August 9, 2018

Last year, Apple sold more than 280 million iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers to customers around the world. And judging by the tech giant’s ever climbing stock price, the sales tally for 2018 appears to be going strong as well. In fact, last week the price of an Apple share climbed above $207. Besides being good news for investors, reaching this milestone meant that Apple became the first publicly traded company to achieve a market capitalization above $1 trillion.

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July 27, 2018

From smartphones to electric vehicles, many of today’s most innovative products depend on lithium-ion batteries to function. That’s why every year the tech industry upgrades these portable power sources to hold more and more charge. While this allows them to create better products (at least in theory), it also leads companies to discard a lot of technically obsolete batteries that can still collect energy. For instance, the lithium-ion units that power cars and buses can be used for Continue reading

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July 26, 2018

For the past few years, a number of technology companies have championed self-driving cars as the future of transportation. But recently the concept has received some bad press thanks to a string of accidents involving autonomous vehicles. For instance, last month a Waymo test car made headlines when it ended up in a five-car crash. Meanwhile, several Tesla vehicles in “driver-assist” mode have been involved in collisions, including one fatal incident. As a result, consumers are becoming more wary about Continue reading

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June 29, 2018

Along with serving as a hub for the tech industry, San Francisco is also home to some of the country’s best restaurants. Unfortunately, the city’s success has led to skyrocketing rent costs that are pricing out the low-income residents who staff these eating establishments. So with a high demand for fine dining but a small pool of potential employees, local restaurateurs have begun to search for ways to save on service without compromising quality.

The result is that more and 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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April 26, 2018

Americans spend roughly $30 billion each year on food for their dogs. As millennials have grown to be the top dog-owning demographic, they’re changing the way our furry friends eat. The growing trend, at first created for humans and now for pets, is to increase foods’ nutritional value while also keeping food sources environmentally sustainable.

American dogs are the fifth highest consumers of meat in the world. In addition, pets are responsible for 64 million tons of greenhouse gasses each Continue reading

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April 10, 2018

Paying with a credit card is an almost entirely electronic process except for one notable step: the signature. Although this final part of the transaction is meant to provide another layer of security, many consumers quickly squiggle something down on the line just to get the procedure over with. Then there are people like Doug Taylor, who goes the extra mile by signing his receipts with a doodle of a little dog wagging its tail. “It gets a laugh, most Continue reading

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April 6, 2018

Industrial robots were once so dangerous that factory employees could not work in the same room as them due to safety concerns. This video shows just how far technology has come since those early years, with today’s soft-handed robots able to pick up delicate items like fruit or plush toys.

Questions:

  1. Why have items like apples traditionally been difficult for robots to handle? How does modern “soft-robotics” address this problem?
  2. Do you think robots could eventually displace much of the Continue reading
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April 3, 2018

With their fuzzy frames and quizzical expressions, alpacas might be one of the world’s goofiest looking animals. Of course, these llama-like creatures have much more to offer than just their funny faces. Alpaca fleece ranks as one of the finest textile materials available, similar to sheep’s wool only warmer and without any prickliness. In the 1990s these key qualities fueled a boom in alpaca fleece production that also encouraged many Americans to purchase their own animals for breeding. Once called Continue reading

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March 29, 2018

The runaway success of Netflix has proved to many media companies that the future of entertainment lies with streaming content. After all, why pay around $75 a month for cable when you can instantly access thousands of titles on Netflix for a fraction of the cost? This thinking has led to the creation of dozens of streaming services, ranging from big players like Hulu and YouTube TV to more specialized operations like the apps for Food Network or the WWE. Continue reading

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