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 15, 2018

Last year, Amazon announced that it would build a second headquarters somewhere in the United States. Known as “HQ2,” the project generated instant interest among dozens of cities that wanted to attract the e-commerce giant to their communities. After all, Amazon said the headquarters would bring in at least 50,000 high-paying tech jobs, which could have a significant economic impact anywhere in the country. Cities then offered generous benefits and tax breaks in an effort to woo the company. While Continue reading

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November 8, 2018

A few months ago, Domino’s began running a TV ad campaign centered on a pretty unusual premise. The commercials showed workmen filling potholes with asphalt which were then spray-painted with the Domino’s logo. “We don’t want to lose any great-tasting pizza to a pothole, ruining a wonderful meal,” read a press release about the campaign. Called “Paving for Pizza,” Domino’s encouraged Americans to contact the company if they wanted some roads repaired in their town free of charge.

“Within the 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 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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October 5, 2018

Finding and keeping qualified employees is a constant struggle for companies across the nation. That’s why some businesses require staffers to sign non-compete clauses, which basically prevent them from jumping ship to a competitor. In the fast food industry, though, there’s another type of employment restriction that has long kept workers tied to a single location within a franchise. Called “no poach” policies, these strict guidelines prohibit staffers from switching jobs within a national chain.

For instance, say that a Continue reading

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September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.

Questions:

  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright 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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August 30, 2018

With the summer winding down, people across the country are returning from vacation and settling back into their normal routines. And while many Americans would certainly rather be back on the beach than at work or school, many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations seem happy to see their visitors go. According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, international trips increased by 6 percent in the first half of 2018. Although this amount of growth would usually be Continue reading

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