June 26, 2018

The e-commerce site Etsy is almost entirely powered by millions of independent sellers who offer everything from vintage clothes to freshly made slime. A good number of these entrepreneurs make their living by selling stuff on the site, which explains the anger that many of them felt towards a recent policy change at the company. Instead of collecting a transaction fee of 3.5 percent of sales, Etsy now plans to take a 5 percent cut of both sales and Continue reading

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June 22, 2018

In recent years, millions of consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. Along with enjoying wide selections and free home delivery, e-commerce customers often don’t pay sales tax for items purchased online. However, that last fact could soon change thanks to a new Supreme Court ruling.

The decision reverses a previous ruling that prevented companies from collecting sales tax in states where they had no physical presence. Given that online retailers aren’t constrained by borders, though, a Continue reading

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June 21, 2018

After a lot of legal wrangling, AT&T and Time Warner recently received permission to proceed with a long-awaited corporate merger. But they aren’t the only media companies looking to combine forces: Disney plans to buy Fox, so long as Comcast doesn’t beat them to the punch. This video takes a look at what these mergers mean for the companies themselves as well as consumers.

Questions:

  1. Why are major media companies starting to join forces through corporate mergers?
  2. How do you Continue reading
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June 12, 2018

Although founded in the 1950s as the International House of Pancakes, for more than 40 years consumers have known the breakfast chain better as IHOP. For most companies, gaining this kind of brand recognition with a simple acronym would be a dream come true. Last week, however, IHOP announced that its “P” was changing into a “b,” lowercase and all. And yesterday the chain revealed the meaning behind the switch: it turns out the “b” stands for “burgers.”

The announcement Continue reading

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Late last year, Snapchat unveiled a number of changes to the design of its immensely popular photo and video sharing platform. The idea behind the switch was to separate content produced by a user’s friends from content made by media companies and celebrities. In practice, however, this amounted to Snapchat splitting their users’ feeds in two.

The social media reaction to the redesign started out negative and only got worse as time passed. Along with the more than 1.25 million Continue reading

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Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed all sorts of websites sending emails to your inbox about updates to their privacy policies. The timing of these messages is no coincidence: they’re all part of an effort to inform users about the changes that are set to come from a piece of legislation recently passed by the European Union. Named the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this video details how the new law will let people opt-out of data Continue reading

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From picking up apples to distressing jeans, automation is spreading to almost every business you can imagine. And if you happen to live in the Boston area, you could swing by the new restaurant Spyce today and have your lunch prepared by robots. This automated eatery is the result of a partnership between a group of young engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Together these intrepid entrepreneurs claim they have created “the world’s Continue reading

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The average person spends 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on their smartphone. Put another way, that amounts to about 2,617 daily interactions with their device in the form of taps, clicks and swipes. What’s more, a significant amount of the time people spend on their smartphone occurs when they’re at work. While these statistics might surprise some, they come as no shock to Jason Brown, an advertising CEO who has declared war on using these distracting gadgets in Continue reading

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If a consumer is curious about the quality of a particular product, there are plenty of websites where they can read endless reviews from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers. For a more scientific perspective, however, they can turn to Consumer Reports. The video below details how this 82-year-old nonprofit organization rigorously tests products to see if they live up to the claims put forth by their marketing campaigns.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Consumer Reports purchases all of its products Continue reading
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Since the release of Fortnite Battle Royale last summer, the video game has grown from a modest success into a global phenomenon with more than 40 million active players. At one point in March, 3.4 million people were playing Fortnite at the same time, making it by far the most popular video game currently on the market. The concept behind it is simple enough: 100 players parachute onto an island to fight until there’s only one person or team left Continue reading

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