Strong opinions, weakly held

Tag: links (page 2 of 7)

Links for August 13

  • James Fallows has a list of airline frequent flier programs and the percentage of their flights that are available for reward travel. You can book reward travel on 99.3% of Southwest flights, and on 10.7% of US Airways flights.
  • Mike Monteiro explains how to buy design.
  • Laurence Koltikoff says the US is bankrupt.
  • PolitiFact looks into the claims we see flying around about anchor babies. They rate it as half true, I rate it as utter and complete nonsense.
  • Paul Graham talks about what went wrong at Yahoo.
  • National Geographic photographer Mark Thiessen talks about fighting wildfires in Russia.

Links for August 6

Here’s a batch of longer pieces for you to read over the weekend.

  • Poligraft is a cool tool from the Sunlight Foundation. Feed it the URL of a news story and it will display contextual information alongside the story text. For example, I submitted a link to a story about the auto bailouts, and learned that employees of GM and Chrysler, the two bailed out firms, donate mostly to Republicans, whereas Ford employees donate mostly to Democrats.
  • Forms guru Luke Wroblewski talks about why designers are starting to prototype interfaces in Keynote. Check out part one and part two.
  • John Timmer at Ars Technica writes about how gamers were able to help solve problems in protein folding more efficiently than their application that simulates protein folding could on its own.
  • The government needs to be more careful (and humble) in issuing dietary guidelines.
  • Oren Harman reviews Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism And Mathematical Creativity by Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor. Sounds like a fascinating book.
  • Christopher Hitchens writes about cancer.
  • Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll dug into the shady mortgage foreclosure industry, created by poor oversight on the part of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Typical story — a few scumbags get rich, regular people get screwed, and the macro effect is to make the housing crisis worse.
  • And finally, Tim Parks writes about The Shame of the World Cup.

Links for August 5

  • Gabriel Arana explains why the findings of fact in the decision overturning California’s Proposition 8 (which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying) are a big deal.
  • Ryan McNeely argues convincingly that the hand wringing over whether it’s a good idea for same-sex couples to try to win the right to marry in court is misplaced. I believed that when it comes to implementing change, legislative action is always better than judicial decisions, but his post convinces me otherwise. The mechanism doesn’t matter. People who are for the change will be happy and people who are against it will be angry regardless.
  • Google killed Wave. I think it’s a sign of Google’s strength that they’d rather kill a hyped project than throw good money after bad.
  • Tim O’Reilly talks about his visit to The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Sounds like an amazing place.
  • Tom Junod writes about ants in Esquire. The article is called “Invasion,” so let that be a warning to those freaked out by bugs.

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.

Links from July 18

  • BP is trying to buy up academics who might potentially serve as expert witnesses in lawsuits against them in the future.
  • James Surowiecki explains what’s good about the financial reform bill.
  • Edible Geography talks street food in Mexico City.
  • Stephen O’Grady discusses the argument over whether WordPress themes must be licensed under the GPL.
  • US politics may be awful, but they’re not as bad as Belgian politics. The lesson in this story is that democracy can only work if people have some level of trust that their fellow citizens are committed to the common good.
  • On a related note, right wingers are still comparing President Obama to Hitler and Stalin. Anyone think this is good for democracy?
  • Oil Leak Could Transform Repairmen Into Superheroes. There’s a headline worth clicking on, no?
  • Gay marriage marches onward toward global acceptance.
  • The words people use on their blogs reflect their personalities.

Links from July 10

  • Terrance Aym thinks that the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico could release a giant methane bubble that ends life as we know it. He wins the “most extreme hypothetical” award.
  • Zonal Marking previews the final game of the World Cup.
  • Federal prosecutors want to charge ticket scalpers with a felony under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for bypassing CAPTCHA to purchase tickets in bulk.
  • Oh, and if you are bypassing CAPTCHA on Web sites, the NSA is setting up a surveillance program that will probably catch you in the act.
  • In the UK, the new conservative government is giving up anti-terrorism powers, just as it promised. Police officers will no longer be authorized to stop and search people without probable cause.
  • Rich people are walking away from their mortgages at a greater rate than poor people. That’s why they’re rich, I guess.
  • Etsy engineer Mike Brittain explains how they resized 135 million images in 9 days.

Links from July 9

  • One thing I noticed about this list of Popular Rounded Sans Serif Fonts is that none of them are on TypeKit.
  • The US government has lost 75 percent of the habeas corpus cases brought by detainees at Gitmo, and yet we’re asked to trust them with the authority to detain people indefinitely without putting them on trial. There are still 181 detainees at Gitmo. All the action is at Bagram in Afghanistan, now.
  • Gaia Vince reports that Seed, the company behind ScienceBlogs, has a history of compromising on ethics in the quest for revenue.
  • Adam Serwer writes about the degree to which Americans have allowed fear to undermine our principles.
  • A lot of people propose to reduce the future obligations of the federal government by raising the retirement age. Put me in the group who sees this as another example of the callous disregard for people whose work involves manual labor on the part of the rich and coddled.
  • David Galbraith has figured out exactly when and where the Web was invented.
  • The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson explains what we’ve learned about current trends in soccer strategy from the World Cup.
  • The State Department has denied a visa request by Colombian journalist Hollman Morris based on some language about “terrorist activities” in the Patriot Act. Hollman has won a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard but is barred from entering the United States. He has been a persistent critic of human rights violations by the Colombian government, which is allied with the US.

Links from July 8

I’ve been posting links to Twitter and Pinboard, and I’m going to try to start collecting them here as well:

  • Bradford Plumer explains to a sceptic why we should act now to mitigate climate change.
  • What science tells us about how to get the most out of a vacation.
  • Fake is a browser automation tool from the creator of Fluid (the single-site browser tool) that I’m playing with. Seems great so far.
  • Internet Explorer 9 incorporates some cool new performance measurement tools.
  • Eric Meyer argues that CSS vendor prefixes are a good way to allow browser makers to innovate, and should not be discouraged. I agree.
  • Maciej Ceglowski looks into Legacy.com, the site that provides online obituaries for many newspaper Web sites, including the New York Times, and finds a business that is built around cynically exploiting the bereaved.
  • There’s evidence that exercise helps prevent the effects of aging on your brain.
  • If companies really want to save money, they should offshore the executive suite.
  • Steve McCurry digs into his archive for soccer photos.

Links from July 9th

Links from June 17th

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