The Upshot
  • NY Times on WikiLeaksnyt.wikifrontIt's believed that late Friday afternoon is the best time to drop bad news, such as rising unemployment numbers or massive layoffs.

    So WikiLeaks' decision to publish 400,000 secret Iraq war documents late Friday—and lift embargoes for news organizations that had the cache ahead of time—was striking because it went against the conventional wisdom for making the greatest impact in the news cycle. (And it was almost midnight in Europe when the online clearinghouse released its latest of government documents, even though WikiLeaks had collaborated with several  European outlets in preparing the material for publication.)

    Yet the WikiLeaks document dump got lots of attention immediately online Friday, throughout Saturday—after a news conference with founder Julian Assange—and in the Sunday papers, including a couple of stories splashed across the front page of the New York Times.

    But the major Sunday-morning public-affairs shows—on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and CNN—largely ignored the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history in favor of the fast-approaching midterm elections.

    CBS host Bob Schieffer told The Upshot that the aim at "Face the Nation" for the past month has been  "to concentrate on the election, and so every show's been about that."

    Read More »from Sunday talk shows largely ignore WikiLeaks’ Iraq files
  • AP101025015963Most scientists believe that the full effects of the BP oil disaster won't be known for some time. But BP wouldn't be the sort of company that created major oil spills if it didn't leap boldly into the breach. So the oil giant's newly minted CEO is apparently ready to lay down his own verdict: The whole incident has been overblown by the media, environmentalists and BP's oil industry rivals.

    According to Reuters, CEO Bob Dudley -- tapped to replace gaffe-prone Tony Hayward back in July -- told a British business lobbying group Monday that his company was the victim of "a great rush to judgment" and that unwarranted "public fear was everywhere." The Mississippi-born Dudley did, however, offer complimentary words for the one group that remained steadfastly in BP's corner throughout the duration of the ordeal: the British.

    Read More »from BP CEO says oil spill blown out of proportion
  • Sony Walkman cassette player, RIP

    AP09070103377Another iconic technological device has been banished to the dustbin of history: Sony will no longer produce its Walkman cassette player due to dismal sales. The final batch of the portable tape players was shipped from Japan in April, according to PC Magazine.

    A Chinese company will continue to produce a few models for the Walkman faithful, according to the New York Post. Sony has sold about 220 million Walkman devices since the gadget's explosive 1979 debut, but the portable cassette player has steadily yielded market share to portable CD players and then eventually MP3 players, symbolized by Apple's no-less-iconic iPod. (Sony will continue to make portable CD players.)

    Apple founder Steve Jobs, who helped introduce the iPod, was evidently very impressed with the Walkman when he first saw one 25 years ago.

    "I remember Akio Morita gave Steve and me each one of the first Sony Walkmans," former Apple CEO John Sculley told Businessweek. "None of us had ever seen anything like that before because there had never been a product like that. This is 25 years ago and Steve was fascinated by it. The first thing he did with his was take it apart and he looked at every single part. How the fit and finish was done, how it was built."

    Read More »from Sony Walkman cassette player, RIP


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  • Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry
    Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry

    The bitter rivalry between Australian Open finalists Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova took root on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in 2004 and is still thriving more than a decade later -- both on and off the court. The problem was, the fairytale victory that catapulted her to global celebrity came at the expense of Serena Williams -- top seed at the time and hot favourite for a third straight Wimbledon title -- a result that the American has never forgotten. It has spurred her on to an overall record of 16-2 against Sharapova, with the Russian's last victory over the world number one coming more than a decade ago. Since 2005, the American's winning streak is 15-0, including straight sets wins over Sharapova in the Australian and French Open finals (2007 and 2013), as well as the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • Patriots owner Kraft stands front-and-center in NFL spotlight

    New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of the most visible faces of the NFL, guiding his once-moribund team to unparalleled success while assuming an influential role navigating the league's complex inner workings. The affable 73-year-old Kraft is in Arizona this week, preparing for the Patriots' seventh Super Bowl appearance since the Massachusetts native purchased the club in 1994. "After my family, my team is my passion," Kraft, a one-time Patriots season ticket holder, told reporters this week. "I can relate to all of them." Kraft made billions in the paper industry after graduating from Columbia University and the Harvard Business School.

  • Delta flight lands in Vegas with pilot locked out of cockpit

    Officials say a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis made an emergency landing in Las Vegas on Thursday with the co-pilot at the controls after the pilot was locked out of the cockpit. McCarran International ...

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