Children have amazingly active imaginations, and tend to come up with things that even the most creative adults would never think of. Now, Ikea is smartly tapping into this wellspring of ideas for a line of stuffed toys, dubbed Sagoskatt–Swedish for “mythical treasure”–which hits shelves on November 20 and will be available until December 24. … [Read more...] about Ikea Lets Kids Design Its New Toys, And They’re Delightful
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I have written elsewhere about how digital platforms promise to manage the “messiness” of social relationships by reducing them to transactions. Apps and interfaces create an environment where interactions can take place without people having to make any effort to understand or know one another. This is a guiding principle of services ranging from Uber to touchscreen-ordering kiosks at fast-food joints: They enable consumers to interact with purportedly seamless technology rather than deal with other human beings. Companies make a similar promise with surveillance and security technologies. The claim is that these technologies, integrated into our living spaces, will reduce the “frictions” of anxiety and fear, and increase a sense of safety. Yet rather than ease or eliminate friction, these technologies often increase feelings of unease, anxiety, and fear on the part of both the watcher and the watched. Inasmuch as those tensions (whether acknowledged or not) … [Read more...] about The two faces of the smart city
At the substantive level, the agreement stipulates that ‘China shall ensure’ that its purchases meet the $200 billion figure by 2021. The conflict with the US and western powers is also about intellectual property. According to the current deal, China would also open up for imports of manufactured goods, energy items and agriculture commodities. China is also expected to restrain its companies from acquisitions, intended to acquire technology and, thereby, cooperate with the US respecting intellectual property and address the issue of counterfeiting. … [Read more...] about Trade | How real is the truce in the US-China trade war?