Category Archives: News and Views

Dutch students ‘grow’ a biodegradable car made of beet sugar and flax | Inhabitat

Are biodegradable cars the next step in environmentally-friendly motoring? A team of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology just unveiled a biodegradable car made out of beet sugar and flax. Weighing just 684 pounds, the lightweight, eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 50 miles per hour.

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Love to Text and Walk Cluelessly? Prepare to Pay a Fine for That | Bloomberg

This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s done it: You are just no good at texting and walking.

While you might do OK at the reading and typing part, your preoccupied brain isn’t paying enough attention to what’s going on with your feet. It’s such a hazard that Honolulu last month adopted an ordinance to outlaw smartphone use by pedestrians crossing streets. Now Stamford, Connecticut, may become the second U.S. city this year to combat the problem with fines.

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These platforms want to help you discover (and afford) craft wine | CNN Money

It’s hard to imagine a world before craft beer. Could we one day feel the same about craft wine?

Boutique wineries across the country are producing small batches of everything from pinot noir to chardonnay, but it can be difficult for us twenty-somethings to find — let alone afford — those wines.

Your go-to vino is likely made by one of three major producers that account for over half of the U.S. wine market, according to a 2016 Michigan State University study. Plus, many boutique wineries make less than 1,000 cases per year and sell mainly through pricey wine clubs, making them hard to access.

Online platforms like Winestyr and Glassful are trying to change that.

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Goldman Sachs may have lost $100 million on bad natural gas bet | Business Insider

A sour bet on the direction of natural gas prices contributed to Goldman Sachs’ weak performance in commodities trading during the second quarter.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the bank had wrongly bet on an increase in gas prices in the Marcellus shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as a major pipeline was being constructed to export from the region.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners is spearheading the $4.2 billion Rover natural-gas line in question, which would move gas from the Marcellus shale to the Midwest.

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Can Ice Cream Vans Stage a Comeback? | BBC News

For many of us, the distinctive chimes of an ice cream van conjure up happy childhood memories of British summers and dripping ice lollies.

But the number of ice cream vans has been falling for years, leading some to believe that those bells may mean nothing to future generations of children.

A crop of small, family-run businesses is determined to keep the industry alive however.

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Amazon opens up access to developer tools for adding Alexa to commercial products | TechCrunch

Amazon wants to make its virtual assistant Alexa available on more devices, instead of just its own hardware. To that end, the company today is broadly opening up access to developer tools that will allow commercial device makers to build products powered by Alexa. With the launch of the Alexa Voice Service Device SDK toolset, companies can add a fully functional version of Alexa to their devices that’s able to handle speech recognition, as well as other Alexa functionality, like streaming media, using timers and alarms, notifications, weather reports, and accessing the thousands of voice apps, known as Alexa skills.

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HNA Group of China Is On A Global Buying Binge, But Faces Scrutiny | Fortune.com

The $53 billion Chinese conglomerate already owns a company near you.

On a warm summer night in Paris, hundreds of executives, bankers, diplomats, and French officials walk the red carpet snaking up the steps of the Petit Palais museum—a sumptuous Beaux Arts building in the heart of the French capital, with sculptures and paintings set around a manicured garden. Under 200-year-old frescoes, the guests dine on lobster, duck, and white-chocolate mousse, prepared by a top French chef, washed down with grand cru Bordeaux, and topped off with entertainment from the Peking Opera. Three large red letters affixed to the ornate gates offer a clue about who’s throwing the invitation-only affair: HNA.

To the hundreds of people passing by, the name HNA probably means nothing. But to the business world at large, the presence of those three letters is another sign—if any is needed—that a little-known Chinese conglomerate with provincial roots has, in just a few years, transformed into a powerful global player with tentacles stretching across the planet.

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3 Startups Helping the Medical Industry Go Remote | The Startup Magazine

With the internet integrally involved in nearly every aspects of our lives, it only follows that we are seeing a burgeoning online medical service industry. Startups have been rethinking the medical industry to increase efficiency and offer online options as essential as online banking, shopping, and entertainment have become in the last few years.

Booking appointments with doctors, managing billing and finances, waiting endless hours at a doctor’s office and repeating the process whenever needed – is what the following startups are aiming to eliminate:

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Why Brands and Agencies Are Preparing for the Era of 6-Second Ads | Adweek

Let the upcoming fourth quarter be known as the incubator phase of the six-second video ad unit, a few industry players echoed in recent days. Next year, they say, it’s go time.

The format has built up buzz since Google threw its stake in the ground when the best examples of its six-second hackathon were highlighted at Sundance in January. Then in June, Fox announced it was on board with six-second video ads. And, at the end of last month, Facebook revealed it was going to work on its six-second ad game during its second-quarter earnings call. Now, brands and agencies are starting to state their motives for getting out in front of the movement. Michelin this week started testing the snack-sized clips on YouTube, the Google-owned video platform that calls them bumper ads.

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Self-order kiosks don’t just help big chains, Long Island fast casual learns | Fast Casual

Self-order kiosks are one of the fastest growing technologies in the restaurant industry today, with several of the nation’s leading chains deploying these customer conveniences. While the big chains move forward on this front, will independents and chains that are not as well capitalized as their larger competitors be left behind?

LI Pour House Bar and Grill, a fast casual independent in Port Jefferson Station, New York, recently deployed self-order tabletop kiosks on all of its tables and has found the convenience very popular with customers. Customers can order and pay when they want. Owner Anthony Pallino found what he considers an affordable kiosk that has proved reliable and has improved sales and made his operation more efficient.

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