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Shit Worth Reading: May 23rd, 2012
Shit Worth Reading: May 23rd, 2012
05/23/12 at 02:34 PM by Jason Tate
Been a few days, and after getting all the news posted on the homepage today - I've got some time to put together another segment of shit around the internet that I think is definitely worth reading. So with the music turned up and this delicious peach-tasting tea ... I'm ready.

i hate advertising
We’re at an inflection point. It’s been coming for more than a decade. It was born with the web. Advertising, as we know it today, still has a place in the world. There are many occasions and opportunities for it to be incredibly effective. I’m just old enough to hope for a bloodless coup.

But the lion’s share of the work this industry is producing has to end.

It has to, or I fear that it will continue, that we’ll accept this great mediocrity and insult to the web (and to its citizens) as fait accompli.
I wrote a response to the Forbes article about my Tesla comic
Forbes published an article criticizing my Tesla comic. This is my response.

Hahaha. Well done. - JT
Google’s David Lawee: One-Third Of Google’s Acquisitions Are Failures (And Slide Is “Definitely” One Of Them)
Doing the math, that works out to roughly 40 deals that didn’t quite pan out the way the folks in Mountain View had hoped. Of course, some them are more pronounced than others. When asked about Slide — the social gaming company that Google picked up for a cool $228 million only to shutter their services a year later — Lawee noted that Slide was “definitely” in that bottom third.
Apple Design Chief Jonathan Ive Knighted in Buckingham Palace, Says 'Best Work' is Underway Now
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make; it’s what I love doing. It’s great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but then to be able to practise that and be preoccupied with that is another,” he says. “I’m very aware of an incredible tradition in the UK of designing and making, and so to be recognised in this way is really wonderful.”
Scientists at MIT Create Non-Stick Coating
Scientists at MIT have developed this freaky non-stick coating that keeps ketchup flowing. Amazing solution to an old problem. Also one of the weirdest videos you will see this week.
Meet Facebook’s Fall Guy
The whole Morgan Stanley mess isn’t over yet, either. There’s another very big part of the story that I’ve heard whispered at TC Disrupt that hasn’t broken yet. I may track that down tomorrow after the conference if it’s still unpublished.

I refer back to my Facebook IPO Spin article, which in hindsight looks 100% right. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reuters reporters get subpoenaed at some point as lawmakers try to find out more about their sources.

All this aside, I still think Facebook has a certain destiny to fulfill. They completely blew their IPO from a psychology standpoint. But I like Facebook as a stock. I bought some shares on Monday below the IPO price. That’s both a disclosure and a statement of my belief that they’ll be growing significantly in the future. CrunchFund also owns some shares in Facebook from an acquisition that took place recently.
How Apple Could Play the Bigger-Display iPhone Thing at WWDC
If Apple indeed increases the size of the next iPhone’s display to 4 inches, I do not expect them to increase the physical size of the device itself. There is plenty of room on the current iPhone for the rumored 4-inch display — just shrink the non-display areas on the front face. On the iPad, the thick bezel area surrounding the display serves an essential purpose — it gives you a place to rest your thumbs while holding the device. The non-display “forehead” and “chin” on the front face of the iPhone serve no such practical purpose. All Apple needs is enough room for a home button at the bottom, and the speaker, camera, and proximity sensor at the top.
The Dark Knight Rises Teaser Posters

Diet Coda
Diet Coda takes everything we’ve ever learned about world-class web code editing, and wraps it up to-go. It’s packed with features, bathed in fun, ready to work.

Well, this is huge for me. Coda is what I use to do virtually all coding in -- and it's coming to the iPad. The iPad is becoming my go to machine instead of my Air these days ... it's weird, I never expected that transition to happen. - JT
Oh Yeah, Coda 2 Is Shipping Later This Week, Too
I am unsure if I'm willing to change up such a big part of my day ... but, odds are I pull the trigger on this one too. - JT
Skyfall


Fuck yes. The moment TDKR ends, this is my most anticipated movie. - JT

Upside Down Apple Logo
Why was upside down from the user's perspective an issue? Because the design group noticed that users constantly tried to open the laptop from the wrong end. Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.

Obviously, after a few years, Steve reversed his decision.

Opening a laptop from the wrong end is a self-correcting problem that only lasts for a few seconds. However, viewing the upside logo is a problem that lasts indefinitely.
I hated the “Aero Glass” nonsense, but what is this?...
I hated the “Aero Glass” nonsense, but what is this? I always think these are fake mockups that someone is doing as a bad joke, but they’re real.
The default state of a startup is failure
On the flip side, first-time entrepreneurs often fail to realize that when you build something new, no one will care. People won’t use your product, won’t tell people about it, and almost certainly won’t pay for it. (There are exceptions – but these are as rare as winning the lottery). This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. It means you need to be smarter and harder working, and surround yourself with extraordinary people.
XKCD: Punch Me In The Face If I Use Klout

No Pop Equals a Flop? Welcome to the Irrational World of Public Markets, Facebook
There are logical explanations for why Facebook’s stock didn’t skyrocket to $75 a share. These explanations have little to do with whether Facebook is a good investment, be it at $35, $38, or $75. They have to do with Nasdaq and bankers. And yet, because the share price didn’t pop, the historic, record-breaking IPO of eight-year-old Facebook is a flop. This response is totally irrational, a new reality the merry band of “do-it-our-way” coders at 1 Hacker Way can’t be too comfortable with.
Dustin Moskowitz on Facebook’s Early Days, Working with Zuck, Facebook’s #1 Mistake, and More

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin Shares Some Thoughts About Steve Jobs Biopic, Woz Hired As Advisor
"Drama is tension versus obstacle. Someone wants something, something is standing in their way of getting it. They want the money, they want the girl, they want to get to Philadelphia - doesn't matter ... And I need to find that event and I will. I just don't know what it is," Sorkin said.
Steve Jobs 'Worked Closely' on Design of Next-Generation iPhone with Larger Display
Apple has been working on the new device since before the current iPhone 4S model was introduced last October, said one person with knowledge of the project. Jobs, who had gone on medical leave from Apple starting last January, played a key role in developing the phone, this person said.
Facebook launched in 2004. Today, it has more users than the entire Internet had in 2004.

Twitter Is Tracking You on the Web
It is transparently watching your movements and storing them somewhere for later use. Right now, that data will make better suggestions for accounts you might want to follow. But what other things can it be used for? The privacy implications of such behavior by a company so large are sweeping and absolute.
Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler on Steve Jobs' iCar Dreams, Apple's Living Room Push
Drexler also mentioned in passing that Apple will be making a push into the living room "in the near future", fueling further interest in and speculation on an Apple television set and perhaps ultimately content deals that could remake how television content is consumed.
Everyone’s Convinced That MBAs Are Useless, So Now Might Be a Good Time to Hire Them
Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint, expressed the sentiment well when he said, “When valuing a startup, add $500k for every engineer, and subtract $250k for every MBA.” My friend Peter Thiel once warned a young entrepreneur: “Never ever hire an MBA; they will ruin your company.”
Cause and effect
Again, the point goes beyond the details of any particular laptop, because Intel only came up with the idea for Ultrabooks after Apple was so successful with the Air. Of course there were slim laptops before the Air, but then PC OEMs decided to burn their houses down by making netbooks. Apple showed them a better way, and here we are.
Bill O'Reilly Unsure Why People With Less Money Don't Give As Much to Charity
Last year, the vice president only donated around 1.5 percent of his salary to charity. Biden couldn't give "millions" to charity unless he went into debt. According to the last available year of tax returns, Biden's maximum net worth is around $800,000. He makes better money now than he did as a senator -- $230,700. But Fox News pays O'Reilly around 43 times as much money -- $10 million per year.
Reefer Madness: Trayvon Martin Director's Cut
What the report actually says -- as ABC points out -- is that there was THC in Martin's system on the night he died. Why's this our lede? Two months ago, we knew that Martin had been suspended from school after an empty "marijuana baggie" was found. So we have more evidence: He smoked pot, or was close to pot being smoked,* at some point before the killing. We don't even know that he was high that night, when he was staying with his dad's girlfriend and going out for snacks at 7-11. Anyone who's had to take a drug test knows that THC sticks around. This is just a cheap spin on the story.
How Gawker wants to mon*etize comments.
Denton’s vision for Gawker Media’s editorial product is very much moving towards comments and away from posts, and he reckons that advertisers will follow him in that direction if he blazes the trail. Expect Gawker’s blog posts to get shorter, in future, and sometimes just be a headline, at least in the first instance, so that the conversation can get going before a pretty post can be put together. And if Denton’s scheme goes according to plan, when you follow a link to a Gawker website, it will often — or maybe even usually — be a link to a comment, rather than to an original post. Eventually, it’s possible to envisage a world where the distinction between the two is erased completely.
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.
Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.
Existing home sales ticked up
Sales of existing homes rose in April and remain higher than a year ago, while home prices continued to climb during the month, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors. The uptick in sales and the higher home prices are the latest in a series of signals that the nation’s housing market might be inching toward recovery. But perhaps more encouraging than the numbers was the fact that the improvements 'were broad based across all regions,' the report stated...Total sales of existing homes increased 3.4 percent in April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.6 million -- 10 percent higher than a year ago. The total inventory of existing homes in the country rose in April to 2.5 million, a seasonal increase that represents about a six-month supply at the current sales rate. But the inventory of listed homes remains far lower than a year ago, when there was a nine-month supply.
The Postal Service will begin the first phase of its cost-cutting plan.
The United States Postal Service announced Thursday that it would begin consolidating 48 mail processing centers beginning in July, the first phase of a cost-cutting plan that is intended to save the agency nearly $1.2 billion a year as it tries to adjust to declining mail volume. The agency said it would consolidate an additional 92 processing centers in February, and 89 more in early 2014. In all, the Postal Service said it would close 229 processing centers -- about half of the total -- and it expects to save about $2.1 billion a year after the plan is fully carried out in 2014. About 5,000 workers will be immediately affected by the consolidations, the agency said, though it was unclear if they would be reassigned or given incentives to retire. About 13,000 employees will be affected once the first phase is completed by February. A total of 28,000 positions will be eliminated by 2014.
Don’t worry about ‘American decline’
If American preeminence relies on the continued immiseration of Brazil, China and India, then, even in the most selfish terms terms, I’m not sure that it’s worth having. Yet it seems that some Americans would prefer to be the only superpower in hell than the foremost member of a more prosperous G20 in heaven.
What do Republicans mean when they say ‘spending-driven debt’?
If you break it down by policies, the term becomes even more absurd. The single largest debt-producing policy passed since 2001 was the Bush tax cuts. It’s followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, the driver has been the economic aftereffects of the financial crisis and, to a lesser extent, the policies, like TARP and the stimulus, that were passed to ameliorate them.

So if you read the chart carefully, you would say we should reverse the tax cuts, stop launching so many deficit-financed wars, and make sure we regulate the financial sector so it doesn’t blow up again. But that’s not exactly the Republican agenda right now.
Winning Student Essays on Bullying
Teenage girls are cruel super-humans from a distant galaxy sent here to destroy us all. They have the self entitlement of a celebrity heiress and the aggression of a Roman Gladiator. Like vampires they feed off the blood of the weak. They’re pubescent monsters. Adolescent boogeymen.
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