10 Weekend Reads

Ahhh, good to be back home. Even on the road, I can’t help but collect my favorite long form reads for your Saturday morning enjoyment:

• Slot machines perfected addictive gaming. Now, tech wants their tricks (The Verge)
• I Don’t Want to Be a Role Model: Angelien Kemna, the reluctant face of an industry. (Chief Investment Officer)
• How Amazon Became the Moneyball Network: Amazon has turned last-dibs status into a competitive advantage (Vulture)
• The King of the Pizza Nerds Is Opening His Own Restaurant (Bloomberg)
• Overkill: An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it? (New Yorker) see alsoPersonalized medicine: Time for one-person trials (Nature)
• What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work (NY Times)
• Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide (Tim Ferriss)
• Mass Incarceration: The Silence of the Judges. What caused the crime decline? (NY Review of Books) see also The Judge Who Coined “Indict a Ham Sandwich” Was Himself Indicted (Slate)
• Moving to Mars: Preparing for the longest, loneliest voyage ever. (New Yorker)
• The Onion Is Not a Joke: How a fake newspaper is turning into a real media empire (The Atlantic)

Be sure to check out this week’s Masters in Business podcast with Business Insider’s founder and editor-in-chief, Henry Blodget.


When Your Kid Moves Out West, She Takes the US Economy With Her

Source: Bloomberg




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  1. RW commented on May 9

    A couple from Dean Baker at CEPR on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)* deal.

    The Problem of Protectionism In the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is often referred to in the media as a “free-trade” agreement. This is not true. Most of the pact is about putting in place a business-friendly regulatory structure, not reducing trade barriers. Perhaps more importantly, the deal will explicitly increase protectionist barriers in the form of stronger and longer copyright and patent-related protections. ….

    *The TPP draft is still not available to the public so analysis essentially must rely upon the descriptions of insiders and the occasional leak of draft text.

    President Obama Is Badly Confused About the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    That was the main takeaway from a NYT article on his trip to Nike. According to the article, he made many claims about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and opponents of the deal which are clearly wrong. …

    NB: I’m sympathetic to the impetus for the TPP as a way to gain some edge on China in its home territory — the notion of becoming partners with our Vietnamese brothers tickles my irony bone — but its contents, at least to the degree we hoi palloi can observe them, do seem to be giving away a lot for that putative edge.

  2. swag commented on May 9

    Isn’t Jim Messina a curious operative? Worked for Baucus (for whom he helped create a “infamously homophobic TV ad”), Tester, Obama, helped engineer the passage of ACA, helped block Bush’s privatization of Social Security, then just helped the conservatives win in England, good buddies with Rahm, and vocal admirer of David Cameron.

    Is this a case of the best lacking all conviction, or of the worst being filled with a passionate intensity?


  3. hue commented on May 9

    the end of bs: Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN (vox http://bit.ly/1FVXOzC) ever read the emails between gladwelll and simmons, malcolm complained that he spend a couple of days on his part, sends it, Simmons comes back w/ 1,000 words in a few minutes

    the plot from solitaire (nymag http://nym.ag/1KTvM7T)

    How Washington Derailed Amtrak (Nat journo http://bit.ly/1zNOBsa) .

  4. Jojo commented on May 9

    Can Railroads Help Alleviate California’s 4-Year Drought?
    By Jeff Daniels
    May 1, 2015

    As California’s four-year drought worsens and water supplies dwindle in the state, an old technology—railroads—could play a role in alleviating some water shortages.

    “We certainly have that capability today,” said Mike Trevino, a spokesman for privately held BNSF Railway, which operates one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America. “We carry chlorine, for example. We carry liquefied commodities.”

    Experts say the East Coast’s plentiful water could cost cents per gallon to Californians and provide a stable, potable water supply for small communities. Obstacles include identifying a state willing to share some of its water, and securing the construction funds for key infrastructure work, including terminals that can handle water.


  5. Jojo commented on May 9

    Technology Review
    May 1, 2015
    The Truth About Smartphone Apps That Secretly Connect to User Tracking and Ad Sites

    Security researchers have developed an automated system for detecting Android apps that secretly connect to ad sites and user tracking sites.

    There are essentially two starkly different environments in which to download apps. The first is Apple’s app store, which carefully vets apps before allowing only those deemed fit to appear. The second is the Google Play store, which is more open because Google exercises a lighter touch in vetting apps, only excluding those that are obviously malicious.

    But because Google Play is more open, the apps it offers span a much wider quality range. Many connect to ad-related sites and tracking sites while some connect to much more dubious sites that are associated with malware.

    But here’s the problem—this activity often takes place without the owner being aware of what is going on. That’s something that most smartphone users would be appalled to discover—if only they were able to.


  6. VennData commented on May 9

    Jeb Bush: Obama Administration ‘Small-Minded and Intolerant’ on Religious Freedom


    Without mentioning a single thing Obama has done in this regard.

    ​But that’s how the GOP operates, they just make stuff up:​

    ​Ted Cruz Says Obama Has “Inflamed Racial Tensions” But Can’t Say How​


    The GOP Media Machine fills the airwaves with fantasies.

  7. howardoark commented on May 9

    The essay on mass incarceration probably would have been more convincing if the guy in the picture at the top of the article (Chris Cage) hadn’t murdered three people (shot a fourth in the face) because they had stolen his crack and then went on the lamb supporting himself through armed robbery ( http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20031117/NEWS/311170305 ) – it’s difficult to argue that locking him up didn’t reduce the overall crime rate. Which is not to say that we shouldn’t examine how we got to a place that produces so many men just like him who can never be let out of prison.

  8. constantnormal commented on May 10

    Regarding the map of GDP hot spots …

    … it helps one’s perspective to recall what an imperfect metric GDP really is, and to see the nation/world as both sources and sinks for production … if there are no consumers, producers have a pretty hard time getting by … consumption and production need to be (at least loosely) in balance … a nation that has a great GDP from a slave population mining toxic metals and destroying the national ecology is hardly something to aspire toward (unless, I suppose, you are the one rich guy that owns the mining company).

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