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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July 14, 2021

The uncertainty and strain of the coronavirus pandemic caused a significant uptick in stress among millions of people across the country. According to a survey conducted by the CDC, nearly one-third of Americans said that they had recently experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety. In 2019, that number sat at just 11 percent. 

As a result, companies are making sure to emphasize stress-relief and wellness in their marketing campaigns and as features of new products. For instance, Lincoln is Continue reading

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June 15, 2021

In fall 2020 McDonald’s launched the Travis Scott meal, a branded partnership that significantly boosted sales at the fast food chain and earned more than $20 million for the rapper himself. The success of this promotion led to more collaborations with recording artists, including McDonald’s latest branded venture with the South Korean pop group BTS. According to observers, U.S. sales of the BTS meal are currently outpacing last year’s Travis Scott promotion, with restaurant visits up 12 percent from the Continue reading

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June 10, 2021

In 2017, the startup Moviepass offered film buffs a deal that seemed too good to be true. For $9.95 per month, subscribers could see up to one movie per day at all major theaters located throughout the country. Moviepass hoped to offset the costs of purchasing so many tickets by brokering bulk deals with theater chains and by monetizing users’ data. None of these plans ever came to fruition, however, which left the company with more than three million subscribers Continue reading

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The pandemic led to widespread disruptions across the world’s supply chains, leading to inflation and higher prices for many commodities. In response to these increasing costs, some companies have elected to reduce the size of their packaging rather than raise prices. For instance, Walmart shrank its Great Value paper towel rolls from 168 sheets to 120 sheets while the Tillamook County Creamery Association reduced its family sized ice cream containers from 56 ounces to 48 ounces. 

“Consumers check the Continue reading

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Nearly a month after a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline led to gasoline shortages across the nation, this week hackers targeted and shut down some operations at JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier. Like the previous incident, the perpetrators infiltrated the company’s computer systems and demanded a ransom to unlock them. Although JBS said that its systems are coming back online, it nevertheless had to halt operations at processing plants throughout the U.S. and Australia as a result of the attack. Continue reading

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Although the U.S. is averaging nearly 2 million Covid-19 vaccinations per day, the rate has certainly slowed down since last month’s daily average of 3.3 million vaccinations. 60 percent of the population has received at least one dose, but that still leaves tens of millions more who need to get their shots before the country hits herd immunity. According to a recent survey, worries about taking time off of work is one of the major reasons why many Americans have Continue reading

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Last week, hackers began a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, a major conduit that supplies nearly half of the East Coast’s oil. The hack completely shut down petroleum transportation as the Colonial Pipeline Company “proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems.” Although the company expects to have most of its capabilities returned by the end of the week, the shutdown has resulted in Continue reading

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