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Is Tim Armstrong Aol’s Lazarus?

The CEO, used to favorable press, has found himself battered over the troubled Patch sites. He tells The Daily Beast why he’s still in love with Aol.’s brands—including HuffPo.

“I love the business we’re in. I love the brands we have,” Tim Armstrong says. “One of my goals is to double the size of the company in the next few years. We have to set a lofty goal.”He is chairman and chief executive of an enterprise that over the past two decades has been variously christened America Online, AOL-Time Warner, just plain AOL, and now—after a modest alteration in logo and lettering with a declaratory period—Aol. Once the planet’s dominant Internet company, a $150 billion corporate behemoth, it’s a sliver of its former self today—less than 1/40th of its previous dimensions.

Watch This!

2013’s Most Heartwarming Ads

We expect companies to go for the hard sell over the holidays—but sometimes they can surprise us. From Apple to Skype, see the ads that gave us the warm and fuzzies.

1. Apple, ‘Misunderstood’Get a hanky ready before you dive into the Cupertino giant’s story of a “misunderstood” teen. While he appears to be more engrossed in his phone than the family activities around him, the truth might just reduce you to sobs. 2. Google Nexus 7, ‘Best Friend’Google brings us another teen who seems to care more about carrying on with his own life than his family. That all changes when his mom sends him a picture of their sick dog—and Google Nexus 7 comes to the rescue, helping the boy get home to his best friend.

It’s All Good

Declinists, Admit Defeat!

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Believe it or not, the economy is showing signs of serious growth. Will the catastrophist diehards learn to stop worrying and accept the recovery?

It’s been a bad week or so for the economic catastrophists.Never mind that the S&P 500 is near a record high, that the economy has been expanding for 53 months, and that payrolls have risen by nearly 7.5 million since February 2010.Many still continue to believe that disaster is right around the corner. Why? The narrative goes something like this. There’s Obamacare, which is supposed to inhibit hiring, consumption, and the general enjoyment of life.

The Color of Money

The Real Wolf of Wall Street

Ralph, PacificCoastNews.com

The Wolf of Wall Street wasn’t actually on Wall Street—he worked on Long Island. How much of Scorsese’s new film comes from the infamous memoirs of Jordan Belfort?

The new Martin Scorsese film Wolf of Wall Street is particularly handy if you need to figure out how to open the door to your Lamborghini after you’ve been severely impaired by vintage Quaaludes. Wall Street crook Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, has just taken three very strong, very expired sedatives. He was only a few hundred yards from his mansion, but why wait it out if you’ve got a fast car? The trick is to get a Lamborghini with jack-knife doors and low clearance, so that when you writhe and roll on the ground you can still kick the door upwards and crawl in.

Bloomberg’s Real Economic Impact

Bloomberg’s Real Economic Impact

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Critics say New York City’s technology, finance, and housing booms have left the poor and middle-class behind. But a new study suggests that improvements in public school performance are leading to rising incomes and property values across the city.

As Michael Bloomberg prepares to leave the post of New York City mayor after three terms, analysts are rightfully focusing on his economic legacy. Much of the discussion has centered around the rezoning of vast regions of New York, the controversial addition of bike lanes and changing traffic patterns, a new technology campus on Roosevelt Island, the development of downtown Brooklyn, and the high-end construction boom throughout the five boroughs.

IAC Creates Match Group

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg, via Getty

Greg Blatt, IAC’s CEO since 2010, will lead the new Match Group housing online dating ventures and more.

IAC is reorganizing and rationalizing. Greg Blatt, who has been chief executive officer of the company since 2010, will become chairman of the newly created Match Group, which will house the firm’s online dating businesses, Tutor.com, fitness site DailyBurn, and the company’s interest in Skyllzone. (IAC is the parent company of The Daily Beast.) Match.com CEO Sam Yagan will serve as CEO of the newly constituted Match group. Search & Applications is headed by CEO Joey Levin.

Farewell, Ben

Bernanke Drops the Mic

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The charisma-free Federal Reserve chief looks a little wearier after a tumultuous term. But he’s offering his successor, Janet Yellen—and the markets—a going-away present.

Not with a whimper but a bang.That’s how the tenure of Ben Bernanke at the helm of the Federal Reserve effectively ended Wednesday.The unassuming, charisma-free central banker never set out to be a player the way his predecessor Alan Greenspan did. But the strange circumstances of Bernanke’s era—the insane financial crisis, the deep recession, an expansion plagued by fiscal shenanigans—forced him to push the Federal Reserve into markets, the economy, and into the public consciousness in unprecedented ways.

Taperin’ Time

Bernanke Lays Off Accelerator

Alex Wong/Getty

The Fed announced it would cut back on its economic stimulus Wednesday. The chairman’s last decision signals confidence in the economy and Washington.

Yes, things are really getting better in the U.S. economy.That’s the conclusion of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues at the Federal Open Market Committee. On Wednesday, the Fed announced it would scale back—or taper—the $85-billion-per month bond buying program by $10 billion per month. The reason? The economy is improving, and the Fed thinks the better times are here to stay.There has been “meaningful cumulative progress in the labor market,” Bernanke said, noting that since the Fed started its bond-buying efforts the economy has added 2.

R.I.P.

Breaking the News Business

Matt Rourke/AP

A new documentary chronicles the long, slow death of the American newspaper. It all begins with a testicle.

For Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Wendy Ruderman, the apocalypse descended in January 2011, when a group of hedge funds acquired The Philadelphia Daily News and installed as top editor a man who had been fired from his previous job for giving a framed photo of his surgically removed testicle to a female assistant.“At first I thought it was a joke,” Ruderman recounts in Black and White and Dead All Over, a documentary that will receive its television premiere at 10 p.

Machine Takeover

Facebook’s Robot King

Yann LeCun, the NYU professor Facebook just hired to run its new artificial intelligence unit, promises to do something the social media giant has never done before.

Status update: Artificial friendships can be a whole lot more intelligent. Last week, Facebook created a stir in the artificial intelligence and deep learning world by hiring Yann LeCun, a professor at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Science and its Center for Neural Science, to head up its newly minted artificial intelligence unit. The move, which accelerates an arms race in the nascent field of deep learning for tech companies, comes as Facebook settles into its status as an “old” and profitable publicly traded tech company.

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Shame on You, Walmart!

With an Ohio Walmart hosting a holiday food drive for its own workers, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky criticizes the notoriously stingy company for not paying them more.

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    Twitter’s IPO: World Reacts

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Business

Daniel Gross

Latest from The Daily Beast

Hollywood’s ‘Twink’ Pool Parties

Hollywood’s ‘Twink’ Pool Parties

Wild nights of no clothes and lots of alcohol: one attendee reveals what went on at X Men director Bryan Singer’s infamous pool parties.

Unfathomable

The Cheerleader Murders

History Lesson

Was There Really An Empty Tomb?

Crisis in Ukraine

Billionaire Bounty-Hunting Club

Fool Me Once…

The Fringe Faith Duping The GOP