Will there be an end to DVDs? Perhaps, now that Netflix has started selling subscription to online streaming of movies and TV shows. With more than 20 million subscribers, Netflix changed how we purchase and use media content. Who needs TV and DVDs if you got an Internet and a laptop (or a touch screen pad) where you can watch your favorite shows and movies whenever you want? BBC reported that in March 2011 Netflix accounted for almost 30% of downstream traffic during peak hours, even more than web browsing and file sharing. With such traffic, Netflix is rapidly becoming more and more popular.
When Enron was bankrupted as a result of fraud, the rules of the business game were changed forever. Governmental authorities demanded stricter accounting rules and greater financial disclosure. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted shortly following the aftermath of Enron’s fall. Although the cost of compliance was not as great as predicted initially ($78,000 instead of $91,000 as reported in Reuters), public companies have had a much greater responsibility to be accountable and transparent in their businesses - a quality that benefits all of us, especially if you invest in them.
When the BP’s oil rig was damaged in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, authorities became immediately concerned about similar future disasters. As Reuters reported, U.S. authorities realized just how unprepared they were and how much improvement the regulations needed to undergo. As a result, calls for tougher regulations are underway. Although no changes are implemented yet, they are promising to occur. Perhaps, then, the abilities of governments and companies to manage risk will be improved.
9. Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation is behind the iconic Wikipedia website. Created in 2001, Wikipedia was a project that nobody had expected to work as well as it does today. But it survived and today it is ranked 7th in the world according to Alexa.com. With than 75,000 active contributors and 10,000,000 articles*, Wikipedia has forever changed how we gather and distribute information. Whenever you need to satisfy your curiosity or find an answer, Wikipedia likely has it. What’s great is that it is almost as accurate as the official Britannica encyclopedia.
* Source: History and Foundation of Information Science : Good Faith Collaboration : The Culture of Wikipedia (Reagle, Joseph Michael; Lessig, Lawrence)
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