December 8, 2017

Over the last few months, we’ve posted a couple of stories about Bitcoin’s enormous gains in 2017. First we marveled at how the cryptocurrency’s value had risen to $4,000 in August after starting the year at just $985. By November, a single Bitcoin became worth more than $7,200. Since then the cryptocurrency has climbed even higher while also experiencing some major fluctuations. Last night, for instance, Bitcoin’s value reached a record high of $17,153 before eventually falling to around Continue reading

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November 3, 2017

When we took a look at Bitcoin in August, the cryptocurrency had just reached a record value of more than $4,000. Since then it has only continued to grow in worth, topping out $7,200 this week. Many experts now say that Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies could be the future of money, even though most consumers have no clue how they work. This longform video tries to remedy that problem by comparing Bitcoin with the stone ring currency system used Continue reading

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October 13, 2017

This light and breezy video takes you to Mcity, a tiny town that serves as the test track for the University of Michigan’s autonomous vehicle research program. Engineers observe closely as self-driving cars learn how to avoid pedestrians and navigate through obstacles in a realistic setting.

Questions:

  1. What is the benefit of testing products like autonomous vehicles in controlled but realistic settings?
  2. Do you think self-driving cars will become a common sight on the road within a few years?
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October 3, 2017

legosThe last decade has been a good one for the Danish company Lego. After surviving a brush with bankruptcy in 2004, the famous toymaker regrouped and pursued an aggressive sales strategy focused on creating popular product lines. The plan worked as brands like Lego Architecture and the Mindstorms series attracted thousands of fans both young and old. By 2010 profits had quadrupled from the same time two years before. The company has since released two hit movies while continuing to Continue reading

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August 22, 2017

max-pixelWhen Bitcoin launched in 2008, a single unit of the mysterious cryptocurrency was worth just a little more than half a cent. Bitcoin’s value remained under a dollar for years afterward, leading many to wonder why anyone would invest in a strange new currency that couldn’t be controlled by any government or company. Besides being seemingly worthless, Bitcoin also operated through a decentralized network of computers whose owner was impossible to verify. This anonymity extended to Bitcoin’s users as well, Continue reading

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August 3, 2017

timrockOver the course of four decades, more than 80,000 people have learned how to become McDonald’s managers on the the leafy grounds of Hamburger University. The company long considered this 86-acre Oak Brook, Illinois, institution to be the perfect place to train employees while also attracting top-level executives. Then last year McDonald’s surprised staff by announcing the company would move its headquarters out of the suburbs and into the West Loop of Chicago.

Located near an “L” train stop and Continue reading

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August 1, 2017

netflixSince launching 20 years ago, Netflix has transformed from a DVD-by-mail service into the undisputed king of streaming video. The company now has more than 104 million subscribers across the world, a 25 percent increase since last year and quadruple the number of customers from 2012. On any given evening in North America, Netflix streaming accounts for more than a third of all download Internet traffic. The company’s lineup of original shows and movies are also a hit with critics Continue reading

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July 26, 2017

wedding-flowersAs the sudden closing of Alfred Angelo Bridal shows, dealing with weddings can be unpredictable and continuously frustrating even on the business side. But the financial rewards are vast for those who manage to navigate this volatile sector successfully. The wedding industry earned $58 billion in revenue in 2016 and is expected to bring in $63 billion by 2021. The average wedding now costs $26,500 as couples spend generously over the year or so that they spend planning the big Continue reading

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July 14, 2017

edwin-leeThis week we’ve taken a look at the effect mobile technology has had on Chinese businesses, both for better and worse. Of course, China is far from the only Asian nation to undergo drastic changes thanks to the rise of smartphones. From India to Indonesia, mobile technology has altered the ways that both consumers and businesspeople go about their lives. Still, perhaps no other place on the continent has been as fundamentally changed by smartphones as the country of Continue reading

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July 13, 2017

charles-chanAs we’ve covered a couple of times already, this has been a difficult year for many American retailers. While brick-and-mortar stores struggle to compete with e-commerce outlets, online retailers as well must grapple with the ever-increasing might of Amazon. These seismic shifts in power have led many to wonder what the future of the industry might look like. Amazon has recently been experimenting with cashierless stores, but observers say the company still has a lot of work to do Continue reading

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