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Financial News from The Atlantic

  • The End of the Selfie Hype Cycle The Atlantic - 5 hours ago

    Are you sick of reading about selfies? Are you tired of hearing about how those pictures you took of yourself on vacation last month are evidence of narcissism, but also maybe of empowerment, but also ...

  • This is how provincial I am: I didn’t know until a few weeks ago that Columbus, Ohio—the state’s capital and by far its most populous city—is a gleaming metropolis. Of course, I knew of it as home to the Ohio State University and had even been there once almost 20 years ago for a conference. Until learning more about …

  • Social Media, the New Press Release The Atlantic - 8 hours ago

    “Think of Watching as a cross between a constantly updating wire feed and an in-house Twitter stream of stories Times staffers are keeping an eye on,” says Ellis. “It’s one of the biggest changes to the homepage in many, many years,” Tyson Evans told me. The first is that Watching can highlight and display what we’d normally …

  • What Crazy Tech Idea Could Become Real? The Atlantic - 9 hours ago

    Read What Crazy Tech Idea Could Become Real? on theatlantic.com More From The Atlantic Remaking Columbus's Most Downtrodden Neighborhood The Psychology Behind Costco's Free Samples 'Like Lingerie for Men': ...

  • To clarify some of the bureaucratic language above, NNSA is the “National Nuclear Security Administration”; CSAs are “canned subassemblies” that contain highly enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons.

  • There’s no brand that’s as strongly associated with free samples as Costco. People have been known to tour the sample tables at Costco stores for a free lunch, acquired piecemeal. Costco knows that sampling, if done right, can convince people that its stores are fun places to be. “When we compare it to other in-store …

  • They were there to dedicate the presidential library of George W. Bush; This wouldn’t be the first time that the elder President Bush would experiment with adventuresome hosiery; The statement sock—whether distinguished by a bright hue or a bold pattern or both at the same time—has become the go-to fashion accessory for …

  • The Great Soda Water Shake Up The Atlantic - 14 hours ago

    Joseph Priestley had a lot of unusual ideas. One of those inventors was named Johann Jacob Schweppe, who sold bottled soda water and whose business is still around today.

  • The Gender Politics of Pockets The Atlantic - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 11:03 AM EDT

    Mid-range fashion is a male dominated business, driven not by form and function, but by design and how fabric best drapes the body. “I honestly believe the fashion industry is not helping women advance,” Olson said. She squarely places the blame on fast fashion labels busily churning out copies of high-end designs that …

  • The Recession's Baby Bust The Atlantic - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 7:50 AM EDT

    A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Princeton researchers Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt quantifies just how many fewer babies were born because of the Great Recession. They found that, for a group of 1,000 women aged 20 to 24, each percentage-point increase in the national …

  • How Not to Regulate The Atlantic - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 7:30 AM EDT

    This weekend, Jake Bernstein of ProPublica and the team of This American Life presented a fantastic piece about how managers at the world’s most important financial regulator suppress dissent and ingratiate themselves to the big banks they are supposed to oversee. For those who follow the doings of the New York Fed, none …

  • Confronting My Cyberbully, 13 Years Later The Atlantic - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 6:35 AM EDT

    I saw on Facebook that Amanda had children now. One effort involved Amanda saying loudly at lunchtime, ostensibly to those of us still in the group, "Don't you hate when people try to sit with you when you didn't give them permission and you don't even like them?

  • Confronting My Cyberbully, Thirteen Years Later The Atlantic - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 6:35 AM EDT

    I saw on Facebook that Amanda had children now. One effort involved Amanda saying loudly at lunchtime, ostensibly to those of us still in the group, "Don't you hate when people try to sit with you when you didn't give them permission and you don't even like them?

  • The Day We Brought Our Robot Home The Atlantic - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    “You just can’t differentiate between a robot and the very best of humans,” argues Dr. Lanning, director of U.S. Robots lab in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot . The day my husband and I brought our robot home, ...

  • When Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he did so, for the most part, using the light of the sun that streamed through the windows of the building. In their place they installed a system of halogen light bulbs that emitted pigment-preserving, low-energy light. All the details Michelangelo included …

  • Should the Laborer Fear Machines? The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:43 AM EDT

    The mathematician and philoso­pher Bertrand Russell put it succinctly in a 1924 essay: “Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; Machines were soon so commonplace in fac­tories, so essential to industrial production and competition, that resisting their use came to be seen …

  • Searching for the Good Life in the Bakken Oil Fields The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:29 AM EDT

    I rode into the Bakken in a dusty car with Minnesota plates and “Highway to Hell” blasting on the radio, looking for a job where they wouldn’t ask too many questions. The oil boom had drawn thousands of ...

  • Slouching Towards Not Slouching The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:20 AM EDT

    The first big problem I encountered is that when you have bad posture, you don’t really know what good posture looks like. The spine is actually designed to curve slightly away from the body’s midline, says Zack Vaughn, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Stanford University.

  • From Ballooners to Bombers: A History of the Backpack Parachute The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:19 AM EDT

    At the beginning, pilots didn't want parachutes. Since the late 18th century, when Louis Sebastien Lenormand had jumped from the tower of Paris' Montpelier Observatory and floated to ground under the spread of a 14-foot umbrella of wood and linen, parachuting had been more spectacle than science. By the end of the next …

  • Tasty Mutants: The Invention of the Modern Oyster The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:07 AM EDT

    If you slurped down any oysters on the half-shell this summer, you probably didn’t realize they were monsters. Natural oysters, like humans and most other eukaryotes, are diploid—each of their cells contains two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent. Allen’s innovation has been to create oysters with three sets of …

  • Tasty Mutants: The Invention the Modern Oyster The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 10:07 AM EDT

    If you slurped down any oysters on the half-shell this summer, you probably didn’t realize they were monsters. Not monsters in the pejorative sense, but man made creatures—the invention of a modern-day ...

  • The Alaskan Town Where People Still Pan for Gold The Atlantic - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 7:30 AM EDT

    The Fourth of July picnic in Chicken, Alaska, attracts several hundred people, which for a town of 23 is an impressive turnout. Canadians Jon Juneau and Richard Harris made Alaska's first significant gold strike in 1880. Strikes became rushes became stampedes, as 100,000 men from all across the globe flocked to Alaska. …

  • When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone The Atlantic - Sun, Sep 28, 2014 7:30 AM EDT

    If you don't know how to use it, there is no customer service line to explain. Depending on the plan, not all software can be downloaded onto them, not every device can be tethered to them, and not every cell phone network can be tapped.

  • How to Stop a Rumor Online (Before the Rumor Becomes a Lie) The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 3:15 PM EDT

    As Craig Silverman, the rumor researcher who created the site, told me: "It's aiming to be a real-time monitoring of claims that are emerging in the press." Silverman and a research assistant find rumors that are being reported in the mainstream media—most often, stories that bubble up through social media and get spotted …

  • Christmas Ads Already?! Actually, Most People Don't Seem to Mind The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 1:04 PM EDT

    Last September, Kmart aired a Christmas ad 105 days before Christmas. AdAge said it was the “earliest ever kickoff to holiday marketing,” and an analyst the publication reached out to called Kmart’s extreme timing “eye-opening.” “This might give new meaning to … ‘Christmas Creep,’” another retail expert added, using a …

  • Is Bike Sharing Just for Gentrifiers? The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 11:20 AM EDT

    A group of bicycling advocates gathered for a conference in Pittsburgh earlier this month, and it was pretty much the Portlandia sketch come to life that you might think. At a "Future Bike" panel, Adonia Lugo of the League of American Bicyclists passed out sheets of paper with the outline of an elephant and asked audience …

  • Did Clayton Kershaw Just Have the Best Summer in Baseball History? The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 10:20 AM EDT

    The baseball season of 2014 has been a protracted goodbye parade for Derek Jeter, but it will be remembered as the year of Clayton Kershaw. The Los Angeles Dodgers' ace started the year inauspiciously, with back surgery and a slew of starts that drove his ERA up to a pedestrian 3.57 by the end of May. Then the calendar …

  • The Woman With the Bionic Eye The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 10:00 AM EDT

    Fran Fulton is 66, and she’s been fully blind for about 10 years. Fulton suffers from retinitis pigmentosa—a degenerative eye disease that slowly causes light-sensitive cells in the retina to die off.

  • Ello Says You're Not a Product, But You Are The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 8:18 AM EDT

    This week, the social-networking site Ello exploded onto the scene. The site is slowly letting new users in, and in declarations that sound eerily familiar, some are calling it “the Facebook killer.” Whether people will truly flock to Ello from Facebook, or whether it will go the route of Google+ and other Facebook killers …

  • Can Cultural Exceptionalism Save Paris's Oldest Bookstore? The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 7:50 AM EDT

    PARIS—Nestled between cafés and tour shops on the busy Rue Saint-Honoré, the Librairie Delamain, the oldest bookstore in Paris, strikes an inconspicuous pose. Over the years, Michel Foucault, Colette, and Jean Cocteau have all passed through its doors. This month, the Librairie Delamain’s lease is up for renewal by the …

  • Saving Paris's Oldest Bookstore The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 7:50 AM EDT

    PARIS—Nestled between cafés and tour shops on the busy Rue Saint-Honoré, the Librairie Delamain, the oldest bookstore in Paris, strikes an inconspicuous pose. Over the years, Michel Foucault, Colette, and Jean Cocteau have all passed through its doors. This month, the Librairie Delamain’s lease is up for renewal by the …

  • Peering Ever Deeper Into Matter The Atlantic - Fri, Sep 26, 2014 7:00 AM EDT

    Just four years before, in 1982, he and Heinrich Rohrer had invented a microscope that could probe a piece of material, inspect the atoms that made it up, and report back. In 1933, a German physicist had developed an electron microscope that could create images at a smaller scale than the best light microscope at the time—by …

  • Peter Thiel's Zero to One Might Be the Best Business Book I've Read The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 4:20 PM EDT

    The competition was inspired by the book jackets that occasionally fell on our desks, which managed to express bad economic principles with even worse metaphors. Into this fog of fuzzy-headed nonsense, Peter Thiel's new book, Zero to One, shines like a laser beam. Yes, this is a self-help book for entrepreneurs, bursting …

  • Beyond GMOs: The Rise of Synthetic Biology The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 1:47 PM EDT

    The field is evolving so rapidly that even scientists working in it don't agree on a definition, but at its core synthetic biology involves bringing engineering principles to biotechnology. If genetic sequencing is about reading DNA, and genetic engineering as we know it is about copying, cutting and pasting it, synthetic …

  • "Kleenex Is a Registered Trademark" (And Other Desperate Appeals) The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 1:23 PM EDT

    Here are some conventional products that used to have trademarked names: videotape, aspirin, dry ice, cellophane, linoleum, thermos, and heroin. Trademark law recognizes a spectrum of "distinctiveness" when it comes to products' names, ranging from "arbitrary or fanciful" (think Starbucks, Polaroid, and Apple-as-applied-to-computers) …

  • America, the Plannable: How Banks Affect Family Size The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 11:30 AM EDT

    As of last year, nearly half of America’s middle-aged adults found themselves members, willing or not, of what’s been called “the sandwich generation,” so named because these people have a child below them and an aging parent above them. There are all sorts of theories about why families choose to bear as many (or as few) …

  • Building a Better Breast Pump The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    There were also scraps of fabric decorated with elephants, foam models of women’s breasts and flanges. For the uninitiated, the flange is a crucial part of a breast pump, a device that help nursing moms extract milk from their breasts. The flange is also the subject of numerous complaints by pumping women, which were …

  • Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 10:42 AM EDT

    Compare that to my 5,423,095 total lifetime steps on Fitbit over the last 628 days. What my Fitbit couldn’t do for me, I built for myself in the form of a spreadsheet.

  • Quantifying Americans' Distrust of Corporations The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 7:50 AM EDT

    It’s been six years since the financial crisis, and three years since Occupy Wall Street—when protestors demonstrated for 60 days in Zuccotti Park against the influence of American corporations. How does the country feel about corporations now? Not surprisingly, the general public is much more skeptical, compared to executives, …

  • Going West: The World of Live Action, Competitive Oregon Trail The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 7:00 AM EDT

    The sun beat down on us as we maneuvered him from a shady spot next to a historic wooden mill in Salem, Oregon, to the steps of the Pleasant Grove Church, an 1848 sanctuary for travelers who survived the Oregon Trail. It’s from the Oregon Trail—a beloved computer game that, on this particular Saturday, I was playing again. …

  • The Great Era of Underwater Tunneling The Atlantic - Thu, Sep 25, 2014 6:15 AM EDT

    Here's what it's like to enter Japan's Seikan Tunnel, which connects two islands —Hokkaido and Honshu—and is one of the world's longest underwater tunnels. In 1986, when the Seikan Tunnel was opened but trains had not yet started carrying passengers through it, the New York Times heralded the accomplishment, writing that …

  • All that YOLO can lead, for the people who see your photos, to some serious FOMO. Here's another thing the survey (commissioned by the software firm Cyberlink using the research firm YouGov) found: All that enjoyment can make your Facebook friends resent not just the fun you're having, but also you for having it. Some …

  • Facebook's Mood Manipulation Experiment Might Have Been Illegal The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 2:58 PM EDT

    Two law professors at the University of Maryland now allege that it did. The law professors, James Grimmelmann and Leslie Meltzer Henry, announced the allegation in a letter to the Maryland state attorney general yesterday and a blog post explaining their logic. They claim that Facebook and OkCupid specifically violated …

  • Facebook's Mood Manipulation Experiment Might Be Illegal The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 2:58 PM EDT

    Two law professors at the University of Maryland now allege that it did. The law professors, James Grimmelmann and Leslie Meltzer Henry, announced the allegation in a letter to the Maryland state attorney general yesterday and a blog post explaining their logic. They claim that Facebook and OkCupid specifically violated …

  • The Economic Case for Paternity Leave The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 1:50 PM EDT

    Last year, maternity leave suddenly got a makeover, courtesy of a most improbable source: Shinzo Abe. Japan’s prime minister is synonymous with machismo-spiked nationalism (he famously denied that women forced into sexual servitude by Japanese soldiers in World War II were “coerced”). Nearly two decades ago, Japan started …

  • When Bosses Discriminate Against Pregnant Women The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 9:15 AM EDT

    Two weeks after I returned from maternity leave to my job in Boston as a television-news producer, I found myself facing a demotion. My bosses were kind, even apologetic. The move did not affect my pay ...

  • The Fall of the Zen Butcher The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 7:50 AM EDT

    The weekday-morning slaughter line at Black Earth Meats in Black Earth, Wisconsin, may have seemed at a visitor’s first glance to be a standard cattle slaughter: the bolt gun, the hum of electric meat saws whirring through flesh and bone, the blood pooling into puddles and swirling toward drains in the center of a sloped …

  • The Creation Myth of Chocolate-Chip Cookies The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 7:00 AM EDT

    America existed for more than 160 years before chocolate-chip cookies did. The machine that made Fig Newtons was invented in 1891. It was Ruth Wakefield who changed that. The proprietor of the Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Mass., Wakefield was good at desserts.

  • Murder in a Time Before Google The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 7:00 AM EDT

    Several years ago, when we first began using Google as a verb, I typed my father’s name into that familiar search box and hit enter, expecting a flood of results. In 0.4 seconds, Google had concluded that my father didn’t exist. My disappointment was palpable and left me feeling as though in some way, Google makes us …

  • Love Is Not Algorithmic The Atlantic - Wed, Sep 24, 2014 6:45 AM EDT

    Speaking of users who have multiple profiles, Mark Zuckerberg famously said “having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” Writer Curtis Sittenfeld quipped in The New York Times: “To which my only response is, 'You’ve got to be kidding.' I mean, I’m not even the same person with all the members …

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