Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

06.23.16 | 1:30 pm

All of today’s SCOTUS decisions, from immigration to affirmative action

What a day for news! Here's a quick recap of what the Supreme Court ruled on today: 

• The Supreme Court tied 4-4 on a case that challenged Obama's plan to shield illegal immigrants from deportation. This means the decision of a lower court holds, thereby blocking hopes of bringing the proposal to fruition—a big blow to the Obama administration. There's a chance this could change, however, depending on the outcome of the election:

• The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of affirmative action, on a case that called into question the practices of the University of Texas, which employs a race-based admissions program.

• And in yet another SCOTUS ruling:

Next up on the docket: A key abortion ruling, which would be the court's most significant one on the issue since the Planned Parenthood case in 1992. 

10.28.16 | 42 minutes ago

Keep Collective, Stella and Dot’s sister brand, has been an unexpected runaway success

In September 2014, Stella and Dot's founders launched Keep Collective, a brand that allows women to create their own personalized keepsake jewelry with ornaments. They basically made charm bracelets–the beloved accessory of little girls everywhere–sophisticated enough for grown women to wear. As part of the company's mission to create entrepreneurial opportunities, the brand invites women to sell these products to make a commission. 

In the first year alone, Keep drove nearly $50 million in sales, and this year, it has already brought in $85 million and is on target to make a total of $100 million in 2016, Blythe Harris, the company's chief creative officer tells Fast Company. This translates to more than $25 million in commissions for sellers. 

The brand has been successful by tapping into its existing customer and seller bases, and understanding that there was a place in the market for this kind of personalized jewelry at a reasonable price point. (Pieces start at $7.)

10.28.16 | 2 hours ago

What Tim Cook said about putting touch screens on laptops in 2013

At an Apple press event in 2013, Cook stood in front of a slide of a road sign with a tangle of black road. He was talking about his competitors in the personal computer market, like Microsoft.

"The competition is different . . . they are confused," Cook said. "They chased after netbooks. Now they are trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs . . . "

Well, the only way to turn a PC into a tablet is by giving it a touch screen. And Apple did just that by adding the Touch Bar to the new MacBook Pros announced yesterday. It could go further and add a full-on touch screen to Macs in the future. Cook continued:

"Who knows what they'll do next."

Microsoft answered that question this week when it got so confused that it introduced a desktop PC (the Surface Studio) with a touch screen display.

10.28.16 | 2 hours ago

Here’s the letter the FBI just sent to Congress, saying it uncovered new evidence in the Clinton email probe

In a bombshell announcement that is sure to shake up the presidential campaign, the FBI said that it will conduct a new investigation of emails from Hillary Clinton's private server. In a letter to members of Congress, FBI Director James Comey said that the bureau had recently "learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" while looking at an "unrelated case." Noting that he had just been briefed on the new evidence on Thursday, he continued: "I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation." 

Back in July, Comey came under fire from Republicans after announcing that the FBI had closed its investigation into the matter with no charges, especially because he said that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of emails. 

As soon as the letter was revealed this afternoon, Republican nominee Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters in New Hampshire that Clinton was "corrupt" and informed them of the development. And after weeks of complaining about a "rigged" system set up to defeat his candidacy, Trump added: "It might be not be as rigged as I thought. I think they're going to right the ship, folks. I think they're going to right this yet."

Here is the letter that Comey sent to Congress today:

10.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Facebook offers advertisers a way to exclude ethnic groups

It's hard to say exactly how marketers might use the feature, but according to ProPublica, Facebook offers them a way to exclude serving ads to people in specific "ethnic affinities."

If this tool is used to discriminate against people seeking housing, ProPublica wrote, it would be illegal under federal rules.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a Fast Company request for comment. But the social networking giant told ProPublica, "We take a strong stand against advertisers misusing our platform: Our policies prohibit using our targeting options to discriminate, and they require compliance with the law."

10.28.16 | 3 hours ago

That $999 kit that makes your car semi-autonomous isn’t happening

George Hotz, the first person to ever jailbreak the iPhone, promised last month that his self-driving car company,, would by the end of the year release a product that adds semi-autonomous capabilities to Honda Civics and some Acura cars.

Today, he ditched that plan after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a letter expressing concern over the safety of the product. Hotz announced the news on Twitter using the account:

10.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Amazon finally brings Prime to China

In its continued attempt to dominate the globe, Amazon has launched its Prime service in China, reports Bloomberg. This means Chinese Prime subscribers will be able to get free shipping on both domestic and overseas goods (for overseas, the transaction has to exceed 200 yuan—around $29—to be eligible).

Amazon has been looking toward non-U.S. markets to expand its footprint. Other countries offering Prime include India and the UK. China, however, may prove a difficult market to conquer with the e-commerce space already heavily saturated with heavy-hitters like Alibaba and Wal-Mart. 

10.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Hackers don’t need a gun to take down your drone

There's been plenty of discussion about whether irresponsible drone pilots pose a risk to airplanes or first responders. But what if the flying cameras start to fall out of the sky because of ones and zeros?

Researchers have shown it's possible for hackers to take control of a drone and even make it fall out of the sky, Ars Technica reports. And as Recode notes, different researchers recently showed that it's possible to remotely take over control of a number of different off-the-shelf drones.

So while we're unlikely to see hackers hijacking the flying devices any time soon, it's worth remembering that people upset with drones don't need no stinking gun to knock them out of the sky.

10.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Uber drivers in London are now entitled to workers’ rights

A tribunal in London today decided that Uber drivers are entitled to workers' rights such as paid holidays and the minimum wage.

Uber has argued that its drivers are their own employers, and that its app merely connects them to work—a setup that excludes the company from following laws such as those establishing a minimum wage that apply only to employees.

The London case was brought by one current and one former driver, but it exposes Uber to legal action from about 42,000 of its drivers who are based in London. It did not address the question of whether the drivers have been paid the minimum wage, but rather whether they are entitled to it.

Uber plans to appeal the decision.

10.28.16 | 4 hours ago

Due to Apple price hikes in the U.K., it’s now cheaper for Brits to fly round-trip to the U.S. to buy a MacBook Pro

On Thursday, Apple raised prices by as much as £500 on its products sold in the U.K.—thus making it cheaper to buy a round-trip ticket to the U.S. or Canada to buy your latest device and fly back to London, reports the Financial Times. For example, a MacBook Pro just jumped in price from £2,499 to £2,999, but starts in the U.S. at $2,999 and in Canada at C$3,499, about £530 and £800 less, respectively, than the price in pounds sterling.

Right now, Air India is offering roundtrip tickets from London to New York from $441 and WestJet is offering roundtrip tickets from London to Toronto for £349. Oy, how badly do you want one of these new laptops?

10.28.16 | 10:26 am

78,000 Corinthian Colleges students have filed debt relief claims

Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit education chain that once operated over 100 campuses across North America, filed for bankruptcy last year amid a torrent of lawsuits alleging that many of the company's programs were a sham. 

Corinthian's collapse left thousands of students in the lurch and on the hook for thousands of dollars of debt, prompting the Obama Administration to review its write-down policies in cases of fraud and abuse. In the months since, over 78,000 Corinthian students and an additional 4,000 students from other trade schools have requested debt relief.

The Education Department said today that is has already approved more than 15,000 claims, together worth $247 million. All told, student-friendly changes in policy could cost taxpayers as much as $21.2 billion over the next 10 years. 

[Photo: Flickr user college.library]

10.28.16 | 10:00 am

This online master’s program is now producing more computer science grads than any other university

These days there are dozens of ways to learn how to code, from bootcamps to YouTube videos. But until the Georgia Institute of Technology introduced a low-cost, online version of its master's degree in computer science in 2014, earning an advanced credential in the subject was expensive and often inconvenient.

Now, for just $7,000, students can earn the same CS diploma as master's students who attend Georgia Tech in person. In just two years, the program has become the nation's largest computer science MS in terms of annual graduates, increasing production by roughly 7%.

Even better: the average student in the program is 34 years old and would not otherwise have had the means to attain the degree, implying a significant increase in access for lower-income, mid-career professionals.  

10.28.16 | 9:50 am

N.Y.C. becomes first city in U.S. to pass wage protection for freelancers

The "Freelance Isn't Free" bill, aimed at protecting freelance professionals in New York City from clients who don't pay or pay late, was passed unanimously by the New York City Council yesterday. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign it into law, and it would go into effect 180 days later.

The law mandates that employers pay freelancers in full within 30 days after they render services (unless otherwise specified in a contract). It is still not determined whether the protection will extend to freelancers residing outside New York who work for N.Y.C.-based companies.

One of the chief complaints of freelance professionals is getting paid on time. As many as 7 out of 10 freelancers encounter this costly problem, according to the most recent survey from Upwork/Freelancers Union. The survey estimates as many as 38% of New York City's workers are independent contractors.