The worker of the future will be fast, flexible, and available the instant a customer clicks a button on a smartphone screen.
But the worker of the future will not be an employee — at least if some of today’s fastest-growing and best-funded startups have their way. They’re positioning themselves as “technology platforms” that simply connect people with independent chauffeurs, house cleaners, or errand-runners. For the most part, the armies of workers that companies like Uber or TaskRabbit are assembling — often after screening interviews, background checks, and training programs — are treated as independent contractors and receive no benefits.
Read MoreIn the public eyeWayfair files its plans for IPO (at long last)
A new three-part series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 forthcoming) from Dig Boston is looking at how IBM lured the city into trialling a new model of a "smarter city": One that watched and listened to its citizens, seeking out suspicious activity while tracking faces and clothing, tying together tweets and hundreds of cameras in a system the current administration ultimately found no "practical value" in.
Read MoreClash of the Titans
Two of the biggest tech IPOs anticipated for the fourth quarter are, like Alibaba, e-commerce companies: Boston-based Wayfair, which sells home furnishings, and Berlin-based Zalando, which focuses on apparel and shoes.
Both companies are seeking valuations in the billions of dollars, people familiar with the deals have said.
Wayfair, which will list in the U.S., is getting ready to launch its IPO but doesn't want to compete with Alibaba for the attention of bankers or investors, people familiar with company executives' thinking said. It will likely wait to begin its so-called roadshow, when shares are pitched to potential investors, at least until later in September, they said.
John Senders led a series of safety experiments in which he drove an automobile on Route 128 — the major highway that circles Boston to the west — while a visor repeatedly flapped down over his face, blinding him. Read More
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