April 6, 2012

Weekly Roundup: A digital divide, the rise of solo living and political art in the Middle East

Posted by: in North America

-A digital divide between countries is widening, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Technology Report, with the BRICs still lagging behind North America and the Nordic nations, as the FT reports.

-McKinsey argues that global pharma companies are failing to fully capitalize on Brazil’s growing middle class.

-The number of people living solo is skyrocketing across the globe, according to Euromonitor research, and The Guardian takes a look at what’s driving this trend.

-The FT looks at new opportunities for investors, and reasons for concern, as Myanmar opens up.

-Private jets are becoming popular among China’s jetsetters, according to Worldcrunch.

-With the Eurozone still struggling, The New York Times covers the rise of the working poor across the continent, even in Europe’s more prosperous nations.

-Intermarriage among Americans is increasing, according to the Pew Research Center, with 15.1 percent of new marriages in 2010 crossing racial and ethnic lines.

-BBC News suggests bamboo (one of our 100 Things to Watch in 2011) could be the next “super-material” and looks at how the developing world is embracing its potential.

-The Wall Street Journal assesses the Internet economy in the Middle East.

-The Economist looks at the rise of political art in the Middle East and the new prominence of female artists and collectors.

-The New York Times spotlights one company helping to drive the shift to a future in which voice serves as the interface between people and devices.

-GigaOM outlines the role electronic sensors play in Intel’s city of the future.

-ReadWriteWeb takes a look at “How the iPad will fit into your future smart home.”

-Nielsen charts how frequently TV viewers are simultaneously using mobile devices.

-The New York Times Magazine examines the rise of hyperaddictive “stupid games” like Angry Birds.

-USA Today reports that more U.S. merchants are accepting direct mobile billing.

-Reuters looks at the wave of startups hoping to leverage F-commerce via shopping apps, online garage sales and other Facebook-centric ideas.

-The radio show On Point examines the up- and downsides of the new era of bidding for work online.

-A Pew study on the rise of e-reading finds that 20 percent of American adults have read an e-book recently and that e-reader adoption almost doubled over the 2011 holidays.

-With small cars getting bigger among American drivers, Time spotlights the 10 most buzzed-about new compacts, sub-compacts and minis.

-Perhaps the most interesting vehicle introduced at this week’s International Auto Show in New York: a flying car. Bloomberg Businessweek explains that it’s all about making flying simpler.

-After deciding to discontinue pennies, Canada says it will launch a digital currency, reports Fast Company.

-A U.K. study finds that use of illicit drug use among people over 50 has spiked since the mid-’90s as “the hippie generation” ages, according to The Independent.

-With novel shades and patterns, 3D effects and other innovations, nail polish (one of our 100 Things to Watch in 2011) has become the beauty industry’s fastest-growing segment, says The New York Times.

-USA Today spotlights the typewriter comeback and the rise of “type-ins.”

-The New York Times spotlights the rise of backyard (and rooftop) chicken coops, spurred by the green and local food movements.

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