Quartz

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The Japanese words for “space” could change your view of the world

When you are the first person to arrive in a meeting room, do you think of it as being empty or full?<p>If you were raised in the West, a meeting room is made for people to meet. Therefore, if there are no people in that room, then of course it must be empty. As philosopher Henk Oosterling remarks, in …

Ambivalent

The Awl and The Hairpin were perfect

The internet can be a sad, scary, boring place. But for the better part of a decade, there was a sanctuary for readers who wanted to have some fun; an online space that fully embraced the silly, the obscure, and the delightfully weird—from using McRibs to explain how commodity markets work to a …

David Foster Wallace

Over the past month, BlackBerry stock has been a much better bet than bitcoin

Bitcoin is showing some signs of life after falling for four consecutive days, after investors were unnerved by Asian authorities considering crackdowns on cryptocurrencies. Despite signs of a comeback, the volatile digital asset has fallen more than 40% over the past month, lagging considerably …

Racy

People are getting scammed by Facebook ads touting bitcoin miners

People eager to cash in on the cryptocurrency boom through mining have been targeted by Facebook ads touting bitcoin mining rigs, made by industry giant Bitmain, that contain a link to a false website. At first glance, the link leads to Bitmain.com, the firm’s website, but closer inspection reveals …

Identity Theft

People are using Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime in very different ways

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime may be competitors, but they serve their audiences in very different ways.<p>People use Netflix most often to watch original series, Amazon to watch movies, and Hulu to watch TV shows from other networks, a report from Hub Entertainment Research shows. The firm surveyed …

Netflix

Israeli designers really dislike their nation's 70th anniversary logo

For the 70th anniversary of its nation’s independence, Israelis are clamoring for the end of tired, design clichés.<p>In April, Israel’s Ministry Culture and Sport is orchestrating an epic 70-hour spectacle with fireworks, parades, folk dancing and a massive seventy km. long party—all to fete the …

Identity

It’s official—Trump is behind Putin and Xi in the global popularity contest

US president Donald Trump came to office promising an isolationist foreign policy, which put “America First,” above the rest of the global order. He has actively rejected taking global leadership.<p>The world has responded by rejecting him, according to a poll released today (Jan. 18). Gallup asked …

Vladimir Putin

Why your earbuds fall out when it's cold

As a health reporter, every so often I’ll get inspiration from questions in my own life. Or in this case, my coworker’s.<p>One morning around the start of the US’s first deep freeze of 2018, Quartz at Work reporter Oliver Staley asked me a question. “Hey, why do ear buds fall out when it’s cold?” …

Headphones

Europe’s solution to the drug crisis is working. Why won’t America follow it?

In 1986, at a community HIV prevention meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, an injection drug user spontaneously brought a bundle of clean syringes to freely hand out. By this time, the correlation between injection drug use and HIV had been made. This gave Jon Parker, a former injection drug user …

Addiction

Britain now has a minister for loneliness

The British government has appointed politician Tracey Crouch as the minister to tackle the epidemic of loneliness.<p>The issue is thought to affect around nine million people in the UK. Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month. It’s …

Brexit

A lack of big data is hampering efforts to curb illegal fishing in Africa

The lack of a comprehensive database on fishing vessels, their exact location, and if they were engaging in illicit activities is undermining the global efforts to curb illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, a new study says.<p>The lack of big data infrastructure and better cooperation …

West Africa

Amazon is the insider secret for global beauty fanatics

Less than two decades ago, if you lived in North America and wanted to buy a French skincare product—say, Bioderma micellar water, a favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow’s—you had to ask a friend, probably a close one, to bring back a few bottles from Paris. This was no small favor to request, as the …

Skin Care

Russian oligarchs are desperately lobbying to avoid new US sanctions

Anxiety in Moscow is deepening over an imminent new US sanctions list.<p>A leading Russian paper estimates that 300 oligarchs could be named. To avoid inclusion on the list, some are reportedly changing their schedules to avoid being seen with president Vladimir Putin. Others are liquidating holdings …

Russia

Air India’s sale hinges on how its gigantic debt is managed

The Narendra Modi government is lining up Air India for privatisation, but there’s a four-letter word that could stall the national carrier’s takeoff: debt.<p>EY, the firm appointed to advise the government on the transaction, is expected to work out its total debt by February, and the liabilities may …

India

Watch Namibia’s tourism industry cash in on Trump’s diplomatic blunders

Namibia is really capitalizing on president Donald Trump’s diplomatic gaffes.<p>Trump allegedly referred to African countries as “shithole countries” along with Haiti and El Salvador in a White House meeting to discuss the US immigration reform last week. Where Namibia’s neighbors took a stronger …

Donald Trump

India’s telecom firms are bleeding because managers sell connectivity like toothpaste

“Buy one, get one free.” “Buy two, get three free.” These may be good for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) like soaps, shampoos, and shirts. But that strategy, when applied to telecom—”Buy data plans, get voice calls and messages free”—is destroying the sector.<p>“There was no telecom professional …

Telecoms

H&M is learning a hard lesson on racism and diversity from South Africans

South Africans are teaching H&M a tough lesson on the importance of diversity.<p>Just days after the Swedish chain was forced to temporarily close some of its South African stores after anti-racism protests, an NGO is demanding that H&M executives undergo “compulsory anti-racism and diversity …

Ahmed Kathrada

China’s economy will cool this year—but it’s a good thing

<i>This post will be updated. China will release its latest GDP figures at 3pm Beijing time (0200 ET).</i><p>China is set to release on Thursday (Jan. 18) its economic growth figures for the fourth quarter of 2017, and for the full year. The nation’s GDP is forecast to have expanded 6.7% year-over-year for …

Economy

50 films later, a Bollywood veteran is choosing smartphones over the silver screen

Vikram Bhatt, synonymous with Bollywood thrillers and horror flicks, has worked the silver screen for 25 years. This year, he’s shifting gears.<p>As India’s online content consumption logs blockbuster growth, thanks to growing internet penetration and cheap data prices, Bhatt is eyeing a piece of the …

Bollywood

India’s unskilled youth with big dreams are a ticking “time bomb”

Millions of young Indians dream of getting well-paid jobs, but their school years hardly prepare them for success.<p>Even though more and more children are finishing elementary school, thanks to the Right to Education Act, a significant proportion of rural Indians aged between 14 and 18 still struggle …

Photographers

Trump is holding Dreamers hostage for about $24,000 per person

The message from the White House on immigration is becoming clear: Donald Trump won’t sign any immigration bill without billions of dollars in additional border security funding, much of which is designated for a controversial wall on the Mexico border.<p>The stance is essentially holding 690,000 …

Immigration

The future of Dunkin’ Donuts looks a lot like Starbucks

Earlier this week, Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled a glimpse of its future less than a mile from the original location in Quincy, Massachusetts. The first “next generation” concept store is a brighter, airier, hipper reboot of Dunkin. “Donuts” has been dropped from the name, only the third store to do so. …

Coffee

Apple to the US: thanks for the tax break. Here’s what we’ll do with it

Apple, which has by far more cash held overseas than any US company, announced Jan. 17 that it will spend around $30 billion on capital expenditures and create 20,000 new jobs in the US over the next five years.<p>The iPhone manufacturer currently has roughly $250 billion in cash generated from sales …

Tim Cook

Why are there no good movies about climate change?

It’s Oscar season, and Hollywood is abuzz with chatter about the year’s best flicks, which include films about poverty, racism, and war. Not mentioned by prognosticators is 2017’s one big movie about climate change, <i>Geostorm</i>, a sci-fi thriller so thin on story, drama, and spectacle, it earned a …

Climate

Here are the most blockchain-y stocks on the market, according to two new ETFs

There couldn’t have been a worse day to launch a blockchain-themed exchange traded fund (ETF), with bitcoin down 50% from its highs a month earlier. As luck would have it, two such ETFs began trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq today.<p>The funds are the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain …

Stocks

The maker of Nutella is about to become the third-largest chocolate company

Nestlé—the company behind many iconic candy bar brands—is shedding its sugary reputation.<p>The Swiss company has agreed to sell its US confectionary brands—including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Laffy Taffy, and Crunch bars—for $3 billion to Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, making the hazelnut spread …

Nestlé

Jeff Flake’s speech, highlighted to show the danger of crying “fake news”

In a scathing speech to Congress today, Arizona senator Jeff Flake compared Donald Trump to Josef Stalin, called the president’s criticism of the press repulsive, and accused him of being too thin-skinned.<p>Flake, a Republican, is no fan of Trump. He’s also not running for reelection, and no doubt …

Democracy

Comedy Central's new, darkly hilarious "Corporate" reminds us why we hate work

It’s hard to identify the moment when work culture became a warm and fuzzy concept, where “vulnerability” is prized and authenticity valued above all else. But it has happened. Admittedly, Quartz at Work may be complicit in supporting that narrative about a new, softer workplace where employees …

TV

YouTube will have real people review its top videos to make sure they’re advertiser safe

YouTube is making it tougher for creators to make money from inappropriate and offensive videos.<p>Real humans, not algorithms, will review the most popular videos on YouTube before ads can run in them, and the platform will tighten the rules for channels that are allowed to feature ads, the company …

Advertising

This guy quit his job to travel the world—but he doesn't think you should too

“I quit my job to travel the world.”<p>It’s a sentence that can raise the hackles of any practically-minded person. And yet, in the era of remote work, digital nomads, online influencers, and internet marketing schemes, it seems we are bombarded with the message more and more. “It’s easy to blow up …

Careers