September 1, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, problems with global supply chains have affected companies both large and small, leading some to reconsider their relationships with international manufacturers. Many other businesses are waiting for their products to arrive after weeks or even months of delays. For instance, the toy maker MGA Entertainment said its stock of Rainbow High dolls has been held up overseas due to a shortage of shipping containers. As a result, the company will likely not Continue reading

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August 26, 2021

For years now, many consumers have made an effort to cut down on their use of plastic bags by relying on cotton totes instead. Along with being better for the environment than non-biodegradable, single-use plastic, cotton bags can also serve as walking billboards for any organization that places their logo upon them. As a result, these totes can be spotted in stores the world over, emblazoned with branding from supermarkets, magazines, charities, and radio stations. 

But while cotton bags Continue reading

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August 20, 2021

This week, T-Mobile announced that hackers obtained the personal information of millions of customers in a ransomware attack. While the telecommunications giant said that 40 million users had their data compromised, the thieves themselves claimed they made off with information from more than 100 million people. This includes customers’ names, phone numbers, and addresses as well as other sensitive data such as social security numbers, drivers license information, and PIN numbers.

T-Mobile added that no passwords or account numbers were Continue reading

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August 17, 2021

The economic disruptions of the past year and a half caused small businesses to lose an average of 11 percent of their revenues. This was not the case for the globe’s big corporations, though. According to a McKinsey study of 5,500 “big, highly productive” U.S. and European companies, all surveyed firms reported that they experienced no declines in sales during the pandemic.

Although large companies had already been overtaking their smaller rivals before 2020, economists say that the pandemic widened Continue reading

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August 13, 2021

Last week, we looked at how Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging that Black Widow’s premiere on the company’s streaming platform deprived the movie star of income. The video below dives into further detail about how this upcoming legal battle could set the stage for big changes in Hollywood as on-screen talent looks to grab a piece of the increasingly important streaming market. 

Questions:

  1. How could Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney potentially transform actor compensation in Continue reading
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August 10, 2021

For decades, many American companies have relied on facilities in Southeast Asia to manufacture products that are then shipped over for dometic sale. Along with reducing production costs, firms also saved on inventory space through “just-in-time” ordering that allowed them to quickly bring in materials from overseas when necessary. But while relying on long-distance industrial suppliers has always been risky, the worst case scenario for this approach became a reality during the pandemic.

The global economy nearly shut down for Continue reading

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August 3, 2021

For decades, Hollywood’s top movie stars have brokered contracts that grant them a percentage of a film’s box office earnings in addition to their multi-million dollar salaries. Then the pandemic hit last year and completely upended the industry’s long-established practice of premiering movies in theaters. Instead, studios like Disney and Warner Bros. released new titles through the streaming platforms Disney+ and HBO Max as $30 single-viewing rentals. 

Once theaters began to reopen in 2021, studios combined both of these Continue reading

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July 28, 2021

Yesterday, the CDC announced that vaccinated Americans should once again wear masks in indoor public places. This reversal of course from guidelines established just two months ago comes as the Delta variant spreads across the country. As a result, companies that intended to bring their employees back into the office in the coming months are now reconsidering their reopening plans. 

For instance, Apple hoped to bring staff back into its corporate offices by September but have now pushed that Continue reading

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July 21, 2021

Over the last month, communities across the Western United States have imposed restrictions on water use as a major drought wreaks havoc on the region. This video looks at how the drop in the supply of surface water has hurt California farmers and why their pain could soon ripple out across the country.

Questions:

  1. How has the drought in the Western U.S. affected farmers in the region? 
  2. Do you think regulators should place restrictions on the use of groundwater Continue reading
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July 15, 2021

Those who have concerns about privacy on smartphones often focus on apps that track users’ internet browsing history or even their movements through GPS. But while such violations of privacy are becoming more well-known to users, many others appear to be unaware that some apps have open access to their contact lists. For instance, therapist Gabriela Buendia was shocked to discover that the payment app Venmo had shared a list of her phone contacts as well as data about everyone Continue reading

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