Boston-area institutions launch HUBweek to take on big problems

There’s never a shortage of big problems confronting the world — think the looming scarcity of fuel, food and water. Addressing such issues is the purported goal of HUBweek, a series of events planned for October 2015 and sponsored by the Boston Globe, Harvard University, Mass General Hospital and MIT.

The inaugural event is slated to take place October 3–10, 2015 at venues in and around Boston and Cambridge. MIT, for example, will host Solve to address challenges in education, healthcare, energy and manufacturing. That event will be “curated” by Anant Agarwal, professor of engineering and computer science; Phillip Sharp, institute professor and affiliate of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Angela Belcher, the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy; and Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus of engineering and computer science (and founder of Rethink Robotics).

In a related doing-good meme, [company]Google[/company] sponsored a hackathon  that challenged data scientists to make an impact on a real-world problem in 24 hours. The winning team of Bay Area scientists used free Google cloud credits to identify prostitution rings by analyzing patterns of phone numbers and text in postings to adult escort websites.

MIT's Kresge Auditorium.

MIT’s Kresge Auditorium.

The New York Times and the Sulzberger Soap Opera: 3 Takeaways

New York magazine set the media world a-chatter this weekend with a swirling tale of intrigue and in-fighting at the New York Times.The article is plump with gossip but also drives home the crucial business challenges the Times must address sooner than later.

NYT says bye bye, Red Sox; sells last Fenway shares

Nearly four years after the process began, the New York Times Co. finally has sold its remaining shares in the Green Monster, the New England Sports Network and other sports assets. Initial investment: $75 million. Final haul: $225 million.

The NYT: Portrait of an Old Media Giant in Transition

The New York Times’ latest financial results are a snapshot of a traditional media giant that is trying desperately to move into the digital future, but keeps getting dragged back down by the weight of its legacy businesses, whose health continues to decline.