November 7, 2019

Airbnb has grown into a multi-billion dollar company by providing people with an online platform where they can temporarily rent out their house or apartment to guests. Although this app has changed how millions of people travel, it’s also generated a lot of controversy since launching more than a decade ago. In some popular travel destinations, landlords have displaced longtime residents in order to make room for as many Airbnbs as possible. As a result, cities like London and Barcelona Continue reading

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October 18, 2019

At the end of summer, weather-tracking services in California began issuing reports that many in the state have come to dread: extreme winds and dry conditions had increased the risk of wildfires. The previous year had been one of California’s worst due to disasters like the Camp Fire, an enormous blaze that killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the aftermath of this tragedy, many blamed the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for failing Continue reading

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June 13, 2019

The last few years have not been good for Claire’s, the mall-based retailer known for its adolescent-focused cosmetics and accessories. In early 2018 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after it accrued more than $2 billion in debt. Although Claire’s eventually emerged from bankruptcy, the end of the year also brought an unwelcome announcement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the federal agency, Claire’s had been under investigation since 2017 for “high levels of asbestos” Continue reading

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In the 1980s Coca-Cola was losing market share to its rival Pepsi at an alarming rate. Blind taste tests performed by Coke even showed that consumers seemed to prefer Pepsi’s sweeter flavor. So in 1985 the Atlanta-based company scrapped its classic formula in favor of a sugary but smooth cola that came to be known as “New Coke.” The change shocked soda lovers across the country, prompting boycotts and letter-writing campaigns that did significant damage to Coke’s brand image. After Continue reading

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April 19, 2019

For more than a decade, the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper has been a staple product for many new parents. This vibrating, cloth-covered cradle allows a baby to lay at an incline while rocking back and forth, helping them sleep as well as soothing symptoms like congestion and acid reflux. So it came as a major shock to many parents last week when Fisher-Price announced that it was recalling more than 5 million Rock n’ Plays.

The American Academy of Continue reading

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July 13, 2018

Since its 1997 founding, the Build-a-Bear Workshop has made more than 160 million teddy bears for kids who play a key part in their assembly. The process starts when a child picks an un-stuffed animal from a bin before heading to the stuffing machine to transform their creation into a friend they’ll treasure forever. But customers don’t stop there: they can also purchase a variety of costumes and accessories for their bears. By the time the Build-a-Bear experience is over, Continue reading

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April 19, 2018

Last week, a manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called the police on two African-American men who were waiting for a friend to arrive. Their subsequent arrest was caught on video and quickly went viral as thousands of social media users directed their outrage towards the coffee chain. Starbucks then took the drastic step of announcing that it would close all stores on May 29th for racial sensitivity training. Along with showing clips of the offending video, this short report also Continue reading

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March 22, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the hyperscale data centers that Facebook relies on to handle its userbase of more than 2 billion accounts. With so much information swirling around these enormous structures, it’s easy to assume that any data you provide to the social network will fade away in an ever-increasing crowd. But not only can Facebook access much of the data it collects, the company also routinely shares this information with scholars and researchers. Users consent Continue reading

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March 6, 2018

Last year, hackers targeted the credit reporting firm Equifax in one of the biggest data breaches in history. While the company initially estimated the cyberattack had affected 143 million consumers, it increased that number by 2.5 million a month later. Then last week Equifax announced a further 2.4 million people had been harmed by the hack, placing the grand total somewhere in the neighborhood of 148 million. Unlike the vast majority of consumers who had their social security information leaked, Continue reading

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February 27, 2018

Last week, we took a look at the logistical nightmare that caused hundreds of British KFCs to close due to a lack of chicken. And while the company seems to have solved this issue for now, another strange supply chain problem is frustrating consumers halfway around the world. This time, however, the product in question is a bit more essential to daily life than fried chicken.

Over the weekend in Taiwan, panicked shoppers rushed to stores so they could purchase Continue reading

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