It’s Time To Break Up Apple

from Fast Company A recurring theme of the last two years–politically, culturally, economically–has been yelling out loud what was supposed to be merely whispered or implied; throwing caution to the wind and, essentially, telling on yourself. That’s exactly what Apple did yesterday. This Monday, the beloved tech giant announced its big plans to seek fresh revenue in areas where it’s already built a significant audience. You’ve been able to get loans to purchase Apple products–now it’s launching the credit card to end all credit cards. Before, you could read news on Apple’s News app–now the company is partnering with some […]

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Why Now Is The Best Time To Embrace Blockchain Technology

from Forbes This is going to be a bold statement: It’s time for your business to start embracing blockchain, the biggest game-changer in technology since the internet. Blockchain, to those unfamiliar with the concept, is a hyperledger. This technology makes it possible for users to enjoy a transparent and distributed digital record of transactions while doing away with the need for a central database. By decentralizing data storage and enabling distribution of digital records, this technology provides transparency and allows users to transact with one another without needing a third party. With blockchain, everyone can manage their own data — from […]

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Business Is Likely To Reshape Higher Ed

from Brookings It’s broadly understood that a college degree or its equivalent is crucial to making it into the middle class in America. But getting those qualifications can be a risky process for many young Americans from a modest income background. Indeed, just 9 percent of young people from the lowest income quartile will ever earn a college degree. But even completing a degree does not necessarily mean a graduate will receive the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce. That’s because of a profound disconnect between many college administrators and recruiters for business about what is needed. Just 11 percent of business leaders believe […]

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How to Become a C.E.O.? The Quickest Path Is a Winding One

from NYTs How does a person get to be the boss? What does it take for an ambitious young person starting a career to reach upper rungs of the corporate world — the C.E.O.’s office, or other jobs that come with words like “chief” or “vice president” on the office door? The answer has always included hard work, brains, leadership ability and luck. But in the 21st century, another, less understood attribute seems to be particularly important. To get a job as a top executive, new evidence shows, it helps greatly to have experience in as many of a business’s […]

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What Breaking Up the Banks Wouldn’t Fix

from The Atlantic Nearly a decade ago, as the entire financial system was collapsing, the bank where I worked, Citibank, was deemed too big to fail. Many other banks were also in the same situation, and also bailed out and allowed to live. And live on they do. Today Citibank, and the other banks, are just as big. This is causing some policy makers to worry. Neel Kashkari, who helped structure the bailout, is now president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. On Tuesday he gave a speech, stating that those big banks pose an “ongoing risk to our economy.” It […]

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38 Maps That Explain The Global Economy

from Vox.com Commerce knits the modern world together in a way that nothing else quite does. Almost anything you own these days is the result of a complicated web of global interactions. And there’s no better way to depict those interactions and the social and political circumstances that give rise to them than with a map or two. Or in our case, 38. These maps are our favorite way to illustrate the major economic themes facing the world today. Some of them focus on the big picture while others illustrate finer details. The overall portrait that emerges is of a […]

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Antitrust Scrutiny for 3 Big U.S. Theater Chains

from NYTs A simmering federal investigation into whether the big movie theater chains are misusing their market clout to keep new films away from independent competitors gained steam on Tuesday. Cinemark Holdings, the nation’s third-largest movie theater operator, disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had received a civil investigative demand for information from the antitrust division of the Justice Department. Cinemark’s two bigger competitors, Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment, on Monday alerted shareholders to similar requests. Together, the three chains control about 42 percent of the nation’s movie screens. For months, the government has been looking into […]

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Privacy And Advertising In Windows 10: Both Sides Of The Story

from Infoworld While Microsoft’s been collecting personally identified information of various kinds for more than a decade, Windows 10’s going to turn that trickle into a gusher. You can curb some of the data-gathering proclivities with various tools and websites, but you won’t be able to turn it off entirely without disabling some features that you’ll probably want to use. And no matter how you shake it, Windows needs access to that info in order to provide you with the services you likely want. The decrease in privacy and concomitant increase in advertising in Windows 10 is a multi-edged sword. […]

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Why a Harvard Professor Has Mixed Feelings When Students Take Jobs in Finance

from NYTs This is a bittersweet time on campus. Seniors are beginning to find jobs, and while their enthusiasm is infectious, some of their choices give me pause. Many of the best students are not going to research cancer, teach and inspire the next generation, or embark on careers in public service. Instead, large numbers are becoming traders, brokers and bankers. At Harvard in 2014, nearly one in five students who took a job went to finance. For economics majors, the number was closer to one in two. I can’t help wondering: Is this the best use of talent? Of course, […]

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LinkedIn’s CEO Thinks His $1.5B Buy Will Make You Smarter

from Wired ONLINE JOB-TRAINING SITE Lynda has built a library of more than 6,300 courses that teach business and technology skills from better navigating Excel to using design software. And now that library belongs to LinkedIn. The $1.5 billion acquisition, which is the largest in LinkedIn’s history, is part of CEO Jeff Weiner’s master plan to make LinkedIn not just a resume repository, but a place for professionals to manage their careers and, increasingly, learn new skills—especially in the world’s fastest-growing economies.  In the last year, LinkedIn has more than doubled its Chinese user base, but still only 9 million of […]

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How Corporations Took Over the First Amendment

from The Atlantic When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that POM Wonderful was overstating pomegranate juice’s health benefits in its advertisements, a press release from the FTC, which was challenging POM in court, called the decision “a victory for consumers.” The Wall Street Journal agreed, describing it as “a notable win.” In a sense, it was: The company was banned from trumpeting its juice as an elixir that could help prevent heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction if there wasn’t sufficient research done to back up those claims. But in another sense, the decision wasn’t a victory at all. Buried in the […]

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Socrates in Silicon Valley

from Project Syndicate If Socrates’s gadfly was in Silicon Valley, it would have a lot of lazy horses to sting. The citizens of the techno-polis appear oblivious to how the outside world’s perception of them has changed, and radically so. Once universally revered as a hotbed of innovation, the world’s premier technology hub is increasingly viewed with suspicion and resentment. Yes, Silicon Valley is still admired as a source of invention and creative destruction; but it is also widely viewed as having lost its ethical compass. With proliferating reports of lax attitudes toward data privacy, wanton disregard for the dignity of the […]

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The Economics of California’s Drought

from The Atlantic As the U.S. Northeast emerges from yet another snowstorm, California has just concluded its hottest winter ever, registering average temperatures 4.4 degrees warmer than the state’s 20th-century average. Warm temperatures and clear skies may strike a beleaguered Bostonian as the cause for celebration. But in California, the dry conditions mean that the state’s drought has only grown more devastating. How devastating? Earlier this month, the title of a Los Angeles Times op-ed published by Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor at UC Irvine, got right to the point:California would run out of water in […]

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Labor Unions In A Post-Industrial Age

from Seth’s Blog The us/them mindset of the successful industrialist led to the inevitable and essential creation of labor unions. If, as Smith and Marx wrote, owning the means of production transfers maximum value to the factory owner, the labor union provided a necessary correction to an inherently one-sided relationship. Industrialism is based on doing a difficult thing (making something) ever cheaper and more reliably. The union movement is the result of a group of workers insisting that they be treated fairly, despite the fact that they don’t own the means of production. Before globalism, unions had the ability to limit […]

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The FCC Did NOT Make the Internet a Public Utility

from Medium Today the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to approve of Title II-backed net neutrality regulations. It’s a big and important day for the Internet. As I write this, advocates all across D.C. are celebrating. And they should! Not so long ago, after the D.C. Circuit ruled against the FCC in Verizon v. FCC, many pronounced that net neutrality was dead. Seriously?—?the spirit around the effort and the Internet was pretty moribund. See how many hyperlinks that was? I wasn’t joking. The history of how “net neutrality came back from the dead” and the roles that the public, advocacy groups and companies (small and big) played in that revival will be important?—?and maybe will offer some […]

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White House Proposes Broad Consumer Data Privacy Bill

from NYTs The Obama administration on Friday proposed a wide-ranging bill intended to provide Americans with more control over the personal information that companies collect about them and how that data can be used, fulfilling a promise the president had talked about for years. But some privacy advocates immediately jumped on the proposed legislation, saying it failed to go far enough, particularly given the broad statements President Obama had made on the issue. They said the bill would give too much leeway to companies and not enough power to consumers. There are already a number of federal laws, like the Fair […]

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Mutual Suspicion Mars Tech Trade With China

from NYTs At an elegant guesthouse here recently, China’s top Internet regulator entertained ambassadors and diplomats with platters of tempura and roast on a spit, unusual lavishness in an era of official austerity in China, to celebrate the Chinese New Year. But the graciousness came with a warning: Foreign companies had to behave if they wanted to stay in China’s $450 billion technology market. In Washington on the same day, more than two dozen American tech industry executives and trade association officials gathered at an emergency meeting at the pre-Civil War building of the Office of the United States Trade Representative. […]

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The Big Lock-In

from Medium What if all of the devices in your life had a common interface, controlled by a single company, that picked what video content you could easily search and access online? What if that single company had its own economic reasons to support some “channels” and hide others? Welcome to the world of Xfinity, Comcast’s brand name for its services. You’ve seen the advertising. Now here’s the big idea: If Comcast has its way, Xfinity will be Americans’ window on the world. Basically, our only window. First, some background. In 1996, Congress passed a law directing the FCC to ensure a competitive […]

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The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet

from Medium Humans are driven by metaphors. We can’t help it. “Internet access is like electricity,” we say, and that leads to a host of other mental images: standard plugs for a wealth of devices, warm light against a dark frozen landscape, the burdens of life made more bearable. The warring metaphor now is “the Internet is the new TV,” thoroughly managed, channelized, bent on entertainment, ad-driven, interactive only when it suits someone’s business plan. Both of these metaphors are limited and not quite right. That’s the way metaphors work. But we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of […]

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The New Bachelor’s Payoff

from Inside Higher Ed Doubts about the labor-market returns of bachelor’s degrees, while never serious, can be put to rest. Last month’s federal jobs report showed a rock-bottom unemployment rate of 2.8 percent for workers who hold at least a four-year degree. The overall unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. But even that welcome economic news comes with wrinkles. A prominent financial analyst last week signaled an alarm that employers soon may face a shortage of job-seeking college graduates. And the employment report was a reminder of continuing worries about “upcredentialing” by employers, who are imposing new degree requirements on jobs. “Presumably, these educated workers are the […]

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