Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

07.17.17 | 2:00 pm

Word up: A crossword puzzle a day might lead to a sharper brain later in life

A new large-scale study from the University of Exeter Medical School and Kings College London asked more than 17,000 healthy people over the age of 50 how frequently they played word puzzles such as crosswords. They found that the more people did word puzzles, the better they performed on tasks that assessed attention, reasoning, and memory. In fact, those who regularly dorked out with the New York Times crossword or a similar puzzle had speedier grammatical reasoning and more accurate short-term memory, with brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age.

While Alzheimer's researchers aren't quite ready to say crossword puzzles will prevent dementia, they are excited by the results that were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference today. While they await further study to see if crosswords can improve brain function, the Alzheimer's Society suggests staving off dementia by staying physically active, not smoking, and sticking to a healthy diet.

[Photo: Flickr user Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue]  

06.29.17 | 9:36 am

Report: The New York Times staff is preparing to walk off the job to protest copy editor cuts

The New York Times is going through a major restructuring process. Currently the company is trying to offer many editorial staffers buyouts as well as figure out other ways to trim fat. One of the teams being hit the hardest is the copy editors. 

The invisible but necessary group of people who make sure the newspaper's copy is clean and error-free is being asked to cut its staff down by almost half. In a letter to top editors, which was published by Poynter, the copyediting team called these cuts "dumbfoundingly unrealistic." (For context, the Times publishes upwards of 200 articles every day.)

Now it looks like the edit team will protest the copy editor cuts by walking out this afternoon.

According to the letter sent yesterday, the copy editors just want to work with the top brass to figure out a feasible number of staff members to make the thankless job actually possible. We reached out to the Times for comment and will update if we hear back.

Update: The New York Times offered us this comment:

"We take employee concerns seriously and support their right to speak their minds. But we also believe increasing the number of reporters is vital to the future of The New York Times. Even with these changes, we will have more editors than any similar news outlet and our editing standards and processes will remain the most robust and rigorous of any news organization."

06.28.17 | 9:34 am

The New York Times’ best non-news service is going behind a paywall, and I am devastated

The New York Times has announced that NYT Cooking, its site and app for all things food, is going to use a subscription model. For $5 a month users can have unlimited access to its treasure trove of classy recipes. Instead of the interface now, where users can just open the app and search for recipes, they will be asked to log in. 

NYT Cooking is one of the best cooking apps around—it's wonderful for people unsure of what to make and looking for a variety of trusted suggestions. I browse it multiple times a week. This subscription model update means the end of the best free cooking app available, though non-paying subscribers will still have limited access.

I don't begrudge media companies for trying to figure out new monetization avenues, and this is surely a smart one. The Times went a similar route with its Crossword app, and I am sure more of its non-news spin-off services will see a similar fate. But one of the best parts about NYT Cooking was that it was free! And that anyone could use it! Alas, that era is no more. And my future cuisine will likely have much less of that Mark Bittman and Melissa Clark je ne sais quoi. 

[Photo: Toa Heftiba]

05.03.17 | 9:51 am

The New York Times just added a record number of digital subscribers, but there’s a downside

The newspaper's parent company said in its first-quarter earnings today that it added 308,000 digital-only subscribers over the last three months, a record for a single quarter. In the words of a New York Times Company press release, the number was "astounding." (Why be modest?) The bump helped push the Times's digital advertising revenue to $50 million, up 19% over the same period last year. But revenue from print ads took another hit—it fell 18% for the quarter. And that double-digit drop has been a familiar story. Print revenue dropped 16% in 2016. Read the full report here

[Photo: Craig Dennis/Pexels]

02.23.17 | 10:08 am

The New York Times touts “The Truth” in their first-ever Oscar ad

The stylish spot is a confident middle finger to anyone accusing the Gray Lady of "failing" (and you know who you are). See the spot over on Co.Create

01.04.17 | 4:33 pm

Apple removed New York Times apps from Chinese app store in late December

Apple said it was responding to a request from the Chinese government when it removed the English-language and Chinese-language New York Times apps from its app store in China on Dec. 23.

"The move limits access to one of the few remaining channels for readers in mainland China to read The Times without resorting to special software," the Times itself reports today

China's communist government began blocking New York Times websites in 2012 after the pub ran a series on the wealth of then-Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's family, points out Business Insider.

In its financial year ending in September, Apple said its operating income in China was $18.8 billion on revenues of $48.5 billion.