Kostya Burachek

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Spain's wine surplus overflows across globe following year of unusual weather

A soggy spring and sunny summer made Spain the world's top wine producer in 2013, according to figures from the country's agriculture ministry.<p>Official ranking from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine will not be released until May, but the Spanish ministry said that wine production …

Virtual reality gets a new player with Sony's 'Project Morpheus'

Virtual reality, the emerging 3D technology many expect to be the next quantum leap in the video gaming world, just got a little more real.<p>Sony, makers of the top-selling PlayStation 4, has rolled out "Project Morpheus," a virtual reality system it says will pair with its top-selling gaming console …

Goggles Bring Virtual Reality Closer To Your Living Room

Going back to ancient times, the aim of storytellers has been to immerse us in an experience — of another place, time or point of view. This past week at the South by Southwest film, music and technology conferences in Austin, storytellers and great technologists showed off new ways to take us …

You're Looking at It Wrong — Why the Web Demands Vertical Screens

The first person to twist apart an Oreo, or sit backwards in a chair, or pretend a tennis racket was a guitar — visionaries who recognized that …

Richard Branson's top 10 tips for success

<b>Richard Branson left school at the age of 16 and set up Student Magazine with one of his friends. He went on to start Virgin Records in the 1970s and is the founder of the Virgin Group. In the 1980s he formed Virgin Atlantic airline and the 1990s saw the arrival of Virgin Mobile and Virgin …

Is this steel credit card worth $495?

In order to attract more big spenders, credit-card companies are scrapping the plastic for fancy cards made of titanium, aluminum and steel. But with …

Personal Finance

How a System for Shared Taxi Rides Could Transform New York City

Will China's First Private-Sector Banks Meet Expectations?

Monday’s news that 10 privately-owned companies have won approval to operate China’s first batch of private-sector banks have been met with much enthusiasm. Yet it is questionable whether the new set-up can indeed offer better financial services and quench the capital thirst of SMEs, one of the …

How Starbucks’ new mobile payments feature gets around the guilt-tipping problem

Remarkably, though paying with your mobile phone has been possible for years at Starbucks, tipping with it hasn’t. The coffee giant is finally rectifying that, with an update to its mobile payment service that includes the ability to add a tip; it will roll out on iPhones in the US next week.<p>The …

Mobile Payments

The complete guide to listening to music at work

If you’re reading this article at work, there’s a decent chance you’re wearing headphones.<p>It has never been easier to tune in to your own customized soundtrack—or more necessary to tune out your open-office coworkers, cubicle mates, and fellow coffee-shop denizens. But not all music is created …

Soundtracks

What do stores do with unsold merchandise?

<i>Marketplace listener Blake Waller from Denmark, South Carolina asked us what retailers like Wal-Mart, Kmart and other big box stores do with items they don't sell. We went off in pursuit of the (complicated!) answer.</i><p>When it comes to food, retailers throw away around 45 billion tons each year. …

It takes $290,000 in cash to rent an apartment in Seoul

<i>This post has been corrected.</i><p>Many Koreans who rent apartments don’t actually pay rent.<p>You read that right. They don’t make monthly rent payments.<p>Don’t start planning your move to Seoul just yet. There’s a catch. To get one of those apartments, on average, you need to plunk down the equivalent of …

Housing

The ballad of “Bitcoin Jesus”: The tech millionaire who fears for his life

<b>(Renata Sedmakova via Shutterstock/AP/Rick Bowmer/Salon)</b><p>Roger Ver made a killing by investing early in the techno-currency — and now he’s on the run<p>Eric Bovim<p>March 9, 2014 2:00pm (UTC)<p>I have sworn not to write the name of the island where Roger Ver is currently residing, the reason being that he …

What’s new, pussycat? The growing economy of internet cat videos

The economy of internet cat videos? Yes, it’s a real thing. The Internet Cat Video Festival? Another real thing. A “meme manager” whose job is to build online brands for Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat and Grumpy Cat? Oh yes, he’s real too.<p>Veteran You’ve Been Framed viewers will attest to the fact that …

Retailers: Your Surveys Are Making Customers Suffer

If you’ve shopped anywhere within the last few years, you’ve certainly had this happen. A cashier presents you with a receipt that would give a roll of toilet paper a run for its money. Then, they point out how, if you just go online and “just take a moment” to fill out the retailer’s survey, …

Spotify and Beats Music Acquisitions Illustrate Differing Strategies

Beats is your artist-friendly, human-curated music service. Super Bowl ads with Ellen. Artist endorsements. AT&T family pricing.<p>Spotify is your …

The Scam Of Olive Oil, And Its Antidote

Here’s the hard truth: the olive oil in your pantry, the one you bought for its health benefits and for some sliver of the seductive Mediterranean lifestyle, is most likely a scam.<p>A scam, meaning it probably contains less actual olive oil than you’d ever imagine. A scam, meaning it’s likely been …

McDonald's Admits It May Lose The Fight To Keep Wages Low

McDonald’s is joining the rest of us in worrying about income inequality, but not because it thinks low-wage workers don't make enough -- instead, it worries it might have to pay its own workers more.<p>A groundswell of public concern about income inequality could hurt the fast-food giant's profit …

Google, Apple, And Facebook’s Biggest Acquisitions Over The Last 15 Years

On the heels of Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp, an interactive visualization compares the acquisition strategies of Google, Facebook, AOL, Yahoo, and Apple.<p>Last week, Facebook shocked us all by acquiring WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion–a figure exceeding more than one year of NASA …

Social Media

Global food supply grows increasingly homogeneous, study says

In the last 50 years, what's on dinner plates has grown more similar the world over – with major consequences for human nutrition and global food security, researchers said Monday.<p>"Diversity enhances the health and function of complex biological systems," the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of …

MasterCard uses geolocation to make sure you are you

If someone steals your credit card, they’d probably have little trouble racking up a hefty bar tab or buying a new TV with the plastic. But …

Identity Theft

Search

FORTUNE — In the last two days, I have read two newspaper stories that have me worried.<p>The first, from <i>Washington Post</i> syndicated columnist Kenneth Harney, pointed to a huge rise in the amount of debt being taken out in the form of home equity lines of credit. “New home equity credit line borrowings …

How To Survive A Bad Day When You're The Boss

Bad days are equal opportunity employers. They don’t care if you’re the CEO or the newest junior accountant recruited straight from last spring’s graduating class—they can get anyone, at any time.<p>That said, when you’re the boss, the experience of suffering through a lousy day in the office is …

Advanced Personal Brand Building Tips Checklist

The Internet has made personal branding a huge deal: Nowadays everyone can become a micro-celebrity. However, if you care about your professional …

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit

During harvest last year, banana farmers in Jordan and Mozambique made a chilling discovery. Their plants were no longer bearing the soft, creamy fruits they’d been growing for decades. When they cut open the roots of their banana plants, they saw something that looked like this:<p>Scientists first …

Forestry

Why it’s time to stop worshipping coders

Software developers are the superheroes of the startup world, and Silicon Valley can’t seem to get enough of them. With the number of coding jobs in America exploding twice as fast as standard job growth, it’s no surprise that everyone wants to learn to code. It’s a “hot” profession, one that comes …

If You Want To Be Successful, Welcome Obstacles

Let’s start with three truisms.<p>1. If you do exactly what everyone else does, you will never have a competitive edge. You will always be the same as everyone else.<p>2. There are countless opportunities out there, if you can just figure out how to solve the market need.<p>3. Solving market needs is …

Why Do Companies Keep Getting Hacked?

One reason is that security isn’t always a priority for developers in a rush to bring a product to market. Another reason is that humans are stupid.<p>Two weeks ago, a respected crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, was hacked. Snapchat was hacked the week before that. Skype’s social media accounts were …

Security

Why Haven't European Investors Accepted the 'Failure is Good' Mindset?

<i>Andrea Francis is a growth-hacking oriented marketer who loves to work with startups. She currently works for Twoodo and is helping out at FailConNL, embracing failure as a learning experience (Amsterdam, March 4th).</i><p>As European talent in the form of startups and entrepreneurs continue to flock …