March 7, 2014
1. And They’re About to Take Over
They’re single. They’re independent. They’re diverse. They’re not into organized religion, but they worship at the altar of social media. They don’t trust people, but they have a lot of friends on Facebook. And aside from the ones who have sold messaging app companies for $19 billion, they’re pretty much broke, yet they’re quite optimistic about the future. Pew provides some background on the state of the Millennials:Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends.
+ “As consumers, Millennials have been slow to accumulate wealth. They have huge debt. They’re facing unprecedented underemployment. They’ve been relatively unaddressed as a generation by banks.” Sorry banks. Millennials hate you.
+ Bloomberg: College grads taking low-wage jobs displace less educated.
2. Cleaning Up in Aisle 3
The parent company of Albertson’s is buying Safeway for just over $9 billion. Safeway owns 1,335 stores and pulled in more than $36 billion in revenue in 2013, yet they sold for about half of what Whatsapp got paid. Too bad Safeway doesn’t sell a necessity like software. Messaging is now above eating on Maslow’s Hierarchy.
+ Does this deal mark the end of the traditional supermarket?
3. Weekend Reads
Earlier this week, we learned that the SAT is about to get some major tweaks. The NYT Magazine provides the story behind the overhaul. Here’s one of the current exam’s harshest critics on the essay portion of the test: “When is there a situation in either college or life where you’re asked to write on demand about something you’ve never once thought about?” (Sounds like this guy has never been on Twitter.)
+ “For the past seven years, maybe more, dementia has drawn the curtains closed on Dean Smith’s mind. Now he is 83 and almost no light gets out. He has gone from forgetting names to not recognizing faces to often looking at his friends and loved ones with empty stares.”ESPN’s Tommy Tomlinson on a beloved coach: Precious Memories.
+ “I have accumulated no money but I accumulate a lot of happiness.” From BBC: A school dropout from a poor family in southern India has revolutionised menstrual health for rural women in developing countries by inventing a simple machine they can use to make cheap sanitary pads.
4. Here Comes the Sun
“Human beings, when faced with the availability of a cheaper and more efficient lighting technology, simply use more of it.” In Nautilus, Dirk Hanson explains how technology has fed our addiction to light,and how it might help us end it.
+ Room for Debate asks several people to answer this question: Does daylight saving time do more harm than good?
5. The Energizer Money
“Here’s how it’s been in Ukraine: Cheap natural gas and massive loans from Russia; crooks and oligarchs in both Ukraine and Russia skimming money from the energy sector; and understandably squeamish foreign investors balking at having skin in the game.” These days, if you want to understand an international crisis, you need to examine what it means for the energy industry.
+ PBS Newshour: What you should know about the Ukraine crisis.
6. It’s a Bitcoin Flip
Yesterday, Newsweek boldly announced that they had found the mystery man behind Bitcoin. The news, and realtime tracking of a man known as Satoshi Nakamoto, was being followed with such fervor I half-expected to see Nakamoto driving down an LA freeway in a white Ford Bronco. Today, we’re not so sure whether or not Newsweek really got their man. From the LA Times: Will the real creator of Bitcoin please stand up? If this story turns out to be wrong, the old Newsweekwill roll over in its grave. (Mostly to make room for the new Newsweek.)
+ Felix Salmon: The Satoshi Paradox.
+ As Choire Sicha points out in The Awl, the Satoshi debate brings up a very interesting question: How Do We Know Who People Are?
7. Is Doctor Melfi in the House?
“Introverted and with a tendency to be needy.” The Daily Beast’sMichael Daly on 63 therapy sessions with the world’s most notorious drug lord. (This kind of riveting therapy feeds into my anxiety that my own shrink is kind of bored during our sessions. El Chapo is talking about building the world’s biggest drug cartel and I’m whining about my subscriber numbers.)
8. Let Them Eat Yoga Mats
A couple weeks ago, Subway made big news with their decision to remove an additive called azodicarbonamide from their bread (it’s also found in yoga mats). That same additive is found in about 500 other foods. Should you care?
+ HuffPo: 9 disgusting things you’ve been eating your whole life.
9. Start Me Up
There are lot of startups out looking for money. A lot. Some of them sound almost like they were made up. Think you can tell the difference between the real pitches and the parodies? Take the Digg Quiz.
+ And in case you missed it yesterday, here’s my insider guide on how to raise $10 million without really trying: Exposed Brick.
10. The Bottom of the News
“The undersheriff said neighbors told deputies they thought the woman had moved out of the country because they had not seen her for three or more years.” The downside to having your bills automatically deducted from your account: Mummified body discovered in garage of foreclosed Pontiac house.
+ What happens when you let reader preferences determine the front page of a newspaper? (Hint: Less Ukraine.)
+ Maybe the law can catch up to technology. “It is now illegal to surreptitiously take photographs under a woman’s skirt in Massachusetts.” (It wasn’t illegal yesterday…)