Stories I’d like to see

Value of big data, news on Newsweek, White House Correspondents Dinner’s costs

By Steven Brill
May 6, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama is shown on a screen as he speaks during the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

1. What’s the real value of big data?:

The Obama administration’s report last week on the need to consider restricting how Google, Facebook and other Internet powerhouses collect and use big data reminds me of a story I’ve been hoping to see for a while: How much does this collecting and slicing and dicing of big data actually help advertisers and marketers?

Regrouping for Detroit, GM’s bankruptcy evasion and Chinese corporate records

By Steven Brill
April 29, 2014

1. Kevyn Orr and a Detroit rebound?

Last Friday, I happened onto a C-Span broadcast of a speech to a national group of bankruptcy lawyers given by Kevyn Orr — the emergency manager who Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appointed to take over Detroit’s finances and guide the fallen city through bankruptcy. Since I couldn’t stand watching the Yankees get slaughtered by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, I stopped on the Orr speech for a minute. I stayed 45.

Obama’s unaccountable briefers, pipeline bribery, and economic woes at Yankee Stadium

By Steven Brill
April 22, 2014

 

1. Obama’s unaccountable briefers:

Here’s a key paragraph in Saturday’s New York Times report explaining the Obama administration’s decision to delay yet again a decision on the Keystone pipeline:

Sealing deadly court files, and Obama and his Cabinet

By Steven Brill
April 15, 2014

1. Sealing deadly court files:

In the wake of continuing disclosures about General Motors’ failure to acknowledge critical safety issues related to faulty ignition switches, there’s a looming issue that has not been addressed: How litigation settlements negotiated by private parties can result in court-sanctioned cover-ups that endanger the public.

America’s biggest boondoggle and ‘REAL’ voter ID

By Steven Brill
April 1, 2014

1. The book on America’s biggest boondoggle:

Last week, the Government Accountability Office issued the latest report on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, warning that “delays in testing of the jet’s software may hinder delivery of the warfighting capabilities the military services expect” for an additional 15 months. This means that the jets are unlikely to be ready until August 2016, at the earliest, instead of what had been a July 2015 deadline.

A fair view of the Koch brothers, and explaining bitcoin

By Steven Brill
March 25, 2014

1. Getting a full, fair view of the money behind the Democrats’ prime enemies:

Amazon’s price increase, Congressional whistleblowers, and a question for President Obama

By Steven Brill
March 18, 2014

1. Are customers really upset at the Amazon Prime price increase?

The day after Amazon raised the annual subscription price for its Prime service from $79 to $99, the New York Times ran a story headlined, “Complaints As Amazon Raises Cost of Prime.” I found the reporting lacking and the headline unfair.

The mysterious allure of cruises, Al Sharpton conflict check, and doing the math on Ukraine bailouts

By Steven Brill
March 11, 2014

1. Why do people take cruises?

A few weeks ago, USA Today reported that “More than 160 of 3,104 passengers on Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess “had fallen ill with a gastrointestinal illness that the cruise line suspected was norovirus — a highly contagious infection that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea.”

Ambassadors astray, the Federal Reserve Board’s minutes, and conflict recusals in the Valley

By Steven Brill
March 4, 2014

 

1. Ambassadors without portfolios?

What happens when you’re an ambassador whose government has been overthrown?

With the Ukrainian government being deposed last week, I’m wondering about the fate of the country’s envoys and their families. As key appointees of President — now fugitive — Viktor Yanukovich, have they been replaced and evicted from their embassies in Washington, New York (the United Nations ambassador), London or Paris? Or are they all professional foreign service officers, able to roll with the punches?

Cigarette companies’ final days, high-speed trading, and how rich is Ringo?

By Steven Brill
February 18, 2014

1. Cigarette companies’ final days:

This article last week from the Associated Press, “U.S. health experts predict…a cigarette-free America,” highlighted the release of a 900-page report on smoking from the U.S. surgeon general. “Though the goal of a cigarette-free America has long seemed like a pipe dream,” the AP noted, “public-health leaders have started throwing around phrases like ‘endgame’ and ‘tobacco-free generation.’”