Strong opinions, weakly held

Links for July 23

It’s Friday, do some recreational reading:

  • Mobile carriers are loading Android handsets up with crapware.
  • Khoi Vinh on why he left his dream job. I thought I knew what he was going to say, but it turned out that I didn’t.
  • The Science of Sport looks at the power output of riders in the Tour de France. I’ve looked at the wattage measurement on the rower at the gym. These numbers leave me in awe.
  • Apple doesn’t sell most of the handsets, but it makes most of the profit.
  • Pamela Samuelson writes about the Berkeley Patent Survey, which asked technology startups about how they view patents and whether they file for them.
  • Kerry Emanuel looks at how the media covers the climate change debate.
  • My thinking on the decline of the newspaper industry is that national news coverage will be fine, but that local news is in real trouble. James Rainey has a great example of why local news coverage is really important.
  • Andrew Leonard looks at how mobile carriers in China are adapting Android.
  • Clay Johnson explains why Congress could use some software developers.
  • Tyler Cowen looks for an explanation for the fact that economic output is up despite the fact that employment is down.
  • Historically speaking, Republicans are not fiscally responsible.
  • One way for America to improve its deficit problem is to be more prudent when it comes to our use of the military.
  • I plan on digging into the Washington Post’s report on Top Secret America this weekend.
  • Turns out there are ATMs in Antarctica.


  1. Rafe, I think there is an interesting opportunity in local being able to survive better than many of the mid to larger media outlets. The reason? International and national (and even some large metro) news is almost all AP or other huge news organizations. It gets instantly transmitted to everyone, everywhere, for free. But people still want local news, and you can’t scale that from a reporting standpoint the same way. You need people on the ground everywhere. (That is, AP has a high reader to reporter ratio, but locals have a lower ratio.) People in Topeka, KS don’t care what’s happening in Mechanicsburg, PA. But people in Topeka do, and I’m sure there’s some sort of market for that. It’s everyone in between AP and the locals that will struggle to find a niche and survive.

  2. Heh heh, of course I meant people in Mechanicsburg care what’s happening in Mechanicsburg. Where’s my copy editor when I need him? 🙂

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