Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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A lot of discussion and ethical thought about self-driving cars have focused on tragic dilemmas, like hypotheticals in which a car has to decide whether to run over a group of schoolchildren or plunge off a cliff, killing its own occupants. But those sorts of situations are extreme cases. As the most recent crash – in...
Africa’s growing digital economy is fast changing how business is done on the continent. Trading of goods and services online, for example, is estimated to be worth USD$24 billion. It’s growing at around 25% a year. This rapid growth has been supported by the continent’s burgeoning mobile phone industry. Africa is home to 1.28...
Over the past two centuries, millions of dedicated people – revolutionaries, activists, politicians, and theorists – have been unable to curb the disastrous and increasingly globalised trajectory of economic polarisation and ecological degradation. This is perhaps because we are utterly trapped in flawed ways of thinking about technology and...
In April, Ford announced that it will be phasing out nearly all of its passenger cars in the United States. If all goes according to plan, 90 percent of Ford’s portfolio in North America will be trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Its F-150 – the most popular vehicle in America – is now poised to build...
With a mariachi band playing along, the last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line of a Mexican factory on July 10. Originally created in Germany at the behest of Adolf Hitler, the Beetle ended up being exported around the world, and every country that sold the car absorbed it into...
From retail goods to medical implants and even food, 3D printing technology promises to change the way we think about everyday things. It’s difficult to predict what impact it will have on manufacturing but, whatever the precise effects, they are likely to be deep and permanent. Also known as “additive manufacturing”, 3D printing refers to...
Brazilians are moving away from Catholicism. Today, fewer than 50 percent of Brazilians identify as Roman Catholic, down from 92 percent in 1970. But after 500 years in South America, the Catholic Church remains deeply enmeshed Brazil’s economy and society. Among its many footholds is a little-known tradition called the Movimento das Capelinhas,...
“What is the value of zero?” asks the seductive commercial for the new Nissan Leaf (due to launch in Australia in April). Set against a montage of natural and man-made images of “0”, the Leaf advert asks its audience to: “Imagine zero dependency on foreign oil, zero pollutants in our environment, zero...
In developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, mobile banking — describing the use of mobile phones to make financial transactions — is transforming banking from a physical (requiring visits to a bank branch) to non-physical activity. Visits to banks to deposit cheques, and cheques more...
On July 7, G20 leaders will gather in Hamburg for their annual meeting. One likely outcome: another clash over climate change between the host government, Germany, and United States president Donald Trump. As the Chinese did last year, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel has prioritised climate on the G20 agenda, just when...

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