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The cheap, convenient cloud

IF THERE were a prize for corporate secrecy, Amazon would have an excellent chance of winning. Interviewing its executives can be like pulling teeth.

Risky business

THE question of whether businesses should dabble in finance was supposedly settled in America after the 1929 crash, when the mixing of commerce and banking was banned.

Ever more from Moore

NEWS of the death of Moore’s law has always been greatly exaggerated. People started to pronounce it deceased not long after Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, a chipmaker, published on April 19th 1965 a paper arguing that the number of transistors that can be etched on a given surface area of silicon would double every year.

Banking on de-banking

But no more adventures in finance SPEAKING just a month ago, one of the men who lost the struggle to become boss of General Electric (GE) in 2001 grumbled that the firm had become as soft as a marshmallow.

A very British business

THEY are known, quaintly, as “public schools”, though they are certainly not open to just anyone. Their names—Eton, Winchester, Harrow, Fettes—conjure up images of striped blazers and straw boaters, speech days and rugger matches.

Engaged tone

MERGERS among telecoms-equipment makers have a terrible record. In 2006 Alcatel, a troubled French telecoms conglomerate, was pressed to merge with Lucent Technologies, a descendant of America’s former telecoms colossus, AT&T.

Green shoots, risk of frost

LESS than a year ago most global investors looked at stagnant Europe, shuddered and passed by. Now European share prices are soaring (see chart 1).


SOMETHING new is in the air. Look up as you approach the plaza outside the building where Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) has its headquarters, in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, and you may well see a hovering eye in the sky staring back at you.

Chasing the grey yen

The perfect car for youngsters like us DESIGNING underwear to fit human curves is tricky. For decades, Wacoal, a global manufacturer of lingerie based in Kyoto, has been measuring the female form and making products that factor in the toll of time and gravity.

A business home run

Streamed live to your smartphone AROUND this time last year, Home Box Office (HBO) turned a success into an embarrassment.

The net closes

“I JUST can’t bear this any longer,” writes “Megan” in an anonymous internet forum. Waiting for online shopping to be delivered is frustrating.

Retail religion

IN THE 1980s and 1990s no visit to Southern California was complete without a trip to Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, a short drive from Disneyland.

A vote for gas

JAM tomorrow, but never jam today. That was long the lament about Britain’s third-largest energy company, BG Group.

Rusty taps

IN IRAN’S glory days in 1974, it pumped a record 6m barrels of oil a day (b/d). Revolution, war, politicking, mismanagement and sanctions have all taken their toll.


AN ON-CALL masseuse is the clearest sign of Kueski’s ambitions to be a Silicon Valley-style tech star, perks and all.

Apollo’s mission

PERHAPS there is a little-known rule of thumb in manufacturing that the quieter the plant, the bigger the profits.

Twin peaks

FOR three decades China has been a steelman’s paradise. Years of double-digit economic growth and relentless urbanisation gave the country an increasing appetite for the alloy.

Opening Windows

“WHAT are you on? The ‘fuck Windows’ strategy?” Back in the late 1990s, when Bill Gates was still Microsoft’s boss, any employee who had the temerity to suggest something that could possibly weaken the firm’s flagship operating system was sure to earn his wrath.

Valley of the dudes

ON MARCH 27th the California Superior Court gave Ellen Pao a chance to test one of Silicon Valley’s most cherished pieces of wisdom—that failure is a wonderful pedagogic opportunity.

Fanuc stoops to conquer

Oh, look, a human YOSHIHARU INABA, the president of Fanuc, a secretive Japanese maker of industrial robots and machine-tool controllers, has something of importance to say to the outside world.