Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


Sorry, This Pocket is Taken

The major phone carriers know about your sick, demented need to have the latest gadget in your pocket. So they are offering new plans that will enable you to upgrade your device after only one year. The programs are marketed as an incentive to keep early adopting tech addicts happy. But what if something else is at work? What if these programs are really a response to the fact that fewer of us feel the need to upgrade, and more of us are satisfied with what we're packing in our pockets? "For the first time since 2008, computer-equipped phone upgrades dropped." Have we reached peak smartphone?

+ It took a powerful computing device for you to be at least partially satisfied with your phone. But your doctor could still be satisfied with a pager. From Fortune: Where pagers haven't gone extinct yet. (At least they've replaced their paper manuals with a handy CD-Rom.)

+ OK, so your phone is good enough. What about your TV? From Quartz, here's all the evidence that Apple is making an actual TV.


Deadly Lunch

In India, at least 22 children died after eating a poisoned school lunch. "After seeing the children get sick, the school's teachers and administrators fled the school, according to Dr. Shambhu Nath Singh, the deputy superintendent of the government hospital in Bihar's Saran District."

+ A lot of the stories about India focus on the country's economic rise. This incident is a reminder that there is another side to that story.


The Root Issue

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is the drummer for The Roots (currently the house band for Jimmy Fallon). In this NY Magazine essay, he shares his take on what the Trayvon Martin case meant to him. It's definitely worth a read: "Imagine a life in which you think of other people's safety and comfort first, before your own. You're programmed and taught that from the gate. It's like the opposite of entitlement ... I don't know how to not internalize the overall message this whole Trayvon case has taught me:

You ain't shit.
That's the lesson I took from this case.
You ain't shit.


Do You Like to Be Watched?

"Do we want to live in a surveillance society that might ensure justice for all, yet privacy for none?" The NYT's Nick Bilton on the pros and cons of a surveillance society.

+ We're seeing an increasing number of cases where those who are accessing our data have no interest in participating in debates on the matter. Universities are now facing a barrage of cyber attacks, and outside attacks on stock exchanges are putting markets at risk.


Cover Hurl

Today, the Internet is expressing great displeasure at the person Rolling Stone editors decided to put on the cover. Several stores have already said they will pull the issue from their magazine racks. Take a look at the cover shot of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, and see what you think. It's of course not the first time a terrible person has been featured on the magazine's cover.

+ In response to the criticism, Rolling Stone editors decided to publish the entire story online (earlier than expected):"He was a charming kid with a bright future. But no one saw the pain he was hiding or the monster he would become."


Recruited at 13

"It gets to a point where I can't even stand myself. It's eating me inside little by little, and there's nothing I can do or say to justify my actions." A day after the arrest of notorious Zetas' leader Miguel Treviño, the Center for Investigative Reporting shares this short video featuring Rosalio Reta, an American teenager recruited by Treviño and trained to be an assassin.


Never Too Cold For A Cold One

"The most dire danger in Antarctica is always failure to respect the absolutely lethal environment of Antarctica itself. I was far happier to serve until I could guide him over to a couch to pass out than to see him stagger out into the -85F night." From The Atlantic: On Getting Drunk in Antarctica.


Tabs of Steel

Give me a hundred sit-ups, fifty push-ups, and ten laps around the track. Either that, or you can just give me one swallow. It's still a ways off, but scientists are making progress in their search for exercise in a pill.


He's Back

Get ready. Keith Olbermann is going to be back on ESPN, but he is contractually forbidden from talking politics. Fine, as long as he's not allowed to talk sports either.


The Bottom of the News

If you find something oddly fun about watching dominoes fall, then imagine how great you'll feel if you can make it through watching 275,000 of them tumble.

+ Mental Floss: 44 fictional characters whose names you don't know.

+ A bedding innovation for people who hate making their beds.

+ Let's Louie for a few minutes, shall we? Here are 10 Louis CK clips. Here's a collection of 14 of his parenting tips. And apparently, Woody Allen wants to make a buddy film with him (Spolier alert: The really young and attractive woman ends up falling for Woody who, after some nervous introspection, welcomes her advances.)