The tech economy needs minerals and metals, and Afghanistan has got a lot of them

Sep 3, 2021
Journalist and book author Guillaume Pitron explains the barriers to getting those minerals out of the ground and putting them to use.
A copper and cobalt mine in Kolwezi in the Democratic republic of Congo in 2018.
Samir Tounsi/AFP via Getty Images

Why it's important we interact with strangers

Journalist Joe Keohane's book, "The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World," examines the advantages of connecting with people we don't know.
There are various advantages and dynamics of interacting with strangers, according to journalist Joe Keohane's book.

Mastercard is saying goodbye to the magnetic stripe

Aug 18, 2021
Credit-card changes are driven by security concerns, and it turns out that signature swipe has its own swath of problems.
Mastercard plans to swap the swipe payment process for the chip and touchless tap.
Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. ramps up scrutiny of Chinese companies buying American tech firms

May 6, 2021
The increased scrutiny has led to an intended chilling effect, with Chinese foreign direct investment slowing since 2016.
Buying a company is a way for foreign firms to access technology, but if the technology is sensitive, that can pose a national security threat in the view of the U.S. government.
Li xin/AFP via Getty Images

Why is Bitcoin better? Let her count the ways.

Mar 2, 2021
Laura Shin, one of the first reporters to cover crypto-assets full time, says Bitcoin's "the most fascinating thing" she's watched.
Ozan Kose/Getty Images

QR codes are finally having a moment in the pandemic

Oct 23, 2020
They've been around for over 25 years, so why now?
People scan a QR code with their smartphones to check their health status to enter an area on a Beijing street. As Rivero notes, QR codes are already widely integrated into life in China.
Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

IBM evolves yet again ... this time into the cloud

Oct 9, 2020
As an early company song put it, IBM has moved "ever onward," from punch cards to mainframes to software and services. Now it's diving into AI and cloud computing.
IBM Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty delivers a speech at CES 2019 in Las Vega The company is pivoting to cloud services.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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China charges forward into 5G wireless future, despite pandemic, weak economy

Oct 8, 2020
Compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. ranks dead last in 5G speeds.
People pass by a billboard in Beijing advertising Huawei's new 5G smartphones.
Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

COVID-19 sparked a U.S. coin shortage, but a U.K. surplus

Oct 2, 2020
Technology has made the transition to digital payments quicker in the U.K.
"It's absolutely certain that coronavirus will accelerate the shift to digital," says Natalie Ceeney, chair of Innovate Finance. But the virus has also shown a spotlight on vulnerability and people who are getting excluded by the shift to digital.
Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

How to sell the future

Sep 7, 2020
A look at how advertising execs sold computers before any of us knew what they were.
Courtesy Mungia