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No cash needed at this cafe. Students pay the tab with their personal data

October 14th, 2018 at 8:14 am » Comments Off

At Shiru Cafe in Providence, R.I., students “pay” for coffee, but not with money. Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. But all of the customers are students, and there’s a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no […]



Culturally sensitive robots are here to care for the elderly

October 2nd, 2018 at 11:32 am » Comments Off

Humans are living longer, healthier lives. That’s great, but there’s a downside — the growing elderly population requires an entire industry of (expensive) caregivers, and we’ll likely need even more of them in the future. Care robots might be able to do some of that work. Researchers suspect robots could help elderly people with everything […]



India’s bodybuilding boom reflects a nation coming of age

September 9th, 2018 at 8:49 pm » Comments Off

A group of twenty-something guys are crammed into a small room, flexing their muscles and applying thick layers of fake tan on dark brown skin. It’s approaching 40°C outside but, inside this windowless pen, it’s hard to breathe. Sweat is running freely and the air is thick with a tang of muscle spray as guys […]



One of Estonia’s first “e-residents” explains what it means to have digital citizenship

August 3rd, 2018 at 11:33 am » Comments Off

An online community survey recently asked me where I’m based. Without hesitation, I answered “Estonia.” You might ask: as a US citizen, why in the world did I do that? But as crazy as it may sound, Estonia is the country to which I feel most loyal today. I am one of the country’s first […]



The rise of the computer-generated celebrity

July 31st, 2018 at 8:14 am » Comments Off

A new generation of celebrities is selling out concerts, starring in commercials, and amassing huge Instagram followings. But none of them exist—corporeally, anyway. In recent years, and starting in Japan, technology and social media have spawned a digital demimonde of computer-generated stars, ranging from fake musicians and models to company mascots who appear as holograms […]



Study: Gen Z craves ‘novelty’ and experience

June 11th, 2018 at 8:59 am » Comments Off

Generation Z shoppers share a love of real-world retail experiences, as long as they are augmented by technology. Gen Z, also called the Instagram generation, lives by visuals and expects retailers to make experiences cool and aesthetic, show how products are used, and feature them in their best light. This requires their favorite brands to […]



These professions attract the highest number of psychopaths

May 23rd, 2018 at 1:21 pm » Comments Off

Psychopaths are difficult to spot most of the time. They’re not the “Jack the Ripper” caricatures you see in films or read about in books. Often, psychopaths appear normal, which makes them hard to identify. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, someone with a psychopathic personality type is defined as […]



The rise of the rural creative class

May 15th, 2018 at 7:06 am » Comments Off

Richard Florida:  One of the most persistent myths in America today is that urban areas are innovative and rural areas are not. While it is overwhelmingly clear that innovation and creativity tend to cluster in a small number of cities and metropolitan areas, it’s a big mistake to think that they somehow skip over rural […]



The most inclusive U.S. cities, mapped

May 6th, 2018 at 9:35 am » Comments Off

Heads up, cities: Economic growth does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with economic and racial inclusion. That’s the finding of a new, in-depth analysis by the Urban Institute (UI) of the 274 largest cities in America. The report and accompanying data tool show how economic shifts in these cities since the 1980s have corresponded with “inclusion”—the […]



Failed ‘Utopias’ throughout history

April 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am » Comments Off

An illustrated account of both evil and righteous attempts to create a “perfect” society. They were all fantastically unsuccessful.



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