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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The results are in, and Barack Obama will return for a second term as president of the United States. But as Joe Biden might say, gird your loins: A victorious Obama faces a world of trouble, from a China determined to challenge U.S. primacy in the Pacific to an Iran that shows few signs of buckling in the face of international pressure to an Arab world still very much in the throes of upheaval and chaos. America’s adversaries are looking for any hints of weakness. And its friends and allies will be demanding leadership from a U.S. president who has been consumed with his own re-election for the past 18 months. nSo what now? Foreign Policy asked 14 top analysts to peer beyond Wednesday’s headlines and examine the longer-term issues confronting the United States, from Europe’s debt morass to North Korea’s dangerous nuclear program, sagging U.S. competitiveness to worsening climate change. It’s a daunting list. Is Obama sure he wants the job?" (ForeignPolicy)





"Like 'pivot' and 'cloud computing,' 'big data' is one of those startup buzzwords that gets thrown around indiscriminately–partly because it means different things depending on the intel you’re trying to unearth and partly because it sounds like the kind of futuristic jargon that opens doors. Using machine learning to analyze big data? We can practically see the pitch deck already! As The Economist noted back in 2010, the deluge of large data sets unleashed by the digital age, 'makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on. Managed well, the data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into science and hold governments to account.' In practice, however, the young science has been used primarily for the first example. But Nate Silver’s astounding record in predicting last night’s elections might change that and gives big data enthusiasts a concrete, laudable example of its potential on the national stage. As one New York Times staffer told'the King of Quants': 'Obviously a great night for the president, but also a great night for you and your forecast model, which is performing pretty much perfectly right now!' As Quartz’s Christopher Mims noted, there’s a difference between Mr. Silver’s use of statistics and the still nebulous definition of big data." (BetaBeat)


"David Geffen was feted by 66 VIPs including Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, Ron Meyer, Candice Bergen, Graydon Carter and Jann Wenner on Monday after a debut of Susan Lacy’s 'American Masters' doc on the mogul. 'How do you follow Mike Nichols,' mused Barry Diller in a line of power players making toasts at La Grenouille. Diller said when his wife Diane von Furstenberg gets sick, he brings her medicine but Geffen 'brings her information.' An LA screening’s being hosted Tuesday by Tom Hanks, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Robbie Robertson and Cher. 'Even if no one else shows, it will be gridlock on the red carpet,' quipped a spy." (PageSix)


"(In case you've forgotten: 'There are 77.7 million Catholics in the United States. In 2008 they made up 27% of the electorate, about 35 million people. Mr. Obama carried the Catholic vote, 54% to 45%. They helped him win. They won't this year. And guess where a lot of Catholics live? In the battleground states. There was no reason to pick this fight. It reflects political incompetence on a scale so great as to make Mitt Romney's gaffes a little bitty thing. There was nothing for the president to gain, except, perhaps, the pleasure of making a great church bow to him. Enjoy it while you can. You have awakened a sleeping giant.')" (TheAwl)


"It was a lovely night at the Fountain house Fall Fette. Chairs of the evening included Byrdie Bell, Katie Zorn, Kiliaen van Rensselaer, Lil Phillips, and co-chair Melissa Berkelhammer. Committee members included Brooke and Edouard Gershel, Alison and George Brokaw, Beth Amorosi, Elizabeth Meigher, Charlotte Ronson, Ian Snow, Mario Maccioni, of the Le Cirque Restaurant Group, Graziano di Boni. Mark Gilbertson The event was a cocktail party at the Armani store and then a seated dinner at the Metropolitan club where the Fountain House awarded its scholarship fund." (HauteLiving)

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