The Everything Town In The Middle Of Nowhere
On any given day, thousands of packages from Walmarts, Targets, and stores around the country travel north along a two-lane road out of Billings, Montana — past the Tumbleweed Saloon, past cows grazing on empty rangeland, past the Busy Bee Cafe and stands of short pines — to the town of Roundup, where they will be unboxed, re-boxed, and sent off to Amazon.
The Pandemic Will Reduce Inequality—Or Make It Worse
A recession is no picnic. A financial crisis leaves wounds that last for decades. A pandemic, though, can sow a unique kind of chaos. The rich got even richer after the Great Recession, but the Great Depression changed the social order.
What Happened To Donald Trump’s $365 Million Airline?
For a short time in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Donald Trump owned an airline. In 1989, Trump raised $365 million to purchase the Eastern Shuttle. Within 18 months, the airline lost over $125 million, and by 1992, Trump decided it was time to walk away.
How To Tell If You’re Talking To A Bot
It’s important not to be swayed by fake accounts or waste your time arguing with them, and identifying bots in a Twitter thread has become a strange version of the Turing test. Advances in machine learning hint at how bots could become more humanlike.
Life At The End Of American Empire
The 2008 crisis and the government’s response made obvious the extent of economic and political inequality in the United States, and the absolute decline in wealth and well-being for a growing fraction of Americans. Evidence of decline is manifest to those of us living in America in the first decades of the 21st century.
Data Compression Drives the Internet. Here’s How It Works.
With more than 9 billion gigabytes of information traveling the internet every day, researchers are constantly looking for new ways to compress data into smaller packages. Cutting-edge techniques focus on lossy approaches, which achieve compression by intentionally “losing” information from a transmission.
Why Cruise Lines Keep Cutting Their Ships In Half
In a process called “stretching,” the Star Breeze is getting pulled apart to make room for a new, 84-foot, 1,250-ton prefab midsection addition. Think of it like unsnapping (or unwelding) two Legos and putting another block in between. But with a boat.
How Psychology Is Just Catching Up With The Effects Of Online Hate
Lindsay Ellis is a video essayist. She makes videos commenting on films, TV shows, and other media. More than 860,000 people subscribe to her YouTube channel. But there is also this difficult aspect to what Ellis does: online hate.
Instagram, My Daughter, And Me
What Instagram has allowed me to do is to employ a kind of digital physics, to warp my experience of space and time in my favor. In the offline world, I spend precious hours with her and then she disappears. But online, she is with me again when I post, and then again each time I receive a notification.
How A Hot $100 Million Home Design Startup Collapsed Overnight
The untold story of how Homepolish’s extremely Instagrammable house of cards came tumbling down. Instead of building a design juggernaut, the founder constructed something much more precarious — a fear-based culture where sound strategy couldn’t flourish, and where the pressure to grow led to reckless decision-making.
How A New Technology Is Changing The Lives Of People Who Cannot Speak
Millions are robbed of the power of speech by illness, injury or lifelong conditions. Can the creation of bespoke digital voices transform their ability to communicate? The digital voice is not a remnant of who they were, but a promise of who they will be.
The Decoy Effect: How You Are Influenced To Choose Without Really Knowing It
The decoy effect is defined as the phenomenon whereby consumers change their preference between two options when presented with a third option – the “decoy” – that is “asymmetrically dominated”. It is also referred to as the “attraction effect” or “asymmetric dominance effect”.
The Real Problem With The Cruise Industry
What the novel coronavirus has revealed about the cruise industry is a “hidden in plain sight” problem — an international maritime regulatory structure that obfuscates and often ignores legal and social responsibility, accountability and culpability.
Is Big Tech Good For Your Health?
Health care is in the midst of a digital revolution and it is generating an ocean of data. Tech giants including Google and Microsoft want to work with hospitals and health-care systems to improve lives. But should people trust them with their medical data?
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 Quick And Ubiquitous Economics Of Bodegas
Whether you’re cruising in for a six-pack, or you live in the big city and depend on your corner store for, well, just about everything, they’ve usually got you covered. But how do they survive selling nothing but inexpensive merchandise?
How Migration Could Make The World Richer
Many of the recent political shifts in the West—the election of Donald Trump, the rise of populism in Europe and Brexit—can be partially attributed to the fear of mass migration. Yet increasing migration is one of the quickest ways to make the world richer.
Korvaa Is The World’s First Headphones “Grown” From Bio-based Materials
Helsinki-based multidisciplinary design studio Aivan recently unveiled Korvaa, the world’s first headphones made exclusively from microbially grown materials. Created using synbio, Korvaa is the first physical implementation of the technology and marks a potential shift away from a fossil fuel-based economy.
The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers In A Hole
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s chief executive, was hailed as a kingmaker in 2016 when he unveiled the Vision Fund. Using the cash hoard, Mr. Son poured money into fledgling companies across the world, many of which have a business model of hiring contractors who deliver their services. Above all, he urged these start-ups to grow as fast as possible.
As Companies Become Purpose-Led, Where Does That Leave Charities?
Sustainable, meaningful, purpose-led. However framed, when applied to organizations, these terms indicate to wider society that a company is committed to making a difference. Evidence proves that purpose-led organizations are no longer a buzzword.
What Comes After TV?
A mobile-storytelling platform called Quibi has loomed on the content horizon, promising that, when its app launches this spring, it will be a home to a huge library of short-form shows made specifically for your phone. But Snapchat has been operating in that space for years. It’s harder than you’d think.