China Aims To Launch The World’s First Official Digital Currency
Dozens of central banks have started looking at whether to issue digital currencies. But only a few have run trials and none has gone as far as China, which appears set to become the first country to put a central-bank digital currency (cbdc) into limited use.
The Great Wall Street Housing Grab
Wall Street’s latest real estate grab has ballooned to roughly $60 billion, representing hundreds of thousands of properties. In some communities, it has fundamentally altered housing ecosystems in ways we’re only now beginning to understand, fueling a housing recovery without a homeowner recovery.
Once Hailed As Unhackable, Blockchains Are Now Getting Hacked
More and more security holes are appearing in cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms, and some are fundamental to the way they were built.
The Lost Art Of Concentration: Being Distracted In A Digital World
We check our phones every 12 minutes, often just after waking up. Always-on behaviour is harmful to long-term mental health, and we need to learn to the hit the pause button. Experts are telling us that these interruptions and distractions have eroded our ability to concentrate.
The Drone Boat Of ‘Shipwreck Alley’
Divers flock from all over the world to see the wrecks for themselves each year — and last spring, they were joined by an unusual interloper: an autonomous boat named BEN. BEN is a self-driving boat that’s been tasked with making maps, and to help lay bare the long-lost secrets of the lakebed.
I Lost My Life To Airbnb
I had been living in Rome but moved to Chicago five years ago. Obsessively renting out my home was the only way I could make it in the gig economy. When I found myself sleeping on the subway, I realized I’d gone too far.
The Most Common Airbnb Scams Worldwide
Scammers all over the world have figured how best to game the Airbnb platform: by engaging in bait and switches; charging guests for fake damages; persuading people to pay outside the Airbnb app, and engaging in clumsy or threatening demands for five-star reviews to hide the evidence of what they’ve done.
Buying Organic Veggies At The Supermarket Is A Waste Of Money
It has happened to all of us. You’re standing in the produce aisle, just trying to buy some zucchini, when you face the inevitable choice: Organic or regular? Is it worth the extra money? The answer: Probably not.
Why Do We Work So Hard?
Work, in this context, means active, billable labour. But in reality, it rarely stops. It follows us home on our smartphones, tugging at us during an evening out or in the middle of our children’s bedtime routines. It becomes our lives if we are not careful. It becomes us.
How Africa Can Get Rich
Africa is changing so fast, it is becoming hard to ignore. In the short term, the continent faces many problems, but in the long term, it could rival China’s economic might. By the end of this century, Africa is set to play a much bigger role in world affairs. The Asian growth miracle is likely to slow Africa’s rapid rise could be next.
Iceland’s Big Bitcoin Heist
With its cheap geothermal energy and low crime rate, Iceland has become the world’s leading miner of digital currency. Then the crypto-crooks showed up. The thieves weren’t robbing banks. They were stealing the presses that print digital money.
The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign To Reelect The President
After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.
The Internet’s Second Revolution
The second half of humanity is joining the internet. People in countries like India will change the internet, and it will change them. You have a whole bunch of languages that don’t enjoy very good support in terms of web browsers or input. And you have a whole bunch of people who can’t actually read or write.
Future Shock In The Countryside
Conflicting populations already struggle against the seasonal chaos of floods and droughts. The large industrial centers that power fossil-fuel pollution are at risk—the Pearl River Delta is one—but disproportionate consequences are poised to fall upon areas that did little to contribute.
The People’s NSA
Meet the hackers who are working with investigative journalists to expose organized crime and corruption by some of the world’s most sinister governments. Those governments are going to great lengths to shut down investigative reporting through cyber attacks and other intimidation tactics.
The “Smart City” Makes Infrastructure And Surveillance Indistinguishable
The “smart city” is not an actually existing entity. It’s a misleading euphemism for a corporately controlled urban future. Urban command centers are built primarily for police, not planners, let alone the public.
Teen Girl Invents Simple, Yet Innovative Way To Remove Blind Spots In Cars
Alaina Gassler built a prototype system with a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials to fill in the space the car frame blocks from drivers. She mounted the webcam outside the passenger side A-pillar on a car and then displayed the live video on the inside pillar from a projector.
The Economy Of Cuba
Cuba is home to possibly the most bizarre economy in the world. Its wild swings between a hardcore capitalist society to a worker’s paradise and now an odd combination of both has meant that the country has probably not been able to live up to its full potential.
How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys
In the last 10 years, Lego has grown into nothing less than the Apple of toys: a profit-generating, design-driven miracle built around premium, intuitive, highly covetable hardware that fans can’t get enough of. An exclusive look inside the company’s top-secret Future Lab.
When Elon Musk Tried To Destroy A Tesla Whistleblower
It started with an Elon Musk Twitter meltdown and ended with a fake mass shooter. A former security manager says the company also spied and spread misinformation.
How Air Conditioning Created The Modern City
The shopping mall would have been inconceivable without air conditioning, as would the deep-plan and glass-walled office block, as would computer servers. The expansion of tract housing in postwar suburban America relied on affordable domestic air conditioning units.