buffoons

Fellow sharpening knife and fork, to eat all before him

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Yesterday we found out that Jonah Lehrer, the Gladwellesque whiz kid who’s The New Yorker’s newest staff writer, reused his own old writings for every goddamn blog post he’s written for The New Yorker so far. […] What’s the latest? […]

Repackaging the work of others without disclosure is arguably a much more serious offense than reusing your own work without disclosure. […]

This is also why you should never pay someone in their 20s to give a speech and expect to learn something new.

{ Hamilton Nohan | Continue reading }

Wired editor Chris Anderson cemented his speaker-circuit bona fides with a 2006 book, The Long Tail, that was hailed as cogent and disruptive. His last effort, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, met with considerably worse reviews, and its premise was derided on many blogs. Worse, chunks of it turned out to have been copied and pasted without attribution from Wikipedia. None of that matters on the speaking circuit, where Mr. Anderson’s agency says he is in more demand than almost any other client worldwide.

{ NY Observer | Continue reading }

‘Although rivaled closely by SATAN PUT THE DINO BONES THERE, QUENTIN.’ –Malcolm Harris

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Worst Companies At Protecting User Privacy: Skype, Verizon, Yahoo!, At&T, Apple, Microsoft.

{ Main Device | full story }

photos { Marlo Pascual | Sean and Seng }

‘Come on girl. Everyone’s doing it!’ –Peer pressure

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Chances are pretty good you’ve recently seen the “Banksy on Advertising” quote that begins, “People are taking the piss out of you everyday.” The passage is from Banksy’s 2004 book Cut It Out, and it presents the idea that if advertisers are going to fill your world with ads, you have every right to “take, re-arrange and re-use” those images without permission. The quote has been posted widely on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, which is where I found it.

Here’s the interesting part:

Most of it is swiped directly from an essay I wrote in 1999.

{ Reading Frenzy | Continue reading }

They were precisely the twelves of clocks, noon minutes, none seconds

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{ via copyranter | more }

Nobody uses Facebook anymore. It’s too crowded.

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Five reasons why I’m not buying Facebook

Excuse me for raining on the Facebook parade, but the $450 million investment by Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russia’s Digital Sky Technology didn’t move me the way it seemed to move others. This despite the suggested $50 billion valuation, as big and beautiful a number as the stock market has seen in some time.

I am certainly not moved in the same way it appears to have moved Goldman’s own clients: the Wall Street firm has pledged to line up another $1.5 billion in sales to its high net worth investors, who are said to be champing at the bit to get a piece of the action, which starts with a $2 million minimum. Not that I have $2 million lying around, but I wouldn’t buy this stock if I did.

Reason #1: Someone who knows a lot more than I do is selling. While the identities of the specific sellers remain unknown, the current consensus seems to be that most will be from venture capital investors like Accel Partners, Peter Thiel, and Greylock Partners. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg will kick in $50 million or so himself, just for some fooling around money. (…) The way the social network is talked about these days, it’s the best investment opportunity in town. So why would anyone want to forsake it? And don’t give me that crap about VCs being “early stage” and wanting to cash out of a “mature” investment. These people are as money hungry as any other institutional investor, and would let it ride unless….they saw something that suggested that the era of stupendous growth was over. Facebook reached 500 million users in July. There’s been no update since, even though the company had meticulously documented every new 50 million users to that point. Might the curve have crested? And let’s not even talk about the fact that they don’t really make much money per user — a few dollars a year at most. (Its estimated $2 billion in 2010 revenues would amount to $4 per user at that base.)

Reason #2: Goldman Sachs. I’ve got nothing against Goldman Sachs. Hell, I worked there. But when Reuters’ Felix Salmon says that the Goldman investment “ratifies” a $50 billion valuation, he’s only half right. That is, someone, somewhere—perhaps the Russians at DST Global—might just believe this imaginary number. (It’s hard to see why, though: DST got in at a $10 billion valuation in May 2009. Facebook’s user base has more than doubled since then. So its valuation should…quintuple?) But concluding that Goldman Sachs believes in a $50 billion valuation is poor reasoning. (…)

Reason #5: Warren Buffett cautions those looking at outsize valuations to consider one’s purchase of company stock in a different way than price of an individual share, whatever it may be. He suggests one look at the total market valuation – in this case, a sketchy $50 billion – and to consider: Would you buy the whole company for that price, if you had the money? The market value of Goldman Sachs is just $88 billion. I’d take more than half that company over the whole of Facebook any day of the week.

{ Duff McDonald/CNN Money | Continue reading }

related { For News Sites, Google Is the Past and Facebook Is the Future | Google’s stealth multi-billion-dollar business }

and { The Next 10 Years Will Be Great For Both Founders And VCs }

For this is how things are

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Preventing preterm births just got 150 times more expensive, now that KV Pharmaceuticals has gained exclusive rights to produce a progesterone shot used to prevent premature births in high-risk mothers.

Although the shot has been available in unregulated form from specialty compounding pharmacies for years for $10 a pop, the Food and Drug Administration recently granted KV Pharmaceuticals sole rights to produce the drug, which will be marketed as Makena and cost $1,500 per dose — an estimated $30,000 in total per pregnancy. (…)

Because FDA laws prohibit compounding pharmacies from making FDA-approved products, doctors will be legally obligated to stop using the cheaper version of this drug.

{ ABC News | Continue reading }

photo { Julie Anderson and E.J. photographed by Tyen }