In the News 08.12.14 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


In the News 08.12.14 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 08.12.14 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets



1. At the gates of power: how Marine Le Pen is unnerving the French establishment

“France has been frightening itself with visions of a President Le Pen since 2002 when Jean-Marie, Marine’s father and the founder of the far-right Front, landed in the run-off for the presidency. He was roundly defeated by Jacques Chirac when voters rallied in a “republican front” to block the leader of a pariah party. Now, with his pugnacious daughter in charge of the family firm, the prospects of an anti-Front reflex are dimmer and Marine’s prospects look bright.”

Read the rest of this article at New Statesman



2. Apple’s first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez

“When it came to computers and electronics, few people knew the workings of Wozniak’s mind better than Fernandez. The two had grown up as neighbors and had known each other since the fourth grade. In high school, Fernandez told Wozniak that there was a kid he needed to meet because he was into electronics and practical jokes just like Woz. It was a kid named Steve Jobs. Later, Wozniak acquired a bunch of different electronics parts and took them to Fernandez’s garage, where the pair worked on assembling the stuff into their own working computer that was years ahead of its time. Then, before Apple got started, Woz helped Fernandez get a technician job at Hewlett-Packard, where Wozniak was an entry-level engineer. So the two had a lot of history together.”

Read the rest of this article at TechRepublic



3. The Bitcoin Boy: 16-Year-Old Erik Finman Is in His Silicon Valley Prime

The Finman brothers are close and also extremely competitive with each other. When Scott, in early 2013, told Erik about the digital currency bitcoin, and said he’d bought 50 of them, Erik decided to spend the $1,000 he’d just received from his grandmother to buy a hundred. A year later, Ross gave him a book, Without Their Permission, by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. In Erik’s whole life, prior to this, he had read only a single book voluntarily (Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography), but he devoured Ohanian’s book, which articulates the power of the internet to let anyone — like, say, a 15-year-old mediocre student in rural Idaho — become an entrepreneur. Erik was desperate to meet Ohanian, who, as it happened, was raffling “office hours” for charity. For $8,500, Ohanian promised waffles and a Brooklyn Nets game. Erik asked if his parents would pay the fee for him, but they felt it was too much money and that Ohanian was a fad. So they said no. Erik was undeterred. When he read that the price of a bitcoin had soared to $1,200, he decided to sell his for $100,000, and got his evening with Ohanian. “The whole time I had to check myself and remind myself I was talking to a teenager,” Ohanian says. “He’s a very driven young man, far more driven than when I was at his age.

Read the rest of this article at



4. SwiftGate And The Future Of Music

“At last the dust is settling around SwiftGate. For those of you who missed (or avoided) the saga, it all began in early November when Taylor Swift pulled all of her music off Spotify. Spotify lightheartedly conceded, but battle lines were drawn in the press as music experts stunned by her move began questioning the company’s future.”

Read the rest of this article at Tech Crunch



5. The Cutthroat World of Elite Public Schools

“In September 2012, the NAACP’s legal arm joined forces with two other advocacy groups to file a federal civil rights complaint against New York City’s public school system. The issue at hand was—and still is—the city’s nine elite public high schools. Like most public high schools in the city, these schools can choose who attends. But the elite schools are their own animal: Whereas other schools look at a range of criteria to determine students’ eligibility, eight of these nine elite institutions admit applicants based exclusively on how the students score on a rigorous, two-and-a-half-hour-long standardized test.”

Read the rest of this article at The Atlantic




NOTE : Last week we linked to a story by Rolling Stone Magazine about the alleged rape of a University of Virginia student. Recently, the student’s account of the events surrounding the allegations has been brought into question after the Washington post’s own investigation into the story uncovered serious inconsistencies in the allegations. Rolling Stone has now backed away from the story in a statement issued to readers from managing editor Will Dana. Read an analysis of Rolling Stone’s failed reporting at Slate. —P.


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



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