January 11, 2023

As the post-pandemic economic recovery slows down, many companies are looking to trim their bottom lines through restructuring and layoffs. Unlike in previous downturns, however, professional employees have largely been on the receiving end of these job cuts. The video below examines why white collar workers are more likely to receive a pink slip than their blue collar brethren.

Questions:

  1. Why are white collar workers facing a disproportionate amount of layoffs as the economy slows down?
  2. How can the strong Continue reading
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November 16, 2022

Few financial sectors are as volatile as cryptocurrency, with the price of bitcoin down by more than 60 percent since the start of the year. The coin’s recent drop can be directly attributed to the downfall of FTX, a crypto exchange once valued at more than $32 billion. Founded by Samuel Bankman-Fried, FTX attracted the interest of top venture capital firms who invested hundreds of millions in the seemingly promising project. The company purchased mainstream legitimacy with their immense capital, Continue reading

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November 9, 2022

Tesla owner Elon Musk has never been shy about seeking the spotlight, and for years he could always find an easy audience by talking to his Twitter following of more than 100 million people. Even that level of attention wasn’t enough for the world’s richest man, however, who purchased the social network outright at the end of October for a whopping $44 billion. That gargantuan price tag now ranks as history’s largest leveraged buyout of a tech firm, although it Continue reading

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November 4, 2022

2022 has been a tough year for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. In February we examined how the social media giant lost $230 billion in market value in a single day. Then in September, we looked at the company’s premier platform Instagram and how it angered many users by trying to emulate the short-video format of TikTok. Many of Meta’s woes stem from recent changes to Apple’s terms of service that prevent digital advertisers from collecting data Continue reading

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October 26, 2022

A few weeks ago, we looked at the sprawling global sneaker industry and how companies like Adidas earn billions annually thanks in large part to their unique brand partnerships. The German sneaker giant’s most profitable celebrity connection over the years has been with Kanye West (now known as Ye), with whom Adidas has collaborated on the Yeezy line of shoes and clothing for nearly a decade. This partnership has been hugely profitable: one data research firm estimates that Yeezy is Continue reading

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October 21, 2022

Earlier this week, we posted a video about a seemingly unremarkable highway corridor in Arizona that turned into a haven for enormous warehouses. Logistics hubs like these are becoming increasingly common around the U.S., from Southern California’s warehouse epicenter in the Inland Empire to multi-million square-foot facilities in Ohio and New York. Satellite images collected over the last 20 years show how warehouses have transformed acres of wide-open space into concentrated networks of huge buildings swarming with workers. In fact, Continue reading

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September 23, 2022

When Airbnb launched in 2008, the short-term rental company marketed itself as an easy alternative to hotels that had supposedly become too restrictive for the modern traveler. 14 years after its founding, however, many guests are heading back to hotels because of extensive cleaning requirements from Airbnb hosts. For example, teacher Christina Marie recently booked a short-term rental house on Lake Tahoe with her family of six. She spent the last day of her vacation cleaning and ensuring that her Continue reading

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September 20, 2022

Over the years, Instagram has attracted hundreds of millions of daily users by providing a platform for people to share pictures and videos of their family and friends. Starting in 2020, though, the social network launched Instagram Reels, a short-video feature made to rival TikTok. Although Instagram’s parent company Meta has staked much of its future on Reels, internal company documents show that the feature is not very popular with users both large and small. 

For example, Instagram users Continue reading

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September 9, 2022

Every month, more than one billion people use Google Maps to find their way around the world. The video below looks at the history of this revolutionary app since its launch 17 years ago as well as the ethical issues that come with gathering location data from millions of unknowing users.

Questions:

  1. How do businesses use Google Maps as a promotional tool?
  2. Do you think Google’s system of “differential privacy” provides enough protection for users’ location data? Why or why not?
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August 24, 2022

exasperated woman working at computerLike other social networks, TikTok users share almost everything about their lives on the app, from their favorite music and TV shows to their anxieties about work. In fact, talk about the latter has increased significantly in recent weeks as videos about “quiet quitting” generate millions of views among young professionals. The phrase is meant to convey the opposite idea of “hustle culture,” another popular work-related topic on TikTok that encourages people to devote themselves entirely to their careers. Quiet Continue reading

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