Specializes in: Arts, Profiles, Business, Government, Entertainment, Technology, Environment
From Amy Winehouse to the White House, I've covered music, media, art, film, finance, theatre, technology, politics, small business, national security, community and foreign affairs for consumer and trade magazines for more than 15 years.
I’ve busted myths on an alleged telecommuting backlash, shown growing support in the federal courts for remote workers and covered defensive investments by banks in mobile app makers.
Recently I wrote about the continuing success of one of the U.S.'s first responses to literally the Sputnik moment:
What do marquee American brands Apple, Costco, FedEx, Intel, Outback Steakhouse and Staples have in common? They all received early growth stage, VC money from the U.S. government's Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), which combine government and private investment to help fund small businesses which otherwise lack access to traditional financing. The government kicks in two to three times the amount of the private capital raised. Congress fast-tracked SBICs into existence in 1958, to turbocharge American invention after the Soviets launched Sputnik, beating the United States into space. The SBA has historically made money on the debt investments of SBICs, so the program runs at zero cost to U.S. taxpayers. To those involved, SBICs seem that rare bird: An effective government program.
I’ve filed stories for Forbes on motorcycle “mania,” “green” car design and covered the Frankfurt and New York auto shows.
I uncovered for Inc. a startup exploiting the growing desire among Americans to get hounded by flesh-eating automatons.
In July of 2012, 750 zombies swarmed the claystone foothills of Lakewood, Colo., chasing 3,659 people around the sagebrush, junipers and dirt in sweltering 93-degree heat, while 662 onlookers drank beer, shouted encouragement or just smiled.
This was not the apocalypse. This simulated end-times was the brainchild of Reed Street Productions, a Baltimore-based company that hosted zombie-themed 5K obstacle races, dubbed “Run for Your Lives!” By combining obstacle course racing and the undead, Hogan and Smith reasoned they could attract otherwise bored runners and fans of the genre; what they didn’t expect was to make millions in revenues doing so.
I've reported on hedge funds using private, online social networks – VIP versions of Facebook, essentially – to attract money from wealthy investors, and uncovered others renting spare computing power from Amazon.com.
I've covered environmental finance and micro-lending at the U.N., traveled to Prague to cover the growing pains of the Prague Stock Exchange and toured Dublin to write a three-part series on Ireland’s hedge fund servicing industry.
And five years before Edward Snowden's leak of NSA documents confirmed such operations were underway, I reported that a bevy of White House and NIST security experts were worried that the next wave of computer hacking would come from tampered computer chips, in which malicious instructions enabling the spying on and the stealing of data would be built right into the silicon of the integrated circuits themselves. Discovering such compromises would be nearly impossible because turning a circuit into a zombie would require changing just a few of the millions or billions of a chip's tiny physical transistors. Several university researchers therefore suggested opening up the government's dedicated chip foundries to private sector firms like big banks, so they could buy secure circuits and hardware to avoid falling prey to the insidious, virtually undetectable attack vector.
For underground hip-hop magazine Mugshot I revealed the surprisingly time-consuming creative process of actor John Leguizamo, who writes novel-length drafts he meticulously edits to “distill the nonsense” from his one-man shows before porting them to the Broadway stage where they’ve received critical acclaim.
More recently I wrote about financiers tapping university supercomputers in knowledge-sharing programs to build more accurate financial models: The Washington-based Council on Competitiveness deems University supercomputing centers untapped “national treasures” which should be harnessed to help U.S. firms innovate faster and compete better globally.
In June 2010, I found individual traders starting up their own hedge funds by renting spare computing power from online retailer Amazon.com. A sidebar linked to the story describes how a hedge fund technology provider is supporting the research and development of drug cures and treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes by selling supercomputing applications to alternative investment companies – an arguably rare example that portends finance and social responsibility need not be mutually exclusive endeavors.
I also garnered candid responses for Miami-based “jetsetter” magazine Nikki Style from Sean Lennon and Ziggy Marley on how they deal with the public’s perception of their art, as always seen through the filters of the accomplishments of their legendary songwriting fathers.
And I chronicled for Mugshot the insane travails of the self-destructive “other Eminem,” a consummate underdog, white rapper from Long Island named RA the Rugged Man, who despite causing a nine-label bidding war over a decade ago remains relegated to virtual obscurity, but for the few select taste-makers who continue to laud his self-effacing – and nearly always inappropriate – oddball charm.
At Securities Industry News I was promoted to contributing editor for expanding coverage in the bond and asset management sectors, and won, along with other editorial staff, the Jesse H. Neal award for best news coverage. I advanced coverage of legal and regulatory measures effecting technological change in the sector, including reporting on the operational implications of civil law cases, congressional mandates and international rulemaking, issues I continue to cover on my blog, (The) Street Controls (You).
Nikki Style promoted me, naming me music editor in December 2006 after three months on the job writing CD reviews and artist profiles.
Freelancing full-time since 2004, I’ve been shifting my focus to cover events and issues that seem most visceral and immediate to our lives, including reporting on Wall Street, public policy and technology for Securities Industry News, or “SIN” as it was known.
But I’ve expanded my beat from financial technology to boost my reportorial palette and reach a larger, global audience – accomplishing goals I set for myself when I resigned my staff position in February 2004 at SIN – by garnering assignments on features focused on music, film, cars, bars, community affairs and the environment for The Brooklyn Paper, Mugshot, Nikki Style and ForbesAutos. This is in addition to writing features for Bank Technology News, Financial IT Security, Institutional Investor, Absolute Return (formerly Alpha magazine) and SIN.
In a recent series in The Brooklyn Paper I covered the “renaissance” occurring along Washington Avenue – a reinvigorated thoroughfare in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights, which has seen a slew of new bars, restaurants and shops opened along its blocks.
Last updated: 10/18/2016 ()