March 1, 2015

Over the last few years, net neutrality has appeared as a subject of debate everywhere from Internet forums to the highest levels of government. As of February 26, 2015 however, the Federal Communications Commission may have ended the discussion once and for all. On that day, the FCC voted to classify Internet providers as public utilities, thus preventing them from extending better service to websites who pay more money. The decision was a victory for the Internet’s many net neutrality Continue reading

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February 26, 2015

The recent hacks of Sony and Home Depot show just how much damage data breaches can do to big businesses. But a company doesn’t have to be multinational in order to attract the eyes of hackers. In fact, experts estimate that 44 percent of small businesses have been the victims of cyber attacks. According to the National Small Business Administration, each breach costs companies an average of $8,700 in damages.

“Cybercrime is in the news all the time, but there’s Continue reading

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February 7, 2015

As the world’s manufacturing superpower, China is home to thousands of factories producing millions of items each day. Keeping track of all that industrial output is far from easy, though. With little oversight to monitor them, some Chinese factories make knock-off or simply poor quality products, and then sell them to retailers as if they were up to standard.

While pirated items are mainly a headache for the company that gets ripped off, products made cheaply or without regard for Continue reading

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January 23, 2015

Jeff Oberholtzer, a plumber from Texas City, TX, thought he had seen the last of his old pickup truck when he sold it in October 2013. Unfortunately for him, the Ford F-250 he offloaded popped up more than a year later in a place he never would have expected. In mid-December 2014, a terrorist Twitter account from Syria posted a picture of two extremists firing a homemade anti-aircraft gun from the bed of a truck. While the picture normally would Continue reading

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January 19, 2015

At the beginning of 2015 a new California law went into effect requiring chicken farmers to provide more living space for their hens. As of January 1, every egg sold in the state must have been laid by a bird with at least 116 square inches of room in its coop, an increase of 73 percent from the industry standard. Although the legislation is mandatory only for egg producers in California, chicken farmers across the country are quickly adapting to Continue reading

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December 16, 2014

Americans have a tendency to over share information through social media, which can lead to some off-putting online revelations. However, there’s one group of people out there who doesn’t mind reading a detailed status update about your cold symptoms: advertisers. In today’s increasingly personalized marketing landscape, companies are desperate for data about their customers. Along with standard stats like age and income, consumers’ medical histories have now become tools for target marketing.

While data miners can’t legally access confidential medical Continue reading

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December 2, 2014

With companies both large and small becoming increasingly dependent on technology, it’s important for these firms to make sure that their information is secure. But businesses need to do more than simply install anti-hacking software and hope their defenses hold. For instance, earlier this year Home Depot faced two small security breaches before getting hit with a company-wide hack that made national news. Following the minor incidents, security contractors urged executives to implement a few unused features in the anti-hacking Continue reading

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November 15, 2014

This video reveals some of the unpleasant origins behind the world’s most common products and highlights the importance of understanding supply chains.

 

Questions:

  1. Have big companies improved work standards in their supply chains?
  1. Should consumers be involved in making sure supply chains are managed humanely?

From We the Economy

 

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November 13, 2014

 

When it comes to innovation in business, creating a viable and valuable product is just the first step. After all, the arrival of the portable MP3 player made many companies stand up and take notice of this revolutionary device. One of those firms was Apple, who soon came to dominate the market with the iPod. Although the signature MP3 player was released later than its competitors, the product’s dependability and stylish design quickly allowed it to capture the bulk Continue reading

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