Monthly Archives: June 2009

John Gapper

I went to Bernie Madoff’s sentencing today and wrote this FT piece:

It was, taken literally, an absurd jail sentence: one of more than life, one reaching well into the grave. Yet Judge Denny Chin on Monday ignored the plea of Bernard Madoff’s lawyer to give him a shorter term on the grounds that, at 71, his life expectancy is about a dozen years and instead threw the sentencing book at him. Read more

John Gapper

I cannot help thinking that the decision to expand the number of nominees for the best film Oscar is an ominous error. It smacks of being one of those decisions made in the producer interests that is dressed up as being for the benefit of consumers.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences firmly denies that the move, unveiled to surprise in Hollywood on Wednesday, was a result of pressure from studios unhappy at the way big box office films have been shut out of nominations in recent years. Read more

John Gapper

My column in the FT this week is on what Steve Jobs can teach US companies: Read more

John Gapper

Add one more item to the advantages of owning a private jet, or having access to one. The New York Times points out that Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, could have registered on several waiting lists for liver transplants around the US because he was able to fly on short notice to any city.

In practice, we do not know why Mr Jobs ended up having a liver transplant in Tennessee – or indeed why he had one at all, although it presumably relates to the bout of pancreatic cancer for which he had surgery in 2004. Nor do we know how he got to Tennessee from California. Read more

John Gapper

This is sad news. Eastman Kodak is ending production of Kodachrome, its colour film brand, because we have all gone digital. This recalls, of course, the Paul Simon song of the same name:

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colours
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away Read more

John Gapper

I have a written a column for the FT this weekend on Twitter and Iran:

Technology gets a bad rap in the old media. In books and films, it is often the machinery used by governments to crush individuality. Read more

John Gapper

My column in the FT this week is on drugs and the developing world: Read more

John Gapper

The American consumer should be paying $10 per gallon for petrol, instead of the current average of $2.62. So says Elon Musk, the chairman and chief executive of Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley company that makes the Roadster electric car.

Mr Musk reckons that is the price that would compensate for all the externalities of burning fossil fuel, polluting the atmosphere, warming the oceans etc. He made his calculation this morning at the Wired magazine business conference in New York, which I attended. Read more