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U.S. Students Granted Up To $3.5 Billion In Debt Relief

It’s an unprecedented move in higher education, but a welcome one. The U.S. Secretary of Education has pledged to forgive the loans of as many as 350 thousand students who were defrauded into taking on huge student loan debts by online schools owned by Corinthian Colleges. More students may also be eligible.
» 6/09/15 9:25pm 6/09/15 9:25pm

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 emphasizing 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. » 4/13/15 1:35pm 4/13/15 1:35pm

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-localized cryptocurrencies; it became the second-largest cryptocurrency before it even launched, valued at » 2/27/15 3:30pm 2/27/15 3:30pm

Why Are These Massive Cargo Ships Trapped at 29 U.S. 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 paralyzing 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast has the potential to affect all of us—and to empty the shelves in countless stores. » 2/19/15 5:00pm 2/19/15 5:00pm

Apple Banned Bonded Servitude, But We Aren't Sure About Its Rivals

Apple recently, finally banned bonded servitude in its supply factories, which means those factories can't mistreat workers by withholding paychecks and passports until they pay off the cost it took to hire them. But hold the applause. Because they are not the only company that has forced people to work for… » 2/19/15 11:00am 2/19/15 11:00am

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'll mine asteroids for valuable metal ores, and for basic resources like water that we'll need once we're far from Earth. » 2/17/15 1:00pm 2/17/15 1:00pm

Brazil Is Keeping Its Promise to Avoid the U.S. Internet

Brazil was not bluffing last year, when it said that it wanted to disconnect from the United States-controlled internet due to the NSA's obscenely invasive surveillance tactics. The country is about to stretch a cable from the northern city of Fortaleza all the way to Portugal, and they've vowed not to use a single… » 10/30/14 11:30am 10/30/14 11:30am

How Much a Bottle of Whiskey Costs in Every State

It is Friday, which means it is an excellent day for a whiskey drink. Inspired by The Awl's quest to catalog the cost of cigarettes in every state, we decided to hunt down the price of a bottle of liquor in every state so you can know exactly how much more or less that stiff pour is costing you than neighboring… » 10/24/14 4:00pm 10/24/14 4:00pm

Questions for the 90s: Should Robots Pay Taxes? Can Africa Be Saved?

The March-April 1986 issue of The Futurist magazine looked at the far off, futuristic decade of the 1990s. In an article titled "Issues for the 1990s," Edith Weiner and Arnold Brown examined what they saw as the emerging concerns of the world. Well, the world as seen from 1980s America. » 10/10/14 4:53pm 10/10/14 4:53pm

Nigeria's Using a Biometric ID Card That Doubles As a Debit Card

Make all the "Dear Friend" email scam jokes that you want—Nigeria now has one of the most sophisticated government-issued ID systems in the world. A new nationwide card that rolls out this week collects biometric information to prevent fraud and includes a debit card feature backed by MasterCard. » 9/02/14 7:50pm 9/02/14 7:50pm

A single clothing company consumes 1% of the world's cotton

The largest companies consume a shockingly huge amount of the world's natural resources. Ikea, for instance, uses 17.8 million cubic yards of wood a year. When it comes to cotton, there's VF Corp., a relatively unknown corporation that owns some of the best-known clothing brands in the world. » 8/28/14 7:15pm 8/28/14 7:15pm

Swag, Vapes, and Econ: My Day at the North American Bitcoin Conference

Bitcoin may have emerged from a shadowy corner of the internet, but soon, it'll have its own government affairs office in Washington. According to the crypto-currency's biggest advocates, who assembled at the second North American Bitcoin Conference this weekend in Chicago, Bitcoin is all grown up. In reality, it's… » 7/21/14 2:08pm 7/21/14 2:08pm

What gives paper money its actual value?

Money is just tinted paper printed with different numbers on it. So what gives the ol' greenbacks its value? The bills used to be tied to the gold standard but now, it's up to The Fed to control how many bills there are. So why can't they just decide to print out ridiculous amounts of bill to make everyone rich? » 6/24/14 1:42am 6/24/14 1:42am