economics

Bubble Wrap's New Design Is Unpoppable, And It's All Our Fault

Our ruthless new era of super-efficient global shipping has made it irrelevant. The new product is called — hold your boos until the end, please — iBubble Wrap. It’s a version of an unpoppable wrap that’s been around for a few years, but as an interesting story by the Wall Street Journal’s Loretta Chao explains today, now it’s being introduced by Sealed Air Corp: The original makers of bubble wrap.


The Campaign To Crowdfund Greece's Bailout Has Crashed Indiegogo

Yesterday we told you about a silly crowdfunding campaign to bail out Greece. Apparently there’s been so much interest that Indiegogo’s servers have been overloaded. The campaign is currently down. No joke.


US Students Granted Up To $US3.5 Billion In Debt Relief

It’s an unprecedented move in higher education, but a welcome one. The US Secretary of Education has pledged to forgive the loans of as many as 350,000 students who were defrauded into taking on huge student loan debts by online schools owned by Corinthian Colleges. More students may also be eligible.


How Verizon Buying AOL Subverts An Open Internet

US telecommunication companies were up in arms in February after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made net neutrality the law of the land by classifying broadband internet as a utility, seeming to ensure there would be no pay-to-play fast lanes.


Wearables Are All About Giving You A 'Rich-Person Experience'

Over the weekend, economist Paul Krugman wrote an interesting column for the New York Times that explains why Apple is emphasising wealth and luxury in its Apple Watch campaigns. Krugman believes that’s because all wearables are aimed at giving you an experience that only super rich people can have.


What Are These Bizarre Anti-Banking Ads Doing In New York's Subways?

Bizarre ads for TransferWise, a P2P money-transfer system, have cropped up overnight in NYC’s subways. I had many questions: who is this guy? Why his face? What is he selling me? Turns out the more you try to learn about TransferWise, the sketchier the whole thing becomes.


Why America's Internet Is So Shitty And Slow

You may have heard that the internet is winning: net neutrality was saved, broadband was redefined to encourage higher speeds, and the dreaded Comcast-Time Warner Cable megamerger potentially thwarted. But the harsh reality is that America’s internet is still fundamentally broken, and there’s no easy fix.


No, A Cryptocurrency Can't Fix A Broken Economy

Auroracoin, the digital currency given as a free hand-out to every resident of Iceland, was supposed to be a a salvo for a country rankled by a broken financial system. It was heralded as the beginning of hyper-localised crypto-currencies; it became the second-largest crypto-currency before it even launched, valued at half a billion dollars at its peak.


Why Are These Massive Cargo Ships Trapped At 29 US Ports?

You’ve probably read about it, even if it didn’t really register. Something about a backlog. Something about unions. Imports and exports. Now the dispute that’s paralysing 29 ports on the US West Coast has the potential to affect all of us — and to empty the shelves in countless stores.


How Asteroid Mining Could Pay For Our First Space Colony

Many of us dream of living on other planets, but are two things we’ll need before it can actually happen: money and raw materials. Now some companies say they have a solution to this problem. They will mine asteroids for valuable metal ores, and for basic resources like water that we’ll need once we’re far from Earth.