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

Continue reading...

February 10, 2016

airplaneFor the airline industry, the last few decades have been more like a rollercoaster ride than a smooth flight through calm skies. Enduring consistent losses as well as the occasional bankruptcy, companies began making deep cuts to basic services in order to keep costs down. Meanwhile, airfares continued to skyrocket even as in-air amenities started disappearing. Now it finally seems like all that belt-tightening is paying off: last year the four biggest domestic carriers together earned about $22 billion in Continue reading

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

January 27, 2016

For years, skilled workers from around the world have used H-1B visas as their tickets into the U.S. These visas are intended to provide companies with a pool of specialized foreign labor in case they can’t find any qualified domestic candidates. According to a recent lawsuit, however, one of the world’s biggest brands may have been abusing the H-1B system in order to boost their own bottom line. Rather than filling open positions with outsourced labor, The Walt Disney Company Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 20, 2016

Last year we featured a post about the unfortunate case of Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer. In need of a better truck for his business, he took his old Ford F-250 to a local dealership and traded it in for a newer model. The plumber didn’t give the transaction a second thought until about a year later when the complaints started rolling in. Due to the extraordinarily complicated nature of the global auto resale market, Oberholtzer’s truck somehow ended up in Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 14, 2016

This short video shows what happens to a person’s money in the very, very unlikely event that they win the lottery.

 

Questions:

  1. As the video says, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery, so why do people play it?
  2. Which option ensures that a lotto winner gets the most money from their prize: the cash payout or the annuity jackpot?

 

From CNN Money

Continue reading...

July 23, 2015

What do the United States of America, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Kingdom of Tonga all have in common? Aside from being decidedly long-named nations, none of these three countries requires employers to provide their staff with time off for holidays or vacation. In fact, the U.S. is the only advanced economy in the entire world without such a requirement. As a result, American workers have seen their vacation time shrink from an annual average of 20.3 days Continue reading

Continue reading...