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New Zealand is hitching its economic future to Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series

Amazon Studios is risking a lot on its upcoming Lord of the Rings series. But there’s another entity that wants the TV show to be a success even more than Amazon: the government of New Zealand.New Zealand is granting Amazon a NZ$160 million ($114 million) taxpayer-funded subsidy to film the first season of the company’s Lord of the Rings series there,...

Taser stun guns have a big design problem

Kimberly Potter, the 26-year police veteran who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in Minnesota on April 11, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors will be tasked to prove to the courts that she was negligent in drawing and firing her Glock pistol instead of her Taser stun gun when subduing the 20-year old.A widely...

The big issue for Amazon warehouse workers isn’t money—it’s autonomy

Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against unionizing last week, with a decisive majority opting not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.The decision, with a vote of 738 employees in favor to 1,798 against, was a blow to labor advocates who had been hoping that unionization at the site might inspire a wave of elections...

Indian IT’s mega offices will outlive the pandemic

Home to almost 30,000 employees, Infosys’ headquarters on the outskirts of Bengaluru is a mini-city of sorts. Spread out across 81 acres, the campus has a distributed low-rise campus with 4.2 million square feet of built-up space across several buildings. The compound houses a helipad, grounds for cricket, football, and hockey, a 487-room hostel, a...

India is challenging China’s dominance in Africa through healthcare diplomacy

India has stepped up its global ambitions and foreign policy re-engagement with African countries in recent years. Its bilateral trade increased from $7.2 billion in 2001 to $63 billion in 2017-18. India is now the third largest export destination and the fifth largest investor on the continent.While it plays catch-up with China’s commanding presence...

What do the best online streamers have in common?

In some ways, a video game live streamer seems like the easiest kind of celebrity to become. What could be more fun, and less taxing, than gaming at home and chatting with friends online? Most gamers have probably idly (or seriously) wondered if they could make streaming into a career.But being a professional streamer is deceptively difficult. They’ve...

What the NFT crypto art craze means for artists

It’s been two weeks since Christie’s historic $69.3 million auction for crypto art ignited light bulbs around the world. Digital content creators of all caliber have been plotting their own Beeple moment, hoping to find a similar fortune like the 39-year-old graphic designer from South Carolina who instantly became rich and famous via the single-lot...

Gamers turned Discord into a $10 billion juggernaut

Discord, the popular chat platform that rose to prominence with gamers, could soon have a new owner. And its reported sale price demonstrates how important tech giants believe it is to have more exposure to young consumers.The platform is exploring its options “in the wake of interest from multiple parties that want to buy the company,” VentureBeat...

Salary hikes at TCS indicate Indian IT is thriving

Despite the once-in-a-century pandemic, Indian IT is doing so well that the largest firm in the sector has announced not one, but two, salary hikes within six months.On March 19, Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said it will give its employees an average increment of between 12-14% to its over 470,000 employees effective April 1. This is...

Saudi Aramco has lost the title of world’s most profitable company

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, is no longer the world’s most profitable company.After a pandemic year that slashed fossil fuel prices—and drove up demand for consumer technology—that distinction now falls to Apple. The iPhone maker netted $57.4 billion in its 2020 fiscal year, while the oil giant recorded a (measly for Aramco) $49 billion...

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