FREAK Shots: Who Wins for Best Recession Cover?

Since the recession was made official, and even before, magazine covers brought out a host of recession-related imagery: downward-slanting arrows, roller coasters, and even (groan) the passé bear or bull. Back in October, Vanessa Voltolina, writing for Folio magazine’s blog, asked BusinessWeek‘s art director Andrew Horton what makes a good or bad recession cover. “There […]

Kindle: Only in the U.S.A.

If you’ve visited the home page of Amazon.com anytime in the past several months, it’s hard not to notice its big house ad for the Kindle (and now the Kindle 2). And I don’t blame them. Amazon is an amazing company that could probably sell just about anything. (As a writer, I am grateful they […]

What Would Micropayments Do for Journalism? A Freakonomics Quorum

The notion of micropayments — a pay-per-click/download web model — is hardly a new one. But as a business model it hasn’t exactly caught fire, or even generated more than an occasional spark. Lately, however, the journalism community has become obsessed with the idea. This is what happens when an existing business model begins to […]

A Voucher System for Investigative Reporting

Dozens of proposals are floating around suggesting different ways to fix what seems to be the broken business model for newspapers. Michael Kinsley‘s Op-Ed, working backwards from the gross numbers, provides a devastating critique of the claim that micropayments on the Internet could save the industry: Micropayment advocates imagine extracting as much as $2 a […]

Something for Nothing

The streaming music site Muxtape has returned as a free platform for musicians to promote their music.

Emerging in a time when cassette tapes had long been an anachronism, Muxtape became a go-to site for music fans to string together their favorite songs and share the virtual mix tapes with friends and internet passers-by. Founded in early 2008, the site quickly became ensnared in licensing disputes and was shut down last August.

Can Newspapers Stop Global Warming?

Newspapers are disappearing faster than alpine glaciers, and a new paper by journalist-turned-public-policy scholar Eric Pooley suggests the two may be related. Pooley’s paper argues that newspapers have failed as referees of the public debate on preventing climate change, reporting junk economics and good economics with equal weight. In these muddied waters, Pooley suggests, it’s […]

Freakonomics: A Lighthearted Romantic Comedy Starring Drew Barrymore

New York magazine, riffing on Drew Barrymore‘s starring role in the film adaptation of He’s Just Not That Into You, suggests 10 other self-help books that should be Barrymore vehicles, including Freakonomics: Drew Barrymore stars as a free-spirited Northwestern economics grad student who ventures into the Cabrini Green projects on the south side of Chicago […]

How Much Does It Cost to Apologize for Porn?

Despite NBC banning sexually explicit ad content from the Super Bowl broadcast, Comcast customers in parts of Tuscon were exposed to about 30 seconds of a pornographic film which interrupted Comcast’s Super Bowl coverage on Sunday. According to The Huffington Post, Comcast suspects the work of hackers. The company is paying each of its affected […]

ESPN Makes News But Doesn't Know It; Credits Letterman Instead

I've made no secret of my Pittsburgh Steelers fandom -- the most recent example is here -- and so yes, Sunday was a happy day in our house. The problem is that my productivity suffers afterwards because there's so much post-game stuff to monitor.

Why Do Gazan Tunnel-Diggers Talk to Reporters?

A Palestinian in a tunnel between Gaza and Egypt. (Photo: Moises Saman/The New York Times) A pair of recent articles — one in The New York Times and the other, a McClatchy report, in The Seattle Times — describe in close-up detail how Palestinians living in Gaza have gotten back to work digging tunnels that […]