“My problem with Google Glass is primarily not about the basic concept of eyewear with a built-in HUD, or even the camera, but with the actual design and execution of Glass. It is ugly and clunky and ridiculously expensive for what it does. To me, that’s everything. Same thing with all existing smartwatches — the problem isn’t the idea, it’s the actual execution.”—
The ocean is great, right? It’s big and wavy and wonderful and smells delightfully briny. Let’s all go jump in it on New Year’s Day.
What? On January 1, at 12 noon, let’s all go jump in the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.
Where and when We can meet up at 11:45 on the beach, at the Judah intersection. Afterwards, we can head up to Judah for hot beverages and camaraderie. I’ll bring whiskey.
Who is invited? You. Also other people.
What should I bring? Yourself. Something to warm you up afterwards. A Towel. A sense of humor. The ability to swim. (Seriously, the ability to swim. Last year the water was pretty rough. Ocean Beach in winter is not forgiving.) Maybe whiskey.
Can I wear a wetsuit? You can do whatever you want. But no.
I mean, sure. Of course. Wear a wetsuit. Do what you gotta do.
Can I Get Naked? I think it’s legal, right? Anyway, much respect to jonnypartys and alanrules. That water was cold and they were as un-scared as sea lions.
Will there be T-shirts? There should be T-shirts. Let’s make T-shirts! Who can make T-shirts? We never made T-Shirts last time. Or the time before that. Won’t someone make a T-shirt?
Isn’t There Another Polar Bear Club at Ocean Beach? Apparently! In fact I think there may be several of them. The Riptide did one last year at Taraval, and I think there may be another at The Park Chalet. But, whatever, whiskey and friends, yo. Whiskey and friends.
“Dhong grabbed a black-and-tan backpack holding his shaving kit, a single change of clothes, two Bibles (one in Nepalese, one in English), and three family photos. He said goodbye to his crying wife and daughter, then jumped onto a microbus on a loud and dusty Kathmandu road. As promised, the third agent was at the airport, holding Dhong’s passport. He demanded money, but Dhong had nothing left to give. So the broker told Dhong to sign a debenture agreement promising to pay $400 more. If Dhong didn’t sign and if he didn’t quickly pay, he would lose the job. He had yet to start work, and already he was $1,000 in debt.”—
“The history of Twitter, as it’s been told so far, doesn’t offer a moment where various youngish men rise up from their desks and run naked through San Francisco yelling “Eureka!” It was created, like most things, in meetings. Somewhere in those meetings, Twitter uncovered a latent aspect of human life that had never before been so clearly articulated and turned it into a product that has altered, to various degrees, hundreds of millions of lives. That much of what is tweeted is trivial or silly is an obvious truth—but that’s not Twitter’s fault. That’s on us.”—The Hidden Technology That Makes Twitter Huge - Businessweek
“In Heart of Darkness, the protagonist, Charles Marlow, is driven by his desire to visit the few remaining blank spaces on the map. That is, more or less, how many of us plan our vacations today. Of course, the rivers and valleys and borders were long ago mapped; our blank spaces are the few remaining holes in the global communications network. We go where it’s impossible to connect, no matter what. But quite soon those gaps will all be filled. Before much longer, the entire planet will be smothered in signal, and we won’t be able to find places that are off the grid.”—
“AMY GOODMAN: What are you facing? When you say “the lesser of two evils,” what was the other choice?
LADAR LEVISON: Unfortunately, I can’t talk about that. I would like to, believe me. I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore, which is why I’m here in D.C. today speaking to you.”—Owner of Snowden’s Email Service on Why He Closed Lavabit Rather Than Comply With Gov’t
Michele Catalano is my friend. So take that as you will, before you read this.
Yesterday morning, she published a story on the Internet that caused a media ruckus. It had implications about the government spying on Americans. By yesterday afternoon, she was being pilloried as a liar, or at least a provocateur.
I believed Michele was telling the truth to the best of her knowledge from the get go—because she’s a friend. An Internet friend, sure, but a friend whom I know well enough to know wasn’t Making Shit Up. She lives online, and uses the medium to express herself. I would wager that many of us today find the distinction between Internet friends and real friends increasingly if not completely meaningless. And so, she often goes online and talks to her friends (or: “friends”) about her moods, her kids, her jobs and, sometimes, things that have upset her. Things like six cops who identified themselves as part of a joint terrorism task force coming into her home.
And so, here’s the thing: it turned out that she got a key assumption wrong. Yes, they were there to ask about search history, but that questioning was triggered by an employer, not government monitoring. She accurately portrayed her perception, but she didn’t know a key detail, and it turned out to be one that would have avoided a subsequent frenzy.
There was this sin too: she wouldn’t answer questions from the media. She took a lot of heat for dropping a bombshell and then walking away. (She didn’t, completely. I was in touch with her via DM on and off all day yesterday. But still, she didn’t talk to the press in an official capacity.) The media doesn’t like to be ignored. Especially when its by one of their own, which Michele, more or less at least, is.
And so the media was left simultaneously arguing that her husband (not a writer; not a reporter) should have been more aggressive with the police (gotten badge numbers, refused to answer questions or allowed a search of the home) while also making the case that she should be more supple with the press (return our emails, answer our phone calls).
Don’t talk to the cops; do talk to us.
Michele is a loudmouth. And rude. And sarcastic. And as I began turning this over in my head yesterday, I made an assumption too. I assumed she had—over her many years online—perhaps said something obnoxious or sarcastic or both that landed her on Some Sort of List. That was wrong. But what is true is that it is in character for her to say fuck it and walk away from a big mess of people questioning her story and motives with her middle finger in the air. She was under no obligation to talk to the press, no matter how much we wanted her too.
—And to be clear, I attempted to get her to talk to Wired on the record.—
Two days ago, most people had never heard of Michele Catalano. And then yesterday, she was all over the news, being used a convenient prop for our existing prejudices—be they about the police state, hysteria about the police state, or fucking blogging platforms. She made the mistake of writing about something that traumatized her, with an attempt at levity, that wasn’t thoroughly and completely documented and then refusing to answer questions about it from a story-hungry media beast. She made the mistake of failing to anticipate how her story would be received. So maybe she deserves to be pilloried for that.
Maybe she of all people should have understood what the media is, and how it operates, feeding on itself and its sources and shitting out traffic and truth.
But she didn’t. And so, now we get to call her a liar, or at least a provocateur.
And you may think of her as a liar, or at least a provocateur. Or you may think of her as someone who reached out to other human beings to share a troubling story she didn’t fully understand.
The objectively best things that have ever been on the Web
I’ve thought about it a lot and these are the best things that have ever been on the Web in order and this list is objective not subjective so fuck you.
1. The Britt and Tiff posts to Craigslist Missed connections in 2001. (And if you have any idea what I’m talking about without googling the internet archive you are a Master Mason and I will love you unconditionally regardless of anything else, yum-yum.) And look, okay, these aren’t in and of themselves that funny. I know. Reading them now you’re like, wut? But you have to look at them in their place and time. Craig and his list used to just be a local san franciscoy/ay area thing. Local people went to CL missed connections for the same reasons people read them in alt weeklies: they were desperately bad. But unlike your local Wednesday streetcarpet, CL offered the chance to reply troll. And so people did. But Britt and Tiff took that next level, and instead of just snarkily replying to people (the norm) started using CL for narratives. And more to the point, she/they/he/whoever just used the board to post whatever they wanted. Craigslist was whatever they wanted it to be. If you ever read the best of craigslist, it was because of the pioneering work of Britt and Tiff. Or maybe I’m overstating things. Because in fairness, it was really dumb. So anyway, eat shit if you don’t like Britt and Tiff.
3. Mahir. But only the very first original xoom.com site, or whatever was before that, before he had his own domain or email address or any of that other mersh bullshit.
4. That Autotune the News with Joe Biden where he sings you’ve got to believe.
5. Mike Monteiro’s twitter from 2008-2011
6. All Your Base
7. There was probably something on 4chan I missed. Fuck it. Let’s just say 4chan.
8. The Ben Brown video about how Metafilter makes you smarter and more angry
9. Suck.com, Feed Magazine, and The Finger, which were all actually the same thing but they didn’t realize it which is why they’re gone. (And shut up, just shut up, about Plastic.)
10. Paul Ford Choire Sicha
11. The XKCD about someone being wrong on the Internet
12. The entire trapped in a closet series
14. The ipad
15. Ready Steadman Go
16. The Internet vs. research paper cartoon
17. Brunching Shuttlecocks
18. keyboard cat
19. That long post Kanye wrote that time he rage quit the Internet
20. That time Gizmodo turned off all the TVs at CES.
21. Some fat kid
22. We’re all fat kids
UPDATED: I almost forgot. 23. BArack Obame is your new Bicycle. (eat me)
OOOOOOOOOPS: I left off number 25, Anil Dash’s Prince obsession (please stop cyber bullying me)
I paid to have my latest Wired story promoted on social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, to try to show that a lot of the metrics* we use to measure a story’s success are bullshit. It worked. When the story went live today, the page appeared with more than 15,500 links on Twitter, and 6,500 likes on Facebook. The story is a part of Wired’s Cheats package for the latest issue of the magazine. It needed to go live online at the same time readers encountered it in print, and it needed to have all those social shares set up in advance.
That posed an inherent dilemma: How can you make a story popular without attracting any attention to it?
I listed the services I used in the story, but I didn’t get into how we managed to have all those likes and links set up in advance. It was easy, but it took some creativity, largely thanks to Wired’s Jenny Mckeel who thought through all this.
The entire package was going live at once. I could publish my story a little bit early, but the timing needed to be very close. I wanted all the public-facing stats (like the 15 thousand links and Twitter and 6,000 Facebook shares) to be live by the time the text appeared. Certainly, if someone found it in print or on the tablet, it needed those metrics to already be there. To make that happen, we cheated.
The Cheats package was scheduled to go live on July 16, but we quietly published the URL on July 13 without any of the actual story text. To keep it from appearing on the front page of Wired or in RSS readers, we back dated it to July 1. That let us keep the URL structure it would eventually need to have with the month and year (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/07/cheat-page/) without it being so front facing that lots of people would stumble on it and think it was some sort of mistake. Once the page was up, I went to Fiverr and paid to have it linked on Facebook and Twitter. Because most of these accounts doing the retweeting only have a follower or two (max) it meant the page was able to appear popular, while still remaining largely invisible.
“Sometime in the last decade, dogs achieved dominion over urban America. They are everywhere now, allowed in places that used to belong exclusively to humans, and sometimes only to human adults: the office, restaurants, museums, buses, trains, malls, supermarkets, barber shops, banks, post offices. Even at the park and other places where dogs belong, they’ve been given free rein. Dogs are frequently allowed to wander off leash, to run toward you and around you, to run across the baseball field or basketball court, to get up in your grill. Even worse than the dogs are the owners, who seem never to consider whether there may be people in the gym/office/restaurant/museum who do not care to be in close proximity to their dogs. After all, what kind of monster would have a problem with a poor innocent widdle doggie? It’s a dog’s world. We just live in it. And it’s awful. Bad dogs!”—
A few years ago I would have said, “Oh, Slate. You’re so contrarian!” But after having a kid who gets regularly run roughshod over by people who just say of their terrible, terrible canine companions that won’t sit, won’t stay, won’t not jump up and knock your child over, “oh, he’s friendly, he won’t bite” I’m totally down. Word, Farhad.
“NoPa = Prospect Heights. You moved away for a few years and came back and all of a sudden there was a whole neighborhood that your friends spent time in that never was a neighborhood before. In San Francisco’s case, it was a neighborhood named after a restaurant. This is basically the worst thing I can imagine.”—
The writer is completely and utterly wrong (and I assume, kidding/trolling, but maybe not). I say that because of a small crime I took part in, a civic misdemeanor that is still playing out.
In 1999, my then girlfriend (now wife) and I moved into a little garden apartment on Fulton between Central and Lyon. The neighborhood was then still widely known as the Western Addition—and with good reason because it was and is a part of the Western Addition. While it didn’t have the homeless issues that plagued (and plague) the Haight just across the panhandle, crime was still pretty bad. If you wanted to buy crack, it was very, very easy to do so on Central at Grove.
It wasn’t even remotely trendy, but we loved it for the old Victorians, some of the best in the city, and its central location. There were occasional all night house parties at The House of Love, complete with giant naked pileups in the front room downstairs, The Justice League and Storyville had great shows. The Fulton Street Bar was an oasis of pool tables and punk rock jukebox. It was nice.
At the time I worked for a soon to be ill-fated start up web magazine. One of my writers was Annalee Newitz. When I changed jobs there, she took my old gig editing the tabloid section. We were co-workers and pals. Then the whole thing went to shit, and we both moved on.*
Annalee got a job as an editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian. This was back when Alt-Weeklies were still a Thing City People Read Every Week. And when it came time for her to put together the Best of the Bay issue in 2000, she asked me if I could write one of the neighborhood guides. Sure. But which neighborhood? We had a conversation that went something like this:
Me: I guess I could write about my neighborhood. The neighborhood association keeps pushing this dumb NOPA name—you know, like SOMA, but for North of the Panhandle instead of South of Market—but it’s a made up thing and nobody actually calls it that. Her: That’s perfect. Can you get me 1000 words including four or five venue write-ups by Monday?
It was hard to find anything to write about in, um, “NoPa.” There were virtually no restaurants, and the few that existed weren’t any good. Did I want to write about the PopEye’s? No. Of the four things I wrote about, one was a corner store. That was what kind of neighborhood it was.
And then Fly Bar opened, which, for whatever reason, was popular with yuppies. The Justice League became The Independent. Little Star started serving deep dish. El Rico finally closed or was shut down by the health department and Little Chihuahua moved in. Cafe Abir opened a sushi restaurant, then a sake bar. The bar/brothel on Fulton closed. Storyville turned into an Asian fusion restaurant. The empty lot where Plaza Foods (and a very downmarket version of the original Fallettis) re-opened as an Albertson’s. The crack house vanished. Things changed. Look! It’s Papalote. It’s Nopalito. It’s Four Barrel. Would you care for some gelato, sir?†
I remember noticing that a check cashing place had closed and was now a gallery. That was when you could really feel the money money money coming. More so than Bar Crudo. And definitely more so than when NoPa opened.
Speaking of which…
When the neighborhood was still “transitional,” and gangsters still hung out on the corner of Grove 24 hours a day, I was walking up Divisadero** when I passed a woman standing on a ladder. She was scraping paint off of a derelict bank building that had long stood empty. I asked her what she was doing, and she told me the was opening a restaurant there. This, as it turned out, was Allyson Jossel. And at the time (I believe it was 2005) opening a Fancy Restaurant on Divis—at least on that part of Divis—was anything but a sure bet. It took courage.
And while I wish I had not been priced out of that part of town, and while Divisadero Street now makes me I groan and gnash my teeth, and while I can’t stand the detestable little shits who hang about in the parklets or the polar fleece farmer’s market, and the whole scene just depresses me and reminds me of everything I hate about the city I love(d), and, and, and…
More power to Nopa for having the guts to move there when they did—albeit many years after the neighborhood took its name.***
*One of our other co-workers was a young kid just out of Berkeley who was working 20 hour days in the art department and doing all kinds of back end work for something like $18,000 a year (in San Francisco!) named Andy Baio.
**I was on my way to my rent-a-mailbox, which I had because all of our mail and packages would get stolen. It was called the Post-All Center. And although it lost its lease and shut down, you can still see it painted on the walls of NoPa, by the then up-and-coming muralist Brian Barneclo.
***Anyway. I’m sorry about whatever role I played with the name. I know that, like the gentrification of the neighborhood itself, it would have happened with or without me. But still. For both of those things: Sorry.
PS: I swear to you I’ve had nothing whatsoever to do with naming FolSoMa.
Twitter’s music app is beautiful, in that now-tiresome way apps from VC-backed companies are required to be, sacrificing utility for aesthetics and looking dated as soon as it hits your neighborhood app store. That’s fine, they’ve got plenty of designers to restyle it every 18 months.
“All things considered, La Taqueria is offering a better burrito. But Chipotle is offering a better burrito-based business proposition. Chipotle has better-designed spaces, with greater menu visibility and superior clarity as to what your options are. Chipotle’s lines move substantially faster. Your mileage may vary as to the merits of a prudent slim burrito vs Chipotle’s mega-calorie bomb, but in some sense Chipotle is offering a better value proposition. More realistically though if a burrito was to materialize at my desk I would want it to be a La Taqueria burrito.”—La Taqueria vs Chipotle: Buttito summit and burrito economics.
“Maybe you were hoping for something radically new and different from a Facebook phone. If so, Zuck just broke your heart. But so what. Facebook never does anything new. New doesn’t matter in the blue. What matters is this: What Mark Zuckerberg announced today runs software called Facebook Home that makes it easier for people to spend more time with Facebook. And that’s all he really needed to pull off.”—Facebook’s ‘Phone’ Is Another Triumph of Mediocrity |
Recent events have made it clear that we are suffering from a broken moral compass. People today could use some general guidance.
Since the original ten commandments seem somewhat narrow and obsolete (too much focus on livestock, servants, and jealous god issues), here is a modest first draft of a fresh set.
You shall treat all people with respect regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or national origin.
You shall not kill, assault, nor intimidate with threats of physical violence.
You shall not rape, sexually coerce, nor intimidate with threats of sexual violence.
You shall cultivate intellectual curiosity, be open to new ideas, and respect the scientific method.
You shall not cheat, nor cheat others out of what is rightfully theirs.
You shall not lie, deceive, nor spread lies about others.
You shall not steal, that is to say take or use what rightfully belongs to another person in a manner that causes harm. (Stealing is a trickier concept than it once was. How do you say yes to Fair Use and no to software patents?)
You shall keep your promises.
You shall not waste natural resources nor pollute the shared environment.
You shall take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
Great. Re-post this everywhere and maybe it will sink in.
“We would love publishers to provide standardized, portable ad formats that will effectively monetize their content in mobile readers. That’d be awesome. To see if that’s viable, we’re going to do a round of conversations with publishers to figure out whether they’ve actually already got something workable (for example, the ad units that accompany mobile web versions of their content, or that some ad platforms have inserted directly into RSS outputs), or whether we should join together to build and implement something new that’d work not only for Digg, but all the other mobile reading apps out there.”—In Which We Consider Digg’s Mobile App - This Blog - Andrew McLaughlin :: Blog
“Shut up, all of you. Go away. You are complicit in one way or another in a giant crime containing many great crimes. Atone in secret. Wash the blood off your hands in private. Because there were people who got it right. Anthony Zinni. Eric Shiseki. Hans Blix. Mohamed ElBaradei. The McClatchy Washington bureau guys. Dozens of liberal academics who got called fifth-columnists and worse. Professional military men whose careers suffered as a result. Hundreds of thousands of people in the streets around the world. The governments of Canada and France. Those people, I will listen to this week. Go to hell, the rest of you, and go there in silence and in shame.”—Iraq War Anniversary New York Times - Pleased To Be Shutting The Piehole Now - Esquire
“Unfortunately money does play a role. We got into SFFS and will take our spot. Anyone can google us and see the price of our house and what my husband does for a living. It’s all public info. Also, SFFS shared several times that they are embarking on a large capital campaign (for scholarships to middle school) and we expect we’ll need to donate around $15-20 K in excess of tuition ($26 K) to support it. They didn’t give us a number, but I talked with other similar families at SFFS and that’s what we’re budgeting. When schools embark on new capital campaigns (as Live Oak is also doing, where we also got in), they especially need on large donor families. It’s reality and not unfair as we fund some cool campaigns for the school that everyone benefits from. Don’t forget Friends is the school where one family alone matched their $10 m fundraising campaign to renovate the current building. SFFS has always relied on very rich families and prob will for some time as they keep introducing new capital campaigns (build out of new floors, scholarships for middle school). The reality is that it is not a middle class school, and neither is Live Oak. LO and SFFS are no different than Hamlin or Town. If you want a private school where regular middle class and yuppies go (versus filthy rich), go to Kittredge or Alta Vista.”—
My professor assigned your Generation X article as a reading assignment. Very interesting to read something from that point of view! Also interesting to know it's my parents' generation. Anyway, have a great day!
Some of the smartest people working in data journalism today are going to teach you their secrets. Journerdalists from NPR, ProPublica, The New York TImes, The AP, The Spokane Spokesman Review, and more will show you how to build a modern news app. Twenty bucks gets you started, a crisp benjamin gets you the whole course.
On its own, this is a great thing, I want it to do well, and I hope they can help educate the next round of hacker journalists.
Here’s why this is capital-I-Important, though, and why you might consider pitching in even if you’ve never considered an opportunity in the highly lucrative field of data journalism1. We are awash in “data”, some of which seems important, but most of which is so much flotsam. Data is powerful if we can translate it into information but it can also drown us if we just let it wash over. Or if we let corporations control it or use it to bully our cities and towns, or let governments get away with misusing it, or we just accept anecdote or conventional wisdom as truth.
The tools for working with all of this data are out there. There has never been a better time to dig into all of the numbers and systems that intersect with our lives every day. You can literally spin up a server for basically nothing and build a web app that real people can use. If you’ve ever had an idea for something that can better inform people about the world they live in, a hundred bucks and a few hours of your time will help you build it.
Places like NPR and The New York Times are always going to have smart folks working for them on the big stories, but they can’t be everywhere. We can, though, and with the right tools, we can be just as powerful.
actual lucrative career mileage may vary. The good news is, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing you helped make the world a better place. ↩
In the months ahead, we intend to reimagine everything about the Wired experience—we’ll revamp our tablet apps, retool our website, reinvigorate the magazine, refresh our conferences, and rethink our approach to the mobile and social web. We’re going to add new features, deliver new reader experiences, and revisit just about every aspect of this storied enterprise. And we’re bringing you with us.
If anything, our plan is to produce stories and designs that break the rules more aggressively than ever. Seven years ago, when I served as creative director of Wired, I practiced something I called Wrong Theory: Every page we produced had to contain some element that violated the conventions of traditional magazine design. The results were sometimes jarring, but the pages were always more compelling for their trespasses. It was a bit like that Seinfeld episode in which George decides to do the opposite of whatever his instincts tell him—a strategy that gets him a new girlfriend and a job with the Yankees.
I can’t tell you that every experiment will work out as well as it did for George. But I can promise you change. If you believe that change is good too, then you’re in the right place. This is going to be fun.
“Here’s another example: Vine is a video service without a play button. This was intentional. Old things are beautiful, but new things should look, well… new. That’s why Vine doesn’t have a play button. It also doesn’t have a pause button, a timeline scrubber, a blinking red light, or dials and a brushed-metal finish to give you the impression that you’re using a dusty video camera.”—Blog — Vine
“This future doesn’t just kill the operating system, browser, and search as we know it — it changes the meaning of “computer” as we know it, too. Whether large or small (e.g., a smartphone), a computer’s main function in the near future will be tuning in to — as a car radio tunes in a broadcast station — the constantly flowing global cyberflow. We won’t care much about the computer devices themselves since we’ll be more focused on the world of information … and our lives as attached to it”—The End of the Web, Computers, and Search as We Know It |
“But Apple might not be the right behemoth to use as a benchmark for Amazon’s recent performance. In 1994, Walmart’s net sales topped $60 billion for the first time, the neighborhood that Amazon’s playing in today. A decade later, Walmart’s sales had nearly quadrupled to $256 billion. Last year, Walmart’s sales clocked in at just south of $444 billion.”—Amazon’s Growth Looks Like Wal-Mart in the 1990s — But Even Better
“Based on a forensic analysis going back months, it appears the hackers broke into The Times computers on Sept. 13, when the reporting for the Wen articles was nearing completion. They set up at least three back doors into users’ machines that they used as a digital base camp. From there they snooped around The Times’s systems for at least two weeks before they identified the domain controller that contains user names and hashed, or scrambled, passwords for every Times employee. While hashes make hackers’ break-ins more difficult, hashed passwords can easily be cracked using so-called rainbow tables — readily available databases of hash values for nearly every alphanumeric character combination, up to a certain length. Some hacker Web sites publish as many as 50 billion hash values. Investigators found evidence that the attackers cracked the passwords and used them to gain access to a number of computers. They created custom software that allowed them to search for and grab Mr. Barboza’s and Mr. Yardley’s e-mails and documents from a Times e-mail server.”—
“Once hackers get in, it can be hard to get them out. In the case of a 2011 breach at the United States Chamber of Commerce, for instance, the trade group worked closely with the F.B.I. to seal its systems, according to chamber employees. But months later, the chamber discovered that Internet-connected devices — a thermostat in one of its corporate apartments and a printer in its offices — were still communicating with computers in China.”—Chinese Hackers Infiltrate New York Times Computers - NYTimes.com
“I don’t mean to be dismissive of Blackberry’s efforts as a company but I know where my loyalties are, and it’s not with android or apple or any company. It boils down to this–I would never ever tell anyone I care about to consider these phones. So, that’s what I think about Blackberry’s new stuff.”—New Blackberry? New Blackberry | The Wirecutter
Indiana has three classes of wild animals. Class 1 is mostly squirrels. Class 2 includes foxes, beavers, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and weasels. Class 3 includes “venomous reptiles,” and all species of bear, big cat, and wolf. All three classes are legal! In fact, the only thing that separates Class 3 animals, which are banned pretty much everywhere else, is that a letter is sent to the hopeful leopard-owner’s neighbors. If 25 or more neighbors respond with a letter saying they are not interested in having a leopard on the block, the leopard is not allowed. Otherwise, no problem, sir. What’s your leopard’s name?
Even more insane is that Indiana provides no law preventing you from owning an endangered species. Here’s what the state document says: “Endangered species of wild animals will be considered Class I, II or III by the division director’s designee and must follow the same procedures accordingly for that class of animal.” So, basically, your local bureaucrat will decide if your pet western lowland gorilla is a Class 2 or 3 animal, then you give him a ten-spot for processing, and you’re all set, the proud owner of one of about fourteen western lowland gorillas. Maybe you can take it to see the home of former president Benjamin Harrison in the lovely Old Northside Historic District of Indianapolis.
“Rick MacArthur wants the world to bend to his reality. And in real life, if you’re a wealthy and powerful person, the world does just that. On the Internet, advertisers may attempt to reassemble the ads you see into a perfectly relevant constellation, but the other human beings do exactly what they want to, regardless of what John MacArthur wants. And a vanishingly small number of them devote time to Googling, “magazines that publish essays.” Even if Harper’s was the #1 result for that search term, it wouldn’t help Harper’s one bit. Seriously. Not one bit. Right now, the number-one result for that search is a post by writer Meghan Ward, “20 Places to Publish Personal Essays.” Ward told me that the post has received 450 unique visitors in the last week. That’s a respectable number for a personal site post, but you just can’t build a magazine business around those kinds of numbers. And that’s traffic from all sources, not just Google. The point is: most people don’t read any essays, and those that do want to read the best essays, and they count on — for good or for ill — their friends and Internet friends to act as the editors of the world’s essays for them.”—9 Other Things That Harper’s Publisher Rick MacArthur Googles - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
“There’s nothing exciting about Facebook’s Graph Search. It’s just another way to lock in free users to a mediocre, incomplete service, just like Google wants to do with Google . Until there’s a personalized, natural-language search box that can search whatever and wherever we want, I don’t think anything else matters.”—ReadWrite – Facebook Graph Search Is Boring: We Need A Unified Search AI
Even if you think you are invincible, your elderly neighbors and infant children are not. People with weakened immune systems—those undergoing cancer treatments, for example—are not. Your parents and grandparents are not. The flu vaccine is not perfect, but it’s what we have. It’s available at drug-store chains and malls, big-box superstores and, naturally, at your doctor’s office. Get one today.