• Talk Like an Egyptian

    When revolution came to Cairo, two groups panicked: Hosni Mubarak’s regime—and cable-TV bookers, who needed an infusion of Egypt experts. Qualifications: know Egypt well, ad-lib with aplomb, and speak without an impenetrable accent. Many answered the call. Here are some of the most omnipresent.
  • Harvard Goes Hollywood

    It takes more than a hit movie to disrupt the social pillars that have stood at Harvard for 200 years. But with "The Social Network" up for best picture and seven other Oscars next Sunday, there are signs of life imitating art imitating life on campus.
  • Could Cool Hand Luke Bust Out Today?

    Not likely. The number of inmates who escape or go AWOL from prison has plummeted—even as the total correctional population has surged 68 percent, to 2.3 million. John Moriarty, inspector-general of the Texas criminal-justice system, explains.
  • Will Gold Keep Glittering as an Investment?

    Nothing inspires a gold rush quite like, well, gold. Since July the precious metal has spiked to more than $1,300 an ounce—a rally on top of a longer rally dating to 2002, when the price was below $300.
  • How the Flip Camera Changed Video

    The idea that less is more has long held true in the arts. In the world of gadgets, not so much. Each year’s crop of products is weighted down with more features, more menu options, more, more, more. Apart from this trend stands a little video camera called the Flip.
  • What Is 'Biflation'?

    With the consumer price index flatlining, economists are watching warily for signs of deflation. The Fed said on Aug. 10 it would buy Treasury bonds to ward off fears that the recovery is stalling, which could bring falling wages and prices.
  • The Future of Skype

    A successful IPO, a profile in The Wall Street Journal, signing up your 1 millionth user—these are all signs that your technology company has arrived. The rarer mark of success, though—the sign that you've truly changed how people behave—is when your service becomes a verb.
  • Profanity on TV: The FCC's Evolving Rules

    Yes—if it’s used as an adjective, say, or after 10 p.m. Indecency rules have been in flux since the early days of radio. Back then, the FCC’s sole weapon was to revoke broadcast licenses, so networks, and their advertisers, set their own censorship standards. A few weeks ago, a federal court ruled that the FCC can no longer fine broadcasters if someone blurts out an expletive on the air. And we have Bono to thank.
  • How Apple and Others Turn Design Into Profit

    “Design isn’t merely about making products aesthetically beautiful,” writes Jay Greene, a former BusinessWeek staffer, in "Design Is How It Works." It’s about “creating experiences that consumers crave”—thus building brand loyalty and finding new markets. Does it really work? Ask Steve Jobs, who supplied Greene’s title.
  • Investors Hit the Brakes on Electric Cars

    When Tesla Motors went public June 29, it was hailed as the first IPO by an American automaker since Ford in 1956. Shares spiked 41 percent, raising $226 million for the electric-car company. But buyers quickly hit the brakes: within a week, Tesla’s stock was below its offering price.
  • Apple's Fix for iPhone Woes

    Eight days after CEO Steve Jobs told a customer that it was a “nonissue,” Apple Inc. published a letter to iPhone 4 owners on its Web site acknowledging reception problems on its new models. But the company framed the issue as a matter of how signal strength is displayed, not poor design.
  • Are Videogames More Than Just Fun and Games?

    Blowing a zombie's head off with a sniper rifle is one of life's simple pleasures. But is it art? Videogames have become a massive industry, bringing in tens of billions annually and occupying more than an hour of 8- to 18-year-olds' time each day, but the medium struggles for recognition.
  • Greene Threatens Sarah Palin as Worst Speaker in Politics

    Alvin Greene, the surprise Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina, has a way with words. It’s the way, though, of Sarah Palin and George W. Bush—a tortured relationship with the English language that prevents him from making his points, and that says to voters he may not be up to the job.

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