January 8, 2019

Apple started the new year on the wrong foot following a surprise announcement that last quarter’s iPhone sales will likely fall short of projections. While the company had originally planned to bring in between $89 billion and $93 billion, CEO Tim Cook said last week that overall revenue would likely tally at just $85 billion. “Lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, accounts for all of our revenue shortfall,” Cook wrote in a letter to investors. As a Continue reading

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December 19, 2018

With December 25th less than a week away, twinkling Christmas trees are currently illuminating homes across the country. And while these festive firs will only stand for a couple of weeks, their journey from farms to family rooms takes more than a decade. This video about the production process on Christmas tree farms looks at why they must follow strict logistical schedules or else face disastrous consequences in the long term.

Questions:

  1. Why are logistics so important for Christmas tree Continue reading
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December 7, 2018

The video game industry has grown into a global juggernaut. Last year, consumers around the world spent more than $100 billion on games, more than double the amount spent on movies. As this in-depth video shows, however, some video game companies have started to earn all that money by operating like casinos. From examining the business model of “loot boxes” to the ways that video games track customer data, this long but fascinating video provides an excellent assessment of an Continue reading

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December 4, 2018

A couple of years ago, a pair of video game developers received a deeply worrying email from the British Red Cross. “It has been brought to our attention that in your game ‘Prison Architect’ a red cross emblem is displayed on vehicles,” read the email. “Those responsible may be unaware that use of the red cross emblem is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims.” Little did the two developers know, but their placement of a Continue reading

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November 9, 2018

Visit the candy section of any American drug store and you’ll likely find some Kit Kats stocked unceremoniously alongside an assortment of other brands. But at the Don Quijote market in Tokyo, the chocolate-covered wafer bars occupy a place of honor in the megastore’s vast candy section. That’s because the seven-story market is one of the few places where consumers can browse through dozens of Kit Kat varieties developed exclusively for the Japanese market. From fruit-based variations to bolder flavors Continue reading

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October 18, 2018

Every day, thousands of huge cargo ships criss-cross oceans delivering products to markets all over the globe. But that’s not the only thing these vessels bring to port: they also emit sulfuric gases and fine particles that settle over cities as smog. In order to combat all this toxicity, a couple of years ago the United Nations passed a resolution to reduce the amount of sulfur content in maritime fuels. According to the guidelines, by 2020 shippers must switch to Continue reading

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October 16, 2018

The Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has steadily grown into an international brand known for its inexpensive but stylish designs. As you might expect, maintaining this image requires the company to strike a delicate balance between creating interesting products and keeping costs low. That’s why Uniqlo recently announced that robots have replaced 90 percent of the staff at one of its warehouses.

Along with drastically cutting costs, the company’s newly automated warehouse will also be able to operate 24 hours a Continue reading

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October 12, 2018

Last week representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to update NAFTA, the international trade deal that went into effect in 1994. Now known as the USMCA, this video looks at how the new deal could affect various industries throughout North America. Click here to watch it.

 

 

Questions:

  1. Which industries will be most affected by the USMCA?
  2. What is the purpose of international trade deals like NAFTA or the USMCA?

 

Photo by Nicoguaro.

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September 11, 2018

When a company releases a notice about a new job opening, it can receive hundreds of responses from potential candidates. And before the detailed portion of the interview process begins, somebody has to call all those people to ask them basic questions about the job and their interest in it. This can be a grueling procedure, as Russian entrepreneurs Alexei Kostarev and Alexander Uraksin know quite well. In 2010 the pair had to screen more than 1,500 candidates over the Continue reading

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September 4, 2018

A couple of months ago, we took a look at Starbucks’ plan to eliminate its use of plastic straws by 2020. While the coffee chain remains the most high-profile business to ban straws, several cities throughout the country have joined the effort by passing legislation regulating their use. For instance, last month San Francisco passed an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from distributing any single-use plastic utensils or accessories. The cities of Seattle, Malibu, and Vancouver have recently put similar laws Continue reading

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