Felix Salmon


Delta schedules an impossible flight, landing at 10:19pm when the curfew is 10pm. Consequences: predictable — Consumerist

Assorted wine (links)

My second wine column for Reuters is out, and in it I talk a little bit about my wine contests; previous installments can be found here, here, and here, and I should definitely thank Tamara Lover for the original idea. If you want the price-quality graph and scatter graphs for the Beaujolais contest, here they are; they look much more like Merlot than Pinot. For the real nerds among you, the spreadsheet is here.

Doing curation right

Paul Carr has a nice old rant at TechCrunch about the way in which Forbes is moving to an unpaid-contributor model:

That Meg Whitman interview, in full

Every so often, a reporter gets a glimpse of the enormous amount of behind-the-scenes craziness that goes on in advance of even the most mundane interview. Rarely, however, does it become public that an interview preparation session resulted in a flack storming out of the company, taking the CEO to arbitration, and eventually scoring a six-figure financial settlement. That’s what seems to have happened after eBay CEO Meg Whitman was unhappy with her PR person’s preparation for an interview with Adam Pasick of Reuters.

How comprehensive is Zipcar’s insurance?

zipcar.tiffBack in 2006, I started writing about Zipcar insurance. Zipcar — which is going public in an offering worth as much as $75 million — has a history of being more than a little disingenuous about the degree to which its drivers are insured. I spoke to them in February 2007, and they promised to change the language on their website; instead, in May 2007, they decided to start leaving sock-puppet comments on my blog, rather than actually do what they’d promised. Eventually, in October, they merged with Flexcar, which had much better insurance policies, and as part of the merger they adopted Flexcar’s insurance plan. (They had to, or face mass defections by Flexcar’s corporate client base.)

The NYT doesn’t care about posting primary documents

The NYT has a clear policy when it comes to primary sources — if you’re writing about a certain document, then you should link to it, if it’s online. Increasingly, the NYT’s journalists are actually doing that.


Thomas Kinkade, drunk driver — Sacramento Bee

The death of the sun’s “magnetic soul”? — New Scientist

England 1-1 USA in lego — Guardian

McCain tweets words of wisdom to Jersey Shore’s Snooki — NYT

Congressman behaving badly — YouTube

These are beautiful, but are they true? If so, now I know what I’ve been doing wrong all these years — Design You Trust

Box-office futures start their very short life

The CFTC has approved trading in film futures. This means almost nothing. A handful of contracts will trade in the next few weeks, but once the financial regulatory reform bill is signed into law, all such trading will come to an end. The opponents of box-office futures never really thought that the CFTC would change its mind and prevent these futures from trading, so they went over the CFTC’s head to Congress. Which is determined to make sure this market never takes off.

Talking to Sebastian Mallaby

Sebastian Mallaby came in to Reuters today to plug his new book, and so naturally we talked about hedge funds. He’s more positive about them than I am, but even he reckons that they make sense as investments only for big institutional investors: