The Tragedy of Donald I: Act 1, Scene 1. The Trump story as told by Ellis Wiener (aka Will Shakespeare). Now is the discount of our winter tents.
If wind and solar power are quicker and cheaper, do we really ned Hinkley Point?. Thoughtful piece by Terry Macalister.
Brexit Armageddon was a terrifying vision – but it simply hasn’t happened. Strange piece by Larry Elliott, normally a pretty thoughtful economics editor, which seems to draw premature conclusions from a few weeks’ data. Still, he did vote for Brexit, so perhaps there’s an element of wish-fulfilment here?
Journalists grappling with Trump, day 2. Very insightful blog post by Dave Winer on why American journalism can’t handle Trump. For example, why no explicit discussion of his implicit encouragement of assassination as a way of overcoming political obstacles? Winer asks why journalists weren’t talking about the substance of what Trump said, as opposed to trying to discern why he said it.
Joe Stieglitz on what’s wrong with the EU, why policy-makers persist with bad ideas, and more.
“The concept of ‘cat face'”. Terrific (long) LRB article by Paul Taylor on machine learning. Best non-technical account I’ve seen.
The leak of alleged NSA hacking tools is genuine. For those who are interested in the UK’s Investigatory Powers bill, this is what ‘Equipment Interference’ looks like.
The 98 things that Facebook knows about you — just so you get the right ads, you understand.
Intellectuals are freaks – and that’s not a criticism.
The Best Bookshops in Copenhagen. If you like bookshops (and I do), Copenhagen is a great place to live.
Puzzled by the rise of Snapchat? Hint: it’s about fleeing the performance anxiety induced by Facebook and Instagram. Perceptive piece by Farad Manjoo. There is, however, a downside: people want to escape the news.
Twitter suspends 235,000 more accounts over extremism. Yep, that’s 235,000. But Trump is still there.
A new research study suggests that the use of wearable video cameras by police officers is associated with a 3.64% increase in shooting-deaths of civilians by the police. The study also found that “found that body cameras were associated with a larger increase in shooting deaths of African Americans and hispanics than whites and Asians”.
Ford promises “a fully automated driverless vehicle for commercial ride-sharing in 2021”.
Wintel Rides Again: Intel and Microsoft are teaming up to bring Virtual Reality to ordinary folks.
Anti-trust’s blind spot – swallowing your start-up competitors before they can really get going. All the digital giants are doing it. They hate competition, you see.
“The Generations of Economic Journalism”. Great essay on the significance of Walter Lippmann.
The Wall Street Journal is tweaking its firewall. Intelligently.
How a (daft) conspiracy theory about the Clintons has gone viral in China. Interesting for those of us who study conspiracy theories.
Why Monday was a very bad day for the NSA. (And it’s not something to cheer about.)
Puzzled by Virtual Reality’s potential? Me too. But Ben Evans’s The VR Idea Maze is insightful and persuasive.
Data-mining shows that Donald Trump’s most angry or intemperate tweets come from an Android phone. The less contentious tweets come from an iPhone.
Werner Herzog has made a documentary, Lo and behold, about the internet and its implications which premieres this week. He’s done an interview with TechCrunch about it.
The IBM PC – the machine that made personal computers acceptable to chartered accountants – was launched 35 years ago this month.
27,000 computers in London’s Metropolitan Police are still running Windows XP. Here are some reasons why.
Google plans to obliterate Flash from its Chrome browser from next month.
Joe Nye on the fragmentation of the Internet.
“The bandwidth bottleneck that is throttling the Internet” – Nature article that explains why (among other things) your Skype calls are often so poor.
Brexit – a story in maps – the only thing that’s clear about the Brexit vote was the overall percentages pro and anti. Everything else is as muddy as hell — as this terrific mapping exercise shows.
Ben Evans: Is AI the next Big Thing or merely the enabler of many smaller things? Good question. Link
David Auerbach: Donald Trump: Moosbrugger for President . Terrific essay, searching for a precursor or model for Donald Trump. Finds it in Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities
The Carpenter and the Gardener – Alison Gopnik’s book on what academic research tells us about rearing children to adulthood (and beyond). I was alerted it by a fascinating Financial Times review which said that it “should be required reading for anyone who is, or is thinking of becoming, a parent. It might also offer comfort to any adult who feels that their life has been blighted by their own parents. (And at £20, it is cheaper than therapy.)” As a baffled parent, I’ve ordered it.
“Why I can’t bank on Lloyds any more” – nice elegiac piece by Victoria Coren on closure of a local bank branch.
Nate Silver’s daily updated forecast of how the Trump/Clinton contest is likely to play out.
Trump is seeking volunteer election observers to stop Clinton ‘stealing’ the election.
“Think Amazon’s Drone Delivery Idea is a Gimmick? Think Again” – insightful piece on Amazon’s lack of faith in America’s crumbling transport infrastructure.
Facebook won’t allow desktop users to deploy ad-blockers – they can, you know. But to make a real difference they will have to do the same to mobile users.
UCL researchers have developed an algorithm that can reproduce anyone’s handwriting — yes, even Rory Cellan-Jones’s.
Review of Katherine Gelber’s new book on how freedom of speech has fared in the ‘war on terror’. (Answer: poorly.)
Why Theresa May won’t call an early election. Thoughtful, informed and convincing piece by Martin Kettle.
Warren Buffett is not a model for America’s economy. Thoughtful Economist critique of an American folk hero. “He is far from a model for how capitalism should be transformed. He is a careful, largely ethical accumulator of capital invested in traditional businesses, preferably with oligopolistic qualities, whereas what America needs right now is more risk-taking, lower prices, higher investment and much more competition. You won’t find much at all about these ideas in Mr Buffett’s shareholder letters.”
“I’m deleting Snapchat, and you should too”. Why? Lack of ethnic diversity in its team leads to gaffes like a new filter which implements a racist stereotype of oriental people.
Barack Obama’s Summer playlist
London bookshops strike a blow for freedom: no Wi-Fi. Good idea.
“How to Hack and Election in 7 Minutes”. No – not another Trump conspiracy theory but a great Politico piece about how vulnerable to hacking America’s voting machines continue to be.