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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June 28, 2018

If you’re lucky enough to visit the beach this summer, you already know to bring plenty of sunscreen to protect yourself from any harmful rays. What you might not realize, however, is that some types of sunscreen can also damage the environment. As much as 70 percent of brands on the market contain the chemicals octinoxate or oxybenzone, described by the National Ocean Service as “highly toxic to juvenile corals and other marine life.”

That’s bad news for places like Continue reading

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June 26, 2018

The e-commerce site Etsy is almost entirely powered by millions of independent sellers who offer everything from vintage clothes to freshly made slime. A good number of these entrepreneurs make their living by selling stuff on the site, which explains the anger that many of them felt towards a recent policy change at the company. Instead of collecting a transaction fee of 3.5 percent of sales, Etsy now plans to take a 5 percent cut of both sales and Continue reading

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June 21, 2018

After a lot of legal wrangling, AT&T and Time Warner recently received permission to proceed with a long-awaited corporate merger. But they aren’t the only media companies looking to combine forces: Disney plans to buy Fox, so long as Comcast doesn’t beat them to the punch. This video takes a look at what these mergers mean for the companies themselves as well as consumers.

Questions:

  1. Why are major media companies starting to join forces through corporate mergers?
  2. How do you Continue reading
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Lately the news has been full of headlines about the U.S. potentially imposing tariffs on goods from countries like China. These articles are typically followed by stories saying that other nations could place their own tariffs on American goods, thus potentially setting the stage for a “trade war.” This video explains exactly what happens during a trade war and how they can affect economies around the world.  

  1. What are some reasons why a country would want to impose a 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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With more than 26,000 locations nationwide and thousands more around the globe, Subway ranks as the world’s largest restaurant chain. Despite its size, though, the sandwich giant has shown some signs of decline recently. Along with three consecutive years of falling sales (including a 4.4 percent drop in 2017), foot traffic in Subway restaurants has plummeted by 25 percent since 2012. In fact, insiders estimate that as many as one-third of the company’s locations are not profitable.

To combat this 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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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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March 16, 2018

As we saw yesterday with the sad state of Toys ‘R’ Us, the last few years have not been kind to brick-and-mortar retailers. The rise of online commerce has encouraged an increasing number of consumers to do their shopping at home, leaving many companies worried that they could be the next to go under. But while this is a new feeling for some, others like independent bookstore owners have had to deal with such fears for a long time. Continue reading

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