Al Gore on Steve Jobs: “the experience of failure really caused him to dig deep”

Al Gore on Steve Jobs: “the experience of failure really caused him to dig deep”

ON JUNE 10, 2014

“I never knew him to smell bad,” laughed Vice-President Al Gore on stage at Southland this morning, reflecting on his decades-long friendship with the late Steve Jobs and the supposed image of Jobs as a shoeless, shower-avoiding young entrepreneur in the late 1970s.

As Gore relayed, he and Jobs first met after the release of the Apple II in 1976. The tax system was not friendly to computer companies at the time, and Jobs came to meet with Gore when he was a new congressman from Tennessee. Gore ended up co-sponsoring a bill to put Apple II computers in schools and, as Vice President in the Clinton White House, Gore was reported to have the only Mac computer in the administration. Read more of this post

Alibaba to buy out UCWeb in China’s ‘biggest’ internet merger

Alibaba to buy out UCWeb in China’s ‘biggest’ internet merger

2:21am EDT

By Paul Carsten

BEIJING (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Wednesday it will buy all the remaining shares of mobile browser firm UCWeb in the biggest merger in Chinese internet history, as the e-commerce giant steps up its spending spree ahead of its U.S. listing.

Alibaba’s latest deal, hot on the heels of a string of investments which already total $4.8 billion in the past six months, will be larger even than Baidu’s $1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless last year, Alibaba said. Read more of this post

The “brain drain” that has afflicted developing countries for decades is now going into reverse. But success requires more than plugging a leak; economic development requires countries to make active efforts to attract talent


Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

JUN 8, 2014

The Brain Regain

DUBAI – In 1968, while studying at the Mons Officer Cadet School in the United Kingdom, I needed to visit a hospital. There I met a doctor who, to my surprise, spoke fluent Arabic. I learned that he was new to the UK, so I asked if he intended to stay long or return home. He replied with an Arabic saying that translates as: “My home is where I can eat.” Read more of this post

Chobani’s Science Lesson: A controversial message on yogurt lids has people talking about anti-science sentiment in America, and the power of social media to change it.

Chobani’s Science Lesson


JUNE 10, 2014 11:37 AM 4 Comments

The Greek yogurt company Chobani raised hackles last week with a message under some of its lids that read, “Nature got us to 100 calories, not scientists. #howmatters.” The company has apologized, but some scientists say the controversy suggests something bigger about anti-science sentiment in America. Read more of this post

Writing can be an artificial arena where we mash the world into a shape we can stand to look at

Controlling the Narrative


JUNE 9, 2014 8:20 PM 31 Comments

Draft is a series about the art and craft of writing.

I used to be a polemicist. I was an editorial cartoonist, and wrote what I called “artist’s statements” to accompany my cartoons each week, which over the two terms of the George W. Bush administration lengthened and sharpened from rants into something more like essays. I became practiced at using language as a weapon. My role models were hilarious, elegant and brutal humorists from Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken through Hunter S. Thompson and Matt Taibbi, who raised American invective to an art form. This is a fine and honorable tradition when practiced with a certain amour-propre and panache, but in the last couple of decades it’s become our dominant mode of public discourse, degraded by hacks and amateurs who ape its cruelty but are rhetorically illiterate and tone-deaf to humor. They’re just parroting talking points with profanity. Read more of this post

Oracle’s Database of Youth: Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chief, has positioned the new version of his flagship database as a great marriage of stability and change from a company now worth more than IBM

Oracle’s Database of Youth


JUNE 10, 2014 6:00 PM 3 Comments


Noah Berger/ReutersLawrence J. Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and chief executive, tried to show how his company’s newest database, called Oracle 12c, would take Oracle closer to the hot trends of cloud computing and big data analysis.

Lawrence J. Ellison may have figured out a secret to seeming young: Ignore getting older, and act cutting-edge. Read more of this post

Amazon Stops Taking Advance Orders for ‘Lego’ and Other Warner Videos; Amazon, embroiled in a standoff with a book publisher, is using the same hardball techniques with new movies from Warner Home Video

Amazon Stops Taking Advance Orders for ‘Lego’ and Other Warner Videos


JUNE 10, 2014 7:48 PM 21 Comments

The Everything Store is shrinking again. Amazon customers who want to order forthcoming Warner Home Video features, including “The Lego Movie,” “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Winter’s Tale” and “Transcendence,” are finding it impossible to do so.

The retailer’s refusal to sell the movies is part of its effort to gain leverage in yet another major confrontation with a supplier to become public in recent weeks. Read more of this post

At E3, Nintendo Unveils a Mario World Designed by You; About 30 years after the Super Mario franchise began, Nintendo will allow people to create and play unique courses on the Wii U

At E3, Nintendo Unveils a Mario World Designed by You


JUNE 10, 2014 5:21 PM 1 Comments

If you have ever played the first Super Mario Bros., the influential video game from the ’80s, you have probably also ventured into the many subsequent games and levels for Mario created by Nintendo.

Now, about 30 years after the franchise began, Nintendo is offering a new Mario game that can hypothetically be played forever on levels created by gamers themselves. Read more of this post

Chinese Shoppers Change Hong Kong Border Area; Vast numbers of mainland Chinese traders and shoppers are pumping money into Hong Kong, leading to rapid development of the territory’s border area

Chinese Shoppers Change Hong Kong Border Area

JUNE 10, 2014


HONG KONG — Smoking a cigarette outside a mall in the border town of Sheung Shui, a man who gave his name only as Chen stands next to a wheeled cart filled with purchases. He is visiting from the Chinese city of Shantou, 177 miles away, a trip he makes several times a year.

“When I come to Hong Kong, it’s mainly to buy medicine — maybe some food products, too,” said Mr. Chen, who declined to provide his full name because of a crackdown on illegal exporting. “There are more brands available here, many of which you can’t find back home. On the mainland, there is also a lot of counterfeiting.” Read more of this post

Hong Kong Regulators Tense About China Loans

Hong Kong Regulators Tense About China Loans


JUNE 10, 2014 5:44 PM Comment

Updated, 8:25 p.m. | A surge in business loans to the slowing mainland Chinese economy has prompted Hong Kong regulators to impose strict financial rules four years before they are required under new global standards.

The move is aimed at discouraging banks in Hong Kong from raising money by relying too heavily on short-term funds that can evaporate during periods of tumult. But big global banks have been resisting, over fears that the rules will cut into their profit by driving up loan costs. Read more of this post

Joko Plans to Abolish National Exam for Younger Students; “It’s better to look stupid but be smart, rather than to look intellectual but be stupid. It’s better to listen to people’s opinion rather than act like a know-it-all.”

Joko Plans to Abolish National Exam for Younger Students

By SP/Arnold Sianturi on 11:52 pm Jun 10, 2014

  1.  Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential hopeful Joko Widodo on Tuesday said that he would eliminate Indonesia’s national exam for elementary and junior high school students if elected.

“It’s better if there’s no national exam for students in elementary school and junior high school,” Joko said at a teachers’ workshop in North Sumatra. “It’s better to look stupid but be smart, rather than to look intellectual but be stupid. It’s better to listen to people’s opinion rather than act like a know-it-all.”

The teachers said “Amen.”

He was referring to controversy surrounding the exam: critics have argued that the test is so difficult that it encourages rote learning and memorization aimed at achieving a high exam score rather than depth or subtly of comprehension.

Education Minister Muhammad Nuh last year said that he would eliminate the elementary school exam in 2014, which he did. But the government replaced it with a new, similar test, 75 percent of which was written by local education agencies and 25 percent of which was written by the central government.


Indonesian Election Fever Grips the Nation After Presidential TV Debate

Election Fever Grips the Nation After TV Debate

By Dessy Sagita on 11:11 pm Jun 10, 2014

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, second to left, greets his opponent Joko Widodo, center, next to vice presidential candidates Hatta Rajasa, left, and Jusuf Kalla, right, before their presidential debate in Jakarta on June 9, 2014. (Reuters Photo/Supri)

  1.  Election fever has gripped the nation after the first TV debate between Governor Joko Widodo and former general Prabowo Subianto, flanked by their respective running mates, Jusuf Kalla and Hatta Rajasa, engrossed viewers on Monday night.

Read more of this post

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