The Euro Doom Industry Is Booming

The euro is still here, just about, but there’s a lot of people putting their reputations on the line suggesting it won’t be here for much longer. But what’s this, a queue to join the single-currency? Here’s my column on the weird state of the euro. From The Irish Times, Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 IF…

Going for gold

  This report in Spiegel is more than a bit bizarre: “Germany has gold reserves of just under 3,400 tons, the second-largest reserves in the world after the United States. Much of that is in the safekeeping of central banks outside Germany, especially in the US Federal Reserve in New York. One would think that…

Facebook floats away…

The reaction to Facebook’s IPO is pretty extraordinary, with coverage akin to a major sporting event. This is what we’ll have to live with, now, this FB ticker watching, an unholy extra element to consider every time there’s another cack-handed redesign or privacy-smashing misstep. I think we’d all do well to ignore the minutia of…

Can magazines go iPad?

This is an illuminating, and rather dispiriting, account of creating iPad versions of print magazines from Jason Pontin, the editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review, whom you’d think would be pioneers of iPad publishing. The reality is a lot more problematic: We fought amongst ourselves, and people left the company. There was untold expense…

Minority Report Syndrome: Picturing the future and making it happen

  My Innovation Talk column from yesterday, about Google’s smart glasses and the mystery of concept videos. “ROSE-TINTED FANTASIES NOT AT ALL BETTER THAN THE REAL THING” From The Irish Times, May 7th, 2012 Last month, Google gave the world their vision of the future, almost literally. Project Glass was unveiled in a stylish concept…

How did “Europe” became a dirty word?

Watching the Republican primaries from this distance is probably the safest way of coping with the mix of toxicity and stupidity that is the hallmark of the race, but one aspect that seems to be increasingly prevalent is the casual use of “Europe” as a broad pejorative, a lazy symbol for dysfunctional “socialism” that evidently…

The culture that is Germany (Football punditry edition)

It’s a big night of league football all over Europe, with key games in England, Spain and Italy. None is more decisive than the game that just finished between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich – the winner was almost certainly going to be crowned Bundesliga champion in a few weeks. Bars and “kneipes” all over…

A billion-dollar Easter Monday

Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram has taken everybody by surprise, but a few hour’s of analysis seems to have come to the consensus that it was both obvious and obligatory for Zuckerberg to make his move: Instagram was cornering the mobile photo-sharing game, and it had something else that Facebook doesn’t have any more, though I…

The King of the World, at the Bottom of the Sea

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA Exploring strange, alien frontiers is nothing new to James Cameron – from Aliens to Avatar, he has made billions creating adventures in exotic environments for eager cinema audiences. But last weekend, Cameron went on an adventure all of his own when he brought his cameras to the Challenger Deep,…

The Agony of Lying, the Ecstasy of Getting Caught

For those of us interested in technology (particularly Apple), non-fiction storytelling (particularly on This American Life), and journalism (wherever it might occur), the Mike Daisey saga has been an absorbing case study. Daisey is the monologuist who has become one of the fiercest critics of Apple’s manufacturing process, going so far as to visit the…