Oct 09

Daily Links for October 1st through October 2nd

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Op-Ed Columnist – The Wizard of Beck – NYTimes.com – They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
  • Newsy: The News Is Broken, But We Can Fix It | Epicenter | Wired.com – “The media is losing credibility in peoples’ minds, and one of the reasons [for that] is this myth that people are only interested in hearing their version of the story,” Spencer told Wired.com. “[Newsy.com is] interested in hitting what I consider to be the larger percentage of the population, who understand that we live in a global marketplace…. The person who is paying attention to [the news] on a global basis and is paying attention to multiple sources and multiple perspectives will probably have a competitive advantage over the person who isn’t.”
  • Judging A Book By Its Cover: An Artistic Analysis Of Going Rogue – Going rogue – Jezebel – The composition of Going Rogue immediately brings to mind photographs of another famous maverick: Amelia Earhart. Earhart is frequently shown framed against a vast expanse of blue sky, hair tousled by the wind. Palin, too, stands against a background of nothing but clouds and sky, staring gamely at something far away, something above the viewer, that only she can see (Russia, perhaps?). Palin is the entire foreground-we see nothing but her brave figure silhouetted against the open Alaska sky. The aviation symbolism is clear: Palin is ready to take flight. Tired of being hemmed in by lame-duck governorship and the twistings and turnings of the liberal media, Palin is ready to fly off on her own, forge her own path into the future.
  • Where religious belief and disbelief meet in the brain – In the first neuroimaging study to systematically compare religious faith with ordinary cognition, UCLA and University of Southern California researchers have found that while the human brain responds very differently to religious and nonreligious propositions, the process of believing or disbelieving a statement, whether religious or not, seems to be governed by the same areas in the brain.
  • Why Dumb Toys Make Kids Smarter – The Daily Beast – While we weren’t aware of the neuroscience, it was plainly obvious: Pokemon cards were making our son’s brain really fast at elementary-school math. I began to buy him cards. Lots of cards.
  • The 15 Ugliest Cars Ever Made – We’ve all been there. A night that went just a bit too long, a bit too much to drink, that person making eyes at you across the bar. And the next morning, as your head pounds and your stomach churns, you notice that the hot body you were making it with is a little more “mutant seamonster” than you remember he/she to be. These cars are the automotive equivalent of that “uh-oh” moment. Cars so ugly their makers must have surely hung their heads in shame. If you have a strong stomach, read on.
  • Post-Recession Employment Arithmetic | The Big Picture – The “Harsh Arithmetic of the Employment Deficit” means that we will not likely return to 2007 employment levels until (ugh) 2017.

Sep 09

Daily Links for September 29th through September 30th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Online video and audio: programmes and multimedia | The Economist – Explanatory audio and video from the Economist.
  • The Village Idiots—By Scott Horton (Harper’s Magazine) – Yesterday at a Middle East Institute function, however, honesty appears to have gotten the better of professional courtesy. A panel of three Middle Eastern journalists were asked by ThinkProgress what they felt about the Washington press corps and their knowledge of Middle Eastern issues. Here’s the answer from Nadia Bilbassy, White House correspondent for MBC, a satellite TV network in Dubai[.]
  • Social Networks And Group Formation – Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design – The principles of node structures, tie strength and centrality have been applied to understand nodes in modern day online social networks. A good example of this is in the explanatory research conducted by Kumar, Novak and Tomkins (2006). They compared two online social networks, Flickr and Yahoo 360, which together had more than five million users at the time. These researchers noticed that the social networks follow a standard pattern of growth, namely, rapid early growth followed a period of decline and then slow but steady growth.
  • 500 Internal Server Error – 500 Internal Server Error
  • Feds On a Terror Tear – The Daily Beast – The 38% conviction rate in the first two years after 9/11 has risen to 88% as of 2008, and the label of terrorism has been more accurately and carefully used.

Sep 09

Daily Links for September 3rd

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Scientists Seek Warning Signs for Catastrophic Tipping Points | Wired Science | Wired.com – Tipping points are found in ecosystems, economies and even bodies. But they’re usually recognized in retrospect, when it’s too late for anything but regret.

    Now a growing body of research suggests there are telltale mathematical signals. If scientists can figure out how to detect them, they may be able to forecast tipping points ahead of time.

  • US Auto Industry Statistics and Breakdown | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice – It’s been a rocky road for the Big 3 automakers as they’ve struggled for survival and relevance in a down economy. In the biggest auto industry shakeup in 30 years, existing companies have been re-organized, torn apart, or sold off, resulting a complete reshaping of the auto industry landscape. Whether through government handouts or good old American ingenuity and entrepreneurship, GM, Ford, and Chrysler are revitalized and ready to deliver the exciting and environmentally friendly automobiles that consumers crave. But unlike the 70s, when American automotive manufacturers faced a threat from the Far East, today that threat comes not only from that part of the world but from newer more nimble competitors such as Tesla, right here in their own backyard. Our infographic breaks it down.

Jun 09

Daily Links for June 18th

  • The Simple Dollar » The Truth About Grocery Store Flyers – So, a few weeks ago, when I took a long look at the flyers from my grocery stores of choice, I happened to notice that some of the “big sales” listed in the flyer weren’t on sale at all. The price was exactly the same as what I usually paid.

    What gives? I did some research – calling and emailing a few people I know in the grocery business – and I came up with a few interesting facts about grocery store flyers.

  • TRUECAR – The Authority on New Car Pricing – Automobile pricing based on historical data.
  • Gizmodo – Smartphone Buyers Guide: The Best of the Best – Buyers Guide – We've selected the five phones that most feel like modern handsets to us—the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G S, the Palm Pre, the HTC Magic (or, as we soon expect, the T-Mobile G2) and the BlackBerry Storm—and broken them down by hardware, software and cost. This is a guide in the strictest sense, meaning we aren't declaring winners or losers, just giving you the information you need to make your own choice. So! On with the matrices.
  • Obama’s Financial Regulatory Restructuring is an “Industrial Policy” | The Big Picture – The grave risk in the plan is that it politicizes the Federal Reserve and, in certain instances, gives the Treasury a veto over Fed activity. This is particularly true for the implementing of the emergency powers that the Fed has used during the crisis. The Fed will have to obtain the Treasury Secretary’s written permission before an emergency action occurs. Do we really want to have an appointed cabinet officer in our government wield that power over our so-called independent central bank?
  • JPG Magazine: Stories: The Project: Fallen Princesses – These works place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The '…happily ever after' is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues.

May 09

Daily Links for May 31st

  • FT.com / In depth – Interactive graphic: The decline of US autos – The mediocre quality of the Detroit carmakers’ products, combined with an emphasis on SUVs and pick-up trucks, has cost them dearly over the past 25 years. Besides their Japanese rivals, European companies and South Korea’s Hyundai have also gained ground. The foreigners have captured more than half the market, and their share is set to grow further in coming months.
  • FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: On Moon Landings, Michelle Malkin, P-Values, the Clintons, and the Magical Mystery Dealergate Conspiracy Theory – At the end of the day, people are going to believe what they want to believe: some people believe that the moon landing was faked, that 9/11 was a grand conspiracy, and that Barack Obama was born in Indonesia. There is no evidence for any of these claims, but that doesn't stop tens of millions of people from believing them! Dealergate, particularly in its original formulation (that Obama was punishing Republican donors with the Chrysler closings), is in largely the same category.
  • Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise. – NYTimes.com – “It’s putting numbers to an industry that never had numbers before,” says Mr. Herman, 27, who started and sold three media and technology companies before founding Varick last summer. “It’s nice to be able to tell your brand manager or the chief marketing officer which audience is interacting with the unit, what time of day, what day of the week, and what the response is on certain types of offers. Before, nobody could really tell you that.”