Dell builds a $67 billion empire

To an open democratic pro­cess. The quartet has helped Tunisia become the most successful Arab Spring country. Its efforts were gal­vanized in 2013, when two political assassinations shook the country. That’s when the Tunisian people de­cided that enough was enough. There is still hard work to be done, but the Nobel is a signal of confidence that Tunisia is on the right path.

—GORDON GRAY

Gray served as U.S. ambassador to Tunisia from 2009 to 2012 lay claim to the earliest modern humans.

WON

The prestigious Man Booker Prize, by Marlon James, for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. The Jamaican author will receive about $80,000.

ORDERED

By a Milwaukee jury, that firearms retailer Badger Guns pay $5.73 million to two police officers who were shot with a gun purchased at one of its stores. It’s a rare instance of a gun store being held liable for negligently selling a firearm.

TECHNOLOGY

Dell builds a $67 billion empire

ON OCT. 12, DELL ANNOUNCED plans to acquire IT provider EMC Corp. in the biggest pure technology tie-up ever. The deal—which would create a giant worth an estimated $67 billion at a time of massive shifts in the technology world—is a gambit by CEO Michael Dell (below) to trans­form the company he started in the mid-1980s from his dorm room at the University of Texas at Austin:

DEATH OF PCs Dell, now 50, got his name into millions of American homes by selling custom computers directly over the Internet—a revolutionary idea at the time. Dell still makes home computers, but PC sales have been steadily falling for years, according to research firm IDC. Once the world’s top seller of PCs, Dell now trails rivals Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard.

THE CLOUD Dell has been trying for several years to turn his company into a provider of diverse business- technology services. Though selling such high-end gear is lucrative, many companies are increasingly switch­ing to using cloud computing from the likes of Amazon. Merging with EMC, which has a broad range of cloud- based businesses, could help Dell keep pace.

BUCKING TRENDS Big

breakups, not mergers, are the rage these days.

Such moves are partly a response to stockholder campaigns. Dell, however, took his company private in a 2013 leveraged buyout worth $24.4 billion.

That move insu­lated Dell from Wall Street’s de­mands. —ALEX FITZPATRICK

 

 

Teammates carry the football jersey of Ben Hamm, 16, who died after a Sept. 11 game in Oklahoma

AS THE RISKS OF BRAIN TRAUMA from playing football have become clearer, leagues have cracked down on the bone-rattling thwacks that were once celebrated by cheering specta­tors. Yet researchers increasingly be­lieve that head trauma is more likely to result from multiple—and often perfectly clean—hits rather than a sin­gle shot. Which means the danger of playing football is as much in the ac­cumulation of small hits to the head as it is in the stomach-churning big one. And yet no major organization at any level of the game limits the number of blows players take to the head.

So here’s a modest proposal: regu­late hits to the head in football just as we count pitches in baseball.

The concept of limiting a pitcher’s throws to prevent injury has become

gospel, from Little League—where kids must leave the game after reach­ing set caps—to the pros, despite a lack of scientific consensus on how it actually preserves vulnerable arms.

Yet in football, where brains are at stake, there is no similar system for counting hits. The current high school season reinforces the tragic case for why that needs to change.

On Sept, n, Ben Hamm, a junior at Wesleyan Christian School in Okla­homa, collapsed on the sideline after being involved in a tackle. The play appeared routine, according to Rocky Clark, the school’s superintendent. Eight days later, Hamm died, having suffered an apparent head injury. (The medical examiner has yet to announce a cause of death.) He was 16. In Seattle less than a month later, Kenney Bui,

► FOOTBALL

We count pitches to save arms. It’s time to track hits to save lives

By Sean Gregory