inspiral + 2019   87

How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms | Environment | The Guardian
Across the midwest, the rise of factory farming is destroying rural communities. And the massive corporations behind this devastation are now eyeing a post-Brexit UK market
agriculture  industrialagriculture  food  monopoly  review  critique  USA  Guardian  2019 
5 days ago by inspiral
The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is Google Docs - The Atlantic
How a writing tool became the new default way to pass notes in class
GoogleDocs  chat  messaging  teenagers  trends  USA  TheAtlantic  2019 
5 days ago by inspiral
The Big Brexit Short - YouTube
On the night of the Brexit referendum the British pound went into free fall, but while many watched with horror, a handful of hedge funds were making staggering profits. This is the story of the Brexit Big Short.
Brexit  EuropeanUnion  finance  currency  hedgefunds  UK  Bloomberg  2019 
5 days ago by inspiral
Microsoft, Facebook, trust and privacy — Benedict Evans
There are strong parallels between organised abuse of Facebook and FB’s attempts to respond, in the last 24 months, and malware on Windows and Office and Microsoft’s attempts to respond, 20 years ago.  
Microsoft  Facebook  strategy  comparison  privacy  security  BenedictEvans  2019 
7 days ago by inspiral
Adam Serwer: White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots - The Atlantic
Grant blended Nordic boosterism with fearmongering, and supplied a scholarly veneer for notions many white citizens already wanted to believe.
MadisonGrant  racism  history  USA  TheAtlantic  2019 
7 days ago by inspiral
Closing credits: the battle to save 1930s Odeon cinemas – photo essay | Cities | The Guardian
Oscar Deutsch’s cinemas were the most exotic architecture in many British towns and cities. But the wrecking ball has claimed many – and is still swinging
cinema  architecture  history  UK  Odeon  OscarDeutsch  Guardian  2019 
9 days ago by inspiral
The sins of Mario Cipollini | CyclingTips
The situation really boils down to this: one of cycling’s most successful and prominent public figures, who helms a prestigious bike brand, sponsors a women’s WorldTour team, and continues to be adored by a certain breed of cycling fans, has a long history of dubious behaviour and pending court cases in relation to serious allegations of violence against women.
MarioCipollini  cycling  profile  review  critique  sexism  doping  CyclingTips  2019 
10 days ago by inspiral
NHSX: new joint organisation for digital, data and technology - GOV.UK
The unit will take forward digital transformation in the NHS, allowing patients and staff to benefit from the latest digital systems and technology.
NHS  NHSX  digitaltransformation  launch  UK  2019 
11 days ago by inspiral
Bringing 3D perimeter lidar to partners – Waymo – Medium
Our custom lidars have been instrumental in making Waymo the first company in the world to put fully self-driving cars on public roads. Now, we are making these sensors available to companies outside of self-driving — beginning with robotics, security, agricultural technology, and more — so they can achieve their own technological breakthroughs. Today, we’re announcing that one of our 3D lidar sensors, which we call Laser Bear Honeycomb, is available to select partners.
Google  lidar  license  Waymo  2019 
11 days ago by inspiral
Lying with science: a guide to myth debunking | The Spectator
Some people are willing to forgive exaggeration and error if it is in a good cause, like increasing concern about plastics or climate change. This is a risky strategy because it encourages a Trump-like refusal to believe evidence even when that evidence is good. If we use up our energies panicking about phantom hobgoblins, we might have none left for the real scares: the over-fishing of the oceans, the effect of invasive alien species on island wildlife and the fact that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), once used in the electrical industry but long since banned, still exist in high enough concentrations in British waters to prevent killer whales from breeding.
fakenews  journalism  review  critique  Spectator  2019 
12 days ago by inspiral
The Problem With Nostalgia
Michael Musto argues that wearing rose-colored glasses always leads to an unfair distortion — looking back on the best of the past while comparing it to the worst of the present.
nostalgia  review  critique  author:MichaelMusto  Longreads  2019 
12 days ago by inspiral
The Guardians of the French Language Are Deadlocked, Just Like Their Country - The New York Times
But the sacred job of protecting France from “brainless Globish” and the “deadly snobbery of Anglo-American,” as a member spat out in a speech last month, has rarely been more difficult to attain.
Academiefrancaise  culture  tradition  conservative  review  France  NYTimes  2019 
12 days ago by inspiral
Debunking the myth that anti-Zionism is antisemitic | Peter Beinart | News | The Guardian
All over the world, it is an alarming time to be Jewish – but conflating anti-Zionism with Jew-hatred is a tragic mistake
antiSemitism  Jewish  discrimination  review  critique  Guardian  2019 
12 days ago by inspiral
Deepfake propaganda is not a real problem - The Verge
They may be right. A new wave of political deepfakes could pop up tomorrow to prove me wrong — but I’m skeptical. We’ve had the tools to fabricate videos and photos for a long time. It’s even been used in political campaigns before, most notably in a forged John Kerry photo circulated during the 2004 campaign. AI tools can make that process easier and more accessible, but it’s easy and accessible already. As the countless demos showed, deepfakes are already in reach for anyone who wants to cause trouble on the internet. It’s not that the tech isn’t ready yet. It just isn’t useful.
deepfake  fakenews  webjournalism  review  critique  onlinevideo  TheVerge  2019 
12 days ago by inspiral
Mark Zuckerberg Wants Facebook to Emulate WeChat. Can It? - The New York Times
What is happening in China offers clues to not only how Facebook may carry out its shift, but how the internet more broadly might change. Many of Silicon Valley’s tech giants are dependent today on online advertising to make enough money to keep growing and innovating on new services. Some call online ads the lifeblood of the internet.

But WeChat, which has 1.1 billion monthly active users, shows that other models — particularly those based on payments and commerce — can support massive digital businesses. That has implications for Google, Twitter and many others, as well as Facebook.

People use the WeChat app to shop, play games, pay bills and order meal deliveries.
Kenneth Tsang for The New York Times

Facebook  strategy  forecast  mobilemessaging  privacy  comparison  WeChat  NYTimes  2019 
12 days ago by inspiral
'Frame 394': The Shooting of Walter Scott, Viral Videos, and Truth - The Atlantic
Williamson’s short documentary Frame 394 bears witness to the moral quandaries that Voshart faced as a result of his efforts to elucidate the incident. When Voshart began to uncover a more ambiguous situation than the one his initial work had suggested, he found that “the internet wasn’t interested in a nuanced perspective,” Williamson said. The film lays bare the complexities of truth and justice in the age of viral media.
crime  internet  socialmedia  nuance  TheAtlantic  2019 
13 days ago by inspiral
The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same - MIT Technology Review
This is the hipster effect—the counterintuitive phenomenon in which people who oppose mainstream culture all end up looking the same. Similar effects occur among investors and in other areas of the social sciences.
hipster  fashion  conformity  trends  review  TechnologyReview  2019 
13 days ago by inspiral
In Bad Taste | Topic
But who can say what’s “better”? Do crimes against food need to be policed? Who plays cop? And should anyone, even a professional restaurant critic, dictate the terms of another’s pleasure? Yelp and Instagram have remade food into a realm of boundless relativism, where extracting a thread of universal, objective truth about what’s delicious and what’s gross can be as hard as piercing an algorithm’s code—unless “universal” and “objective” are themselves the problem.
food  taste  review  restaurants  critique  Topic  2019 
13 days ago by inspiral
Theranos was Fraudulent, What About Its Patents? - Marginal REVOLUTION
Despite never having built a working product, Theranos accumulated hundreds of patents. These patents are now the only thing of value left but the patents aren’t valuable because of breakthrough science, the patents are valuable because they can be used to force people who do breakthrough science to cough up part of their return.
Theranos  patents  intellectualproperty  innovation  review  critique  MarginalRevolution  2019 
15 days ago by inspiral
Why Giant Airships Could Be a Trillion Dollar Industry
Incredulous? You should be! Wisdom has a knee-jerk skepticism of all manner of large claims. That was my initial reaction too, when I first heard this pitch years ago. If this were such a great idea, someone would have done it already, is a lazy and complacent attitude to take, but it’s often right. But try to justify your skepticism. Obviously, I’ve left a couple of placeholders for future argument: I need to justify my 5-10¢ per ton-mile figure, for example. What else am I missing? Try to articulate the reasons for your instinctive doubts. You might find them harder to defend than you think.

If giant airships become a trillion dollar industry, that will affect practically everything. A lot of company founders and early stage investors will become very, very rich, the Jeff Bezoses of the second half of the 21st century maybe. Some industries, and some regions, will face devastating competition, while others will face brilliant opportunities. A lot of relative prices will shift, and more of them will shift favorably than unfavorably for most people, because technological progress is a positive-sum game. Jobs will appear and job descriptions will change. Industries upstream and downstream from airships will grow. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that giant airships could be important enough to non-negligibly lift the global rate of return on capital.

So it’s important to know whether a trillion-dollar giant airship industry is really a possibility, and if so, to make it happen.
airships  transport  forecast  RoadlessRevolution  2019 
18 days ago by inspiral
Kurt Andersen: From Fashion to Housewares, Are We in a Decades-Long Design Rut? | Vanity Fair
We seem to have trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle—economic progress and innovation stagnated, except in information technology; which leads us to embrace the past and turn the present into a pleasantly eclectic for-profit museum; which deprives the cultures of innovation of the fuel they need to conjure genuinely new ideas and forms; which deters radical change, reinforcing the economic (and political) stagnation. I’ve been a big believer in historical pendulum swings—American sociopolitical cycles that tend to last, according to historians, about 30 years. So maybe we are coming to the end of this cultural era of the Same Old Same Old. As the baby-boomers who brought about this ice age finally shuffle off, maybe America and the rich world are on the verge of a cascade of the wildly new and insanely great. Or maybe, I worry some days, this is the way that Western civilization declines, not with a bang but with a long, nostalgic whimper.
fashion  stagnation  trends  culture  authorKurtAndersen  VanityFair  2019 
18 days ago by inspiral
'Bike country No 1': Dutch go electric in record numbers | World news | The Guardian
E-bikes now outsell standard bicycles in Netherlands, with quality prized more than price
cycling  ebikes  growth  Netherlands  Guardian  2019 
21 days ago by inspiral
Are Robots Competing for Your Job? | The New Yorker
Heads, the robots are coming! Accept the inevitability of near-universal unemployment! Tails, the Mexicans are coming! Close the borders! So far, the only other choice, aside from helplessly watching the rise of extremism, is to mint a new coin. Heat a forge. Smelt a blank. Engrave two dies. Put your blank in between them. Strike the whole thing with a hammer. Anyone can do it
employment  automation  review  forecast  USA  NewYorker  2019 
21 days ago by inspiral
Will these be the worst new ‘rabbit hutch’ flats in Britain? | Money | The Guardian
A developer plans to squeeze 26 flats into this building, some smaller than a budget hotel room
housing  size  review  critique  London  Guardian  2019 
21 days ago by inspiral
Jair Bolsonaro's First 53 Days as President of Brazil Have Been a Resounding, Scandalous Failure
SOMETHING PECULIAR IS going on between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his vice president, Gen. Hamilton Mourão.
JairBolsonaro  HamiltonMourao  politics  corruption  review  critique  Brazil  TheIntercept  2019 
26 days ago by inspiral
Bike theft affects the young and poor most – why is it not taken seriously? | Environment | The Guardian
National cycle crime strategy set to launch after survey finds 50% of victims feel police don’t take the offence seriously
cycling  theft  crime  review  police  critique  UK  Guardian  2019 
26 days ago by inspiral
Opinion | Netflix Is the Most Intoxicating Portal to Planet Earth - The New York Times
ut there is a crucial difference between Netflix and other tech giants: Netflix makes money from subscriptions, not advertising.

This simple difference flips all of its incentives. It means that Netflix has a reason to satisfy every new customer, not just the ones in the most prosperous markets.
Netflix  television  streamingmedia  globalisation  advocacy  multiculturalism  diversity  NYTimes  2019 
26 days ago by inspiral
The Kalashnikov assault rifle changed the world. Now there’s a Kalashnikov kamikaze drone. - The Washington Post
The Russian company that gave the world the iconic AK-47 assault rifle has unveiled a suicide drone that may similarly revolutionize war by making sophisticated drone warfare technology widely and cheaply available.
Kalashnikov  drones  war  weapons  WashingtonPost  2019 
26 days ago by inspiral
Amazon Alexa and the Search for the One Perfect Answer | WIRED
The rest of us, meanwhile, may be losing the very skills that allow us to hold these gatekeepers to account. Once we become accustomed to placing our faith in the handy oracle on the kitchen counter, we may lose patience with the laborious—and curiosity-stoking, and thought-­provoking—hunt for facts, expecting them to come to us instead. Why pump water from a well if it pours effortlessly from your faucet?
virtualassistant  searchengine  evolution  oneshotanswer  innovation  informationliteracy  review  critique  forecast  Wired  2019 
29 days ago by inspiral
Are the algorithms that power dating apps racially biased? | WIRED UK
If the algorithms powering these match-making systems contain pre-existing biases, is the onus on dating apps to counteract them?
onlinedating  racism  bias  algorithms  review  critique  Wired  2019 
29 days ago by inspiral
Who Killed Tulum, Mexico?
Tulum had become a glamorous but unpretentious spot
Tulum  tourism  urbandevelopment  review  critique  overtourism  Mexico  TheCut  2019 
29 days ago by inspiral
The Caviar Con
When caviar-crazed Eastern Europeans flocked to Warsaw, Missouri to poach eggs from a vulnerable species of fish, federal agents went undercover and spent two years to build case against them.
caviar  food  crime  USA  Longreads  2019 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
The Record Label of The Future is No Label At All – Denisha Kuhlor – Medium
Spotify’s acquisitions of Gimlet and Anchor signal ambitious plans to disintermediate the music industry.
Spotify  strategy  disintermediation  podcast  forecast  Medium  2019 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
At arm’s length: are tattoos finally becoming uncool? | Fashion | The Guardian
From Adam Levine at the Super Bowl to Justin Bieber’s Vogue shoot, tattoos are having a fashion moment. But that may not make them more sought-after
tatoo  trends  fashion  review  critique  JustinBieber  AdamLevine  Guardian  2019 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
How smart are Gmail’s ‘smart replies’? | Technology | The Guardian
When Seamas O’Reilly responded to all his emails for a week using only Smart Reply, our columnist’s messages suddenly became spookily jaunty. Did his friends spot the difference?
Google  Gmail  SmartReplies  personalaccount  review  Guardian  2019 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
The Great Music Meme Scam: How TikTok Gets Rich While Paying Artists Pennies | Pitchfork
The company behind lip-sync app TikTok is reportedly worth three times as much as Spotify, but the artists whose music powers the platform are seeing very little of that money.
TikTok  music  intellectualproperty  copyright  review  critique  Pitchfork  2019 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same - Bloomberg
Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.
architecture  housing  wood  timber  USA  Bloomberg  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
FedEx to help retailers compete with Amazon with next-day delivery option | The Seattle Times
Package couriers face a rising threat from Amazon — which is also one of their biggest customers — as the online giant has begun expanding its own delivery capabilities by leasing aircraft and hiring independent contractors to establish a ground-delivery network. Online sales now make up about 15 percent of U.S. retail, and are growing at three times the pace of traditional brick-and-mortar.

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FedEx sees potential profit in the competitive pressure online stores face in keeping up with Amazon’s drive to reduce delivery times on purchases. About half of online purchases occur after 4 p.m., Carere said. FedEx’s new extended-hours service seeks to help retailers such as AutoZone and Best Buy to meet those demands.
FedEx  logistics  ecommerce  strategy  speed  SeattleTimes  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
Ex-Walmart exec says theft helped kill Walmart's cashierless tech - Business Insider
A former Walmart executive said shopper theft was a major reason why the company killed Scan & Go, a cashierless-checkout technology, several months after expanding it to more than 100 stores.
Walmart  retail  automation  review  critique  crime  theft  BusinessInsider  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
The Cost of Apple News – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
What is happening is Aggregation: Apple News attracts the users, which means publishers are coming onto Apple’s platform on Apple’s terms, which makes Apple News more attractive to users, making publishers ever more reticent to leave even though they aren’t getting much out of the deal.
Apple  AppleNews  aggregator  aggregationtheory  webjournalism  strategy  review  Stratechery  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
Fyre Festival Was a Huge Scam. Is Netflix’s Fyre Documentary a Scam, Too? | The New Republic
The festival's marketing agency also co-produced the film, resulting in a misleading version of who bears responsibility for the fraud.
FyreFestival  Fyre  documentary  review  critique  film  movies  NewRepublic  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
Sam Harris and the Myth of Perfectly Rational Thought | WIRED
What makes the psychology of tribalism so stubbornly powerful is that it consists mainly of cognitive biases that easily evade our awareness. Indeed, evading our awareness is something cognitive biases are precision-engineered by natural selection to do. They are designed to convince us that we’re seeing clearly, and thinking rationally, when we’re not. And Harris’s work features plenty of examples of his cognitive biases working as designed, warping his thought without his awareness. He is a case study in the difficulty of transcending tribal psychology, the importance of trying to, and the folly of ever feeling sure we’ve succeeded.
SamHarris  rationality  bias  review  critique  Wired  2019 
5 weeks ago by inspiral
John Humphrys’s dismal legacy | Prospect Magazine
The Today presenter preferred to score political points rather than properly interrogate his interviewees
JohnHumphry  journalism  profile  critique  BBC  RadioFour  UK  Prospect  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
Was Architecture Better Under Socialism? | Boston Review
Yugoslavia’s distinctive history within the Eastern Bloc produced a thrilling variety of buildings that frequently departed from the prefabricated monotony of Soviet construction.
architecture  modernism  design  Yugoslavia  EasternBloc  review  BostonReview  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
So, poorer Brexiters voted to be worse off? There’s nothing wrong in that | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
Many working-class leavers were not motivated by self-interest, but by values. Well-off liberals who back tax rises should understand that
Brexit  EuropeanUnion  workingclass  values  UK  review  author:GaryYoung  Guardian  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
A backpacker’s guide to Uzbekistan: a one-month itinerary | Travel | The Guardian
Explore Silk Road heritage, deserts landscapes, Tashkent’s metro and the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara in a country encouraging tourists with new, relaxed visa policies
Uzbekistan  guide  travel  tourist  Guardian  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
How SoundCloud Rap Took Over Everything | GQ
The trendy DIY teen hip-hop genre went from a goofy punch line to the preposterously lucrative engine driving a whole new golden age in the music biz. But, wow, is it messy.
hiphop  music  culture  trends  Soundcloud  GQ  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
How to design a logo
Art director and graphic designer Peter Saville talks to Vogue Business about the process of redrawing the logos of internationally famous brands – and how fetish and the Badminton Horse Trials inspired his Burberry sans serif
PeterSaville  interview  Burberry  brand  typography  fashion  VogueBusiness  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the 'pencil towers' of New York's super-rich | Cities | The Guardian
An extreme concentration of wealth in a city where even the air is for sale has produced a new breed of needle-like tower
architecture  skyscrapers  urbandevelopment  trends  airrights  NewYork  Guardian  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
It’s a Theater, With Craft Beer and D.J.s Until 6 a.m. - The New York Times
The Yard opened in 2011 in a warehouse in Hackney Wick — a district of East London that was once run-down but has recently gentrified. The theater venue, with a 110-seat, purpose-built auditorium inside a former warehouse, was meant to be temporary; eight years later, it still has a rough-and-ready feel, all recycled wood and corrugated roofing. Beyond staging some of London’s most avant-garde theater productions, there is a large bar that hosts club nights for as many as 250 people.
TheYard  Hackney  HackneyWick  review  tourist  guide  London  NYTimes  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
Rebecca Solnit · Diary: Google Invades · LRB 7 February 2013
There are ways in which Silicon Valley is nothing like this: it’s clean, quiet work, and here to stay in one form or another. But there are ways in which technology is just another boom and the Bay Area is once again a boomtown, with transient populations, escalating housing costs, mass displacements and the casual erasure of what was here before. I think of it as frontierism, with all the frontier’s attitude and operational style, where people without a lot of attachments come and do things without a lot of concern for their impact, where money moves around pretty casually, and people are ground underfoot equally casually. Sometimes the Google Bus just seems like one face of Janus-headed capitalism; it contains the people too valuable even to use public transport or drive themselves. In the same spaces wander homeless people undeserving of private space, or the minimum comfort and security; right by the Google bus stop on Cesar Chavez Street immigrant men from Latin America stand waiting for employers in the building trade to scoop them up, or to be arrested and deported by the government. Both sides of the divide are bleak, and the middle way is hard to find.
Google  SanFrancisco  SiliconValley  gentrification  personalaccount  review  critique  LondonReviewofBooks  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
Is Alexa working? — Benedict Evans
There are a couple of obvious strands to think about. Alexa’s capability to control ‘smart home’ devices might expand to enable more delivery models (‘open the garage door automatically when an Amazon delivery robot arrives’, or more prosaically just ‘unlock the door for the Fedex delivery’, and send me a video of it happening), or more automated ordering (the washing machine can order more soap for itself, perhaps). Another thing to ponder is the ways that brands can use Alexa to help customers with products. For example, there could be an Alexa skill that talks you through how to use a product when you need ongoing instructions and can’t use your hands. I don’t know what the answer is, and that’s really the point - Amazon is deep in experimentation mode. Indeed, this is an experimentation company, as seen in the Fire Phone and Tablet and indeed in the new crop of retail store pilots.
Alexa  Amazon  growth  opportunity  strategy  forecast  BenedictEvans  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
New Zealand Vowed 100,000 New Homes to Ease Crunch. So Far It Has Built 47. - The New York Times
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, consistently ranks among the world’s 10 least affordable housing markets in the annual Demographia International report.
housing  income  affordability  research  NewZealand  NYTimes  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
How an Olympic Hopeful Robbed 26 Banks on His Bike
Tom Justice was once a cyclist chasing Olympic gold. Then he began using his bike for a much different purpose: robbing banks.
cycling  crime  bankrobbery  banking  USA  Chicagomagazine  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
'No one likes being a tourist': the rise of the anti-tour | Cities | The Guardian
With the tourism explosion affecting even smaller cities such as Porto, visitors and locals alike are looking for more ‘authentic’ days out. But is that possible?
tourism  authenticity  walkingtours  Porto  guide  Guardian  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
The Plot Against George Soros
How two Jewish American political consultants helped create the world’s largest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
GeorgeSoros  antisemitism  Hungary  politics  EliBirnbaum  ArthurFinkelstein  Buzzfeed  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
Introducing: The Nu Jazz Lad - VICE
Shoestring belt holding up Dickies, tiny hat, bang into Ezra Collective? If you're not this guy, you know him.
culture  trends  jazz  Vice  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
The French Burglar Who Pulled Off His Generation’s Biggest Art Heist | The New Yorker
The skilled climber and thief Vjeran Tomic, whom the French press referred to as Spider-Man, has described robbery as an act of imagination.
VjeranTomic  crime  art  thief  Paris  France  NewYorker  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
The cost of studying the arts at Oxbridge - British universities
Many gifted arts students would struggle to crunch numbers. But for those who can excel at both, the cost of sticking with the arts, in terms of forgone wages, is steep. Cambridge creative-arts students have a-level scores close to those of economics students at Warwick, but earn about half as much. That is tantamount to giving up an annuity worth £500,000.
Cambridge  Oxford  Oxbridge  education  university  income  incomeinequality  UK  Economist  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
Too Ugly to Be Saved? Singapore Weighs Fate of Its Brutalist Buildings - The New York Times
Singapore’s own take on the Brutalist style, Mr. Ho said, evolved to reflect local sensibilities and a tropical climate, so he said a better term for it would be “Singapore modernist.”
brutalism  architecture  design  Singapore  history  NYTimes  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
The BuzzFeed Lesson – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
That’s the thing, though: all of the big aggregators have been pursuing similar policies for years. To point to short-term pressure, whether that be falling China iPhone sales or Facebook ad load saturation is to miss the broader point: the more dominant an aggregator the more powerless the supply, and none of these companies are in the charity business.
Buzzfeed  webjournalism  aggregator  Facebook  Journalism  decline  Stratechery  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’ - The New York Times
The challenges in Texas illustrate problems that Apple would face if it tried to move a significant amount of manufacturing out of China. Apple has found that no country — and certainly not the United States — can match China’s combination of scale, skills, infrastructure and cost.

Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, helped lead the company’s shift to foreign manufacturing in 2004.
Erica Yoon for The New York Times

Apple  manufacturing  supplychain  onshoring  review  critique  USA  China  NYTimes  2019 
7 weeks ago by inspiral
Amazon Ruined Online Shopping - The Atlantic
But there’s a reason that we used to have shoe stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, bookstores, and all the rest: Those specialized retail spaces allow products, and the people with knowledge about them, to engage in specialized ways of finding, choosing, and purchasing them. On Amazon, everything gets treated the same. The problem with an Everything Store is that there’s no way to organize everything effectively. The result is basically a giant digital flea market. Amazon is so big, and so heterogenous, that the whole shopping experience is saturated with caprice and uncertainty. It’s not that Dash purchases alone might produce a result different from the one the buyer intended, but that every purchase might do so.
Amazon  ecommerce  review  critique  TheAtlantic  2019 
8 weeks ago by inspiral
Marie Kondo, Fast Fashion, and the Thrift-Store Boom - CityLab
Netflix’s hit show has everyone tidying up, but that's not the only reason second-hand stores are being flooded with donations.
MarieKondo  Netflix  television  fastfashion  clothing  opshop  review  trends  USA  CityLab  TheAtlantic  2019 
8 weeks ago by inspiral
5G: if you build it, we will fill it — Benedict Evans
In 2000 or so, when I was a baby telecoms analyst, it seemed as though every single telecoms investor was asking ‘what’s the killer app for 3G?’ People said ‘video calling’ a lot. But 3G video calls never happened, and it turned out that the killer app for having the internet in your pocket was, well, having the internet in your pocket. Over time, video turned out to be one part of that, but not as a telco service billed by the second. Equally, the killer app for 5G is probably, well, ‘faster 4G’. Over time, that will mean new Snapchats and New YouTubes - new ways to fill the pipe that wouldn’t work today, and new entrepreneurs. It probably isn’t a revolution - or rather, it means that the revolution that’s been going on since 1995 or so keeps going for another decade or more, until we get to 6G. 
5g  telecoms  mobile  opportunity  forecast  BenedictEvans  2019 
8 weeks ago by inspiral
Michel Houellebecq's 'Serotonin': An Indictment of the EU - The Atlantic
Other French critics have commented on Houellebecq’s evolution from the darling of left-wing magazines like Les Inrockuptibles to that of far-right ones like Valeurs Actuelles. But Houellebecq has captured something in his trajectory from the alt-weekly to the alt-right. It’s not so much that his views have changed, but that the political landscape around him has changed in ways that reflect his outlook. Maybe he is a visionary after all. And his is a grim vision indeed.
MichelHouellebecq  Serotonin  books  review  politics  TheAtlantic  2019 
9 weeks ago by inspiral
BBC - Culture - The Sopranos: A revolutionary show we’ll talk about forever
Twenty years on from when it was first aired, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong looks back at a drama so perfectly timed, it reinvented not only the genre, but how we watch TV.
TheSopranos  legacy  television  review  HBO  BBC  2019 
9 weeks ago by inspiral
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