In The Race For Cheap Airfare, It’s You vs. The Machine
Travel providers now use artificial intelligence software to re-price their offerings, sometimes dozens of times a day, to maximize revenue. For business and leisure travelers, the result is a variation of the cat-and-mouse game, where travel companies are almost always the cat.
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.
What Happened To Giant Flying Boats? The Saunders-Roe Princess Story
In 1943, Saunders-Roe, an iconic British aircraft builder, began planning for the future by drafting a design for a truly next-generation flying boat. But by the time the Princess took its first flight, the world had been completely transformed by the rapid development of runways and advances in land-based aircraft.
Saudi Arabia: What Happens When The Oil Stops
Mohammed bin Salman is about to find out what happens when the world does not need his oil. In the past, the standard response to that hypothesis was condescending looks. Not any more. The prospect of Saudi becoming a debtor nation is real.
The Productivity Paradox
Higher productivity means the expectation of rising wages and abundant job opportunities. In a time of Facebook, smartphones, self-driving cars, and computers that can beat a person at just about any board game, how can the key economic measure of technological progress be so pathetic?
‘Angels’ In Hell: The Culture Of Misogyny Inside Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret defined femininity for millions of women. But inside the company, two powerful men presided over an entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment, according to interviews with more than 30 current and former executives, employees, contractors and models, as well as court filings and other documents.
How Mormons Built The Next Silicon Valley While No One Was Looking
Unglamorous, rapidly scalable businesses that play into a theme investors affectionately refer to as “the consumerization of enterprise.” Unsurprisingly, most of these companies are also headed by a young, white, Mormon guy.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
Big Tech Takes Aim At The Low-Profit Retail-Banking Industry
After years of timidity Big Tech, with its billions of users and gigantic war chest, at last appears serious about crashing the fintech party. Amazon and Apple introduced a credit card. Facebook announced a new payments system and Google said it would start offering current (checking) accounts in America.
Offices Can Be Hell For People Whose Brains Work Differently
Work spaces today come with strong smells, harsh light, lots of chatter, and constant messages on email or Slack. For neurodivergent people, this can be a big ask.
How Saudi Arabia Infiltrated Twitter
In April 2014, a public relations firm representing the Saudi Embassy asked Ahmad Abouammo, part of Twitter’s global media team, to verify an account belonging to a Saudi news personality. This request for a blue checkmark opened the door to a working relationship with the country’s government.
The ‘Hidden Mechanisms’ That Help Those Born Rich To Excel In Elite Jobs
Sociologists Daniel Laurison and Sam Friedman have uncovered a striking, consistent pattern in data about England’s workforce: Not only are people born into working-class families far less likely than those born wealthy to get an elite job—but they also, on average, earn 16 percent less in the same fields of work.
The Rise And Fall Of Sega
With an aggressive marketing campaign and a new star in Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega solidified itself as a top contender in the industry and a force to be reckoned with. However, its reign at the top was short-lived, as it eventually caused its own downfall with a series of tragic mistakes.
How To Boost Your Home’s WiFi
You may have a moment when you realize that your Wi-Fi just isn’t cutting it anymore — it could be a frozen video feed, a rainbow spinner on your screen, or a cry from your kids when their favorite game doesn’t load. Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your bandwidth.
The Secret History Of Facial Recognition
Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. He died on October 4, 1995. His obituary in the Austin American-Statesman made no mention of his work on facial recognition. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?
In Venezuela’s Economic Crisis, Bitcoin Is a Lifeline
Faced with hyperinflation, a worthless local currency and a risky black market for dollars, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to bitcoin as a tool for survival in the world’s worst-performing economy.
Hollywood Is Quietly Using AI To Help Decide Which Movies To Make
AI will tell you who to cast and predict how much money you’ll make. Despite skepticism about specific applications, the tide might be turning. A single factor has convinced Hollywood to stop dismissing big data: Netflix.
Ponzi Schemes, Private Yachts, And A Missing $250 Million In Crypto: The Strange Tale Of Quadriga
When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.
Swarms of Teeny Robo-Tractors Will Outmaneuver Tesla’s Driverless Cars
While Elon Musk’s Tesla and Waymo Cars get all the attention — and regulations — autonomous vehicles for farming face fewer tech barriers and could be just as important.
The Saga Of Punkin’ Donuts
The Dunkin’ Donuts that used to be at the northwest corner of Belmont and Clark earned its nickname in the 80s and 90s. How a doughnut-shop parking lot became a confluence of Chicago youth subcultures—and what killed it off.