AP

Companies can now test complex service and product prototypes by employing stagecraft, an approach that uses the "tricks of theater and film" to give the illusion of the real thing, according to the Harvard Business Review.

How it works: When the Department of Homeland Security used stagecraft to test equipment for first responders, it used projections, dummies and mockups, and had real EMTs simulate situations in which they would use the equipment.

Why it matters: Stagecraft can help test prototypes that otherwise wouldn't be safe to test. In the case of EMT equipment, "real-life testing was impossible; a poor prototype could endanger human lives."

Cheaper and faster: The HBR reported this approach costs "thousands" compared to the "millions" needed for traditional tests. Additionally, allowing customers to test the "real thing" keeps companies "from going too far down a wrong path" in development.

Go deeper

Trump refuses to answer question on whether he supports QAnon conspiracy theory

President Trump on Friday refused to answer a direct question on whether or not he supports the QAnon conspiracy theory during a press briefing.

Why it matters: Trump congratulated Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who vocally supports the conspiracy theory, on her victory in a House primary runoff earlier this week — illustrating how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within his party.

Postal workers' union endorses Biden

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing roughly 300,000 current and former postal workers, on Friday endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, calling him "a fierce ally and defender of the U.S. Postal Service," reports NBC News.

Why it matters: The endorsement comes as President Trump has vowed to block additional funding for the USPS in the next coronavirus stimulus package, linking it to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Lawmakers demand answers from World Bank on Xinjiang loan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the World Bank about its continued operation of a $50 million loan program in Xinjiang, following Axios reporting on the loans.

Why it matters: The Chinese government is currently waging a campaign of cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in northwest China. The lawmakers contend that the recipients of the loans may be complicit in that repression.