrepreneur Yekutiel Sherman had a great idea for a product: a selfie stick that folded seamlessly into the back of a smartphone’s case. He spent a year carefully designing his idea, producing prototypes and securing small investments from family and friends. By December 2015 Sherman launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to finish funding the item, now called Stikbox. But while the project immediately attracted investors, his popular crowdfunding campaign also caught the attention of Chinese bootleg manufacturers. Within Continue reading

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October 7, 2016

DamianSFor those who have spent years ordering items from online retailers like Amazon, setting foot inside a store can sometimes seem like taking a trip back in time. But while the shift away from brick-and-mortar locations has utterly changed industries like music and clothing, grocery stores have remained largely the same since the dawn of the digital revolution. After all, most people still prefer to examine food in person before they buy it.

But that hasn’t stopped a collection Continue reading

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September 23, 2016

Although drone deliveries are still a few years away from becoming a reality, automated machines are already having a big impact in other parts of the supply chain. This short but visually rich video takes a look at the robots made by a company called Symbiotic and the ways that they have streamlined operations at a grocery warehouse.

Questions:

  1. What makes Symbiotic’s robots more efficient than human workers?
  2. Will worker robots from companies like Symbiotic eventually replace human labor?
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September 22, 2016

MichaelHicksAs the Internet’s popularity began to rise in the late 1990s, the music industry had just enjoyed some of their best years to date. Annual sales soared over $14 billion at its peak, driven by an enormous demand for CDs that appeared to be insatiable. After 1999, however, consumer interest shifted online where users could download any song they wanted for free. While the Recording Industry Association of America tried in vain to stop illegal file trading, the practice only Continue reading

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September 16, 2016

TechCrunchFor Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, establishing a clear narrative around a startup’s foundation and purpose is essential to success. Few people understood this concept better than Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the formerly acclaimed blood-testing firm Theranos. She founded her company in 2003 at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford University’s School of Chemical Engineering. Holmes left college early because she claimed to discover a revolutionary new method for medical testing: rather than drawing a significant amount of blood Continue reading

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August 24, 2016

ShawnCarpenterOlympicsImageIn spite of a few setbacks like a green diving pool and the actions of a blue-haired nincompoop, the 2016 Rio Olympics packed in plenty of action and emotion over its two-week run. For all the unparalleled athleticism on display, however, the TV ratings reward for the games’ American broadcaster NBC was relatively lackluster. The network brought in an average audience of 25.4 million during its primetime coverage, an 18 percent drop from the London 2012 games. While NBC received Continue reading

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August 10, 2016

For the last few months Americans have been confronted with a peculiar dilemma at the cash register: to swipe or not to swipe? That is the question as shoppers and businesses across the country struggle to adapt to the credit card industry’s transition to chip technology. While 75 percent of cards are currently chip-enabled, only one-quarter of American merchants have the equipment to read them. The frustration continues even after upgrading as customers endure long waits for payments to Continue reading

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