Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Drones | Kaplan Dies at 59 | NY Mag Going Bi-Weekly

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Amazon Unveils Flying Delivery Drones on 60 Minutes (Mashable)
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is known for taking big bets in the world of innovation, and on Sunday night on 60 Minutes he revealed what might be one of his biggest: product delivery by flying robot drones. The service is called Amazon Prime Air and it’s slated for rollout sometime in 2015, depending on FAA approval. TVNewser Charlie Rose was as surprised as his viewers when Bezos showed him the drones. “I had no idea what his purpose was,” said Rose in a 60 Minutes Overtime video. CBS News / 60 Minutes Overtime When Rose walked in and saw the Prime Air drones sitting on a tabletop for the show-and-tell, he exclaimed “Oh, my God!” It was a genuine reaction — Rose and the 60 Minutes team weren’t in on the secret beforehand. Slate / MoneyBox America’s brick and mortar retailers are currently desperately scrambling to make something like this happen, but they’re hampered by their reliance on human delivery. The question is whether “good enough” drones will be available before Amazon manages to put all these companies out of business.

Peter Kaplan, Editor of New York Observer, Dies at 59 (NYT)
Peter W. Kaplan, who in his 15 years as editor was credited with making The New York Observer both pertinent and impertinent as it gleefully chronicled the every move and shake of the city’s movers and shakers, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 59. FishbowlNY As the sad news of his passing spread Friday, current Observer senior editor Colin Campbell suggested “there’s no better source on Kaplan than the editor himself.” And so, Campbell for his first piece chose to republish Kaplan’s 2008 tribute to New York magazine founder Clay Felker. NY Observer He was responsible for the paper’s look — its pink pages and hyperbolic caricatures made it look something like the New York Review of Books in drag. Arthur Carter, the former owner of the Observer who worked closely with Kaplan and granted him a kind of carte blanche, said of the editor, “I’ve never met anyone who had the combination of intellectual brilliance and kindness to everyone he dealt with,” a sentiment that was echoed by everyone who knew him. WWD A throwback in terms of his attire, Kaplan wore tortoiseshell glasses, Paul Stuart khakis, and a pale blue Oxford shirt — occasionally frayed — with the sleeves rolled up and a tucked-in tie, day-in and day-out. BuzzFeed Kaplan was a brilliant editor, a wonderfully idiosyncratic writer (“The barefoot contessa wore rubber thongs,” begins what is perhaps the ur-text for Kaplan scholars, a profile of Ava Gardner he wrote for the New York Times in 1985), and a New York City institution, but above all he was a spotter of talent and a mentor to dozens of writers and editors working today. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer The Observer was built for Peter. It was housed in an old-WASP beaux-arts pile on East 64th Street owned by Arthur Carter, a Jew who’d made good on Wall Street in the go-go sixties, and whose mother had known Peter’s grandmother back in Brooklyn. Once filled with 24-year-olds whose mark would be made under Peter’s tutelage, 54 E. 64th St. became a castle of Kaplandom: The front page meets Harry Potter, young wizards flying around the city testing their new faculties, while their elders, sardonic, equipped with unthinkable powers, worked their schemes. Kaplan, of course, was Dumbledore, big-hearted even when the pieces were scabrous, which they often were. The New Yorker / News Desk Today, Kaplan’s former staffers populate virtually every publication of record, including The New Yorker; most major Web portals; and television.