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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July 24, 2018

Last week, we took a look at the “robocallers” who use fake caller ID information to trick Americans into picking up their phones. Although they are undoubtedly annoying, these automated messages are far less dangerous than the human scammers who directly target vulnerable consumers. For instance, an older person might receive a threatening call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The scammer will then tell their victim to send an immediate payment or else risk Continue reading

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July 20, 2018

Back in the pre-Internet days, companies would pay a fortune to set up services that allowed them to limit the number of phone lines used in the office. This meant that a company with 100 employees could use a single number with extensions rather than set up 100 seperate lines. Once caller ID came on the scene, these systems would display the same name to the receiver whether the call was coming from the mailroom or the C-suite.

This pricey 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 22, 2018

In recent years, millions of consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. Along with enjoying wide selections and free home delivery, e-commerce customers often don’t pay sales tax for items purchased online. However, that last fact could soon change thanks to a new Supreme Court ruling.

The decision reverses a previous ruling that prevented companies from collecting sales tax in states where they had no physical presence. Given that online retailers aren’t constrained by borders, though, a 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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Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed all sorts of websites sending emails to your inbox about updates to their privacy policies. The timing of these messages is no coincidence: they’re all part of an effort to inform users about the changes that are set to come from a piece of legislation recently passed by the European Union. Named the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this video details how the new law will let people opt-out of data Continue reading

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April 17, 2018

Earlier this month, the music streaming service Spotify went public on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation worth approximately $30 billion. And while that is certainly an enormous amount of money, it pales in comparison to the $93 billion that the Japanese telecom giant Softbank privately raised last year to create a technology investment fund. In the past, major IPOs such as Spotify’s tended to be the most dependable way for up-and-coming companies to receive a major infusion Continue reading

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March 23, 2018

In the aftermath of Facebook’s data sharing scandal, critics of the company are calling on lawmakers to discuss ways that the social network could be regulated. To these concerned citizens, Facebook has grown too large to be trusted with so much of the public’s information. The video below looks at how America’s tech giants became so big and the ways that regulators could possibly target these companies in the future.

Questions:

  1. Do you think big tech companies like Facebook, Continue reading
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March 6, 2018

Last year, hackers targeted the credit reporting firm Equifax in one of the biggest data breaches in history. While the company initially estimated the cyberattack had affected 143 million consumers, it increased that number by 2.5 million a month later. Then last week Equifax announced a further 2.4 million people had been harmed by the hack, placing the grand total somewhere in the neighborhood of 148 million. Unlike the vast majority of consumers who had their social security information leaked, Continue reading

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