The Teen Whisperer: How the author of “The Fault in Our Stars” built an ardent army of fans


How the author of “The Fault in Our Stars” built an ardent army of fans.

by Margaret TalbotJUNE 9, 2014

Green wanted to write “an unsentimental cancer novel” that offered “some basis for hope.” Illustration by Bartosz Kosowski.

In late 2006, the writer John Green came up with the idea of communicating with his brother, Hank, for a year solely through videos posted to YouTube. The project wasn’t quite as extreme as it sounds. John, who was then twenty-nine, and Hank, who was three years younger, saw each other about once a year, at their parents’ house, and they typically went several years between phone calls. They communicated mainly through instant messaging.

Hank was living in Missoula, where he’d started a Web site about green technology. John was living on the Upper West Side while his wife, Sarah Urist Green, completed a graduate degree in art history at Columbia. He had published two young-adult novels, “Looking for Alaska,” in 2005, and “An Abundance of Katherines,” in 2006, and was working on a third. Like the best realistic Y.A. books, and like “The Catcher in the Rye”—a novel that today would almost certainly be marketed as Y.A.—Green’s books were narrated in a clever, confiding voice. His protagonists were sweetly intellectual teen-age boys smitten with complicated, charismatic girls. Although the books were funny, their story lines propelled by spontaneous road trips and outrageous pranks, they displayed a youthfully insatiable appetite for big questions: What is an honorable life? How do we wrest meaning from the unexpected death of someone close to us? What do we do when we realize that we’re not as special as we thought we were? Read more of this post

The Dark Side of the Internet of Things: Intruders for the Plugged-In Home, Coming In Through the Internet

Intruders for the Plugged-In Home, Coming In Through the Internet


JUNE 1, 2014 11:00 AM 35 Comments

Home, connected home. The front door opens with a tap on aniPhone. The lights come up as if by magic. The oven sends a text: Dinner is ready.

You will probably be hearing a lot about these sorts of conveniences this week from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple is expected to unveil software that promises to turn our homes into Wi-Fi-connected wonderlands, where locks, lights, appliances — you name it — can all be controlled via an iPhone or iPad. You can bet that before long, refrigerators will come with “Made for iPhone” stickers.

These initiatives are all part of what is known as the Internet of Things. That is a catchall term used to describe connectivity — specifically, how people connect with products, and how products connect with each other.

Sounds great. But I can’t shake the feeling that one day, maybe, just maybe, my entire apartment is going to get hacked. Read more of this post

Surviving and Thriving in the Cloud

Surviving and Thriving in the Cloud

Red Hat’s core Linux business remains strong, but increasing cloud adoption could provide upside.

By Norman Young | 06-02-14 | 06:00 AM | Email Article

The change in computing model from client-server to cloud-device presents opportunities and pitfalls for  Red Hat (RHT). The undisputed king of the Linux operating system faces possible disruptions to its business model, since end users may be insulated from OS decision-making in the public cloud. However, we think the core Red Hat Enterprise Linux business combined with its growing middleware and virtualization distribution will give the firm an edge in the data center, private cloud, and hybrid environments while it develops its open-source cloud infrastructure projects, OpenStack and OpenShift. Our $50 fair value estimate assumes continued growth in the core RHEL business, adoption and strong growth of middleware and virtualization services, and little near- to medium-term revenue contribution from OpenStack and OpenShift.

Sunny Forecast for Clouds
Improvements in hardware, software, and networking have combined with the secular trend toward outsourcing to usher in the era of cloud computing. The economies of scale offered by remote data centers managed by third parties allow enterprises to offload or outsource some or all of their computing and storage workloads. Cloud adoption is particularly cost-effective for smaller and midsize users that lack the capital, manpower, or expertise to build and maintain their own data centers. Read more of this post

Chinese Firms with Weak VIEs: Dumb Investment

Chinese Firms with Weak VIEs: Dumb Investment

by Ben StrubelJune 02, 2014, 12:10 pm

Chinese Companies with Weak VIEs: Dumb Investment of the Week by Ben Strubel of Strubel Investment Management

After a wave of accounting and fraud scandals in 2011 (billions of investor dollars were lost), Chinese companies, particularly small and mid cap, are beginning to come back to US markets. Investors are beginning to warm up to these companies again and the share prices of many have risen as the memories of the multitude of fraudulent Chinese companies fade away.

How can investors protect themselves from a repeat of 2011? One thing investors need to do is thoroughly educate themselves on the WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise)/VIE (Variable Interest Entity) system many US listed Chinese companies use. Because of prohibitions on foreign ownership in certain sectors many Chinese companies use a complex legal structure to get around this.

At its most basic the WFOE/VIE structure looks like the diagram below. There is a US listed entity that is registered in Delaware or another corporate haven like the British Virgin Islands or the Cayman Islands. This entity then owns the WFOE which is a PRC registered entity. The WFOE then has a contractual arrangement with one or more VIE entities. The owners of the US listed entity do not own any of the assets in the VIE.


Some companies also include a Hong Kong based entity between the US listed entity and the WFOE. Additionally, most companies have multiple VIEs and various Chinese nationals (typically founders and management) with varying equity stakes in the assortment of entities. Read more of this post

Kepler space telescope spies a ‘Mega-Earth’

Kepler space telescope spies a ‘Mega-Earth’

By Joel Achenbach, Published: June 2

Astronomers have discovered a surprising planet, a rocky world with 17 times the mass of Earth. There have been “Super-Earths” discovered before, but this one is in a league of its own. The scientists call it a “Mega-Earth.”

Discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope and announced Monday at an astronomy meeting in Boston, this planet, officially named Kepler-10c, scrambles the equations that dictate how massive a rocky planet can be without ballooning into a Jupiter-like gas giant.

The theorists didn’t see this coming. The orthodoxy was that, beyond about 10 Earth masses, a planet would hold on to so much hydrogen gas that it would become like Jupiter or Saturn. Kepler-10c suggests that plus-size planets can stay rocky, with clearly defined surfaces, rather than becoming gaseous and bloated.

That means there’s more real estate out there for life as we know it on Earth.

Kepler-10c is also very old, having formed about 11 billion years ago, less than 3 billion years after the birth of the universe. Rocky worlds weren’t believed to have existed that long ago.

“Nature will do what she wants, regardless of earthling theorists,” said Sara Seager, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology planetary scientist who was not involved in the new discovery but said by e-mail that she finds it “incredibly exciting.” Read more of this post

Visions and Voices on Emerging Challenges in Digital Business Strategy

Visions and Voices on Emerging Challenges in Digital Business Strategy

Anandhi Bharadwaj 

Emory University

Omar A. El Sawy 

University of Southern California – Marshall School of Business

Paul A. Pavlou 

Temple University – Department of Management Information Systems; Temple University – Department of Strategic Management

N. Venkat Venkatraman 

Boston University – Department of Management Information Systems
June 1, 2013
MIS Quarterly Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 1-XX/June 2013
Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 14-001

This section is a collection of shorter “Issue and Opinions” pieces that address some of the critical challenges around the evolution of digital business strategy. These voices and visions are from thought leaders who, in addition to their scholarship, have a keen sense of practice. They outline 27 through their opinion pieces a series of issues that will need attention from both research and practice. These issues have been identified through their observation of practice with the 30 eye of a scholar. They provide fertile opportunities for scholars in information systems, strategic management, and organizational theory.


Devil’s Advocate: The Most Incorrect Beliefs of Accounting Experts

Devil’s Advocate: The Most Incorrect Beliefs of Accounting Experts

Sudipta Basu 

Temple University – Department of Accounting
December 1, 2013
Accounting Horizons, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2013
Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 14-005

This commentary reflects the views of a panel of six experts tasked with writing an essay on the most incorrect beliefs of accounting experts. The title provides ample motivation for this discussion – to document the views of some thought leaders in accounting research on a seldom-debated and mostly ignored issue – incorrect beliefs. While each essay offers a thoughtful message on its own, in combination they reflect an even stronger view, and offer sound advice for accountants of all stripes and persuasions.


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