The training wheels are off: Americans want to cycle to work now

I hope you like turquoise, because if you’re trying to buy a bike nowadays, that’s the best color you’re going to get. As Americans rethink...
Michael Waters • May 20, 2020

Postmates wants you to chaperone its delivery robots

Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images How did the delivery robot cross the road? Turns out: With the help of a human supervisor.  The snazziest job at Postmates...
Michael Waters • May 19, 2020

Another pandemic trend to watch: How many businesses return their corona relief money

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images Shake Shack was a trendsetter — and not just for bougie burgers. Last month, the fast casual chain returned $10m it...
Nick DeSantis • May 19, 2020

In some essential industries, working from home means living at work

Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images In quarantine, working from home can feel like you never quite leave the office.  The morning...
Nick DeSantis • May 19, 2020

Libraries hope their return will not be overdue

If you see a row of cars snaking across the parking lot of your local library, don’t be alarmed: That’s the book checkout line. As...
Michael Waters • May 18, 2020

The corona crisis means the busy signal at the call center never ends

Do you ever wish you could listen to the hold music on a customer-service call a little longer? Great news, ya weirdo: Up and down...
Nick DeSantis • May 18, 2020

Scooter companies hope for a 2-wheeled revival — if they can survive long enough

With more states easing up on lockdown restrictions, city-dwelling consumers who leave their quaran-caves after weeks in isolation have a few questions to answer: Can...
Nick DeSantis • May 18, 2020

One way to save the magazine industry: vegetable seeds

Gardening is so popular right now, it might help some magazines bloom. Since India’s lockdown began in late March, one family magazine — the Manorama...
Michael Waters • May 18, 2020

The social distancing consultant will see you now

Sometime last month, architects and interior designers everywhere traded in their old job titles for a shiny new one: Social distancing consultant. After a binge-read...
Michael Waters • May 15, 2020

Only for a limited time: Home shopping TV is taking over retail

Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images No slight to the Bon Appétit test kitchen, but there’s a new sheriff for home cooks: ShopHQ. In March, the TV...
Michael Waters • May 15, 2020

An unusual bright spot in the gambling biz: People are itching for scratch-off tickets

Photo by: Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Here’s a nickel’s worth of good news for state-budget bean counters: We’re buying piles and piles of...
Nick DeSantis • May 15, 2020

Virtual reality can’t catch a break

A VR app like Bigscreen should be all anyone can talk about right now. Forget Netflix Party: With movie theaters closed across much of...
Michael Waters • May 14, 2020

The market for refurbished tech is shining like new

Consider the sad old iPhone sitting in your junk drawer. It must be lonely, right? Don’t feel too sorry. These days, it might be the...
Nick DeSantis • May 14, 2020

One humble software platform is behind all those coronavirus dashboards

They’re a common player in our fits of doomscrolling these days: digital displays that show how the coronavirus crisis is spreading across the globe. Your...
Nick DeSantis • May 14, 2020

Mannequin customers are taking over the business world

No one likes to walk into a restaurant and see empty tables. In the Before Times, you might have glanced warily at your friend:...
Michael Waters • May 14, 2020

It turns out running an ‘Amazon for Animal Crossing’ is very hard

Jeff Bezos, beware: A 25-year-old software engineer is coming for your buy buttons. Last month, Daniel Luu launched Nookazon, an ecommerce store with a...
Michael Waters • May 13, 2020

‘Squad shopping’ could be the next take on tech-enabled togetherness

Bored quaran-teens, rejoice: The mall may be a memory of the Before Times, but a new social platform wants to bring back the time-honored...
Nick DeSantis • May 13, 2020

Dutch AI is coming for the Billboard charts

Want to feel old? The hottest new musical genre is Eurovision Technofear — and it’s brought to you by an unholy mix of ABBA,...
Michael Waters • May 13, 2020

Uber wants to swallow Grubhub, and a deal could reshape the meal-delivery biz

Photo: Torbakhopper/Flickr Hope you’re hungry for some food-delivery news, because Tuesday brought a huge helping: Uber is trying to acquire Grubhub in an all-stock takeover...
Nick DeSantis • May 13, 2020

The contactless takeover: No-touch tech will be key to reopening businesses

Here’s one sign that Americans might have been a bit slow to embrace contactless payments: Visa had to recruit pro athletes like Zach and...
Nick DeSantis • May 12, 2020

The next stage of quarantine boredom is the redecorating phase

First we hoarded toilet paper. Then we baked sourdough and whipped up dalgona coffee. Next we gave each other some terrible haircuts. Now we’re ascending...
Nick DeSantis • May 12, 2020

An IPO in this economy? A used-car dealer is revving up for its big debut

(Photo by Steven Miric/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images) Car sales might be at record lows right now, but Vroom — a digital used-car marketplace — filed …
Michael Waters • May 12, 2020

2020 or 1320? Meet the new bartering craze

Medieval peasants are getting the last laugh. With a disrupted supply chain turning the likes of Lysol wipes and face masks into rare delicacies,...
Michael Waters • May 12, 2020

A beer shortage leaves Mexico with a case of sud sadness

Pour one out for Mexico’s national beer supply. Our neighbor to the south has deemed the suds industry nonessential in the midst of the coronavirus...
Nick DeSantis • May 11, 2020

You probably aren’t rich enough for these high-end Zoom fundraisers

Didn’t get the invite link? If it helps, you never had a real shot anyway. The classiest fundraisers this season are happening on Zoom,...
Michael Waters • May 11, 2020

Airlines are desperate to jettison their excess snacks

Airlines have a simple message for Americans: You don’t have to take our flights, but please, please, at least take our snacks. Across the US,...
Michael Waters • May 11, 2020

A theater chain’s unusual pivot: launching a streaming service of its own

Photo: eng1ne / Flickr In a world where movie theaters and streaming services are supposed to be bitter rivals, one theater chain did something unexpected...
Nick DeSantis • May 11, 2020

Sorry Comcast: School buses are internet providers now

School buses are trundling down the block in some US towns — but please don’t try to hop on board. To reach students without stable...
Michael Waters • May 8, 2020

Mother’s Day is Black Friday for flower shops. The pandemic nipped the biz in the bud.

PSA: Call your mother on Sunday. Go on, set yourself a reminder. We’ll wait. There. Better. Now, for the forgetful types who are cursing themselves and frantically...
Nick DeSantis • May 8, 2020

China’s farmers borrow from the streamer’s playbook: They’re going live

Last month, Wuhan’s deputy mayor, Li Qiang, got down to business: He plopped himself in a sales room with packaged pastries and beef, and...
Nick DeSantis • May 7, 2020

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