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Wave forecasting site Surfline has changed how people surf

Oct 4, 2023
Surfline follows conditions at hundreds of beaches all over the world, but some surfers don’t think it’s so swell.
Knowing the best time to hit the beach should be a win for surfers, right? "This gets at a question of the spirit of the sport," says writer and surfer Caroline Mimbs Nyce. "Is this a cheat code to only go when it's really ideal?"
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The monumental task of measuring the GDP over and over again

Sep 28, 2023
The keepers of GDP continually update their calculations as more information becomes available.
Measuring the economy requires continually revising data as more data becomes available.
Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

A government shutdown would stifle flow of economic data

Sep 21, 2023
The threat comes just when the Federal Reserve really needs a clear picture of how the economy is doing.
The Federal Reserve relies on government-produced data to make monetary policy. Above, Chair Jerome Powell.
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How ride-hail companies use data to pay drivers less

Apr 10, 2023
Uber and Lyft drivers receive personalized wages based on data the companies collect about them, according to a new legal study.
A protest against California's Proposition 22 in December. One effect of the law is that ride-hail drivers are not entitled to a guaranteed minimum wage.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Work is a big part of what's making us unhappy, Gallup CEO says

Sep 27, 2022
Jon Clifton weighs in on workplace engagement, global unhappiness and why it's sometimes a good thing when polls confirm conventional wisdom.
"We spend so much of our lives at work," says Gallup CEO Jon Clifton. "There's one analysis that says it's 115,000 hours — which is 13 years of a person's life."
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

What the worst states to work in have in common, according to Oxfam America

Sep 1, 2022
Low levels of worker protections correlate to a lower standard of living, researcher says.
A variety of factors unify the "worst" states for workers, according to Oxfam.
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Department of Education appoints its first chief economist

Jun 15, 2022
The agency said it’s part of bringing a more data-based approach to policymaking.
The Department of Education recently announced that Jordan Matsudaira will be the first chief economist in its 43-year history.
Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

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How a pair of tights contributed to legal protections for privacy in the U.S.

Apr 18, 2022
In a new book, legal historian Amy Gajda explores the origins of the “right to privacy.” A daring moment in a Broadway show is part of the story.
U.S. courts have balanced individual privacy rights with the public’s right to know. In a new book, Tulane law professor and former journalist Amy Gajda examines the strength of those rights today.
Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

Census undercount of Black, brown communities could ripple through economy

Apr 6, 2022
The bureau thinks it missed 3% of African Americans, 5% of Hispanics and 6% of Alaska Natives and Native Americans living on reservations.
The undercount of communities of color can influence political redistricting and the distribution of federal dollars.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Does the torrent of government data make economists better at predictions?

Feb 23, 2022
FRED, a popular government website, started tracking 30 kinds of data in 1991. Now it tracks 800,000.
The 800,000 types of data that FRED tracks are basically irresistible to economists.
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