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The start-up bubble is finally bursting (a little bit)

nytimes.com
  • Insane start-up market growth is slowing down, with over 30 start-ups cutting 8,000 jobs in just the last 4 months, and much fewer investments in young companies.
  • Startups like Casper, a mattress market disruptor that raised over $300 million in venture capital, are plummeting as soon as they enter the stock market.
  • Other examples include e-scooter giant Lime that pulled out of several countries, or WeWork, which announced a 2,400 people layoff last November.
  • Even marijuana start-ups are facing significant difficulties, despite having collectively raised $2.6 billion in 2019.
  • This might not become the next dot-com bubble, but it is a sign that start-ups cannot do irrational things anymore, like forgoing profit in order to disrupt markets.

Level of education found to be a good predictor of how long people live

inverse.com
  • Since 2014, there has been an unprecedented decline in life expectancy in the US, and the reason might be lack of education.
  • Study shows that only 12.71 out of 1,000 college graduates are at risk of early death, whereas for high school and lower education levels it is 61.69 out of 1,000.
  • To uncover this, researchers analyzed data from 5,114 Americans, collected since participants enrolled in a coronary artery risk study back in 1984.
  • The conclusion is that increasing one’s education might bring about positive changes in health and financial stability.

Review of air pollution reduction measures shows that they have positive health outcomes

reuters.com
  • After reviewing several case studies, a team of researchers found that air pollution reduction measures can significantly reduce respiratory health issues.
  • Temporary reductions in pollution output (like during Olympics) resulted in health improvements for the local population after just a few weeks.
  • One of the most successful measures was the U.S. Clean Air Act, which generated monetary benefits 32x greater than the costs.
  • Other case studies included bans on smoking, as well as household pollution reduction measures, like stove upgrades and air filter and purifier usage.
  • Experts say that the best way to battle the problem of air pollution is to get informed and spread the knowledge, because we need large-scale collective action.

ISPs want to spy on your internet usage, and Google is trying to protect you from it

aclu.org
  • Tech giants, including Google, are fighting with Internet Service Providers over all of the internet users’ rights to a secure DNS.
  • The DNS is the first step in connecting a user to the website she wants to view, and it’s also the least secure step, where ISP’s can easily spy on their users.
  • Google and Firefox are advocating that users should be able to at least choose a secure DNS, but the ultimate goal is to make it the standard.

India rolls out financial data protection systems more sophisticated than in the West

bloomberg.com
  • Financial institutions in India are rolling out data protection systems that aim to give consumers and businesses complete control over their financial data.
  • Essentially, one will have a joint account that accumulates all of one’s financial info, and will be able to choose which data to share with an institution.
  • Whereas in the West, it’s the other way around - we don’t know how much, or what kind of data institutions have about us, and we can’t control how they use it.
  • The main challenge in introducing the system will be to help Indians understand it, as much of the population is poorly educated.

Newsletter

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Categories

  • Science Science (59) Study shows, for the first time, that giving Oxytocin to men with autism can have lasting positive effects
  • Psychology Psychology (64) You’re more likely to make a decision when you breathe out
  • Cosmos Cosmos (29) Astronomers witness the dragging of space-time in stellar cosmic dance
  • History History (14) Humans survived off rodents in the mountains during the last ice age, study says
  • Society Society (65) The start-up bubble is finally bursting (a little bit)
  • Medicine Medicine (65) Scientists discover powerful antibiotic using AI
  • Technology Technology (70) Polymer patch could reduce negative effects of cardiac scar tissue
  • Nature Nature (45) Scientists are trying to save bees with special bacteria for bee gut microbiome