Wowereit and Schwarz fell hard for an airplane: the Airbus A380, the double-decker, widebody, four-engine jetliner capable of seating 853 people. While no airline indicated it wanted to fly this monstrosity to Berlin, the men called for the walls at one end of the terminal to be ripped out so that an extra-wide gate could be built to accommodate it.
Ένα άρθρο του Reuters για τον πρωθυπουργό μας, και το δραματικό τελευταίο μήνα της Ελλάδας.
"He brought this busload of Syriza activists with him, and each time we thought we had a deal, he would go next door and consult the comrades, and come back stony-faced saying it was impossible," one of the sources said.
The idea that the brain is behind this kind of hearing loss opens up a whole new way of treating it. Instead of cranking up the volume with a hearing aid, why not train the brain to process the ear’s signals better? A number of computer programs now promise to enhance the brain’s auditory machinery from the comfort of your home. Curious and a little sceptical, I had to try it.
Το γαλλικό σατιρικό περιοδικό, μετά την τρομοκρατική επίθεση στα γραφεία του, συγκέντρωσε ένα πολύ μεγάλο ποσό από ανθρώπους και φορείς που έσπευσαν να το στηρίξουν. Πράγμα που αποδείχτηκε κάπως προβληματικό, κυρίως λόγω ιδιοσυγκρασίας.
Many Charlie staffers are unhappy at this tight concentration of newfound wealth. In an extraordinary manifesto published by the daily Le Monde in late March, they declared, “We refuse that a handful of individuals take control, either total or partial, in absolute contempt for those who make and support” the paper. The 15 signatories asked, “How are we to escape the poison of the millions that, through exceptional sales and also donations and subscriptions, have fallen into the pockets of Charlie? ”
Συνέβη το 2002, το παρακολούθησαν γνωστοί ηθοποιοί όπως ο Ρόμπιν Γουίλιαμς και ο Λεονάρντο Ντι Κάπριο, και ήταν εντελώς αλλοπρόσαλλο και αλλόκοτο.
During one of the sessions, a troupe of little people and a team of Samoan wrestlers — Brando somehow had wrangled all of them to the warehouse on the same day — did improvisation exercises together on the stage. Another time, Brando plucked a homeless man from a dumpster and brought him in for acting lessons. He had students strip naked in front of the entire class. While a jazz musician played Brando's favorite tunes on a rented piano, Philippe Petit, the French tightrope walker who had crossed the Twin Towers, did stunts on a high-wire. Michael Jackson popped in for a class. Robin Williams attended all 10 days, at one point doing a 30-minute improv routine about haggling with a used-car salesman.
They have plotted deadly missions from secret bases in the badlands of Somalia. In Afghanistan, they have engaged in combat so intimate that they have emerged soaked in blood that was not their own. On clandestine raids in the dead of the night, their weapons of choice have ranged from customized carbines to primeval tomahawks. Around the world, they have run spying stations disguised as commercial boats, posed as civilian employees of front companies and operated undercover at embassies as male-female pairs, tracking those the United States wants to kill or capture. Those operations are part of the hidden history of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, one of the nation’s most mythologized, most secretive and least scrutinized military organizations. Once a small group reserved for specialized but rare missions, the unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been transformed by more than a decade of combat into a global manhunting machine.
Ένα ενδιαφέρον προφίλ του Ντάγκλας Χόφστατερ, συγγραφέα αυτού, που μελετά το θέμα της τεχνητής νοημοσύνης από την ανάποδη.
“Cognition is recognition,” he likes to say. He describes “seeing as” as the essential cognitive act: you see some lines as “an A,” you see a hunk of wood as “a table,” you see a meeting as “an emperor-has-no-clothes situation” and a friend’s pouting as “sour grapes” and a young man’s style as “hipsterish” and on and on ceaselessly throughout your day. That’s what it means to understand. But how does understanding work? For three decades, Hofstadter and his students have been trying to find out, trying to build “computer models of the fundamental mechanisms of thought.”
Μια έρευνα για τον τρόπο που ο οργανισμός διαχειρίζεται τα χρήματα που συγκεντρώνει, από την ProPublica.
In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes. Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.
The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.
The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success. The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
Ένα μακροσκελέστατο κείμενο του διάσημου (και δημοφιλούς στην Ελλάδα) οικονομολόγου, από τον Guardian, με έμφαση στην Αγγλία αλλά γενικότερο ενδιαφέρον.
Greece is now seen as it should have been seen from the beginning – as a unique case, with few lessons for the rest of us. It is impossible for countries such as the US and the UK, which borrow in their own currencies, to experience Greek-style crises, because they cannot run out of money – they can always print more. Even within the eurozone, borrowing costs plunged once the European Central Bank began to do its job and protect its clients against self-fulfilling panics by standing ready to buy government bonds if necessary. As I write this, Italy and Spain have no trouble raising cash – they can borrow at the lowest rates in their history, indeed considerably below those in Britain – and even Portugal’s interest rates are within a whisker of those paid by HM Treasury.
Ένα καταπληκτικό άρθρο του New Yorker για έναν εργαζόμενο σε εργοστάσιο παραγωγής CD, που ήταν μια από τις σημαντικότερες πηγές πειρατικών mp3 μέχρι τα μέσα της προηγούμενης δεκαετίας. Για όσους θυμούνται το Napster και εκείνη την εποχή, πάρα πολύ ωραίο ανάγνωσμα.
“I don’t think so,” responded Ms. Pant, a 27-year-old special education teacher, after seeing a picture of a man with streaks of color in his hair. So her father picked another profile. “Are you kidding?” And another. “Ugh.” And dozens more. When a profile of a man who intrigued her finally appeared, Ms. Pant broke with tradition yet again, finding the man’s cellphone number and secretly texting him.
Σύμφωνα με τον καθηγητή Κλέι Σίρκι, τα έσοδα των New York Times πρόκειται να καταβαραθρωθούν όταν το κοινό που διαβάζει την έντυπη έκδοση πέσει κάτω από συγκεκριμένα νούμερα (πράγμα που θα γίνει τα αμέσως επόμενα χρόνια).
The problem with print is that the advantageous returns to scale from physical distribution of newspapers become disadvantageous when scale shrinks. The ad revenue from a print run of 500,000 would be 16 percent less than for 600,000 at best, but the costs wouldn’t fall by anything like 16%, eroding print margins.
Αν οι οδηγοί της Uber καταγράφονταν ως υπάλληλοι της εταιρείας, και όχι ως ανεξάρτητοι συμβαχιούχοι (μπλοκάκια!) τελείωσε, το επιχειρηματικό σχέδιό της θα τιναζόταν στον αέρα. Μια δικηγόρος προσπαθεί να φέρει το θέμα στα δικαστήρια.
Liss-Riordan smelled blood. She realized that if Uber’s drivers were reclassified as normal W-2 employees, rather than 1099 independent contractors, Uber would be required to pay payroll taxes for them, and provide them with benefits like workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment. In some states, such as California, Uber would also be required to reimburse drivers for the costs of the job, including gas, wear-and-tear on their cars, and car insurance. If Uber had indeed misclassified its drivers, the company’s entire business model was built on a legal mistake.
In the aftermath of the massacre at the Munich Olympics, in 1972, Gil had been among the operatives who’d hunted down and executed members of the terrorist group Black September. He had collected operational intelligence on Iraq’s nuclear facility, which was later destroyed by Israel’s Air Force. He had laid the foundation for intelligence networks in Sudan and had played a key role in a covert operation, known publicly as Operation Moses and within the Mossad by the code name Brothers, that brought 7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. And it was Gil who had recruited and handled Red Falcon, who for over two decades was Israel’s most valuable agent in the Arab world.
Stationed at his console, White can tweak and amplify laughs much the way a music producer uses Auto-Tune to alter and improve vocals. “Avid allows us the time to try out a bunch of different ideas, because you can do it so quickly,” he said. “It allows us to finesse the timing of the joke and the content of the joke, to adjust the rhythm and the size, in a way that has actually made movies funnier.”
Μετά την κρίση του 2009, οι ΗΠΑ υιοθέτησαν κανόνες που υπολόγιζαν ότι θα περιορίζουν τις υπέρογκες αποδοχές των διευθύνοντων συμβούλων των μεγάλων εταιρειών. Η μεταρρύθμιση έγινε. Αλλά δεν πέτυχε τίποτε:
These reforms were all well-intentioned. But their effect on the general level of C.E.O. salaries has been approximately zero. Executive compensation dipped during the financial crisis, but it has risen briskly since, and is now higher than it’s ever been. Median C.E.O. pay among companies in the S. & P. 500 was $10.5 million in 2013; total compensation is up more than seven hundred per cent since the late seventies. There’s little doubt that the data for 2014, once compiled, will show that C.E.O. compensation has risen yet again. And shareholders, it turns out, rather than balking at big pay packages, approve most of them by margins that would satisfy your average tinpot dictator. Last year, all but two per cent of compensation packages got majority approval, and seventy-four per cent of them received more than ninety per cent approval.
Πλέον τα παιδιά δεν θα διδάσκονται "φυσική", "ιστορία" και άλλα τέτοια παραδοσιακά μαθήματα, αλλά εφαρμοσμένα "φαινόμενα".
Instead, the Finns are teaching phenomena—such as the European Union, which encompasses learning languages, history, politics, and geography. No more of an hour of history followed by an hour of chemistry. The idea aims to eliminate one of the biggest gripes of students everywhere: “What is the point of learning this?” Now, each subject is anchored to the reason for learning it.
"...the pressure builds and builds and builds. And losing your virginity is important to becoming a “real” zoophile because you’re joining a very select group of people, and if you haven’t actually “done it,” people wonder if that’s your real sexuality. So there’s some hazing that goes on. I’d wanted to have the sexual experience as well as the street credit among my peers — the zoophiles I’d met online — because they were my closest friends, really".
For Kodak, the advent of digital photography was ruinous. Today it has $2 billion in annual sales, compared with $19 billion in 1990 when consumer film was king. It now has 8,000 employees worldwide; it had 145,000 at its peak.
Οι New York Times κάλεσαν τον διάσημο Νορβηγό συγγραφέα, αυτόν που έχει βγάλει μια πολυσυζητημένη εξάτομη αυτοβιογραφία, για να ταξιδέψει στην Αμερική και να γράψει γι' αυτή. Το πρώτο μέρος είναι πολύ ενδιαφέρον.
Πάσχει από ALS εδώ και πενήντα χρόνια. Η περίπτωσή του δεν έχει προηγούμενο στα ιατρικά χρονικά. Κανονικά δεν θα έπρεπε να ζει.
The ALS Association says the average lifespan of someone diagnosed with the condition is between two and five years. More than 50 percent make it past year three. Twenty percent make it past year five. From there, the number plummets. Less than 5 percent make it past two decades. And then there’s Hawking. He has passed that two-decade mark twice — first in 1983, then in 2003. It’s now 2015. His capacity for survival is so great some experts say he can’t possibly suffer from ALS given the ease with which the disease traditionally dispatches victims. And others say they’ve simply never seen anyone like Hawking.
Πάρα πολλά πράγματα μαθαίνει κανείς, είναι αγιογραφία, αλλά αξίζει να αφιερώσετε ένα μισάωρο και να το διαβάσετε όλο.
His father, Michael, now retired, was a secondary-school teacher of design and technology, and then a government adviser on design education. Ive’s mother was a theology teacher and, later, a therapist; his younger sister became a consultant for nonprofits in London. Marc Newson sees an economic similarity between Ive’s upbringing and his own. “Neither of us came from particularly privileged backgrounds,” he said, when we met. “A lot of what I’ve done has been an effort to try to have the things that I didn’t own when I was a child.” Newson was carrying a six-thousand-dollar Louis Vuitton backpack, of his own design. Ive, the owner of a jet, was twenty-one before he experienced air travel.
Ο ρωσοαμερικανός συγγραφέας Γκάρι Στάινγκαρτ το δοκίμασε.
I will stay put in my 600-square-foot luxury cage, except for a few reprieves, and will watch TV during all my waking hours. I can entertain visitors, as long as the machines stay on. Each morning I will be allowed a walk to the New York Health & Racquet Club on West 56th Street for a long swim. Vladimir Putin reportedly takes a two-hour swim every morning to clear his head and plot the affairs of state. Without annexing Connecticut or trying to defend a collapsing currency, I will be just like him, minus the famous nude torso on horseback.
Θα συνεχίσω να σας βάζω λινξ συνεντεύξεων του Λάρι Ντέιβιντ μέχρι να το πάρετε απόφαση και να αρχίσετε να βλέπετε ό,τι έχει κάνει.
It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like acting. I don’t like not being able to interject. I don’t like waiting to talk. You have to wait for the other person to finish with his lines. But I have to say the rehearsal process, much to my amazement, has been fun. I enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to.
Από μια ομιλία του 2013, ένα ευανάγνωστο (και μακροσκελέστατο) κείμενο του Υπ.Οικ. για τη σχέση του με το μαρξισμό.
If my whole academic career largely ignored Marx, and my current policy recommendations are impossible to describe as Marxist, why bring up my Marxism now? The answer is simple: Even my non-Marxist economics was guided by a mindset influenced by Marx.
Το πιο πλήρες κείμενο για τον ISIS που έχω διαβάσει.
Much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.
Α better battery could change everything. But while countless breakthroughs have been announced over the last decade, time and again these advances have failed to translate into commercial batteries with anything like the promised improvements in cost and energy storage.
In November 2012, Voskerician was in a contract to buy the property behind Zuckerberg’s home in Palo Alto, California. He sent a letter to the Facebook chief executive officer saying he planned to tear down the home and build a 9,600 square-foot replacement. It would overlook the back of the Zuckerberg abode, a view that would include the master bedroom. Only then Voskerician made an unusual offer.
Studies from all over the world drive home the exact same point: free money helps. Proven correlations exist between free money and a decrease in crime, lower inequality, less malnutrition, lower infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rates, less truancy, better school completion rates, higher economic growth and emancipation rates. ‘The big reason poor people are poor is because they don’t have enough money’, economist Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development, dryly remarked last June. ‘It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that giving them money is a great way to reduce that problem.’
Μια εκτενής μελέτη με αφορμή του παραδείγματος του Αφγανιστάν (και της Σιγκαπούρης).
"Reconstruction money was entering the country in torrents, but managed just as quickly to disappear. Infrastructure projects seemed never to be completed, while contractors, subcontractors, and cronies grew rich. (...) A private security industry sprang up to meet the needs of the international community and morphed overnight into a lucrative protection racket".
I always thought that digital first was a simplistic notion, and I am not even sure quite what it means. It should be stories first. Let's take the Paris story: We covered it all day, we held nothing back. Everything we learned, we published online. Then, when you approach your print deadline, you have to do two things. You have to polish those stories that are online because print is less forgiving of mistakes.
Σε θεατρικό έργο που έγραψε ο ίδιος. Μια μεγάλη συνέντευξη για το θέμα από το New York.
David had also been diverging from the script during rehearsals. Curb’s dialogue was all improvised, and now David found himself unable to stop ad-libbing during rehearsals. Some of this has resulted in improvements to the script, but Shapiro has also had to rein him in. “It’s been humbling,” David said.
The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds that since 2009, the wealth of those 80 richest has doubled in nominal terms — while the wealth of the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population has fallen.
It’s a remarkable story of regional cooperation, forged by one big city and 21 of its smaller suburban neighbors, who came together around a common vision for moving commuters from using their cars to riding their bicycles.
Το περιοδικό Vanity Fair υπάρχει κυρίως για να γράφει για βασιλιάδες και σελέμπριτι (και ενίοτε για σοβαρά θέματα, για το ξεκάρφωμα), κι αυτό είναι ένα άρθρο της πρώτης κατηγορίας. Είναι παλαιότερο, και χρήσιμο όχι για το κουτσομπολίστικο του θέματος, αλλά επειδή προσφέρει μια ωραιότατη εικόνα του πώς λειτουργεί αυτή η εταιρεία διαχείρισης περιουσίας που είναι η βασιλική οικογένεια της Μεγάλης Βρετανίας.
The Queen, who is reputed to be among the richest people in the world, with a net worth of about $20 billion, receives $60 million from the government to cover her expenses. Most of her fortune is tied up in priceless art treasures, jewels, and Crown Estates, none of which she can sell. According to Philip Beresford, who follows royal finances for The Sunday Times, the Queen has liquid assets of about $500 million—one-third in shares of blue-chip companies, one-third in revenue-producing properties at Sandringham and Balmoral, and one-third in racehorses and a stamp collection. Last year, the Queen paid the British treasury nearly $328 million in taxes. Plus, she has to come up with money to support all the minor royals staying in Kensington Palace.
Άλλο ένα μακροσκελές κείμενο για τη ζωή και τη δουλειά του συγγραφέα/μηχανή παραγωγής best sellers. Είχαμε δει άλλο ένα, παλιότερο, εδώ.
One secret to his success: outlines of up to 80 pages for each book, in which Patterson alone sketches virtually all the action in detail, in a brisk and breezy tone that mirrors the finished books. For the novels on which he works with co-authors (some recruited from his days at J. Walter Thompson, some recommended by other writers, one a former New York City doorman), Patterson sends his collaborator an outline, then revises the resulting manuscript multiple times.
...the pressures within Greece to avoid a confrontation, either by Syriza doing less well than expected at the polls, or through a more emollient stance by Mr Tsipras if he does win power, may just be sufficient to avoid a Grexit.