National / International News

N America temperature records tumble

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:59
Weather records tumble across North America, with freezing temperatures even hitting the usually balmy US south.

'Slave' home has windows smashed

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:53
The windows of the home of a family who were jailed for treating a man with learning difficulties as their slave are smashed.

Nazi murder case dropped in Germany

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:44
A judge in Germany shelves the murder trial of Dutch-born ex-Nazi officer Siert Bruins, ruling he is free to leave court because of uncertainty surrounding the case.

VIDEO: PM tribute to work of Alan Turing

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:43
David Cameron said the work by codebreaker Alan Turing and others did at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire was "absolutely vital" in winning World War 2.

December Posts Strongest Job Gains Of 2013, Survey Shows

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:43

The payroll processing firm ADP says in its latest report that December saw 238,000 jobs added, the strongest monthly gains of last year.

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Kegworth air disaster memorial held

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:29
Flowers are laid at a memorial site to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Kegworth air disaster, which killed 47 people.

Am I Going To Die This Year? A Mathematical Puzzle

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:27

What are the odds that you will die this year? Whatever they are, the mortality tables suggest those odds will double eight years from now. Death, apparently, moves closer at a curiously regular pace. Why this eight-year progression? Is it something biological? Random? What is it about eight that attracts the Grim Reaper? Let's ask.

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Nigeria mosque worshippers killed

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:22
Gunmen have attacked a mosque in the northern Nigerian state of Kano, killing three worshippers and wounding 12 others, police say.

VIDEO: #BBCtrending: White proverbs

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:18
Is the hashtag #WhiteProverbs racist?

VIDEO: 'No estimate' on Schumacher speed

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:17
Investigators examining footage from Michael Schumacher's helmet camera say they will not put a figure on the speed he was travelling at at the time of his skiing crash.

Labour MP Paul Goggins dies, aged 60

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:11
Paul Goggins, Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, has died aged 60, just over a week after collapsing while out running.

VIDEO: House of Commons

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:09
David Cameron suggests energy firms were under-staffed during weather crisis.

'Iron fist' for beauty queen killers

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 05:00
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro says the killers of beauty queen and actress Monica Spears will face the full weight of the law for her shooting.

Your start-up failed. Congratulations!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-08 04:59

Danielle Morrill is a 28 year-old web entrepreneur who lives in San Francisco. A few years ago she started a company, Refer.ly, that paid people to write reviews about products they loved.  It was her first try at building a business, and her first major fail. 

“Apparently that's going to help me in Silicon Valley,” she joked. And in a way, she’s right. According to a popular saying in Silicon Valley, having a failed company on your resume is a badge of honor, meaning Morrill just earned her first badge. “So I guess I should celebrate,” she said.

In fact, she already has been celebrating, and the rest of Silicon Valley along with her. When Morrill officially called it quits for Refer.ly last spring, she shared the news of her failure in a blog post and scored it with Handel’s “Zadok the Priest.”  Rejoice!  The chorus sang out -- Rejoice! --  as Morrill announced that, after raising more than $1 million in seed money, Refer.ly had had failed. 

“My greatest feat as a start up founder isn't to fail,” she wrote in the post. “It's to become a zombie start up.”

By zombie, Morrill meant, a company that's still technically operating, but has so little traction, it should be dead. Silicon Valley is full of these companies, she wrote, and she didn’t want hers to be one.

Morrill’s announcement was received with what amounted to a social media standing ovation: thousands of comments and tweets saying she was courageous, insightful, inspiring.

“It was the highest traffic post I ever wrote,” Morrill said recently. 

And that is bad news for Josh Felser, a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur who has founded a couple very successful start-ups of his own.

“In every other industry you're actually worried about your next job, but in our industry people are glamorizing failure,” Felser bemoans. Sure, he says, there are times you need to let go of a venture that’s going nowhere. But  as a venture capitalist, it’s his money on the line. And he wants to invest in people who are terrified of failing. 

“It should be like  going to war,” Felser says. “You want it to be bad enough and painful enough that you're only going to fail if it’s the only option you have.”

Of course, you could argue, the cavalier attitude toward failure in Silicon Valley that drives a venture capitalist like Felser mad is actually fueled by the venture capital game. When the aim is to win big, anything less than spectacular success can be tempting to bail on. 

In Danielle Morrill's case, that company she pronounced a failure was actually doing O.K. by the standards of many small businesses:  a growing customer base, starting to make a little money.  But, Morrill cautions, "it was never really going to take off. And I certainly believe that the implied promise when we raised money was that we  would build a highly scaling, high growth, venture backed start up."

Morrill still has some investor money left. She's using it to fund a new start up. And, to pay rent on the home-office she and her two co-founders share, in a penthouse apartment in one of San Francisco's newest skyscrapers. 

'Golden age' of antibiotics 'set to end'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 04:57
Growing threat of antibiotic resistant organisms once again in spotlight

Benefits Street prompts complaints

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 04:55
A new Channel 4 documentary series about residents of a deprived street in Birmingham prompts hundreds of complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

VIDEO: House pays tribute to Paul Goggins

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 04:51
The prime minister and Labour leader pay tribute to Paul Goggins MP who has died.

Day in pictures: 8 January 2014

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 04:50
24 hours of news photos: 8 January

FA to study Moyes's referee comments

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-08 04:48
The FA is to look into comments made by Manchester United manager David Moyes about officials during Tuesday's League Cup tie.

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