Alok Agarwal

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print-edition iconPrint edition | The world this week<p>Mar 1st 2014<p>Reuse this content<p>About <i>The Economist</i>

If Anybody Can Make Web TV Work, It’s Verizon

Wireless giant Verizon is making a big bet on television delivered via the Internet. Today the company announced that it is buying up Intel’s failed …

Astronomers Get First Glimpse of Cosmic Web

Changing Planet<p>Computer simulations suggest that matter in the universe is distributed in a “cosmic web” of filaments, as seen in the image above from a large-scale dark-matter simulation. The inset is a zoomed-in, high-resolution image of a smaller part of the cosmic web, 10 million light-years …

Is our Sun falling silent?

http://vod-pro-ww-live.akamaized.net/mps_h264_hi/public/news/world/1044000/1044753_h264_1500k.mp4?__gda__=1534396742_903b7bf7faab2e215a1b14544d439063<p><b>"I've been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I've never seen anything quite like this," says Richard Harrison, head of space physics at the</b> …

Solar Cycle

How Asian dating sites cracked your biggest complaint—everyone lies online

Online dating site OKCupid has found an inexplicable number of men happen to be exactly six feet tall and there are four times as many people who claim to earn $100,000 per year as there should be. False advertising, or misrepresentation, is standard in any marketplace; the dating market is no …

Online Dating

Amazon Patents “Anticipatory” Shipping — To Start Sending Stuff Before You’ve Bought It

Amazon’s plans for autonomous flying delivery drones are so last year. The ecommerce juggernaut is purportedly working on something far more dystopian: pre-shipment.<p>Amazon has filed a patent for a shipping system designed to cut delivery times by predicting what buyers are going to buy before they …

This guy discovered that dry cleaning could prevent terrorism in Somalia

Mohamed Ali is a young Somali American with a mission to help youth in Somalia steer clear of extremist groups.<p>Ali was born in Mogadishu, but when he was 10, as Somalia was grappling with a civil war, he and his family left for Canada. They finally settled in the US.<p>Ali attended Ohio State …

Stop Basing Pay on Performance Reviews

If your company is like most, it tries to drive high performance by dangling money in front of employees’ noses. To implement this concept, you sit down with your direct reports every once in a while, assess them on their performance, and give them ratings, which help determine their bonuses or …

Main Contractor Behind HealthCare.gov To Be Replaced By Accenture

<b>Updated 8:50 p.m.</b><p>The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.<p>Accenture will replace CGI Federal, the IT contractor that built HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare …

Ivee Sleek is a voice assistant that controls your connected home via WiFi

By this point, most of us are accustomed to being able to talk to our laptops and phones to get them to do what we want (some of the time, at least). Now, Ivee Sleek is here to give you the same control over all those WiFi-equipped lightbulbs, thermostats and door locks we've been seeing lately. …

When Big Carnivores Go Down, Even Vegetarians Take The Hit

<b>Listen · 3:13</b><p><b>Toggle more options</b><p><b>Download</b>• <b><br>Transcript</b><p>Big, fierce animals — lions and tigers and bears, for example — are relatively scarce in nature. That's normal, because if you have too many, they'll eat themselves out of prey.<p>But top predators are now so rare that many are in danger of …

With WebOS TV, LG Begins to Remake Itself

TV makers have a habit of rebooting their smart TV platforms every few years, so it’s usually not a big deal when yet another platform debuts.<p>But LG …

Facebook Isn't Actually A Good Way To Judge Potential Employees, Say Researchers

Back in 2012, we learned that Facebook stalking would tell you if a person was worth hiring. Researchers at Northern Illinois University found that they could predict job performance based on just 5-10 minute reviews of college students’ Facebook pages, based on interviews with their employers six …

An Unholy Alliance Is Forcing Veterans To Pay For 12 Years Of War

In doing so, it was given aid and comfort by knowledge-starved pundits, axe-grinding editorial boards, and self-anointed armchair analysts everywhere, as it left the military and veteran community standing with their jaws on the ground in despairing disbelief. Exploiting pressure to strike a budget …

Military Spending

Who is Elon Musk? Tech billionaire, SpaceX cowboy, Tesla pioneer – and real life Iron Man

By the time Elon Musk founded the company that would become PayPal, in 1999, he had already built and sold one internet business. But this time he hit the jackpot.<p>Already wealthier than most of us will ever dream of being, he netted close to $180 million from PayPal’s sale to eBay, enough to retire …

Google’s Chromebooks Have Hit Their Stride

It looks like Microsoft was right to worry about Google’s Chromebook project. According to the latest numbers from NPD, Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all laptop sales and almost 10 percent of all computer sales to businesses in 2013. That’s up from virtually nothing in the year before. …

Target confirms encrypted debit PIN data was stolen during hack

Target has confirmed that encrypted debit card PIN data was stolen as part of the massive hack carried out against the retailer between late November and early December. The company previously admitted that card numbers and expiration dates were compromised in the attack that affected 40 million …

Snapchat Downplays Phone Number Matching Hack, Says It’s Added New Counter-Measures

Following security researchers publishing a way to match Snapchat usernames to phone numbers, Snapchat has published a skimpy statement making the hack sound impractical and noting “We recently added additional counter-measures and continue to make improvements to combat spam and abuse.”<p>Earlier …

Encrypted chat service Cryptocat for iPhone rejected by Apple

Encrypted chat service Cryptocat has spent the past two years blocking outsiders from reading private conversations, and now it's facing a block of its own trying to get onto Apple's App Store. Developer Nadim Kobeissi took to Twitter today to blast the iPhone and iPad maker for unjustly rejecting …

Use Your Data to Get a Holistic View of the Customer

A few years ago, at LiveNation Entertainment we were accumulating a lot of data from consumers but weren’t doing much with it—and we weren’t sure what <i>could</i> be done with it (a pretty common situation for companies these days).<p>After thinking about the data strategically, we figured out ways to put it …

Associated Press News

How the “internet of things” will replace the web

<i>The second in a series.</i><p>We’ve already written about why 2014 is really, finally the year that the “internet of things”—that effort to remotely control every object on earth—becomes visible in our everyday lives.<p>But most of us don’t recognize just how far the internet of things will go, from …

Internet of Things