Virtual reality is starting to feel a lot more real, Americans love snacks, NSA spying hurt American tech companies

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-“Now, after decades of false promises, virtual reality is starting to feel a lot more real,” writes Businessweek.

-Revelations about NSA spying are hurting American tech companies and bolstering firms outside the U.S., reports The New York Times.

Adweek examines which big brands are courting the Maker movement, and why.

-A global Millward Brown study spotlights how time with smartphones has overtaken time watching TV, reports Ad Age.

The New York Times spotlights how airlines are using data about their customers to provide more personalized service.

Fortune takes a look at the woes facing traditional supermarkets as consumers flock to discounters, natural grocers and specialty stores.

-An Accenture study finds that retailers are struggling to provide seamless omnichannel services, reports MediaPost.

-The BBC looks at how Big Data is providing retailers with “unprecedented opportunity to offer us tailor-made services, online and offline.”

-Cars equipped with high-bandwidth connections and apps are about to arrive on the market, reports MIT’s Technology Review.

-Automakers are installing motion-sensing technologies that would allow drivers to control car functions using gestures, reports The New York Times.

The New York Times predicts that Google’s new Android Wear platform will “jump-start the wearables industry in a meaningful way.”

-With the rise of artificial intelligence, humans “need to focus on the things that make us special,” writes GigaOM.

The Economist looks at whether the rise of streaming music services could stem the record industry’s falling fortunes.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the increasingly competitive art of creating perfect playlists for streaming-music customers.

-Western food brands in China are taking food policing and inspection into their own hands to ensure quality, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

-While Americans “are becoming a nation of snack-a-holics,” their snacks are getting more healthy, reports USA Today.

The Wall Street Journal reports that collaborations between chefs and doctors are leading to tastier healthy food.

Businessweek covers the recent rise in U.S. food prices and how restaurants pass on the cost while grocery chains absorb them.

-Americans spent a record amount of money on their pampered pets last year, reports the AP.

-A wave of tech startups are looking to tap into the billions that Americans spend on their pets, reports The New York Times.

Popsop examines how tech-infused every step of parenting has become.

-“It’s hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation,” writes Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic’s cover story, which argues that kids no longer learn independence, risk taking, and discovery.

-In “The Great Digital BFF Renaissance,” New York takes a look at how texting is helping to preserve and strengthen Millennial friendships.

-A Guardian columnist writes that in contrast to the mods, punks, goths and hippies of the past, most of today’s youth subcultures aren’t evident from fashion alone.

-Now that so many human interactions are possible through a smartphone, The New York Times’ Nick Bilton muses about the pros and cons.

-A Forbes contributor explores the often-overlooked subject of Millennial males in the workplace.

The New York Times reports on how museums are preparing for the future by wooing Millennials as major supporters.

-After the initial soar in stock prices for newly legal marijuana, the market is cooling “as investors realize there’s more smoke than fire,” per USA Today.

USA Today reports on the rise of data-centric journalism, with news organizations pouring money into recruiting data crunchers.

Marketplace spotlights the data-mining potential of online quizzes for brands.

-A New York Times columnist writes that while social media is a powerful tool for activists, it also has a downside for fledgling social movements.

-The Pope’s popularity has proved a boon for both niche and mainstream media, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-The BBC reports on the growth of gay retirement homes.

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