Michael Wolff in The Guardian on Facebook's IPO On Tuesday, Facebook filed its intent to sell shares to the public in one of the most anticipated tech IPOs in history. "I don't think that Facebook, with its messianic ambitions and squirrelly zeal, is actually ready for the harsh light of public company life," Wolff worries, writing hours before the Facebook IPO filing went public. "[I]t has grown up in such a bubble of cultishness and doctrine, that primetime scrutiny could shortly become very uncomfortable," he predicts. Where Mark Zuckerberg has typically been able to maintain his privacy, and Facebook has remained quiet in the face of minor scandals, the CEO will soon have to perform for shareholders and answer to them. He'll have to answer questions about regulation on the world stage, and the company's advertising strategy will likely need to be more short-term to satisfy shareholders. "This is the $100 billion-and-climbing vision, which now, in the public glare, will have to walk past cagey regulators, grumpy media, issue-hungry politicians, impatient shareholders and irritated customers."
Juliette Kayyem in The Boston Globe on women in combat American women have long fought in wars -- 130 have died in Afghanistan and Iraq -- though they are not officially assigned to combat positions thanks to the Pentagon's policy. "But if 2011 was the year of ending the 'don't ask, don't tell' prohibition, 2012 begins with hints about a significant policy transformation regarding women in combat," writes Kayyem. She describes the rules that have allowed women to move further and further "forward" on the battlefield without breaching the technical restrictions placed by long-standing military rules. She argues that modern warfare and its interaction with female civilians actually makes the presence of women important, and she describes signs that the Pentagon, in delaying its review on the current rules, is considering a big change. After African-Americans integrated into the military, "the military survived and became a model vehicle for blacks to break their proverbial glass ceiling. The lives of over 130 women suggest that theirs is broken already."