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Remote Control Metropolis

Remote Control Metropolis

Vienna gets kudos for urban planning, passive and affordable housing, and trash disposal. The preferred nomenclature is “Smart City”. But nothing makes a slightly geeky Wien-dweller feel smarter than having the answer to everyday hurdles right on her phone. Plenty of tokens of the touchscreen are dedicated to local everyday needs and desires. With GPS […]

Space à La Suisse

Space à La Suisse

Times have changed since the frenzy of the Space Race half a century ago. Triggered by the surprise success of the USSR’s Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite launched on 4 October 1957, the United States and the Soviet Union became obsessed with space travel. And for the duration of the Cold War, the […]

Geeky Gourmet: A Tasting Menu by Tablet

Geeky Gourmet: A Tasting Menu by Tablet

Perching on a white-upholstered bench in a low ceilinged and cosily lit modern eatery, I was tucking hungrily into a dish of crocodile wrapped in bacon. Yet the exotic dishes on offer are not the oddest aspect of eating at Viereck on Johannesgasse in Vienna’s 1st District. More unusual was the fact that, bravely resisting […]

Tyrol’s Cashless Payment

Tyrol’s Cashless Payment

A “Secure Shopping” smartphone app has been implemented in several branches of supermarket chain MPREIS. Shoppers pay for purchases quickly with the app by entering a PIN code, then pressing the phone screen against the checkout scanner. All that’s required is a Hypo Tirol bank account with online banking capability. Addressing privacy concerns, the company’s […]

Startups Changing the Nature of the Economy

Startups Changing the Nature of the Economy

Walking into the Hofburg, city palace of the Habsburgs, you might well expect a world of elegance, nobility and pomp. Not today. At the startup and tech event Pioneers Festival, everything on stage is constructed from wooden pallets: a microphone pedestal, a table, two armchairs and more. Wooden pallets are the building material of an […]

Outsourcing Thinking

Have you ever caught yourself surfing the Internet for longer than necessary? Or have you found yourself incessantly checking  your email account every few minutes? If so, then you’re in good company. It was this kind of new-age phenomenon that was recently discussed at the International Forum for Economic Communication (IFWK) in Vienna. According to […]

Vienna: Traditionally Smarter Than the Rest

Several inches of snow have fallen during the night and the 48er crew in their bright orange overalls is out in force clearing the streets. No robots, despite the biting cold. In the 1st District café where I am meeting an expert to discuss the latest World Cities Survey, there isn’t a laptop in sight. […]

Vienna’s Russians: Remote and Resigned

Online social networks are today’s stage for political discourse. This became relevant for Russia when suspicions of fraud by the ruling party in parliamentary elections last December brought some 50,000 protesters to the streets, organised over the internet. Since then, there has been a string of demonstrations in urban centres, not seen in Russia since […]

Is China the Answer for Austrian Business?

Is China the Answer for Austrian Business?

A swift, 30-minute drive separates Shanghai’s bustling city centre from the gleaming flagship factory of Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik (AT&S ). As I put on my safety goggles, I am told that the machines here run for 360 days a year – allowing five days’ rest for the Spring Festival, the most important holiday in […]

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