Uber is lobbying for a congestion charge in NYC — but whether it will work is uncertain

Uber is lobbying for a congestion charge in NYC — but whether it will work is uncertain

Two months ago New York City approved a limit on the number of Uber, Lyft and other on-demand ride services and voted to halt issuing for-hire licenses for 12 months while it studies the industry in more detail. During the cap, both companies will still be granted licenses for wheelchair-accessible vehicles and by 2021, 25 percent of vehicles in their fleet will be required to be wheelchair accessible, which Uber isn’t happy about. Now Uber is putting its money and resources into helping fix New York City’s traffic congestion problem, by investing $10 million over three years on a “campaign for sustainable mobility” — with the centrepiece being congestion pricing in high-density parts of the city. This is surprising, coming from a company that accounts for 65,000 of the 103,000 for-hire vehicles in NYC.

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The economics of how low-budget airlines are so inexpensive

The economics of how low-budget airlines are so inexpensive

It seems incredible how cheap plane tickets can be on so-called low-cost airlines — $35 for a week in Barcelona, Budapest or Milan, $153 to Moscow or $437 to New York City. These airlines, usually based in Europe, can offer vastly lower prices than their competitors by slashing costs at every possible turn, while still making a healthy profit in the process. Low-cost airlines are dangerous for traditional companies that have been around for a long time because, by simply setting up a route along the same path as them, they force fares to drop which cuts into profits of the larger airline.

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Clearcast's ban on UK retailer Iceland Foods' palm oil TV ad, explained

Clearcast's ban on UK retailer Iceland Foods' palm oil TV ad, explained

For part of an ad campaign during the holiday season, Iceland Foods struck a deal with Greenpeace to reuse an old animated short film highlighting an animated orangutan’s home and how the palm oil industry negatively impacts its habitat. However Clearcast, the non-governmental organization that governs and pre-approves advertising in the UK, banned the ad from being shown because it apparently is “directed towards a political end” — signaling a violation of the Communications Act of 2003.

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Elon Musk just shared the first-look into Boring Company's tunnel under LA

Elon Musk just shared the first-look into Boring Company's tunnel under LA

Boring Company, founded by Elon Musk in 2016, has announced it has completed construction of its tunnel running between downtown Los Angeles and Torrance, with the aim being to demonstrate how by using a system of underground tunnels, the company can transport passengers at up to 150 mph. Starting construction in 2017, Elon announced in the middle of October that “the first tunnel is almost done” and that it would open to the public on 10 December. He has made proposals for other routes, including one to the Dodger Stadium and an express service between the Loop in downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport — the latter of which has been approved by the city.

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In building a new capital city, Egypt could end up in a Chinese debt trap

In building a new capital city, Egypt could end up in a Chinese debt trap

Egypt is building a new capital city in a desert plot 45 kilometres east of Cairo — currently a vast construction site sits there, but by 2020 it will resemble a sprawling megacity in the making. Situated between the Nile River and Suez Canal, it is being built to boost Egypt’s economy, curb congestion throughout the capital region and inject new development in the country, hopefully boosting the economy in the process. Work is already far underway on the city, with government institutions set to move to the space by the end of 2018. More than 1.5 million new jobs will be created during the construction period and eventually, the unnamed city will house between 6.5-7 million people, boasts President Abdel-Fattah el-Siss.

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IKEA found that in cities, 35 percent of people feel at home in somewhere that isn't their residence

IKEA found that in cities, 35 percent of people feel at home in somewhere that isn't their residence

IKEA Group and INGKA Holding (the holding company for IKEA’s retail arm) publish the Life at Home report on how people live in and relate to their homes, and this year it takes on the theme of living in cities and the idea of home. Interviewing more than 22,000 people in 22 countries, IKEA’s researchers found that for one to feel “at home” in a certain space, they must have privacy, security, comfort and a sense of ownership and belonging. “During our research we learned that life at home is changing, profoundly, all over the world, the report says. “Our physical homes are getting smaller, smarter, busier and noisier… All of this impacts on how successfully a single space can deliver what we need from it – functionally and emotionally.”

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Technology will soon be able to predict when we will die — but do we really want to know?

With technology and AI advancing at such a quick pace, it’s now possible to determine when you’ll die with a high confidence level. This sort of information would truly be life-changing for many people — if you learn when you’ll pass early enough you might be more inclined to do everything you’ve always wanted to while if you learn shortly before your death, it might just cause depression and sadness.

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Netflix is dominating the media streaming industry, as evident from its latest financials

Netflix is dominating the media streaming industry, as evident from its latest financials

During its Q3 report Netflix announced that it not only crushed, but obliterated investor’s estimates for the number of subscribers it would add this quarter, adding nearly 7 million new subscribers during the period. This number is higher than the company itself expected and brings the total number of subscribers the company has to more than 137 million, according to official documents. The company needed to beat estimates this quarter to keep Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney’s highly-anticipated streaming service, which is set to launch by the end of 2019 at bay. Netflix failed to meet its Q2 subscriber estimates of 1.23 million domestically and 5.11 internationally, adding only 670,000 and 4.47 million respectively, and needed to make up for the missed targets.

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To boost your mood, make small changes to your everyday habits

To boost your mood, make small changes to your everyday habits

When someone is assessed for a mental health condition like depression and anxiety, treatments usually include some sort of therapy and medication, but much of the time small lifestyle changes aren’t included in the conversation about how to better our mental health. Little changes can have a big impact on the quality of life for anybody, but especially for those with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more, and lead to a decreased chance of getting diabetes cardiovascular diseases.

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Without permission, MoviePass is signing customers up for its new plans in its latest move against its userbase

Cinema movie ticketing startup MoviePass isn’t actually dead yet, but there’s been signs for the last few months that it was fighting to stay afloat, from shutting down overnight because of a lack of funding to nuking its unlimited plan and being hit with a shareholder lawsuit over fraud. According to The Verge, the company is now sending emails to a “select test group” of customers who didn’t opt-in to the limited three movie per month plan that it forced users onto, saying that unless users opted out of the service — something they’d already done to cancel their membership — it would be reactivating their plan on a special unlimited plan and charging them $9.95 per month.

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Corporations should be held responsible for reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, not consumers

Corporations should be held responsible for reducing the number of disposable coffee cups, not consumers

The coffee industry in the United Kingdom is growing rapidly and more than half of all hot beverages are served in disposable cups, a 2018 report from the Environmental Audit Committee found. Widely available to consumers, take-away coffee is now available in not only in cafés, but also supermarkets, lounges, recreational facilities and more. Disposable coffee cups are lined with a thin layer of plastic which makes them waterproof, but this seal cannot be removed properly by most recycling facilities, effectively contaminating the whole cup. Mistakenly, many people think that disposable cups are recyclable and put them in the incorrect bin as a result, showing that there is a clear misunderstanding from the public and causes extra work at recycling facilities who then have to pick out each cup from what can actually be recycled.

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The economics of Nike's Air Jordan product line, explained

The economics of Nike's Air Jordan product line, explained

The Air Jordan line started in 1984 when basketball player Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike to launch a lineup of shoes, offering him $250,000 to be associated with the brand. Though Adidas offered him double that amount of money, he stuck with Nike — they had offered him a percentage of the revenue of the shoes and promised that if he didn’t earn $3 million in the first 3 years of the partnership, he could exit the deal. This series of shoes is a main driver in Nike’s massive profits, and it’s clear that the deal is still paying off for both parties more than three decades later. Nike reporting sales of the Jordan brand separately for the first time in 2016, growing by 18 percent to $2.8 billion during that year.

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Estonia's e-resident program is its answer to a shrinking workforce

Estonia's e-resident program is its answer to a shrinking workforce

Currently many countries in Europe are facing a dire crisis, with fertility rates falling drastically and increasing government costs as a result. An older population requires more space in elderly homes, more to be spent on healthcare and an increase in registered nurses to care for the aging sector of the population. Between 2010-2015, 83 countries had below-replacement fertility levels, accounting for 46 percent of the world’s population. These countries included China, the USA, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Germany and the UK. Even worse is the predicted global fertility rate, which is expected to fall from the current 2.5 births per woman to 2.2 in 2045-2050 and 2.0 in 2095 to 2100, according to projections.

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Boston is embracing public transportation with a 25-year investment plan

Boston is embracing public transportation with a 25-year investment plan

Massachusetts state officials are looking to the future of public transit, with the DoT and MBTA publishing a draft 25-year investment plan positioning the region to meet the needs of the population by 2040 titled Focus40. The report "reflects what the region will need to be sustainable, livable, equitable, and economically competitive," and is meant to be a framework for changes that will help the agency adapt to a more technological era and withstand the worsening New England winters.

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In preparation of Hurricane Florence, more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and airports are being shut down

In preparation of Hurricane Florence, more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and airports are being shut down

Hurricane Florence has triggered more than 1,000 flight cancellations and airport closures in both North and South Carolina, which are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Florence. The storm, which is predicted to touch down in the United States on Friday, will hit the border of the two states, according to the National Hurricane Centre. Hurricane warnings and tropical storm warnings have been issued along the east coast, with the NHC noting that “hurricane-force winds [are] getting closer to the North Carolina outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina.”

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Premier Doug Ford is promising to use the "Notwithstanding Clause" — but what does that mean?

Premier Doug Ford is promising to use the "Notwithstanding Clause" — but what does that mean?

The new bill attempting to cut the size of Toronto City Council passed the first reading in Ontario’s legislature on Wednesday, after NDP MPPs were forced to leave the room after protesting the bill. Named the Efficient Local Government Act, the bill invokes Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the first time in the province’s history. The section is publicly known as the notwithstanding clause, and allows the government to pass laws overriding specific charter rights for a five-year period, before the law needs to be renewed.

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A nine-year-old recently committed suicide in Colorado. Despite prevention efforts, suicide rates are going up.

Just days after beginning fourth grade, a 9-year-old Colorado boy committed suicide after being bullied by classmates for coming out as gay. He told his mother previously and had a history of being bullied and believed that this was a factor in his suicide. This tragedy shines a light on the way media outlets have chosen to portray the story, with some publications unintentionally putting blame on the victim of the bullying instead of the bully, who is at fault. Though unintentional, it is important for the media to remember and for the public to realize that the boy did not choose to kill himself because he was gay, but instead because he was being bullied for being gay.

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When it comes to public transit, frequency is freedom

When it comes to public transit, frequency is freedom

There's specific reasoning behind why some public transportation routes and systems as a whole are successful while others aren't, and a 2016 study by TransitCentre seeks to find out why that is — though the study is slightly outdated, the principles of it still apply today. For example, Seattle's light rail extension from the downtown core to the University of Washington has boosted ridership from 35,000 to nearly 57,000 riders per day, but the ridership of the Atlanta streetcar is only 1,200 riders per day. This survey aims to find out why there's such a disparity between different transit systems and their ridership, and what makes them more successful in the eyes of riders.

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A generic version of EpiPen is finally being approved by the FDA — and with a looming shortage, it couldn't be better timing

A generic version of EpiPen is finally being approved by the FDA — and with a looming shortage, it couldn't be better timing

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a generic version of the EpiPen on August 16, which is a life-saving tool for people with severe allergies that injects them with a dose of epinephrine, known by its more common name, adrenaline. There are more than 3.6 million people in the US with severe allergies and in Canada, one in 13 people have a severe food allergy that might warrant the need for an EpiPen. These tools are covered by most provincial drug plans in Canada but in the US, those without insurance must choose between generic alternatives or to go without, risking a serious reaction.

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MoviePass is alienating current users instead of searching for a source of income

MoviePass is alienating current users instead of searching for a source of income

Struggling movie subscription service MoviePass sent an email to users today who hold annual subscriptions, forcing them into the same terms as other members and offering refunds to those who want to cancel their memberships. The change comes as an odd move by the company since typically, companies only change service terms for users once they reach their renewal dates. MoviePass subscribers have, until now, been immune to all the changes the company has been making but now it seems like they're out of luck.

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