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In the News 17.12.14 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 17.12.14 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

 


 

1. One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush

“Silicon Valley is not a place where one is invited to show frailty or despondence. It is, as Nick puts it, “the place where everybody is killing it all the time.” This might seem peculiar, given that the lot of the small-business founder has always been a fragile one. But in recent years the Valley has successfully elaborated the fantasy that entrepreneurship—and, more broadly, creativity—can be systematized. This is the basic promise of accelerators (Y Combinator et al.), that success in the startup game can be not only taught but rationalized, made predictable. Starting a company was once an urge felt only by the blindly ambitious and slightly unsound, but in the Valley it’s been ostensibly transformed into a scheduled path one can simply elect and apply for, rather as one might choose law school or Wall Street. And the promise of professionalized entrepreneurship has had a particular allure in recent years, since finance has been tarnished and a career in law made increasingly uncertain. Starting a company has become the way for ambitious young people to do something that seems simultaneously careerist and heroic.”

 
Read the rest of this article at Wired

 


 

2. The Ebola Fighters

“According to official counts, more than 17,800 people have been infected with Ebola virus in this epidemic and more than 6,300 have died since this outbreak’s first known case in rural Guinea in December 2013. Many on the front lines believe the actual numbers are much higher—and in any event, they continue to rise steeply. The virus has traveled to Europe and North America, where the resulting fear exceeded any actual threat to public health. In West Africa, however, the impact has been catastrophic. The number of Liberians with jobs fell by nearly half as businesses and markets closed in fear of Ebola. Sierra Leone’s meager health care network simply collapsed: Ebola patients were told by the government to stay home rather than look for a hospital bed. In Guinea, the epidemic stoked distrust of government and aid workers. Medical missionaries were driven from villages by violence and threats.

 
Read the rest of this article at Time

 


 

3. Now at the Sands Casino: An Iranian Hacker in Every Server

“This was no Ocean’s Eleven. The hackers were not trying to empty a vault of cash, nor were they after customer credit card data, as in recent attacks on Target (TGT), Neiman Marcus, and Home Depot (HD). This was personal. The perpetrators wanted to punish the company, or, more precisely, its chief executive officer and majority owner, the billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Although confirming their conjectures would take some time, executives suspected almost immediately the assault was coming from Iran.”

 
Read the rest of this article at BloombergBusinessweek

 


 

4. The Everything Book: Reading in the Age of Amazon

“As Amazon popularized ebooks over the last decade, it catalyzed a necessary change in our reading habits. By 2007, when the first Kindle emerged, the publishing world had to compete with Facebook, mobile games, and a hundred other distractions; to retain their vitality, books needed to adapt. Over the years, Amazon has stuffed its e-readers with features making them easier to read, like embedded dictionaries and translators; it’s added a social network; it’s even introduced a feature that seamlessly turns text into audio and back at our convenience. Books are vessels for transmitting ideas, and today the vessels have ideas of their own own: about what we should read, and how we should read it.”

 
Read the rest of this article at The Verge

 


 

5. Person of the Year: Tim Cook of Apple

“In the three years after the death of Steve Jobs, Mr Cook, 54, has held his nerve through attacks from activist investors and a loss of faith among some that Apple could succeed without its late founder. This year has seen Apple’s chief step out of the shadows of his predecessor and imprint the company with his own set of values and priorities: bringing in fresh blood, changing how it manages its cash pile, opening Apple up to greater collaboration and focusing more on social issues.”

 
Read the rest of this article at FT

 


P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

 

 

[image : The Cherry Blossom Girl via Victoria]

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