e-commerce

When you get past all of the emotional trappings, your money is nothing more than a symbol of value, and it’s only as good as the trust we place in it. This TED talk suggests that we may be headed into an era of multiple monies. [click to continue…]

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Crowdfunding—funding a project by asking many people for small contributions—has exploded in popularity because of Internet tools and social networks. Crowdfunding is being used to fund high-tech ventures, microbusinesses, charities, and artistic expressions. In this entertaining, moving TED talk, musician Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls talks about a dimension of crowdfunding that’s rarely discussed: the emotional connections that happen when we ask friends, fans, or strangers for what we need. She argues that Internet tools aren’t as important as our attitude about asking.

ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html

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3D Printing May Change Everything—and Soon

January 8, 2013
Printed cup

We’ve been hearing about 3D printers for quite a while. But according to this Planet Money story on NPR, the 3D printer may soon be showing up all over the place, changing the way we live, shop, and work in profound ways.

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Why Big Data Is a Big Deal

January 4, 2013
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More and more, we’re living in a data-driven world. In this excellent little piece that aired recently on NPR’s Fresh Air, Geoff Nunberg gives one of the clearest explanations we’ve seen of what Big Data is and why it’s important to all of us. http://www.npr.org/2012/12/20/167702665/geoff-nunbergs-word-of-the-year-big-data

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Crowdsourcing the Car

January 2, 2013
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The Internet naturally lends itself to peer-to-peer communication and commerce. In this short TED talk Robin Chase explains how she’s using technology to make car sharing easy and profitable.

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Mobile Devices and the New Shopping Experience

December 14, 2012
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Smart phones and tablets are changing the way we shop, and the change is happening at digital speeds. In some stores, you can pay by flashing your smart phone and have a receipt mailed from the clerk’s tablet. No cash, no plastic cards, no paper, no waiting. This NPR story surveys the world of mobile-tech shopping.

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Sharing is Caring—or Is It?

August 29, 2012
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The concept of sharing is everywhere on the Internet. In this thought-provoking Huffington Post blog post, Bianca Bosker asks whether Facebook and other companies are using the term to manipulate our feelings and extract information from us.

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The Never-Ending Sales Pitch

August 29, 2012
Smart Phone e-commerce

If you’re tired of ads now, just wait ’til your smart phone gets a little smarter. It may soon deliver sales pitches to you based on your location, the weather, nearby friends, the contents of your last Facebook post, or just about anything else it can link to you.

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The Web is Watching You

June 9, 2012
Photo from TEDTalk about tracking the trackers

If you think you’re covering your tracks as you explore the web, think again. This TED talk shows how we’re being tracked and suggests what we might need to do about it.

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3D Body Scans for Better Fitting Jeans?

June 7, 2012
These computer designs let stores create or tweak new styles without actually stitching prototype garments.

We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of computer body scans in hospitals and airports. But are you ready to be scanned in the dressing room of a clothing store? Or in your home for an online retail purchase? If scan-for-size technology catches on, digital devices may be taking your body measurements to ensure that the clothes you buy fit perfectly. This NPR story has the details.

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