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Best of the Web: December 31, 2010

Best of the Web: December 31, 2010

Julian Assange – Penny wise, pound foolish?; 2011 – Year of Hope?; 10 biggest tech 'fails' of 2010; Millionaires without high school diplomas; Need Work? Have a Little Work Done on Your Face First.

December 31, 2010 10:55 by

Julian Assange – Penny wise, pound foolish?
Wikileaks, wikileaks – what would Kipp’s Best Of the Web list be without an article or two on the never ending saga that is Wikileaks and the adventures of Julian Assange. This week we bring you an article from The Economist that argues that Assange’s most recent mistake might be the $1 million advance he accepted from New York publisher Alfred A. Knopf, which they consider “penny wise, pound foolish.” Why? Well, we don’t want to spoil it for you, but it has to do with using online methods of distribution. We think this article goes off on an interesting tangent to explore the very future of book publishing.

The 10 biggest tech ‘fails’ of 2010
The rate at which technology is progressing is so unbelievably fast that sometimes it is easy to forget the ones that don’t make it all the way. Sure, when someone mentions ‘Hi-5′ or ‘Orkut’ a faint bell rings somewhere in the back of your mind, but the tech “fails” do tend to fade away. But we really are gluttons for cynicism, so we think this list from CNN of the top 10 biggest tech fails of 2010 is an interesting reminder of how even the IT giants can fail. Take, for instance, Google’s disastrous foray into the social networking world with Buzz, or the pretty unsuccessful Ping from iTunes. This list will give you more such failures.

2011 – Year of Hope?
If there was one theme for Kipp’s features this week it would have been “2010 – the year of disappointment.” But what should we be expecting from 2011? According to this TIME article, Kipp should have a lot to look forward to. From the greater global credibility the US will have, the stability expected in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the moderation of China’s new arrogance, apparently the outlook for 2011 is actually pretty good.

Millionaires without high school diplomas
There two things that our next article can make you feel (we hope it makes you feel the former). This piece on the multimillionaires who are without high school diplomas can either be an inspiration (“Wow! Look how much we are all capable of when we put our heads to it! OK, this year I am going to be super hero at work”) or a source of depression (“Wow-look how much others accomplish even without a degree”). But regardless of how you feel, have a look at this article because there are some pretty interesting people on the list – including US surgeon-general Richard Carmona and New Zealand’s most famous director, Peter Jackson.

Getting Work Done to Get Work?
It is a little unsettling that the bouts of redundancies brought on by the economic crisis have spurred this latest trend: women getting cosmetic surgery done in the hopes that a more youthful face will help them snag a job. This article from TIME says that women are spending thousands of dollars to appear younger by getting “facelifts, eye lifts, Botox, laser peels, teeth whitening, and hair loss treatment.” We hope it’s worth it.

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