This Week’s Stories: media, tech, small biz, and culture
By Jeff Howland
How to Lose $100 Million
by Luke O’Brien, Politico Magazine
From the living room of Barry Diller’s Manhattan apartment in the Carlyle Hotel, it is possible, on a clear day, to see the Midtown skyline, where the Condé Nast building rises like a ziggurat from the Gilded Age of magazine journalism. The view was an appropriate one for a man who in the autumn of 2010 was about to pour millions of dollars into the dead tree business.
by Alexis Sobel Fitts, Columbia Journalism Review
by Eric Jaffe, The Atlantic
Google’s self-driving car project began in 2009. The vehicle’s early life was confined almost entirely to California highways. Hundreds of thousands of test miles later, the car more or less has mastered the art — rather, the computer science — of staying in its lane and keeping its speed. So about a year and a half ago, Google’s team shifted focus from the predictable sweep of freeways to the unpredictable maze of city streets.
by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Wired
Nick Edwards and Chris Monberg were crouched at opposite rented desks in a shared coworking space near the Caltrain station in SoMa wondering if, by the middle of February, they would still have a company. Their company, Boomtrain, had no revenue, though that was hardly a hurdle to raising investment capital in Silicon Valley. Somewhat more problematically, it didn’t have a single customer, though there were several pilots in the wings.
by Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian
Ray Kurzweil popularized the Teminator-like moment he called the ‘singularity’, when artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking. But now the man who hopes to be immortal is involved in the very same quest – on behalf of the tech behemoth.
75 years ago today, the New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig told his manager that he was taking himself out of the lineup. He hadn’t missed a game in 14 years. And he would never play again. He died two years later, of A.L.S, at age 37. – NYT Now
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