dylan tweney

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Category: Rough Drafts (page 2 of 67)

Prose that hasn’t been published elsewhere

Opera lives

Hundreds of people, including NYC’s former mayor, plan to protest the Met’s production of “Klinghoffer.” Protests! Against an opera — an art form that, for most Americans, is completely dead. I enjoy opera quite a bit, but I’m used to it trafficking in stories that — while offensively bloody (Lucia di Lammemoor) or shockingly amoral (Carmen) are […]

Why I’m using blind auditions to recruit journalists for VentureBeat

Orchestras in the U.S. used to be 95% to 100% male. But after instituting blind auditions, with the applicants performing their music behind a screen so they can only be heard, not seen, that ratio changed dramatically. According to one study, the number of women in top orchestras rose from less than 5% to 25% after those orchestras […]

Amazon’s Fire phone — and what it means

Hello everyone! I wrote this post about the Amazon Fire phone yesterday morning. At the time I wrote it, I didn’t yet know what the phone was called or any of its exact details — that came later in the day, with Amazon’s official unveiling. But, thanks to excellent reporting by VB writer Mark Sullivan […]

The surfers v. the VC

So I’m on jury duty this week, and as I walk out of the courthouse on our lunch recess, I happen to see an older bearded gentleman in a suit, surrounded by some other suits, holding forth to a small pack of reporters. “Oh, a courthouse steps interview,” I thought, so I sidled up to […]

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning,” said Mark Twain.

An editor’s job, at its best, is about turning lightning bugs into lightning.

Forecasting?

  Something seems to be amiss with our budget forecast.

The future of education: Tablets, or hands-on?

I read the Times story on Amplify, Rupert Murdoch’s 650-person startup aimed at reinventing education via tablet games, with mixed feelings. On the one hand, as I wrote in a piece today on VentureBeat, this is exactly the vision — shared by One Laptop per Child — first outlined in Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age.” […]

The lovely leather of Walnut Studiolo

About a year ago I wrote about Walnut Studiolo, a Portland-based craft shop that makes leather and wood accessories for bicycles. If you think it’s reasonable to spend $72 for a leather cup holder that’s the perfect size for a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, then you’ll love Walnut’s work. I love the way their […]

This story deserves an award of some kind for business writing. A subject like this calls for just the right mix of completely straight-faced reporting and just a tiny hint of a wink. Plus, of course, a huge love of Doritos.

I laughed, and I wept a bit for the outright enthusiasm that Taco Bell’s CEO expressed over his company’s innovation. Or, should I say, “innovation.” But, as they say, welcome to America!

Also, those locos tacos actually taste pretty good. Though they don’t sit too well inside.

Deep Inside Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco

What to do about the complete failure of gun control

Here’s the deal: The NRA is simply *far* better organized than the gun control lobby. A passionate minority will prevail over an apathetic majority any day, in our political system. Here’s what I think gun control people need to do, if they’re serious: Start a “National Gun Safety Association.”  Make the debate about “gun safety” […]

My stance on covering the latest Silicon Valley rumor fest

There are a lot of rumors going around about a certain blog founder. My take is that most of it is completely unfounded and comes from people with an obvious interest in discrediting him. So for now, VentureBeat is not covering this “story.” After I posted this note on Facebook, I got asked: Are we afraid […]

What is wrong with HTC’s Android sync service?

I’ve had several HTC phones, and I never seem to learn. The latest is an HTC One V. They all start out great — excellent hardware, seemingly fast and snappy interfaces — and turn into useless, molasses-slow junk within a few weeks. I think I’ve isolated the source of the problem: It’s something to do […]

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