"American officials said that one of the biggest challenges facing the C.I.A. is to take a large group of case officers who have spent more than a decade trying to hunt terrorists in war zones and retrain them to spy in countries like Russia, China and other so-called hard targets — difficult environments where governments are hard to penetrate and many C.I.A. operatives are under constant surveillance. Spying on the streets of Moscow might involve less physical danger than working in Karachi, Pakistan, or in Sana, Yemen, but trying to recruit Russian sources and to outwit Russian intelligence officers requires a subtlety that spies have not always practiced in Iraq and Afghanistan."
"Unfortunately, regulations on San Francisco taxis don’t just emanate from the city, or only onto businesses with actual vehicles. Last November, the California Public Utilities Commission fined three of the city’s start-ups—Uber, SideCar, and Lyft—for their indirect effect on the market. These companies have created phone applications that link cab riders to nearby drivers, while predicting wait times and processing credit cards beforehand. The commission, seemingly unable to make distinctions, charged the companies with running unlicensed limo services. This confounded SideCar CEO Sunil Paul, who explained that his company is nothing but a digital-style middleman. Instead calling the company a limo service, he claimed, “it is like saying Airbnb is a hotel chain,” or Travelocity an airline."
"In previous times, there were fewer things to make a claim on our attentiveness. The world might be, as Ludwig Wittgenstein said, everything that is the case — but the case is bigger than it was: the number of things available for our regard has increased beyond belief. No longer are there just the primary material basics, but a whole mad universe of images and signals, figments and streams of information arriving through devices, all of which affect attention itself, altering its reach and intensity."
"The two most important reasons why cable is still making more and more money every year, despite a structural decline in cable TV subs, is that they’ve successfully gleaned more money per customer: both by charging more for television and by getting households to buy more than just TV. For example, 40 percent of Comcast customers take three products (e.g.: video, phone, and Internet) and 70 percent take two products (e.g.: video and Internet)."
"In the case of Mountain Dew spot that was “accidentally aired” on TV when it was only meant to be online, there are a few things that got people up in arms. Having a white woman assaulted is an instant no-no, having a white cop single out a bunch of hood lookin’ black kids, that’s another strike. But in the context of the ad, they are very clearly saying that a goat is actually the one responsible for assaulting said woman. They’re asking, like most ads, to suspend belief for a minute or two so they can sell you something."
"Today more than 1 in every 3 baby boomers — that huge glut of people born between 1948 and 1964 — is unmarried. And those unmarried boomers are disproportionately women. As this vast generation rushes into retirement, there’s a growing concern among experts on aging: Who will take care of all these people when they’re too old to care for themselves?"
"Over the course of the hour long press conference, I slowly felt more and more out of place as if this wasn’t intended for me … as if it wasn’t a place I should or want to be. The wild ride of buzzwords and snappy features introduced us to an impressive multimedia center, one that could stream films and live television or chat to friends via Skype, but a worryingly small amount of attention was given to games. This new console will obviously be innovative in how it “Kinects” people (har har), but the question I regularly asked myself over that hour was why, as a gamer, do I care about most of this?"
"One way the new Newsweek, which launched last week in beta form, can be seen as a user-first product is simply in how nice it looks. The site is a highly visual affair, built for engagement and enjoyment, not pure news-dumping efficiency. Upon arrival, readers are greeted with a cover story, complete with Newsweek word mark, that stretches across the entire width of their screen. The rest of the week’s stories pour forth below, though they’re arranged by importance, not by chronology. As Megan Man, the Associate Creative Director at Huge who led the project, explains, “We definitely didn’t want to make another daily news website."