Jeff Bezos is channeling Steve Jobs. It’s mid-September and the wiry billionaire founder of Amazon.com is at his brand new corporate headquarters in Seattle, in a building named “Day One South” after his conviction that 17-year-old Amazon is still in its infancy. Almost giddy with excitement, Bezos retrieves one by one the new crop of dirt-cheap Kindle e-readers—they start at $79—from a hidden perch on a chair tucked into a conference room table. When he’s done showing them off, he stands up, and, for an audience of a single journalist, announces, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you.” He waits a half-beat to make sure the reference to Jobs’ famous line from Apple presentations hasn’t been missed, then gives his notorious barking laugh. With that, Bezos pulls out the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s long-anticipated tablet computer—and the first credible response to the Apple iPad.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 28, 2011
LENGTH: 16 minutes (4239 words)
If you start at the Kremlinas almost everything still does in Russiaand drive down Novy Arbat, the first landmark youll pass, just before crossing the Moskva River, will be the…
A helicopter takes Gen. Stanley McChrystal to Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Photo: ISAF One of the greatest ironies of the 9/11 Era: while politicians, generals and…
Almost immediately after Steve Jobs announced he was stepping down as CEO of Apple, tributes to his technological vision and entrepreneurial flair began filling up the web. Jobs created an industry with the Apple II and reshaped another with the iPod. He made cyberspace tactile and dimensional with Macintosh and its graphical interface. Over the course of the last 40 years or so, Jobs has imagineered, packaged, and sold the future with a deftness and persistence few others have managed: Apple lists him as one of the inventors on an astounding 313 patents. But as impressive and wide-ranging as this record of achievement is — it includes designs for computers, keyboards, mice, user interfaces, media players, product packaging, and even a glass staircase — it fails to acknowledge his greatest, most influential innovation of all: Steve Jobs invented business casual.
With Greece and Ireland in economic shreds, while Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even Italy head south, only one nation can save Europe from financial Armageddon: a highly reluctant Germany. The ironies—like the fact that bankers from Düsseldorf were the ultimate patsies in Wall Street’s con game—pile up quickly as Michael Lewis investigates German attitudes toward money, excrement, and the country’s Nazi past, all of which help explain its peculiar new status.
Saturday links: pursuit of mediocrity abnormalreturns July 16th, 2011 The weekend is a great time to catch up on…
LENGTH: 1 minutes (333 words)
“See you below,” he yelled to Deborah as he flew through the air. Five seconds into his fall, the static line engaged his chute, which opened above. Randy clutched the handles around his shoulders, terror in his throat, resolving never to skydive again. He landed in the drop zone at the Antioch, Calif., airfield with a thud when he heard screams and turned to see Deborah, her partially opened white chute wrapped around her like a shroud as she streaked toward the ground. Her main chute had never opened, and she was frantically clawing her way to her reserve chute.
PUBLISHED: July 16, 2011
LENGTH: 16 minutes (4186 words)
In the late 1980s public-television stations aired a talking-heads series called Ethics in America. For each show more than a dozen prominent citizens sat around a horseshoe-shaped table and…
If theres one thing I learned in graduate school, its that the poet Philip Larkin was right. (They fuck you up, your mum and dad, / They may not mean to, but they do.) At the time, I was a…