March 4, 2016

In today’s age of targeted advertising, billboards may seem like a holdover from another era. However, these seemingly obsolete roadside ads could bring about one of the latest advancements in mobile marketing. This week the media giant Clear Channel announced a plan to make their tens of thousands of billboards more effective by analyzing location data from smartphones. The idea is to aggregate demographic information about the people who travel by a particular billboard and where they go afterwards. For Continue reading

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March 2, 2016

For decades China’s industrial economy grew at a breakneck pace thanks to heavy investment from the state. This expansive age may be at an end, however. Over the last few years, demand for Chinese goods has dropped and its stock market has become increasingly unpredictable. Analysts say that China built up far too much manufacturing infrastructure that has now become an excessive drain on resources. As a result, last week the Chinese government announced the drastic measures it would take Continue reading

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February 29, 2016

Talcum powder is such a standard household item that most people don’t think twice about using it every day. That was certainly the case for Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Alabama, who for decades used Johnson & Johnson brand baby powder for feminine hygiene. Once she became diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, however, Fox soon learned that the seemingly healthy habit had actually caused her disease. Shocked by the news, Fox filed suit against Johnson & Johnson in a broader 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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February 15, 2016

billsIn a perfect world, buying cable TV or a smartphone wouldn’t require customers to parse through a mess of different contracts and “special” deals. But unfortunately that’s not how it works in reality. A confusing collection of regional offers, options and add-ons often confronts people who are looking to upgrade their media services. The whole tangled process can leave customers wondering whether they landed on a good price or ended up paying too much. In many cases, the latter is Continue reading

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February 10, 2016

airplaneFor the airline industry, the last few decades have been more like a rollercoaster ride than a smooth flight through calm skies. Enduring consistent losses as well as the occasional bankruptcy, companies began making deep cuts to basic services in order to keep costs down. Meanwhile, airfares continued to skyrocket even as in-air amenities started disappearing. Now it finally seems like all that belt-tightening is paying off: last year the four biggest domestic carriers together earned about $22 billion in Continue reading

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February 5, 2016

In Silicon Valley’s immensely competitive entrepreneurial environment, many startups end up failing shortly after they launch. But among these many fallen firms stand a few “unicorns,” or private tech companies with valuations worth more than $1 billion. At these lucky startups, the strategy is to increase the firm’s value as much as possible until it can be sold to the highest bidder. Not only does such a sale grant enormous payouts for founders and investors, it can also enrich regular Continue reading

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February 3, 2016

For almost a decade, the Brooklyn chocolate company Mast Brothers seemed to embody the New York borough’s newfound artisanal spirit. Touting their product as handcrafted “bean-to-bar” chocolate, founders Rick and Michael Mast took center stage in marketing campaigns that celebrated their candy’s quality and authenticity. Dressed in antiquated suits and sporting long Civil War-era beards, the pair soon became just as famous for their appearance as their $9 candy bars. But this meticulously crafted image may have been spoiled for Continue reading

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February 1, 2016

For many inventors, creating a machine that’s functional as well as popular can feel like striking gold, even if the actual material reward for their work isn’t exactly golden. That’s the situation Shane Chen found himself in since inventing the “hoverboard,” a two-wheeled, Segway-like vehicle that doesn’t quite float but has nevertheless been flying off the shelves. Unfortunately for Chen, many consumers are buying hoverboards from companies that have not paid him for his patented design. Instead, consumers are taking Continue reading

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