Archive for the ‘New York Times’ Category

Ted Cruz, Senator from Goldman Sachs

January 14, 2016

Ted Cruz, Senator from Goldman Sachs
While running for his U.S. Senate seat in 2012, Texas Republican Ted Cruz failed to disclose a $500,000 campaign loan from Goldman Sachs, reports the New York Times. That’s especially awkward since Ted’s missus, Heidi Nelson Cruz, is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in Houston. In fact, Chad Sweet, Cruz 2016 presidential campaign manager, worked for Goldman Sachs for 10 years. Candidate Cruz has recently tried to distance himself from Goldman as part of his hardly credible populist pose.

Besides that sizeable low-interest loan from his wife’s bosses, Mr. Cruz apparently got one from Citibank, too. Other campaigns have been fined for failing to make such disclosures to the FEC. The Cruz campaign’s response to the Times story: “Ooops.”

More:

“Ted Cruz Hates ‘New York Values’ But Sure Loves New York Money,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

“Ted Cruz’s Loan from Goldman Sachs Was a Bullish Bet on the Obama Economy,” David Nir, AlterNet

Related:

“Goldman Sachs Will Pay $5 Billion To Settle Financial-Crisis Claims,” Jim Zarroli, NPR News

“The Great American Bubble Machine,” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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NY Times, 1985: Laptops Are Dead

March 19, 2015

NY Times, 1985: Laptops Are Dead
“Whatever happened to the laptop computer?” asked Erik Sandberg-Diment in the New York Times of December 8, 1985. It was just a passing fad, he wrote:

“Was the laptop dream an illusion, then? Or was the problem merely that the right combination of features for such lightweight computers had not yet materialized? The answer probably is a combination of both views. For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few.

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There Are Only 8 Gazillion Billable Hours In A Year ….

April 1, 2013

There Are Only 8 Gazillion Billable Hours In A Year ....

“The billable-hour system is the way most lawyers in big firms charge clients, but it serves no one. Well, almost no one. It brings most equity partners in those firms great wealth. Law firm leaders call it a leveraged pyramid. Most associates call it a living hell.”

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Japan: True Fax

February 22, 2013

Japan: True Fax

“Japan is renowned for its robots and bullet trains, and has some of the world’s fastest broadband networks. But it also remains firmly wedded to a pre-Internet technology — the fax machine — that in most other developed nations has joined answering machines, eight-tracks and cassette tapes in the dustbin of outmoded technologies.

Last year alone, Japanese households bought 1.7 million of the old-style fax machines, which print documents on slick, glossy paper spooled in the back. In the United States, the device has become such an artifact that the Smithsonian is adding two machines to its collection, technology historians said.”

“The Japanese government’s Cabinet Office said that almost 100 percent of business offices and 45 percent of private homes had a fax machine as of 2011.”

“’There is still something in Japanese culture that demands the warm, personal feelings that you get with a handwritten fax….'”

— “In High-Tech Japan, the Fax Machines Roll On,”  Martin Fackler, New York Times

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Image (“Faxing Wishes for the Star Festival, after Toshikata”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Vote for the Millionaires of Your Choice

October 15, 2012

Vote for the Millionaires of Your Choice

“If millionaires were a political party, that party would make up roughly 3 percent of American families, but it would have a super-majority in the Senate, a majority in the House, a majority on the Supreme Court and a man in the White House. If working-class Americans were a political party, that party would have made up more than half the country since the start of the 20th century. But legislators from that party (those who last worked in blue-collar jobs before entering politics) would never have held more than 2 percent of the seats in Congress.”

— “Which Millionaire Are You Voting For?” Nicholas Carnes, New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bike Helmets Optional

October 13, 2012

Bike Helmets Optional

“In the United States the notion that bike helmets promote health and safety by preventing head injuries is taken as pretty near God’s truth. Un-helmeted cyclists are regarded as irresponsible, like people who smoke. Cities are aggressive in helmet promotion.”

“Yes, there are studies that show that if you fall off a bicycle at a certain speed and hit your head, a helmet can reduce your risk of serious head injury. But such falls off bikes are rare — exceedingly so in mature urban cycling systems.

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World-Class Competition

August 13, 2012

Portrait of Johannes Neudörfer, His Son, and Their Rubik's Cube, after Nicolas Neufchâtel

What with all the hype about those badminton, horse-dancing, and bikini-ball contests in London, you might have missed last week’s really big sports event, the Rubik’s Cube U.S. Nationals in Las Vegas:

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Email

July 11, 2012

Email

“Last year, Royal Pingdom, which monitors Internet usage, said that in 2010, 107 trillion e-mails were sent. A report this year from the Radicati Group, a market research firm, found that in 2011, there were 3.1 billion active e-mail accounts in the world. The report noted that, on average, corporate employees sent and received 105 e-mails a day.

Sure, some of those e-mails are important. But 105 a day?

All of this has led me to believe that something is terribly wrong with e-mail. What’s more, I don’t believe it can be fixed.”

— “Disruptions: Life’s Too Short for So Much E-Mail,” Nick Bilton, New York Times

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Image (“Bathsheba Reads King David’s Email, after Rembrandt”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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High-Priced Coffee

February 10, 2012

High-Priced Coffee
The most expensive coffee in the United States isn’t Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast ($12.95 a pound) or Gedeo Single Origin Espresso ($25 a pound) or La Cima Finca el Injerto beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters ($38 a pound). It’s those little bitty Keurig K-cups for individual-serving coffee makers. Empty out enough 7 gram Nespresso Arpeggio pods to make a pound and it will run you $51.

“With Coffee, the Price of Individualism Can Be High,” Oliver Strand, New York Times

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Image (“Urban Breakfast, after William Harnett”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Facebook Refuseniks

December 16, 2011

Facebook Refuseniks

Facebook claims 200 million active users in the United States, about two-thirds of the population. “But the company is running into a roadblock,” writes Jenna Wortham. “Some people, even on the younger end of the age spectrum, just refuse to participate, including people who have given it a try.”

“The number of Americans who visited Facebook grew 10 percent in the year that ended in October — down from 56 percent growth over the previous year, according to comScore, which tracks Internet traffic.”

“One of Facebook’s main selling points is that it builds closer ties among friends and colleagues. But some who steer clear of the site say it can have the opposite effect of making them feel more, not less, alienated.”

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