Here goes our weekly magazine of stories curated from around the world. In this edition: Corporate apologies. The Ray Kurzweil Show, Now at the Googleplex. The Sorry State of Native App Typography Licensing. On December 20, 1996, science lost its most visible public Champion. Carl Sagan was no more and more.
Corporate Apologies: From Coca Cola’s brand debacle in 1985, to Instagram’s recent apology, Bloomberg Businessweek takes you through a tour of coroporate apologies. It’s a time-honored tradition: Companies roll out a new policy, product, or promotion that customers hate, forcing a sheepish about-face, says the Magazine which chronicles 10 of the biggest corporate apologies in history through a slideshow of Instagrammed pictures. More here.
The Ray Kurzweil Show, Now at the Googleplex: Search giant Google hired tech celebrity Ray Kurzweil to head its engineering division earlier this month. Ashlee Vance has a nice piece on the grand prophet of “the singularity.” The gig at Google gives Kurzweil something he never really had before during his long polymathic career: money, writes Vance. More on Kurzweil and Google here.
IBM is undervalued: Investors don’t realize how undervalued IBM’s shares are, but next year, that will change, says Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu in a research note. IBM crested the $200 mark earlier this year but didn’t stay there long. In 2013, Wu thinks that the shares will comfortably hit $230 because, he says, IBM’s business model has proven impossible for rivals to replicate. Read more here.
New new world
The Sorry State of Native App Typography Licensing:By now, the benefits of good typography has practically become a truism, for the web in particular and screen-bound products in general. Coming from the web, I was in for a rude awakening when I first looked into font licensing for native mobile apps. Licensing typefaces for use in mobile apps is a lot like licensing for the web was a few years ago: nonstandard, confusing, and expensive. It is inexplicably harder and pricier to license type for native apps than it is for the web. More by Idan Gazit here.
Why Are Dead People Liking Stuff On Facebook? Bernard Meisler writes: Last month, while wasting a few moments on Facebook, my pal Brendan O’Malley was surprised to see that his old friend Alex Gomez had “liked” Discover. This was surprising not only because Alex hated mega-corporations but even more so because Alex had passed away six months earlier. The Facebook “like” is dated Nov. 1, which is strange since Alex “passed [away] around March 26 or March 27,” O’Malley told me. Worse, O’Malley says the like was “quite offensive” since his friend “hated corporate bullshit.” Find out whats going on here.
On December 20, 1996, science lost its most visible public Champion. Carl Sagan was no more. Calling Carl Sagan a scientist is a little like calling the Beatles a rock band. Sagan was certainly a scientist (an astronomer, biologist and astrophysicist, to be precise). But he was also science’s most visible public advocate, a secular humanist, a fervent believer in extraterrestrial life, a teacher, an author, a television host and a political activist. Read more here.
Why Every Company Is Now an Incubator: From Microsoft to PayPal, it seems every day another business launches an incubator. These days, it seems, there’s an incubator for everything. Issie Lapowsky finds out why. Its R& D reinvented. It’s an acquisition primer, it keeps the ideas fresh, its an employee perk and a licensing pipeline, shw writes. More here.
Just The Latest Example Of Why Amazon Is One Of The Most Successful Companies In The World: Way back in the ancient days of the 1990s, a few thousand ecommerce startups were vying to take over the world. One of them, Amazon, grabbed an early lead. And it has maintained that lead right through to today. In the ~15 years since it sold its first book, Amazon has become a global ecommerce colossus, with more than $50 billion in revenue.There are a lot of reasons why Amazon succeeded while so many other companies failed. But here, arguably, is the most important one: Amazon is obsessed with making its customers happy. Read more.
Raspberry Pi Used To Replace A 30-Foot GSM Base Station And Create A Working Mobile Network
A Cambridge, U.K.-based consulting firm has managed to use the open source Raspberry Pi computer to replicate the functions normally performed by a 30-foot GSM cellular basestation to create a fully functional mobile network. Using two open source software programs, and a bit of off-the-shelf hardware kit DIY enthusiasts can get their hands on fairly easily, PA Consulting rolled their own mobile phone service. [Source]
IQ ‘a myth,’ study says: The idea that intelligence can be measured by a single number — your IQ — is wrong, according to a recent study led by researchers at the University of Western Ontario. The study, published in the journal Neuron on Wednesday, involved 100,000 participants around the world taking 12 cognitive tests, with a smaller sample of the group undergoing simultaneous brain-scan testing. “There is no such thing as a single measure of IQ or a measure of general intelligence,” says Dr Adrian Owen, the study’s senior investigator and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the university’s Brain and Mind Institute. Read more here.
Windows 8, BlackBerry 10 Won’t Win Any Smartphone Wars: Today’s smartphone industry stands at an interesting juncture. In 2007, Apple’s iPhone practically invented—or re-invented, if you will—the current smartphone age, with a full capacitive touchscreen and support for mobile apps. Google Android followed in 2008 and, although it was slow to catch up, is now relatively on par with iOS in terms of usability and app support. Kevin C Toefel asks if Microsoft and RIM succeed where others have failed? What can a new smartphone platform offer? and more. Read here.
#1 career mistake of capable people: Greg McKeown writes about the #1 career mistake capable people make.McKeown writes how in an attempt to be useful and adaptable people say yes to too many good projects and opportunities and end up feeling overworked and underutilized. He points out that capable people must get into a career where talent meets passion and market demand to be at their highest point of contribution. More here.
Will the internet end up controlled by big business and politicians? asks John Naughton in The Guardian. Its birth heralded a new age of intellectual freedom. Now the internet is under seige, he writes. It’s all about control. Of course, nobody uses that particular term. The talk is always about “governance” or “regulation”, but really it’s about control. Ever since the internet burst into public consciousness in 1993, the big question has been whether the most disruptive communications technology since print would be captured by the established power structures – nation states and giant corporations – that dominate our world and shape its development. And since then, virtually every newsworthy event in the evolution of the network has really just been another skirmish in the ongoing war to control the internet. More here.
Why the Internet Makes It Hard to Procrastinate: Technology allows us a “read later” mentality. We don’t seem to want it, writes Megan Garber of The Atlantic. Our attention — when it comes to content consumption, but when it comes to many other things, as well — will be even more malleable than it is now. The more of our lives we live on the Internet, the more we’ll rely on its schedules and its cycles for our own — and the more we’ll adhere to its particular sense of time. More here.