February 26, 2016

google carEven though stories about self-driving cars have appeared in the news for years now, the concept still seems almost too futuristic to be true. Autonomous autos are far from science fiction, however. In fact, some experts estimate that driverless cars will eventually reduce America’s 33,000 annual road fatalities by 80 percent. Carmakers recently took one step closer towards this goal when the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Google that its artificial intelligence system could be legally recognized Continue reading

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February 24, 2016

For many modern eaters, food doesn’t necessarily have to be healthy as long as it’s authentic. After all, people don’t eat at popular burger joints like Shake Shack because their food is more nutritious than McDonald’s. Today’s fast casual chains draw in customers by focusing on how their ingredients are genuine and sustainable rather than simply healthy. As Chipotle’s recent troubles show, though, maintaining high quality standards in the vast food industry is a lot more difficult than advertised. Not Continue reading

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February 22, 2016

Last week, a judge ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the perpetrators in the San Bernardino mass shooting. Despite the gravity of the case, the tech giant refused the government’s request on the grounds that such an act would compromise the security of all its customers. “We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a Continue reading

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January 27, 2016

For years, skilled workers from around the world have used H-1B visas as their tickets into the U.S. These visas are intended to provide companies with a pool of specialized foreign labor in case they can’t find any qualified domestic candidates. According to a recent lawsuit, however, one of the world’s biggest brands may have been abusing the H-1B system in order to boost their own bottom line. Rather than filling open positions with outsourced labor, The Walt Disney Company Continue reading

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January 25, 2016

In 2014 more than three hundred million Indians were regular users of the Internet, representing nearly a quarter of the country. With that number expected to double by 2020, India is the fastest growing online market outside of China. However, there’s a crucial difference in the way these two Asian nations use the Web. While China’s government prohibits foreign digital services like Facebook from setting up shop, India welcomes them.

At least that’s the way it works in theory. After Continue reading

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In an ideal world, FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, wouldn’t need to have its money management practices closely scrutinized. After all, FIFA is a nonprofit association whose primary function is to enforce the rules of the game and encourage its global expansion. In reality, however, the organization has been long accused of acting as a haven for corruption and corporate impropriety.

This much was confirmed in late May when Swiss police raided a luxury hotel in Zurich and Continue reading

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In an earlier issue of the newsletter, we took a look at the methods that Chinese authorities use to curb the production of counterfeit merchandise. For the most part, these measures focused on reporting knockoffs of big names like Nike and Gucci. But combating pirated products isn’t solely the problem of multinational brands. For instance, in 2012 Jeff Sasaki took his iPhone accessory company Element Case to a Hong Kong trade show. When he arrived at the convention, he found Continue reading

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When the stock market collapsed in 2008, the government deemed Wall Street’s ailing banks “too big to fail” and provided them with a multi-billion dollar bailout. The emergency loan ultimately saved the banks, but has provided no shortage of controversy ever since. To the financial sector’s critics, many of the problems caused by these banks stemmed from their enormous size. In fact, nothing much has changed since the financial collapse: the same five banks that dominated bond underwriting and Continue reading

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April 5, 2015

Each year the pharmaceutical industry develops new drugs that go a long way towards fighting some of the world’s worst diseases. For instance, Bristol-Meyers Squibb recently received FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approval for Opdivo, a drug that significantly boosts the survival rate for sufferers of advanced melanoma. However, one major obstacle stands in the way of Opdivo’s ability to help patients: price. One year of treatment with the drug costs $150,000 per patient, an impossibly tall order for many Continue reading

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April 2, 2015

To many amateur investors, a company that brings in more than $1 billion in annual sales would seem like a pretty safe bet. But these numbers didn’t impress Wall Street hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson when he noticed them in a report about Lumber Liquidators. From his professional perspective, this small flooring retailer should not have been enjoying such large profit margins. Suspecting that the company was cutting corners in some way, he advised his clients to sell the company Continue reading

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