Two years ago Led Zeppelin made headlines after the band got hit with a lawsuit concerning their most iconic song. According to the complaint, songwriters Robert Plant and Jimmy Page stole the opening guitar riff to “Stairway to Heaven” from a short instrumental called “Taurus” by the American psychedelic band Spirit. While Led Zeppelin’s members denied any wrongdoing, cultural commenters pointed to the band’s history of plagiarism and previous legal battles. What’s more, the lawsuit appeared just months before another Continue reading

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A week has passed since more than 17 million voters in Great Britain chose to leave the European Union, leading to confusion and plummeting stock markets throughout the world. And while the immediate economic fallout from the “Brexit” decision has tapered off in that time, political leaders as well as regular people still don’t know what will happen next. In fact, British citizens aren’t even sure who will be running their country in a few months. Prime Minister David Cameron Continue reading

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June 27, 2016

Password protection has been an essential element of online security since the beginning of the Internet age. But as hackers become better at infiltrating digital defenses, many companies have started switching to more advanced user verification methods. For instance, millions of customers at Wells Fargo and Bank of America regularly use their fingerprints to access their accounts from mobile devices. This practice will only grow as more companies include fingerprint-scanning technology in future smartphone models.

And biometric security doesn’t stop Continue reading

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June 21, 2016

Few legal procedures are more emotionally charged than divorce. Former couples often bring the worst out in one another as they contentiously divide their assets in the presence of lawyers. According to the startup Wevorce, however, ending a marriage shouldn’t place such a large strain on anyone’s finances or feelings. Instead, the company hopes to transform divorce from a drawn-out legal nightmare into a civil, streamlined division of property and possessions.

For those who have experienced the devastating effects of Continue reading

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June 17, 2016

For years advertising has been the central source of revenue for the online world. It’s also been a nuisance to many users for just as long. From early pop-up ads to the modern era of loud auto-playing videos, online ads have the irritating ability to distract web surfers from the content they were actually looking for. As a result, millions of users across the globe have installed ad blockers to remove these annoying images from their online experience.

In fact, Continue reading

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June 14, 2016

The rapid rise of Asian manufacturing has transformed nations like China and India into economic powerhouses as well as environmental nightmares. World health experts estimate that millions of people have died due to excessive air pollution in these two countries. So far government officials have done little to relieve their increasingly stifled citizens, leading many to turn to a variety of consumer products for help. Along with pollution masks and air purifiers, a growing number of people are also purchasing Continue reading

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For the millions of Americans who struggle with debt, paying back the money they owe can become a life-consuming ordeal. These overstretched individuals either take years to settle with creditors or end up defaulting entirely. Since most lenders want to avoid the latter option, they sometimes opt to sell off delinquent debt to a third party for pennies on the dollar. For instance, a bank might sell off $100,000 of debt to another institution for just $1,000. While the lender Continue reading

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For more than a century millions of visitors have marveled at the staggering beauty contained in America’s national parks. According to the writer Wallace Stegner, “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” Still, even these sublime sanctuaries face the same kind of bureaucratic headaches that afflict other government agencies. In fact, years of flat funding have left the National Park Service with an $11 Continue reading

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For more than a century tipping has been the preferred method for American restaurants to pay their servers. The idea is that customers will tip more if they receive good service, thus giving employees incentive to do well. However, the system doesn’t always work out that way. Besides getting outright stiffed by diners, on slow nights servers can earn as little as $2.13 an hour, the legal minimum that tipped employees can be paid. Given these less than ideal outcomes, Continue reading

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American movie theaters have endured a rough couple of years as more consumers turn to the comfort of their living rooms as venues for entertainment. That’s far from the case in China, however. The Asian nation has become an increasingly important source of revenue for U.S. movie studios that have seen domestic receipts start to dwindle. In February Chinese theaters earned $1.05 billion at the box office, beating the American tally by nearly $250 million.

Still, China isn’t exactly an Continue reading

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